The Best Pocket Knives of 2022

A high-quality pocket knife can prepare you for a variety of situations at home or outdoors.

By Timothy Dale | Updated May 12, 2022 3:38 PM

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The Best Pocket Knife

Photo: amazon.com

A pocket knife is a small knife with a compact folding design that allows the blade to be stored in the handle when it is not in use. You may be familiar with the Swiss Army knife with its recognizable red housing, small size, and an assortment of implements in addition to the blade, but it actually qualifies as a multi-tool. A true pocket knife has a larger blade and handle, making it useful for whittling, opening packages, trimming branches, and many other cutting chores around the home, at work, or on a camping trip.

While such versatility is valuable, some of the top pocket knives do have specific functions and features. Take a look at this list to see which products are considered among the best pocket knives in their respective categories. Each product was selected based on thorough research and investigation into a wide range of good pocket knives in order to determine the top pocket knives in each category. Read on to learn how to find the best pocket knife for your purposes, depending on the knife’s size, shape, quality, and function.

  1. BEST OVERALL: Cold Steel Voyager Series Folding Knife
  2. BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: Buck 284 Bantam BBW Folding Knife
  3. UPGRADE PICK: Benchmade – 940 EDC Manual Open Folding
  4. BEST MINI: Victorinox Swiss Army Classic SD Pocket Knife
  5. BEST SMALL: CRKT Pilar EDC Folding Pocket Knife
  6. BEST EDC: SOG Small Fixed Blade Knife
  7. BEST MULTI-TOOL: RoverTac Pocket Knife Multitool
  8. BEST SPRING-ASSISTED: Kershaw Leek Pocket Knife, 3 Inch Blade
  9. BEST WITH WOOD HANDLE: Opinel No.08 Carbon Steel Folding Pocket Knife
  10. BEST FOR WORKING: Gerber Gear 31-000345N EAB Lite Pocket Knife
  11. BEST FOR WHITTLING: Flexcut Pocket Jack, Jackknife Style Tool
  12. BEST FOR CAMPING: Buck Knives 325 Colleague Stainless Steel
The Best Pocket Knife

Photo: amazon.com

What to Consider When Choosing the Best Pocket Knife

To find a pocket knife for everyday use, take these important shopping considerations into account.

Intended Use

A pocket knife can be used on a daily basis, or the user may prefer a model to stow in the tool box for occasional use. Typically, a pocket knife has three broad uses: general purpose, camping, and self-defense.

  • General-purpose pocket knives have a point that sits well above the centerline of the blade to extend the cutting edge. These knives are typically used for cutting and slicing, not piercing, so the blade is more important than the tip or point. A clip-on pocket knife is a good option for use on a work site because you don’t need to worry about fishing it out of a pocket when you need to make a quick cut.
  • Camping pocket knives should be durable and water-resistant, helpful for making fire kindling with strips of wood, cutting rope, and slicing through fishing line or netting, which leaves the knife exposed to direct sunlight, cold winds, and water. The sharpest pocket knife is typically used for cutting rope and netting, though it’s important to note that the blade wears down quickly if it isn’t properly maintained.
  • Self-defense pocket knives should have a quick spring-assisted opening so that the owner doesn’t have to fight with the blade when in danger. These knives also have a point that sits at or near the centerline of the blade, making them ideal for piercing thrusts.

Keep in mind that there may be state and local laws that restrict carrying certain kinds of pocket knives. Check the local government website and consult the AKTI’s guide on state knife laws to ensure that the pocket knife in question is legal to carry.

Size

As the name says, a traditional pocket knife is small enough to fit comfortably inside a pocket, though you can also have a clip-on pocket knife that attaches to a belt or the outside of the pocket. The average pocket knife will have about a 3-inch-long blade and a 4-inch handle, with a weight of approximately 3.5 ounces. However, good pocket knives may be available in larger versions for broad-stroke purposes, like trimming firewood, or smaller ones for whittling or precision cutting.

Blade Material

Pocket knife blades are mostly stainless steel and carbon steel, though some are made out of laminated steel.

