For a homeowner, a heavy-duty, practical, and functional folding knife is an essential tool to have around the house. They can come in handy at a moment’s notice to solve an emergency. Similarly, the vast majority of them are versatile and remarkably easy to use. Unlike a kitchen knife, a multi-functional folding knife is best placed for slicing open a package, whittling various pieces of wood, and even sawing ropes. Irrespective of the home improvement project you want to undertake with the folding knife, you need an excellent one.
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However, considering the proliferation of several brands offering folding knives of all shapes, and sizes, homing on high-quality ones can be a real challenge, more so to greenhorns. Our objective is to simplify the search by presenting to you ten of the best models representing the industry’s crème-de-la-crème. Before we dive into it though, take time to diligently go through some of the essential factors to consider before committing your money.
10 Best Folding Knives
1. Columbia River Knife and Tool 6450K Drifter
This is a solid choice for a wide range of tasks around the house, such as precision cuts and prying open a package whenever you receive one. Also, it is highly affordable and is both lightweight and compact enough to fit snugly into your front pockets or take minimal space on the kitchen counter, ready for the next task. If you’re looking for an option that offers the best bang for your bucks, remarkable ease of use, and capable of retaining its sharp cutting edge for several years on end, we highly recommend the Columbia River.
While the construction quality pales slightly in comparison to high-end and costly models on the market, the middle-of-the-road quality of its blade makes it an ideal choice for everyday use around the house. The construction of the blade from 8Cr14MoV means it can take everyday abuse and retain its sharp cutting edge for several years on end, impressively resisting wear and tear as the years roll by. Still, it’s not ideal for heavy-duty tasks around the house, in the garage
, or on the construction site.
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Where the knife cedes ground in performance it more than makes up for with convenience. It perfectly blends ease of use and versatility. It’s both lightweight and compact, and therefore offers incredible controllability and manouvrability into tight and hard-to-reach spots. The ergonomic design of the handle augments comfort and practicality and provides sufficient traction to eliminate the possibility of hand exhaustion or fatigue.
And as the name suggests, the folding knife features a foldable design. Folded, it assumes a length of just 3.54 inches, making it highly portable and easy to store away after a project. The foldable design also makes it safe, allowing you to hold it in the hand or slide it comfortably inside your pant’s pockets or purse. The likelihood of your hands inadvertently coming into contact with the sharp edge are thus non-existent.
While this is an entry-level folding knife for use around the house, you’ll love how seamlessly it combines high-quality construction, foldable design, and sharp cutting edge.
Cuts cleanly, smoothly, and quickly
Easy to use
2. Bench Made 15031 1
The Benchmade North Fork Family is a multi-purpose everyday carry option that stacks up pretty well against high-end models on the market in terms of durability and performance. Its intuitive design and top-notch construction quality make handling it incredibly comfortable and easy, factors that appeal strongly to households in search of a safe folding knife to use around the house. The user-friendly design allows you to open and close it with a single hand, and with remarkable speed. And while it may be slightly more expensive, its performance puts it above other models offering middle-of-the-road performance.
Flipping the blade open requires no effort at all on your part, thanks to the inclusion of heavy-duty thumb stud. The locking stud quickly and effortlessly pulls down, instantly releasing the blade for use.
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And to prevent accidental openings, it sports a high-quality spring that requires a little extra effort to open, meaning that there is no way the blade is going to accidentally or unintentionally spring open. The effortlessness of the whole endeavour makes it hard to resist the temptation to mindlessly open and close the blade for hours on end.
The hardy and fastidious construction of the Benchmade North Fork Family is yet another unique selling point. It's one of a handful of folding knives forged from industrial-grade CPM S30V steel.
The tough-twisting, mouth ripping jargon simply means the material provides for exceptional edge retention and corrosion resistance. The construction quality slightly pushes up the price tag but the attendant ease of use and performance is worth every penny. And of course, to give you the confidence and peace of mind to make the best use of your purchase, the brand provides you with a generous lifetime warranty to cover against deficiencies in material and craftsmanship.
The handle deviates from convention by featuring heavy-duty wood instead of the ubiquitous tactical black and cold steel. In addition to its commanding presence in the hand, the handle is also comfortable and smooth and provides more than enough traction.
