Choosing a buying a knife used to be an easy task. Traditional knife designs were more customized. The knife was meant to aide in one specific profession and were not designed to function as well when used in ways outside of the intended profession. These days, there are many different designs of knives for survival kits or pocket knives and camping knives, plus they all come with a load of manufacturer’s information. It can get quite confusing when choosing which knife to buy.
While traditional pocket knives used to be very popular and some of their designs were considered to be a knife for “everyday carry”, they are not the idea that most people think of when imagining a modern EDC knife. The idea of a tactical knife folder used to be an Italian style stiletto, but now the idea has changed to the modern tactical folders most people would recognize today.
Modern tactical folders can be an excellent choice for performing a task and being an everyday carry knife. In our 10 Best Pocket Knives in 2018 guide we have chosen the best folding knife designs that are both traditional and modern. We will talk about the differences in knives, features, how to choose the best knife, and answer questions. Our in-depth guide can help you decide which pocket knife design best suits your needs!
Ready to get started? Let’s go!
How To Choose The Best Pocket Knife – Buying Guide
When you are deciding which pocket knife is the best to buy, it is important to consider a few key features. You will have to decide which pocket knife design best suits your needs. There are many different styles, materials, and blades for you to choose from and there are elements of each design that can enhance your safety while delivering sharp and precise cuts, when using a pocket knife for your work.
Pocket knives can be used for a variety of different tasks. Whether you are working a specific job, need an outdoor survival tool for wilderness survival, are completing your hiking checklist, backpacking checklist, and camping checklist, or just want a knife for everyday carry, a pocket knife can be a great investment.
If you are following camping tips or an essential wild camping guide, you will find that a pocket knife is a great addition to your other survival gear items like compasses, paracord survival bracelets, flashlights, fire starters, and emergency radios. Even better, a pocket knife can do the job sporks can’t with cutting food and act as like sharp and reliable camping utensils. A pocket knife may even help you repair a tent and act like camping saws to cut wood. Because of the variety of tasks that it can complete, it is best to consider the different designs and elements of each knife design to ensure that you choose the best pocket knife that suits your needs.
Here, we have made a guide of some elements of a pocket knife design that you should consider before purchasing a knife. As well, we have some frequently asked questions and their provided answers to give you all the information, so you have the ability to confidently choose a pocket knife design for you.
There are many different materials that can be used to make a pocket knife. From the handle to the blade, you will want the material that has the strength to accomplish a task, but also feels secure in your grip. As well, you will want materials that are anti-wear or anti-corrosion to ensure that you can use your pocket knife throughout the years.
The handle of a pocket knife may be made of metal, carbon, wood, or another synthetic or natural material. Most traditional knives will feature a wood handle. Wood is a durable material and it is generally more visually appealing. Wood that has been properly finished will have no issues with use in water, but you should always store your knife bone dry. Wood can also last throughout years of use.
Some traditional knives are also made of synthetic materials like Delrin or mica pearl, which can be extremely sturdy. If you are looking for a working knife it is best to choose a hard material like Delrin. If you are looking for a knife as an accessory, a mica pearl may be the style you are trying to achieve. Others are made of bone or antler, which would give a unique look to your knife. Though keep in mind, knives made of natural materials may not be as strong for a working knife.
Most modern pocket knives will feature a handle made of metal, plastic, or carbon. Carbon may not be the most popular choice when compared to a durable metal or plastic. Metal such as aluminum or stainless steel are often used as handles. The most popular is aluminum because it saves on weight. An aluminum handle is a great long-lasting choice for a pocket knife because it is anti-corrosive and anti-wear. Stainless steel is also anti-corrosive and anti-wear, but as implied, it is a heavier metal. Carbon can be a great choice for a handle because it is also lightweight like aluminum, but it may not be as great at warding off corrosion and wear.
Aside from the handle, the other most important material is the blade material. Most blades will be made of stainless steel or high carbon. There are also blades that will be made of a non-stainless metal, but they aren’t as recommended because they won’t be as anti-corrosive. The best pocket knife blade will be anti-corrosive to ensure it can be used with a variety of tasks while still being long-lasting.
