Why You Should Always Carry a Pocket Knife

There are a multitude of reasons you should always carry a pocket knife. These range from more mundane things like removing a splinter to life-and-death situations where your pocket knife might just save your life. However, it should be pointed out right away that certain locations, like federal buildings and courthouses, will not allow you to enter if you’re carrying a weapon of any kind, so it’s best to just leave them hidden in your car. So, let’s see how carrying a pocket knife is beneficial in different situations.

What’s a Pocket Knife?

Pocket knives are usually small, folding knives that are easy to fit in your pocket. Some, like Swiss Army Knives, have additional blades and tools like scissors, saws, screwdrivers, and even pliers. Pocket knives range in size from 2 inches to 7 or 8 inches. Some simply drop into a pocket or pouch, while others come with a clip that lets you attach the knife to your pocket or waistband.

Everyday Carry

Knife die-hards will call this EDC and it refers to the knives they carry all the time. In your everyday life, you could use a pocket knife to open the mail or a package, trim your nails, remove a splinter, cut loose threads off clothing, and much more. You might, if your pocket knife contains additional tools like scissors, cut a burr from your pet’s fur or use the screwdriver blade to tighten a screw. It also keeps you from having to chew your way into a blister pack!


It’s an excellent idea to carry a pocket knife while hiking, even along established trails. In fact, a larger, belt knife would be a perfect addition to your gear. If you get lost, you can use it to carve messages in tree bark, marking your way and alerting rescuers. You might have to trim underbrush to get through the woods. And, if you’re lost and forced to spend the night, you can use your knife to shave dried wood to start a fire to keep you warm (you should always carry matches when hiking as well).


Even though you’ll likely have larger knives at your campsite, you should always carry one with you when you leave camp. You can use it when setting up your tent (stakes and rope should always accompany your equipment), to start your campfire, and even to cut your food (but do clean it before returning it to your pocket!).


A pocket knife will be extremely handing when fishing. You can use it to cut your line if you need to add a new hook and if you have a knife with pliers attached, you can remove the hook from the fish’s mouth without danger of hooking yourself (that’s always a plus!). With the right knife, you can even field dress the fish on site if that’s what you prefer to do.

Driving in Your Car

Carrying a pocket knife when driving may be useful in certain situations. For example, say you’ve blown a hose on your radiator or a vacuum line on the engine. Depending on where the hole is at, you might be able to cut off the damaged part of the hose and continue driving, at least long enough to get to a service station.


You’ve heard the old adage, ‘Never bring a knife to a gun fight.’ But, a knife can provide you with a measure of self-defense if you teach yourself how to use it. Many times, an assailant is looking for an easy score, perhaps just to steal your wallet. When you make yourself a difficult target, most of the time, the bad guy will leave you alone.

Emergency Use

In any emergency situation, a pocket knife might save your life. You could use it to cut the seatbelt if you’re stuck in your car after an accident. This will enable you, if you can, to escape the vehicle and get a safe distance away (in case of fire). A pocket knife with a sharp edge can also be used to break the car’s side window, allowing you to get out if the door won’t open. It’s also an ideal tool for cutting bandages (from your clothing if nothing else is available).

There are as many types of pocket knives as there are any other tool. What you decide to carry will be determined by your lifestyle and how you plan to use the knife. If you’d like to try this out yourself, you can start small and work your way up until you find one that’s perfect for you. Knives with clips will let you secure the knife to your pocket, so you can also carry things like change without damaging your knife.

All in all, the decision to carry a pocket knife is yours. But, you’ll discover the more you carry a knife, the more you find a use for it. Whether it’s just opening your mail and packages or saving your life, a pocket knife is one tool you should always carry.