The Cutting Edge

The official blog of Knife Depot

Author: Samantha James

How To Choose The Best Pocket Knife For You: A First-Time Buyer’s Guide

Buying your first pocket knife?

Purchasing one can seem intimidating if it’s your first time. Some people assume pocket knives are all the same but they’re not! There are so many factors to consider if you want to buy the best pocket knife for your specific needs.

Take a deep breath; we’re here to help you out. Check out our guide below for 8 crucial steps to get the best folding knife:

1. How Many Blades?

One of the first things you have to figure out is whether you want one blade, two, or more. This decision heavily alters all other factors and this is why we’re looking at it first.

A knife with a single blade gives you optimal functionality but for one purpose. You’ll get a dedicated carving knife, a dedicated hunting knife, and so on.

Getting multiple blades works the other way around. Swiss knives a Jack-of-All-Trades deal. They’re good at multiple tasks but none of the blades are strong enough to be your ideal choice.

If you’re out hunting, a single blade is all you need. If you need a knife for odd repairs, then a Swiss knife with different blades and small tools is a better fit.

2. Carrying It Around

Decided whether you want a single blade or a multi-blade knife? Congratulations, now you have to figure out how to carry it.

Take a moment to read pocketknife reviews and videos before buying. Look for any indications of how the knife locks to your pocket or belt.

Smaller pocket knives often don’t come with clips but they’re easy to slide loosely into your pocket. Larger knives use clips and this ensures they don’t weigh down on your pockets. The best pocket knife should satisfy both aesthetics and comfort demands so consider which carrying style suits your tastes.

3. Open and Lock Systems

These are some of the most important aspects to consider. When you buy pocket knife products, take time to first learn the legalities of the opening system in your area.

Some places, like in the UK, don’t allow people to carry a fully-automatic system. In the US, it differs from state to state.

There are three main types: manual open, automatic open, and semi-automatic open.

Manual knives are the old-fashioned designs in which you have to pull the blade out of the fold, requiring two hands. Semi-automatics require you to pull the blade out a bit before it pops out. Automatic open simply require a button press to open the blade and lock it steadily in place.

Also, consider the locking system too. Frame locks, liner locks, and lock-backs determine you can use the knife with one hand or two.

4. Blade Size

If this is your first pocket knife, don’t forget to look at the length of the blade too. Smaller blades are great for light tasks and are likely legal anywhere you go. Medium to large blades are heavier and you may run into legal issues depending on local laws regarding weapons and dangerous tools.

The blade’s length also determines the kind of work it can tackle. Smaller blades are great for tasks in tight spaces and those that need a fragile touch. Larger blades won’t work well for those cases but they’re the better choice for heavy-duty work.

5. Knife Material

When it comes to materials and build of the blade, it boils down to two main options: carbon and stainless steel. There are also high-carbon stainless steel knives and alloys of different mixtures.

Carbon and stainless steel reign supreme due to their durability. To determine a knife’s hardness, ask for its HRC rating. HRC refers to the Rockwell C scale and many consider it more accurate compared to the Mohs scale, which measures resistance.

There is one thing to take note: if you find a pocket knife built from alloy steel, look for a specific list of the metals used. If the knife simply states “stainless steel” with no HRC rating or popular brand, don’t buy it.

6. The Knife Edge

Do you need to cut rope or something similarly tough? Get a pocket knife with a serrated edge. If you need a pocket knife for smooth slicing or push cutting, get a knife with a plain edge.

If you’re not sure or if you might need both edges, get a pocket knife that has both. Some hunting knives have a plain edge along the upper half, close to the tip, and a serrated edge closer to the handle.

7. The Knife Handle

A good edge and a quick open/lock system won’t do you good if the handle isn’t up to standards. Consider the size of the handle with your hands and look around for something with an ergonomic design as this guarantees a comfortable grip.

You should also consider the handle materials.

Bone and wood are the classic choices but you can find pocket knives that use plastic capable of emulating their style and feel. Composite materials and metal are available too and these offer a more contemporary look.

The design matters too. Karambit pocket knives, which originated from the Philippines and Indonesia, have a large loop so you can lock your thumb or small finger. This ensures people can’t slap it off your hand.

