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best pocket knife for backpacking

December 25, 2020

Harder steels, on the other hand, are more durable but harder to sharpen. Let’s jump into the guide! For lightweight backpackers, the Spyderco Honeybee is a remarkable knife for its size and easily the best ultralight backpacking knife we tested. This video is a top 5 list and overview of the best pocket knives for backpacking. Spyderco Delica Lightweight Folding Knife. Use the information contained in this website at your own risk, and do not depend on the information contained in this website for personal safety or for determining whether to attempt any activity described herein. The Deejo Wood 37g is a sleek, lightweight, and well-designed knife with an amazing blade. If you’re buying a knife specifically for backpacking, we recommend the Opinel or Deejo, which are a similar weight and price point, over the Spatha. Review for pocket knife models from Kershaw, Gerber, CRKT, SOG, Spyderco, the James Brand and more. Because of its minimalist design, the Deejo Wood 37g initially felt a touch flimsy. The sheath adds another 0.8 oz. In my opinion, this is the best backpacking knife under $100. This means if you make a purchase after clicking through one, at no extra cost to you we may earn a commission. For weight-conscious backpackers who recognize that a knife is still an essential part of their kit, or for anyone who wants an ultralight backup knife, the Honeybee is a sweet little piece of gear at a great price. The sharp edges on its spine struck a spark with little effort and left no wear to the knife itself. A lock that holds the blade in the open position adds stability to the knife and prevents it from slipping closed onto your fingers. The knife’s red plastic sides even fell off at some point. Opinel is a French knife making company that really outdid themselves in the last couple of years. We loved the handle’s non-slip textured surface and its ergonomic profile. Lightweight; ... Time to go Backpacking with the best … It impressed us with how durable it actually was, though. Benchmade Griptilian 551. It's an engraved quality small pocket knife of 3.5 inches. We timed how long it took to cut through a 2-foot section of cardboard with each knife. But it was nothing that had us concerned. It’s made from 1095HC steel which isn’t super-common and quite easy to sharpen. He’s long since lost the tweezers and toothpick, which he says is easy to do. Just so you know, this page contains affiliate links. Here’s a fantastic lightweight open-frame design folding pocket knife from Gerber. It has a frame locked design to keep the blade safely in place and is super-secure. No Lock – Many small knives don’t have room for a locking mechanism. The seven functions include: blade, scissors, nail file, screwdriver (2.5 mm), key ring, toothpick, and tweezers. Mini fixed blades, folding, serrated, plain, automatic, flipper, and ball-berring knives. Best Pocket Knives of 2020. KnifeSharpenerGuy.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com, Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.ca, Top 7 Best Backpacking Knife Reviews in 2020. The best wilderness knife will allow to do heavy duty work, but will likely cost you more money than a simple pocket knife for light chores like cutting twine or opening packages of food. Its assisted open is sharp and snappy, and the frame lock felt solid and reliable. The activities described on 99boulders.com carry a significant risk of personal injury or death. Feel free to go back over any of the knives that interested you. The open frame helps to keep the knife as light and functional as possible – without losing any grip strength or durability. DO NOT participate in these activities unless you are an expert, have sought or obtained qualified professional instruction or guidance, are knowledgeable about the risks involved, and are willing to assume personal responsibility for all risks associated with these activities. We loved slicing and chopping food with the Opinel. This frame lock is pressed to the side with the thumb to release the blade. This 3.5” folding knife is just the right size to give you awesome versatility and functionality without being too bulky or heavy. From chopping veggies to whittling wood, we used these knives throughout our backpacking trips and daily lives while performing a series of rigorous tests. Our experts test each knife while exploring backcountry terrain throughout the United States, preparing food, camping, mountain climbing, and more. Being able to complete basic tasks like bushcraft and camp chores (or just cooking) to defending myself if needed is an absolute must. Before anything else, we tested each knife’s sharpness right out of the box. It tended to move back and forth against the lock slightly, though not enough to bother us. The Opinel uses the unique “Virobloc” safety lock, where a metal ring twists to lock the blade either open or shut. Although it wasn’t super sharp right out of the box, it