Supremely light and durable, carbon fiber might not be the flashiest of substances – in fact, it’s not intended to flash at all – but it is a handy choice when it comes to EDC knives. Unlike titanium and other premium lightweight materials, carbon fiber is easily made and relatively inexpensive, allowing buyers at every price tier to be able to find a blade that works for them. Knives can even be made wholly out of carbon fiber, which allows for blades that can be easily honed with a piece of sandpaper. They won’t retain an edge for long, but for quick stabbing work or a few single slashes, such dark daggers are ideal.
In choosing a carbon fiber knife you’re often looking more at what other materials have gone into it and how well they work with the carbon fiber components. With the natural airiness of the material, you don’t want to add in a dense blade unless your intent is to throw off your balance or weigh down your pocket with a cutter that’s too bulky. Instead, we suggest finding a knife that has carbon fiber as the base, with everything else added later. To show you what we mean, here’s the 12 best carbon fiber knives for ethereal everyday carry.
Buck Knives Nobleman
Of High Birth: Carbon fiber isn’t the first material that comes to mind when one thinks of a Buck knife, but the Nobleman proves that they offer more than wood and brass. The steel is titanium-coated 440A which resists rust like few others, but also bears a high carbon content for easier field sharpening and better edge retention. The scales include a carbon fiber overlay, which is why the price isn’t markedly higher. Underneath, they’re still stainless steel, and still 100% trustworthy Buck.
Columbia River Knife and Tool Hootenanny
For Wet Work: As Marti Noxon once wrote “It’s chock full of hoot, just a little bit of nanny.” The IKBS ball bearing pivoting apparatus is no joke and deploys the 8Cr13MoV steel blade with a speed that makes it clear this is a serious knife meant for ugly work. Mostly used as a skinning blade, you’ll be able to field dress a kill, defend yourself, and do detail work thanks to jimping on the spine. By the by: It’s designed by Ken Onion.
Boker Plus Anti-Grav Knife
Flying Dutchman: Using a ceramic blade, this is a companion piece to Böker’s Titanium Anti-MC, but without the bulk; making the Anti-Grav a bantamweight on the heaviest of days. The blade has an obsidian look that is nothing short of badass, and its ability to cut paper or paracord with ease is notable. The only metal parts on the AG are mounting screws, thumb studs, and the pivot mechanism. Everything else is either carbon fiber or pure cutting ceramic.
Kershaw Premium Skyline
Secret, Safe: Made in the USA, the Skyline brings the vision of Pete Kershaw’s company to life. Designed by blade genius-in-residence Tommie Lucas, the knife is just ⅜ of an inch thick when you remove the reversible pocket clip, leaving no bulge or telltale signs during carry. The flipper works like a springboard, allowing a single touch to bring the blade to the fore, ready for action. Meant to take a beating, it’s good enough for everyday carry, but we prefer the dapper black-on-black for special occasions.
Spyderco Sage Carbon Fiber
Honorarium: Spyderco makes several versions of many knives in their lineup, each with slightly different materials and locking mechanisms. Among those, the CF Sage stands out, not only because of the twill-woven carbon fiber handle, but because it celebrates the LinerLock and ball bearing detent by Michael Walker. Though the flat-ground CPM-S30V steel blade is wonderful to use, it’s the fine, comfortable, ergonomic grip that absolutely makes this knife.
Zero Tolerance 0350SWCF
Overbuilt: ZT always adds a little more than you need, but never more than you want to their knives. The 0350SWCF is a chopped down version of the 0300, permitting it to ride along more easily but still able to provide you with easy flipping action and quickdraw capabilities. The standard model of the 0350 comes with G10 scales, which are nice and durable, but they’re heavier and less comfortable than the light, friendly carbon fiber grip, which turns this knife from great to exceptional.
Benchmade 482 Megumi Nak-Lock
Perfect Match: Proof of the versatility of carbon fiber is evident in the 482. Though traditionally and technically a tactical material, the blending of the fiber with the reddish Cocobola wood gives the knife a mix of individuality and function. The black stripe dead center on the grip is positioned to offer purchase for your fingertips, with expanded fiber at the bolster for a better grip when doing small jobs with the point of the S30V blade. It’s a camping cutlass for the modern outdoorsman.
DPx Gear HEST/F Shred Folder
Hell Forged: There’s an unusual history behind the Shred. It came from Robert Young Pelton, who is a gentleman adventurer and war correspondent who has lived in some of the worst places in the world and lived to tell the tale. Outfitted with a PVD coated TiCN titanium handle and a carbon fiber overlay that’s made in America, you’ll get the resilient grip of carbon along with the strength and lightness of titanium. Adjustments can be handled without a screwdriver, allowing you to get the most out of the knife while in the bush.
Benchmade 940-1 Osborne
Standard Deviation: Benchmade prefers to stick to G10 handles whenever possible, but this exception proves that they actually can do it all. It carries standbys like the reverse tanto build and AXIS lock, giving it the distinctive feel of a Benchmade, but it’s a little more comfortable to grip and has stainless steel liners along with anodized aluminum spacers. The sturdiness of the Osborne cannot be underestimated and the 59-61 HRC rating proves that it’s more than enough to stand up to rigorous fieldwork.
Spyderco C187CFP Rubicon
Break from the Pack: If it weren’t for the subtle hole and brand marker, it’s easy to believe that the Rubicon isn’t a Spyderco at all. Built along with the help of knife designer and fine human being Peter Carey, it brings the same hand-made, careful sensibilities that Carey uses with all his blades. It’s still a production knife, but it’s been given enough TLC to make it one of the most comfortable knives to use. At 4.2 oz, it’s notably light for its size.
SOG A03-P Architech
Artful Dodger: For as gorgeous as the A03-P looks, when it hits your palm, it feels even better. The San Mai VG10 Damascus steel with acid etching makes the blade look like a showpiece, while the textured carbon fiber mixed with titanium on the scales give it a superior grip and unbreakable strength. An Arc-Lock system keeps it open like a fixed blade and the jimping beside the bolster let you keep total control while whittling.
Chris Reeve Large Sebenza 21
Simply Better: The Sebenza 21 shows up time and again on knife lists. The reason being it’s king of the hill when it comes to knives, with very little else coming close. Carbon fiber covers one side, with the other taken up by a full integral lock and sand blasted titanium that produces a deep texture for your fingers to grasp. Sunk into that dark/light handle is S35-VN stainless steel which rests at 59-60 on the Rockwell scale. Show us a person who doesn’t love this knife, and we’ll show you someone who’s never used it.