What are the best small pocket knives you can buy in 2021? Well, the good (and bad!) news is there’s a lot to choose from!
We have taken a long, hard look at what’s available at under 3″ and have narrowed the field down to 5 knives.
Care was taken to include knives from the best knife manufacturers at a price that won’t slice through your wallet.
The Best Small Pocket Knives in 2020
|Benchmade Mini Griptilian||Blade = 2.91"|
Total = 6.78"
|$$$$$||Read Our Review!|
|Spyderco Dragonfly G-10||Blade = 2-1/4"|
Total = 5-1/2"
|$$$$||Read Our Review!|
|Spyderco Delica4 FRN||Blade = 2.75"|
Total = 7"
|$$$||Read Our Review!|
|Cold Steel Mini AK-47d Tanto||Blade = 2-3/4"|
Total = 7-1/8"
|$$$||Read Our Review!|
|Kershaw Chive||Blade = 1-15/16"|
Total = 4-13/16"
|$$||Read Our Review!|
Small Pocket Knives Reviews
Here are our reviews of 5 of the best small knives of 2019. We tried to choose from the best brands at a variety of price points.
Benchmade Mini-Griptilian – Small but Mighty!
The “Mini Grip” is a top-rated small pocket knife, with many loyal supporters. It’s well-made, incredibly durable, has great steel and for many people the best lock available on a production pocket knife.
The version pictured is a “Drop Point”, so the tip is reinforced and with plenty of belly it’s a great all-around pocket knife.
The 2.91″ blade is made from 154cm Stainless Steel with a hardness of 58-60 HRC. This is an American-made, premium grade steel which holds a razor edge. It’s also stainless steel so is corrosion resistant, too.
The Mini-Grip features Benchmade’s patented “AXIS” locking mechanism. The AXIS lock is incredibly strong and smooth.
You can open it quickly with either hand so a lot of lefties love it. And you don’t need to put a finger in the way of the blade path so it’s safe, too.
Many happy users report this knife lasting for years (aided and abetted by a lube like locktite).
Spyderco Dragonfly G10 Review
The Dragonfly G10 is an incredibly well-made pocket knife that feels great in the hand.
With a blade length of 2.25” and handsome “Green Foilage” handle, it’s the perfect knife if you’re worried about intimidating people in public or at work.
However, due to the excellent ergonomics of the knife, many users report that it feels and handles like a much bigger knife.
The blade is made from premium VG-10 Steel. There is a thumb-indent and finger choil (both with jimping) that help your grip and control when cutting.
The long handle lets you wrap four fingers around the durable G10 scales. You just can’t do this with many other small pocket knives.
Unlike the FGN version of the Dragonfly, the pocket clip is removable and reversible. It can also double as a great money clip, too.
With a closed length of around 3 ½ inches and weighing just 2 ounces, the Dragonfly G10 is light, easily concealable and perfect for everyday carry.
Check out the price on Amazon here.
Spyderco Delica 4 FFG Review
The Perfect EDC Knife?
The Delicia gets a lot of love from knife enthusiasts and is one of Spyderco’s best-sellers. It’s not just a good small knife but a great pocket knife. Period.
It’s extremely light, made from excellent VG10 steel with a full, flat grind. The flat grind allows the 2.75″ edge to be maintained with something like a Spyderco Sharpmaker fairly easily.
As you can see from the picture, there is a small, finger-choil at the base of the blade for safe closing.
Spyderco’s patented “Spyder Hole” means it can be opened one-handed, but the opening mechanism might be a bit stiff to start.
Other users have reported good functionality when using this knife we drenched work gloves as well. There’s a good deal of jimping on the spine for good grip and control.
If you are buying the knife for a “tactical” reason, you need to know it is a not a “Deep Carry” clip. About 1/4″ of the knife will stick out of your pocket.
And the color. Love or hate that orange?! The knife is easy to find if you drop it at a worksite, or in the woods.
If you’re like me and have lost an EDC before, this is a plus. For more stealth, you might want to go with the black. The Delicia 4 is also one of the few Spyderco’s available in a trainer. So that’s another plus if you’re buying it as a defensive knife.
Cold Steel Mini AK47 Tanto Review – Best Knife For the Money?
This knife will appeal to those looking for a more “tactical” folding knife under 3″.
The Mini-AK 47 has a 2.75 blade made from AUS 8 Stainless Steel, which is very decent steel for the price. The G10 handle has great ergonomics and has a sandpaper-like texture so it’s very grippy. There’s a reversible pocket clip and a second, left-handed handle is included for lefties.
At the butt of the knife you can see there is a protruded edge. This can be used in self defense situations like a kubotan / dulo dulo if you don’t deploy the blade in time – or chose not to.
One of the best features of this knife is the Tri-Ad lock. The Tri-ad gets a lot of votes for being the best lock on the market today. Once the knife is locked into place it feels like a fixed-blade with no noticeable blade play.
You can watch a video of 230lbs being hung on a Tri-ad lock here. With its wave opening feature, the Mini AK -47 can be opened as you remove it from a pocket. This allows for incredibly fast deployment with either hand. This is a key consideration for a tactical blade.
You can check the current price here.
With a 2-inch blade, the Kershaw Chive is smaller than the 2 previous knives but it still makes a great case for being the best small pocket knife.
It’s compact, well-made and perfect for an every-day carry. It’s stylish look and pocket clip allows it to be carried at work without looking intimidating.
The blade on The Chive uses 420HC stainless steel. Whilst it’s not in the same class as the VG10 or 154cm that the Delicia and Mini-Grip uses, it’s great for everyday tasks.
The Chive is razor sharp out of the box and holds an edge extremely well. The knife has an assisted opener, and it deploys easily with either hand. It also has a solid frame lock and a safety tip-lock which ensures it stays closed in pockets.
At 7.3cm, people are surprised by how small the Chive actually is. Here is a video review to help you get a sense of scale.
The blade size and lack of grip on the handle prevent this from being a good Tactical EDC Knife. However, if you’re looking for a small knife to be your constant companion you’ll be hard pressed to find better for the money.
And the really good thing (for this price) is that the knife is made in the USA.
Do you have any of the knives featured? Or have we missed off your favorite small pocket knife? Please hit the comments section and let us know!