The Best Pocket Knives For Everyday Use (2020 Edition)

Pocket Knives For Everyday use
Check Today's Price on the Benchmade Crooked River
Check Today's Price on the Spyderco Manix
Check Today's Price on the Kershaw Blur

Pocket knives are a tremendously versatile and useful tool to have with you. There can arise a task where a pocket knife might be needed virtually every day, be it opening a box, cutting a rope or string, preparing food while outdoors, self-defense, etc.

However, not all pocket knives are ideal for everyday use. There is a great diversity in the design of pocket knives and quite a few of them may be too specialized for all-purpose utility. In addition, there is also the question of workmanship and quality. You should always consider owning a pocket knife that can deliver the best performance and also be durable enough to withstand prolonged use.

Whether it’s your first time buying a knife or you’re looking to add another one to your collection, we’ve saved you the effort of doing the research yourself and compiled together a list of the best pocket knives for everyday use in 2020.  

You may also need a slightly differenttype of knife to take with you in the outdoors.  If you are planning a backpacking trip and are wondering what is the best knife to take with you then oyu can check out our article here on the best backpacking knife.

Top Pocket Knives For Everyday Use

Prices and images pulled from the Amazon Product Advertising API on:

1. Spyderco Manix 2 XL

While some may consider it not the prettiest, the design of the Spyderco Manix 2 is certainly well-functioning, after all, it was the winner of the Most Innovative American Design award from Blade Magazine. Starting with its straight back blade, the deep belly proves useful for low-angle cuts and allows for more precision and accuracy.

The Manix is such a great knife that Spyderco has decided to put their new proprietary steel, SPY-27 in the new version coming out later this year.  Check out our detailed post on it for more information about this exciting new steel.

Instead of a thumb stud, the blade features a large round hole, allowing for easy ambidextrous, one-handed opening. The deployment is smooth and the lockup is extremely solid.  It may take a bit of time to get used to the unique "spyder Hole" deployment.  Once you get used to it though, the "spydie hole  is a great way to flick open your knife.

Locking on the blade is strong and secure thanks to the company’s patented compressive ball bearing lock system. It also additionally aids in holding the blade in place while it is in a closed position. However, the downside of it is that is can be very stiff from the factory and can take a bit of time to break it in.

The fiberglass-reinforced co-polymer handle helps reduce the knife’s weight while also being highly durable and corrosion-resistant. Thanks to its superbly sketched texture pattern, the grip it provides is secure and comfortable. A wire clip and a steel handle are also built into the handle, granting the user more options for carry.

Pros

  • Very Lightweight
  • Well-constructed
  • Practical design
  • Durable
  • Very secure lock and close
  • Great price
  • Ambidextrous
  • Lots of different blade steel available

Cons

  • unique design some people don't like
  •  Stiff factory locking mechanism

Also Available

At Blade HQ


2. Benchmade - Crooked River

Over the years, we’ve seen so many amazing high-quality products come from Benchmade, the knife manufacturing company headquartered in Oregon. It would have been an injustice to not include a pocket knife from them.  The Crooked River is a simple but well-functioning all-purpose pocket knife that looks just as good as it cuts.

The knife features a 4-inch clip point blade made of premium grade knife steel. It delivers highly controlled and precise cuts, allowing you great command over the most delicate of slicing applications. The blade is insanely sharp from the factory and not easy to dull but if you need it, the company will provide a re-sharpening service free of charge. Its long aluminum and stabilized wood handle provide a comfortable and secure grip on the knife.

Largely unique to Benchmade pocket knives is an axis locking mechanism. It provides a super-secure lock on the blade, up to three times more than the standard liner lock. Of course, this type of mechanism also has its drawback having more small parts and thus, can be finicky if it gets dirty.

Pros

  • Exceptional performance
  • Premium craftsmanship
  • Ambidextrous
  • Proprietary Axis lock
  • Highly durable
  • Free re-sharpening service
  • Made in the USA

Cons

  • finicky Locking mechanism
  • Premium knife but it comes with a premium price

Also Available

At Blade HQ

3. Kershaw Blur Black

A razor-sharp blade, exceptional durability, and highly ergonomic design all delivered in a highly affordable package, that’s how we’d describe the Kershaw Blur Black. It’s a cut above the rest (pun intended) because of the sheer number of different design variants it offers. 

Each option is built for multitasking and does a tremendously amazing job at it. However, they all feature just enough variations between them to allow you more flexibility in matching your exact preferences. For instance, one of them also boasts a glass breaker, useful for emergencies.

The blade is 3.4-inch long, which makes it the perfect size for most everyday applications – small enough for easy carry and more delicate applications but still big enough to be durable and not falter in the most demanding of tasks. It’s super sharp and packs decent edge retention.

For additional toughness and protection against the harshness of outdoor elements, the blade is coated with Diamond-Like Carbon (DLC), which also grants it an attractive shine.

The well-crafted handle is a combination of anodized aluminum and Trac-Tec inserts, guaranteeing a secure and comfortable grip. Deployment is smooth and quick thanks to the company’s patented SpeedSafe Assisted Opening system and the blade locks in place with great assurance.

One minor quirk about this otherwise exceptional pocket knife that we would like to criticize is its angled thumb studs. Presumably, this is a nice idea, but unfortunately, one that is poorly executed. With a relatively sharp point, they can be a cause of bother for one’s thumbs as well as have a tendency to catch on the insides of one’s pockets.

