The Best American-Made Pocket Knives: Review of the Top Blades From Top US Brands

Last Updated: by Aiden Williams

The United States is home to some of the world’s biggest knife companies, including SOG, Benchmade, Gerber, and Buck. These American top knife producers have manufactured some of the most iconic pocket knives in history. And this is no surprise since over 90% of the people who would EDC over 5-inch long pocket knives are Americans.

Remember, a great pocket knife is an important tool that all knife enthusiasts must-have. And the U.S. pocket knife producers have manufactured blades for all markets. Ranging from EDC, hunting, camping to tactical knives, these tools vary in size and design.

These American made pocket knives are durable and can handle a wide range of small tasks. But, I bet you already knew that! What you really want to know is which American made pocket knives are the best.

So here are some of the best USA-made pocket knives…

Our favorite is Buck Knives 112BRS Ranger Pocket Knife as it is reliable, durable, sharp, and can fit perfectly in anyone’s hands. It is a smaller version of Buck 110, so if you have used Buck 110, you will definitely love Buck 112.

The Best American-Made Pocket Knives Are:

ProductDetails
1. Buck Knives 112BRS Ranger

  • Clip-point razor-sharp blade
  • Classic lock-back mechanism
  • Macassar ebony handle
  • Genuine leather sheath
  • A lifetime warranty
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2. Kershaw Ken Onion Blur

  • SpeedSafe assisted opening mechanism
  • Reversible pocket clip
  • A 3.4-inch stainless steel blade
  • Liner locking mechanism
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3. Buck CSAR-T Folding Knife

  • A 3.5-inch tanto blade that is made from 154CM steel
  • G-10 handle
  • Reversible pocket clip
  • MOLLE compatible sheath
  • A lifetime warranty
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4. Benchmade 551bk Griptilian Pocket Knife

  • Axis locking mechanism
  • 154CM steel blade
  • Glass-filled nylon handle
  • Reversible pocket clip
  • Lifetime warranty
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5. Benchmade Bugout 535 Folding Knife

  • Ultra-slim handle that is molded from glass-filled nylon
  • Axis locking mechanism
  • A 3.24 inch CPM-S30V steel blade
  • Reversible pocket clip
  • Lanyard hole
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6. Spyderco Para Military 2

  • G-10 highly textured handle
  • 4-position pocket clip
  • Compression lock mechanism
  • A 3.42-inch CPM-S30V blade
  • High-performance flat-ground blade
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1. Buck Knives 112BRS Ranger — Best American Made Folding Knife Overall

Buck Knives 112 Ranger Folding Knife with Leather Sheath

Buck is one of the most reliable knife manufacturing companies in the U.S. that have been making blades since 1947. The company was started by Hoyt Buck, an American blacksmith, and his son after World War II.

However, Hoyt began making knives in 1902 at the age of 13. Buck knives changed the pocket knife industry in 1963 when they produced Buck 110. Buck 110 was a unique pocket knife that came with a locking mechanism. It featured a clip-point blade that was perfect for skinning and butchering big game.

And since then, they have produced some of the best pocket knives in the market, and Buck 112 is no exception. Buck 112 is a smaller version of Buck 110, and it’s meant to deal with smaller jobs.

Buck 112 is a great EDC that comes with a 3 inches long blade that is made from 420HC steel. This clip-point blade has high corrosion-resistance and edge-retention levels. Buck 112 features an ebony handle with brass-bolsters and a reliable locking mechanism.

Note: Weighing about 8 ounces, this blade can be bulky for some users.

Specs

  • Clip-point razor-sharp blade
  • Classic lock-back mechanism
  • Macassar ebony handle
  • Genuine leather sheath
  • A lifetime warranty

Pros

  • Smooth opening
  • Razor-sharp blade
  • Durable
  • Affordable
  • Comes with a lifetime warranty
  • Sleek design

Cons

  • Can be cumbersome for some users

Overall rating – 4.8 out of 5

Conclusion

Buck 112 might be a smaller version of Buck 110, but it is still powerful. Buck 112’s small size and sharp blade that can slice through anything and its small size make it one of the best American-made pocket knives.

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2. Kershaw Ken Onion Blur — Best Value

Kershaw Blur Black (1670BLK) Everyday Carry Pocketknife with 3.4” Stainless Steel Drop Point Blade, DLC Coated Handle Features SpeedSafe Assisted Opening, Lanyard Hole, Reversible Pocketclip; 3.9 OZ

Kershaw has the broadest range of folding pocket knives of all manufacturers in the United States. This company is known for its high-quality blades, and Blur is no exception.

Designed by Onion Ken, this knife features a 3.4-inch long blade that is made from stainless steel. It also comes with a partially-serrated drop-point blade that can slice through anything.

Weighing about 3.9 ounces, this blur model comes with Kershaw’s SpeedsSafe assisted opening system. To open it, all you have to do is push the thumb stud at the base of the blade, and you are good to go.