  • Stainless steel blades are a rust-resistant alternative to carbon steel. While stainless steel does not keep an edge for as long as carbon steel or laminated steel, it costs less and doesn’t require much maintenance.
  • Carbon steel blades are the most common type of pocket knife blade. Carbon fiber blades keep a sharp edge with minimal sharpening, which is ideal for working with wood or other tough materials. However, without regular lubrication, routine maintenance, and proper storage, these blades can become rusted, frail, and essentially useless.
  • Laminated steel blades result from layering different types of steel during the forging process. This gives them a sharper, longer-lasting edge than stainless steel blades and better rust and corrosion resistance than carbon steel ones.

Blade Length and Shape

A pocket knife comes in a variety of shapes and sizes, making it easy to find a knife with the ideal blade length and shape to suit a range of different projects and purposes. Common knife varieties include drop-point, clip-point, spear-point, tanto, and sheepsfoot.

  • A drop-point blade has a convex curve from the spine of the blade to the tip. These pocket knives are durable and versatile, with superior stabbing power, making them a good everyday carry knife for self-defense.
  • A clip-point blade is ideal for detail work on whittling projects, but these pocket knives are also regularly used for self-defense and hunting. Clip point blade pocket knives have essentially the same shape as a drop-point blade, except that they have a concave curve from the spine of the blade to the tip instead of a convex curve.
  • Spear-point pocket knives have symmetrical blades with a tip that is in line with the center of the knife. These knives can have one or two cutting edges and due to the symmetrical shape and decent balance, they are commonly used as throwing knives.
  • Tanto pocket knives have been used for years for hunting and combat making them one of the best EDC knife types to have on hand for self-defense. The blade resembles its namesake, the tanto short sword, which was popular in feudal Japan. It has an angular edge transition that replaces the more traditional curved belly of the blade, creating an excellent blade for piercing, cutting, and slicing.
  • Sheepsfoot pocket knives have a blade with a straight edge and a spine that curves quickly down to meet at the point. This has the effect of blunting the point, reducing the potential for accidental piercing, while emphasizing the slicing ability of the blade.

Locking Mechanism

Certain folding knives come with a locking mechanism; spring-assisted models typically have this feature. Different kinds of knives use different lock types, including liner, frame, lockback, and collar locking mechanisms.

  • Liner locking mechanisms use a simple piece of bent metal that slides over behind the tang of the knife when the blade is opened.
  • Frame locking mechanisms are similar to liner locks except that one side of the frame slots in behind the tang instead of just a piece of metal liner.
  • Lockback locking mechanisms have a locking bar in the spine of the handle that springs into a notch in the tang when the knife is opened, locking the blade in place. This style is also referred to as an axis lock.
  • Collar locking mechanisms feature a simple circular collar that wraps around the base of the blade. Twist it to lock it closed, or open it by lining up the gap in the collar with the blade.

Handle

The blade of a knife is often the most important feature, but the handle greatly affects the balance, weight, and durability of the knife. It’s also the part of the knife responsible for comfort, and a poor grip can contribute to hand fatigue. Pocket knife handles are normally made of wood, plastic, G10, or stainless steel.

  • Wood looks classically attractive and provides a smooth, comfortable grip. But as a porous material, it can absorb excess moisture, causing swelling and splitting if improperly stored and maintained. Hardwood handles are less likely to split but still require maintenance and application of appropriate oils.
  • Plastic or fiberglass-reinforced nylon (FRN) is inexpensive, easy to clean, and durable. There’s no risk of splitting or swelling with these handles, which are also lightweight, making them easy to wield.
  • G10 is a synthetic material made of fiberglass epoxy laminate. G10 handles combine the light weight of plastic, the durable feel of wood, and the chemical resistance of stainless steel.
  • Stainless steel is the most durable and easiest to clean of the four choices, though G10, plastic, and wood are more comfortable to hold and manipulate for long periods of time. The ambient temperature can affect a metal handle, potentially causing it to be uncomfortably cold or hot to the touch until it acclimates to the user’s hand temperature.

