How to Choose the Best Pocket Knife Under 50 Dollars
Sure, you can buy a pocket knife at any flea market, but if you’re looking for a tool that will last you should consider these things to pick the perfect pocket knife for you. Whether it’s for tactical purposes or day to day tasks, it’s important to select the right knife for the job.
Why should you choose a pocket knife rather than a fixed blade knife?
While a fixed blade might look big and impressive to carry, it can also become bulky and may not be suitable for every setting. A folding knife offers a comfortable, discreet option that can still boast a strong durable blade. Since it folds closed, it can be carried either clipped or loose in your pocket, whereas a fixed blade is always open and must be worn with a sheath. Pocket knives, in some instances, even offer multiple blades, making them far superior to the knife enthusiast that craves options. Here are some things to consider when selecting your knife.
Considering the Overall Length of the Pocket Knife
The overall length of the pocket knife should be within your districts legal limits. Aside from that, it should be a size that is comfortable for you to carry. Not too heavy or excessively long, even folded, for your particular setting, whether in the city or out in nature. You want to be able to use your pocket knife with ease.
Selecting the Blade Core Material of Best EDC Knife Under $50
When considering what blade core material your knife should be, think about the type of environment and tasks you will be using your knife for. Carbon steel holds a great edge but may tend to rust in places with moisture. Likewise, ceramic keeps an excellent edge but has very little flex to it and may snap. In general, steer clear from knives labeled ‘stainless steel’ or other generic terms, instead look for ones that have specific alloy names, such as 440c, 154CM, or K294 to list a few. Again, think about what you will mostly use this knife for when deciding which blade is right for you.
Selecting the Blade Length
Once you’ve decided the type of metal you prefer, think about the size of the blade you will need. Though blades come in small, medium, and large you should always be aware of the legal restrictions in your area to ensure you are within compliance.
Small Blades: A small blade is 2.75” or smaller. They are lightweight, easy to carry, and generally legal in most places. Don’t let their size fool you, for routine tasks such as opening boxes, cutting twine, or relaxing while whittling, this size pocket knife can be your best friend.
Medium Blades: Medium blades are 2.75”-4” and can be equally handy. They are still small enough to carry, yet large enough for heavier tasks. Whether for urban living or an outdoor adventure, a medium blade will rise to the occasion, making them perfect for everyday carry.
Large Blades: Blades longer than 4” are in a large category. They can do much of what a fixed blade knife would handle, without being cumbersome. Due to their larger size though, they can be heavier to carry and are often considered more of novelty knives, than a daily carry knife. And always stay current on what is legally permitted for your area.
Selecting the Blade Edge
There are three types of blade edges to choose from: plain, serrated, and combination edge. My son enjoys a combo blade because he finds himself in various situations where it’s good to have both options available in one blade. While I prefer a plain edge since it suits my daily tasks just fine. The type of blade that’s right for you will depend on your preference and what jobs you need to be done.
Plain Edge: A plain edge is good for push cuts and slicing. Think of the motions for cutting an apple or whittling. If these are the kinds of cuts you find yourself doing, then a plain edge may work out good for you. They are easy to sharpen yourself and, like any blade, should be kept clean and well maintained.
Serrated Edge: The serrated edge is for cuts requiring a sawing motion and heavier materials such as rope. If you notice you cut heavier materials, this could be the style of blade for you. They hold their edge well, however, when they need to be sharpened they require special tools and techniques to do so.
Combination Edge: Combination edges have just that, a combination of both the plain and serrated edge. Usually, the back half by the handle is serrated and the front half to the tip is a plain edge. This can offer the best of both worlds when it comes to knife edges. It works well for both push cuts and more rigorous cutting. It all comes down to preference though, you know what you like and what chores you will be doing.
Considering the Pocket Knife Handle Under $50
In choosing your pocket knife handle you will need to decide how important appearance is to you. If you have a strong blade, but flimsy handle it can break under pressure. That doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice appearances though. There are so many options nowadays regarding knife handles.