Stainless steel blades are a great choice for an anti-corrosive blade. Stainless steel can be used in salt or fresh water and generally produce a long-lasting blade. However, stainless steel isn’t as soft as a high carbon blade and is more prone to breakage under duress. Stainless steel knives also are more difficult to sharpen. You won’t be able to get as fine an edge as a high carbon blade, but stainless steel will hold its edge for longer.
High carbon blades are normally tougher than stainless steel blades because of their grain structure. This means that they are less likely to snap under duress. They are also softer, which makes them easier to sharpen to a fine edge. However, high carbon blades are generally not as anti-corrosive or anti-wear as a stainless steel blade is. High carbon is also a material that will come out of the box looking shiny, but in time it will adopt a dark brown patina, which is normal. The dark brown color can actually help with anti-corrosion.
Most traditional and modern blades are made of stainless steel. You can find some companies that do make them in high carbon as well as stainless steel. The most important aspect is that you choose a design that has anti-corrosion resistance to ensure that it can be used in a variety of tasks throughout the years.
The handle is an important part of your folding knife, but it is not something you should consider over the knife blade or number of blades you want. You should always choose the knife you want and decide how many knives you need first and then accept the design of the handle as it is.
There are many different types of handle designs and each come with their own names. There’s the Swell End Jack, the Sunfish, the Coke Bottle, and many more. Most handle designs will be paired with a specific blade design. The most popular knife handle designs are the Swell End Jack and Serpentine pattern.
Some knife handles will have additional features in their design. Some designs will feature grooves for your fingers, which can give you a better grasp on the knife. Others will have tools imbedded in the handle for survival. Some knives are built to help you survive every situation. The handle can have a strap cutter or glass breaker to help you escape in a survival situation. Some knives also feature a bottle opener on the end that is incorporated in the glass breaker design.
Other knife handle designs will have a variety of ways that you can carry the knife. Whether a pocket clip can be attached or detached from the handle’s side or you may be able to attach a lanyard. Smaller features, such as these, may be important to you and help you decide which knife to choose.
As mentioned in the Material section, there are many different materials that a handle can be made of. Most traditional knives will have a natural material for the handle. The natural materials can be made of hardwood, bone, antler, pearl, and others. Most modern knives will feature a synthetic material or metal for their handle. It is important that you match the handle material to the job you would like to achieve. A working knife is better with a tough and durable synthetic material because it gives the knife rigidity. Knives that are used for accessory and style purposes can have a handle made of natural materials because they may not be subjected to high duress like in a working profession.
Most pocket knife designs will be made to be strong. The best pocket knife will be long-lasting and provide you years of use. The strength of the knife is between the handle and blade materials and design. A strong working knife will have a hard-synthetic material for the handle and normally, a stainless steel blade. Most modern knives will be made of all synthetic materials. Traditional knives can be made of natural materials and it is best to decide if a handle made of a hardwood will be strong enough to do the jobs you plan on using your knife for.
Synthetic materials tend to be best for knives that will be put under a lot of duress. The synthetic materials are often very hard and durable and add a great deal of rigidity to the design of the knife. The rigidity allows you to put the strength into your knife without worrying that the knife will break. You want a knife that is rigid because this will allow you to do a variety of tasks and piece using the blade easier.
Blade strength is based on the material of the blade. Most blades will be made of a stainless steel, though you can find non-stainless and high carbon blades as well. The strength will be based on the work you plan to do with the knife. If it is a working knife, there are designs that are built to pierce and designs that are built for cutting. A piercing blade will have a fine tip point and be made of a hard material, such as high carbon, to ensure it will not snap during use. A stainless steel is actually harder than high carbon on the hardness scale, but because of their hardness they are more prone to snapping under duress. The best pocket knife for working will have a balance of hardness and flexibility to ensure it does not bend or snap under pressure.
