Choosing A Decent Pocketknife

July 4, 2014
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Ah the good ol’ pocket knife. The emblem of manliness for every man (and boy) around the world. For some reason men seem to be attracted to this shiny object – and for good reason. A good knife is a handy tool to have. I mean how many times have you been in a situation where you’ve said, “Man, I wish I had a knife!” Ok, so maybe if you have a desk job that line does not regularly come out of your mouth, but there is still always a job that a good, sharp knife can do better than a pair of scissors. In fact, I have a good pocketknife myself. I love knives. There is always an element of badassery when someone pulls out a knife – like it ain’t no thang – when you need it. If you’re thinking of getting yourself a pocketknife, then read our guide to choosing a good pocket knife.

Choosing A Decent Pocketknife

Why do you need it?

First thing you need to determine is why you need a pocketknife. There are three different kinds of pocketknives: the Jackknife, the Penknife and the multipurpose knife.

The Jackknife

This knife has one hinge and usually comes with one blade although there are models that have a few different blades. The blade folds into the handle and fits safely in your pocket or in a knife sheath. This is a great knife. It’s simple and popular amongst backpackers, hunters, fishermen and the military. This knife can come in a lot of different sizes and weights, from lightweight to hardcore usage.

The Penknife

Named as such because it was originally used to cut and shape pen quills but now another popular choice amongst pocketknives. A penknife is hinged at both ends and comes with a few different light blades of different sizes. I suppose it is comparable to the Jackknife, but a Penknife is lightweight compared to the Jackknife. It’s great if you don’t have to do any hardcore cutting.

The Multipurpose Knife

The Swiss Army knife is probably the best known multipurpose knife, but there are other really great and cheaper (or more expensive) models on the market as well. These knives are named multipurpose because that is exactly what they are good for. It has hinges on both ends and an assortment of other tools attached like a scissor, corkscrew, can opener and even a toothpick. They can be bulky and the blade won’t endure hardcore outdoor life but it is a great tool to pack if you’re travelling or doing lightweight work. This is the second most popular knife after the Jackknife.

Choosing A Decent Pocketknife

The mechanics

There are many different variations in the design of pocketknives. Some have locking blades, one handed opening and closing blades, assisted opening blades and much more. It is important to know what kind of design you want your knife to have and what would best benefit your usage.

How much do you have to spend?

Knives come in different price ranges. Of course if you have more to spend then you can get a better quality blade (but remember, it doesn’t matter how awesome your steel is, if you don’t take care of it, it will rust). S30V is considered by many experts to be the best steel on the market for blades but some people prefer the 420HC, which is stainless steel. On the whole look for a blade that is good quality steel, holds a good edge and is easy to sharpen in your price range.

How does it feel?

Another good thing to take into consideration is how does the handle feel in your hands – you are after all going to be holding it. If it doesn’t feel comfortable, trust me, you won’t be using it a whole lot. Handles come in many shapes and sizes; some are wooden, metal, textured or rubber – again all for different uses. Rubber handles are great in damp or wet conditions. Don’t go for a metal handle if you’re planning to use your knife in very cold conditions as it might just stick to your exposed flesh – I kid you not. I myself prefer a nice wooden handle.

All in all I would say invest in the best knife your budget allows you to get and stay away from cheap blades. It will serve you in the long run. And learn how to take care of your blade. A well taken care of blade can last you a long time.

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