101 Uses for the Pocket Knife
Any owner of a pocket knife can recount a time when he or she pulled out a blade in a public area to accomplish some mundane task, like cutting a stray thread or slicing open a package, only to be confronted by a concerned passerby. This busybody will usually stare with a judgmental countenance, but sometimes they venture to ask with a disproving tone, "Why are you carrying a knife?"
You should answer with confidence, "There are more than a hundred reasons why."
It's not hard to see why people think knives are menacing and unnecessary. The portrayal of knives in the media as zombie-slaying tools or dangerous weapons are rampant. We shouldn't let a few bad apples who misuse this useful tool ruin it for the rest of us.
To help educate the general population on the various ways we use knives in our everyday lives, we assembled this list of 101 uses for the pocket knife.
A pocket knife can be used for...
1. Opening a package.
This is probably the primary use of most pocket knives. In this modern era, I get packages sent to my doorstep and I use my knife to slice them open with ease. I've always wondered what other people use. Fun tip: To prevent residue from mucking up your blade, consider cutting the cardboard instead of the packing tape.
2. Cutting fruit.
We're all familiar with the weathered old man slicing into an apple with his slipjoint knife before eating the piece straight off the blade. That could be you! For some reason, eating sliced fruit is so much more satisfying than taking bites like some savage. (Don't use a knife to peel your apple though, the peel is highly nutritious.)
3. Removing a splinter.
I hate splinters with all my heart. It's not the pain, but the inconvenience. Those deeply embedded splinters are impossible to get out without the aid of something like a pocket knife. You can put the blade on one side of the splinter and your finger on the other. For those tough ones, you may have to dig a little bit. You may want to sterilize the blade with alcohol before doing that, however.
The art of whittling is something that's been lost over the years, but it's the perfect way to craft something with your bare hands. You can make a gift for a loved one or use it as a time to contemplate the meaning of life. Any pocket knife will do the trick, but a good whittler from Case will make things easier. Check out the beginner's guide to whittling at the Art of Manliness for some advice.
5. Cutting hair.
You may not be able to get a stylish 'do, but you can cut your hair with a knife. There are plenty of videos of people cutting hair with knives (it's mostly women cutting long hair), if you're curious how it's done.
6. Cutting someone free from a seat belt inside a burning vehicle.
We've said it many times, but seat belts can be a death trap when they're not saving lives. Countless people have become trapped inside a vehicle as it burns or sinks to the bottom of a bayou. Just take a look at all these people who used a pocket knife to cut someone free from a seat belt and certain doom. If you wanted to get really fancy, you could pick up a pocket knife with a dedicated seat belt cutter built into the handle like the Gerber Hinderer CLS or Smith & Wesson SWFR2S Extreme Ops Tanto.
7. Opening clamshell packaging.
This may be an understatement, but clamshell packaging is the worst thing ever invented. What do you think, Larry David?
Sure, LD did try to use two knives to open the clamshell packaging, but both (a large chef's knife and butter knife) weren't the right tool for the job. If he had a reasonably sized and sharp pocket knife, he wouldn't have had that breakdown.
8. Making drainage holes.
Picked up a plant at the store with one of those plastic pots? Make a few drainage holes with the your knife. In a similar vein, I also made some drainage holes in a plastic bag to turn it into a makeshift collander for cleaning off grapes.
9. Removing staples.
When you don't have a dedicated staple remover in your pocket, a pocket knife will quickly and effortlessly pry open the end of a staple on an important document you don't want to mess up.
10. Cutting off clothing tags.
Those plastic tags on new clothes are a nuisance. It wouldn't be so bad if there weren't a dozen of those things deeply embedded in the clothing. A pocket knife makes quick work of these annoying tags.
Carving is the act of scraping away material to create a shape or object. Carvers tend to use chisels and gouges or more powerful equipment, but it can be done with knives as well. Wood is the typical item used in carving, but you can also use a variety of materials. Just make sure your knife is up to the job.
12. Picking food from your teeth.
Restaurants these days seem to be skimping on toothpicks. If you happen to get a piece of steak stuck in your teeth, a pocket knife makes a great makeshift toothpick. Some Swiss Army knives have an actual toothpick, but the point of a blade will also do the trick (just be really careful!).