The best you can do when choosing between all the high quality pocket knives that are offered, is to decide what tasks you want to use a knife for. There are many knife designs that are well-balanced to do their job right, whether they are for working or style. The strength of the knife will come from the materials and design of both the blade and the handle, to ensure the knife can withstand its intended use.
The blade of the knife is the most important part of the design. After all, the blade is what you will use to cut, slice, and pierce. But different blade designs cater to different uses. If you are looking for a working knife, the blade design will be different to that of a knife used for self-defense. If you don’t plan on using your knife very much and it is only a stylish accessory, then you can probably do with a blade that is great for everyday use. The differences are in the point design of the blade.
Most modern knives will feature a clip point or drop point blade design. This means that the tip of the blade is actually closer to the center of the knife’s design. At the center of the knife the cross section is narrower. Knives with a clip point or drop point blade are best used for piercing because of their sharper point. With these knives you will not get as large a range of sweep, even if a deep belly is included in the design.
A working knife is best used for cutting and slicing. The best blades will have and extended cutting edge and a mild sweep that goes to the belly to give a good range of sweep, which maximizes the length of the cutting edge.
The closer the blade point is located to the center line of the blade, the better the knife is for tactical use. If a blade point is located above the center line, the knife is best used for general purpose. Clip and spear point blades are a great general-purpose blade design. They will have an extended belly for a longer cutting edge, which can make them great for tasks such as whittling. A Sheep’s Foot blade will provide a straight edge that goes to the end of the tip, which gives you a short but highly-aggressive cutting edge.
You should also consider whether you would like a completely straight edged blade or a serrated edge on the blade. There are many knife options and some designs incorporate a straight edge with a serrated section. The straight edged blade will easily slice through material and piece an object, but the serrated edge can be great for cutting through items like rope. The teeth of the serrated edge give the knife grip and better traction to cut through materials that may be softer and looser than others. If you think you will be using your knife to cut some ropes out in the wilderness, it is best for you to get a knife that has a blade with both the straight and serrated edge in the design.
As well, the blade of the knife can be customized to style. There are many different colors that the blade of your knife can be. Some blades are covered in a black carbon or oxide, which gives them a matte finish that is non-reflective. Other blades feature the well-known gray of uncolored stainless steel. If you are really looking for some flair, some companies even offer a coating that makes the blade iridescent. While the color of the blade is the least important, it may still be a small preference that can help you decide between different knife designs.
There are many different blade designs that may have different features that will better cater to your needs. The importance is choosing what jobs you wish to accomplish so that you can match the blade design to best complete all your jobs efficiently. You may also choose a knife that has options. Some traditional knives will feature multiple blades, up to four, within the same handle even though each blade may have a different design.
Q: What is a folding knife?
A: A folding knife is one type of knife designs. There are multi-tools, fishing knives, and dive knives, as well as a variety of other designs. A folding knife is a knife that features a folding blade design. This means that the blade of your knife will actually collapse down into the handle of the knife and be stored there. Most folding knife designs will have a locking feature to ensure that the knife stays open when it is being used. Some locking features have a pin that automatically drops into the lock to add extra security. It is important that a folding knife design has a liner lock because you want the security that your knife will not accidentally disengage while it is being used. A knife that collapses when being used can easily lead to accidents and injuries.
There are many different designs, but one feature that can distinguish a folding knife from a pocket knife is the number of blades. Some folding knives can have up to four different blades with one handle design. A pocket knife may not have the ability to have a set of blades in one design because it is a fixed blade. Fixed blades do not have the space or ability to be more than one blade style. Folding knives can easily have multiple blades in one handle because the other blades can be securely stored and folded down while one blade is in use.
The knives that have multiple blades are normally a traditional knife design and each blade can have a different style, so that they can be used for different tasks. The most important aspect is that the knife has a folding design, hence the name, which ensures that it is compact for carrying. There are knives that are better built for tactical use that are a fixed blade design. Due to the variety in folding knife designs, there are many that can suit your specific needs. It is best to analyze the features of each knife to decide which design you will get the best use out of.
