The 15 Best Ultralight EDC Pocket Knives

Jul 16, 2019

Category: Gear

Everyday carry is a game of ounces and compromises. After all, there’s only so much one person can reasonably haul about day-in and day-out without it becoming a chore. So a big part of finding the perfect EDC loadout is deciding what you can and can’t do without, as well as making sure you slim down your necessities as much as possible.

As we’ve said time and time again, a knife is a tool we believe should be included in everyone’s everyday carry in some form or another. But that doesn’t mean you have to pocket a massive, tactical folding cleaver in order to have a useful cutting tool as a part of your EDC. In fact, you’d probably be surprised to know that you can find a superb pocket knife that weighs virtually nothing — or at least a negligible amount. That’s what we set out to illustrate in the following guide. These are the best ultralight pocket knives.

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How Light Is Ultralight?

“Ultralight” is kind of a nonsense term. Or rather, it’s a term that doesn’t mean anything when taken out of context. Furthermore, what might seem ultralight to one person might be too heavy for someone else. Similarly, the definition can change due to the evolution of a gear type and the standards set by the industry itself. That being the case, we wanted to define specifically what we mean when we use the term in reference to everyday carry knives. The following guide is comprised entirely of pocketable blades of exceptional lightness — with none exceeding 2.0 ounces. Yes, we know that that is an extremely rigid figure, but we wanted to ensure that we were doing our absolute best to serve up only the absolute best, lightest options on the market. If you’re the type of EDC enthusiast who counts every single gram, this guide is for you.

Gerber L.S.T. Ultralight Knife

As you might gather from its name, this Gerber folder was designed — by none other than Pete Gerber, himself — specifically to cut down on weight as much as possible without sacrificing any performance. Originally introduced in 1980, this classic knife weighs a meager 1.2 ounces in total. But its 420HC steel drop point blade and textured synthetic handle are still tough and useful enough to shine in any loadout. And it definitely doesn’t hurt that it comes with a sturdy back lock for security in use.

Blade Steel: 420HC
Handle Material: Glass-Filled Nylon
Blade Length: 2.63″
Weight: 1.2 oz

Purchase: $14

Opinel No. 8 Trekking Knife

Opinel has been making superb, budget-friendly folding knives for over a century. And while you’ll discover that most of their designs — especially those with beechwood handles — fall under the 2-ounce limit, we’re partial to the No. 8 Trekking knife. Boasting the brand’s signature silhouette, a Virobloc safety ring locking mechanism, a Sandvik steel blade, and a superlight wood handle, this ultra-affordable knife is one everyone should have in their EDC collection.

Blade Steel: 12C27 Sandvik
Handle Material: Beechwood
Blade Length: 3.25″
Weight: 1.6 oz

Purchase: $18

Svord Mini Peasant Knife

The peasant knife dates back probably further than you realize — with examples dating back to the mid-1600s. Interestingly, the overall design is still one that holds up today, as can be seen in this modern interpretation. A non-locking friction folder, this beautiful and simple cutting tool features an ergonomic synthetic handle mated to a carbon steel blade that’s easy to keep sharp and useful for a wide variety of tasks — including, yes, the kinds of things you might do on a farm. A Scandinavian icon, the Svord Mini Peasant Knife is a classic through and through.

Blade Steel: Carbon
Handle Material: Zytel
Blade Length: 2.5″
Weight: 1.5 oz

Purchase: $19

Victorinox Classic SD Swiss Army Knife

Perhaps no pocket knife in the modern age is as iconic as the Victorinox Swiss Army Knife. And, unsurprisingly, one of the brand’s most iconic models also falls under the 2-ounce limit. The Classic SD SAK is small enough to slip into even the most crowded of pockets or can even be attached to a carabiner keychain for easier hauling. And it still has an impressive five features, including a knife blade, spring-loaded scissors, a file, a flathead driver, and more. And, like all their gear, this multi-tool has a lifetime guarantee against defects.

