Pocket Knife Uses: 20 Things To Do With A Pocket Knife


Pocket knives have been around for quite a long time – they are probably older than the pyramids. Over time, the versatile tool has continued to evolve, to become more portable and more useful.

Because of the times we are living in, if you pull out a pocket knife in a public place, people are likely to question the motive behind carrying the knife. If someone happens to ask you why you have a pocket knife, you can respond quite easily with one of the following pocket knives uses.

Top 20 Pocket Knife Uses

1. Opening Packages

This simple use invariably leads our list of the things to do with a pocket knife for a good reason. Today, you do not have to be a clerk working in a loading dock for you to have to open various packages.

Thousands, maybe millions, of packages are delivered to people’s doorsteps daily by UPS, Snail Mail, FedEx, etc. Pulling out your pocket knife and opening the box of electronics you had ordered online makes everything extremely easy.

2. Removing Staples

This use is related to the first use we mentioned above. This is because most boxes are both stapled and taped.

Once you open the box and remove the contents, leaving the staples dangling there may not be the best thing to do. One of the family members could end up getting a deep cut. The pocket knife can help with removing the staples and disposing of them.

3. Cutting Bait and Fishing Line

If you do own a fishing kayak, chances are, you go fishing every once in a while.  When you are out on the waters trying to catch tilapia, the fishing line may not always behave the way you want it to behave – in some instances, it may end up becoming entangled. If this happens, you will need to cut it.

Snapping a 100-pound test braided fishing line with your bare hands may be impossible. However, armed with your trusty pocket knife, the whole process becomes much easier.

If you are going after bass with larger than average bait, you can use the pocket knife to cut the bait into more manageable pieces.

4. Gutting and Filleting Fish

While we are still talking about fishing, it is worth noting that a lot of fishermen constantly use their pocket knives to clean their catch. While knives made specifically for fishing do exist, pocket knives are capable of doing an excellent job when it comes to gutting fish.

After gutting and cleaning your fish, it is time for the grill. If you are out camping, you can prepare your camping grill, ready to roast the fish. Before the roasting starts, however, you can use the same pocket knife to fillet the fish.

5. Cutting or Stripping an Electrical Wire

If you have watched an electrician work before, you probably already know that they wouldn’t be able to do much without their pocket knife. They constantly use the knife to cut the wire or strip the ends of the wire before they go ahead and hook them into the back of the breakers, switches, and outlets. Any Do It Yourself (DIY) enthusiast who has hung a chandelier in the past can attest to the value of his or her pocket knife.

6. Whittling

This is a pastime as old as the years that humans have occupied the earth. Even in the modern age, whittling has shown significant resilience.

Maybe because it is extremely simple and timeless, it is often a personal favorite for people who like to go camping. The campers often use a combination of the shavings and a fire starter to build their campfire.

7. Removing Splinters

Splinters are pretty common with carpenters. However, you do not have to be a carpenter to deal with the splinters.

Removing splinters embedded beneath the surface of your skin is one of the best things to do with a pocket knife. However, before you go ahead and use the knife to remove the splinters, you must sterilize it. You can do this by holding the blade over a flame for a couple of seconds. Alternatively, you can douse it with Listerine before you use it.

8. Opening Cans

If you are heading up a mountain, you may not lug canned goods. However, if you will be camping at the shore for a couple of days, canned goods make a lot of sense. Plus, since they are generally not plastic, the chances of the cans ending up in the Pacific garbage patch are pretty low.

Those times when you lose or forget the can opener can be quite vexing. However, if you have your pocket knife with you, you won’t have to worry about anything.

9. Pencil Sharpening

Pencil sharpening has been one of the major pocket knives uses for as long as pencils have existed. While pulling out a pocket knife in class to sharpen a pencil may not be the best idea, you can always use the pocket knife to sharpen your pencil at home when you cannot find the pencil sharpener. Additionally, if you work in the loading dock and your pencil needs some sharpening, you can always pull out the pocket knife.

10. Slicing Fruit


Irrespective of whether you are sitting on your front porch or around a campsite, using a pocket knife to slice the fruits is an age-old tradition. While sitting at the campsite, the pocket knife will come in handy if you happen to forget your camping knife. At home, slicing an apple and eating it right from the blade of your pocket knife can send your manly cred through the roof.

11. Cutting Rope

If you do work with heavy equipment regularly, you probably already know that a knife is a handy tool for cutting the ropes. If mountain climbing is your thing, you probably know that the safety line can get tangled unexpectedly – this can easily put you in a tight spot.

If you find yourself in any of these situations, your pocket knife can save the day. All you will need to do is get the knife out, cut the rope, and then reattach it using a suitable knot.

