Best Pocket Knives 2022: Top Picks & Buyer Guide

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Pocket knives are a great tool for any outdoorsman to have with them. Whether you’re hunting, camping, or hiking; a pocket knife can come in handy for a variety of tasks. But with so many different knives on the market, it can be hard to know which one is right for you.

In this article, we will take a look at some of the best pocket knives available today and provide you with a buyer’s guide to help you choose the right one for you.

Quick Recommendations

RANK PICTURE NAME RATING SHOPS
Best Overall Benchmade-Mini-Barrage-585
Benchmade Mini-Barrage 585
  • Compact size
  • Blade made from super sharp S30V steel V
  • Impressive blade shape
9.8
5/5 StarsMore
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Editor Choice Spyderco-Delica-4
Spyderco Delica 4
  • Big blade
  • Using quality VG10 steel
  • Easier to store than conventional classic knives
9.0
4.9/5 StarsMore
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Best Premium Benchmade-15031-2-North-Fork
Benchmade 15031-2 North Fork
  • High aesthetics
  • The durable handle
  • Comfortable operation
  • The easy-to-sharpen blade
8.8
4.7/5 StarsMore
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Best Budget Kershaw-Shuffle-II
Kershaw Shuffle II
  • Very low price
  • Blade made from sharp 8Cr13MoV
  • Durable Black Oxide Coating
8.4
4.6/5 StarsMore
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Editor Choice Kershaw-Leek
Kershaw Leek
  • Easy to sharpen
  • Easy-to-grip handle
  • SpeedSafe tool for easy handling
7.9
4.6/5 StarsMore
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Benchmade Mini-Barrage 585

Price:$130

Blade length: 2.7 in.

Closed length: 3.6 in

Blade steel: AUS-8 

Locking mechanism: Backlock

Weight: 35 oz

What We Like: Compact size, Super sharp, Impressive blade shape, The handle has a good grip, Balanced design

What We Don’t Like: The blade unlocking mechanism is difficult to manipulate, A bit too Light

Review: The Benchmade Mini-Barrage is a superb pocket knife. Its compact size makes it easy to carry around, but it still has a large enough blade to get the job done.

The AUS-08 steel holds an impressive edge and the shape of the blade is really well thought out. The handle has a great grip and the knife is balanced. The blade takes a bit of effort to unlock, which is the only downside we could find in this knife.


Spyderco Delica 4

Price:$82.00

Blade length: 2.87 in.

Closed length: 4.25 in.

Blade steel: VG10 Stainless Steel

Locking mechanism: BackLock

Weight: 2.5 Ounces

What We Like: Big blade, Strong handle, Excellent locking mechanism

What We Don’t Like: Slim handle

Review: The Spyderco Delica is one of the most popular pocket knives on the market. It has a big blade and a strong handle, making it perfect for heavy-duty tasks. The locking mechanism is also excellent, providing a solid lockup that won’t fail under pressure. The only downside is that the handle is a bit slim for people with larger hands.


Benchmade 15031-2 North Fork

Price:$161

Blade length: 2.97 in.

Closed length: 3.90 in

Blade steel: CPM-S30V (58-60 HRC)

Locking mechanism: Axis

Weight: 3.2 oz

What We Like: The handle is relatively durable, Comfortable, The blade is sharp and easy to sharpen, and Multi-use

What We Don’t Like: Unlocking mechanism is difficult to manipulate, Expensive

Review: The Benchmade North Fork is a great pocket knife for anyone looking for a durable and multi-use blade. The S30V steel used in the blade is extremely sharp and holds its edge well, making it easy to maintain.

Additionally, the handle is comfortable to hold and provides a good grip even in wet conditions. However, some users have noted that the unlocking mechanism is difficult to manipulate, which can be a downside. Overall, the North Fork is a great pocket knife that offers quality construction and performance.


