I’ve been using Stockman knives for almost half a century. They are extremely versatile and capable of performing a variety of tasks. While not a heavy-duty workhorse, it’s the perfect fit for everyday carry and everyday tasks.
From day-to-day tasks on the homestead to fishing, hunting, camping, and hiking, I have several of these handy tools tucked in various places around my home. From pockets to vehicles to bug-out bags, this is one knife I never leave home without.
If you’re looking for an all-around utility knife to perform a variety of light-duty tasks, you can’t go wrong with the Stockman pattern. They’re discreet, lightweight, and versatile. Here are some of my favorite Stockman knives on the market today.
Best Stockman Knife – Quick Picks
Hen & Rooster Stockman 313DS: Best Overall
Boker 110726 Traditional Stockman: Best Budget Stockman
Bear and Son Small Stockman: Best Lightweight Stockman
Katz Drop Point Stockman: Best Modified Stockman
Case 2806 Stockman: Best Iconic Stockman
Reviews of the Best Stockman Knives
Clip-point blade: 2 ¼" | Sheepsfoot blade: 1 ⅝" | Spey blade: 1 ⅝" | Weight: 3.2 oz
The Hen & Rooster Stockman features a classic Stockman blade configuration with two back springs sandwiched between two brass liners. On one end, you have a clip blade paired with a sheepsfoot blade. At the opposite end is a spey blade.
The handle scales are made from authentic deer stag and are pinned to the liners with three brass pins. The serpentine handle is flanked with smooth and nicely rounded nickel-silver bolsters and features a Hen & Rooster logo inlay.
The stag scales are rather thick in the middle and taper down towards the bolsters, for a nice, contoured feel. I like the beefy 4" handle, which is larger than your average Stockman, providing a full four-finger grip. The full handle helps offset the smooth scale grip.
All three blades are made of Solingen stainless steel, which is commonly used in commercial cutlery. It is well known for its edge retention, wear resistance, and corrosion resistance. The stainless-steel blades are easy to sharpen but do require frequent sharpening with routine use and may require some touch-ups out of the box.
All the tangs are stamped and display a full flat grind, giving it excellent versatility. Each blade has an easily accessible nail nick opening mechanism and a smooth satin finish that reduces its glare.
The walk and talk of the blade is smooth, but snappy, with little to no blade rub. The larger size of this knife gives it a slight edge over the others and makes it the perfect general-purpose pocket knife that is more suitable for heavier workloads, albeit limited.
Its size is large enough for gutting, skinning, and cleaning small fish and game in the field, or cutting through hay bail twine, rope, hoses, and other unmentionables around the farm. But it’s also lightweight and fits very comfortably in both the hand and the pocket.
Hen & Rooster is a trusted company with over 160 years of experience, and it’s well known for producing quality blades that will give you substantial peace of mind.
- Solingen stainless-steel blades
- Genuine deer stag handle
- Larger, comfortable profile
- Above-average wear and corrosion resistance
- Satin finish
- No blade rub
- Subpar edge retention
- May be too big for some
- Smooth scales
Clip-point blade: 3" | Sheepsfoot blade: 1¾" | Spear-point blade: 2" | Weight: 2.8 oz
The Boker 110726 packs a lot of quality into a budget knife. For starters, this knife comes highly sharpened right out of the box, and it seems to hold an edge quite well.
It features a brass and acrylic handle that's 4" long with a Solingen carbon-steel blade, which is highly rust resistant. The Boker Tree brand medallion and brass pins are very well inlaid into the handle.
This Stockman carries standard rounded-nickel silver bolsters and brass liners, but the scales sit slightly higher than the bolsters, leaving a subtle gap. For the price, however, this is easy enough to ignore.
The overall length of the main clip point blade is 7" long, giving you plenty of blade to work with. All three blades are tight in the handle and well hinged. The blade alignment is nicely spaced and the blade action is smooth.
Boker's Stockman does feature a thinner clip point than most Stockman knives, limiting its ability for more rugged endeavors. Additionally, the Boker features a spear point in place of the spey blade.
All three blades have a nice satin finish, improving durability and appearance. The spine is rounded over really well, and the blade edge is pretty even. This knife is easy enough to sharpen and it holds its edge well enough for everyday tasks.
The walk and talk is snappy and clean. The slip joint snaps into place nicely and the blades stay open and don't close in on your fingers.
Despite its budget-friendly price, Boker is a well-known and trustworthy company that is one of the leading suppliers of knives around Europe and the rest of the world. This is a great quality knife for the price.
