Most Popular Camping Pocket Knife Reviews
Pocket knives can be essential items for campers and backpackers alike. I cannot tell you how many times my pocket knife has come in handy during my own camping and backpacking experiences. It is always good to know that I will have a way to hack through small branches, cut rope, or trim fishing line. It is also nice to pass the time whittling a piece of wood into a useable or decorative object.
If you are in search of a quality, compact, easy-to-carry pocket knife you have come to the right place. This page has been filled with reviews of today’s best pocket knives to make your search easier. I have taken the time to look at hundreds of pocket knives currently sold on the open market. I have spent hours sifting through thousands of consumer reviews and product specification sheets to get a true picture of which pocket knives are the most popular and why. The two lists below, Top Three Pocket Knives and Runners Up, are the result of those hours of research.
Before proceeding much further, I just want to take a quick moment to remind you that some places in the world (countries, states, and provinces) have laws against certain types of knives. Be sure to check your local laws before purchasing a pocket knife to be sure that it meets your local legal requirements.
If you aren’t sure what you should be looking for in a quality pocket knife, take some time to read our pocket knife buying guide here. Or if you are looking for a knife with many tool attachments capable of acting as a screwdriver, saw, and pliers, you may want to wander over to our multi-tools page.
Top Three Pocket Knives
I thought it may be best to select the top three pocket knives I found in my research and place them separately from all the others. I don’t do this to pick favorites (though I must admit these are my favorites). I do this because I know that you may be in a rush and may need to keep your options to a minimum. Even if you aren’t in a rush, it is important to know that not all knives are created equal. Though the knives listed at the bottom of this page are also rather impressive, have received positive consumer reviews, and appear to be quite popular, these three knives stand apart from all the others.
Best Overall Pocket Knife
Buck Knives 183 Alpha Crosslock 2 Blade
The Buck Knives Alpha Crosslock isn’t just one knife, it is two knives in one handy, compact package. Tucked away inside its stylish, lightweight hard-anodized aluminum handle are a straight-edge blade and a deeply serrated blade. The straight-edge blade will be useful in whatever regular cutting tasks you may require on your camping or backpacking trip. From filleting fish to cutting ropes, this sharp, stainless steel blade will keep every slice clean and effortless.
The second blade features deep serrations which will be helpful in cutting through wood and can even help break down your latest hunting or fishing catch. A gut hook has been added to the tip of the serrated blade, showing just how much Buck Knives was considering the average fisherman and hunter when they created this knife.
Both blades are crafted of stainless steel with a high carbon content which means they will hold their sharp edges for much longer than many low carbon competitors. High carbon stainless steel is slightly less rust resistant than low carbon stainless steel, but that’s hardly a trade off when you consider two things: a knife that stays sharp for a long time does not require you to carry a sharpener, and this knife is easy to store in dry places.
Speaking of how easy it is to store, I suppose we should take a moment to discuss this knife’s weight and size specifications. Weighing in at a mere 4 ounces, this knife will not weigh down your pocket or backpack. In fact, you will hardly notice it is there. Just think, how heavy would a regular knife and a saw be to carry together? Additionally, where would you store those? The Alpha Crosslock compacts both of those tools into one and allows you to fold them inside of a strong, stylishly designed, anodized aluminum handle which allows you to slip this knife into your pocket or backpack without worrying that it could damage something or hurt you.
Victorinox Swiss Army Rambler
The Victorinox Rambler posed a bit of a challenge for me when I was deciding where to place it on this website. It exists somewhere in the spectrum between a pocket knife and a multi-tool. I didn’t feel comfortable placing it in the multi-tool section of this website simply because it does not have as many tools and functions as a typical multi-tool. Still, I was so impressed with the quality, functionality and low price of this piece that I knew it must be included somewhere. Alas, it found its way here, to one of the top spots in our Pocket Knives section.
This incredibly compact knife is only 2.25 inches long. To put into perspective how tiny this knife actually is, consider that many other pocket knives measure between 3 and 5 inches long – even when they are folded closed. Of course, that means that this knife’s blade isn’t quite as long as the others, but that is hardly a sacrifice when you consider the many other functions this knife has. In addition to being a knife, the Rambler also includes a nail file, a flathead screwdriver tip on the end of the nail file, a pair of miniature scissors, a bottle opener, a Philips screwdriver head on the end of the bottle opener, a tooth pick, and tweezers. The toothpick and tweezers are fully removable, making them very easy to clean.
To me, true value is a combination of quality, functionality, and price. I truly believe that this Victorinox pocket knife hit the nail on the head in terms of value. It has received very positive consumer reviews which attest to its quality. Though it is smaller than many of its high-priced competitors, it still maintains the cutting function and adds seven other functions to the mix.
Easiest to Carry
Case 60180 Sparxx Small Texas Toothpick Knife
While a strong, durable knife and one with extra functions may be what some people are searching for, most people who are in search of a pocket knife want something which is easy to carry. They want to be sure it will stay closed if they carry it in their pocket and don’t want edges of a squared handle poking into their thighs. They are looking for something lightweight that won’t weigh down their pockets or backpacks and isn’t so large it creates a huge bulge in their pockets. If you are one of these people, the Case Sparxx Texas Toothpick may be just the knife you need.
The long, straight edge, pointed tip, stainless steel blade of this knife folds effortlessly into its stainless steel and plastic handle. The handle itself, though made of plastic, resembles a natural element, such as ivory or marble. The handle itself features elegant curves which not only add to its aesthetic appeal, but also make it much easier to carry. You won’t have to worry about pointy edges sticking into your thigh if you carry this knife in your pocket.
