When you’re going overlanding and stopping to camp, having the right gear is fundamental to a safe and enjoyable journey, and that gear includes a pocketknife. But don’t spend too much money on it! Just get the best pocket knife under $50. It will do the job and more!
Quick Answer – BEST POCKETKNIVES UNDER 50 DOLLARS:
Pocketknives are known for their practicality. You can use them for kindling, cutting rope, and more. Some folding knives have additional tools like can openers, screwdrivers, etc.
Some of these can be expensive, but you don’t have to spend a fortune to have a quality pocketknife for your journey.
The reviews below should help you find the best pocketknife under 50 dollars so that you’re prepared for your next camping or overlanding trip.
Best Pocketknives Under $50
The Case Small Brown Stockman Pocket Knife is seen by many campers as the best pocketknife under 50 dollars due to its three foldable stainless steel blades.
It has a clip, sheepfoot, and a pen blade. For gutting fish or food prep, the clip blade might come in handy.
The sheepfoot can do well with whittling, while the pen may be more ideal as an all-purpose utility blade.
Its handle is jigged brown and made from synthetic material. It weighs in at 1.2oz, and it has a total closed length of 2.63in. This may be compact enough to slip into your pocket with ease.
- Sharp out of the box
- Easy to open
- Handle feels flimsy
For multipurpose use, the Victorinox Swiss Army Tinker Pocket Knife is the best folding knife for under 50 dollars.
It’s constructed from stainless steel encased in ABS scales and comes in several colors. At 2.187oz and only 3.58in long, it’s lightweight enough to not get in the way of your other overlanding gear.
It has 12 functions; from two different blades (the largest being 2.45in) to a bottle opener and wire stripper, the knife has near-endless amounts of use.
Many campers especially appreciate the Philips screwdriver in place of the corkscrew usually found on these knives.
- Sharpens easy
- Holds an edge well
- The main blade doesn’t lock if extended
The Victorinox Swiss Army Pocket Knife is a folding knife with multiple tools, 12 in total.
It includes some useful tools such as a larger knife blade, corkscrew, nail filer, tweezers, can opener, and more.
This can all allow you to spend less time searching for the right tool during your overlanding trip. It only weighs 1.8oz, which can be an advantage if you’re looking to pack light.
This pocketknife is made from ABS / Cellidor scale material, which previous users claimed may help provide a good grip, and it comes in at an overall length of 3.3in.
- Quality stainless steel
- Good size for everyday carrying
- Only comes with one actual blade
Many campers view the Buck Knives 100 Famous Folding Hunter Knife as the best folding knife under 50 dollars.
This single blade has a closed length of 4.875in with a blade length of 3.75in, and it weighs 8oz. The blade is made from 420 HC steel, and it seems to have good edge retention.
However, some previous buyers say it can still dull quickly, but it seems to sharpen easily enough.
Safety features can be found in the locking mechanism that keeps the blade open.
In addition to this EDC knife, you receive a genuine leather sheath to keep it protected whether in your backpack or fishing kit.
- Sharpens easy/quick
- Solid feel
- It may get too stiff
The Columbia River Knife and Tool M16-10KZ 3in Black Folding Knife are seen by overlanding enthusiasts as an everyday carrying pocketknife.
This EDC knife is made from high carbon steel, and its blade comes in at 3in. Overall, it’s 7.125in. As for the handle, it’s glass-reinforced nylon material.
The single-bladed folding knife only weighs 2.3oz, which can make it easy to carry with you while camping.
Though this isn’t heavy-duty, this blade with triple point serrations can be useful for whittling wood and other minor tasks. To help it last, it is coated with corrosion-resistant EDP. And, this EDC knife features a frame lock.
- Perfect carrying size
- Sharp out of the box
- Comes with stainless steel pocket clip
- Difficult to release frame lock
Many previous campers and those on overlanding trips appreciate the Gerber Freeman Guide Folding Knife for its TacHide overlay handle with finger grooves that offer a secure grip.
It may be useful if you stop to fish during your journey as the handle material can protect against multiple conditions.
As for the blade specs, the single-blade is 3.6inch in length, and it has an overall length of 8.1in with a closed length of 4.5in. It weighs 6.6oz.
Along with this EDC knife, you receive a wear-resistant nylon sheath to keep it secure.
- Flips open easy
- The blade is centered well
- Dull edge out of the box
Another blade that may be useful to use in various weather conditions is the Gerber Bear Grylls Folding Sheath Knife.
It has a textured rubber grip that is ergonomic in design, and some campers mention how well it sticks to your hand even when wet.
The EDC knife is a single-blade that is ½ serrated, which can make it easier to cut things like a rope. It is a high-carbon stainless steel blade, and the blade length is 3.6 in.
The folding knife has a closed length of 4.9in, and it has an overall length of 8.5in. Without the accompanying nylon sheath, it weighs 4.3oz.
