Carbon Steel Pocket Knife Buying Guide 2018

Are you looking for a good pocket knife that won't let you down in camping trip? There are major differences in quality and durability from one brand and type to another. We recommend carbon steel pocket knives over other material types. We've prepared this guide to tell you why they outperform most others, and last longer. Here, you'll find the information that you need to make the best choice, along with a review of the ten top carbon steel knives on the market today. We've saved you the time and effort it takes to research by providing the important details in one convenient place.

What's The Best Steel for Pocket Knife Blades?

There has been an ongoing debate over which is the best material for pocket knives. It comes down to stainless steel versus carbon steel. Both are good choices, but which is the best? If you're looking for a knife that is easier to sharpen and holds its edge better, then carbon is the material that will perform the best. Stainless is a lot harder to sharpen and it doesn't hold an edge as well, but it's usually a bit cheaper. The best steel for pocket knife blades really depends on your personal preferences, and how much time you want to spend sharpening your knife.

Comparison Table of Carbon Steel Pocket knife 

Picture

Name

Editor Rating

Price

Opinel_Carbon_Steel

Opinel Carbon Steel Folding Everyday Carry Locking Pocket Knife

Spring_Assisted_Knife

ALPHA TEK Spring Assisted Knife

Schrade_SCHF3N_Extreme_Survival_knife

Schrade SCHF3N Extreme Survival Full Tang Clip Point Fixed Blade 

Morakniv_Bushcraft_Carbon_Fixed_Blade_Knife

Morakniv Bushcraft Carbon Fixed Blade Knife 

Carbon_Steel_Pocket_knife

KA-BAR Full Size US Marine Corps Fighting Knife, Straight

Victorinox_10_Inch_Fibrox_Pro

Victorinox 10 Inch Fibrox Pro Chef's Knife

Morakniv_Bushcraft_Carbon_Steel_Survival_Knife

Morakniv Bushcraft Carbon Steel Survival Knife with Fire Starter 

Schrade_SCHF9_Extreme_Survival_knife

Schrade SCHF9 Extreme Survival Full Tang Drop Point Fixed Blade 

Zero_Tolerance_0450_Pocketknife

Zero Tolerance 0450 Pocketknife (0450); 

Spyderco_Dragonfly_Folding_Knife

Spyderco Dragonfly 2 Plain Edge Folding Knife

Carbon Steel Pocket Knife Reviews 

Opinel_Carbon_Steel

The Opinel carbon steel folding is a locking pocket knife that is safe to carry in your pocket, because it won't open until you're ready to use. Exceptional quality with a choice of colors make this an essential for both amateur and pro handymen or those who enjoy the outdoors.

Features & Benefits

  • A simple knife that is easy to use because of the user friendly design.
  • Sturdy locking mechanism to keep it folded and secure in your pocket until you're ready to use it. The stainless steel Virobloc safety ring locks the blade open and locks it closed for making it safer both in the pocket and when being used.
  • Hard carbon steel with guaranteed cutting quality that is easy to sharpen.
  • Beech wood handles for exceptional strength and durability.
  • Resistant to wear and guaranteed for long life under proper use and care.
  • Crowned hand emblem makes this knife a unique collector's piece for passing down from one generation to another. Joseph Opinel chose this emblem as a mark of the tradition of quality.

Pros

  • check
    Great steel blade that is easy to sharpen 
  • check
    Holds its edge longer than stainless steel blades
  • check
    Easy to lock and unlock
  • check
    Good size, comfortable in hands

Cons

  • check
    Carbon corrodes easily but if you wipe off dampness and grease after use, the blade will retain its integrity.
Spring_Assisted_Knife

Deploys with lightning speed and comes with a built-in bottle opener. Durable and razor sharp for the best possible performance.