Blade Steel: Stainless
Handle Material: ALOX or Composite
Blade Length: 1.25″
Weight: 0.7 oz

Purchase: $25

Leatherman Skeletool KBX Pocket Knife

Leatherman is known for making some of the most comprehensive and fully-featured folding multi-tools in the world. But they also know that, sometimes, less is more. Or at least that’s the case with their Skeletool KBX pocket knife. Free of excess, this American-manufactured cutting tool boasts a 420HC stainless steel blade with a black finish, a lightweight all-metal skeletonized handle, and comes with the brand’s 25-year guarantee against defects. If you appreciate Leatherman’s quality but you want something less busy than their other offerings, this is it.

Blade Steel: 420HC
Handle Material: Type II Anodized Aluminum
Blade Length: 2.6″
Weight: 1.3 oz

Purchase: $30

Douk Douk Friction Folder

Named after the Melanesian spirits of destruction, the Douk-Douk is a French-made friction folder that’s been largely made the same exact way for the better part of a century. Carried by French legionnaires for generations, this knife boasts a simple carbon steel blade mated to a folded steel handle — both adorned with beautiful, iconic engravings of the knife’s namesake. And the bail at the tail end acts as a makeshift lock when you have the knife closed, adding a bit of security.

Blade Steel: Carbon Steel
Handle Material: Folded Steel
Blade Length: 3″
Weight: 1.3 oz

Purchase: $30

Deejo 37G Knife

If there’s a more minimalist knife out there in the world that’s as fully-featured as those offered by Deejo, we have yet to come across it. This particular offering is actually named for its weight — a meager 1.3 ounces in total — made possible by a skeletonized handle crafted from the same 420 stainless steel as the blade. Still, this knife has plenty of style to offer, courtesy of a number of different finishes and handle scales made from materials like carbon fiber, rosewood, ebony, and more.

Blade Steel: 420 Stainless
Handle Material: Carbon Fiber or Hardwood
Blade Length: 3.75″
Weight: 1.3 oz

Purchase: $40+

CRKT Eros Folding Knife

Unsurprisingly, CRKT knew the perfect designer to turn to when it came time to craft their own ultralight folder: Ken Onion. The Hawaii-based knifemaker came up with the beautiful Eros — which manages to pack a whole lot of features into just 1.5 ounces. That includes an IKBS ball-bearing pivot system — made by none other than Flavio Ikoma — as well as a flipper-style opening, an integrated frame lock, a pocket clip, and an all-metal handle. There’s even a much more high-end textured handle version if you want something a bit more elevated to add to your carry.

Blade Steel: AUS-8
Handle Material: 420J2 Stainless Steel
Blade Length: 2.03″
Weight: 1.5 oz

Purchase: $48

Spyderco Dragonfly 2 Folding Knife

Spyderco knows a thing or two about making lightweight pocket knives that are chock-full of durability and top-tier materials. After all, their legendary Paramilitary 2 weighs just 3.75 ounces — which is plenty light by most folks’ standards. But it’s a brick compared to their 1.2-ounce Dragonfly 2, with its VG-10 steel leaf-shaped blade and fiberglass-reinforced nylon handle. It also boasts a super-sturdy back lock, has a handy pocket clip, and comes with a limited lifetime warranty.

Blade Steel: VG-10
Handle Material: FRN
Blade Length: 2.25″
Weight: 1.2 oz

Purchase: $62

Boker Plus Urban Trapper Knife

Perhaps the most stylish option that Boker has ever offered, their Urban Trapper comes in many forms — but this titanium frame lock version might just be our favorite. Thanks to a skeletonized design, this sleek gentleman’s folder weighs just 1.7 ounces — yet it still measures up at 7.75″ in total. Pair that with a flipper opening and VG-10 steel blade and this is a solid bang-for-your-buck knife for fans of modern styling.