Kershaw Blur Glassbreaker

Price:$67

Blade length: 3.4 in

Closed length: 4.5 in

Blade steel: 6061-T6 aluminum, Trac-Tec inserts

Locking mechanism: Inset liner lock

Weight: 3.9 oz

What We Like: Enduring, Flexible hinge Glassbreaker, Tip for emergencies, Speed Safe helps release the tongue faster

What We Don’t Like: Flat handle profile

Review: The Kershaw Blur Glassbreaker is a great pocket knife for everyday carry. It features a durable blade made of 6061-T aluminum with Trac-Tec inserts, and it can also be used as a glass-breaker in emergencies.

The Speeds Safe assisted opening mechanism makes it easy to open the blade quickly with just one hand, and the glass breaker tip can be used in emergencies. The aluminum handle is flat, which may not appeal to everyone, but it does make the knife lighter and thinner for carrying around all day long.


CRKT Squid

Price:$22

Blade length: 2.16″

Closed length: 3.48″

Blade steel: 8Cr13MoV 

Locking mechanism: Frame-lock

Weight: 3.50 oz

What We Like: Suitable for many different purposes, Compact size, Sharp blade, Good price

What We Don’t Like: The edge is quite short

Review: The CRKT Squid is a very compact knife that can fit comfortably in your pocket. Its small size makes it great for everyday tasks, but its sharp blade and durable construction make it suitable for more heavy-duty applications as well. We like how the handle has an ergonomic design which also helps with grip on this affordable knife. Overall, the CRKT Squid is a great option for anyone looking for an affordable pocket knife.


Kershaw Shuffle II

Price:$29

Blade length: 2.8 in.

Closed length: 4 in.

Blade steel: 8Cr13MoV

Locking mechanism: Inset liner lock

Weight: 3 oz

What We Like: Very low price, Blade made from sharp 8Cr13MoV, Black Oxide coating for increased durability

What We Don’t Like: The blade unlocking mechanism is difficult to manipulate, A bit too Light

Review: The Kershaw Shuffle II is a great budget pocket knife. It has a blade made from sharp and durable steel, and it comes with a black oxide coating that will help keep it in good condition for longer. However, the blade unlocking mechanism can be difficult to use, and the knife is a bit too light for some people’s liking.


SOG TWI17-CP Twitch II

Price:$59

Blade length: 2.65”

Closed length: 3.55”

Blade steel: AUS-8 

Locking mechanism: Backlock

Weight: 2.6 oz.

What We Like: Good Price, Lightweight, Good Quality, Nice Design

What We Don’t Like: Some users have reported that the locking mechanism

Review: The SOG Twitch II is a solid option for the beginning outdoorsman. It’s lightweight, has an attractive design, and comes at a very reasonable price point. The AUS-80 steel used in the blade offers good value as well; it will hold its edge quite nicely without being too difficult to sharpen when needed.


Kershaw Leek

Price:$62

Blade length: 3 in.

Closed length: 4 in

Blade steel: 410 stainless steel

Locking mechanism: Backlock

Weight: 3 oz.

What We Like: Beautiful design, Good balance between the handle and the blade, High-Quality, The thin blade makes it easier to operate

What we Don’t: The blade is not as sharp as some other knives on the market

Review: The Kershaw Leek is a beautifully designed knife that can be used for any task. The very thin blade makes it easy to operate and the unique design of the handle allows you to hold onto this knife even in slippery situations. The blade is made of high-quality steel, so you can count on it to stay sharp.

If you are looking for an all-purpose pocket knife, then the Kershaw Leek is a great place to start. You can use it when hunting or camping and even around the house in your day-to-day tasks.


Gerber Paraframe II

Price:$26

Blade length: 3.5″

Closed length: 4.8″

Blade steel: High Carbon Stainless Steel  

Locking mechanism: Frame lock

Weight: 4.2 oz

What We Like: Low Price, Good handle design, Quality locking mechanism, The clamp has a high grip

What We Don’t Like: Hard to maintain

Review: The Paraframe II is a solid, entry-level pocket knife that comes in under $30.

The stainless steel blade on the ParaFrame II has a drop point design which makes it good for slicing and general outdoor use.  This Gerber also features an ergonomic handle with textured rubber inserts to help you keep your grip.

