Best Folding Pocket Knives for Self-Defense 2019

Discovering the Best Pocket Knife

Pocket knives are essential everyday tools that no responsible person should be without.  There are a million different uses for the pocket knife but above all else they are used to cut things….yes, that’s really it…and to do it well.

Today you’ll find hundreds of pocket knives available to purchase from a bunch of different manufacturers and ranging from a cheap $5 to well over $500 for top of the line models.  The choices can often be overwhelming to the uninitiated: single blade, 2, 3 and 4-blade, Swiss Army knives, jack knives, barlow, camper, canoe, lock-blade, multitool, etc.

Even when you may have figured out what type of knife you want there are a multitude of choices to sift through: tactical or traditional, blade size, type of steel, locking blade or not, natural or synthetic, etc… and the list goes on.

This is where comes into play.   We are here to help you choose the best pocket knife for your needs and give you some recommendations of our own.  There is pile of information about pocket knives on the internet which is strewn all over the place.  We have gathered all the information you need in one place and made it easy for you.

Rest assured we KNOW pocket knives and hope you enjoy what the site has to offer.

Help me decide which knife to buy!

We know what you’re thinking: “Look, I need to buy a knife but there are way too many to choose from so please just tell me which is the best so I can go and buy it.”  We hear it all the time and to be honest, it’s really, really hard to simply tell you what the absolute best knife is.  That’s because there are so many different knives on the market today and each one is suited to a different user and application.  Of course there is a bunch of crap out there which we will endeavor to ensure you steer clear of but even after weeding those out you’re left with literally hundreds of choices from top quality manufacturers.  So…we consider it our mission to help you find the right knife that meets your needs.

As a starting point, below you will find some of our favorite knives on the market today.  These are excellent choices for any pocket knife enthusiast or even somebody looking to buy their very first knife.    In addition to this, in browsing our site you’ll find a great deal of useful information to help you learn more about pocket knives and make informed purchase decisions.

Our current top recommended pocket knives

Naturally this list may change from time to time but here we go…

Kershaw Leek by Ken Onion

Kershaw LeekThere’s a reason this is one of the best selling knives in existence today. Highly regarded knife maker Ken Onion has designed this beautiful yet affordable pocket knife which is part of Kershaw’s Leek series.  It employs the patented SpeedSafe opening system which ensures a smooth blade deployment with only a single hand.  The Sandvik 14C28N steel blade is extremely sharp and will stay sharp for a long time but do note the blade tip is somewhat delicate as compared to other knives so we don’t recommend this for heavy duty applications.

The Kershaw Leek is compact, lightweight and comes in variety of colors in both serrated or smooth blade types.  There are almost 600 reviews for this knife at Amazon with an average rating of 4.7.  At under $50 you can’t go much wrong with this one.  >> Click here for current pricing and reviews on the Kershaw Leek Ken Onion.

Benchmade Mini Griptilian

Benchmade Mini GriptilianBenchmade is a top class knife manufacturer and their Griptilian range is tremendously popular among knife enthusiasts.  The Mini Griptilian is the smaller variant that excels as an “every day carry” (EDC) knife due to its excellent ergonomics and versatility.  It uses a drop point stainless steel blade which is plenty sharp and can be effortlessly opened with one hand using thumb studs.  The knife employs Benchmade’s impressive AXIS lock mechanism which uses a tiny spring loaded steel bar that shifts forward and back into a special slot cut into the liners and engages a notch machined into the tang section of the blade when opened.

Overall the Mini Griptilian is an excellent lightweight knife and near-perfect for everyday use.  All but one reviewer on Amazon has rated this knife 5 stars so it’s clear we are not alone in our praise.  It can be had for less than $100.  >> Click here for current pricing and reviews on the Mini Griptilian.

Chris Reeve Sebenza

Chris Reeve SebenzaIn the knife community Chris Reeve is synonymous with quality and innovation.  The Chris Reeve Sebenza has long been regarded by the industry as one of the best folding knives money can buy.  It has a titanium frame lock design that combines simplicity with durability and a blade made from S35VN stainless steel that forever retains its edge.  Once opened and locked the knife feels as solid as a fixed blade and holds comfortably in the hand. The quality is truly second to none and it’ll shave the hairs on your chin right out of the box!

