Best Japanese Pocket Knives

What Are The Japanese Pocket Knives?

Japanese blades are famous from the very ancient era for their sharp edges and excellent efficiency. There are many American knife manufacturing companies that use Japanese steel to achieve better productivity.

For decades, Japanese pocket knives are being produced by many companies all over the world. The name doesn’t mean that these knives are only made in Japan but they are being manufactured in china and also in the USA.

Depending on the heritage of Japanese blades and steel The manufacture of Japanese pocket knives has reached a sky-touching level. From kitchen to military training, Japanese knives are being used for numerous purposes across the globe.

In this article, we will be describing the top ten best Japanese folding knife, and tell you about their features, and functionalities.

 

Here Are Our Top Picks For The Best Folding Japanese Pocket Knife

Here we’ve decorated our list into two different categories. Japanese friction folders and Japanese modern folders. We will also give you a hand in your selection regarding the features like handle, blade type, etc. So, what are we waiting for? Let’s jump into the story.

 

A. Japanese Friction Folders

 

1. KATSU Handmade Damascus Steel

KATSU Handmade Damascus Steel
KATSU Handmade Damascus Steel

This bamboo-style folded Japanese pocket knife is super convenient with a carbon steel blade mechanism. Even though it’s very thin and easy to carry, the company used one of the sharpest blades on the market to make it extra sharp.

Comes up with a black handle and nickel silver steel. KATSU Handmade pocket knife contains a white steel blade with a bronze iron handle. The metal handle provides an easy grab and decay-free. The knife ensures smooth action in any kind of usage.

Features and Specifications:
Total Length: 7.5 inches
Closed Length: 4.5 inches
Blade Length: 3 inches
Blade thickness: 3.5 mm
Blade: Damascus Steel
Handel: Snake Wood + Finish brass handle
Item weight: 110 g

Pros
  • The knife contains a superb blade with smoothly polished stainless handles.

  • The knife contains a Japanese-style blade with a built-in liner lock.
  • Lightweight and thin in shape.
Cons
  • Uncomfortable insole (can be replaced easily).

  • You will have to break them in (you can say the same for most boots).
  • Because of its unique Japanese design, it is one of the most expensive on the list.

 

2. Higo no Kami 10 Pocket Knife

Higo no Kami 10 Pocket Knife by Nagao Seisakusho, Brass Finish
Higo no Kami 10 Pocket Knife by Nagao Seisakusho, Brass Finish

Mechanically Higo no Kami 10 Pocket Knife is much simpler than the previous one. The ultimate design of this knife is similar to the KATSU Handmade pocket knife. Both of these knives are made with the design of a Japanese sword.

Higo no Kami is a beautiful piece of art among all the Japanese pocket knives. Its anodized aluminum handle ensures durability and an easy grab. Japanese knife companies produce this type of knife in a huge quantity as it has a high demand on the market.

The smooth polished blade of this small folding knife contains a stainless steel handle that prevents it from decay or rust.

Features and Specifications:
Total Length: 7.5 inches
Closed Length: 4.5 inches
Blade Length: 3 inches
Blade thickness: 3.5 mm
Blade: San Mai Blade
Handle: Cocobolo wood handle
Item weight: 100 g

Higo no Kami 10 Pocket Knife

Pros
  • Comfortable fit after they are broken in.
  • Lightweight and convenient to use.
Cons
  • The steel is comparatively thin.
  • The price is a little bit high.

 

3. KATSU Handmade D2 Steel Blade G10

KATSU Handmade D2 Steel Blade G10 Handle Bamboo Style Japanese Razor Pocket Folding Knife with Pocket Clip
KATSU Handmade Japanese Razor Pocket Folding Knife

KATSU Handmade G10 is another exclusive model of the KATSU brand. The knife contains a “3 1/4″ VG-10 Damascus steel blade” (Higonokami Damascus) with a lightweight handle.

The 3 1/4 inch blade with a thumb clip made it easy to open the knife in just a second. The reliable friction folder design is very smooth to avoid steel decay. KATSU G10 pocket folder also contains a black leather pouch to carry in. The silver finish aluminum handle is convenient to grasp.

