What is the best pocket knife brand? There is no easy way to answer this question. The subjectivity of it will garner countless different responses from knowledgeable consumers. Some brands will fulfill the needs and preferences of particular customers. While others will have a more universal design that will satisfy a broader audience. That said, there are brands that are universally loved by avid knife collectors. The goal of this guide is to highlight these brands and bring them to your attention.
Brands like Buck, CRKT, and Gerber all have a solid history in the knife world and deserve their praise. For newcomers lacking in awareness of the best knife brands to trust with their money, we got you covered. If you happen to fall into this category, there is no need to worry, you got to get this info from somewhere. If not, you can waste both tour time and money. Below we will cover the industry’s best knife brands. Everything from their history, strengths, and weaknesses are under review. Each brand covered on this list is on the Mount Rushmore of knife production. Hopefully, this guide will connect you with what you consider to be the best knife brand.
Best Pocket Knife Brands
Benchmade has been producing high-quality knives in excess of 3 decades now. When Benchmade was in its infancy, their bread and butter were balisong knives, better known as butterfly knives. With butterfly knives being illegal in the vast majority of the United States, Benchmade had to expand their catalog. Now, their spectrum of knives has grown exponentially. Knives ranging from large fixed blades to smaller specialized tools for first responders are on offer.
With their expertise is in folding knives, you will notice the vast majority of their catalog are of the foldable variety. They have foldable hunting knives, emergency knives, and EDC knives. Often times you will be hard-pressed to find this many folding knives from one company. So, if folding knives are your style, Benchmade has it all. They are at the top of the best folding knife brand list. That’s not to say fixed blade knives by Benchmade knives are none existent. The style of knives whether it be a survival knife or EDC knife all have a similar tactical aesthetic. If you like this style, great, there are plenty of knives to choose from. If not they have some knives that have a different style.
When it comes to the materials and construction, Benchmade knives are all made in the USA. The materials they use are top of the line and up to the industry standard. The average cost of their knives is between $150-$300.
Buck knives came into popularity in the 1940s during the second world war. With a shortage of knives, Hoyt Buck took it upon himself to hand-make knives for American servicemen entering the war. With that, the Buck knife name grew in popularity throughout the war for their quality and reliability.
Today they manufacture knives of all different types. They tackle everything from hunting knives to kitchen cutlery even, but they specialize in hunting knives. The great thing about Buck Knives is their quality. Each knife off of the production line looks and feels like it is handmade, with the utmost care.
They all have a streamlined style as well. Most of their blades have a stainless steel finish, clip point blade, and an ergonomic wood handle. A simple, yet artful design for those who enjoy a rustic look to their knives. The iconic Buck 110 folding knife exemplifies what to expect from a Buck knife. That being said, Buck knife has plenty of knives with different styles and materials to choose from. While their price points are on the higher end, about $125-200 on average, their knives are built to last a lifetime. Many of the original Buck knives made in the ‘40s are still being passed on each generation today.
Case, by far has the longest spanning history of any of the brands on our list so far. The Case brothers began making handcrafted pocket knives all the way back in 1889. Today their handcrafted quality has carried over into the 21st century.
Like most other knife manufacturers, Case has an extensive catalog of knives, ranging from large hunting knives, culinary knives. Their pocket knives are something to be in awe of, their unique designs and practical utility set them apart from your average pocket knife. The best pocket knife brand will not only offer a solid product, but they also offer a knife that has character. Case brand pocket knives own both of the qualities. Their Amber bone pocket knife looks like a mountain man who happened to be a bladesmith constructed it. A lot of Case knives have a naturalistic style to them.
Case knives are by far the most affordable for the quality averaging anywhere from $60-$200. All in all, Case is one of the top knife brands and is deserving of its spot on our list.
This Oregon based knife brand has been forging knives since the early ‘90s. Their modern take on pocket knives sets them apart from the traditional brands you may be used to.
Their line of pocket knives transcends what one would consider conventional. While they certainly resemble pocket knives, that looks as if an alien with superior knowledge in knife design created them. For instance, their provoke pocket knife is in a class of its own. The Provoke is not quite a pocket knife but is most certainly not a fixed blade knife. It collapses into itself when not in use and can be extended smoothly with the thumb.
This is only one of their many unique designs. CRKT also makes some traditional pocket knives as well. Even then their “regular” knives do not shy away from standing out with their exotic blade points, of which there are many. You can choose from a spear point, drop point, tanto, along with countless other designs. No matter the design, one thing is consistent, their quality. Most, if not all of their knives are made from various stainless steel and synthetic plastics and rubbers. Rest assured they all use the best material available.
