Knives are an ancient type of tool and though they’ve gone through a lot of evolution across time, their utility remains undeniable even today. Can you imagine going a day without making the use of at least one kind of knife? I bet you can’t, because from kitchen to office to classroom, we use knives everywhere.
And talking about utility, there’s none as handy as a folding knife. I’ve been asked a lot about the best folding knives under 100 $, so that’s what I’m going to talk about today. Despite their superb practicality, folding knives are amazingly inexpensive. As such, it’s actually easy to locate high-quality best folding knives under 100 $.
Top 7 Best Folding Knives Under 100 Review in 2023
While we’ve already established that I’m only going to talk about knives below the 100 $ mark, it doesn’t hurt to compare prices even in this range. Additionally, my list will also feature knives that excel in performance, build, aesthetics and durability.
Gerber Paraframe Mini Knife
This knife is mind bogglingly inexpensive and easily the best cheap folding knife that I’ve come across. That doesn’t mean this knife lacks in performance. On the contrary, it has some amazing features that would catch the eyes of any knife-enthusiast.
First of all, this Gerber knife has a very elegant, aesthetically pleasing open frame design. The design also makes sure the knife is so light, you wouldn’t even feel it in your pocket. I’d say it’s one of the best folding knives under 100 $ anyone can have.
- Inexpensive choice
- Very sharp
- Good grip
- Opening mechanism could be better
Smith & Wesson Assisted Folding Knife
If you’re looking for the folding survival knife, this Smith & Wesson beast is your best bet. You can tell right away from the uber-masculine design this is a reliable knife. The gorgeous yet subtle blade is composed of high carbon stainless steel, promising a smooth cutting action.
The rubber-inlaid aluminum handle completes the package. Some people prefer lightweight pocket knives that wouldn’t be a dead-weight in their pockets. However, I myself prefer something that would feel nice and heavy in my palm and this knife is a good choice in that case.
- Feels heavy and solid in your grip
- M.A.G.I.C. assisted opening
- Serrated edge
- Comes with a safety switch for spring assist
- The clip tends to scratch
CRKT Squid Folding Pocket Knife
I really do not need to remind you that CRKT makes the top rated folding knives within a reasonable price range, and the Squid is a great one you can pick. The black stonewashed blade has a rustic and understated look. It’s small, but it will take care of whatever cutting work you throw at it and in my opinion, that’s the best one can hope for.
Looking at it, one might be worried about its grip, as the handle is all metal and doesn’t have much or a texture or grooves. However, in practice it’s not a cause of concern and the plain handle actually makes it more unobtrusive for daily use and carrying purpose.
- Small but tough
- Simple aesthetics
- Easy to maintain
- Opening takes a little while to get used to
Kershaw Blur Black Pocket Knife
The biggest advantage of a folding knife is that you can carry it anywhere, and in my opinion this Kershaw beauty takes the place of the best edc folding knife in my list. You’ll be carrying and using a folding knife daily, so it better be low-maintenance or you’ll get irritated fast.
This Kershaw knife is amazing in that department as it doesn’t require sharpening very often. Even when you need to sharpen it, the chore isn’t complicated as there aren’t any serrated or unusually curved edges. So if you like low-maintenance knives, this is the best folding knives under 100 for you.
- Lower visibility
- Textured grip
- Agile opening action
- Easy maintenance
- Thumb studs tend to catch on fabric
Ontario Rat-1 Folding Knife
This is easily my choice of the best tactical folding knife among all that I have reviewed. For its size, it’s a really light and sturdy folding knife. I really like that the black coating is tenacious, stays on for a while no matter how rigorously you use this blade.
The drop point, plain edged blade is a user favorite, and many are at awe about the amazing quality for such a cheap price. It stays sharp for a long time, and can be sharpened without much hassle thanks to the uncomplicated design. What I like the most about this blade is that the tip, though thin, holds up against a lot of abuse and is nearly impossible to break.
- Great value for money
- Understated, matte black look
- Secure pocket clip
- Cuts well despite being lightweight
- The handle tends to slip sometimes
KATSU Handmade Folding Knife
Oftentimes I’m looking for quality folding knives to give someone as a gift, and this Katsu number cannot be beaten in that department. It’s got a great bamboo style grip, a non-nonsense sharp edge, and comes in a nice little bag. Right out of the box, this knife is sharp enough to cut your fingers off so be careful! The stylish handle also offers great grip that you usually wouldn’t find in a knife this cheap.
