Folding Pocket knives have been around for quite a while. The traditional pocket knives were mostly used for EDC purposes like opening a package, cutting some ropes, gutting fish, and such. However, being fixed blades, they took up more space than one wanted to spare. This lead to the manufacture of folding knives; pocket knives with folding blades which meant that these knives were even smaller and served the same purposes. With time, however, folding knives came to be used for a myriad of uses and not just as an everyday carry. The best folding knives are used by hunters, campers, hikers, survivalists, emergency responders, and others for cutting woods, clearing vegetation for camping, skinning games, cutting meat, snapping accident victims out of seatbelts, and more. Naturally, folding pocket knives have now become a staple tool for all types of people.
Factors that Determine the Best Folding Knife
If you are planning to buy a folding knife for yourself, you surely have many options. There are dozens of folding knives in the market from various popular brands and you can easily choose one or more from these products. The question that arises here is how you will be able to select the best pocket knife for yourself from those available. Well, the decision may seem like a difficult one but can be made easy if you consider a few things like:
Design: The knife’s design is an important factor to consider. Folding knives can be very simple and basic and they can also be elaborate and high-tech. The best folding knife for you will depend on what you need. If you are looking for a knife that you can use for simple tasks like opening a package or cutting fruits, you can buy a basic folding knife, and it will serve the purpose. However, if you want to carry out tasks like cutting seatbelts as emergency responders need to or whittling or carving wood etc., you need a knife that is strong, has a nice curved blade, and is sharp enough to cut through the materials. The design of the knife plays an important role in the success of the task that you want to use it and hence, must be given a thought before you buy a folding knife.
Features: The features that a knife has is usually decided by the design of the knife. Even then, it is important to find out whether a particular knife has the features that you are looking for. The features that you need will also depend on how you are planning to use the knife. If you are looking to use it as a utility tool, you may want it to be light-weight and sharp enough to handle your needs. If you want to use it for self-defense purposes, you may want a knife that can be opened with a single hand. Emergency responders may want a knife that comes with a clip-on for the belt. As such, the features of the best folding knife depend on your use.
Size: The knife size is also an important deciding factor in the choice of the knife. Folding knives are available in a variety of sizes and the choice of the size must be made very carefully. The average blade size that would be suitable for carrying out regular tasks like opening parcels, cutting ropes or wires, cutting off plastic tags, etc. is 3-4 inches. Such knives, when opened up, measure approximately 6 – 8 inches. However, that’s not the only use of the best folding knives. They are used by campers, hunters, hikers, and more to survive in the wild and such knives need to be bigger with bigger blades for clearing plants, chopping wood, cutting meat, and protecting from rabid animals. So, choose a size according to your needs.
Material: The material the blade and the handle are made of goes a long way in determining whether the knife will serve your purpose or not. Like with any other thing, paying peanuts for your knife can get you one with a cheap Chinese steel blade and plastic handles that are good if you want to open parcels or cut off ropes. However, if you want your knife to do heavy tasks such as chopping wood or clearing off plants, you need something heavy-duty. The best folding knives have blades made of stainless steel varieties like 154CM, VG, CTS, AUS, etc. The handle material should ideally be bone, titanium, etc.
Ergonomics: The way the knife handle is designed is an important factor in deciding the best pocket knife for yourself. Not all designs are suitable for everyone. If you have small hands, you will prefer a knife that has a small handle diameter and is light on your hands. However, if you have bigger hands, the same handle will seem puny to you and may slip out of hands. That is why a knife with a bigger handle diameter will be ideal for you. The contouring of the handle will also have an impact on how comfortable the grip is.
Blade Locks: If you are about to buy a folding knife, it is vital that you choose one with a blade lock. While some people may not consider this as essential, however, choosing a knife with a blade lock ensures safety – for you and others around you. Folding knives are used for a number of purposes and one without a lock can cause injuries if you are not very careful or are using the knife in a stressful situation. The blade may fold back and you may cut yourself with the retracting blade. That is why the best folding knife should come with a blade lock that can be undone with a thumb press.
Carry Options: While folding knives can be easily slipped into pockets and carried about without much of an issue, yet it is better to have them in a position where you can take them out easily. This is very important for those who venture into the wilderness or work as emergency responders, electricians, etc. For them, it is best to have the knife attached to their belt so that their muscle memory is trained to find the knife immediately when needed. It also makes carrying the knife easy. As such, it is better to buy knives that have sheaths that can be attached to the belt. The knife handle may also have clip-in options to make it easy to carry.
Price: Buying a cheap knife isn’t worth it unless you are going to use it to cut open packets and parcels, tin cans, ropes, etc. If you want more out of your knife, you need to invest a good amount on it. However, how much you want to spend on the knife will depend on your needs and of course, your budget. So, buy one that fulfills your requirement and is affordable as well.