We currently own one of these and can report that it’s extremely sharp. That’s only one of the reasons why it made it to our list of best pocket knives under $50.
- No blade play
- Easy-to-grip handle
- Doesn’t hold an edge well
- No pocket clip
The SOG Escape Folding Knife FF25-CP only weighs 4.8oz, and with a blade length of 3.4in, it can be an ideal everyday carry pocketknife.
Another great thing about this is that It’s designed for one-hand opening. For safety, while in use, this EDC knife has a lock-back mechanism.
The handle, it’s made from anodized aluminum with a black finish. The partially serrated blade is made from stainless steel.
Though it doesn’t have as many features as a multi-tool, the handle does feature a wire cutter and glass breaker. It might be beneficial on your journey for cutting rope, seatbelts in emergency situations, etc.
- Sharpens easily
- Heavy-duty feel
- Comes with a low-quality belt clip
The Spyderco Tenacious Plain Edge Folding Knife is seen by many campers and those on an overlanding trip as the best pocketknife under 50 dollars because of its simplicity.
It’s a single-blade knife, so it doesn’t come with any extra frills or tools. Nevertheless, the stainless steel blade with its cutting edge can provide good cutting performance for most simple jobs.
It weighs 4oz, and the blade length comes at 3.375in.
The handle is a black G-10 laminate with decent rigidness to it for longevity. Some users say it’s too thick to slip into your pocket, but it might fit well enough with the rest of your gear.
- Edge holds up to daily tasks
- Smooth opening/closing
- Can rust easily
Buying Guide – Best Pocket knives Under $50
How to Choose the Best Pocket Knives Under $50
Reason or Intended Use
First and foremost, you should know how you will use your pocket knife. Depending on the intended use, the choice will vary.
For instance, if you want a pocket knife for self-defense, you should go with one that can be opened in a snap.
On the other hand, the type of pocket knives will also differ based on the materials you are going to cut. You should understand that skinning animal and cutting hard materials will require totally different types of pocketknives.
Thus, before choosing the next pocket knife, make sure you know where you are going to use that.
You might already know that not every type of pocket knife is allowed in every place. For instance, in most states, bigger pocket knives are not legal. Or at least, you will need special permission to use them.
Similarly, switchblade pocket knives are also not legal in every state in the United States since 1958. However, there are a few states that have legalized using switchblades under various circumstances.
And, it is similar in most other countries as well. As a result, prior to buying your next pocket knife, you should research thoroughly whether it will be legal in the location you will be using it.
Weight and Ergonomics
Like any other overlanding gear, pocket knives should also be ergonomic and portable. Depending on the length and construction material, the weight of these EDC knives will vary.
For instance, the knives that come with aluminum, plastic, G-10, titanium, etc. handles will be lightweight compared to other cheap materials.
Also, assuming the construction material is the same, a 2.5-inch knife will be lighter than a 7 inch one. But a longer knife would be stronger and comfortable to use for intense tasks.
Additionally, the design of the handle and the mechanisms will also impact the overall user experience. So make sure you are considering all these factors before picking out the next pocket knives under $50.
Blade Length and Shape
Pocket knives come in various sizes and shapes. Also, there are single-blade and multi-blade knives.
Based on the shape of the blade, pocket knives are divided into many categories such as tango point, drop point, clip point, hawksbill, straight back, needlepoint, sheepsfoot, and more.
Among them, the drop point, clip point, and straight-back blades are the most commonly used in pocket knives.
If you want a knife for animal skinning or piercing the drop-point knives would be the best choice. Typically, drop-point blades are used on survival or hunting knives.
For everyday use, clip point blades are great. Clip point blades come with a deep belly and narrow point. As a result, these are good options for both piercing and slicing.
And, straight-back blades are also frequently used for everyday tasks. They are also known as normal or traditional blades. It comes with a dull back.
Thus, you can apply more pressure using the dull back. And, it is great for slicing, chopping, piercing, etc.
In fact, because of the advantage of this design in chopping, you will find straight-back blades in most kitchen knives. Other than this, there are a host of other unique blade shapes. But it all will boil down to your choice and preference.
Pocket knives can be divided into 3 categories depending on the type of edge. You might know them as plain edge, a fully serrated edge, and a partially serrated edge.
Here is a detailed explanation of these terms.
Plain Edge Pocket Knives
It goes without saying that the plain edge is the most common type of edge you will find on pocket knives.
Matter of fact, this type of edge has been used in making numerous knives since ancient times. Still, it remains a popular kind of edge on pocket knives.
Pocket knives with a plain edge are good for push cuts. Because of the simple single edge, it offers more control, better accuracy, and pristine cuts.
Another great advantage of a plain edge is that it is very easy to sharpen. However, the primary con of plain edges is that they are not suitable for pull cuts.
That means if your circumstance asks for push cuts frequently, a pocket knife with a plain edge would be great.
