6 Best Pocket Knives For Women: Why & What to Look For

Do you find yourself struggling to rip open your Amazon Prime packages? Have you ever been frustrated by loose strings on the hem of a skirt?

Ever wish you had a knife to slice off a big hunk of office birthday cake?

Carrying even a small pocket knife can make these basic everyday tasks so much easier. 

Pocket knives aren’t just for boy scouts. That said, while men often gravitate toward sharp, shiny blades, many women seem reluctant to carry a knife.

Or maybe it’s more apt to say that many women don’t realize the advantages of owning a pocket knife.

Today, we’re going to tackle misleading misconceptions, explain the best traits to look for in a high-quality pocket knife, and go over our list of the 6 best pocket knives for people of the “gentler persuasion”—even if we aren’t always gentle.

Wink

Table of Contents

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Why Do I Need a Pocket Knife?

How many times did your mom tell you to stay away from knives and scissors as a child?

Knives are sharp, and we are made of soft, easy-to-slice human flesh. When the two meet, bad things can happen.

So, yeah. Knives can be scary. But they are also incredibly useful.

Pocket Knife

It may help to stop thinking of a pocket knife as a weapon. In truth, a pocket knife is a much better tool than it is a weapon.

Can it be used as a weapon? Of course. But I have more effective weapons at my disposal (*pats Glock affectionately*).

Alice's EDC Set-Up
My EDC set-up.

A knife (pocket or otherwise) is unquestionably one of the most versatile tools ever known to man…and woman.

You can use a good pocket knife to open your Amazon and Etsy orders, bust into those hard-to-open clamshell packages, cut loose strings and clothing tags, peel an apple, or slice a cheesecake.

One should always be prepared for cheesecake!

Once you get used to carrying a pocket knife, I promise you’ll feel naked without it. And not the good kind of naked, either.

Where Is it?

What To Look For In A Pocket Knife

While technology has evolved over time, knives have generally stayed the same.

A blade on one end and a handle on the other. Why? Because it works. 

But that doesn’t mean all knives—let alone pocket knives—are the same. A simple Amazon search proves that there’s an almost infinite number of variations available.

edc pocket knives

It’s easy to look at these options and feel completely overwhelmed, especially if you aren’t familiar with blades.

When searching for a good pocket knife, women need to consider several factors, including the blade’s shape, edge, and the type of steel it’s made from. 

Blade Shape

Here are a few of the most common options:

  • Drop point: One of the most common blade designs, the drop point features a convex spine that curves down from the handle to the point. This is the ideal general-purpose blade design.
Drop Point
Drop Point (Image courtesy of BladeHQ)
  • Clip point: This shape is similar to a drop point, but with a front section that looks like it’s been clipped off. This one is great for stabbing and fine detail cutting. 
Clip Point
Clip Point (Image courtesy of BladeHQ)
  • Tanto: Inspired by the shape of samurai swords, the tanto blade has an angular edge in place of the curved belly that is found on the drop point. This design makes the blade incredibly sturdy.
Tanto
Tanto (Image courtesy of BladeHQ)
  • Sheepsfoot – Designed for trimming animal hooves, the sheepsfoot blade has a straight edge and a backside that curves down, creating a blunted point. Perfect for slicing, the sheepsfoot also reduces your chances of accidentally stabbing something (including yourself) with the point.
Sheepsfoot
Sheepsfoot (Image courtesy of BladeHQ)

Blade Edge: Serrated Vs. Straight

The serrated versus straight edge debate has been raging for some time now, and it probably isn’t going to die down any time soon.

But that’s only because both sides make some great points (pun thoroughly intended).

Serrated, straight, and partially serrated blades each come with their own sets of pros and cons.

Blade Serrations
Blade Serrations

A serrated blade has a saw-like edge. These blades work best when you cut with a short back-and-forth motion.

They can generally saw through tough materials more quickly than even the sharpest straight edge. 

