TOP GEAR PICKS

Best Folding Knife: An Essential Part of Your Camping Gear

man holding a folding knife
Henry Silva
Written by Henry Silva

Folding knife is an essential tool for every survivalist. If you are a hiker or a camper you should always have at least one folding knife with you. If it fits in the group “Best folding knife” then it will not only be used for cutting, but also in tasks like fishing, hunting, setting your tent in emergency situations and protection when needed.

These tools really come handy when you are in the outdoors hiking or camping. The best feature of a folding knife, as the name indicates is that you can fold it and place it in your pocket at any time.

They are very small in size because of the folding feature, thus take very little space. Keep the knife sharp and maintained to get the best results. So, to brief you on how to choose, maintain and use your ideal folding knife here are a few tips.

Product NameDimensionsWeightBlade LenghtPrice
Chris Reeve Sebenza 218.35 x 2.44 x 0.12 inches3 oz3.75 inchesCheck price on Amazon
Guardian Tactical Helix DeltrixUnlisted5.7 oz3.75 inchesCheck price on Amazon
Spyderco C187CFP Rubicon7.4 x 1.5 x 0.5 inches6.4 oz3.04 inchesCheck price on Amazon
Boker Mokume DamascusUnlisted4.3 oz3.12 inchesCheck price on Amazon
Spyderco Assist Black Blade6.5 x 2.5 x 1 inches4 oz3.7 inchesCheck price on Amazon
Cold Steel Recon 1 Spear Point9.5 x 1.5 x 1 inches9.8 oz4 inchesCheck price on Amazon
SOG TAC Mini ST-12UnlistedUnlisted3 inchesCheck price on Amazon
Boker Magnum Fire Chief1 x 2 x 2 inches10 oz4.5 inchesCheck price on Amazon

Most Important Features to Consider

Even when you buy a dress, shoes or a bag you first check their design, size, color and material. Same way when you buy a folding knife, there are a few things you need to consider before choosing one. If you are new to this thing, then you may end up buying the wrong product, but don’t worry, you just need to check these features before buying.

Design

The design element of a folding knife is very important because if the design isn’t right then you can face difficulties in operating it. A perfectly designed knife is similar to the extension of your hand. The key safety characteristic is its blade locking system. The easy grip is provided by the anti-slip and textured handle.

Handle

The best kind of knife is the one that provides strong grip even in sweaty hands. Handles that are made of plastic provides firm grip because the plastic absorbs moisture quickly.

Another one that gives smooth texture is made of Titanium, which turns a simple knife into a great multitasker. The only downside of it is the expensive price.

Blade

The blade is the most important feature of a knife. A folding knife without a sharp blade is actually of no use, and that goes for any kind of knife for that matter. The material with which the blade is made of should be tough, solid, corrosion-free, wear resistant, and stainless.

The best producers use the best quality blade in their products. The good quality blade should be sharpened with ease. The ideal sized blade measures 3-5 inches, while the performance of the knife depends on the quality of the blade, so always make sure that the blade is razor sharp before buying a knife.

Top Product Reviews

Below we listed some of the best scopes you can find on the market right now. We checked their features and reviewed their pros and cons so you can make an informed decision.

Chris Reeve Sebenza 21Chris Reeve Sebenza 21

Price: $350 – $410

Dimensions: 8.35 x 2.44 x 0.12 inches

Weight: 85 g

Blade length: 3.175 mm

Color: Plain

Specific features: Overall length is 175mm, titanium handle, comes with titanium pocket clip, titanium thumblug, right handed, and handle thickness is 3.175 mm

Best use: Camping, backpacking, emergency situations, home use

Description: The Chris Reeve Sebenza 21, is for the right-handed, and the price is quite expensive because its handle is made of Titanium. It comes with a Titanium pocket clip so you can attach it to your pocket firmly without worrying about losing it.

The knife is made of a high-quality material to ensure the durability of the product.  The blade is 3.175mm thick and 75mm long, so it’s properly thick and reasonably long. On the whole, this knife is a good investment because it caters almost all your needs. The extra small size makes it easy to carry around.

