Japanese Pocket Knives – Seven Best Japanese Pocket Knives

Japanese Pocket Knives – Seven Best Japanese Pocket Knives

Japan is a country that has always been on the top for manufacturing the best ever knives and supplying them to the world. Japanese knives, without any doubt, are considered the best ever knives. In terms of their quality, material, durability, and efficiency, Japanese knives have always been the gamer changers.

Other than Japanese kitchen knives, Japanese pocket knives have a great hype too. People who always keep pocketknives with them should definitely go for the Japanese pocketknives. Pocketknives make so many tasks outside your home easier and convenient. Besides this, they’re also used as a great tool for self-defense. It’s a great idea to carry along your pocketknives in your everyday routine!

When discussing the Japanese knives, a very frequently asked question is “Are Japanese knives worth it?”. Here you go with our answer. Yes! Japanese knives are totally worth all the hype and the money you spend on them. They’re one of the most popular kinds of knives and their quality defines why. Japanese knives pretty well do all the jobs that a great knife should do and hold up their edge for a long time.

In this very article about the Japanese Knives, we’re going to talk about some of the very best Japanese Pocketknives. We have shortlisted some to make it easier for our readers to develop an understanding of a good pocketknife.

What Does EDC Stand for in Knives?

EDC simply stands for “Every-Day Carry”. It specifically refers to the knives designed for everyday carry just like daily use items that you carry along. In order to perform everyday tasks requiring a sharp blade, such as opening packages or envelopes, cutting strings or tags, or performing other small chores, a trusty pocket knife is needed.

A common characteristic of EDC gear is its lightweight, durability, compactness, and multi-tasking capabilities, making it easy to carry on a belt, in a pocket, or tucked away in a bag. For whatever function or use they serve, they can be pulled out easily and quickly. EDC knives are, therefore, compact, lightweight, and carry a lot of punch.

EDC knives are a good option for anyone who has a day-to-day need for a knife but does not necessarily need a large, robust knife. You will be glad to have this handy tool in your gear bag, emergency kit, or toolbox.

Japanese Fighting Knife’s Types

The history of Japanese knives connects back to hundreds of years ago. Since knives are often used in conjunction with swords, the Japanese manufacture knives directly related to sword production. Kaneuji and Kinju made the earliest modern swords in Japan in the 14th century.

Here are some of the Japanese Fighting knives.

  1. Higonokami
  2. Tanto
  3. Evolution
  4. Yeroy-dosi – “Dagger of Mercy”
  5. Kaiken
  6. Kozuka
  7. Aigouti

1. Higonokami

The combat knife was one of Japan’s top sellers until it fell out of favor after World War II, when a teenage boy with mental problems killed the socialist party’s leader with a sword in 1961, leading to an intense anti-knife campaign throughout the country. Since then, carrying this weapon has been prohibited.

Despite what you might think at first glance, the Higonoks have been using folding knives for a very long time. They date back to the early days of the Samurai era.

2. Tanto

Military blades such as this are popular in martial arts as well as being tactical in our times. During the feudal period of Japan, the Japanese tanto knife was invented. Although its blade could be used for chopping, it was primarily designed for stabbing. Due to the lack of need for blades during peacetime, their demand dropped after Japan’s reunification in 1945.

3. Evolution

Depending on the model, this Japanese fighting knife can either be single-sided or double-sided. It is usually 15-30 centimeters long. It can be used to stab and chop, like most knives. Women used this combat Japanese knife, as it was considered dishonorable to use it against dishonorable acts such as rape or servitude in the occupying army. Using it, they committed seppuku, a kind of ritual suicide. Men, on the other hand, usually used a longer wakizashi for this purpose.

4. Yeroy-dosi – “Dagger of Mercy”

Originally built around the end of the Kamakura period (1185-1333), they were most popular in the Muromachi period in response to the demand for weapons, fair enough to counter those dressed in armor. It looks somewhat like a tanto, but it has a stronger and thicker blade.

5. Kaiken

Women use this as a combat dagger. The name Kaiken means “bosom knife.” It was used to commit suicide by members of the aristocracy as a breach of honor. In original usage, the kuken (or kaiken) was worn by women as a pocketknife or sleeve knife. Veins and arteries in the neck can be quickly penetrated with this fighting knife.

