The Best Pocket Knife 2019: from single blades to multi tools

Take your pick from our guide to the best (and safest) pocket knives

So you wanna know which is the best pocket knife? We’ve got you covered.

A pocket knife is a tool. As a human race, we have been inventing, cultivating and refining tools since the dawn of man.

There is only so much we can do without them.

We can’t cut anything, for starters.

If you are a practical person who is always out and about doing odd jobs in the home or further afield, you will invariably come across practical problems that will require the assistance of a tool. A pocket knife can perform a lot of tasks, which is why it is recommended to carry one most of the time – particularly when you know there will be tasks ahead.

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Why You Would Need A Pocket Knife

Camping Trips

Anyone who was raised by a family of campers will have seen first hand how important a pocket knife is on such outings. If your father was the kind who took his family on camping trips a few times a year, the chances are he will have been the kind who always carried a pocket knife with him.

You will no doubt have witnessed the marvelous things a pocket knife can do.

One of the most important things you will need on a camping trip is a fire, and a pocket knife is great for assisting with them. You can cut timber with the knife, as well as spark the fire into life.

You can also use the knife to hunt for food, as well as prepare it. It can even help you in trickier situations, such as if you need to build a makeshift shelter.

First Aid

This might not seem obvious first, but pocket knives can perform a wealth of functions relating to first aid. They can cut bandages, as well as help to create tourniquets.

Fishing And Hunting

A pocket knife is an essential part of the fisherman’s toolbox.

They assist with cutting lines and removing hooks. And if you are the type that hunts, a pocket knife can be extremely handy, particularly assisted-opening ones which flick open once you have manually pushed the blade about a quarter of a way open.

We’re not just talking about killing the game here – indeed, it is fairly rare that a hunter will use a pocket knife as his weapon of choice; rather, a pocket knife assists with skinning your meat, as well as preparing it.


Different Types of Pocket Knives

Not only are there a few different types of pocket knives, but there are also various different types of blades. There are different blade shapes, different materials, and different lengths. For the purpose of brevity, we will cover just a few here.

Single Blade Pocket Knives

Whereas a multi-blade pocket knife will come with two or more blades of different designs, a single blade is all about the design of just one blade. It is designed for maximum impact.

Though they lack the versatility of a multi-blade knife, their blades are usually strong, robust and capable of tackling much meatier work. It is also common for them to come with spring-loaded mechanisms that allow them to open in a flash.

A single blade, as the name suggests, is pretty single-minded; it can’t cope with the demand of several different types of jobs. But if you have a certain job in mind, the single blade is your man. It is strong enough to tackle exactly what you need it to.

Multi-Blade Pocket Knives

If you need a few jobs completing, a multi-blade knife will be worth your time and consideration.

They usually have two or more blades (going up to four), and they give you more versatility than a single blade knife. Although their blades are durable and made with quality in mind, they often lack the strength of a single blade.

It is something you will need to consider because the multi-blade’s strength is the single-blade’s weakness – and vice versa.

Multi Tools [Swiss Army Knife]

A Swiss Army knife has its own warranted place in legend. As kids growing up, we all heard about them and we all wanted them. Those kids who were lucky enough to be given one growing up will know all about their appeal and functionality.

A Swiss Army knife can be purchased and used by anyone, owing to the vast array of functions they can perform – from toothpicks, nail files, scissors, corkscrews and even magnifying glasses they have the lot!

But they are generally marketed towards anyone who is going away on an adventure (they were originally made for the Swiss army) and needs something small and compact to perform a variety of tasks.

Think adventurers, travellers, soldiers, scouts, warriors et cetera. They are more than just a blade – they are a way of life for some people. And since their original inception in 1890 they have evolved to incorporate many shapes, sizes and weights whilst retaining their original purposes. They’re multi-purpose and best of all, they are fairly lightweight.


Advantages of Pocket Knives

It is only in the last few decades that knives have developed a truly horrid reputation in the media that has become hard to shake off. They have become synonymous with gangs and urban murders. People have grown to fear them, with the prohibition of fast-opening knives in effect in certain countries. According to Wikipedia, “Under U.S. federal law, switchblades and ballistic knives are banned from interstate shipment.”

