It used to be easy to buy a knife. But now, whether you are buying a survival knife, pocket knife, or just looking at any manufacturer’s website to gather information, it can get quite confusing.
A time ago, most people thought of an “everyday carry knife” as one of many traditional Best Pocket Knife patterns. They preferred an Italian-style stiletto to make a tactical folder rather than the sleek EDC knives we see today.
There seems to have been a massive shift away from traditional pocket knives to more tactical folders that can be used as everyday-carry knives.
We will be discussing both traditional and modern knife patterns in this article. Both are viable options for knives you can carry around every day.
Below is a comparison chart that shows our top three choices. You can also view our buyer’s guide, including all 20 of our top picks and specifications for each knife.
Pocket knife buyer’s guide
There are generally two types of pocket knives. Some people would argue that you have a smaller subset of pocket knives that are considered more military style and tactical in use. We believe that most knives that we recommend for military and tactical use should have fixed blade knives. This is not an EDC pocket knife. Bushcraft knives should be shorter and also have a fixed blade.
The majority of knives today fall under two categories: Traditional Pocket knives and Modern Pocket knives. Let’s take a closer look at each type and its uses.
Traditional vs. modern folding pocket knife patterns
The Origins of the Traditional Pocket Knife Style Many traditional patterns are not like the current crop of everyday carry knives. They were created to suit the needs of specific occupations. The Stockman pattern, for example, was initially designed to be used by stockyard workers, ranchers, farmers, and stockyard workers. They could use their pocket knives to trim hooves, spay and neuter animals, and trim hooves. The Pen Knife was initially designed for bankers, clerks, and layers to sharpen their quill pen. Knife collectors also love traditional-styled folding knives.
The Barlow, which is available in different sizes, is another classic pattern. It is a great all-purpose knife and does a great job. Traditional designs include all traditional folding knife patterns, such as Buck 110 Folding Hunter or Buck 112 Ranger, and all the classic patterns like the Barlow, Stockman, Sunfish, Pen, etc. Schrade does a great job in this video explaining some of the basic models of traditional knives in greater detail.