Pocket knives are great. In addition to being a handy every-day-carry or an addition to your toolbox, they’re also fun! As a knife enthusiast, I can’t get enough of them and regularly have to answer which is the best pocket knife.
If you’re looking to buy a pocket knife, you’re in the right place. I’ve tried dozens, probably even hundreds of knives. This article covers my top picks with some things I like and some I don’t.
Whether you’re looking for a reliable multitool, a sleek stand-alone knife, or something in between, you’ll find good options abound in this article.
We appreciate that some people will want a pure pocket knife and some will want a multitool so we tried to include options for both.
Table of Contents
What to Look For in a Pocket Knife
There are tons of knives out there. So, which is the best for you? A few things to consider include ease of opening, whether you want other tools with your knife, and the build quality of the knife.
Ease of Opening
Some knives can be flicked open in seconds with a single hand; other knives are designed to be opened with both hands and can take a few seconds to open.
If you intend to be frequently using a knife one-handed, for example if you work in a profession where you’re frequently pulling out and putting away your knife, this may be a must-have. In contrast, if you keep your knife around for one-off usage, then this may be a non-issue.
You might also consider the easy-of-opening as it relates to which hand you are using. Some knives can easily be opened with either hand, whereas others can be harder to use with the left hand.
Multi-tool or Pure Knife?
Multitools are great: they can do the same tasks as an entire toolbox in a much more compact, carryable package. They’re great for everything whether you’re filing down a piece of wood, need to tighten a screw, cut a piece of rope, or even to do more complicated tasks, depending on the multitool.
Pure pocket knives excel at being a knife. They tend to have larger blades; tend to be thinner; and to expand on the “ease of opening” consideration, pure knives tend to be easier to open quickly than are multitools.
If you’ve already got a multitool, a pure knife can be a great standalone tool; if you’re looking for something that can do it all, a multitool is a top-tier addition to anyone’s every day carry.
It’s great to have a few “beater knives” that you can use to cut things without worrying too much about damaging them. I’ve got a knife that cost me less than twenty dollars that is plenty sharp and that I’ve even been able to use as a pry-bar. But, at the same time, there are lower-quality knives that have broken after a while.
On the other hand, you can really tell when you’re using a top-quality knife that will last you for years.
As a knife enthusiast, I’ve got both. There’s nothing wrong with a budget knife and there are plenty of inexpensive pocket knives that can easily be used to fulfil all your cutting needs (and multi-tool needs).
Best Pocket Knife Reviews
Leatherman is known for making high quality, reliable products that will last you for years. Prior to buying this multitool, I already owned several Leatherman tools, all of which have reliably lasted me for years, even after taking plenty of abuse. Holding this tool, it was easy to tell that Leatherman is keeping the same quality standards they’ve always had, which is to say that this is an excellent tool.
The Wave Plus has so many tools on it that it’s almost unbelievable; this is one of the most fully-featured multitools I’ve seen. In particular, the blade stands out to me; most multitools tend to have fairly small blades, but the Leatherman plus includes a massive, curved blade (as well as multiple other blades), which is a great touch.
If you want one tool that can replace your entire toolbox, this is it. I’d recommend this to both knife enthusiasts as well as more casual shoppers who want something reliable that will serve them for years. If you don’t already have a Leatherman of some kind, you should stop reading this article right now and go buy this. I got my first Leatherman as a gift when I was in middle school and it has served me great ever since then.
The knife supports a number of styles, including some with a partially-serrated blade, as well as others with a fully straight blade.
When using this knife, I found that it was very quick to open and easy-to-use. It was easy to sharpen, although if you get the serrated version you do want to make sure you have a sharpener or sharpening system that will work with serrations. It works great for things like cutting boxes and the zip ties; you could also use this comfortably in a self-defense kind of a situation.
Overall, this is an excellent knife that comes at a great rate. You can count on this to last for years, and is a great addition to your knife collection, or could be a great first knife or anyone who wants a solid, reliable tool.
In addition to the iconic red (originally chosen to help make knives easily spottable if dropped in the snow), this knife comes in around eight thousand different colors and patterns. These include an American flag, a Star of David, a Wounded Warrior Project edition, camo, and even an option with customizable text.
The product comes at a great price, affordable to anyone, whether they’re a first-time pocket knife buyer or an enthusiast. Even if you’ve got other fancier knives that cost more than a used car, this one’s still a good addition to your toolset.
This model is a great “everyday carry” knife. The tools are all things that you’ll use regularly in day to day life; in particular, the scissors are a great addition. Some other versions of the classic Swiss army knife have more obscure tools, such as a corkscrew, but this one really uses its space to provide the best, most useful features for day-to-day use. This is also a great option to put in your glove box or your bag to have with you when the need arises.
If you want a nice, easy, small knife for a great price, this is a great option for a compact and classic multi tool.
This is the kind of knife that is great for any kind of everyday carry type task. It’s able to be opened quickly and easily for day-to-day tasks like cutting boxes or similar; it’s also versatile enough that you could use it as a self-defense tool.
Personally, I think it’s just a little bit smaller than is ideal. But that’s up to personal preference, and those of you looking for a small blade. Regardless I still do like this knife and it is one that I carry with me on some days.
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The knife also comes in a wide variety of colors and styles, including a few options with a partially-serrated blade.
The main appeal of this knife in particular is that it’s a slim blade that still manages to be strong and well-built. Since it’s easy to open as well, this is a decent option for a self-defense knife to carry with you, or a general every-day-carry.
There are so many pocket knives out there that you could spend thousands and thousands of dollars buying more and more. In fact, I have to admit that I’ve probably spent that much myself, over the years! But, to narrow it down to a single pick, here’s what I’d recommend.
The Leatherman Wave Plus is my favorite addition to my knife collection by a good amount. You can never have too many Leatherman products, and I’ve certainly never bought one that I’ve had a problem with. This is a solid everyday carry, or you could put it in your car, truck, toolbox, or even your boat, if you own a boat and want to put a Leatherman in it.
As far as value for your money goes, the Kershaw Blur Black is a great pick. This knife is intuitive and versatile. It’s easy to open quickly, which is useful for both daily tasks, as well as if you want to be ready for any kind of self-defense scenario. I also liked the fact that this knife can be easily used for either hand; this is obviously nice for people who are left handed, but is also nice in general, since you may want to occasionally use your offhand now and then.
Finally, a Swiss army knife like the Victorinox Swiss Army Knife is a tool that is popular for a reason. Swiss army knives are not only versatile and lightweight, but they’re also a steal. For the price, how can you not have one of these? Whether you’re on a budget or not, these are a great buy.
So, which one is the best for you? A multitool, like the Leatherman Wave? A pure knife? Something basic and easy like a Swiss army knife? Let me know in the comments! I’d like to hear what you have to say.