Some people are so passionate about their favorite pocket knife brand that they’ll just accept whatever it offers. But in this objective and unbiased article, I’ve gathered information about the top pocket knives after trying them in several settings, so keep on reading.
A pocket knife is not just a survival tool – it’s an EDC item that accompanies us everywhere. This post has an overview of top pocket knife brands.
I don’t think I’ll be making a bold statement if I say that a pocket knife is probably one of the most important tools any person could ever own. Think of all the things that you won’t be able to do without a pocket knife, inside and outside the house, and you’ll be amazed.
But finding the best pocket knives can be quite overwhelming since there are literally thousands of models on the market. This is where you need to pay attention to the brand.
What is a Top-Quality Pocket Knife?
The beauty of a pocket knife is that it can remain concealed in your pocket until it’s needed. It doesn’t add to the weight of your overall gear because it’s usually compact, but it still features a high-quality blade that won’t disappoint you.
Now, some people might think that a folding blade knife is the only one that would fit this definition since it’s compact when closed. But this is not true.
A fixed blade knife can be a reliable pocket knife if it’s small enough. As a matter of fact, it can also be a better option if you need a more durable blade for various applications.
Some pocket knives feature a single blade for a specific purpose, while others have multiple blades to get you covered in any situation. There are also different choices regarding the blade design, length, and thickness, and they’re all related to what you’d be planning to do with your pocket knife.
7 Best Pocket Knife Brands
Although most of the top-quality pocket knife brands have their factories in the US and Europe, some of them chose to move to different Asian countries like China and Taiwan. This movement resulted in the brand’s ability to offer more affordable knives.
However, some tried and tested American brands offer their high-quality blades with exceptional craftsmanship and remarkable quality control. These pocket knives cost more but are definitely worth the price.
Here are some of the best pocket knife brands that I’ve tried and admired.
1. Buck Knives
- Razor Sharp Blade - 6" 420HC steel blade has excellent strength, edge retention, and corrosion resistance for lasting durability. The blade is good for piercing, detail work, and cutting in tight...
- Comfortable Grip & Balance - Traditional black phenolic handle has palm swells for a comfortable grip. The aluminum pommel/guard provide the perfect combination of beauty and balance. Overall...
- Durable and Multi Use - Meant to withstand even the toughest conditions and stay sharp for long. Great for hunting, camping, bushcrafting, fishing, hiking, and overlanding
Ever since 1902, Buck Knives have been a synonym for high quality. This brand has successfully offered exceptional knives for every purpose, from EDC to hunting, tactical, fishing, and cutlery. Their special pocket knives come in different folding and fixed blade designs to cover the needs of every knife enthusiast.
For over a century, Buck Knives remained one of the best American-made knives brands, offering several good models like the 119 Special Fixed Blade Knife and the 110 Folding Hunter Wooden Pocket Knife. Currently, Buck manufactures almost 85% of its knives in Idaho, but 15% of the production is done overseas. Nevertheless, the company still guarantees that these blades will provide exceptional quality.
2. Bear & Son Cutlery
- 100% quality materials used in bear cutlery
- Made in the USA with high grade process
- Useful in recreational, hunting, outdoor environments
Bear & Son Cutlery is a family-owned company in Jacksonville, Alabama, and has been in the outdoor gear market since 1991. Everything related to knife manufacturing is done in the company’s plant to guarantee consistent and reliable results with every blade produced.
This company probably doesn’t offer as many models as other brands, but instead, it focuses on quality over quantity. Despite offering 100% American-made blades, the knives are still affordable, so you can get an exceptional pocket knife like the Bear & Son 703 Zytel One Hand Opener or Bear & Son Swipe IV 4 1/4″ Black & Green G10 Handle without breaking the bank.
3. Kershaw Knives
- The Kershaw Brace is a strong and stout 2-inch blade made with 8Cr13MoV Steel, offering remarkable edge retention.
- The steel handle is contoured for grip and comfort. Includes a removable, glass-filled nylon overlay, making it the perfect outdoor work knife.
- This small, fixed blade knife is extremely portable and practical with its polypropylene neck sheath for secure travel.
Kershaw knives have been in the market since 1974, with a variety of expensive and budget-friendly models. As a matter of fact, the brand offers a lifetime guarantee against manufacturing defects, despite manufacturing some of the models overseas.
