The Definitive Guide to Buying a Folding Knife –
Discover the best Pocket Knives & spring assisted Folding Knives…
Whether it’s for backpacking through the wilderness or going to a regular day job in the city, a knife can be a man’s most used and versatile tool. Today, we’re going to look at what knives are right for which situation, what that means for you, how to pick out a good knife and which knives are the best bang for your buck. We’ve reviewed plenty of “best folding knives 2014 lists online”- tactical folding knives reviews, “top 10 best pocket knives in the world” lists, folding hunting knife reviews, best folding knife on youtube videos, folding knife pictures, best tactical folding knives list, etc. and narrowed them down to the best folding knives “every day carry” (EDC) of all time for you. We read the reviews and on research for you – so keep reading..
Different types of folding and pocket knives
There is a multitude of different uses and applications for a folding pocket knife in the real world, and because of this, there is an endless amount of knife types. You may be shopping for folding knives for backpacking or you may be looking for a small folding knife. For simplicity’s sake, though, we’ll just go ahead and divide them up into a few different categories:
Tactical Folding knives
Folding tactical knives are usually only a blade, and are typically designed for combat. These knives will usually have a thicker, heavier blade with a hefty build overall. Oftentimes, they will be made completely of metal with a locking mechanism at the bottom of the blade to make sure that they do not collapse backwards onto the users hands. These knives are good for somebody who needs a sturdy knife and are also great for anyone searching for a self defense knives.
Folding Utility knives
Folding utility knives are exactly what they sound like: utilitarian. The most infamous folding utility knife is the Swiss army knife, of course. It has anything you might need for most day to day activities. My first swiss army knife came complete with a sewing needle, tweezers and a toothpick in the sides of the handle. A folding knife with a bottle opener would fall into this category. Although they seem like they are excessive in their ultilitarian-ness knives like these are a good choice for somebody who is likely to need a small sawblade or tweezers on a day-to-day basis. Most utility knives do not have as many features as the swiss army knife, though. The best folding utility knife will have all of the tools to get the job more without being excessive.
Folding survival knives
Folding survival knives are similar to tactical folding knives in sturdiness, but usually will have modifications to the blade which help in tricky situations. The idea is that the blade itself will be as useful as the utility knife, but without all of the extra parts and weight. A good survival knife will have a serrated edge and a sturdy build. Often, these make the best camping knife.
What to look for in a pocket knife?
Now that we have gone through a few different types of pocket knives, we have to ask ourselves: what do we look for in an ideal pocket knife? That depends on a lot of things, really. You want to keep in mind that a knife is a tool and that you want a tool that is useful for the job at hand. When deciding which are the best fold out knives for you, it is paramount to consider each of the different parts of the knife:
Handle- Any decent folding knife will have a good grip. By good grip, I mean that it will fit your hand well and also be made of decent material. I’ve had plenty of cheap pocket knives and folders with large, clunky, metal handles that are far too wide for even lou ferrigno to grip. You want to make sure that your knife’s handle is made of a material that is conducive to easy use and will stay grippy when wet or warm. Oftentimes, the best folding knife hadle material will be hard rubber because it is grippy and water resistant.
Blade shape- perhaps the only thing that is of equal importance to the handle is the blade. Your blade type really determines how useful your knife is to you. I prefer the classic drop-point or straight-back shaped blade because those are the two most versatile shapes there are. They’re good for prying, pushing, scraping, shoving, cutting, sawing, chopping and whittling most things. For this reason, you will find that most utility blades and suvrival knives have one of these two blade shapes. The other very popular blade shape is the tanto blade, which is designed for cutting and puncturing. This blade shape is mostly found on tactical style knives because of it’s hacking and slashing abilities. It also lends itself to a more sturdy blade-type.
Blade Material- Two of the most popular blade materials are stainless and carbon steel. Steel is the best folding knife blade material because of its hardness and low cost. Stainless steel is an awesome choice for a knife that is going to be in moist conditions because it is rust-resistant. Carbon steel is a little bit less pretty than stainless, but holds a much harder edge for a longer time, so it is the choice of material for most knives that are used for working conditions and any otherwise stressful conditions.
