Are you looking for the best carving pocket knife? Woodworking is great fun, and people do it for various reasons including professional and as a hobby. We will take you through some of our top picks for carving pocket knives, why we think they should also be on your list, and what we don’t quite like about them.

We will take a look at the important features to have in a good carving pocket knife and also what makes a pocket knife, a good carving knife. This is because whilst there are many pocket knives on the market, not all of them can help you carve and give you the shape that you need. Let’s take a look at the best carving pocket knife.

Our Top Pick for Best Carving Pocket Knife

Our Winner!

We have done our research and found our top pick to be the FLEXCUT Pocket Jack for Carvin’, Carving Specific Jackknife Style Tool. This knife has four blades to choose from, making it a versatile knife to have in your pocket. It is highly durable and it also easily fits in your pocket. We also like the fact that this knife can easily be folded and secured.

FLEXCUT Pocket Jack

In a Hurry?

Do you just not have the time to go through everything being shoved your way in terms of pocket knife information? Here’s a quick guide as to what you need to look for. The first thing is that it needs to be portable and safe to carry around. This means that you will need to check on how easily it fits in your pocket. Inspect the blade size and design.

Also, check on the folding mechanism. You want to get a knife that is easy to open up and that also locks in place, to avoid injuries. Also, make sure that it is made of durable material. The blade width influences the amount of control you get with the knife. The thinner blades give you good control required when carving. Check on the number of blades that it comes with.

Round Up of the Best Carving Pocket Knife

FLEXCUT Pocket Jack for Carvin’

FLEXCUT Pocket Jack for Carvin'

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Flexcut makes great pocket tools including the pocket jack for Carvin’. This knife has 4 specific carving blades, which all fold in. Each of the blades are hardened and sharpened before the knife is sold. The four blades are a detail blade, a straight gouge, a V-Scorp, and a gouge scorp.

As a safety feature, all four blades lock in place. This will allow you to carve knowing that your fingers aren’t in danger of being snipped by a blade out of place. In terms of looks, the knife has a black handle with gold trimming. The blade shafts are flexible, giving you more control over your work.

Pros 

  • It easily fits in a pocket, as it measures a little over 4 inches. 
  • The blades lock in place
  • It has 4 blades which makes it a convenient and versatile knife
  • The blades all fold back in, making it a safe pocket knife to carry

Cons 

  • It can be difficult to open and close, with some users saying the blades all pop out at once when you reach out for one. 
  • The pins that hold the handle together could be smoother.

FLEXCUT Whittlin’ Jack JKN88

FLEXCUT Whittlin' Jack JKN88

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This jackknife has two specific blades, a 1 1-1/2 inch detail knife, and a1/2-inch roughing knife. The entire knife measures just over 4inches, making it portable enough to fit in your pocket. The handles are silver and made of aluminum with a wooden inlay. The handle has an ergonomic design, which is comfortable for the carver and helps to avoid hand fatigue. 

The blades are just long enough and proportional to the handle, offering the carver good control as you work. This is a good feature to have especially when you are working on projects that will require more detail such as figurines. 

Pros

  • It is easy to take with you and use on the go making it the perfect pocket knife
  • It is comfortable to hold handles, you can carve for long periods without hand fatigue. 
  • The knife is well proportioned and has good control
  • The blades fold in, making the knife easy to carry in the pocket

Cons 

  • The blades do not lock in place
  • It is on the high end in terms of pricing especially when comparing with other knives that do the same job

Fury Nobility Raindrop Razor Edge Blade Folding Knife with Rose Pakka Handle

Fury Nobility Raindrop Razor Edge Blade Folding Knife with Rose Pakka Handle

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This knife is our top pick for most affordable. It is much smaller than a lot of pocket knives, measuring a little over 3 inches. The blade is curved slightly and the handle has an ergonomic shape, making it easier to carve for long periods. The small size of the knife also lets you have more control over your work and also lets you get into the hard to reach places. 

However, the knife is not as sharp as it could be. This limits the wood that you can work on. It is a major disadvantage that some will shy away from. This is also why it is so important to have an idea of the type of projects that you want to be working on as well as the wood that you will be using.

Pros

  • It is compact and will nicely fit in the palm of your hand
  • You get good control over the knife because of the proportion
  • It is very affordable

Cons 

  • The blade does not sharpen easily nor entirely
  • Some say that it is too small

Queen Cutlery Four-blade Congress

Queen Cutlery Four-blade Congress

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As the name suggests, this knife has four blades. All these blades fold in and make it easy to carry around in your pocket. The knife is designed in such a way that whichever way you use the blades, you still have a comfortable hold over the knife and also the blades. Added control and comfort, also means better projects.

