What Is The Best Folding Knife? We Look At 5 Great Options

What is the best folding knife? A good knife is something that a lot of folks like to carry with them at all times. Not only as a possible defensive weapon, but often as a handy tool for various uses. As we mentioned in some of our earlier posts about fixed blade knives and tactical folding knives, there are a few things we like to keep in mind when looking for a new knife.

Folding KNIFE COMPARISON TABLE

The table below compares 10 folding knife options according to size, ratings 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. We provide a detailed discussion of the top 5 folding knives lower down in the article.

KnifeBlade MaterialBlade Length (In)RatingCost
Stainless Steel3-1/45 stars$
420HC stainless steel3-3/45 stars$$$
7Cr17 High Carbon Stainless Steel4.44 stars$$
AUS-8 Steel3-1/25 stars$$
Sandvik 14C28N Steel3.45 stars$$$$
5Cr15MoV Stainless Steel3.625 stars$$
8Cr13MoV Steel35 stars$$
14C28N Steel35 stars$$$
Stainless Steel3-3/44 stars$
Sandvik 14C28N Stainless Steel35 stars$

Quick Tips for Choosing a Knife

Everybody will have their own specific things that they will look out for when they are looking to acquire a new knife, but below we briefly list some of the main things we want to think about when buying a knife:

INTENDED USE

As we mentioned before, a knife is often designed with a specific use in mind. That could be to serve as a skinning knife, a general purpose knife or even a self-defence weapon. So before picking a knife that maybe just looks really cool or is available at a bargain price, be sure you know what you need a knife for and that the knife you are looking at will serve that purpose.

SIZE AND WEIGHT

The size and weight will be tied in to what you want to use the knife for. For example, if you want a knife that you will be able to chop some wood with, you probably want a big heavy knife. But if you plan to carry a knife on you regularly for long periods of time, a smaller and light knife will be better suited to you in the long run. A huge Rambo type knife might look really cool, but it might not be the most practical knife for you.

BLADE

A blade is one of the major factors that determine whether a knife can truly be considered as one of the best folding knife options or not. If the blade is of poor quality, the knife is going to be a dud! There are a lot of modern new materials out there that make blades a lot more durable and sharp. A lot of the best folding knife options tend to have aStainless Steel blade (which doesn’t rust as easily) with some form of Carbon coating to make it even stronger and more durable.

When it comes to blade shape, there are a bunch of shapes you can choose from. Of course, the purpose you want your knife for should determine the blade shape that you end up choosing.

Knife blade shapes

HANDLE

The handle and grip of your knife will have a huge influence on whether your knife will be effective or not. Most of the best folding knife options will have a textured handle for effective grip. The material of the grip could also be a factor. If you plan to do a lot of skinning, you probably don’t want a handle material that is going to be soaking up any blood!

The Top Five Folding Knives

Below we look at 5 foldings knives that we like and think are great. Are there other great knives out there that could also be argued to be the best folding knife? Of course! There are a lot of other knives out there and different folks have different preferences and needs when it comes to knives. So chances are there will be a few people who have a different opinion to ours. If you do have some thoughts, please do share them in the comments sections below and tell us which knife you think is the best folding knife.

When looking the the knives below, we considered how well the knives are constructed, practicallity and of course affordability.

TAC Force TF-705

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There are a number of features to consider when determining which knife qualifies as the best folding knife. For the outdoor enthusiast, the TAC Force TF-705 is the ideal folding knife to carry along on camping trips and hiking excursions. For the person who spends a significant amount of time in the wilderness, the immensely sharp and sturdy blade of the TF-705 can prove extremely helpful to survival in case of an emergency.

One area in which the TAC Force TF-705 stands out in its quest to be named the best folding knife in its category is in its durability, which can be a problem with some folding knives. Actually, when discussing which knives qualify to be considered as the best folding knife, the first point of interest is durability. A knife is not worth much if it falls apart under the stress of practical use. The TF-705 does not have that problem.

The TF-705 comes in an assortment of colors. When opened, the knife is eight inches long. It comes with a belt clip, making it easy to carry along. Additionally, this knife comes with a number of other handy accessories, including a glass breaker and can opener. As far as the sharpness of the blade is concerned, not even repeated uses will cause the blade to dull significantly. The tactical applications of this particular knife are why we believe it deserves to be considered in the discussion of the best folding knife.

Brucks Dynasty Folding Hunter Knife

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This knife sports a classic folding knife design, with a 3 ¾” 420HC steel blade that is extremely durable and immensely sharp. For the hunter, it is extremely important to have a knife that is sharp and durable, and this knife meets the challenge. The Brucks Dynasty Folding Hunter Knife not only has a folding blade that is sharp and durable, but the crescent design of the blade tip allows for highly detailed work. Another feature that qualifies this knife to be considered in our determination of the best folding knife is that the knife also has a lock-back design that guarantees maximum strength when working with the knife, as well as enhanced safety.

One of the nuanced details that we found alluring was the traditional style Dymondwood handle with brass bolsters, which offers the look and feel of older models, while providing the tactical application and durability of contemporary design.

This knife comes with its own leather sheath for style, protection and easy wearing, being able to be clipped directly onto the best.

The knife also comes with a lifetime warranty. The combination of traditional styling and practical application is what influenced our decision to include this classic in our determination of the best folding knife.

