For many of us in the everyday carry community, our knives are the most singular, central part of our loadout. It’s the tool that we use the most — second only to our smartphones, of course — and it has the potential to be the most useful tool overall (when used properly and cared for the same). Having said that, while utility should certainly be of primary concern when picking out a knife, there’s definitely nothing wrong with wanting a bit of style and panache, as well.
The human eye is capable of distinguishing approximately 10 million different colors — bright and dark, vibrant and dull. Yet there are a few that we keep coming back to time and time again. And one of the most overwhelmingly popular is, of course, black. Black is handsome, versatile, and can be matched with just about any other color EDC gear — even other black pocket tools and apparel. With that in mind, we’ve collected together what we believe are the 12 best all-black EDC knives you can buy right now. After all, everything is better in black.
OKC RAT II
It’s not boastful or flashy, but that hasn’t stopped the OKC RAT II from becoming one of the most lauded everyday carry knives of all time. And that’s probably got something to do with its overall versatility, availability in a wide variety of materials and colorways, and its timeless ergonomic silhouette. Unsurprisingly, it’s available in this all-black version with a high-end D2 tool steel blade and fiberglass-reinforced nylon handle scales. It’s pricier than its basic counterparts, but it has the makeup to suit the cost — and there’s definitely no denying how good it looks.
Blade Length: 3″
Deejo 37g Ebony Black
Even if it didn’t come in all-black, the Deejo 37g pocket knife should definitely be on your radar if only for the fact that it might be the ultimate minimalist EDC blade. In fact, its name is actually a direct reference to its remarkably low weight: 37 grams in total. This particular version comes with genuine Ebony wood on the black-finished stainless steel handle and a razor-sharp titanium-coated 420 steel drop point blade. And while it is insanely minimalist — to the point that the most appropriate word to describe it is probably “skeletal” — it still boasts a liner lock and a pocket clip for easy and reliable security and carrying.
Handle: Ebony Wood & Stainless Steel
Blade: Titanium-Coated 420
Blade Length: 3.75″
Victorinox Spartan PS Swiss Army Knife
Truly, there are few knives that even come close to being as classic and iconic as Victorinox’s lineup of Swiss Army Knives. Furthermore, they’re available in every color on the spectrum — including a wide variety of specialty prints, for those that are interested. Of course, if all-black is on the menu, they’ve got you covered there, too, with the Spartan PS you see here. And while the black scales are special themselves, what’s even cooler is the finish on the stainless steel tools. Called Polispectral, this black finish actually catches the light in interesting and unique ways — meaning it glints beautifully when viewed from different angles. Of course, with 12 built-in functions, that magnificent finish is just the cherry on top of the utilitarian cake.
Blade: Stainless Steel
Blade Length: 2.75″
Kershaw Launch 4
One of the biggest downsides of automatic knives is that there are so many restrictions on their legality — especially in regards to geography. California, for instance, has some of the strictest guidelines in the country, making trying to find a workaround something most brands just avoid altogether. However, the folks at Kershaw looked at it less like an impossibility and more like a challenge, which they accepted and conquered with their California-legal Launch 4 auto knife. This little bruiser has a stout 1.90″ dagger-style drop point blade, lightweight and durable aluminum handle scales, and a super easy-to-use push-button deployment mechanism. Best of all, the whole thing was made in the USA.
Blade Length: 1.90″
We get pretty excited when brands that are known for one style of gear can branch out and try something a little bit out of their wheelhouse — especially if they can do it well. Gerber has offered a lot of EDC-friendly folding knives over the year, but a lot of them lean pretty hard toward the tactical end of the spectrum. With the Fastball, however, they’ve broken the mold a bit to create a gorgeous and somewhat sinister, impossibly-sleek, USA-made flipper. From its slender modified Wharncliffe blade to its frame lock aluminum handle scales, this knife is simply spectacular. And it definitely doesn’t hurt that it comes decked-out in all-black.
Blade Length: 3.00″
The James Brand Carter
As far as everyday carry innovation is concerned, The James Brand has been at the forefront — building a reputation on upscale, upgraded, minimalist reimaginings of classic EDC tools. So when they come out with something and call it their “most advanced,” you should probably start paying attention. And that’s exactly what they’ve said about their Carter knife that you see here. Boasting contoured machined G-10 handle scales, an ultra-high-end VG-10 blade, and an innovative Ambi-Slider ambidextrous sliding locking mechanism, this modern, upgraded take on the classic folding pocket knife is nothing if not exceptional. And yes, we know the thumb stud isn’t black — it’s actually TJB’s signature shade of bright lime green — but we’re giving it a pass because this knife is just that damn good.
