“The best protection a woman can have is… courage”
– Elizabeth Cady Stanton
In recent times, primordial tools like knives are coming back in style for the female population. There are several reasons behind this.
If you’ve the read the article that Olive Pometsey wrote for CQ in 2019, you’ll notice that the main motive is safety.
“[…] the BBC reported that 1,509 knife possession offenses involving women were recorded last year, a figure that has been steadily increasing by at least 10% per year since 2014 […]”.
If such statistics don’t impress you, that’s not all …
In fact, if we embrace a more international perspective, the reasons why women started again to carry knives aren’t just strictly related to safety.
Knives can be considered multi-tools. Especially in the great outdoors, where an emergency situation which requires a knife can happen at anytime.
The need to have a blade at easy reach can be determined by different circumstances, which do not necessarily involve self defense. Basic actions such as …
- and so on
All of which are part of our everyday life. I constantly use knives for such purposes.
For this specific reason a knife is a real cornerstone in our EDC (Every Day Carry). Before writing this article I did a survey among the outdoor women I’m familiar with. They all have at least one pocket knife. Several of them have more than three different knives, concealed in different places.
You can say EDC knives are common, considering my acquaintances!
As a matter of fact, girls who are into the Survival and Bushcraft Community show a more “male oriented” approach to life, but… what about the others?
Apparently, they got informed. They made their choice. They feel not only safer with a pocket knife with them, but also more comfortable when the necessity to use it for different purposes arises.
The reasons behind a pocket knife
“An incident is just the tip of the iceberg, a sign of a much larger problem below the surface”
– Don Brown
Every outdoor scenario has its rules of engagement. It makes sense that a fixed blade knife goes properly under the label “outdoor gear”. The more we know, the less we carry. A good fixed knife can do all the dirty jobs by itself. Undoubtedly they are solid tools, but bulky and not easy to conceal. Especially for a woman. They need to be attached to our belts, or carried inside our rucksacks. Or placed inside our jacket pockets.
But what about a pocket knife? This is completely another story. Small, handy, lightweight. We can clip it inside our trousers’ pockets or put it inside a small chest pouch, taking advantage of an inner molle system. Some can even forget about it.
A pocket knife has a lot to do with the concept of modularity, because we can carry and use it from off-grid to urban areas. It has no limitation of applications. Foldable knives aren’t good for heavy batoning, that’s an advice for novice bushcraft women. Consequentially, we should make sure to use them in the right way and for the right purpose.
Features of pocket knives for women
“Safety doesn’t happen for accident”
A pocket knife has features that are pretty evident …
- Solid material
That’s just to mention the most obvious ones.
From a female point of view, the above mentioned traits are amplified. Generally speaking, women have smaller hands, and prefer different handles. Also, well-cared for, and long nails, plays a big factor in choosing the right handle.
There are literally thousands of different folding pocket knives on the market. It’s not easy at all to select the one of your choice according to the seize of your hands, your necessities, last but not least, the place you want to carry it.
Some websites breakdown the different types by clustering them into specific categories. My personal advice, especially for a first time purchase, is to go to a knife shop and make sure to try it in person. I tested more than 73 different foldable knives!
There’s no better way to get an idea on how a pocket knife suits you and fits your needs. Asking for advice is mandatory, and don’t forget to ask the shop assistant to refresh you on current government regulations.
Let me tell you about my specific case. In Northern Italy, where I’m based now, I’m allowed to carry them only inside backpacks and only for outdoor activities. It is strictly forbidden to have anything on your person.
Your backpack should be placed inside the trunk of your vehicle, far from being at easy reach. A search which reveals the presence of a blade (or a multitool) inside a car can result in a penalty. Be 100% sure about what you can actually carry, how and… where!
My preferences on pocket knives for women
Relating to sizes, durability, resistance and reliability I personally make no exceptions. A good women’s pocket knife, based on my personal experience, should be easy to carry, simple to clip, and immediate & safe when it’s closed.
My personal fave go to those to slim, flat pocket knives which show a more “rectangular” configuration. I can easily put them inside the narrowest places. Aesthetically speaking, I’m a fan of traditional knives.
Even if I like wood, I wouldn’t go with that for a first choice pocket knife. 6AL4V sandblasted titanium is what I prefer the, but I also like the TPR inlay handle. They both suit the grip of my hands.
Total length (open)
No more than 8,6 inch (220 mm)
Total length (closed)
No more than 4,8 inch (123 mm)
Around 3,6 inch (93 mm)
Related to Titanium, I go for a CPM-S35VN. If we talk about Carbon, D2.
My preferences is for a warm “click”, which means a lower acoustic report, and a clip design to insure complete offset.
My personal selection of the best women’s pocket knives
Let me stress the fact that the selections below are absolutely personal! It consists of pocket knives I own or had the opportunity to test in recent years. As you can see from the pictures, I use my pocket knives for processing wood, starting fires, cutting paracord, and a lot of other activities.
The following links will lead you directly to the specific pages for each knife …
Quartermaster QSE-6xlstt Mr. Roper Tanto XLS
Kyt Lyn Walken
- Certified Wildlife Conservation Ranger at Conservation Ranger Operations Worldwide
- Official Representative & Instructor at Hull’s Tracking School
- Directora de Rastreo Humano por Dynamic Tracking (Spain)
- The way of Tracking – European Mantracking School