Best folding knives for camping and survival in 2017

best folding knives for camping and survival

When it comes to tactical gear for camping, survival or EDC, the good old folding knife is probably the simplest yet most versatile tool to have. You can use your knife not only for protection but also for outdoor tasks such as cutting woods and ropes, sharpening stakes, slicing and dicing vegetables and fruits, even skinning fish or meat.

For all practical purposes, you need a folding knife that is lightweight yet durable, easy to carry around and sharp enough to perform various functions. Multi-tools and Swiss Army Knives are great at providing versatility, but there are some tasks that only a fully-functional knife can do.

With so many options available in the market, picking the best folding knife can be a challenge. Worry not!! In this article, we list the best folding knives for your camping, survival and outdoor needs.

We will list out options in three price ranges and you can pick one as per your budget. We have intentionally left out the exclusive collector knives such as ones by Chris Revee as most of you would find them too costly to own.

A word of advice! Check the legal age and rules and regulations in your state before ordering a knife to ensure compliance with the law.

Best folding knives under $50

Some of the best camping and survival folding knives costing less than $50 are listed below:
PictureProductBlade type &
length(in.)
Weight(oz.)Features 

Folding Hunter Knife 110 by Buck KnivesType: Plain edge
Blade Len.: 3.75"
Closed Len.: 4.88"
8 oz.- A traditional masterpiece, made in the US with 420HC stainless steel using the unique Buck knives famous steel heating process.
- Frame lock design with a clip point crescent tip blade.
- Features a Dymondwood wood-grain handle with brass bolsters.
- Comes with a genuine leather sheath to be carried on your belt
- Backed by a lifetime warranty.

Kershaw Leek KnifeType: Plain or partially serrated
Blade Len.: 3.0"
Closed Len.: 4"
3 oz.- An ultralight, popular folder made in the US with Sandvik 14C28N stainless steel.
- Drop Point, straight blade with a patented Speedsafe assisted, one- handed lock mechanism.
- Ultra-sharp, wear-resistant blade with 410 stainless steel handle with a smooth finish.
- Comes with a reversible (tip-up/tip-down) pocket clip.
- Backed by a lifetime warranty
Ontario RAT Folding KnifeType: Plain Edge
Blade Len.: 3.5"
Closed Len.: 4.5"
5 oz.- An excellent, made in Taiwan folding cousin of the popular RAT fixed blade knife series. Made with high-quality AUS-8 stainless steel with Rockwell rating of 58-59.
- Line lock locking mechanism with a single hand thumb stud opening.
- The knife includes a four-way position pocket clip for a choice of carrying options -right or left hand.
- Features a smartly designed glass-reinforced nylon handle.
- Backed by a limited lifetime warranty.
- A newer, slimmer, lighter at 2.75 oz. Ontario RAT II Folding Knife is also available.
Spyderco Tenacious KnifeType: Plain, partially serrated or serrated
Blade Len.: 3.39"
Closed Len.: 4.45"
4 oz.- A great budget knife with the unique leaf shape design mastered by Spyderco, with the blade made with high-quality 8Cr13Mov stainless steel.
- Features a walker liner lock design, with an oversized Spyderco round hole for comfortable opening.
- Also, has a 4-way pocket clip for different carrying and drawing options and a G-10 laminate handle with skeletonized steel liners.
- Backed by a lifetime warranty and complimentary blade sharpening by paying only shipping costs.
Smith & Wesson SWMP4LS KnifeType: Partially Serrated
Blade Len: 3.6"
Closed Len.: 5"
8 oz.- A heavy duty, ambidextrous knife with a 4034 stainless steel blade.
- Features Magic Assisted Liner lock system for single hand operation.
- Features a clip point partially serrated blade with a black aluminum handle with rubber.
- Additional features include a safety lock, glass breaking tip and a pocket clip for easy transportation.
- Backed by a limited lifetime warranty.
Kershaw Ken Onion Blur Folding KnifeType: Plain or partially serrated
Blade Len: 3.4"
Closed Len.: 4.5"
3.9 oz.- A popular, ultralight, made in the US knife made with high-quality Sandvik 12C28N steel with diamond-like carbon coating (DLC).
- Features the unique Speedsafe assisted knife opening with a liner lock mechanism.
- Has an anodized aircraft aluminum handle with liners for extra durability and comfortable grip.
- Also, has a reversible pocket clip for preferred carrying options.
- Backed by a lifetime warranty.
SOG FSA8-CP Flash II KnifeType: Plain Edge
Blade Len: 3.5"
Closed Len.: 4.5"
3.1 oz.- A decent, lightweight, made in Taiwan knife with an AUS-8 stainless steel blade.
- Has a straight edge blade with Rockwell rating of 57-58, having a drop point shape and satin finish.
- Features the standard SOG Assisted locking technology for one hand operation.
- Comes with a glass-reinforced nylon handle, a safety switch and a reversible pocket clip.
- Backed by a limited lifetime warranty.

