In the everyday carry world, most people choose a folding knife merely because they take up less space, disappear simply, and will still provide a decent cutting surface when deployed. This thinking is smart, but it doesn’t account for how much abuse a daily carry knife endures. There’s no folding knife out there that is as truly tough as a full tang fixed blade, and nothing will give you the peace of mind that comes with knowing your knife can never close on your hand.
Choosing a fixed blade knife for EDC isn’t about getting the best knife for hunting or survival, but finding the right balance of size and utility. We cut off our picks at about 7 inches (although a few of them slightly crossed the line), which is big enough to work, but small enough for daily carry. A big knife is going to be more useful in more situations, but walking around with a machete on your hip as you meet with the accountants isn’t going to hack it. Conversely, carrying around a blade no bigger than your shaving razor isn’t little help when there’s work to be done. Our 8 best EDC fixed blade knives are designed for more usefulness.
CRKT Folts Minimalist Bowie
Pro: Easy to control
Con: Grip can be tight on larger hands
Handiworker: Never has a three finger grip felt as secure as when using the Folts Bowie. The micarta handles are cut with deep grooves to give you an unbeatable grip that permits precision work, even if your hands shake like a junkie without a fix. Stainless 5Cr15Mov steel makes up the razor sharp blade with its distinctive and dangerous bowie shape. Created by North Carolina knifemaker Alan Folts who makes some of the most striking and useful neck knives around, this is a mass produced model of a hand-crafted piece of working art.
SOG Brous Series Snarl
Pro: Hard to pull out of your grip
Con: ¼ inch thick
Into the Fray: Using a sheepsfoot blade shape with a handle that is little more than a set of brass knuckles, you can definitely use this to open boxes or whittle sticks, but it’s really going to shine when it comes to defending yourself. Ranking 58-60 on the Rockwell scale, the 9CR18MoV steel that comprises this entire piece is rough and ready for action. Made by man among men and CNC machinist Jason Brous, this is a knife that gives you numerous grip options depending on how you want to use it and a compact build for tucking it away.
Boker Plus VoxKnives Gnome
Pro: Thick blade is nearly impossible to break
Con: Beware inferior steel when buying
Short and Sweet: Made by Jesper Voxnaes and distributed by Boker, this is a match made in whatever corner of heaven is responsible for great miniature knives. It’s only 4 inches long, but as a neck knife or a pocket companion, this is better than many longer blades. Smooth 12C27 steel with small green micarta scales on the handle, the Gnome could easily be the best 2 ounces in your EDC equipment. The finger choil and wide, flat back let you cut like you’re wielding a fine utility knife at all times.
Ka-Bar BK11 Becker Necker
Pro: Handle is made for paracord wrapping
Con: Oversized sheath
Military Grade: Ka-Bar is generally known for their larger fixed blade knife used by members of the Marine Corps, but that isn’t the only impressive blade they have on their roster. The BK11, known as the Becker Necker, is a knife that is beloved by all branches of the armed forces for its versatility and concealable body. Made of 1095 Cro-Van steel and measuring just under 7 inches, there’s loads of carrying options for the Becker, from around the neck to on the belt or in your boot.
ESEE Izula II
Pro: Easy for touch-up sharpening
Con: Carabiner / lanyard hole can make use awkward
Simply Stunning: In many ways, this list could just be this item. The Izula II is a marvel of modern knifemaking with its flat grind and 1095 carbon steel blade sunk into a canvas micarta handle. A hair over six inches, you can tuck this into its molded sheath or clip it to a carabiner on your belt. However you tote it around, you can always be assured that it’s going to hold an edge forever and is miniscule enough that it will never get in your way.
Benchmade Hidden Canyon Hunter
Pro: Feels like a large scalpel
Con: Terrible sheath has gaps and dulls the blade
Skin Deep: Squat with a nice deep belly, this is a working knife that you’ll want with you if heading out into the field. It uses G10 scales and a blade that’s completely CPM-S30V steel, which is a delight to use. Though the body is a little thick for field dressing a kill, it still functions well as a hunting blade because of the grind, which tapers the edge to give a finer feel and more exactness when working dirty, oily, or bloody. The only problem you’ll have is the kydex sheath. Just throw it away.
Spyderco Street Beat
Pro: Handle is comfortable for various grips and hand sizes
Con: Jimping on the back tends to catch in sheath
Deadly Serious: We love to see SpyderCo doing what it does best: Making mean knives for close quarters combat in an alleyway. The big finger choil gives you protection while using the knife and helps make every cut go exactly where you intend. The flat ground VG-10 steel comes from knife maestro Fred Perrin, so it’s equal parts functional and harmful if you’re on the business end. An ergonomic micarta grip completes the blade with a body that can cut for hours without causing hotspots on your hand, or will help you kill, gut, and clean in moments.
Strider Knives Model SA
Pro: Built for numerous carrying styles
Con: A bit long, heavy, and thick
Handy Handle: Choose from either your choice of paracord wrap, or just take a pair of G10 scales as your handle, Strider lets you take your pick. This goes over our 7 inch top length, but the extra quarter inch is mostly devoted to a lanyard hole, which we don’t count. Constructed with CPM-S30V steel, a favorite of ours for briefer blades, this is a little big to work as a neck knife, but stick it into a sheath and it’s sure to impress. Jimping on the back complements the slender grind for an oddly delicate, yet dangerously sharp piece of equipment.