5 Practical Pocket Knife Uses for When You're in a Pinch

Anytime that you find yourself in one of these situations, these simple pocket knife uses may just prove that it's the best tool you have.

Call it what you will, a pocket knife, a folding knife, or a simple multi-tool, but this uncomplicated and long-lived tool is something that most of us cannot live without.

Not having one of these part bottle opener, part screwdriver, everyday carry devices in our pockets just makes us feel like we're missing something.

For those of us who wouldn't be caught dead without one on our persons, this list may not be too helpful. But by trial and error, we've found that the venerable pocket knife may be one of the simplest and most useful tools that we ever carried. And some folks still need convincing.

Sure, you can open packages or cut rope, but a folding pocket knife has some situational uses that go well beyond the norm. It isn't just about using it as a corkscrew or as a tool for some basic whittling. It's about having a capable blade in the times you need it most. Just about any pocket knife can and will be better than nothing.

Since there are plenty of trustworthy pocketknife brands (such as Spyderco, Schrade, Benchmade, Kershaw, Victorinox, and Gerber), it goes without saying that the "best" is up for debate. But at the end of the day, the tool should be able do a lot more than cut a loose thread off of your shirt.

Who knows? It just might save your life some day.

1. Removing a Splinter

Okay, so removing a splinter isn't exactly what we meant by saving your life. Still, you'll be quite happy when it's gone, and if a splinter is left untouched for too long, it can get infected and cause much bigger problems.

A sharp point and a clean blade is common sense here, so carrying a small bottle of isopropyl alcohol can make all the difference. This also applies to getting a fishing hook out of your skin, which I've admittedly done more than once.

2. Campfire Kindling

We don't usually find ourselves in a wilderness situation without our best knife, but there are certain situations where we need some fire and don't have our larger hunting or camping kit. A simple everyday carry knife, particularly one with a locking mechanism, can still put together a handful of kindling at a moment's notice.

In a pinch, the edge of the knife might be used as a striker for a magnesium fire starter if one is lost or misplaced.

3. Glass Breaker

Many good quality pocket knives have built in glass breakers that can't be discounted. It's not something that is essential to camping, fishing, hunting, or hiking, but since a folding pocket knife is standard in our everyday lives, this can turn one into a survival knife in a heartbeat.

In this scenario, and in lieu of having such a knife, it is a must that your knife have an accentuated point other than the blade. Keeping the blade in the closed position, it is possible to identify the closed end with the best "point" shape to it and use that end to attack the glass of a car window on its edge.

As long as you ignore the windshield (which is annealed glass) and only attempt to break the side windows (which are tempered glass), you should see success in an emergency situation.

4. Seat Belt Escape

Just because we carry a pocket knife doesn't mean that we can cut, slash, or break our way out of every dangerous situation. It's not as if we'll always need  to cut our way out of the seatbelt of a car, but it only takes once for it to happen, and without a cutting edge we're sunk.

Here's where a good knife with an included serrated edge might make all the difference. Remember, many multitools and Swiss army knives have these features already included.

5. Self-Defense

We certainly don't advise such an undertaking without professional guidance, but of all the pocket knife uses that we can think of, a self-defense situation might be the most vital.

While it's almost incomprehensible to imagine such a circumstance, it's not much different from our desire to have a concealed carry firearm. In the event of an unthinkable situation, it's better to be armed than not.

This is for a time when the only thing we have available is the simple folding knife in our pocket.

Honestly, there are a ton of reasons why a pocket knife will come in handy. The best pocket knife that you can find is the one that fully suits your needs for everyday use.

As outdoorsmen, we love the simple things in life and these handy little pocket-sized gadgets have found a place in our hearts even if it was as a toothpick or a screwdriver.

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