Serrated blades also do a fine job of slicing soft, flexible materials that can be crushed with too much downward pressure.

serrated tomato
Tomato vs. Serrated Knife

And here’s a little hint from yours truly: They also excel at slicing tomatoes and fresh bread, so if sandwiches are on the menu, a serrated blade is hard to beat!

The only downside is that once a serrated blade becomes dull, it isn’t particularly easy to sharpen. The upside is that they’re usually cheap to replace.

Serrated vs. Straight Edge

Straight edge blades have a longer cutting edge and are much easier to sharpen.

The long, smooth edge creates a clean cut, whereas a serrated blade sometimes leaves a jagged edge.

A nice, sharp straight edge blade is perfect for slicing meat or fabric.

Cutting Problems
Not on our watch!

Some pocket knives have a mostly straight edge blade with a small section of serration.

These hybrid blades attempt to combine the best of both worlds, yet the design makes for a smaller, less productive cutting area for each of the edges.

Even so, there’s a reason these blades exist and are sold as pocket knives. They provide a level of versatility that allows you to slice just about anything that could possibly need cutting. 

Blade Material

The type of steel used to construct a blade ultimately determines how well it can resist corrosion, hold an edge, and stand up to daily abuse.

This is a pretty complex subject, and we could easily fill several articles with boring chemical compounds and confusing metallurgy terms.

While this could be riveting reading material for some people, I’m certainly not one of them, so I’m going to spare us all and just focus on the different types of materials.

Too much science

Most modern pocket knives are made from either carbon or stainless steel. 

Carbon steel (the most common being 1095) is perfect for a knife that you’re planning to abuse. If you need a tough and durable blade, carbon steel is a good candidate for the job.

Carbon steel is easy to sharpen once it dulls. However, it’s also prone to corrosion, so it isn’t always the best option for EDC.

opinel knife 2
This Opinel blade is made with carbon steel.

Stainless steel is basically carbon steel that’s been mixed with some extra chromium to prevent corrosion.

To qualify as true stainless steel, the blade must contain at least 13% chromium. 

Because stainless steel is corrosion-resistant, it’s a great option for anyone who needs a reliable pocket knife for regular everyday use.

Unfortunately, the blade loses a little toughness due to that extra chromium, so you may need to sharpen your knife more frequently.

Common categories of stainless steel include 400, 154CM, AUS, VG, CTS, MoV, Sandvik, and Crucible SxxV.

Benchmade Mini Griptilia
The stainless steel beauties of the Benchmade Mini Griptilian family.

Getting A Handle On Things

It’s easy to be enamored by a sharp, flashy steel blade.

But the handle (also called the “hilt”) of a pocket knife is just as important. The handle contains the locking mechanism and houses the blade when the knife is folded.

Anatomy of a Pocket Knife
Anatomy of a Pocket Knife

The structure and material of the handle play a huge role in the knife’s strength and general usability. 

Pocket knife handles are commonly made of metal, wood, bone, or composite materials like fiberglass and nylon.

Metal and composite materials tend to be stronger and more durable, while natural materials are more traditional and make a nice style statement. 

Bone Pocket Knife
Pocket knife with a bone handle.

But don’t focus solely on the material when picking out your new pocket knife. The handle also needs to fit well in your hand.

Knives with ergonomic designs are preferred; however, most are engineered to fit in hands that are bigger, beefier, and stronger than those of the average lady.

Strong Hands
If only…

Have your eye on a specific pocket knife? I recommend giving it a good test drive to see how it handles before you commit.

That’s just sound advice, whether you’re talking about trucks, pocket knives, or relationships. 

Of course, it can be hard to assess an internet buy in advance. Everything looks shiny and sharp and “Made For You” online.

Luckily, your average pocket knife isn’t going to break the bank. Just make sure you safely test it once that box arrives, especially if you plan to use it for EDC.

Staying On The Right Side Of The Law

Just like gun regulations, knife laws tend to vary widely from state to state.

Animaniacs States Song

Some places are pretty lax, allowing you to freely carry a blade of any size or design. Others have very specific restrictions. 

