People have often emailed me, asking about the best pocket knife brands available.
This is a complicated question. The market is flooded with an overwhelming number of good knife makers, both new and established ones.
Selecting the right knife brand becomes a daunting task. Hence, after owning close to 1,000 knives, I’m here for your rescue.
A good knife brand uses high-quality materials for manufacturing their knives. There are hundreds of Chinese knives, but most of them are NOT at all durable.
The best thing about the knife brands that I’ve mentioned in this list is that they sell the knives at a reasonable price because of the ongoing cut-throat competition between these brands.
Here are a few things that you need to think about before you make a purchase from any brand/knife maker. If you’re buying an EDC knife and expecting it to be the best hunting knife, I’d like to say you’re mistaken.
So, make sure you know what you’re buying. Here are the few key points:
- What is the budget?
- What does the blade need to do?
- Who is the knife for?
- What kind of knife is most desired?
- Are there any mechanical preferences?
The best pocket knife brands are:
- Budget Knife Brands: Kershaw, Civivi, Ontario, SOG, Case, Opinel, Boker, Buck Knives, etc.
- Mid-Range & High-End Knife Brands: Benchmade, Spyderco, Cold Steel, WE, Zero Tolerance, etc.
The brand names are alphabetically arranged. Along with my hand-picked best knives from each brand.
Best Budget Pocket Knife Brands
Boker Knives have been around for quite some time. Boker’s roots date back all the way to the late 1600’s in Germany. Boker produces pocket knives, traditional knives, fixed blades, and multitools. The company has made huge strides in the knife industry for over three centuries and has a little something for every knife-lover in today’s world.
Boker Plus Panchenko Copper & Brass Lancer Liner Lock...Check Lowest Price @ Amazon
Boker Knives 01BO782 Plus, Urban Trapper Petite G-10Check Lowest Price @ Amazon
Boker BOP586-BRK Plus Subcom Black KnifeCheck Lowest Price @ Amazon
Buck Knives is a famous American knife company known for its high-quality folding pocket knives. Buck Knives was established in 1902 by the Buck family who wanted to produce the best hunting knife in the nation.
The company gives customers a difficult-to-beat sequence of quality, efficiency, and iconic design; it remains one of the most well-regarded names in the knife’s market for a pretty good reason.
They are popular for generalizing the folding knife by executing the use of their traditional back lock system on the Model 110. Buck makes simple designs using high-quality materials and is ideal for everyday carry.
Buck Knives 119 Special Fixed Blade Knife with Leather...Check Lowest Price @ Amazon
Buck Knives 722 Spitfire Blue BOS S30V Steel Folding...Check Lowest Price @ Amazon
Buck Knives 112 Ranger Folding Knife with Leather...Check Lowest Price @ Amazon
Also Check: The Best Buck knives.
W.R. Case & Sons has been around a long time; the company’s roots date back to 1889 when William Russell and the Case brothers formed the company. Since then Case has stuck to its origins and manufactures some of the finest traditional knives in the industry. Case offers multiple traditional knife styles as well as handle scale options to fit the end user’s preferences and needs.
CASE XX WR Pocket Knife Navy Blue Jigged Bone Medium...Check Lowest Price @ Amazon
CASE XX WR Pocket Knife Amber Jig Bone Trapper Cv Item...Check Lowest Price @ Amazon
CASE XX WR Pocket Knife Yellow Synthetic Trapper Cv...Check Lowest Price @ Amazon
Fairly new to the knife industry, Civivi has far exceeded many knife enthusiast’s expectations in the short time they’ve been around. Civivi’s parent company, WE Knife Company, has proven to be a knife industry leader in exciting new designs and premium materials. In 2018 WE Knife Co. saw the need for premium pocket knives for the budget-minded user; enter the Civivi brand. Civivi produces the best quality at the price point in its class. With favorites such as the award-winning Elementum and the “modern traditional” Rustic Gent, Civivi offers something for every knife enthusiast.
CIVIVI Knives Elementum Folding Pocket Knife 2.96" D2...Check Lowest Price @ Amazon
CIVIVI Baklash Folding Pocket Knife, 3.5" Blade,G10...Check Lowest Price @ Amazon
CIVIVI Odium Small Folding Knife –2.65" Stonewashed...Check Lowest Price @ Amazon
CJRB Cutlery was created with a similar thought process as WE Knife Co.; CJRB’s parent company Artisan Cutlery is another industry-leading manufacturer overseas that saw a need for a great budget line of pocket knives. CJRB Cutlery offers innovative designs at an extremely affordable price point without sacrificing any quality.
