Pocket Knife Comparison Guide
The table below compares 10 pocket knife options according to rating and price. To see any of the knives below on Amazon.com, simply click on the knife’s image to take you to that knife’s product page.
5 Pocket Knife Options
There are many reasons why you may want to carry a pocket knife with you. We human beings have quite flexible hands, especially with our opposable thumbs, which means we can grab, tear push and pull many things. However, one thing we can’t do without using tools is cut. Carrying a pocket knife helps you open boxes and packages easily, as well as help in first aid, such as cutting bandages or fashioning tourniquets. And if you like fishing or the spend time in the great outdoors, a pocket knife becomes indispensable, from roasting hot dogs to shaving down kindling, from removing hooks to cutting lines…the list of uses is endless! So what is the best pocket knife on the market today?
We take a look at the five most popular pocket knives on Amazon and give you the lowdown!
Buck Knives 110BRS Folding Hunter Knife
This is one of our most expensive items on our best pocket knife list, but you do get what you pay for. Last year (2014), Buck celebrated their 50th Anniversary of these knives, and many people who bought them 50 years ago have passed these knives onto their sons, who will testify that these knives are still in fantastic shape. In fact, they’ve even become family heirlooms to be handed down from generation to generation, so get one of these and you’ll be sure to use it for most of your lifetime, and it will still be in good enough condition to hand it down to a son or even grandson. Buck back this up with a ‘4-Ever’ lifetime warranty too.
This knife is 3 ¾ inches steel clip blade with a closed length of 4 7/8 inches, and weighs 7.2 ounces, so it’s definitely not as small as many other knives, but what it lacks in the ‘handy size’ department, it more than makes up for in sheer power, and of course these knives have become somewhat of a prestige brand (all of the 110’s knives manufactured from 2014 onwards will come with a ‘1964 50 years’ emblem). This is the perfect knife for those who like to collect knives and have something to pass on to a younger generation.
As these were originally designed in 1964, these knives boast classic looks with a Dymondwood natural wood-grain handle with polished brass bolsters, stainless steel blade and a genuine leather sheath. These knives are truly beautiful and classic – perfect for those who don’t like the look of ‘modern’ knives. It’s also equipped with a nail-notch lockback design, which allows the knife to opened and closed safely. This is very important as we found the blade to have a razor sharp edge, and some users have made the mistake of placing their fingers across the handle to close the knife, resulting in cut fingers – be warned!
There are a couple of drawbacks. This knife is heavy compared to more modern knives, with a lot of weight being attributed to the natural wood handle. When fully opened, the point of balance is near the middle of the handle, which makes it ideal for controlled cutting, but the knife is not so good for general cutting. Also, the nail-notch lockback systems does mean you need two hands to open the knife. For everyday use, needing both hands can make this knife cumbersome, when there are more modern designs that allow you to fold knives back up with one hand. We would recommend this knife for anyone who is a hunter or fisherman, as this razor sharp and robust knife can skin, gut and clean all sorts of game animals and fish. And of course, this is the best pocket knife for anyone who just wants to have a genuine all American heirloom to pass onto a younger family member!
Victorinox Cadet Swiss Army Knife
This is one our tiniest knives on our best pocket knife list. Made from stainless steel, it measures 3.31 by 0.75 by 0.25 inches, and weighs a miniscule 2 ounces. We were very impressed with how thin it is. We could put it into our back pockets and forget it was there! This is in direct contrast to a lot of other Swiss army knives which tend to have plastic handles, which make them at least 50% thicker. Also, having an all stainless steel design means we did not have to worry about scratching the handle, a real worry sometimes with inferior plastic handles. And the stainless steel plates just gives the knife a much more elegant look compared to those with plastic sides, which can look ‘cheap’.
We were pleased with how sharp the knife was too, although this is nowhere near as good as the above Buck 110, so we would not recommend for tackle box, camping and hunting. As you would expect with all Swiss army knives, this comes complete with a whole host of tools (key ring, bottle opener, large and small screwdriver, wire stripper, can opener, nail cleaner and nail file). We do wish they had added some scissors though.
