Any of These 5 Might Win the Laurel of “Best Pocket Knife”

Every year, the greats of the knife industry hit the grindstone and come out with new models, some of which cater to the modern collector and others to the traditional crowd.

If you’re looking for a new pocket knife, either as a piece for your collection or because you need something new to add to your EDC rotation, any of these might be called the best pocket knife out there.

At least for this year (even if they’re not new).

Benchmade Bugout 535

Benchmade’s Bugout 535 is light and compact, making it great for EDC – it’s under 2 ounces. It also features a top-tier steel that’s excellent as far as edge retention and corrosion resistance are concerned. The AXIS locking mechanism is also a lot tougher than the liner lock of most other pocket knives.

It’s a bit on the expensive side, though, and users have complained about the thin feeling, flimsy nature of the scales.

But all in all, it delivers incredible value.

Kershaw Leek

Alright, so the Kershaw Leek isn’t new, but it’s still a great pocket knife. It’s light, compact (though not as compact as the Bugout), and features assisted opening, which some users love.

The blade profile is a plus, too, if you need to do a lot of fine detail or piercing work. Plus, it’s fairly affordable.

Kershaw Blur

If you need a stouter blade and you’re a Kershaw fanatic, the Blur may be the best option for you. It offers solid ergonomics and a much thicker blade. The recurve is also great for slicing tasks.

Also, the Blur is available in an S30V stainless steel blade version that offers excellent durability and edge retention, even if it’s not so easy to sharpen.

CRKT Squid

We can’t do any honor to the CRKT Squid that hasn’t already been done to it. The Squid, with its compact size and lightweight design, is and has been a crowd favorite for a while.

The short, drop-point blade is good for just about everything (blade length is in that sweet spot, too, and knife steel is easy to sharpen and corrosion-resistant), and the all-steel construction and frame lock are top-notch for durability. Deployment is silky-smooth, too, and the ergonomics are top-tier, as this knife is comfortable in the hand and super-fidgety.

Spyderco Paramilitary 2

The Spyderco Paramilitary 2 is also not that new, but it still makes a good run for “best pocket knife” for 2023 nonetheless.

It has a great grip, a steep thumb ramp, wide “Spydieholes” (in lieu of thumb studs for one- handed opening), and a cool blade shape with a full-flat grind that is extremely slice-y.

It’s also extremely durable and much larger and beefier than the other knives on this list. If you need an EDC folder that won’t balk at cutting rope, light splitting, and batoning, this might be for you.

Not What You Had in Mind for Best Pocket Knife?

These are only a few of the folding knives in the industry that might be called the “best pocket knife of 2023,” even though they all aren’t brand new. In fact, some of them have been around a while – but they’re still great.

However, if you’re looking for something from a different brand or a fixed blade, check out White Mountain Knives at They offer these models and countless others, at great prices, and provide free shipping in the United States, too.

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