Features & Benefits

  • Spring assisted mechanism opens fast when you need it with rapid deployment.
  • APEX440C instant use with top finger flip design for ease of use when wearing gloves.
  • Multi-function finger guard with additional safety feature that doubles as a finger guard.
  • Easy close design with one hand operation after release of liner lock.
  • High carbon solid steel blade for durability and sharp edge retention.
  • CAM system keeps blade closed when in pocket. G-10 composite handle is slim, durable and built for tactical high performance

Pros

  • check
    Dependable blade that holds its edge and is easy to sharpen
  • check
    Opens fast when you're in a hurry thanks to the spring assist
  • check
    Additional safety features to protect you from injury
  • check
    Durable steel blade and handle materials for long life under proper use
  • check
    Lightweight and feels good in the hand with ease of maneuverability

Cons

  • check
    Blade stains easily so keep it wiped down when not in use.
Schrade_SCHF3N_Extreme_Survival_knife

Solid performance with a high carbon stainless steel blade. Designed for easy carry for professional or recreational use.

Features & Benefits

  • High carbon stainless steel blade for razor sharpness that holds its edge.
  • Large 6.4 inch long Bowie blade for high performance in heavy duty cutting tasks.
  • Micarta handle slabs with texture and grooving for optimum grip and control.
  • Ballistic belt sheath and lanyard hole for multiple carrying position options.
  • Large pouch for carrying.

Pros

  • check
    Solid knife with quality construction
  • check
    Handles heavy jobs with ease
  • check
    Easy to carry and access when needed
  • check
    Evenly weighted with good balance for smoother handling

Cons

  • check
    Handle is large and best suited for users with medium to large hands.
Morakniv_Bushcraft_Carbon_Fixed_Blade_Knife

Morakniv Bushcraft for full control and easy maneuverability. Thick enough to be firm but thin for lightweight effectiveness in a fixed blade that is sharp as a razor.

Features & Benefits

  • Ergonomic handle including rubber grip for maximum control and comfort during use.
  • Carbon steel with tungsten DLC coating in an attractive black color that fights corrosion.
  • Lightweight knife that is evenly weighted for optimum performance at 5.7 ounces with sheath-Designed for easy use with a fire starter.

Pros

  • check
    Solid knife that is well built and holds up under recommended use
  • check
    Handle is comfortable and offers excellent grip
  • check
    Anti-corrosive treatment protects blade from staining and rust
  • check
    Good for use in camping and light to medium duty cutting tasks. Sharp blade performs well

Cons

  • check
    Knife is on the small side, perfect for smaller hands, but not as much for users with larger hands.
Carbon_Steel_Pocket_knife

Ease of use and incredible comfort in a well balanced straight edge knife. It earned its reputation in WWII and continues with performance and quality that is equal to the examples first delivered to the military 70 years ago

Features & Benefits

  • 1095 Cro-Van steel blade for sharpness and durability.
  • Presentation grade from the USMC model used in WWII ideal for gift giving and commemoration.
  • Gold plated brass guard and pommel for attractive appearance.
  • Resistant to corrosion through unique manufacturing process for durability and long life.

Pros

  • check
    Comfortable feel with weighted balance and easy to use.
  • check
    7 inch straight blade with high quality steel that comes razor sharp and holds its edge.
  • check
    High quality sheath of 100% leather holds up under rugged use.

Cons

  • check
    Handle may feel slick, but the addition of a wrap solves the problem if it's an issue.
Victorinox_10_Inch_Fibrox_Pro

The essential for amateur and professional chefs. A multipurpose knife that is ideal for dicing, slicing, mincing or chopping. Holds a sharp edge for high performance in the kitchen.

Features & Benefits

  • Multipurpose blade that is up to any task in the kitchen with precision cutting-Swiss crafted design for professional use with tapered knife edge for cutting exact angles.
  • Long blade with ten inches of cutting area for tackling larger jobs with ease and efficiency.
  • Fibrox handle is ergonomic in design with surer grip that makes handling the knife safer and easy whether it's dry or wet.
  • Available in stainless steel or carbon blade.

Pros

  • check
    This knife rocks easily for fast cutting and dicing.
  • check
    Comfortable in the hand and offers great gripping and control.
  • check
    Good knife for larger cutting jobs in the kitchen.
  • check
    Sturdy and well built with quality in materials, construction and design.

Cons

  • check
    Knife does not come with a razor sharp edge but may be sharpened easily.
Morakniv_Bushcraft_Carbon_Steel_Survival_Knife

The essential tool for tactical, emergency, hunting and a variety of outdoor applications. Razor sharp edge that will help you tackle any cutting task.

