Cheap pocket knives make great options for EDC. Your everyday carry needs to have broad effectiveness for the many different situations you may encounter. Pocket knives are handy several times a day, for opening boxes, cutting rope, getting into packages and hundreds of less common uses where a small blunt object or razor sharp edge or point will be useful. One of the bestselling cheap pocket knives is the Kershaw 1730SS that has decent metal, good size, and a fair price. The main disadvantage is its ability to create and hold a razor sharp edge over time. After reviewing over 28 entry level pocket knives, we chose the Gerber EAB Lite. The Gerber has a unique replaceable blade design that uses utility knife blades, and it's compact and stylish. But most impressive is the unbelieveable price of the Gerber. The Gerber EAB Lite is one of the best cheap pocket knives you can depend on over and over again.
Kershaw is a well known and respected name in knives and has been for over 40 years. Their long-standing reputation means you can trust they make a great pocket knife, even at the entry level. Expect this reputation to cost a little extra cash even though the knives overall performance will not be significantly better than the Gerber. If you prefer the traditional pocket knife design, and you are willing and capable of sharpening your blade, the Kershaw 1730SS may be a good option for you from the selection of cheap pocket knives we tested.
This is not your standard pocket knife, but it matched and outperformed all of the cheap pocket knives we tested. It also has one of the best prices we have ever seen on a pocket knife. The replaceable blades and small profile are well designed, and if you are traveling just pop out the blade and you have a TSA-safe money clip, excellent idea and hits home if you have ever had your EDC swiped by airport security. The Gerber EAB Lite will quickly become your favorite and most useful EDC, and you will be amazed by the price.
3-inch stainless steel blade made from 8Cr13MoV which is a commonly used Chinese manufactured metal used on many cheap pocket knives. Just enough carbon to hold its edge, but may corrode quicker than other more expensive metals like AUS-8.
The genius of the Gerber EAB Lite is the replaceable blade, which is an obviously great concept that Gerber executes flawlessly. Its 1.5" blade is a standard utility blade that can be replaced, meaning you can have a consistently fresh blade that costs next to nothing.
The Kershaw is a heavier and much longer pocket knife than the Gerber. Fully open it extends 6.9" and when closed down it is 3.9" with a weight of 3.2 oz.
The Gerber has an open length of 5.1 inches, and a closed size of only 2.8 inches. This very compact size and 2.2 oz weight fits unnoticeably in a pants pocket or a front shirt pocket.
The knife frame is used to lock the Kershaw in the open position. A frame lock has the same strength and safety as a liner lock. Some people do not like how it grips, but we did not notice it in testing.
There is an interior metal liner on the frame of the Gerber pocket knife that locks the blade in the open position. Liner locks do not alter the grip but can make detailed cleaning slower. It's a preference but there is minimal impact either way .
The Kershaw has a handy speed flipper that is great for a fast opening of the blade that can be done with one hand.
The smaller profile of the Gerber makes a one-handed opening more difficult, so we consider it a two handed open.
Rapid deployment of your pocket knife is easier when its not jammed in a pocket. The Kershaw has a smaller clip than the Gerber, but it stayed secure when tested on different pocket materials with movement.
Gerber designed their clip to be wider and more secure. When we saw that it could double as a money clip we were hesitant, but after trying it out we believe it's a smart and useful idea.
It's important to have a solid grip for safety and control on your EDC. Kershaw included a nice looking nylon strip on the back of the blade that runs the full length of the handle and provides good gripping.
The smaller profile made it easy to grip the handle in a comfortable position safely. The Gerber also has a clean skeleton frame design which gives additional grip for the fingers when working heavily on the knife.