10 Best Bartender Pocket Knives: How to Pick the Right One?

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Most, if not all, bartenders have a handy dandy pocket knife. Why, you ask? Only because it’s a cool contraption that makes a bartender's life easier. It may be small but it has a lot of functions so it’s very convenient rather than to buy all the other tools individually.

Some may argue that having individual tools are more effective because they do their jobs better, what great about pocket knives is that they are accessible, compact and serve as a backup. Besides, bartending is more than just pouring a bunch of drinks and serving it to the customer, it’s an art and you can’t afford any delays during the process when you can’t locate your regular tools.

So, all you have to do is reach out to your pocket and let the knife do its thing and save the day. Continue reading to find out more about the brilliant tool that is the pocket knife. 

What is a Bartender Pocket Knife?

Have you ever seen a Swiss army knife? Basically, a pocket knife is a compact, special knife that can serve more than one function. Pocket knives have been around for most probably 100 years and the oldest versions always included a spear blade and a corkscrew. Over the years, more features have been added such as a bottle opener, pen blade, and label cutter.

There are many different versions of these knives and while some are already satisfied with having two features, some also like to go extreme and choose those that have more functions. Sure, bartenders may feel the need to acquire separate knives, corkscrew or bottle openers because they want to have the full bartending experience and they don’t want to fill all of them in a single tool.

However, the pocket knife wasn’t made out of whim; it was a well-thought of design of functionality. The best thing that it offers to bartenders is convenience. It can definitely come to the rescue when a certain situation demands it. 

How to Pick the Right Bartender Pocket Knife?

A pocket knife is like a bartender’s trusty buddy and you can’t simply choose one in an instant. There are several things to consider if you hope to find the perfect pocket knife that can help you in your bartending endeavors. 

Size - The idea about pocket knives is that they are small and can easily fit in your pocket, thus the name. However, they don’t have the same sizes and some may be too big for a pocket knife and some are so small that the blade won’t be able to cut anything. There are blade sizes that are just right and don't lose their functionality and at the same time, not weigh as much. 

Functionality -
Some pocket knives only have one blade, some have two but there are other knives that have more than two features. Some have corkscrews, bottle openers and some even have extreme features that go on full bartending with a jigger, muddler, stirrer and strainer. It depends on your preference whether you want a simple knife with only one or two blades or you want an all-in-one knife. 

    Customization - Some knives have the ability to be adjusted so you can have it just the way you want. Perhaps you like the overall appearance of the knife but you feel like it’s a bit heavy so you want to detach a blade and you can do this with the help of a technician. You can also do it the other way around, for example when you want to add something to your knife. It depends on the knife though if it has the capacity to be deconstructed and then renewed without having to lose its intended function. 

      Locking Mechanisms - If you’re much of an expert on pocket knives, you would need some safety precautions to ensure that whenever you’re not using it, it is safely locked to keep you or anyone from harm. Some locking mechanisms include a frame lock, lockback, mid lock, slip joint or liner lock. 

        Steel - To perform its function better, a good knife must have premium quality steel that ensures that you can cut efficiently and effectively. Make sure that the blade suits your purpose of buying it, in this case, for bartending purposes. Also consider the thickness of the blade and its resistance to corrosion. 

          Handle Material - You’re not just looking for the blade and the other features. What’s the use of all of these if your knife has a weak handle? You also have to consider having a firm grip when you’re using your knife. The handle is an important aspect because it enhances performance as well as comfort. Some people may also consider the handle for aesthetics. Some have aluminum, titanium, stainless steel, wood and more. 

            Price - If you want to invest in something like a pocket knife, you have to make sure that it’s worth it. If you want a high-end model, then go for it. But, if you want a simple and convenient one, you also can. It all boils down to quality and your resources of course. 

              Our Pick

              Ready to buy your own pocket knife? Here’s our top pick to choose from without browsing the whole list. 

              1. Most Durable 

              With its 8Cr13MoV stainless blade with non-reflective black coating Spyderco Tenacious Value Folding Knife takes the spot for the strongest, and most long-lasting among the list. 

              2. With Most Accessories

              Both Victorinox Swiss Army Spartan Pocket Knife and Gentlemen's Hardware 12-in-1 Multi Tool have 12 functions but are completely different from each other. The former is more on for basic activities while the latter has more use in the kitchen. Both make great bartender pocket knives though. 

              3. Most Unique

              You probably haven’t seen a pocket knife like Prepara 1027 Fruity multi-use fruit tool. It has the most interesting features that are entirely dedicated to preparing and cutting fruits, a function that is most useful in bartending. 