CJRB Folding Knife Feldspar(J1912) Stonewash D2 Steel...Check Lowest Price @ Amazon
CJRB Folding Knife Ria(J1917) Sandvik 12C27 Steel Balde...Check Lowest Price @ Amazon
CJRB Kicker folding Knives D2 Steel Blade G10...Check Lowest Price @ Amazon
CRKT, Columbia River Knife and Tool, is an American knife company based out of Tualatin, Oregon. Founded in 1994 by Paul Gillespi and Rod Bremer, CRKT is known for making high-value knives; however, the company also makes multi-tools, sharpeners, and other related products.
Columbia River Knife & Tool, A.K.A. CRKT, is a great knife maker for hunters, survivalists, and for other purposes. The company uses high-quality stainless steel to produce razor-sharp and durable blades. Columbia River Knife Tool folding knives have spring-assisted mechanisms that make them comfortable to open while locking mechanisms guarantee they stay in place while in performance.
CRKT has teamed up with a number of well-known knife designers and custom makers producing some very interesting designs. Many well-known names in the knife industry have or are engaged in ongoing collaborations. This list includes Doug Ritter, Alan Folts, Ken Onion, Glenn Klecker, A.G. Russell, Pat and Wes Crawford, and many more.
CRKT Squid Folding Pocket Knife: Compact EDC Straight...Check Lowest Price @ Amazon
CRKT CEO EDC Folding Pocket Knife: Low Profile...Check Lowest Price @ Amazon
CRKT Minimalist Bowie Neck Knife: Compact Fixed Blade...Check Lowest Price @ Amazon
Gerber was founded in 1939 in Portland Oregon and still produces some of the most iconic blades and everyday carry gear found today. Gerber has a long history of producing knives for the military, hunters across the globe, and pocket knife carriers for over 80 years. In addition to producing gear for the outdoorsman and soldier, Gerber has a full line of everyday carry gear as well as the recent addition of a line of fishing equipment. Everything Gerber produces is also backed by their famous lifetime warranty.
GERBER StrongArm Fixed Blade Knife with Fine Edge -...Check Lowest Price @ Amazon
GERBER Fastball Folding Knife with Lock Release - Flat...Check Lowest Price @ Amazon
Gerber Gear 30-001194N Center-Drive Multitool with Bit...Check Lowest Price @ Amazon
Kershaw, founded in 1974, is the best known for their small and mid-size tactical folders. Kershaw is owned by KAI, which also owns Zero Tolerance and Shun Cutlery which is focused on high-end tactical knives; high-end Japanese kitchen knives.
Kershaw knives have shown up in celebrity hands-on television and movies, ranging from Desperate Housewives to Driven to Kill. But the knife maker’s reputation isn’t just based on fame, but it’s based on the reputation for high-quality and stability; backed up by outstanding sales numbers and testimonials from convinced customers.
Kershaw is a well-known knife manufacturer that designs pocket knives, sporting knives under every budget. Kershaw knives are affordable and engaging with the vast collection of styles.
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Kershaw Leek Pocket Knife (1660) 3-In. Sandvik 14C28N...Check Lowest Price @ Amazon
Kershaw Link Blue Aluminum BlackWash Pocket Knife...Check Lowest Price @ Amazon
Also Check: The Best Kershaw Knives.
Ontario Knife Company
Ontario Knife Company has been around for decades and produces some of the finest outdoors and survival style knives to date. OKC primarily got their start by providing the US military with combat fixed blades but as times change and the need for pocket knives has grown, OKC has stepped up to the plate to conform to the ever changing needs of the public. Ontario’s main staple has always been the Rat family of folders with the newest addition being of the assist-opening variety. If you’re looking for a well built and customizable knife, OKC has you covered.
Ontario Knife Company 8848 Rat I Folding Knife - EDC...Check Lowest Price @ Amazon
Ontario Knife Company 8667 Rat-5, Plain Edge with Black...Check Lowest Price @ Amazon
Ontario Knife Company 8682 Sp-6 Fighting Knife with...Check Lowest Price @ Amazon
Opinel Knives is another company that has been around for well over 100 years with a lustrous history for craftsmanship. Opinel’s primary production focuses on traditional ring lock folding knives with wooden handle scales. Opinel offers multiple blade sizes and steels as well as the type of wood for the handle. Opinels are great “first knives” for younger knife lovers but they also are great for widdlers and wood carvers.
