Best Pocket Knife Buying Advice – What to Consider
Ever wondered why picking the right pocket knife is so damn hard? For the year pocket knives have been in use, they have evolved into a myriad of styles and designs. As a result, there are thousands of pocket knife designs to choose from today. This is why a considerable number of users today find it overwhelming to choose the right pocket knife. So, how are you supposed to go about it?
You may think of this approach as tedious, but buying the best pocket knife will require you to learn about a good number of them. However, you may not have all the time to research on the various knife models. In such a case, you need to know what to look for when shopping for the best pocket knife. To save you the hassle, here are some of the considerations you should make when searching for the best pocket knife today:
The number of Blades
As you may be aware, different pocket knife designs feature a different number of blades. Based on your intended use of the knife, you may need to buy one that has more blades, fewer blades or just a single blade. Based on the number of blades, pocket knives may be categorized into several groups, as discussed below:
A pocket knife that has several blades may be referred to as a multi-blade knife. In this regard, you can have a single knife that can accomplish several different tasks. Conventional multi-blade pocket knives can have two to four blades. Most of these knives tend to have a combination of drop-point, pen, spey or sheepsfoot blades.
Most of the best multi-blade pocket knives will offer you a variety, with regards to what you can accomplish with the knife. However, most of the products within this category are not so strong or durable.
Single blade pocket knives are renowned for their strength and durability. Although these will not offer you as much variety as the multi-blade knives do, they still come in a myriad of appealing designs. What many users find appealing about these knives is simplicity and a compact design. Some of the best single blade knives feature a locking mechanism. Such a mechanism often makes the knife sturdier and stronger, hence ideal for more demanding work. If you are looking for a strong all-purpose pocket knife, you should buy a single blade knife.
- Swiss Army Knives/Multi-Tools
Would you like to buy a pocket knife that offers more than just blades? You should look for the best Swiss Army knife today. Such knives pack an assortment of tools, such as tweezers, toothpicks, can openers, saws, scissors, nail files, magnifying glasses, and corkscrews, in addition to a blade. As a result, these knives are often referred to as multi-dimensional pocket knives. The various Swiss Army knives are ideal for the jack-of-all-trades who needs to carry a range of tools in his or her pocket.
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Just as the blade of a knife is important, buying a knife that has a high quality handle material is important. A high quality handle material will not only improve the grip, it will also improve the performance of the knife. This being the case, these are some of the handle materials you should consider while shopping for a pocket knife:
- Aluminium – This material is lightweight and offers a good grip. Ideal for knives that are to be used in harsh weather conditions.
- Bone – Some of the commonest bone knife handles today include jigged bone, giraffe bone, scored bone and smooth white bone handles.
- Wood – These come in several forms, including stabilized soft woods like burl and buckeye. You can also get a box, snakewood, koa, blackwood, elder, curly maple and rosewood pocket knife handles today.
- Celluloid – This is a synthetic plastic that is made using cellulose nitrate. This material may be fabricated to look like natural materials like wood, tortoise shell, amber, ivory, stag, agate and horn.
- Titanium – Pocket knife handles made of titanium are lightweight, durable and corrosion resistant. However, some consumers think of these handles as cold and impersonal.
- Stainless Steel – The good thing about handles made of stainless steel is that they are very durable and corrosion-resistant. However, such handles are comparatively heavier and have a lower tolerance to tension.
- Stag – These are made using deer antlers. Stag pocket knife handles tend to have a rough texture, hence offer a stronger grip.
- Mother of Pearl – This is a composite material that comprises of molluscs. This is the material that is found on the outer layer of a pearl. The material is occasionally used on premium pocket knife handles.
- Rubber – This is one of the materials that are commonly used in pocket knife handles today. In most cases, rubber is used as an inlay to other handle materials, but may also be wrapped around the knife’s frame.
The choice of the knife handle material will mostly be influenced by your personal preferences. However, the cost will also come into play when choosing the right handle material. In this regard, such materials as the mother of pearls will only be found on high-end knifes; hence is costlier.
For safety purposes, you also need to consider the opening mechanism of your preferred pocket knife. How fast does the knife engage and are you comfortable with the speed? As a matter of fact, this can be a matter between life and death. You should also opt for the mechanism you find convenient. In this regard, these are the 3 main opening mechanisms you should consider:
- Automatic/Switchable Mechanism
Such an opening mechanism will automatically engage the blade with a single push of a button. In 1958, knives using this mechanism were outlawed in the United States because of the piercing danger they posed. Over the years these pocket knives have been legalized, but with several restrictions. As a matter of fact, the federal law has a few exceptions, on when the switchable knives may be used, especially for law enforcement. If you are interested in a switchable pocket knife, you should first check to see if it’s legal to own one in your state.
Most of the pocket knives available today use this opening mechanism, requiring you to manually pull the blade out. As a result, some have a ‘nail nick’ (a little groove on the blade that enables you to grab and pull it out using your nail). Others have a thumb stud—a basic protrusion on the blade. You can use this thumb stud to easily pull the blade out. Such pocket knives are comparatively easy to operate, using one hand. Instead of a thumb stub, other pocket knives have around hole that allows your thumb to grab and pull the blade out.
- Assisted-Opening Mechanism
This is a rather new mechanism in the pocket knives industry. However, it has grown to become one of the most preferred opening mechanisms in the industry today. Invented by Blackie Collins in 1995, this mechanism requires you to apply a certain amount of pressure to the knife. This will, in turn, engage the knife blade. The main difference between this mechanism and switchable opening mechanism is that the assisted opening mechanism requires a considerable amount of force to engage,