If you are thinking of getting a pocket knife you may be wondering, what are the best pocket knife brands? If you do not already own a pocket knife, you should strongly consider purchasing one, or two, or ten!
Before you head out to your local sporting goods store you should become familiar with the best pocket knife brands around. This post will familiarize you with some of the more popular pocket knife brands to get you started.
Pocket Knife Basics
There are so many uses for pocket knives, and once you have one, you will wonder how you ever went through life without it.
From cutting plants to removing splinters, there are endless uses for pocket knives. But which knife should you buy?
You will want to do some research before purchasing a tool that ostensibly you will carry and use every day.
Be sure you are using the types of blades that are best suited for your task and most comfortable for your needs.
Below is a list of the best brands of pocket knives with a little information about each. If you want to see some more detailed information about specific knives,here are some of the blades we have reviewed.
Benchmade Knife Company
This company was founded in 1988 with the intention of creating the world’s best knives. With a headquarters located in Oregon, Benchmade makes what are considered the best folding knives available.
The Griptilian is their most popular knife. It is built to last and recommended for everyday carrying. Although it’s a little pricy, you are unlikely to beat the quality of a Benchmade knife.
This brand started as a small tool shop in Germany in the 17th century and has a rich and fascinating history.
Their factory was destroyed during World War II and didn’t reopen until the 1950s. Now they have expanded from a niche tool shop to manufacturing a wide variety of knives, from kitchen cutlery to hunting blades.
Boker was also one of the pioneers of the ceramic blade folding knife, such as the Anti-Grav knife.
Hoyt Buck made his first knife in 1902 after being dissatisfied with the hunting knives that were available at the time.
Hoyt sought to create a knife that would stay sharp through many uses. His his success is evident in the brand’s fanbase of hunters and outdoorsmen.
Buck’s 110 hunting knife is one of its most popular and oldest knives. It is known for its high quality, durability, and ease of use. With a price under $50, you are sure to get your money’s worth out of this knife.
Buck is one of the brands that still make production models that have wooden handles. If you want to check out a recent post about Pocket Knives With Wooden Handles you can check that out here.
Cold Steel Knife & Tool Company
Cold Steel is an innovative brand with a wide range of products, including axes and swords. Started in 1980 in Ventura, California, Cold Steel put themselves on the map with their unmatched knife technology, such as their patented strong and safe Tri-Ad lock.
Cold Steel gained notoriety and is well known for popularizing the modern Tanto blade style. If you want to check the details of the Tanto blade style you can check out our post about Tanto Blade Benefits And Drawbacks.
Their Cold Steel Spartan knife is a great choice. Their catalog is constantly changing as they come out with new knife technologies, so get yours while you can.
Columbia River Knife & Tool Company
Columbia River Knife & Tool Company offers a wide variety of products, and you are sure to find a knife that meets your needs among their selection.
From extreme hunting or fighting knives to everyday carry folding knives, CRKT has something for everybody.
This innovative brand has revolutionized the pocket knife industry with their Field Strip technology. It is found in the Homefront knife, and allows you to disassemble the knife for cleaning without any tools.
You can find our review of the CRKT Pillar II here
5.11 Tactical is an American company based out of Irvine California. Their motto is "Always Be Ready" and their lines of tactical clothing and gear help thousands of people do just that.
Known mainly for their tactical clothing lines geared towards law enforcement and the first responder community they also supply various types of gear as well. With everything from pants, shirts, boots, body armor, gloves, belts, slings, holsters, flashlights, and last but not least, knives.
We have reviewed one of 5.11 Tactical knives called the Scout Folder here.
Gerber Legendary Blades
Gerber Legendary Blades was officially started in 1939 in Portland Oregon. They are now a subdivision of the Fiskars brand after being acquired in 1987.
Gerber makes many different types of knives and other outdoor products. Gerber is also well known for their line of Multitools and is the second largest seller of multitool in the US.
Although recent years has seen a bit of a downtrend in the quality of Gerber knives the company is accepting their flaws and is striving to regain their reputation.
Founded in 1974 by then knife salesman Pete Kershaw. Kershaw Knives has grown into a powerhouse knife company. Kershaw manufactures many of their knives in Taulatin Oregon and also imports some products from Japan and China.
