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Pocket Knives & Multi-Tools

When performing small cutting tasks required as a hobbyist, crafter or avid fishing, camping and hunting enthusiast, pocket knives and multi-tools are a handy and convenient way of ensuring you always have the right cutting tool to hand for smaller applications due to their foldaway, portable nature. Here at Cromwell, we have a wide range of pocket knives and multi-tools from leading brands Stanley® and Irwin® as well as our trusted own brands Kennedy®, Yamoto® and Senator®.

What are pocket knives and multi-tools?

Also referred to as "folding knives" or "pen-knives", pocket knives are a convenient and small sized blade and handle that can be retracted or folded and safely stored in your pocket for convenience. Similarly to pocket knives, multi-tools also possess the ability to be folded away, the difference being that these also contain multiple gadgets other than a knife blade. They commonly boast bottle openers, files, screwdrivers, corkscrews, scissors, or pliers depending on the specification of each individual multi-tool. These are not to be confused with a multi-tool or multi-cutter which is a power tool capable of sawing various materials.

More information on these types of multi-tool can be found here:

When are pocket knives and multi-tools used?

Pocket knives and multi-tools are often used by hobbyists due to their small size and portable nature. They are ideal for use when fishing, hunting, camping or minor whittling and woodworking. Multi-tools have the added versatility of being able to perform multiple tasks beyond simple cutting.

Considerations when choosing a pocket knife or multi-tool

Blade material - Whilst most blades are manufactured from some form of steel, it's always best to consider what kind of steel would best suit your needs and applications.

Blade operation - Pocket knives and multi-tools can possess many modes of sheathing and unsheathing the blade or tool, the most common being retracting, fixed or folding. Retractable blades slide back into the handle when not in use, folding blades fold away into the handle and fixed blades cannot be sheathed into the handle and must be sheathed in a suitable blade protector.

Number of functions - Multi-tools can boast multiple functions as the name suggests. The number of functions you require needs to be considered when purchasing your tool.

Reusability/replaceable blade - Not all pocket knives and multi-tools have blades that can be replaced, although most of them do. It's always best to check whether the blade or individual components can be replaced if this is a requirement.

Pocket knives and multi-tools jargon buster

We want to make it easy for you to understand and shop our range, so here are some key terms that will help you understand our variety of pocket knives and multi-tools and their applications a little better.

What is a retractable blade?

A retractable blade is a blade that can be sheathed back inside the body of the blade, usually via a wheel or a button. This can be an automatic process, where the blade retracts as soon as contact is lost between the blade and the material, or it can be a manual process where a button can be pressed to retract the blade away.


Are pocket knives legal in the UK?

The general rules around carrying knives are that it is illegal to use a knife or weapon in a threatening way. This encompasses all knifes, pocket knife or not. It is also illegal to carry most knives or any weapons without a 'good reason' and it is also illegal to sell a knife or a weapon to anyone under the age of 18.

The only exception to these rules are folding pocket knives which have a cutting edge no longer than 3 inches and are not lock knives (they do not have a button, spring or catch that you have to use to fold the knife).

Knives can only ever be carried if there is a 'good reason' for it to be on your person.

Can pocket knives go in checked baggage?

In the UK, pocket knives and multi-tools are prohibited from being in your carry on baggage, with some caveats around this. Multi-tools have a blanket ban in carry on or hand luggage, whilst pocket knives are allowed in hand luggage if the blade is shorter than 6cm. According to the CAA (Civil Aviation Authority) which oversees civil aviation in the UK, pocket knives must be properly sheathed and packed in your checked baggage - or carry on luggage if the blade is less than 6cm long - so as to not harm baggage handlers.

However, it is always advisable to check your governing body or airline operators' policies on sharp or potentially dangerous objects before flying.