Ranking the 10 Best Pocket Knives of 2021

Matt Lewis
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The best pocket knife is an indispensable tool for all kinds of situations. No other tool can do so many different things as a good quality pocket knife. You can cut, whittle, carve, clean, cut rope, cut food, and do many more things with a knife than all the other tools combined.

However, when you are out to buy a pocket knife, your choices are innumerable — unlike choosing a hammer or a screwdriver and you want to be careful as you buy a good quality knife. Remember: it could be the only one you’ll ever buy.

To cut all the possible options down to size for you, we have created a list of the best pocket knives, as well as detailed reviews of the knives that made the list. We have chosen our best knives based on the following criteria:

  • Quality steel
  • Good handle
  • Solid locking mechanism
NameCategoryProduct
Spyderco para Military 2 Signature Folding KnifeBest OverallSpyderco para Military 2 Signature Folding Knife
Ontario Knife OKC Rat Ii Sp-Black Folding KnifeBudget PickOntario Knife OKC Rat Ii Sp-Black Folding Knife
Benchmade – Crooked River EDC Manual Open Hunting Knife 15085-2 Made in USAUpgrade PickBenchmade - Crooked River EDC Manual Open Hunting Knife 15085-2 Made in USA

1. Spyderco para Military 2 Signature Folding Knife

Our rating: 9 / 10

Spyderco para Military 2 Signature Folding Knife

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Pros:

  • Extremely practical
  • Great for outdoor activities and camping
  • Quality construction
  • Purchasing from Amazon means you get the lowest price available
  • The pocket clip is the Spyderco patented, "Spyderedge"
  • The 3.42 inch blade is constructed of CPM S30V
  • The minimalist style of this knife is fantastic

You're going to love this knife. It is really lightweight at less than 3 ounces. Its 2.8 inch handle is constructed of G-10 material. It provides purchasers with the ultimate in retention. The Spyderco Para Military 2 is one of the best folding knives anyone can buy!

2. Ontario Knife OKC Rat Ii Sp-Black Folding Knife

Our rating: 9 / 10

Ontario Knife OKC Rat Ii Sp-Black Folding Knife

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Pros:

  • Low price
  • Efficiently easy to carry around and use
  • Very sharp blade

Cons:

  • The closing mechanism is a tiny bit on the stiff side but this will probably only be an issue for the first few uses.

The Ontario Knife OKC Rat Ii is a folding pocket knife with a 3.25 inch blade which is 7 inches in length when the knife is opened.

The blade is made of stainless steel and is corrosion resistant. It also has a design that can safely support dexterous tasks.

Top View: The blade is made up of a hooked shape. The handle is black/grey in colour, which is a vibrant combination. The handle is a little out of the ordinary. It is designed like a caged handle.

3. Cold Steel EDC Tactical Folding Pocket Knife

Our rating: 9 / 10

Cold Steel EDC Tactical Folding Pocket Knife

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Pros:

  • Lightweight
  • Features a G-10 handle for extra grip
  • Gives you a customized carry preference
  • Titanium coated blade
  • Only costs a reasonable price
  • Comes with a sheath
  • Thumb Studs on blade for easy opening
  • Comes with a lifetime warranty

Cons:

  • Most of the handle is made of steel
  • Can slip in your hand easily
  • Only a single locking mechanism
  • Can’t open with one hand
  • Only 1.2 pounds

The Recon I features G-10 handle scales on top for an extra grip and heat-treated steel liners inside for strength and reliability.

The blade is made from drop-point 420 HC stainless steel with a black titanium nitride coating. The titanium coating helps to mitigate the buildup of rust. Which is great because if you handle this blade a lot, there’s a chance it will rust quickly. However, the coating will help the blade stay sharp and corrosive free.

The removable pocket clip allows you to customize and customize the grip without wearing. You can simply remove it and then readjust the grip where it is most comfortable to you.

4. Benchmade – Crooked River EDC Manual Open Hunting Knife 15085-2 Made in USA

Our rating: 9 / 10

Benchmade - Crooked River EDC Manual Open Hunting Knife 15085-2 Made in USA

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Pros:

  • Made in the USA
  • Ideal for both men and women
  • It stays sharp even through multiple times of use

Cons:

  • It isn’t really good for cutting or prying
  • It’s a bit small for some users’ needs

In this review we are looking at the Crooked River EDC Manual Open Hunting Knife. This model is a product which is made in the United States of America. The knife is a product which is designed to be carried and used by men and women.

The manufacturer of this product has been producing quality EDC knives for several years now. The manufacturer believes that the name of the company, Benchmade, should be associated with quality and service. They put their name and reputation on the line with each and every one of their products.

