A pocket staff could be considered one part magic wand and one-part self-defense tool, and we have everything you need to know about choosing the best one. If you are in the market for a pocket staff, read on for our reviews of our favorite products on the market, which will help you narrow down your decision and save you time in the process.
Pocket Staffs: History and Use
The simplest way to define a staff would be “a stick.” However, this is no ordinary stick you might find in the yard or even a sturdy walking stick you might use for balance on a hike. A staff used in stick fighting is related to a martial arts tradition; in fact, the Japanese word for staff is “bō,” so you might also hear a pocket staff referred to as a “bo staff” or something used in “bōjutsu.”
The staff is ultimately an extension of one’s limbs when used in a martial arts setting. The staff may be thrust, swung, or struck at your opponent. It dates back thousands of years to Okinawa, where farmers ultimately developed the staff from farm tools to defend themselves after the emperor banned weapons. A genuine bo staff is made of wood and up to six feet long.
Today’s martial arts training still incorporates bo staffs, but in many different varieties, from the traditional wood to those made of polypropylene or even foam. Because a full-sized staff is not necessarily practical to walk around with on a day-to-day basis, pocket staffs have been developed to fill the need to have one that is compact and portable.
How Does a Pocket Staff Work?
When you think of how a pocket staff functions, speed is a key component. The collapsible tool is meant to extend in the blink of an eye, which is why they are often used as a magic wand prop just as much as, if not more than, martial arts activities.
When nestled in its compact state, the staff is only a few inches long. But with a flick of the wrist, the collapsible tool instantly stretches out to full “stick” form and can be up to 54 inches in length.
After you have used the pocket staff, the process of recoiling it only takes a few seconds as well.
Buyers Guide: Tips for Choosing the Best Pocket Staff in 2021
As you shop for a portable pocket staff, consider these useful tips first.
Material and Durability
Nothing is more disappointing than purchasing a product that does not last because it is cheaply made and/or constructed from flimsy material. When shopping for a pocket staff online, read all of the product specifications and consumer reviews to be sure the material is up to par and the product you are buying is built to last.
The ultimate point of a pocket staff is to have something compact and portable, so as you comparison shop, you will want to find the staff that is the lightest and easiest to carry (without sacrificing quality and durability).
Safety features are important for any buyer, but especially if you purchase the pocket staff for a younger person. Be sure to read the manufacturer’s instructions for use and heed all information and guidelines related to the safe use of the staff.
Pocket staffs, even though they are often used as magic wands, are NOT toys and should not be left with unsupervised children at play. Many of the staffs come with specific age recommendations, and those should be followed without exception.
Finally, your ultimate shopping decision may come down to your budget. The good news is there are many affordable pocket staffs available, so it should not be hard to find one you can afford.
Our Top 8 Pocket Staffs in 2021
1. Broadsheet Magic 2Pack Pocket Staff
Why purchase only one pocket staff when you can have two? This is why the Broadsheet Magic 2Pack Pocket Staff immediately springs to mind when it comes to the pocket staffs we love. Having more than one staff can come in handy when used in a magic performance, and this pack even comes with the quintessential white gloves, the perfect accessory for any aspiring magician with a wand.
The Broadsheet Magic 2Pack Pocket Staff includes two wands that reach 1 meter (or 43.3 inches) once fully extended. They are constructed out of high-quality stainless steel, with an automatic spring, and finished in golden and silver hues. Users should watch the accompanying instructional videos on YouTube and never allow the wands to be used by unsupervised children.
2. KMool Magic Pocket Prop
When you want a pocket staff that is easy to use with a one-touch-opening system, look no further than the KMool Magic Pocket Prop. This 43.3-inch staff collapses neatly into 2.56 inches for easy portability. You can pop the Magic Pocket Prop into your pocket and forget it is even there at a lightweight 4.8 ounces.
This pocket staff is not only lightweight and easy to take with you wherever you go. It is made of durable stainless steel and is built to last. For a pocket staff that looks great and expands in the blink of an eye, the KMool Magic Pocket Prop is another solid choice.
3. ILFun Pocket Prop
The ILFun is a pocket staff combo with one staff in traditional silver and another in a pink and silver option for a little more flair for those who like a color choice. According to the manufacturer, the pink staff is safe for kids to use, but the silver staff should only be used by those ages 15 and up. These pocket staffs extend to 43.3 inches when in use, and they collapse down to 2.56 inches for easy carrying. Included with the ILFun pocket staff combo is a pair of white gloves.