held up to all of our cutting tests surprisingly well. On everyday hikes, it can open food packets, cut twine, and shave kindling; in a survival situation, it can help you do everything from build a shelter to catch fish. Considering what you’re getting for the money, this knife is hard to simply pass over. You’ve seen 7 knives that should give you a variety of choices depending on your needs. The Mini Griptilian is a sweet all-around knife with a solid locking mechanism. This also helps to keep down the overall weight – leaving you with a high-performing knife that won’t hurt your wallet. You’ll want to get a sheath made for this knife if possible, as it’s bulky. A longer blade is best for hunting tasks, providing a longer knife stroke. For example, the Opinel No8 uses a small ring of metal to block the blade from closing, and the Kershaw Leek uses a tip slider to hold the blade closed. The slick handle also wasn’t the best for tougher tasks that require a precise, stable grip. We loved its simplicity. Also, it is the best EDC knife available in the market right now. It’s ultra-lightweight and one of the easiest knives to take on a backpacking trip. There’s an opening hole for your finger at the base of the blade to help you get a better grip for heavier duty cutting and slicing. This knife is super-easy to carry around and is hardly noticeable in its folded position. Fits comfortably in your pocket, purse, or as an easy-access addition to keys. For travelers and backpackers, this is a complete set of tools that will come in … Back Lock – A piece of metal along the back of the handle holds the knife open. MINI VERSION: No. Secured in a nylon sheath, this best backpacking pocket knife option can be stowed safely away when it’s not being used. Frame Lock – A piece of the frame will slide over behind the blade to hold it open. It was also the least comfortable knife to hold. In our paper test, it did more tearing than cutting. All that’s left is for you to make your choice. Folding backpacking knives can be compact and lightweight. It sliced through a sheet of paper like nobody’s business and excelled at food prep. For most people, this tool is an every day object that can be carried with a keychain or a small pocket backpacking knife. The Classic SD handled cutting thin cordage really well. No other knife in our test felt as precise and solid in-hand as the Delica 4 (although the Izula II was close). We think its design, style, and weight make the Leek better suited to everyday carry than the backcountry. This type of lock can be very stable, but it requires two hands to close the knife. When it came to whittling wood and boring holes, the short blade and raised thumb notch made this knife feel easy and intuitive for detail work. The blade wasn’t as stable as the Delica 4 during tasks like whittling wood or boring holes, and we could feel a small amount of give in the handle. This EDC has a thickness of 3" 3 mm steel blade. The sturdy steel will give you a durable blade that will last for long. Overall, you’re getting a knife with premium performance, utility, and versatility. It’s a capable tool, worthy of adding to your backpacking and camping arsenal. While it’s quite heavy for a pocket knife, you’re getting all the class-leading design, craftsmanship, and professionalism that Victorinox is known for. It’s incredibly easy to clean the knife with a minimalistic and rugged profile. But it’s incapable of any heavy duty cutting work. 2. Included are a 5-in-1 pocket knife, and a 5-in-10 knife sharpener, meaning that you’ll get 10 different uses out of this great value-for-money set. I prefer folding knives for backpacking as they’re more compact and easy to carry. The blade still sliced easily through 2 feet of cardboard. This best backpacking knife are compact, versatile, and an overall fantastic choice if you’re on a tight budget and still want decent performance and durability. That’s it for our guide and review! After our tests, we couldn’t detect any noticeable change in the sharpness of its blade. It’s a handy feature that lets this knife double as a tactical carry. It was one of the slower knives in our cutting speed test, but that was mainly because of its tiny size. You could easily see when the lock was engaged, and it felt safer than some of the frame locks. The blade is secured by a Virobloc safety ring which hasn’t been changed in over 100 years. This is a knife that can endure some pretty rough treatment and harsh elements. The handle is crafted from durable and robust Beechwood and shaped in a very ergonomic and intuitive way. Check Price on Amazon. When it came to anything beyond basic slicing, though, it just didn’t hold up. Throughout our testing, we just never found an instance where we needed the scissors or file and couldn’t just as easily use a knife. There are some variations from the same company Readyman, particularly for lock picking, first aid, and fishing tools. Also Read: Best Camping Knives – Reviewed and Complete Buyer’s Guide. This lightweight, military-grade