Which one is Best – a Fixed-Blade or a Folding Knife?


Fixed Blade for Strength!

Fixed Blade for Strength!


I stopped selling knives a while back. However, this has been one of the most popular articles  on this site. The photos are not clickable.


Folding and fixed blade knives each have unique capabilities and weaknesses. Only you can decide which best fits your situation. Let’s look at the pros and cons of each.

The first consideration is: What do you want/need this knife to do? How will it be used? Once this is clear in your mind, it is easier to evaluate the knives available.

Fixed Knife: Pros and Cons

The advantages of these knives are clear: They can be made in very large sizes, their design is simple – yet they are known for their potential strength. Because the blade is all one piece, from handle to blade tip, there are no moving parts and the knife is sturdy and long-lasting. They are also easy to keep clean.

Generally speaking, a fixed blade is twice the length of a folder (folded blade knife). Most fixed blade knives are sheathed (covered), for safety. Some fixed blades now come with an interchangeable blade!

In many cities, states and countries, fixed blades are banned (with or without a sheath). In certain locales, mores dictate that fixed blades are “socially unacceptable” (Only farm workers are exempted from this ban)!

Folding Knives: Pros and Cons

Folders are more discrete, the blade folds into the handle when not in use. Most of these tools are known as “pocket knives” – indicating their mode of transport. Urbanites prefer these; the general population is unaware that ‘you’re carrying.’

Folders must be well-constructed to be as tough as fixed blades. The most vulnerable parts of any folder  are – the blade pivot (axis pin) and the lock spring. Quality tells here; this is where most folding knives fail.

The lock spring must keep the knife in an an open position, as long as you need it, and then release the blade to return into its holder. The longer bladed knives are more likely to have a problem – there’s more leverage on the axis pin, especially if using the flat side of the blade.

Thus, there’s a limit to the length of a blade. The longer the blade, the longer the handle must be to accommodate it.



Folding Knife = Convenience!

One other problem, rarely mentioned: Pocket knives are a bit harder to clean. Fur, wood slivers, whatever are more likely to gather inside the handle and need to be removed.

Back to Our Question

Fixed blades are long-lasting, easy to clean, tough and strong. Folding blades are convenient, discrete and versatile.

You will probably finish your shopping expedition with one of each – one for the big jobs (fixed) and another in your pocket – for 1001 little jobs each day!


This blog is a companion to my website:  GreatGhilliesAndGraphics.com


  1. […] Go to the author’s original blog: Which one is Best – a Fixed-Blade or a Folding Knife? (Knives #5 … […]

  2. If you had to pick only one, which one would it be? They all seem like good knives but insufficient funds have me only purchasing one this season.

  3. Using my husband as an example, he uses his pocket knife several times most days. He uses his fixed blade knives, but for sheer convenience and speed, he uses a pocket knife. If I could only choose one, I’d go with the pocket knife.

    The only problem with giving my opinion is that what you need a knife for may be totally different from mine/MDH’s.

    If you are a diver and that’s all your knife will be used for, then a fixed blade would be your best choice.

    Have a wonderful Thanksgiving! Thanks for stopping by my blog.

  4. I have four blades/tools namely, file, knife, tin/bottle opener and scissors. These blades have hooked ends in the form of a radiused slot about 3mm wide. I need a handle for these blades. Please advise.

  5. Sorry, I’m having a hard time visualizing what you mean. Have you seen a photo of it/them online (so you can give me the addy) or can you scan in a photo?
    MDHusband was just as clueless. He’s an ace at finding/creating parts.

    I’d love to help; just give me a bit more info or a photo, or both.

    Best wishes,

  6. This is a very useful post. Thanks for sharing.

  7. This is a good looking knife with a sharp blade. It would be a perfect pocket knife if the handle were not so thick. The handle is 14mm wide. This is just enought to put a buldge in your pocket.

  8. Your blog keeps getting better and better! Your older articles are not as good as newer ones you have a lot more creativity and originality now keep it up!

  9. The perfect knives folding knife, pocket knife, is different if you like to use it every day I love little folding knives in pocket. If M outdoor I love my hunting knife!

  10. […] Which is Best – Fixed Blade or a Folding Knife? […]

  11. […] Which is Best – Fixed Blade or a Folding Knife? […]

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