Best Folding Knife For The Money – A Detailed Buyer’s Guide

cutting rope with a best quality folding knife

The best folding knife can do anything from cutting open a package to prying the lid off a particularly stubborn soup can. It’s a versatile and useful tool that anyone can use, but if you’ve never considered buying one before, where do you start looking?

Here are 15 of the best folding knives you can get right now.

15 Best Folding Pocket Knives in 2020

1. Kershaw Blur (1670BLK) Everyday Carry Pocket Knife

Black Kershaw Blur (1670BLK) Pocket knife with 3.4” Stainless Steel Drop Point Blade

Sleek, stylish, and sharp, the Kershaw Blur is the gold standard of pocket knives everywhere. Their products have consistently been awarded “The Best Knife Of The Year” by various magazines and organizations, and they frequently show up in television and film.

With a large curved blade that’s suited for most tasks that involve cutting or slicing, this model is one of the best pocket knives for an EDC (everyday carry). It’s suitable for both left and right-handed users, with one-handed blade deployment and a secure locking mechanism.

What we like about this knife is that it blends all the things you need from a folder including sharpness, handling, and durability. Best of all, it’s solid, lightweight, and it easily fits into your pocket or bag so you can bring it around with you.

Key Features

  • Nitrogen-infused steel blade resists corrosion and rust while remaining strong under pressure
  • Diamond-Like Carbon coating (DLC) prevents the blade from being scuffed or scratched
  • SpeedSafe Assisted Opening system helps the knife open and close smoothly
  • Inset Liner Lock prevents the blade from closing prematurely during use
  • Reversible pocket clip provides flexible carry options
  • Anodized aluminum handle is extra-durable and can be customized in several styles
  • Knife is backed with a lifetime warranty

2. Buck Knives 0110BRS 110 Famous Folding Hunter Knife

A man holding Buck Knives 0110BRS 110 Folding Hunter Knife in his hands.

A classic design suited for the outdoors, the Buck 110 Folding Hunter Knife is a must-have for outdoorsmen. Buck Knives has years of producing high-quality blades that can hold up to the strain of weathering and outdoor use, making their knives some of the most durable folders you can get.

This is a folding knife that brings the utility of the traditional buck knife with the flexibility of a folding design. Sturdy and sharp, it’s a knife that can handle any outdoor activity from skinning fish to cutting through foliage.

The classic lockback mechanism and simple nail notch make this one of the simplest knives to handle relative to its size. As the best locking blade pocket knife, this is essential for anyone who loves to spend time in the wilderness.

Key Features

  • Stainless steel blade resists corrosion while keeping excellent edge tension and tensile strength
  • Classic buck knife design is well-suited for hunting and other outdoor activities
  • Brass bolsters add extra strength and counterbalance the knife weight evenly for easier handling
  • Reliable locking mechanism guarantees safety when the blade is out
  • Curved blade and controllable point design allows you to seamlessly switch from cutting to piercing
  • Genuine leather strap with integrated belt loop makes handling and storage easier

3. Kershaw Leek Pocket Knife

3 inch Kershaw Leek Pocket Knife

Compact and extremely user-friendly, the Kershaw Leek is a no-frills folder that cuts without being obtrusive.

With a slim yet versatile blade, it’s one of the best lightweight folding knives for an everyday carry. You can easily stuff it into your bag, in your pocket, or even string it around your belt and you’ll barely feel its weight.

It’s smooth to open and locks into place once deployed, which helps prevent it from opening and closing prematurely. The small size and curved handle also ensure that you won’t lose your grip while using it.

With a torsion pull-back mechanism, you can easily open this folder with your dominant or non-dominant hand. Don’t underestimate its edge because of how light it is: it can still cut and slice through things just as efficiently as bigger and heavier models.

