You are here
Home > Survival Gear > Pocket Preps: Micro Folding Knives

Pocket Preps: Micro Folding Knives


You’ve probably heard the axiom “two is one and one is none” — in other words, it’s advisable to have access to backups of critical gear in case your primary tools are damaged, lost, or taken from you. Few of the items you carry are as essential as a sharp knife, both from a practical standpoint and in the context of survival situations. So, if your EDC loadout is going to include two of any tool, a secondary blade is a strong contender.

Now, hear us out — we’ve frequently rolled our eyes at those stereotypical Instagram pocket dump photos, containing two guns, three knives, a tomahawk, brass knuckles, a can of mace, and nunchucks. We’re not encouraging you to go full mall ninja and carry akimbo daggers on your chest rig. Given the likelihood that your main blade is in the typical 3- to 4-inch range, it’s wise to maximize versatility by using something much smaller for your backup — a micro knife.

For this edition of Pocket Preps, we defined micro knives as those with blades that measure 2 inches or less. At this size, you’ll be able to easily fit them onto a keychain, into a coin pocket, or even make them part of your Altoids tin survival kit. Some can be used as money clips or bottle openers. Additionally, this size consideration may be important to those who live in or near places with restrictive laws prohibiting typical pocket knives. Regardless of how you use it, you’ll always be better off with a tiny blade than none at all.

CRKT Delilah’s P.E.C.K.

OAL
4.3 inches

BLADE LENGTH
1.8 inches

WEIGHT
0.9 ounce

MSRP
$30

URL
www.crkt.com

NOTES
The initialism P.E.C.K. stands for Precision Engineered Compact Knife, but it’s also a play on words. Designer Ed Halligan also created CRKT’s K.I.S.S. (Keep It Super Simple) folder, featuring slightly larger overall dimensions and a longer tanto blade. Appropriately, the P.E.C.K. is a little less than a K.I.S.S. This knife features a chisel-ground Wharncliffe blade and one-piece handle with integrated frame lock. Both are made from the same stain-less steel, although CRKT’s site isn’t clear on the variety — the spec box says 3Cr13; the description says 420J2. When closed, the blade sits flush against the handle, which also features a slim pocket clip and lanyard hole.

Pros:

  • The exposed blade looks unsettling, but a tight fit against the handle protects the edge.
  • Strong frame lock and ball-bearing detent keep the blade secure.

Cons:

  • The single-sided handle, tight pivot, and sharply pointed tip make it tricky to open one-handed.
  • This entry-level stainless steel will require frequent sharpening.

Gerber Key Note

OAL
3 inches

BLADE LENGTH
0.8 inch

WEIGHT
2.3 ounces with key ring

MSRP
$23

URL
www.gerbergear.com

NOTES
It’s not often that we come across a knife with a blade that’s wider than it is long, and that’s probably for good reason. There’s no denying that the Key Note is an extremely unusual design — we found it a better chisel or scraper than a knife. The 5Cr steel blade’s spine is as thick as a full-size knife, with a 0.6-inch belly that terminates in a steep 1-inch front edge. The blade can be opened via a nail nick or flipper nub, though the latter is short and awkwardly positioned. This knife also features a liner lock, strong pocket clip, and matching key ring. (Note: The finish on this pre-production sample may differ at retail release.)

Related:  Gear Up Issue 32 | RECOIL OFFGRID

Pros:

  • Wide pocket clip works well for retaining money or cards.
  • We like the look of the anodized, textured handles and black hardware.

Cons:

  • Blade is too short for slicing, too stubby for piercing, and too sharp to be used as a pry bar.
  • Flipper is nearly impossible to use.

Kershaw Cinder Copper

OAL
4 inches

BLADE LENGTH
1.4 inches

WEIGHT
1.5 ounces

MSRP
$30

URL
www.kershawknives.com

NOTES
This intricate micro knife is the brainchild of bladesmith Rick Hinderer, and was designed as a keychain accessory you can carry almost anywhere. It features an upswept 3Cr13 stainless blade with a small thumb stud and liner lock. The copper handle scales are new for 2019 — if they’re not your style, you can save $18 (or more) by choosing the standard model instead. Either way, you get a knife that slices smoothly and fits comfortably in a three-finger grip. It even includes a bottle opener, so that’s one less item to worry about fitting on your keychain.

Pros:

  • The contoured handle allows a much more secure grip than most knives in this category.
  • Smooth pivot and well-placed thumb stud make it easy to open one-handed.