A folding knife is a great everyday carry knife because of its compact design. They may not be as strong to be used for heavy and stressful work, because they have a weak point of the folding and pivot joint. The folding point and pivot make it, so the knife is not one solid piece and therefore the fold can collapse under duress. But, as mentioned before, the knife should have safety features to ensure the blade is locked into place when fully extended. Folding knives are excellent for being carried for basic, everyday use. You can easily clip it to your clothes or wear it around your neck because many designs will feature a pocket clip and hole to place a lanyard.
Q: What is a pocket knife?
A: A pocket knife is a knife that has a compact design for carrying but may not necessarily have a folding knife’s design. Pocket knives can be a fixed blade, which means that the knife and handle are one solid and connected piece that does not feature a locking system. A pocket knife may be the better knife design if you are planning on doing hard work because it does not rely on a break in the middle of the design.
A pocket knife will have a stronger design for jobs where you put a lot of stress on the blade. Without the fold, the knife can withstand more pressure without risk of damaging the point of the fold and the knife’s joint. Folding knives are usually very strong and durable, but there is a risk for a locking mechanism to fail. This means the knife could fold in a moment that could lead to disaster. If you are doing lots of stressful work and pushing your blade to the limits, a blade without the center joint would be the best.
A pocket knife has the rigidity to withstand being used under duress through a variety of tasks. There are many pocket knife designs that do incorporate a fold to make the knife smaller, but some are still a fixed blade design. It is up to you to decide whether you want a fold or whether the tasks you want to be completed would be better completed with a fixed design.
Pocket knives are still compact in their design and most will have a shield which protects the blade when it is not in use or being stored. Pocket knives can be great for people who are looking for a sturdy knife with quick access. It may be easier for some to just pull out a knife from the shield, rather than have to unfold a knife.
A pocket knife may not be the best for an everyday carry because it is not as compact as a folding knife design, but these knives will be excellent for hard work.
Q: What is the best way to clean a pocket knife?
A: The best way to ensure that your pocket knife stays around throughout years of use is to maintain and clean the knife properly and regularly. A maintained knife will help ensure that the blade and handle stay in their top shape to deliver peak performance and still be a long-lasting design.
There are many ways to clean a pocket knife, but the best way will ensure that you clean your knife of dirt and give it a coating to keep it rust free. You can wash your knife with warm water, soap, and a soft cloth. This will ensure that you are able to get rid of any dirt or debris on the knife handle and blade. You want to get the blade as clean as possible. If you have a serrated edge, an old toothbrush works best. Then you can use a lubricating spray like WD-40 on the blade and scrub it with a nylon pad. Rinse well and repeat the process until the blade is entirely clean. It’s best to allow the blade to fully dry and then you can add a small lubricant like household oil, to ensure the hinge is still fully functioning.
It is very important to remember that after you clean the knife you allow it to fully dry. Water leads to rust and it can make the knife blade deteriorate faster so that it dulls more quickly. It is also best to let the knife fully dry because water and oil do not mix. You will not be able to properly oil a wet knife because the water and oil will stay separate. This means that there will most likely not be one smooth coating of lubricant on the knife.
A knife that has been properly cleaned and lubricated will consistently give a high performance and be long-lasting. A pocket knife is an investment and with a little care and attention it can be lifelong.
Q: Is it legal to carry a pocket knife?
A: The answer is complicated. Each state has different laws regarding what knives are considered legal to carry. Any knife can be considered a weapon, but when used properly they aren’t considered weapons. Knives are considered tools and that means that they normally are governed at the state level. A general rule of thumb is that the more like a utility or workman’s design, the more likely the knife will be legal to carry because it is considered a tool. If you are looking to carry a knife around in public spaces, its best to choose a utility design that can be used for a variety of tasks.
In general, most states have more laws against knives that closer resemble or are tactical knives. Tactical knives can have certain design features that can make the knife a deadly weapon and therefore, discouraged from being carried in public. Some of these knives are too tactical to be considered for legal street carry. You will also find that switchblades are not generally considered a legal carry knife. Some states even state that you cannot have a switchblade in your possession, whether you are using it for work or wanting to display it as part of your collection.
