So, you don’t have hundreds of dollars to spend on a pocket knife. Does that mean all hope for finding the perfect knife is lost? Not at all! For those who are on a budget and looking for the best pocket knife under $50, you have a few great options. Let’s cover a few of the best products for you to consider if you don’t have much to spend, but don’t want to compromise on quality.
The 5 Best Pocket Knives for Under $50
Looking for an affordable pocket knife? Don’t want to compromise on quality, sharpness, design, or usability? Look no further! These are our top 5 picks for those who are on a tight budget.
Victorinox Swiss Army Classic SD Pocket Knife – Best Budget Knife
The Victorinox Swiss Army Classic SD Pocket Knife is a popular model among knife enthusiasts, especially because of the exceptionally low price point. The knife is equipped with tools and resources for everyday use around the home, as well as some nifty pieces to help you out in a jam when you’re on the camping trails. The compact size fits comfortably into your hand and won’t weigh you down.
What sets this knife apart from others? First off, it features 7 functions. This pocket knife features a 1.25” blade, a nail file, screwdriver, tweezers, and more! It’s a versatile multi-tool that’s ready to go with you anywhere and on any adventure. The knife weighs in at .75 pounds so you’ll barely feel it in your pocket or hand when using it. The durable stainless-steel construction is encased with a polished ABS scale, to ensure a long-lasting design. The compact carry fits comfortably in your hand, pocket, or purse, and locks away for safekeeping to prevent injuries.
Although it’s only $15, the pocket knife has a smaller blade than other compact design units at 1.25”. It’s a little lighter than other compact design knives, and some customers complain the design is a little flimsy. Although it has several tools/features, the only one many people care about is the blade. Springs also get knocked out of alignment easily, so you’re constantly putting the knife back together.
3-in-1 Police Tactical Knife for Law Enforcement
The 3-in-1 Police Tactical Knife is a fantastic, high-quality pocket knife featuring a unique 3-in-1 design. The knife is designed with law enforcement and first response professionals in mind. It’s durable, sturdy, and powerful enough to help law enforcement personnel or first-aid responders in a pinch, but also light enough to help you cut through weeds, roots, or other items that get in your way on your hiking trail.
The Police Tactical Knife’s 3-in-1 feature refers to its steel serrated blade, glass breaker, and seatbelt cutter.
Some great features include:
- A serrated blade tactfully and gracefully slices, dices, and easily cuts through tough materials.
- It has a stainless-steel blade and aluminum handle, guaranteeing durability and an ergonomic handle when you need to move quickly.
- A spring-assist and built-in safety lock ensure the knife won’t prop open in your pocket or hand unless you unlock the mechanism.
- The 3.5” stainless-steel blade is 3 mm thick and folds away into a compact case/holster when not in use.
Some drawbacks worth noting include:
- Some consumers claim the spring-loaded assist mechanism jams and you can’t close the knife (safety hazard).
- The belt cutter is weak.
The primary complaint about this pocket knife is the weak locking mechanism and safety concerns.
Old Timer 34OTB Folding Knife
This Old Timer 34OTB Folding Knife is one of our favorite pocket knives. It’s really a great tool for camping, particularly at such an affordable price point. The knife is ideal for hunting, camping, and everyday knife use. The affordable price, elegant finishes, and ergonomic grip are some key selling points customers will appreciate in its design.
What distinguishes this pocket knife from others on the list? First off, the 5.6” overall size, and 2.4” blade, is a little larger than other knives on the life. So, you won’t have any issues with performance or cutting capabilities. At 1.8 ounces, you’ll barely feel like you’re holding anything when working with the powerful blade. Nickel silver bolsters throughout the knife guarantee its integrity and durability. It won’t crack or fail under pressure.
There are some issues worth noting. First off, customers indicate the blade handle isn’t the same as what’s listed online, so you’re not getting what’s pictured on Amazon. The center pin that holds the tension spring is very loose. So, the knife doesn’t lock into place safely and can be a safety concern. The bone scales shatter/crack easily, so the pocket knife isn’t as sturdy as stainless-steel finishes.