6. Kozuka

Traditionally, a combat knife such as this was used as a cold or throwing weapon. These days, they are commonly used for cutting food. This makes them universal. Kozukas were usually hidden in a special pocket on the back of sword sheaths or dagger sheaths in older times.  The blade of the Kozuka knife is quite flat, ever sharpened on only one side, and has a short shank attached to the handle.

7. Aigouti

Japan’s Aigouti is a dagger without an analog handguard, the tsuba which protects the hand. In the event of a battle, it would be used as a backup weapon. In addition to this, it was also used by samurai warriors to commit suicide after the Tati, katana, and wakizashi.

To read more about the fighting Japanese knives, you may visit here.

Seven Best Japanese Pocket Knives

Out of many Japanese pocket knives, we’re shortlisted as the seven BEST of them.

  1. KATSU Handmade Damascus Steel Japanese Razor Pocket
  2. Higo no Kami 10 Pocket Knife
  3. Higo no Kami Mame 40mm/1.57″ Nagaokanekoma
  4. Kiridashi Craft Pocket Knife
  5. Cold Steel Mini Tac Series Fixed Blade Knife with Sheath
  6. SENBON 440A stainless steel Ultra sharp pocket foldable Japanese Chef’s knife
  7. Smith & Wesson Extreme Ops SWA24S 7.1in S.S. Folding Knife
Image Product & Features Ratings Price
KATSU Handmade Damascus Steel KATSU Handmade Damascus Steel

  • Comes very sharp out of the box
  • The wide grip makes it comfortable to hold
  • The blade is forged with multiple thin layers
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Higo no Kami 10 Pocket Knife Higo no Kami 10 Pocket Knife

  • Well-shaped blade of three layers of steel
  • Can easily be used for fishing, light woodworking
  • Super thin and lightweight
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Higo no Kami Mame 40mm/1.57 Higo no Kami Mame 40mm/1.57″ Nagaokanekoma

  • Simply a small yet sharp pocketknife
  • Very compact design
  • Perfect for opening boxes, cutting string
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Kiridashi Craft Pocket Knife Kiridashi Craft Pocket Knife

  • The blade is razor-sharp and ultra-thin
  • Manageable and durable knife
  • Made of high-quality steel
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Cold Steel Mini Tac Series Cold Steel Mini Tac Series

  • Cold Steel Secure Ex-sheath is included
  • Made of a combination of Japanese and Australian stainless steel
  • A perfect choice for everyday carry or field use.
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SENBON 440A stainless steel SENBON 440A stainless steel

  • Conveniently foldable and portable
  • perfectly suitable for camping, BBQ, fishing, and other outdoor activities
  • Crafted with traditional craftsmanship and modern technology
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Smith & Wesson Extreme Ops SWA24S Smith & Wesson Extreme Ops SWA24S

  • Highly reliable and high-quality knife
  • Highly secure with the liner lock.
  • Easy to open with one hand
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1. KATSU Handmade Damascus Steel Japanese Razor Pocket

KATSU Handmade Damascus Steel Japanese Razor Pocket Knife


Manufacturer KATSU
Weight  3.88 Ounces
Total Length 7.5 inches
Closed Length 4.5 inches
Blade Length 3 inches
Blade Thickness 3.5 mm
Blade Material Alloy Steel
Handle Wood
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ABOUT – The spine of the blade is not very thin, but the hollow grind leaves the edge thin, like that of a hunting knife or razor, and it comes very sharp out of the box. Also, the blade opens smoothly. The knife is a little big in the pocket, but not too big. A decent, high-quality sheath also comes along. While holding it, the wide grip makes it comfortable to hold in any position.


  • With tight tolerances and no wear marks, the build quality is excellent.
  • A smooth opening out of the box is accompanied by a secure lock that clicks in place.
  • Although it’s heavy, the weight is not any greater than that of a common smartphone. It is very convenient to carry around when folded.
  • Opening the knife is quick due to the long thumbstick that can catch on the lining of your pants pocket.
  • Pretty sharp pocketknife and easily portable.
  • The blade is forged with multiple thin layers.
  • Perfect for cutting, slicing, and shaving things.
  • Opens and closes with ease.
  • The leather pouch isn’t of high quality.