Key Features

  • Nitrogen-infused sandwiched steel is extra durable and rust-resistant
  • Steel alloy handle reinforced with chromium gives an easier grip
  • SpeedSafe Open system lets you open the knife with one hand
  • Kershaw Tip Lock system prevents the knife from sliding out prematurely
  • Bead-blasted finish allows multiple styles and color options
  • Reversible pocket clip provides you with multiple carry options

4. Victorinox Swiss Army Classic SD Pocket Knife

Barleycron Sterling Silver Victorinox Classic SD Pocket Knife

If you’re looking for an EDC with a bit of everything, the Victorinox Swiss Army knife is the folder for you. Created by the makers of the original Swiss Army knife, this model shows a commitment to detail and quality that the company has refined for years.

The 2.25” knife may be smaller than other dedicated models, but it’s still a sturdy blade that can hold up under intense use. The locking mechanism is secure enough to keep it in place when working, even when using it with the other attachments.

This model is one of the smallest and most resilient pocket knives on the market with a variety of tools that you can use. Versatile, sleek, and durable, this is a model that can help you with almost any kind of task.

Key Features

  • Stainless blade steel construction is rust and corrosion-resistant
  • Compact design allows for easy handling and transport
  • Small blade length lets you carry this on a plane
  • The ABS-coated and polished handle allows for easier grip
  • Lifetime guarantee for material defects and performance issues
  • 7 different attachments make this a versatile multi-tool

5. Ontario Knife ON8848-BRK RAT Model 1

Black Color Ontario Knife Company 8848 Rat I Folding Knife for EDC

Rugged, durable, and suited for heavy cuts, the Ontario RAT Model 1 is the ideal survival folding knife. Developed by the Ontario Knife Company based on their original designs for the US military, this is one of the toughest folders out there, able to take repeated and heavy use without dulling its edge.

You can use this knife in almost any kind of condition and it’ll still remain pristine the next day. The blade design gives you more surface area for cutting, slashing, piercing, and slicing without having to contort and twist your hand.

Blending solid construction, easy handling, and fast deployment, this is a folder that you can rely on when you need to cut through tough material on a regular basis.

Key Features

  • AUS 8 Stainless steel is weatherproof and corrosion-resistant
  • The off-set point blade is suited for both cutting, slashing, and piercing applications
  • The ergonomic nylon-coated handle allows for a firmer grip and easier handling
  • The secure locking mechanism can withstand hard knocks to the knife edge
  • Smooth action QuickFlick system makes for easy deployment
  • Four-position pocket clip lets you be flexible in how you carry it

6. Benchmade – Bugout 535 EDC Manual Open Folding Knife

A man holding Blue Color Benchmade Bugout 535 EDC Manual Open Folding Knife Made in USA

Benchmade is known for providing a wide array of knives for almost every application, making their folders some of the most versatile models on the market. That flexibility is apparent with the Bugout 535, a subtle yet sturdy folder that you’ll want to keep in your bug-out bag or emergency kit.

The blade itself is bigger than other folding knives, with excellent edge retention so the blade doesn’t dull with age. With a slim profile, it’s a definite space-saver inside a bag or on your belt.

The handle is counterbalanced against the bigger blade, so you don’t feel any weight whenever you slice or stab through something. This helps you make a clean cut which can be a lifesaver during crisis situations.

Key Features

  • Premium stainless steel blade is reinforced with DLC for additional strength
  • Anodized aluminum coating resists rust and corrosion
  • AXIS lock system stabilizes fixed blade operation
  • Spydie lock allows one-handed operation without premature closure
  • Small steel liners reduce the overall mass and counterbalance the handle weight
  • Deep carry clip ensures that it doesn’t slide off whatever it’s attached to

7. Benchmade – Mini Crooked River 15085-2 EDC Manual Open Hunting Knife

Benchmade Mini Crooked River 15085-2 EDC Manual Folding Knife

A small yet sturdy hunting knife, the Mini Crooked River is a balanced folder that boasts a classic design with a beautiful wood finish. It’s the ideal gift for a boy scout or anyone just starting to develop their love for the outdoors.

The wooden handle doesn’t just give this folding knife a classic, timeless look; it also helps you maintain your grip on the knife. The composite material has been backfilled with resin so it stands up to almost any condition and environment.