12. Skinning Your Catch

If you are a hunter, you already understand the importance of cutting up the 12 point buck and getting it on ice as quickly as possible. However, before you can grab the hacksaw from the toolkit and start sawing through the bones, the buck has to be skinned. This is where the pocket knife comes in.

Sure, you need to have a good-sized pocket knife to go about skinning the buck. However, you are a hunter, we will assume that you have already chosen a pocket knife featuring an ideal size. If you haven’t chosen a perfectly sized pocket knife, you can always choose one, now that you know size matters when it comes to hunting pocket knives.

13. Cleaning the Battery Terminals on Your Car

If you have owned a car for a couple of years, you have probably needed help with starting the car. If you stayed around to watch the mechanic go through his checklist, you probably noticed that he used a pocket knife at some point. What he did with the pocket knife is just clean the battery terminals.

If you decide to use the pocket knife to clean the battery terminals, you need to be careful. Keep in mind that you will be dealing with corrosive materials. If you aren’t cautious enough, battery acid could end up eating huge holes in your clothes.

After using the pocket knife to clean the battery terminals, be sure to clean them. The acid can also corrode your knife’s blade.

14. Freeing an Accident Victim

If you follow the news or read the newspaper, you have probably come across a story where first responders or rescue workers arrived at the accident scene to find some trapped by the car seat belt inside a burning vehicle. In such a case, a pocket knife could mean the difference between life and death.

For you to free the accident victim using the pocket knife, it should be sharp enough. Since you never know when your pocket knife may be the only tool that can save someone, be sure to keep it sharp at all times.

15. Opening a Bottle

While this is not at the same level of importance as freeing an accident victim, it still one of the most popular pocket knives uses. When you are out camping, you may want to open a bottle. However, once you check your camping tent, you may end up realizing that you do not have a bottle opener.

Now, what are you supposed to do? Simply reach for your pocket knife and then work your way around the cap, prying up the individual folds until the cap falls off the bottle.

16. Peeling Vegetables

If you intend to use a vegetarian camping food recipe, you may need to peel some vegetables at some point. While you could be thinking that you already packed all the necessary camping utensils, you may realize that you forgot the peeler.

If you have the pocket knife with you, you won’t have to worry. Just grab the pocket knife and start peeling your vegetables. Just remember to wash the knife properly before you proceed to use it on food – otherwise, you could contaminate your food.

17. Indicating Where to Cut

There are times when you may need to cut something and you can’t locate your pencil. If you ever find yourself in such a scenario, all you will have to do is pull out the pocket knife and use it to show the cutline.

If you are working with nails and screws in the garage, the pocket knife can also come in handy. For example, you can always use the knife to indicate where the screw or nail is supposed to be driven through.

18. Opening Letters

About a decade ago, this would have been one of the top things to do with a pocket knife. Nowadays, people rarely use letters – they prefer text messages, emails, and direct messages sent via social media. For this reason, this use has slid down a little bit.

Still, you could be close to someone who loves the traditional way of communicating – penning out longhand letters may not be tough for him/her. Also, you could get numerous bills via the Snail Mail which needs opening. The pocket knife can become handy in both situations.

19. Tourniquets

If you are a part of a mountain rescue team, you could have dealt with climbers who often fall from long distances. The injuries resulting from the falls usually cause serious bleeding.

To stop the bleeding, a tourniquet is usually needed quickly. The pocket knife can help you start the tear line. After starting the tear line, you can always use your bare hands to rip the tourniquet the rest of the way.

20. Defending Yourself

Self-defense closes our list of the top things to do with a pocket knife. Obviously, there are better ways to defend yourself. However, you may find yourself in a situation where the pocket knife is the only means of self-preservation. In such a situation, you will be glad that you have the pocket knife on you.

Globo Surf Overview

As you have noticed, numerous pocket knife uses exist. The pocket knife is an everyday, all-purpose tool that no rescue personnel, tradesman, DIY enthusiast, first responder, or even camper should be without. The simple tool can make everything easier, including saving lives in times of emergency.

It is worth noting that different types of pocket knives exist. Before investing in a pocket knife, you may need to first identify a major use for the knife. For example, if you are a hunter, you may need to use the knife to skin your catch. In that case, invest in a pocket knife ideal for the task.

More Camping Reviews:


  1. Why You Should Carry a Pocketknife with You Every Day, Popularmechanics.com
Globo Surf
My name is David Hamburg. I am an avid water sports fan who enjoys paddle boarding, surfing, scuba diving, and kite surfing. Anything with a board or chance I can get in the water I love! I am such a big fan I decided to start this website to review all my favorite products and some others. Hope you enjoy!