Pocket knives are the ultimate multi tools as they are compact, lightweight, robust, sharp, versatile, and stylish. From chopping wood to slicing food and cutting wires to defending against attacks, pocket knives have been used for various purposes since thousands of years ago.
There are different pocket knife types depending on the type of blade and type of edge. In this pocket knife guide, we will learn about what is pocket knife, pocket knife blade types and uses, things to make with a pocket knife, and many more.
What Is Pocket Knife
A pocket knife is also referred to as a folding knife and a jackknife. It is a small, folding knife that comes with one or more blades that fold into the handle when not in use. A pocket knife can be easily carried in a pocket due to its compact design, which makes it the perfect multi tool for everyday tasks, outdoor adventures, tactical situations, and emergencies.
As for the pocket knife history, this versatile tool has a rich history dating back to 600 BCE. In the past, pocket knives were usually made from wood or bone and had only one blade. With time, they became more refined as they contained numerous blades and other functions like corkscrews, can openers, etc.
At present, pocket knives are made from different materials such as stainless steel, carbon steel, alloy steel, titanium, carbon fiber, cobalt, etc. There are different parts of a pocket knife, such as edge, tang, spine or back, nail mark, point, belly, and kick. In addition to that, they are available in a wide range of sizes and blade types.
Pocket Knife Types Based on the Number of Blades
In order to match the wide range of preferences, pocket knives are often classified based on their edge types, number of blades, knife blade types, etc. Depending on the number of blades the pocket knives have, they can be categorized into single blade pocket knives and multi blade pocket knives.
Single-blade Pocket Knife
ALT Text: Single-blade Pocket Knives
In simple words, single-blade pocket knives are knives that feature only one blade. This is the primary difference with the multi-blade knives. Single-blade knives are typically smaller and lighter in weight, making them ideal for EDC purposes. Also, these knives are available in a wide range of blade shapes, such as clip-point, drop-point, sheepsfoot, etc.
The single blade pocket knife is easier to carry, has a minimalist design, and is less bulky compared to a multi-blade knife. As single-blade pocket knives only have a single blade, it is often sturdy and lasts for a long time. As there are less moving parts, they tend to be more robust and need less maintenance. In addition to that, due to their simpler design, they are less expensive compared to multi-blade pocket knives.
The single-blade pocket knives are used for a variety of applications, such as EDC, camping, backpacking, general-purpose cutting, self-defense, and many more. However, they are the most suitable for everyday tasks such as opening crates, chopping food, doing repairs, etc.
Multi-blade Pocket Knife
ALT Text: Multi-blade Pocket Knife
A multi-blade pocket knife comes with more than 2 blades, and each blade will have its own specific purpose. Due to the versatility of multi-blade pocket knives, they are ideal for tackling a wide range of complex tasks. The multi-blade pocket knives usually have different blade types, such as sheepsfoot, spey, drop point, clip-point, serrated, wharncliffe, pen, corkscrew, and many more.
As the multi-blade pocket knives have a variety of blades, there is no need to carry separate knives for different tasks. Despite having numerous blades, many multi-blade pocket knives remain relatively compact and portable. However, compared to single-blade knives, they are more bulky and expensive.
The majority of the multi-blade pocket knives include other tools such as screwdrivers, saws, bottle openers, awls, and many more. As for the applications of these knives, they can be used for camping, fishing, outdoor activities, survival situations, crafting, DIY projects, etc.
3 Common Designs Of Pocket Knives
As mentioned above, there are a wide variety of pocket knives that are available in the present market in numerous designs. However, the most popular or 3 common designs of pocket knives are the pen knife, the jack knife, and the multi-purpose knife.
What is a pen knife? The pen knife is a tiny, folding knife with only one blade that comes with a sleek, slim handle. A pen knife mostly comes with a clip point or spey blade. Due to its compact size and discreet design, it is easily concealable and can be carried in a pocket. This makes a pen knife a perfect choice for EDC tasks.
The primary difference between a pen knife and other types of pocket knives is its single blade. Due to that, it is suitable for tasks that need a sharp, accurate blade for precise cutting. However, pen knives can not be used for heavy-duty tasks. Also, they have a slim design and are lighter in weight, making them comfortable and easy to carry.
What is a pen knife used for? There are various applications of pen knives, such as EDC, office use, preparing food, general-purpose cutting, travel, backpacking, and many more.
What is a jack knife? In simple words, a jack knife is the upgraded and more powerful version of a pen knife. It comes with two robust blades, usually a main blade and a smaller secondary blade. The main blade usually has a spear point clip or clip point design and the secondary blade may feature a wharncliffe blade, pen blade, or sheepsfoot blade design.