4. Jaurylvo Magic Pocket Staff
The Jaurylvo staff extends to an impressive 59 inches in full length and is incredibly easy to retract and release. An operation video guides users through the safest practices for using this martial arts tool made of durable stainless steel.
The Jaurylvo should not be used by children and should never be extended or released in the direction of the user’s eyes. With an easy one-hand operation and a light 5.6-ounce weight, this pocket staff is a great choice for a longer length.
5. UXELY Appearing Cane
Staffs and canes tend to overlap, especially when it comes to using in magic shows, and this “appearing cane” can expand in just milliseconds to 1.1 meters in length. This is another great pocket staff lightweight (just 3.17 ounces) and easy to carry along with you wherever you go.
The UXELY appearing cane is safe to use but should still only be used by adults and with proper safety precautions to ensure you do not harm yourself or others. The edge can be quite sharp and made of stainless steel, so users should be aware of their surroundings before expanding and retracting this staff.
One drawback of the UXELY appearing cane is that it is not sold in a set with gloves, like many other pocket staff options available for purchase. However, you can easily purchase those separately if needed.
6. Suavec Magic Pocket Prop
This expandable magic prop or martial arts tool from Suavec weighs just 4.6 ounces, so it is easy to carry, and the spring action means it can expand at lightning speed. Suited for users 15 years and up, this pocket staff offers an easy one-hand operation and is constructed for repeat use out of durable materials.
This staff is 43.3 inches long when it is fully extended and in use; once you need to retract the wand and put it away, it shrinks down to a tiny 2.56 inches. We love the easy spring switch and the overall ease of use for this affordable, durable, and lightweight pocket staff.
7. ANYI 2Piece Magic Pocket Staff
Once again, a pocket staff makes our list with a “two is better than one” package. We love this duo pack of durable staffs in a spring switch construction. Two 43.3 inch wands made of quality stainless steel will come in use any time you need a portable staff, whether for magic tricks or martial arts activities. You will have no trouble operating these wands with one hand, and users should follow all safety guidelines closely when operating the staffs.
8. Collapsible Magic Pocket Staff
Finally, we wanted to include a non-metal option on the list of pocket staffs, which may provide a safer alternative to the stainless steel models. These plastic staffs extend to about 36.6 inches and retract to around 2 inches. They are festive in design and perfect for parties or entertaining. They weigh only 2.3 ounces and come in a package of two.
Safety Tips for Pocket Staffs
- Remember to follow all of the instructions from the manufacturer.
- Most staffs will direct you to an online video tutorial; be sure to watch these before using the pocket staff.
- Never allow children to use pocket staffs without adult supervision; in some cases, the staff may not be suitable for anyone under 15 to use.
- Never expand a pocket staff in the direction of your eyes (or anyone else’s).
Pocket Staff FAQ
Still have questions when it comes to finding the best pocket staff? Read through our brief FAQ below for answers to some of the more commonly asked questions.
Is a pocket staff durable?
Yes. A pocket staff is durable. Once you have the staff extended, twist the wider end counterclockwise and the narrower end of the staff clockwise; this tightens the coil. It is also easy to collapse. Metal staffs are good quality while still being light enough and durable.
What is the best pocket staff for beginners?
When deciding on the best bo staff, even for a beginner, you need to decide what kind of training you will be doing with it. For freestyle bo training, you want a staff that is lighter in weight. A toothpick bo, for example, is good when you are just learning the basics of bo.
You still want a bo or staff that is light in weight for extreme training and competitions, but you also want it to be durable and solid. A graphite bo is the best choice for this.
For traditional training and strength, find a more traditional bo that is made from wood. Oak, for example, is a strong wood, heavy, and makes a durable staff. However, this type is not typically recommended for beginners unless they already have great control.
How long is the average pocket staff?
A pocket staff is typically around 59 inches in length or 150 centimeters.
Is a bo staff good for self-defense?
When you choose to train with a bo staff, you have the opportunity to also learn and understand how other weapons in that same class work. A bo staff is a self-defense weapon that you can carry almost anywhere. It is often disguised as a walking stick, and learning how to use it is fairly easy.