Its handle is reinforced with liner-lock for extra strength and durability. However, its liner lock is quite sensitive. And it can open or close with a light tap of the knife’s back.

Specs

  • SpeedSafe assisted opening mechanism
  • Reversible pocket clip
  • A 3.4-inch stainless steel blade
  • Liner locking mechanism

Pros

  • Razor-sharp blade
  • Lightweight
  • Durable
  • Reliable grip
  • Easy to open and close

Cons

  • Its liner locking mechanism is too sensitive
  • Its recurved blade is quite hard to sharpen

Overall rating – 4.8 out of 5

Conclusion

Kershaw blur is one of the easiest pocket knives to open thanks to its SpeedSafe assisted opening.

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3. Buck CSAR-T Folding Knife

Buck Knives 0095BKSTP TOPS/Buck CSAR-T Tactical Folding Knife with M.O.L.L.E Compatible Sheath

Buck and TOPS are great American knife manufacturers alone, and they produced a masterpiece when they came together. These two companies produced one of the greatest American folding knives of all time.

Inspired by the needs of the American soldiers, this heavy-duty knife is easy to use and reliable. The CSAR-T represents the timeless notions of the Americans ‘’bigger is better’’.

This tactical folding tool merges a 3.5-inch blade to a safe non-slip G-10 handle. The handle has numerous finger grooves for a sure grip.

CSAR-T has a razor-sharp blade made from 154 CM steel, with high rust-resistance and edge-retention levels. This knife has a modified tanto blade with a Zirblast finish.

CSAR-T blade comes with a thumb stud for smooth opening and another notch for bending wires. When new, its edge is not razor-sharp, so you must sharpen it before using it. Weighing about 10.9 ounces, this tool can be quite heavy for some users.

Specs

  • A 3.5-inch tanto blade that is made from 154CM steel
  • G-10 handle
  • Reversible pocket clip
  • MOLLE compatible sheath
  • A lifetime warranty

Pros

  • Easy to open
  • Easy to sharpen
  • Perfect grip
  • Durable
  • Comes with a sheath and a reversible carrying clip for easy carry

Cons

  • Can be heavy for some users
  • It is not razor-sharp when new

Overall rating – 4.4 out of 5

Conclusion

Other than being a great and reliable blade, CSAR-T represents everything great about U.S. industries. This durable tool comes with a G10 handle and a tanto blade with Zirblast finishing that can hold up to prying, piercing, and scraping.

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4. Benchmade 551bk Griptilian Pocket Knife

Benchmade - Griptilian 551 Knife with CPM-S30V Steel, Drop-Point Blade, Plain Edge, Coated Finish, Black Handle

As its name suggests, the Griptilian is a sturdy knife with unique handle grips that are manufactured in Oregon. Griptilian’s handle is made from glass-filled nylon, which makes it sturdy and attractive.

The nylon handle merges with a 3.45-inch drop-point blade that is made from 154CM steel. Therefore, this blade is tough enough and has high edge-retention and rust-resistance levels. It is an ideal EDC blade that can handle hard jobs.

The griptilian 551 features an AXIS Lock that is extremely strong. It is a sturdy manual tool that can be opened single-handedly. And for easy carry, it comes with a reversible pocket clip. Unfortunately, this is not the easiest EDC knife to open as its liner locks can sometimes get stuck.

Specs

  • Axis locking mechanism
  • 154CM steel blade
  • Glass-filled nylon handle
  • Reversible pocket clip
  • Lifetime warranty

Pros

  • Razor-sharp blade
  • Lightweight
  • Easy to use
  • A solid grip
  • Durable

Cons

  • Its liner lock can get stuck sometimes

Overall rating – 4.7 out of 5

Conclusion

Griptilian 551 is a durable American made blade that is ideal for EDC and hard tasks. This pocket knife merges a sturdy glass-filled nylon handle with a steel blade.

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5. Benchmade Bugout 535 Folding Knife

Benchmade - Bugout 535 Folding Knife for Everyday Carry and Camping, Drop-Point Blade, Plain Edge, Coated Finish, Green Handle

Other than being one of the best selling Benchmade knives, Bugout is one of the world’s lightest pocket knives. Bugout is a perfect EDC tool and can be a great addition to your backpacking, camping, or hiking trip.

This American made knife features a 3.24 inches long blade that is made from CPM-S30V steel. CPM-S30V is a sturdy material that has high rust-resistant and edge-retention levels. For extra strength and versatility, it features a precision drop-point design.

Bugout 535 features an ultra-slim plastic handle that is made from glass-filled nylon. It also comes with an Axis locking system for smooth opening and closing.

And a lanyard hole and reversible pocket clip for easy carry. Weighing about 1.85 ounces, this tool can be extremely light for some people.

