You going to learn how to stretch a limited budget out by taking a look at some of our favorite picks for the best pocket knife under 50. We want to help you get value for your money without compromising on performance and quality. With our guide, you’ll build a good sense of the kind of value you can expect across different price points, and get a feel for what kind of pocket knife best suits your needs and style. Let’s jump in!
Top 7 Best Pocket Knife Under 50 Reviews in 2023
We’ve chosen 7 pocket knives that have a fantastic balance between performance, quality, price, durability, user-friendliness, and much more. We’ve done this so that you don’t have to. There’s a ridiculous number of budget pocket knives out there, and frankly, most of them miss the mark.
You’ll find what stands out about each knife, how it suits you, and why it’s worth your attention. We give you realistic expectations by going through what we did and didn’t like about each of the options. With that said, let’s dive into our best budget pocket knife reviews!
Kershaw Brawler Folding Pocket Knife
Here’s a sleek and attractive pocket knife for hunting and the outdoors. The blade is coated for corrosion resistance and the handle is textured to by effective for all-weather use. You can quickly flip out the blade with the handy and well-placed thumb stud. It deploys smoothly and consistently enough to have you doing it by muscle memory in no time.
The 8CR13 steel is incredibly robust and can hold a very sharp edge without being too brittle or chipping. It tapers off at quite a sharp angle near the tip to give you excellent piercing power, just what you want in an outdoor utility and hunting blade. You’ll love the overall weight and balance of the knife.
It has just enough heft to feel premium while still being lightweight and compact enough to slip into your pocket unnoticed. Although the handle has been ergonomically designed, it’s better suited to right-handed use. It’ll fit the natural contours of your hand well and give you all the grip strength and control you’d need. Overall, it’s one of the more reliable outdoor picks for the best pocket knife under 50 range.
- Very durable and resistant material build
- Textured ergonomic handle
- Very sharp cutting edge without being brittle
- Thumb ridge on the spine of the blade helps you cut more easily
- Black finish tends to be scratched off over time
- Edge retention could be better
Buck Knives 110 Folding Hunter Knife
These knives are well-renowned among pocket knife users and no review would be complete without at least one of them. Buck knives make some of the best and most efficient use of 420HC steel. They somehow manage to get better edge retention and sharpness that most other brands that use the same steel.
You’ll have a respectable 3.75” blade that leads to a clip-point tip. It’s exceptionally sturdy (the tip) and can easily handle piercing and rougher utility work. We’re not big fans of nail notch opening blade, but we have to make an exception here. It’s easy to enough flesh or nail under the notch to quickly and consistently release the blade.
The release action is smooth and snappy. You can easily open and close the knife one-handed – giving you a functional knife for workmen and general on-the-job utility. In its folded position, it’s compact and easy to carry. Despite packing a larger blade and having a sturdy handle, the knife is pretty lightweight.
It uses a back locking mechanism that’s super-safe, though you’ll need to build up some muscle memory if you want to quickly close pocket knife one-handed. Overall, it’s a stable and reliable pick for the best cheap pocket knife with a taste of premium performance and consistency.
- Very sharp cutting edge and tip
- Fantastic edge retention
- One-handed opening is easy
- Simple to clean and maintain
- Nail notch is a slight letdown
- Back lock in a little slow and unintuitive
Kershaw Cryo II Pocket Knife
Using the same 8CR13 steel as the above knife, this has more of a rugged appeal. You’re getting a stealthy black wash finish that doesn’t draw too much attention to the knife. You’re not going to send people running in all directions when you pull this out in the office to pop open a box.
The 3.25” blade gives you plenty to work with – though you should check your local laws if you plan to use this knife as a daily carry. It features excellent edge retention and corrosion resistance while still being quite easy to maintain and sharpen. The slightly lowered and elongated tip give you respectable piercing power that suits general utility work.
