Anyone who’s been camping knows the importance of having a pocket knife. And similar to how you’re probably trained to reach down for your smartphone in your daily life, the pocket knife is something you want to keep on your person for the entirety of the trip. You’ll constantly find yourself reaching in your pocket to find that trusty blade that always seems to come in handy.
There are plenty of pocket knives to choose from; it’s practically an endless supply! If you’re in the market for a good knife, we’ve compiled a list of 9 of the best pocket knives we’ve come across, ranging from ones that can take the most beating to multi-functional, well-crafted tools.
What to look for in a camping pocket knife
Foldable vs Liner
The first thing to consider when choosing your knife is whether you want a foldable or one that comes with a protective carrying case. This really boils down to how you plan to carry your knife. If you are staying true to the name and slipping it in your pocket, a foldable knife is the clear choice as they take up less space.
However, there is still a chance you want a non-folding knife. These can sometimes be built a bit stronger, as they don’t have a joint to worry about. Some people just prefer a non-folding knife, but finding one that can easily slip into your pocket will be difficult. For this reason, we only reviewed the top folding knives that can easily fit in your front or back pockets.
Size and Blade length
The typical range for a pocket knife blade will be from 2.5 to 5 inches, with the latter being rare. I would say that you should carry the largest blade that you are comfortable carrying your pocket. It’s better to have something larger than too small.
Multi-functional Pocket Knife
Some people aren’t looking for just a blade, but rather something closer to a Swiss Army knife. You remember the ones with a miniature saw, toothpick, nail file, magnifying glass, or any other functional item you can think of. These are all great, but many times a multi-functional pocket knife comes at the compromise of a lower quality blade. For this, we only included a couple of the best camping multi-functional pocket knives out of the many available.
Quick Look at the Blades
|Pocket Knife For Camping||Rating|
|Kershaw Clash Pocket Knife, Black Serrated||Best overall camping pocket knife|
|KINGMAX Pocket Knife,Multitool Tactical Knife||Best multi-functional pocket knife|
|Upgraded Tactical Knife 9Cr18Mov||Best tactical camping knife|
|Kershaw Brawler Folding Pocket Knife 3″||Best small, portable pocket knife|
|Victorinox Army Swiss Climber Pocket Knife||Best Swiss Army for camping|
|ALBATROSS EDC Cool Sharp Tactical Folding Pocket Knife||Best pocket knife with glass breaker|
|Smith & Wesson Extreme Ops||Best budget pocket knife for camping|
|GVDV Damascus Spring Assisted Knife||Best camping pocket gift for men|
|GVDV Pocket Folding Knife with 7Cr17||Best pocket knife with sharpener|
Best Pocket Knives for Camping
Kershaw Clash Pocket Knife, Black Serrated
- 3” tanto style blade made of 8Cr13MoV stainless steel features excellent edge retention and corrosion resistance with black-oxide finish
- Handle features black glass filled nylon scales, flipper, SpeedSafe assisted opening, thumb studs, 4-position pocketclip and secure liner lock
- An excellent utility knife for many tasks including opening packages, piercing holes, cutting cords, opening cans, wilderness rescue and breaking down boxes
- A reliable companion for any backpacker, first responder, hunter, angler, gardener, hiker or landscaper edit
Best overall camping pocket knife
The Kershaw Clash Pocket Knife, Black Serrated is a black-oxide finished tool with a 3″ blade. This is a simple blade, but what this lacks in extra tools and features, makes up for in its quality. Kershaw is already known for blade enthusiasts as a high-quality company and this particular pocket knife does not disappoint. The black design is sleek and has an embedded pattern for gripping the handle. The blade stays sharp over continued use and is opened with ease.
- Sharp blade that doesn’t dull over multiple uses
- Easy to open and close
- Brand is known for quality blades
- Portable design is good for keeping in the pocket without weighing down
- Only comes in black
- Not spring-assisted
KINGMAX Pocket Knife,Multitool Tactical Knife
- ✔Save Money & Space-Just one durable, sophisticated, compact multi tool with a folding design can fully save your space . And you spend very little money on...