You should also consider whether or not you will need a locking knife. A good folding knife locking mechanism will save you from a nasty cut. A locking knife is always safer than it’s non-locking counterpart, but sometimes it is more convenient to have a knife that opens and closes quickly. If you are doing work that will require you to pry or push your knife, then you should probably get a folder that locks. If you’re looking for a knife to cut food occasionally or snip off a loose thread in your t-shirt, you’ll probably be ok without a lock.
What is the best pocket knife in the world?
The SOG Specialty Knives AE22-CP is definitely in the running. This knife has a ton of great features for a pretty low price.The aegis (which means shield in ancient greek) is the best SOG folding knife and it is both versatile and sturdy. It’s full length is 7 inches, and its blade is 3 inches. Like the subheading implies, this knife is among the best pocket knives in the world.
This knife features cryogenic heat treatment to ensure that you have a sturdy blade with significantly less chipping and fracturing than its counterparts. Its handle is crafted from glass-reinforced nylon and has tacky rubber inserts to make sure that there is no slippage. It also comes with a clip so you have the option to carry it on your belt instead of in your pocket. In addition to all of these great features, it has an incredibly sturdy locking mechanism and a spring assisted blade for quick and easy one-handed access.
It has all of the key features we mentioned earlier in the article: It’s handle is well made and shaped to ensure that there is no accidents. It’s blade shape is a classic drop-point, which is among the most versatile you can get and it’s blade is crafted with quality in mind. The AE22-CP is definitely a smart buy.
Are Assisted Knives Legal?
The answer is yes. Spring assisted knives, knives that are “assisted” by springs so that they open fast and easy, are very close to switchblades but they’re not. Technically the mechanism that helps an assisted knife open is not a switch, so they are completely legal and, oftentimes, helpful in day-to-day applications. Assisted opening knives are actually some of the best knives you can get.
Folding knives with glass breaker and seatbelt cutter
(good for what?) Glass breakers and seatbelt cutters are not necessarily something that you will use on an everyday basis, but they are tools that will save your life if you ever become trapped inside of an automobile. The glass breaker on a knife is simply a tiny point tooled in such a way that it concentrates force onto itself when you make contact with a surface. The seatbelt cutter is a small slot in your knife that has a blade inside of it. It is used by lining up the seatbelt with the slot and pulling the blade across to cut away the seatbelt. These two tools won’t really add much weight to a knife, but they do add quite a bit of function. Plus, everyone has heard the old adage: “It’s better to have it and not need it than to need it and not have it”
Comparison Chart - Top 5 Folding knives
|SOG Specialty Knives AE22-CP||Assisted open/Folding||$$$||9/10|
|Benchmade Mini-Griptilian Black||Assisted open/Folding||$$$$||8/10|
|Spyderco Paramilitary 2||Assisted open/Folding||$$$||7/10|
|Cold Steel Recon||Assisted open/Folding||$$$||7/10|
|Spyderco Tenacious Plainedge||Folding||$$||7/10|
Top 5 Folding knives
SOG Specialty Knives AE22-CP spring assisted knife-
We already talked about the SOG AE22-CP earlier, but just to recap: hell of a buy; sure to get your moneys worth. This knife has an all around sturdy and useful build and surely will not disappoint. Any time you are buying a SOG product, really, you can be sure that you are getting top quality and design along with a great price. Of all the knives made in the USA, this one is definitely the best knife for your money. This one is the best tactical folding knife on our list and the best of the SOG spring assisted knives. It is also the best folding knife for military use.
Benchmade 556 mini Griptilian PlainEdge-
Bench made is another one of those brands where you will be hard-pressed to find a bad product. This knife is a favorite among enthusiasts and regular people alike, because it is so damn dependable. It’s got a drop point stainless steel blade that is serrated so that it can cut through the toughest of surfaces and still come out fine. The handle is contoured so that it fits easily into the palm of anybody’s hand. What really makes this blade cool, though, is it’s patented axis locking mechanism. the locking mechanism sits in the handle and is spring loaded. It shifts forward when the blade is folded out and keeps itself forward until you shift it back. the location of the locking mechanism (on the side, near the top of the handle) makes it easy to engage and disengage with your thumb.
Spyderco Paramilitary 2-
With a 3 inch blade, the paramilitary 2 makes a perfect everyday cary that can get things done. it is a popular one among knife enthusiasts because it is simple and well designed. the 4 inch handle sits well in your palm and the simple locking mechanism is sturdy and easy to operate. The blade itself pivots out easy with a large guard, so that in the rare event that the lock does fail, it would be hard to injure yourself with this knife. This is the best tactical knife and best folding knife for self defense on our list.