- Unusually aesthetic
- Good value for money
- Solid, heavy blade
- Made of tough steel
- Not as useful for left-handed people
Buck QuickFire Folding Knife
If you’re like me and are partial to blades that can be opened with one hand, you’ll agree that this is the best folding pocket knife in the market. The opening is also ambidextrous, and the design is very modern. Understated, it is not, but if you want to show off your latest acquisition as a knife hoarded, you can’t go wrong with the QuickFire!
- Made in the USA
- Very fast opening action
- Great edge retention
- Convenient pocket clip
- The blade is a little too small
Pick The Best Folding Knife for Yourself
When you get a really good quality folding knife, you’d definitely want to use it frequently in everyday chores. The best folding knife under 100 $ will assist you in gardening, opening packages, little household chores even.
Important Features to Consider
Size: Folding knives are naturally small, and under 100 $ these tend to be even smaller. Consider what you’d be using the knife for. Pick the knife that has the length of blade you need.
Weight: If you want to just forget the knife is in your pocket, I’ve listed some lightweight options above. However, if you like the feel of a comfortably heavy blade, the Smith & Wesson Assisted Folding Knife would be a nice choice.
Blade and handle material: If your knife will be handling heavy tasks, definitely pick a sturdy blade, preferably made of a high carbon steel. On the other hand, if there’s a possibility that you’d be using the knife with sweaty or wet hands, pick one with a good textured grip,
Carrying ease: The knife you like, does it come with an efficient pocket clip? Can you change the clip from one side to another? Additionally, you should also check if the knife looks noticeable or subtle. People tend to get alarmed when you walk around with a knife clipped to your belt, no matter how small. Beautiful yet understated blades such as the Kershaw Blur Black would be ideal in that case.
Ease of maintenance: Since you’re buying this knife cheap, you’ll probably not think too much on maintenance. However, it’ll get dull faster the more you use it, and you’ll probably want to sharpen it at home to reduce hassle. I’d suggest you pick one that has a simple edge that makes sharpening easier.
Opening action: The best folding knife under 100 $ would come with a swift opening mechanism. You can either go with a traditional type you’re more accustomed to, or you could decide to try a new, innovative type as it wouldn’t really cost a lot.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Q: Are Folding Blades Stronger Than Fixed Blades?
A: Folding blades are more convenient than fixed blades, but they are not as strong. Fixed blades have no joins and screws that allow movement, so it’s less likely to break. Folding knives are still powerful and are much easier to carry around.
Q: How Do I Clean My Folding Knife?
A: It is quite a mission to maintain a folding knife, mainly if you use it a lot outdoors. You might find it easiest to use a toothpick and toothbrush to get into those tight spaces, don’t use a stiff bristle brush like steel wool because it might scratch the blade. Don’t put your knife in a dishwasher unless you’re sure that it’s dishwasher safe. Otherwise, do it by hand and ensure that it is properly dry before putting it away.
Q: What Is a Good Handle Made From?
A: A strong handle should have several good properties that collectively make it sturdy. There are several screws that you want to insist on checking to make sure they are stainless steel; otherwise, they’ll rust like crazy. The best material would probably be a titanium handle with a diamond lace grip pattern, but others like carbon fiber, micarta, or fiberglass are incredibly durable as well.
Q: What Type of Opening Mechanism Is the Safest?
A: A partially automatic mechanism might be the safest. The reason is that it has to be manually opened 20% percent of the way before the automatic spring engages. So it’s improbable that the knife will accidentally open. Automatic knives work off of a button or switch to open, and this can sometimes get bumped and trigger the spring by mistake. Although this rarely happens.
Your best friend in the kitchen could be a shiny chef’s knife, while for gardening you could prefer a rugged machete. At the end of the day though, you cannot take the chef’s knife outdoors, or bring the machete in. That’s where you need the best folding knife under 100 $, you can use it everyday, everywhere!
In my blog post, I have shown you the best folding knives that are well within your budget and are also of admirable quality. Have you found your next folding knife from my selection? Comment and let me know!