Best american knife makers

Best american knife makers DEFAULT

The best pocket knife brands won’t let you down in the field. Reputable knife companies have usually been around for a while, manufacturing quality edges built for action and hard wear. Not sure where to start looking? We break down the most reliable pocket knives on the market in today’s guide.

Best pocket knife companies - Victorinox knife cutting an apple

Top 18 Pocket Knife Brands You Can Count On

Most pocket knife companies have hits and misses when it comes to their lineup, which is to be expected. However, the buy-it-for-life ethos has seen a rise in brands basing their business around consistent quality–rather than cutting corners. Below, we review the best pocket knife brands worthy of becoming your EDC knife.

1. OKC

OKC RAT Model II Pocket Knife

Despite being called the “Ontario Knife Company“, OKC is actually based at the tippy top of New York state. Much of their work has been done making blades for the United States military. So they’re an all-American pocket knife company in everything but name.

Their RAT knife is a common bargain EDC choice, but they have a far deeper bench than that, ranging from tactical knives to kitchen cutlery.

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2. Benchmade

Benchmade Brand Pocket Knife - Bugout 535 EDC

A knife by any other name is just a knife. When it’s a Benchmade, it’s something else entirely.

Benchmade began in the 80’s with a solitary goal: To make the best knives in the world. Since then, they’ve been doing everything in their power to make that a reality. Certainly one of the more expensive makers out there, they aim for lifetime pieces across the board.

So if you can avoid losing it, you only need to buy a Benchmade once.

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3. Case

CASE XX WR Pocket Knife

More than a hundred years of experience lies behind each Case knife. They aim for elegance in their bone pocket knives, which are built for hunting and utility as well as camping.

This well-respected pocket knife brand satisfies both practical and collectable considerations, with numerous attractive models on offer. These blades look good and go the distance.

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4. Brous Blades

An example from one of the best pocket knife brands: Brous Blades

Jason Brous started Brous Blades in 2010, when he was barely out of his teens. Though young, he proved to be a prodigy in the knife world.

This scrappy young pocket knife brand produces innovative and angular designs. Brous Blades designs are ultra-modern, and help revitalize the tired pocket knife world with some fun, flashy articles that don’t skimp on build quality. Ideal for everything from camping to EDC.


CRKT M16-14SFG Pocket Knife

Despite being named “Columbia River Knife & Tool” there’s not many who could recall any tools they make that aren’t knives. That’s not to say they make bad tools (far from it, in fact), it’s just that their blades are so much more impressive.

Days can be spent combing through their catalog looking at all the variety, many designed by master Ken Onion, who’s work walks behind no one.

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6. Emerson

Emerson - One of the top pocket knife companies

Begun by a California knife-maker, Emerson had practice making military and police items for rescue and combat before there was a company name to go with it.

These are meant for hard use, hard work, and hard luck in the worst possible conditions. If you’re headed into the heart of the storm, pocket an Emerson.

7. Hogue

Hogue 34559 pocket knife

In 1968 Hogue burst onto the firearm scene making grips and stocks for guns. Then, after decades of success, they brought over that engineering prowess to the knife world.

Now, ranged fighters and close-quarters combatants alike can both outfit themselves with all the hard-core Hogue gear a jarhead’s heart could desire.

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8. Cold Steel

Cold Steel Voyager Series

It’s easy to discount Cold Steel as pocket knife company. After all, they bear a pretentious name, have an overbearing website, and then make swords and weird stuff.

Nevertheless, Cold Steel always uses top-grade materials for EDC pocket knives that have distinctive flair to go with their sturdy construction.

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9. Opinel

Opinel Stainless Steel Folding Knives with Beechwood Handle

Inexpensive camping knives is the battle cry of Opinel, though they wisely mash a lot of value into their knife line. They employ wooden handles that are soft and kind to the hands during extensive use, and a brilliant collar lock that gives their carbon steel blades a more fixed feel for firmer, more confident cuts.

It would be a mistake to balk at the value proposition of this affordable French pocket knife brand.

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10. SpyderCo

Spyderco Tenacious Folding Utility Pocket Knife with combination edge

For a long time, SpyderCo was the pocket knife brand to carry if you were expecting a fight. To this day they still use the distinctive hole on each blade that allows you to snap it open with the pad of your thumb.

Incomparably badass, good looking, and fun to use, they’ll have to pry any of SpyderCo’s blades from your cold, dead hand.