Specs

  • Ultra-slim handle that is molded from glass-filled nylon
  • Axis locking mechanism
  • A 3.24 inch CPM-S30V steel blade
  • Reversible pocket clip
  • Lanyard hole

Pros

  • Ultra light
  • Easy to use
  • Durable
  • Sharp blade
  • High edge retention and rust-resistant levels

Cons

  • Can be too light for some people
  • Quite costly

Overall rating – 4.6 out of 5

Conclusion

Weighing about 1.85 ounces and with an open length of approximately 7.46 inches, the Bugout is an ideal EDC knife.

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6. Spyderco Para Military 2

Spyderco para Military 2 Signature Folding Knife with 3.42" CPM S30V Steel Blade and Durable G-10 Handle - PlainEdge - C81GP2

With its thin profile and lightweight, the Spyderco Para Military 2 is two-thirds the size of its predecessor. Para Military 2 is a great pocket knife that instills class to the popular and in-demand Spyderco design.

Para Military 2 merges a 3.4-inch CPR-S30V blade with a G-10- handle. Paramilitary 2 features the same full flat-ground blade as its predecessor with an added jimping to the finger coil and spine.

Weighing about 3.9 ounces can be a great EDC tool for anyone who needs a light blade. Its G-10 handle offers a solid grip; therefore, you don’t have to worry about it dropping.

Para Military 2 features the new pivot-bushing mechanism that makes closing and opening of the blade smooth. The diamond-coated blade has a tendency to wear down

Specs

  • G-10 highly textured handle
  • 4-position pocket clip
  • Compression lock mechanism
  • A 3.42-inch CPM-S30V blade
  • High-performance flat-ground blade

Pros

  • Well balanced
  • Compressed lock for strength and safety
  • Razor-sharp edge
  • Easy to operate
  • Durable
  • High edge-retention rate
  • High rust-resistant level

Cons

  • The blade’s diamond-like coating tends to wear down

Overall rating – 4.7 out of 5

Conclusion

The Spyderco Para Military 2 is a durable tool with a plain-edged black steel blade and G-10 handle that can handle a wide range of small tasks. Its light weight makes it an ideal EDC knife.

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Buyers Guide: Factors To Consider When Purchasing An American Made Pocket Knife

When purchasing an American made pocket knife, there are several factors that you must consider. Some of these factors include brand, budget, length of the blade, and handle, among others.

As aforementioned, the U.S. is home to some of the world’s top knife producers. The reputation of a brand really matters when selecting a pocket knife. In fact, most EDC enthusiasts love carrying folding knives over the traditional pocket knives.

Here are some of the main factors to consider when purchasing the best USA made pocket knives:

Blade Material

Since pocket knives are used to handle a wide range of tasks, the type of blade material really matters.

Most blades are made from high-quality steel alloys, which vary in strength, and edge retention levels. Remember, a high-quality stainless steel blade should merge with an equally sturdy handle.

Blade Length and Closed Length

Since most pocket knives are usually carried in the pockets instead of a belt pouch, the size of the knife matters. Most EDC enthusiasts love carrying their blades in their back or front pocket trousers.

Longer pocket knives are more comfortable in the back pocket, and short ones fit in the front pockets.

Serrated Versus Plain Cutting Edges

Other than the blade material and length, the cutting edge really matters. The type of cutting edge affects your knives’ utility. Pocket knives are available with fully serrated, partially serrated or plain edges.

These cutting edges have their advantages and disadvantages. The serrated blades are perfect for dealing with sturdy materials like ropes.

Plain edge blades are easy to sharpen and provide smoother cuts. The partially serrated blades can lacerate more deeply than a plain edged blade.

Locking Mechanisms

There may be as many locking mechanisms for pocket knives as there are manufacturers. Most top American pocket knife brands have unique locking mechanisms.

Instead of looking for a blade with a strong locking mechanism, look for one that supports single-hand opening. Piston and liner locks allow you to open with one hand. Others like a back lock and mid locks allow you to lock with a single hand and open using both hands.

Opening Mechanisms

Folding knives have several opening mechanisms. However, the most common ones are the assisted opening mechanism and manual opening mechanism. Manual opening mechanisms require you to use either a thumb pad, thumb hole, or nail nick.

The assisted opening systems use coil springs to help the user open the blade. So make sure you choose what suits your needs perfectly.

Final Thoughts

The United States knife manufacturers produce a wide range of pocket knives that vary in length, weight, size, and shape. These producers have products for all markets. And this includes hunting, tactical, EDC, and even military-grade blades.

These knives come with plain, serrated, or partially serrated blade edges. So, the main thing you should consider when purchasing a pocket knife is your plans for it.

However, many EDC enthusiasts have a hard time when looking for the best USA-made pocket knife. That is because there are numerous American pocket knives in the market. Remember, all top American made pocket knives are easy to use, light, and durable. So, we created the above list of American made pocket knives just for you.

From our research, we concluded that the Buck Knives 112BRS Ranger is the best American-made pocket knife. Buck 112 has a clip-point blade that can pierce and slice through most objects. And the fact that it is affordable and comes with a lifetime warranty makes it an even better option.

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