The Winchester pocket knife, and other knives like it, are great to have. They can be extremely useful both inside and outside of your house for various tasks. Finding a really good pocket knife is essential, however.
Back in 1919, a Winchester pocket knife represented true craftsmanship. However, the name Winchester was then and is still synonymous with firearms. As a matter of fact, Winchester’s tagline when they started producing knives was, “As good as the gun.” But are their knives as good as the gun?
Winchester manufactured their own knives between 1919 and 1942 after they purchased the Eagle Knife Company. They kept the process that Eagle developed for assembly line production. The gun manufacturer also took over the New York-based Napanoch and incorporated that company’s blade grinding process to ensure that the quality of the knives they produced would stand up to the Winchester brand’s reputation. This high-quality artistry lasted until the 1930s when competition enticed Winchester to create lines that didn’t cost as much to make so that they could sell them at a lower price.
Those earliest knives are still out there, and they are, for the most part, collector’s items. So, if you own an old Winchester pocket knife, you may want to look into the manufacturing date. Today, the knives are produced by Bluegrass Cutlery, who was licensed in the 1980s to manufacture and distribute their knives under the Winchester brand name. Manufacturing takes place in China, and you can usually expect a lifetime warranty.
How We Reviewed
First, we looked into the history of Winchester pocket knives and discovered that they stopped producing the knives after World War II. Then we researched who currently manufactures knives under the Winchester brand. After that, we looked into where you can purchase a Winchester pocket knife and who sells a comparable product.
What we found is that Winchester is still the go-to brand for firearms. But, there are many alternatives when it comes to pocket knives, and Winchester is by no means the leader in that arena.
Winchester Pocket Knife Options
Below are some of the best of the Winchester pocket knife options available to you.
Winchester 22-41324 Brass Folding Knife
- It is constructed of stainless steel with attractive wood overlays and polished brass bolsters
- The stainless blade is emblazoned with Winchester and has a nail nick for easy opening
- Blade Length: 2.5 inches; Closed Length: 3.4 inches & Overall Length: 6 inches
Here’s a handy little Winchester pocket knife that is the size of a Bic lighter when it’s folded, allowing it to fit neatly in your pocket. The namesake is etched onto the two and a half inch stainless steel blade as it is with most contemporary Winchester pocket knives.
This brass folding knife has wood overlays and polished brass plated bolsters. It’s a total of six inches long when opened and weighs just under two and a half ounces. The classic lock back system holds the blade in place when it’s closed, and a traditional nail nick in the blade is there to help open it back up.
Winchester Pocket Knife, 31-000306
Bluegrass Cutlery discontinued the second Winchester pocket knife on our list. Weighing close to four ounces, with a three-inch blade and a liner lock mechanism, this Winchester pocket knife has a total length of almost seven inches. It boasts a solid wooden handle and a clip for your pocket.
Present-day Winchester brand pocket knives are all about the nostalgia of the name and the appearance of the product. In short, the knives are pretty. This Winchester pocket knife is no different in that respect. The wood inlay over stainless steel creates an elegant design that is further enhanced by the bronze plated bolsters.
This Gerber model pocket knife offers another option for a serrated blade. Winchester makes the knife out of surgical steel to guarantee that it won’t rust, and a smooth curve to fit nicely in your hand
The Gerber Winchester pocket knife is four inches when closed and extends to seven inches long. It has a liner lock, with a blade that’s just shy of three inches, and a bolster with wood inlay. There is also a pocket clip, and it comes with a limited lifetime warranty.
Winchester Stockman Knife
- 3 blade stockman knife
- Genuine jigged bone
- Made from 420a stainless steel
Here’s a knife that is a little different from the other folding knives that we’ve reviewed thus far. It has three blades; two that are slightly shorter than two inches, and a third blade measuring just under three inches.
Another feature that makes this Winchester pocket knife stand out is its jagged bone handle. It has stainless steel blades and is reminiscent of the pocket knives we used as children to whittle sticks. It weighs a little over three ounces.
A Cut Above Winchester Pocket Knives
There are many brands of pocket knives on the market today, but there is one that truly stands out. Buck is a family-owned business whose knives have been in production since 1902. Unlike Winchester, they continue to manufacture their pocket knives in the U.S. and even offer tours of the plant in Idaho.
- RAZOR SHARP CLIP POINT BLADE - 2-3/8" 420HC Steel Clip Blade has great edge retention and corrosion resistance. The Clip...
- CLIP POINT VERSITILITY - The crescent tip makes the blade thinner with a sharper point. This shape provides good control...
- HANDSOME HANDLE - Genuine ebony from Taylor Guitars and brass bolsters deliver a perfect combination of beauty and...
As far as pocket knives go, the Buck 55 is comparable to the Winchester brass folding knife, the first pocket knife in our review. A big difference is in its price. This pocket knife will cost two to three times as much as the Winchester.
The Buck 55 pocket knife has a blade that’s just shy of three inches long and is right at four inches when you close it. It weighs less than two ounces and fits easily into your pocket. It is a smaller version of the Buck 110 and offers a wood grain handle, brass bolsters, and a 420HC stainless steel clip point blade.
Buck Knives 303 Cadet
- TRIPLE BLADES- The Cadet features Three Blades: 2-1/2" Clip, 1-3/4" Sheepsfoot and 1-11/16" Spey. 420HC Steel delivers...
- VERSATILE - The clip point blade is used for detail work and cutting in tight places. The spey blade is perfect for...
- HANDSOME HANDLE - Injection Molded Black Valox Handle with Nickel Silver Bolsters provide a knife that is as handy as it...
The last pocket knife in our review is a comparison to the Winchester Stockman knife. The Buck Cadet has three blades. As with the other Buck knife, this one is a bit more expensive than the Winchester, and also a better knife.
The Cadet features a two and a half inch clip blade, a Sheepsfoot blade that is just under two inches, and a Spey, also slightly less than two inches. The manufacturer makes the blades of 420HC steel. It weighs less than two ounces and is less than four inches long when closed. Buck’s Cadet is elegant as well, with a handle that boasts nickel silver bolsters.
Does Winchester Take a Slice out of the Competition?
No, not really. At this point, Winchester is a nostalgic name, not a good brand of pocket knife. However, if that doesn’t bother you and you’re looking for a nice little pocket knife as a gift, or as a starter knife, then Winchester is a fine choice with a low price point. They also make various commemorative pocket knives that are good for a collection. If you want a real Winchester pocket knife, then you have to buy vintage and look for knives made before the 1940s.
If you want a knife that represents the manufacturer, then buy a Buck knife. Because, what Winchester is to rifles, Buck is to knives. And, Buck offers a lifetime guarantee. One more thing — if you’re ordering online, make sure you’re ordering from a reputable dealer.
Last update on 2021-08-05 at 16:31 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API