The seamless and perfect manner in which the Benchmade North Fork Family combines and balances several essential features to provide the best cutting experience makes it an all-time favorite of homeowners. It’s also cost-effective and easy to use.
Smoothly deploys blade
Comfortable, attractive wooden handle
Durable, high-quality construction
3. Spyderco Manix 2
Another pro-grade performance option you can safely use around the house on a plethora of activities is the Spyderco Manix 2. If the translucent blue FRCP handle won you over, you’ve joined a long list of admirers. Aside from the handle, it comes packed to the brim with several other auxiliary features that include but not limited to ease of use, reliability, and heavy-duty construction. Continuous iterations over the years have only cemented the folding knife’s reputation as one of the best to ever enter the market. If you want a taste of the action and are wondering if it’ll be suitable for you, continue reading to find out.
The blade is made from BD-1 steel, a material that among other things, cleverly blends high carbon and chromium to make it resistant to both rust and corrosion. It’s also a high-quality and long-lasting material, and because the blade naturally embodies these properties, it offers remarkable edge retention for several years on end.
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To these add the fact that the material is hardened. The result is a folding that’s incredibly strong, sharp and high-performance. It’ll be several years before you ever have to sharpen the blade, even with extreme abuse.
Aside from the aesthetic value, the handle features an ergonomic design. Coupled with the fact that it’s molded, it easily conforms to the natural contours of the hand, allowing to fit securely, safely, and firmly within your hand. It’s also lightweight and compact, meaning that you’ll enjoy using it on several projects around the house without experiencing fatigue or strain, as is often the case with cheap, off-brand models out there.
And to keep you safe, the Spyderco Manix 2 comes with a self-adjusting lock for preventing the blade from accidentally opening or closing. The only downside is the length. Opened, the length comes to 8 inches, which understandably can be a little hard to maneuvre.
Overall, this is an excellent piece of engineering. It’s multi-functional, easy to use, safe, and comfortable in the hand. For use around the house, it suffices.
Easy to use and dependable
High-quality construction for durability, corrosion resistance
4. Kershaw Cryo 1555TI
If you’re looking for a concrete or convincing reason to buy the Kershaw Cryo 1555TI, we'll give you several. First off, it is remarkably easy to flick open with just one finger and doesn't require much effort. Secondly, it is lightweight and compact, covering not more than 3 inches when closed, meaning that it's highly portable. Opened, the unit is sufficiently long, providing you with more than enough leverage for quickly and effortlessly cutting through a tough and soft material, and is, therefore, a perfect choice for home improvement. To the above attributes add a budget-friendly price tag and an attractive matte gray color.
The knife is a professionally designed and precision engineered folding knife that provides the user with nothing short of the best performance is a wide range of circumstances and environments, especially around the house.
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For home improvement, it’ll be hard finding a model that upsets this model’s position on the market. For one, its blade is made from high-quality 2.75-inch 8Cr13MoV stainless steel, means that in addition to being tough, it also boasts excellent edge retention, and registers insignificant wear even when subjected to heavy-duty use.
Besides the high-quality all-steel construction, it also is also coated with matte gray titanium carbo-nitride. The result is a folding knife that’s not only resistant to corrosion, but one whose blade remains hard and sharp all through its useful life.
Considering its quality of construction, and the provided generous warranty, we can guarantee that you’ll be using the folding knife for several years before requiring a replacement.
Everything considered, the Kershaw Cryo 1555TI is an ideal choice for use home improvement. It’s a versatile choice that you’ll be using for years on end to open packages, strip thick and abrasive wires, uninstall splinters, and cut zip-ties, among several other home improvement projects. Additional features include a heavy-duty frame lock with lockbar stabilizer and it features the brand's SpeedSafe assisted opening, enabling you to operate it with just one hand. We can’t recommend it enough.
Lightweight and compact
Resistant to corrosion
Versatile and safe
The handle is a little hard
5. CRKT Squid Folding Knife
The CRKT comes with several distinguishing features and specs, enabling it to easily set itself apart from other folding knives on the market. As well as being small, compact and therefore highly portable, the device is similarly durable and high-quality and a cinch to use. It’s similarly versatile and will in handy for numerous home improvement projects. And despite its sea of convenience and performance features, the folding knife is cost-effective, which should be appealing you don’t want to spend a ton of money on unnecessary costly models.
