Need a handy pocket knife for work or everyday use? It turns out that you don’t have to spend a ton of money to get a durable, useful knife. You can grab one for well under $40.
There are a ton of different pocket knives on the market, and they’re all made for different situations. Some are great for opening boxes, while others are great for chopping apples and camping. Some open quickly, while others open slow and safe.
Because of the variety of cheap knives on the market, it can be hard to find the perfect knife for you. That’s why we’ve taken the time to find a variety of the best cheap pocket knives, for everyone’s needs.
One thing to emphasize: these are cheap pocket knives, not the cheapest pocket knives. You’ll always be able to find some junk in a bin at your local hardware store or even gas station that’ll cost you less money than a dollar menu meal. But those impossibly cheap knives are precisely the kind of knives that will break and injure you while you’re using them. These knives are less expensive than premium picks but still well constructed.
Ontario Knife Rat-1 ($27)
Want an easy, safe, reliable pocket knife? Check out the Ontario Knife Rat-1. This cheap little knife is as simple as it gets. It’s sharp, small, it has a nice handle, and it has a 4-way adjustable pocket clip. It also has a lanyard hole, which is neat if you like to wear a knife around your neck like some Indiana Jones character.
The Rat-1 has a manual thumb opening mechanism, which makes it easy (and safe) to open with one hand. It’s also effortless to take apart and clean, which is great for extending the knife’s life.
Kershaw Clash Serrated Spring-Assisted Knife ($28)
Need a cheap, durable knife that opens quickly? Take a gander at the spring-assisted Kershaw Clash. It’s a stylish pocket knife with a serrated blade, curved handle, and reversible (or removable) pocket clip. This is a great knife for anyone that likes to camp, or for anyone that works in an industrial setting.
Although it opens just as fast as a switchblade because of its flipper mechanism (a small lever that sticks out the back of the handle), and it’s not a switchblade as the opening of the blade isn’t automatically released by button press. Just keep in mind that this knife isn’t safe for children, and the opening mechanism will only give you that smooth one-handed
Buck 110 Classic Folding Knife ($40)
Looking for a classic pocket knife? The Buck 110 has held its status as a classic American pocket knife for over 100 years. It’s a sharp, super durable knife with a stylish design and a comfortable handle.
While a classic knife like the 110 is super useful and durable, it does have some drawbacks. For one, it doesn’t have a pocket clip. It also has a nail notch opening mechanism, so you have to open the blade manually with your finger.
TAC Force Spring-Assisted Knife ($10)
The TAC Force spring-assisted knife is a cheap, tiny knife that’s great for everyday use. It has a sharp serrated blade, a built-in bottle opener, and a blunt-end glass breaker for emergencies. It also has a removable pocket clip and a comfortable curved handle.
This is a spring-assisted knife, but it isn’t a switchblade. It opens using a flipper mechanism like the Kershaw Clash above. Just keep in mind that these flipper mechanisms can be dangerous if they aren’t taken care of or used properly. If you’re buying a cheap knife for a child (or you’re worried about your clumsy knife handling skills), then buy a knife with a different opening mechanism.
Wartech Buckshot Spring-Assisted Cleaver Knife ($18)
If you need a pocket knife with a large cutting area, then you should check out the Wartech Buckshot cleaver knife. Like a kitchen’s cleaver knife, pocket cleaver knives are great for chopping, slicing, and dicing on the fly. This knife may not be ideal for opening boxes, but it makes a great apple cutter or camping knife.
The Wartech Buckshot cleaver knife has a thumb release for quick deployment, and a curved handle so you can safely dig into those apples and onions that you want to cut. It also has a nice stainless steel blade, and for just $18, it’s a great little knife.
Kershaw Select Fire Multi-Tool Knife ($29)
Unlike most multi-tools, the Kershaw Select Fire makes for a genuinely good knife. It’s a sharp, small, knife with a thumb stud for fast deployment. Inside the knife’s handle are two flathead bits, two crosshead bits, a liner lock, a 1/4″ hex drive, and a removable pocket clip.
This knife is ideal for anyone who finds themselves fixing little things around the house, or for professionals who occasionally need a screwdriver on the fly.
Holtzman’s Gorilla Survival Utility Knife ($21)
The Holtzman’s Gorilla utility knife is a great, manual-open knife for anyone working in warehouses or construction. It has a sharp serrated blade with an additional box-cutter blade and a removable pocket clip. Admittedly, this is a pretty bulky knife, it’s meant for work, not for looks.
This knife comes in a nice box with some handy accessories, like a screwdriver and a small multi-tool. While these accessories aren’t necessary, it’s nice that they come with such an inexpensive knife.