7 Best Pocket Knives Under $100 You Can Find Today

Pocket knives provide the utility of a larger general knife in a convenient folding frame, and many users and enthusiasts typically have “everyday carry” favorites that work great for a variety of tasks. With the modern era of pocket knives, we’ve seen new materials and innovations that give us more variety in the knife world than ever before. With so many to choose from, we’ll take you through our list of the seven best pocket knives under $100 and the features that make them exceptional cutting tools.

7. CRKT Hammond Cruiser

CRKT Hammond Cruiser Folding Knife

Specs

  • Overall Length: 5.25 inches;
  • Blade Length: 3.75 inches;
  • Cutting Edge: 3.5 inches;
  • Steel Type: AUS-8;
  • Blade Style: Drop Point;
  • Edge Type: Plain.

The Hammond Cruiser from CRKT is one of the best pocket knives under $100 on the market. It’s an affordable model that offers a lot of “real estate” in the handle for gripping, combined with patterned Zytel handles for an extra secure grip in bad weather. You get a fairly large blade for a pocket knife as well, perfect for big chores. The steel type offers a good mix of edge retention and ease of sharpening and stands up to hard use fairly well.

On the downside, the model can often have side-to-side blade play and require tightening, and the screws on the pocket clip can often get stripped if you need to switch the clip to another position on the knife. The black coating on the models that carry it doesn’t wear too well, either.

6. Buck Knives 302 Solitaire

302 Solitaire Knife from Buck Knives

Specs

  • Overall Length: 6.75 inches;
  • Blade Length: 2.8 inches;
  • Cutting Edge: 2.5 inches;
  • Steel Type: 420HC;
  • Blade Style: Clip Point;
  • Edge Type: Plain.

The Solitaire is one of the more popular models by Buck, and with good reason. With a compact frame, small blade and lightweight feel, it’s great for carrying every day without extra weight in the pocket. The blade is made from Buck’s usual inexpensive 420HC steel and heat treated using their proprietary process for maximum edge retention and usability. The size and style of the Solitaire make it one of the best pocket knives under $100 for fine, detailed work, such as you might need on a construction or remodeling site.

5. Kershaw 1987 RJ Tactical Knife with SpeedSafe

Kershaw 1987 RJ Tactical Knife with SpeedSafe

Specs

  • Overall Length: 6.8 inches;
  • Blade Length: 3 inches;
  • Cutting Edge: 2.75 inches;
  • Steel Type: 8Cr13MoV;
  • Blade Style: Drop Point;
  • Edge Type: Plain.

Kershaw’s 1987 model ramps up the convenience factor by giving you a handy knife in a lightweight, smooth frame combined with a spring-assisted opening. It’s a great option for workers on the job who often only have one hand free to get their knife open. A tiny push of the flipper and the knife is ready for use.
The steel used is great for ease of sharpening but often has poorer than average edge retention qualities.

4. SOG Aegis Assisted Folding Knife

SOG Aegis Assisted Folding Knife AE02-CP

Specs

  • Overall Length: 8.25 inches;
  • Blade Length: 3.5 inches;
  • Cutting Edge: 3.25 inches;
  • Steel Type: AUS-8;
  • Blade Style: Americanized Tanto;
  • Edge Type: Partially Serrated.

SOG’s Aegis give you the puncturing power of a tanto-tip knife combined with some serrations on the lower half of the blade. This combination makes the Aegis ideal for takes that involve any sawing and although pocket knives are not typically used for puncturing, the tanto design increases the strength of the tip in case you need to do so on the job.

Although serrations make sawing through tough rope or cord much easier, they cannot be sharpened in the same way as a fully plain edge blade.

3. Spyderco Delica, 4th Generation

Spyderco Delica, 4th Generation 2.8

Specs

  • Overall Length: 7.25;
  • Blade Length: 2.8;
  • Cutting Edge: 2.5;
  • Steel Type: VG-10;
  • Blade Style: Drop Point;
  • Edge Type: Plain.

The Delica is one of the best pocket knives under $100 today. Spyderco offers a full flat grind on most of their blades and the steel and heat treat are known for their superior edge retention and cutting capabilities. Fiberglass handles are extremely lightweight but reinforced so that there is no sacrifice in strength. Spyderco knives are also well-known for locking up very firmly with no side-to-side play.

2. Gerber Freeman Guide Folding Knife

Freeman Guide Folding Knife

Specs

  • Overall Length: 8 inches;
  • Blade Length:3.5;
  • Cutting Edge: 3.25;
  • Steel Type: 440A;
  • Blade Style: Drop Point;
  • Edge Type: Plain.

Gerber has made some of the best pocket knives under $100 for years. The Freeman folder offers a textured rubber grip that is both comfortable and easy to hang onto in inclement weather or bad conditions. The blade is wide and relatively thick which makes it ideal for heavy-duty work in the field, although edge retention is not so great on this one.

It’s easy and safe to open and close with one hand thanks to the thumb stud, and the open construction makes it easy to clean the knife if dirt gets inside. It’s a fairly heavy knife, and I recommend carrying it in the provided belt pouch rather than a pocket.

1. Ontario RAT-1

Ontario RAT-1, best pocket knives under $100

Specs

  • Overall Length: 8.5 inches;
  • Blade Length: 3.5 inches;
  • Cutting Edge: 3.2 inches;
  • Steel Type: AUS-8;
  • Blade Style: Drop Point;
  • Edge Type: Plain Edge.

The RAT-1 is without a doubt one of the best pocket knives under $100 you can buy. It features a very smooth, easy-to-grip frame that is substantial without feeling heavy. The opening and closing action is extremely smooth and can be done with one hand anytime. Ontario’s proprietary heat treat also make their version of AUS-8 both easy to sharpen quickly and able to keep that edge going for a long time.

Summing Up

With so many options in the knife world today, we’ve chosen what we believe are some of the best pocket knives under $100 on the market right now, with an eye toward quality, ease-of-use, and edge retention. Feel free to share your thoughts or experiences with these or other models.

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