Best folding knives under $100

Some of the best camping and survival folding knives costing between $50 and $100 are listed below:
PictureProductBlade type &
length (in.)
Weight (oz.)Features 

Spyderco Delica4 PlainEdge KnifeType: Plain Edge
Blade Len.: 2.87"
Closed Len.: 4.25"
2.5 oz.- An ultralight, mid-range, most popular knife from Spyderco which features a razor-sharp VG-10 steel blade.
- Features a fiberglass reinforced nylon (FRN) handle with bi-directional texturing for superior grip.
- Has a proprietary "David Boye Dent" back locking mechanism with an extra-large opening hole.
- The knife includes a four-way position pocket clip for a choice of carry options -right or left hand.
- Backed by a limited lifetime warranty.
Kershaw Knockout Folding KnifeType: Plain Edge
Blade Len.: 3.25"
Closed Len.: 4.6"
3.4 oz.- A popular, made in the USA, Kershaw original knife which has a Sandvik 14C28N steel blade with DLC coating.
- Has an ultralight 6061-T6 aluminum handle.
- Features the proprietary Speedsafe assisted opening mechanism for single hand operation.
- The knife includes a reversible deep-carry pocket clip for secure carry.
- Backed by a limited lifetime warranty.
CKRT K270GKP Homefront Pocket KnifeType: Plain Edge
Blade Len.: 3.5"
Closed Len.: 4.73"
4.8 oz.- A unique pocket knife, with an innovative "Field Strip" design, that allows disassembling of the knife without tools.
- Features a heavy duty drop point Aus-8 steel blade with Rockwell rating of 57-58.
- Features 6061 aircraft grade aluminum handles that provide decent grip, without adding too much weight.
- Has a locking liner with bayonet lug-style flip open mechanism.
- Backed by a limited lifetime warranty.
SOG Trident Assisted Folding KnifeType: Plain Tanto
Blade Len.: 3.75"
Closed Len.: 4.75"
3.6 oz.- A smart, multi-purpose knife made in the USA with a TiNi coated AUS-8 stainless steel blade.
- Features a black Glass-reinforced Nylon handle with a groove for cutting ropes and cords.
- Also, comes with a reversible bayonet pocket clip.
- Backed by a limited lifetime warranty.
Schrade M.A.G.I.C. Dual Action Folding KnifeType: Plain Edge
Blade Len.: 3.42"
Closed Len.: 4.67"
5.3 oz.- A heavy-duty, bulky knife with a drop point AUS-8 steel blade.
- Dual action - manual and assisted liner lock mechanism.
- Features a black coarse aluminum handle and ambidextrous thumb knob
- Backed by a limited lifetime warranty
Victorinox Hunter Pro Pocket KnifeType: Serrated
Blade Len.: 4"
Closed Len.: 5.0"
5.7 oz.- A single blade, folding knife from the worldwide leader in Swiss army knives.
- Features a heavy gauge 440C stainless steel locking blade with satin finish.
- In addition, features a unique lock back locking mechanism with an ambidextrous thumbhole.
- Also, comes with a nylon pouch with a belt loop and braided lanyard.
- Backed by a limited lifetime warranty.
Gerber Hinderer Rescue KnifeType: Serrated
Blade Len.: 3.5"
Closed Len.: 5.1"
5.6 oz.- A heavy duty knife, primarily designed for rescue and survival with a 7Cr17MoV stainless steel stainless steel.
- Features an oversized thumb stud and assisted external blade release for easy operation.
- The knife features a serrated blade with hook cutter and window punch. Also, comes with a 9-piece tool kit for added features.
- Backed by a limited lifetime warranty.

