The manufacturing world is a fickle place where a product might be assembled in one location with parts from another, all of which is sold in a third country that’s hundreds of miles away from the other two. It’s tough to tell what products are truly domestic, earning their red and white stripes, and which ones only masquerade as being made in America. Since we are proud supporters of home-made quality and want to celebrate the brands who keep jobs in country rather than outsourcing, we sought out all kinds of EDC gear that is truly and honestly crafted by our friends and neighbors.
Our greatest challenge was checking the background of each item to find things that were 100% American, with no external interference. Naturally, we also wanted pieces that were well-crafted and wouldn’t falter under the yoke of daily mistreatment. Getting that combination was a tall order, but for the person looking to stuff their pockets with gear that’s made just down the road instead of overseas, we felt it was worth it. Here’s 30 EDC essentials made in the USA.
Leatherman Brewzer Keychain Tool
Wicked Wedge: Leatherman has courted some controversy over their “Made in the USA” claims, but in this case, it’s entirely true. The Brewzer is 440C stainless steel built primarily as a pry bar, but also as a closed wrench with the bottle opener that is required on all multi-tools.
Field Notes Notebooks
Bench Companion: Field Notes is the original tough-as-hell EDC notebook. Get it in dots, grids, blank pages, or your standard diary format so you can jot down all your thoughts about the moonlight; these are tough bastards based on agriculture memo books. The company is from Portland, and both the granola sensibility and love of fine crafting are on display here.
Zippo Embossed Pocket Lighter
Firebearer: Zippo, like Harley Davidson and Colt, is a cornerstone of American culture. In true brash, USA style, this basic brushed steel lighter is undecorated, save for “Made in USA” on the side. It’s refillable for all eternity and supported with Zippo’s guarantee that if it breaks, they fix it at no cost to you.
Gearward Keychain Duct Tape
Ever Ready: Duct tape is the universal repair-all. It’s the only thing holding the Statue of Liberty up. The single problem duct tape has is that it’s too cumbersome to carry in a pocket. The idea Gearward had is uncomplicated: A classy little twirl of tape on a fetching ring and you have a quick fix for simple tasks. It’s a solution Occam would love.
First Draft Co. Navy
Musings: A disposable, replaceable EDC notebook is one thing, but serious jotters should lay their hands on something more permanent. Here, on this 70# text stock is where you put down your million-dollar ideas, anecdotes for your memoirs, and, inevitably, a phone number without a name.
M&U Co. Pill Keyring
Roundabout: A quality keyring is an overlooked piece of beauty in a good EDC kit. The perfect combination of industrial and artistic, the Pill Keyring has a smooth, soothing shape that threads into a hex security bolt etched with laser engraving. It’s the right mix of practical and flashy to show that you know how to get noticed, and know what to do once you are.
Fisher Original Astronaut Space Pen
Space Oddity: This is the first pen to write while inverted. It doesn’t require gravity to pull ink out and can withstand temperature extremes at both ends of the spectrum. Made out of brass and steel, there’s many Fisher Space Pens, and even more imitators, but there’s only one original.
Buck Knives 112BRS Ranger
Old Timer: A man who doesn’t have a Buck knife that slips into his EDC rotation from time to time is probably Canadian. In the United States, Buck knives are issued at birth, but if you lost yours, this is the replacement to get. A miniaturized version of the 110, it’s pocket-sized for superior carrying.
Grovemade Black Oxide Key Ring
Hangers On: The last thing you need to do is fumble around in your pockets looking for your keys. With a quick-draw action that allows it to snag onto your belt, your bag, your hat, or the lip of your pocket, the black oxide ring is always at the ready. Out of Portland’s Grovemade, it’s as lovingly assembled as possible by people who make stuff for the pure love of stuff.
Keysmart Titanium Edition
Opening Act: Keysmart knew that titanium was the flagship metal of everyday carry, which is why they gave their nimble flip-and-fold system a Ti makeover. Available in standard and extended versions, Keysmart can work with misshapen or unusual keys from far away lands. Customization options let you load it down with USB drives and accessories.
BillyKirk No. 240 Leather Trucker Key Fob
The Past Returns: Part of a set of steel cutting dies that BillyKirk bought from an old salesman named Leonard Goldsholl, the 240 is simple genius. Cut in a latter 20th century style and throwing off a distinctly retro vibe, it also adds a little style and security to your ensemble.
Maxx & Unicorn Solid Brass Money Clip
Show It Off: What’s the point of a stack if you can’t pull it out and flash it once in awhile? There’s no need to brag, you can let this heavy piece of shine make the statement for you. The brass is untreated, and it will gradually develop its own distinctive patina. The metamorphosis is stunning, and the more you use it, the more it changes.
Machine Era Brass Wallet
Precious Metal: Pick it up and the 3.9oz feel like a brick in your fist that adds a sense of solidity to the wallet. A basic elastic band is all that is required to hold your cards and a little cash in place. Every part of the wallet, right down to the stitching, is all designed and done inside America’s borders, so carry it with pride.
Brass Key Ring Compass
Old Codger: Waterproof brass allows the compass to always spin true without flaws causing the suspension fluid to leak. In the age of GPS, a compass might seem superfluous, but one blackout is all that stands between you and the wilds. You might want the right key ring, just in case.