Before you decide on a pocket knife, you should familiarize yourself with all the rules and regulations in your area.

You should also check knife laws before traveling. It’s important to stay informed if you want to keep out of trouble.

Otherwise, your knife could be confiscated, you could end up with an expensive citation, or worse. 

Yikes

Best Pocket Knives For Women

What makes a great women’s pocket knife?

Someone should let the corporate overlords know that it has nothing to do with the color pink.

Ugly Knife
This should be the exception, not the rule.

In the world of women’s pocket knives, size matters.

The average woman has smaller hands than the average man. Mother Nature can be kind of a sexist shrew in this regard. 

Thanks Mom

Women also tend to have smaller pockets. This has nothing to do with Mother Nature and everything to do with women’s fashion.

Our pants usually have stupidly tiny pockets…if they even have pockets at all.

Better Pockets
So much for EDC…

It’s hard to believe, but our pants pockets are usually smaller than our hands. Space for a pocket knife is definitely limited.

We’ve compiled our list of the six best pocket knives with this cruel and painful reality in mind.

These knives are perfect for women because they are small and easy to hold, take up little pocket space, are useful fixes for everyday inconveniences, and can be utilized for self-defense in an emergency.

Best Pocket Knives for Women

1. Benchmade Mini Griptilian

There is so much to love about this compact, lightweight blade. The Benchmade Mini Griptilian is made from 154CM stainless steel, which nicely balances edge retention with corrosion resistance. 

This is a seriously low-maintenance pocket knife. Sharpen it once, and you may never need to sharpen it again. 

The Mini Griptilian is surprisingly customizable for a pocket knife.

It comes in three different blade shapes – drop point, tanto, and sheepsfoot – and you can choose whether you want a serrated or straight edge blade.

Benchmade Mini Griptilian

The handle is small (less than 4”), but still large enough to fit comfortably in a lady’s hand. It also has textured scaling, making it fairly slip-resistant. 

This pocket knife weighs less than 3 ounces, and it’s only about half an inch thick.

Get where I’m going with this? Yes, it can fit in your pocket!

Excitement Gif

The Mini Griptilian features a cool, spring-assisted opening system that allows you to deploy the blade with only one hand.

So, not only does it fit in your pocket, it’s also easy to remove during an emergency situation.

Pros:

  • Compact, lightweight design
  • Available in a variety of blade styles
  • Textured handle
  • Corrosion-resistant blade
  • Holds an edge well
  • Spring-assist opening system

Cons:

  • Still trying to find one
Writer's Favorite
100
at Amazon

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

2. Kershaw Leek Knife

The Leek Knife dons a 3″ blade made from Sandvik 14C28 N stainless steel.

Commonly used in high-end chef’s knives, this quality steel is plenty durable, easy to sharpen, and does a better-than-decent job of resisting corrosion. 

The handle measures 4” and is made from bead-blasted stainless steel. It blends nicely with the blade for a sleek, all-stainless look that is très chic.

However, the handle has zero texturing, so it’s definitely not designed for super hard work.

Kershaw Leek
Kershaw Leek

But it would serve you well for most EDC tasks – just be prepared for it to slip around a bit if your hands get wet.

Leek Knife

This is, without a doubt, a light-duty pocket knife.

I spent a great deal of time making concise pros and cons lists for every knife in this article. The most pressing downside of the Leek Knife is that the blade dulls pretty quickly.

In fairness, it also sharpens fairly easily, which is a good thing since you’re going to be spending quite a bit of time sharpening that edge.

Pros

  • Perfect size for ladies’ pockets
  • Durable, easy-to-sharpen blade
  • Attractive design that works well for both dressing up and dressing down

Cons

  • Lacks texture on the grip
  • Dulls pretty quickly
Best For Light-Duty
45
at Amazon

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

3. Spyderco Dragonfly 2

The Spyderco Dragonfly 2 is a small pocket knife that weighs about an ounce and measures in at 3.33” when folded, making it great for EDC.