Best folding knives under $150

Some of the best camping and survival folding knives costing between $100 and $150 are listed below:
PictureProductBlade type &
length (in.)
Weight (oz.)Features 

Benchmade - Griptilian 551 KnifeType: Plain or Partially Serrated
Blade Len.: 3.45"
Closed Len.: 4.62"
3.9 oz.- A hugely popular, high-end, made in the US pocket knife with a 3.45" drop point blade, also made with 154CM American steel with a 58-61 Rockwell rating.
- Features the popular Benchmade's Axis locking mechanism that uses two omega-style springs to provide superior locking/unlocking with a single hand.
- Has an ambidextrous design, glass-filled Nylon handle with stainless steel liners.
- Comes with a reversible standard steel pocket clip.
- Also has a smaller 2.91” blade – Mini Griptilian model.
- Backed by Benchmade's lifetime warranty and LifeSharp service warranty for free cleanup and sharpening.
Spyderco Paramilitary 2 KnifeType: Plain Edge
Blade Len.: 3.44"
Closed Len.:4.81"
3.9 oz.- A state-of-art, made in the USA knife that features the unique leaf-shaped, clip point blade made with high-grade CPM S30V steel, with DLC (Diamond-Like coating).
- Features a narrower G-10 textured handle with stainless steel skeleton liners provide an ergonomic grip.
- Has a compression lock with an improved pivot bushing system for smooth opening/closing Also has an extra-large opening hole.
- The knife includes an ambidextrous 4-way pocket clip for a choice of carrying options.
- Backed by a limited lifetime warranty.
Zero Tolerance G10 Handle KnifeType: Plain Edge
Blade Len.: 3.25"
Closed Len.: 4.63"
6.2 oz.- A smartly-designed, made in the US knife with a with CPM S30V steel blade having Tungsten DLC (Diamond-Like coating)
- The ambidextrous, G-10 handle has matte-black scales for a solid grip
- Has the famous Speedsafe assisted opening system for single hand operation.
- The knife includes a 4-way clip pocket clip for a choice of carry options.
- Backed by a limited lifetime warranty. A portion of the proceeds goes to the Paralyzed Veterans of America Heritage Fund.
Cold Steel Recon 1 Tactical KnifeType: Plain Edge
Blade Len.: 4.0"
Closed Len.: 5.3"
5.3 oz.- A well-designed clip-point blade knife made in the US with imported Japanese AUS-8A or CTS-XHP stainless steel with Teflon finish.
- The G-10 handle makes it lightweight, yet comfortable to handle and operate.
- Has a proprietary Tri-Ad locking mechanism with an extra-large opening hole.
- The knife includes a reversible stainless pocket clip for a choice of carrying options.
- Backed by a limited lifetime warranty.
Benchmade - Mini Barrage 585 KnifeType: Plain Edge or Partially Serrated
Blade Len.: 2.9"
Closed Len.: 4.0"
3.4 oz.- Another small-blade, made in the US pocket masterpiece by Benchmade with a 2.91" drop-point blade, made with 154CM American steel with a 58-61 Rockwell rating.
- Features the popular Benchmade's Axis locking mechanism that used two omega-style springs to provide superior locking/unlocking with a single hand.
- Has an ambidextrous design, plastic Valox handle with stainless steel liners.
- Comes with a reversible standard steel pocket clip, a lanyard hole and a safety lock.
- Backed by Benchmade's lifetime warranty and LifeSharp service warranty for free cleanup and sharpening.
Zero Tolerance 0801 Titanium Flipper KnifeType: Plain Edge
Blade Len.: 3.5"
Closed Len.:4.7"
5.8 oz.- A long 3.5-inch, made in the US, pocket knife with an ELMAX powdered steel blade having a stonewashed finish.
- Features a titanium handle with textured grooves.
- Comes with Flipper manual locking system supported by ball-bearings for a spring-free single hand operation.
- Has a frame-lock and comes with a reversible deep-carry clip.
- Backed by a limited lifetime warranty.