Cons:

  • The original Cinder can be found for less than $7 on Amazon. Copper comes at a cost.
  • The liner lock material is a bit thinner than we’d like, considering its skeletonized design.

Nite Ize DoohicKey Key Chain Knife

OAL
4 inches

BLADE LENGTH
2 inches

WEIGHT
0.6 ounce with S-Biner

MSRP
$13

URL
www.niteize.com

NOTES
Part of Nite Ize’s DoohicKey keychain tool line, the aptly named Key Chain Knife offers a design as straightforward as its title. The 2-inch 420J2 stainless blade features a classic drop-point shape and lightweight hollow grind with a fine-edge bevel. There’s a nail nick for opening, and a sturdy back lock to keep the knife from closing unexpectedly. The knife’s aluminum handle offers some visual flair, with hexagonal holes for weight reduction and your choice of blue, green, or orange anodized finish. Nite Ize includes a S-Biner MicroLock mini-carabiner to quickly and securely clip your knife to your keys.

Pros:

  • Traditional, back-to-basics design at an affordable price
  • Included S-Biner lets you detach your knife easily when it’s needed.

Cons:

  • Thin spine and aggressive hollow grind keep weight down, but leave us concerned about long-term durability
  • Only available in colorful finishes

Spyderco Chicago

OAL
5 inches

BLADE LENGTH
2 inches

WEIGHT
2.2 ounces

MSRP
$83

URL
www.spyderco.com

NOTES
Knife laws, like gun laws, are often convoluted. Several cities — Boston, Cleveland, and Chicago, to name a few — have restricted the carry of blades longer than 2.5 inches. As its name implies, the Chicago was designed within these limitations. It features a leaf-shaped, flat-ground blade made from CTS BD1N steel. This nitrogen-enriched material is durable and corrosion-resistant. The combination of Spyderco’s iconic round hole, a very sturdy liner lock, and a large, reversible pocket clip make this feel like a full-featured EDC knife. The handle is large enough for a four-finger grip, and clad in black G10 scales.

Related:  New: CRKT Knife Maintenance Tool

Pros:

  • Feels like a full-size Spyderco knife in every way except its dimensions
  • Thick blade, high-quality steel, and strong liner lock inspire confidence regarding long-term durability.

Cons:

  • Small lanyard hole limits attachment options, although it’s too big for a keychain anyway.
  • Its size pushes the limits of what we’d consider a true micro knife.

WESN Ti Microblade

OAL
3.8 inches

BLADE LENGTH
1.5 inches

WEIGHT
1 ounce

MSRP
$50

URL
www.wesngoods.com

NOTES
The Ti Microblade was originally launched on Kick-starter, where it received a staggering 1,800 percent of the requested funding, officially cementing WESN as a new knife brand. This tiny folder was designed by founder Billy Chester, and consists of a slim Grade 5 titanium handle and AUS-8 stainless steel blade. The blade opens via the flipper or thumb stud, and is secured in place by a frame lock cut into the titanium. It features a traditional drop-point shape, with polished flats contrasting against a satin-finished primary bevel and swedge. A removable (but not reversible) pocket clip is attached in tip-up position atop a lanyard hole.

Pros:

  • The minimalist design is classy and understated.
  • Easy to open and close, with a prominent flipper, smooth pivot, and secure frame lock

Cons:

  • Our sample had a slightly uneven grind.
  • Over time, rubbing titanium against steel can lead to sticky lockup. Many Ti frame-locks have a stainless insert for this reason.

Zero Tolerance 0022

OAL
4.8 inches

BLADE LENGTH
1.8 inches

WEIGHT
1.8 inches

MSRP
$250

URL
www.zerotoleranceknives.com

NOTES
No, that MSRP is not a typo. This Tim-Galyean-designed, high-end micro knife costs as much as everything else in this guide combined — and then some. Although it’s the smallest knife ZT has ever made, it’s also clearly a ZT, with the top-shelf materials and quality we’ve come to expect from the brand. The blade is made from CPM 20CV steel with a sharp, upswept tip. It flips open smoothly on KVT ball bearings, and locks with a satisfying click against the titanium frame lock with hardened steel insert. The front of the handle is solid carbon fiber, with a blue anodized pivot ring and thread inserts for the reversible pocket clip.

Pros:

  • The build quality, finish, and materials are truly outstanding.
  • Sculpted handle and spine jimping produces a very secure two-finger grip.

Cons:

  • Micro knife with a macro price tag — if this is your backup, your primary knife is probably a sight to behold.



Source link

Leave a Reply

Top