- ✔Stainless Steel Multitool-The multitool pocket knife is made of 440C stainless steel with premium hardness and rust resistance. The multi tool knife weighs...
- ✔Designed for Safety-To prevent from accidentally hurting your hands, The blade will be locked when it is open, and if you want to fold it, then you need to...
- ✔Easy to Carry- All little tools could be folded easily without taking much place and there is a nylon cloth bag, which can be directly stuck on the belt and...
Best multi-functional pocket knife
Our favorite knife of the bunch and an absolute must-have on any camping trip is the KINGMAX Pocket Knife. This multi-functional pocket knife has several useful tools built in, including a bottle opener, pliers, wire cutter, serrated knife, can opener, and even a screwdriver bit adapter with multiple bits that are included. This is a pocket knife that not only comes with us on a camping trip, but also stays in our car at all times!
The quality of the blade is fairly good and you’ll find that each tool pulls out and stays shut without much effort. We can’t recommend this multi-tool knife enough and hope you enjoy it too!
- Several useful tools built in, including bottle opener, screwdriver and bit adapter, and wirecutter.
- Quality construction for durability
- Serrated knife built into the blade
- Great for many types of emergencies
- Only comes in all black color
- No spring-assisted opening
Upgraded Tactical Knife 9Cr18Mov
- ➽ 9Cr18Mov Stainless Steel Blade, Internal Precision Component 【The Best Material in Similar Knifes】Created in 9Cr18MoV stainless steel, 56-58 HRC...
- 【Safety Lock & Multifunction Design】Reliable safe liner-lock to prevents unexpected closure. Seatbelt cutter and window breaker can help you in emergency...
- 【Portable for Widely Application】Jellas cool knives weighs 5.3ounces/150g, open length is 8 inch/205mm, folded length is 4.7inch/120mm. Practical Tactical...
- 【Package List】This pocket knife comes with a full set of accessories and an exquisite black box, including a whetstone and good-quality leather sheath,...
Best tactical camping knife
For a tactical camping knife, the 9Cr18Mov by Jellas is a great choice. This knife has a tactical look and feel with a 3.6 inch, sharp blade. The blade also a serrated section to easily saw through rope or small pieces of wood.
The built-in, sturdy clip can easily hook to your belt or the side of your pocket to keep the knife handy at all times. If you’re worried about your blade slipping open accidentally, you won’t have to worry with this knife. It has a well-crafted safety to keep the blade shut unless you need it open.
- Included leather sheath is a nice touch
- Blade has a tactical look and feel
- Heavy in the hand feels reliable and easy to use
- Window breaker built into the bottom
- Includes a seatbelt cutter
- Affordable enough to buy and keep several around, including your kitchen drawer, vehicle, and camping bag
- Only comes in one color (wood engraving design with a carbon steel top
- Blade scratches easily
Kershaw Brawler Folding Knife 3″
- 3.1" 8Cr13MoV stainless steel blade with black-oxide finish for excellent toughness, edge retention and wear resistance
- Textured Glass-filled nylon handle scales offer a solid grip with Gentle Contour and comfortable in-hand feel. Closed Length-4.25 inch
- Drop-point, partially serrated blade is perfect for tackling everyday tasks like opening Cardboard boxes, cutting rope, stripping Wire and more
- Feature rich handle includes SpeedSafe assisted opening, built-in flipper, secure locking liner and convenient reversible pocket clip
Best small, portable pocket knife
For a portable, lightweight pocket knife, the Kershaw Brawler Folding Knife is a great choice. The black color is sleek and blends in easily to make this inconspicuous and won’t stand out. There is also a small clip built in, though you can easily keep this in your front pocket and forget that it’s there.
The blade is a 3″ Kershaw blade, so you can expect quality and durability. There is also a SpeedSafe notch to quickly pull open and close the blade as needed.
