Since long before anyone ever uttered the acronym EDC, a trusty pocket knife has been considered an everyday essential for men. Today is certainly no different, except that instead of a few simple folders to choose from, there are endless options. From size & design to tech materials and niche features, it can be a lot to cut through. So we trimmed the fat to make a lean & mean list of The Best Pocket Knives.
WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW
Using the right tool for the job is the noble aim of every self-respecting man. But sometimes, all we’ve got is what we pull from our pocket. In these instances, you’ll be much better served by a knife chosen carefully for its unique features and functions; for the utility & versatility of its design. And the choices are many.
In putting this list together, we went deep, exploring everything from featherweight micro-blades to kinematic self-defense knives & modern liner locks to blades of hybrid ceramic-titanium. So before choosing your next EDC implement, take a look at our list & see what made the cut.
Also check our list of the best EDC (Everyday Carry)
Give your EDC gear a major upgrade with the WESN Allman. This folding pocket knife is crafted to be the ideal harmony between form and function. Its size is small enough to fit in any pocket but with a blade sufficiently large for your daily tasks, whether at home, out camping, in the field, or on a job site.
It’s lightweight but the CPM S35VN steel is tough enough to withstand anything you could throw at it. You’ll love how nicely it fits in your hand and the excellent balance, making it easy to wield.
Thanks to the G10 scales, it’ll stay firmly gripped even if your hands are wet, slippery, or you’re wearing work gloves. The pocket clip will keep it within easy reach as you carry it, but it’s also got a lanyard hole so you can wear it around your neck or strap it to your work belt.
The Berm is designed to be the ultimate portable EDC knife—the 1.5” blade and 2.6” handle fit easily into any pocket, bag, or EDC pouch when folded, and it weighs just 0.17 pounds. However, the clip-point blade is thick and ultra-sturdy, capable of being used on any job site, in any warehouse, even in emergency situations.
The blade is forged from 7Cr17MoV stainless steel and features a titanium nitride coating that adds even more durability. Thanks to the scaled pattern on the G10 handle, you’ll have good grip on the blade even if you’re wearing gloves or your hands are wet.
With both the spring-loaded carabiner clip and the multi-position pocket clip, you’ve got plenty of options for carrying it around with you every day. If Amazon is out of stock, you can try direct from TRUE.
Here’s a beautifully designed and ultra-portable box cutter. The Palmer is designed to fit comfortably into even small pockets, or you can attach it to your key ring or a lanyard for more convenient carry.
It nestles in the palm of your hand for easier wielding and allows you to extend/retract the blade quickly using just your thumb. The anodized aluminum handle is insanely tough, capable of shrugging off water damage and scuffs.
When the time comes to swap out the blade, you’ll find it’s a no-hassle, tool-free job that takes just a few seconds thanks to the Palmer’s patent-pending mechanism. Best of all, you can swap out the blade for the standard utility blades you can find in any hardware store, so you can travel with the Palmer in your pocket (sans blade) and replace the blade at your destination. Now that’s everyday carry convenience and comfort you can love.
The Samla pocket knife from Detroit’s WESN brand is a sharp little friction folder with a flat blade and a streamlined design. Designed for reliable, everyday use, the 2.45” blade is constructed of Sandvik 14c28n stainless steel with scales in your choice of either Rosewood or Grade 5 Titanium.
With a handy kinematic mechanism, this classic EDC knife pops open instantly for self-defense with the press of a button. Weighted by the heft of its aluminum handle, it is perfectly balanced for sure-handed use. Its curved 2.26” blade is made of hardened D2 steel. A low-profile pocket-clip keeps it ready at your fingertips.
Designed as a lightweight, go-anywhere pocket knife, The James Brand’s Redstone folder is a versatile piece of EDC. With 6.2” overall length it features a locking Sandvik 12C27 stainless blade with partial serrations, a sprung wire pocket clip, and soft silicone grips.
Blending the best of a replaceable utility blade knife and a compact multi-tool, Gerber’s Prybrid Utility is a pocket and keychain-friendly EDC implement offering 8 different tools, including wire strippers, bottle opener, Standard Utility blade, and more.
Known for their hardworking blades and tools since 1919, Coast merges classic design with modern function in their ‘1919 Reserve’ Collection. These knives feature stainless steel blades and patented locking systems plus practical design features. Choose from 3 highly functional folders and one 4” full tang fixed blade.
The Microblade 2.0 marks yet another solid entry into the EDC category from Detroit’s WESN Goods. It keeps the titanium construction that made it so popular but has been nicely upgraded with a high carbon, high chromium D2 tool-grade steel blade for even better hardness, toughness, and abrasion resistance. The locking blade is 1.5” long and the knife is 3.75” overall when open.
Merging traditional design and modern technology, the 601 Tengu from Benchmade is a slim and classy classic flipper packed with detail. From its traditional 2.77” Tanto blade made of CPM-20CV steel to the dual-colored G10 handles, it mixes premium materials with understated good looks. Complete with a black leather carry sleeve, the Tengu is a hardworking piece of EDC that is anything but ordinary.
Vargo’s lightweight EDC folder called the Sobata 398, boasts a blade made of sintered titanium-ceramic, which the brand claims will hold an edge 5-times longer than hardened steel. Weighing just 2.3 ounces, the mix of titanium & ceramic gives the blade a unique feel that is more like a serrated knife while resisting wear.
Leatherman’s Free K Collection merges the convenience of a folding pocket knife with the utility of the brand’s multi-tools. The collection includes 4 different models, all featuring a serrated 3.3 inch folding stainless blade & a unique array of tools. Each of the additional fold-out implements is housed on the outside of an ergonomically refined aluminum body for easy access, so you’re never left fumbling in a pinch. Made in Portland, Oregon and covered by a 25-year warranty.
It’s about as small as functionally possible & it’s a Gerber. That means reliable, hella sharp, & definitely versatile. Keep on your keychain & you’ll have a legit utility blade on hand at all times. It’s got a locking, dual-edge hardened steel blade, aluminum scales, and the keyring loop is removable. Available in black & coyote brown.
The DragonFly 2 from Spyderco is a very capable & versatile EDC pocket-knife. But what really sets it apart is the addition of an Emerson Opening design. First developed in the 1990s, it uses a mechanism that opens & deploys the blade instantly as you draw it from your pocket—snapping out & locking into position as fast as you can whip it out. The 2.28-inch VG 10 steel blade is cradled between glass reinforced nylon handles, & features jumping for solid grip on both the top & bottom of the blade.
CNC machined from TC4 titanium alloy, Nitecore’s NTK05 is an ultra lightweight & portable EDC knife. Designed to go everywhere attached to your keychain, it weighs basically nothing: .0194 ounces & uses super sharp & easily replaceable common scalpel blades.
The slim, ultralight EDC knives from Deejo can now be customized with the introduction of the My Deejo online customization tool. Choose from over 60 “tattoo” graphic designs for the blade as well as options for blade color, choosing the material for the grip, including colors, woods: olive, juniper, ash, or carbon fiber. You get 35 words in 5 different fonts for a custom message on the blade. The knives are available in 3 different weights and 7 lengths.
Designed by Ed Hoy in Abingdon, Virginia, CRKT’s Snap Lock knife won the Most Innovative Knife Award at the 2004 Blade Show. Now almost 20 years later, it returns in an updated design. The unique snap-lock mechanism is still every bit as interesting and makes this 6.5” EDC folding knife as fun as it is functional.