2. Higo no Kami 10 Pocket Knife

Higo no Kami 10 Pocket Knife


Manufacturer Iwachu
Model No. 10
Dimensions 6.75 inches x 0.63 inches x 0.25 inches
Weight 1.58 Ounces
Blade Material Alloy Steel
Blade Shape Wharncliffe
Handle Material Brass
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ABOUT – Since the 19th century, the Higo no Kami folding knife has been popular in Japan. To set it apart from other knives, a blacksmith added a simple lever to the blade of a minimally designed pocketknife so that the blade could be opened and closed more easily. The knife was a success, and a guild was formed so that the manufacture could be overseen. It was only allowed to produce the knife according to the guild’s specifications and use the trademark “Higo no Kami”.

It is named after the Lord of the Kyushu area of Japan, where the knife originated and means “Lord of Higo” in Japanese. The last remaining maker of Higo no Kami knives, Nagao Seisakusho, still makes these knives.


  • With a heavy, well-shaped blade of three layers of steel, and a simple (yet extremely easy to use) tang on the back of the blade, it is easy to open.
  • This blade makes cutting through magazine paper easy. It is durable enough to hold its edge even after cutting several dozen cardboard boxes into strips.
  • When sharpened properly, it slices like a demon and can easily be used for fishing, light woodworking, light EDC around the house, etc.
  • The art, history, and tradition of Japanese knives.
  • Gets incredibly sharp pretty easily.
  • The special extended tang enables one-handed opening and closing.
  • It is a friction folder, but it can be locked by placing your thumb on the extended tang tab while in use.
  • Weighs only 49 grams, it is super thin and lightweight.
  • The item doesn’t come finished, you have to polish and sharpen it yourself.


3. Higo no Kami Mame 40mm/1.57″ Nagaokanekoma

Higo no Kami Mame 40mm1.57 Nagaokanekoma


Manufacturer Iwachu
Model No. 43361-464
Dimensions 3.9 inches x 1.46 inches x 0.39 inches
Weight 0.64 Ounces
Blade Length 1.5 inches
Blade width ¼ inch wide
Handle Brass
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ABOUT – Higo no Kami knives are among the best hand-made knives available, and this knife is a fine example. You are not getting a cheap Chinese-made blade here. The product is handmade in Japan by a well-known craftsman. It is simply a small, sharp pocketknife that works well for any occasion. It’s made from metal and has a well-crafted blade. Brass handles and a Japanese inscription, however, make it extra special.


  • This pocketknife has a very compact design. Simply perfect as a utility knife around the house, in the garage, for camping, picnics, gardening, etc.
  • With its easy-to-open design, this tool is perfect for opening boxes, cutting string, and cutting plastic ties.
  • The key chain can be attached to the blade lever through a hole in the blade lever.
  • Extremely well-made pocketknife that is equally functional as well.
  • A mini pocketknife that is easy to carry along.
  • Easy opening and closing design.
  • Has a nice gentle curve, great for slicing food.
  • The size is a bit too small


4. Kiridashi Craft Pocket Knife

Kiridashi Craft Pocket Knife


Manufacturer Seki Japan
Model No. 191308805777
Dimensions 5.51 inches x 0.87 inches x 0.39 inches
Weight 0.64 Ounces
Blade Material Steel
Handle Material Plastic
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ABOUT – Blades bearing the Kiridashi name have a strong, Japanese history. In Japanese, “Kiridashi” means “carve-out” or “pointed knife“. With its fine blade, this Japanese knife is a favorite woodcarver and outdoor tool. If you are looking for a Kiridashi blade, make sure that it is the right one for the hand you plan to use it on.


  • The blade is razor-sharp and ultra-thin, making it both manageable and durable for a long time. Its blades are generally angled differently depending on which hand is dominant.
  • You can sharpen the entire blade while still enjoying the comfort of a partial bolster.
  • In addition to being a tool for processing wood/leather products, carving, or creating artwork, it can be used as an office supply such as a paper-knife.
  • The projection on the sheath makes it easy to pull out the blade one-handed.
  • Japan’s craftsmen polish each piece of high-quality steel by hand, so the edge is extremely sharp.
  • Even with a powerful grip, the handle won’t bend
  • A perfect pocketknife though. But the blade length is much smaller than other pocketknives.


