by | May 24, 2021 | Gift Ideas, Z

Last Updated: Oct 15, 2021 @ 2:20 pm.

What's the best pocket knife? A great gift idea, pocket knives are useful for opening packages, working in the yard (cutting sprinkler tubing, for example) as well as camping and hiking. We asked our parent readers for their favorites. Then we interviewed pocket knife enthusiasts for more insight. Which ones are lightweight but sturdy? Fast release? Well balanced? Here are the ones we recommend.

FYI: We've been reviewing and rating products for the home and families since 1994. To keep things independent, we don't take money or freebies from brands we review! Our work is 100% reader-supported!


Buy Now
Buy Now

Best Lightweight Pocket Knife

Perfect size and VERY sharp!
Loved this folder that weighs just 3.5 ounces, yet is sturdy enough for most everyday tasks. Also nice: pocket clip and comfortable grip.
$13.36

Check on Amazon

Best Lightweight Pocket Knife: Smith & Wesson Extreme Ops SWA24S 7.1in S.S. Folding Knife

When we interviewed pocket knife experts about the best pocket knives, one key feature came up time and time again: weight. The lighter the weight, the more happy folks seem to be with their pocket knives. 

After looking at several options, we decided to go with this reader favorite: Smith & Wesson’s Extreme Ops SWA24S folding knife. It is sturdy, yet weighs just 3.5 ounces. We also liked the bang for the buck here: this is good quality knife at a price that doesn’t break the bank. 

Here’s more:

What We Liked

• Lightweight but not too light in weight!

• Sturdy.

• Affordable.

• Grip is quite comfortable.

• Carbon steel blade.

• Smooth AND serrated blade.

• Pocket clip.

• Ambidextrous thumb knobs.

What Needs Work

• Not as easy to close as more expensive knives.

• Handle can get slippery if your hands are wet.

Buy Now
Buy Now

Best Budget Friendly

Great as a gift
Wow, this is one beautiful knife! And it worked well in our testing. Light weight (4.8 ounces), yet sturdy and fits nicely in a pocket. Also nice: bottle opener and glass breaker.
$10.99

Check on Amazon

Best Budget Friendly: TAC Force-Spring Assisted Folding Pocket Knife

Yes, pocket knives can get rather pricey. As we researched this article, we saw knives that were very pricey, some even run in the three digits. 

But there is good news: you don’t have to break the bank to get a good quality knife. This one, the TAC Force-Spring Assisted Folding Pocket Knife is a good example: beautiful design, stainless steel blade and fits easily in a pocket . . . yet the price is still affordable. Here’s more:

What We Liked

 Great as a gift—beautiful design.

• Weigh just 4.8 ounces.

• Affordable.

• Fits nicely in a pocket (4.5″ closed)

• Sturdy design.

What Needs Work

• Could be easier to unlock/close.

• Bottle opener only works when the knife is open. which can be dangerous. 

Buy Now
Buy Now

Best Emergency Knife

Impressive grip
This 4.6 ounce knife is excellent to have around for emergencies. Loved the stainless steel blade and glass breaker. Fits nicely in a hand. Caveat: no serrated blade.
$18.99

Check on Amazon

Best Emergency Knife: Rush Deer RG10 Folding Knife

Having a pocket knife for a vehicle is handy and this one has two features (seat belt strap cutter and glass breaker) that makes it great for emergencies. Here’s more:

What We Liked

• Razor sharp.

• Sturdy.

• Great for emergencies (glass breaker, seat belt cutter).

• Thumb slot for quick opening.

• Weighs 4.6 ounces.

• Fits nicely in a hand.

What Needs Work

• No serrated blade.

• Could be easier to close.

Buy Now
Buy Now

Best Tried & True Brand

Razor sharp out of the box
This brand is a reader favorite! We liked the fast release on this model best. Also nice: reversible pocket clip and one-hand open. Caveat: not everyone is a fan of the nylon handle.
$42.83

Check on Amazon

Best Tried & True Brand: Kershaw Clash Pocket Knife

We rely on our parent readers for their feedback on many topics—and for some purchases like a pocket knife, it makes sense to consider a tried and true brand. Kershaw is a good example: their pocket knives have legions of fans and after trying out a few of their knives, we see why—good design, well balanced knives at prices that are still in the range of most folks.

Here’s more:

What We Liked

• Fast release.

• Excellent one-hand open.

• Holds edge well.

• Well balanced.

• Stainless steel blade plus serrations toward the bottom.

• Glass-filled nylon handle.

What Needs Work

• Not everyone likes the nylon handle—too plastic-y.

• More pricey than entry-level knives.

Best Damascus Knife: Pocket Knife 6.5” Handmade Damascus Steel Blue Wood Pocket Knife

Damascus steel is a style of knife that, as the name implies, echoes an ancient knife-making style. It combines several layers of steel for a super strong, yet lightweight blade. Damascus-style knives have a wavy pattern to their metal—and fans of this style both like the form and function.

We liked Best Buy Damascus model best in this category, after looking at several similar knives. Yes, this one is pricey but it would make an excellent gift: note the included leather sheath, sharpener rod and other accessories.

What We Liked

• Sturdy.

• Great as a gift.

• 4-piece set includes leather sheath, sharpener rod, smaller knife and the main knife.

•  Beautiful design.

What Needs Work

• Pricey.

• Could be easier to close.

• No belt clip?

Why Trust Us

We’ve been rating and reviewing products for the home and families since 1994. We do extensive research, evaluating products with an eye toward quality, ease of use and affordability. When we purchase a product for hands-on testing, we do so with our own money. 

Here’s another key point: we don’t take money from the brands we review. No free samples, no sponsors, no “partnerships.” Our work is 100% reader-supported!

Baby Bargains: Your Baby Registry Cheat Sheet

BabyBargains.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com and its related sites. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.