Open main menu

Folding Knives

Top Picks

How we choose: The best folding knives highlighted here were selected based on 200 reviews of 129 products. Our top picks are those that are readily-available in the United States and have received the highest overall ratings from reviewers.

How we test: Trailspace is powered entirely by our community of readers. The reviews posted here reflect the real-world experiences of outdoor enthusiasts just like you.

If you've used a folding knife that you think should be listed here, please share your experience.

Disclosure: Trailspace never accepts payment for gear reviews, product placement, or editorial coverage. When you buy through affiliate links on our site, Trailspace may earn a small commission, which helps cover the costs of running the site.

Opinel No. 8 Folding Knife

user rating: 5 of 5 (5 reviews)

In the 1980s, Opinel folding knives were a camping store fad in North America, and I fell for them hook line and sinker. Since then, I've always had at least one. While Opinel's U.S. distribution has been spotty through the years, Coghlan's, the Canadian supplier of small camping gear has offered them, blister packed on their familiar green cardboard. Opinels, whether sold by Opinel or Coghlan's, are inexpensive workhorses and because they don't cost a mint, if your knife gets lost or beat up, it's not the end of the world.

Read more: Opinel No. 8 Folding Knife reviews (5)

Buck 110 Folding Hunter

user rating: 4.5 of 5 (6 reviews)

This folding knife has been around for a long time. Not to many have lasted as long as this one.  This knife has a classic shape and classic looks. The brass and wood make for a lot of eye appeal. Folded up it comes in around 4 inches. The blade has a nice point to it, it goes by different names, clip, pointer, drop point, etc.  The blade is stainless, which seems to be the standard for store bought knives now.   The wood handle feels good in your hand when it is cold out. Unlike a plastic or metal handles.

Read more: Buck 110 Folding Hunter reviews (6)

Benchmade 940/943 Osborne Family

user rating: 4 of 5 (2 reviews)

The 940BK is my EDC and is one of the finest blades I have ever seen or used. I have the blade sharpened to 25° and it's only needed to be sharpened once in all the time I have owned it.

Reasons to Buy

  • CPM-S30V steel holds a wicked edge
  • BK1 black finish provides ultimate protection to the blade
  • Very lightweight for the size: 2.87 ounces
  • 3.4" blade is big enough to get most jobs done

Reasons to Avoid

  • Expensive — this is no $5 knife. Then again, this is no $5 knife. :-)

The first Osborn I owned was the 943SBK.  It was an outstanding knife that I used every day for about 7 or 8 years. I was so bummed when I lost it at a football game... really, really bummed.  But there were two things about the blade that I didn't like, so I fixed it when I bought this 940BK. The 943 blade is more of a very cool looking stiletto style.  While the steel is crazy strong, the thin steel at the tip of the blade creates a weak point that I was constantly being careful of (though it never did break).

Read more: Benchmade 940/943 Osborne Family reviews (2)

Benchmade Barrage Family

user rating: 5 of 5 (1 review)

The best pocketknife I've ever owned...drops mic, walks away.

Reasons to Buy

  • Ultra sharp
  • Customizable
  • Spring assisted
  • Free lifetime sharpening
  • Lifetime warranty you'll never need

Reasons to Avoid

  • Expensive
  • Some may find it large
  • Some may find it heavy

My Old and New Barrage knives I received my Benchmade Barrage knife as a Christmas gift from my wife 8 or 9 years ago and loved it. I carried it in my pocket every day and used it at least once on most of those days... seriously. When traveling I'd have to pack it in my checked bags and I always felt naked without it. So why the past tense you ask? Because it managed to find its way across a bank of batteries and was destroyed by the arc-flash. Long story. That one was so loved that I purchased a new, custom Barrage 580 to replace it, because nothing else would do.

Read more: Benchmade Barrage Family review (1)

Opinel No. 9 Folding Knife

user rating: 4.5 of 5 (3 reviews)

The Opinel No. 9 is a highly utilitarian, customizable knife that is perfect for the camper, hiker, hunter, backwoods cook, and farmer alike.

Reasons to Buy

  • Inexpensive, high-quality outdoor tool!

Reasons to Avoid

  • An archaic locking system on an even older folder platform works very well, but is not for the reckless individual.

Opinel has been making the same pocket knives with very few changes since 1890. It is a testament to the design that it has not only been around that long, but is one of the most popular knives in the world. The No. 8 is the most popular, but I am a fan of the No. 9 because that extra centimeter in the blade and the handle make it ideal for a man's hands. The Opinel No. 9 comes in two different steel options: Inox (stainless) and Carbone (carbon). Personally, I prefer non-stainless, high-carbon steels in a knife because of the greater utilitarian properties and they aren't so brittle as stainless blades are.

Read more: Opinel No. 9 Folding Knife reviews (3)

Spyderco Tenacious

user rating: 5 of 5 (2 reviews)

I've owned the Spyderco Tenacious for more than a year now, I have zero complaints. I own several (read more than i can remember) knives, mostly Spydercos. Prices ranging from 30 to over 200$, and the Tenaciuos is the one that stays in my pocket. ease of opening and closing and edge retention are great. You can not go wrong with this knife.

Reasons to Buy

  • Price, it is the lowest priced full sized knife from Spyderco.
  • Edge retention, ease of sharpening.
  • 4 position pocket clip placement.
  • size, not too big not too small.
  • smooth opening and closing.
  • secure detente so it won't open in your pocket.(unless something goes wrong, which it could)
  • variations of edge and colors now.
  • flat grind so its easy to sharpen and slices well. blade is leaf shaped so its easier to hold onto for close work like getting out splinters (done it, it works)

Reasons to Avoid

  • It's made in China, but that's also what keeps the price down.