Folding Knives vs. Fixed blade Knives

Before we jump into the factors to consider while picking the best folding knives for camping and survival, let us look briefly at the major differences between folding knives and fixed blade knives. Most outdoor experts advise to have one of each in your gear collection and carry one based on your requirements.

FactorsFolding KnivesFixed blade Knives
SizeGenerally smaller, more compact and lightweight.Generally larger than folding knives of same blade length.
PortabilityCan be carried concealed in a pocket as EDC.Can only be carried visibly in a sheath.
DurabilityReasonably durable, but not as much as fixed blade knives.Extremely durable because of full-tang construction.
CostCan be costly to own and maintain.Generally cheaper to own and maintain than folding knives.
UtilityMost suitable for small, quick tasks.Suitable for heavy-duty outdoor tasks during hunting and survival such as cutting through the bone of your game.

How to pick the best folding knife for your needs?

With so many options available in the market and so many technical terms sprinkled in the mix, picking the best folding knife for your needs can be a challenging task unless you are a subject matter expert with considerable experience and a collection of knives. What makes things more complicated is the statutory restrictions that some states and cities impose on such gear, with respect to the supported blade size and locking mechanism. Always check out the legal restrictions before picking the best knife for your needs.

Once you have identified the legal limitations, you can consider the following major factors while picking the best folding knife for your needs:

  • Building material of the blade and the handle
  • Blade type
  • Knife and blade length and weight
  • Blade locking mechanism and ease of use
  • Additional Features and Considerations

Building material of the blade and the handle

The reason you see such variations in the prices of a folding knife is primarily attributed to the building material of the blade and the handle. So, as you can imagine, the type of steel of the blade and the material for the handle is one of the most important considerations while picking the best folding knife for your needs.

The steel alloy used in making the knife blade is a mixture of Iron and Carbon, along with a few other metals such as Chromium. The composition of Carbon in the steel primarily governs the sturdiness, sharpness and overall quality of the blade. The more the Carbon percentage in the steel, the more care the knife blade would need. Also, the higher content of Iron and Chromium/Vanadium ensures better toughness – Rockwell rating of 58 or above.

The cheapest steel you would find in blades in the popular 420HC steel. Such knives generally have a Rockwell rating of 56-58 Except for traditional masterpieces such as the Folding Hunter Knife by Buck Knives, which uses the Paul Bos heat-treatment process, you should avoid knives with this steel as the cheaper models may not hold well for long.

The most popular steel used in knife blades in the AUS-8/AUS-8A. About a decade ago, this high carbon stainless steel was considered the best fit for knife blades, until newer compositions emerged. AUS-8 steel offers a great balance between durability, sharpness, and resistance to corrosion.

Nowadays, you would find newer, higher quality steel alloys such as VG-10, Sandvik 14C28N and S30V which provide superior edge retention, considerable toughness, high durability and reasonable corrosion resistance.

The building material of the handle can be broadly classified into metallic and non-metallic. Metallic handles include Stainless steel, Aluminum, and Titanium alloy handles. Such handles are stronger, durable and wear-resistant. However, they can also be slippery and prone to scratches. Kershaw Leek Knife is one example of metallic handle knife.