13. Performing an emergency tracheotomy.
Yes, you read that right. It's not uncommon for people to choke while eating. Usually, the Heimlich maneuver does the job, but when it doesn't, one of the only things you can do is cut a hole in their neck to blow air into their lungs.
Using a pocket knife to do this in an emergency is not unheard of. We've written about three different instances of this happening. In 1990, two doctors performed a tracheotomy on a plane with a Swiss Army knife (back when the Swiss Army knives were allowed on planes). In 2008, a man's throat became swollen shut and a knife was used to cut an alternate breathing hole. Then, in 2013, a doctor used a folding knife to save a choking woman's life. For this reason alone, you should carry a pocket knife.
14. Cutting zip ties.
The only way to remove most types of zip ties is by cutting them. These inexpensive fasteners are mainly used with cables, and a knife will free whatever the zip ties are holding together.
15. Sharpening pencils.
If you're an artist, sometimes standard pencil sharpeners aren't flexible enough to offer the types of tips you need. That's where the pocket knife comes in handy. There's actually some guy who does artisanal pencil sharpening, so if you become a pencil sharpening expert with the knife, you could start a business. Or you could just be a hero to your niece who can't find a pencil sharpener.
16. Cutting meat.
We've all been to those restaurants that have such dull steak knives you just want to pick up the chunk of meat and eat it with your hands. Although onlookers may give you the side-eye, whipping out your pocket knife to cut your steak will make your lunch much more enjoyable.
17. Cutting a dog's leash in an emergency.
Elevators, dogs, and leashes don't go together. A few incidents have been reported in which a dog runs out of the elevator at the last minute only to be lifted up as the elevator rises. You can actually find some videos on YouTube of this happening. While no dogs have died as far as I know, many have been strangled temporarily. Having a pocket knife to cut the leash quickly can save its life. Who knows when you'd need to cut the leash of a rambunctious dog.
18. Making kindling for a fire.
When you're lost in the wilderness, fire is an essential element. It's pretty hard to make a fire without kindling and pretty hard to make kindling without a knife.
19. Cleaning beneath your fingernails.
I enlisted the help of our Facebook fans for pocket knife uses. The main thing most of them said they used their pocket knife for was cleaning under their nails. Yes, when you're working on cars or out in the field, gunk gets trapped underneath your nails. As long as you're careful, it's a good way to get your nails back to a presentable state. Just make sure you wash your blade after.
20. Holding money.
Lost your wallet and can't find anything to hold your money? The clip of a pocket knife can double as a money clip. In fact, we compiled a list of badass knife money clips, but you could always use any pocket knife like the Benchmade below.
21. Cutting loose threads.
For years, loose threads drove me crazy. I couldn't help but pull them as hard as I could. Sometimes, the threads would break. Other times, they just became longer and unspooled the clothing, leaving a tattered cloth in its wake. A pocket knife makes quick work of threads without doing any damage to the clothing.
In a pinch, a sharp pocket knife makes an adequate razor. A razor and a knife are two different things, but it can get the job done if necessary.
23. Honing other knives.
Speaking of sharp pocket knives, the spine of one knife can actually be used to hone another knife. You use it the same way you would use honing steel. In our post on everyday objects that sharpen knives, we wrote "this works best when the knife you're sharpening the steel on has a different hardness level."
24. Opening a bottle.
At a party with no bottle opener? Just whip out your pocket knife. If you have a Swiss Army knife, you can just use the dedicated bottle opener. If not, a blade, handle scales, or Emerson Wave can easily be used to pop the top off a beer bottle.
Here's a video with the general idea:
25. Fending off aggressive or rabid animals.
Animals are unpredictable. Dogs, cougars, sharks, bears, and many other species have all killed people. With a pocket knife, you can turn certain death into a daring escape. In 2006, a 55-year-old named Tom stabbed a bear to death after it attacked him and his dog. In 2011, a woman saved her daughter from two vicious pit bulls. In 2004, a rabid mountain lion attacked a group of people. In 2003, a man killed a vicious bear with a 3.5-inch knife.
26. Separating LEGO.
It's not a knife's job to pry things (unless there's a dedicated pry tool), but for those small, pesky LEGO bricks that are stuck together, a thin blade is just enough to separate the blocks to get your fingers in there.