This Kershaw knife deploys the blade using a Speed Safe assisted opening. While this isn’t for everybody, it works exceptionally well here. The action is smooth, responsive, and reliable. You can use it exclusively with one hand without any major difficulties. Overall, it’s sleek, rugged, and subtle – a top-rated best pocket knife under 50.
- Excellent for the outdoors
- Great edge retention
- Low-key and rugged finish
- Snappy assisted-opening
- Not the easiest knife to keep clean
- Handle isn’t very ergonomically designed
Ontario Knife Company Rat I Pocket Knife
Here’s a brilliant knife that’s perfect if you’re looking for something simple and easy to use. There are no unnecessary features and the minimalistic design is sleek and robust. At 3.5”, the blade is capable outdoors and around the house/office. When it’s opened up, you’ll have a well-balanced knife that has plenty of cutting power and textured grip to stop accidental slips.
You’ll find this knife to be reliable enough for daily use and functional enough to cover pretty much all basic utility work. With a lightweight profile, you’ll have no trouble carrying around in your pocket. It’s not going to get in the way or feel weighty on a belt. We love simple blades like this.
There no coating you have to worry about scratching off. The tip is strong and the blade is extremely sharp. There’s a thumb-ridge on the spine of the blade. It’s right behind the thumb stud and sits in the perfect spot to help you get a better grip for more accurate cutting. It’s not rough on your thumb either.
- Simple and sleek profile with excellent cutting power
- Very resistant steel
- Fantastic edge retention and a strong tip
- Textured and ergonomic handle
- Handle is hard to keep clean
- Opening and closing action is a little on the slow side
Opinel Carbon Steel Folding Pocket Knife
To kick it off here’s possibly the most famous of all pocket knives. They date back a fair bit and stand out as rather unique in the pocket knife industry. Unlike most folding knives, Opinel knives are locked by a sliding ring that you move up and down with your hand. It’s crafted into 2-sections where one is fixed and the other slides to meet it.
It’s an incredibly secure lockup, but relatively slow by today’s standards. This knife has lasted the test of time and has been tuned and changed for the better for over a century. It’s made with exquisite attention to detail despite its low cost. Opinel makes excellent use of high-carbon steel.
It’s super-hard and durable while offering you a cutting edge that’s surprisingly resistant to chipping and corrosion. You can sharpen it to a wicked edge that holds well enough to be viable as an EDC or utility knife. The handle is gently contoured to help it fit different hand sizes easily, so you’ll be able to get a firm and comfortable grip.
You’ll love the broader base as stops your hand from sliding down too much. This is amplified further by the non-slip texture of the Birchwood handle. Not only is it stunning, but it’s durable and robust – giving you longevity and a knife you’ll keep around for years. This Opinel knife is one of our all-time favorite picks for the budget Friendly best pocket knife under 50.
- Excellent balance between performance and durability
- Well-balanced and compact
- Exceptionally sharp cutting edge with good retention
- Very secure blade lock up
- Difficult to keep the locking rings clean
- Harder steel tends to scuff and scratch quite easily
SOG Flash II Serrated Tanto Pocket Knife
With AUS-8 stainless steel, this SOG knife is built to last. It has edge retention that competes with far more expensive pocket knives, while not being too brittle. The piston lock is fabulous and does a superb job at keeping the blade locked and steady, with very little wiggle room. This is the kind of reliability you want from an EDC knife.
It’s designed to be opened and closed one-handed in one quick, smooth, and effortless motion. You can also use the thumb stud for a manual opening if you’re that way inclined. The pocket clip is reversible (which we love) and suits ambidextrous mounts and carrying. It’s a very subtle knife with a dark, sleek profile.
You’ll find the slim and compact body very portable, while still packing a versatile and capable blade. You’re getting cutting power that rivals pocket knives that cost twice as much as this one does. Considering the durability and performance, this is a hard option to shrug off.
The handle is one of the most comfortable in this price range, with a toothed finger pad running along the inside edge of the handle. It enhances your grip and gives you all the control you’d need. Overall, this is a heavy-duty best pocket knife under 50 you’re going to want to pay attention to.