As mentioned earlier, it has a lightweight and slim profile, making it a perfect choice for accessing tight spots around the house. It pulls no punches to make your projects quick, effective, and easy. For instance, it conveniently incorporates a frame lock to keep you safe and the drop-point blade features several friction grooves to ensure your grip is both firm and secure, leaving little to no room at all for accidental slippage.
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The innovative design enables it to readily take on light- to heavy-duty projects without the slightest hesitation. The point-drop design and the 1-inch width of the blade provides a perfect balance between the strength of the tip and point geometry, making as multi-functional as a full-size tactical folder. Additionally, it is lightweight and compact and therefore spectacularly portable.
It’s not all performance and durability with this option. It also endeavours and succeeds in keeping you safe. The internal frame lock, for instance, significantly minimizes the likelihood of the user injuring or hurting themselves by making sure the blade stays closed for as long as needed. And there is a handy deep pocket clip for securely carrying or storing it in between uses. And when the time comes for hunkering down to work, all you have to do is press the thumb stud to release the blade.
For the homeowner searching for a thoroughly engineered option for home improvement
, look no further than the CRKT option. It’s compact and has a sturdy all-8Cr13MoV steel blade featuring a drop-point design for the perfect tip strength and balance. And of course, it’s cost-effective.
Slim, lightweight design
Has a safe internal frame lock
Provides secure and firm grip
Has a secure pocket clip
6. Buck Knives 112 Ranger with Leather Sheath
Like virtually all options featuring on our list, the Buck 112 should easily be up your alley if you're a value-conscious user in search of top-notch performance. It's a feature-packed option with a point-drop blade that sharp and pointed, invariably ready and comfortable to use on several home improvement projects. The blade is strong and safe to use and boasts industrial-grade construction and innovative design to make short and quick work of the toughest projects. A thorough but brief evaluation of the knife's outstanding features and specs follows in the subsequent paragraphs.
It comes with a heavy-duty 3-inch blade featuring an all-420HC steel construction. The material provides for a durable edge retention and maximum corrosion resistance, which pairs nicely with the clip blade's sharp controllable point. It's a solid choice for homeowners who need a sharp option for piercing and slicing through several materials and objects. And because it is both lightweight and compact, it eliminates the possibility of the hand suffering fatigue or strain, providing for continuous, uninterrupted use.
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It similarly boasts innovative, robust design. The handle is made from commercial-grade Macassar ebony and incorporates brass bolsters for efficiently delivering a perfect blend of aesthetics, balance, and comfort.
The handle is similarly rugged enough to provide sufficient traction, ensuring your grip is both firm and secure. After a hard day of endless work, you can safely keep the knife in the provided sheath, which is also heavy-duty and durable considering that it’s made from 100 percent genuine leather.
In all, the Buck Knives 112 with Leather Sheath provides you with the best of all worlds. It’s high-performance, easy to use, practical for easy maneuvrability, and cost-effective. For home improvements tasks, you’ll never look back again.
Has leather sheath for storage
Closes and opens with ease and speed
7. SOG Key Knife
The 7th spot justifiably goes to the SOG knife, one of SOG's flagship options. With the design has exhaustingly being copied by several brands, none of them comes close to lighting a candle to this model, seeing as SOG has a knack for taking an excellent design and perfecting it. And like virtually all SOG products, the folding knife continues a tradition of high craftsmanship, smooth and exceptional performance, remarkable ease of use, and affordability. Patently, in spite of its lightweight and slim profile, the folding knife bring a lot to the table and is a solid choice for the value-conscious homeowner in need of the absolute best performance.
It comes with a high-quality, straight edge, 1.5-inch stainless steel blade, the kind that removes effort and time from the toughest and most challenging home improvement projects. The blade similarly boasts an innovative drop-point design to enable the user to quickly and effortlessly shear or cut through a wide range of abrasive materials. Stainless steel also provides for excellent edge retention and corrosion resistance, thanks to the hard cased black finish. The brand provides a generous limited lifetime warranty with every purchase to cover the user against deficiencies in material and craftsmanship.
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It comes with a comfortable and easy to use key-shaped handle into which the blade ingeniously hides in the closed position.