The Sebenza is available in large or small and dedicated right or left handed models.  This really is considered by many to be the cream of the crop and the price is accordingly steep.  This one will set you back around $450.

Spyderco Tenacious

Spyderco TenaciousSpyderco is another tried and trusted knife manufacturer which is popular with enthusiasts.  Their knives are instantly recognizable and ergonomically sound.  The Spyderco Tenacious has been around for a few years now and represents amazing value for money.  It’s a tactical knife which can be used as an EDC and features a leaf-shaped 8CR13MOV steel blade that’s somewhat broad but plenty sharp.  The Tenacious performs well in most applications including some heavy duty tasks and with very little blade play in either direction.  For such a low price point this pocket knife has some great features – the distinctive thumb hole allows for smooth and confident blade deployment, the pivot tension can be self-adjusted and a 4-way pocket clip which can be moved to either side of the blade.  The G-10 handle is skeletonized stainless steel which minimizes weight without expensing too much strength and fits snug in your hand.

Overall, it’s impressive to see just how much Spyderco has sunk into this baby for such a low price.  This knife has almost 550 reviews on Amazon with an average rating of 4.7.  The Tenacious will typically set you back no more than $40!  >> Click here for current pricing and reviews on the Spyderco Tenacious.

SOG Flash II

SOG Flash IISOG is a leader in knife manufacturing and their knives have won praise with many in the industry.  The SOG Flash II is an excellent affordable choice for the every-day-carry knife and looks similar in appearance to the Benchmade Griptilian.   It’s razor sharp with an AUS-8 stainless steel blade which is partially serrated and very durable.  The Flash II uses spring assisted opening technology which ensures a fast, smooth opening  and the handle is glass-reinforced nylon which results in a lightweight yet strong design.  For added safety the knife includes a locking switch which will ensure the blade does not accidentally deploy.

Again, this knife is a solid all-rounder which is well built and insanely sharp.  The SOG Flash II has gathered over 200 reviews on Amazon and reviewers have given it an average rating of 4.6.   It may not hold its own against some of the more expensive knives but for under $50 it’s a great buy.  >> Click here for current pricing and reviews on the SOG Flash II.

Still unsure which knife to buy?

We know, we know…you want more to choose from right?!  Well don’t despair.   We’ve compiled a massive interactive chart of pocket knives with all the key data points to help you compare, contrast and make an informed choice.  In addition you’ll find more detailed reviews of specific knives in our reviews section.

What’s important in choosing the right knife?

You may be wondering what are some of the things we consider in choosing the best pocket knife.    Here’s the main ones:

The blade

As you’d expect the blade is the heart and soul of the knife and above all else it needs to be sharp.  Razor sharp!  A dull blade is like having an unloaded gun, it defeats the purpose of having a knife in the first place.  Of course, knife makers know this and they put a lot of emphasis on the blade – what it is made of, how it reacts under stress, how easy it is to sharpen if needed, how it will resist corrosion and how strong it is.  Our guide to knife blade steel explores more about the science of knife blades but for now simply know that the blade is numero uno when choosing a knife.

The handle

A quality handle should be tough, resilient and should not absorb any moisture.  A good example of a material that exhibits these properties is G-10 which is a fiberglass based laminate that demonstrates minimal water absorption.   Another popular handle material these days is Titanium.  Bear in mind, however that you can have the best materials in the world and still have a poor knife.  What’s more important is the design.

Design and ergonomics

Nothing else matters if the knife is poorly designed and getting the right ergonomics is a key part of the design process.  In basic terms, ergonomics refers to how comfortable the knife feels in your hand.   A quality knife designer can create something that feels like an extension of your hand.

Value for money

Sure if we were all filthy rich our knife buying experience would be a whole lot easier.  The reality for most of us is that we are limited to a budget and want to get the maximum performance within these limits.  This is why we pay particular attention to value for money.  Many knives on the market today are simply overpriced for what they are.  The good news is that there are also plenty of excellent value for money options and if you look hard enough it’s possible to find a number of top quality knives without breaking the bank.

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