Features & Benefits

  • High carbon steel for durability and ease of sharpening-Resistant to corrosion thanks to thee Tungsten DLC anti.
  • corrosive coating in an attractive black color. Helps in the prevention of staining and rusting for longer life of the knife blade.
  • Scandi Grind ensures that the knife will bite more easily into the surface with minimal slippage and maximum sharpness.
  • Specially ground spine with included fire starter that lets you built a fire quickly and easily without hassle. 
  • Multi-functional tool that allows for fast wood splitting for kindling, thanks to the sturdy 1/8 inch thick blade making it the perfect batoning tool. Also excellent for use in carving and a variety of other tasks that are necessary in a survival situation.

Pros

  • check
    Lightweight knife that is easy to carry
  • check
    Perfectly balanced for a comfortable fit in the hand and efficiency in both light and heavy duty tasks
  • check
    Shaves wood for kindling quickly with a sharp edge that cuts through wood like butter
  • check
    Solid knife that performs well in all situations

Cons

  • check
    A leather sheath is preferred to the plastic, and it is easily replaced.
Schrade_SCHF9_Extreme_Survival_knife

The ideal knife for professional or recreational level use that has become an essential for campers and those who spend time in the outdoors.

Features & Benefits

  • 1095 High carbon steel drop point blade that retains its sharpness so you won't need to stop and resharpen in the middle of a task.
  • Multiple carrying options with ballistic belt sheath, removable storage pouch and lanyard holes in the TPE Handle slabs.
  • Curved blade with decorative appearance that is highly functional for quickly cutting through branches with machete and hatchet quality action.
  • Ring textured handle slab offers exceptional grip and comfort for control of the knife during use.

Pros

  • check
    Sharp blade that keeps its edge and holds up during use and is easy to sharpen when required
  • check
    Excellent grip with finger notches well placed in the handle
  • check
    Well weighted and balanced making the knife easy to use for a variety of different tasks
  • check
    The additional pocket in the well made sheath is useful for keeping a multi tool or sharpening stone

Cons

  • check
    A few defects noted in some of the molded handles, but not noticeable when you wear gloves
Zero_Tolerance_0450_Pocketknife

The Zero Tolerance pocketknife is the essential for camping and other types of outdoor use. Built for durability and performance when you need it the most.

Features & Benefits

  • High quality construction with hardened steel lock bar that is housed within a titanium frame.
  • Frame lock safety for keeping the blade secured in its position, preventing accidental closing during use.
  • Finger guard with safety design to protect fingers from injury during vigorous use.
  • Multi functional knife for digging, piercing, slicing, scaling, chopping, cutting and slashing under all conditions and in any environment.
  • Drop point tip for protection from chips and the elimination of pitch momentum that gives the blade additional strength where it's needed.

Pros

  • check
    Sturdy knife that performs very well for heavy duty use
  • check
    High quality materials and very well built knife
  • check
    The perfect knife for camping or at home use
  • check
    Comfortable ergonomic handle is easy to use

Cons

  • check
    Knife works best when used in the right hand. Not as easy to maneuver if you're left handed
Spyderco_Dragonfly_Folding_Knife

Spyderco Dragonfly 2 Plain Edge is a folding knife that is made both right and left handed users. Durable and dependable to perform with reliability.

Features & Benefits

  • Fiberglass reinforced nylon handle over steel handle offers a comfortable grip for greater control of the knife and efficiency when cutting.
  • Bi-directional handle makes it easy and more comfortable for people who are either left handed or right handed.
  • Leaf-shaped blade with flat ground blade and tip-up wire clip for left and right. 
  • Quality and durability testing performed to assure that the product lives up to its full potential.

Pros

  • check
    Steel blade is sturdy and holds a sharp edge through task completion
  • check
    Texturing on the handle makes it easy to keep a firm grip and gives good control over the knife at all times
  • check
    Quality product that is well designed and built
  • check
    Versatile for use in multiple applications

Cons

  • check
    Some knives came in dirty condition from the factory. Replacements for the mishandled batch were dealt with swiftly through generous return policy.