In 1977 Kershaw was acquired by the KAI group, who also manufactures kitchen cutlery under the Shun Cutlery brand. Kai also own Zero Tolerance, a line of premium and professional knives.
Kershaw Knives are mostly sporting type knives. That means they are mostly designed for everyday use, camping, hunting, and fishing.
SOG Specialty Knives And Tools
SOG was the brainchild of Spencer Frazer who founded it in 1986. Spencer was inspired by the covert operations unit called Studies and Observation Group who carried a unique Bowie style knife in Vietnam.
Since that time SOG has grown into an innovative company that makes some amazing knives and other tools. Everything from fixed blades, tactical knives, folders, tomahawks, throwing knives.
SOG also spans a wide variety and price point for their products. You can get into their lower priced products for a reasonable price. But, once you are hooked, you will want to get your hands on some of their more premium lines too!
This lesser known brand was started by Robert Young Pelton, a hardcore author, journalist and filmmaker with an incredible life story. He has worked in the wilderness and battlefields for over 30 years and built his knife brand around his experiences.
These sturdy knives are designed for hard use. Although they are a bit pricier than other brands, if you are in any sort of emergency, this is the knife you will want to have with you.
The DPX HEAT knife is a bit more expensive than the other knives on our list, but one you will not regret.
Off- Grid knives is an American company with headquarters in Thousand Oaks California. They are a smaller company with the goal of providing high quality knives at a reasonable price point.
Most of their knives are made in Taiwan and China with premium materials and shipped to their warehouse in Austin Texas. The thing that really sets them apart from the competition is their lifetime warranty. You just register your knife with their warranty program and even if you drop it in the campfire they will replace it for you!
Off-Grid knives has recently launched a new line of premium knives. These knives are made with premium knife steels and have some great designs that we can't wait to get our hands on.
You can check out our review of the Off-Grid Knives Nano Compact Here.
The Emerson brand is well-known and well-loved for good reason. Their high-quality justifies their price point, and all Emerson knives are proudly made in the US.
Started as a custom knife company out of a garage, this company has since its founding in 1979 grown into one of the best knife companies worldwide.
Fun fact: Ernest Emerson, the founder, is one of the world’s best and most sought-after combat instructors. The Emerson Sheep Dog is great for all your tactical needs.
After being started in the late 70's by Sal Glesser, Spyderco has grown to be well known and loved by knife enthusiasts.
Their products are produced around the globe in locations such as Japan, Taiwan, Italy and China. That said, many of their flagship knives are made in the USA with premium materials and steels. In January of 2020 Spyderco announced their own proprietary steel made by Crucible Industries called CPM SPY27.
Spyderco is most well know for their innovative line of folding knives. They do make some very nice fixed blade knives but when you ask a knife person about Spyderco, they inevitably think of folding pocket knives.
Ganzo knives is a Chinese company that has been making knives for over 20 years. It was first started by a small group of specialist knife makers who wanted to make high quality knives that were still affordable.
You can find our review of the Ganzo G704 EDC pocket knife here.
One of the newer brands out there, Artisan Cutlery is gaining steam and gaining some new loyal followers. Artisan is a Chinese knife brand that uses premium materials and some creative designs that has helped launch its reputation.
Many of there knives are made with D2, S35VN, and other premium steels. Handle materials range from Aluminium, Steel, Titanium, Carbon Fiber, and others. Many of their folders have steel or ceramic bearing actions.
Clearly, Artisan Cutlery is carving a name for themselves as a higher quality knife company while still maintaining a reasonable price point for the materials used.
What Are The Best Pocket Knife Brands, Conclusion
As you can see, the types of knives, their uses, and price points vary. It is important to do your research to determine what knife works the best for you and your needs.
When shopping for a knife, do not sacrifice quality for the price, especially with tactical or hunting knives. There are many types and brands of knives on the market today.
Getting the right knife can spare you unnecessary accidents or injuries, or even save your life in some situations.
A high-quality knife can last you a lifetime with proper use and care, and once you own one, you will never want to be without it.
This list gives a basic list of some of the best pocket knife brands available.
If there is a specific brand we missed or one you would like to see added to this list then please drop us a comment and let us know.