This knife also has a Lockback locking mechanism which is very strong and won’t let you down when you’re in the middle of slicing through rope or other thicker materials.  The only downside to this pocket knife is that it can be harder to clean and maintain, but if you know how to properly take care of your blade then this won’t be an issue for you.


Opinel No. 8

Price:$18

Blade length: 3.25 in.

Closed length: 4.25 in

Blade Steel: 12C27 Sandvik Stainless Steel

Locking mechanism: Backlock

Weight: 1.5 oz

What We Like: Cheep, very lightweight, Secure collar lock, Comfortable handle

What We Don’t Like: Not as sharp as some, Takes a lot of force to release the blade

Review: Opinel No. 08 is a great pocket knife for the price. It’s very lightweight and comfortable to hold, and it features a secure collar lock to prevent accidental opening. The blade is not as sharp as some of the other knives on this list, but it still gets the job done.

best pocket knives

How to Choose The Best Pocket Knives

Choosing the best pocket knives is a matter of personal preference. There are many different types, brands, and even different sizes on the market today. If you’re looking for your first knife or a new one to add to your collection; read on below where we have outlined some of our top choices as well as what features you should look out for when making your decision.

Blade Material: The blade is probably the most important part of a pocket knife. It needs to be strong and durable so that it can handle whatever task you throw at it. Most blades are made from stainless steel, carbon steel, or titanium.

  • Carbon steel blades offer the best strength-to-weight ratio but they can also corrode if not taken care of properly.
  • Stainless steel blades are corrosion-resistant but can be a bit heavier than other materials.
  • Titanium blades are lightweight and corrosion-resistant, but they can be more expensive than other materials.
pocket knife

Blade Shape: The blade shape is another important factor to consider when choosing a pocket knife. There are three main types of blade shapes: clip point, drop point, and tanto.

  • Drop points tend to be the most popular choice for pocket knives because they offer good control while cutting and are versatile enough to handle a variety of tasks.
  • Clip points have a concave curve towards the tip that makes them great for piercing but it can make them less suitable for tasks that require a lot of force.
  • Tanto blades have a straight spine and are designed to maintain their sharpness for longer periods of time, but they can be less versatile than other blade shapes.
How To Choose a pocket knife

Handle Material: The handle material is another factor to consider when choosing a pocket knife. You will want to choose one that doesn’t absorb moisture or cause your hand (or glove) to slip while you’re using it. Common materials include wood, rubberized plastic, steel/metal, titanium alloy, carbon fiber, and G-Ten super stainless steel which are all resistant to corrosion.

Special Features: There are a number of special features that you should consider when choosing the best pocket knife for your needs, including serrated edges, assisted opening blades, safety locks and tip-up/tip-down carry capability.

  • Serrated edges can make cutting through rope or other fibrous materials easier but they do limit the types of materials that the knife can be used on.
  • Assisted opening blades are designed to help you open the blade with less effort, but they can also increase the chances of accidental injuries.
  • Safety locks keep the blade in place when it’s not in use and prevent it from opening accidentally.
  • Tip-up/tip-down carry capability enables you to attach the pocket knife to a belt clip, keychain ring, or lanyard so that it’s easily accessible.

Lock Type: The lock type is another important feature to consider when choosing a pocket knife. Some of the most common types include back locks, liner locks, and frame locks.

pocket knives
  • Back locking knives have a linear bar that moves against the tang of the blade as it’s opened or closed which prevents them from accidentally closing on your hand while you’re using them.
  • Liner locks have a small piece of metal that moves into place to hold the blade open, and they are typically found on knives with synthetic handles.
  • Frame locking knives have a section of the handle that moves in and out to lock the blade in place and are usually found on knives with more expensive materials like titanium or carbon fiber.
  • Opening Mechanisms: The opening mechanism is another factor to consider when choosing the best pocket knife. There are two main types: manual and assisted-opening knives.
  • Manual blades require you to use both your hands in order to open them, while assisted blades can be opened with one hand using an internal spring that’s activated by pushing a button on the side of the knife.
  • Purpose: You will also want to consider what you plan on using your pocket knife for. Are you looking for the best EDC (everyday carry) pocket knife? What about a tactical one that can help with survival situations or hunting tasks? As well as considering the blade shape, material, and special features; it’s important to know why you need the knife and what you’ll be using it for.
  • Size and Weight: The best pocket knife is one that’s small enough to carry comfortably yet large enough so that it can handle the tasks you throw at it. If you plan on using your pocket knife for survival purposes, then a larger blade might be more suitable than an EDC-sized one.
  • Budget: Last but not least, you’ll also need to consider your budget when choosing the best pocket knife for your needs. Knives can range in price from around $20 to well over $200, so it’s important to set a budget before you start shopping.