Like the blade, the handle features an all-stainless steel construction to withstand rough and extreme handling. It’s also sufficiently textured to increase traction with the aim of minimizing the possibility of slippage during use. To further keep you safe, the folding knife has a lockback features for stopping it from accidentally closing in while in the open position.
It easily and seamlessly combines contemporary quality, lightweight and slim design, cost-effective, and usability to guarantee the superb performance. For everyday use around the house on home improvement projects, you’ll never regret choosing this one.
Smooth and exceptional performance
Ease of use
8. Ontario Knife Company 8860 Rat 8860 II
This is a no-frills folding knife with no particularly gravity-shifting or distinct features to boast. It shares its features with several other folding knives on the market. In a sea where black nylon handles, thumb studs, and liner locks are ubiquitous, it can be very hard to stand out. However, when it comes to performance, it easily overshadows hundreds of its competitors, consistently acing the toughest challenges while guaranteeing lots of comfort and fun.
It presents an ease of use that will immediately win you over the second you try it out. Unlike cheap, off-brand models on the market, releasing the blade requires little effort and no time at all. Prying it open simply requires lightly pressing on the easy-to-access and quick-to-respond thumb stud. The same goes for closing it; you only have to use one hand. And because you require a little pressure to open the blade, the likelihood of the blade accidentally opening in your pockets or purse are non-existent, allaying any features of inadvertent injuries in between uses.
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Considering that it’s a budget pick, the Rat 8860 II Folder does not go all the way with construction quality. It features an all-AUS-8 steel construction that seasoned users may easily turn their nose up at. Nevertheless, the material has a knack for remarkably maintaining its edge, withstanding chips and dents, and is similarly rust- and corrosion-resistant.
The handle, on the other hand, lacks the strong and secure grip offered by costlier models on the market. And that’s because it’s made from nylon. Still, there’s no way it’s going to miraculously slip out of your hand if you hold it firmly or with a pair of gloves.
For the homeowner looking for an inexpensive but high-performance folding knife to use on home improvement applications, don’t hesitate to go with this option. It packs a punch and is very safe and easy to use.
Comfortable and easy to open and close
Safety thumb stud feature
Provides gripping handle
Quality is a little flimsy
9. Spyderco Tenacious G-10
Like the Spyderco we reviewed earlier, the Spyderco Tenacious G-10 is a continuation of a tradition of first-class construction, quality performance, durability and ease of use.
These attributes, and several more, help cement Spyderco’s reputation as an industry doyen, thereby endearing it to the vast majority of homeowners out there. Through this model, the company demonstrates a unique ability to harness its decades of experience and expertise to make a product whose performance, at its price range, exceeds both industry and customer expectations. Aside from standard features you’d find in any other folding knife, the folding knife comes with a few innovative ones to help it stand out. Read on to learn more.
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The Spyderco Tenacious G-10 is an epitome of high-quality construction, featuring a heavy-duty blade forged from industrial-grade materials. The blade is made from 8Cr13MoV stainless steel, which comes with a higher carbon concentration which, in turn, substantially increases the blade resistance to wear and tear and also corrosion. The ruggedness of the construction material means the folding knife will always maintain its hair-splitting sharpness even when it starts approaching the tail end of its useful life, which will be several years from the time of purchase.
As for ease of use, tit has an ergonomically designed handle with a textured jimping to increase traction, thereby guaranteeing a firm, secure, and anti-slip grip. Considering that the handle is intuitively designed to conform to the natural contours of the hand, it's also comfortable to use and eliminates any incidences of hand fatigue
or exhaustion. Coupled with the blades lightweight and compact design, don't be surprised if you work for hours on end without realizing it. To these features add the liner lock that takes the time and effort away from opening and closing the blade with a single hand.
If your eyes are trained on acquiring a cost-effective yet high-quality option that effortlessly and seamlessly encapsulates all the premium features a folding knife can possibly offer, look no further than the Spyderco Tenacious G-10. The game-changing design provides for effortless, accurate, and quick cutting.
