Everything you Need to Know About Pocket Knives

Posted by Steven Tuckey on

Whether camping, hiking, or engaging in other outdoor activities, having a pocket knife is always a good call as you never know what lies ahead in your journey. Pocket knives allow you to do many things, even outside what regular knives can do, and the best thing; they are portable. 

There are also different pocket knives, with some even multipurpose tools perfect for anyone who loves the outdoors. Some of these knives also differ in edges, making them ideal for specific situations. 

If you want to know everything there is to know about pocket knives, we encourage you to read the article and marvel at these fantastic tools. 

What is a Pocket Knife?

Pocket knives, as their name indicates, are small and portable knives designed to make transporting more manageable. While you can always bring a regular cooks knife during your trips, problems arise when packing these tools with other equipment. 

Pocket knives eliminate the problem of your equipment being damaged by your  knife. They give you the same capabilities of a regular knife without the hassle when carrying it wherever you go. 

Some of these tools come in various shapes and sizes; others can be disassembled. The power of this tool’s portability cannot be understated, making them truly ideal for outdoor trips or other activities.  

Some portable knives are built for a specific function, while some, like multipurpose knives, try to be your all-in-one tool. Knowing what to bring and for which purpose is often the key to having a memorable and hassle-free outdoor trip. 

Why are Pocket Knives Essential?

Having tools that allow you to tackle different situations is the best thing you can do for success in the outdoors. Just as you find regular cooking knives useful inside your home, you will be thankful to have pocket knives when you go outside. 

That said, here are some of the reasons why pocket knives can be a lifesaver when you go hiking, biking, or on a camping trip: 

Hunting and Fishing are Much Easier

Nothing is more frustrating than catching a game or fish and not having a tool to skin and clean them up. Pocket knives are the hunter and fishing enthusiast’s best friend as they allow efficient skinning, scaling and cleaning. 

While you can try bringing your cooking knives to an outdoor adventure, they wouldn’t sit right among other equipment and might even damage them. A portable knife that can accomplish these things is a much better and more logical alternative. 

Cutting is a Breeze   

Ropes, small pieces of wood, and food in packs are some of the most common things people need to cut during outdoor trips. A portable cutting tool like a pocket knife makes cutting these items more manageable with little to no fuss. 

Made from the same materials as your kitchen knives and created to be more durable to handle the outdoors, you wouldn’t have to worry about anything when you have pocket knives at your disposal. 

Peeling Ingredients and Slicing Food is Effortless 

Eating on outdoor trips dictates how much energy you have for other activities, and nothing beats eating a meal that you prepared yourself. Pocket knives help prepare these meals, from peeling and slicing the ingredients easier and effortlessly. 

Imagine getting all the functionality of your regular cooking knives, only it’s portable and packed with other features you can’t see on these kitchen knives. That’s precisely what you will get when you bring a pocket knife. 

Crushing Spices is Faster

If you’re going down the home-cooked route, the best thing to do to make them tastier is to put spices on them. However, some spices like whole black peppers and ingredients such as rock salt need to be crushed to better incorporate their flavours into your food. 

By taking the flat side of your pocket knife and applying pressure on these ingredients, you can crush them and turn your regular meal into a gourmet experience outdoors. This might sound silly, but you will understand the idea when traveling in remote areas.

Toolmaking, Firestarting and Sheltering

One of the key areas pocket knives excel in is woodworking. And while you are unlikely to need a coffee table in the bush, making tools, shelter and fire are crucial. Working with your natural surroundings is the difference between survival and perishing, and the pocket knives are veritable powerhouses at a range of simple tasks. 

Strip fresh branches of their foliage and you have a walking stick, a support for a shelter, or a weapon. Gather brush, grasses and reeds for versatile shelter cover, twine or kindling. Split dry wood with a pocket knife and rock for firewood, the options are endless. Pockets knives are tools for making tools. 

Getting Out of a Sticky Situation is a Huge Possibility

One scary thing about the outdoors; it's unpredictable. One look at the countless movies and documentaries that chronicle nature’s unpredictability is all you need as proof. Having a pocket knife that can cut ropes that have gone haywire or protect you from whatever is out there can be the difference between going out unscathed or not. 

Aside from doubling as a weapon to fend off possible threats, having these tools will also allow you to quickly work out various obstacles or cut yourself loose from a compromising position. From survival to menial tasks, you can trust that pocket knives have you covered. 

What are the Types of Pocket Knives Blades?

Now that we’ve established the different uses of pocket knives let us discuss their different types and when and where to use them. Not all knives are made the same. They were made according to specific situations you can use them for. 

Here are the different types of pocket knives and their function: 

Gut Hook Knife


A gut hook knife sports a unique design similar to a fishing spear, where the spine curves upwards and forms a hook before meeting the tip. The reason for this novel design is also in its name: it helps hunters clean and gut their captured game or fish. 

Drop Point Knife

Drop point knife

The drop-point knife has a slightly curved back that leads downward to the tip . The sharp edge is curved, making it perfect for slicing and cutting. That is the reason why it is a favourite among hunters. This type of pocket knife is the most common edge you will see, because of the wide variety of things you can do with it. 