Weight and Balance

The weight, balance, and overall control of the knife are determined by three main factors: distal tapering, the tang, and the handle.

  • Distal tapering refers to the thinning of the blade from the base to the tip of the knife. Distal tapering changes the shape of the blade, which can alter the weight and balance of the pocket knife.
  • The tang of a pocket knife is the metal part that extends from the blade into the handle where it is attached to the pivot. Pocket knives have partial tangs that only extend slightly beyond the pivot point, so they tend to be very blade heavy.
  • The handle includes the grip, the bolster, and the pivot. The bolster is the junction between the grip of the knife and the blade, where the pivot mechanism is housed. The bolster can be designed in a variety of shapes, sizes, and weights to help steady an otherwise unbalanced knife, while the grip is typically designed for ergonomic comfort rather than balance. Rear bolsters appear at the rear of a knife handle to provide a counterweight to a heavy blade.

Additional Features

Pocket knives typically have a single blade that unfolds for a variety of cutting, slicing, or piercing purposes, but many models have additional features like a spring-assisted opening, deep-carry pocket clip, built-in flashlight, bottle opener, or even a window-breaking tool for escaping a car in an emergency.

Spring-assisted pocket knives have a spring mechanism in the pivot or handle of the knife that will increase the opening speed and make it easy to open using only one hand. Pocket clips can be used to hold the knife on the outside of a pocket or belt for easy access, while a flashlight in the handle of the knife can help illuminate a dark campsite.

Our Top Picks

The products below are among the best pocket knives on the market and were selected for quality, price, and performance to help you find the right model for your needs. Whether you’re taking up whittling or heading out into the outdoors on a hiking, fishing, or camping trip, there’s a knife on this list that’s right for your purposes.

Best Overall

The Best Pocket Knife Options: Cold Steel Voyager Series Folding Knife
Photo: amazon.com

Cold Steel is known for manufacturing a wide variety of pocket knives, including this dependable EDC tanto pocket knife that is available in two different sizes. The handle is made out of lightweight aluminum with a textured surface and finger grips to help prevent the knife from slipping while in use. The large size of this knife has a 4-inch blade and a 5.25-inch handle with a total length of 9.25 inches, while the extra-large size features a 5.5-inch blade and a 6.75-inch handle for a total length of 12.25 inches.

The stainless steel blade resembles Japanese tanto short swords, opting for a straight blade with an angular edge transition instead of having a blade belly that curves up to the point.

Product Specs 

  • Blade Material: Stainless steel
  • Blade Length: 4 inches or 5.5 inches
  • Locking Mechanism: Unique TRI-AD lock

Pros

  • Resistant to corrosion and rusting
  • Lightweight aluminum handle
  • Tanto blade is good for piercing, cutting, and slicing
  • Textured surface and finger grips for improved control

Cons

  • Blade will require regular sharpening to keep its edge

Get the Cold Steel Voyager Series folding knife on Amazon, Knife Center, and BladeHQ.

Best Bang for the Buck

The Best Pocket Knife Options: Buck 284 Bantam BBW Folding Knife
Photo: amazon.com

With a conveniently placed thumb stud on the blade, this Buck Knives drop-point knife can be opened easily with just one hand, making it a great tool to have in case of emergency. While one hand can apply pressure to a wound, the other can quickly open the knife to cut bandages. The drop-point blade is made of high-carbon steel, ensuring it has good strength and edge retention as long as it’s properly maintained when it’s not being used.

The blade is also resistant to rust and folds up easily into the glass-reinforced nylon handle. Finger indents and a textured surface on the handle help to improve the user’s grip and reduce the potential for the knife to slip from the user’s hands while slicing or piercing. The blade measures just 2.75 inches and the handle is 3 inches long, giving the knife a total length of 5.75 inches.