Ambidextrous, comfortable handle
Safety lock feature
Unique design for ease of use
Mildly resistant to corrosion
10. Benchmade - 940, Reverse Tanto
We’ll spare you unnecessary spiel and dive straight to the point: the Benchmade - 940 is a serious option that’s as versatile and durable as it’s functional. The vast majority of options on the market pale into insignificance when compared, stroke by stroke, to the wonder and workhorse that’s the folding knife. For one, it is capable of maintaining its superb edge and resist rust and corrosion throughout its useful life, thanks to the all-CPM-S30V stainless steel construction. Whether you’re thinking of taking on light-, medium-, or heavy-duty home improvement projects, the knife will always have your back.
For convenience,it has a lightweight, compact, easy to use, and extremely comfortable handle. And because the handle is made from equally high-quality 6061-T6 aluminium, it’s superbly strong and ambidextrous, making it a suitable choice for both left- and right-handed homeowners.
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Compared to weak, humdrum options on the market, hand strain and exhaustion should be the least of your worries when using the folding knife. Neither should your safety as the model features a robust AXIS lock to keep in the closed or opened position as long as needed, eliminating any surprises during work. However, it doesn’t come with an opening or closing assist so your hands will have to do all the work.
As well as being comfortable, easy to use, and fastidiously constructed, it also boasts versatility. It features a heavy-duty, reverse tanto blade that makes it an all-around folding knife for use both around the house and in an outdoor setting.
The baseline is that it’s a perfect everyday carry option that will suit the user in a wide range of settings, assisting them to quickly, effectively, and flawlessly complete numerous applications. And of course, it comes with a generous limited lifetime warranty.
The Benchmade - 940 is a solid choice for EDC enthusiasts and homeowners looking for a heavy-duty folding knife made from high-quality materials that cuts precisely. And it’s cost-effective and highly portable.
Versatile, durable and functional
Offers value for money
Easy and comfortable to use
Criteria for Choosing the Best Folding Knives
With folding knives, there is a strong correlation between quality and affordability. High-end models made from first-rate materials that provide more than a lifetime of durability and ease of use are considerably more expensive than their weak, humdrum counterparts. A value-conscious user wants a model capable of providing efficient, flawless and smooth performance for years on end. Industrial-grade materials have a knack for keeping wear-and-tear, rust, and even corrosion at bay and for withstanding the rigors or extreme abuse.
The same rule applies to the handle. Materials such as titanium, high-quality hardwood, and stainless steel are not only waterproof but substantially less susceptible to breaking, rusting, or chipping.
The ease with which it is to use a folding knife for whatever purpose is an equally important consideration. You want a model with a textured handle that offers significant traction for a firm and secure grip, eliminating any possibilities of the hand slipping in the middle of use. Secondly, a lightweight and compact model is easy to use as it minimizes hand strain and fatigue.
Needless to say, handles with curvature or those that conform to the contours of the hand are exceedingly comfortable, safe, and easy to use. Blades with a drop-point design, robust, and of suitable length are also superior both in performance and practicality.
Obviously, knives of any kind can easily inflict harm if used improperly. Which is why you need to make a point of confirming the model you’re enamored with has a locking mechanism before buying. With the acknowledgment that humans are imperfect and situations can suddenly change, an inadvertent retraction of a sharp blade can cause serious harm or worse, sever off an entire finger.
An option with a sturdy locking mechanism prevents such possible eventualities. The feature should be easily operable with a single hand without requiring too much effort, and it needs to be within easy and quick reach of the thumb.
Some options come with a few extra features that make a lot of difference in performance and convenience. A heavy-duty sheath, for instance, provides safe and secure storage in between uses. Warranties also give you peace of mind and a quality assurance knowing you’re covered against any deficiencies in material and craftsmanship.
And lastly as mentioned earlier, the price is not really an important consideration seeing as high prices, most of the time, correlate with high-quality.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Do folding knives require sharpening?
A: Yes. All types of knives lose their edge at some point and become dull. Some brands require the users to send their knives back for sharpening while others don’t. The frequency of sharpening will depend on the quality of the blade and how you use the knife.
Q: How do I properly store it?
A: The two highly recommended storing options include knife bag or sheath or a metal case. These two ensure it’s not intimidatingly visible to other people, and you won’t be breaking any state laws that way.
At this point, having armed yourself to the teeth with all the relevant and up to date info, choosing a workhorse folding knife should be a walk in the park. Our picks are high-quality, versatile, practical, easy to use, and very efficient. Whatever home improvement project you’re thinking of undertaking, they’ll always have your back.