Hawkbill/Talon Knife

hawksbill or talon knife

If you are familiar with a southeast Asian knife called “Karambit”, then you pretty much have an idea of what the hawkbill knife looks like. The cutting edge curves downward, creating a sickle-like form and making it perfect for cutting uneven surfaces and outdoor activities. 


sheepsfoot pocket knife

Sheepsfoot pocket knives are similar to drop-point knives because their spine curves to the tip. However, the significant difference is that the curve of Sheepsfoot knives is more pronounced and the cutting profile is much flatter. This knife is called Sheepsfoot, aside from looking like a hoof, because they were initially used as clippers for sheep hooves. But after quite some time, it was eventually used for other purposes. 


needlepoint pocket knife

Needlepoint knives resemble a spearhead or an arrowhead and are considered dangerous in some places. However, they are invaluable tools when you go on an outdoor adventure. Having two cutting edges means you can be as precise or as broad with your cuts or stabs, and it will still yield fantastic results. 

Spear Point

spear point pocket knife

While almost sharing the same look as needlepoint knives, their durability sets the spearpoint knives apart. Furthermore, the spine of this pocket knife isn’t sharpened and is used as leverage for cutting. However, the design of the spear point makes this particular pocket knife type ideal for almost all tasks. the broader tip gives this blade more durability than the finer Needlepoint. 


wharncliffe pocket knife

The Wharncliffe knife’s design is perfectly optimised for efficient cutting. The curved spine perfectly supports the edge, with a slight curve going into the handle. Although similar in profile to the Sheepsfoot, Wharncliffe blades tend to be thicker with a more curved cutting and spine profile. Due to their increased thickness, they usually will have a more pronounced primary bevel similar to a sabre grind.


Clip Point Pocket Knife

The most distinguishing feature of clip-point knives is their concave spine which drastically drops to the pronounced and pointy tip. This knife is perfect for puncturing different surfaces or making more precise cuts. So let’s say you didn’t bring a can opener; you can use this knife to pierce the can’s lid to open it. The most famous clip point blade would be the Bowie Knife, made famous in the Rambo movies.

Straight Back

straightback pocket knife

Straight-back knives have straight spines and cutting edges that curve to the tip. This design is built for maximum efficiency in cutting, and the curved cutting edge assists in making precise cuts every time. If you want to cut uneven surfaces, the straight-back pocket knife is the best tool. 


tanto pocket knife

The overall design of Tanto pocket knives is based on the Japanese short sword Tanto. This knife’s spine tends to be straight or slightly concave, with a curved cutting edge and angular, sharpened tip. This design also makes this pocket knife suitable for puncturing and accurate incisions. 

What are the Types of Pocket Knives Edges?

Another category you should be paying attention to before buying pocket knives is the edge type. Edges dictate when and where you can use a particular pocket knife since each design is specifically built for different situations. 

That said, here are the different types of pocket knife edges: 

Plain Edge

As their name suggests, plain edges are straight-cutting edges with no distinguishing quality. However, what they lack in other functions makes up for their precision cutting efficiency. The straight edge is perfect for cutting soft materials like ingredients and meat. 

Partially Serrated Edge

The partially serrated edge gives you the best of both worlds since it combines the plain edge and the serrated edge. When tackling rigid materials, you can use the jagged portion of the blade to serve as your saw, and there’s always the plain portion of the edge for regular materials.

Fully Serrated Edge

Having knives with fully serrated edges is like having a portable saw. Needless to say, this type of edge can cut through any rigid material. The teeth-like edge makes it possible to grind your knife slowly until you cut through whatever material you’re cutting. This knife edge is also perfect for cutting through items with uneven surfaces, making it an ideal outdoor tool. 

Specially Designed Pocket Knives

Sometimes, bringing a regular knife outdoors doesn’t cut it. Due to the ever-changing characteristics of nature, the tools you should bring with you should be able to adapt and give you the exact function you need. 

That said, here are some specially designed pocket knives for your outdoor needs: 


Multi-bladed Pocket Knives

As discussed earlier, there are different knife types for various situations. But if you’re going to be ready for an outdoor adventure, having all these knives within a single frame is useful, and this is what multi-bladed pocket knives are all about. 

multi-blade pocket knife

As their name suggests, multi-bladed knives house different types of blades for different situations. Perhaps you’re faced with an obstacle with rigid materials, you can utilize the serrated blade, and if you’re looking to cut ingredients, you can go for a plain edge. 


Multi-tooled Pocket Knives

At some point, Swiss army knives were on every man's wish list. That is because it has various valuable tools within its portable frame. Multi-tooled pocket knives like the Swiss army knife make perfect outdoor companions because of the range of tasks they can achieve. You also have other essentials at your disposal.

multi-tool pocket knife

Nail cutters and nail files, corkscrew, bottle opener, and can opener are some of the tools in this tool’s frame. This type of pocket knife is ideal when expecting to come across different situations, not just cutting or puncturing.

Cutting it Out

The outdoors can be scary, especially if you’re not adequately equipped for the journey. Aside from securing other essentials such as food, proper protective gear, and a good amount of hydrating fluids, do yourselves a favor and bring pocket knives to handle your outdoor needs. 

These knives are designed to tackle anything the outside world throws you. When equipped with these fantastic tools, you won’t have to worry about unexpected things getting in your way. 

All that’s left for you is to pick a pocket knife that catches your attention and is a perfect fit for your activity. Pack it with your other stuff, and enjoy a worry-free adventure outdoors. 

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