Best Pocket Knife

We examined 10 different products from distinguished online sellers to help you find the best pocket knife. We narrowed down our choices to seven of the best ones based on blade material and type (serrated and otherwise), handle material, utility, weight, warranty, and belt loop inclusion.

Out of all the blades we reviewed, we chose the Victorinox Swiss Army Classic SD as our top pocket knife because of its lifetime warranty and unparalleled utility for such a small tool. Read on to find out more about our top pick and the rest of our favorites!

Top 7 Best Pocket Knife

 #1  Victorinox Swiss Army Classic SD

Award: TOP PICK

WHY WE LIKE IT: Victorinox’s Swiss Army knife is a more modern take on the classic Swiss army knife design with the potential to be the best pocket knife of all time. Incredibly light, exceptionally durable and with multiple utilities despite being so small, it’s guaranteed to serve its functions well.

Pros
  • Best for backpacking
  • 7 different functions
  • Small
Cons
  • Knife edge is somewhat lackluster

The Victorinox Swiss Army Knife takes the tried-and-true pocket knife/multi-tool design and shrinks it down into a 2 ¼” package. This handy little pocket knife has a total of seven different tools: nail file, screwdriver, scissors, key ring, tweezers, tooth pick, and the knife blade itself. With all of the tools folded, you get an entire pocket knife that’s only 2.25” long, 0.354” tall, and weighing 0.74oz.

This pocket knife trumps the rest of our favorites thanks to its combined utility, portability and affordability, and its lifetime warranty makes it hard to beat. Though others may have sharper and larger blades, the Victorinox Swiss Army Classic compensates with six other high-quality tools and a time tested brand to back it. Take it camping along with the best camping stove.

 #2  Grand Way Spring Assisted Pocket Knife

Award: HONORABLE MENTION

WHY WE LIKE IT: The Grand Way Pocket Knife boasts of a sharp 440C stainless steel blade coated with a sleek, black carbon layer. This allows it to strike a balance between sharpness and durability.

Pros
  • Spring-powered folding blade
  • Ambidextrous design
  • Made of 440C stainless steel
Cons
  • Requires more maintenance

Grand Way’s pocket knife is built with a 440C stainless steel blade with a spring-loaded release mechanism for rapid deployment. The blade is rust-proof, corrosion-resistant, and sturdy, and it comes with a 10-year warranty.

The blade is 3.42” long and the entire knife is 7.75” long when unfolded. While it’s significantly heavier than our top pick at 4.40oz, you still get a very light pocket knife. It can be easily clipped onto your belt or kept in your pocket. Though it’s durable and lasts long, its spring requires maintenance such as silicone oil application for lubrication. It is good for camping, so pack it with the best rooftop tents.

 #3  Smith & Wesson Extreme Ops Folding Knife

Award: BEST BUDGET

WHY WE LIKE IT: This small, tactical Smith and Wesson knife has great handling capabilities and a small profile. Its serrated blade also makes cutting through tough materials quick and easy.

Pros
  • Serrated blade
  • High-carbon stainless steel construction
  • Notched aluminum handle
Cons
  • Relatively short blade length

Despite its small size and affordability, the Smith & Wesson Extreme Ops folding knife boasts a fine, half-serrated, stainless steel blade that can cut through very tough materials with ease. The blade also has a high carbon count, making it more resistant to weathering than our other picks.

The notched aluminum handle provides you a solid and comfortable grip with ample space for jimping on the knife’s blade. The blade itself is only a small 3” long while the overall knife length is 7.1”. This is as handy as the best uv flashlight for outdoor adventures.

 #4  Kershaw Blur Black Pocket Knife

Award: SAFEST

WHY WE LIKE IT: This small Kershaw Pocket Knife has advanced locking mechanisms that protect users from getting pinched or cut while folding or unfolding the blade. Its effectiveness makes this knife great for those more conscious about personal safety.

Pros
  • Mechanically-assisted safety locks
  • Ambidextrous thumb studs
  • High-quality grip
Cons
  • Thumb stud edges are rough

The Kershaw Blur gives you a mechanically-assisted lock that significantly improves the knife’s overall safety, reducing the risks of accidental injury or damage. There are thumb studs on both sides of the grip and the 3.4” blade is slightly curved, allowing easier manipulation while cutting.

The locking system makes sure that the thumb studs aren’t accidentally triggered, and it also makes closing the blade much safer than our other picks. The studs are a bit rough around the edges, however, so you may need to file them down a bit for comfort. The knife is also backed by a lifetime warranty. Take this outdoors with you as you prepare meals on the best backpacking stove.

 #5  RoverTac Pocket Knife

Award: BEST MULTI-TOOL

WHY WE LIKE IT: Highly versatile, the RoverTac pocket knife is a great choice that comes with two pairs of pliers, a wire cutter, can opener, bottle opener, screwdriver bit adapter, and even a set of nine screwdriver heads.

