Best Pocket Knife Brands

Knives are like credit cards; don’t leave home without them and always carry several - Richard Marcinko

There hasn’t been a time in recorded human history when we weren’t reliant on knives.

The first tools that we used were knives fashioned from flint and stone, and in the many millennia, since we made our first blades, they’ve been a staple part of our existence.

As important to our early evolution as science and technology is to our modern development, knives have always been an indispensable part of our culture, and throughout their long and storied history have changed to fit the almost endless variety of tasks we use them for, and to perform.  

While knives have adapted to accommodate the roles that they’re designed to fulfill, one of the most trusted, and used is the pocket knife.

A stock part of the avid campers kit, an invaluable tool of any tradesman’s job, and a crucial fixture of any hunter’s personal arsenal, pocket knives are vital to our professional and personal lives.

But finding the right pocket knife can be tricky, and that’s why we decided to explore five of the best pocket knife bands and the best knives they make so we could make it easier for you to choose the pocket knife that’s ideal for you and the life you lead.

Are you ready? Then let’s talk about pocket knives… 

Top 5 Best Pocket Knife Brands

OUR TOP PICK

Benchmade - 15061 Grizzly Ridge EDC Manual Open Hunting Knife, Made in the USA

Benchmade is an American knife maker with a rich, three-decade history of making purpose-designed blades that you’ll be able to count on no matter where you are and what you’re doing.

Based in Oregon, Benchmade was founded on a never-quit demand for excellence and a total commitment to culture, service, and innovation. 

Grizzly Ridge exemplifies everything that Benchmade believes in. Made from CPM-S30V steel which ensures that it’ll maintain its edge, and be corrosion-resistant, its drop point construction also means that it’s strong, durable, and versatile.

Easy to open and close thanks to its axis locking mechanism, the Grizzly Ridge’s handle is ambidextrous and made from glass-filled nylon, so it has more grip than a professional arm wrestler and features both a lanyard hole and split arrow clip which makes this incredibly light, slimline pocket knife easy to carry. 

One of the things that we live most about Benchmade is their commitment to a lifetime of sharpness. If your blade does, for whatever reason, begin to lose its edge, if you ship it to Benchmade, they’ll sharpen, clean, and oil it for you. Then they’ll send your pocket knife back, as good as new. 

Pros

  • Benchmade is a thirty-year forged in steel, veteran of the knife making industry. They’ve forgotten more about making knives than most manufacturers will ever learn and their cast-iron reputation speaks for itself.
  • Their commitment to a lifetime of sharpness has meant that they’ve found a firm and dedicated following among hunters and the camping fraternity. Benchmade blades are made to last, and the company that makes them makes sure that they do.
  • All Benchmade knives are made from American steel and designed for maximum edge retention and strength. Their knives are made to be in the wild, and they’re built to withstand all of the punishment that you’ll hand out to them.

Cons

  • Some users have highlighted the fact that the handle construction on some Benchmade knives, including the Grizzly Ridge, is a little sub-par, and as the handle doesn’t fall inside the parameters of the lifetime of sharpness guarantee (which only covers the knife), they’ve been forced to pay for replacement handles. Which isn’t what we’d expect from Benchmade, and hopefully was a manufacturing error that’s since been corrected.

EDITORS CHOICE

Spyderco Para Military 2 Signature 8.24' Folding Knife with 3.42' CPM S30V Steel Blade and Black G-10 Handle - PlainEdge - C81GPBK2

Spyderco, as well as being a Colorado institution, are pioneers in the pocket knife world and are responsible for inventing, and implementing, a lot of the standard features that EDC (every day carry) knives use. 

A favored brand with hunters and campers, Spyderco is also a leading manufacturer of precision cutlery knives and has found a place in the hearts of many demanding and fastidious chefs. 

The Para Military 2 is one of Spyderco’s most popular pocket knives and features their patented “ring pull” which makes opening it one-handed straightforward and simple and their (also patented) compression locking mechanism that’ll hold the blade in place and prevent it snapping back on your fingers and hand.

This steel blade is a slimmed, down, lightweight pocket-friendly version of Spyderco’s famous military knife, and the handle is shaped to fit into your hand and provide all the grip you’ll ever need to use the Para Military safely and effectively. 