Pros

  • Great value for money
  • Ambidextrous
  • Well-constructed
  • Plenty of great options in variants
  • Heavy-duty performance
  • Lightweight
  • Made in the USA

Cons

  • The thumb studs design could use a bit of reworking

Also Available

At Blade HQ

4. Gerber Ripstop I

Gerber is a well-known brand known for its good quality but affordable outdoor gear. Their new knife, the Gerber Ripstop is no exception. The most immediate feature you’ll notice is its highly distinct stainless-steel design.

An effort has been made by the company to reduce the knife’s weight as much as possible without compromise to strength and functionality. As a result, the knife weighs less than 2 ounces and will go virtually unnoticed in your pocket.

Its pronounced dual thumb studs make it very easy to open with one hand. The knife features a 2.3-inch partially serrated straight blade, the perfect design combination for a versatile jack-of-all-trades.

Overall, this is a solid little go-all pocket knife offered at a great price from a reputable brand. You’d hardly go wrong with its purchase. If there is any criticism of its merits, we’d say it would be the frame lock, which while secure, awkward to get to and release.

Pros

  • Stunning design
  • Very Lightweight
  • Well-constructed
  • Great price
  • Durable
  • Easy manual opening

Cons

  • Stiff locking mechanism
  • lower grade steel that some premium knives above

5. SOG Flash II

The name SOG is attached with military-style tactical knifes so it would likely you’d find one of their products in a guide about all-purpose pocket knives. The SOG Flash II sports a nice look but packs even nicer performance.

The knife features a high-grade stainless steel 3.5-inch blade coated with titanium nitride for extra durability. The drop-point blade partially serrated, allowing it to be practical for such applications as rope cutting. The blade’s edge retention, while not the best compared to some of the other mentions here, still is good enough to merit quality. For additional security, the manufacturers also built-in safety-lock.

This pocket knife is named ‘Flash’ for a good reason. Thanks to its patented assisted opening system, this knife boasts a super-fast but secure one-handed deployment. The locking mechanism is incredibly strong, with one having to worry little of the blade slipping and cutting you.

For its appearance, the knife is surprisingly lightweight, at 3.1 ounces so it won’t feel weighty at while it is in your pocket. What’s more, the design of it is ambidextrous with the thumb studs mounted on both sides.

The handle is composed of glass-reinforced nylon. The design is super ergonomic providing a secure grip and a feel in the hand that is just perfect. However, given the price range, the handle material still looks and feels quite a bit cheap.

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Well-constructed
  • Great price
  • Ambidextrous
  • Safety lock
  • Highly ergonomic handle

Cons

  • Cheap feeling handle material

6. Buck Knives 112 Ranger

The Buck Knives 112 Ranger is another premium quality pocket knife with a classic style that has made it to our list. There is literally no compromise when it comes to quality and finishes. In fact, the company even slaps in a lifetime warranty with the purchase. And if you are still not convinced, just read the reviews people have given of on Amazon.

Its 3-inch clip point blade is made with 420HC steel and comes sharp, doesn’t dull easily, and can really withstand abuse from the environment. It’s beautiful to look at but the main attractive appeal is its handle. Fashioned from Macassar ebony wood, the blade tang is secured into with brass bolsters. Their peculiar positioning on the handle is deliberate, meant to enhance the knife’s balance.

The knife’s back-lock locking mechanism is top-notch and the blade locks reliably out with a reassuring snap! The pocket knife also comes with a genuine leather sheath.

Now, of course, there are some downsides that make it not rank higher for everyday use knife. The first is the deployment. Featuring only a small nail nick groove on one side of the blade, it generally requires two hands to open.  The deployment is right-hand biased and isn’t something that you can do easily with a single hand.  Another criticism, thought a lot more minor, is that, without a wire clip or a handle, some of the flexibility is eliminated with everyday carry.

Pros

  • Exceptional performance
  • Premium craftsmanship
  • Lifetime warranty
  • High-end
  • Ambidextrous
  • Highly durable
  • Made in the USA
  • Comes with a genuine leather sheath

Cons

  • Not easy to deploy
  • Less flexible carry

7. Kershaw Cryo

Without making any drastic deviation from the conventional, the many subtle changes it has altogether makes the Kershaw Cryo standout in the market. Starting with its drop-point 2.75-inch blade, you’ll notice a deep belly and a thick cheek, adding in its performance. The slightly exaggerated flipper aids with the knife’s access along with its thumb studs.

Its safe deployment is further enhanced by the company’s patented SpeedSafe Assisted Opening system. Engaging the blade is quick, smooth, secure, and can be done with either one of your hands. Despite this, considerable pressure has to be employed to open the blade and you have to ride the blade all the way otherwise it can stall before it locks up. This is more a problem with the thumb studs rather than the flipper.

To prevent over-travel, the knife makes use of a trademark lock bar stabilizer. The blade locks into places confidently and securely thanks to its frame locking system.

The handle, like the blade, is composed of stainless still and features an excellent four-position pocket clip, allowing for great versatility in how you choose to carry the pocket knife. For extra durability and toughness, the entire knife is coated with a titanium carbo-nitride finish. Overall, it gives the pocket knife an attractive yet highly durable outward appearance. Not only does it helps extend its longevity but it also prevents the risk of scratches or other abrasions on its surface.

Pros

  • Well-constructed
  • Highly durable
  • Ambidextrous
  • Highly durable
  • Great price

Cons

  • Difficult deployment

FINAL VERDICT

We hope that this list of recommendations was useful in helping you make a better, more informed decision regarding your purchase. As mentioned earlier, a pocket knife is a highly versatile tool with countless everyday applications. Save yourself the hassle of a regretful buying decision by choosing a pocket knife that is already rated highly by both websites and past customers.

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