Handle Length: Consider the length of the handle. This will vary with the size of the blade, and the style you choose. Be sure to bear in mind the size of your hand, how much leverage needed for the chores you do, and so on.
Handle Material: There is so much that can be said about material options, we have more ways to use metals and plastics than ever before. Celluloid, aluminum, steel, micarta, rubber, and composite materials to mention a few. As well as your classics: wood, bone, and mother of pearl. The type of handle you need will reflect the type of environment you’ll use your knife in. Titanium looks sleek but can get slippery when wet and gets hot or cold, depending on the climate. However, G-10 is not subject to getting hot and cold yet is still equally durable.
Handle Design & Structure: You may enjoy a classic look like bone, but don’t want to pay the price. There are plastic options that can replicate that design. Or maybe you prefer the tactical look, you might try micarta or Zytel. Also, take into account if you want a clip or not. The shape and position of the clip will affect how it hangs in your pocket, so take notice of the clip placement.
Handle Grip: Handle grip is important, you want it to set comfortably in your hand. This will vary depending on the size of your hands and whether you’ll be using gloves or not.
Safety Features of a Best Pocket Knife Under $50
Safety is always chief, having the correct knife for the tasks at hand will even help prevent injuries. For example, a slip joint knife is not good for a stabbing motion because it doesn’t have a locking blade, therefore it can fold down on your fingers.
Opening mechanisms can vary from manual to automatic, be sure to know what is legal for you. In general, automatic knives are restricted to law enforcement and possibly military. Also, some regions consider automatic and assisted to be the same.
Manual Opening Knife: The manual opening knife is the ancestor of knives, the original way a knife could be used. Manual opening knives would include the single-hand and two-hand opening knives. Since they are not as fast to open as their automatic counterparts, they are widely accepted mostly everywhere.
Single-Hand: Single-hand knives can be opened with one hand and typically have either a stud or hole for your thumb to use in flicking the blade open. Even though it’s manual, it can be opened in a flash!
Two-Hand Opening Knife: Two-hand opening knives are like a Swiss Army knife, requiring the use of both hands to open them. They have a little niche for your fingernail to grab the blade. Although slower to open, they are faithful for everyday jobs.
Automatic Opening Knife: Automatic opening knives have been banned from the general public because they were considered too dangerous but think of the classic 1950’s switchblade. Opening effortlessly, with just one hand and the push of a switch. Be aware of your local laws before carrying one.
Assisted Opening Knife: An assisted opening knife is a hybrid of the manual and automatic opening knife requiring you to initiate the blades movement. Using one hand, your thumb presses the device that applies pressure until the internal spring swiftly forces the blade open. Some places deem an assisted knife the same as an automatic, so it pays to check your local laws.
The Locking Mechanism of Best EDC Knife Under $50
The locking mechanism is what keeps the blade in place, so it won’t snap down on your fingers. Your knife is then basically like a fixed blade knife, once your blade is locked in place. There are three basic varieties of locking mechanisms: the lock back, frame-lock, and liner-lock. Finding the one you prefer is really just a matter of preference.
Lockback Pocket Knife: The lock back pocket knife offers strength and is reliable. When the blade opens it locks into a notch on the spine of the handle. To release the blade simply press the notch on the spine of the handle and the blade folds back down.
Frame-Lock Pocket Knife: In similar fashion, the frame-lock pocket knife locks open, but its’ device is the frame itself. The inside part moves over, locking the blade in place. To unlock, reverse the process, carefully move the device from blocking the blade and return your knife to a folded position.
Liner-Lock Pocket Knife: With the liner-lock pocket knife, there is a liner, inside the frame of the handle, that moves in front of the blade locking it into position. So, the same is true here, push the liner piece out of the way of the blade and your knife is ready to fold again.
As you see, there are many choices out there, but equipped with this knowledge you can pick the perfect pocket knife for your style and duties. Whether heavy or light assignments, there is a pocket knife for all your tasks. I hope this has been helpful to you for deciding which pocket knife will suit you best.