Let’s admit it. With each passing day, it’s getting harder to fork out hundreds of dollars for a pocket knife. With so many budget knives springing up every day, it seems more reasonable to get a highly functional knife for $30 or less.
Don’t get us wrong. There are tons of breathtaking expensive pocket knives that are worth the money. However, if your major priority is functionality, then you can as well get ridiculously cheap pocket knives that offer the same value as the big names.
With manufacturers dishing out superb budget knives left, right, and center, it’s only a matter of time before you begin to get overwhelmed by the barrage of cheap knives on the internet.
That’s why we have decided to review some of the best cheap pocket knives. Trust us when we say this: you will definitely be amazed at the great value you get with these knives. Ready?
Let’s get into it!
Table of Contents
The Best Cheap Pocket Knives Are…
|1. Ontario RAT Folding Knife||Check Current Price|
|2. Victorinox Swiss Army One-Hand Trekker||Check Current Price|
|3. Gerber Paraframe Mini||Check Current Price|
|4. SOG Money Clip Pocket Knife||Check Current Price|
|5. CRKT Squid Folding Pocket Knife||Check Current Price|
|6. Spyderco Tenacious||Check Current Price|
|7. Kershaw Shuffle 2||Check Current Price|
1. Ontario RAT Folding Knife — Best Budget Pocket Knife
These days, it’s easy to get a great pocket knife that offers great value. But to get a knife that offers great value, low price and hard use all in one package? Not so easy. This is where the Ontario RAT 1 waltzes in. This knife is so exquisite, we just had to make it our top choice.
Simply put, the Ontario RAT 1 is a workforce. It is that pocket knife you never thought you needed until you tried it out. With superb tank-like construction and a big blade to boot, this knife can’t be ignored.
It features a simple but attractive drop-point blade of about 3.5”. The blade is pretty practical and will do a quick job when it comes down to practical tasks.
What we love about the RAT 1 is its efficiency when it comes to tough jobs. It can chew through more materials than you know. We would like to point out that the ergonomics of this knife are also impressive.
It features a generous handle that offers plenty of room even for users with larger hands. It also features Zytel handle scales that allow for light traction. You may not exactly be impressed by the Zytel scales but it does not minimize the knife’s efficiency.
What we don’t like about the Ontario RAT 1 is that the coating is quite cheap and may wear off over time. Bummer.
- Plain edge blade crafted from AUS-8 stainless steel
- Convenient and removable pocket clip
- Textured FRN nylon handle
- Thumb-stud for easy one-handed opening
- Can cut through a lot of materials
- Ergonomic generous handle that offers a lot of room
- Versatile carry options
- Open post-construction allowing for easy cleaning and maintenance
- The coating is poor and wears off easily
- Not many users will be impressed by the AUS8 stainless steel blade
If you’re looking for a practical, tough pocket knife that won’t cost you a fortune, the Ontario RAT 1 is an excellent choice.
It provides most of the features you’d naturally look out for in an expensive knife and is your go-to choice when you need a tough tool to get the dirty job done. It does have its flaws which we’ve mentioned, but the pros of this pocket knife definitely outnumber the cons.
Overall Rating – 4.7/5
Let’s face it. A lot of knife enthusiasts and experts don’t place Swiss Army Knives in high regard — probably because there are so many cheap knockoffs out there. So why are we featuring one in an article that literally says “the BEST cheap pocket knives”? We’d tell you why.
Like you probably already know, Swiss Army knives have their strengths and weaknesses. Well, the One-Handed Trekker takes the strength of the average Swiss Army knife and improves on the weaknesses, making it an ultra-modern Army knife.
We love this knife so much because it comes with multiple blades and functions. It features a partially serrated blade of about 3.5”. However, this blade is quite different from most other partially serrated blades.
The serrations are placed towards the tip of the blade while the plain edge is towards the handle. This allows for more efficient performance and control when carrying out tasks.
