Coolest Looking Out Of All!
Back in the stone age days, you were considered the coolest of the bunch if you had a stone knife (literally made from stone!). Fast forward a couple hundred years later, and you have these slick credit card knives. Small enough to stash in your wallet, yet sharp enough to split your hair apart! For the millennials, credit card knives are all the rage…..mostly because of how they look. And I do tend to agree with the youngins…..I mean have you seen one of these before?
Tell me that isn’t groovy! To all my old timers reading this, I know you probably couldn’t care less. To you, functionality trumps looks any day everyday. And you’re not wrong. If it had to boil down to functionality alone, traditional folders win this argument. No comparison. A traditional folder is far more effective than a credit card knife. But…..there’s a certain beauty about being able to carry a knife in your wallet……heck that’s why I’m writing this post. If credit card knives aren’t your thing, I get it. If it is, keep reading to see what I think is the best credit card knife!
The Best Credit Card Knife—Boker Plus 01BO010 Straight Edge
All things considered, Boker Plus 01BO010 is the best credit card knife available. Only 2 other products come close: Zootility’s WildCard and Iain Sinclair Cardsharp 2 (see honorable mentions below). Why is the Boker Plus better than the rest? Decent quality steel (440C), simple yet effective locking mechanism, and a solid design overall. More below on everything I like about it. Keep reading!
Everything I Like! (AKA The Good)
The Design Is Simple!
If there’s one thing I love most about this knife, it would be this. Just one look at the knife, and you know exactly how it opens/closes, and locks. There’s no fancy preliminary setup required. In other words, you don’t need to waste time folding the handle (unlike some other designs). Because of this, it can deployed just as quickly as any other folding knife.
Much Better Steel Quality Compared To The Competition!
The blade on this Boker Plus is made from 440C steel. For those who don’t know, 440C is considered an upper mid-range steel. It holds an edge pretty well, is easy to sharpen, and does really well to resist corrosion. How does this compare to the steel in other credit card knives? From all the other products I researched, I couldn’t find a better steel than 440C!
Solid Frame Lock Mechanism
This knife uses a frame locking mechanism to keep the blade locked during operation. I’m a big fan of frame and liner locks, simply because they hold a knife in place pretty well.
Fits Inside A Wallet Nicely!
Believe it or not, this is actually smaller than your typical credit card. As such, you should have no issue sliding it into your wallet. However, you may want to remove the pocket clip before stashing it in your wallet!
Titanium Handle, So It’s Super Light!
Guess how much it weighs? A measly 1.1 ounces! It’s one thing for a credit card knife to fit inside a wallet, and it’s another when it fits and doesn’t weigh much either. Kudos to Boker for constructing the handle out of lightweight titanium!
Safe When It’s Closed
The handle end is layered with G10 fiberglass. When closed the blade edge sits adjacent to this G10 material, so it provides protection if you accidentally slide your finger across the edge. However, you should still be careful when closing/opening at all times!
Pocket Clip Provides Added Versatility
The pocket clip can be removed, so it’s easy to store in a wallet. If you don’t wish to stash in your wallet, you can alternatively clip the knife to your shirt/trouser pocket. It also comes with a ball chain, which allows for neck carry. Not sure I’d wear this around my neck though!
Lifetime Warranty From Boker
Lifetime warranty gives you peace of mind. Always great to have coverage for manufacturing faults/defects!
Everything I Dislike! (AKA The Bad)
Sharpness Out Of The Box
I can’t say this applies to all, but some users have noted a dull blade when they first received the knife. Yes it sucks to receive a dull factory edge, but is it really that big a deal? I’m not so sure it is. If you’re going to be investing in a knife, you best be thinking about how you’re gonna sharpen that bad boy when it dulls (and it will!). I guess I don’t really see this as a huge issue because I’d sharpen it up anyways. I can see how it’s inconvenient for some, however.
Honorable Mentions (2nd & 3rd Place)
2nd Place—Zootility Tools WildCard
Ever heard of Zootility before? They’re an inspiring bunch that started off in 2012 on Kickstarter. At that time they were a one man show led by mechanical engineer Nate Barr. Pretty cool to see these small startups doing so well for themselves!
