The straight-edge folding knife is the alternative gentleman carry EDC.

The Straight-Edge Folding Knife is the Alternative Gentleman Carry

The straight-razor style of pocket knife is sort of like a slimmed down alternative to a pocket cleaver folder. In fact, the whole reason I’m even writing about this is because I kept coming across straight-razor folders when I was researching our article on folding cleavers.

The other obvious comparison is the old school Japanese friction folders, which I would probably include a lot of here if I hadn’t already written that other blog about them.

Point is, they all feel like they’re in the same extended family, which means they tend to be useful for the same range of tasks: Box cutting, wood shaving (and by extension pencil sharpening), food prep, letter/package opening, and signalling to everyone else with a knife that you’re trying really hard to be different.

EDC Razor Pocket Knives Under $50

Whether you need a quick gift or a simple work knife, most razor pocket knives on the cheaper end are really good for doing lighter tasks while making an interesting visual impression. They aren’t all hard-use, but they’re at least good enough to cut up some cardboard.

Here are Our Top Picks for The Best Pocket Folding Straight Razors Over $50 and Under$50 for Everyday Carry

Gerber Quadrant

Technically this is a sheepsfoot blade, but it looks a lot like a straight razor.

  • Overall Length: 6.75”
  • Blade Length: 2.75”
  • Blade Style: Sheepsfoot
  • Steel: 7Cr17MoV
  • Grind: Hollow
  • Handle Material: Bamboo
  • Open System: Flipper
  • Carry System: Tip-up clip
  • Lock Type: Frame
  • Price Range: $27 – 30

Technically this is a sheepsfoot blade (and it won’t be the last sheepsfoot you see on here), but it carries enough of a razor pocket knife vibe that I’m including it anyway. I just like the way it looks, really.

It has a lot of features that are hard to come by in this category. Mainly a back flipper open system and a frame lock. Make no mistake, it’s a cheap knife with cheap steel and rough action, but it carries easy, and the thin blade and hollow grind make it very slicey. It’s good enough to pack around for opening a package or cutting a loose thread and getting asked “What the hell is that thing” a lot. If you frequent places where knives are a little taboo this definitely comes off more as a fashion decision that any kind of weapon.

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Gerber Jukebox

The Gerber Jukebox has more style than quality, but it is still worth owning.

  • Overall Length: 6.6”
  • Blade Length: 2.75”
  • Blade Style: Sheepsfoot
  • Steel: 7Cr17MoV
  • Grind: Hollow
  • Handle Material: Acrylic
  • Open System: Front flipper
  • Carry System: Tip-down clip
  • Lock Type: Liner
  • Price Range: $32 – 40

This continues the style-over-quality and not-quite-a-razor-pocket-knife trend I started with the Quadrant. The Jukebox is more about fun than anything. The handle is just smooth acrylic so there’s not much grip in the ergonomics, the cheap 7Cr17MoV steel is back, the blade stock is maybe a little too thick, and the grind seems too low for it be fantastic at cutting with the hollow grind.

All of that adds up to an okay knife that’s just fun to have. There’s a crowded ocean of incredible economy knives you can pack to work and get jobs done. This is less about the job and more about turning heads when you’re opening presents on Christmas. It makes a neat gift for someone who either doesn’t need another knife that badly or wouldn’t be interested in them normally.

It just looks cool. Don’t overthink it.

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CRKT Razel

An affordable version of an older design by the Graham Brothers.

  • Overall Length: 8.0”
  • Blade Length: 3.12”
  • Blade Style: Razor
  • Steel: 8Cr13MoV
  • Grind: Hollow
  • Handle Material: Micarta
  • Open System: Thumbstud
  • Carry System: Tip-down / tip-up clip
  • Lock Type: Liner
  • Price Range: $30 – 35

This is sort of an adaptation of an older design by the Graham Brothers, made to be more affordable and, by extension, not quite as good. In true CRKT fashion, this is a unique knife with some manufacturing faults. The action isn’t perfect and the steel is soft, but good luck finding another knife with micarta handle scales for this price.

More importantly, the concept of the Razel is strong. It’s different, the lack of a point makes it less threatening, the wealth of hard corners coupled with a softer (and cheaper) steel make it handy for prying things out in a pinch and the cost makes it less of a risk to abuse. Couple that with the weird blade shape and you have a knife that can do things that probably no other knife in your rotation can do. It’s certainly not my favorite on the list, but it’s within a price range that offers enough value for me to not care about its faults.

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EDC Razor Pocket Knives Over $50

Well, now we’re in the nice stuff. Most of these aren’t work knives, even though they’re all tough in their own right. Something about razor folders in the a high price range just makes designers want to do something pretty that feels wrong to get dirty.

