A good folding knife is an invaluable tool, and I generally carry one on me at all times. Sure, it’s most often useful for practical things like opening packages, but an every day carry knife can also be an actual life-saver in emergency situations as well.
What should you look for in a good carry knife? Generally speaking, you want something that’s not too big, has a lockable blade and is constructed out of durable material. A high end blade can cost you several hundred dollars, but a good knife can be had for less than $50 if you know what to look for. Here are a few of our favorite options.
Ned Foss Damascus Folding Pocket Knife – I’m a sucker for the look of Damascus steel, and this 2.6″ blade is a thing of beauty. The 67-layer Damascus steel blade is set in a 3.4″ rosewood handle, and features a thumb hole in the blade to help with opening the blade quickly if needed.
Kershaw Brawler Folding Pocket Knife – This lightweight (3.9 oz) knife uses precision heat-treated 8Cr13MoV steel for the 3″ blade, and the black oxide coating offers a little extra protection from corrosion while improving the overall look of the knife itself. Kershaw’s SpeedSafe Assisted Opening system allows for one-handed blade deployment, while the liner locking system will keep the blade securely in place both open or closed.
SOG Salute Mini Folding Knife – Featuring a 3.1″ stainless steel blade, this knife measures 4″ closed and weighs in at just 3.6 oz. The Salute Mini also comes with a reversible pocket clip, and the knife opens easily thanks to the adjustable thumb stud on the base of the blade. The stainless steel liners provide for extra stability, and the lockback mechanism ensures that the blade will stay in place once the knife is open.
TNZ Knives TNZ-479 – The perfect blend of form and function, this 4″ blade from TNZ is hand-crafted from 352 layers of Damascus steel and is set in a camel bone handle. The knife also comes standard with a leather sheath, and TNZ offers a 60-day money back guarantee if the knife doesn’t meet your expectations.
CRKT CEO EDC Folding Pocket Knife – This slim and stylish knife is just 2.1 oz in weight, but packs a 3.1″ blade inside the glass reinforced nylon handle. The low-profile design and lightweight materials mean you can carry it in a shirt pocket if need be, while the knife opens smoothly thanks to the thumb stub and lubed ball bearings in the pivot.
Leatherman FREE K2 – The only knife/multitool on our list, but it’s there for a reason. Leatherman’s FREE K2 features a 3.3″ high carbon knife blade along with seven other tools; from a Phillips-head screwdriver to a bottle opener, and is designed to allow users to easily access both blade and tools with one hand. The magnetic locking system keeps the blade and tools in securely in place, and the aluminum body will help keep the American-made knife in good shape for years to come.
Benchmade Griptilian 551 – The 3.4″ stainless steel blade is one of the largest on our list, but at just 1.9 oz the Griptilian is also the lightest of the knives that we’re featuring. The blade is housed in a glass-reinforced nylon handle, and is locked in place with Benchmade’s ambidextrous AXIS sytem. Made in America and comes with a lifetime limited warranty and LifeSharp service that allows you to ship your knife back to the Oregon-based company any time you need the blade resharpened.
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