These knives come with Japanese-style blades with smooth-finish aluminum handles that ensure the high durability of the product. KATSU has been making quality knives for a long long time, so the brand has become an iconic name in the knife market with an affordable price range.

Features and Specifications:
Total Length: 7.5 inches
Closed Length: 4.5 inches
Blade Length: 3 inches
Blade thickness: 2.75 mm
Blade: Damascus Steel Blade
Handel: Blue iron handle
Item weight: 115 g

KATSU Handmade D2 Steel Blade G10

Pros
  • Comfortable fit after they are broken in.
  • Contains 2.75mm sharp Damascus steel.
Cons
  • The metal handle can be hard to grab with a sweaty palm.
  • The price range is a little bit high compared to the other brands.

 

4. KATSU Handmade Full Damascus Steel

KATSU Handmade Full Damascus Steel
KATSU Handmade Full Damascus Folding Knife

KATSU Handmade Full Damascus Steel is one of the very few pocket clip knives with a “3.25” VG-10 stainless blade” that the Japanese companies manufacture every year. The construction type of these Spyderco knives is quite similar to the 1st KATSU knife on our list.

The Silver finish stainless steel is the reflection of the Japanese-style blade. This tip-up pocket clip has a closed friction folder that carries the blade inside it and prevents scratches. This new edition folding blade is manufactured in Japan and distributed by different companies across the globe.

Features and Specifications:
Total Length: 7.5 inches
Closed Length: 4.5 inches
Blade Length: 3 inches
Blade thickness: 3.5 mm
Blade: Stainless steel blade
Handel: Black iron handle
Item weight: 143g

KATSU Handmade Full Damascus Knife

Pros
  • The knife contains a superb blade with smoothly polished stainless handles.
  • The knife contains a Japanese-style blade with a built-in liner lock.
  • Lightweight and thin in shape.
Cons
  • Uncomfortable insole (can be replaced easily).
  • You will have to break them in (you can say the same for most boots).
  • Because of its unique Japanese design, it is one of the most expensive on the list.

 

5.Higo no Kami Tokudai Nagaokoma

Higo no Kami Tokudai Nagaokoma
Higo no Kami Tokudai Nagaokoma

Higo no Kami Tokudai Nagaokoma with VG-10 3-inch blade is well-referred to as an everyday carry blade for its extremely good portability and convenience.

The cold-forged aluminum handle provides an easy grab and use. The Japanese-style blade with maker contains well finish stainless handles that ensure comfort in usability.

A stainless clip provides rust-free usage and the paper steel blade provides easy cut. The knife contains a brown leather sheath to make it easy to carry around. 

However, there are a lot of fake clone products on the market that uses a low-profile blade. It is the parent company to all of the Japanese knife manufacturing companies along with KATSU.

Features and Specifications:
Total Length: 7.5 inches
Closed Length: 4.5 inches
Blade Length: 3 inches
Blade thickness: 3.5 mm
Blade: carbon steel blades
Handel: Carbon fiber handle
Item weight: 110 g

Higo no Kami Tokudai Nagaokoma

Pros
  • Comfortable fit after they are broken in.
  • Lightweight and convenient to use.
Cons
  • The steel is comparatively thin.
  • The price is a little bit high.

B. Modern Style Japanese Folders

 

1. Cold Steel Mini Tac Series Fixed Blade Knife

Cold Steel Mini Tac Series Fixed Blade Knife
Cold Steel Mini Tac Series Fixed Blade Knife

The Cold Steel Mini Tac knife contains incredible quality in manufacturing. The clip frame lock pocket knife includes a stainless clip blade with a thumb hole pull.

Its smooth finish iron handle (with rosewood) ensures an easy and comfortable grip. The knife contains a leather slip pouch to carry it. The stainless pocket clip allows you to attach the knife with your pocket easily.

This Japanese-style blade with a duralumin handle is currently booming online market with the highest selling range.

