Picking out a pocket knife is as personal as picking out a pair of shoes. Everybody likes something just a little different than the other person, and has a different job they need their knife to do, but everyone wants the sharpest pocket knife that’s also easy to use. There is a knife in every style and for every purpose you can imagine – big ones, little ones, single blades, multi-tool, utility, and hunting. There are so many choices, in fact, that picking out a new pocket knife can be overwhelming. I’ve had pocket knives ever since I was about 10 or 11 years old (I considered myself quite the whittler in those days), and went through many hand-me-down cheap knives as a youngster. Nowadays I’m much pickier about the hardware I carry, and while I don’t let the price tag dictate my choices, I do believe in getting a good value for my money. I have three generations of pocket-knife enthusiasts in my family who have given their input, and I can heartily recommend these knives by people who use them, like them, and would gladly buy them again.
Table of Contents
What To Look For In Pocket Knives
- No matter what else you need your knife to do, you need it to be SHARP. A dull knife is a dangerous knife. Dull knives force you to push too hard on them, encouraging slippage and cuts. Your knife should be sharp right out of the box, and when it does get dull, it should be easy to sharpen.
- The best pocket knives are lightweight, easy to open, easy to close, feel secure and hold a sharp edge. One-handed opening makes tasks easier to accomplish, because you can hold onto your project with one hand and open the knife with the other. The knife doesn’t have to be scary looking to be an effective tool, and many manufacturers offer choices of handle styles and finishes that make the knives attractive as well as handy.
- If there are pocket clips, they should be comfortably low-profile, so that you don’t get blisters while you work. Ideally, the pocket clips could be adjusted for tip-up or tip-down carry, and could be changed to either side of the handle for left- or right-handed carry.
- Knives can be as fancy or as plain as you like. The men in my family tend to prefer the pseudo-tactical styles. I like the classic pen-knife styles with bone or wood-look handles that harken back to my youth, or the nice red Swiss Army ones that are easy to find in the bottom of my purse.
- Check the warranty on the knife you’re considering. A lifetime warranty can make your pocket knife a real investment, even if you have to pay more up front to get it. If you buy a $20 knife at a flea market and break it in a few months, and do this every year, it doesn’t take long before you realize you should have bought a good one in the first place.