A pocket knife is a ubiquitous tool. Just like a man wouldn’t miss a front pocket wallet, is the same way a DIY enthusiast values a pocket knife. From the backcountry to the boardroom, everyone carries a pocket knife for one reason or another. Carry a pocket knife for years and it will become your trusty sidekick. Whether you need to open an envelope, cut rope, or slice a piece of fruit, this useful tool is always within reach.
But with so many types of knives on the market these days, from tactical folders to traditional slip-joints and everything in between, how do you know if you’re getting the best value for your money? This article will help you understand what makes one knife better than another.
What Makes A Quality Modern Knife?
Are you shopping for a new pocket knife that’s not only functional but also modern? Check out the various things to consider in your search.
If you’re fond of metal accessories like a metal wallet with money clip, then you understand how important the blade of a knife is. The blade material matters as it's going to determine the ability of the knife to withstand resistance while cutting through a substance. If it’s made from weak metal, it will easily warp or even break. The best blade materials to consider are stainless steel and titanium. These two are known for their tensile strength and will mostly withstand any material resistance.
Stainless steel is also easy to take care of as it doesn’t corrode or rust but will be more challenging to sharpen. Also, you might want to avoid pocket knives with fancy terms like “surgical steel” as it doesn’t make any sense other than to make you think it's special. Consider those with S35VN, VG10, S30V, or AUS8 type of steel.
Just like most of us like a slim minimalist wallet as it suits our day-to-day lifestyles, the same should apply when picking a knife blade. Knife blades are available in various grinds and shapes. To make your knife more practical and easier to use, avoid any blades with a Klingon kind of design. Instead, consider blades with drop-point shapes that you encounter in your day-to-day activities.
As you go down the rabbit hole of a pocket knife, you’ll come across different grinds. A grind is the shape of the blade when you view it head-on. The best everyday carry knife usually has a full flat grind, which means that it’s a simple wedge shape, from the edge to its spine. This full flat grind design is what accounts for the most width of a blade.
Handle Materials & Construction
The ergonomics of your pocket knife matters a lot. You want something comfortable to hold, with varying grips while offering excellent traction, whether dry or wet. Go for a knife with a sizeable handle that fits your palm.
Also, consider a handle shape that keeps your hand from slipping forward to the blade. When considering handle material, there isn’t much to query because most materials make excellent handles. Textured plastics, metal, antlers, wood, all are great. But all in all, consider a material with an ergonomic shape, strong and durable, and doesn’t slip when wet.
Some blades are made with fancy locks, don’t let them confuse you. Every knife maker has its own riff when it comes to the locking mechanism. This, they use to praise their knives as the fastest, strongest, and other fancy terms you want to hear. But the truth is every lock type has its pros and cons.
When considering the lock type, go for one with the simplest design possible, without any spring and other failure-prone small sections. The most secure lock is the frame type. A portion of their frames folds inward when you open the blade. This prevents it from collapsing.
Some people like to keep the knife hanging on a keychain with carabiner for easy reach. If that’s your style, make sure the lock type you choose is stable enough not to accidentally release the blade.
All of us can’t buy anything without looking at the price tag, and the same goes when shopping for a modern pocket knife. Most people will be satisfied with a knife worth $30, when it develops defects, they go for another one.
But for how long will you continue with cheap knives that can’t do an intended job well? We advocate for putting more into a pocket knife with better quality, ergonomics, and can last. Also, pricey knives tend to be extremely good overall in terms of performance, reliability, durability, and aesthetics.
Our Best Pocket Knife Recommendation
Having checked what you should be looking for in a modern pocket knife, it's worth considering the best option that matches those specs.
The Trayvax Trek Field Knife seems small in size but don’t underestimate it. It’s one of the best knives you can ever need when going out in the wild. Trayvax's is a rugged, lightweight knife that's sure to please the outdoor enthusiast in all of us.
The design is not only sleek but also compact and easy to carry. With its CNC machined S35VN stainless steel blade, this knife is built to last. It also features a skeletonized frame for a clean look and extra durability.
Whether you're camping or hiking, this field knife has you covered with its belt clip and lanyard hole for easy portability and access. The combo right and left carry options to come in handy as you can retrieve with your left hand for a scout carry and the right for a vertical carry.