Concealed Weapons: The 10 Best Folding Pocket Knives

The only thing worse than taking a knife to a gun fight, is not even having a knife. You might not expect to suddenly be bound and gagged in the back of a van, but if it happens, won’t you look silly if you don’t even have a blade to saw through your bonds and get the drop on your abductors? Whether you only need it to open packages of moisturizer and exfoliating lotion or clean the gator you just wrassled into submission, you’ll want to have a folding pocket knife on your hip at all times.

We know we can’t please all the people all the time, so we’ve tried to offer a wide range, from folding knives for work to those pocket knives for self-defense. With the thousands of options, we know we missed a few. We gladly accept your scorn.

Buck 110

Buck 110

Buck is to knives what Ford is to cars: The true beginning. The only difference is that if Buck made a car, it would probably run reliably. The Buck 110 is the often imitated, never duplicated, OG folding knife. This is your granpappy’s folding knife in the best possible way. While some modern folding knives are fancier, few have the rugged staying power of Buck. It has a smooth edge that makes it best for hunters and those that enjoy the rugged outdoors. It comes with a 420HC Stainless Steel Clip Point Blade that measures in at 3 and 3/4 of an inch. The lifetime warranty from Buck says it all. [Purchase]

Case 02758 Pocket Worn Lockback

Case 02758 Pocket Worn Lockback

Case makes folding knives for the working man. They’re as common as blue jeans but 100 times more durable. The 02758 uses Tru-Sharp, Drop Point surgical steel, giving it an edge as keen as a scalpel built into a frame as rugged as a tractor. It thrives at hard labor jobs such as cutting leather, hide, or even wires in a pinch. It is a little smaller, only measuring 3 inches when closed, so it won’t be much good for self-defense or more tactical use, but for hard, extended employment, there are few knives – folding or fixed – that are in the same league. The lockback design is a little stiff, so closing isn’t always smooth, but it adds strength once the knife is open that makes it almost feel like a full tang blade. [Purchase]

Spyderco Civilian

Spyderco Civilian

This ugly bastard isn’t intended for work. It won’t help you open up those awful clamshell cases your electronics come in. It just likes to hurt things. It wants to…it needs to. Despite the name, the Civilian is anything but civilized. It is the blade you carry when you are looking for the best in concealable self-defense folding knives. It has a very narrow ATS 55 steel blade which assists with reducing the weight but also makes it cut through leather, tough clothing, and the flesh beneath. It will hold an edge for ages as long as you aren’t blunting it on menial tasks. It pulls out of a pocket easily, can be opened with one hand, and locks solidly so as not to close down on your knuckles. Ideal for the genteel knife fighter or the bloody brawler alike. The blade is on the long side at just over 4 inches. [Purchase]

SOG Flash II

SOG Flash II

The Flash II has a military background, but unlike the Civilian, it has uses that go above and beyond the rippin’ and the tearin’. It is meant to be a partial utility knife that can employ the serrated lower end for simple sawing procedures while the smooth upper portion can handle scraping or slashing. The blade is 3.5 inches of AUS-8 steel that carries a bolt for easy one-handed opening. It is spring loaded, so it snaps to attention with a minimum of effort. The ergonomic handle means it is hard to drop and nearly impossible to have pulled out of your grip. A great folding knife for the survivalist that needs a little bit of everything. [Purchase]

Kershaw 1620PUR Scallion Folding Knife

Kershaw 1620PUR Scallion Folding Knife

Naturally there is no such thing as a “man’s knife” or a “woman’s knife” but when it comes to folding knives, due to the difference in women’s hands, there are certain things that they need, and the Scallion has them all. It uses Speed Safe opening that works equally well for either hand and allows someone with delicate fingers to flip the nasty little 2 1/4-inch blade out quickly. The handle is anodized aluminum which not only is stronger than standard aluminum, but can also be found in array of dazzling colors. It is mostly meant for last-stand self-defense, but also cuts box strings and trims away unsightly hair flyaways. It’s a tool, it’s a weapon, it’s an accessory! [Purchase]

Smith and Wesson Border Guard 2

Smith & Wesson Border Guard 2

Smith & Wesson must have been in a strange mood when they made the Border Guard 2. They’re a company known for making weapons, yet this knife is about saving lives rather than taking them. The 4.4 inch 7Cr17 stainless steel blade with high carbon is nice, but what sets this S&W apart is the integrated seatbelt cutter and glass breaker. For those times when you have to break someone out of a car in a lake or rescue a hostage, the Border Guard 2 will do right by you. [Purchase]

Spyderco Paramilitary 2

Spyderco Paramilitary 2

If your needs are a little less specialized and a little more ordinary, then you’ll probably want an EDC (EveryDay Carry) knife. The Paramilitary 2 is the best of the best in this arena. Forget your dog, this is man’s best friend. The ergonomic handle of the Paramilitary 2 improves on the original for use that is less tiring on your hands and reduces slipping. They kept the same CPM-S30V flat-ground blade but have added surface jimping to the finger coil as well as the spine for improved grip. The new Bushing Pivot System also offers a clean opening every time. The one drawback for many is that it uses a compression lock. [Purchase]

Kershaw Cryo

Kershaw Cryo

No one will blame you for balking at the price attached to the Paramilitary 2. Unless you plan on beating the hell out of your blade, it’s a little too much anyway, like driving a Humvee to pick up milk. For the average Joe on the street, the Cryo is at the opposite end of the price spectrum, but not that much lower in quality. It comes in solid 8Cr13MoV steel with a titanium coating that covers the knife from butt to tip. It might be made in China, but if you want an EDC for the everyman, the Cryo is the perfect balance of price and quality. [Purchase]

Spyderco Salt 1

Spyderco Salt I

Spyderco just can’t stop making amazing knives. It’s patently unfair and they really should step back and let someone else take a stab at it, pun intended. The Salt I is actually only passable as a folding knife. It makes this list because it is only meant for those that need a folding knife that can survive in water. It has H-1 steel that won’t rust no matter how long it is exposed to the elements and the blunted blade tip on the 3 inch blade means accidents while diving, fishing, or kayaking are minimal. It’s even specially designed to fit in the pockets of waders. [Purchase]

Chris Reeve Sebenza

Chris Reeve Sebenza

Yes, it is nearly indestructible. Yes, it comes in large and small with special designs for either righties or lefties. Yes, it says Chris Reeve on it, which means that yes, you will pay a boatload to buy it. The damn thing is not only so damn attractive that you could use it as a centerpiece, it’s also probably the best folding knife in existence. The 3.6 inch S35VN stainless steel blade will forever retain its razors edge. The easy-open mechanism is so slick that the knife just hops out of its titanium frame and then locks so tightly that it feels like a fixed blade. Fight with it, cut with it, work with it, shave with it, hell, go ahead and sleep with it. [Purchase]

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