How To Choose Pocket Knife: An Incredibly Easy Method That Works
A pocket knife can be a simple or multifaceted piece of equipment, and usually has various tools and blades. The prices vary greatly but usually the more you pay the better the quality.
The majority of pocket knives come with a blade which folds right inside the handle, whereas some are much more complicated and does specialised tasks.
I will guide you through the most popular pocket knives on the market today and go through blade material, blades, features, uses and styles.
What are the Best Types of Pocket Knives?
Pocket knives with a single blade are by far the most popular and either work by having a blade with a slip joint or a locking mechanism.
With slip joints the blade doesn’t lock open, it uses tension in the bar in the rear of the pocket knife to be held open. It takes some effort to close the blade. The advantage of slip joint knives is it is relatively light so it is easier to move from place to place.
However these blades are not as secure and safe as a lock blade. With a lock blade, it uses a safety feature which doesn’t allow the sharp blade from closing accidentally so it can’t cut finger by accident.
There are many varieties of locking blades which come in different features and designs.
A pocket knife which has multiple blades can vary greatly from two to twenty blades of varying shapes and sizes which are very versatile.
Multi blade knives give people the flexibility to get their specific job done easily and quickly. Because the multi blade knife can’t lock it is most typically uses slip joints. Many of these knives will be found in the outdoors and sporting section because of their specialized adaptability.
Despite its name multi blade knives usually are too big to fit into a typical pocket, but can be if it’s absolutely necessary.
Pocket Knife Style
There are literally thousands of varying styles of pocket knives available. However there are some styles which have stood out over the years. To ensure that you have the facts on the types of folding knives, we have split them into specific types, including:
A combination tool with three knives is referred to as a stockman Knife. The three blades are typically a spey, sheepsfoot and a clip.
A stockman is great for everyday use because it’s easy to carry because of its relatively average size. Not all versions of the stockman knife are the same with some being a straight knife.
But most Stockman knives use the sowbelly or serpentine design.
A knife with two blades and a relatively long bolster is referred to as a Barlow. These knives typically have a tear drop handle and is elongated. The material for the handle can vary greatly from metal, wood or a variety of exotic materials.
Barlow pocket knives can get expensive if they use handles with rare and exotic materials such as bones from animals. The Barlow pocket knife is most popular among frontiersmen and farmers.
Despite its name the Congress pocket knife was not made for your Representative. This blade has either a small or straight concave rear as well as a front which is convex.
The Congress will typically have 2, 3 or 4 blades. The knife blades can differentiate somewhat, however the most popular combination of blades are the coping, sheepsfoot, pen and spear point.
A trapper knife uses only two blades with one being a spey blade which is blunt and a curved clip which is very sharp. The dual blades are joined right at the knife handle.
The trapper originally got the name because it was often used by hunters who would trap and skin their prey. Hunters just needed a couple of blades to both skin and gut their catch.
Just like the trapper a muskrat uses two blades, but in this case they are located on the opposite sides of the handle. Commonly the dual blades are a spey point blade on one side and a clip point for more general purpose needs for the other end.
Although this is the most typical combination some brands vary and utilize other types of blades. A muskrat pocket knife is often used by hunters, guides and professional outfitters.
Canoe pocket knives originally received their name because of the likeness to the traditional canoes used by Native Americans.
Canoes usually have two blades with different combinations. Sometimes it has a single pen blade and a single spear point. While other times it has a dual spear point.
The Canoe is especially popular with fisherman because it can quickly cut fishing line as well as filleting fish.
A camper knife is a multi-blade tool which often features clip points, can openers, punch blades, and spear points and flathead screwdrivers with an opener for bottles.
The features are not universal with the Camper and they can vary slightly. Another name for the Camper is Swiss Army Knife.
The Best Ways to Purchase a Pocket Knife
Why do you need a pocket knife?
Pocket knives are extremely versatile knives which are used by people to perform everyday tasks as well as for specialization for craftsman, outdoorsmen, fishermen and farmers.
These knives are used by a lot of people with different backgrounds because they perform multiple tasks in a small package.
Below are some great reasons for owning a pocket blade:
- Everyday use – great as a cutting tool which you can carry around so you can quickly open box or cut rope.
- Collectors – some of these knives are extremely rare and increase in value as time goes by.
- Outdoors – it does a great job cutting rope which is important for camping, hiking, climbing or backpacking.
- Fishermen – it does a great job for filleting and cleaning the catch.
- For survivalists – these knives don’t fail and can help you survive in the outdoors.
Which qualities are most important?
The most popular pocket knives by far are the ones which you can carry around for everyday use and are extremely versatile.
The folding and fixed knives are used for various purposes.
Here are the typical qualities you can find:
- Fixed blades – extremely reliable and perfect for many uses.Folding knives – easy to pack away as well as safe.
- It becomes very dependable if it is a blade which locks.Skinning or gutting blade – requirement for hunters and outdoors men.
- Thick blade – if you need to use the blade often a thick blade will hold up to wear and tear.
- Sharpness – it should stay extremely sharp for a good amount of time, and be sharpened when it gets dull.
- Saw edge – this blade is perfect if you need to cut bone or wood.
- Lightweight – very important if you are going to carry around this knife inside your pocket.
- These knives are often made up of light materials such as composite.
- Single-hand opening – you use your thumb to open up the blade so it can easily be opened with just one hand. With this type of knife sometimes you can also close it with one hand.
The perfect handle material for your needs.
Some people may overlook handles but it is essential if you don’t want to keep buying a new knife every few years. A great handle has to be comfortable in your hand and feel solid.
An excellent handle will allow you to easily perform your job while also looking stylish.
Here is what you should look for in a handle:
- Ergonomic – the handle must be comfortable even if using the knife for a long time.
- Wood – wooden handles looks stylish along with holding up in hot climates.
- Rubber – this handle makes it easy to grip and hold even in damp conditions.
- Plastic or composite – these handles are extremely durable and can hold up to bad weather.
The Materials which Make the Knife Blade
Whenever you decide to make a purchasing decision you will find pros and cons to every action you make. You need to decide which features are most necessary to you such as keeping the edge sharp vs. corrosion resistance or the ability to be sharpened vs. keeping the edge sharp.
If you make the right call then you will own and enjoy your knife for years to come.
Below are the 3 most common materials which make up folding knives:
- 420HC – this is stainless steel which makes it great in resisting rust, retains its edge and very simple to sharpen if the edge gets dull.
- BG-42 and 154CM – two forms of custom made steel which have more carbon than typical steels. This makes this material much harder and there is a great deal of edge retention.
- S30V – considered by most as the best steel for blades which you can get. This is made up of vanadium stainless steel which has great edge retention.
Pocket knives essential for everyday use. It's usage is not limited to opening letter, packaging box, and display.
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