              Top 10 Bartender Pocket Knives

              1. AYADA Travel Pocket Paring Knife


              They say that simplicity is beauty. Just because something has fewer features than the others doesn’t mean it is less effective. In fact, one only needs enough attributes to be proven effective. AYADA proudly presents its travel pocket paring knife that features two blades: one is a knife and the other is a peeler/bottle opener with its teeth-like edges that can be used as a fish scaler, though this feature is less likely to be used at the bar, but the other features will surely be used. It uses high quality ABS material for its handle to ensure a firm grip when in use, as well as high quality stainless steel for the blades that don’t react to any food and is resistant to corrosion. This knife is foldable and it only measures 4.5 inches when it’s folded, making it very light and easy to carry.  This knife is very helpful may it be used at the bar or in the kitchen. 

              2. Spyderco Tenacious Value Folding Knife

              The name speaks for itself, this knife has the reputation of being tenacious. The Spyderco foldable knife is made from superior blade steel that measures 3.39 inches and is coated in non-reflective black coating and ground-flat from the spine to cutting-edge to ensure that there will be no interruptions when cutting. Its ergonomically designed handle is a black G-10 laminate handle that enables you to have a comfortable and secure grip. The blade’s shape is coupled with the trademark round hole and with its textured spine jimping, you can open the blade easily by positioning your thumb on the spine. It also has a 4-position pocket clip to prevent it from sliding out from your pocket. This knife is fantastic for all around purposes including work at the bar, of course.

              3. Victorinox Swiss Army Spartan Pocket Knife



              Wherever you are, chances are high that a pocket knife will be of great use, especially if they have numerous functions. Take the Spartan Pocket Knife by Victorinox for example. It has about 12 features that include one large and one small blade, corkscrew, can opener with a small screwdriver, a bottle opener with a large screwdriver, wire stripper, rimmer, key ring, tweezers and a toothpick. All of these are fit into one single tool. The blades are made from stainless steel and are enclosed in polished red ABS scales. The overall look is very sleek and the overall knife is durable. Given its small size, it can easily be brought anywhere to save you anytime. This knife is available in an array of colors like black, camouflage and white. 

              4. Gerber STL 2.0 Knife



              Among the other items in this list, this one is a game-changer for it is STRONG, THIN and LIGHT. It has a cut out in the blade that offers easy one-handed opening, and an ultra-thin blade that is ideal for getting specific tasks done. It doesn’t have other features because one blade is good enough for it to compete with the others. It uses a 440A stainless steel blade and has a lanyard hole that ensures it will always be on hand and ready. It is no thicker than three quarters stacked together and it weighs only one ounce and is foldable, making it very compact and easy to bring anywhere. It is also versatile because aside from being used in the kitchen, it also serves many purposes like in camping or survival purposes. 

              5. Prepara 1027 Fruity Multi-use Fruit Tool



              Here’s a different take on a pocket knife. When one hears “pocket”, he/she will probably picture out a swiss army knife or something similar to this. But, Prepara has something different to offer. At the bar, most of the stuff that a bartender cuts and prepares are fruits for garnishes of the drink. The Prepara fruit tool is well-suited for this purpose as it is dedicated to prepare fruits in the easiest manner. Its features include a cherry pitter, which doubles as a strawberry huller, a citrus reamer which is also the body, citrus zester which can also be used as a cheese grater, a knife to cut fruit slices, an apple corer which is also used to remove seeds and a peeler. This knife is ergonomically designed to ensure safe and clean usage every time. This knife can be an amazing gift to a bartender or a fruit lover since it allows one to prepare fruits with ease.

              6. Gentlemen's Hardware 12-in-1 Multi Tool

              Gentlemen’s hardware boasts its multi-functional pocket knife that provides you with almost everything you need in preparing foods and drinks. Overall, it Includes a cheese grater, zester, garlic crusher, channel knife, small paring knife, serrated knife, peeler, fork, spoon, bottle opener, corkscrew, and can opener. Because it has many features, it can be split into two to better use and clean each and every tool embedded in a single tool. All of the features are made from stainless steel and the handle is made of wood. This tool basically has everything that you would need in preparing and it’s small enough to be brought anywhere, it’ll be like bringing your kitchen outside. It is recommended that this tool be hand washed to prolong its durability. It comes in a kraft box, making it an ideal gift to give to a friend or relative. 

              7. Pocket By Coutale Sommelier



              If you had a wine that was made by renowned winemaker Philippe Bernède, how would you feel if you had the corkscrew that was also designed by the French icon to go with it? The Pocket by Coutale Sommelier is the only French patented spring-loaded double lever corkscrew available in the market.  The reason why he came up with this device is that he was disappointed in the qualities of corkscrews. The frame and the handle are made from solid stainless steel, not only adding aesthetics to the knife but also comfort. The worm or the corkscrew is also made of stainless steel but is coated with Teflon, allowing for smooth removal of corks. It also features a stainless steel serrated knife that is ideal for cutting foil and cutting fruits, such as citrus. It may be simple with only two features but it is overflowing with quality that allows the user to remove corks and cut foil and fruits easily. 