Product Specs 

  • Blade Material: High-carbon steel
  • Blade Length: 2.75 inches
  • Locking Mechanism: Lockback or axis lock system

Pros

  • Available in multiple handle colors
  • Glass-reinforced nylon handle
  • Thumb stud for one-handed opening
  • Affordable price

Cons

  • High-carbon steel blade is vulnerable to rusting and corrosion

Get the Buck 284 Bantam folding knife at Knife Center and Buck Knives.

Upgrade Pick

The Best Pocket Knife Options: Benchmade - 940 EDC Manual Open Folding
Photo: benchmade.com

Use this premium reverse tanto knife for a range of different purposes from effective self-defense to simple household tasks, like opening moving boxes. Benchmade has designed the pocket knife with an axis lock system, ensuring that once the folding knife is opened it won’t close on its own. This peace of mind makes it an ideal option for camping, fishing, or even to keep in a first aid kit where the reliable mechanism can come in handy during an emergency.

The pocket knife has a 3.4-inch stainless steel blade that’s resistant to corrosion and rusting, though regular users will want to sharpen the blade to increase edge retention. It has a resin-soaked fiberglass body that is impervious to moisture and resistant to rapid temperature changes, reducing the chance that the handle will swell or crack over time.

Product Specs 

  • Blade Material: Stainless steel
  • Blade Length: 3.4 inches
  • Locking Mechanism: Lockback or axis lock system

Pros

  • Resistant to corrosion and rusting
  • Resin-soaked fiberglass handle
  • Tanto blade is good for piercing, cutting, and slicing
  • Attractive design and comfortable grip

Cons

  • High price

Get the Benchmade – 940 EDC folding pocket knife at Benchmade.

Best Mini

The Best Pocket Knife Option: Victorinox Swiss Army Classic SD Pocket Knife
Photo: amazon.com

If carrying a full-size pocket knife seems like it would be a bit too heavy, check out this compact, lightweight multi-tool option. This nicely priced knife weighs only 0.7 ounces and the handle measures just 2.3 inches long, making it easy enough to carry on a keychain.

This Victorinox model has a knife blade, scissors, a nail file, a screwdriver, tweezers, and a toothpick, each made with corrosion-resistant stainless steel. The handle, which is made of ABS plastic, can be customized with over 25 different visual designs, but the cost changes with different designs, so be sure to check the price prior to purchase.

Product Specs 

  • Blade Material: Stainless steel
  • Blade Length: 1.25 inches
  • Locking Mechanism: None

Pros

  • 7 different functions
  • American flag–printed handle
  • Small enough to keep on a keychain
  • Weighs just 0.3 ounces

Cons

  • Light duty
  • Does not have a locking mechanism

Get the Victorinox Swiss Army Classic pocket knife on Amazon, Victorinox, and Swiss Knife Shop.

Best Small

Best EDC Knife

Despite its small 2.4-inch blade, this versatile pocket knife can be used for a wide assortment of tasks. When the blade is extended, the entire length is 5.9 inches; folded, it’s a mere 3.5 inches, making it easy to tuck away in a pocket or purse.

The blade is made of high-quality stainless steel, and it also folds into a stainless steel handle with an indented ergonomic grip. This CRKT knife can be opened in one hand by both left- and right-handed people, but rather than the typical dual-sided thumb stud, it has an ambidextrous thumb slot in the tang to quickly flip open the blade. It also has a frame locking mechanism for security when the blade is in use.

Product Specs 

  • Blade Material: Stainless steel
  • Blade Length: 2.4 inches
  • Locking Mechanism: Frame lock

Pros

  • Resistant to corrosion and rusting
  • Ambidextrous thumb slot for one-handed opening
  • Adjustable pocket clip for convenient carrying
  • Sheepsfoot blade for a range of everyday chores

Cons

  • Requires regular sharpening to retain its edge

Get the CRKT Pilar EDC folding pocket knife on Amazon, CRKT, and BladeHQ.