Other designs focus on multi-tasking convenience or durability.

8. Price Matters

Now you have to look at pocket knives that fit the previous seven categories and your budget.

How much are pocket knives? Fortunately, pocket knives come in a wide assortment of price ranges, meaning you’re bound to find something that fits your needs and budget. You can find something below $25 and some that go over $100.

Get the Best Pocket Knife Today!

It’s easy to find the best pocket knife once you go through this list and narrow down exactly what you want. The next step is to look for knives that fit all these criteria.

The good news is you’re in luck. We have a wide selection of pocket knives. If you’re having trouble finding what you need, don’t hesitate to message us and let us help you sort things out.

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Great knives to give moms for Mother’s Day

If you think all a mother wants for Mother’s Day is an apron or a mop, you’re completely wrong.

A lot of mothers out there want something that’s practical, special and has a little bit of you in it. That’s why there’s nothing better than getting your mom a knife (for reasons why mothers would want a knife, check out this column from Tracy Morrow). Here are some great knife models to get that knife-loving mother in your family (be it a mom, sister, aunt or grandmother).

Leatherman Pink Style CS

Show your mom you care about her and mothers all over the world by giving her a pink Breast Cancer Awareness Leatherman. Not only does a portion of the sale go toward the National Breast Cancer Awareness Foundation, but your mother can proudly display this pink tool. Leathermans are a really good gift for mothers because they are multifunctional. These are all-around tools that will help her make her day easier.

CKRT Shrimp – Designed by Gerry McGinnis

The Shrimp by CKRT is a charming little knife, which comes in a variety of bright colors. It makes such a great gift for a number of reasons. First, it’s small enough to fit on a keychain, so she doesn’t have to worry about lugging it around. Second, it’s a very simple knife, which makes it good for a wide range of uses.

RAT Pink Izula

While the two previous ones are more general purpose knives any mom could use, the Izula is best for an adventurous and spry mom. This is a great survival knife that’s smaller than some of the other survival knives, but it can also be used for daily tasks, including opening packages, cutting twine and more.

Chef’s knife

Although it’s probably not what you had in mind when thinking about knives, a chef’s knife is a great way to show the moms in your life you care. A chef’s knife is something most people use every day. A personalized knife, such as the one from Ergo Chef above, could be that thoughtful gift your mother loves and cherishes.

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Four Knives Women Love

Looking for a stellar gift for your girlfriend or wife?  If you’re tired of doing the standard flower, candy, mediocre-looking necklace routine, then consider giving the love of your life something a bit sharper: a knife.  Here are four knives that are especially popular among the fairer sex.

(1) Schrade Primos Linerlock Folder Knife with Drop Point Blade and Pink Aluminum Handle

This sweet-looking, single-blade, folding pocket knife will make any woman swoon.  It is made of stainless steel and weighs in at a svelte 3.2 ounces, making it convenient to carry almost anywhere.  The knife has a liner-lock closing mechanism and its handle is made of anodized aluminum.

Price: $18:99

(2) Transport Pink Buck Knife

Women's Pink Buck Knife

This a great blade for gals on the go.  Small, safe and convenient, this key chain knife has a small blade and a bottle opener.  It’s great for opening boxes or cracking a cold one.

Price: $13.99

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The Tool Logic Pocket Hunter Card

Every week, Samantha James reviews a different Knife Depot product. Check out her past product highlights here.

What’s in your pocket?Pocket Card Knife

Do you carry a stainless steel gut hook blade? How about an LED flashlight? What about a combination can/bottle opener? Do you have a tweezer and toothpick? Do you sport a ruler with centimeters and inches?

If you tried to carry all of these things in the front pocket of your pants, you’d likely (a) slice your hands to pieces and (b) walk very clumsily.

Of course, there is another option.

Scope out the Tool Logic Pocket Hunter Card, a sweet new gadget blade that packs all of the above tools in one multi-faceted package.

This credit-card-size all-in-one is about as versatile and rugged as an all-purpose knife tool can be. It features a wide 2-inch fold-out stainless blade that’s sharp enough to skin animals and has a gut hook on the back.

