The following is a guest post by COAST Products:
Today’s consumers face a uniquely modern dilemma: too many choices. As evidence, consider that it’s not unusual for a supermarket to offer 50,000 items for sale. In comparison, a 1940s supermarket might have sold 3,000 items, according to The Business of Food. You can bet modern shoppers spend far more time with mouths agape, overwhelmed by the sheer number of cereals, olives or lunchmeats to choose from.
This same pattern applies to the search for a good pocket knife. Actually, it’s compounded when you’re looking for a folded knife, because there are hundreds of thousands of knives for sale online. A search for “pocket knife” on the Google Shopping website returns 1,630,000 items – more products than the average Victorian-era shopper probably saw in an entire lifetime.
The search for a high-quality, long-lasting pocket knife can seem like a gargantuan task, unless you know what questions to ask. The following questions will help you find the right folding knife for your needs.
How Will I Use My Pocket Knife?
We’re assuming you’re looking for an EDC (everyday carry) knife, something that conveniently fits into your pocket and can be put to good use on a daily basis. It’s surprising how often one uses a pocket knife when it’s just an arm’s length away. If you’re looking for a knife for hunting or fishing, you’ll probably want a tactical or sporting knife rather than a general-use folding knife.
What Activities Will I Use it for the Most?
Your occupation and daily activities will determine which is the best pocket knife for you. For instance, while a paper-pushing cubicle worker might use his or her folding knife mostly for opening envelopes and food or other packaging, a construction worker might require a folding knife to cut open the tough plastic around building materials. To begin to narrow down which features you need, think about which of the following tasks you’d be likely to complete with your pocket knife.
First aid: Removing splinters, cutting bandage, cutting seatbelts in emergencies.
Look for a serrated edge, which will come in handy for cutting away seatbelts and bandages. A sharp tip is ideal for working out splinters.
Office duty: Opening envelopes, cutting twine, prying open food containers.
A flat-edge folding knife should work nicely for these purposes. You may want a locking blade, so the knife won’t open while you’re running errands around town. The Titanium-folder, for example will meet your needs and then some: Your co-workers will be wowed by this beautiful knife.
Food prep. Cutting cheese, preparing produce, spreading peanut butter.
During emergencies or while camping, a pocket knife can come in handy for food preparation. Chefs understand that a sharp knife is a safe knife. If your pocket knife is dull, it will be harder to control the handle while you’re preparing food. Ideally, you want a folding knife that stays sharp for a long time. Additionally, your knife should feel solid and comfortable in your hand.
Self defense: Fighting off attackers, scaring away muggers.
When you’re fending off an attack, you don’t want to waste time getting your knife ready. Both assisted-opening knives are quick on the draw, assuming you spend a little time practicing with them. Be sure to check your state’s laws regarding assisted-opening knives – some states restrict or even ban their use.
Which Features are most Important to Me?
Once you’re aware of how you will use your pocket knife, you can prioritize top features such as our new Rapid Response Knives.
Here are a few traits to consider:
Weight and feel. How comfortable does the knife feel in your hand? Will it seem too heavy if you carry it around all day?
Size. An EDC folding knife should slide easily into your pocket. Some people prefer to carry their knife in a suit pocket, where it is less obvious.
Blade edge. A serrated section will bump up the versatility of your pocket knife.
Protective sheath. Some folding knives come with a protective case. For instance, the C103 Mustang is shipped with its own leather belt sheath.
Blade material. Folding knife blades may be composed of carbon steel, stainless steel or even titanium alloys. You could spend a lifetime understanding the different types of metals used in knife blades, but in general, stainless steel is resistant to corrosion and easy to sharpen. Carbon steel is more durable than stainless steel but more susceptible to corrosion.
While pocket knife aficionados would probably add other features, this list is a great starting point for someone looking for a good everyday pocket knife.