Best Folding Kitchen Knife: Portable Chefs Tools

Campers and small kitchen enthusiasts know that a great, high-quality folding knife is one of those tools everyone should have in their chef’s arsenal. Any old pocket knife can cut, sort of, but a folding kitchen knife needs to do everything that a normal blade can accomplish for cooking. Plus, they need excellent handles and a solidly built hinge so you can use them on the go. Otherwise, all you have is a novelty item that’s not even a good doorstop.

When it comes to portable cooking, there are a billion options. Narrowing them down to only those well-made items you can use is surprisingly easy. I will walk you through everything you need to find and maintain your folding kitchen knives so you can cook with confidence anywhere. I’ll share my top five best folding kitchen knives and why they’re all worth having in your drawer. 

Finding High-Quality Folding Kitchen Knives 

When you decide to add folding kitchen knives to your collection, it’s vital to know what to look for. Reading reviews helps, but it doesn’t matter if you don’t know what matters. Clearly, a good blade made from high-quality, rust-resistant material matters. Likewise, they need to be able to hold an edge, but there’s so much more to it. 

First, you need to consider the handle. Some chefs and home cooks like a smooth handle, and others prefer textured grips for extra slip-proof hold. Either way, you don’t want an in-between option that’s not good for either style. Moreover, it would help if you considered the hinge carefully. A good folding kitchen knife should lock securely and have a hinge that doesn’t bind up easily.

It helps a great deal if you can reach and clean the hinges in folding kitchen knives, so take the time to make a closer inspection of that part. No one needs a rusty or unopenable folding knife in their kitchen. A smart place to look for more information is on the manufacturer’s website. 

By taking the time to inspect the materials, blade, handle, and hinge, you can avoid problems like ending up with a cheap, broken knife. Finally, consider how you intend to carry or store your knives. Does it have a belt clip or a sheath, and do you need those things?

Folding Kitchen Knife Maintenance

Folding kitchen knives have some things in common with your standard chef’s tools and other aspects that are more like a pocket knife. Resultantly, taking care of them means knowing about both of these styles. All good cooks know that you have to sharpen your blades regularly. In fact, some come dull from the factory because you are supposed to sharpen them to suit your own cooking style. Learn to sharpen your knives at home. 

Cleaning is also critical because food poisoning is very unpleasant. Always check to see if your knives are dishwasher safe. If not, use a mild detergent on them. Additionally, you need to dry your knives completely before you put them away.

Folding knives need extra attention. A good straw cleaner or pipe cleaner will reach the crevices other kitchen knives don’t have to keep them from getting grit inside the handle and hinge. Also, make sure you dry folding knives open, so no moisture stays trapped in the hinge. 

When your folding knife has a wooden handle, you will need to oil it regularly. It may take a while for the initial sealant to rub off the handle, but it will happen over time. While the frequency depends on use, food-grade mineral oil should be applied monthly or as needed to keep the handle from drying out and cracking. Olive oil also works, but food-grade mineral oil has a minimal scent and doesn’t attract insects.

If your folding kitchen knife has a hinge with screws, it’s a good idea to use a small screwdriver to disassemble and clean all the parts regularly. The hinge may need oiling from time to time as well, and this is the perfect time to apply some.  A savvy pro-tip for those who worry about forgetting what goes where is to film the disassembly because you can re-watch the steps and put the knife back together more easily.

Top Five Best Folding Kitchen Knives:

Now that you know what to look for in the best folding kitchen knives, there’s still the matter of millions of pages of listings to sort through just to find them. I’m taking the wasted time and guesswork out of the equation for you with this carefully curated list of the top five best folding kitchen knives. All of these blades will keep you cooking and to the same jobs as their fixed-handle companions, but they’re more portable. I’ve included several different styles so you can chop, filet, slice, and serve food anywhere with panache. 

1. Gerber Flatiron Folding Cleaver Pocket Knife

This Gerber Flatiron Folding Cleaver Pocket Knife comes from a well known and trusted brand in blade making. Founded in 1939, this knife company has been making tools for almost a century, and it shows in the craftsmanship and innovation. If you’re looking to add a portable, foldable cleaver to your kitchen collection, this is one of the very best.

The forward profile on this Gerber cleaver is sleek and functional. Additionally, it has a thumbhole for smooth opening and single-handed use. Plus, the beautifully textured blade holds an edge extremely well over time, so you don’t have to sharpen it after each use like cheaper knock-off blades. 

With a G-10 handle, the textured grip is firm and doesn’t slide around while in use, and it sits atop a lightweight yet durable, machined aluminum frame. Meanwhile, a finger coil helps you get superb hand placement and control when you choke up on the blade. You won’t have to worry as much about accidentally, incorrectly cutting your meat or your hand with the 7Cr17MoV steel blade.  Finally, the low-profile pocket clip offers easy, inconspicuous access for carrying this knife. Get a Gerber for your folding kitchen collection right here.

2. Lamson Folding Bâtard Picnic Knife

Of all the knives on this list, the Lamson Folding Bâtard Picnic Knife from Amazon is the one that looks most like a classic pocket knife. The sleek folding design in a classy wooden handle makes this blade simple and incredibly useful with a recognizable profile. In Larson’s own words, this knife is “like a regular utility knife, only better.”