But a pocket knife is designed as a tool, not a weapon. They perform functional tasks; tasks which a human cannot otherwise complete. Their advantages include:

1. Their ability to cut through things.

This can include things such as wood when you are out camping, and it can also include the mundane, such as opening a letter.

2. They offer protection.

There should never be a suggestion that a pocket knife is to be used as a weapon, but when you come across a situation where your life may be in danger, either in the streets or in the wild, a pocket knife can afford you good protection.

3. They can assist with the preparation of food.

Either in the home or in the great outdoors, a pocket knife can be extremely handy when it comes to skinning, dicing and generally preparing meat.

4. They can perform a variety of tasks on camping trips.

A pocket knife is pretty much essential when you head out on a camping trip, as any experienced camper will tell you. They can help you prepare food, light the fire, as well as overcome any tricky situations such as thickets that are blocking your path.

What’s the Best Pocket Knife

Benchmade Griptilian

Benchmade is a well-known name in the pocket knife industry, with a reputable reputation for producing top quality products that are designed to last.

The Benchmade Griptilian just further enhances their reputation for being the go-to brand for pocket knives.

With a razor sharp blade edge coming in at 3.45” in length, as well as a blade thickness of 0.115”, it is certainly packed with enough punch to handle any kind of trip you have in mind, be it hiking, fishing, camping or otherwise.

It is designed to be sturdy and durable – indeed, it is designed to last a lifetime.

Coming in at around $90, ‘designed to last a lifetime’ may seem like a very bold statement to make; but when you consider the amount of money that we often waste on cheap, plastic $20 knives here and there, $90 for something that will be your companion – and saviour – on trips for years to come seems like a bargain.

The Benchmade Griptilian weighs in at just 3.25 oz, making it extremely lightweight and justifying the moniker ‘pocket knife’ perfectly. But this doesn’t take into consideration the thickness of the handle – 0.64”.

Moreover, the handle is covered by glass-filled nylon which means that it is extremely easy to grip. One of the biggest complaints you will hear when it comes to pocket knives is that bigger hands find it hard to grip them, owing to the size of the handle, as well as the slippery material used to coat it.

With the Griptilian, there need be no such complaints.

One of its other advantages is its tenacity.

When I said earlier that you can take it on just about any trip, this can also include a jungle excursion. Indeed, if it came down to a matter of survival in the dense jungle, with monolithic branches and trees surrounding you, the Griptilian is your friend – possibly your only friend!

It takes a while for the blade to bed in, but after a few uses you will reap the rewards.

Moreover, if you want a knife that opens quickly, the Griptilian performs one of the fastest – if not the fastest – openings without being an assisted opening knife.

Assisted-opening knives have their own advantages, but the blade on this one fires out pretty quickly in any case. It is rapid and purposeful.

Overall, the Griptilian is another well-made product from Benchmade.

It is a medium-sized pocket knife, easy to fold, easy to open, and it takes just over a second to switch to one handed (it doesn’t come with reverse grip as such). It might feel lightweight, but it is beautifully designed and crafted with care.


Top 5 Pocket Knives

BlizeTec Rescue Survival Knife

This is a multi-purpose, multi-functional knife that is a 5-in-1. Weighing in at 5.46oz it’s lightweight without shirking on quality.

A stainless steel knife, it comes with a car window breaker, a magnesium fire starter as well as a seat belt cutter. It works like a dream for any true survivalist who is looking to upgrade.

BlizeTec have a bit of a habit for creating hype around their products, but there is no doubt that the hype is justified in this case. We all know that multipurpose knives can quickly fall apart because the strength and durability just isn’t there.

But with this one, it certainly is. The quality of the knife is second to none, and part of its blade makes room for a saw blade – which cuts brilliantly.

One of its welcome touches is the inclusion of a built-in LED flashlight that makes working in the dark much easier than before when you had to carry both a knife and a torch light.

