Quantcast

The Ultimate Firearms Destination for the Gun Lifestyle

Small Pocket Knives

Unusual Suspects

As one wrinkly, green Jedi likes to say, “Size matters not.” But he’s wrong. Size does matter — just not always in the way you think. Similar to the debate surrounding caliber, pundits often say that the bigger the knife, the better. But as knife nuts know, there’s a task for every blade length.

Imagine you’re lost in the jungle with no supplies and no signs of help. Naturally, you’ll want to attack the dense foliage with a machete to make a fire and build a shelter. Now picture you going back to work stocking shelves at a grocery store. Suddenly, that same zombie-chopping blade seems like an expensive paperweight compared to your $1 box-cutter, no? It should always be the mission — not your level of testosterone — that dictates the size of your tool.

With that in mind, we set our sights on small pocket knives with blades shorter than 3 inches. Sure, they aren’t as badass as combat knives or as exotic as karambits, but these puppies are affordable EDC tools for civilians and off-duty warriors.

Small pocket knives are, by definition, compact and lightweight. That’s perfect for those who are either concerned about keeping their cargo load to a minimum or whose pants are already jammed with a “phablet,” keys, coins, wallet, and CCW pistol. Plus, most petite pocket knives look fairly innocuous and won’t usually raise the eyebrows of law enforcement or the courts. If the blade is made of the right material and has the right grind, a small pocket knife can be a versatile tool used for everything from opening boxes and cutting rope to slicing food and carrying as a backup weapon. Price isn’t much of a concern, either, considering pint-sized tools cost less than their full-size counterparts.

The little knives in this group perform beyond their stature, and one or more of them could very well find a home in your pocket. Just be mindful of the laws in your area and of the mission that’s ahead of you before walking out the door. And remember, size really does make a difference.

Small Pocket Knives photo

Make:
Browning
Model:
Model 334
OAL:
4.19 inches
Blade Length:
1.75 inches
Blade Material:
3Cr13 stainless steel
Weight:
1 ounce
MSRP:
$18
URL:
www.browning.com

Small Pocket Knives photo

Make:
Columbia River Knife & Tool
Model:
Delilah’s PECK
OAL:
4.25 inches
Blade Length:
1.75 inches
Blade Material:
420J2 stainless steel
Weight:
0.9 ounce
MSRP:
$30
URL:
www.crkt.com

Small Pocket Knives photo

Make:
Gerber
Model:
Mini FAST Draw Tanto
OAL:
5 inches
Blade Length:
2.13 inches
Blade Material:
7Cr17MoV stainless steel
Weight:
1.75 ounces
MSRP:
$26
URL:
www.gerbergear.com

Small Pocket Knives photo

Make:
Pro-Tech Knives
Model:
Sprint (2912)
OAL:
5 inches
Blade Length:
1.95 inches
Blade Material:
S35VN stainless steel
Weight:
1.6 ounces
MSRP:
$180
URL:
www.protechknives.com

Small Pocket Knives photo

Make:
SOG Specialty Knives & Tools
Model:
Micron 2.0
OAL:
5 inches
Blade Length:
2.25 inches
Blade Material:
420 stainless steel
Weight:
1.4 ounces
MSRP:
$25
URL:
www.sogknives.com

Small Pocket Knives photo

Make:
Boker USA
Model:
Titan 2
OAL:
5.5 inches
Blade Length:
2.5 inches
Blade Material:
Solingen stainless steel
Weight:
1.5 ounces
MSRP:
$97
URL:
www.boker.de/us

Small Pocket Knives photo

Make:
Kershaw Knives
Model:
Shuffle
OAL:
5.6 inches
Blade Length:
2.4 inches
Blade Material:
8Cr13MoV stainless steel
Weight:
2.8 ounces
MSRP:
$25
URL:
kershaw.kaiusaltd.com

Small Pocket Knives photo

Make:
CampCo Inc.
Model:
UZI Zaka Micro Rescue Knife
OAL:
6.25 inches
Blade Length:
2.5 inches
Blade Material:
420 stainless steel
Weight:
3.1 ounces
MSRP:
$20
URL:
www.uzi.com

Interrogating the Unusual Suspects

Small Pocket Knives photo

Browning Model 334

411:

As a throwback to folders of yore, this knife features the classic nail-nick and lock-back design. Fancy engraving on one side of the blade adds a distinctly old-school flair.