- Quality build
- Good edge out of the box
- Carbon-steel blades
- Satin finish
- Good alignment
- Blade stays open
- Budget friendly
- Thinner blade
- Scales slightly high
- No spey blade
Clip-point blade: 2 3⁄8'' | Sheepsfoot blade: 1 ⅝" | Pen blade: 1 ⅝" | Weight: 1.5 oz
This is a beautiful 3 ¼" rosewood serpentine handle with traditional smooth nickel silver bolsters. It has an extraordinary grain pattern that's smooth and rich in color. Unlike most handle scales, this Bear and Son model only features a single center pin, and there is no medallion or manufacture inlay.
Even though the handle is smooth, the contour has a great feel and fits nicely in the hand. The blades are tight with a nice snap and are well aligned. This is a great gentleman's knife for everyday work, and it's light as a feather. It fits just as nicely in a suit pocket as it does a pair of jeans.
The blades are made with 440 stainless steel for high strength and wear resistance. This Stockman is slightly modified, featuring a pen blade in place of a spey blade. So if you do not require a castrating knife, the pen blade is a great tool for envelopes, boxes, cordage, food, and other light-duty tasks.
The hollow grind makes the clip-point blade ideal for cutting, shaving, carving, whittling, and slicing. However, hollow grinds are more prone to chipping and rolling and require a bit more maintenance, so this is no workhorse.
But it's a good, lightweight knife for minor everyday simple tasks, with an amazing edge.
I love Bear and Son knives because they do everything in-house, so you get superb quality assurance from start to finish:
- Heat treating
- Super light
- Good balance and alignment
- Nice snap
- 440 stainless steel
- Maintains superb edge
- Smooth handle
- Only one pin
- Lacks hardness
- No spey blade
Drop-point blade: 2 ¾" | Sheepsfoot blade: 1 ¾" | Spey blade: 1 ½" | Weight: 3.2 oz
If you're not a fan of the clip point, then Katz makes an excellent Stockman modification that features a drop-point blade instead. Sometimes referred to as the “Goldilocks” blade since it's suitable for most tasks, drop points generally feature a stronger tip and wider belly than the clip points. This makes them better suited for slicing than the traditional piercing of the clip point.
Its grooved and pinched nickel bolsters add a classy touch to Grandpa's blade, giving it more of a gentleman's appeal. The fit and finish of this knife are superb with above-average build quality. The blades are made from XT-80 steel, giving it excellent edge retention and wear resistance.
Katz' drop-point Stockman has a handsome bone handle with a very ergonomic feel that is just over 3 ½" long, making it slightly shorter than others in the lineup. But still long enough to give a three- to four-finger grip, depending on the size of your hand. The main drop-point blade operates on its own back spring while the other two blades share the second back spring.
All three blades feature superb grinds and nice long tangs that hit the inside of the spring before the blade does, eliminating any blade rap. The walk and talk is very smooth with virtually no rubbing, and all the nail nicks are easily accessible. It's easy enough to sharpen and offers moderate corrosion resistance.
Katz's Stockman lineup features a unique design pattern that offers an extra brass liner positioned between the main blade and the other two blades. Additionally, on the outside of the second back spring are two brass liners underneath the handle scale instead of one.
These extra brass liners add just enough width to your handle to eliminate any blade rub. The inner liner of the two blades is not as high as the outer ones, which adds distance between the spey blade and the outer liner.
- Beautifully designed
- Grooved and pinched bolsters
- XT 80 steel
- Good edge retention
- Corrosion and wear resistant
- Extra brass liner for better spacing
- No rub
- Smooth handle
- No clip-point blade
Clip-point blade: 2.42" | Sheepsfoot blade: 1.58" | Pen blade: 1.57" | Weight: 1.6 oz
No Stockman lineup would be complete without mentioning the iconic Case brand. With roots tracing back to the 1880s, Case has developed quite a cult following over the generations, and its reputation precedes it.
Case is well known for gorgeous, handmade, functional, and collectible knives. This one in particular features a very attractive blue, jigged-bone handle that's 3 ¼" when closed. It has the standard nickel silver bolsters and three brass pins, in addition to brass liners.
The jigged scales provide a good, comfortable, nonslip grip, and the transition to the bolsters is seamless. It also features the customary Case nickel silver shield inlay.
The overall size of the knife fits nicely in your jean pocket. This is a particular favorite in countries with strict knife laws where wielding knives is frowned upon.
A bit modified from the traditional Stockman, this pocket knife wields clip-point, sheepsfoot, and pen blades over the usual spey blade. The clip and sheepsfoot blades reside on the pocket end while the pen blade takes up residence on the cap end. By design, the sheepsfoot sits a little higher for easy access to the nail nick opener.
