Once upon a time, your only choice for a pocket knife was a traditional folder like grandpa had. While there are countless manufacturers who still make traditional pocket knives, the industry is now dominated by an endless variety of modern folding pocket knives. Shop over 8,000 of knives below.
About Folding Knives
A Bit About Folders
Benefits of a Pocket Knife:
- Easy to keep on hand
- Widest selection of fit and sizes
- Widest selection of blade types
- Feel like He-Man when someone asks, ‘Who has a knife?’
Quick History of Folders
Man has been carrying around some type of folding knife since the Iron Age—or since before they built Rome. It was not until the 1700’s, however, that pocket knives, or “pen knives,” became more prevalent in people’s day-to-day lives. While there are historical examples of almost every type of folding knife available today, this category of knife has really only exploded in the last 100-150 years.
In that short period of time, we went from non-locking pen knives to slipjoint (or traditional) knives to a wide array of locking blade knives to every type of opening system you could dream up. Folders have taken on a number of different nicknames as well: old timer knives, gentleman knives, tactical knives, and about 22+ categories of traditional knives. Despite their evolution, one thing about folding knives stays true: they are great and handy tools to have whenever a need arises.
Most Popular Opening Styles
Nail Nick - Used on many traditional and gentleman knives, the nick is a small indent in the blade, usually close to the spine, which is used so that one can pinch the blade and pull it open.
Thumb Hole - This style was pioneered by the Spyderco company. A round or oblong hole is drilled in the blade, close to the axis point, and is used as leverage to flick or push the blade open.
Flipper - A small bar extending from the back of the blade which is used as a lever to “flip” open the knife. Some knives now feature a flipper on the front, rather than the back of the blade.
Thumb Stud - A small knob or post on the side of the blade, close to the pivot point where the blade opens. Allows the blade to be flicked open.
Which Folding Knife Should I Buy?
Knives around $100 seem to be the sweet spot for most knife lovers that want a good quality knife that will last. Check out our video above that's chock-full of those knives.
Be sure to also check out our Best Folding Knives Guide to see reviews and find the best folder for your needs.
Final Say and the Law
There are a lot of options available to anyone looking to get a pocket knife. Whether you looking for something classy like a gentleman’s knife/traditional knife, or if you want something more tactical like an automatic folding knife, we have you covered. Because knife laws and types vary so widely, make sure that you check with your local laws—especially if you are going to purchase any sort of automatic/switchblade-style knife.