27. Stripping wire.
Dedicated wire stripping tools exist, but a pocket knife will work in a pinch. Depending on the type of wire you're stripping, you could score the jacket with a knife or peel the edge. Some pocket knives (especially multi-tools) come with a wire stripper for convenience.
28. Cutting wire.
Dedicated wire cutters also exist, but—again—a pocket knife will work just as good in most situations.
29. Cutting rope.
Here's the first in our little rope suite. Ropes are everywhere, from job sites to homes (and school), and sometimes a rope needs to be cut. A knife is by far the best tool. Scissors just won't cut it for heftier ropes (see what I did there?).
30. Getting a knot out of a rope.
If there's a knotted piece of rope you don't want to cut, a knife helps get the rope straight again. Just use the blade to open it up enough for you to do the rest. It's as easy as that.
31. Making rope out of grass.
You can also make your own rope. A tutorial shows you how to make rope with just your hands and a knife. The knife is mainly used in cutting the grass, but you get the idea.
32. Cutting your nails.
Cleaning your nails was already listed, but you can also use a knife to cut your nails. With no nail clippers in sight, some careful (extremely careful!) knife wielding will get your nails down to a reasonable length. Fun tip: It's easier to clean nails before you cut them.
Here's a video on YouTube if you're into watching that sort of thing.
33. Zesting citrus.
This was another suggestion from one of our Facebook fans. When you want to add some extra flavor to your food, zesting a lemon or orange with your knife is the way to go. Again, there are dedicated zesters, but a pocket knife is just as good.
This is kind of a weird one, but many people with a knife tend to fondle it or rub it (when closed, of course). To some, this is just a quirk, but it actually has benefits. Some, especially those who have a difficult time focusing, pay attention better when fidgeting or holding something in their hands. A knife, which is always in your pocket, is perfect for helping refocus on another task.
35. Trimming fishing line.
If you're a fisherman (which I'm not so please excuse any errors in terminology), there's a whole host of uses for the pocket knife. On some newly tied fishing knots, you need to cut the tag ends.
36. Cutting bait.
The pocket knife can also be used for cutting up pieces of bait into more manageable portions. (Yes, we know cutting bait can also mean cutting fishing line.) Sometimes, to get certain types of fish, you have to use chunks of bait.
37. Gutting fish.
After you've caught your fish, it's time to clean it up a bit. Gutting it with a pocket knife is quick and easy.
38. Filleting a fish.
Yes, there are fillet knives with flexible blades, but a pocket knife will also work when filleting smaller fish. The guy in the following video uses a pocket knife to clean a flounder. (He does use a fillet knife at one point, but you can still use a pocket knife.)
39. Getting gum out of a carpet.
Moving onto different topics, the pocket knife can also get gum out of carpets. Just shave off the part with the gum and you're home free.
Throwing knives is one of the fastest growing hobbies around. While you wouldn't want to throw just any pocket knife at a target for fun, there are specific pocket knives that can handle that type of abuse. In fact, DeadBullseye takes a look at some of the best folding throwing knives (which are already common pocket knives).
41. Stopping a bullet.
Wait, what? That's right, Deputy John Capriola was shot in the right leg while responding to a call on Dec. 23, 2013, except when his partner checked for a wound, there was nothing. The folder he was carrying in his pant pocket had blocked the impact.
Knives have actually stopped a number of bullets from killing people. While it's more a matter of luck, sometimes luck requires some forethought.
42. Opening a bottle of wine.
The pocket knife also opens up wine bottles. Some knives have actual corkscrews, which makes things significantly easier, but if your knife doesn't have a dedicated corkscrew, it can still be used to open up a bottle.
Here's a video that roughly shows you how to do it. Be careful not to bend the blade.
43. Splitting firewood.
If you have a durable pocket knife, splitting firewood is very doable. Using a piece of wood for batoning will help you split a piece of wood in two. I've seen people do it with hefty yet inexpensive knives like the Ontario RAT 1.
Another way to do it is cut the wood minimally, then use another piece of wood as a wedge to split it the rest of the way.