There are normally two laws that can help you discern about whether or not your knife is legal in your state. States should list both a carry law and an ownership law, which will be what tell you whether it is legal to be carried around. A carry law means that you are allowed to have the knife with you outside of the home or workplace. A knife with a carry law is generally considered a tool and not a weapon. An ownership law means that they are entirely forbidden from having the knife in your possession. Having a knife with an ownership law is illegal and the knife can’t even be in your possession at all, even for display in your home.
There are different knife designs that will fall into the knife law categories. Each state should list their laws and which knife designs fall under which law. Remember that all knives can be used as a weapon, but when used appropriately they are considered tools. If you are a responsible knife owner and you inquire to your state’s specific laws, you should have no problem legally carrying a knife. The best you can do is to look at the laws of your specific state and consider what kind of knife you want and what you will use it for.
Q: How do I sharpen a pocket knife?
A: There are many different ways to sharpen a knife. Normally, sharpening a blade is rather straightforward, but if you don’t have the experience it may be best to take your blade to a professional. However, the most basic knowledge is that a knife is sharpened using a stone called a whetstone and the blade is sharpened to a specific edge. There are many different whetstones and edges that you can use to sharpen your blade.
Basically, whetstones are a stone that have a specific grit that you can use to grind the edge of your knife against, which sharpens the blade. There are water and oil stones. As the name suggests, water stones use water as the lubricant to sharpen the knife and oil stones use oil as the lubricant. Different knife blades will require different whetstones and different angles to properly sharpen the blade.
As well, there are many different edges which you can sharpen your blade to. It is important to consider that different blade materials will be easier or harder to sharpen. A harder edged blade, such as stainless steel will not hold their edge for as long and cannot be sharpened as finely as a high carbon blade. Softer blades can be sharpened to a very fine edge and tend to be relatively good with holding their edge, but they may be harder to sharpen. You will also have to sharpen softer edged blades more often.
Most knives will also be bound to a specific edge design when they are purchased. Manufacturer’s should list what kind of edge the knife features and that signifies that the knife is best used with that specific type of edge. You may be able to change the edge of your knife by re-sharpening it to a different style, but it is best to consult the manufacturer’s guide or a professional knife sharpener before doing so. You wouldn’t want to ruin your knife and destroy the blade trying to change the grind and edge to a different style.
If you are planning on going on a trip with your knife, it is best if you can carry a pocket sharpener with you to ensure a clean edge throughout your trip. A dull knife can lead to frustration, accidents, and injuries. If you know you will be using your knife a lot in the wilderness for an extended amount of time, it’s best to sharpen on the go. A sharp edge is what delivers secure and precise cuts.
Then, once you have completed your trip, you can sharpen the knife again using a proper whetstone. A knife that is properly sharpened will easily complete the tasks at hand. Remember that a sharp knife is a safe knife.
Globo Surf Overview
When it comes to choosing the best pocket knife, the task can seem daunting. With so many designs, one can feel lost with deciding which knife to choose. This guide will help you break down the design and factors of choosing a knife. It is important to choose a knife that you feel confident and comfortable using because you will most likely be using it multiple times. As well, when cutting difficult materials or objects, you want to be secure that your knife can easily handle the job. Knives are tools and they are meant to assist you in your tasks. You shouldn’t have to wrestle with a knife to cut something. Whether you only use it a couple times a year or use it every day, your pocket knife will be a companion and you want it to be reliable. The best pocket knife will ensure that you can make consistent and sharp cuts throughout the years.
Do you own one of the pocket knives that made it onto our list? Let us know how it has worked for you in the comments section below.
More Camping Reviews:
- Camping Chair
- Ultralight Tent
- Portable Toilet
- Truck Tent
- Portable Grill
- Backpack Cooler
- Camping Cot
- Sleeping Bag Liner
- 4 Season Tent
Do you own one of the fishing knives that made it onto our list? Let us know how it has worked for you in the comments section below.
Globo Surf Pocket Knives Reviews