The polished stainless steel edge keeps its sharpness under consistent use while remaining corrosion resistant. This improves the knife’s longevity even when used regularly, with minimal maintenance to keep it honed. Whether you use it on the regular or on the occasional wilderness trip, it’s a knife that can last you a long time.

Key Features

  • CPM-S30V stainless steel blade is wear-resistant and easy to sharpen
  • Lightweight design helps with easier handling and transport
  • Clip-point construction allows for precise and quick cuts
  • AXIS lock mechanism ensures smooth blade deployment
  • Stabilized wood handle is stronger and more wear-resistant than natural wood
  • Split arrow clip is reversible for versatile carrying options

8. Opinel Carbon Steel Folding Pocket Knife with Beechwood Handle

Number 8 Opinel Carbon Steel Folding Pocket Knife with Beechwood Handle

An old-school pocket knife reinforced with modern innovations, the Opinel still holds up against the present-day competition. This classic carver has served artists and workmen for more than a century, recognized as a symbol of French culture and art.

Lightweight, sturdy, and ridiculously sharp, this folder is well suited for wood carving and other crafts that need a fine edge. It’s the ideal tool for the conscientious craftsman who needs a knife that can handle the demands of their art with finesse and grace.

While it does require more care and maintenance than the folding knives that came after it, the classic design and sturdy construction make it a tool that you can expect to last for generations. Even with consistent use, this knife ages as beautifully as the wood that it cuts.

Key Features

  • Carbon-infused steel is wear-resistant and easy to sharpen
  • Yatagan-style point blade edge provides more cutting area
  • 3.28” blade is one of the smallest knives on the market
  • Virobloc Safety Ring locks the blade in place when deployed or sheathed
  • The durable beechwood handle is sourced from sustained European forests
  • The narrow profile and lightweight construction allows for easy carrying and handling

9. SOG Tanto EDC Knife – Flash II Tactical Folding Knife

SOG TFSAT98-CP Flash II 8 in. Serrated Tanto Knife

Razor-sharp with a sleek, military aesthetic, the SOG Flash II has all the features that you need for a tough and reliable knife. Designed for civilian use by official defense service manufacturers, it’s a folder that combines the durability of an army knife with flexibility for everyday application.

This knife is a light and sturdy folder that can cut through hardened materials without wearing out. The assisted opening mechanism ensures lightning-fast deployment when you need it, and the glass-reinforced nylon handle helps you keep a tight grip on this knife when in use.

The tanto blade design is a standout compared to other pocket knives since it combines the balance of a clip point with the blade strength of a drop point. These features make this a knife that can cut quickly and efficiently without sacrificing weight.

Key Features

  • Titanium nitride-coated blade steel has excellent wear resistance
  • Straight-edge tanto blade design is durable while providing more cutting area
  • High-tension coils propel the blade open almost instantly with one flick
  • Twin thumb studs allow for operation with one hand
  • Piston lock mechanism ensures that the blade stays in place once in use
  • Reversible low carry clip helps keep the blade discreet when carried

10. Zero Tolerance 0350TS; Folding Pocket Knife

Zero Tolerance 0350TS 3.25 inch Folding Pocket Knife with Tiger-Stripe Tungsten DLC Coating

With sturdy and perfectly balanced construction, the Zero Tolerance 0350TS is a powerful folder that’s suitable for almost any kind of application. The company has a long history of collaborating with other knife-makers, combining their experience to create high-quality folding knives.

A wild, aggressive, and powerful knife, the blade is made to cut through most materials like butter while keeping a pristine, razor-sharp edge. It’s the ideal knife to hold up for heavy-duty cutting and slicing jobs.

The edge retention is this knife’s strongest suit. Keeping a sharp edge can be difficult with smaller knives that see a lot of use, but this folder bucks that trend with a blade that’s treated and coated to resist both weathering and normal wear-and-tear.