44. Cutting free a trapped animal.
Here's what Facebook fan Leon Schindler said, "We used mine to cut a trapped chickadee out of mist netting when no one could free it after about 15 minutes of trying. I thought that a noble purpose." Sometimes deer will also get stuck on barbed wire.
45. Carrying heavy grocery bags.
A pocket knife makes a great device for carrying those heavy plastic grocery bags without tearing up your hand. In fact, some Swiss Army knives have a special hook (called a parcel carrier) specially designed for carrying parcels and groceries. However, you could also use a plain old knife. Just put the bags over the handle and you're good to go.
46. Hanging coats in a public restroom.
I am loath to add this one because it's a blatant misuse of the knife. If you happen to go into a public restroom and there's no hook or anything to hang your sweatshirt on, you could use your knife to hang it.
The big risk is that it puts pressure on the knife in a way it's not designed for. As long as it's for a short amount of time and what you're hanging is extremely light, it should be fine. Here's a video to see what I'm talking about.
47. Trimming cuticles.
When it's cold or dry, the skin on the sides of my nails always cracks and peels. Peeling cuticles are the worst. A pocket knife will get rid of them in a hurry.
48. Pruning plants.
Pruning helps to shape and improve the health of plants. When you're gardening in the yard, a pocket knife can act as a makeshift pruner.
49. Peeling potatoes.
Have you ever tried to make delicious campfire potatoes but forgot the peeler at home? A pocket knife easily cuts off the skin of a potato.
50. Breaking a window in an emergency.
A fair amount of pocket knives come equipped with a glass breaker. This is that extra protrusion at the butt of the knife. One quick punch at a window and the glass of a car window breaks.
51. Teaching responsibility.
This is an interesting addition to this list. The previous uses have all been physical things the knife can accomplish, but a pocket knife can also teach responsibility to younger people. Giving a knife to someone young will instill a sense of duty. It's a sign of maturity. Here are some great first-time knives.
52. Cutting off clothes to access a wound.
Whether you're an EMT responding to a call or a good samaritan helping someone who fell down a bluff, sometimes you need to remove clothing to access a wound.
53. Making a tourniquet.
On related lines, if the wound is exceptionally bad, you may need to apply a tourniquet until help arrives. Ripping clothes into neat bandages is easy on television, but a little more difficult in real life. A pocket knife helps you make bandages or tourniquets in a hurry.
54. Opening a can.
Whether you're a hobo riding the rails or a camper trying to make dinner, electric can openers aren't always available. For those times, there's the pocket knife. Some pocket knives, especially the multi-tools, come with dedicated can openers, but a standard pocket knife will also do the trick. Just be careful not to mess up the blade.
Here's a video that shows you how to do it with just a folder.
55. Cutting off limbs or digits in an emergency.
We hope it never comes to this, but a pocket knife can be used to amputate limbs or fingers in life-or-death situations. This has happened more times than you think. Aron Ralston (the guy from 127 Hours) cut off his arm with a Swiss Army knife. Sampson Parker also used a knife to cut off his arm when it became trapped in a mechanical picker. Bruce Osiowy cut off has hand after a rockpicker crashed down on him. John Hutt cut off his toes when a tractor fell on top of him.
We could go on and on. It's unlikely to happen, but it's always good to be prepared.
56. Tightening screws.
A knife is not a screwdriver. It's used for cutting things (and an array of other things on this list), but many pocket knives come equipped with two types of screwdrivers. Also, I would never condone it, but some people do use a blade to tighten or loosen screws. Do it at your own risk.
57. Adding a new hole to your belt.
We've all been in the position in which we've lost* so much weight that our belt no longer fits us. Instead of going out and buying another high-quality leather belt, a nice clip-point pocket knife ought to do the trick. (*gained)
58. Slicing bagels.
Have you ever been to a restaurant for a bagel only to find they use those paltry plastic knives? You can quickly and cleanly cut a bagel in two with a pocket knife.
59. Spreading toppings over food.
After you've cut the bagel in two with your knife, you can use it to spread cream cheese over the bagel. It's not limited to cream cheese either. You can spread butter on a roll. If you're in a jam, you can even spread jam on your toast.
60. Picking up screws.
It's possible to magnetize the blade of most knives. Just take a magnet and run it toward the tip of the blade. This allows you to pick up screws in hard-to-reach places.