Fully Serrated Pocket Knives
From the name you might have guessed that this type of knife comes with serrations all over the edge. As a result, this type of knife is great for pull cuts.
For instance, if you want to slice a loaf of bread, or saw a piece of wood, knives with a fully serrated edge would be great.
All in all, fully serrated pocket knives are most suitable for cutting through hard materials compared to plain edge knives.
And, the disadvantage of fully serrated blades is the difficulty to sharpen them. Most of the time, you might need to send the blade back to the factory to sharpen it.
Thus, if you happen to cut hard materials or perform sawing tasks more often than not, a fully serrated blade will help you the most.
Partially Serrated Pocket Knives
A partially serrated pocket knife will have both a plain edge and a serrated edge. That means you are getting the best of both worlds.
Because of the combo edge, you can use it for both push and pull cuts. As a result, it has become one of the most popular options when it comes to pocket knives.
Then again, it also comes with some disadvantages such as difficulty to sharpen the serrated part, clumsiness, and the positioning of the serrations, etc. Due to the various placement of the serrated part, it might be hard to use that for specific cuts.
Nevertheless, if you want to have both the cutting options at your disposal, a partially serrated edge or a combo edge would be the best.
One of the main aspects of a pocket knife is the handle. After all, you will grip the knife by the handle.
If it is not designed ergonomically, you will not enjoy using your knife. Depending on the type of material used in the handle, we can divide pocket knives into many categories. For instance…
Recently, G-10 has become one of the most popular handle materials for pocketknives. This material is made of fiberglass. Thus, it is both lightweight and extremely durable at the same time.
One of the other pros of the G10 handle is that it is water-resistant and easy to grip. As a result, you will see the presence of G-10 in most survival and tactical knives.
Due to the lightness vs. toughness ratio, aluminum has been used in a lot of newer pocket knife handles.
Handles made with aluminum almost always come with a protective coating that protects the knife handle in most severe weather conditions.
Another popular pocket knife handle material is Micarta. This is a combination of phenolic resin and paper or cloth.
It is tough and lightweight. However, it is not that thought compared to G10. Still, due to the toughness and ease of use, it has become a popular one.
Having a pocket knife with a rubber handle is also very common.
Due to the unique texture of rubber, this type of very pocketknives is easy to grip and handle. But remember, compared to most other materials, rubber is not as durable.
Many new pocketknives feature titanium handles. And, this type of handle is very lightweight, extremely durable, corrosion, and water-resistant.
Due to this, titanium handles are getting popular in the pocket knife world gradually.
Since ancient times, humans have been using wood handles on knives. If you want to give your pocket knife a personal touch, wood handle material could be a good option.
However, not many survivalists would prefer wood handles in their knives if other durable options are available.
Like these materials, there are many other materials used to manufacture the handle of your pocket knife.
For example, celluloid, bone, Zytel, stainless steel, stag, Delrin, mother of pearl, Kraton, etc. are also frequently used as handle materials for pocket knives.
Pocket knives come in a wide array of price ranges. Generally speaking, pocket knives are available from just $1 to even thousands of dollars or more.
But, if you want a reliable pocket knife with durable construction material and a handful of useful features, you can get one under 50 USD.
30 USD to 50 USD is the sweet spot for finding a pocket knife that will offer all the must-have features and reliable quality.
And as you can see all of the pocket knives in this review can be found for under 50 USD. And, all of these pocketknives are some of the best options without hurting your wallet.
Why Should You Choose a Pocket Knife Rather Than a Fixed Blade Knife?
- Both folding knives and fixed blade knives have their pros and cons. But for backpacking or overlanding, a pocket knife is the better option. Here’s why…
- A pocket knife can come as a multi-tool. But a fixed blade knife is a single blade in your collection, whereas a pocket knife might feature more than one blades or accessories
- A pocket knife might be slow to open but it is safer because of the different locking options and reliable opening mechanisms
- As most pocket knives are folding knife, you can carry a bigger knife easily
- Pocketknives are easier to carry and portable compared to fixed blade knives
- There are more variations in folding EDC knives compared to fixed blade knives
- Based on the length, most pocketknives would be legal in most places
- Because of the availability of various options, the price of pocket knives are also more affordable
Buyers Advice For Best Pocket knives Under $50
For your camping and overlanding trip needs, a quality pocketknife can be useful. It can help cut the rope, prepare food, and those with multi-tools can aid in other tasks such as opening a can.
You don’t need to be weighed down on your journey, so thankfully, these knives are generally compact and lightweight.
None would be as useful without a quality pocketknife sharpener, however; without one, your blade can become dull.
Keeping a portable pocketknife sharpener ensures your blade remains sharp and ready.
As for the knives, many are expensive, but using the reviews above, you can find the best pocketknife under 50 dollars like the Victorinox Swiss Army Tinker Pocket Knife or the Buck Knives 110 Famous Folding Hunter Knife. Both have solid construction, are easy to open, and safe to carry.