Tips for Sifting Through the Details to Find a Good Everyday Pocket Knife

Sunday, March 4, 2012

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.


1 comment said...

I started hiking about twenty years ago when I lived in North Carolina. I spent years hiking the Uwharrie and Appalachian mountains and really enjoyed it. Three years ago I moved to South Florida and wasn't able to hike due to a back injury. Seven months ago I moved to Northern Illinois and was able to start hiking again. The prairie and hill hiking is completely different than the hiking I did in North Carolina, but still really fun. I have spent the past couple months hiking the forest preserves in the county I live in and the surrounding counties. I'm not use to the cold weather yet, and to be honest I really don't want to get use to it. Thankfully, spring is almost here and along with it warmer weather...YAY! I'm looking forward to hiking the trails around here when the trees have leaves on them and I don't have to wear four layers of clothing just to stay warm.

I though I would share some of my equipment tips with everyone. I bought a good fitting pair of waterproof hiking boots, a small backpack for my day hikes, and a couple cans of tent waterproofing. For extra protection from the water I sprayed my boots from top to bottom with the tent waterproofing. Then I sprayed my backpack, let it dry, and sprayed it again with the tent waterproofing to protect everything inside my pack from the rain. Whenever I go hiking, from day trips to week long hikes, I always take along the following items. Some people might think that taking some of these items is being overly cautious, but you never know when you might get hurt or lost and being prepared can make the difference between a fun hike and disaster.
1. I clip a stainless steel water bottle to one of the straps of my backpack and fill it with fresh water before every trip.
2. I pack a first-aid kit in my pack. I make sure the kit has Tylenol, Advil, iodine, hydrogen peroxide, bandages(different sizes), ACE bandages, first aid tape, popsicle sticks (for splints), needle, thread, and tweezers.
3. Water purification tablets, a couple extra bottles of water, and food. For food I pack a few apples and some dried fruit with nuts.
4. Rain poncho
5. Emergency blanket, the one that looks like aluminum foil... it really does keep you warm.
6. A compass
7. If you can get one, pack a map of the trail or of the surrounding area.
8. A knife
9. A coil of lightweight rope
10. A small tarp. Along with the rope, the tarp can be used to make a make-shift tent if you have to unexpectedly spend the night in the woods.
11. Water-proof matches, flint and steel, and a knife sharpener
12. an extra pair or two of socks
13. A flashlight
14. Plastic bags. I have a roll of plastic bags that you can cut to size then tie off the bottom. The plastic bags are good to pack your stuff in to protect if from water even though your pack will be water-proof. I also use the bags to put my trash in and any trash I pick up along the trail. Remember, pack it in...pack it out!

On my website,, I have a day hike check list, long distance hiking check list, camping check list and my outdoor journal. I also have links to very good companies that sell all your outdoor gear needs at great prices. I also have from E-books up for FREE download!