Companies and Brands

8 Pocketknife Brands to Try Now

Folding knife stuck in a wooden log, close-up
HenadziPechan /

Picking the perfect knife for your lifestyle isn’t easy. Thankfully, there are dozens of quality brands out there delivering some fantastic knives. Folding or fixed, a knife is a great tool that can help with everyday tasks. Here are some of our favorite brands, along with a few great options from each brand, depending on your needs.

To compile this list, 24/7 Wall Street used crowdsourced data from the r/knives subreddit, along with expert opinion and editorial discreti0n. We also ranked the list from worst to best, although even the “worst” is going to be the best for many people, depending on the situation they find themselves in. Let’s get started.


Close up of multifunction knife put on wood tree.
Source: Panwasin seemala /
The iconic red case of the Swiss Army Knife is tied to Victorinox’s branding.

Victorinox is a classic knife brand that really came into its own when the Swiss army knife was popularized. As a Swiss company, Victorinox is iconic for its red knife cases with the white cross, something immediately identifiable for people around the world.

A Swiss Classic

victorinox stone sharpening
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Victorinox creates some of the best Swiss Army knives around.

When you think of a Swiss army knife, you think of Victorinox. While the Swiss army style isn’t for everyone, if you do prefer it, Victorinox is one of the best in the game. On the low end, you can get the Huntsman for around $50, but the extremely high-end knives they offer can reach as much as $400.


The reverse side of the knife with a clip for the pocket. Top.
Source: vzwer /
CRKT is based out of Oregon, along with many other knife makers.

CRKT stands for the Columbia River Knife Company, a brand based out of the United States in Tualatin, Oregon. Although the brand is somewhat new (1994), it has been making some really great knives that compete on a few key metrics.

Affordable and Reliable

Knife with an unusual blade. The blade of the knife at an angle on the diagonal.
Source: vzwer /
CRKT makes really affordable knives that don’t sacrifice too much regarding quality.

CRKT is one of the most accessible knife brands around. Not everyone is an enthusiast willing to spend multiple hundreds of dollars on specialty steel, and those people should be able to have a knife. CRKT has plenty of options under $100, even some around the $50 range, that are great EDC (everyday carry) knives for utility and sport.


Many task army knife
Source: Denis Botarev /
Leatherman pretty much exclusively makes durable, quality multi tools.

Another knife brand from Oregon, Leatherman, is very specific but well-regarded in the multi-tool niche. Some people prefer the utility that a multi-tool provides, and Leatherman is there with arguably the best product in the game at the price point.

The Multi-Tool Masters

Fishing spinning with a reel line. Fishing items on a wooden background. Binoculars and rope. Copy space in centre.
Source: vzwer /
Leatherman offers a 25-year warranty on its multi-tools.

As the masters of the multi-tool, Leatherman has become a serious crowd favorite. Sure, its product is extremely well-built and reasonably priced, but on top of that, they have one of the best warranties around. When you buy a Leatherman product, you get a 25-year warranty, which is almost always the life of the product. When you get a Leatherman, it’s one of those “buy it for life” sort of things.


A Kershaw knife rests among a pile of equipment.
Source: Caleb McLanahan Schluep /
Kershaw started when a designed from Gerber started his own knife company.

Kershaw is a knife brand from Tualatin, Oregon, which began when designer Pete Kershaw left Gerber to start his own knife line. Since then, Kershaw has established itself as one of the best knife manufacturers in the United States, winning awards for some extremely innovative models.

Well-Made Pocketknives

Knife with a bottle opener. Bottle opener in a knife handle. Functional knife.
Source: vzwer /
Kershaw has won some awards for the innovative designs of its knives.

When it’s time to move to the second tier of knives, Kershaw is one of the best options out there. There are a few models that people often cite, including the Leek, Cryo, and Skyline, all three being great for the price. The CQC is a more tactically minded line that is also known to have a lot of cost value.


military combat knife ka-bar, the knife of the marine corps and the U.S. Navy
Source: Voldimir /
KA-BAR has been the standard issue for the USMC since WWII.

KA-BAR is one of the most famous knife brands around and had a longstanding contract with the United States military to deliver fixed-blade knives during major wars, including World War II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, the Gulf War, the War in Afghanistan, and the Iraq War.

Fixed-Blade Legends

military combat knife ka-bar, the knife of the marine corps and the U.S. Navy
Source: Voldimir /
KA-BAR is famous for its signature all-purpose, fixed-blade knife.

If you want a fixed-blade tactical knife, KA-BAR is one of the best. These things are solid, rugged tools that will last a lifetime. Often cited as a “do everything knife,” they are ideal for camping, tactical carry, and a whole lot more. The only real drawback is that their best knives are fixed blades and are quite large, so practically carrying one all the time may not be reasonable. Still, they do offer folding knives these days, although they don’t have the tenure and history that the fixed blade lines do.

Cold Steel

cold steel knives
Source: leon481 /
Cold Steel is known for its marketing stunts, but they have a few really well-made tactical knives.

Cold Steel is a knife manufacturer that has expanded from simple knives to an array of tactical equipment, including swords, machetes, blowguns, and a whole lot more. The company rapidly grew as a result of its extreme marking campaigns involving gimmicky uses of its knives.

Tactical Fun

cold steel knives
Source: leon481 /
Besides knives, Cold Steel offers machetes, blow guns, and many other unique tactical products (usually in their signature black coating).

While Cold Steel gets a lot of flack for its marketing, they do make a few lines of really great knives. Many of the products Cold Steel makes can be gimmicky, and some describe them as “mall ninja products,” which is probably an apt name. Still, the original Recon line (people love the Tanto editions), the Voyager, and the Lawman are all really well-regarded knives that are a lot of fun.


Foldable pocket knife for everyday use
Source: Kaspars Grinvalds /
Spyderco makes knives with some of the highest-quality steel available.

Moving into high-end knives, we have Spyderco. Spyderco is based out of Colorado and has been regarded as an extremely high-quality folding knife maker for a long time. Many of the blades are tactically designed, and the brand is famous for using a hole instead of a traditional nub for flicking out the blade.

Ergonomically Excellent

Everyday knife set. Pocket knife and carrying lantern. Vintage style. EDC Style. View from above.
Source: vzwer /
Spyderco knives have unique shapes to help them be more ergonomic for EDC applications.

One of the most notable things about Spyderco knives is their ergonomics. They are designed to really feel good in the hand, especially ones that are made for specific purposes. On top of the ergonomics, Spyderco uses some of the best steel for pocket knives, CPM-S30V, to ensure long-term blade durability and sharpness. Many regard it as the highest quality steel for a knife that is commercially available. Some of the popular models include the Manix, Paramilitary (abbreviated to Para), and Shaman.


Semi-automatic knife with fuse. Safe to wear knife.
Source: vzwer /
Benchmade is often regarded as the pinnacle of quality in many knife enthusiast circles.

Benchmade is an Oregon-based knife company that is often regarded as one of the best knife makers in the world. The brand became well-regarded after prioritizing quality steel in their blades and also for providing knives for law enforcement and the military.

Legendary Quality

Knife in hand. Folding knife in hand. Pocket knife in hand. Black pocket knife.
Source: vzwer /
Benchmade has the rights to a patented locking system plus uses high-grade materials, earning them the top spot for many people.

When it comes to quality, Benchmade is up there as one of the best… and customers certainly pay for it. They also have a patent on their locking mechanism and have models in most categories, including tactical, hunting, EDC, and much more. It’s hard to talk about quality knives without talking about Benchmades, and they have earned that right honestly. Some of the most popular models include the Anthem, Crooked River, Freek, and Vector.

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