Pocketknives have been around for a very long time. Since pockets weren’t invented until the 17th century, these early models weren’t truly pocketknives. These early pocketknives were compact and foldable, making carrying them safe and simple. The handles were constructed of wood or bone, and the blades were fashioned of iron or bronze. Numerous pre-Roman folding knives have been discovered in Spain, and a 600 BC bone handle folding knife has been discovered in Austria.

These ancient predecessors’ blades did not lock in place like those of contemporary pocketknives do. All they did was turn on a fulcrum. The handler had to grasp the blade by the tang in order to keep it open. It reminded me a lot of handling a contemporary straight razor.

Although small folding knives have been around for thousands of years, our ancient predecessors were unable to regularly carry them in their everyday carry because of the difficulty in making iron, which made them costly and scarce. Not until the 1650s did the folding knife become a commonplace instrument.

At that point, Sheffield, England rose to prominence as the global hub for cutlery. Knives could now be inexpensively made in large quantities due to advancements in smelting technology. Farmers, ranchers, and gardeners utilized a straightforward folding knife with a wooden handle, which was a popular design. The knife design came to be known as the “peasant knife” due to the social status of individuals who used it. Because of its inexpensive pricing, it was often referred to as the penny knife.

But today, they’re a widely used, extremely versatile and portable piece of equipment. Whether be for skinning a deer, cutting some rope, cleaning a fish or even starting a fire are instances where these knives will come in handy (literally) and hunting being a sport that is getting more and more common over the years, manufacturers are creating better knives that are more effective, versatile, mobile and user-friendly.


Selecting a pocketknife is like picking out an outfit; it ultimately boils down to your personal preferences and requirements. If your day-to-day involves heavy-duty tasks that demand quick access to a knife, a tactical folding knife would be the ideal choice. However, if you merely need a knife for occasional letter or package openings, a sleek and sophisticated pen knife should suffice.

Speaking from my own experience, I’ve collected quite a collection of pocketknives, each of which gets its turn in my everyday carry rotation at least once a month. On days when I anticipate rigorous work, I’ll clip my tactical folder to my pocket. For more standard days, I’ll opt for one of my many slip joint or locking blade knives.

Navigating the market for the best knife can be challenging, whether you’re new to hunting or an experienced enthusiast, as modern knives are becoming increasingly intricate in their designs, sometimes making it perplexing to determine what distinguishes the best knife to purchase.

Therefore, in this review, we will consider price, design, usability and give a personal rating on each and hopefully it helps you have a better idea on the knife you should get for your hunting activities! But first consider:

1. The Right Materials

The type of steel used in a knife blade is essential because it will affect its durability, edge retention, and ease of sharpening.

Some common types of steel used in hunting knives are carbon steel, stainless steel, and tool steel:

  • Carbon steel is famous for hunting knives because it is durable and can hold an edge well. However, it is also more susceptible to rusting than other types of steel so it may require more maintenance.
  • Stainless steel is another popular option for hunting knives because it is resistant to rusting and corrosion. However, it is less durable than carbon steel and may require more frequent sharpening.
  • Tool steel is a less common option for hunting knives, but it offers the best combination of durability, edge retention, and ease of sharpening. It is also less susceptible to rusting than carbon steel.

Handle Material

The handle’s material also affects the knife’s performance, comfort, and safety.

Some common handle materials are wood, plastic, metal, or rubber:

  • Wood handles are classic but can be slippery when wet and are less durable than other materials.
  • Plastic handles are inexpensive and lightweight but can crack or break under heavy use.
  • Metal handles are solid and durable but can be cold in colder weather conditions.
  • Rubber handles provide a good grip even when wet but can become brittle in frigid temperatures.

2. Comfort And Safety Features

When choosing a hunting knife, it is essential to consider the ergonomics of the blade.

You want a knife that will feel comfortable in your hand and not cause fatigue during extended use.

In addition, the handle should be sized to fit your hand, and the grip should be textured to provide a secure hold.

Look for a knife with a guard or finger stop to prevent your hand from slipping onto the blade.