Blade Steel: VG-10
Handle Material: 6AL4V Titanium
Blade Length: 3.5″
Weight: 1.7 oz

Purchase: $77

SOG Ultra C-Ti Money Clip Knife

SOG is not a brand that’s known for subtlety, so it should come as no surprise that their attempt at an ultralight folder is pretty aggressive in its appearance — courtesy of a 2.8″ VG-10 steel blade with spine jimping and an ultra-thin carbon fiber handle. Despite the tactical nature of the styling, however, this knife is still just 1.3 ounces and was even made to function as a pocket clip — meaning you could theoretically do away with your wallet and cut your carry ounces even further. For a compact multi-purpose blade, you probably won’t do better than this one.

Blade Steel: VG-10
Handle Material: Carbon Fiber & Titanium
Blade Length: 2.8″
Weight: 1.3 oz

Purchase: $83

Kershaw Launch 4 Automatic Knife

Unfortunately, because of the intricacies of the mechanisms, most automatic knives can get a bit heavy. Most, but not all. In the case of Kershaw’s compact Launch 4, weight is hardly a factor, as it weighs just 1.8 ounces. Made in the USA, this auto blade boasts a button lock, a stout DLC-coated CPM 154 steel dagger-style blade, and an anodized aluminum handle. It’s a sleek and stylish blade that looks a bit like it came from the future and it’s an excellent tool to carry wherever legal.

Blade Steel: DLC-Coated CPM 154
Handle Material: 6061-T6 Aluminum
Blade Length: 1.9″
Weight: 1.8 oz

Purchase: $130

Benchmade 535 Bugout Knife

Benchmade might have the best self-awareness of any knifemaking brand out there right now. They know what their audience likes and they know how to deliver it brilliantly — keeping their releases consistently fresh. So it should be no shocker that they made the list with the pared-down version of a pocket folder they’ve called the 535 Bugout. Perfect for EDC enthusiasts and doomsday preppers alike, this USA-made folder weighs 1.85 ounces, has a Grivory ultra-slim handle, a CPMS30V drop point blade, and still features the brand’s signature AXIS lock.

Blade Steel: CPM S30V
Handle Material: Grivory Polymer
Blade Length: 3.14″
Weight: 1.85 oz

Purchase: $136

Al Mar Ultralight Knives

Al Mar offers not one, but four different knives in their Ultralight collection. And while they differ slightly in their size and shape, they boast a few constants between them — including Micarta handle scales, sturdy back lock mechanisms, and AUS-8 steel blades. Weighing 2 ounces at most and 1 ounce at the least, these blades are perfect for slimmed-down carry and still offer all the cutting power and durability you should expect from this legendary brand.

Blade Steel: AUS-8
Handle Material: Linen Micarta
Blade Length: 2.75-4″
Weight: 1-2 oz

Purchase: $170+

Chris Reeve Mnandi Folding Knife

Not only does Chris Reeve offer a superb ultralight folding knife, but they also managed to somehow make it perhaps the most stylish on the market right now. Measuring up at 6.375″ overall, this slipjoint pocket knife weighs just 1.5 ounces — yet it still boasts a beautiful handle made from titanium and your choice of box elder burl, Macassar ebony, or bog oak wood. It even still gets a pocket clip, which is unnecessary but very appreciated. You can even swap out the standard blade for one made from beautifully-patterned Damascus steel. Of course, that upgrade could end up costing you quite a bit. Still, even standard, this is one of the most stunning ultralight pocket knives on the market.

Blade Steel: CPM S35VN
Handle Material: 6AL4V Titanium & Hardwood
Blade Length: 2.74″
Weight: 1.5 oz

Purchase: $400+

How To Choose An EDC Pocket Knife

You might not know it initially, but there are a lot of factors that you need to consider when choosing your first (or fiftieth) folding blade. We take an in-depth look at all of them on our how to find the perfect everyday carry pocket knife guide.

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