Our Guide to All the Quality Pocket Knives on the Market After 2015
Pocket knives are incredibly versatile. Great for everyday or specialty use, these knives are highly portable and safe to carry in your back pocket. Whether you’re a hunter, woodworker or simply looking for a handy everyday tool, pocket knives are great to have on hand.
But how do you choose one? Here are a few things to consider when comparing models:
- Knife Type: One of the first considerations is the knife type. Are you looking for a simple, single-blade pocket knife, or a knife that features multiple blades? Maybe you want a versatile model, like a Swiss Army knife. Decide what type of knife you want, and you can easily narrow down your choices.
- Quality of the Brand: Some knife brands are well-known for their quality, like Case, for example. While you may find some knives from unknown or new brands that are high quality, you’re better off choosing a model from a well-established company (there are plenty out there) that has a reputation for producing durable, reliable knives.
- Feedback from Users: Customer reviews also matter. Are users having to replace or return their knives because they break after a few uses? If so, you may want to steer clear of that model. If a knife is backed by thousands (or even hundreds) of mostly positive reviews, there’s a good chance it will meet your standards and provide you with years of use.
Buying a pocket knife is a personal decision, but these key important things will help you find a knife that will withstand rigorous use.
Still not sure what knife to buy? We’ve handpicked the top 5 best models under $100 to help you find the best pocket knife for your needs.
Case 30024 with Amber Bone Handle – Featuring an exquisite amber bone handle, the Case 30024 trapperlock folding knife is a great blade.
The chrome vanadium blade, which features a built-in thumb stud, is proudly made in the U.S. and handcrafted by skilled artisans. The liner lock in pocket clip allow you to safely store and transport this knife wherever you go.
Weighing just 2.5 ounces, this knife spans 3 5/8 inches in length, and is ideal for all-around, everyday use.
Unlike competing knives in this price range, the 30024’s blade is made with chrome vanadium – a high carbon steel. It’s the highest quality steel offered by Case, and it’s exceptionally durable. You won’t find a higher quality blade in this price range anywhere else.
Note: Case recommends keeping a thin coat of oil on the blade to protect it from pitting, rusting and discoloration.
Case Cutlery 178 – Another great knife from Case, the 178 Small Stockman pocket knife features Tru-Sharp surgical steel blades, clip pen and sheepfoot blades, and a stag antler handle.
Weighing just 1.2 ounces, this knife measures 2 5/8 inches when closed, so it’s easy to take with you camping, hunting, hiking, or for simple everyday use.
The high quality stainless steel blades are resistant to corrosion and rust, and the clip pen and sheepfoot offer added versatility.
This classic knife is ideal for every day carrying. It’s small and compact enough to slip into your pocket without being too bulky or conspicuous.
Made in the U.S., this knife comes with a limited lifetime warranty to protect your purchase.
SOG AE07-CP Aegis Knife – Part of SOG’s specialty knives and tools collection, the AE07-CP Aegis is a rugged folding blade that features SOG-assisted technology for easy deployment and a dual spring locking mechanism that’s ambidextrous. When in the open position, the Piston lock allows for added safety.
The nylon handle is glass reinforced and features a Digi grid pattern to ensure that the knife doesn’t fall out of your hand during use.
The 3.5”, partially serrated blade is made with AUS-8 steel and features a tanto shape with a semi-matte TiNi finish.
One of the great things about this blade is that it features an ergonomic, ambidextrous grip that feels great in either hand. With a weight of just 3.1 ounces, you can easily carry this folding knife with you in a safe and secure manner that’s unobtrusive.
Victorinox SwissChamp – From one of the most famous Swiss brands in the world, Victorinox’s SwissChamp is one of the most versatile pocket knives out there – and it’s a solid budget unit. Compact and durable, this knife is made in Switzerland and measures just 3 1/2 inches in length. Altogether, this knife includes 32 tools, including: wood saw, wire cutter, fish scaler, magnifying glass, hooked disgorger, screwdriver, tweezers and more.
Whether you’re camping, fishing, hunting working in the yard, in the car, or at the workplace, this knife can supply you with all the tools you need to tackle just about any situation you face.
Case Cutlery 9254PP – Our final pick is another model from Case: the 9254PP. Called the Purple Passion, this trapper pocket knife features stainless steel spey and clip blades, and a purple and white corelon handle.
When closed, this knife spans 4 1/8 inches, and weighs about 4 ounces.
The Tru-Sharp surgical steel blades are resistant to corrosion and rusting, while the specially-designed handle is easy to grip and is also resistant to chemical erosion. The preferred choice of hunters, this knife is ideal for cleaning game and cutting.
Like other Case knives, this model is backed by a limited lifetime warranty.
Buyer’s Guide – How to Choose the Best Knife under $100
When you’re on a tighter budget, it becomes even more important to scrutinize every knife you look at to make sure that it will meet your quality standards. Here’s what to look for when shopping for a pocket knife in the under one hunddred dollar price range:
- Blade Material: In this price range, you’ll find that most blades are made of stainless steel, which is fine. Models that are closer to one hundred dollars may be made of high quality carbon steel (the better option). Regardless, it’s important to ensure that the steel is high quality.
- Blade Length: The length of the blade is also important. Some pocket knives have larger, serrated blades, which can be beneficial in survival situations. Others have clip blades, which are only optimal for small tasks. Swiss Army knives have a variety of different tools and blades, but are all relatively short in length. Determine what you’ll be using the knife for, and this will help you decide what length to choose.
- Versatility: Again, you need to consider what you want to use the knife for. Pocket knives with multiple clip blades can be beneficial for hunters, while a tougher, thicker single blade is ideal for survival or outdoor use. Swiss Army knives are the most versatile of all, offering dozens of tools in one simple knife.
- Price: You’ve already put a limit on how much you’ll spend, but you still need to keep your budget in mind. Look for a knife that fits your quality standards, but comes at a price that you’re comfortable paying. The cheapest model isn’t always the best option, so always go for the higher quality