Best Edc

The Best Pocket Knife Options: SOG Small Fixed Blade Knife
Photo: amazon.com

This SOG pocket knife is designed for quick, effective defense and features a 2.3-inch clip point blade with a full tang to ensure that the handle isn’t a potential weak point. While this pocket knife cannot fold, it does come with a sheath to keep the user safe when the blade isn’t being used. The sheath has a clip that can be used to carry the knife in a boot or on a belt for convenient access in an emergency. It’s even small enough to be carried around the user’s neck as a slim necklace knife.

The fiberglass handle is comfortable to grip, and the large finger indents help to improve the user’s control and accuracy. However, the stainless steel blade will need to be regularly sharpened to ensure that it doesn’t lose its edge over time.

Product Specs 

  • Blade Material: Stainless steel
  • Blade Length: 2.3 inches
  • Locking Mechanism: None

Pros

  • Resistant to corrosion and rusting
  • Comes with a knife sheath and belt clip
  • Full tang blade and fiberglass handle
  • Wearable design for the belt, boot, or neck

Cons

  • Cannot fold

Get the SOG small fixed-blade knife on Amazon, Sogknives, and Knife Center.

Best Multi-Tool

The Best Pocket Knife Option: RoverTac Pocket Knife Multitool
Photo: amazon.com

For those seeking a pocket-size tool kit, this RoverTac model might be just the ticket. It boasts a screwdriver-bit adapter and nine different bits, needle-nose pliers, regular pliers, and wire cutters. There’s also a can opener and a bottle opener for when it’s beverage time.

The stainless steel blade, coated with a durable black oxide, is 3.3 inches in length and folds into a 4.3-inch handle. The handle features a liner locking mechanism to keep the blade in place while the knife is in use, and its ergonomic shape fits the natural contours of the user’s fingers for a better grip. Carry the knife on a belt, tucked into a pocket or bag, or stowed elsewhere in the included nylon pouch.

Product Specs 

  • Blade Material: Stainless steel
  • Blade Length: 3.3 inches
  • Locking Mechanism: Liner lock

Pros

  • Resistant to corrosion and rusting
  • Black oxidized stainless steel handle
  • Thumb stud for one-handed opening
  • Multiple functions

Cons

  • Light-duty tool

Get the RoverTac pocket knife multi-tool on Amazon and RoverTac.

Best Spring-Assisted

The Best Pocket Knife Option: Kershaw Leek Pocket Knife, 3 inch Blade
Photo: amazon.com

In some situations, it’s impossible to use both hands to open a pocket knife, which is where this spring-assisted model can be a big help. It has a thumb stud that extends out from both sides of the blades, so that both left- and right-handed individuals can quickly flip it open. The spring-assisted system pushes the blade out, significantly increasing the opening speed. With practice, the user can have the blade ready in seconds.

This Kershaw knife has a 4-inch handle that comes in a host of color choices and blade textures, including serrated or flat edge. The blade of this knife is made of high-performance carbon steel that has good edge retention, so it won’t need sharpening after every use.

Product Specs 

  • Blade Material: Carbon steel
  • Blade Length: 3 inches
  • Locking Mechanism: Liner lock

Pros

  • Fade- and scratch-resistant handle color
  • Good edge retention
  • Drop-point blade for piercing and slicing
  • Spring-assisted opening mechanism

Cons

  • Liner lock isn’t as reliable as other locking mechanisms

Get the Kershaw Leek pocket knife on Amazon and KnifeWorks.

Best with Wood Handle

The Best Pocket Knife Option: Opinel No.08 Carbon Steel Folding Pocket Knife
Photo: amazon.com

If a comfortable grip is a priority, look into the Opinel Carbon Steel Folding Pocket Knife. Its durable beechwood handle feels soft in the hand, and there’s a curved tang for a more secure grip. The hard carbon steel blade measures 3.28 inches, which is sturdy enough to cut through hardwoods and softwoods when carving or whittling.

The blade is flat, with a gentle curve toward the end, making it easy to work with either the edge or the belly of the blade. A locking mechanism keeps the blade in place whether the knife is open or closed, and at 4.31 inches long when closed, it’s a good size to carry in a pocket.