For an in-deep how to choose a pocket knife, please visit our website. [LINK]

How to Maintain Your Pocket Knife

To ensure that your pocket knife stays sharp and in good working order for years to come, it’s important to clean and maintain it regularly. Here are a few tips on how to do just that:

  • Clean the blade with a mild detergent and warm water. Be sure to dry it off completely before storing it away.
  • Use a sharpening stone or diamond sharpener to keep the blade sharp. Be careful not to overdo it, as this can damage the blade.
  • Avoid using your pocket knife on items that are too hard, as this can damage the metal.
  • Do not put it in direct sunlight for an extended period of time or expose it to high temperatures.
  • Store pieces separately if you need to carry them together in a bag or backpack so they don’t get damaged by things like keys or other sharp objects.

For more information, how to take care of your knife, please visit our website. [LINK]

How We Ranked Our Choices for The Best Pocket Knives

We took into consideration price points, blade material, handle material, and special features when ranking our choices for the best pocket knives on the market. Our top choices offered the best value for your money and scored well in all of our other categories as well; making them the ideal choice for most buyers looking to purchase a knife on a budget.

FAQ’s

Q.How to sharpen a pocket knife?

A.There are a number of ways to sharpen a pocket knife, but the most common is to use a sharpening stone. You can either use an electric sharpener or do it by hand.

Q.How to maintain a pocket knife?

A.In order to maintain your pocket knife, you should clean and dry it after each use. You can also use a lubricant like WD-40 to help keep the blade sharp and moving smoothly.

Q. What are some of the special features I should look for when choosing a pocket knife?

A. Some of the most common features to look for include serrated edges, assisted opening blades, safety locks, and tip-up/tip-down carry capability.

Q. What is the difference between manual and assisted-opening knives?

A. Manual knives require you to use both hands to open them, while assisted knives can be opened with one hand using an internal spring that’s activated by pushing a button on the side of the knife.

Q. What is tip-up carry capability?

A. Tip-up/tip-down carry allows you to attach your pocket knife to a belt clip or keychain ring so that it’s easily accessible.

Q. What is the difference between a folding knife and a pocket knife?

A. A folding knife has a blade that folds into the handle, while a pocket knife typically has one fixed blade that’s either open or closed.

Q. What is the lock type?

A. Lock type is another important feature to consider when choosing a pocket knife and refers to the mechanism that holds the blade open or closed. The most common types are back locks, liner locks, and frame locks.

Q. How do I know if a pocket knife is a right size for me?

A. You will want to consider what you plan on using your pocket knife for, as well as how often and where you’ll be carrying it before making a decision about its size. If you are planning on buying an EDC-sized blade, then it should have a small enough blade so that it fits comfortably in your pocket.

Q. What is the price range for pocket knives?

A. Pocket knives can range in price from around $20 to well over $200, so it’s important to set a budget before you start shopping.

Q: What’s the difference between a standard and an exotic blade?

A: Standard blades are made from more common materials such as carbon steel, stainless steel, or high carbon stainless steel (stainless with higher levels of chrome). Exotic blades on the other hand can be made up of any number of different materials, such as Damascus steel, titanium, or ceramic.

Conclusion

Now that you know what to look for when choosing a pocket knife, be sure to read through our buyer’s guide below for more information on the different types of knives available. And, once you’ve found the perfect one for your needs, head over to our top picks section to find some of the best knives on the market today.

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