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11. Gerber

Gerber Gear 22-48485N Paraframe Pocket Knife

Gerber‘s low cost and subsequent rudimentary materials tempt many to pass them up as one of the best pocket knife brands. The problem is they’re so consistently good, if not always great, that it’s a mistake to ignore them. You won’t find the best in the business here, but you’ll get a budget blade you can afford lose, which is good enough that you won’t want to.

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12. SOG

SOG Escape Pocket Knife

SOG isn’t so much a tool maker so much as a knife company that knows the value of being prepared. Their pocket knives are built for action, with outstanding steel, rugged construction, and an edge that isn’t content to lay down arms come hell or high water. An exceptional choice for both recon and rescue that won’t break the bank.

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13. Buck

Buck - One of the best known pocket knife brands

Everyone should have a Buck knife in their collection somewhere. Go for the classic folding knife with its timeless design, or snap up one of the more modern Buck pieces for a new twist by an old favorite. Either way, that “Forever” warranty they have isn’t just for show. There’s a reason Buck is one of the most trusted pocket knife brands.

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14. Zero Tolerance

Zero Tolerance 0350TS folding pocket knife

The killer who used to head straight for SpyderCo has found a new friend in the Zero Tolerance pocket knife brand. This is a company which likes to make flipper knives intended for quick deployment, stealth, and ending combat with a few fast slashes. Durable as they are quick, these USA-made knives offer a solid investment.

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15. Boker

Boker 02SC743 Magnum Lil Friend Micro with sheath

Also known as “The Tree Brand”, Boker is one of a handful of import pocket knife companies that can go toe to toe with American manufacturers. They focus on using the best materials with supreme supervision by masters of the industry. The end result is a lineup that true aficionados must respect.

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16. Kershaw

Kershaw Clash Black Serrated Pocket Knife

Zero Tolerance is owned by the KAI Group, which also happens to have Kershaw in their pocket. Easily the broadest range of choices, Kershaw knives are tools, weapons, appliances, and most anything else you could want.

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17. Victorinox

Victorinox Fieldmaster Swiss Army Knife

The only true Swiss Army knife maker in the world, without this world-famous pocket knife brand, there would likely be no Leatherman or other multi-tool maker. Supreme engineering from the people who know multi-purpose knives, if you see the company’s trademark Swiss cross, you’re getting something truly special.

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18. Schrade

A knife from Schrade - One of the best pocket knife brands

Schrade has changed hands several times in its 100+ year history, which has led to some lean times and difficult launches. Currently though, they’re putting out exceptional quality, though who knows how long that shall last. Their hits are amazing, but when they miss, it’s horrifying. Hopefully the recent trend will allow Schrade to do what it does best for a long time to come.

How to Pick the Best Pocket Knife Companies

It’s easy to just say “buy American” and call it a day when it comes to EDC gear. But the fact is, there are outstanding pocket knife brands from across the world–and they’re not all super expensive. Here’s some tips on how to pick the right brand and model for your needs:


The least tangible factor in finding the best pocket knife company is also one of the most important. Has the brand been around for many years or even decades? They probably have identified their market niche, and produce knives which consistently satisfy buyers at their price point.

Beware older companies which have been bought and sold many times over. In many cases, multi-national corps simply cash in on venerable, trusted names without actually backing it up with quality. If you see your grandpa’s favorite knife from back in the day selling at budget prices, that may be an indicator that production has shifted overseas.


The best pocket knife companies will likely offer a broad range of products to fit various use-cases. After all, knives are first and foremost tools, and thus one-size-fits-all isn’t always what you need. 

Generally, the branding will match the intended use. Tactical knife companies will favor simple, rugged designs intended for combat, while survival-oriented companies will focus on multi-tools. Others still may spread cast a wide net to include swords, guns, or cutlery. You’re probably best off avoiding big-tent companies in favor of niche brands.


It’s amazing how much mark-up a brand name can carry. Be sure to do due diligence determining whether the build quality, locking mechanism, type of steel, handle materials, and accessories fit the bill of what you’re expected to pay. Oftentimes, affordable pocket knife companies produce knives which are every bit as useful and durable as their more expensive counterparts.


It’s not all too common to see knives backed by satisfaction guarantees these days. But pocket knife companies which do stand by their products with warranties are clearly putting their money where their mouths are. It costs them to promise to repair or replace faulty gear, so they’ll tend to invest in better designs and materials upfront. Whether your knife stands the test of time or craps out, with a warranty you still win either way.