The overall length of this knife is 8.25 inches long. It is a lightweight knife with a weight of just 6.2 ounces. The blade of this hunting knife has a length of 3 inches, and it is constructed from high carbon stainless steel.

5. Kershaw Brawler Folding Pocket Knife

Our rating: 9 / 10

Kershaw Brawler Folding Pocket Knife

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Pros:

  • Its speed safe assisted opening is very fast, and smooth
  • Well-designed gimping on the blade provides increased grip
  • Solid steel construction
  • It comes at a low price

Cons:

  • Its frame lock design might not be that comfortable for you if you have large hands
  • The blade might close on your fingers

This is one of the most popular knives in the world and probably the best bang for your buck you can get. It is a great choice for everyday carry and has been one of the most popular EDC knives since the 1990s.

The blade is made out of high performance 8Cr13MoV steel and has been black oxide treated for extra corrosion resistance and easy of maintenance. The blade is also well designed with excellent texturing that can withstand the toughest use.

The frame lock system allows you to disengage the blade and safely close the knife. When the blade is exposed, holding the frame lock will make it open up.

6. Drifter Linerlock

Our rating: 8 / 10

Drifter Linerlock

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Pros:

  • Made from one solid piece of 154CM stainless steel
  • The 3.375 inch clip-point blade is designed to be used with a horizontal or a downward stabbing motion
  • The 3D milled and contoured G-10 handle is textured to make it easier to hold and use the knife
  • The durable stainless steel liners on the handle, which make it last for a very long time
  • The AXIS locking mechanism that comes with a locking safety to prevent it from accidentally closing in your pocket

Cons:

  • Some of the earliest knives came with small flaws that the buyer might not like (a handle straight out of the box was off-centered and had some glancing surface issues that diminish its visual appeal).

This knife was designed by the founder of CRKT. Columbia River Knife & Tool (CRKT) is a knife maker that provides professional cutlery products. It is located in Tualatin, Oregon.

With this knife, you get maximum 7 inches of 154CM stainless-steel drop point blade which delivers a razor-sharp cutting edge. This blade is equipped with a thumb grip for additional balance and control and a rugged liner lock mechanism to secure the blade in place. It was created by custom Knifemaker J.P. Delahaye, who collaborated with knife designer Fred Perrin to make this a beautifully designed hunting and survival knife.

7. Benchmade – Mini Barrage 585 Knife

Our rating: 8 / 10

Benchmade - Mini Barrage 585 Knife

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Pros:

  • The Blade is a 3.50" drop point ideal for every day use
  • The handle is black G-10 designed for a nice grip in any situation
  • It features a liner lock design that keeps the blade from moving when you use it
  • It also has a reversible tip-up pocket clip for easy carrying
  • The knife is made in the USA

Cons:

  • The frame lock is not right in the middle making tough use a little awkward
  • While the blade itself is made in the United States, some of the other parts are made elsewhere

A standard pocket knife, the Benchmade Barrage 585 is a fantastic pocket knife for anyone. Measuring at 3.5 inches, the blade is more than enough for any daily activity. The black G-10 handle is a great addition to the knife. Definitely a must-have when out in the woods or even just around the house.

The knife features an open style frame lock that will keep the blade in place when you need it. One of the most versatile tools you can own, the Barrage 585 is ideal for any situation. Be it chasing down a deer or gutting a fish, this survival pocket knife is almost as useful as a tool as it is beautiful.

8. Spyderco Delica 4 Lightweight Signature Folding Knife

Our rating: 8 / 10

Spyderco Delica 4 Lightweight Signature Folding Knife

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Pros:

  • The blade is made out of a durable VG10 steel which will stay sharp for a long time
  • Produced with ambidextrous friendly features
  • Perfect for emergencies
  • Lightweight knife with a tough, proven design
  • CUSTOM Emerson opener
  • 0.098" thick blade has 1.50" cutting edge

Cons:

  • The price point seems a little high for its size
  • The knife was not reliable when pressure was applied

While it is a bit pricey for its size, this is a reliable folding knife for everyday carry.

Some might not like the size, but it still feels comfortable when in the hand. It is not too bulky so that you feel it no matter what you wear.

The blade is made out of a super-sharp, sturdy VG10 steel. This alloy ensures that the blade stays sharp, but it’s also going to hold up well, no matter what you do to it.