5. Cold Steel Mini Tac Series Fixed Blade Knife with Sheath

Cold Steel Mini Tac Series Fixed Blade Knife with Sheath


Manufacturer Cold steel
Overall Length 6.75 inches
Weight 2.7 Oz
Blade Length 3.75 inches
Blade Material Steel
Handle Length 3 inches
Handle Material Griv-Ex
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ABOUT – Featuring a fixed blade knife in both serrated and non-serrated versions, the Cold Steel Mini Tac Tanto is lightweight and easily carried. In addition to the knife, a specially designed Cold Steel Secure Ex-sheath is included. The specially molded sheath offers a variety of strap points that enable you to wear this lightweight knife as a neck knife and carry it around easily.


  • In total, the Mini Tac Tanto stands at 6.75″, and it is made of a combination of Japanese and Australian stainless steel (A8)
  • Mini Tac Bowie, Andrew-Demko designed is well known for its excellent versatility and sharp, sturdy clip point, making it a perfect choice for everyday carry or field use.
  • Provided with a steel bead lanyard and Secure-Ex sheath, this blade is sure to give you many years of dependable service.
  • In terms of tactical efficiency, the handle is particularly impressive as it is easy to grip.
  • With its Grid-Ex handle, the index finger is partially locked in place by a sub-hilt design.
  • The knife is pretty much easy to sharpen.
  • Fairly stain-resistant compared to some carbon steels.
  • The handle could have been a little longer.


6. SENBON 440A stainless steel Ultra sharp pocket foldable Japanese Chef’s knife

SENBON 440A stainless steel Ultra sharp pocket foldable Japanese Chef's knife


Manufacturer SENBON
Overall Length 10.2 inches x 1.2 inches x 0.5 inches
Weight 6.3 Ounces
Overall Length 10.2 inches
Blade Material 440 A Steel
Handle Length 4.1 inches
Handle Material Natural Olive Wood
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ABOUT – The knife features a 4.1 inches blade with a full length of around 10 inches. It weighs 145 grams and is conveniently foldable and portable. It easily fulfills the need for a pocketknife for everyday uses. With this SENBON 440A Stainless steel knife, you won’t have to worry about your outdoor activities becoming a burden. It’s an elegant, convenient, and useful foldable bread knife.


  • This SENBON knife is a foldable knife that makes it conveniently portable as well. It is perfectly suitable for camping, BBQ, fishing, outdoor activities, and other smaller kitchen tasks.
  • Besides having 440A stainless steel, the surface has a wire drawing treatment. The serrations are also excellent.
  • The handle is made from natural olive wood with hand polishing and grinding by skilled artisans. Furthermore, this knife has a beautiful texture and lasts a long time.
  • High quality knife with exceptional sharpness.
  • crafted with traditional craftsmanship and modern technology.
  • Cooking outdoors, barbecues, fishing, hiking is no problem with this folding small chef’s knife.
  • There’s nothing unlikeable about this particular pocketknife.


7. Smith & Wesson Extreme Ops SWA24S 7.1 inches Folding Knife

Smith & Wesson Extreme Ops SWA24S 7.1 inches Folding Knife


Manufacturer Smith & Wesson
Overall Length 0.94 inches x 4.41 inches x 1.38 inches
Weight 3.5 Ounces
Overall Length 7.1 inches
Blade Material High Carbon Stainless Steel
Handle Length 3.1 inches
Handle Material Aluminum
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ABOUT – Black high carbon stainless-steel blades are partially serrated on the blade of the Smith & Wesson Extreme Ops Liner Lock Folding Knife. It comes with an index flipper, thumb knobs, and jimping for ambidextrous use. There is also a pocket clip and jimping on the black aluminum handle. A Smith and Wesson knife will be the tool you can trust in any situation, whether you are a knife collector, survivalist, or first responder.


  • The lade is made of reliable and high-quality High Carbon Stainless Steel with a black, aluminum handle.
  • With its convenient pocket clip, finger flipper, and ambidextrous thumb knobs, this everyday carry will be easy to access on the go.
  • The blade does not slip at all and makes the knife highly secure with the help of the liner lock.
  • A textured handle with finger indentions makes it easier to grasp.
  • It is the perfect size for everyday carry and fits comfortably in the hand and pocket.
  • With thumb studs, it is easy to open with one hand or to deploy quickly.
  • Doesn’t come sharp out of the box.