61. Felling a tree.
While it's not the ideal use for a pocket knife, a folder can take down a fairly thick tree. Just like splitting wood, this could cause damage to your knife and should really only be done in survival situations when you need shelter.
This guy shows you how to do it.
62. Removing stickers.
Stickers are awesome... except when it's time to peel them off. More often than not, removing a sticker results in some leftover chunks of residue that's nearly impossible to get off by hand. Depending on the surface, a pocket knife can help scrape off some of the residue. You have to be careful with this, so you don't mess up your blade.
63. Popping balloons.
After a party or graduation, balloons abound. Pocket knives make quick work of these air- (or helium-) filled globes. The great thing about using a pocket knife to pop balloons is that you can do it quietly.
64. Opening letters.
It might seem quaint, but back in the day, there was actually a tool called a letter opener. It was basically a knife-like object. Using a pocket knife to open those touching handwritten letters from your old friend is much easier than carrying a separate tool dedicated to opening letters.
65. Maintaining a pipe.
I've never been a smoker, but I know people who are. It takes quite a bit of work to maintain a pipe, and a pocket knife is a great tool for the job. A knife does well at reaming a pipe.
66. Starting a fire.
There are few ways to start a knife with a pocket knife. One of the uses earlier in the list is making kindling. Once you have that, it's even easier to get something going. One way is to use a ferro rod. You might consider this cheating because you need another item, but you can also use flint or quartz, which is pretty easy to find. Here's a good video showing how to use the back of a pocket knife to start a fire.
67. Cutting fishing net.
Fishing nets are a great way to catch some fish, but sometimes whales, dolphins, and other creatures get trapped. Grab your knife and cut the animal free.
68. Making a spear.
There are a few ways to make a spear with a pocket knife. One is to actually affix a knife to the end of a long stick. This is much less time-consuming, but it will put some wear on your knife. You can keep your knife and make a reliable four-pronged spear (fire hardened is even better). A pocket knife is an essential tool in the job.
Schrade has a great video on how to make one. Although they use a fixed blade survival knife, a solid pocket knife will also get the job done.
69. Keeping papers from blowing away.
I hate to say a knife can be used as a glorified paper weight, but it can. Just the other day, I put my pocket knife on a napkin to keep it from blowing away. You can also stick it on the top of an empty styrofoam cup.
70. Cutting someone's clothes who becomes trapped in an escalator.
Escalators can be death traps. One of the biggest causes of escalator deaths is clothing getting trapped in the machine. As the clothing gets sucked into the machinery, you could be choked to death. Having a knife handy can turn a very bad incident into yet another story to tell your friends.
71. Shotgunning a beer.
We at Knife Depot like to encourage responsible behavior (especially with using knives), but sometimes people just want to let loose a little. Shotgunning in relation to beer is the act of chugging the whole thing from a hole in the side. There are many ways to do it, but one is to stab the side with a knife, open the tab, and chug away.
This guy shows a pretty good way to do it with a pocket knife and without making a mess (although some people relish in the mess). Please drink responsibly.
72. Cutting pants into shorts.
Do you have a special lady in your life (or are you a special lady)? You can create some fresh new shorts out of a pair of old pants with a pocket knife. Put the pants on a work table, line up a ruler, and cut cleanly across the pants with the knife.
73. Gutting game.
I am no hunter, so please forgive me if I say something amateurish; however, knives are useful in a number of hunting applications. First, the knife can be used to gut a deer or smaller creature.
74. Skinning game.
Another part of field dressing is skinning game. A fixed blade with a gut hook is more commonly used, but a simple pocket knife—maybe even the iconic Buck 110 Hunter—is just as efficient.
75. Breaking down game.
Then, of course, it's time to break down game. Cutting up the meat into more manageable pieces is important if you're planning on eating the animal. Again, a large fixed blade is typically used, but a regular pocket knife can perform.
76. Getting out coconut water.
Drinking that delicious coconut water is no easy task, unless you have a pocket knife. If you ever find yourself marooned on a desert island, that pocket knife could save your life.
77. Cutting tape.
These days, you can grab scotch tape or packing tape with one of those cutting devices. But if you're looking to save a few bucks, you can just get the tape without the additional cutter. As long as you have a pocket knife, you'll be able to trim the tape.