This brand uses the latest manufacturing technologies to guarantee consistency with reliable pocket knife models that work for every situation. It excels with its folding knife models like the Cannonball Drop Point Pocket Knife and Blur Tanto Black Serrated Pocket Knife, but it also offers reliable fixed blade pocket knives like the Brace Drop Point Pocket Knife.
4. CASE XX Knives
Case XX excels at offering multiple-blade tools that serve various purposes. This American-made brand was founded in 1889 when the Case Brothers began selling their hand-crafted knives. Today, their factory in Bradford, Pennsylvania, is home to high-quality cutting tools that every outdoor enthusiast would appreciate.
Case XX knives are made in the US, with only the Tec X models manufactured overseas. The WR Case XX Pocket Knife Amber Jig Bone Trapper and 52833 Antique Jigged Bone Handle 2 Blade Copperhead are among the top choices if you’re looking for a multiple-blade pocket knife.
5. Benchmade Knives
- HIGH-QUALITY: The 154CM stainless steel blade is tough, rust resistant, and holds an edge well. The Valox handle is strong and stable, making it ideal for everyday use
- WELL-DESIGNED: The Barrage family is the first to feature the AXIS Assist. The Mini Barrage 585 can be opened and closed quickly and single-handedly. It's also fully ambidextrous.
- COMFORTABLE: The 585's smaller, lighter design and quick opening make it comfortable to hold and easy to use. The reversible pocket clip offers ultimate accessibility.
In 1979, Benchmade was founded in Oregon, offering several EDC, outdoor, hunting, and survival knives of exceptional quality and build. Some of the company’s knives are also used by the law-enforcement forces and the military because they’re that reliable. As a matter of fact, Benchmade knives have won several awards for product innovation and design.
Benchmade knives are quite expensive compared to other brands on the market, but the company offers a reliable guarantee when you follow the required maintenance techniques. The Fact 417 Minimalist Manual Open Folding Spear Point Blade, Bugout 535 EDC Manual Open Folding Knife, and the Mini Barrage 585 Knife, Drop-Point Blade are among the best models to consider.
6. Mossy Oak
- ✅ 15" Fixed Blade Knife: Ultra-sharp combat knife, stronger than any hunting knife or bowie knife. Overall Length: 15 inch; Blade Length: 10 inch; Thickness: 5/32 inch (3.8 mm); Weight: 16.8...
- ✅ Razor Sharp Clip Point Blade: The survival Knife is made of stainless steel for excellent hardness, improved edge retention and rust resistance. Survival knife's clip point blade features saw...
- ✅ Rubber Handle & Nylon Sheath: Classic rubber handle of survival knife, provides high friction and comfortable non-slip grip for use. Durable heavy duty nylon sheath with easy open fastening...
Mossy Oak started offering reliable knives with perfect camouflage in 1986. With the advancement in technology, the brand has managed to fine-tune its products to meet the needs of every wilderness enthusiast.
If you’re on a tight budget, Mossy Oak pocket knives will work for you. These knives are made in China; nevertheless, they still follow the design and quality control regulations that were adopted by the brand more than 30 years ago.
For example, the Mossy Oak 3-Piece Folding Pocket Knife Set features three reliable blades for the price of one, so it will work for you if you’re on a tight budget. You can also check out the Folding Pocket Knife with Bottle Opener.
7. Zero Tolerance Knives
- The ZT KVT G10 is an exceptionally hard 3.75-inch blade made with CPM 20CV Steel, offering remarkable edge retention for repeated use.
- The handle features black G10 on the front scale with a titanium back. Both the front and back are heavily 3D machined for a secure grip.
- This manual folding knife opens quickly and easily with a KVT ball-bearing system, using a titanium frame lock to secure the blade into place.
All the knives manufactured and distributed by Zero Tolerance are produced in the company’s plant in Oregon, which has been producing high-quality knives since 2006. Despite being a newer brand, Zero Tolerance provides dependable knives that even law enforcement and military personnel will use because they’re reliable and sturdy.
All the knives are made of premium materials and go through extensive quality control processes to guarantee the best quality. This probably explains why models like the 0350 Folding Pocket Knife and the 0308BLKTS Drop Point Pocket Knife are quite expensive compared to other models on the market. Still, they’re exceptionally well-built to tackle all survival and tactical tasks with precision and success.
The brands on my list are tried, tested, and approved for their reliability and consistent performance. If you’re looking for a high-quality pocket knife, I recommend that you consider one of the models I suggested in this article.