It’s a simple knife, has no frills and so impeccably crafted that you just can’t help but marvel at the design. Despite being so pricey, users agree that it’s worth the cost and perfect as a gift to a loved one or just for own use.

Moreover, there are users who have questioned the authenticity of the knife. Manufacturers were quick to point out that a real Chris Reeve will always come with a certification card, which you should always check after purchase.

PROS:

  • Simple but beautiful design
  • Has no frills
  • Comes with a titanium pocket clip for easier carrying

CONS:

  • Quite expensive

Related: When camping and you need to use your Chris Reeve at night, you will need a good flashlight to give you the light you need as you handle the knife to avoid any accidents. This Sure Fire Keychain with flashlight is just what you need.

Check the price on Amazon

Guardian Tactical Helix DeltrixGuardian Tactical Helix Deltrix

Price: Approx. $300

Blade length: 3.75 inches

Weight: 5.7 oz

Specific features: Stainless steel blade, cutting edge is 3.75’, g10 handle, two-tone black satin-finish blade, 16 ball bearing system to ensure solid lockup and zero side to side play, Manual folder

Best use: Camping, backpacking, home use, emergencies

Description: The Guardian Tactical Helix Deltrix price’s range is from $230 to $300 approx. depending on where you buy it from. This knife comes with a satin finish blade. The knife has a 16 ball bearing system so you can easily lock and there is no chance of side to side play.

The knife has advanced folding design, and a manual folder, accompanied by a beefy blade which is designed to hold an edge. The thickness of the handle is 0.58’ and the length is 5.0’. It has no additional characteristics, but you are choosing excellence and durability with this knife.

The cutting edge and stainless steel blade enable you to cut ropes and strong materials easily that will be very useful when camping or setting up your own shelter.

Users love the super smooth finish on the knife that makes it comfortable to use. Its beautiful design and above all, the detent which is just perfect.  Some have, however, pointed out that the handle might just be a bit too thick and the blade shorter than other similar products in the market.

PROS:

  • Highly durable
  • Advanced folded design
  • Sharp blade2

CONS:

  • Thick handle that feels uncomfortable
  • Short blade

Related: To ensure your knife is always in a good condition and to minimize all knife related accidents, why not store your Guardian Tactical helix in this awesome Tactical Sheath? It’s a high quality sheath made of a nylon fabric, with already taped, stitched and riveted edges. What’s more? It comes equipped with molle straps which are double stitched and will secure your knife safely to the sheath.

Check the price on Amazon

Spyderco C187CFP RubiconSpyderco C187CFP Rubicon

Price: Approx. $270

Dimensions: 7.4 x 1.5 x 0.5 inches

Weight: 6.4 oz

Color: Orange

Blade length: 3.04 inches

Specific features: One hand opening, the folder has serration, easily folded and unfolded, comes with a clip for attachment with pocket

Best use: EDC, camping, emergency situations

Description: The unique design of this knife makes it stand out from the other products available in the market. Spyderco is famous for their recognizable designs and high-performance knives. Spyderco C187CFP Rubicon is made of high-quality material and is tested to ensure the durability and quality.

The price range is from $270 to $500 approximately, and depends on where you buy it from. This knife’s high quality, reliable and trustworthy cutting tool is made for high performance and your comfort. It comes with a clip to carry it safely when you are outdoors camping or hiking.

It does not come with a carrying pouch, but this should not discourage you from purchasing. You will love the blade length and thickness, which is just perfect for all your cutting needs. The knife is also light which makes it super easy to use.

One of its major flaws is the handle length, which most users are quick to point out that it’s quite short. The jimping on the spine is also slippery and a bit large which can easily frustrate you when using the knife. Additionally, the blade curves and edges are too steep and may not be ideal for slicing.

The price is on the higher side, but the design and the durability, makes buying this knife totally worth it.

PROS:

  • Beautiful design
  • Highly durable
  • Sharp and thick blades

CONS:

  • Short handle
  • The spine is a bit slippery
  • Blade curves and edges are stiff

Related: This Tuf-Glide is the lubricant you should be purchasing next after your knife to protect the blades against rust, friction and general wear. It goes for about $8.50, and comes with a Tuf cloth that you can use to apply the lubricant on the knife.