Advantages of Carbon Steel Blade Knives

Carbon steel blade knives offer a few advantages over stainless steel. They are easier to sharpen to a razor sharp edge. This means that it takes less effort to achieve a sharp edge than with stainless steel blades. Also they are also less expensive in most cases. They are durable when grease and moisture are wiped off after each use. The addition of a non-corrosive coating makes them hold up for longer. Many chefs prefer carbon steel blade knives because of their superior ability to grind to sharpness more quickly. This feature allows for faster cutting, dicing, slicing and chopping of foods being prepared in the kitchen. Their sharpness also makes carbon steel a preferred option for many hunters and survivalist who rely upon high performance in emergency and tactical situations.

Disadvantages of Carbon Steel Blade Knives

The major disadvantage of carbon steel blade knives is that they tend to chip and corrode more easily than stainless steel blades. While they are easier to sharpen, they require more frequent sharpening than most of the stainless varieties do. Regarding which is the best, it is a matter of personal preference. For some users, less frequent sharpening is worth the sacrifice of razor sharpness, and for others, the preference is for the less expensive type that will be sharper for a shorter period of time.

So, is a Carbon Steel Blade Knife worth it?

There are many professional and amateurs who would rather spend more time sharpening a knife that will achieve the sharpest possible edge. It is more difficult to get this quality in a stainless steel blade. This is highly valued for chefs and other professionals who require precision cutting and a blade that will accomplish a large task in a shorter amount of time. Carbon blades are less expensive, and when the time spent attempting to achieve the same level of sharpness in a stainless steel blade is compared with the frequency of sharpening required for carbon steel, some believe that it is a good trade-off for the razor edge.

The Pros and Cons of Stainless vs. High Carbon Steel Pocket Knives

Stainless steel pocket knives are still considered to be the preferred choice for some survivalists, campers, chefs and outdoors people. They value the fact that the blade holds an edge longer than carbon steel. Another advantage is that they are less prone to rust, chipping and corrosion. On the downside, stainless blades are more difficult to sharpen and take longer. They are also more expensive which is a factor that does influence some users. The time spent sharpening a frequently used knife of either type is likely to be equal when you factor in the degree of difficulty versus frequency. High carbon steel pocket knives which are treated with an anti-corrosive coating rise in superiority over stainless.

Edge Retention

One of the biggest differences between stainless and high carbon steel blades is the length of time that they retain an edge. Stainless comes out ahead when it comes to retaining the sharp edge. This means that there will be fewer breaks in task completion on larger jobs. In general, the edge is not quite as sharp as with carbon steel, but it does last longer in between grindings and it's more difficult to obtain.

Are all blades from the same steel alike?

When you use a variety of different knife blades you will soon learn that not all blades from the same steel are alike. Some have special treatment that make them more durable and resistant to corrosion. The shape of the blade and the type of grind or edge that is applied also makes a difference in the way that the knife performs under use. There are even some people who prefer to use stainless steel blades for either tactical, hunting or other uses over carbon steel, but would rather use carbon steel in the kitchen. For others, this is reversed. It really does come down to a matter of personal preference and the intended use of the blade.

What are CPM steels?

CPM steels are a special type that is a premium grade of knife blade material. They are manufactured in a way that makes the steel harder than most other types. The grain of the knife is much more refined which allows it to achieve a sharper edge. It is more effective in cutting and this material is also much easier to sharpen than stainless steel. Because of its hardness, it goes through grinder belts faster than other steels. It is considered to be the ultimate material for creating high performance knives, but it is also the most expensive blade material on the market today.

Final Conclusion

Carbon steel pocket knives are among the most affordable knives on the market. Although there are blade steels that have advantages over the material, they also have drawbacks. Carbon steel blades which are treated to resist corrosion are easier to maintain than those which are not. Although they need more frequent sharpening, they are much easier to hone to a razor's edge. We've offered some of the best examples of the top ten carbon steel knives available. Our selections are highly rated by people who have purchased and used them.

Each is recommended as a good value for the cost. We've provided all the pros and cons of each knife for your careful consideration. Our carbon steel pocket knife guide and reviews are designed to make finding the best choice easier by giving you all the information that you need in one convenient place. Whether you need a folding knife, straight edge or kitchen knife, we've included examples of each type for your consideration.

Michael Ethan
 

Click Here to Leave a Comment Below 0 comments

Leave a Reply:

Real Time Web Analytics