What do I love about the WildCard?
- First Travel Friendly Credit Card Knife—Well, kind off. If you did carry this with you while travelling, you’d only have to surrender the blade….which is removable and replaceable. Definitely beats having to surrender the entire device!
- More Than A Knife—If you’re looking for more than just a knife, this would be it. It features a bottle opener, screwdriver, pry bar, and a ruler with a 1 inch scale.
- Thin And Light—Very easy to stash away in your wallet because of how thin it is.
- American Made—Everything is manufactured in Portland, Maine by a small group of employees. Don’t know about you, but this is exactly the sort of company I’d love to support!
The only downside is the blade steel in my opinion, which is a lower quality 420. Because of how soft it is, 420 doesn’t hold an edge well (which means frequent sharpening). On the flip side, it is incredibly resistant to corrosion! If you want to learn more about these guys, check out the video below (all credit to Neponset River).
3rd Place—Iain Sinclair Cardsharp 2
If aesthetics were the top criterion for credit card knives, the Cardsharp 2 would sell like hot cakes! If you’re only bothered with looks, then this is your knife. What about functionality….how does it fare? In my honest opinion, it could use some work. The handle is made from polypropylene which in my opinion is too flimsy/light when it comes to actual operation. Also, there’s a bit of a setup you need to do before using (folding the handle and locking the blade). Same like the WildCard, the steel is made from 420. Overall, I’d say it’s a decent option for anyone on a budget. If you can afford spending a little more, get the Boker Plus or the WildCard.
#10 Things To Consider Before Buying
If you’re like most people, you probably won’t spend too much time thinking about these 10 things, considering how cheap you can find these knives for. Couple bucks and you can get your hands on one. Here’s a piece of advice: I’d rather buy one knife that functions the way I want and lasts a lifetime (or close to!), than buying 10 pieces of crap that finds itself in the trash every couple months. Quality over quantity all day fellas! With that said, here’s 10 things to consider before buying.
#1 Safety Lock—An Important Yet Underestimated Feature!
Just because it’s tiny and cute, doesn’t mean it won’t hurt you! I’ve had the blade unintentionally swing open several times when pulling it out from my wallet. Trust me when I say, you don’t want this happening to you. Most credit card folders come equipped with surgical sharp blades that don’t require much effort to cut through. That’s why safety is paramount in my opinion. In your quest to find the best credit card knife, always pay attention to the safety features. Does it feature a safety lock/knob? Is there a mechanism that prevents the blade from prying open?
#2 Are They Legal Where You Live?
Pay very close attention to this one. Depending on where you live, credit card knives may be considered illegal. There’s 2 things you should confirm:
- Are they considered illegal where you live?—Here’s where you need to do some homework before buying on an impulse. Every country has it’s own knife and firearm laws, and these tend to vary significantly.
- Refrain carrying your knife while travelling!—Some people forget, and others are just plain ignorant. Don’t be either! Leave your knife at home when travelling on a plane. You’ll save yourself a ton of wasted time being questioned, searched, and investigated!
Don’t take this lightly. If the only value you get out of this entire post is this one thing, I consider that a win. As far as I’m concerned, nothing transcends safety and well being. Absolutely nothing! Keep in mind these rules are in place to ensure everyone remains safe and free from danger, so let’s all do our best to abide by them! (video credit: KCCI)
#3 How Quickly Can It Be Deployed?
How quick is the blade deployed? Different manufacturers have different designs for blade deployment. Boker, for example have a simple “slide open” deployment for their 01BO010 credit card knife. Iain Sinclair on the other hand, have a “push open” style deployment for their cardsharp model. Both of these in my opinion are good designs. Generally speaking, I will avoid anything that is overly complicated. Rule of thumb: If it takes me more than a minute to deploy/open, it’s useless.
#4 Does It Have A Solid Locking Mechanism?