Check the price on Amazon

Boker Mokume DamascusBoker Mokume Damascus

Price: Approx. $370

Blade length: 3.125 inches

Weight: 4.3 oz

Specific features: Comes in a wooden box with an authenticity certificate, Made from exotic Imbuia wood, Bolsters made of Japanese Mokume, Offers limited lifetime warranty, Blocking mechanism for security purpose, Wood handle

Best use: EDC, camping, emergency situations

Description: The Boker Mokume Damascus has 3 inches Stainless Steel Blade. With the price of about $370, it gives you a unique design and quality performance both in one product. The handle is wood made and the knife comes in a wooden collector’s box with an authenticity certificate.

150 layer stainless “typhoon pattern” Damascus showing a really fine structure is a result of a delicate forging process. This knife has a back locking mechanism to ensure security. The product is a mixture of innovation, quality, and exceptional design. Another noteworthy feature is that this knife is handmade.

It not only just cuts it makes a mark. If you are into traditional, wooden and handmade knives, then this product is definitely for you. Such a beautiful knife, with excellent craftsmanship that has been well put together and equally sharp blades to match.

Most users agree that it gave them a great value of their money because it lives up to expectations. You will love the packaging and the pouch it comes along with for better storage of the knife, which also ensures it remains durable for a long period of time.

PROS:

  • Beautiful design
  • Comes with a pouch for storage
  • Sharp blades

CONS:

  • Costly
  • You may find the blade length to be a bit short

Related: To always maintain the sharpness of your blades, try out this Multi-functional Sharpener by Smiths, with reversible and replaceable carbide blades and ceramic stones that gives it an extended sharpening life.

Check the price on Amazon

Spyderco Assist Black BladeSpyderco Assist Black Blade

Price: Approx. $110

Dimensions: 6.5 x 2.5 x 1 inches

Weight: 4 oz

Blade length: 3.7 inches

Specific features:  VG 10 patented blunt tipped blade, Plain Edge for detailed cutting, blade has a wavy pattern to cut ropes, Left/right handed, FRN handle, designed to be wrapped around your hand, retractable carbide tip extended from base to cut glass, survival whistle, comes with limited manufacturer’s warranty, heavy duty, measures 4.875 inches when folded and 8.375 inches when unfolded, VG 10 steel blade, Blade thickness is 0.125 inches

Best use: Emergency situations, camping, EDC, boating

Description: Spyderco Assist Black Blade is another Spyderco knife, with the fairly low price of $110, which makes it affordable. If you are thinking that low price means low quality, don’t be confused because this knife has the quality and durability both.

Made by using the highest quality material and being tested for durability and quality makes it a good investment. This is an emergency knife designed to be used by rescue teams and also civilians who can trust this knife to perform in high-pressure situations.

Another unique feature of this knife is that its handle was designed by a Swedish firefighter. This knife is a real asset for a survivalist. This knife is named Assist because of its main function, that is, to assist during an emergency situation.

When the knife is folded you squeeze the handle which causes a retractable carbide tip extending from the base that is used to break the glass. The knife also has a survival whistle embedded in safety orange next to the spine of the handle.

Keep in mind that this knife is waterproof, and you can use it in wet conditions. However, prolonged contact of the blade with water leads to rusting, which ultimately reduces the effectiveness of the knife.

Users love that they can use it to cut through even the toughest of fabrics. Apart from that, they love the price and the glass breaker which always stays in place unless when needed. Another nifty tool is the whistle which comes in handy during emergency and rescue situations.

PROS:

  • Affordable when compared with similar knives
  • Perfect for emergency and rescue operations
  • Can be used in wet conditions

CONS:

  • Carbide tip may keep rattling even when not engaged
  • Blade rusts when subjected to water for a prolonged period
  • Users must wear gloves

Related: How about purchasing a knife lanyard for your Spyderco Assist knife? This 550 Paracord Lanyard Zipper  is just perfect to help you carry your knife with ease. It goes for about $6. The zipper is 7 inches in length and has about ten feet of usable cord. It’s perfect for all your zipper applications, but may not be the best fit for pocket knives.