Kershaw Brawler Folding Pocket Knife
The Kershaw Brawler Folding Pocket Knife is a high-quality, dependable pocket knife. It is a favorite among many hobbyists, many of whom prefer it over much more expensive alternatives. Weighing just under 4 ounces, this knife is tactful, easy to work with, and the reversible 4-position design gives users optimal control of any situation. A 3” tanto-style blade is made from stainless steel and retains its sharp edges well over extended periods of use. It is corrosion resistant and rust-proof, so you don’t have to worry about quality concerns with this knife.
The best features customers will appreciate include:
- The long blade and lightweight design allow for quick access and cutting action with your pocket knife.
- The black-oxide finish won’t rust or corrode, and the ergonomic grip is easy to hold onto in wet conditions.
- It features a 4-position pocket clip design and secure liner lock for added safety.
- The folding pocket knife is lightweight, and stores away safely in your pocket or a sheath
- The utility knife can easily open boxes, cut packages, cut cords or cans, pierce holes, and more.
How about the concerns/drawbacks? Some issues customers have included in their reviews are
- The blade and hardware are painted on; the black-oxide finish chips away.
- The body and frame are thin, so the lightweight design isn’t as sturdy as other knives.
- Some reviews also indicate the knife dulls quickly and the flimsy design won’t hold up over time.
Gerber 06 “FAST” Pocket Knife – Best Overall Knife
Hands down, the Gerber 06 “FAST” Pocket Knife is our favorite pocket knife under $50. The Gerber Knife’s “FAST” feature refers to its forward spring action. It also has a durable ergonomic grip handle and a strong serrated blade, which really makes things easier when you need to saw or cut through thick brush in a hurry. The tanto-shaped blade is perfect for thrusting, so if you are using the knife for hunting, fishing, scaling, or outdoor use, you will appreciate the seamless operation and ease of use that the Gerber 06 provies.
The G-10 handle is excellent for wet, rainy, sticky, or otherwise difficult situations. The ergonomic grip won’t slip out of your hands and you won’t lose control when you’re working quickly. The blade length is 3.75”, which is longer than the others on this list. With a clip, you can securely attach it to your belt or holster for easy access and quick storage. The 8.75” overall length of the pocket knife fits comfortably into your hand and allows you to easily cut, saw, or chip away at rough items you’re trying to cut through.
What are the biggest customer complaints with this pocket knife? A weak spring is one of the biggest issues customers have indicated. The overall quality is great, but the knife does pop open at times, which might be dangerous if it is not safely kept in the holster. The blade is also quite heavy, so it doesn’t snap open quickly (FAST) as the manufacturer claims.
Overall, it’s a sturdy knife, and the serrated edge makes cutting/working through rough materials a little easier than other knives on the list. But, the weak spring (which is an issue with most knives at this price point) is the primary drawback customers indicate about this knife.
Buyer’s Guide: What to Look for in a Pocket Knife
When looking for a new pocket knife to purchase, there are a few things that you should look out for. Even at a price below $50, you still want to find a knife that is well-built, durable, and safe. Additionally, depending upon your needs, there are a few other features that you may want to consider. This guide covers what factors you should consider when getting ready to purchase your new pocket knife.
A spring-assist mechanism is a nice feature to look for. If you need to prop open the pocket knife quickly in an emergency, some knives offer this feature. Although it’s not imperative, and might not be available on all pocket knives for the price, it’s a nice feature, allowing you to quickly access the blade with one hand, and have it ready for action immediately when needed.
When selecting your pocket knife, make sure it’s safe. Does it fold compactly so the blade doesn’t open when you’re not using it? Are there locking mechanisms to prevent the blade from accidentally opening in your purse or pocket? Also, look for the right grip handle/materials. You don’t want the pocket knife to slip while you’re using it only to cut your hand or injure you.