78. Breaking down cardboard boxes.
After you've opened those boxes from Knife Depot, you have to recycle them. The big, unwieldy boxes won't fit into the recycling bin unless they're broken down. A durable and sharp pocket knife is more than adequate to take down a few boxes.
79. Stirring a drink.
Maybe the inventor of the knife (yes, Ugg, I'm talking about you) didn't expect it to be used to stir your iced tea, but it can be used that way. Maybe Starbucks ran out of those plastic stirring sticks and your coffee is sitting there all sad and unmixed. Give it a whirl with your pocket knife and it's good to go. Just be sure that you clean it off pretty thoroughly afterward or the blade could develop a patina, depending on what you stir.
80. Opening a padlock.
This is another one of those unapproved uses. You wouldn't want to use your Sebenza or Benchmade, but a knife can pop open a cheap padlock. A great tool for this is the reamer in a Swiss Army knife. Check out the video to see how it's done.
81. Scraping excess glue.
We've all done some woodwork in which excess glue gets on the visible parts of the project. Scrape it off easily and quickly with a sharp knife.
82. Saving your place in a book.
Much like a paperweight, a knife could be used as a bookmark in a hurry. If your Chinese delivery dude is knocking at the door and you're reading Crime and Punishment, stick your knife between the pages and answer the door. The knife will save your spot until you get back.
83. Cutting out pieces of paper.
Some Swiss Army knives come with scissors, making cutting out small pieces of paper easy. But, just like an exacto knife, your pocket knife can easily slice out pieces of paper. This works particularly well for arts and crafts.
84. Making a fashion statement.
To many, a knife is nothing more than a functional tool; to others, a knife is a fashion accessory. Don't kill the messenger. The New York Times even wrote an article about it. Here's a picture from the site:
If a hammer is just out of reach, a heavy knife is just the thing to get the nail in a few centimeters so you can fetch the proper tool. You might not want to subject your favorite knife to this kind of torture, though.
86. Cutting up pills.
Sometimes a normal dose of your medicine is simply too much. You can safely split your pills with a knife. You'll want to make sure you can split the pill because those with hard outer coats or capsules should not be split. Also, check with your doctor!
87. Keeping a door from closing.
This won't go in the Hall of Fame of Knife Uses, but a pocket knife can make a temporary doorstop. Just jam it beneath the door and it'll keep it from closing. If you just need a gate to stay ajar, the knife will also do.
88. Marking a spot for drilling or cutting.
Planning on cutting some drywall without a pencil nearby? Make a mark where you need to drill or cut with the blade of a pocket knife.
89. Trimming shoelaces.
Tired of tripping over your shoelaces? Give them a trim with your pocket knife. To get a nice fit, you may need to defray the ends and make some aglets (you know that word if you do crossword puzzles).
90. Opening up a keyring.
Prying is usually a big no-no in the knife world because you could do irreparable damage to the blade. However, it's possible to slide a knife into a keyring to open it up without any prying, though. It works extremely well if you have a blade that gradually becomes thicker.
91. Removing nails from tires.
On the way to work and notice a flat tire? If you're the handy type, you could quickly remove a nail deeply embedded in your tire with your knife before patching it up. You could be at work in no time... or use it as an excuse to take the day off.
92. Cleaning out corrosion from a battery terminal.
I hate when corrosive substances get all over a battery terminal. Getting it off is usually difficult, but a pocket knife helps scrape away some of the hard-to-reach debris.
93. Killing dangerous small creatures.
Is there anything worse than waking up in your tent with a scorpion? Not having a knife nearby! Knives make quick work of small dangerous critters like scorpions and centipedes. A knife is great for removing the venomous parts (such as the fangs of a snake), so no one steps on it later.
94. Cutting cheese.
No, not that type of cheese cutting. We're talking about the cheese cutting in the Parisian sense. Those who frequently attend outdoor concerts or organize picnics are familiar with the old pair of wine and cheese. We already know that knives can open wine bottles, but it's also a good way to cut cheese for your crackers.