Pros
  • Mechanically-assisted safety locks
  • Ambidextrous thumb studs
  • Discrete safeguard mechanism
Cons
  • Not as affordable

The RoverTac pocket knife is a great choice for those looking for a honed edge with a supplementary set of tools. The 3.15-inch long serrated blade is made of durable, stainless steel that can cut through tough seat belts or other similar materials. Despite the inclusion of the seven other tools mentioned above, this knife only weighs 7 ounces. It also has a safeguard mechanism that prevents the sharp blade from accidentally popping out.

This multi-tool can cover all of your small-tool needs and it’s got an amazing value for money that’s made even better by its lifetime warranty. This knife is as useful outdoors as the best two person tent.

 #6  CRKT M16-14SFG EDC Folding Pocket Knife

Award: BEST QUALITY

WHY WE LIKE IT: A tanto-styled tactical folding knife with excellent grips, The CRKT Pocket Knife features an automated liner safety system and Veff serrations that can easily cut through tough materials like seat belts. It also has hilt guards that prioritize user comfort when cutting.

Pros
  • Tanto blade with Veff serrations
  • Dual-hilt blade guards
  • G10 handles
Cons
  • Hilt guard is somewhat large

This pocket knife sports a tanto-styled blade meant for punching through tough materials. While tanto knives aren’t particularly used for slicing, the M16-14SFG’s Veff serrations make it more than enough to tear through vines, seat belts, and other similar materials.

The blade is 4” long and the entire knife is 9.25” long when unfolded, making this pocket knife a little bigger than the others in this list. Some may find the hilt guards on this knife to be unnecessarily large, however.

 #7  Swiss Safe 3-in-1 Tactical Knife

Award: BEST FOR EMERGENCIES

WHY WE LIKE IT: This multi-tool style tactical knife is designed for maximum utility during emergency situations. The handle doubles as a glass breaker and the half-serrated edge makes cutting through seat belts a breeze.

Pros
  • 3-in-1 pocket knife
  • Half-serrated blade
  • Ergonomic grip
Cons
  • Somewhat difficult to close

The Swiss Safe 3-in-1 Tactical Knife is designed for first responders like EMTs. This pocket knife has a 3” half-serrated blade and an ergonomic 5” handle that also doubles as a glass window breaker.

The serrations on the blade make it useful against thick materials like seat belts and the glass breaker on the base of the handle is strong enough to withstand hard impact. The knife also features rigid safety locks, a spring assist.

How We Decided

To find the best pocket knife, we reviewed these pocket knives with user survival in mind. We excluded knives made of subpar steel that lost their edges quickly and chose those with reinforced stainless steel blades to ensure they’re always ready for action. Our selections have standard and serrated blade styles that are useful in varied situations, making them incredibly versatile.

We limited our selection of knives to below four inches for two reasons: portability and legality. A 4-inch knife is small enough to be clipped onto your belt or tucked away inside your pocket and carrying them is legal almost everywhere. Larger blades are more closely followed by the law.

We also considered safety mechanisms of each knife we reviewed. To test them, we rode through bumpy off-road terrain to see if the knives would pop open due to the shaking.

Size and weight were also points for consideration. Pocket knives typically weigh just a few ounces at most, so we limited our selections to those around the 10-ounce mark to keep everything light. We also kept the overall knife size around 6-inches long and about 1-inch wide to ensure max compatibility with most belt loop holsters.

As for the handles, we limited our choices to those with polymer grips, as they’re lighter than steel or carbon while still being sturdy.

Lastly, we included knives with warranties as an added bonus so you get the most out of your money.

Best Pocket Knife Buyer’S Guide

The Most Important Features to Consider

  1. Blade Length
    While blade length mostly boils down to personal preference, longer blades will be easier to use in certain situations. However, blade length is regulated by law and such laws may vary according to the state you’re in. Be sure to ask regarding local legislation before purchasing a knife.
  2. Blade Type
    There are three main blade types: plain, serrated, and combo. Plain knives have smooth blades that make cleaner cuts while serrated knives have sawtooth-styled edges that can cut through tougher materials, albeit more messily. Combo blades combine both blade types, usually with one half of the blade being smooth while the other half is serrated.
  3. Blade Shape
    Knife blades come in many different shapes with specific uses. The Straight-Back, Drop Point, and Clip Point blade shapes are some of the most common you’ll see and make for great general use. Other shapes, such as the Spear Point, Needle Point, and Tanto styles are more specialized. Be sure to research to find out what type of blade suits your needs most.

Pocket Knife FAQs

What metal makes the best knife?

Stainless steel is the most commonly used type of metal for knives. They’re durable as well as resistant to rust and corrosion.

What are pocket knives used for?

Pocket knives are very versatile. They can be used in any situation that requires a sharp edge, such as prying open lids, cutting open envelopes, freeing yourself from a stuck seat belt, and so on.

Are pocket knives legal to own?

Each state has different laws regarding the ownership of knives. However, tools such as utility knives or pocket knives are generally legal albeit with certain restrictions. You should always check with local legislation first before buying a knife to avoid any trouble.

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Geri Mileva

Based in Prague, CZ, Geri is a freelance writer with nine years of experience. Technology, marketing and finance are among her favorite topics to write about. She's also a strong advocate of plant-based and ethical living.

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