A blade with a blunt tip is also safer as it is less likely to puncture the skin or slice through muscle tissue.

3. Blade Length

It depends on what you plan to use your knife for. If you need a versatile knife that can be used for different tasks, then a longer blade is ideal.

However, a shorter blade will suffice if you only need a knife for skinning and cleaning game.

Small (< 2.75’)

You won’t have to worry about getting in trouble with the police because a small blade is more likely to be legal in most countries. A small blade is perfect for small and delicate jobs. It also has the advantage of being easy to hide and easy to carry. The downside is that a small blade is not as durable as a large blade or strong enough to be used in more demanding jobs like hunting, cutting through tough materials and even for self-defense. There aren’t many drawbacks with pocketknives that small.

Mid (2.75 – 4’)

A mid-sized knife has the benefit of being small enough to use in delicate cutting jobs but large enough to be used for everything else except maybe for the heaviest-duty knives.

Large (>4’)

Large blades are employed where a smaller one just won’t cut it (pun intended). For the most heavy-duty and demanding tasks, a large blade is the way to go. Their use in self-defense is a mixed bag, while they are certainly intimating to look at and highly lethal, they are also far more difficult to conceal. In many places, openly carrying one around could get you in trouble with the local authorities.

4. Blade Shape

The shape of the blade also matters.

For example, a drop-point edge is suitable for general purposes, while a clip-point blade is better for precision work.

If you use your knife mainly for hunting, choose a blade shape that suits your needs.

And without further ado, here’s a list of knives we think are worth it.

Our Top Picks

1. Smith & Wesson 7.1 inch Pocket Knife

Taking into account the size, weight, quality, durability, appearance and user-friendliness, this blade is given the score of:


This bad boy is from the manufacturer Smith & Wesson which is a reputable brand when it comes to hunting. They have been producers of pistols, revolvers, rifles and shooting accessories since 1852. There is no need to butter up the quality of this knife called the Extreme Ops SWA24S which is an exceptional pocketknife.

It is a folding knife with a 3.1inch serrated clip point blade and an aluminium handle. It would definitely be of aid for hunting activities or things alike.

It is a relatively light weight knife which does make sense due to its smaller size compared to other knives produced by them which are equally as good which we will also be looking at below in this list. For those of you thinking of something smaller, able to fit into your pocket for easy access, this is definitely recommended.

It is also quite affordable for a knife from Smith & Wesson which would mean that in-case of damages, you can always get a new one immediately.

Key specifications:

Weight: 68 grams

Dimensions: 7.1inch overall length (blade length: 3.1inch)

Blade material: Black oxide high carbon stainless steel

Handle material: Aluminium

Ambidextrous: Yes

2. Mossy Oak Survival 15inch Hunting Pocket Knife

Taking into account the size, weight, quality, durability, appearance and user-friendliness, this blade is given the score of:

Is bigger always better? Well, this one by Mossy Oak makes a statement. Compared to the one which we have just seen, this is one more suited for a hunter that knows what he needs for his hunting activities. This one will be perfect for skinning a deer or larger animals of that kind.

As you can see, it has a saw back which would be suitable for marking and scoring wood providing a two-in-one tool for you to be kept in the pocket or probably better in a bag. It must also be mentioned that Mossy Oak is a really reputed brand as well, being in the industry for almost 30 years now, they have provided some really helpful innovations for the hunting community with their products.

You can also check their clothing collection here which offers a wide variety of clothing ranging from everyday apparel to camouflage shirts and pants.

This knife is a little bit more on the heavier side, but it is not disproportionate to its size as the blade alone is 10inch in size. As said before, this knife is very specific for its use and is not an every-day knife that you carry around.

Considering the specs so far, it has a fantastic appearance on first sight and can be intimidating for first-time users but if you’re looking for something big for an expedition or your hunting activities to accommodate the surroundings that you will be placed in, this would be more suited.

The blade is sharp and is a clip point blade which means that you will be able to really be able to cut really effectively, producing clean and precision cuts.