Blade Length: 2.8″
Zero Tolerance 0357BW
Over the years, Zero Tolerance has had no shortage of really spectacular everyday carry knives from a wide variety of respected designers. And more than a few of them have come in all-black colorways. Continuing in that fashion is the 0357BW you see before you today. Interestingly, this somewhat-sinister ergonomic drop point folding knife actually comes equipped with SpeedSafe assisted-opening technology — a proprietary mechanism found most often in the knives of ZT’s sister brand, Kershaw. But, it works wonders in a high-end all-black EDC knife, as well — making deployment a snap. Pair that with a high-end CPM-20CV blade, machined G-10 handle scales, and a sturdy liner lock and you can see just a few of the many things that make this EDC knife special.
Blade Length: 3.25″
There was a time when the Griptilian was Benchmade’s undisputed king-of-the-ring when it came to EDC knives. But it looks like the Bugout might have usurped that throne, as it appears to be on every single knife enthusiast’s must-have wishlist. And there are some very good reasons for that, including its slender footprint, clean silhouette, durable material makeup, and the brand’s exceptional know-how and built quality. This particular version is even more special and not just because it has an all-black finish. You see, this Bugout has a handle crafted from Benchmade’s proprietary CF-Elite material — a carbon fiber-reinforced nylon polymer that’s actually 17% lighter than the previous Bugout scales. It also comes with the brand’s signature ambidextrous AXIS lock, a CPM-S30V steel blade, and a tip-up pocket clip.
Blade Length: 3.24″
Though they’re not as immediately recognizable as some of the brands on this list, WESN has been quietly making some truly special EDC gear, especially in the realm of bladed tools. And while they’ve got the materials down — including things like the CPM-S35VN steel used in this knife’s blade or its G-10 scales — we’re particularly fond of their unique design language. You see, the Allman is a stand-out knife, unmistakable in its appearance while still being free of any unnecessary accouterments, with a curvy silhouette that actually serves to make the knife more ergonomic, versatile, and — believe it or not — tougher. This bulldog was meant to be used and it shows in the care of its design and materials. Yes, it definitely looks good, but it’s the performance that will keep it in your pocket every damn day.
Blade Length: 2.8”
Spyderco Paramilitary 2
If there was a single knife on this list we might call a compulsory addition, it’s likely the Spyderco Paramilitary 2. This knife is the pocket tool equivalent of a living legend for its unmistakable styling, exceptional construction quality, and its outstanding materials. While there are some variations between models, this particular all-black version comes with a leaf-shaped 3.42″ black-finished CPM-S30V steel blade — complete with the brand’s signature oversized thumb hole — alongside G10 handle scales and the nigh-unmatched Spyderco Compression lock (which might actually be the toughest, most reliable knife lock in the world). From its signature styling all the way down to its exceedingly dependable construction, the PM2 should be on every knife lover’s must-have list. And, yes, it’s an investment; but it’s an investment worth making.
Blade Length: 3.42″
SOG Pentagon XR
There was a time when the tactical and the practical were opposite sides of a spectrum and it was hard, if not impossible to find EDC items that had extreme levels of durability without looking like something out of a military sci-fi action movie. Today, the gap has closed quite a bit and now it’s a fairly simple prospect to get your hands on knives that are tough enough to qualify as “tactical” without resembling anything from a 1980s Schwarzenegger film. Case in point: the SOG Pentagon XR Blackout you see here. With its CRYO CTS-XHP steel blade, sturdy G-10 handle, and the brand’s secure and ambidextrous XR lock, this folding blade is rugged enough to literally take into battle, but also boasts a sleek silhouette that certainly wouldn’t look out of place in an urban EDC loadout. Of all the knives on this list, the Pentagon XR is probably the one that most qualifies as “overbuilt,” which is pretty spectacular in our opinion.
Blade: CRYO CTS-XHP
Blade Length: 3.6″
Calling a karambit of any kind an “EDC knife” is a bit questionable, as their hawkbill blade shapes are not exactly the most useful when it comes to everyday carry cutting tasks. However, the CRKT Provoke — formerly known as Joe Caswell’s Morphing Karambit — is no ordinary karambit. You see, rather than functioning as a fixed blade or even a folding karambit, this one actually has a revolutionary mechanism that allows it to collapse in on itself quickly and — more importantly — safely. That makes accessing it a cinch, but it also means it transforms into a format that’s more than small enough to stash in your pocket. Sure, you’d have to be extremely into the tactical end of the gear spectrum to get away with hauling this one as a part of your daily carry, but the novelty factor alone might make it worth keeping on you. Yes, it will work great as a cutting tool, but there’s also a pretty good possibility that you’re just going to want to show it off every chance you get.
Blade Length: 2.41″
The 15 Best Carbon Fiber EDC Knives
There’s no denying the allure of an all-black colorway, but materials are a bit more important for the overall performance of a given blade. And one of the coolest and most versatile materials out there right now is carbon fiber. And we’ve rounded up a group of the best carbon fiber EDC knives around.
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