Kizer Pinkerton Fire Ant

Technically it’s a Wharncliffe, but it also has a straight edge more or less in line with the bottom of the handle.

  • Overall Length: 6.5”
  • Blade Length: 2.6”
  • Blade Style: Wharncliffe
  • Steel: S35VN
  • Grind: Flat
  • Handle Material: Titanium
  • Open System: Thumbstud
  • Carry System: Tip-up clip
  • Lock Type: Frame
  • Price Range: $120

It’s a Wharncliffe, but it also has a straight edge more or less in line with the bottom of the handle, and it’s just a nice knife so for me it gets to play with the other razor pocket knives.

The Fire Ant was designed byDirk Pinkerton, who has done a ton of great designs for Kizer. The Fire Ant falls under the small size category that makes it a nice office knife. It’s sharp and tough and tiny. For once, I think the hard S35VN steel is a good idea here since that range of tasks you’re likely to use it on won’t do a think to hurt the edge. Plus most people won’t think much of it when you pull it out. In fact, it covers a lot of the same function territory as the Gerber Quadrant or the Jukebox, just with much better materials and action.

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Miki Japanese Razor Pocket Folding Knife

The MIKI Japanese pocket knife fits in the trend of modernizing that style with updated handle materials.

  • Overall Length: 10.5”
  • Blade Length: 5.0”
  • Blade Style: Razor
  • Steel: Handmade Damascus
  • Grind: Hollow
  • Handle Material: G10 or Titanium
  • Open System: Front flipper
  • Carry System: Tip-up clip
  • Lock Type: Liner / Frame
  • Price Range: $70 – 115

Traditional Japanese folders really shine in this category. This MIKI Japanese pocket knife fits in the trend of modernizing that style with updated handle materials and actual locks in the handle I’m suspicious of the “handmade damascus steel” this knife is apparently sporting, but it looks good, and the price certainly reflects a decent quality steel somewhere in the range of VG10 or maybe even 154CM.

Another MIKI knife made an appearance in our butcher folder blog. This company seems odd to me as it looks like they focus on kitchen cutlery, but only make folding knives. Their quality looks to be pretty decent, but I haven’t seen the company as a whole make much of a splash in either the EDC or the kitchen cutlery world. That’s possibly because that term “Miki” shows up in the names of a half dozen other Japanese knife companies and they don’t have a proper site of their own that I can tell. Regardless, they’re doing a few things that actually seem genuinely different, and worth checking out if you get the chance.

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Katsu Japanese Razor Pocket Knife

The Katsu pocket razor is a little more mainstream in the modernized Japanese pocket knife world.

  • Overall Length: 7.5”
  • Blade Length: 4.5”
  • Blade Style: Razor
  • Steel: D2
  • Grind: Hollow
  • Handle Material: G10
  • Open System: Front flipper
  • Carry System: Tip-up clip
  • Lock Type: Liner
  • Price Range: $50 – 70

Katsu is a little more mainstream in the modernized Japanese pocket knife world. Or maybe it’s more accurate to say they’re closer to becoming mainstream in this specific category. They make a few different versions of this model. The D2 steel version with G10 scales seems to be the most popular, and probably the most reliable. But of course they make a damascus steel version with steel bolsters and wood scales.

It’s a great knife at $50, and actually reminds a lot of the kind of price point you get with Kizer Vanguard knives. It’s a nice combination of good, simple designing mixed with reliable materials made available for less $100. It’s pretty hard to pass up if you’re in the market for a new gentleman folder, and it’s definitely the kind of thing that makes an interesting gift.

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The Difference Between Straight Razor Pocket Knives, Utility Folders, Straight Razors, and Folding Cleavers Explained

Something I noticed while combing the internet and company catalogues for different designs is that utility folding knives and actual straight razors pop up along side “razor” pocket knives a lot. Google searches in particular bring this problem up quite a bit, so in case you’ve landed here in search of something different I should clarify everything now.

  • Utility Knives are basically folding box cutters. They use razor blades that you can usually replace, but don’t have the kind of long cutting edge and sweet style that most of want in a pocket folder. They are, however, far more practical than anything I have ever carried in my pocket.
  • Straight Razors are straight-edge, non locking death machines made to cut hair off your face. They are thin and sharp but not really safe to carry in the pocket as there is nothing to keep the knife closed.
  • Straight-Razor Pocket Knives have the same basic shape as a straight razor (a straight edge and a flat tip), but are in a handle with a locking mechanism and detent to keep the blade from opening in the pocket. Also, you probably shouldn’t try to shave with most of them.
  • Cleaver Folding Knives usually have a straight edge but a much taller and thicker blade. Generally, I consider it to be a cleaver style knife if the edge drops below the handle or if it has a finger choil, but admittedly the distinctions can get pretty slight on some of these designs.