EASE OF USE- pull it out of your pocket and open it up, it flips open nice once you get the hang of it. took me about 2 tries.ymmv. FEATURES- 4position clip, good solid liner lock, solid detente to keep it closed in your pocket. CONSTRUCTION, DURIBILITY- relatively rust resistant, I've sweated mine soaked a bunch of times, wash it off put a little oil on it and you are good to go. blade steel hard enough to hold a good edge, but soft enough to sharpen easy. mine stays razor sharp with very little trouble.

Read more: Spyderco Tenacious reviews (2)

Gerber EVO Jr.

user rating: 4 of 5 (10 reviews)

This is a simple, light, straightforward blade. A decent knife, it is fine most most hiking and backpacking needs.

Reasons to Buy

  • Simple
  • Inexpensive
  • Light
  • Compact design

Reasons to Avoid

  • Blade can loosen in handle over time
  • Does not hold a superb edge
  • Can be a little hard to close

For the money, I have been very happy with this knife. It is a good, reliable blade that I feel comfortable taking deep into the woods, but it is inexpensive enough, that if I lost it, I would not be out a ton of money. I believe that this knife has struck a nice balance of cost to quality. The knife is the model of simplicity. It is easy to open. The thumb stud and a wrist flick open it one handed. I have never had to work my knives hard, but the knife has been consistent warm or cold. The knife is 440 steel, and the handle is aluminum.

Read more: Gerber EVO Jr. reviews (10)

Buck 112 Ranger

user rating: 5 of 5 (1 review)

The smaller version of the classic, 110 Hunter. Shorter blade, same quality and reputation.

Reasons to Buy

  • Classic design
  • Quality materials
  • Well built
  • Famously durable
  • Good service support....a "Forever Warranty"

Reasons to Avoid

  • A bit heavy, for pocket carry
  • Fancier steels are available

Brass bolsters, Ebony scales, 420HC stainless steel. If you like a relatively meaty, clip pointed lock knife and plan on leaving it to a relative, in your will, this one should be under consideration. This size suits me better, than the larger, Hunter model. The handle fits my size-nine hand snugly and a three-inch blade works very well, for the stuff I do with a knife. I can strip bark from my next walking stick, slice a tomato for a sandwich, trim and tie the climbing plants in the garden, and feather sticks, to light the wood stove.

Read more: Buck 112 Ranger review (1)

Spyderco Delica 4

user rating: 4.5 of 5 (3 reviews)

The Spyderco Delica 4 part-serrated FRN is likely the best EDC knife available.

Reasons to Buy

  • Strong, multi-capable blade
  • Grippy, lightweight yet strong handle
  • Thumb hole opens smoothly and effortlessly
  • Multi positionable clip allows customized carry

Reasons to Avoid

  • Black pocket clip can get scratched/chipped

Bought this after owning a gen 1 Endura full serrated FRN for about 20 years. The 2.9" blade is just the right size for everyday tasks. Not too small or dainty, and not so big that it might exceed legal limits in some places or raise eyebrows when in use in everyday situations. The razor sharp VG10 blade has a notched thumb ramp that ends at the apex of the thumb hole giving the thumb a good purchase on the blade when cutting heavy stuff like carpeting or corrugated cardboard. The serrations are fairly aggressive with one wide serration alternating with two narrow ones.

Read more: Spyderco Delica 4 reviews (3)

Spyderco Manix 2

user rating: 5 of 5 (1 review)

Great folding alternative for a camping / hiking knife. High quality steel, a handle that is comfortable in size, and easy to grip, dry or wet, but not too much grip. Sharpens easily, and holds an edge very well.

Reasons to Buy

  • Very comfortable ergonomics, wet or dry
  • Enough blade length to baton small to medium branches
  • High quality steel — CTS BD1 sharpens easily and stays sharp
  • Handle does not come apart — it is riveted.

Reasons to Avoid

  • The lock needs a bit of lubrication to work the best
  • No integrated sharpener — so you must carry a sharpener
  • otherwise Great knife.

if you have man hands standard or a bit bigger, you will find the grip on this knife just about perfect in most of the ways that you can hold the knife. The size in the pocket is just about right, between an Every Day Carry (EDC) size, and a size that is just able to baton (break into smaller pieces) smaller to medium pieces of wood, and most cutting chores around the campfire, such as prepping food, cooking, and eating. The blade is just under 3 inches, and the handle or closed length is 4 3/4 inches.

Read more: Spyderco Manix 2 review (1)

More Reviews of Folding Knives

Trailspace reviewers have shared 200 reviews of 129 different folding knives.

Show All »

or add yours

Other Types of Knives

Find more knives reviewed in these related categories:

Fixed-Blade Knives

all Knives

Review Your Outdoor Gear

If you've found this site helpful — or if we've missed something important — please consider paying it forward by some of your favorite outdoor gear.

Why? From professional gearheads to outdoor novices, everyone has an important point of view to contribute. will support the outdoor community and help others find the best gear.

Trailspace reviewers are outdoor enthusiasts like you: hikers, climbers, paddlers, backcountry skiers, and trail runners who share our experiences with the gear and clothing we rely on to get outside. Learn more about Trailspace