Although the Dragonfly 2 is pretty runty with that 2.28” blade, it handles like a much larger knife. 

The blade is made from premium VG-10. Despite its short size, the cutting edge runs the length of the blade, making it incredibly efficient for any slicing and dicing.

A word of warning: The blade comes surgically sharp right out of the box, so watch those fingers!

So Sharp

The handle is made from lightweight, textured fiberglass and has an incredibly ergonomic design.

When you hold this knife in your hand, it feels like a natural extension of your body.

The handle also features a textured index-finger choil that provides a firm grip and some extra blade control. I must say, this little number is great for fine detail cutting.

Spyderco Dragonfly 2

The Dragonfly 2 features Spyderco’s signature Round Hole.

Now, in theory, this component is supposed to make the knife super easy to open.

In reality, people either love it or hate it. There doesn’t seem to be much middle ground.

You get to decide

Pros:

  • Short and lightweight for easy pocket carry
  • Handles like a larger knife
  • Easy to sharpen
  • Ergonomic handle design with a textured surface for better grip
  • Spyderco’s signature Round Hole

Cons:

  • Spyderco’s signature Round Hole
66
at Amazon

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

4. SOG Twitch II

The SOG Twitch II is an absolute rock star in the world of EDC pocket knives. It cuts like a razor, slips into the shallowest pocket, and handles like a charm.

I’ll admit to fangirling big time over this one. 

Fangirl On

The 2.65” blade is made from AUS-8 stainless steel, which ranks high in wear resistance, hardness, and corrosion resistance.

It comes razor sharp right out of the box. All knives dull with time, but the SOG Twitch II is so easy to sharpen, you could almost do it with your eyes closed.

…but don’t, because safety first, live to slice another day, etc.

The open assist on the Twitch II is easy to use and is so lightning fast it gives the average switchblade a run for its money.

Unfortunately, there is one drawback to the SOG Twitch II. The handle isn’t very grippy. It’s not slippery or anything, but it doesn’t beat the Dragonfly 2 handle.

Pros:

  • Razor-sharp, durable blade
  • Easy to sharpen
  • Superfast open assist

Cons:

  • Handle isn’t very grippy
53
at Amazon

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

5. Buck Knives 284 Bantam

Durable and stylish, the 284 Bantam from the legendary Buck Knives is a serious pocket knife designed for serious use. 

This one isn’t too big, too heavy, or too bulky. In fact, it sits in that Goldilocks “just right” sweet spot for women’s EDC. 

The 2.75” drop point blade is made from 420HC stainless steel.

But not all 420HC is created equal. Buck uses a proprietary heat treatment that reportedly makes the steel harder, more durable, and more corrosion resistant – the competition better watch out!

We can’t vouch for the company’s claims, but the blade holds an edge like there’s no tomorrow.

284 Bantam

The 284 Bantam is a great compact blade that is capable of cutting fresh flowers and slicing fine cheese.

It also does a mighty fine job of opening feed bags and skinning squirrels, if that’s more your style.

To Each Their Own

The handle is textured, well-balanced, and has a sweet ergonomic design. Buck Knives offers several different handle colors to choose from, including Muddy Girl and Mossy Oak Pink Camo for girls who like a little color.

But personally? I don’t like that it’s a paltry 3”.  

While it can tuck into most pockets, the 284 Bantam is a smidge on the short side, especially for ladies with larger hands.

Pros:

  • It’s a Buck Knife
  • Compact, lightweight design
  • The textured, ergonomic handle is easy to hold on to
  • Holds an edge
  • Easy to sharpen

Cons:

  • The handle may be a bit small for larger hands
20
at Amazon

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

6. Elk Ridge Folding Knife

Serious blade aficionados might laugh, but this is my EDC pocket knife of choice.

I picked up my Elk Ridge Pink Camo Folding Knife at a flea market over a decade ago, and I’ve carried it almost every day since.

