Pocket knives, pen knives, switchblades from the traditional, old timer, knife design still being manufactured for the past 100 years to the more modern blade designs, knives are still a prized item to own and after reading this article you might just buy it and buy it for life!
Personally, I own a Buck knife which is a traditional “old timer” knife design. I like the wood handle on my knife. I own my knife mainly for use on my travels, food preparation in my room, slicing fruit on the road or repairing a broken item, my knife is an important travel item. It is also an item that is absolutely classified as a buy it once, buy it for life product to buy and own. In addition to travel, I own a less expensive knife to keep in my car. A pocket knife in my car is useful for minor car repairs, food preparation, opening those awful plastic packages that I might need immediately and scraping mud off my shoes.
Folding pocket knives
Folding pocket knives are the most popular design today.This design affords many options in blade design and overall functionality. This is a very popular choice for light duty projects and tasks. Do NOT buy this style if you intend to shape wood, cut leather or any task that requires heavy force on the blade. A locking mechanism keeps the folding blade style knife from closing and so too much force can overcome that lock and collapse the blade. A very dangerous situation indeed.
To reiterate, a fixed blade is a useful knife for cutting with heavy force and also perhaps for daily routine tasks that need quick access from a knife holster.
How a pocket knife cuts depends on the knife blade material, the heat treatment of the steel and the shape of both the blade profile and the blades ground edge. If you need to cut rope for example, then a blade with a curved profile like a birds beak would be a good idea. If you are in the medical profession or work near children then a blade with a very blunt and smooth end is recommended.
When you are shopping for the right blade shape look at the product description and check that that particulate pocket knife will do the tasks you need safely and effectively.
Blade deployment: manual or push button?
A folding knife needs a method to deploy, or open, the blade. A fully automatic pocket knife will both open and close the knife at the push of a button.
Folding knives really come in three varieties, based on how you open them — full-auto, assist, and manual. Note that fully auto pocket knives may be ILLEGAL to carry in public in some locations. An assist pocket knife only has the ability to open the blade through some mechanism which you press. As you might expect a manual pocket knife has no method of opening or closing the blade except when your own fingers push or pull on the blade.
My personal choice is the assist. I tried a few full-auto knife blade mechanism and the retraction is just too strong and several times my fingers got in the way of the blade. Ouch, no thanks
Many knives are now made with serrations on part of the blade. The serrations make cutting stringy, fibrous material a little easier. This may be so but remember that sooner than later you will need to sharpen your blade. It is nearly impossible to sharpen the serrations area on the pocket knife blade and so over the years that part of the blade will probably next to useless.
A few words about two specific kinds of grinds–serrations and a Scandi grind. Serrations are very helpful when cutting fibrous material like rope or netting. They are not, however, generally worth the hassle if you have a wide variety of cutting chores. They are much more difficult to sharpen than a plain edge and if you own and use a knife you will need to sharpen it a lot.
Knife safety and security
Also PLEASE remember, NEVER take your knife to the airport and attempt to get on a plane with your knife. Twice I have my knife confiscated by airport security checkpoints. It’s easy to forget your knife is in a small carryon backpack if you have been using it on your travels for a while. I was lucky because all that happened was the knife was taken from me. In some countries or certain situations, it may be considered a criminal offence to attempt to smuggle such a weapon onto the plane. Be careful!
The selection of knives I have chosen below hopefully will satisfy your initial search for a folding pocket knife. Read the reviews for first-hand experiences of a pocket knife, then hopefully should buy it once and buy it for life.