7 Best Folding Knives Reviews
1. Palmetto Wood Shop Mtech MT423 Personalized Tactical Pocket Knife:
In case you wish to gift something new to your son, partner, or groomsmen, then this tactical folding pocket knife might be a great idea. This knife has a 4.5’ steel clip-point blade and the handle can be laser engraved. The folding blade can be controlled using a thumb stud which makes the operation smooth and quick. And with a sharp blade like this, you can definitely use the knife for multiple purposes.
As per folding knife reviews provided by the users, the handle is made out of pakkawood which makes the handle stylish and the wood grain finish gives the knife an awesome look. Apart from that, you can laser engrave two lines on the handle and the text you engrave will be really easy to read as well. Apart from that, the knife comes with a belt clip as well, which makes it easier to have with you all the time you are having an adventure outdoor or hunting.
- Looks nice
- According to folding knives reviews you can have personalized engraving on your knife handle
- Standard quality
- Affordable compared to other folding knives
- Blade functionality is quite smooth
- The handle is made out of authentic pakkawood and has a wood grain finish
- Design is pretty much compact
- The blade is sharp enough for a pocket knife
- Comes with a pocket clip as well
- After a certain time, the blade might get a bit to lose
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2. ELK RIDGE Wood Gentleman Spring-assisted Folding Pocket Knife:
If you love going for outdoor adventures then this classic, plain edge, a spring-assisted knife from ELK Ridge might be a fine choice for you. Whether you wish to go for an adventure in the woods or you might want to go for fishing by the river, with this knife by your side, you can easily feel safe and with a quick lock-unlock mechanism this knife can surely be your best companion while you are alone.
The knife comes with a 3.5” plain blade which is made of stainless steel. The pakkawood handle is pretty much comfortable to grip and comes with a beautiful mahogany stain which gives the handle a natural look. The blade locks right in the place and with the spring mechanism attached to the knife, it becomes really easy to open and close the blade at will. To make sure you have to knife all by your side, you can use the clip to attach it to your belt and enjoy your time hunting or camping in the woods.
- As per folding knives reviews, the blade is made out of strong stainless steel which gives it the required durability
- Craftsmanship at its best
- The pakkawood handle comes with a mahogany stain
- Designed to help you with outdoor work
- The efficient and sharp blade
- Compact in design and comes with a sturdy belt clip as well
- Might feel a bit heavy while it is kept in your pocket
- The blade is attached with a spring-assisted mechanism which reportedly does not work efficiently
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3. SPYDERCO Endura 4 Black Combination Edge Knife:
This particular folding knife from Spyderco Endura is really light in weight and yet its efficiency is more than any other folding knives that you can buy. It has a pretty good design and the 3.75” blade is made out of carbon steel which makes it durable too. The blade is partially serrated which improves the cutting capabilities and can be really good in heavy-duty work. The blade has a thick construction and a titanium coating which ensure that it does not get corroded even in the long run.
The blade is really sharp but you don’t have to worry about its safety, as the blade tends to lock very well irrespective of the fact that you are using the blade or not. The nylon handle is reinforced with fiberglass which ensures that the knife does not slip out of the hand while in use and you get a comfortable grip as well. You can keep the knife in your backpack or you can use the pocket clip to keep it attached while you are camping or hunting outdoors.
- Folding pocket knife of highest quality
- You get a lot more than what you pay for
- The blade is flat and partially serrated
- The blade is made out of carbon stainless steel which makes it durable and strong
- The blade is quite sharp and is lightweight too
- The metal used for the blade is highly corrosion resistant
- Comfortable grip
- Easy to use
- One-hand operation
- Includes a 4 position pocket clip as well
- Does not include spring
- The blade is not center-aligned with the handle
- The screws of the clip might get loose
- Comes with a black coating which might stain your clothes
4. Benchmade – Griptilian Drop-Point 551 Pocket Knife:
If you are looking for a quality, durable and strong folding pocket knife then this plain edge, stainless steel blade knife from Benchmade Griptilian might be a good choice for you. The blade is only 3.45” in length and is regarded as one of the best drop-point knives that you can buy. The metal used is corrosion resistant and makes it easy to use in any weather condition you want. According to folding knife reviews, the lightweight of this knife makes it easy to carry and use and increase portability too.
The one-press operation enables you to open the blade as and when required and the blade locks in the right place as well. With the spring style mechanism, you can easily close the blade with just a flick as well. The additional pocket clip lets you attach the knife with your belt all the time while you are out for an adventure or camping.