Check the price on Amazon

Cold Steel Recon 1 Spear PointCold Steel Recon 1 Spear Point

Price: Approx. $82

Dimensions: 9.5 x 1.5 x 1 inches

Weight: 9.8 oz

Blade length: 4 inches

Color: plain

Specific features:  Blade thickness is 3.5 mm, G10 Handle is 5 3/8” long, steel blade, comes with a pocket clip for easy carrying, Tri-ad lock, easily foldable

Best use: EDC, emergency, fire and rescue situations, military use

Description: This is another bestselling product available in the market. The price is from about $81 to $88 which is quite low, thus affordable. The Cold Steel Recon 1 Spear Point, with a tough and dependable blade, is a good investment. Its sharp blade and G10 handle makes it effective, durable and strong.

This knife is a cold steel classic which is lightweight, thin and razor sharp, so very easy to carry around when you are out camping or hiking. This folding knife has a Tri-ad lock to keep your fingers safe from any cut when you are using the knife.

There are no serrations on the blade unlike some others we reviewed. The blade is made of steel for long durability and better resistance. The blade has a strong tip, which you can easily use for semi-delicate tasks. It will give you a good balance between having a delicate tip and a heavy tip, which allows you to use it for most of your tasks, including slicing.

One major flaw to this blade is that it may come with uneven sharpness, with one side being more ground than the other. If this is the case, you can just sharpen both sides well to attain the same level of sharpness.

You will also love that the blade is coated with DLC and therefore doesn’t damage easily. Moreover, the handles have been designed to be super strong and rigid, while still maintaining their lightweight nature.

PROS:

  • Sharp blades
  • Strong and rigid handle
  • Highly durable material that’s not easily damaged
  • Great price

CONS:

  • The knife is heavy and cannot be easily concealed
  • Not very comfortable to use
  • No added features like a glass breaker

Related: For sharper blades and an overall great knife, why not use this fantastic TriAngle Sharpener from Spyderco? The sharpener is made only from the highest quality materials in the market, and has been tested for quality and durability. It’s designed with 2 sets of high alumina ceramic stones to allow you sharpen all the plain, and flat edges of your knife blade.

Check the price on Amazon

SOG TAC Mini ST-12SOG TAC Mini ST-12

Price: Approx. $100

Blade length: 3 inches

Specific features:  Tactical mini knife, comes with a clipper, contoured handle for comfortable grip, simple to open, easily foldable, steel blade, aluminum handle, slim design and compact version

Best use: EDC, camping, hiking

Description: This SOG TAC Mini ST-12 is one of their special products with some changes made to separate it from other products. The price of the product is approximately $100, which is quite reasonable.

The awesome design and compact size make it efficient enough. Steel blade ensures the sharpness and Anodized Aluminum handle enables a firm grip.

Blade length is 3” and the overall length is almost doubled. The knife features a safety which locks the blade in opened or closed position. It comes with a pocket clip for easy carrying and the crosshair in the center of handle glows in the dark.

The distinctive feature of its cross handle glowing in the dark makes it trustworthy in situations where you need emergency light.

Users love the great design, which is very comfortable to use. The price gives you a good value for your money, especially when compared with prices of other folding knives in the market. What’s more? The blade is sharp which allows you to use it easily for all your cutting needs. The knife is also partially serrated which comes in handy for all your slicing tasks.

This knife is currently not available for purchase on Amazon, therefore we advise that you keep visiting the site to check for availability.

PROS:

  • Has a safety lock for enhanced security
  • Comes with a pocket clip for easy transportation
  • A cross handle that glows in the dark and gives additional light
  • Affordable

CONS:

  • May rust when subjected to wet conditions for long periods of time

Related: To always keep your knife safe and maintain its durability, try out this Boker Brand Leather Sheath  that will cater to all your knife storage needs. It is designed with a high quality, well-crafted brown leather material and has dimensions of about 5 ¾ *1 ¼ * 1 ¼ inches.

