Bushcraft, Guides, How To, Knives & Multitools

How To Choose Pocket Knives

It’s always useful to have a knife in your pocket, opening a box, cutting some string or cleaning your pipe are all reasons to have a blade easily to hand. There is a wide and dizzying choice of knives to choose from with prices from £5 – £500. But in the current climate it is worth thinking about the decision to carry one every day, in every location.

UK law allows the carry of a knife with a non-locking blade of less than 3 Inches (75mm) in public , but it is worth checking the advice set out at your government info site to ensure you stay within the law. Multi Tools generally have blades on them which lock and locking knives, defined as being refolded only by pressing a button can be carried with a “good reason” as outlined in the legislation. But someone carrying one for work is probably never going to get into trouble unless they decide to start threatening someone with it. I would suggest that prudence is the best defence and if you don’t need to be carrying then don’t.

There are many good examples of non-locking knives produced but a few worth mentioning include the Swiss army pocket knives with all the extra tools, the smaller of the Opinel knives and some of the major manufacturers make a UK legal EDC. (every day carry)

If you hunt or camp then you are going to want a blade with you and as these activities generally take place on private property then you are quite within your rights to be in procession of one.

Non-locking blades, also known as slip-joints will never be as safe to use as a locking blade as there is always a chance that the blade will close on a unsuspecting finger. So I’d always recommend a locking blade.

There are three main types of these, a liner lock with involves pushing a sprung bar to the side to unlock the blade, a lock bar which has a spring that is depressed on the spine of the knife and the Opinel style that have a rotating collar. Additionally Multi tools are very useful and carry a variety of locking blades, screwdrivers and scissors as well as a pair of pliers.

A knife is like any tool and there are many variations to choose from, probably one will never do every job you need it for. Buying a knife is a very personal thing too, it will need to feel right and the operation of it must be comfortable so go and try a few in the knife shop. Look for something long enough to do the job and with a good sturdy lock. A good knife will last a long time and it is worth spending time and money to get a good one.