Product Technical Comparison

PRODUCT Manufacturer Dimensions Weight Overall Length Blade Length Blade Material Handle Material
KATSU Handmade KATSU 5.9 inches x 3 inches x 1.5 inches 3.88 Ounces 7.5 inches 3 inches Alloy Steel Wood
Higo no Kami 10 Iwachu 6.75 inches x 0.63 inches x 0.25 inches 1.58 Ounces 6.75 inches 2.5 inches Alloy Steel Brass
Higo no Kami Mame 40mm/1.57″ Iwachu 3.9 inches x 1.46 inches x 0.39 inches 0.64 Ounces 3.9 inches 1.5 inches Steel Brass
Kiridashi Craft Seki Japan 5.51 inches x 0.87 inches x 0.39 inches 0.704 Ounces 5.51 inches 1.96 inches Steel Plastic
Cold Steel Mini Tac  Cold steel 7 inches x 3 inches x 1 inches 2.7 Oz 6.75 inches 3.75 inches Steel Griv-Ex
SENBON 440A  SENBON 10.2 inches x 1.2 inches x 0.5 inches 6.3 Ounces 10.2 inches 4.1 inches 440 A Steel Natural Olive Wood
Smith & Wesson Extreme Ops SWA24S 7.1in  Smith & Wesson 0.94 inches x 4.41 inches x 1.38 inches 3.5 Ounces 7.1 inches 3.1 inches High Carbon Stainless Steel Aluminum

Straight Razor Pocket Knives

Straight razors have blades that fold into their handles. Other names for them include open razors and cut-throat razors. Unlike straight razors, straight-edge pocket knives have a locking mechanism and detent to prevent the blade from opening in the pocket. They have the same basic shape as a straight razor (a straight edge and flat tip). Additionally, most of them wouldn’t be ideal for shaving with.

Razor design is determined by a number of factors including:

  • The grind of the blade
  • The length and width of the blade
  • The handle, which also affects the balance of the razor
  • The finish and degree of polish of the blade

A straight razor consists of a blade with one edge sharpened and a handle attached to the blade via a pin. This allows the blade to rotate in and out of the handle. Their blades can either be made from stainless steel or high-carbon steel. The Stainless-steel blades are resistant to rust but can be more difficult to sharpen than high-carbon steel blades. While the high-carbon steel blades are easier to sharpen and have a sharper edge but are more prone to rusting if neglected.

Law Against the Japanese Pocket Knives

Japanese pocket knives are simply regarded as weapons. Hence, they’re illegal and it is against the law to carry them. Not only in Japan but in almost all countries, pocket knives are considered illegal.

How To Sharpen a Knife on a Japanese Water Stone?

To sharpen a blade with Japanese water stones, you must first add water to the stone. Submerging the water stone for about 5-10 minutes or until it stops making bubbles will usually result in all air pockets in the stone being removed. So, it is recommended to do so.

Further, here are the steps to sharpen a knife on a Japanese Water Stone.

  1. With the desired grit size facing up, place the water stone on a non-slip surface. You may place the stone vertically or horizontally; whichever direction feels most comfortable to you.
  2. Placing the blade flat against your stone, raise the spine a few degrees – typically about 10 to 15 degrees for Japanese-style blades and 30 to 40 degrees for Western-style blades.
  3. The handle of the knife should be held in one hand and the blade in the other. The knife should be moved up and down the stone with both hands. From the tip to the heel of the blade, gently guide it down the stone with your fingers.
  4. Maintaining the same angle, pressure, and speed is important when sharpening knives. Rather than using your hands or wrists, use your arms and shoulders to help guide the blade.
  5. Within a few passes, a burr will form on the blade’s top side. You can easily feel it with your finger, even though you can’t see it. Using your finger, lightly skim the side of the blade near the edge to check for burrs. Avoid touching the cutting edge directly.
  6. You should switch to the other side of the blade when the burr runs the length of it, from tip to heel, if it is double beveled. If it is single beveled, you can skip the other side. Use the same number of passes, angles, and pressure on the second side of the blade.
  7. There will be some slurry created while sharpening. For a finer finish, rinse the slurry. In this way, you will end up with a blade that is well-sharpened and even.
  8. As soon as both sides of the blade are sharp, rinse the blade thoroughly to remove all debris before moving on to a higher grit.

Our Verdict

Japanese pocket knives are of great use if used in a legal way. They are the best choice to carry along for everyday uses. We have tried our best to shortlist the best pocketknives to help our readers find the best suitable pocketknife for them! We hope the information has been helpful.