10 Greatest Ultralight Backpacking Knives and Multi-tools of 2021


10 Best Ultralight Backpacking Knives and Multi-tools

You don’t want an enormous knife for mountain climbing and backpacking when an ultralight folding pocket knife or multi-tool is simply pretty much as good for opening freeze-dried meals packages, slicing cheese and salmi, adjusting sun shades frames, reducing guylines and twine, shaping moleskin, reducing strips of leukotape, pulling splinters out of your arms, trimming your toenails, and one million different makes use of.

Whereas there are a whole lot of selections accessible, we suggest selecting EDC (every-day carry) class multi-tools and folding knives that may slot in your pocket or connect to your pack for simple entry. All of those knives and multi-tools weigh 2 oz or much less and are effectively beneath the three″ blade size restrict for states within the USA that care about such issues. Can’t resolve which you want finest? Take a look at our Backpacking Knife and Multi-tool Information beneath for extra info and recommendation.

1. Leatherman Squirt PS4

Leatherman Squirt PS4
Whereas the Leatherman Squirt PS4 is a fully-featured multi-tool, it folds down keychain small. This 2 oz marvel consists of common and needle-nose pliers, a pair of scissors, knife blade, file, flat and Phillips head screwdrivers, and a bottle opener. Made with stainless-steel and anodized aluminum, you’ll marvel the way you ever managed with out it. For those who’d relatively have a pair of fine scissors as a substitute of the pliers, strive the Leatherman Micra.

Obtainable from:
REI | Amazon

2. Swiss Military Basic

The Swiss Military Basic multi-tool is a longtime hiker favourite as a result of it’s tremendous light-weight however packs lots of the instruments that hikers want each day, starting from a small pair of sharp scissors and a knife to a nail file, toothpick, and tweezers. Weighing simply 0.7 ounces, it’s simple to clip to the skin of your backpack with a mini-biner for simple entry. Substitute toothpicks and tweezers are additionally accessible since they’re normally the very first thing you lose.

Obtainable from:
REI | Amazon

3. Spyderco Ladybug

Spyderco Ladybug 3 Purple
The Ladybug 3 is considered one of Spyderco’s smallest light-weight knives. Weighing simply 0.6 oz, this folding knife has a 1.94″ blade with a textured ergonomic grip and again lock mechanism. Don’t be fooled by its diminutive measurement. It has an uncanny quantity of reducing energy and utility for a knife of its measurement. When closed, the Ladybug is about the identical measurement as your automobile keys. It’s accessible with a plain or serrated edge in all kinds of colours: we advise yellow to make it more durable to lose. The Ladybug doesn’t have a pocket clip however relatively a gap for attachment to a keychain or lanyard.

Obtainable from:
Amazon | Walmart

4. SOG Keytron

SOG Keytron
The SOG Keytron is a superb keychain software that’s one other considered one of my favorites. This guide folder includes a very sharp 1.8-inch blade on a slim, light-weight deal with. It additionally comes with a bottle opener and has its personal keyring that opens with a easy latch and never a cut up keyring making it a lot simpler to take away or connect to your pack or keys with out an additional biner. It’s made with stainless-steel, weighs 1.3 oz, and is 3.5 inches lengthy. I take advantage of it for slicing open packages, reducing wire, opening beer bottles, and combating off zombie chipmunks.

Obtainable from:
SOG | Amazon

5. Gerber Paraframe Mini Pocket Knife

Gerber Mini-Paraframe
The Gerber Paraframe Mini is an reasonably priced light-weight on a regular basis carry knife that has an open body. It’s accessible in a number of blade variations together with a plain edge, serrated, and tanto designs. Weighing simply 1.6 oz, it has a 2.25″ blade and a body lock deal with design, with a sturdy pocket clip that stows in your pocket, in your belt, or a backpack shoulder strap. We just like the stainless plain edge mannequin one of the best for reducing open packages and cleanly slicing cordage and guylines round camp.

Obtainable from:
Gerber | Amazon | Walmart

6. Benchmade 533 Mini Bugout Folding Knife

Benchmade 533 Mini Bugout Fine-Edge Knife
The Benchmade 533 Mini Bugout is premium stainless-steel folding knife designed particularly for ultralight backpacking and tenting. Weighing 1.5 oz, it has a blade size of two.8″. It’s a really nimble knife with a pointy slicing edge that works effectively for quite a lot of makes use of. You possibly can open it one-handed with a wrist flick and it’s configured out of the field to be ambidextrous for righties and lefties. The Mini Bugout comes with a clip so you’ll be able to carry it in a pants pocket or clip it to a shoulder strap, but it surely additionally has a lanyard gap. We actually just like the orange textured deal with gives grip when you might have moist arms, and makes it simple to seek out for those who drop it on the bottom.

Obtainable from:
REI | Walmart

7. Nite Ize DoohicKey Key Chain Knife

Nite Ize Doohikey Key Chain Knife
The Nite Ize DoohicKey Key Chain Knife has a two-inch locking stainless-steel blade housed in a light-weight aluminum physique. Don’t let its small measurement idiot you. It has a corrosion-resistant stainless-steel blade with a excessive hardness stage permitting it to retain a pointy edge and a lock-back design that retains the blade locked in place whereas in use. The DoohicKey comes with a locking S-Biner that permits you to shortly connect, detach, and safe this folding knife to key chains, backpacks, and different anchor factors.