A refined and classic pocket knife, the Para Military 2 is a perfect combination of design, craftsmanship, and build quality. It’s a durable, strong, simple to use, and a devastatingly effective pocket knife that acts as a perfect showcase EDC blade for Spyderco.

It’s everything that they do so well, forged into a nearly flawless pocket knife. 

Pros

  • An incredible fusion of innovation and thoughtful design, the Para Military 2 is a lightweight pocket knife that’s been transformed from its origin as a purpose-made service knife into a civilian-friendly EDC knife that’s ideal for hunting and camping and a whole host of other, everyday tasks.
  • The combination of the ring pull and compression locking mechanism makes it simple to use and incredibly safe. Which is always a bonus in our pocket knife book.
  • Made to exacting standards, the Para Military 2 is a perfect example of the thought and diligence that goes into the construction of every Spyderco knife.

Cons

  • Spyderco is one of the most widely counterfeited brands of pocket knives, so always make sure that if you’re going to purchase one of their EDC knives, you buy it from an authorized dealer. Because if you don’t, there’s a good chance that you’ll end up with a forgery.
  • A few reviewers have pointed out that the actual blade isn’t as strong as they thought it would be and is particularly weak around, and at, the tip. It’s a point worth noting and considering if you’re thinking about investing in a Spyderco knife. 

BEST VALUE

Kershaw Blur, Black Serrated (1670BLKST); Folding Knife with All-Black Body, Partially Serrated 3.4” 14C28N Steel Blade, Anodized Aluminum Handle with Trac-Tec Grip, SpeedSafe Opening, Reversible Pocketclip; 3.9 OZ

Since 1974 Kershaw has been making the sort of knives that their customers and everyone who uses their product would be happy to carry, use, and own. 

With a list of industry firsts and innovations longer than an elephant’s memory, Kershaw has always maintained a simple approach to making their knives - they have to be functional, ingenious, and user-friendly.

And that’s exactly what they are, and that’s exactly why Kershaw is among the best at what they do.

The Blur Black Serrated folding knife is an impeccable example of the craftsmanship and thought that goes into the design of a Kershaw pocket knife.

Featuring Kershaw’s patented SpeedSafe assisted opening, which allows the user to safely and easily open the blade with one hand and lock it into place, the Blur Black also has a thumb stud which makes it just as simple to close and lock and the blade once you’ve finished using it.

This Blur Black, as well as having a solid steel blade, also has a TracTec handle which means you’ll be able to find a gripping point whatever the conditions you use it in are and also has a reversible pocket clip which makes it easy to carry.

Dependable, versatile, and strong, the Blur Black is a consummate pocket knife and it’s well deserved and thoroughly earned reputation does all of it’s talking for it.

Beloved by hunters, fishermen, and campers everywhere, the Blur Black is an enduring testament to the genius of the brand who created it. 

Pros

  • Kershaw is a name that you hear hunters talk about in hushed whispers and when they hear it mentioned, you’ll also see fishermen smile and nod in approval of it.  It’s a pocket knife user’s brand of choice and you don’t get that sort of brand approval without having the goods to back it up.
  • The SpeedSafe opening and closing and thumb stud locking mechanism that the Blur Black uses is made to keep the user safe no matter what. And that’s exactly what it does.

Cons

  • While it isn’t a common problem, there have been some reports of Kershaw knives failing and not living up to the exacting standards that a lot of users have, and expect from their EDC and pocket knives. Even though the instances of Kershaw blades failing is rare, it does happen. The idea of perfection, it would seem, really is an unattainable goal. 

RUNNER UP

Drifter Linerlock

To CRKT (Columbia River Knife and Tool Company) nothing matters more than innovation and integrity.

A relative newcomer on the pocket knife makers block, this Oregon based manufacturer has been making incredible EDC knives that are designed for a wide variety of purposes since nineteen ninety-four.  

And in less than thirty years, they’ve made the sort of name for themselves that it would take other companies a century or more to earn.