Opinel No8 Trekking Stainless Steel Locking Folding...Check Lowest Price @ Amazon
Opinel No6 Stainless Steel Folding Knife with Walnut...Check Lowest Price @ Amazon
Opinel Slim Series Folding Fillet Knives - Wood Handles...Check Lowest Price @ Amazon
QSP is another fairly newer company to hit the knife industry market but has a wide variety of options at every price point. QSP stands for Quality, Service, and Price. Although I cannot speak personally of QSP’s customer service, their quality for the price is matched by few. QSP offers both a budget series perfect for the budding knife enthusiast and their premium series for those who prefer premium blade steels.
QSP EDC Folding Pocket Knfe, D2 Blade, 4" G10/Micarta...Check Lowest Price @ Amazon
QSP Pocket Knife Pangolin QS105-A, Razor Sharp D2 Steel...Check Lowest Price @ Amazon
Ruike knives was founded in 1998 and produced knives for other brands until 2016 when Ruike started producing knives under their own name. In just a few short years Ruike has released several popular pocket knives that have quickly joined the ranks of “best budget folder” lists across the world.
Ruike Pocket Knife for men Tactical Folding Knives...Check Lowest Price @ Amazon
Ruike Tactical Pocket Knife for Men Women EDC Folding...Check Lowest Price @ Amazon
Ruike Tactical Pocket Knife for Men Folding Knife Frame...Check Lowest Price @ Amazon
SOG was founded in 1986 by Spencer and Gloria Frazer and right now based in Lynnwood, Washington. Spencer Frazer was encouraged by the SOG Bowie knife carried by members of the MACV-SOG special ops unit to recreate their highly efficient knife and carry out a tribute to the men of this highly classified special operations unit.
Since then, the lineup has expanded to include a myriad of folding knives, fixed blade knives, and multi-tools. Many SOG knives are field proven by the likes of law enforcement, US Special Forces, Navy SEALs, and military.
The high quality of SOG’s knives makes them great hunting knives, camping knives, and combat knives so whether you are batoning wood, developing a campfire, or defending yourself, SOG has a knife for you.
SOG founder Spencer Frazer is the chief designer for the company, and they don’t do a lot of collaborations like other popular folding knife brands. This makes them a little different in our eyes, and we respect that.
SOG TWI17-CP Twitch II 6.20 Inch Wood Pocket KnifeCheck Lowest Price @ Amazon
SOG FSA8-CP Flash II 8 in. Straight Edge EDC KnifeCheck Lowest Price @ Amazon
SOG Spec Arc Folding Knife | 4-Inch VG-10 Blade,...Check Lowest Price @ Amazon
Also Check: The Best SOG Knives.
Steel Will Knives is a USA-based company with production lines in China and Italy. Steel Will is constantly showing the knife community that rules are meant to be broken with their innovative design concepts that shine through on every model they produce. Steel Will offers both folding knives as well as durable fixed blades.
Steel Will Cutjack C22M-1BL Linerlock, 3.0" (C22M- 1BL)Check Lowest Price @ Amazon
Steel Will SWF25M-18 Modus F25M-18: 2.75" D2 Modified...Check Lowest Price @ Amazon
Steel Will Intrigue Linerlock BlackCheck Lowest Price @ Amazon
The original Swiss Army Knife, created by Karl Elsener in 1897, embodies the essence of Victorinox. Today the international knife maker brand spans five product categories: Swiss Army Knives, Cutlery, Watches, Travel Gear, and Fragrances.
VICTORINOX is a well-known pocket brand popular for making high-quality swiss-army and kitchen knives. Chefs absolutely love this brand. Each knife produced has an extremely low carbon footprint.
The heat produced by their factory is used to heat the homes surrounding their factory at no cost to the people. I love all of the knife companies currently on this list, but VICTORINOX is doing something that nobody else is.
High-quality products, great fit, and finish, affordable price point, low carbon footprint, giving back to their community, lifetime warranty, and excellent performance. This is VICTORINOX.
