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What do you look for in a pocket knife?

Discussion in 'General Knife Discussion' started by david77, May 7, 2019.

  1. david77

    david77

    2
    May 7, 2019
    Hello everyone, I'm fairly new to collecting pocket knives (so far I've got a cold steel spartan and a helly-tec OTF) and I was looking to do reviews on my YouTube channel. What are some features you look for in a good pocket knife? I appreciate any and all input, thank you for your time.
    Thank you!
     
    The Zieg likes this.
  2. Daedric Panther

    Daedric Panther Gold Member Gold Member

    286
    Apr 27, 2019
    A lot of it comes down to personal preference. Blade steel is always important. I like s30v a lot, same with 154cm but there are plenty of other great steels out there.

    I check where it’s made prior to purchasing. I generally much prefer to buy American made whenever possible, especially with knives and other tools. (Ok exceptions are made for Swiss Army knives and German razors, but besides those)
     
  3. Rykjeklut

    Rykjeklut Basic Member Basic Member

    May 23, 2018
    At this point I look for something fun or different to what I already have. Be it a new (to me) steel, a different opening/closing mechanism....

    Or just something that looks amazing. Yeah, I'm shallow.
     
  4. hhmoore

    hhmoore Gold Member Gold Member

    Feb 7, 2014
    I've found coins in my knives a couple of times, and the end of a key.

    On a more serious note, given your relative lack of experience, what is going to set you apart from the scores of other youtubers doing knife reviews? I'm not asking that to be discouraging...I'm legitimately interested in your response.
     
  5. Lance Leon

    Lance Leon Gold Member Gold Member

    679
    May 3, 2017
    There are a number of things, such as blade length, blade shape, steel/materials, ergonomics, a good clip, solid lock, good action, etc. But pretty much all those things are subjective in one way or another, and the importance of each attribute varies from person to person. I'd recommend watching/reading some reviews of knives to see what are some of the potential good and bad things about knives and to help you learn what kind of stuff you like.
     
  6. specgrade

    specgrade Gold Member Gold Member

    365
    Nov 21, 2009
    I look at magazines and websites to gain information. American or German knives get my attention first. My tastes have changed over the years with the more info I receive. Blade steel means less to me as the time goes by.
     
    willc and Lapedog like this.
  7. gadgetgeek

    gadgetgeek

    May 19, 2007
    I like knives that are pocket-able, and like putting knifey things in my pockets.
    Silliness aside, one thread won't answer this question. Welcome, read lots, learn lots, and all the best in your new addiction... hobby.
     
    jmh33 and TenShun705 like this.
  8. Pomsbz

    Pomsbz

    Jul 31, 2015
    Currently:

    Slipjoint, two blades, main blade 2.5" in length, second blade smaller, thin FFG, easy to sharpen stainless steel.
     
  9. soc_monki

    soc_monki

    289
    Apr 5, 2019
    Whatever looks interesting and will work for cutting things. I have Chinese Kershaws, ZTs, spydercos, a civivi... I mean, I like nice looking knives, but functional as well.

    Blade steels don't matter too much to me, I'm fine with 8cr or 20cv. As long as it holds a decent edge I'm fine with it. I do like carbon fiber though...
     
  10. eveled

    eveled Gold Member Gold Member

    Mar 11, 2016
    How it feels in my hand. Some knives have blades that are almost unusable because the closed blades make it difficult to grip or cause hot spots.

    The fit and finish is important no rough edges or gaps.

    Lastly useful blade shapes.
     
  11. Wowbagger

    Wowbagger Basic Member Basic Member

    Sep 20, 2015
    Oh you shouldn't have said that :)
    Here are some links to what I like with photos :

    LINK > > > at this one you can go to the top of the thread if you want all the back ground.
    LINK > > > Kind of the same but more particulars and other knives.
    LINK > > > a visual demonstration of what thinner blades can do compared to thicker.
     
  12. 22-rimfire

    22-rimfire Gold Member Gold Member

    Nov 20, 2005
    As mentioned, what sets you apart from all the other reviewers?

    As far as knives go, get what you like. That is what most of us do.
     
  13. b00n

    b00n Gold Member Gold Member

    Dec 15, 2016
    Don't put "metal" into the name for your youtube channel Metal Effort and Metal Complex are one too many "metal" names already. Haha. Sorry but it's too easy to get the two confused imho.