Types of Pocket Knives Explained

A knife is a knife, right? Wrong. There are many different types of blades, mechanisms, and styles.


Here’s a quick rundown on the most common types of pocket knife blades:

  • Drop point – A mostly straight blade that gradually slopes down near the tip. It’s good for piercing, but thick enough to avoid breaking the tip off while doing so.
  • Clip point – A classic pocket knife blade profile, the clip point is another sharp tip good for thrusting. It gets its name from the “clipped” indentation that helps you grab and open the blade.
  • Sheepsfoot – The name basically gives it away, but this straight blade was traditionally used to trim down sheep hooves. But, it’s most commonly used these days for whittling, woodworking, and in rescue scenarios.
  • Tanto – Borrows the angled tip of traditional Japanese weaponry. Ideal for thrusting and puncturing in combat, though less so for slashing. Also useful for scraping with the chisel-like tip.
  • Pen blade – Smaller than the larger drop point it tends to accompany, a pen blade is nevertheless useful for fine cutting work. Gets its name from the days of yore when quill ends needed to be pierced before writing.
  • Wharncliffe – Another straight blade, but with a gradually curving spine that helps prevent accidental piercing when the goal is slicing.
  • Hawkbill – Resembling the talon of a bird of prey, the hawkbill is an efficient slicer that transfers force into the blade tip. Carpet and box cutters are common instances of this blade type.
  • Spey point – Originally used to spay and neuter animals, the mostly flat design features a blade which turns up in a dull point. Once again, the idea is to prevent accidental piercing. A favorite of hunters then and now.
  • Spear/needle point – Symmetrical blades which focus force directly into the sharp tip to puncture hide and armor. Spear points are thicker than needle points, but the idea is the same.


Different style pocket knives may contain any combination of the above blades plus other accessories. Here are just a few of the most popular types:

  • Camper – Every man should own a multi-tool, period. Whether it’s a Leatherman, Swiss Army Knife, or something more generic, having a multitude of tools readily available is not only convenient, but could save your life.
  • Trapper – Featuring the duo of a spey and clip point, the Trapper typically features a slimmer profile that offers outstanding control for slicing.
  • Stockman – A double-ended knife similar to the Trapper which adds a Sheepsfoot blade into the mix. Some variants swap the spey point out for a pen blade.
  • Congress – While Honest Abe made one his EDC, that’s not where the name comes from; instead, “congress” refers to the four blades coming together when folded: pen, spear, and twin sheepsfoot. Why two? It allowed tobacco farmers to work twice as long without stopping to sharpen.
  • Canoe – A dead-simple design packing a pen blade and drop point. Gets its name for its canoe shape when folded up.
  • Barlow – Featuring a tear-shaped handle, the Barlow knife is popular amongst outdoorsmen and Americana aficionados for its rustic simplicity and reliability.
  • Tactical folding – Perhaps an overly broad term that encompasses a range of ergonomic features optimized for hand to hand combat. Characterized by a rugged handle grip, easy-open thumb studs or holes in the blade, secure locking mechanism, and blades designed for piercing more so than cutting.
  • Assisted open – Any type of knife which opens with the press of a button. Switchblades are the most famous example, and run afoul of the law in many countries. Unnecessary in most use-cases, as thumb studs are just as fast with practice.

Locking Mechanisms

In order to actually fit into your pocket, most pocket knives fold up to save space. However, extending the blade without some sort of locking mechanism is a great way to slice your own fingers off. Here are three of the most common types of locking mechanisms (there are many more types, however):

  • Liner lock – Ubiquitous, simple, and cheap to produce, liner locks are nonetheless highly reliable. When you fold the blade out, a tensioned metal spring bar catches the tang beneath the hinge, holding it in place. Simply push the bar to the side to sheath the blade.
  • Frame lock – Functionally similar to the liner lock, but typically more robust due to the locking bar being integrated directly the handle. This can be a liability with cheaply made knives, but quality frame locks are superior to liner locks and priced accordingly.
  • Back lock – Popularized by Buck, this tensioned lock mechanism pivots over a central fulcrum. Pressing down the back end of the lock raises the locking notch up, allowing sufficient clearance for the blade to hinge in and out. When you let go, the notch settles back into place holding the blade fast.