Key specifications:

Weight: 476grams

Dimensions: 15inch overall length (blade length: 10inches)

Blade material: Stainless steel with black anodized saw back

Handle material: Rubber and nylon sheath

Ambidextrous: Yes

3. Handmade Damascus Hunting Pocket Knife

Taking into account the size, weight, quality, durability, appearance and user-friendliness, this blade is given the score of:

Pocket Knives

This knife here is made by an all-knife production company creating premium quality knives.

The special thing about this pocketknife from the ones seen so far would have to be the fact that they are 100% hand crafted which would mean that the quality on this one is uncompromised by large scale production.

With that, it naturally means that the prices would also vary from the ones previously seen. The price is a little higher than the ones seen, costing around $55 for this particular piece.

The blade length on this one is 4.8 inches which is around half its total length, giving it a perfect handle-to-blade ratio.

Compared to the Mossy Oak Survival above, this one is a little smaller and probably more suited as a bring-along in your pocket when you go out hunting or even camping as it also comes with an integrated belt loop allowing for safe and easy carry.


Weight: 255grams

Dimensions: 10inch overall length (blade length: 4.8inches)

Blade material: Hammer forged “damascus” steel blade.

Handle material: Genuine leather sheath with snap fastener

Ambidextrous: Yes

4. Grand Way Folding Knife

Taking into account the size, weight, quality, durability, appearance and user-friendliness, this blade is given the score of:

The first thing to mention here is the appearance which is absolutely stunning, the wooden handle and the shiny stainless steel really complement each other.

This pocketknives producer started producing knives over 15 years ago in Ukraine and they create all kinds of knives ranging from hunting knives and fishing knives to karambit knives and as seen above, spring assisted knives.

A fun fact is that they produce also luxurious knives to meet specific demands of customers which does make them stand out. They are also extremely lightweight, easy and comfortable to carry with you in the pocket as evidently, they are pocketknives.

The blades will also fold inside the two handles with ease without any friction to ensure the integrity of the blade is preserved at all times. Also to be noted is the fact that the handle is made of wood which also haas some recesses, enabling your fingers to fit in there perfectly.

The blade itself is made of 440C stainless steel which is the classic blade used for knives and they are resistant to corrosion and retains its sharpness, giving it a longer lifespan.


Weight: 234grams

Dimensions: 10.83-inch overall length (blade length: 5.78inches)

Blade material: Matte 440 stainless steel

Handle material: Ergonomic metal handle with wooden plates

Ambidextrous: Yes

5. TAC Force Spring Assisted Folding POCKET KNIFE

Taking into account the size, weight, quality, durability, appearance and user-friendliness, this blade is given the score of:

This folding pocketknife is by TAC Force which designs spring assist folding knives that is used by EMT’s, rescuers and hunters. TAC force is also part of Master Cutlery which is a family-owned business originally founded in 1982 which is the largest wholesaler of knives in the USA currently.

This particular piece is spring assisted and would be suitable for a rapid one-handed deployment which would naturally mean that it would be perfect for high-intense situations such as hunting!

It must also be mentioned that this knife has a half-serrated blade for cutting rope, branches or marking wood etc. when out there in the wild.

Not to mention that the back of the handle features a pocket clip for easy and safe carry, ensuring that this bad boy is suitable to be carried with you in any situation places into.


Weight: 136grams

Dimensions: 5.5-inch overall length (blade length: 3.25inches)

Blade material: Half-serrated black stainless steel (3Cr13) blade

Handle material: Aluminum handle with bottle opener and glass breaker.

Ambidextrous: Yes

6. Grand Way POCKETKNIFE with Fire Starter

Taking into account the size, weight, quality, durability, appearance and user-friendliness, this blade is given the score of:

This is another folding pocketknife which would be a prime competitor to the other one by Grand Way as well, with the rosewood handles. This one has a more masculine look with a black blade and handle compared to the shiny stainless-steel blade and wooded handle as seen above or here.

Being a folding knife, it would be seen to be an easy-to-use knife which is extremely portable and safe for carry even in the pocket. This knife is suitable for hunters who want a multi-purpose tool in the pocket at all times while having perhaps a primary knife for bigger tasks such as skinning a deer etc.

