Whether you’re a collector, a craftsman, or a hunter, you can’t place a price tag on a quality knife. Literally, you can, but the value you’ll reap from a dependable tool will pay you back in intangible spades.
If you need a new knife (or a dozen) make sure you have a representative from each of these quality pocket knife brands in your collection.
Victorinox (A.K.A. Swiss Army Knives)
Victorinox is a classic among classics and producer of the first Swiss Army Knife. They still produce the venerable SAK, in a variety of configurations, on top of many other patterns and tools.
Case is an American classic that has been producing traditional pocket knife patterns for well over a hundred years. Many of their knives are handsomely polished and furnished with genuine bone, horn, or stag scales.
Like Case, Rough Ryder (which used to be spalled Rough Rider) produces mostly classic pocket knife patterns like Stockman knives, Trappers, Canoes, and the like. Unlike Case, they are not made in America, but they do feature largely premium materials.
Buck Knife Company gave the world the 119 Special and the 110 Folding Hunter that influenced nearly every other pattern that followed. They’ve been endlessly ripped off, which is an endearing testament to the staying power of this elite-tier pocket knife brand.
Opinel produces folding knives and tools in France. Most of them can be identified by their hardwood handles, simple, straight-backed blades with nail nicks, and characteristic ring or collar locks.
Scorned by some as a fleet of mall ninjas while revered by others for their innovative designs, Cold Steel produces everything from crossbows to axes. Their collection also includes a respectable assortment of fixed and folding blades. Many are affordable and extremely tough.
Don’t let the similarity to “CRKT” fool you. CJRB produces high-quality blades featuring top materials like AR-RPM9 steel and Micarta scales. Check out the Scoria, Maileah or Feldspar if you need a new knife.
Through the course of its history, Boker Manufactory has produced knives, swords, and even straight razors. Today, they are occasionally known as the “Tree Brand” and still produce quality folding knife designs, many of them in traditional pocket knife patterns.
Columbia River Knife & Tool is located in Oregon, America’s Knife Mecca. They produce a wide range of folding knives, axes, tomahawks, and other tools, including several highly popular pocket knives, like the Pilar and Squid.
Gerber, like Buck, is an American legend. Headquartered in Portland, Gerber produces a number of popular folding and fixed blade knives. Need a new folding EDC knife? Check out the Paraframe, Fastball, and Flatiron.
In place of the liner locks of many pocket knives, most Benchmades feature AXIS locks that are easy to engage and disengage ambidextrously and are very strong. Check out the Benchmade Bugout, the Griptilian, and the 940.
Known for humpbacked designs, Spydie-holes for opening the blade, and high-quality synthetic scales like Micarta and carbon fiber, Spyderco is a name to beat in quality pocket knife brands. Check out the Tenacious and Delica. They’re great jumping-off points.
Kershaw knives are known for innovation and technology. Kershaw gave the world SpeedSafe Assisted Opening and Composite Blade Technology, which combines more than one blade steel for a balance of toughness and edge retention. They’re also known for designs by knife gurus like Ken Onion.
Zero Tolerance A.K.A. ZT
Zero Tolerance, or ZT, as it is known, got its start producing knives for law enforcement, paramilitary personnel, and first responders. They are known for no-nonsense knives – check out the 0450 and the 0560.
Marbles is not as popular as it once was, and we’ve come a long way from the Marbles Ideal and Safety Axes. That said, you can still get a bargain in many classic folding patterns from Marbles. Looking for a classic among EDC knives? You can’t go wrong here.
Some love Schrade and some hate it. They make a lot of budget knives – that’s true, but many of their folders are rock-solid and can take a serious beating. Give Schrade a chance. It’ll probably only cost you 20 dollars.
Ontario Knife Company (A.K.A. OKC)
Ontario Knife Company is much better known for its RAT 3, RAT 5, and RAT 7 fixed blades than it is for its folders, but the RAT I, RAT II, and Wraith come to play. They are bombproof, made from extremely durable materials, have strong locking mechanisms, are easy to deploy, and frankly, can get the job done.
Looking for these quality pocket knife brands at great prices? Check out White Mountain Knives at WhiteMountainKnives.com today to see what you can find – and don’t be afraid to reach out to them for help finding your favorite model if you don’t see it – you can get them at [email protected]