Victorinox Swiss Army Classic SD Pocket Knife, Red...Check Lowest Price @ Amazon
Victorinox Original Swiss Army Climber Pocket Knife...Check Lowest Price @ Amazon
Victorinox Swiss Army Cadet Pocket Knife, Black Alox,...Check Lowest Price @ Amazon
Mid-Range & High-End Brands
Artisan Cutlery is a fairly new company in the knife world but is making huge strides to becoming an incredibly popular household name amongst knife enthusiasts. Artisan is based out of China and has a budget brand, CJRB, but both companies produce knives with excellent tolerances and mid-range to premium blade steels. Artisan is an innovative company that pushes the limits with new design concepts and has recently patented new blade steels such as their AR-RPM9 steel. Artisan offers blades in multiple budget ranges and has offerings for just about everyone.
ARTISANCUTLERY Folding Knife Arroyo (ATZ-1845) AR-RPM9...Check Lowest Price @ Amazon
ARTISANCUTLERY Tactical Knife Sea Snake (ATZ-1842)...Check Lowest Price @ Amazon
ArtisanCutlery Biome ATZ-1840 Half Stop Slip Joint...Check Lowest Price @ Amazon
Since Benchmade’s initial offerings in the late 1980’s/early 1990’s, the brand has been an industry standard for many professions. Benchmade offers knives for lightweight everyday carry uses, robust tactical knives, and hunting fixed blades. Benchmade is well known for their AXIS lock, which is their primary locking mechanism for their folding knives. The AXIS lock is a cross-bar style lock which is completely ambidextrous and allows the user to keep their fingers out of the path of the blade when deploying and closing the knife.
Benchmade - 940 EDC Knife, Reverse Tanto Blade, Plain...Check Lowest Price @ Amazon
Benchmade - Griptilian 551 Knife with CPM-S30V Steel,...Check Lowest Price @ Amazon
Benchmade - Bugout 535 EDC Manual Open Folding Knife,...Check Lowest Price @ Amazon
Also Check: The Best Benchmade Knives.
Cold Steel was founded in 1980 as the self-proclaimed maker of the strongest and sharpest knives in the world. The knife maker manufactures affordable tactical knives under every budget. They test with new steels and continually innovate. Cold Steel makes folding as well as fixed blade survival knives with a wide selection so you are sure to find the one you need.
They are also known best for their outrageous marketing videos. Cold Steel has established itself as a company that makes affordable and very functional knives and tools. Ranging from little blades to full-size samurai swords, there is something in the Cold Steel catalog for everyone, as said earlier.
One thing I really appreciate about the knife company is the altogether variety of products they offer. As said earlier, they make everything from small knives to large battle axes. Besides, the knife maker also makes cases, machetes, pepper spray, baseball bats, swords, clubs, hatchets, and all manner of edged weapons.
Cold Steel Voyager Series Folding Knife with Tri-Ad...Check Lowest Price @ Amazon
Cold Steel 49LCK Srk SK-5, Boxed, One SizeCheck Lowest Price @ Amazon
Cold Steel Recon 1 Series Tactical Folding Knife with...Check Lowest Price @ Amazon
Fox Knives is based out of Italy and produces a high quality blade at an affordable price. Priding themselves in gaining multiple military contracts throughout their years of existence, Fox Knives has recently begun producing more EDC friendly options. In 2019 Fox Knives won “Knife of the Year” at Blade Show for their Radius model which features a rotating plunge lock mechanism.
FOX 479 G10 Black Emerson Wave Folding KarambitCheck Lowest Price @ Amazon
Fox 599 G10 Black Emerson Wave Folding KarambitCheck Lowest Price @ Amazon
The same Hogue you know and love for pistol accessories has recently branched out into the American made knife game. Hogue Knives are known for their durability and incredible price point for the quality you are receiving. Hogue’s ABLE lock was one of the first cross bar locking mechanisms to hit the market after Benchmade’s AXIS lock patent expired. The ABLE lock has gained huge popularity since its release. Hogue also produces high quality automatic knives for those who are legally able to purchase and carry them.
Hogue 34178 G10 Frame 3.5, Drop Pt. Blade, Tumble...Check Lowest Price @ Amazon
Hogue 24268 Deka 3.25" ABLE Lock Folder - Modified...Check Lowest Price @ Amazon
Hogue HK Karma 3.75in 1st Resp Tanto Blk PartSerr G10...Check Lowest Price @ Amazon
Based in China, Kansept is a fairly new manufacturer in the knife community. However, since their inception Kansept has done nothing but offer amazingly innovative designs that appeal to many users in the community with premium blade steels and handle materials. Kansept offers both budget friendly and premium options similar to other companies as well. Kansept also has a huge following on Facebook and are constantly sharing new designs and getting direct feedback from users.
