6 Best Pocket Knives for Women

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The author using her pocket knife.

In recent times, knives are coming back in style for the female population. There are several reasons for this that we’ll explore before looking at the best pocket knives for women.

Women and Knives

Before writing this article I made a sort of survey among the women I am familiar with. They all have at least one pocket knife. Several of them have more than three different knives, concealed in different places.

Apparently, they got informed. They made their choice. They feel not only safer with a pocket knife with them, and also more comfortable when the necessity to use it for different purposes arises.

If you have the chance, read the article that Olive Pometsey wrote for CQ back in 2019 on Why I’m Not Surprised That More Women Carry Knives. You will notice that the main motive is safety.

“[…] the BBC reported that 1,509 knife possession offences involving women were recorded last year, a figure that has been steadily increasing by at least 10 per cent year on year since 2014 […]”.

https://www.gq-magazine.co.uk/politics/article/knife-crime-women

This was a U.K. article, which – given gun laws there – could be the U.K.’s version of more American women carrying guns.

If such statistics do impress you, well, that’s not all. In fact, if we embrace a more international perspective, the reasons why women are carrying knives more aren’t just for safety.

As a matter of fact, women into bushcraft show a more “male oriented” approach to life, but… what about the others?

Knives, as preppers know, are considered multitools. This makes them especially valuable in an emergency situation that requires a blade. This could happen anytime, anywhere. Either in the great outdoors, a metropolitan area, or some domestic task.

The needing to have a blade at easy reach could be determined by different circumstances, which do not necessarily involve self defense. But should the need arise for self defense, pocket knives for women can serve that roll just fine. No, you won’t have the power of a firearm, but that’s not an option everywhere (laws), and some women are just more comfortable with a knife than a handgun.

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I constantly use knives for such multi purposes suck as:

  • cutting
  • stripping
  • opening
  • shredding

For this specific reason a knife is a real cornerstone in our EDC (Every Day Carry).

Why a Pocket Knife

Every scenario has its rules of engagement. It makes sense that a fixed blade knife goes properly under the label “outdoor gear.”

A good fixed knife can do all the dirty knife jobs quite by itself. Undoubtedly, they are solid tools, but bulky and not easy to conceal. Especially for a woman. Fixed knife blades need to be attached to our belts, carried inside our rucksacks, or placed inside our jacket pockets.

But what about a pocket knife? This is completely another story.

everyday carry gear with knife

Small, handy, and lightweight, pocket knives can clip inside a woman’s trouser pockets or put it inside a small chest pouch, taking advantage of an inner MOLLE system.

Foldable knives aren’t good for heavy batoning, that’s an advice for novice bushcraft women. Consequently, we should make sure to use them in the right way and for the right purpose.

Pocket knives have their advantages over fixed blade knives, however. A quality pocket knife will be:

  • Small
  • Foldable
  • Lightweight
  • Made from solid materials
  • Handy

This is just to mention the most obvious features. From a female point of view, the above-mentioned are even more important.

What Makes a Good Woman’s Pocket Knife

Generally speaking, women have smaller hand. Additionally, some women have long nails. These aspects mean a pocket knife for a woman will usually have a smaller handle to accommodate hands and (possibly) be easier to open with longer finger nails.

There are literally thousands of different folding pocket knives on the market. It is not easy at all to select the one of your choice, according to the size of your hands, your necessities, last but not least, the place you want to carry it.

A good pocket knife for a woman, based on my experience, should be one that’s easy to carry, simple to clip, and readily available when needed.

Shape My favorite go-to pocket knife is one that’s slim and is a “flat pocket” knife, which has a more “rectangular” configuration.

I can easily put them even inside the most narrowed places. Esthetically speaking, I am a fan of traditional knives.