Best Pocket Knife Brands: Conclusion

At this point, you should have a solid understanding of what pocket knife companies work hard to earn your money. We’ve given you a brief overview of the top 18 brands for a variety of use-cases and budgets, as well as the quick rundown on the most common types of pocket knives.

Which pocket knife brand do you swear by? Has your knife ever saved your bacon in a pinch? Tell us your story in a comment below.


Having a good pocket knife is essential for anybody who works with their hands. Whether it’s your everyday carry (EDC), for hunting, or some other use, we broke down our recommendations into several categories to help you make the best decision possible on a pocket knife made in the USA. We also included some notes on all of the factors we considered in our research.

Our Findings

Overall, we found that there are several great knife manufacturers who make their products right here in the USA. Buck, Gerber, and Case are some of your most popular ones (and with good reason), but we also found some lesser known American made manufacturers who are making some of the best pocket knives in certain categories and somewhat flying under the radar. Check out our top recommendations in the chart below, along with more detail about each one below that.

Top Recommendations

Recommendations: Going Deeper

Take a look at our in-depth analysis below for each of our top picks. We outline additional details for each product, what we like, what we don’t like, and any additional products that deserved a shout out.

Best Everyday Carry Pocket Knife

Buck Knives 112BRS Ranger Lockback Folding Knife

Buck Knives is one of the most reliable knife manufacturers in the USA, making several great product lines at their factory in Post Falls, Idaho. The 112BRS Ranger Lockback Folding Knife is a 3-inch steel knife with a clip blade shape. A reliable tool for everyday use, and the smaller version of the 110 Hunter made by Buck Knives. It has a good weight to it, 8.5 ounces – not super heavy, put feels solid in your hand. This knife has a nice woodgrain handle, made of dymondwood.

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Things we like:

  • Sturdy in all directions, zero lateral movement
  • Smooth opening
  • Keeps a sharp edge for a long time
  • Sleek look
  • Comes with the Buck Forever Warranty (will repair or replace any defective knife at any time for it’s entire life)

Things we don’t like:

  • Don’t store the knife in the black leather sheath for long periods of time. Chemicals used to treat the leather can cause discoloration on the knife.

Honorable mention: Bear & Son Damascus Steel Lockbacks


Best Hunting Pocket Knife

Bear & Son 751 Stag Delrin Bird & Trout Knife

The Bear & Son 751 knife is the best basic hunting knife we found on the market, made in Alabama. It comes with a sheath, has a nice contouring handle to give you a good grip, and has a very simple design. No fluff, just performance. This specific 751 knife is great for lots of hunters, campers, and fishermen. It’s intended for smaller spaces to help you dress smaller game, fish, and birds. We found it to cut really smooth and neat. For bigger game, Bear & Son has several Bowie knives and other varieties that are made in the USA and can help you get the job done. Just make sure to check the steel they use in the model you’re looking at – most of their steel is sourced here, but they do have a few knives using a Swedish steel that you need to look out for. Their about page details which steel types are sourced here.

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Things we like:

  • Contouring design for a good grip
  • Very sharp
  • Great for small game and fish

Things we don’t like:

Honorable mention: Gerber Gator Premium Folding Knife


Best Heavy Duty Pocket Knife

Buck CSAR-T Tactical Folding Knife

The Buck CSAR-T Tactical Folding Knife is great for any heavy duty work, inspired by the needs of our US military operators in the field – reliable, heavy duty, and easy to carry. It has a 3.5-inch steel blade (5-inches in total closed length) and a grooved handle, which we found resulted in a surprisingly secure grip.

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Things we like:

  • Secure blade, easy to open
  • MOLLE (Modular Lightweight Load-carrying Equipment) compatible carrying sheath
  • Reversible, stainless steel carrying clip
  • Grooved handle design made for a solid grip that fits the hand well
  • Easy to sharpen

Things we don’t like:

  • Initially not as sharp as we expected (easily sharpened)


Best Easy Open Pocket Knife

Hogue Extreme Series Knife

Hogue Knives are absolutely top notch and are actually issued to all branches of the U.S. military. They were founded by Guy Hogue in 1968 and are based in Nevada. They are mostly known in the firearms industry – they didn’t get started in knifemaking until 2010. Their Extreme series is a tough tactical knife that is easy to open, a great cut, and has a reliable grip. Hogue Knives are designed with law enforcement in mind and have a lot of really good options.