The recon 1 is a great survival knife or everyday carry. It’s handle has finger cut outs for your fore finger and ring finger to make sure that there is no possible slippage and is made out of rubber. the blade is a simple clip point shape (think hunting knife), with a half serrated edge so that you can stab cut and hack your way out of most situations. It’s got a liner lock, so it’s prety strong and it lightweight, too. The Recon 1 is the best survival folding knife for the person that is looking to have a knife that can handle just about any job you throw at it. Some people say that it is the best folding survival knife in the world.
Spyderco Tenacious Plainedge knife
The tenacious plainedge knife is a standard. It’s a little bit older than the paramilitary 2, but it has pretty similar features. The blade is a little bit longer at 3 ⅜ inches, and is a wider leaf shape, too. The thumbhole in the top of the blade makes for easier, more stable blade opening and cutting. The price is much, much lower on this blade. It’s about half the price of the Paramilitary 2. this knife is great for anyone who needs a lightweight folder that cuts reliably any time, all the time.
Best folding knives for the money
But what about if you dont want to spend an arm and a leg getting the best of the best folding knife with top of the line specs and gadgets and gizmos? The knives mentioned earlier in this article are all worth the money that you pay. A good knife will pay for itself hundreds of times over during it’s lifetime. Alot of times, though, I will buy a cheaper knife knowing that i am likely to gunk up the blade or lose it entirely. Your best bet with finding a good cheap folder is to stick with standard companies. If you do get a bad knife, though, at least it was cheap. So, take some risks if you’re in the market for a cheap knife. You might get a good one, after all. There are a lot of good small folding knives in the lower price ranges, too. Some of the best folding knives under 3 inches are in this price range because they are so much cheaper to make.
One extremely popular and cheap knife brand that I personally use as my everyday carry is opinel. Opinel was a company started by a poor french farmer who had one goal in mind: make a cheap, reliable, everyday carry for the working man. Their carbon steel knives dont have any extra gizmos or gadgets, but they are reliable if nothing else. Plus, pricing starts at under 10 dollars, so you can’t beat that. In addition, simple beechwood handles and overall minimal look make them all around cool pocket knives. An opinel is probably the best small folding knife that you can get and is among the best folding knives ever made.
Best folding knives under 50
These folders are for your best folding knife budget! The knives we have listed previously are the best folding knives for under 100 dollars that you can get, but these are for the man on a tight budget.
Schrade old timer
The schrade old timer is a classic. It’s got multiple blades, (clippoint, sheepsfoot, and spey) all under 3 inches and stainless steel. It’s the folding knife under 4 inchesthat your grandpa would have carried. at around 23 dollars, its a steal! This is one of the best folding knives under 30 that you can get.
The kershaw leek is right at 50 dollars, but worth every cent. It’s a straightforward, single blade that gets the job done. It’s got an assisted open system and a liner lock, too. It’s a good simple knife.
We already talked about the Spyderco Tenacious earlier, but this one’s probably the best knife you can get for under 50. it’s 40 dollars, but it has all of the features of its more expensive counterparts. I would heavily consider this knife if your price range is under 50.
Smith & Wesson SWFR2S Extreme Ops Knife
The smith and wesson extreme ops series is great for somebody who doesnt want to spend too much but wants all of the features of a higher end knife. It is definitely the best of the smith and wesson spring assisted knives line and looks just like a military folding knife. At just 20 dollars, this knife features a liner lock, window breaker, seatbelt cutter, and a combo edge. If nothing else, this is just a great knife to keep in a backpack or glove compartment. Having owned (and lost) one of these myself, I can attest to how incredibly durable this knife is. This is one of the best tactical folding knives for under 30 dollars available.
Like a pro. Video.
Now that we have gone over good blade types, knife features, how to choose a good knife by knowing good folding knife design and shown you some of the best folding knives available, you should be able to go out and choose a knife with confidence.
A last bit of advice, though: buy a lot of knives if you can afford it. You really have no idea how a knife is going to fit into your life until you’ve carried it with you for a few weeks and had a chance to use it. Also, you would be amazed at how easy it is to completely misplace a knife. When you stock up on folding carry knives, quantity is a good thing. Happy Cutting!