Smith & Wesson Border Guard 2 Rescue Knife

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When it comes to tactical folding knives, we would be remiss if we did not include the Border Guard 2 in our discussion surrounding the best folding knife. This knife has a 440C 4.4-inch stainless steel blade, with an overall length of 10 inches. One of the features that stands out about this unique design is its balance. With a larger than normal blade, the glass breaker and the solid steel liners built into this knife, it weighs in around nine inches, yet the balance of the knife, when being used, is superb. The heftiness of the knife contributes to its ability to take on heavy duty tasks, but despite the weight, the deployment of the knife is exceptionally fast.

One part of the design that assists in the rapid deployment of the blade is the Teflon washers which provide added assistance when opening the blade. Actually, the sound that the knife makes during deployment is impressive in itself — a nuance that can be useful in the instance in which the knife may have to be used in self-defense.

This knife has a tanto blade that sports a saber grind, coated with black Teflon. The blood grooves that are cut into it contribute to its utility.

The handle is crafted with two independent slabs of machined aircraft aluminum that is textured to ensure the grip when handling the knife.

In the rare occasion in which a glass breaker and seatbelt cutter are needed, this knife is equipped and up to the task.

Ontario 8848 RAT Folding Knife

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The Ontario 8848 RAT is strong and durable folding knife that has a high utility factor, meaning that it can be used for almost anything. The design and presentation of the knife are simple and straightforward; however, the usefulness of the knife is why we selected it as one of the top five folding knives currently on the market.

The design of this knife is focused on offering optimal comfort and performance. One of the unique features of this folding knife is the index finger groove located on the handle, which is designed to ensure that your hand remains in place when using the knife, which allows a greater level of control when cutting.

The handle is superbly designed, featuring an open-built lock frame that is made from nylon 6 scales.

Another benefit of this knife is that it is 100 ambidextrous, possessing dual thumb stubs, as well as a four-way reversible pocket clip. The knife is also recognized for its durability and strength, placing it squarely among the top five folding knives battling for supremacy as the best folding knife on the market.

Kershaw Ken Onion Blur Folding Knife

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The Kershaw Blur is one of the most popular folding knife models on the market. When it comes to real folding knife enthusiast, the Kershaw Blur always finds its way into being considered as the best folding knife available on the open market. If a knife enthusiast does not currently own a Kershaw Blur, they have at least handled one at some point.

The thing that probably stands out most with this knife is the handle, which has what Kershaw refers to as “trac-tec” inserts. This hard rubber inlay is among the toughest material in use today, meaning that the handle is about as durable as they come.

With a closed length of 4.5 inches, this folding knife fits into that not too big, not too small category of folding knives. It is definitely designed to be used as a multipurpose utility knife. What is also impressive is the size of the blade, when considering the overall size of the knife. The blade measures 3.37 inches, and it is forged out of stainless steel. Despite the sizeable blade, this folding knife is still ideal for being placed in the pocket. Additionally, the nice swedge of the blade ensures that it has maximum penetration potential.

When it comes to a one-size-fits-all folding knife, the Kershaw Ken Onion Blur definitely makes a powerful argument for being considered as the best folding knife in that category.

Which Knife Do We Think Is The Best Folding Knife?

While each of these folding knives share some characteristics that are vital to establishing their worthiness to be considered as a part of our discussion about the best folding knife on the market, it is likely going to be their unique nuances that set them apart.

For instance, the TAC Force TF-705 bolsters a high level of functionality as a utility knife, making it ideal for camping, hiking and wilderness excursions. As an eight-inch knife, the TF-705 offers a good balance between length and concealability. The titanium blade design means that the blade will rarely have to be sharpened. When it comes to a practical utility knife, the TF-705 can hold its own.

The Brucks Dynasty Folding Knife, like the rest of the knives on this list, possesses an exceptional amount of durability. The unique design of the blade tip provides the capacity for the user to do immensely detailed work, but it is the lock-back design that provides the extra strength needed during the cutting process that adds specific value to this particular knife.

When it comes to aesthetics, the traditional style Dymondwood handle, with brass bolsters, definitely offers a sense of nostalgic flair.

For the person who is looking for optimal performance in a tactical design, the Smith & Wesson Border Guard 2 Rescue Knife answers the bell. With a 440C 4.4-inch stainless blade, and an overall length of 10 inches, this knife possesses the durability, balance and strength to perform tactical responsibilities. One of the things that stands out most with this knife is the in-hand balance of the knife, which is so important from a tactical perspective.

Another knife that serves as a highly effective utility instrument is the Ontario 8848 RAT Folding Knife. This knife can be used for virtually anything imaginable. With a straightforward, yet bold, design, the usefulness of this knife is readily apparent. In addition to offering optimal performance, the design also ensures optimal comfort, with its open-built lock frame.

The Kershaw Ken Onion Blur Folding Knife could be the most popular of all of the knives on this list, and there is good reason for this. From the “trac-tec” handle inserts, the durable material and the exceptional balance between blade and handle, this knife conceals well, deploys quickly and provides the balance that is so critical to precision. Although the blade only measures 3.37 inches, it is more than adequate to get the job done.

What Do You Think – What Is The Best Folding Knife?

Above we looked at 5 folding knives that we like and think are really great. But, there are a lot of other great knives out there and everyone his or her own unique preferences and needs. So it is most likely that there will be folks that think there are other knives out there that are in fact the best folding knife for their needs. If you do have another knife in mind that you think is the best folding knife, but which is not on our list, please feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section below. We would love to hear from you!

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