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The Pocket Knives We Keep at Our Desks

Gear Patrol staff members share the daily driver knives that have earned a permanent home at our workspaces.

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When asked about what knife she uses most frequently, one Gear Patrol staff member responded, “NONE! Ever! Sorry, too dangerous.” The larger majority confirmed our hunch: as with leather boots and writing utensils, we count pocket knives on our list of daily essentials. Nearly all of us keep one at-hand for the everyday tasks required by office life (spoiler alert: we open heaps of boxes). And those knives, no matter what they are most often used for, present some preference for utility, aesthetics, extra features or a combination of the three. Excuse our cluttered workspaces, and take a look at the knives we keep at our desks.

Zero Tolerance ZT 0022

“I have many knives at my desk, but the ZT 0022 sees the most action. It’s simple, small and smooth. Not to mention its futuristic good looks – the blue anodized pivot ring and matching tube spacers are icing on the cake.” – AJ Powell, Project Manager, Gear Patrol Studios

BUY NOW: $200

Opinel No. 8, Black Oak

“I own about a dozen too many knifes, but one of the handful that see regular use is the Opinel No. 8 that lives on my desk. The most iconic size of the 130-year-old(!) French company’s line of timeless “peasant’s knives,” the No. 8 is wonderfully simple, slightly too big for my pockets and absolutely perfect for my desk. You can find classic models for around $20, but whether you splurge on a special edition or not, a No. 8 is a terrific addition to your suite of desktop tools.” – Eric Limer, Editor, Tech

BUY NOW: $45

Forge de Laguiole Stainless Steel Bolster Pocket Knife

“I got this knife while reporting on a story at the company’s factory in Laguiole. There are a load of makers and manufacturers turning out serviceable Laguiole-style blades, but Forge de Laguiole is the only one that makes every piece of the knife in Laguiole. For that reason alone, I love it, but having watched it go through every step of the manufacturing process – which includes plenty of elbow grease and handiwork – I view it as special on another level. Plus, they etched my name into the side of the blade and the handle is made of cedar, so it smells like a pencil.” – Will Price, Assistant Editor, Home & Design

BUY NOW: $159

Grovemade Stainless Steel Task Knife

“This is precisely what a desk knife needs to be. Its solid form is sculptural and almost paperweight-like, which makes it attractive enough to keep topside instead of stashed in a drawer. It’s not all show though; its short cutting edge handles packages and mail with ease.” – Tanner Bowden, Staff Writer

BUY NOW: $70

The James Brand Carter

“It’s me again (yes, as Gear Patrol’s resident knife writer, I keep more than one at my desk). This one comes from The James Brand, which I’ve been a fan of since it created a LEGO-sized keychain knife called the Elko. Many of its other blades are high-end and expensive, but the Carter offers quality steel and premium features for a more palatable price. That makes it a nice gateway into the realm of premium pocket knives while leaving it an implement that I’m not afraid to plunge into a jar of extra crunchy peanut butter.” – Tanner Bowden, Staff Writer

BUY NOW: $139

Homemade Fixed Blade Knife

Homemade-Fixed-Blade-Knife-Gear-Patrol

“Apparently, word is getting out that I’ve become a bit of a knife collector – a friend of mine who is an artist in Burlington, Vermont recently gifted me this fixed blade. He made it out of an old saw blade and broken skateboard decks, and the sheath is leather from his local Jo-Ann Fabrics. It doesn’t come with any branded tech buzzwords, but it is, quite literally, one of a kind.” – Tanner Bowden, Staff Writer

Gerber Sharkbelly

“The Sharkbelly is one of Gerber’s cheaper models but it’s the knife I reach for most often. Its handle, made from plastic, won’t develop the same patina of wood or brass — but who cares? The knife is sharp, comfortable and easy to close. A true workhorse.” – Jack Seemer, Deputy Editor

BUY NOW: $34

Victorinox Swiss Army Pioneer X

“I’m a big fan of Swiss Army knives — I have several at home — but the one I usually wind up reaching for every day is my Pioneer X. It’s compact enough to disappear into the watch pocket of my Levi’s, yet still offers a good-size blade, multiple screwdrivers, and even scissors. It’s all the knife I need most of the time.” – Will Sabel Courtney, Editor, Motoring