There are two potential theories behind why is it called jack knife. As per the first theory, “jack” refers to a generic man, while “leg” refers to the carved leg-shaped handles of knives. This theory is supported by the term “jocktelegs” used in northern England and Scotland to call a knife. Another theory suggests that the name comes from a 17th-century Flemish knifemaker named Jacques de Liège. This name could have been mispronounced as “Jack the Leg” by non-French speakers.
The larger size, versatility, and sturdier construction of the jack knives make them suitable for heavier-duty tasks. They are relatively durable and quite expensive than pen knives. These knives can be used for cutting rope, hunting, fishing, outdoor activities, etc.
A multi-tool knife is the most versatile pocket-sized toolbox. It comes with a wide range of tools, such as several blades, pliers, can openers, screwdrivers, bottle openers, saws, etc. Due to that, multi-tool knives are used for almost all EDC tasks and outdoor adventures as well.
In comparison to pen knives and jack knives, multi-tool knives can be heavier and a little expensive. Even though they are equipped with numerous tools, many multi-tool knives are portable, so people can carry them conveniently in a backpack or pocket.
Understand Different Knife Blade Types and Uses
The pocket knives are available in a wide variety of blade types. Each blade type is known for its unique characteristics and applications, which makes it ideal for specific tasks. The primary knife blade types are mentioned below.
The bowie knife is a large, fixed-blade knife with a distinctive clip point blade and a guard. This type of blade is known for its strength, balance, and durability. The bowie knife comes with a full tang, which means the blade expands through the whole handle. Bowie knives are suitable for heavy-duty tasks like camping, hunting, survival, etc.
The karambit knife is a curved blade knife that comes with a finger ring on the end of the handle. The design of this blade is inspired by the claws of tigers. Karambit knives are usually very compact and lighter in weight, so they are easy to hide and carry around. The applications of these knives include EDC, self-defense, tactical tasks, etc.
The tanto knife is known for its unique chisel-ground blade with a straight edge and a clipped point. These knives are very robust, durable, and compact. They have a pointed tip that makes them the best choice for hunting, tactical use, and self-defense. The design of tanto knives is based on traditional Japanese swords.
The hawkbill knife features a curved blade that looks like the beak of a hawk. Due to the design of the curved blade with a sharp point, it is the best choice for pulling wires, slicing, cutting, skinning, and piercing. The applications of hawkbill knives include camping, hunting, fishing, EDC, survival, etc.
Gut Hook Knife
The gut hook knives have curved blades with a tiny hook on the back. They come with a relatively sharp blade and a pointed tip, so they are primarily used for gutting and skinning animals. Some of the major applications of a gut hook knife are fishing, hunting, preparing food, cutting rope, opening crates, etc.
Drop Point Knife
Coming to the drop point knife, it has a convex blade that curves towards the tip. Due to that, this type of knife comes with a strong point with a concave edge. The drop point knives feature a full tang and are quite strong and durable. Because of the blade’s versatility, it can be used for a wide range of tasks, such as survival, camping, EDC, etc.
Another type of pocket knife blade is the wharncliffe knife, which has a straight blade that is slightly curved upward towards the tip. The flat edge and sharp point design gives incredible control and precision. As wharncliffe knives come with thin blades, they are used for crafting, preparing food, cutting boxes, and other delicate tasks.
Clip Point Knife
The clip point knife comes with a curved blade that is narrowed towards the tip, which gives a pointed tip. It slightly resembles the drop point blade but has a more defined curve design. The clip point knives can feature a full or partial tang and have a sleek design. These knives offer great balance and are ideal for applications like EDC, camping, survival, self-defense, etc.
Spear Point Knife
The spear point knives have symmetrical blades with sharp tips and straight spine. They look like a mini spear and come with a full tang. The narrow blade of the spear point knife can be quite agile. As this type of blade is good for stabbing and piercing, it can be used for self-defense, military, fishing, hunting, etc.
Trailing Point Knife
The next type of pocket knife blade is a trailing point knife, which has a sharp blade with a straight spine that is curved upwards at the tip. Even though it looks like a drop point knife blade, the trailing point knife comes with a more defined belly. These knives have a full tang and are great for survival, camping, hunting, and other related activities.
The distinctive feature of a smatchet knife is that it comes with a heavy, machete-like blade. It has a relatively thick spine and a curved cutting edge. It is designed for heavy-duty tasks like chopping and clearing brush. Many smatchet knives feature a full tang and are ideal for heavy-duty tasks, such as chopping wood, survival, camping, etc. However, they are not the best choice for EDC purposes because of their heavy weight and bulky size.
Sheepsfoot knife is another popular pocket knife blade type that has a rounded blade with a blunt or slightly curved tip. This knife looks slightly like a sheep’s hoof and features a full tang. Due to the thin blade, these pocket knives can be used for cutting, craving, and other EDC tasks.
Various Pocket Knife Uses
The pocket knife is a multifunctional tool that can be used for everything from cutting food to self-dense. Let’s explore the primary uses for a pocket knife.