There is some rubbing of the blades, but this is not out of the ordinary for Stockman knives. This is usually caused by the pressure exerted when pressing in on the nail nick while opening the blade.
All three blades are made from Case's signature Tru-Sharp surgical steel. Tru sharp steel is well known for its stain resistance, as well as its ability to hold an extremely keen edge for a long time.
Tru-Sharp steel is really easy to sharpen, but it’s prone to forming sticky burrs that can be quite annoying to remove. The back of the blades are rounded over well, though, and all are nicely polished.
Unfortunately, Case knives are notorious for coming out of the box with burs, and need a little love to get into tip-top shape. Once you get them there, though, the edge retention is outstanding. All in all, this is the perfect EDC good for opening packages, gardening, pruning, cutting cordage, and food prep.
- Lifetime limited warranty
- Tru-Sharp steel
- Beautifully handcrafted
- Good for areas with stricter knife laws
- Usually needs TLC out of the box
- Some rubbing
- No spey blade
There are hundreds if not thousands of Stockman knives to choose from, so this is a high level guide to help you narrow the choices down.
A traditional Stockman should have a clip blade and sheepsfoot blade on one end with a spey blade on the other.
- Clip blade: Missing a crescent “clip” out of the spine, these blades are thinner and better for piercing.
- Sheepsfoot blade: Its straight edge and curved back provide greater tip strength and control.
- Spey blade: Designed for castrating and skinning, these dulled points are useful for cutting around things that you don’t want punctured.
Walk and Talk
Stockman knives should open and close with good crisp snaps. Stockman blades will always have some crowding by design. It’s not easy cramming three blades in such a tight space, so it’s not uncommon to see rubbing of the blades. However, you know you’ve got a good quality knife when little to no rubbing exists.
There should not be any play in the blades when they’re in the open position. The opening and closing should be snappy and crisp, and the blades should not reveal any oxidation or rust. A nice satin finish is usually the preferred finish since it helps increase durability and resistance to corrosion, as well as minimize any reflection or glare.
Stockman knives generally come in small, medium, and large. A small Stockman is usually under three inches and a large one is over four with the medium in between. A knife’s size is obviously proportional to the degree of work it can do.
Smaller Stockmans are useful for working with small screws, envelopes, and boxes, or even splinter removal. They’re also more discreetly carried.
Larger knives will provide more leverage and cut through larger items as necessary. They’re also heavier and bulkier and can be used for ordinary cutting tasks, like twine, hoses, or other heavier cordage.
The scales should have a comfortable grip and the pins should be flush with the scales. Likewise, the scales should be flush and make a seamless transition to the bolsters.
Stockman knives are used in all kinds of weather and work environments. As such, the last thing you want is a slippery handle. Jigged bone scales help secure a better grip. While smooth scales look nice, they’re really easy to slip and slice through flesh.
You’ll find a wide variety of handle profiles, but the most common is the serpentine:
- Sowbelly: Resembles a pig belly with a “belly sag” curve in the handle, where one end is wider than the other
- Serpentine: A narrow handle with a subtle “S” shape curve
- Slimline: A narrow handle and narrow blades
- Cattle knife: Thicker handle with equally rounded ends
- Gunstock: Square bolsters with an angled center swell on top that resembles a rifle
Understanding what your blades are made of can be quite complex, but when it comes to the old-fashioned slip-joint knives, your choices are much more limited:
Reasonably priced and user-friendly, high-carbon steel has a good balance between toughness and hardness. It’s quick-tempered, easy to sharpen, and has excellent edge retention.
440 steel comes in grades of A, B, C, and F with 440C being the most popular in the pocket knife arena since it has the best hardness. It’s often preferred because it is so easy to sharpen, has great edge retention, and requires little to no maintenance.
XT-80 is a proprietary steel used solely by Katz. It holds and retains an edge very well and aligns with Katz’ high standards.
Tru-steel is 420HC and has a higher sulfur content than 440 steel. This makes it less resistant to corrosion. It has better toughness and is easier to sharpen.
While this is certainly not an exhaustive list, these are the more common steels used by traditional pocket knife brands.
Wielding a Stockman is often preferred by farmers, ranchers, and homesteaders for everyday chores. They’re super easy to carry, extremely versatile, and require little maintenance when compared to modern survival knives.
I really like the Hen & Rooster Stockman for its larger size, Solinger steel, and nice crisp snap. But I’m equally impressed with the quality of the Boker 110726, which offers an extra ¾” in blade for half the price.