There are plenty of options to choose from when it comes to pocket knives. The choices are seemingly endless when you factor in the different types of pocket knife blades and styles. Do you want a fixed blade or a folding pocket knife? Do you want to spend a whole bunch of money or opt for something cheaper? Do you want to eventually pass it down to future family?
The right Japanese pocket knife checks all of the boxes, regardless of your answers to those hypotheticals.
What Is a Traditional Japanese Pocket Knife?
A traditional Japanese pocket knife typically features a simple design with a blade that’s opened via lever. The blade is usually made of high-quality steel, and the handle may be made of materials such as wood, ivory, or mother of pearl. One of the most common traditional Japanese folding pocket knives is called the Higonokami, which means “Lord of Higo” and is a non-locking design created in the late 1800s.
The Best Everyday Carry Japanese Pocket Knives
Higo no Kami Tokudai Nagaokoma
Higonokami knives are a friction folder with no locking system, and it’s been used for everything from carpentry to survival and everyday carry purposes for more than two centuries. In that time, the design hasn’t really been improved upon. You can find quality versions like this one from Higo no Kami that you can pick up for less than $25 on Amazon.
Cold Steel Mini Tac Tanto
Unlike other knives on this list, the Cold Steel Mini Tac Tanto isn’t a folder or a knife explicitly designed to fit in your EDC. It’s a 3.75″ blade made from Japanese AUS 8A stainless with a 3″ long G-10 Styled Grive-Ex handle and a neck sheath that’s purpose built to get you out of tough situations. Can it be worn around your neck, attached to a boot, or affixed to a Molle setup? Absolutely, but it’s more for the outdoorsy everday carry situations than your day to day.
KATSU Damascus Steel Higonokami Japanese Razor Knife
The KATSU Handmade Damascus Steel Japanese Razor Knife is another Higonokami blade that combines Japanese style with high-quality material. In this particular case, you’re getting a 4.5″ when closed closed knife made with a Damascus steel blade mated to a genuine deer antler handle. If you’re going to go with a Japanese style folder for you EDC, best to go with one of Amazon’s best sellers in the category.
Mcusta Tsuchi Large Pocket Knife Knife
In a world of Japanese knives where pretty much every other option is a higonokami, the Mcusta Tsuchi Large Pocket Knife skews toward a design Westerners are likely familiar with. The standard edge Damascus steel blade is 3.25″ long, with a total length of 4.25″ when closed. It has a pocket clip for easy everyday carry and a thumb stud for easy opening.
Mcusta Yoroi Knife with San Mai Blade
The Japanese company Mcusta has been making stylish, high-quality knives since 2000, and has put out plenty of high-quality knives over the past two decades.. The Mcuast Yoroi Knife with San Mai Blade is an American-style folder that’s made in Japan for the highest in quality and durability. The 4.5″ closed linerlock is made of VG-10 Damascus with dual thumb studs. It has a specially designed, oiled washer system for silky smooth opening action. If the traditional design and high-end quality weren’t enough, you’ll also get a decorative, woven Nishijin pouch.