It is super cheap, mass-produced, and made in China. While I probably wouldn’t buy this little knife knowing what I do now, I won’t pretend that it hasn’t served me well.

I regularly use it to open packages, harvest garden veggies, cut strings, break down boxes, and clean my fingernails – don’t judge, pocket knives are multipurpose tools.  

One time, I even used it to field dress a deer after leaving my expensive hunting knife in the truck. It isn’t the best tool for gutting game, but it worked when I needed it. 

The Elk Ridge Folding Knife has a short, 3.5” handle that fits perfectly in my small hands.

Surprisingly, it also fits in the pockets of every single pair of jeans in my wardrobe.

Winner

The handle is made of metal, so it’s pretty heavy. On this point, I need to offer a word of caution to all my knife-wielding sisters.

This folding knife is great, but all that extra weight tends to pull at lightweight materials. Trust me – you definitely don’t want to carry this knife when you’re wearing dress slacks. It’s not a good look.

I got your back

The blade is made of 3CR13 black stainless steel, which is incredibly durable. It’s a little embarrassing to admit, but I’m living proof of just how awesome this blade is.

My pocket knife has survived some heavy abuse over the years, and it’s never let me down (aside from that one time with the dress slacks).

I’ve folded it up wet and bloody (feel free to scold me in the comments), and the blade has never developed even a spot of rust.

elk ridge

The blade color is also crazy attractive. Just look at it! I love how the black contrasts with the pink and camo overlay on the handle.

And while I’m not really a fan of pink, the color keeps my husband from bogarting my blade. His loss, but at least I get to keep this baby in my pocket.

I lucked out when the blade-ignorant me of ten years ago bought this pocket knife. But, hey…even a blind dog finds a bone every once in a while. 

Shrug gif

Pros

  • Super affordable
  • The small handle fits small hands and shallow pockets
  • Attractive design
  • Durable blade that resists corrosion
  • Easy to sharpen

Cons

  • It’s made in China
  • The metal handle is too heavy for dress slacks
  • No non-slip handle grip (It gets pretty slippery when wet, just saying.) 
  • No open assist
8
at Amazon

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

What’s your take on the Elk Ridge?

Readers' Ratings

5.00/5 (17)

Your Rating?

Final Thoughts

Are you ready to see how a pocket knife can change your life?

Every option on this list should fit the EDC needs of most women. We’ve focused on including manageable blades that are durable, easy to use, and work well for people with smaller hands.

But these are great tools for everyone, even if you aren’t sporting two X chromosomes.

Finger Gun

We’re always looking for awesome blade recommendations. Have any tried and true EDC options, ladies? Or do you have any strange or silly stories involving your pocket knife? Let us know in the comments below!

If you’re looking for more EDC ideas, be sure to check out our article, 8 Best EDC Knives Under $50 & $100. And if you’re preparing items for your everyday carry kit, don’t forget to read Best EDC Items List For Women.

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4 Leave a Reply

  • dsutton

    A couple of things about Buck knives: Their Forever warranty can't be beat. You really have to do something drastic to it before they won't fix or replace your knife. Also, if you're not into knife sharpening, their Spa treatment (sharpen, polish, and adjust) costs a whopping $6.95, and that includes return postage.

    6 days ago
  • John Brahms

    The Spyderco Dragonfly seems the clear choice here. I’ve carried one for years and rarely needed more knife for most everyday uses. The steel is VG-10, a good all-around blade that’s only a little more difficult to keep razor sharp, but the size and the knife’s utility make up for it. The LadyBug by Spyderco is another great choice.

    1 week ago
  • Randall Hill

    Great knife for nearly everyone is a Victorinox Swiss Army Classic SD model. Key chain small. Knife edge that can be razor sharp, scissors, nail file, screwdriver and a toothpick. Cheap. I've given lots of these as gifts. Always appreciated. Can complement your edc choices.

    1 week ago
  • Noneya

    My wife likes her Kershaw Brawler. Sturdy thick blade. Easy to operate open assist. Ive been caught "borrowing" it.

    1 week ago
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