Pocket knives have been around since historical times, from the time of Iron Age, and even dating back as far as 500 BCE with evidence being found at the Hallstatt Culture site in what is now modern-day Austria. Other evidence points to knives from the Pre-Roman era being found in Spain.
Having endured such longevity and innovation in its development the pocketknife or otherwise known as a folding knife has come a long way and evolved into true works of art and engineering.
Pocket knives are designed from diverse materials that function best for its recommended use. It is important to take into account what your intended use is and that can be dependent on a number of factors.
Such factors include the handle, blade type, and locking mechanism. Most reputed knife manufacturers use different types of stainless steel like Aus-8 and 440C.
Other metals have proven to be frail, rust-prone or easily succumb to damage. Steel, on the contrary, can withstand relentless punishment and last for years (depending on your maintenance).
Innovation is always on the lookout for the perfect steel that provides a balance of rugged strength and flex whilst holding a sharp edge for prolonged periods of torture!
It is important to look at the various mechanisms when choosing a pocket knife depending on your needs:
- Slipjoint - Backspring applies pressure when the blade is fully extended and can be folded by applying force to the blade.
- Free Movement - Blades can be extended and folded with no locking devices.
- Liner Lock - A spring lock holds the blade in place when fully extended and must be released to holster the blade again
Pocket knives today are not only good for its blade use but also come equipped with other tools and it is key to find one (or more) that are suitable for their purpose. Swiss army knives or Multi-purpose pocket knives embody a wide variety of additional tools such as pliers, screwdrivers, files, saws and can be very useful when camping in nature or for everyday chores.
Some knives also tend to carry more of a self-defense notion rather than be used for daily activities and such knives can fall under the “dangerous weapon” code of the law.
Why carry a pocket knife?
Tactical knives are very common these days with hundreds, maybe even thousands widely available through shops and the internet. Through development and innovation, these tactical tools grow with better design and material becoming tougher, long-lasting and resilient.
These tools can be widely used in the utmost basic daily chores to extreme situations, from box cutting to life-saving situations. There are tactical knives which are also equipped with:
- Seat belt cutters
- Glass breakers
- Belt clips
- Screw drivers
- Mini flashlights
How to choose the right one?
When deciding which one to buy, there are a number of factors to consider that will help you find your perfect pocket-mate.
Blade should sit at the top-tier of essential considerations when choosing the right pocketknife. However, the best blade type depends on personal preference and intended purpose of use.
An epic hunting blade might not cut the mustard in the kitchen. Similarly, not all fishing knives can make a kill in the wild.
Keep functionality in mind when choosing the right blade.
Handles need to be firm and grippy as you don’t want it to slip all over the place. Modern knife handles have come an awful long way.
Like in the Foxtrot, knife handles today offer ergonomic designs coupled with seductive aesthetic and offer tactical features like bird’s beak pommel, integral single guard, glass-breaker, belt clip … just to name a few.
Always keep in mind the state laws. Most states allow carrying a pocket knife of some sort but laws vary widely from state to state.
Blade lengths play a crucial part in what is legal to carry and considered a pocket knife.