A folding knife is a knife that mounts its blade on a hinge, allowing the blade to be pivoted down into a slot in the handle for easy storage. However, by definition a pocket knife must be small enough to conveniently fit inside a pocket, so not all folding knives are pocket knives.
Artifacts show that pocket knives have been in use since at least Ancient Roman.
A basic, light-duty pocket knife will most likely be a slipjoint knife, meaning there is no locking mechanism, or only a weak spring-mounted one.
Heavy-duty pocket knives usually have a lockback mechanism, such as a catch, which fixes the blade in place and must be released separately to fold the blade back into the handle. The popular buck knife design is an example.
While many pocket knives have more than one blade, a multi-tool knife will include tools other than blades. The Swiss Army Knife is the most famous example.
The switchblade is a form of pocket knife that uses a spring-loaded mechanism to deploy the blade at the push of a button. This kind of pocket knife is usually illegal to own or carry.
Article Written By Edwin Thomas
Edwin Thomas has been writing since 1997. His work has appeared in various online publications, including The Black Table, Proboxing-Fans and others. A travel blogger, editor and writer, Thomas has traveled from Argentina to Vietnam in pursuit of stories. He holds a Master of Arts in international affairs from American University.