The blade on the Bâtard Picnic Knife is serrated, making this unusual folding kitchen knife useful for things other knives can’t accomplish easily. Sawing perfect slices of good crusty bread doesn’t mean you have to carry a whole knife block. Furthermore, this is the ideal tool for salami, chicken, and even pre-cooked ham. 

Rather than carrying two different tools, Lamson thought about the other thing many people need access to during meals. An included corkscrew helps you open bottles of wine. You can make a very upscale picnic or merely use fewer dishes in your home kitchen with creative tools like this. 

With a substantial five and a half-inch blade, this isn’t your standard pocket knife. Instead, it allows you to do the same job as a large kitchen knife, and when you’re done, you can stow this blade in less space. The Lamson company has been around for almost two centuries now (since 1837). Select your superb Lamson by clicking here.

3. MIKI Sharp Folding Fruit Knife

A multifunctional MIKI Sharp Folding Fruit Knife from Amazon is an excellent multipurpose kitchen tool. This multifunctional, small bladed kitchen knife is great for fruits and veggies, but it’s also sharp enough to cut smaller pieces of meat. It will handle tough skins like citrus as easily as it goes through a steak. 

The G10 handle on this knife is truly next level. Not only is it ergonomic, but it’s also skid-proof and oil resistant. Moreover, the MIKI is slip-resistant, insulating, and moisture-proof for the best possible cutting experience regardless of where you take it. 

With a  440A stainless steel blade, you don’t need to worry about rust. Better still, this knife can hold an edge really well. The MIKI is just nine and a half inches when open and folds up small for practical portability. Furthermore, an ingenious liner lock mechanism holds your blade in place, whether it’s open or closed, to make cutting and carrying easier. 

As a right-handed knife, the MIKI is excellent for most users. Meanwhile, a drawstring bag and included sheath make it easy to grab and go for any indoor or outdoor cooking event. Learn more about Miki on Amazon when you click here.

4. BUBBA Tapered Flex Fillet Fishing Knife

The seven-inch blade of a BUBBA Tapered Flex Fillet Fishing Knife makes a great addition to your cooking utensils. At thirteen inches overall, this folding knife is impressive, to say the least. Better still, BUBBA makes a whole line of these superb folding knives. 

A dual-sided safety guard keeps your fingers safe as you work. The trigger grip has notches for your fingers also helps with easy cutting and less hand fatigue as you work on fish or other fillet work. Plus, the textured grip is great for a firm hold even when this knife gets wet. You’ll love the way this knife handle feels in your hands. 

With an extra sharp, slender tip on the Titanium Nitride coated, rust-resistant blade, this knife makes easy work of scales or thin, precise slices. The full tang blade is stainless steel underneath the titanium outer coating to keep rust at bay, and it holds a razor-sharp edge for longer than many other knives of similar style. Additionally, the super-thin 8Cr13MoV blade weighs less and helps prevent loss since you can slice very fine cuts of meat. 

A lanyard hole at the end of the blade makes this BUBBA easy to store and carry. Moreover, it also comes with a sheath with a belt loop for easy carrying, so you’ll always have your fileting tool on hand when you need it most. Have this knife delivered to your door by clicking here.

5. Opinel Slim Series Folding Fillet Knives

The final contender on our list is the Opinel Slim Series Folding Fillet Knives. Available in many sizes,  slim Series (a. K. A Effie’s in French) are known for their highly ergonomic handles. The beautiful wood is smooth and low fatigue to use. Moreover, the Sandvik stainless steel blades are well known for holding an edge and easy maintenance. 

Most of the ingenious folding knives in this series, size six through twelve, have Virobloc safety rings. Invented by Marcel Opinel in 1955, these guards help keep your knife where it should be when in use, allowing for more comfort and ease. The Viroblock rings are cut out of stainless steel in two sections. One part slides while the other is fixed. In addition to locking the blade open, this part also locks the blade closed when you put it away. 

With a flexible blade, these knives are made for precision, not heavy work like a cleaver. The slender blades slice thin layers and details smoothly. The overall sleek classic appeal of these knives is elegantly understated. See the outstanding Amazon reviews here.

Final Thoughts

Folding kitchen knives are more than just novelty items. From camp cooking to space-saving, these convenient blades are as useful as their standard companions in every way that matters to a chef. The ability to prepare food should be portable and convenient. 

Picnics can be so more than premade, soggy sandwiches. With the right knives, you can serve a whole roast, slice fruit, fish, and everything you need for a full multi-course meal. Similarly, cookouts don’t need huge utensil bins when you can toss a few folded knives into your pockets and get to grilling. 

It’s a misconception that only boy scouts and survivalists carry folding knives. Smart chefs understand that cooking opportunities don’t always come from a restaurant kitchen, and good food is a necessity everywhere you eat. 

Aron Blake

I am the lead copywriter on Homezesty and the Webmaster. I have a lot of experience in home renovations and the creation of style. I enjoy writing and sharing my tips on how to create the best living environment. My Linkedin Profile, My Twitter Account

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