It’s powered by four LR621 LEDs that have a fairly long battery life at around 12 hours – more than enough time to continue using it during prolonged periods of darkness.

This kind of thing adds to its multi-functional nature and, if you don’t wish to make use of the flashlight, you can easily remove it as it’s attached to the knife by a magnet.

Gerber Bear Grylls Survival Series Compact Scout Knife

This is a folding knife that is thin, lightweight and which is perfect for anyone working on a budget – it’s priced at just under $10.

It is portable, owing to its folding design, and is the perfect gift for any Scout going on their first adventures in the great outdoors. Moreover, it comes with a pocket survival guide which outlines Bear Grylls’ top survival essentials.

Weighing in at less than an ounce, it’s incredibly lightweight and has a blade of 2.5 inches, which is perfect for cutting through things such as rope. It’s made out of stainless steel and its anti-reflective coating is designed for extended durability.

The blade is sharp, and despite its low price and its moniker as a ‘compact scout knife’, its sharpness stands the test of time.

Overall, it has its uses and purposes. It is not necessarily cut out for carving and such activities, but when you consider the price and who it is aimed at, you can’t really go too far wrong.

Spyderco Tenacious

The key to how this knife performs is in the name. It has an unbelievable tenacity for its size, and it works hard to utilize all of its means. It’s still fairly new on the market at just 5 years old, and it still represents excellent value for money.

It is, in short, a meaty piece of steel whose blade has a leaf shape to it that is designed for greater exactness. Combined with its thickness and wide chord design, it really does perform as tenaciously as you’d expect.

But let’s look at how it represents value for money.

Well, coming in at around $40 it kinda sits in the midway section between a bargain and overpriced. The old adage ‘you get what you pay for’ is certainly true in some cases, but not always applicable.

With the Tenacious, you get a few features that you probably wouldn’t expect for such a low price. These include:

  • Thumb hole which allows for greater control
  • G-10 material on the handle which allows for more comfort and weight reduction
  • User adjustable pivot tension
  • Skeletonized steel liners

Buck 110 Folding Hunter

You never thought a pocket knife could have someone drooling with nostalgia, wistfulness and longing? Think again!

The 110 Folding Hunter is an old name – it is Buck’s raison d’être, the knife we associate not just with them, but with our American forefathers. Its original design came out way back in 1964 and it has been slightly modified since – but without sacrificing its original ideals or look.

It’s the true pocket knife for those with a love of nostalgia and vintage. It’s to the knife world what a Cadillac is to to the automobile trade. It’s classy, sleek, elegant.

But our love affair with this iconic knife is not purely sentimental. There is a good reason why the 110 Folding Hunter is still popular today, and that’s because of its quality.

With a blade length coming in at a staggering and almost unrivalled 3.3/4”, and with 420HC stainless steel being its material of choice, it is more than capable of holding its own with all of its rival competitors who have come out in its wake.

It is sturdy, rarely succumbs to wear and tear, and has been described as the ‘true knife for any red blooded American male.’ It has gone down in American folklore as a classic, an icon; and although it’s unusually large for a folding knife, it retains the elegance and fluidity that defined its vintage era.

Kershaw’s Ken Onion Leek Folding Knife

This serrated knife is perfect for hunting and fishing trips, coming as it does with the Ken Onion patented SpeedSafe assisted opening system, which means you can open it with one hand, quickly and smoothly.

Its bead-blasted stainless steel handle creates an aesthetically pleasing look, and combined with the 3 inch blade it is designed for durability and exactness.

Kershaw have become well known for the quality and ingenuity of their designs, with their Leek knives being among the most popular.

This one is no different; it is small, lightweight, and beautifully designed – yet it is available for a low price, coming in as it does at just $40.

It can tackle most demands; it opens rapidly, has a sharpness that will last, is corrosion resistance, and its serrated blade makes it suitable for demanding tasks, such as cutting through rope or seat belts.

Moreover, to top it all off, it looks great. There is a class about this knife, a predatory nature that perfectly compliments its aesthetics.

Strong, purposeful, and fast.



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