95. Deflating air-filled packaging pillows.
Back in the day, bubble wrap was all the rage. It's still fun to pop, but not as protective for packaging things. Nowadays, most places use the larger bags filled with air. If you're not reusing them, they should be deflated and recycled. To quickly deflate, simply take a sharp knife and run it across the bubbles. You'll instantly take out all the air.
96. Cutting off skin tags.
You might want to consult your doctor before you go lopping off skin tags, which are those harmless protrusions on your skin, but slicing one off will take care of any acrochorda.
97. Opening bags.
When we asked people to share some of the most common uses for pocket knives, opening bags was near the top. Pet food, bird food, cereal, charcoal, and sand all come in hefty bags. In most cases, you could simply use your hands, but that usually leads to haphazardly torn bags. A knife will cut a nice hole in the bag that makes resealing a cinch. Don't let your dogs go hungry, people.
98. Making arts and crafts.
When making arts and crafts, a knife is indispensable. We already named one way to use a knife for arts and crafts, including cutting out small, intricate pieces of paper, but a knife is also great at cutting up aluminum cans without crushing them. You could make things like soda can flowers and decorations.
99. Cutting yourself free from monofilament lines.
If you're a diver, knives are a must. Thousands of divers get trapped in monofilament line every year. It's tough to get free from and almost always necessitates a knife. Most typical pocket knives shouldn't be taken on dives because of the possibility of corrosion, but there are knives like the Benchmade 111H20 and Spyderco Pacific Salt that not only make great diving knives but also great EDC knives.
100. Picking up pieces of food.
I have a mild case of OCD and one of the symptoms is my absolute disdain for getting anything sticky or gooey on my hands. A knife makes a fantastic fork when eating on the go. No more having to pick up viscous pieces of food with your hands.
101. Defending oneself.
We put this one last for a few reasons. First, we wanted to underline the fact that knives can be used for much more than self-defense. Second, the knife is pretty ineffective as a weapon in most people's hands. It's messy and can quickly escalate things. Third, it may also lead to some legal troubles if you use it in self-defense. So while a knife can be used as a tool for self-defense, it's probably best to use it as a last resort.
Bonus! I did come across a number of uses from various people that I didn't include for whatever reason—mostly because they're ridiculous or not safe. Here are a few more for you: cleaning out your ears (ridiculous), lancing cysts (potentially dangerous unless you're a doctor), playing mumblety-peg (highly irresponsible), digging (not recommended use for a knife), blowing bubbles (this can done through the hole of Spyderco knives only), prying (some people insist on prying with their pocket knives but it will mess up the blade!), juggling (absurd), puncturing an amniotic sac during an emergency roadside birth (unbelievably rare but not unheard of), and competing in cutting competitions (mostly for fixed blades).
Need a pocket knife in your life?
Now that you see just how versatile and useful pocket knives really are, it's time to get yourself one. Use this as an excuse to get a new one or use this as an opportunity to get your first. The sooner you start carrying a pocket knife, the sooner you start reaping the benefits. Browse through the wide variety of pocket knives at Knife Depot.
Shop by Knife Type
Shop by Knife Brand
Shop by Popular Knives
Precision Balance 12 Piece Throwing Knife Set
WWI U.S. 1918 Trench Knife
Schrade SCHF43 Jessica-X Knife
Schrade SCHF36 Frontier
Smith & Wesson Spec Ops M9 Bayonet Knife
Schrade Old Timer 15OT Deerslayer
Schrade SCHF9 Extreme Fixed Survival Knife
Smith & Wesson H.R.T. Coated Boot Knife
Schrade Uncle Henry 171UH Pro Hunter
Winchester 14.25” Huge Bowie Knife
Schrade 8OT Old Timer Senior Pocket Knife
Schrade SCHF21 One-Piece Drop Forged Boot Knife
Learn More from our Blog
- 10 Best Budget EDC Knives
- 10 Best Fixed Blade EDC Knives
- 20 Iconic Knives Every Knife Enthusiast Should Own
Best Pocket Knife Guide
India’s Urumi Whip Sword May Be Dangerous
- Knife Depot's Gift Buying Guide
- Pocket Knife Buying Guide
- Pocket Knives and Airports - TSA Knife Rules
- Serrated vs. Plain Edge Knives
- Tanto Point Blades
- The Ultimate Guide to Old Timer Knives
- Types of Kitchen Knives