Key Features

  • The stainless blade steel is DLC coated for exceptional rust resistance and tensile strength
  • Recurve blade design for additional edge retention and strength
  • SpeedSafe opening system ensures smooth and fast deployment
  • Twin steel plate liners lock the blade in place when deployed or sheathed
  • G-10 laminated handle is light, durable, and weather-resistant
  • 4-position pocket clip provides versatile carrying options

11. Benchmade – Mini Griptilian 556 EDC Manual Open Folding Knife

Black Color Benchmade - Mini Griptilian 556 EDC Manual Open Folding Knife Made in USA

The Benchmade Mini Griptilian is a great everyday carry, blending ease of use and high-quality construction in a compact package. The small size and security features make this a good choice for anyone that gets nervous around sharp objects.

The AXIS locking system is one of the most effective safety features that you can find on any folding knife, so you don’t have to worry about opening or closing the blade by accident. The handle’s weight is counterbalanced so you can use it in either hand without affecting performance.

It’s also more ergonomic compared to other folders, so anyone can comfortably use it without the fear of injuring themselves. If you’re looking for a reliable and simple blade to use, it doesn’t get any better than this!

Key Features

  • Stainless blade steel is water-resistant, preventing corrosion and rust formation
  • The drop-point blade design allows for precise cutting and piercing
  • AXIS locking mechanism ensures safety when the blade is closed or in use
  • Glass-filled nylon handle grips well, aside from being weather/impact resistant
  • Slim profile and lightweight design for smooth handling and storage
  • Reversible carry clip allows for several carry options

12. Smith & Wesson Extreme Ops

Smith & Wesson SWA24S 7.1 inch S.S. Folding Knife with 3.1 inch Serrated Clip Point Blade and Aluminum Handle for Outdoor, Tactical, Survival and EDC

A hefty knife with a sharp, serrated blade, the Extreme Ops has a variety of applications as an everyday carry or self-defense tool. A trusted brand in armaments, Smith & Wesson brings the same level of craftsmanship and quality to their folding knives.

The heavy-duty construction and combat-inspired design make it the best folding knife for self-protection. The carbon-infused steel blade has excellent edge retention, a sharpness that you can also find in the serrated edges.

While it’s a bit heavier than other folding knives, the weight also makes it possible to throw the knife with pinpoint accuracy. As the perfect blend of both survival and tactical knife, this is one model that can get you through a lot of dangerous situations.

Key Features

  • Carbon-infused stainless blade steel has exceptional edge retention and blade strength
  • The serrated handle is razor-sharp for cutting and sawing
  • Twin thumb studs allow single-hand blade deployment and operation
  • Steel liner lock keeps the blade in place and prevents accidental opening
  • Contoured aluminum handle increases grip
  • Bell clip is long enough to stabilize knife when clipped for easy transport

13. CRKT CEO EDC Folding Pocket Knife

CRKT CEO EDC Low Profile Gentleman's Pocket Knife with Liner Lock and Glass Reinforced Fiber Handle

With a simple design, the CEO Folding Knife is an elegant tool that fits well in a professional environment. CRKT has a long history of making elegant and innovative folding knives, and this model is no exception.

This folding knife is style and substance in one package. It pairs well with most business and smart casual outfits, allowing it to be a statement piece that you can disguise as a pen until a letter needs opening or you need to trim away some frayed threads on your button-down.

Stylish without sacrificing blade performance, it’s a folder that can instantly give you an aura of sophistication and class once you flick it out. Built to perform well and look good while doing it, this model is an everyday carry that can make an impression as sharp as it cuts.

Key Features

  • 3.10″ 8Cr13MoV Stainless blade steel construction is lightweight and durable
  • Ball-bearing pivot system allows for smooth and fast deployment
  • Steel locking liner keeps the blade in place at all times
  • The slim profile is discreet enough to carry in the front pocket
  • Reinforced G-10 glass nylon handle ensures a steady and easy grip
  • Deep carry clip securely holds a knife when not in use
  • You will be able to lock/unlock the knife with one hand
  • Clip point blade conceals nicely in the handle

14. Gerber Paraframe I Knife

Gerber Paraframe I Knife with Fine Edge Model No: 22-48446

The Gerber Paraframe I is a sturdy and reliable folder that’s an excellent addition to any workman’s toolbox. One of the largest suppliers of knives to the US military, they’ve brought the same level of quality to the everyday man.