A stainless-steel blade is a must. Don’t choose a coated blade, or blade with filler materials. Even though you’re at the lower end of the price spectrum, you shouldn’t compromise on the material quality. You want a blade that’s going to work when you need it, and a dependable pocket knife, even if it is just used for small jobs/tasks around the home.
Additionally, you should consider a pocket knife sharpener. They are very affordable and are great for keeping your blade in good shape.
Lightweight & Compact Design
It’s a pocket knife, not a machete. Therefore, you want something light, easy to fold away, store in your pocket, and features a compact design. Of course, some customers might prefer multiple blades or a longer grip handle. With this said, make sure you can easily carry the knife, pull it out when you need it, and that it doesn’t weigh you down.
Comfort & Grip
You want the pocket knife to fit comfortably in your hand. Furthermore, you should look for an ergonomic grip that allows you to grip it in multiple ways, based upon how you’re using the knife. Choose a knife with a grip handle that doesn’t slip in wet/rainy conditions if you plan on using it outdoors.
Pocket Knives Under $50 – FAQs
What is a pocket knife used for?
A pocket knife can be used in many ways. For instance, a few examples include:
- Sharpening or creating something.
Many pocket knives also feature scissors, tweezers, and other accessories like scissors. Depending on whether you choose an everyday carry knife or a tactical knife, the features and uses are going to differ for each individual.
While a good pocket knife is versatile and very useful for small-to-medium sized cutting tasks, it is also a good idea to bring a larger cutting tool with you on your camping trip. For instance, to cut through firewood or thick brush, a backpacking hatchet or folding saw would be a much better equipped tool.
What is the best type of blade on a pocket knife?
It depends on how you plan on using the pocket knife. A serrated edge is better for general cutting and for outdoor use, like a hunting or camping knife. A straight edge is good for carving, shaving, or manipulating something (shaving/carving certain materials down to size). Depending on how you plan on using your pocket knife, the type of blade you choose will be different for each consumer.
Do all pocket knives have folding mechanisms & blades?
No, not all knives have this feature. However, a majority of pocket knives for under $50 will have this design. This is because the blades are smaller and several of these knives have other tools built into the knife as well. Furthermore, this is a safety feature that many manufacturers incorporate into the design of their pocket knives. If you’re looking for safe design, and something functional, you’ll find that a majority of pocket knives fold for storage, or conversely, will include a sheath for safekeeping in your pocket/purse when it’s not in use.
How do I choose the best pocket knife?
Again, it depends on what you plan on using it for. Some factors to consider include:
- Will you use it every day and do you need accessories (scissors, nail files, pliers, etc.)?
- What is your budget (in this case we’re looking at $50 and below)?
- Do you want a specific blade length?
- Is a serrated blade needed for how you plan on using the pocket knife?
- Are you left or right-handed?
And, these are only a few of the questions you should ask yourself when trying to find the best pocket knife under 50. The more comparison shopping you do, the easier it’s going to be to find the right pocket knife that fits your budget and personal use needs/desires.
Best Overall Pocket Knife: Gerber 06 “FAST” Pocket Knife
The Gerber 06 Pocket Knife is our top choice for the overall best pocket knife under 50. It is the most expensive in the bunch, at just under $40, but it is also the sturdiest. It has the longest blade and overall body, the ergonomic grip fits comfortably into your hand, and the FAST spring action allows you to quickly open/close the knife when you need it immediately. It also features a clip for easy storage where you can attach it onto your belt or safely fold it away into a sheath for storage when not in use.
Best Budget Pocket Knife: Victorinox Swiss Army Classic SD Pocket Knife
Our top “budget” pick is the Victorinox Swiss Army Classic SD Pocket Knife. The knife only costs about $15, which is a great deal for a high-quality knife and all of its included features. It’s very versatile, featuring 7 different tools and a built-in locking and safety mechanism. With a stainless-steel blade coated in ABS, the finish does not chip, crack, or fade over time. This is a fantastic pocket knife at an incredible price.