- Portable and small design for easy carrying
- Built in clip
- Sleek, black design
- Quality blade
- Serrated blade
- Not spring-assisted
- Black is the only color option
- No serrated blade section
Victorinox Army Swiss Climber Pocket Knife
- Dolby headphone 7.1 surround sound
- Compatible with Playstation 4, Piece and MAC
- Precision microphone
- Compact Multitool is ideal for rugged outdoorsy types, with essential implements that maximize usefulness while keeping bulk to a minimum
Best Swiss Army for camping
If you’re the multiple gadget type, you might be more interested in a Army Swiss knife instead of a traditional blade. If so, check out the Victorinox Army Swiss Climber Pocket Knife. This old-school Swiss knife comes with a miniature blade, corkscrew, key ring, scissors, tweezers, toothpick, and wire stripper.
Okay, so this isn’t really useful as a blade, but keeping one of these around on a campsite is still a good idea if you end up with any blisters, splinters, or other small injuries.
- Contains several useful tools
- Great to keep around on a camping trip for its multiple use cases
- Blade is not meant to cut anything substantial
- Scissors are meant to cut paper only
ALBATROSS EDC Cool Sharp Tactical Folding Pocket Knife
- Spring assisted pocket knife offers rapid one-handed deployment, locks securely into place with liner lock
- 440 stainless steel and sand blast coated,Sharp and reliable;
- A pocket clip for easy and safe carry; includes Seatbelt Cutter and glass breaker
- Seamlessly used for Daily application、Camping to Search & Rescue and is a great Business or Birthday/Fathers day Gifts
Best pocket knife with glass breaker
The Albatross EDC Cool Sharp is a pocket knife with a glass breaker that we were happy to take a look at. This thing looks cool, plain and simple. The knife has a very tactical yet classic design, almost with a Japanese style influence. There are options for all silver, all black, or rainbow metal color that reflects and changes color as you turn it in the light; very cool!
- Glass breaker
- Seatbelt cutter
- Spring assisted opening knife
- Pocket clip
- Handle can get slippery when wet, making it difficult to handle if you’re in the rain or working near water
- No serrated blade
Smith & Wesson Extreme Ops
- DIMENSIONS: 7.1 inch (18 cm) overall length with a blade length of 3.1 inches (7.9 cm) and a weight of 3.5 ounces
- DURABLE: Blade is made of reliable 7Cr17MoV Black Oxide High Carbon Stainless Steel with a black, aluminum handle
- DEPENDABLE: Quick and easy access with the convenient pocket clip, finger flipper and ambidextrous thumb knobs making it ideal for everyday carry
- SECURE: Have confidence that the blade will not slip with the security of the liner lock
Best budget pocket knife for camping
If you’re looking for a cheaper pocket knife that won’t break the bank, but you still want a quality product that you can use over and over, Smith & Wesson’s Extreme Ops pocket knife might be worth a look. This black pocket knife comes with a serrated blade, lip, and has a tactical design with a small footprint.
The blade is sharp and pointy, but also easy to sharpen. You won’t be disappointed in this pocket knife if you’re on a budget. This also makes for a good option as a starter knife if you are planning to give this to one of your kids as their first blade for camping.
- Well-made and will last for many uses
- Sleek, dark design
- Serrated blade
- Blade section is almost cut in half due to the serrated section
- Not spring-assisted opening
- Tip of the blade can become blunt quickly with overuse
GVDV Damascus Spring Assisted Knife
- 100% Damascus Steel-The blade of the foldable pocket knife is made of reliable Damascus steel, which is wear-resistant, durable, resists rust, stain resistant...
- Quick Opening-The damascus pocket knife has a jimping, flipper and thumb stud that enables one-hand opening. The locking mechanism is well designed with zero...
- Military Grade G10 Handle - Fiber-resin military grade G10 handle is nearly impervious to heat, cold and moisture.Ergonomic handle shape for maximum comfort,...
- Easy to Carry-Weight 5.8 OZ, folded 4.56 inches (116mm), EDC knife with potable and convenience belt clip design easy to clip on your belt or backpack. The...