Handle Even if I like wood, I wouldn’t go with that for a first choice pocket knife. 6AL4V Sandblasted Titanium is what I prefer the most, but I also like the TPR Inlay Handle. They both suit the grip of my hands.
Total Length (open) No more than 8,6 inch (220 mm)
Total Length (closed) No more than 4,8 inch (123 mm)
Blade Length Around 3,6 inch (93 mm)
Steel Related to Titanium, I go for a CPM-S35VN. If we talk about Carbon, D2.
Off-set My preferences go for a warm “click,” which mean less visibility, and a clip design to ensure complete offset.

Some websites, like Knife Country USA, break down the different types by clustering them into specific categories. Nonetheless, my advice, especially for a first time purchase, is to go to a knife shop and make sure to try it in person.

I tried more than 73 different foldable knives! There is no better method to make an idea on how a pocket knife suits you.

7 Best Pocket Knives for Women

Let me stress out the fact that the selection below is absolutely personal. It consists of pocket knives I do own or I had the opportunity to test in the last years.

bushcraft knife use
Using my pocket knife to start a fire.

As you can see from my pictures, I use my pocket knife of choice for processing fatwood, starting fire, cutting Paracord, and a lot of other, regular activities. Following are 7 of my favorite knives that I think would suit a woman’s hands very well.

1 – Chris Reeve “Sebenza”

This sticker shock on this one will scare some people away. I understand, but it is a knife that is well-constructed in every way. It’s also no coincidence that the marketing images include the knife in a woman’s hands. This knife has an overall (open) length of 8.4″ and weighs 4.7oz.

sebenza knife

This knife is not available everywhere, but it can be purchased on the Chris Reeve website.

2 – Wander Tactical “Hurricane Folder”

This one is not inexpensive either, but it is very high-end. It is made in Italy after all (call me biased). This knife has a blade length of 4.29″ and thickness of 0.19″. It is made of D2 steel and is very lightweight.

Hurricane Folder knife

Wander Tactical’s Hurricane Folder can be purchased online at Knife Country USA.

3 – Cold Steel “Oyabun”

For the person who wants quality but not a three-figure price tag, Cold Steel knives can do the job. The Oyabun 26T is 4.75″ closed and has a 4034 stainless tanto-style blade with extended tang. It comes with both a pocket clip and a lanyard hole.

Cold Steel Oyabun 26T knife

This knife is made in Taiwan and can be purchased online at Knife Country USA.

4 – Benchmade “Barrage Axis”

More expensive than Cold Steel but less expensive than others, the Benchmade Barrage Axis has a closed length of 4.75″, handle thickness of 0.65″, and an total open length of 8.35″.

Benchmade Barrage knife

This knife is made in the USA and can be purchased online at Optics Planet. There is also a mini version of the knife that can be purchased on Amazon.

5 – Buck Vantage Pro

Everyone knows the Buck name when it comes to knives. This one measures 4 3/8″ closed and weight 4oz. It includes a pocket clip to help keep it secure. This is a reasonably-priced knife that does the job.

Buck vantage knife

This knife is made in the USA and can be purchased online at Knife Country USA or online at Amazon.

6 – Quartermaster QSE-6xlstt Mr. Roper Tanto XLS

This knife from Quartermaster measures 8″ when open. It has a tanto point and the handle is made from titanium.

Quartermaster roper

This knife is made in the USA and can be purchased online at Knife Country USA or online at Amazon.

A Final Note About Knife Laws

Ask for advise is mandatory, and don’t forget to ask the shop assistant to refresh you on the current government regulations. SHTF Blog also has an article on knife laws from all 50 states that will help.

Let me tell you about my specific case. In Northern Italy, where I am based now, I am allowed to carry them only inside backpacks and only for outdoor activities. It is strictly forbidden to have anything on yourself. Your backpack should be placed only inside the trunk of your vehicle, far from being at easy reach.

pocket knife with barbed wire
A simple pocket knife like this could be illegal in some places depending on where and how it’s carried.

A car search that unfolds the presence of a blade (or a multi-tool) sitting in the glovebox can result in a penalty. Be 100% sure about what you can actually carry, how and… where!

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