You also won’t need to worry that it will automatically open inside of your pocket, because it does not feature an auto-open device. Many other pocket knives have a special spring-loaded mechanism which allows you to press a button to flip the blade open. Though such a mechanism makes it much easier to work the knife with one hand, it also makes it easier to accidentally nudge the knife in a way which will cause it to open inside your pocket. Instead of including such a feature in this knife, the company decided to create a cut-out in the handle which allows you to grab the dull edge of the knife to pull it open. Additionally, this knife only weighs 1 ounce and measures a mere 3 inches in length.
With so many different people in this world and each of those people having a unique set of needs, how could I possibly justify showing you only three pocket knife options? While I stand by belief that the best popular knife, the knife with the best value, and the knife which is easiest to carry are all in the Top Three Choices list, I realize that you may be looking for something a little bit different.
My research pulled up a handful of quality pocket knives which have all received positive consumer reviews. Instead of ignoring the popularity of the following four knives, I decided to share them with you here, in this special Runners Up section.
Kershaw 1556BW Cyro II Folding Knife
If you are mostly here to read about this knife’s basic specifications, allow me to get those out of the way before telling you about two of its most unique and impressive features. This stainless steel knife features a 3.4-inch stainless steel blade and measures a total of 4.4 inches in length when it is fully closed. Weighing in at a total of 5.5 ounces, this entire knife has been coated with black oxide – a special combination of materials which have been added for extra corrosion protection and better resilience.
This quality knife features an easy-open button which allows you to open it in one simple click. No need to worry if one of your hands is slippery or occupied, simply push down the button to release the blade. A locking mechanism has been worked into this knife so that you can only open it if you apply ample force on the thumb stud and push in the correct direction. The chances of this knife opening itself inside your pocket are incredibly slim.
Although many pocket knives feature a clip which will allow you secure them to your pocket, belt, or the waist of your pants, this one features a unique four-way clip. Instead of only being able to affix this knife so that its tip is facing downward, you can choose to switch the direction of the clip so that the tip faces upward, left or right. Personally, I am most excited that I would be able to flip the knife sideways. I really don’t care which direction (left or right), but am simply happy to know that if I bend or crouch I won’t have the folded knife poking me in the gut or the leg.
Kershaw 1605CKTST Clash Assisted 3-Inch Blade
The Kershaw Clash features a 3.1-inch blade which is easily activated with the press of a single button. Like all of the other knives on this list, this one’s blade folds up neatly inside its handle for safe storage. When closed, the entire knife measures only 4.25 inches in length and weighs only 4.3 ounces. This weight includes the clip on the back of the knife which will allow you to attach it to your pocket, belt, or waistband with the tip facing either up or down.
Its blade features somewhat deep serrations at its base but over two-thirds of it has a straight edge. This combination of blade types allows you more versatility when using this knife than when using many other pocket knives, which are usually either serrated or straight edged, but not both. Like the other Kershaw blade listed above, this one has undergone an oxidization process to offer it better rust-resistance.
This knife’s handle is made from glass-filled nylon – one of the strongest and most lightweight handle constructions available on today’s market. It has also been textured to offer you a better grip, even in rainy conditions or when your hands have grown slippery as you prepare food.
Smith and Wesson SMMP4LS M&P Linerlock Knife
This heavy-duty pocket knife comes from a company with a long and prosperous history in the creation of hunting and personal protection weapons. Weighing in at 7.4 ounces, this is, perhaps, the heaviest knife on our list. That being said, it also features the longest blade, which measures an astonishing 3.6 inches in length. When folded closed, this entire knife measures approximately 5 inches long.
Crafted of stainless steel, this knife’s long blade is also rather tall, which will come in quite handy in chopping and dicing food during your camping trip. The best pocket knives are sharp enough, long enough, tall enough, and strong enough to double as kitchen knives when the time comes to prepare food. In a camping or hunting situation, the less you have to rely on the better. This knife is certainly a top contender among those which are capable of meeting all your camping and backpacking needs.
This knife features a clip on one of its sides which will allow you to attach it to your belt, pocket, or waistband. Speaking of additional features, the metal spike on the end of this knife’s handle will give you comfort if you travel over long distances in your car to your camping destination, as it is fully capable of busting a glass window in a time of need.
Ken Onion Leek Folding Knife with Speed Safe
Its half straight edge and half serrated blade will allow for great versatility in the use of this knife. Use the straight blade to slice meat, vegetables, and herbs for your camping and backpacking meals. Use the serrated part of the blade to hack through twigs and ropes. The pointed tip will be helpful in cutting notches and diving meat. The blade has been sharpened on both sides, making it easy to use for both right-handed people and left-handed people. The blade itself measures approximately 3.5 inches, which allows for 1.75 inches of straight edge blade and 1.75 inches of serrated blade. In total, when closed this knife measures 4 inches in length and weighs 3.1 ounces.
Though this knife’s handle is slim for easy transportation, it is also quite tall, which will make it much easier for you to grab a solid grip. Even with this solid grip in place, you can easily flip the blade open with the simple pressing of a single button. If you want to ensure that the blade will not accidentally flip itself open in your pocket, you can engage the special safety switch will keep it closed even when the button is pressed.
Comprised completely of stainless steel, this strong, durable knife will withstand water with the best of them. Of course, it is never recommended that you leave your knife in a wet or damp place for extended periods of time – even stainless steel can rust with prolonged exposure.
I sincerely hope that this list was helpful to you in your search for the perfect pocket knife. I encourage you to consider the great many things you do while camping and backpacking for which you may need this knife, and take those possible uses into consideration when selecting your knife.