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What Is a Pocket Knife?

Learn about pocket knives in this Howcast video with expert Dan Delavan.


Hi, my name's Dan Delavan. I'm the owner/operator of Classic Cutlery in Costa Mesa, California. We have a great selection. We also have a website,, and today we're going to be talking about knives.

Okay, a pocket knife is going to be usually a smaller knife that you're going to carry in your pocket all the time. If you get a knife that's too big, more than likely you're not going to have it when you need it. So you want to really consider how big you actually need, and if you plan on carrying it all the time, make sure it's something that you can have with you all the time, whether you're dressed in jeans or slacks, or even if a lady in a purse, you want to make sure you have the right size knife.

Okay, old traditional pocket knife, it's like a small jackknife. Two blades, large blade, small blade. This particular one's made by Case Cutlery, Bradford, Pennsylvania, company my dad worked for. Just a nice simple little knife, rounded corners so it doesn't wear the pocket off. If you get something with square bolsters on it, you know, they can wear your pocket, especially if you wear tighter clothes. Also in the slip joints, you know, some guys, especially ranchers, farmers, they'll carry a three bladed Stockman as a pocket knife. You have the large clip blade, small sheep's foot, and a spay blade. Again, rounded corners, although a lot of them do have square bolsters. They're a little bit more heavy duty when they have that.

The other most popular pocket knife is a Swiss Army knife. This small Swiss Army classic made by Victorinox. It was brought home by the GI's after World War II and it's really become an American sensation. Still won't go through airport security, but it's a very popular, simple knife and it comes in a multitude of colors now.

Then for somebody that's really into knives, we have a William Henry. William Henry is a small company based out of Oregon. With a knife like a William Henry that's $1,000, you don't want to just drop it in your pocket, so you're going to take and close it up, put it in a little case and then put it in your pocket. And in some of the William Henry's they have a pocket clip so it can actually go inside your pocket and not drop down into your change pocket, or if it doesn't have the clip on it then it'll drop all the way down. And they make a multitude of sizes. But they're great little pocket knives, especially for the guy that has everything and the guy that can afford everything.

I actually have three knives in my pocket right now. Chris Reeves, it's a dog paw, which is a Classic Cutlery exclusive with the dog paw tracks on it. And a Ken Onion Ripple, the American made one that Ken and I are doing. It's only a limited release titanium handle, IDKS bearing system. And a William Henry with a ZDP blade, white pearl.

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