Pros:

  • Stainless-steel handles are slender and fit neatly into pockets
  • Good choice for those who don’t like bulky knives or big prices

Cons:

  • Blade, made of Chinese 3Cr13, is unimpressive
  • You’ll need two hands to operate the classic lock-back
  • Looking for a pocket clip? Not in this vintage-style knife.

Small Pocket Knives photo

 

CRKT Delilah’s PECK

411:

PECK stands for Precision Engineered Compact Knife — emphasis on “compact.” It’s 2.63 inches long when closed and is lighter than your set of keys.

Pros:

  • 420J2 stainless steel is super resistant to corrosion
  • Hook it to a split-ring or lanyard for different carry options
  • Doubles as a stylish money clip

Cons:

  • For light-duty use only
  • Sorry, lefties, this is for right-handers only
  • Got sausage fingers? Good luck running this little guy.

Small Pocket Knives photo

Gerber Mini FAST Draw Tanto

411:

The baby brother of Gerber’s FAST (Forward Action Spring Technology) folder family. It features a one-handed operation and a black titanium nitride-coated blade.

Pros:

  • Plunge lock allows for safe closure and keeps the blade fixed when open
  • Molded nylon handle provides sturdy grip
  • Assisted opening is smooth

Cons:

  • Tanto blades on tactical knives limit their versatility
  • The blade’s Chinese 7Cr17MoV steel is lacking
  • Pocket clip is right-sided only

Small Pocket Knives photo

Pro-Tech Sprint

411:

Pro-Tech makes some of the best auto knives in the United States. Its Sprint series comes in various materials and ranges from $150 to $1,400 (for limited editions).

Pros:

  • Auto opening is fast as lightning — and makes us giddy like a school girl
  • Blade’s S35VN is laser sharp, tough, and corrosion resistant
  • Sleek aesthetic to match the stellar engineering

Cons:

  • Talk about sticker shock — at $180, it’s seven timesmore expensive than some of the others
  • Made for right-handers

Small Pocket Knives photo

SOG Micron 2.0

411:

The 5-inch Micron 2.0 is about 13⁄8 inches longer than its older brother, the original Micron, and is also available in a hard-cased black finish with tanto blade.

Pros:

  • Jimping on the blade spine offers traction
  • Combines tactical aesthetics with old-school elements
  • Provides an ergonomic grip despite its super-slim profile

Cons:

  • There’s no pocket clip, so be mindful of the carry laws in your area
  • Blade is about as sharp as a letter-opener
  • Requires both hands to open and close

Small Pocket Knives photo

Boker USA Titan 2

411:

A premium knife based on a traditional design. Its blade is made of Solingen stainless (denoting its German city of origin); this one’s equivalent to 440A stainless.

Pros:

  • Looks great whether you’re at the range or a board meeting
  • Titanium handles are skinny, light, and tough as nails
  • Feels great in hand

Cons:

  • Classic lock-back design means a two-handed operation
  • Titanium handle means a titanic MSRP of $97
  • Doesn’t have a pocket clip

Small Pocket Knives photo

Kershaw Shuffle

411:

Comes with a stubby, sharp blade made of 8Cr13MoV (a decent Chinese clone of AUS-8 steel) and a comfortable K-Texture handle. Available with white or pink handles, or in all black to match Batman’s utility belt.

Pros:

  • Aggressive yet ergonomic design makes it a solid budget EDC
  • Ambidextrous operation with a reversible pocket clip
  • Comes with an integrated bottle opener

Cons:

  • Said bottle opener is kinda sharp and can dig into your palm
  • Ball detent on the liner lock scrapes an unsightly line into the blade

Small Pocket Knives photo

CampCo UZI Zaka Micro Rescue

411:

This UZI-branded multitool comes with a strap cutter and glass breaker embedded in the anodized aluminum handle.

Pros:

  • Flipper or thumb disc can activate the spring-assisted opening
  • Affordable while offering the most functionality of the bunch
  • Flipper becomes a solid finger guard in the opened position

Cons:

  • The blade’s edge isn’t anything to write home about
  • Spring-assisted opening can be sluggish
  • One-sided pocket clip