Pocket Knife For Self Defense
When people face a dangerous situation, a pocket knife can be a valuable tool for self-defense. Whether you come across a wild animal or are surrounded by criminals, a pocket knife can be used to defend yourself. Due to the quick accessibility, sharp blade, and versatility of these knives, they are a more practical option for self defense.
It is best to acquire a pocket knife with a sharp blade, robust construction, and a quick-opening mechanism. Mastering techniques such as knife disarms and basic blade strikes will make it easy to use the pocket knife for self defense.
Pocket Knife For Camping
Camping is fun, but it can become extra fun with a pocket knife. This is because a pocket knife can be used to prepare food, slice ropes, open cans, carve wood, build a fire, and set up essential pieces of camping gear. Thus, there is no need to carry bulky or multiple tools. Also, the pocket knife for camping comes with multiple types of blades like serrated blade, corkscrew, etc, which makes camping easy.
Pocket Knife For Wood Carving
As the pocket knife comes with sharp and versatile blades, it can be used to make intricate cuts and shapes on wood, creating beautiful wood works. Due to the compact size of the knife, it allows for precise control, so people can crave sculptures and detailed designs out of wood. As the pocket knife for wood carving is lightweight, it is ideal for delicate details and it is robust enough to handle more robust carving tasks.
Pocket Knife For Hiking
Pocket knife is one of the must-have tools for hiking. It can be used for various tasks throughout the hike, such as clearing away overgrown paths, opening food packets, cutting stuff, fixing minor rips or tears in the gear, etc. Also, the pocket knife for hiking can be used to chop wood and build a fire to enjoy a campfire after hiking.
Pocket Knife For Fishing
A pocket knife is also a great addition to the fishing tackle box. People can use the pocket knife for fishing to cut fishing lines, remove hooks, prepare fish baits, clean and chop fish, and many more. It is best to carry a pocket knife with a corrosion-resistant blade for fishing activities so that it can last long in saltwater environments.
Pocket Knife For Everyday Use
Pocket knife is a great multi tool that can be used for a wide range of everyday tasks. From cutting, slicing, and peeling vegetables to preparing food, a pocket knife is a versatile tool for the kitchen. The sharp blade of the pocket knives makes it easy to open crates, packages, and envelopes, which saves plenty of time.
As the pocket knife for everyday use comes with other tools, it can be used as a can or bottle opener, screwdriver, saw, and many more. In addition to that, these knives can be used to repair minor tears.
What Makes A Good Pocket Knife
Wondering what makes a good pocket knife? From the size, weight, type of steel used, knife handle materials to opening and locking mechanisms, there are various things to look for in a good quality knife.
Portability/Pocket Knife Size And Weight
The main reason people buy a pocket knife is due to its portability. So, it should be compact and lighter in weight to comfortably carry in the pocket. A knife that is too large will be bulky and difficult to carry, while a knife that is too small may lack some essential tools. A good pocket knife weight should be less than 5 ounces, and the closed length should be around 3 to 4 inches. Volken offers numerous compact, lightweight pocket knives that have multiple tools.
The type of steel used in the blade of the pocket knife will determine its sharpness, strength, performance, and durability. Different types of steel offer different grades of hardness, edge retention, and corrosion resistance. Volken uses only high-quality stainless steels like 2Cr13, 5Cr13, 8Cr13, and D2.
2cr13 stainless steel is budget-friendly and rust-resistant. 5cr13 stainless steel has better hardness and edge retention. 8cr13 stainless steel offers better corrosion resistance. D2 stainless steel or high-carbon steel has excellent edge retention and is robust.
Knife Handle Materials
The material used to create the knife handle affects the grip, comfort, and overall aesthetics. There are different types of materials that are used to make the handles of knives, such as carbon fibers, wood, stainless steel, bone, resin, carbon steel, aluminum, Micarta®, leather, Garolite (G-10 grade), titanium, FRN/ZYTEL®, etc.
Opening And Locking Mechanisms
The pocket knife should have a smooth opening and secure locking mechanism to ensure safety. There are various types of opening and locking mechanisms, such as slip joint, power lock, tri-ad lock, frame lock, liner lock, back lock, button lock, subframe lock, axis lock, steel lockbar insert, rotoblock, overtravel stop, thumb stud/stop pin, lever lock, ceramic ball-end lock, compression lock, etc.
Pocket knives are the best multi tools that everyone is interested in buying because they are portable, sharp, durable, versatile, and easy to carry. There is a wide range of pocket knives based on the type of blade, edge type, number of blades, and many more. It is best to consider the typical use cases and then select the pocket knife.
Businesses who want to sell pocket knives should order these knives from a reliable manufacturer to ensure quality, durability, and safety. Contact Volken right away to buy high-quality pocket knives in bulk at affordable prices.