I just got to thinking and I don’t think I have ever had a bad pocketknife as long as it was a name brand.
At one time I thought “Tree Brand” or Arbolito was the best one for the money. Buck is a good knife tho a bit hard to sharpen at times. I believe Puma has got the right combination of ease of sharpening, edge holding and resistance from rust.
Case XX are great but I think a little high. Schrade used to be a good buy. SOG was at one time great but they seem to have gone down recently. I like a lot of Gerber designs.
Like I said all name brands are good.
I like the Barlow I have had for many, many years.