One major flaw with many credit card knives is they lack a solid locking mechanism. Unlike traditional folders, they usually don’t feature a frame or liner lock (there are exceptions of course). The best credit card knife is one that locks firmly in place, so there is no up or down, side to side movement during operation. A flimsy locking mechanism doesn’t only affect functionality of the knife, but it’s also a major safety concern. If the blade gives and snaps shut, you risk getting injured! To conclude, look for a design that has a good locking mechanism. Liner lock and frame lock are what I’m talking about here!
#5 Knife Or Multi Tool?
There are credit card knives and then there are credit card multi tools. In many ways, 2 very different devices. What’s it gonna be…..multi tool or knife? This is probably one of the first things you should think about. The main advantage with multi tools is that they’re versatile. You can use them to open bottles, cut wire, screw nuts etc. But they do have one major disadvantage: most multi tools often have a poor quality blade. Stand alone knives tend to have higher quality blades in comparison.
#6 Blade Steel?
When it comes to blade steel, there’s a couple different things you’ll want to understand:
- Edge Retention—How long can a particular steel retain its edge? Obviously the longer, the better. You don’t want to be sharpening every 2 weeks or so! Generally speaking, the harder the steel, the longer it will be able to keep an edge. Heat treatment is an important factor when it comes to hardness. Good heat treatment processes yield harder steel and vice versa.
- Corrosion Resistance—In my opinion, corrosion resistance is probably not as important as edge retention when talking credit card knives. Why? Because it sits in your wallet for most of the time. Last time I checked, my wallet was pretty dry! At this point, just be aware that different steels have different levels of corrosion resistance. Some resist corrosion better than others.
#7 Overall Construction—Design & Feel
By overall construction, I mean design and feel. You may want to think about:
- What Material Is The Body Made Of?—Some are made of polypropylene, while others are made from aluminum. Guess which one is more expensive? Hint: it’s not a plastic! I would suggest you avoid plastic designs if you can. Aluminum or other materials may be expensive, but it’s worth the price. Not only are they strong, but they also add weight to your handle, unlike plastic which is flimsy.
- How Does It Feel?—This has to do with comfort more than anything. How does the knife feel to hold? Is it comfortable or awkward? If you’re buying online, you won’t be able to hold the product in your hand. In this case, rely on reviews and watch demonstration videos online.
#8 What Ya Thinking Of Spending?
Unlike traditional folders, most credit card knives won’t leave a hole in your wallet. However, it really depends on the steel and design. A quality steel will run you more than a cheap mass produced type. That being said, it’s always important to set yourself a budget.
#9 How Many? 1, 4, 10?
Some manufacturers sell in packs i.e. packs of 3, packs of 10 etc. I really don’t know why anyone would need a 10 pack of credit card knives to be honest. Seeing a pack of 10 definitely makes me question the design and build. Do they come in 10 packs because each one will only last you a couple months? Again, this goes back to what I was saying earlier: quality trumps quantity every single time. Buy one quality product instead of 10 crappy ones!
#10 Will It Actually Fit Your Wallet? Consider Size & Weight, If You Haven’t Already!
Million dollar question: will the knife actually fit in your wallet, and how? One of my friends walks around with a bulge on his side jean pocket. A rectangular outline that’s quite noticeable. Not only does it look bad, it also tells everyone exactly where his wallet is. I bet it’s also really uncomfortable as well. Moral of the story: don’t be the guy who walks around with bulgy, drooping pants! You can avoid this by paying attention to dimensions and weight before you decide to buy. Get out a ruler and actually measure your wallet! You’ll save yourself from disappointment.
I’d Love To Hear Your Experience!
Before I end this post, I wish to say one thing:
Please Use Your Credit Card Knife Safely/Responsibly! Leave Them At Home When You Travel!
Now that you know my take on the best credit card knife, I’d love to hear yours! Have you had any experience with them? Please share if you have. Your comments not only help me pick better products to review, but also keep the rest of the readers informed. Lastly if you have any questions please let me know (I’ll be more than happy to point you in the right direction!). Enjoyed reading? A share would be appreciated!