              8. HYZ Twichan 3 Pack Waiter Corkscrew

              When you have to open a bottle of wine, you gotta do it in style. Introducing the HYZ 3 - pack waiter corkscrew that allows you to open wine bottles in seconds and is certainly bartender approved. It is equipped with everything you need to open a bottle of wine in an easy manner including a foil cutter, which is a serrated knife, corkscrew, and a double hinge fulcrum for lifting the cork up. On top of that, the fulcrum is strategically designed as a bottle opener as well so you can open other bottles of beverage. All of these are enclosed in a thick stainless steel neck that can withstand any force. Its handle is ergonomically designed to ensure a comfortable and effortless pull. You can choose a color of your liking with the array of colors they have and the best part is you’ll not only receive one but three of them.

              9. Waiters Corkscrew by HiCoup

              You never have to go having trouble with a messy cork again if you have the HiCoup Waiters Corkscrew, a sommelier inspired, premium quality and durable 3 in 1 multi-function waiter key. It combines the functions of a foil cutter in the form of a serrated knife, corkscrew and bottle opener, all are safely packed in a durable 420 stainless steel body with a comfort-grip wood handle. Its double-hinged fulcrum allows you to easily lift the cork in just two easy steps whilst having a comfortable grip. The mechanism in the cork involves a  precision-cut notch along the screw that grips the cork firmly and also reduces the drag as it cuts through the cork, this way the cork is less likely to crumble and ruin the wine. It comes in various designs and colors so feel free to choose. Note too that this is one of the best sellers in the market, see for yourself. 

              10. Kizer Knives Pocket Knife

              For a fair price, you can experience excellent craftsmanship with the Kizer pocket knife. The Kizer knife is a tactical pocket folding knife that has rapid one-handed deployment and locks securely into place with a liner lock. It has incredible VG-10 steel, and G-10 handle scales with an almost carbon fiber pattern, and stainless liners that add a cool touch to the overall look. The blade contains titanium nitride coating, giving a shield of protection from rust from the juice coming out when you're cutting fruits such as citrus. The drop point blade is perfectly centered and the grind is excellent. It opens smoothly and easily with a  frame lock that works great. A reversible spring pocket clip and stainless steel liners. It is simple, yet very effective and small enough to be brought anywhere. 


              1. What kind of blade that doesn’t rust easily?

              Most blades are made from stainless steel which have different types including VG-10, N690, And Sandvik 14C28N which are not exactly water-friendly but can resist corrosion for long periods of time, especially when accompanied with proper maintenance. There are also non-carbon non-carbon-based steels like H-1 and LC 200 N that have unique qualities that make them ideal for hard use in and around the water and in humid environments. A titanium blade is also rust-resistant and strong, but they’re usually not as sharp and softer than other types.

              2. Can pocket knives be used for other purposes other than at the bar?

              Yes, most pocket knives are multi-purpose. Aside from the kitchen or at the bar, it can be used as a survival tool, for camping and for basic everyday tasks. 

              3. Is it better to purchase a multi-functional pocket knife or the individual tools?

              It depends on your preference. People are not all alike and some may prefer being organized and acquiring individual tools for collection purposes too but if you’re an all-around type of person and choose to have a single tool that does all, you may opt for a pocket knife. Note though that function-wise, having individual items prove to be more effective; the best thing a pocket knife offers is convenience. 

              4. How do I clean my pocket knife?

              The best way to clean a knife is by hand-washing it with warm water and soap and then rinsing it off and dried with a towel. It is not recommended to clean knives in the dishwasher as the heat and radical temperature can diminish the blade and make it dull. Also, don’t soak the knife in chlorine and other bleach products as this also causes damage to the blades. 

              5. How do I keep my pocket knife from becoming dull?

              You can sharpen your knives by using a whetstone and some lubricant, but don’t sharpen it too frequently as this will damage your blade, only sharpen when needed. 

              Must-have Tools for the Home Bartender

              Pocket knives aren’t the only tools you need if you hope to become a bartender. In fact, there are many. Acquaint yourself with these tools here!

              Essential Cocktail Techniques

              Following the information above, further your bartending knowledge by checking out techniques in this article, you will find out about awesome equipment and glassware that make your bar more classy and complete. 


              Whether you’re in the kitchen or at the bar, knives are essential tools in cutting, peeling fruits and other food items. Though you may choose to buy regular knives, there is no doubt that having a pocket knife is also a great choice.

              Pocket knives provide convenience in serving their purpose as they are compact and light. They are also great backups for when you misplace your initial tools. Some may have more features than the others including other bar essentials such as a bottle opener and a corkscrew.

              While this is advantageous, in this context, the main tool to look out for is the knife. There are a lot of things to consider when looking for the perfect blade. People have different preferences on whether they choose just the knife or they want to have other features too. In the end, what matters is that the job gets done in a clean, safe and convenient manner. Undoubtedly, pocket knives are really useful and you can always count on them to save the day.

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