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Things we like:

  • Easy open
  • Reliable grip
  • Sharp drop point blade

Things we don’t like:

  • Light weight can feel cheap, but it is well made

Honorable mention:Spyderco ParaMilitary Knife


Pocket Knife with the Best Grip

Benchmade Griptilian 551

Just like the name implies, the Benchmade Griptilian is a tough knife to let go of. It has a GFN (Glass Filled Nylon) handle that, for its weight, has great strength. 4.8 ounces in weight with a 3.45-inch drop-point style blade. The blade is made of 154CM stainless steel, which helps in not only strength, but rust prevention as well. We found that this knife also holds it edge very well after several uses. Made in Oregon, USA.

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Things we like:

  • Comes sharp, easy to put a clean edge on it when resharpening
  • Amazingly solid grip
  • Secure, virtually no wiggle
  • Lightweight, good for light everyday use

Things we don’t like:

  • Not the easiest to open, liner lock occasionally gets stuck as well


Best Fixed Blade Pocket Knife

Spartan Blades Damysus Fixed Blade Knife

Spartan Blades was started by a couple of retired Green Berets and is headquartered just outside of Fort Bragg, North Carolina. They make some great fixed blade and folding knives and have won a bunch of awards over the years for their performance and innovative designs. Made with a carbon steel drop point blade, their Damysus fixed blade knife is one of my favorites and a great overall tactical knife.

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Things we like:

  • Carbon steel blade is very sharp
  • Full tang
  • Lanyard hole
  • Flat grind blade

Things we don’t like:

  • Locking mechanism on the sheath can be tricky for some


Best Multi-Blade Pocket Knife

Case Amber Bone Stockman Knife

Case is a classic American made knife manufacturer, known for their handcrafted, smaller multi-blade pocket knifes. The Amber Bone Stockman Knife comes in 43 different colors and variations. The small size makes it good for a lightweight EDC or as someone’s first starter knife. Comes with 3 blades: Clip, Sheepfoot, and spey blades. Blades on this knife are made with Case Tru-Sharp Stainless Steel, which offers good long-term durability and corrosion resistance. Check out our full review of the Case Amber Bone Stockman Knife.

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Things we like:

  • Beautiful amber bone finish
  • Easy to sharpen
  • Lightweight
  • Easy to open

Things we don’t like:

  • Tiny bit of blade rub
  • Not the sharpest cut out of the box


Best Karambit Knife

Emerson Combat Karambit

This company was founded in 1996 by Earnest Emerson, who is a custom knifemaker and actually a great martial artist, he has been inducted into the Martial Arts Hall of Fame. I really like their Karambit knives which is a special type of blade resembling a claw that is popular with fighters and the military. If you like this style of knife, Emerson is a great option.

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Things we like:

  • Very sharp blade
  • Ergonomic design
  • Lightweight
  • Great personal defense weapon

Things we don’t like:


Best High-End Pocket Knife

Medford Knife Praetorian G

Medford is a relatively small-scale operation but is handcrafting all their knives and is even doing all of the heat treatment for their steel in-house, which is pretty rare. They source all their steel from American Metal Xchange based in California and have a lot of great options for folding, fixed blade, and automatic knives. They are a bit pricey, but if you want a top notch pocket knife, definitely give them a look. I especially like their Praetorian G, which you can build to your own specifications.

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Things we like:

  • Huge blade
  • Handcrafted
  • Pelican case
  • Easy locking mechanism

Things we don’t like:

Recap: Best Pocket Knives Made in the USA

YouTube Video: How to Find American Made Pocket Knives

Factors We Considered

Blade Quality

After all, what’s a good knife without a quality blade? We looked for a few different things related to quality: the type of steel used, durability/longevity, coating used (if any), the type of blade cut, ability to sharpen the blade, and the size. Each of these characteristics are vital to the success of a good pocket knife. Check out our YouTube video above for a bunch of detail on steel and blade quality, and why American steel is better than Chinese steel and other imports.


Our pocket knife recommendations passed all of our safety quality standards. We want to make sure we’ve giving recommendations that are safe for you and your family. We eliminated several knifes from our consideration that have had a history of being unreliable, opening unexpectedly, or having a variety of other issues.