sheath is mildew resistant and allows you to carry the knife either horizontally or vertically. You’ll find you can get excellent grip strength and control over the knife without straining your hands and wrists. Keep the strokes smooth and try to use the whole length of the tapered rod to get the best results. Partially serrated blade. When I go out backpacking, one tool that I always take with me is the best backpacking knife I have. We did really love the large carabiner hole for clipping the knife to our packs for quick access. Even without the full handle, the Izula was comfortable to hold. It’s an exceptionally durable knife with the functionality and versatility of a whole set of knives. Its low price point and light weight made it seem like a shoe-in for our best value pick. They are compact and don’t require the added weight of a sheath. Folding – Most backpacking knives are folding knives. Let’s get into the best backpacking knife reviews! BEST BUDGET POCKET KNIFE. While the MSRP is on the high side, it’s frequently on sale for less. It’s a small knife, and we don’t expect it to be as comfortable as knives with a more generous handle, but it never felt stable in our tester’s hands. It’s better to bring a knife than to not bring a knife, and if you’ve got the space available, a fixed blade will typically be able to take more abuse than a folding knife. The Leek was the heaviest knife in our test (not counting the ESEE Izula II, which could be customized for lighter weight). You’re getting VG-10 steel that’s flat ground to give you a thinner and sharper cutting edge. However, cutting or carving wood, chopping veggies, and most other camp tasks were awkward at best. If you like having different colors to choose from, here’s a great selection. You’re getting a refined and reliable pick for the best backpacking knife. The opening and closing action is swift and can be done one-handed with a little practice. The best pocket knife for the money will vary from person to person with myriad factors coming into play as we have discussed above. The best knife for backpacking should be comfortable for use, with a handle that allows for a safe and firm grip. Mini Review: The Classic SD is one of the most popular knives on the trail for good reason. You don’t have to deal with “iffy” linear locks and back-locks that accidentally release half-way through cutting. A: Take a tapered sharpening rod and work each of the individual serration (the teeth). It’s unique and you’ll keep this knife around for a long time. The ESEE Izula II won the day for heavy-duty and survival usage. Morakniv Eldris Fixed-Blade Pocket-Sized Knife This is a durable knife that won’t disappoint you. One of the rings is fixed and the other slides into place to securely lock the blade into place. This knife is made to contain a flip out can opener. We’ve carefully selected 7 knives we feel to address a broad enough set of needs and possible uses. You can clip the knife to almost anything and it slides onto a belt with no trouble. Over the last seven years, we've purchased and tested 37+ unique folding knives side by side, with 18 knives in our 2020 review line-up. 99BOULDERS LLC MAKES NO WARRANTIES, EXPRESSED OR IMPLIED, OF ANY KIND REGARDING THE CONTENTS OF THIS WEBSITE, AND EXPRESSLY DISCLAIMS ANY WARRANTY REGARDING THE ACCURACY OR RELIABILITY OF INFORMATION CONTAINED HEREIN. The Delica 4 opens and closes smoothly, and its thumb hole makes for easy one-handed opening. 10 Best Multi Tools (Review) in 2020. Seeking the best pocket knife? Here’s a fantastic value-for-money knife if you want something sleek and compact. If you won’t be doing heavy cutting, like trimming branches or dressing game, you can look for the best inexpensive knife that will suit your simple needs. We brought each knife with us on our camping and backpacking trips, and used them for daily activities for over a month. The more snagging and catching, the duller the knife. We put 9 of the best backpacking knives to the test. (Coincidentally, some hardcore ultralight backpackers intentionally remove the plastic sides to shave a little weight.). You’re getting 12C27 stainless steel and all its resistance to corrosion and rusting. There’s nothing worse than having a knife that keeps slipping out of place when you’re backpacking. With folding knives, we prefer knives that can easily strike a spark from their spine while closed for safety reasons. Knife Features Locking Blade. / 4.25 in. This shorter blade’s tip is strong and sturdy, giving you plenty of versatility and piercing power. Related Reads # Tools. He also takes it with him on short backpacking trips as an ultralight backpacking knife. A good knife is one of the most essential backcountry tools you can carry. A lighter, more practical handle for the Izula II. The ambidextrous thumb studs aren’t too pronounced – they’re just the right size for a quick one-handed opening and closing. Striking the blade itself gave us sparks, but we stopped pretty quickly to prevent damage to the thin