- Excellent material build quality and design
- Rugged and robust serrated cutting portion
- Comfortable, grippy, ergonomic handle
- Tip is sturdy and has impressive piercing power
- Black finish scratches off over time
- Thumb stud isn’t always easy to catch
CRKT Swindle EDC Folding Pocket Knife
This CRKT knife uses quite a unique opening mechanism. This IKBS Ball Bearing System isn’t very common – though it works very smoothly on this knife. The deployment is rapid and smooth. This award-winning innovative design fits comfortably into the minimalistic and sleek body.
It’s got a non-slip texture and shaped to follow the natural shape of your hand. You’ll find it’s exceptionally easy to work with, especially if you’re handling precision cutting tasks. You’ll love the tensioned pocket clip. It’s got just the right balance between tightness and functionality.
You can mount it to your belt in a single motion. It’s these small efficiencies that come together to bring you fantastic value for money. The steel is resistant and durable enough to be relied on daily. You’ll find spotting dirt is easy and sharpening/maintaining the blade doesn’t need much effort.
The thumb stud is in just the right spot and the blade is secured by an excellent back lock with a release switch that’s easy to reach. You’re getting one of the best quality pocket knife options for the money.
- Sleek and attractive design
- Shaped to fit different hand sizes
- Unique and ultra-smooth pivot
- Blade comes razor sharp
- Edge retention could be better
- Takes a while to get used to
Make the Best Choice for You
The result of a shopping spree is a priceless feeling, but only after having been through a grueling few hours of walking up and down a shop to find what you’re looking for. Imagine if someone could go to a shop for you, find precisely what you want, and then send it to you, on that for a great price too.
So that’s kind of what we’ve done, we’ve collected all the information you need, all you have to do is make a decision. Here are a couple of points to help you make the right choice:
Type of Steel
If a knife is made from low-quality steel, it’ll likely end up rusting, making it unable to use. It will also be quite prone to chipping or denting without merit. Good quality steel like VG-10 or AUS-8 is perfect for pocket knives.
VG-10 has a high hardness rating, meaning that the blade will stay sharp for a very long time. AUS-8 is slightly less hard, making the edge retention somewhat less prominent. However, the corrosion resistance factor is increased, making it very hard to stain and rust.
One of the most critical parts is their variety of different functions when it comes to pocket knives. It serves as a huge advantage to have multiple tools or even just a couple of different types of blades. The only downside to a multi-purpose knife is the difficulty of keeping it clean.
A fully automatic or an assisted spring locking mechanism is an excellent asset to consider when looking for a pocket knife. It makes life so much easier when you only have one hand accessible.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Q: What Type of Blade Shape Is the Best?
A: There are a couple of different types, the most popular are clip point, drop point and spear point. A top-of-the-range pocket knife might have all three and more, but if you could only choose one, you might want to go for a clip-point style. Clip point blades are more versatile and often come with a small section that is partially serrated, giving the knife more functionality.
Q: What Type of Knife Handle Should I Get?
A: This might depend on what type of knife you’ll get yourself. If you are getting a single blade, then a carbon fiber or fiberglass handle will be ideal. If you’re getting a multitool version, you would maybe want to go for something like micarta or nylon polymers.
Q: What Is a Frame Lock?
A: This locking feature holds the blade in place once opened by a portion of the handle frame moving into position directly behind the edge. It offers a lot of support to the blade and is very reliable. To close: move the frame’s piece, locking the blade in place against the side of the handle, and the blade will be free to complete.
We’ve covered some of the best budget pocket knives on the market and you should have a clear sense of the value you can expect at different price points. Choosing a pocket knife can be challenging given the sheer number of choices you’re bombarded with.
Feel free to jump back over to any of the reviews and take another look at the knives. Remember that it’s essential you keep your needs in mind if you want to get the best possible value for your money. Getting the best pocket knife under 50 is all about value and you’re on the right path to getting the knife for you!