Their most widely used pocket knife, the Drifter Linerlock is a three-inch steel blade that’s finished in titanium nitride to prevent corrosion and has a thumb stud, which means that it’s simple to open and close and even easier to fix in place thanks to its locking mechanism.

Its G10 handle comes with a steel clip, and it’s light, strong, endlessly versatile, and reassuringly affordable. The Drifter Linerlock is the best friend that any pocket knife fan can, and will ever, have. 

Best of all though? The Drifter Linerlock comes with a limited, lifetime warranty that guarantees that if it fails due to manufacturing, design, or production errors, CRKT will replace it or refund you.

Pros

  • Simple to use, the Drifter Linerlock is all about safety and making the pocket knife experience as easy and effective as possible.
  • The Titanium Nitride coating that CRKT uses on their knives means that you’ll never have to worry about rust or corrosion. It’ll protect your pocket knife from the elements and keep it safe so that it can keep you safe. 
  • The Drifter Linerlock is an incredibly affordable pocket knife that’s priced to suit you and isn’t bumped up by a brand name.

Cons

  • Some reviews have focussed on the build quality of the Drifter Linerlock, which by all accounts isn’t everything that it could, and should, be. This means that the Lifetime guarantee will probably come in handy in the (unlikely) event that the knife fails. 

RUNNER UP

Cold Steel Recon 1 Series Tactical Folding Knife with Tri-Ad Lock and Pocket Clip - Made with Premium CPM-S35VN Steel, Spear Point

Cold Steel has a simple motto - Anytime, anywhere.

They were founded fifty years ago to make the sharpest, strongest knives on the face of the planet, and for four decades, that’s what they’ve been doing. And they are very, very good at what they do.

The Recon Tactical folding knife uses a TriAd locking system, a G10 handle that means you’ll be able to hold on to your knife whatever the weather and regardless of where you are, and the steel blade has been designed to maintain it’s razor-sharp edge throughout the life of the pocket knife.

Light, incredibly durable, and strong, in the world of pocket knives, they don’t come much tougher than the Recon Tactical.

In fact, it’s so tough, it’s the pocket knife of choice for Law Enforcement Personnel and Fire and Rescue Crews all over the nation because they know when it comes to getting the job done, the only thing that you can really rely on is Cold Steel. 

Pros

  • If you want to know how good a pocket knife is, find out who favors, and uses it. If Law Enforcement and Fire Crews swear by it, then it’s pretty certain that it’ll live up to all of your, and anybody else’s, expectations.
  • Small, light, durable, and strong, the Recon Tactical is everything that a good pocket knife should be. Which is almost certainly why emergency responders love, and swear by, it.

Cons

  • The TriAd locking system it uses isn’t the easiest or simplest to get to grips with and learn how to use effectively. It might take a while, so if patience isn’t one of your strong suits, you might want to give the Recon a miss. 

Best Pocket Knife Brands Buying Guide

What Is A Pocket Knife?

A pocket knife is a small foldable knife that has one or more blades, all of which can be folded into the handle of the knife.

Usually used for hunting, fishing, or on camping trips or by tradesmen, they are made to be small, durable, and are versatile enough to be used for a number of different jobs and tasks. 

Commonly known as penknives in Europe, pocket knives have surged in popularity outside of their more traditional uses, thanks to the increasing awareness of their practical applications, which have demonstrated at length on reality shows such as ‘Forged In Fire’. 

Which Brand Of Pocket Knife Is The Right One For Me?

All of the pocket knives on our list have solid, well-deserved reputations and their manufacturers are the best at what they do. Which is, of course making pocket knives.

The primary question that you need to ask yourself when looking to purchase a pocket knife, is “What is my budget”. Ascertain what you budget is, and then take another look at our list because there’s definitely a pocket knife on it that’ll not only fit your budget but will also be ideal for whatever you need it for, and to do.

However, if you wanted our opinion, then we’d always recommend the Cold Steel Recon Tactical. It might be slightly more difficult to get to grips with than the other pocket knives on our list, but any EDC (every day carry) knife that’s used by Emergency Responders is the sort of knife that we’d always put our faith in.  

And that’s why we think you should too. After all, thousands of Pole Officers and Firemen can’t be wrong, can they?

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