You can’t do much with your pocket knife without a solid grip (which also has safety implications). We looked for knives that fit well in our hands under several conditions: humid weather, wet grip, and more. We found that not one style of grip led the field for most secure – there were a variety of materials that worked well in our research. Here are some of the most common handle materials we looked at:

  • Stainless steel
  • Aluminum
  • Titanium
  • Carbon fiber
  • FRN (Fiberglass Reinforced Nylon)
  • G-10
  • Bone
  • Wood
  • Mother of Pearl
  • Leather

Opening Ability

A good pocket knife needs to be relatively easy to open, especially with one hand if you only have one available. However, there are some knives that were easy to open and did not pass our test, primarily because their sturdiness was questionable. We looked at several knives that were just too stiff, and thus didn’t make our cut. All of our recommendations passed our opening tests.


We eliminated several pocket knives from contention where we felt like the quality did not live up to the cost. After all, we want to make sure you’re getting the best pocket knife for your money! Common issues we saw with some brands were: lack of significant product warranty, unnecessary features that don’t add valuable functionality, and general lack of durability.

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The 12 Best USA-Made Pocket Knives For Everyday Carry

Though many people think of them as little more than violent weapons, we’re of the mind that knives are tools first. And, in the hands of someone who respects the danger involved, they can be one of the most valuable things you carry with you anywhere. Of course, it helps if the everyday carry knife in your pocket is of good quality.

If you really want to stack the deck in your favor in that regard, you can rarely go wrong with a pocket knife made here in the United States. After all, “USA-made” is often synonymous with “superbly built” — and American craftsmen are keen on continuing that tradition. It is with that in mind, specifically, that we’ve put together the following list of our picks for the 12 best USA-made EDC knives currently on the market. Stay sharp!


Why Buy American?

Dedication to Superb Quality

It would be asinine to suggest that American soil is the only place you can find well-built gear. That doesn’t change in the case of everyday carry knives. In fact, there have been positive strides made all around the EDC and knifemaking worlds and there are tremendous craftspeople all around the planet. Having said that, there are also a lot of reasons you know you can trust American craftsmanship — guarantees that you might not find elsewhere. Below, we’d like to illuminate some of the many reasons you should consider buying a USA-made blade for your next EDC cutting tool.

It’s hard to say which came first in the United States: the quality of craftsmanship or the public perception of it. The truth is, they probably developed simultaneously over time. The real truth is, however, that it doesn’t matter. The fact remains that USA-made goods have a reputation for being well-built and, as a result, that’s what people expect out of them. And American craftspeople are keen to keep that reputation, as it means people will continue to seek out their goods and keep them in business. Thusly, it’s in the best interests of American makers to continue the tradition of well-built goods. It might be a chicken-and-egg situation, but the true origin doesn’t really matter.

As far as labor laws are concerned, the United States has some of the strictest in the world. This ensures that craftspeople are well cared for, paid appropriately, not abused on-the-job, etc. To some, this means that USA-made gear is simply more expensive — but we’d suggest it also means greater quality, oversight, etc. Furthermore, materials are also subject to higher scrutiny on U.S. soil — leaving less room for corner-cutting and, thusly, resulting in a better overall quality tip to toe. Yes, the laws and regulations are rigid, but that means the end result is elevated that much higher. It also encourages craftspeople at the top of their game to seek out employment with U.S. companies. After all, people that craft the best also want to be employed by the (subjective) best.

While it probably shouldn’t be the sole reason to seek out USA-made gear of any kind, national pride can definitely influence a decision — and Americans are often quite full of pride. After all, why wouldn’t you want to support the hardworking people of your country of origin? Americans have a penchant for thinking of their country as the best in the world, so it makes sense to purchase goods that originate within its borders. After all, what’s good for America is often also what’s good for Americans.

SOG-TAC XR Folding Knife

Masterfully blending a pocketable EDC-friendly silhouette with professional-level tactical durability, the SOG-TAC XR Folding Knife is certainly a formidable cutting tool no matter which way you look at it. This particular version is equipped with a cryogenically heat-treated D2 drop point blade, a grippy all-weather G-10 handle, and the brand’s signature ambidextrous XR locking mechanism — which pairs perfectly with the reversible pocket clip. For those with a flair for the tactical, few other USA-made EDC knives can compare at this price point.

Blade: Cryo D2
Handle: G10
Blade Length: 3.39″
Total Length: 8″
Type: Flipper

Purchase: $80

Kershaw Leek Assisted Opening Knife

Ken Onion’s knife designs are a lot like fine wine: they just get better with time. That perhaps goes double for the Kershaw Leek, especially when you take into consideration the version you see before you. Along with its instantly recognizable silhouette, this knife boasts an assisted flipper deployment, a high-end CPM-154 steel modified wharncliffe blade, and eye-catching carbon fiber handle scales. For under $100, we’d suggest that this is one of the best all-around USA-made folding knives you can get at such a low price point.