blade. It was able to strike a spark on a ferro rod, though not easily and with noticeable wear to the back of its blade. We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. You can use it for preparing meals, eating, utility work, and general functionality. These allow for one-handed closing of the knife. Some people like small folders, some like tradition Swiss Army Knives while other will only take a fixed blade knife. From their price and performance to more subtle features like sheaths and carrying options, we’ll show you what’s worth paying attention to. Using a knife with no lock requires extra care, and these knives generally won’t feel as stable. You’ll need a strong tip for piercing and a sharp edge with decent edge retention for quick cutting and slicing. Its blade wasn’t the sharpest right out of the box, but it was the thickest and most durable. The Classic SD could also be called a multi-tool. Note: If you’re looking for knives you can use while camping and aren’t as concerned about weight, check out our guide to the best camping knives. It’s a fantastic all-rounder knife for adventurers and travelers. All in all, we were impressed. Overall, this is a great little tool for carrying around town and having on hand. The blade shape is a drop point design with piercing in mind. While we loved its performance and solid feel, it would be hard for us to justify dedicating 3 oz in our pack for it. Q: How to Sharpen the Serrated Edge of a Blade? We did manage to get a fire started. It even held up to some mild batoning (splitting wood) without chipping or wearing the coating. One blade is all you need, but it has to be the right one. Overall, this is a great pocket knife with an extremely sharp blade. Finally, the Deejo Wood 37g won an honorable mention for its beautiful design and high-quality blade. You’ll need resistance to rust, corrosion, and have a handle that’s non-slip and comfortable. The handle is easy to remove, leaving you with a barebones knife of only 2.2 oz. WARNING! These days he keeps the Classic SD on his keychain for simple everyday tasks and takes it with him on short backpacking trips. JUMP TO: OPINEL NO. With a little experience and practice, you’ll learn how to care and handle this knife at its best. Take your time and get a knife you’ll keep around for ages – good luck! A good full-tang knife (where the steel of the blade extends all the way to the end of the handle) is a simple, virtually indestructible tool, ideal for heavy duty or survival usage. If you get the Izula with the handle and sheath, it’s a touch on the heavy side for backpacking. Stephanie grew up in Pennsylvania and is a life-long adventurer. It’s far from the easiest knife to hold. While it’s not a cheap backpacking knife considering its size, it’s money well-spent. Our all-around top pick is the Spyderco Delica 4 for its perfect balance of compact design and durability. Still, it can get the job done if you really need it to. It needs to be able to cut through ropes and possibly have a wire-cutter and a serrated portion on the blade. Perhaps our favorite feature of this knife is the intelligently designed pocket clip. Read on for our full reviews and tips on how to choose the right backpacking knife for your needs. In addition to the blade it has scissors, tweezers, a toothpick, and a nail file. She has taught English in Taiwan; backpacked through Asia, Europe, and South America; worked as a North American tour guide; mentored at-risk teenagers in Utah’s wilderness; and worked as an outdoor educator for elementary school students. The knife feels extremely solid and well made. ), Backpacking Gear List Spreadsheet (w/ Weight Calculator). You’ll build a clear idea of what it takes to make a great backpacking knife. Most people overlook ergonomics when buying a knife. The tip lock that holds the knife closed is a nice added safety feature. Overall, this is the best backpacking knife and possibly inexpensive backpacking knife with this kind of performance and ruggedness. We made sure to spend time whittling wood, cutting cordage, and chopping food with each knife. The handle is slick, and combined with the minuscule size, it requires a careful grip. This knife combines a light weight of only 2.5 oz with a razor sharp blade and a remarkably comfortable, solid grip. It has excellent edge retention and can be sharpened to a razor’s edge without too much difficulty. If you want to learn what to look for in the best backpacking knife… Q: What Should I Look for in a Best Backpacking Knife? Fixed Blade – Although heavier, quality fixed-blade knives can be stronger and more durable than folding knives. In other words, this knife is legit. It didn’t play well with a ferro rod, taking 10 strikes even on the blade to light our tinder. We’ve seen this knife on sale at many online retailers. You’ve got a smooth straight edge with razor sharpness and awesome cutting power. Thick cardboard is a challenge for knives due to its abrasive and inconsistent surface. Of course, it is a good choice for backpacking and camping. The flat-ground edge is extremely sharp and easy to maintain. While it’s an assisted opening, the action is very smooth and consistent. If you carry a fire starter (aka ferrocerium rod) backpacking, the ability to strike a spark with your knife will be crucial. Top 7 Best Backpacking Knife Reviews in 2020. Also Read: Best Pocket Knife Under $50 – Excellent for the Outdoors. 