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Why I Use A Pocket Knife Instead of A Fixed Blade

For generations men and women in my family have been using some kind of knife ever since they were old enough to learn how to use one. I usually carry a knife because I’m always cutting things. Since you are reading this article, I’m assuming you either carry a knife or are interested in deciding between a pocketknife, also called a folding knife or fixed blade knife which is carried in a sheath and mounted to your belt.

When we need a knife, we want the most effective for the job that’s the easiest to carry with the lightest weight. So which knife do you choose, a pocketknife or a fixed blade knife?

In this article, I going to make it easy for you to choose. The best type of knife is a pocketknife, because it can have more than one blade to choose from depending on what you are cutting, they are easy to carry in your pocket out of sight, light weight and convenient so that you don’t have to go looking for a knife when you need it. With just one hand your knife can be ready to use in seconds. Pocket knives are inexpensive compared to other cutting tools.

My grandfather taught me to carry a pocketknife in my pocket at all times so I could easily and immediately with one hand be ready to use it in seconds to respond to any cutting task. Pocketknives can have more than one blade.

Easy to Carry in Your Pocket

I was fishing once and forgot to bring my fishing pliers to pull the hook out of the catfish’s mouth I had just caught. After the darn thing had sank one of its thorns into the side of my shoe, I finally remembered my pocketknife and quickly cut the fish lose from my hook. I have had many uses like this for my pocketknife including the occasional wood splinter removal from my hand or my son’s.

When you find yourself in situation that only a knife can take care of you begin to grow fond of these little convenient tools. I am very grateful for my little 5-inch Case Bone Trapper. It’s help me out in a number of tight spots.


I carry two different pocketknives but not at the same time. In addition to my Case 5-inch which a less than 4-oz which I take camping, fishing and hunting, I have this little 2 7/8-inch long Case.

Yeah, it has a synthetic handle and not a bone one, so don’t razz me about it, but I like it. I don’t use it much. I mostly just carry it around to open letters, boxes or trim my fingernails. It seems like the older I’ve gotten the faster they grow. Anyway, I can barely feel it in my pocket, but I know it there if I need it. I have no idea how much it weights. I should look that up…just did. It weighs just shy of 5 grams.

Kept Out of Sight

Since a pocketknife can be carried in your pocket and out of sight, it’s more psychologically acceptable to most people. It’s unfortunate, but when people you don’t know and aren’t familiar with the use of knives sees one in public, they can act a little strange. Many people view knives as a weapon which carries an element of fear, however having it out of sight reduces this potential of having to have an awkward conversation.

Since most fixed blade knives, I own have a leather sheath and mount on my belt, I don’t normally carry it in public. I learned that lesson the hard way at the airport. I won’t forget that.

Anyhow, I have found that different states have different regluations about carry knives, even pocketknives. Here’s a link I found that my help if you are traveling to a state other than you your home state. Take a look make sure your pocketknife is allowed before you take it or you could lose it or get a fine. Here’s the link, State laws on Pocket knives

Pocketknives are Safer Than Fixed Blade

One of the advantages of the pocketknife is that the blades fold up into the handle. This makes it much safer than a fixed blade knife if it happens to be laying out on a table. The odds of accidentally getting cut are very slim.

Most little fingers (like my kid when they were young) are not able to open it unless it’s really old with a lot of use. You pretty much have to keep a fixed blade knife in its sheath to keep little hands from getting cut by it.

Use with One Hand

My grandfather was fond of opening his Barlow pocketknife with one hand. It took years to finally figure out that he was using the fingernail in his thumb to catch the little slot on the blade.

The little milled grove on the picket knife allows you to dig your nail into it and put just enough pressure on it to open the blade. After much practice I finally learned how to do it. And of course, only on the larger blade. I also found out that if you cut the milled grove out just little deeper it’s much easier to open. You gotta be careful doing that or you can damage your blade quickly.

In my opinion, it’s only valuable to open your pocketknife with one hand if you really need to because your other hand has something in it (like a catfish with a hook in its mouth). Other than that, it is impressive to watch someone open it that way. Most of the time I use both hands since I don’t have any grandkids to impress at least not now.


Pocketknives can cost a little as $5 or as high as $100. It all really depends on what you want to use them for. Here’s a list of my favorite pocketknives and their various prices. If this is your first pocketknife, I wouldn’t spend more than $20 on if you just want on to carry around for opening, letters, packages or trimming and cleaning your nails.

If you are going to be hunting, fishing, camping or trapping animals then that’s a different story.

Then you want to start around $50 for a good 4-inch knife with 2 blades. Both blades can be used for cutting, skinning game or scaling fish.

Here’s my list of pocketknives that either I’ve owned or my dad and uncles.

Click the style for prices and availability.

Pocketknives Need More Care than Fixed Blade Knives

Folding knives are harder to clean and break easier. You can’t put a lot of sideways pressure on the blades or they will either break or you will damage the pin and spring the folding action. Pocketknives also need regular cleaning.

They need to be opened and cleaned under the blade seats in the handle. Even if you don’t open them much during the week, they collect lent from you pocket like bees to honey.

I use a little 3in1 Oil on all my knives. I also use it on my guns. It’s good stuff and been around a long time.

I Don’t Believe Pocketknives Make the Best Weapons

I’ve been in many fights growing up in tobacco farming country, but we never used knives. Just our fist. I’ve seen people pull out knives back in the day to fight in the parking lots at country bars, but I’ve never seen one pull a regular pocketknife like I been discussing in this article. I’ve seen many fixed blades used.

I personally would never recommend using any weapon for self-defense because I am unqualified to do so. Should you need such recommendation, contact your local police department. And that’s all I have say about that.

To keep your knife sharp while camping check out this articles: How To Sharpen Your Camping Knife (5 minutes or less)

That’s all I got for this article. Hope you enjoyed it. Until next time, take a kid camping because it will change your life for the better.

All the best,

Alex Anderson


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