Features and Specifications:
Total Length: 6.5 inches
Closed Length: 3.5 inches
Blade Length: 3 inches
Blade thickness: 3.5 mm
Blade: Damascus Steel
Handel: Duralumin handle
Item weight: 110 g

Cold Steel Mini Tac Series Fixed Blade Knife

Pros
  • The knife contains a thumb lock pull feature for easy usage.
  • Its frame lock feature ensures safety during closing the knife after use.
  • Contains a leather pouch for easy carry.
Cons
  • It is considered to be one of the most lightweight knives, so can not be controlled easily as it may drop out of the hand for being too light.
  • The handle can get slippery if used with a sweaty palm.

 

2. M-Custa Tsuchi Small, One Size

M-Custa Tsuchi Small, One Size
M-Custa Tsuchi Small, One Size

M-Custa Tsuchi knife is my personal favorite. The knife is an easy one to carry. Only 3 inches long and very thin to hold in hand. The handle is made of snakewood and the wood is covered with metal stone.

The design of the handle is quite unique compared to the other knives on our list. The knife contains a super sharp MCUSTA stainless steel blade. The knife is 6 inches in a whole when the handle covers 3.5 inches.

M-Custa Tsuchi’s modern pocket knife is a great choice as an essential tool for camping or tailgating for climbing a mountain.

Don’t forget to choose this knife if you love to carry a knife without even understanding that you are carrying it. The knife is extremely lightweight which makes it extra convenient. 

Features and Specifications:
Total Length: 6 inches
Closed Length: 3.5 inches
Blade Length: 2.5 inches
Blade thickness: 3.5 mm
Blade: Damascus Steel
Handel: Snake Wood+ Metal stone
Item weight: 90 g

M-Custa Tsuchi Small, One Size

Pros
  • The knife contains an MCUSTA stainless steel blade which is one of the strongest and sharpest blades.
  • The best choice on our list for camping and tailgating.
  • The knife contains an attractive design.
Cons
  • The knife is quite shorter compared to the other picks on our list,
  • The handle might not be suitable for grabbing with a larger hand.

 

3. Mcusta Bamboo Linerloc

Mcusta Bamboo Linerloc
Mcusta Bamboo Linerloc

Mcusta Bamboo Linerloc modern pocket knife is a great choice for multi-use. Either you want to use it outdoor or you need it as a tool in the kitchen Mcusta Bamboo Linerloc knife is a perfect choice to fulfill your expectation.

The knife contains a leather sheath as well. The combination of the handle and the blade is quite unique that makes it a classic choice to purchase. 

Features and Specifications:
Total Length: 7 inches
Closed Length: 4 inches
Blade Length: 3 inches
Blade thickness: 3.5 mm
Blade: Tool steel blade
Handel: Bamboo wood handle
Item weight: 115 g

Mcusta Bamboo Linerloc

Pros
  • It contains a heavy wooden handle that gives extra comfort in the grip.
  • Comes with a leather sheath for easy portability.
Cons
  • The blade might get rusted after a few years of use.
  • The folding edges are not swift enough to take the blade on and off fast and smoothly.

 

4. Moki MK533ANZ Lockback

Moki MK533ANZ Lockback
Moki MK533ANZ Lockback

Moki MK533ANZ Lockback is an exclusive model of the Moki brand. The knife contains Blue paper steel with a lightweight handle. The thumb clip made it easy to open the knife in just a second.

The reliable friction folder design is very smooth to avoid steel decay. The pocket folder also contains a black leather pouch to carry in. The silver finish aluminum handle is convenient to grasp.

These knives come with Japanese-style blades with a smooth-finish titanium alloy handle that ensures the high durability of the product.

Features and Specifications:
Total Length: 7.5 inches
Closed Length: 4.5 inches
Blade Length: 3 inches
Blade thickness: 3.5 mm
Blade: Blue paper steel
Handel: Titanium Alloy Handle
Item weight: 110 g

Moki MK533ANZ Lockback

Pros
Cons
  • The handle is a little bit inconvenient to grip
  • The knife is a bit high in the price range.

