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Choosing a Good Pocket Knife

Updated on February 19, 2016

How to Recognize a Quality Pocket Knife

So…. You are thinking about buying a pocket knife for yourself or for someone as a gift. Choosing a good quality knife is not only smart but it will be appreciated by whoever is going to be using it. Pocket knives are extremely useful tools and of course can be used for self defense also. As you can imagine, buying a good quality knife is well worth the extra expense it might cost over cheaper brand knives simply due to the fact that they will last longer, stay sharper and perform better.

In recognizing a quality pocket knife, it needs to have a well made back spring, which is the spring that holds it open and closed. Brass spacers in between the blades are there to keep multiple blades from sticking to each other. You will want to take a look at the side plates also. They are the metal plates that hold the blades and springs together. The plates are held together by rivets at each end of the knife and those rivets also act as the pivot points for the blades. When dealing with a quality pocket knife, those rivets will have solid metal bolsters over them, which reinforces the pivot action and holds the decorative plates in place. Bolsters make for a stronger knife and make the knife feel sturdy and solid when opening and closing the knife. You can feel and hear the opening and closing snap of a quality knife, the blade should be solid in place and not wiggle or move side to side.

The blade or blades of a quality pocket knife should have a half open point where the blade rests so as to prevent you from snapping it closed on your fingers. The material used for the blade is personal preference in my opinion. You can go with a carbon steel blade or a stainless steel blade. Carbon steel will accept a very fine edge and be razor sharp but it will rust up on you if it is not cleaned and dried frequently. Carbon steel can also be brittle, so it should never be used as a pry or screwdriver. Stainless steel is named so because it does not “stain” or rust. However, it cannot be honed as sharp as a carbon steel blade. I tend to think that a carbon blade makes for a higher quality knife simply because it can be honed to razor sharpness but it does require more care than a stainless bladed knife.

So, all in all, a quality pocket knife should feel good in your hand, it should feel solid when moving the different blades or attachments. The blade should not wiggle or move in any direction except opening and closing. I feel that a quality knife will have a carbon steel blade over a stainless blade but that could be disputed depending on your preferences. Either way, which ever model and make you decide to get, always go with a reputable manufacturer and you will be just fine.

© 2010 Jamie Page


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