Best camping pocket gift for men
If you’re looking for a gift for Father’s Day, or simply just want to get someone a pocket knife for a special occasion, take a gander at the GVDV Damascus Spring-Assisted Knife. This comes with a G10 handle which is great for camping, fishing, hunting, and any outdoor activities. Not only does this pocket knife have a gorgeous design for the handle, but also comes with a sharpener and a leather carrying case. The steel on the blade also has an etched design which looks very cool!
This makes for an awesome present to anybody you care about and will definitely turn heads if you’re looking for a reasonable gift that stands out!
- Beautifully designed handle and etched blade
- Comes with a leather carrying case
- Includes a sharpener
- Sharp and durable construction
- Included sharpener is small and may be hard to use
- Only a single color option
GVDV Pocket Folding Knife with 7Cr17
- High quality - The blades are made of reliable 7Cr17 stainless steel for excellent cutting performance and corrosion resistance. Ergonomic wooden handle design,...
- Well-designed - It has a really nice wooden handle with a great feel in your hand, a finely detailed and gorgeous laser etching on the blade. The locking...
- Easy to Carry - Weight 7.36 OZ, folded 4.5 inches (115mm), easy to carry. EDC knife with potable and convenience belt clip design easy to clip on your belt or...
- A wide range of USES - You can use it for camping, hiking, fishing, travel, survival, climbing, cycling, EDC, work rescue, safety and any outdoor activity, as...
Best pocket knife with sharpener
Even the sharpest knives will require sharpening at regular intervals, especially if you are using your knife regularly. Our favorite pocket knife for camping that comes with a sharpener is the GVDV 7Cr17. This is not only a beautifully designed handle with a wood-grain accent, but is a sturdy and well crafted camping tool. You won’t find any fancy multi-tools in this knife however, though the sharpener is great to use for a quick blade tune-up.
- Come with a sharpener to keep your blade sharp
- Natural design with a mixture of woodgrain and steel
- Built-in pocket clip
- Three colors available
- No other tools or functions built into the knife
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the best knife for camping?
In our opinion, the best knife for camping is the Kershaw Brawler Folding Pocket Knife 3″ due to its quality and craftsmanship. The blade is plenty sharp, stays sharp, and the knife closes and opens reliably. With that said, the best knife is really the one that fits you best.
What makes a good camping knife?
A good camping knife is durable and sharp, with a closing mechanism that is reliable. After those two main staples of a good camping knife, the next reasons to buy a camping knife are for fitting your needs. Do you care more about a knife with multiple tools built in, or simply care about how it looks and feels in the hand? In either case, finding the right knife for how you plan to use your camping tool is what matters most.
What knife do Navy SEALs carry?
The United States Navy SEALs are issued the Ontario MK 3 Navy Knife as part of their equipment. This is a 6-inch blade made from stainless steel and has been proven over and over that this is one of the most reliable knives made to endure the roughest of conditions.
Unfortunately, this is not considered a pocket knife due to its inability to fold shut, and did not make our list.
Should I carry a knife while hiking?
You should definitely carry a pocket knife while hiking. Not only is this good for unexpected situations requiring a blade, such as getting any of your clothes caught up in some rough branches or brush, but you can also use it for protection against wildlife. If you are walking your dog while hiking, it is extra important to keep a pocket knife on your person to protect both you and your pet.
How do I clean my camping pocket knife?
Most pocket knives can be cleaned with warm water and a rag. If your knife is extra dirty, use a specialized metal soap and a light sponge to reduce the chances of scratching the metal (if that’s something you care about).
Am I allowed to carry a pocket knife when camping?
You are allowed to carry a pocket knife in nearly all camping grounds, though this is not a blanket statement. There is no clear answer here, so our best advice is to double-check your campgrounds’ rules to make sure you’re not disobeying them.
Pocket Knife Is a Must-Have
As we said, don’t be the one in your group that is constantly asking your buddies to borrow their knife. In fact, go beyond that and be the one to offer up your knife when the time comes for a situation where your tent’s rope needs to be cut, or you want to make an arrow out of a stick.
Hopefully you enjoyed our reviews and have found the right knife that fits you and your needs best. Follow along for more beginner camping tips and guides!