Non-metallic handles are generally wood, FRN/GRN (Fiber-Glass Reinforced Nylon), Micarta or G-10. Wood has been the traditional handle type for knives for centuries, however, due to weight, cost and durability considerations, synthetic handles have gained popularity in past couple of decades. Synthetic handles – FRN, Micarta, and G-10 are very comfortable to handle and generally cheaper and lighter than the metallic handles. However, they are not as durable and need to be handled with care. Benchmade – Griptilian 551 Knife and Spyderco Delica4 PlainEdge Knife are two popular knives with a G-10 and FRN handle respectively.

Check out the manufacturing material of the blade and handle to judge the toughness, durability, edge retention and corrosion resistance that the knife would offer. You can often find different handle materials for your favorite knife, so check out all the versions before picking the most suitable one.

Blade Type

The edge of the blade is one of the most important parts of the blade as it governs the functions you can do with the knife. There are two major things to consider with respect to the blade type – edge type and blade point. Folding knives for camping have three types of edges:

  • Plain Edge: The most common and in our view, probably the best type of edge to choose for a folding knife for camping and survival. Plain edge knives provide superior control, accuracy, and sharper cuts. And, if you use them properly, you can probably do almost everything you need with the plain edges.
  • Serrated Edge: Serrated edge knives are meant mostly for tasks which require a saw-like cut such as in hard metal cutting, wood cutting, bone cutting etc. However, they are difficult to maintain because of the small grooves on the edge. Fully serrated knives are generally uncommon choices for camping and other outdoor activities.
  • Partially Serrated: To get the best of both worlds, you can find some partially serrated versions as well. In such knives, the top part of the blade is plain edged, while the lower half has serrations.

The tip or point of the blade is another closely related factor for picking the knife blade. The common blade points are shown in the image below:

Different blade points

The Normal point tip is probably the easiest to maintain. However, for camping and survival, you would find the clip and drop points more popular because of the ease in piercing functions you can do with these knives. You can check out the blade article on Wikipedia for basic information on the different types of blade points.

Check out the blade edge type and blade tip/point to determine the best fit. If you are unsure, simply pick a plain-edge knife with a clip or drop point tip.

Knife and Blade Length and Weight

Since portability is an important criterion, you need a knife which has a blade and handle long enough to be useful for common outdoor tasks such as cutting cords, vegetables, tree branches, sharpening stakes, and so on, while also providing a tactical weapon for protection. After all, you do not always need a Rambo-style knife for your daily needs (unless your daily needs are actually military in nature!).

Generally, knives with a blade length of 3.5 inches and an overall length of close to 5 inches are best -suited folders. If you are looking for something smaller, you can pick something like a Spyderco Delica4 PlainEdge Knife which has a blade length of 2.87 inches and is super compact at around 4.25 inches. And before we forget, there are regulatory restrictions in some states against carrying knives with a blade length of more than 3-3.5 inches, so make sure you check these limitations out before purchasing one.

Closely associated with the size of the knife is the weight of the knife. As discussed above, non-metallic handle knives tend to be lighter than common metallic handle knives. Except for the traditional masterpiece Folding Hunter Knife by Buck Knives, which weighs around 8 oz., almost all the options we listed are less than 6 oz. ounce in weight.

Check out the size and weight of the knife before picking one. After all, you are seeking a folding knife because of the ease of portability in the pocket and you would not want your carry to be too heavy.

Blade locking mechanism and ease of use

The advancements in the blade locks and formulation of unique designs, especially by experts such as Ken Onion in the past decade has led to the emergence of a lot of easy-to-use folding knives in the market. The blade locks can be classified into two broad categories: assisted and non-assisted locks. Assisted locks have some type of internal mechanism or spring that opens the blade using a thumb stud or flipper. Assisted locks can be operated with a single hand. Non-assisted locks are traditional locks that require both hands to open the blade of the folder.

Some of the popular assisted locking mechanisms are depicted in the image below. You can also check out the videos from manufacturers on the locking mechanisms of their knives before deciding the best locking mechanism for your needs.

