The Must Have: A Pocket Knife

I don’t want to call this a ‘Southern’ thing, but carrying a pocket knife is something I associate with gentlemen in the South.  My Granddad always carried one – he wouldn’t leave the house without it.  My dad carries one, has one in his car, and another one in his golf bag (they rotate).  Carrying a pocket knife has been passed down the family tree, and I’ve inherited the habit.

I like to think of them as a problem solver – not just pocket decoration.  Part screwdriver, part box opener, part nail file…the options are limitless.  My preference is for something on the smaller side when closed (~3.5″) so it isn’t too bulky.  It’s important to get a good knife that stays sharp – it may be more expensive, but worth the money in the long run.  There is nothing worse than a dull knife.

Already got a good knife? Give one as a gift.  It’ll go a long way.

Here are some great options:


Case Cheetah Cub


Spyderco LadyBug



Laguiole Pocket Knife



SOG Mini X-Ray Folding Knife



Buck Gent Lockback Folding Knife



Victorinox Classic



  1. Casey
    06/24/2011 / 9:01 AM

    Buck knifes are my favorite, and in the past I have carried one on me at all times… I have gotten away from this habit as I travel alot (thanks alot bin Laden) but still keep my trusty Buck knife in my car at all times. The thing has saved my ass a couple of times….

  2. Anonymous
    06/24/2011 / 9:42 AM

    Love the idea of a post on pocket knives. You’re right, a nice knife truly is one of the marks of a Southern gentleman. Nothing against any of the knives you featured, but with your typical affinity for the finer things in life, it’s a shame that you don’t have a single German knife in the bunch! Then again, we all need a little educating on a few subjects:) Go check out some German-made pieces (watch out for manufacturers who have now moved to China) and I think you may want to do a second post. Take a look at German Eye, Hen & Rooster, and some of the old Kissing Crane knives that were made in Solingen. If you haven’t already been introduced to some of these, they may become your new addiction.

  3. 06/24/2011 / 9:52 AM

    I’ve carried a Leatherman Micra on my keychain for years now. Not only is it low profile (all stainless, pretty small), it actually has a serviceable pair of real scissors on it and a surprisingly strong blade for a knife its size.

  4. Gary
    06/24/2011 / 6:48 PM

    Great post and I think it is a Southern Gentleman thing. My Grandfather and Great Grandfather never left home without a Buck Stockman style pocket knife. I have their last ones in my possession and treasure both. I’ve got lots of knives mostly Case, Buck, & SOG but it has been a small stag handled Case Eisenhower pen knife that I have carried every day for years. Two blades and very small, use one as a tool on everything keeping the second one sharp for cutting.

  5. 06/24/2011 / 8:29 PM

    Couldn’t agree more–all the Southern gents I know have them! My dad has one that is incredible with a hunt scene carved into it!

  6. 06/28/2011 / 4:13 PM

    @Casey – Buck makes a great product. Yeah – it’s important to leave it at home when heading to the airport. I can’t imagine what the pocket knife stash looks like at any airport.

    @Anon – Thanks for the head’s up – I have a few friends that have Kissing Cranes, and just pulled the trigger on an older mini-trapper (hopefully not made in China).

    @Sam – I had to dump a Leatherman Micra that I got as a groomsman’s gift when going to a Thrashers game a few years ago. I really miss that thing.

  7. BB
    07/03/2011 / 10:39 PM

    highly recommend buck knives. they keep a very sharp blade and were (up until very recently) only made in the usa. great bang for your buck. i currently always carry the standard double (regular blade and sheeps foot blade) in my pocket at all times. very manageable size when folded. the nice wooden finished handle adds some old school charm.

  8. 07/27/2013 / 11:59 AM

    Just like to add that if you are serious about knives you should invest in a good sharpening system, or learn to sharpen free hand. No knife stays sharp for long if it is actually used, even expensive ones with premium blade steels. They will all dull and eventually need to be sharpened. A sharp knife is much safer than a dull knife.

  9. 07/08/2017 / 5:53 PM

    I love pocket knives 🙂

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