The blades are made of D2 steel which is semi-stainless European steel. The blades, however, brush up against each other. If this is not something that you are willing to put up with, then it is important that you look for another knife.

Pros 

  • It’s a good looking knife
  • Offers various shapes and sizes of blades
  • It is compact
  • The blades are sharp

Cons 

  • The blades brush up against each other
  • For some, the extra blades can get in the way

Opinel Carbon Steel Folding Pocket Knife with Beechwood Handle

Opinel Carbon Steel Folding Pocket Knife with Beechwood Handle

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This knife folds in, making it an easy pocket knife. When it is open, it measures 7.59 inches. The blade is made of carbon steel, which is a very durable material. The blade has good resistance as well as good cutting quality. It is large enough to do the job but still small enough to fall within the guidelines of not being a weapon in most countries.

The blade length on its own is 3.28inches. It is versatile and it has a strong vibroloc safety ring that has one fixed section and another sliding section so that you can lock securely. The handle is made of beechwood from France. Some of the characteristics of this wood are that it is hard and durable, which is a feature that you want in a carving knife.

Pros 

  • It is durable
  • It has a locking system that you can adjust as you see fit. 
  • This is a versatile knife
  • It is compact and fits nicely in a pocket.

Cons 

  • The locking collar can be tough to use
  • At first, the blade can be difficult to get out of the knife.

Buyer’s Guide

What is the difference between carving and whittling?

These two words are often interchanged and yet they are not the same thing. Carving is about forming shapes and designs from a piece of wood. It often involves detailed carvings. Whittling refers to the removal of large chunks of wood. The major difference is that when you carve, you are now using more specific tools to get more defined designs.

What type of pocket knife should I get?

There are a few things that you need to look out for in a good carving pocket knife. One of those is the blades and how they work. There are different types of pocket carving knives, that include knives with blades that fold into the knife.

These are great because they do not take up too much space and they can fit even in the smaller pockets of your luggage or clothing. The downside with these knives is that sometimes they can be difficult to open and close, and this can be a potential risk. 

Then there are pocket knives that do not have a retractable blade. Instead, the knife comes with a sheath to protect the blade and also your fingers. The good thing about these knives is that you will not have issues with opening and closing mechanisms neither will you have to worry about it giving in on you. The downside is that the total length of the knife is cumbersome. Now there has to be a balance between the knife’s blade and the handle. 

Durability

This is a key feature to check on. It is important to know how well the material used can hold up. Find out about the blade’s material and also the handle. Some materials can not withstand the pressure that comes with carving through some wood. 

Does blade sharpness matter?

Yes, it does matter. Some brands make sure that the blade comes already sharpened and that they stay that way for longer periods. Flexcut is one such brand. 

It is important that the blade can be sharpened to a razor-sharp point, this way you can cut through both soft and hardwood. Find out if the knife comes with any sharpening tools, and if not, what does the manufacturer recommend.

Does skill level count?

When buying a specialized tool such as a knife, it helps to find what skill level is required. This way you will not be fumbling for a tutorial when you have already bought the tool, only to realize that it is best used by professionals only. Try to look for a knife that matches your skill level. 

What does the blade look like?

Check on how the blade or blades are constructed. The smallest blade should not exceed 1 1/1inches long whilst the longest blade needs to be between 2 and 21/2inches. Whilst these are not the rule of law, finding blades within this range would be ideal. 

Also, make sure that the blade has a notch or lever of some sort to pull it out if it is a retractable blade. The blades need to be shaped like a spear, or have pointed tips, and should not be too thick. This will enable you to carry out a variety of tasks. Whilst it is not a must to have additional blades, they can come in handy. 

Final Thoughts

The best carving pocket knife will fulfill certain requirements such as being pocket-sized and fulfilling the given task. For you to know what type of knife you will need, look at the project that you want to do, and then think about the type of wood that you will be using. This will be a guideline for the strength and versatility that you will need in the knife.

As with all knives, it is important to keep in mind all the necessary safety precautions. Some retailers will not sell a knife to persons below the age of maturity and this is also another safety precaution taken by the retailers and the manufacturers. Once it is in your care, be sure to keep the knife clean and sharp, as a dull or blunt blade can be a potential risk.

We have taken a look at five of our best carving pocket knives, and we hope this helps you find your best. We recommend the FLEXCUT Pocket Jack for Carvin’, Carving Specific Jack knife Style Tool, as we think it’s a good buy. Happy shopping!

David D. Hughes