The Emerson knife brand is considered the father of modern-day tactical knives. That tactical style follows through to their high-class pocket knives as well. Many consider Emerson to be the best pocket knife brand, for good reason. These knives are so popular the Navy seals have adopted them into their arsenal.
With Emerson designing their knives for military and police, each knife has a tactical look and feel. For example, the CQC-8 pocket knife has a black finished stainless steel blade, a clip point edge, and an ergonomic G-10 handle. This knife exudes tactical style from its pores. There are plenty of different styles to sift through, each one standing out from the next.
Emerson boasts that their knives are 100 percent made in the USA. This is an important aspect many knife owners will seek out in the best pocket knife brand. Not only does it support the U.S. economy, it typically means consumers will receive a quality product, something that can be compromised with outsourced manufacturing. Although, the price of Emerson knives may give some of you sticker shock, with many of them surpassing the $300 mark. Rest assured, you get what you pay for.
Gerber, another Oregon based brand, was founded in 1939. In the past 70 years, they have grown into a global company. Even though they have expanded to other boarders, many of their products are still American designed and made.
Their line of pocket knives is just as expansive as the countries they operate in. Each knife is vastly different from the next, yet they are all from the same maker. Take for instance the Key Note blade. It’s not quite like anything you have seen before. The short stubby blade and handle look like it was made for a baby. Well, looks can be deceiving, because the Key Note is one of the most versatile pocket knives you can own. Compare that to their Wingtip pocket knife and it’s hard to tell they are made from the same DNA.
No matter which pocket knife you choose from Gerber, they are at the peak of knife mountain. That is something you want in the best pocket knife brand.
Founded in 1974, Kershaw knives have been innovating in the knife industry for a little over 4 decades. Kershaw is known for its highly customizable knives. Everything from the blade to the handle is interchangeable. Kershaw also introduced the Speedsafe assisted opening knife. One thing is for sure, the Kershaw brand is not content to sell the same old knives. And that is what you will find in the best pocket knife brand, they have the drive to iterate and change what works. And it shows in their products.
The only word to describe the catalog of Kershaw knives is eclectic. They have every type of blade point, handle, and steel that you can think of going into their knives. Clip point blades, G-10 handles, Cleaver points, you name it they got it. One of Kershaw’s more popular knives, the Static, is a great example of what Kershaw innovative design has to offer. The stainless steel cleaver point blade and PVD coated handle, the word unique comes to mind.
If you are looking for knives that push the boundaries of expectations, look no further than Kershaw.
Schrade Knives started in 1904 and was eventually bought out by Imperial knife company. They both dominated the knife industry throughout the 20th century but ultimately filed for bankruptcy in 2004. So, you may be thinking, why are they on our list? Luckily Schrade blades were bought in the liquidation of imperial knives, which means the Schrade name and designs live on.
With Schrade having a storied history, many of their pocket knives have a classic look and design. They consist of wood handles, clip point blades, and brass pommels. That doesn’t mean Schrade is behind on the times. They have plenty of contemporary designs that have the same quality and reliability.
Schrade may be part of the old guard in the pocket knife industry, but they are the best pocket knife brand for both old school and new school knives.
Spyderco has been around since 1976 and has been building a reputation ever since. In fact, they are credited with inventing the modern folding knife design. They pioneered the one-handed open design and pocket clip for easy and safe transport.
Spyderco knives are mostly minimalist in design. Stainless steel blades with metallic handles are common amongst their blades. They do have knives with synthetic handles as well, but the overall design is what you would expect in a generic pocket knife. Their finger hole in the spine of the blade is a common feature in their blades. The cliché of, if it ain’t broke don’t fix it definitely applies to Spyderco. What more could you ask for than consistency in your knife?
So when you ask what the best pocket knife brand is, who better than the company that revolutionized it?
Oh, Victorinox, the name alone may not stand out to the average knife purchaser. What about the Swiss Army Knife? That name alone is recognizable to people around the world. But the design stands out as one of the best pocket knives in the world.
The Swiss Army Knife is popular for a reason, for decades it has been one of the most quality reliable knives on the planet earth. That said, Victorinox has countless other knives with the same care and attention to detail. What sets the Swiss brand apart is the number of features that come with each pocket knife. Everything from toothpicks, nail files, to mini serrated blades are packed into a compact design. You truly get the bang for your buck with a Swiss Army knife. And with most of their pocket knives under $100, your wallet will thank you.
Well, that’s it, hopefully we were able to help you find the best pocket knife brand. Each company on our list has earned its spot through consistency, reliability, and history. With each brand also bringing something unique to offer, whether that be through designs, materials, or features, you will be satisfied with any knife from these companies.