A lightweight, minimalist knife, this is everything you need from a work-ready folder. The stainless steel construction isn’t flashy, but the material itself can withstand impacts and corrosion without scuffing the finish or dulling the edge.

It’s easy to clean and doesn’t require frequent sharpening, which makes this a reliable-performing folder that doesn’t require a lot of work to maintain.

Anyone working on construction sites, renovations, or anything relating to hardware installations can definitely make use of this sharp and sturdy folder in their pocket. It’s ready to go from the moment you unwrap it, and it’ll stay that way for years.

Key Features

  • High carbon stainless blade steel is rust-proof and resists weathering
  • Clip-point blade design offers extra cutting room
  • Dual thumb studs for effortless blade deployment
  • Frame lock handle secures the blade in place once opened
  • Hollow stainless steel handle shaves off extra weight
  • Deep carry clip for easy handling and transport

15. Benchmade – 940 EDC Manual Open Folding Knife

Satin Finish Benchmade - 940 EDC Manual Open Folding Knife with Reverse Tanto Blade

Adept at slicing and cutting through various materials, the Benchmade Osborne has the best knife-to-handle ratio that you can find with any folder on the market.

The tanto blade design gives the edge a unique kind of toughness that you can’t find with bigger knives and allows it to sustain a lot of heavy use. The unique design doesn’t detract from its performance at all – it’s equally at home at your desk or beside you on a field assignment.

This is a utility knife that you use when you need a few good slices and nothing more. It’s durable enough for more demanding tasks while remaining sharp enough for repeated use.

Key Features

  • Stainless steel blade has excellent rust and stain resistance
  • Tanto fixed blade design handles easily and cuts smoothly on both sides
  • AXIS locking mechanism prevents accidental openings/closings of the blade
  • The anodized aluminum handle provides excellent traction when gripped
  • Lightweight and slim design easily fits into pockets, bags, or any compact space
  • Spoon pocket clip allows easy handling and transport

16. Smith & Wesson Folding Knife

Smith & Wesson Border Guard High Carbon Folding Knife with 4.4 inch Serrated Tanto Blade and Aluminum Handle for Tactical, Survival and EDC

Smith & Wesson Folding Knife is a pocket-friendly knife you will ever get. The model is carefully designed to stay safe in your pockets when not in use. The blades sharpness is experienced right out of the box.

You can slice or pierce anything easily without sweating it. In addition, the assisted opening is fast. Total safety is also observed since when the blade opens since a sound is produced to show that the line lock is securely in place.

The line lock is solidly set up and allows the blade to go to about ¾ of the way when opened hence the blade does not pop loose at all. In this case, the blade does not open in the pocket hence no instances of accidents are encountered.

You can rely on the toughness and sharpness of the knife to tackle any work. This folding knife is the best companion of all times. Nothing is so stubborn slice, cut or pierce with this great piece of work.

Features I Liked Most

  • Safe to keep in the pocket
  • Great workability
  • Beautiful design
  • Sharp blade

17. Gerber DMF Folding Knife

Black Gerber DMF Foldable Knife

You will ask yourself how you have been surviving without Gerber DMF Folding Knife when you first use it. The knife is competent enough to complete any tasks you wish to do. Be it opening a bottle, cutting through wood, busting a sheet metal, cutting food, name them. The model is highly classified as the best workhorse for any heavy duty.

The tool is compact and lightweight hence it perfectly fits into your pockets. Its sleek design takes you to upper class. It is beautifully modeled for comfort while using and security while undertaking various tasks.

You can rely on the performance of the knife. It is made of high-quality materials that offer the toughness you require. The blades do not wrap, neither do the handles chip off even after long periods of use. The knife cuts seamlessly like a ninja, and it is the hero you need in your daily chores.