Assisted lock mechanism on folding knives

Additional features and miscellaneous considerations

In addition to the four major criteria discussed above, there are some other miscellaneous considerations that can make a particular knife more suitable for your needs.

One such factor is the support for left and right-hand designs. While most knives listed above provide ambidextrous support and configurations, some designs are specifically more suitable for right-hand because of the shape of the handle. Popular manufacturers such as Benchmade even provide specific models for left-handed people.

Another closely related factor is the pocket clip that comes with the knives. Knives such as Benchmade – Griptilian 551 Knife and Spyderco Paramilitary 2 Knife have excellent four-way position metallic deep-pocket clips for a choice of carrying options -right or left hand; tip up or tip down. Features such as Lanyard hole in the handle, extra-large thumbhole for gloved fingers are a few additional luxuries provided with such knives.

The exception to this compact carry-in-pocket design is the Folding Hunter Knife by Buck Knives which, despite being a folding knife is better carried in its leather sheath.

Finally, the service provided by manufacturers is another major additional factor to consider. All the knives we listed above are backed by a limited lifetime warranty and hence are tough enough to withstand years of use. However, popular manufacturers such as Buck Knives, Benchmade and Spyderco go well beyond the warranty and also provide free sharpening and cleaning services with their knives. All you need to do is to pay for shipping and handling, and you would get unmatched professional maintenance service.

You can look at all these features to determine if they make a specific folding knife a better choice for your needs.

Which are the best folding knives and what our picks are?

Kershaw Leek Knife – Editor’s pick for the best budget folding knife

best budget folding knife
Kershaw has been a long time player in the US knife market and is regarded for its high-quality, yet competitively priced knives. And with the range designed by one of the best “Knife-artist” in the world, you are going to love the Kershaw Leek (or should we say Kershaw Ken Onion Leek!). The Leek is probably the best selling knife by Kershaw and for good reason.

This ultralight folding knife is made in the US with Sandvik 14C28N stainless steel. The 3-inch blade has a straight drop-point tip which may not look very sturdy but still is reasonably durable. The blade is ultra-sharp and finished smartly for a wear-resistant operation (yes it is pretty sharp!). What’s more, you can even get a partially serrated model for the knife.

The most popular Leek model comes with a 410 stainless steel handle with a smooth metallic finish. If you want, you can even get a double-anodized aluminum handle or a black tungsten DLC-coated handle with a non-reflective surface with some additional investment. The knife features the patented Ken Onion spring-assisted Speedsafe locking mechanism that provides smooth one-handed operation. You may, sometimes, have to lock-unlock the knife a bunch of times when new to streamline the locking mechanism.

The knife comes with a four-way reversible pocket clip. And like all other Kershaw models, the Kershaw Leek is backed by a limited lifetime warranty.

For its great value for money, sharp blade and decent performance, the Kershaw Ken Onion Leek is Editor’s choice for the best budget folding knife. For a price less than 50 bucks, you can safely get one if you are looking for a cheap, yet well-designed folding knife.
Pros
  • High-quality , made in the US construction with Sandvik 14C28N stainless steel.
  • Ultralight knife with drop point blade and Speedsafe locking mechanism designed by Ken Onion.
  • Comes with 410 Stainless steel handle. Other options such as Aluminum and Tungsten handles also available.
  • Competitively priced and backed by a limited lifetime warranty.
Cons
  • Has a soft blade tip which may get damaged if not used properly.
  • The Locking mechanism may need some priming before field use.

Spyderco Delica4 PlainEdge Knife – Editor’s pick for the best mid-range folding knife

best mid-range folding knife
When it comes to mid-range knives that work, the Spyderco Delica4 scores big in the segment. The Delica has been one of the most popular EDC knives from Spyderco for over a decade now. And when you get a blade length that meets the regulations in almost all US states and weighs an ultralight 2.5 oz., you can hardly ask for more.

