Looking for the best pocketknife for your EDC needs? These five are certainly top options to get you well equipped.
The pocketknife stands alone when it comes to edged tools. Whether it’s outdoors, in the shop, in the kitchen or elsewhere, the number of uses for the pocketknife are seemingly endless.
And just as endless is the variety of pocketknives available today. With dozens of blade types made of dozens of steels with dozens of functions, it’s a deluge of knives that can be hard to parse through.
Types Of Pocketknives
While there are thousands of different individual pocketknives out there, the vast majority fall into two categories: the single blade and the multi-blade.
The single-blade pocketknife is exactly that: a knife with one blade. We’ll get to the types of blades shortly. While a single-blade piece could be a small fixed blade with a pocket-sized sheath, usually it’s a folding knife. The folding versions are especially good as EDCs.
The multi-blade knife will usually feature two or three blades—some more—across many different styles. A good chunk of these models are slip joints, which use a spring that helps either keep the blade tucked away or open.
There are many different types of slip-joint multi-blades. The Boker Trapper Red Bone is a prime example of a high-quality multi-blade knife.
When it comes to a multi-tool type of multi-blade, think of Swiss Army knives. These are pocket-sized tools that feature an assortment of tools ranging from blades and screwdrivers to toothpicks, pliers, corkscrews and more.
Types Of Pocketknife Blades
The first pocketknives date as far back as 600 BCE in Europe, and folding knives have been found that date from pre-Roman times.
In the millennia since, the pocketknife has morphed and evolved in myriad ways. Today there are dozens of different types of pocketknives. Some are great for EDC use while others are more specialized.
While the styles of blades are all a bit different, these are three of the most common types.
A common blade style for a pocketknife, the drop point curves up from the edge to the point. Popularized by BLADE Magazine Cutlery Hall-Of-Fame® member Bob Loveless for fixed-blade hunting knives, it is a great style for hunters and for slicing, and ideal for all-around EDC as well. The point is good for piercing and the edge, being good for hunting, is more than capable of doing things throughout your day like opening envelopes, slicing rope, or even cutting vegetables in a pinch. The GiantMouse Ace Corta is an example of a modified drop point.
The clip point swoops down from the spine to the point of blade. Since it looks like the forward part of the blade was “clipped” off, the name clip point stuck. The spine is usually unsharpened, and the clip point has a narrower tip than a drop point. The clip point is seen on many bowie knives.
An example of a clip point on an EDC knife would be the SOG Recondo FX.
The spear point is the style of the main blade of many Swiss Army knives. A great puncture instrument, a blade with a spear point is ideal for penetration. Many daggers and swords are ground to a spear point.
Five Premier Pocketknives
We scoured the world of knives to pick out five of outstanding pocketknives available today. Across different styles, companies and price points, these five stood out from the pack.
Swiss Army Knife Huntsman
One could argue that the Swiss Army knife is the gold standard of pocketknives. This classic multi-blade from Victorinox has stood the test of time and now comes in dozens of varieties.
The Huntsman was selected because of its tool set. There are 15 different implements within the knife, including classics like the spear-point blade, reamer and can opener, as well as a wood saw, tweezers, scissors and wire stripper, among others.
All the tools, like with other Swiss Army knives, are made from stainless steel. Having at least one SAK in your tool drawer or travel bag is an absolute must, and you can’t go wrong with the Huntsman.
Opinel #8 Carbon Steel Folding Knife
By any measure, the Opinel #8 is a classic. First made in 1890, the #8 is still popular today due to its simplicity. It features a 3.28-inch blade of XC90 carbon steel. It’s robust yet delicate. The single blade is fine enough for an artisan or craftsman and tough enough to handle hard use in the kitchen or workshop.
In an era when EDC knives are becoming more complex and packed with features, Opinel sticks to its roots with a piece that is often imitated but rarely replicated.
Coming in numerous different colors and styles, the Benchmade Bugout is one cool-looking pocketknife. Slim and ergonomic, and incredibly light, the Bugout knives were designed for the outdoorsman but are great for EDC too.
The clipped drop-point blade—you can choose between a plain or serrated edge—is made from CPM S30V stainless steel with a Rockwell hardness of 58-60 HRC. It’s 3.24 inches long with a satin finish that looks good when paired with any of the five different types of handles Benchmade offers.
Handle materials—options include Grivory or CF Elite—are lightweight. The entire knife weighs just 1.85 ounces. It’s almost lighter than air.
Boker Damascus Duke
If you’re looking for a showpiece that’s also a great utility knife AND won’t break the bank, Boker has you covered. The Damascus Duke features a 2.44-inch blade forged from 37 layers of steel. The artistic qualities don’t stop with the blade. Etched bolsters add to the beauty of the knife, and the root wood scales provide a classy grip.
But this knife is more than just a pretty girl at the prom. The lockback mechanism will give you confidence to put this piece through its paces. The short length of the blade makes this knife great for detail work or other finite tasks at home or on the road.
Designed by Ken Onion, the youngest-ever inductee into the Cutlery Hall of Fame, the Kershaw Blur may be as good of an all-around edged tool as you’ll find in knife shops today.
The recurve drop-point blade can cut cord and small brush while camping, or slice open an over-taped FedEx package and keep rolling along.
The blade is 14C28N stainless steel in a black Cerakote coat for enhanced corrosion resistance and protection. It’s married to an aluminum handle that features Trac-Tec inserts and a reversible pocket clip.
Made in America and tough as nails, the Blur won’t let you down.
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