Features I Liked Most

  • Compact and lightweight
  • Best for heavy duty
  • High-quality design
  • High performance
  • Multipurpose

18. Rapala5 Fishing/Camping Folding Fillet

Rapala 5 Fishing and Camping Folding Fillet

Nothing feels good like using a first class quality knife that gives exceptional value for its price. Rapala5 Fishing/Camping Folding Fillet is the real deal gives back the money within a few days of use. Believe me; the top performance it gives is incomparable with its purchase. You will love its efficiency and workability.

The compact and rugged knife is well built. Its handle grips are textured and give a cushioned feel for total comfort and secure grip.With the sturdy lock-back design, there are no instances of accidents experienced while using the model. With this remark, everyone can use the knife, be it a first timer or a veteran.

The five-inch blade is great for any kind or heavy-duty. You can misuse the knife with a lot of work, and it will not wear out easily. You might gift it to your grandchildren when you are done using it.

Features I Liked Most

  • Cuts efficiently
  • Effortless to operate
  • Long lasting

19. Shun Higo Nokami Stainless-Steel Steak Knife

Black Color Shun Higo Nokami Personal Folding Stainless-Steel Steak Knife with sheath

If you need a knife that gives you clean cuts with the first attempt, then you should be looking for Shun Higo Nokami Personal Folding Stainless-Steel Steak Knife. The super steel blade cuts like no man’s business.

The model comes in a variety of versions hence you have the liberty to choose what will work for you perfectly. Some are small while others large. The knife comes in a lavish design. You can comfortably remove it and use it publicly without scaring people around you.

Believe me; everyone would be scared if you pull out an ugly knife. In fact, I would gladly recommend it to a dapper gentleman who would wish to use it for an evening out.

The knife alone will make her more intrigued. It will make your schedule run smooth as you will have less time to cut and more fun to enjoy your dinner. Imagine using a blunt and ugly knife with special people around you? You might lose your temper while straining to cut and ruin your day.

Features I Liked Most

  • Cuts seamlessly
  • Lavish design
  • Affordable

Things to Consider to Buy a Folding Knife

You will not want to purchase your foldable knife blindly. Many mistakes are made when people go for knives that please them by their appearance or price. Of course, everyone would run for cheaper models and assume they work efficiently as the more expensive models.

After all, a pocket knife is just a pocket knife, right? You are wrong if you think so. Here are some of the factors that should be your top priority when considering a great purchase;

Construction

The blades, handles, size and materials used to construct the knife should be the first to analyze. The blade should be long enough to tackle any work. It should be built of strong materials that do not wear out easily.

A good knife would depict stainless steel construction that does not chip off, even with any misuse. The handles should offer a firm grip for safety. Besides, the overall design should be cute for you to use it confidently in public.

Budget

You should purchase a knife that lies within your budgets. There are so many varieties of models that depict nice features and come at affordable prices. Hence, such models will do the work you need to be done perfectly without straining your wallet. The knife should be reliable for long life use. This way, you will enjoy the value of your money for a long time.

Safety

The foldable knife will stay in your pockets when not in use hence you need to consider your safety. Carelessly constructed models may not fold well. The blades may be too loose to unlock anyhow and might cost your life, in addition, and the handles should offer firm and secure grips that will not slide when in use.

The blades should be sharp but not too sharp to risk the users to slice themselves.

Design

I would go for an attractive design with beautiful colors. This would give me the courage to pull out the knife and use it confidently at any given time. Being a woman, the shape and size would matter.

I cannot imagine keeping an ugly model in my pockets, let alone using it before people. When window-shopping for a knife, the looks should convince me, before looking keenly to its features.

Final Words – Wrapping it up

So what’s the best folding knife for you? Price and performance-wise, we found that the Kershaw Blur is the best everyday carry on the market – but, with that said, every product listed above is a brilliant knife with its own great features!

No matter which one you pick, you’re guaranteed a useful and reliable blade that will last for years.

Brian M. Casey

    Product reviewer & passionate blogger. Beside writing for this blog, I spend my time crafting research based contents for HuffingtonPost, Lifehacker & Forbes!

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