 

5. Right Hand/Japanese Kiridashi Craft Pocket Knife

Right Hand/Japanese Kiridashi Craft Pocket Knife
Right Hand/Japanese Kiridashi Craft Pocket Knife

Kiridashi Craft Pocket Knife with VG-10 3-inch blade is an everyday carry blade for its extremely good portability and convenience. The cold-forged coated iron handle provides an easy grab and use.

The Japanese-style blade with maker contains well finish stainless handles that ensure comfort in usability. A stainless clip provides rust-free usage and the paper steel blade provides easy cut.

The knife contains a brown leather sheath to make it easy to carry around. However, there are a lot of fake clone products on the market that uses a low-profile blade.

Features and Specifications:
Total Length: 5 inches
Closed Length: 5 inches
Blade Length: 2.5 inches
Blade thickness: 3.5 mm
Blade: Damascus Steel
Handel: Coated iron handle
Item weight: 85 g

Pros & Cons

Pros
  • The blade is extremely sharp for cutting small wood in woodwork arts.
  • The knife is very small and easy to carry.
Cons
  • The design can be a little bit uneasy to some users.
  • The shape of the knife is quite different than the other knives. It might not be used for all purposes.

 

Wrap-up

The history of Japan itself is related to swords and blades. The ancient history of japan is all about the samurais. They are also very conservative about their heritage and they hold the competence of preserving the history and heritage of japan.

Making Japanese blades and swords is very old. So, for that reason, Japan has become the master of blade manufacturing. The Japanese knives are not only made in japan but also are made and distributed all over the world with different brand names.

However, Japanese knives are not the best among all the pocket knives but with the history and classic feature, Japanese knives are definitely worth purchase for any purpose.

 

FAQ

Why are Japanese knives so good?

Japan is very famous for manufacturing kitchen knives, chainsaws, and swords. As the Japanese blades are told to be thinnest hardest and sharpest, they produce the best kitchen knives ever. Also, their blades last for ages long.

Are pocket knives legal in Japan?

Carrying knives more than 5.5 inches is completely illegal in Japan. As it is considered to be a deadly weapon, so not a general citizen can carry it, neither a sword. However, one can carry a sword or a knife for any special purpose with the government’s permission.

What is the best blade for a pocket knife?

Bohler M390 is told to be the best steel for the pocket knife. AS it is harder and sharper at the same time, Bohler M390 is quite different than the other blades. Not only the Japanese brands but also some foreign brands also use Bohler M390 for a better cut.

Is Damascus steel strong?

Well, Damascus steel is not the strongest one on the market. But it is definitely one of the very few top steel blades available. Damascus steel is also among the most desired steel type in the knife industry.

Are pocket knives good for self-defense?

In the case of self-defense, a pocket knife is a great weapon if you know the proper way to handle it. But you must bear in mind that you only use it when it is extremely necessary. Also, the blade of the knife should be short to avoid critical situations.

What should I look for when buying a pocket knife?

The most important thing you should look for in a pocket knife is if it contains a frame lock. It’s highly recommended for easy use and safety. Also, you should consider choosing the best blade and handle possible for convenience and long durability.

Are Japanese knives worth it?

Japanese knives worth every penny of yours for their extreme durability and sharper blade. However, you need to judge among them and find your ideal one as all of the Japanese knives are not equal in quality.

Are German or Japanese knives better?

Both Japanese and German knives are dominating the market equally. However, if we have to come to a conclusion applying an easy logic, we must say Japanese knives are way better than German knives. German knives require more maintenance and the durability is way lower than Japanese knives. Japanese knives last years and take a long time to get dull.

1 thought on “Best Japanese Pocket Knives”

  1. I think the Katsu Bamboo folder is a good knife at best, but not the best representative of the folder knives coming out of Japan right now. … I like G10 scales, I like inverted blades so much, and I especially like D2 steel, so this seemed like a knife I’m sure I’d love. I ended up really liking the blade.

    Reply

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