BUY NOW: $45

Tac Force TF-469

“I bought this knife on Amazon for $7 in 2016 as a broke college student. Miraculously, it has held up beautifully through years of everyday use since. I keep on meaning to upgrade, but I’m also sort of curious to see how long this thing will last.” – Scott Ulrich, Editorial Associate

BUY NOW: $7

Opinel No. 9

“Simple, solidly built, and affordable, Opinel is an absolute classic pocket knife with its clever and satisfying system for locking the blade open or closed. It was a gift from my brother, who said it’s what French people use at picnics for their cheese, sausages, bread, etc., and that image adds to my enjoyment of it. I use it at the office mostly for things like opening boxes, and I appreciate its humbleness and the comfort of its beechwood handle every time.” – Zen Love, Associate Staff Writer

BUY NOW: $18

SOG Cash Card

“For the desk, I wanted something compact and minimal that could still fight off a litany of boxes and packing tape. The SOG Cash Card is as minimal and compact as they come. It only weighs two ounces thanks to its skeletonized structure. The 2.75-inch clip-point blade gives the knife versatility, even though I rarely take it out of the office. It definitely makes for a good EDC knife when I do carry it since it has a built-in money clip, a very handy feature. Despite the extremely thin handle, it’s fairly comfortable with grooves for your fingers and operates well with the satisfying locking mechanism. It makes for a good desk driver and would certainly make for an even better everyday carry.” – Ryan Brower, Project Coordinator, Editorial Operations

BUY NOW: $33

Opinel No. 8 France! 2017 by Jeremyville Edition

“I exclusively use this knife for all my food needs. It’s big help desigining my favorite type of snack/lunch/dinner (a cheese board) and also works for veggies, when I’m feeling like I’ve been slacking. It’s a slim knife that feels great when in use and looks beautiful when not.” – Meg Lappe, Editorial Coordinator

BUY NOW: $39

Mercator Multi 10-440RG

“This is not a sleek everyday carry knife, and that’s partially why I like it so much. This bulky Mercator Multi is an original pre-WWII design and comes with a blade, awl, corkscrew and can opener — all the important stuff. Part of what makes it special to me is that it was a groomsmen gift from one of my closest friends. I mostly use it to open boxes and remove the odd staple, but it sure looks handsome sitting on my desk.” – Charles McFarlane, Content Producer, Gear Patrol Studios

BUY NOW: $112

Light My Fire Swedish Fire Knife

“I came across this knife while working on an article and, some five years later, I still don’t think anything is cooler. It literally cuts and creates fire. Aragorn had Andúril, Flame of the West, and I have this Swedish Fire Knife. We’re basically one and the same. ” – Tucker Bowe, Staff Writer

BUY NOW: $43

CRKT Bev-Edge

“As Gear Patrol’s Outdoor & Fitness Editor, I come across more than my fair share of knives, and at the moment I have at least four stashed in my desk. Somewhat ironically, the one I use most is the cheapest. GP’s true knife guru, Tanner Bowden, handed me the Bev-Edge during my first week on the job, and I haven’t handed it back. Why do I love it? In addition to being sharp and sturdy, I find the flipper/ball-bearing system used to deploy the blade immensely… haptically satisfying, if you will. The feeling of flicking it out never gets old, and with a little practice, you can even close it, one-handed, without slicing off your thumb! The integrated bottle opener has seen action once or twice too. ” – Steve Mazzucchi, Editor, Outdoors & Fitness

BUY NOW: $26

Beams Higonokami Folding Knife

“I bought this knife because I love the Japanese brand Beams, and I’d been wanting a pocket knife for a while. Made by a fifth-generation knife maker, it’s a beautiful little tool that I keep in my desk to open packages. I like how the knife feels like a miniature sword (it basically is). Higonokami knives were developed after Japanese swordsmiths were barred from making samurai swords. The craftsmanship that went into making this little knife is the same level of artistry that went into making some of the most legendary blades in history. This model is currently sold out, but the same knife, made in collaboration with Best Made Co., is still in stock.” – Tyler Chin, Editorial Associate, Editorial Operations

Buy Now: $48

Benchmade 380 Aller

“I was given this knife last year and I love it because it’s so… funky. It’s sort of a knife/multi-tool hybrid – see the pry bar, bottle opener (very handy), money clip and micro bit slot, etc. The thick, stubby blade is powerful and keeps a nice edge too. Plus, it’s legal to carry just about anywhere.” – Nick Caruso, Coordinating Producer

BUY NOW: $123

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