It’s no secret that I love everyday carry items, particularly folding (pocket) knives. Some people scoff at the idea of carrying one in normal life, but even they would find utility in it given the opportunity.
Many people think of a pocket knife as a self-defense weapon, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. Yes, it could be used in that situation, but so could your car keys, a wrench, or ballpoint pen. Your average person carrying a pocket knife is not doing so for their protection.
Instead, the true function is primarily accomplishing everyday tasks such as opening Amazon boxes and cutting loose threads. The more you carry one, the more uses you’ll find.
Understanding the Market
If you’ve never purchased a pocket knife, you might be astonished to know that they range in cost from $10 – $1,000s of dollars. Typically, however, if you’re spending $500+ on one, you’re probably buying a custom knife that is handmade (or similar) by a prominent designer. It’s the equivalent of art (the artist and methods add value). Some of these knives are commonly referred to as pocket jewelry.
Custom Shamwari, modeled by Kalena
For the sake of this article and the recommendations I’ll make, we are not even going to touch on those. In fact, let’s drop our maximum price all the way down to the $100 range. If you’re new to carrying, don’t splurge on anything more than that…let yourself grow into it.
Outside of the name/designer of the knife, there are many other things that determine the value. A few examples of those are blade steel, handle/scale material, locking method, physical size, availability, country of origin, manufacturer, and deployment method (amongst many others).
For anyone researching this, you’ve probably heard of the major manufacturers such as Spyderco, Benchmade, Buck, Victorinox (Swiss Army), and many more. For my recommendation for a quality pocket knife that won’t break the bank, is easy to use, and doesn’t look intimidating, those are the types of brands I recommend.
Whether it’s a Christmas gift for someone else or you’re just spoiling yourself, go with the Benchmade Bugout or Mini Bugout. The only major difference is size, but both are compact and light.
Full-size Benchmade Bugout
I have owned many variations of Bugouts over the years, even multiple customized versions. It’s my go to recommendation for people who aren’t “in to pocket knives” like I am.
But I also get asked a lot about what I carry. While I have a decent collection, I’ll highlight a couple that I really enjoy.
First up is the Chris Reeve Sebenza. It’s a classic American-made workhorse. The variant I currently have is the Large with Macassar Ebony Inlays.
Chris Reeve Large Sebenza with Macassar Ebony Inlays
Next, and in a completely different market, is a Vero Engineering Axon. Designed in Florida, made in China, this production folding knife is both fun and functional. This one adds a little “fidget factor” to a daily carry.
Vero Engineering Axon with Red G10 Scales