This is one of the best pocket knife options for every day carry. You would forget you were even carrying it most times, and yet it would be there for you when you need it. What’s more, it even features a panel on one side that allows for engraving – perfect for anyone who wants to buy this as a present for someone. The only drawback we could foresee is that stainless steel is a nightmare to use with wet hands. So if you’re expecting to be in wet environments with this pocket knife, this may not be the best pocket knife choice for you. Otherwise, we can’t fault this pocket knife for every day carry.
Ontario 8848 RAT Folding Knife (Black)
This is one our mid-sized knives on our best pocket knife list, measuring 4.5 inches closed (8.5 inches when open) and weighing 5 ounces. It boasts ergonomic nylon handles and spine jimping, giving this knife great control and grip, with good weight and balance, and the thumb stud allows you to open and close this knife with one hand. The Liner lock locking mechanism is solid and trustworthy, so you have no worries about unwanted opening accidents. One gripe we had is that the pivot is a little stiff when new. You may need to flick the blade out a number of times to get it to start flicking out smoothly. If you’re confident about modification skills, you could also use a round file to cut away some of nylon handle near the thumb stud, which will make the blade flick out a lot faster and smoother. But only do this if you’re confident.
The steel blade is heavy with a robust working tip, making this a knife ideal for slicing. Also, the thick steel liners throughout makes this one of the most heavy duty folding knives on the market today. What’s more, this knife comes with a four position pocket clip to suit many different carry styles, making this an easy pocket knife to carry every day. We could even see ourselves using this knife for self-defence reasons (make sure this is legal in your state).
Our only gripe is that the handle scales could have been more textured, as we found them too smooth and slick. But, considering the cheap price, the best pocket knife in this price range that can also hold its own against pocket knives in much higher price bracket.
This is not so much a pocket knife as a multi-function tool, but it makes it onto our best pocket knife list for its sheer number of uses and it’s incredibly compact size, which makes this the perfect tool for every day carry. The Micra Multi-Tool is made from durable stainless steel and measures a tiny 2.5 inches when compact, and weighs only 2 ounces, meaning it can easily be added to a key chain and forgotten about until it is needed. Despite its size, it manages to fit an incredible 10 tools; knife, tweezers, 3 screwdrivers, scissors, nail file, nail cleaner, ruler and bottle opener.
We love the spring-action scissors as the design makes it robust yet comfortable to use. However, we did have issues with the pivot, as it doesn’t pull the blades together hard enough, which means soft materials such as thread or plastic slip through the blades. On paper and cardboard, the scissor worked perfectly. The bottle opener works smoothly and is adequate for what it is expected to do. The screw drivers were our favourite tools, as the brilliant interlocking tab design on these make them rigid when closed, and the small screwdriver is small enough to use on eyeglasses. The knife isn’t our favourite tool as the chisel ground edge makes it ideal for peeling or scraping, but difficult to slice anything accurately. We were surprised at how stiff and narrow the tweezers were, making them a lot better than most of the tweezers we see included with Swiss army knives. The nail cleaner, nail file and ruler all do their jobs adequately.
This is the perfect tool for every day carry, but if you expect to use the knife as your main tool, we recommend you look elsewhere. The scissors are a great addition, but think about what materials you would expect to use it with. If it’s mainly paper and cardboard, you’ll love these scissors. But if it’s soft materials, then these scissors are not up to the mark. So if you want a cutting knife, this is perhaps not the best pocket knife for you. However if you like all the extra little tools, it could be the knife for you!
Benchmade Mini Griptilian Knife
Our most expensive knife on our best pocket knife list and designed to give you a lifetime of use. The stainless steel blade is 2.91 inches with an overall closed length of 3.87 inches (opened length is 6.78 inches), and it weighs only 2.56 ounces. Sold with a useful pocket clip, this knife is compact enough for everyday carry.
The blade itself has a great modified drop-point to it, and is easily deployed using the thumb studs, which has great traction and is situated exactly where you would expect. We really liked how the design of the blade involves ‘designer scratches’! You would think that having a blade that looks already scratched would be a drawback, but the scratches look great, and it also means that any real scratches you cause to the blade are effectively camouflaged. However, the edge of the blade is a real let down. The edge is quite thick which makes cutting through anything coarse or thick, such as cardboard, difficult.