The Delica4 knife has a 2.8 inch uniquely shaped blade, made with excellent quality, razor-sharp VG-10 steel blade. The Delica4 has a reasonably sized FRN (Fiberglass Reinforced Nylon) handle. The Delica4 has a new bi-directional texturing, which makes the knife extremely comfortable and easy to grip in your hand. The steel liners with the handle provide additional support while operating, making it a suitable choice for all common outdoor activities.

The Delica4 boasts of a proprietary “David Boye Dent” back locking mechanism, which allows for a smooth single-hand operation. And like all other Spyderco knives, it features an extra-large opening hole. The knife includes a four-way position pocket clip for a choice of carrying options – right or left hand and tip-up or tip-down.

The Delica4 is backed by a limited lifetime warranty. You can even get sharpening services from the manufacturing by just paying for shipping and handling.

For its ultralight yet durable design, compact size, and superior quality, the Spyderco Delica4 is our Editor’s pick for the best mid-range folding knife. This knife is tailor-made for lightweight backpacking and you should check it out if you are looking for one for your next outdoor trip.
Pros
  • Extremely durable and ultralight knife featuring a VG-10 stainless steel blade.
  • Comes with an FRN handle with bi-directional texturing for superior grip.
  • Extra-large thumb hole with easy-to-operate back locking mechanism.
  • Backed by a limited lifetime warranty. The manufacturer also supports sharpening services.
Cons
  • Smaller blade length of 2.8” may be a limitation for some tasks.

Benchmade – Griptilian 551 Knife – Editor’s pick for the best high-end folding knife

best high-end folding knife
For knives in the range of $90-150 dollars, Benchmade is probably one of the most respected US-based brand and the Griptilian is their flagship knife along with the Barrage. This high-end pocket knife features a 3.45-inch drop-point blade which is made exclusively with the 154CM American steel. The blade has a decent Rockwell Rating of 58-61 and a toughness comparable with even costlier models. At 3.9 oz., the knife is reasonably lightweight to carry around.

The Benchmade Griptilian knife has an ambidextrous design and features a Fiberglass Reinforced Nylon (FRN) handle with stainless steel liners for superior support and grip. The best part is that the handle is designed in a way that both left and right handers would find the grip pretty natural to them.

Like all other popular Benchmade knives, the Griptilian features a unique Axis locking mechanism that uses two Omega-style springs (one on each side) to provide superior locking/unlocking with a single hand. What’s more, tests have found this locking mechanism to be one of the most reliable among assisted locking systems.

The Griptilian comes with the popular stainless steel deep-pocket clip that can be placed in any preferred combination (tip-up or tip-down, left or right). And if you are looking for a smaller, EDC model, you can check out the smaller 2.91-inch blade Mini-Griptilian model.

And that is not all! The Griptilian is backed by Benchmade’s lifetime warranty and supported by LifeSharp service warranty for free cleanup and sharpening.

For its excellent quality and performance, the Benchmade Griptilian is our Editor’s pick for the best high-end folding knife for camping and survival. If money is not a concern, then you should definitely consider adding this knife to your collection.
Pros
  • An excellent high-end folding knife made with 154CM American Steel.
  • Precision craftsmanship and ambidextrous design.
  • One of the best-in-class Axis Locking mechanism for single-handed operation.
  • Comes with a GFN handle with steel lines for superior operation.
  • Backed by a limited lifetime warranty and supported by Lifesharp service warranty for cleanup and sharpening.
Cons
  • Some people may find the larger size of the standard Griptilian a little uncomfortable for EDC.

Folding Hunter Knife by Buck Knives – Editor’s pick for the best traditional folding knife

best traditional folding knife

No knife collection is complete without a traditional old-fashioned wooden handle masterpiece. And when you have the choice of a functional folding knife which matches quality with tradition, and that too at an affordable price, there is no reason to not get one for yourself.

The Folding Hunter Knife by Buck Knives is an excellent knife with a traditional (non-tactical, we must say) design. The first edition of 110 was designed way back in 1964 and the manufacturer has ensured keeping the traditional look intact. The knife is made in the US with 420HC stainless steel using the unique Paul Bos steel heating process, which ensures that the knife maintains its durability and toughness.

