What is the best pocket knife to take with you on an adventure?
Travelers and outdoorsmen alike know how important the right pocket knife can be in a tight spot. For some, it may mean the convenience of quickly opening a package while for others, a pocket knife can help create a shelter or cook a meal in an emergency. The team at Reviews.com recently released a guide to finding a great pocket knife that outlines what to look for when you’re searching for the best tool for your needs.
What’s your purpose?
In this context, a pocket knife is just that — a tool and not a weapon. The best pocket knives are great for knife things, but won’t serve as a combat weapon or a jack-of-all-trades multitool.
For this reason, pocket knife blades typically fall in the 7 – 8.5 centimeter (2.75 – 3.25 inch) range. Larger than this, and you usually have something used for trailblazing or survival, which would abide by different criteria. Knives that are smaller aren’t necessarily low-quality, rather they’re typically found on multitools.
What about steel quality?
Blade steel is one of the most important (and complex) factors of a pocket knife. There is no clear “best” steel quality, rather they all come with pros and cons. Some steels are great for keeping their edge, some in ease of sharpening, and some in resistance — but typically they come with a tradeoff. For example, a harder steel will stay sharp but will be difficult to re-sharpen. If you’re looking for one specific functionality, this may be a question worth pursuing at a specialty knife shop.
And ease of use?
When it comes to the actual use of your knife, it open smoothly, close easily, and feel comfortable in your hand. Look for a model that can be opened single-handedly in one smooth motion with a locking blade, and should be easy to unlock and close.
The handle should feel good in your hand, so the feel of the knife is especially personal. This is different for everyone, as we all have different hand sizes and strength levels. Look for a knife that isn’t too bulky to use and carry, but is substantial enough for you to grip firmly and easily.
To clip or not to clip?
Take note of the knife’s clip mechanism as well (if it has one). Some knife clips make use uncomfortable, while others can cause blisters and open the skin. Similarly, the clip may also interfere with your pocket if you’re carrying it every day — some may find that a clip bores a hole into their favorite jeans or it may poke into your leg.
A note about carrying
Everyday carry of a pocket knife is legal in the UK — to a certain extent. Review knife carrying laws to ensure your intended use of your knife is legal.
Once you find a great knife, you’d never want to have to throw it away at the airport. Be sure to switch your knife out of your hand-carry luggage before flying. UK airports allow blades up to 6cm long in your hold luggage, so it may be best to avoid packing your pocket knife if you’re boarding a plane.
Ultimately, the best knife for you depends on some clear-cut factors like size and type and some less straightforward factors like feel. If you have questions, visit a specialty knife retailer near you. For more information about finding the best pocket knife for your needs, you can read the full guide here: https://www.reviews.com/pocket-knife/