The handle on this pocket knife is one of the best we’ve ever seen when it comes to grip (this knife is, for this reason, often referred to as a ‘Mini Griptillian’). This knife has a finger choli which allows you to have good grip and keeps your fingers safe by preventing them from sliding into the cutting area. Also, on each handle scale, there is a checker board pattern of tiny pyramids which gives you incredible grip. The only caveat we would say is that the uneven base can cause pain to anyone with delicate hands and skin.
We loved the axis lock and felt this was quite a unique aspect for a pocket knife. The omega springs on each side of the lock give the much needed tension required to keep the blade within the handle. When the knife is open, the axis lock prevents the blade from closing on your hand. All this means that this knife should never fail to deploy exactly when you want it to, whilst not accidentally deploying itself.
Overall, this is a robust pocket knife that is much more robust than cheaper pocket knives and will last the test of time. However, do ask yourself what you expect to use this knife on, as the fat blade edge will cause problems if you wish to cut thick, coarse material.
So which out of our list is the best pocket knife?
You should choose the best pocket knife for you keeping in mind what you intend to use a pocket knife for. Although the idea of carrying a pocket knife is for you to be able to use it in unforeseen circumstances, with a little thought, you can imagine the likely scenarios you would expect to find yourself in. What kind of activities do you do regularly? Do you find yourself in wet environments? What types of material do you expect to use your knife on? Asking yourself questions like this will allow you to pick the most useful tool from our best pocket knife list. Let’s quickly recap all the items on our best pocket knife list:
The Buck Knives 110BRS Folding Hunter Knife is our largest and heaviest knife on our best pocket knife list. Add to that the two handed opening, and it’s obviously not the ideal option for every day carry, unless you actually spend most of your time in the great outdoors. However, if you want the sharpest blade ever, that can slice through most things, and is guaranteed to even outlive you, then this is the best option. Add to that the prestige of owning one of these blades, and you can see why these knives are some of the most popular knives on the market.
The Victorinox Cadet Swiss Army Knife is one of the smallest options on our best pocket knife list, making it ideal for everyday carry. Despite this, it still has a very sharp blade, and useful tools. The all stainless steel gives it a very classy and elegant look, and the only drawback we could think of is that it would be difficult to grip when wet.
Ontario 8848 RAT Folding Knife is a mid-size option on our best pocket knife list, and an ideal option for someone who wants something more robust than smaller pocket knives, but also something small enough to be able to carry at all times. The only issue we had with this item is that the handle could have had better grips.
Micra Multi-Tool is ideal for anyone who does not expect to use a knife very often at all, as the other tools included (especially the three screwdrivers) are so versatile. Definitely not for you if you spend a lot of time outdoors, naturally. But an inexpensive option for simple, everyday carry, especially as it is our smallest option on our best pocket knife list.
The Benchmade Mini Griptilian Knife is our most expensive option on our best pocket knife list, and it is built to last. It has the best grip we have ever seen on a pocket knife, so if this has been an issue in the past when you’ve bought knives, then you will be pleased with the performance of this knife. But do ask yourself what materials you expect to be slicing through, as the fat edge on this blade makes cutting through thick, coarse material uncomfortable.
Our best pocket knife choice on the market today:
We couldn’t decide on one knife that we think is the best pocket knife of the knives discussed above, so we picked two! For the sharpest blade we’ve ever seen that will see us through anything that life can throw at us, we have to choose the Buck Knives 110BRS Folding Hunter Knife. Not ideal for everyday carry due to size and weight, but this is the go-to knife that you will be able to rely on in even the harshest of conditions and environments.
For everyday carry, we think the best pocket knife is the Ontario 8848 RAT Folding Knife. We struggled to find knives almost twice the price of this pocket knife that is as well made and robust as this pocket knife, and yet compact enough to carry with you wherever you go.
What Do You Think – What Is The Best Pocket Knife?
Do you have an opinion on what is the best pocket knife? We know there are many many great pocket knives out there and that different folks will have an opinion on what they think the best pocket knife is. If you have some thoughts on the topic, please share them in the comments section below.