There’s more to this knife than just a partially serrated main blade. The One-Handed Trekker comes with several tools including: a reamer, keyring, wood saw, can opener/small screwdriver, a combination flathead screwdriver, and even tweezers! The tweezers can come in handy if you get a splinter when working with wood.
On the downside, don’t expect so much from the blade when it comes to outdoor activities. It’s a little too small to be of any use.
- Comes with up to 12 functions for your everyday adventures
- One-hand locking mechanism for keeping the blade securely in place
- Liner lock for safety
- It is a 12-in-1 multifunctional tool, making it a great asset for your everyday use
- Impressive stainless steel construction
- The saw comes with aggressive teeth, making it a very efficient cutter
- The blade is too small to be of much use in outdoor activities
The Victorinox Swiss Army One-Hand Trekker (or The Trekker, as we love to call it) is one super impressive tool you don’t want to leave your house without. With up to 12 different functions, you can tell that this is one pocket knife that will never leave you stranded.
Overall Rating – 4.7/5
The Gerber Paraframe Mini is just like the quiet kid at school that would give you a good old whooping if you pushed him too hard. It looks pretty unassuming at first glance but it will surprise you with its incredibly practical performance.
Featuring a compact design, this knife is quite rugged and will definitely stand the test of durability if it comes down to that. It is ideal for just about any situation — military, industrial, you name it.
What we love about this knife is that it comes with a secure stainless steel handle that helps to ensure safety thanks to its open frame lock mechanism. You would also love that this knife is super easy to clean and you can clean or use it for as long as you want without having to worry about rust or corrosion.
However, the Gerber Paraframe Mini does have one tiny flaw. It can be difficult to sharpen so you may want to take extra care to ensure that it retains its edge for long.
- Secure stainless steel handle and clip
- Clip point blade
- It features an easy to open frame lock design
- Rugged and durable design
- It is super easy to clean and maintain
- The pocket clip is quite sturdy
- It might be a little difficult to close
The Gerber Paraframe Mini knife is your perfect companion when you need something lightweight yet practical. Featuring a rugged design and a blade sharp enough to cut through Medusa’s locks, this knife definitely gives other more expensive brands a run for their money.
Overall Rating – 4.6/5
Now, this knife may seem a little unusual but trust us when we say this: it’s in no way as impractical as it seems. The SOG Money Clip Pocket knife is one tool you may dismiss at first but you would soon come to find that this knife is something you want to keep around forever.
PIt features a 2.75-inch long blade, crafted from 8Cr13MoV steel which is a general purpose steel. Not fantastic but it does get the job done. Its lightweight design makes it super easy to carry around wherever you go.
What we love about this money clip pocket knife is that it features a well-constructed stainless steel handle that ensures safety during use. You also get to clip your money on the knife — as the name implies.
We have to warn you though. This knife isn’t meant for heavy tasks. You can use it as a light, compact blade for your daily tasks.
- Features a sturdy 2.75’’ blade with a strong liner lock
- Skeletonized cash card handle
- Razor-sharp edge retention
- Lightweight design, allowing users to carry it around easily
- Sturdy design
- It can get a little stiff when opening
If you’re looking for a really small knife that doubles as a money clip, you should try out this pocket knife. It may not be a practical choice for heavy, tough tasks but it comes in handy when you need to cut a loose thread or keep a couple of bills safe.
Overall Rating – 4.6/5
The CRKT Squid Folding Pocket Knife is not a knife we would describe as flashy. It’s simple, stylish, and a tad easy to overlook when browsing for a pocket knife. However, it’s the kind of knife you would carry out on the weekend or when you need to cut through something.
As soon as you pick up this knife, you get a feel of how dense and tough it really is. Although it is on the small side, it doesn’t feel flimsy in your hands at all.
One of the CRKT Squid’s features that really captured our attention was the blade. It has a solid drop-point blade of about 2.25’’.
We particularly love how short this blade is because it offers you more leverage and control when making a forceful cut. The blade is crafted from 8CR13MoV steel, an inexpensive but reliable steel. But that’s not even the best part yet.