- Compact design with a sharp blade
- Serves high quality
- The handle is pretty much comfortable and has a secure grip
- Corrosion-resistant metal
- Highly responsive blade
- Comes with a pocket clip
- 4 different color options to choose from
- You can hope to get more than what you pay for
- Quite expensive compared to other folding pocket knives
- Does not include any spring mechanism
- When you first buy the knife, opening and closing the blade might seem a bit difficult
- Not perfect for heavy-duty work
5. Victorinox Swiss Army Evolution Pocket Knife:
If you go through folding knife reviews you will surely understand that this particular Swiss knife is one of the best multipurpose tools that you can get. Apart from being able to use the blade for different cutting purposes, the rest of the tools are of real good use as well. It mainly includes a toothpick, a ring, a screwdriver, a bottle opener, a nail file, a large blade, and a corkscrew. Most of the tools are made of stainless steel which makes them sturdy and rustproof too. The grip of this particular knife is well designed and is really comfortable to work with. Overall this Swiss knife from Victorinox is one of the best folding knives that you can buy.
- Multiple tools in one knife which makes it perfect for versatile use
- According to the folding knives reviews, it has a compact and comfortable handle
- A perfect companion for a camping or outdoor adventure
- With this knife at your disposal, you can definitely work faster
- This Swiss knife is made out of stainless steel which makes it sleek and durable
- Compact design which makes it easy to carry in your pocket wherever you go
- Comes with a lifetime guarantee
- The blade does not get locked when you fold it
- You cannot open the blade with one hand
6. Case Black Trapperlock Pocket Knife with Clip:
If you are looking for a compact, high-quality folding knife for home use then Case Black Trapperlock is the one you should look for. With a 3” sharp blade and one-touch open functionality; this knife can turn out to be one of the best pocket knives when you are home and outdoor. The handle seems pretty much comfortable and looks nice as well. With a strong carbon-steel blade, durable construction and comfortable grip, the knife can certainly offer you the best experience that you can have with a pocket knife. It comes with a pocket clip as well for safekeeping. It has an attractive design, range of colors and most importantly styles peach seed handle that makes it worthy of buying. And when you add to the fact that you get a lifetime warranty you are surely going to choose this knife over the others in the same category.
- Quality blade with nice design
- Perfect value for what you pay
- The knife size is really good and has a sharp blade as well
- The blade can be opened using one hand only
- A corrosion-resistant metal which makes the blade durable too
- Attractive and classic design that makes it perfect for anyone
- Comes with a pocket clip and liner lock as well
- The pocket clip is sturdy enough
- Different designs and colors available to suit your choice
- Comes with a lifetime warranty
- Might feel a bit hard to open the blade when you first buy it
- Not really perfect if you are willing to do some heavy-duty work
7. Opinel Carbon Steel Folding Knife:
According to folding knives reviews, this folding knife from Opinel is one of the best sturdy and simple knives that you can get. With a classic design and sharp blade, it can be your one of the best companions on your hiking days. The length of the carbon steel blade might vary with the size of the knife. The maximum you can have a 4” of blade length. The blade is made out of carbon steel is easy to sharpen but you have to take good care of the blade so that it does not get any kind of rust on it.
The handle is made of beech wood which gives the required durability and looks traditional as well. You can lock the blade while its opened and closed which means you have no worries while it’s in your pocket or you are using it.
- Nice looking folding knife
- Sturdy and simple design
- Efficient and quality blade
- Made out of carbon steel which makes it durable
- Wooden made handle does not only look good but also comes with a nice and comfortable grip as well
- You can local the blade while it’s closed
- You get a lifetime warranty
- If you go through folding knife reviews you will understand that you need to be careful while using this blade otherwise, it might get corroded
- Maintenance of this blade is higher than any other knife
Important FAQs Regarding Folding Knives
Are pocket knives legal?
There is no one answer to this. In some states, carrying pocket knives is totally legal, while in others, it is not. So, it is better to check with the government laws of the area before you carry a knife.
How to sharpen folding knives?
Sharpening folding knives isn’t much different from any other knife that you may have. You may want to carry a knife sharpener with you if you want to spend some time in the wilderness.
How to clean folding knives?
Like any other knife, the best folding knives will also need cleaning and that is best done by removing deposits are debris, dust, dirt, and even rust. This should be followed by lubrication.
Which folding knives are lightweight?
If you are looking for a folding knife for EDC, the best choice is a lightweight one. Knives that have handles made of carbon, high-quality plastic, and polymer are the best for EDC.
While choosing the best pocket knives isn’t a decision of a moment, it isn’t a mammoth job as well. The knife must be such that it serves your purpose well without being difficult to use. And with the huge number of options available, getting the perfect one for yourself shouldn’t be a problem at all.
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