Check the price on Amazon

Boker Magnum Fire ChiefBoker Magnum Fire Chief

Price: Approx. $25

Dimensions: 1 x 2 x 2 inches

Weight: 10 oz

Blade length:  4.5 inches

Specific features: Stainless steel blade, blade is partially serrated, comes with a pocket clip, include seatbelt cutter and glass breaker, easily folded, suitable for emergency situations, smooth and compact design blade length is 4 ½ inches, overall length is 10 5/8 inches

Best use: EDC, emergency situations, camping

Description: We are going to end our list with mentioning an amazing multi-tool Boker Magnum Fire Chief. The product is very affordable with the price of just over $25, which is a big plus point.

Boker Magnum Rescue Flipper with its partially serrated blade enables you to handle anything. The knife features seatbelt cutter and glass cutter for emergency situations. The red and black colored handle gives it a unique and aesthetic look.

The blade is made of stainless steel for better performance and resistance so you can put your trust in it for running everything smoothly. The product comes with a pocket clip for attachment with pocket. The knife also had a limited lifetime guarantee.

Boker Magnum Fire Chief Rescue Flipper is really a good product to have around because you never when you can get into trouble or an emergency situation. That is why we suggest having one.

Users love that it has a large blade and despite the knife being on the heavy side, the sharp blade comes in handy for all the emergency situations. The glass breaker is also sharp and works perfectly and as expected.

You will also find that you can flick the knife open without needing to use the knob located on the blade. This is a knife that you can expect not to disappoint whether in simple situations such as opening packages to dire ones likes cutting seatbelts during emergencies.

PROS:

  • Blade is sharp and sturdy
  • Very affordable
  • Easy to use

CONS:

  • Might feel a bit heavy in your hand
  • May not fit well in your palm; Larger than other similar knives

Related: Every quality knife needs a good pouch to go along with for storage and also to maintain its durability. That is just what this Boker Drawstring Pouch  is designed to do. It comes in a stunning Red Nylon color and has dimensions of about 4 ¾ * 1 ¾ * 1/8 inches. It a lightweight pouch that weighs around 0.03 pounds hence does not add any extra bulk to your knife during transportation.

Check the price on Amazon

Wrapping It Up

A folding knife can come handy in many situations, even in a normal routine it can be very useful. You must have one with you for SHTF scenarios and especially when you are outdoors camping. It is necessary for your survival. These facts prove the importance of choosing the knife wisely.

Look for the quality, size and warranty of the product before buying. The decision is ultimately going to be yours. Just make a list of things you will most need it for and then select the one from the above list that matches most, hopefully, the best knife for you.

If you liked our article, and you feel like sharing your experiences or asking a question, feel free to ask a question or leave a comment in the comment section below.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Henry Silva
Henry Silva

Henry was hiking since he was 4. He was lucky enough to be born in Boulder, Colorado and enjoy Rocky Mountain National Park hikes growing up. His favourite is Longs Peak, which rises to 14,259 feet (4,346 m) above sea level. It is the highest point of the park. Henry likes to explore new hikes and spend his spare time in the wilderness.

  • Marion Clarke

    You will never catch me out camping without my Boker Mokume Damascus Knife. It has great tolerance and the craftsmanship isn’t bad either. If you are a fun of Damascus style knives, then try out the Boker brand, you will not regret your choice. The knife is a combination of beauty and great function.

    • Henry Silva

      Great choice Marion and thanks for the good review of the knife. As I’ve said plenty of times, not all knives are created equal so choose one that’s right for your needs and your budget. Don’t be afraid to ask around for some feedback and always read reviews prior to purchasing.

  • William Anderson

    The Chris Reeve Small Sebenza knife is an impeccable folding knife with a simple and beautiful design. I bought it as a gift for my dad because he loves pocket knives but I liked it so much I ended up getting one for myself. It the perfect balance between beauty, simplicity, and great function.

  • Henry Silva

    The popularity of folding knives, is I believed because of its multi-tool functions. It’s a great all-around tool that’s very affordable.

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