The 110 features a clip-point crescent tip blade with an unassisted frame lock design. The standard handle on the knife is a Dymondwood grain handle with brass bolsters, though you can get some other wooden handle options as well.

Because of its longer 3.75-inch blade and larger 8 oz. weight, the Buck 110 is not suitable for carrying in the pocket. Instead, the knife comes with a genuine leather sheath to be carried on your belt. And to keep the tradition, each Folding hunting knife is backed by the famous Buck knife Lifetime service warranty.

For its long-running tradition, vintage look, design and operation, the Folding Hunter Knife by Buck Knives is our pick for the best traditional value knife for hunting, camping and survival.
Pros
  • A great traditional wood-handle knife with a 3.75” blade.
  • Made in the US with 420C stainless steel using the Paul Bos heat-treatment process.
  • Precision craftsmanship with a dymondwood handle with vintage brass bolsters.
  • Backed by a limited lifetime warranty and supported.
  • Competitively priced.
Cons
  • Heavier to carry in the pocket, so has to carried in a sheath.
  • Traditional locking mechanism prevents single hand opening/closing.

Accessories for knife sharpening and care

One of the most important accessory to consider for your pocket knife is the knife sharpener. Most knives require periodic care– cleaning and re-sharpening, to keep them razor sharp and trip ready. There are a lot of options available in the market – sharpening stones and pucks, ceramic rods and plates and sharpening tools. While all these options probably require an article of their own, you can consider the following options:

Another closely related accessory is the knife cleaning gear. You can generally get a leather pad, knife oil or a cleaning cloth separately as per your needs, but if you are looking for a kit, you can check out the popular Rusty’s Rags Knife Care and Cleaning Kit or Flitz KR 41511 Knife Restoration Care Kit.

What our readers are saying about the utility of knives

We asked our readers what their favorite survival/tactical gear was and unsurprisingly most of them felt that the good old knife is probably one of the best tactical gear one should carry. Here are a couple of popular responses that we received:

When choosing a tactical/survival gear for any situation the first question I always ask myself “what knife am I going to use?”. I have always believed that a knife is one of the simplest tools available and has basically been around since the dawn of mankind. The brilliance of a knife lies in its many abilities which I like to put in three specific groups. The first ability is that it can be used to help gather and process resources. Need wood split, game processed, or edible plants harvested? A knife can do that. The second major ability of a knife is its ability to help create additional tools. A knife can cut poles for tents, sharpen spears, strip bark for rope, it can even be used to carve a spoon if you have some spare time. The third ability of a knife is its defensive capabilities. I don’t like to play this one up much because I believe it is the least important of its abilities but if I am going to get attacked by an animal or human I would rather have a knife than not have one. Choosing a knife that can do all these things is generally not easy but in my opinion, a knife’s ability to do so many things is what makes it my first choice in tactical/survival gear in almost any situation.
– Mitch P

I have a small (3″ blade) knife that has a flint stick with it. I love bringing that camping and starting the fire with it, rather than a lighter. Whenever I’m out in the woods, I bring that little bad boy and feel pretty good knowing that if I get lost I’ll be able to keep myself warm.
– Joshua G

Final thoughts on the best folding knives

In this article, we looked at some of the best folding knives available in the market for camping, survival, and everyday carry(EDC). We looked at the knives in three price ranges – budget range of less than $50, mid-range of $50-$100 and the high range of $100-$150.

Your folding knife is one of the most useful gear to own. You can use your knife for protection, as well as cutting wood splinters, cutting ropes and making stakes for your shelter and even slicing or dicing vegetables and fruits and skinning meat for your cooking. Most of the options we listed above have a blade length of less than 4-inches and hence are legal to carry in most US states. But, do check the regulations in your respective state, before ordering one.

We hope you found this article useful. Do let us know how you found this article and if you would want us to consider anything else by commenting below. Till then, have a fun-filled wilderness trip with your favorite knife!

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