Product Specs 

  • Blade Material: Carbon steel
  • Blade Length: 3.28 inches
  • Locking Mechanism: Collar lock

Pros

  • Good edge retention over time
  • Durable beechwood handle
  • Reputable manufacturer
  • Attractive design and comfortable grip

Cons

  • Wood handle is susceptible to swelling and cracking

Get the Opinel No.08 folding pocket knife on Amazon, Opinel-USA, and Cabela’s.

Best For Working

The Best Pocket Knife Options: Gerber Gear 31-000345N EAB Lite Pocket Knife
Photo: amazon.com

Not every pocket knife is intended for camping or as an everyday carry tool to help keep users safe during late-night commutes. This Gerber Gear folding utility knife comes with a replaceable contractor-grade blade that’s designed for cutting and slicing through construction materials, like drywall, wallpaper, cardboard, and more. The knife measures 5.1 inches when it’s open, but it can fold down to just 2.8 inches, concealing the 2.3-inch blade.

A simple liner lock keeps the blade in position when in use, and the durable construction helps to prevent the pocket knife from getting damaged on the jobsite. The blade is made with stainless steel, so it’s resistant to corrosion and rusting, but it will lose its edge with regular use. Normally, this would require the blade to be sharpened; however, the user just needs to fit the knife with a new blade to resume work.

Product Specs 

  • Blade Material: Stainless steel
  • Blade Length: 2.3 inches
  • Locking Mechanism: Liner lock

Pros

  • Resistant to corrosion and rusting
  • Durable construction
  • Replaceable contractor-grade utility blade
  • Pocket clip for convenient access

Cons

  • Not suitable for EDC

Get the Gerber Gear EAB Lite pocket knife on Amazon, Gerber Gear, and The Home Depot.

Best for Whittling

The Best Pocket Knife Option: Flexcut Pocket Jack, Jackknife Style Tool
Photo: amazon.com

Whittlers who want an all-in-one tool might want to check out this Flexcut offering, which is designed for woodworkers who are experienced enough to use a multiblade knife. There’s a 1.6-inch detail knife blade, a 1.9-inch straight gouge, a 1.1-inch gouge scorp, and a 1-inch V-scorp blade that folds into a 4.3-inch handle.

The blades are made of hard carbon steel and come pre-sharpened. The handle, which is made of aluminum with a wood inlay and brass tacks, has an ergonomic shape for long-lasting comfort during use. It includes a lockback locking mechanism to keep the blades in place.

Product Specs 

  • Blade Material: Carbon steel
  • Blade Length: 1.6-inch detail knife blade, 1.9-inch straight gouge, 1.1-inch gouge scorp, 1-inch V-scorp blade
  • Locking Mechanism: Lockback or axis lock system

Pros

  • Pre-sharpened blades
  • 4 different whittling blades in one knife
  • Compact and comfortable to grip

Cons

  • Wood handle is susceptible to swelling and cracking

Get the Flexcut Pocket Jack pocket knife on Amazon, Lee Valley, and Flexcut.

Best for Camping

The Best Pocket Knife Options: Buck Knives 325 Colleague Stainless Steel
Photo: buckknives.com

Camping trips can be a ton of fun, but if the group is missing some key tools, like a camp stove, water bottles, or a knife, then the trip can become stressful. The Buck Knives drop-point pocket knife is a great choice to have on hand to peel bark, open packaging, cut fishing lines, slice through rope, and even prepare food in the camp kitchen.

This knife has a short 1.85-inch high-carbon steel blade that can be opened with just one hand. It folds down into the 2.75-inch stainless steel handle for a total length of 4.6 inches. The high-carbon steel and stainless steel design of this knife makes it resistant to water, corrosion, and rusting.

Product Specs 

  • Blade Material: Carbon steel
  • Blade Length: 1.85 inches
  • Locking Mechanism: Lockback or axis lock system

Pros

  • Resistant to water, corrosion, and rusting
  • Lightweight and easy to pack or carry
  • Drop-point blade for piercing and slicing
  • Thumb stud for one-handed opening

Cons

  • Aluminum handle can be slippery when wet

Get the Buck Knives 325 pocket knife at Buck Knives, Knife Center, or BladeHQ.

