It’s no secret that the Morakniv Eldris Fixed-Blade Knife has a tiny blade. At 59mm long its stainless steel blade — which also features a square-edged spine for striking fire steel without dulling the blade — is way shorter than those on most comparable knives but truth be told the full length is rarely used anyway, making this compact knife not much bigger than most folders and without the safety risk of the blade folding back onto fingers. Moreover its handle, which is made from two different polymers, isn’t downsized so it’s grippy, feels good in hand, and comes in a solid range of colors. It’s also lightweight and comes with a click-locking sheath that can conveniently be worn around your neck.
Grab one at Amazon – $24+
It’s like your familiar Swiss army knife, with a twist. Or rather, a bend. A single hand-polished stainless steel blade folds into the Malvaux Number 1 Pocket Knife and it’s easier than before to open, without needing to put much strain on your fingernail. Actually it’s got no fingernail groove at all and instead can be gripped between thumb and forefinger. Its innards that hold the non-locking blade in the open position are water-jet cut just like the blade itself and its shell is made of CNC-milled aluminum — and not plastic — that’s also anodized in red (shown) or slate. And did we mention the bend also helps with grip?
Learn more at Malvaux – roughly $246
Ken Onion isn’t a cartoon vegetable. He is a blade design icon. His latest design, the Homefront pocket knife is sure to raise the knife design bar yet again. The Homefront utilizes a 3.5-inch modified drop point AUS 8 Steel blade with 6061 aluminum handles with a design reminiscent of a WWI folder, complete with a bayonet lug-style flipper. But what really makes this locking liner knife unique is Onion’s “field strip” technology. It’s this feature that allows for easy disassembly of the knife anywhere, anytime without the need for a workbench or tools. The patent pending Homefront’s Disassembly/Reassembly function makes cleaning the muck and grime from a hard day in the field simple without sacrificing form or function. At 4.8 ounces and an open length of 8.3-inches the Homefront substantial feel is enhanced with tank jimping on the backstrap for a snug hold.
Learn more at Amazon – $90
Wood wouldn’t quite keep a razor-sharp edge, so the Skid Wooden Chef Knife isn’t technically 100% made of wood. Instead this remarkable knife’s composition is closer to 97% wood and 3% alloyed carbon steel, the latter very hard and used just for the blade’s edge. The Robinia wood used itself is harder than oak and boasts a high percentage of tannin which has antibacterial properties so that nothing but warm water is needed to clean the blade. Wood and metal come together seamlessly and durably, and the knife handles nicely due to its low weight. Also available in other woods including mahogany, smoked mood oak coupled to Damascus steel, and ebony.
Find it at Indiegogo – roughly $200
Without William Gregor and to a lesser extent Martin Heinrich Klaproth, Shinola’s second collaboration with Benchmade wouldn’t have been possible. If you don’t know the aforementioned men, you don’t know your sixteenth century metallurgy. Here’s a hint, atomic number 22. Shinola started with Benchmade’s 765 Mini Ti Monolock Titanium pocket knife and upgraded the sh*t (no pun intended) out of it. The base Ti of the stock knife gives way to an exclusive colorway in a black diamond-like carbon coating with extreme abrasion resistance. Maintaining the slim 765 design, the super strong, corrosion resistance knife features orange anodized spacers and thumb stud. Its drop point M390 steel blade is discreetly labeled Shinola and has the Shinola Detroit logo on the reversible clip and their signature lightning bolt on the butt of the knife. With a blade length of 3.24-inches and closed length of 4.22-inches, and weighing in at a touch over 3 ounces, this opener’s bearing washers make the action crisp, clean and all Benchmade.
Find it at Shinola – $400
Opinel’s N°09 DIY Yellow Pocket Knife is the tool you didn’t know you needed in your utility belt. With a yellow handle made of fiberglass reinforce polyamide, it’s humidity proof and better at absorbing shocks and drops than plastic or metal for longevity in harsh conditions. Small slits on either side of the handle hold two bits — both a flat head and a Phillips — with a magnetized bit driver on the tail end of its handle that lets the knife double as a screwdriver. Its 3.15-inch Sandvik 12C27 stainless steel blade comes equipped with a wire cutter and stripper for emergency electrical work. And to make sure you don’t accidentally slice a finger off, the tool comes equipped with Opinel’s classic Virobloc safety ring, which allows you to lock the blade open while performing on the fly surgery, or lock it shut to make sure it doesn’t cut a hole right through your pocket or bag.
Most flashlights have long tubes filled with batteries. You might expect the water resistant Kootek K1 Survival Flashlight, measuring at just a touch over 12-inches, to have batteries for days, but it’s instead hiding a 3.5-inch serrated survival knife on the back that you can bust out in an emergency or for self defense. It’s also got a window breaker and of course a flashlight, the latter based on a Cree T6 LED that outputs a blinding 800 lumens and cycles through several brightness and strobe settings. And if you don’t need the knife just remove the furthest segment and attach the window breaker straight to the flashlight module, creating a more compact (6.5-inch long) torch.
Grab one at Amazon – $20
You may recall The James Brand’s Country Knife or any one of Discommon’s unique creations. The Swell Pocket Knife is the result of both design houses putting their heads together and creating a simultaneously minimal and beautifully surfaced folding knife. Its titanium and aluminum handle scales are milled to result in a texture that draws inspirations from an ocean’s swell and that conveniently doubles as a rock solid grip. The 2.33-inch D2 steel drop point blade doesn’t look (or perform) half bad, either, with a uniform hand-rubbed satin finish that contrasts well with the almost organic flow of the handle.