Generally, a folding knife has a blade that you can push inside the handle to reduce the length to almost half of the size when the blade is out. The modern knives have more than one blade and are capable of working similar to a knife with a fixed blade. However, their overall size after closing is such that you can keep them in the pocket. This is why they are also called pocket knives. Some of them are somewhat big such that you need a pocket clip to store them.
However, there is a difference between pocket and folding knives. The former is exclusively designed to fit inside a pocket, although it may have two to four blades each in apparently unique shape. Most pocket knives have their blades within 3 ½ inches.
Since several centuries, it has been believed that folding knives are fragile. However today, this has perhaps the most common myth because of the advancements in technology and engineering, which are making them stronger and more enduring.
Featuring blades with the length of anywhere between 2.5 and 5 inches, the folding knives are unbelievably multi-purpose tools. This is because they are capable of helping you smoothly and efficiently in daily tasks such as basic food preparations, removing tags, and cutting cardboard boxes. These knives are also useful in emergency or self-defending circumstances. These knives are not only life makers, but also life savers.
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Best Folding Knife: Choosing the Right One
This truly requires asking a few questions to yourself such as what will be the purpose (use), how much length is okay, and what the budget is. Once you decide upon this, you need to consider the following factors for buying the best folding knife.
Number of Blades
- Single: Recognizable for their small size and simple look with just one bigger blade, locking mechanisms rendering them sturdier and more reliable, spring-loaded opening for popping in just a second; ideal as a robust all-purpose knife but cannot cut and carve through wood
- Multiple: Famous as one knife having two to four blades; two-blade tools combine pen, drop point, or sheep’s foot blades, while three or four-blade versions have different blade types for doing several cutting and carving chores; ideal for having variety at the cost of durability or much sturdiness as a one-blade model
- Multi-tool/ Swiss: Adorable as pocket knives having not only blades, but also tweezers, toothpicks, saws, corkscrews, nail files, can openers, and magnifying glasses; Swiss Army knives best example as multi-dimensional knives
The edge type you choose depends upon the cut type: Push cut for shove through something, such as peeling or shaving and Pull cut for dragging across something for cutting, such as slicing and cutting rope.
- Plain: For better push cuts, cleaner and more accurate cuts through its sharp edge, and more ease of sharpening at home; not for pull or saw cuts, slicing with efficient sawing motions, or on ropes or wood
- Fully Serrated: For doing all those tasks that a plain edge knife cannot do; better on tougher materials with its additional strength due to serration-induced more pressure per coverage; however, are clumsier and tougher to sharpen although ideal for sawing and hard cutting
- Partially Serrated (Plain + Serrated): More popular than fully serrated edge; a bit hard to sharpen although not clumsy
- Small (Under 2.75 Inches): Mostly valid everywhere, easiest to carry, not as versatile and strong as bigger blades, no locking mechanism that means susceptible to failure in case of extreme use – ideal for basic tasks such as opening boxes and cutting strings
- Medium (2.75-4 Inches): Small as mobile and big to do a variety of tasks, different locking mechanisms for great pressure in case of heavy duty tasks, check out for local endorsement,
- Large (More than 4 Inches): Similar to bigger fixed blade knives, but easier to carry unobtrusively, the main purpose of self-defense, burdensome carry experience, legal ban in some regions, not for daily use
- Clip Point: Features an unsharpened back edge with a concave shape for having a sharper tip, which forms a ‘cut out’ region that is curved or straight; Is ideal for daily needs, piercing, and slicing
- Drop Point: Features a dull section running directly from the handle and bending to convene at the sharp edge, a controllable point, and a big belly; Ideal for survival, piercing, and skinning
- Straight Back: Is a normal blade with the front having a curved edge and the rear with a dull and straight design for extra pressure; ideal for slicing and chopping (kitchen uses)
- Needle Point: Is symmetrical, stridently tapers, has two sharp edges and a thin point for piercing and self-defense, lacks belly due to which slicing is tough,
- Spear Point: Features edges’ ebb and flow consistently for forming a point aligning with the blade center, single or double edge, and small belly, but unsuitable for perfect slicing available with a clip or drop point; ideal for piercing and a bit of piercing
- Tanto Point (Chisel Point): Features a flat grind, high point, and no belly; not an all-purpose design but ideal for piercing difficult stuff and push cuts
- Sheepsfoot Blade: Features a dull point to keep self-injury at bay; ideal for slicing, whittling, and cutting due to flat edge; popular among saviors for slicing restraints such as seat belts without harming anyone
- Trailing Point: Features a rear with upward curve for having a profound belly, weak point, and lightweight design; ideal for slicing and skinning
- Pen Blade: Features sharp and dull sides sloping at an identical degree like a spear point; ideal for small tasks and sharpening a quill for making writing tools.