99Boulders LLC further disclaims any responsibility for injuries or death incurred by any person engaging in these activities. There’s a finger ring at the bottom of the handle that lets you slip your pinky or pointer finger into depending on the way you grip the knife. A: The knife needs to be pretty versatile. Though it can hold its own in most backpacking tasks. This knife was designed to cut through the body of an aircraft, and still be tough enough to handle other tasks after. The Spyderco Honeybee packs a lot of punch into a tiny package. By the end of the reviews, you’ll have a clear picture of what you need and where to find it. Let’s take a look at the top ten best knives for backpacking. Weight: 1.3 oz Blade Length: 2.2" Tools: 2. If you already have (or plan to buy) the Spatha for your climbing gear, it can capably double as a backpacking knife. Victorinox Swiss Army Classic SD. It’s technically a multi-tool and is of the lightest options available. It’s resistant to rusting and doesn’t chip or break easily. It’s friction-held and gives you all the protection you’d need for using this knife outdoors. If you shop around, you can likely find it for less than its retail price. The Leatherman Juice B2 gives you 2 good blade options, straight and serrated, for getting any cutting job done right. Some knives are much better at it than others, and some require using the blade which can eventually damage it. At 2.63” long, the blade is legal to carry as an EDC knife in many states and countries. One of the beauties of this knife, though, is how customizable it is. This bulk is a necessary evil for the massive utility and selection of tools. You’ll find out what’s unique about each knife and why it’s worth your time. Its 3.35″ blade was the second longest in our test and gave it a lot of cutting power. It’s designed for wilderness and survival usage and made by Randall’s Adventure and Training, which started as a jungle survival school in the Peruvian Amazon. Its compact size is an advantage, but for a budget backpacking knife, we’d choose the Opinel No8 over the Gerber Paraframe Mini. It is pushed to the side to release the blade. It’s a camping knife made with a beefy drop point profile, nearly full-bevel, and deeply inset finger relief. It features an excellent fixed Bowie blade made of the finest 5Cr15Mov steel. If you’re in the market for a fixed-blade knife that’s light enough for backpacking, capable in survival situations, and fun to own, this is your knife. The Classic SD’s blade is razor sharp. If you are hoping to find the ideal knife for any backpacking situation, there are some things you are going to want to consider when reviewing your options. The company's reputation is the reason that Benchmade knives are sold in stores worldwide. 7 / VICTORINOX CLASSIC SD / KERSHAW LEEK / BENCHMADE 585 MINI-BARRAGE On multi-day backpacking adventures a knife can be useful for cooking, the odd repair job, or small cutting tasks around camp. Best of all it is one of the lightest options on our list. One of the best foldable hunting knives, the Benchmade North Fork Knife features a 2.97’’ CPM-S30V stainless steel drop-point blade and weighs in … In our testing, the Leek was the sharpest right out of the box. Pros. The Opinel No 8 Folding Knife made it to the top of our best backpacking knives list, because we consider it being the best value for your money. Benchmade is a name synonymous with superiority in the world of knives. Those are minor shortcomings for a knife that is lightweight, compact, functional, and beautifully designed. The Victorinox Swiss Army Pocket Knife is the right tool to get you set for anything in the jungle. The blade’s tip is lowered slightly to bring it closer to the centerline of the knife. The blade is held in its open position by a frame lock that’s extremely secure and reliable. One minor one is that its short blade wasn’t the greatest for slicing food. The knife is a solid option for ultralight backpackers with minimal needs, he says. The Gerber Obsidian knife is a great every day carry multi-tool pocket knife. If you want to be covered in almost any situation, this might be the perfect pocket knife for you. If you continue to use this site we will assume that you are happy with it. If versatility and functionality are important to you, here’s a king in the field. A simple paracord wrap made it even better. A sharp knife should be able to slice through a piece of standard printer paper cleanly with minimal effort. On top of that, they put a nice ergonomic bolster on it to separate the handle from the blade. 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