While this can be used for skinning, it might be a little difficult due to its smaller size as usually 10″ knives are used for skinning and cutting meat.

Due to the black coated 440C stainless steel blade, this knife would also be able to resist corrosion and allow for proper operation without any need of sharpening whatsoever.

The price on this one is quite affordable, only costing around $15, it is a small tool, suitable to be kept in the pocket for your hunting, camping or other outdoor activities.


Weight: 249.5grams

Dimensions: 7.75-inch overall length (blade length: 3.42inches)

Blade material: Black Coated 440C Stainless Steel Blade

Handle material: Black aluminum handle

Ambidextrous: Yes

7. Smith & Wesson 9inch Carbon Stainless Steel knife

Taking into account the size, weight, quality, durability, appearance and user-friendliness, this blade is given the score of:

From the appearance itself you can tell that this one stands out from the rest, having a solid and sharp look to it. It has a compound bevel edge compared to the others which have clip point edges (giving the knife a more dangerous look).

However, with the belt/boot sheath, you will be able to protect yourself from any potential danger, making it also ideal for everyday carry. Not to mention the hand guard which will avoid any slipping and help give you a better grip while using it to cut.

However, being 4.7inches in blade length, it would be suitable to use it as a knife for hunting more than an everyday tool, a spring assisted folding pocketknife would be more suited for that purpose as it is smaller and easier to use due to its versatile shape.

All in all, Smith & Wesson is a great brand for any sort of investment and the price of this bad boy only being around $17, it is definitely a bang for your buck.


Weight: 218.3grams

Dimensions: 9-inch overall length (blade length: 4.7inches)

Blade material: High Carbon Stainless Steel (7Cr17MoV)

Handle material: Black rubber wrapped handle

Ambidextrous: Yes

8. Smith & Wesson Border Guard 10inch High Carbon Knife

Taking into account the size, weight, quality, durability, appearance and user-friendliness, this blade is given the score of:

This is a 10inch knife, but it has a blade length of about 4.4 inches which is slightly lesser than the one we have seen above. It is a brother of the knife we have just seen above as it is also manufactured by Smith & Wesson and therefore, we will do a quick contrast between them.

This one has a tanto point shaped blade with a plain edge. This one also comes with a seat belt/rope cutter which the one above does not come with which would suggest that this is a more sophisticated and multi-functional knife compared to its brother. This one also comes with blood grooves and serration which would be helpful for hutting small branches or rope etc.

If you’re looking for something that has more than one function, then this should be the one that you go for. The price of this one is however a little higher which is around $23 but with all its added features from the one seen above; this is a sure steal. If you’re interested in something more minimalistic and simpler from Smith & Wesson, go for the one on top.


Weight: 249.5grams

Dimensions: 10-inch overall length (blade length: 4.4inches)

Blade material: Black Oxide High Stainless Steel (7Cr17MoV)

Handle material: Black aluminum handle with Trac-Tec inserts

Ambidextrous: Yes (with ambidextrous thumb knobs)


Choosing the right pocketknife is important as they are probably the most important tool you can have in hand as they are very versatile, being able to cut rope, branches, skin smaller animals, start a fire and many more countless examples.

Investing in one should not be considered twice, it will come in handy, and you will thank yourself for purchasing it when you really need it especially on hunting expeditions.

Choosing the right knife would depend on many factors and they include your size and experience with knives. Being a smaller person, it would perhaps be advisable to get a spring assisted folding knife which would give you a good grip when handling it and a bigger knife such as the 15″ knife by Mossy Oak. The choice is yours as these knives can be used by any person in any size.

As to the price, most of these knives are below $20 and going as low as $9 and as high as $55 which gives you the opportunity to get the knife that suits your budget best, we have given you all the possible facts you need to know about purchasing your knife and for further information click on the links to look at the product itself and make your choice!

You could also check on 50 Coolest Gifts for Outdoorsmen Sure To Be Appreciated if you’re looking to get a gift for someone!

Till next time.