Obtainable from:
REI | Amazon

8. Kershaw Chive

Kershaw Chive
The Kershaw Chive is a small, pocket-friendly, and versatile pocketknife that may deal with nearly any reducing job you ask it tom from opening packages to reducing guyline wire. It has a excessive carbon metal blade and a metal deal with with a sturdy body lock that retains the blade safely open throughout use. It opens with a flipper or thumb stud and comes with a pocket clip and lanyard gap, in addition to a security lock so it received’t open in your pocket. It truly is a wonderful and durable knife.

Obtainable from:
Amazon | Cabelas

9. Opinel No.06 Pocket Knife

Opinel Number 6
The Opinel No. 6 is a traditional folding pocket knife made with a pure French orange beechwood deal with. We’d suggest getting the stainless-steel model, relatively than the carbon metal blade for improved corrosion resistance. The knife requires two arms to function with a thumb nick and a hoop lock that a lot be twisted to securely maintain it open or shut it when carrying it in your pocket. Regardless of this, it’s fairly reasonably priced and blade for carving meals and fruit as a result of the blade is 2.87″ in size and longer than our different prime picks. Opinel knives are available many alternative sizes and it’s commonplace for folks to construct up fairly a group.

Obtainable from:
REI | Amazon

10. Zero Tolerance 0022

Zero Tolerance 0022
The Zero Tolerance 0022 is an exquisitely crafted folding pocket knife product of extraordinarily sturdy metal for superior hardness, corrosion resistance, and edge retention. The deal with has a carbon fiber entrance with a titanium again and deep finger contours to make sure a safe and protected grip. This flipper opens easily and closes with one hand. A ball-bearing makes opening the 0022 virtually easy. The blade flips open and locks into place with the titanium body lock and hardened metal lock bar insert. Whereas it’s dear for a knife of this measurement, it’s a whole lot of enjoyable to make use of and intensely effectively made.

Obtainable from:
Amazon | Cabelas

Backpacking Knife and Multi-Software Information

What do want it for?

Before you purchase an ultralight folding knife or multitool for backpacking or outside use, take into consideration what you may be utilizing it for and what capabilities it ought to have. Would you like a knife to open freeze-dried meals packages and resupply containers, or a pair of scissors, which is best for shaping moleskin, reducing bandages, and blister safety tape? A multi-tool can be very helpful for different kinds of outside recreation and work, from working with small motors to adjusting ski and snowboard bindings. If you’d like a knife to observe bushcraft expertise or pores and skin recreation, we’d suggest selecting a bigger, sturdier knife designed for these makes use of.

Authorized blade size

The great factor about folding pocket and EDC-sized knives and multitools is that they’re normally authorized once you cross from one state (USA) to a different. Make sure to verify the blade size limits and knife concealment legal guidelines in your state or metropolis, if any. A 2″ blade (or much less) might be authorized in most states.  Be aware, it’s nonetheless unlawful to hold a knife in most federal, state, and native authorities buildings, colleges, and naturally airplanes.

Loss prevention

Most small knives and multitools have a clip, lanyard gap, or ring that permits you to connect them to your keys, garments, or backpack. For those who’re backpacking, you’re going to wish to maintain shut monitor of your knife/software, as a result of they’re very simple to lose. We additionally counsel you get a knife with a brightly coloured deal with, so it stands out for those who drop it on the bottom.

Edge varieties

Many EDC knives can be found with straight edges or serrated edges. For easy duties like opening packages, reducing tape, or slicing cheese, a straight edge is preferable. Serrated blades are way more applicable for heavy-duty duties like skinning video games or processing wooden, though you’re unlikely to do a lot of that with these brief blades. Straight edges knives are additionally a lot simpler to sharpen.

Blade form

Many of the knives listed right here have what are known as drop factors, clip factors, and spear factors that are all wonderful for EDC-style knives the place a pulling motion is used for reducing or slicing. On a drop level blade, the blade level drops down beneath the blade’s backbone making a curved cutty edge known as a stomach. It’s considered one of right this moment’s most widespread blade shapes as a result of it’s an important all-purpose blade. On a clip level, the blade has the looks of getting the ahead third of the blade “clipped” off. The clip itself will be straight or concave. This form can be good for pull cuts however improves the knife’s potential to stab into objects like fruit or giant greens. On a spear level, the backbone and edge meet symmetrically in the course of the knife. This form is nice for pushing/thrusting and offers the blade a particularly sturdy tip. The Swiss Military Knife Basic is an ideal instance.

Opening system

Small knives and multi-tools can be found with completely different opening mechanisms. Essentially the most primary is a nail nick the place you lever the blade open with a fingernail. There are additionally assisted opening programs with thumb studs or a flipper, which is a metallic extension discovered behind the blade close to the pivot.

Lock varieties

Locks maintain folding knives blades within the ‘open’ place so that they don’t fold again and lower you. The most typical locks are a body lock and a liner lock. A body lock may be very sturdy and constructed into the deal with of a knife, snapping into place behind the blade so it could possibly’t pivot again. One other widespread lock is the liner lock which is a spring-like lock contained in the deal with. Because the knife is opened the liner springs into place beneath the blade forcing it to lock into place. The liner needs to be depressed to shut the knife.


In terms of small multi-tools and fold pocket knives, something that weighs lower than 2 oz goes to vanish into your pocket or be a cinch to connect to your backpack. As we mentioned earlier, you don’t want an enormous knife for backpacking when a small knife or multi-tool is greater than enough.

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