    As for your question:
    The three most important things for me are blade shape, locktype and materials. Most important meaning the three factors that determine if I take a closer look at a knife. The blade shape and overall profile comes first, if I like what I see right from the start I take a closer look, if it's a back lock I am most likely opting out because I am just not a fan of of it, if it's something else I will inspect further. I like Carbon, Titanium, G10 and possibly wood for scale material, I really don't like any of the plastic/FRN stuff. I can see the pros with it, but it's just too flimsy cheapo feeling to me. Aside from that Fit and Finish is of course something that need to be right for the money, I can forgive some of the F&F stuff if the price is good, if it goes to a certain price range I will be more critical.
     
  14. katanas

    katanas

    Jan 6, 2012
    On a practical note, what is the value (in terms of quality, fit and finish, steel type, etc.) in comparison to cost?;) What am I getting for how much compared to others available? ?
     
  15. The Zieg

    The Zieg

    Jan 31, 2002
    I look for tradition and function. I enjoy using Buck 110s and Opinels and jacks and stockmans and SAKs and bird-and-trout patterns to do all the things I need to do on a daily basis. I'm not hostage to thumbstuds and liner locks to make everything one handed (though I own such knives and would never deny their utility!). I also tend to stay away from anything that smells of "tactical".

    I also enjoy ethnic knives--Laguioles, navajas, puukot, leukut, bowies, Le Thiers, Mercators, belduques, and so forth, to get a feel for how others have solved their cutting problems. Then I try to get my hands on them and see if they solve my problems, too. Given my daily activities, they usually do.

    Zieg
     
    Henry Beige likes this.
  16. Sharp & Fiery

    Sharp & Fiery Always Embellish Platinum Member

    947
    May 14, 2012
    What do i look for in a folder? Usually pocket lint, dirt or coins. Lol.

    Smooth action, and comfort.
     
    The Zieg likes this.
  17. Cosmodragoon

    Cosmodragoon

    325
    Jan 1, 2019
    Honestly, just spend some time watching other decent knife reviewers and note what things tend to matter. Nick Shabazz has a particular system and while I don't recommend replicating his style, he often hits what I take to be important features of the gear he reviews.
     
  18. FullMetalJackass

    FullMetalJackass Gold Member Gold Member

    Apr 10, 2016
    To fit comfortably and safely in my pocket (no way to open it accidentally, I have been badly auto-stabbed once)
    To be able to be carried tip up
    To be sturdy enough not to get ruined by coins, lighter, car keys etc.
    To be able to perform standard small tasks (mail opening, basic food prepping etc)
    To have a good grip
    One hand opening
     
  19. Mo2

    Mo2

    Apr 8, 2016
    • Quality materials
    • build quality
    • good qc
    • blade geometry for slicing
    • thin behind the edge thickness cutting
    • Above average heat treatment for performance in keeping an edge while cutting
    • Usable handles/scales for cutting for extended time
    • Easy to carry in pocket
    • Not copying stuff from other brands
    • Probably alot more. But these are fairly important. I do like drop shut action, but it's not what I look for in everything.
    I would avoid the two knives you mentioned for sure based off my list. For me cold steel makes a few good models, but the spartan is not one I can use or carry. Harder use blade geometry and limited uses.

    The otf... I just lol at. Looks like it tries to copy many microtech elements. They use low end steels and charge alot for them on the knives on there website. I would presume lower end heat treatment and quality. The damascus looks fake on the website too.

    I have bought many knives I regret buying and learned through using them what works well and what I like in a knife overall.

    First think, what's your use case? What are you cutting? Or are you primarily just collecting? Do you want something higher quality and can you save for it if so? Or are you happy with affordable but quality in a lower priced bracket. Ie the difference between the Byrd models (budget), SpydieChef(mid) or spyderco Drunken(high class). Are you just looking for a fidget knife,ie more action based? Etc.
     
  20. DocT

    DocT

    Mar 25, 2012
    What I look for in a pocket knife is just that...a knife that goes down into my pocket. I prefer one hand opening, a blade under 3" but greater than 2.5" (it needs to be long enough to cut apple slices and eat them like a country boy). It must have full flat grind. I have used all the others but they all have strengths and weaknesses. The FFG is best all around for my needs based on experience. I also look for good steel. I do not need S110V. It is too hard to sharpen if I am not at home, or impossible. I want something that will hold an edge for a good long time, but that I can sharpen wherever I find my self. I do not care if it is stainless or not, but I prefer something that will not rust easily. I adore K390. But I also like VG-10, XHP, and S30V. BG42 is okay, also, in a pocket knife. Still, K390 is my overall favorite, followed by XHP. Elmax is also a good choice.
     

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