The Squid comes with a sturdy frame lock that has passed the fail test countless times. If there’s one thing you should know about this knife, it’s that the frame lock would never fail you.
On the downside, this knife doesn’t have any spectacular deployment system so, if you’re looking for something fancy, you may be a little disappointed. The handle is also pretty heavy which isn’t a flaw (in our opinion). However, if you prefer super light knives, you should probably go for other options.
- Impressive black stonewash finish
- On blade friction grooves
- Comes with Limited Lifetime Warranty
- It has a low profile pocket clip that allows for discreet carrying if need be
- It comes with a limited Lifetime Warranty
- Very effective for cutting through things
- Sturdy, robust frame lock
- The deployment system isn’t spectacular or interesting
- Some users may be put off by the heavy handle
The CRKT Squid Folding Pocket knife is an excellent choice for people who just want practicality without the extra bells and whistles that come with some other knives.
If you fall into this category, then you would love this knife for sure. Even if you aren’t one for surprises, the CRKT Squid will knock you over with its breathtaking performance and efficiency.
Overall Rating – 4.6/5
Here’s something almost every knife enthusiast knows. Spyderco tops the list of brands known for producing high-quality knives. That’s why we couldn’t end this article without listing one of their exceptional budget pocket knives: the Spyderco Tenacious.
The Tenacious is sort of on the large side for a pocket knife but this isn’t really a drag as its outstanding qualities overshadow this “flaw”. It features a leaf-shaped blade crafted from heat-treated BCr13Mov stainless steel.
Now, this steel does retain its edge and is super easy to sharpen but you may find yourself sharpening the blade more frequently than you’d like.
What we love about this knife is that the handle is made from layers of steel with G10 scales. However, Spyderco took an extra step by milling out the steel to scale out the load. The G10 is lightly textured, making the knife comfortable and easy to use.
- Full flat grind
- Crafted from 8Cr13MoV steel
- Features a 4.38’’ G-10
- Impressive ergonomics
- It features an efficient thick liner lock
- It retains an edge
- Lightly textured G-10 scales to reduce abrasion
- It may be a little on the large side
The Spyderco Tenacious definitely lives up to its name. A knife for the bold and fearless, this pocket knife can cut through almost anything you place in its path. However, if you prefer lightweight knives, you may be a little put off by its size.
Overall Rating – 4.7/5
The Kershaw Shuffle 2 is a knife so comfortable, you just might get addicted to it. It features a short blade of two and a half inches that can easily chew through most materials.
You would find that this pocket knife is multifunctional thanks to its screwdriver end and its bottle opener feature.
One thing we particularly love about the Shuffle 2 is that it has an amazing black wash finish that can handle scratches pretty well.
On the downside, we aren’t too thrilled by the fact that the glass-filled nylon handle seems a little weak despite its rugged feel.
- A screwdriver end and bottle opener
- Glass-filled nylon handle
- Impressive black wash finish
- It is multifunctional
- Has a black wash finish that is immune to scratches
- Super comfortable and easy to use
- The glass-filled nylon handle seems quite weak
The Kershaw Shuffle 2 is just what you need for a great hiking or camping experience. Thanks to its great ergonomics, you’d find this knife very easy and comfortable to handle.
Overall Rating – 4.4/5
Looking for the best affordable pocket knife? Here are a few things you should know and consider just before you make that purchase.
When buying or picking out a knife, you need to consider the length of blade you are aiming for and just how much blade your state laws allow you to carry.
The steel of your blade determines if you’d have an awesome cutting experience with your knife or if you would end up hating the knife. Some steels are more common — and inferior — than others.
When picking out a pocket knife, you want to look out for a blade shape that suits your intended purpose. Choosing the wrong blade shape would have you writing a terrible review at 2am with tears streaming down your face.
We hope you found this article insightful. If you’re looking to buy the best budget folding knife, this article will serve as a guide.
We highly recommend the Ontario RAT 1, but just in case this knife doesn’t tickle your fancy, we have included a couple more knives.