- Wharncliffe: Features a thick blade with the rear curving near the handle ideal for carving and cutting stuff; a cool all-around style
- Spey Point: Features a blade with almost straight edge curving up and a rear in a straight line with a short flat rim meeting the tip; ideal for skinning
- Hawkbill: Features a distinctive blade type having a curved form of a hawk’s bill, concave cutting edge, and dull blade spine; ideal for daily carriage, opening boxes, cutting cables, and stripping wires
- Aluminum: Great grip, protective coating, lightweight, and ideal for cutting in harsh weather
- Celluloid: Synthetic plastic morphing into any rainbow color and resembling many natural materials like wood and ivory
- Bone: Popular and available in several varieties such as giraffe and smooth white
- Wood: Stable and hard if soft in form (burl and buckeye)
- G-10: Fiberglass construction, extremely durable, strong, water-resistant, lightweight
- Micarta: Quite tough, but not as tough as the G10, canvas Micarta is more often used, turning into brown or red after ageing
- Titanium: Resistant to corrosion, light in weight, highly durable, high performance and strength
- Zytel: Unbreakable, resistant to abrasion and impact, durable, affordable, slight texture, and better grip
- Stainless Steel: Resistant to corrosion, durable, heavier, less threshold to endure the tension than titanium and other metals
- Delrin: Heavy but smooth and prone to scuffs, durable
- Rubber: Nice grip, but not that durable
- Kraton: Flexible, soft, great gripping, and secure
- Mother of Pearl: Long lasting
If you need a knife for cutting abrasive things, a wear-resistant alloy has to be the blade material. Similarly, for working in aggressive or humid surrounding, stain-resistant steel is ideal. If you need solid performance for daily use, material such as 440C, 8Cr17, 420HC, 12C27, and 8Cr13MoV are fine. You can them move ahead with high-end alloys such as Shirogami, K294, M390, ZDP-189, Aogami, and K390.
5 Best Folding Knives of 2017
Kershaw Ken Onion Blur
Sandvik 14C28N steel ensuring corrosion resistance and strength, 3-3/8-inch serrated or smooth blade, lightweight handle of anodized aluminum with Trac-Tec for non-slip grip in slippery situations, no accidental opening, perfect for daily use.
Ontario 8848 RAT Folding Knife:
3.5 inch plain edge blade, AUS-8 steel construction, ergonomic nylon handle with the blade spine jumping for great control, liner lock mechanism, quick one-handed opening.
TAC Force TF-705 Series Assisted Opening
3 3/8″ high carbon stainless blade with partially serrated drop point design, extended tang, aluminum handles, and liner lock mechanism.
420 stainless steel construction, company of seatbelt cutter, glass breaker, emergency LED light, and magnesium fire starter, light in weight, anodized aluminum handle, drop-point 3.5-inch blade with serrated saw, ideal for camping, survival, and outdoor trips.
Gerber Bear Grylls Folding Sheath Knife:
Half serrated carbon steel drop point blade for cutting rope and retaining the edge for long, dual-sided thumb stud for opening with single hand, ergonomic rubber handle for comfortable grip and minimal slippage, lock back for maximum safety during closing, light weight, nylon sheath, resistant to mildew, military grade.
The market is full of folding knives, differing in terms of style, length, blade, and price. All that matters is to select the right model as per the decided usage and budget.