CRKT Slacker ($100)
Ken Onion, an independent knifemaker for CRKT, wanted a low-profile cutter that could be stripped for cleaning. So he developed the lightweight Slacker. Rinsing gunk away is a breeze, thanks to a release lever that separates the handle from the blade.
Helle Bleja ($224)
Some knives are worth every penny, and the Bleja is one of them. The triple-laminated steel is tough enough for backcountry tasks. And Helle gets an A-plus for the birchwood handle.
Coast LED155 ($51)
We love Coast’s headlamps and knives, so why not a multitool that combines the two? The LED155 has a three-inch blade, spring-loaded pliers, a small set of scissors, and two lights. Keep it on your belt and you’ll thank yourself when you’re performing camp chores in the dark.
SOG PowerPint ($50)
Say this five times fast: the PowerPint packs a punch. This multitool features 18 gadgets, including serrated and straight-edge blades, screwdrivers, a bottle opener, and scissors. It fits easily in any pocket, and at 4.2 ounces it’s one of the lightest we tested.
Gerber Flatiron ($39)
The Flatiron’s cleaver blade powers through stubborn wood yet cuts exactingly when what you need is precision. The wide, flat spine is helpful when making kindling; hammer down on it with a log and you’ve got a pretty good stand-in for a hatchet. The fine edge slices meat like a butcher knife.
Outdoor Edge ChowPal ($28)
The last thing you want at dinner is a utensil that’s a struggle to use. Replace your crummy spork with the stainless-steel, detachable ChowPal, which packs a spoon, a fork (with actual tines), a knife, and bottle and can openers.
Morakniv Floating Serrated ($30)
If you’re headed out onto the water, you’ll want this knife with you. The thin serrated blade is made to slice through rope, fishing line, and slimy netting. Morakniv wrapped the handle in cork, so like the name says, it’ll remain at the surface when dropped in the drink.