PDW Standard Issue Dog Tag Tool
Worked Over: The first thing you look for in a dog tag is the ability to open bottles. The second…we aren’t sure, but this one is made out of 6AL-V4 Grade 5 titanium, making it nearly indestructible and light as a feather. It develops a nice patina over time, and has a closed hex wrench that is able to handle both metric and standard. We give it an overall ranking of: Ooh-Rah!
Tanner Goods Journeyman
Front Man: Made specifically to be a front pocket passenger, the Journeyman has separate slots for holding four cards, as well as some cash. It’s made of natural tooling leather, that has a soft, touchable feel that will gradually mold and shape itself depending on how you use it. Artfully rustic, it’s ready to work for a living.
Gerber MP600 Sight Multi-Tool
Quick Fix: Gerber is the first name in stand-up tactical gear for jarheads and rookies on a budget. A full stainless steel base outfitted with a stealth black oxide finish, the MP600 can saw through paracord, cut wires, and even has an adjustment tool for M4/M16 sites. An extended philips screwdriver makes this the field tool of choice for any rifleman whose piece sees regular use.
Karas Kustoms Retrakt Pen
Simple Swap: The body is brass, and despite being all metal, the clicking mechanism is gravely and respectfully silent. Capable of working with any number of ink refills, you can pick and choose how you like your pen to function and keep it for a lifetime. Even the steel pocket clip will be working long into your golden years.
Bison iPhone 6/6s Wallet in Jet
Holster: Most security professionals will tell you to spread out your belongings so if you are robbed, they are not all in one place. Even though this Bison wallet runs contrary to this advice and puts all of your stuff in a single spot, it’s almost worth the risk. A main containment pocket accompanied by a fast-cash outer pocket allow you to organize your stuff with care aforethought.
Brass LED Keychain Flashlight
Shock & Awe: A quaint and weighty little contender, this light has some solid heft to it that could work in your fist for self-defense, but you’ll mostly be basking in the 235 lumens that this tiny titan casts out. Basic brass, the tail loop can be unscrewed quickly for detaching the light.
Benchmade 551BK Griptilian Knife
Never Letting Go: You don’t so much drop the Griptilian as it decides to allow you to release. It’s outfitted with Benchmade’s customary AXIS locking system for holding it in place when open, and a set of highly accessible thumbstuds that manage to avoid snagging when drawn. The actual cutting surface is 154CM steel sunk into glass-filled nylon handles, complete with steel liners.
Surefire P2X Fury Flashlight
Unadorned: The P2X fury is built the way you would expect a tactical light to look. It doesn’t flash and sparkle. It doesn’t come with extra accessories. It quietly does its job when called. The LED can take an endless stream of punishment without showing it, and the clickable tail operation is handy for use with a handgun.
Revisit iPhone 6/6s Case- Black
Tip Off: Brass bumpers at either end take the already exquisite form of the iPhone and give it a little hype. The black plastic sides help to set off both the face of the phone and the weighty ends. Each case is crafted in Los Angeles or Michigan by experts who test its quality at each station on the assembly line.
Randolph Aviator Sunglasses
Flyboy: Aviator glasses are practically being thrown away by many producers, because the market has become oversaturated. Randolph, on the other hand, can charge whatever they like, because these items are true military, and built by hand over the course of more than 200 stages. Complete UVA/UVB protection and immense glare reduction prove why these are issued to anyone with the need for speed.
Fellhoelter TiBolt Pen TAD Edition
Unclogged: Few people require a tactical pen, but if your life is tough enough to need the Triple Aught Design Edition, then it won’t let you down. The bolt action on the side isn’t just for show. Instead, it acts as your clicking mechanism with a simplistic anchoring design that won’t break or jam the way standard mechanical clickers will when pushed to the limit.
Jacob Bromwell’s Great American Flask
To Tradition: America might have been born in 1776, but it wasn’t until 1819 that it found its soul. That was when the copper flask became one of the few things that were truly American-made at that time. The same design that was popular then is helping people get drunk now, only with better manufacturing oversight.
This is Ground Mod Tablet 2
Empty Suit: The appeal of the Mod Tablet 2 is not in what it is, but rather in what it could be. Inside it is little more than a basic shell, but it bears several magnetic inserts that can be swapped and switched at will, changing and altering the way the Mod works, turning it from planner to electronics storage to meeting organizer in just a few snaps.
Triple Aught Design FAST Pack EDC
Gear Up: The capacity of an organism to survive is based on its ability to adapt. By that logic, the Fast Pack is going to outlive us all. It’s a full-zip clamshell that quickly changes to accommodate a larger or smaller load, then gets strapped in tight for when the bombs start to fall. When you buy the Fast Pack, you customize it to your specs, to reduce surprises.
Shinola Runwell Watch
Standout: The Runwell is only 47mm, which is large, but not immense; yet it seems to pop so much bigger than other watches. The large numerics contrasting with the blue face make it hard to look away, and the smooth leather band and orange accents can’t help but get noticed. You can try to tuck it under your sleeve, but don’t expect it to stay there.
Weiss Standard Issue Field Watch Black Dial
Wound Up: We laughed when we heard that Weiss intended to revitalize the dying art of American watchmaking back in 2013. Then, we see items like this Field Watch, and we don’t find it quite as funny. Machined from a single piece of stainless steel and assembled out of more than 100 Swiss parts in California, it’s both worldly and domesticated. The manually wound Caliber 1001 movement is nothing shy of mesmerizing.