EDC Blades: The 10 Best Everyday Carry Knives
EDC, or Everyday Carry is a commonly misunderstood term. Some seem to believe it only refers to whatever stuff you have on your person at any given time. Or they think of them literally as the gear you happen to take along with you everyday, like keys, wallet, and comb. Both are partly true, but EDC is more than that. These items are the things you take with you so that you’re ready for hell and high water. They’re the utilitarian items that you keep on hand for life’s little emergencies, and a good knife is the backbone of your everyday carry equipment.
Everyone’s EDC equipment package is different. A service member, paramedic, or firefighter are going to have very different gear on hand than a sportsman, a tech junkie, or a suburban commando. The thing to keep in mind when crafting your carry kit is what has practical utility in your life. An EDC knife is good for opening mail, trimming loose threads, performing an emergency tracheotomy, fighting off attacking foes, or getting the gunk from under your nails. Since it is such a ubiquitous item that every man needs, we found the 10 best EDC knives for any pocket.
Opinel No 7
Pro: Long enough for a solid 4/5 finger grip
Con: Blade needs to be oiled and cared for
Woodsman: Probably not the first knife you would pick up if you intended it to go along with your jacket and tie, the No 7 is made as a camping knife for general use when you’re cutting steaks, cleaning game, trimming guidelines, or need a rough shave in a mountain stream. A high carbon blade gives you a sleek edge that’s easily kept on with a pocket knife sharpener while the Beechwood handle fits your fist like a dream.
Pro: Easy to resharpen
Con: Some play in the blade when locked
The Everyman: Just because you have an EDC knife doesn’t mean it’s going to come out of your pocket on a daily basis. If you’d rather not spend a lot but still get something for your pocket or desk drawer that can show up on those rare occasions you need it, then the Cryo is an easy, inexpensive choice. Designed by Rick Hinderer, it is a straight, solid 8Cr13MoV steel knife that comes with a titanium coating for help resisting oxidation as it languishes. It can be carried tip up or down, flips open easily, looks good, and works under any conditions.
Pro: Holds and edge of ages
Con: Weak spring on the assisted opening
Svelte Slicer: With a handle made from a single piece of 420 stainless steel and an AUS-8 folding blade, this is an extremely slender everyday carry knife that is meant for concealment as much as conservation. Made with an assisted opening system, the SlimJim can be deployed in a flash, but doesn’t break your cover by bulging your pockets, so put it into your suit pocket or tux.
Kershaw Ken Onion Blur
Pro: Split second opening with minimal force
Con: Locking mechanism needs to be more reliable
Fast Acting: Using the SpeedSafe assisted opening system along with a torsion bar built into the body of a folding tactical knife, this is one of the quickest knives to deploy, be it for work or self-defense. 14C28N steel with a black coating gives this the look and feel of a service knife, and can be had with a half serrated blade. Just don’t expect the lock to hold up during heavy activities.
Columbia River No Time Off
Pro: Highly resilient
Con: Large and heavy
Work Horse: The name says it all here. This is not a dainty little folding pocket knife you give to your special lady for an anniversary. This is a bulky EDC knife made for working. At 7 and a quarter inches in length and bearing a heavy glass-reinforced nylon handle, it’s tough enough to be a survival knife, but intended for daily deployment on the job.
Spyderco Dragonfly 2
Pro: Rock solid mid lock
Con: Handle only offers a three-finger grip
Small Package: One of the tenets of an EDC knife is portability, and few blades capture that notion as well as the Dragonfly 2. It’s a Spyderco knife through and through with its stunning leaf blade, but at a scant 2.25 inches long, it’s easily underestimated. It has a flat grind on the ZDP-189 steel that makes it a little big knife: Small enough for your pocket, big enough for any survival job or just Tiffany box strings.
Benchmade 555HG Mini Griptilian
Pro: Black or satin coating shows some wear, but hangs tough
Con: Blade is only 2.91-inches
Urban Guerilla: This is the little brother to the full-size Benchmade Griptilian, and it keeps the heart and soul of the larger blade in a package that won’t raise any eyebrows should you deploy it in mixed company. The drop point blade and hollow grind with swedge is not only artful but lets you get real work done when need be. The grip is tricked out and gives you a crowded 4-finger grab that feels tight and controlled.
Fallkniven FH9 Black Hawk
Pro: Durable build is difficult to damage
Con: Smooth handle can make it harder to control
Blade Master: The black micarta handle is durable and comfortable, but the story here is in the blade itself. It’s made of cobalt steel that Fallkniven developed themselves, making it not only strong and supple, but also unique in the world of knives. It’s made in a classic Barlow style but packs in modern manufacturing that helps the steel keep a straight razor edge longer than comparable cutters.
Zero Tolerance Hinderer
Pro: High chromium steel resists corrosion and damage
Con: Ungainly and large for an EDC knife
Work, Play, Combat: The name Rick Hinderer will resonate with tactical knife enthusiasts, and serious collectors should jump at the opportunity to get an honest-to-god Hinderer without the standard $600+ price tag. At almost 9-inches long with a thick mid-section for hard work as well as use as a utility knife, this can double as your backup folding survival knife of note.
Chris Reeve Small Sebenza 21
Pro: Intensely smooth deployment
Con: Does not open quickly
Pure Class: All the knives on this list are intended to be used, but that isn’t to say that they can’t also be elegant. Just because something works for a living doesn’t mean that it shouldn’t have a touch of sophistication. The Small Sebenza 21 – little brother to the large knife of the same name – has a classy rounded back, a high, shallow, hollow grind, a classic drop point, and titanium handle slabs. The blade is S35VN Stainless Steel making the knife nearly unbreakable. Locks hard with a slow, deliberate deployment.