If you need to cut a stem on the go, a pocket knife is your best friend. Good for foraging (with permission), making precise cuts to a flower’s stem, and tearing through knotted twine, here are our 10 favorites.
Above: The Robert Kerder Liernenaar Folding Knife is made by hand in West Germany from beech and carbon steel. Liernenaar knives—the company says—are the same kind the 18th-century farmer would carry for cutting bread, scraping the hooves of horses, and chipping bark off a tree. This one is $57 at Hand-Eye Supply.
Above: The Jacob Bromwell Traditional Folding Knife is an American-made knife in carbon steel and walnut; $124 from Jacob Bromwell.
Above: The Pallares Solsona Folding Bone Knife (bottom) is a carbon steel and bone pocket knife I can vouch for (I was given one a few years back, and it holds up great); $159 at March.
Above: The General Purpose Lock Knife is the kind of heavy-duty knife that means business in the garden. It’s made by Joseph Rodgers of high carbon stainless steel and has a locking feature; $53.95 at Kaufmann-Mercantile.
Above: The French Opinel Pocket Knife is a good standard with a beech handle, stainless blade, and priced right at $38 CAD ($28 USD). Available at Hold General Store in Vancouver.
Above: The Rosewood Flower Knife is made for pruning and cutting flowers with a short, angled blade, and African rosewood handle; $39 at Kaufmann Mercantile.
Above: The British Army Knife is the closest on our list to a multi-function knife with a blade, bottle opener, and screwdriver. Made of stainless steel for £34 ($42 USD) at Labour & Wait.
Above: Another Joseph Rodgers knife (see the General Purpose Lock Knife above), the British-Made Pocket Knife in English oak is £39 ($49 USD) at The Future Kept.
Above: The Italian Berti Gobbo Pocket Knife works like a pairing knife for small cutting and slicing tasks; $146 at Food52 Provisions.
Above: The simple Victorinox Floral Knife was the first pocket knife I used for floral design. It’s good, sharp, and a cousin to the trusty Swiss Army Knife; $22 at Wildflower Seed & Tool Company.
Above: The Svord Peasant Knife is modeled after those carried by peasants in Bavaria and Bohemia in the 16th century. Made in New Zealand and available with different colored handles from Hand-Eye Shop. (Note that the knives are currently out of stock, but contact Hand-Eye Shop for restocking information.)
Above: Burgon & Ball’s Classic Pocket Knife is endorsed by the Royal Horticultural Society. It’s made with a high carbon steel blade, oak handle, and brass housing; £37.95 ($47 USD) at Burgon & Ball.
Above: Another one from Berti, the Foraging Knife is made with a lucite handle and a carbon and stainless steel blade. It comes with a set of matches and twine; $144 at Food52 Provisions.