Blade: CPM-154
Handle: Carbon Fiber
Blade Length: 3″
Total Length: 7″
Type: Assisted Flipper

Purchase: $92

Gerber Fastball Flipper Knife

Why more people aren’t obsessed with the greatness that is the Gerber Fastball is beyond us. Truly, having handled this one ourselves, it is a spectacular USA-made EDC knife any way you flip it. With a sleek, pocket-friendly design, this knife boasts tough and lightweight anodized aluminum handles, a razor-sharp CPM-S30V steel blade, and a reliable liner lock. It might not be very boastful, but it is beautiful in its subtlety and quite formidable at its price point. Back that with a USA-made construction and you can understand our draw to this knife.

Blade: CPM-S30V
Handle: Aluminum
Blade Length: 3″
Total Length: 7.1″
Type: Flipper

Purchase: $100

Benchmade Bugout Knife

While Benchmade’s Griptilian long held the attention of the everyday carry and knife worlds, it’s beginning to look a lot like its dominance has now been usurped by the incredibly popular Bugout. And that is a pretty big deal, as Benchmade has long been amongst the best knifemaking brands out there. Available in a huge number of formats — including a smaller, more discreet mini version — we’ve chosen to focus on the base model. But don’t let that fool you; this is still a formidable option. It boasts a reliable CPM-S30V manually-deployed blade, a lightweight-yet-super-tough Grivory handle, the brand’s signature AXIS locking mechanism, and — of course — a lifetime guarantee. Pick up this knife and you might not want to ever put a different one in your pocket again.

Blade: CPM-S30V
Handle: Grivory
Blade Length: 3.24″
Total Length: 7.46″
Type: Manual

Purchase: $119+

Buck Sprint Pro Knife

Most of those with a familiarity with Buck Knives are probably aware of the brand’s iconic Hunter folding knife. However, we’ve eschewed that one in favor of the more modern Sprint Pro you see here. The reason for that is fairly simple: this knife was designed specifically to be the brand’s most overbuilt EDC blade ever. And they’ve succeeded in that venture with a CPM-S30V steel clip point blade, a stunning and tough marbled carbon fiber handle, a ball-bearing pivot system, and a reliable liner lock. This might not be a knife for purists, but it remains one of Buck’s best all-around everyday carry knives.

Blade: CPM-S30V
Handle: Carbon Fiber
Blade Length: 3.125″
Total Length: 7.5″
Type: Flipper

Purchase: $150

Spyderco Para Military 2 Knife

If you consider yourself an everyday carry enthusiast and the Spyderco Para Military 2 isn’t on your radar, we’ve got some bad news: you’re probably not as well versed as you think you are. Since its initial release, the PM2 has remained one of the most iconic and formidable folding blades ever released and has retained its popularity through the years. While there are many different options, the one you see here has a leaf-shaped CPM-S30V blade (complete with Spyderco’s signature oversized thumb hold), G-10 handle scales, and Spyderco’s unrivaled compression lock — which might be the best all-around lock presently on the market.

Blade: CPM-S30V
Handle: FRN
Blade Length: 3.42″
Total Length: 8.24″
Type: Manual/Tactical

Purchase: $155

Filson Titanium Frame Lock Knife

Filson is perhaps best known for its outdoor apparel and not so much for EDC gear, but that hasn’t stopped them from dipping their toes into the everyday carry world here and there — sometimes to spectacular effect, as can be seen in this exclusive titanium frame lock knife. Yes, that means the sleek handle, along with its frame lock, is made from solid titanium. The subtle flipper clip point blade, however, is built from premium S35VN steel. And, perhaps obviously, the whole thing was made in the USA. But don’t think that this is just an existing knife with a Filson logo slapped on it because it definitely isn’t. This knife was custom-made exclusively for Filson — and it’s a limited-edition, so you’d better hurry if you want one.

Blade: CPM-S35VN
Handle: Titanium
Blade Length: 2.75″
Total Length: 6.5″
Type: Flipper

Purchase: $195

Case XX CG01 Flipper Knife

For the most part, Case is known for their more traditional knives — things like the lauded Trapper and/or the Stockman. However, you might not be aware that they do have a few thoroughly modern options, like the Case XX CG01 Flipper you see here. A fairly big departure from their other styles, this knife is marked by sleek, lightweight aluminum handle scales, a reliable frame lock, a stout and sturdy pocket clip, and a high-end CPM-S35VN steel tanto blade inspired by Japanese swords. It might not look like what Case is known for, but there’s no denying that this USA-made EDC knife is pretty wonderful regardless. And you’d be lucky to slip one into your pocket.

