Folding knives are handy, versatile and incredibly useful. The most well-known of these is probably the Swiss Army Knife, which is equipped with various multi-function tools for a variety of situations. In addition, there are many other pocket knives such as the Gentleman knife, the everyday folding knife, collector's knife and various outdoor knives with special characteristics.
What is a pocket knife?
What all pocket knives have in common is that the blade can be folded in and then hides in the handle. Such knives are therefore also called folding knives or “folder” (Originating from the English-speaking area). Folding the blade ensures safe transport and a minimum size, so that the knife can be stored even in small pockets.
There however, the similarities between the different pocket knives cease; material, blade, handle, type of opening and locking mechanism as well as possible accessories with other tools may vary.
One-handed and two-handed knives
Pocket knives are divided into one-handed and two-handed knives.
The German Arms Act states that the term one-handed knife includes all folding knives that can be opened and brandished with one hand. Opening aids are used, by the help of which the blade detaches from the handle and snaps into the locking. The public wearing of a one-handed knife is prohibited in Germany, with a few exceptions (prohibition of carrying, Section 42a WaffG). With many one-handed folding knives, the opening aid can therefore be dismantled.
Two-handed knives are accordingly folding knives, in which both hands are needed to open them. When opened, one hand holds the handle and the other loosens the blade. This category includes, for example, the Swiss army knife, whose blades can be pulled out of the handle by a notch on the back of the blade. Some blades do not have a nail notch, but are released from the fixation on the thickened blade back. Two-handed knives may be carried under some restrictions. Exceptions include certain events and some public transport. Please always research what is allowed and what is not allowed in your country/state.
The Swiss Army Knife
The Swiss army knife has a very good reputation and rightly so: many people own the knife for a lifetime and in some cases it is even passed on from generation to generation. With the help of the various tools, are well equipped for many situations. Swiss army knives are now available in dozens of designs, which differ in their tools and overall design
You can find the following tools frequently:
• Blades of different sizes (small, medium, large)
• A concave blade for carving
• Scissors, sole, file, saw for smaller work on textile or wood
• Screwdriver, bottle opener/capsule lifter, wire stripping
• Can openers, corkscrews, toothpicks, and tweezers
The blade of folding knives
When buying a folding knife, you should pay special attention to the nature of the blade. It is ideally made of high-quality, robust steel, so that the cutting edge stays sharp for a long time and can be sharpened well. You will take pleasure in a solid, well-processed pocket knife for a long time.
Most pocket knife blades are smooth-ground and, if anything, have only a partial shaft cut. You would need the shaft grinding for example, for cutting ropes or belts. For example, if you are looking for a pocket knife for a climbing tour, the wave cut should not be neglected. Survival knives are also sometimes equipped with one.
The most popular blade shapes
The most common blade shape in the pocket knife is the drop-point blade. It is very resilient and achieves excellent cutting results. The tip is not quite as sharp as with other blade shapes and can be guided very well, which is why pocket knives with drop-point blades are very suitable for beginners.
In contrast, there are also the clip point blades, which can also be found frequently with pocket knives. Here, the blade back is concavely shaped and often sanded (wrong edge). It is also called the Bowie blade, because this blade form has almost manifested itself in the Bowie knife. Such a knife can be handled very well, as the blade in the front area becomes narrower and can thus penetrate more easily into an object.
There may not be a blade shape that hasn't been used anywhere with a pocket knife. At this point, however the Recurve blade is worth mentioning: Due to its concave blade belly, it is perfectly suited for round cut material and is therefore often used in mushroom knives.