It seems like almost everyone owns some level of pocket knife. Soccer moms, business executives, teenagers-they all carry at least one in their purse, their briefcase, their car or some other handy location. Most knives tend to be designated into one of two categories: those intended for domestic use, meaning for the preparation of food in the kitchen, or those intended for outdoor use. Pocket knives, of course, fall into the latter category. However, there is quite a bit of variety in pocket knife designs, and certain kinds are more likely to be used in specific situations.
When it comes to soccer moms toting pocket knives, they usually favor the classic Swiss Army knife, or some knockoff thereof. Everyone knows what a Swiss Army knife looks like: lots of little knives, saws, screwdrivers, bottle openers, oem knife manufacturers scissors, pliers, corkscrews, files and tweezers that fold out of an ovular cavity. Of course, Swiss Army knives come in a variety of levels. The most basic model, the Swiss Army Classic Knife, has only a knife, a nail file, a pair of scissors, a pair of tweezers and a toothpick. This is the probably the most popular model across various demographics, which would explain why it is offered in non-classic colors like translucent pink, amethyst and even tie dye. More comprehensive models include the Swiss Army Climber, Champ and Huntsman knives.
Outside of Swiss Army knives and their kin, there are a number of single-bladed knives designed for rough outdoor use. The blade of such a knife locks into place, allowing the user to use it without fearing that the blade will snap shut and cut off a finger. Unlike a Swiss Army knife, the blades of these knives can often be deployed with one hand, making them very convenient. The blade is often divided into two sections. The outer half is a straight edge, designed for basic cutting, while the inner half is serenaded, intended for sawing and cutting tougher materials. The blades are usually stainless steel, and the handles can be nylon, fiberglass, aluminum or some other lightweight material.
These single-bladed knives are manufactured by a variety of companies and cover a fairly wide price range. The least expensive are only about $15, but these are usually miniature versions of full-size knives. The Gerber Paraframe, for example, has a 2.25 inch blade and weights just over one ounce. Similarly, the Buck Metro Knife’s blade measures just over an inch and weighs only 1.5 ounces. These miniature knives are very convenient, but they are not intended for heavy duty outdoor use.
Full-sized locking knives start at around $30, but these are very basic models. The Gerber Paraframe I-Serrated, the Columbia River Mt. Shasta and the Leatherman C303 Combination Edge knives are all examples of good, basic knives that can be purchased for a reasonable amount of money.
If you really want the best outdoor knife available and money is no object, expect to spend about $200. Benchmade make a number of high-quality models, including the 930 Kulgera Locking and the 940 Osborne Serrated knives. These feature powder-made steel blades that remain sharp and are resistant to corrosion.