Updated on 16 October, 2021
You've probably seen all kinds of different small pocket knives. They come in all shapes and sizes, and can even come in disguised models. The question is: which one should you get? Here are some pros and cons of the most popular small pocket knives.
Size & Length: When it comes to size, some of the smallest pocket knives actually measure up to 2.36 inches in length. And larger is not always better, either. A large pocket knife can be cumbersome to use and hold, not to mention illegal if you live in a neighborhood where it gets stolen. On the other hand, a small pocket knives can actually be easier to use, even for simple tasks like eating. You can get thinner knives, but they won't have the same impact as larger ones.
Weight: The weight of a small pocket knives is actually going to vary more than you might think. For instance, an Italian knife can weigh anywhere from two to three ounces, while some blades are only about half an inch long. Of course, the overall length will also affect the weight. Some smaller knives are so lightweight that you'll barely notice them, but some of the longer knives can weigh several ounces.
Sharpness: It's true that some of the smallest pocket knives are not as sharp as other types of knives. But there are plenty of options that have replaceable blades and other clever features that help sharpen your blade for easy cutting jobs. The best knife for the task is often the one that has a good balance between size and sharpness.
Strength: Even though many people think small pocket knives should be easy to carry around, they're not. When you're using a knife blade, it's not just about how light it is, but how strong it is as well. Even when you're just using it to open your beer can at the local tavern, you want a knife blade that can take the abuse. You don't want something that will easily break in one fell swoop, but you do want something that will hold up for many uses.
Gauge: All small pocket knives should come with a standard steel drop point. However, if you need a more ergonomic knife, you can choose a Japanese sawing knife blade or a paring knife with a sandstone tip. Both have the advantage of being very thin and having different handles. Many times a sawing knife will have a thumb studded paddle that you can slide over the blade. This makes for a very comfortable grip, even on your everyday carry type knives.
Blade: Obviously the best small pocket knives have a good size blade and a decent length. However, some designs can make a bigger knife safer to carry in certain situations. For instance, if you need a knife in your work glove, a paring knife with a serrated edge may be a better choice than a paring knife with a smooth edge. If you're going to be cutting thick wood, a large blade isn't necessary. A steak knife is a good general purpose tool. For the most utility, consider purchasing one with a double edge feature.
The best small pocket knives are made by Spyderco. They provide a good all around knife that can stand up to anything you throw at it. The blades are made of high quality steel and are available in a variety of lengths and designs.
Clips: Since many people carry a keychain or some sort of small pocket clip, they make an excellent addition to your EDC gear. Clip type tools usually have a solid grip and a tapered edge on the end. It's important to get one that is comfortable to hold. Some brands of Spyderco knives have a thumb studded grip which is a much better choice.
Drop Points: Some drop point knives come with a top strap which can be converted to a safety grip if needed. If you plan on using this knife in an outdoor situation you will need a blade that offers a good balance. Having a sharp point that will easily penetrate even an acrylic glass shower door can be difficult. Most drop points will offer a replaceable tip that comes with a pre-made grip.
Overall, Spyderco has developed some of the best pocket knives on the market. Their new line of products, including the butterfly and dragonfly designs, offer everything from a compact tactical folder, to an all-purpose everyday utility knife. These pocket blades are offered in a wide variety of configurations to accommodate a number of different needs. At just over two inches long, the Spyderco Pro knife is also one of the smallest pocket blades available.