Howdy, there was a time that I would only buy pocket Knives with “Made in the USA” on them, and I wouldn’t have even considered buying a pocket knife from China. The knifes you could get from China even just a few years ago were quite poor quality. However, these days China produces some of the best inexpensive pocket knives you can buy mainly because a lot of US knife companies have moved part or all of their production to China. Chinese manufacturers have been learning about different steels and how to build knives. So know we can get some Chinese knives that are excellent quality and inexpensive to buy. You still need to pick a Chinese knife from a few select manufactures as there is still a lot of poor quality, cheap junk available.
Some of the Chinese knife manufactures are becoming well known in knife collector circles and some of the knives that only cost a few bucks have achieved almost cult status and will be in most knife collections. This is my Sanrenmu 7010 which I bought about three years ago. It was one of the first quality pocket knives mage by a Chinese Brand. It has stainless steel scales and an 8Cr13MoV hollow ground blade with a liner lock. The length of the blade is around three inches so it’s quite a small knife. After three years of use it’s still in excellent condition, which is a testament to the quality. It only cost me about $7 at the time and it’s still one of the best inexpensive pocket knives I have bought.
Many of the major knife companies now have some of their models made in China and they are still able to maintain the high standards expected in their brands. Spiderco and its sister Brand Byrd, Benchmade and CRKT all have knives that are made in China. This is why I think some of the best inexpensive pocket knives are now made in China. Here are some inexpensive pocket knives that I think are very good and are well engineered. All of these knives come in around $20 or less.
Spyderco Byrd Cara Cara2
The Byrd Brand from Spiderco has a whole range of pocket knives; one of the best sellers in this range is the Byrd Cara2, which incorporates Spiderco’s trademark flat grind and the flipper hole, which is shaped differently in the Byrd brand. The Byrd range is aimed at a different market that the Spiderco Brand, which tent to be quite expensive. The Bird Cara2 can be picked up for around $20 which really is a bargain for such a well made knife. If you already own a Spiderco knife, you will notice that the finish on the Byrd brand knives is not quite as high as Spiderco knives, but the finish is still very good, and excellent for the price. So good they named it twice
CRKT Squid Folding Straight Edge
The CRKT Squid is another superb pocket knife coming in at under $20. It has a 2.4 inch blade with a stainless steel handle that either comes in stone washed or black stone washed. This is a nice looking pocket knife and was designed by Lucas Burnley in Albuquerque, New Mexico. The CRKT Squid comes with a liner lock and a low profile clip (pocket knifes with clips). The blade is made from 8Cr13MoV with a Rockwell HRC of 58-60 so the knife will hold a good edge.
The latest offering from Sanrenmu includes flipper deployment system for super fast opening. Full stainless steel body for extended life even in demanding conditions. Also comes with a liner lock. Brass colored thumb studs on either side. The knife also includes a pocket clip with tip down carry. The blade is 8Cr14MoV stainless steel and it weight 111 grams (3.9 oz) an has a thin profile.
A really nice little package at an unbelievable price.
All of the knives mentioned on this page are good quality single blade knives that do not come with bottle openers (pocket knives with bottle openers) or any other features, they all cost around $20, but quality still counts even at that price!
Stay safe and God bless,