9. SOG AE04-CP Aegis 3.5in Folding Pocket Knife Tanto

Our rating: 8 / 10

SOG AE04-CP Aegis 3.5in Folding Pocket Knife Tanto

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Pros:

  • The AE04-CP Aegis 3.5in Folding Pocket Knife from SOG comes with Tanto blade, which is ideal for a pocket or purse.
  • The steel blade is found in high-quality Japanese steel and is created for excellence in performance that will last for years.
  • The AE04-CP Aegis folding pocket knife features a SOG Assisted Technology mechanism that will make it easier for you to open the knife.
  • The Tanto blade is 3.5 inches long while the total open length of the knife is 8.9 inches.
  • The knife weighs in at 4.4 ounces.
  • This knife features a one handed preset and has a lanyard hole.
  • This black finish pocket knife is backed by a Limited Lifetime Warranty by SOG.

Cons:

  • This is not a pocket knife for people with large hands.
  • The pocket clip is rather small so large hands should have issues with carrying the knife in their pockets.

Note: The Tanto Blade is a modified Japanese blade style. From a long history, this Japanese blade is a common item that can be found in many homes in Japan. The Tanto blade is ideal for everyday business use and for everyday carry. With its long blade and a wide point, the Tanto blade is perfect for piercing, cutting, and for defensive situations.

10. Kizer Cutlery Folding Pocket Knife Flipper Titanium Handles Folding Tactical Knife

Our rating: 8 / 10

Kizer Cutlery Folding Pocket Knife Flipper Titanium Handles Folding Tactical Knife

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Pros:

  • Lightweight and durable construction
  • Quality construction
  • Easy to open/close button
  • Perfect lightweight knife for everyday carry
  • Best pocket knife for outdoor use
  • Affordable

Cons:

  • Metal is a little soft
  • Not meant for heavy duty use

If you’re looking for an everyday carry knife that is lightweight and easy to use, then the Kizer Ki3471G10Ti could be the right choice. The knife itself is made out of a lightweight titanium and it weighs less than 3 ounces.

The durable blade is designed for everyday carry tasks and it’s still strong enough to take care of medium duty tasks. The blade sports a drop point, which is made for easy application.

The ergonomically designed handle is lightweight and easy to grip, even when you’re wearing gloves in the cold. The Kizer Ki3471G10Ti fits in your pocket well, so it’s a great option for EDC.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What is the best pocket knife on the market?

Remember that you should select a pocket knife that you like and suits your own unique needs. It is easy to get caught up in features and the overall look of the knife. But these things fail to really matter as much as which knife is the right fit for you.

That being said, the Spyderco Byrd knives are some of the most efficient and functional pocket knives on the market. They are quite affordable, have several great reviews, and really stand out as being very well-crafted. This knife is ideal for everyday tasks, and it has several features that make it an extremely versatile and useful tool. The blades are made of quality steel that is very sharp, and the warmth resistance of this knife is extremely high.

In order to rank the top 10 best pocket knives, it would important to first review and what to look for in a pocket knife.

What pocket knife stays sharp longest?

The two most important factors for a knife to stay sharp longest are: 1) Steel grade, and 2) How you sharpen your knife.

The steel grade refers to how hard the metal is to begin with. This affects the knife’s ability to stay sharp the longest.

Most pocket knife companies will advertise their steel grade with something like “VG-10 Steel”. VG-10 is what Kershaw uses on their popular Leek pocket knife. A lower number means a harder steel. So a knife with VG-1 steel should stay sharp longer than a knife with VG-10.

The harder the steel, the longer it will stay sharp. A softer steel will dull more quickly. This is why most pocket knives with a higher steel grade will stay sharp the longest.

Which Case knife is the best?

The 2018-limited edition knife features a lockback design and an india red bone handle. The blade is made of durable D-2 steel. It also has a matching lanyard.

What is the sharpest pocket knife?

There are several tests that a blade must pass to be considered the sharpest and most durable pocket knife. The tests include being able to cut through ropes easily, slicing through rough wood effortlessly, and most importantly, being able to retain its sharpness hence the name sharpest pocket knife.

It is also important that the sharpest pocket knife be versatile and a must-have in most of the survivalist’s gears.

Conclusion

You probably know what a pocket knife is, or at least what one is supposed to be. A pocket knife should be small enough to easily fit in your pocket, and equally small enough to be used with one hand. It should also be versatile enough to do a variety of small tasks like sharpening pencils or peeling fruit. On this page, we’ll show you the best pocket knives currently available, and give you the information you need to decide which of these pocket knives is best for you.

Our Recommendation

NameCategoryProduct
Spyderco para Military 2 Signature Folding KnifeBest OverallSpyderco para Military 2 Signature Folding Knife
Ontario Knife OKC Rat Ii Sp-Black Folding KnifeBudget PickOntario Knife OKC Rat Ii Sp-Black Folding Knife
Benchmade – Crooked River EDC Manual Open Hunting Knife 15085-2 Made in USAUpgrade PickBenchmade - Crooked River EDC Manual Open Hunting Knife 15085-2 Made in USA