In addition to its myriad accessories, the hunter card weighs in at a svelte 1.3 ounces, with a length and width of 3.375″ and 2.125″ respectively.  It’s made of ABS plastic and comes with a satin finish.

A number of similar pocket hunter cards have been developed recently, but in my opinion the Tool Logic Pocket Hunter Card may be the best of the bunch.  And, at 36 bucks, it’s a steal.

If you’re looking to pick up an all-in-one outdoor tool, snag one today.

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Jungle King 14-inch Hunting Knife w/ Survival Kit

Two of my favorite knives are hunting knives and survival knives, which is why this heavy-duty Jungle King hunting knife has me so enthused.  It’s essentially a hunting knife and survival knife in one.

At 14 inches, it has a freakishly huge blade, making it great for cutting through brush when trekking deep into the woods.  I’ve also used it to cut pieces of firewood, and thought I’ve yet to skin an animal with it, I’m fairly confident it’s up to the task.

The knife comes with a stainless steel fixed- blade with a clip point, which makes it excellent for stabbing and tearing.   Its top edge is serrated and can saw through wood if necessary.

A slick-looking jungle green nylon sheath is included and comes with some lagniappe in the form of a full-fledged survival kit, which contains:  a multi-function skinning knife, can opener, slingshot, matches, compass, sewing kit, fishing kit, band aids, tweezers and more.

You’re not going to use all of this survival gear every time you hit the woods, but having it there gives you a  host of tools to choose from.  I dig that, and it’s another reason why I’m such a huge advocate of this knife.

Another is the price.  The Jungle King Hunting Knife only costs $50, which is significantly less than many other hunting knives in its class.

Lastly, this is just a rugged-looking blade.  I’ve never been one to prioritize style over substance, but when the substance is there, the style is a plus.

If you’re going to buy a survival knife, you might as well buy one that looks like it’s capable of slaying a mountain lion, skinning it, clearing brush for a campfire to roast it and finally slicing its tender morsels into tasty pieces for you to enjoy.

That’s exactly how I feel with this survival knife in tow.

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Seventy-six year-old Idaho knifemaker profiled in Seattle Times

A few weeks ago, I wrote a post about a profile that the San Francisco Chronicle published on expert knife sharpener Eric E. Weiss.  Yesterday, I stumbled onto another neat profile of a knife expert; this one, by the Seattle Times, featured expert knife maker Dwight Towell.

Towell, 76, lives on a small Idaho ranch, where he has been making knives since 1966, when he made a hunting knife for his son.

Today, collectors across the world pay thousands of dollars for his custom knives, which have a waiting list of five to six years.

A dagger he recently sold at the Art Knife Invitational in San Diego was purchased for $12,800.  He is currently working on an engraved dagger with 14 and 24-karat gold stones from Russia.

Towell, who estimates that he has made more than 1,200 knives in his life, retired from his job raising cattle in 2004 to focus full-time on making knives.  However, he said he doesn’t plan on stopping making knives anytime soon.

“I have too many people waiting for knives. As long as I can make it from the house to the shop, I’ll keep working. What’s the old saying? If you enjoy doing what you do, it’s not work.”
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Looking for a new machete?

The machete is one of the world’s handiest blades.  A cross between a knife and an ax, it can be used for everything from cutting and maintaining trails to chopping wood.  If you happen to run into trouble in the great outdoors, you can even use a machete to defend yourself against a wild animal or a venomous snake.

Of course, that’s only if you have a high-quality blade.  Check out the Woodman’s Pal Classic Machete, which comes with a Cordura sheath and a honing stone.  Weighing in at 23 ounches, with a blade 17 inches long, the Woodman’s Pal is one of the most burly machetes on the market.

Handcrafted in Pennsylvania, with American materials, this machete works great for cutting and chopping brush up to 3 inches in diameter.It’s constructed of high carbon steel and has a brown wood handle. Its Cordura sheath, which is one of the toughest fabrics made to man, will keep your blade at hand’s reach when it’s not in use. If your machete starts to dull, a honing store is included.

Interested, check out other items by Woodmans’s Pal or browse our entire collection of machete knives.

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