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What Should I Consider When Buying a Pocket Knife?

Diana Bocco
Diana Bocco

Buying a pocket knife can be a confusing experience. With the many models, prices, and sizes available, how do you know which one is the right one for you? If you are considering buying one, here are a few tips to help you choose the perfect knife.

Start by considering your needs. If you plan on using the knife for everyday emergency repairs around the house, you would be better off choosing a multipurpose model that offers tools like magnifying glass, scissors, and screwdriver. If you want to buy one that attaches to your keys, you will want a small pocket knife with only the essentials.

Some pocket knives also include a corkscrew.
Some pocket knives also include a corkscrew.

If, on the other hand, you are looking into buying a pocket knife that you can keep in your car, you can choose a larger model with more appropriate tools, such as a saw and blades. A knife with several tools is also a great idea if you frequently go camping or enjoy the outdoors. One that features a can opener and corkscrew is also ideal for campers, as it saves you the space of having to carry these items separately.

A pocket knife may contain multipurpose tools.
A pocket knife may contain multipurpose tools.

The next consideration when buying a pocket knife is design. Classic models come in plastic, usually colored, but wood and metal are also available. Simple models may include only a few blades in different sizes, so they may be smaller and lighter than the more complex models. The Swiss Army Knife, which may be the best known example of a pocket knife, is thought by some to be the most versatile of all models because of the variety of tools offered. The classic look of red metal with a white cross is easily identifiable, although they now come in a variety of colors and patterns. Imitations have popped over the years, although the original model, produced by Victorinox and Wenger, can be quite expensive. Complex models can have over 100 blades of different sizes.

When buying a pocket knife, keep in mind the three main types aside from the Swiss Army model: the small pen knife, which features either one or two simple blades; the Leatherman®, which is the preferred choice for the outdoor type because of its durability and numerous features; and the locking knife, which features a single blade, usually extremely sharp.

Discussion Comments


Times have really changed. When I was in high school in the 80s, nearly every guy I knew -- along with all the male teachers -- carried a pocket knife. They came in darn handy if you needed something and especially when you couldn't locate a custodian. We didn't think a thing about it. It was just a matter of course. I don't *ever* remember one being brought out as a weapon in a fight.

Nowadays, if you walk across the school parking lot with a folding nail file in your pocket, it's grounds for expulsion.


As a woman, I think, when buying a pocket knife, I'd look for something lightweight. If I kept it in my purse, I wouldn't want it to weigh my purse down. While Swiss Army knives have always fascinated me, I can't think why I'd need so many blades, since I'm not much of a survivalist. I think I'd like a couple of nice sharp blades, along with something like a screwdriver. That would be more useful for me.

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    • Some pocket knives also include a corkscrew.
      By: stevem
      Some pocket knives also include a corkscrew.
    • A pocket knife may contain multipurpose tools.
      By: Pshenichka
      A pocket knife may contain multipurpose tools.