Our Verdict

Take advantage of the hard textured grip to work safely in wet conditions with the Cold Steel Voyager Series folding knife, or use the convenient one-hand opening function of the Buck 284 Bantam folding knife.

How We Chose the Best Pocket Knives

To put together this list of the top pocket knives, it was necessary to research over 40 different products, each with benefits and drawbacks that were important to note and fully understand before the best options could be selected. During the selection process, several key factors needed to be considered, including the blade material, blade length, knife length, locking mechanism, blade shape, weight, balance, and purpose.

Stainless steel and carbon steel blades are equally effective, though stainless steel is the preferred material for wet environments, while carbon steel tends to remain sharp for a longer period of time. The length of the blade and the length of the knife were relatively consistent across most products. This was to be expected because the best folding knife has a short closed length allowing it to slide easily into a pocket or purse where it can be retrieved quickly in case of emergency. However, non-folding knives can be just as useful. Just make sure that the knife has a decent sleeve or holster to safely carry the knife without damaging yourself or the blade.

FAQs

For more info about a new pocket knife, consider these answers to some frequently asked questions.

Q: What are the best pocket knife brands?

Pocket knives are produced by a wide variety of brands, but some of the best pocket knife brands include Benchmade, Buck Knives, Cold Steel, and the Columbia River Knife & Tool Company (CRKT).

Q: How much does a good pocket knife cost?

A good pocket knife can range in price from as little as under $25 to a premium option that exceeds $200. However, on average you can expect to pay about $75 for a good pocket knife that will last longer than a single camping trip.

Q: What is the best pocket knife steel?

Most pocket knives are made out of stainless steel or carbon steel. Stainless steel is better for corrosion resistance, but carbon steel holds the edge of the blade for a longer period without needing to be sharpened. However, laminated steel is corrosion-resistant, and it’s the sharpest pocket knife steel due to the layering process.

Q: What is the best pocket knife sharpener?

There are many different pocket knife sharpeners to choose from, so what might be right for one knife may not be the best choice for a different knife. Some of the top pocket knife sharpeners include the Work Sharp Guided Field Sharpener, Smith’s CCKS 2-Step Knife Sharpener, and the Work Sharp Knife & Tool Sharpener, Ken Onion Edition.

Q: How do I sharpen a pocket knife?

There are many different ways to sharpen a pocket knife, but the most common method employs a sharpening stone. Lay the blade of the knife flat on the stone, then angle it just slightly while pushing the knife away from the body, like trying to cut off a piece of the sharpening stone. Or lay the blade flat on the stone with a slight angle, then sharpen the knife by applying pressure to the blade and moving the knife in a small circular motion against the stone.

As an alternative to a sharpening stone, consider purchasing a pocket knife sharpener, which is easier to use but may not achieve the same quality of result.

Q: How do I clean a pocket knife?

Following these simple steps to clean a pocket knife:

  1. Gather gloves, soft cloths, a scrubbing sponge or toothbrush, dish soap, and a lubricant for the blade.
  2. Don the gloves and wet a soft cloth with warm water. Use the cloth to wipe down both sides of the knife.
  3. Use the dish soap and the sponge (or toothbrush for a serrated blade) to scrub the metal blade.
  4. Rinse the blade with warm water, and dry with a clean cloth.
  5. Add a few drops of lubricant to the blade to protect it from rusting and moisture damage.

Q: How do I get the rust off a pocket knife?

Remove rust from a pocket knife with an abrasive steel pad, a household rust-removal solution such as white vinegar, or a commercial rust remover that uses a chemical solvent to clean rust from the blade.

Q: How do I close a pocket knife?

To close a pocket knife, hold the knife by the sides of the hilt, ensuring that no fingers are over the storage slot for the knife blade, then grip the blade firmly with the other hand and push the knife into the slot slowly. If the knife has a blade lock, unlock the blade before closing the knife.