It wouldn’t be the first time that Americans have been imprisoned in the UK, the most famous were the Americans that were imprisoned in Edinburgh Castle from 1776 to 1781 when the two nations were at war during the War of Independence; obviously imprisoned for not following the laws of the crown (Featured picture of carvings from those prisoners). In the UK, carrying a knife for protection is not recommended as you will be tried by a court if found using it for anything other than work, museum exhibition, or for religious reasons (e.g. Sikhs). While there is much to know when traveling abroad in the UK you are not allowed to carry a knife in public without good reason – unless it’s a knife with a folding blade 3 inches long (7.62 cm) or less.
The Spyderco UK Penknife was designed to meet the new requirements of UK knife laws. One of the restrictions was that the knifedoes not lock, but has a notch that has resistance similar to traditional slip-joint penknives. It also meets the blade length of 2.938” or (74mm), so it can be carried as a legal tool. The knife is made in the USA with CTS BD1 steel which is less prone to rust, keeps a better edge, and sharpens must easier than most entry-level competitors. The UK penknife weighs in at 1.9 ounces, and the grip has a choice of three color FRN handles and three edge choices to make it more personal. If you are going to carry in the UK I would opt for the plain edge just to ensure that it cannot be misconstrued as a knife used for protection.
What I specifically like about the knife is the minimalist weight, especially as I usually remove the attached clip and carry it in my front pocket; it is very comfortable even in dress pants. The ergonomics of the knife is additionally comfortable to hold and while I like a locked blade better the grip and thumb notch. Just a quick note regarding the grip and use of this type of knife; be aware that slip joint and non-lockable knifes are not meant for knife fighting, but are useful in self-defense situations. Additionally, your knife techniques are not going to be the same as a locked or fixed blade, it is up to you to learn about the tools you carry and some common sense can be valuable as well.
Finally, there is less of a chance in any country or state with harsh knife laws that a utility non-locking knife can be beneficial. The UK Pen Knife will be part of my every day carry, as the ergonomics, weight, and material used in the grip are some of the best I have evaluated and the price is reasonable for good pocket knife.