FAQ: What are the advantages of multiple blades on a pocketknife?

23rd Jul 2015

Some folks insist that you only need one blade -- the right blade -- on a pocketknife. Most people, however, see the advantages of having at least two, or even more.

Northwoods Knives

Although the debate will rage on, we'll do our best to explain the benefits of multi-blade slipjoints.

We like carrying a small, two-blade pocketknife, such as a Northwoods Norfolk or Willamette Whittler. Having a pair of different blades allows us to select the right tool for a given job.

Often we'll pocket a knife with more than two blades, for the same reason -- to have choices, that is -- or when we're playing Kephart (camping, fishing, hunting or hiking).

Especially when we're afield, we appreciate the added security and flexibility of a knife like a Great Eastern Cutlery #82 stockman, a #61 Congress or a smallish slipjoint like the Northwoods Norfolk Whittler.

Great Eastern Cutlery #66

So versatility and convenience are the primary advantages of carrying a knife with multiple unique blades tucked into a pocket-friendly frame -- but a multi-blade slipjoint has one more benefit worth thinking about.

You can sharpen each blade differently.

Let's say you have a typical three-blade stockman. Consider sharpening one blade to a "toothy" utility edge for cutting twine and strapping, putting a chisel grind on another for shaving leather and wood, and convexing the third for general use. With more than one blade, you get to customize each for a different purpose.