Kansept Knives Pocket Knife Shard K1006A4,Lightweight...Check Lowest Price @ Amazon
Kansept Kryo T001A1 D2 8.08in Folding Pocket Knives...Check Lowest Price @ Amazon
LionSteel is another Italian based company who specializes in hard use and durable knives. LionSteel has won many awards through Blade Show over the years and is a staple in many knife collections. LionSteel isn’t a budget brand by any means but for those looking to spend a little more you get great quality and performance from the company.
LionSTEEL M4 Fixed Blade Camping and Outdoor Knife,...Check Lowest Price @ Amazon
BestMan BM2 Slip Joint Micarta LSTBM2CVNCheck Lowest Price @ Amazon
Lion Steel Knives SR2ARS SR Mini MolletaCheck Lowest Price @ Amazon
Southern Grind was founded by Zac Brown in Georgia. Zac took his passion for knives and tools and made them into a reality. Southern Grind knives are 100% made in the USA with high quality materials that will last a lifetime. Zac Brown also has a camp for children, Camp Southern Ground. Proceeds from Southern Grind sales directly benefit the camp and help kids get a great summer camp experience.
Southern Grind Spider Monkey Folding Knife w/Drop Point...Check Lowest Price @ Amazon
Southern Grind Bad Monkey Folding Knife w/Tanto Black...Check Lowest Price @ Amazon
Southern Grind Jackal Pup Fixed Blade Knife w/Black...Check Lowest Price @ Amazon
Spyderco is a well-known knife company based in Golden, Colorado, and has pioneered many features that have become standard in EDC knives. These knives were the first to introduce things like one-handed opening and combo blades for the folding knives.
Their knives are bold in their appearance, and most have the trademark “Spyderhole” near the spine of nearly all their folding knives which makes this ideal for those who wear gloves as this allows for easy deployment even with the bulkiest of gloves.
Now, not all their knives are made in the USA. In fact, a good portion of their knives is now made overseas in locations such as Taiwan, Japan, and even Italy. However, this should not be regarded as a drop in their standards as production quality remains extremely high at their state of the art facilities in these countries.
Spyderco uses quality materials such as S35V (stainless steel), but also uses 8Cr13MoV to save on the cost of production and then pass the savings on to their customers.
Spyderco also has a series of customized pocket knives where you can choose your steel, the scales, and even what is etched on the blade. This personalization of their famous knife designs is an excellent addition to an already great product.
Spyderco Para Military 2 Signature Maxamet Folding...Check Lowest Price @ Amazon
Spyderco Delica 4 Lightweight Signature Folding Knife...Check Lowest Price @ Amazon
Spyderco Para 3 Lightweight Signature Folding Utility...Check Lowest Price @ Amazon
Also Check: The Best Spyderco Knives.
WE Knife Co.
WE Knife Company, parent company to Civivi Knives, is located in China and produces some of the craziest pocket knives found today. WE Knife Co. is constantly pushing the envelope with unique designs made from premium materials. WE’s fit and finish and overall quality is arguably better than some USA made companies on the market today.
We Knife Co. 704X-R Red Folding Pocket Knife - D2 Steel...Check Lowest Price @ Amazon
We Knife Co Ltd Model 809 Practic Black WE809CCheck Lowest Price @ Amazon
We Knife Co Ltd Model 804 Vapor Dk Gray WE804DCheck Lowest Price @ Amazon
Zero Tolerance is a brand of Kai USA Ltd. The ZT brand first made its appearance in 2006 to meet the needs of professionals in the military and law enforcement, as well as other first responders, such as firefighters and emergency medical personnel.
This is definitely a brand to watch; we will be doing Zero Tolerance knives review very soon. Their knives are tough, high-quality knives with high-end steel, overbuilt locks, assisted openings, and all sorts of other cool goodies that tactical knife lovers appreciate. The brand, Zero Tolerance screams quality.
All Zero Tolerance knives arrive sharpened and oiled, and instructions on the care of a customer’s knife are included. All factory purchases come with a lifetime limited warranty, which ensures a finely-tuned product that fits the ideals of a real knife enthusiast for years to come. Zero Tolerance prides itself on producing only American-made knives.