Blade: CPM-S35VN
Handle: Aluminum
Blade Length: 3.37″
Total Length: 8.37″
Type: Flipper

Purchase: $200

Zero Tolerance 0235 Slipjoint Knife

Believe it or not: Zero Tolerance had actually never released a slipjoint before the 0235 you see here. That being said, this Jens Anso-designed beauty was certainly worth the wait and has already become one of our favorite designs in recent memory. For starters, it has a grippy and lightweight carbon fiber handle mated to a stout-yet-useful CPM-20CV steel blade — complete with a nail nick for easier deployment. Furthermore, the blade is kept safe in the closed position by a pair of detent balls, the pocket clip allows for deep carry, and there’s even a lanyard hole — should you want to attach some paracord and/or beads. For discreet carry, this is a pretty tough knife to beat.

Blade: CPM-20CV
Handle: Carbon Fiber
Blade Length: 2.6″
Total Length: 6.3″
Type: Slipjoint

Purchase: $225

Emerson Knives Bullshark Auto

California has some of the strictest regulations regarding automatic knives in the world. However, Emerson Knives has masterfully sidestepped them to create this stunning and stout Bullshark automatic knife that is 100% legal to carry in California. Of course, even without that goal in mind, this would be a spectacular USA-made everyday carry knife thanks to its unique silhouette, 5.3-inch total length, 1.9″ 154 CM steel blade, and the list just keeps going. If you have always dreamed of owning an automatic knife but you’re wary of the legal restrictions, this is one of the absolute best workarounds. Of course, even if legality isn’t a concern, this is a spectacular knife.

Blade: 154CM
Handle: Aluminum
Blade Length: 1.9″
Total Length: 5.3″
Type: Automatic

Purchase: $280

DPx HEST/F Urban Ti Knife

Designed by all-around badass Robert Young Pelton — who has lived through more battles than he’d probably care to count as a war journalist — the DPx HEST/F Urban Ti is a remarkably hardcore tactical folder pared down into a pocketable EDC format. To be more specific, the knife weighs just 4.25 ounces, measures up at 6.7″ overall, and still manages to be loaded from tip to tail with an incredible number of high-end features and materials. That includes a full titanium handle with a remarkably sturdy frame lock, a CPM-S35VN drop point blade, an integrated bottle opener, a glass-breaker tail, and a hex wrench. All told, this incredibly formidable folder might just be the definition of “tiny but mighty.” At the very least, it packs a punch that you can depend on for years and years and years.

Blade: CPM-S35VN
Handle: Titanium
Blade Length: 2.9″
Total Length: 6.7″
Type: Tactical

Purchase: $375

Chris Reeve Sebenza 31 Knife

There is a very good reason that the Chris Reeve Sebenza has been one of the most lauded and sought-after pocket knives ever built. Actually, there are numerous reasons — many of which have been carried over and improved upon for the latest update, the Sebenza 31. The standard edition (meaning the version without any additional upgrades, like onlays) comes with a titanium handle, CPM-S35VN drop point blade, an off-set pocket clip, and the legendary Reeve Integral Lock — which is perhaps the best version of a traditional frame lock we’ve ever seen and has been emulated many times but never truly replicated. It’s also available in large or small versions — so you can pick your poison — and, as mentioned, there are five other available upgraded editions, including one with absolutely drop-dead gorgeous Macassar Ebony wood.

Blade: CPM-S35VN
Handle: Titanium
Blade Length: 2.99″/3.61″
Total Length: 6.98″/8.4″
Type: Manual

Purchase: $375+

The 12 Best EDC Knives Under $50

You don’t have to spend an arm and a leg to get a solid everyday carry cutting tool. In fact, if you take a gander at our list of the best EDC knives under $50, you’ll realize you can find carry-worthy quality for much less than you might think.

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AMERICAN MADE! Fixed Blade Knives Made in the U.S.A. - Knife Banter S2 (Ep 36)

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AMERICAN MADE! Fixed Blade Knives Made in the U.S.A. - Knife Banter S2 (Ep 36)

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