As far as I can remember I’ve been using the pocket knife me dad gave me. It has a lot of sentimental value and custom made for him which he passed down to me.
I still use it and will always cherish it, but figured it was about time to get the best folding pocket knife under $50 for me. Why $50?
For one, it’s my second knife, and the first one I’m buying. I also figured that at that price I should have a number of great options. I’ve asked a lot of friends and fellow outdoor enthusiasts about how much it costs and most of them agree that for 50 bucks you should be able to get a pocket knife that’s very reliable and not a burden on the budget.
In case you’re curious of what’s available, Amazon has Best Sellers page that updates the current best selling pocket knives.
My Top Affordable Pocket Knife Choices
I did go through a few before making my choice and the three below were the ones I ended up choosing between.
Here they are in order:
The Buck 110 folding hunter knife has been continually manufactured since the early 1960’s. This is a 4 and 7/8 inch long knife when closed, with a clip point blade that is 3 and 3/4 inches long.
This isn’t the smallest pocket knife around but I like that it can be used for more tasks.
Clip point blades drop sharply to the tip of the knife from a point 2/3 to 3/4 along the spine (the non sharpened back end of the knife). Bowie knives are a well known example that come with clip point blades.
The knife’s blade is .12 of an inch thick and made of 420HC stainless steel with a hardness rating of RC 58 on the Rockwell hardness scale. An RC 58 is around medium hardness, and for me, is a good level because it isn’t too hard nor too soft making it something I can use for general purpose tasks.
The 110 has a Dymondwood (laminated hardwood layers) wood grain handle with brass bolsters giving it a simple yet elegant appearance. I like the wooden knives because they look better, or maybe just because my dad’s knives were mostly like that so I have a bias.
As far as operation is concerned, the locking mechanism on the handle, which must be depressed to open or release the blade, provides a welcome measure of safety and stability. The high carbon steel blade also resists corrosion well and is easily resharpened. If you aren’t sure about sharpening it yourself you can send it back to Buck and have them do it for you for around $6.95 or so if I recall correctly.
The clip point style makes this knife a good tool for close detail work and piercing actions.
The knife does come with a leather snap sheath for belt wear and is backed, like all Buck knives, with an unconditional lifetime warranty, what they company calls the Forever warranty.
Because size isn’t much of an issue for me, and I do prefer something that’s big enough to do all-around cutting around camp or when we go out, the Buck 110 was the best folding pocket knife under $50 for me. I did pick mine up for just under $40 from the store, though you can get one at Amazon.com too for around the same price tag.
Another well known brand as far as pocket knives go, the Spyderco Tenacious is around ¾ of an inch shorter than the Buck 110 when fully extended.
There are several Spyderco Tenacious models. The one I was considering was the Spyderco Tenacious folding knife with the G-10 handle. The handle is completely black unlike the wooden look of the Buck.
This particular folding knife is 7.76 inches long unfolded, with a 3.39 inch blade. The knife weighs around 3 ounces. Being more compact and lighter, this works better than the Buck if you plan on getting an everyday carry knife (EDC).
The blade, which is stainless steel is designed for consistent sharpness from handle to tip.
The G-10 designation of the handle indicates it is made of high quality woven glass fabric laminate. The handle is further reinforced by thin layers of stainless steel.
A pocket clip, which accompanies the knife, can be positioned to be opened with either the left or right hand and the blade pointing toward or away from the user.
The Kershaw Blur Ken Onion folding knife, like the Spyderco Tenacious comes in a variety of forms. You can select the type of blade and the handle. The one I was considering was the black smooth blade.
It has a 3 and 3/8 inch Sandvick steel blade with tungsten coating. This looks more tactical because of the black blade. You can select between a serrated or straight edge blade.
The anodized aluminum material used to make the handle make it lightweight and strong. The trac tec exterior handle also means a firm grip can be maintained in any situation. Something that’s useful when you’re palms are sweaty or when the environment in wet.
The speed safe opening design features a thumb button to release the blade, while a torsion bar prevents the blade from opening inadvertently.
A clip to attach the knife to a belt or pocket can be removed if desired. It can also be reversed, allowing the user to have options for positioning the Kershaw Blur.
The one I saw in the store was priced at $46, it may have been on sale because I see it on Amazon.com at a bit above $50.
Other Pocket Knives on my final shortlist