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The Best Brass EDC Essentials For Oxidized Everyday Carry

Brass EDC Essentials 0 Hero

One of the things to remember when putting together an EDC kit is the kind of style message you want to convey. Everyday items are not just about function, they’re part of an overall look. We’ve found that brass, with its muted glimmer and heavy-duty feel, is one of the most interesting and esoteric choices when it comes to everyday carry equipment. Unlike titanium, which seems custom-built for EDC, brass is heavier and softer, making it less utilitarian but more noticeable, with a style uniquely its own.

If you decide that you want to add in some brass pieces to your pocket, briefcase, glove box, or belt loops, you need to choose wisely. The wrong brass piece could dent itself or cause damage to other items due to its heft. It’s going to alter your balance and since the metal isn’t as hard as some, you have to choose pieces that will be useful and not just ding and bend when you need them most. So that you know where to begin, or which items fit the bill, we’ve rounded up the very best brass EDC essentials.

The Best Brass EDC Essentials

What Makes Brass Special or Ideal For EDC?

Though it’s an incredibly popular construction in the EDC space, brass doesn’t actually possess all that many benefits from a performance standpoint. Typically softer than steel and less strong and less corrosion-resistant than titanium, brass offers high malleability and features natural antimicrobial and anti-biofouling properties. Composed of a combination of zinc and copper, brass does sportive ability to develop a unique patina that achieves an oxidized green hue. In addition to how well it lends itself to being machined, the biggest selling point of this construction, however, is undoubtedly its unmistakably old-school appearance and feel — a fact that’s made it a popular primary or trim material choice for vintage-inspired everyday carry items. 

Construction Qualities: What Factors Should I Consider When Buying Brass EDC

As a fairly unique material, it can sometimes be a little tricky knowing what to look for when shopping around for brass everyday carry gear. Well aware of this reality, we’ve pieced together this condensed guide on the most pivotal factors to consider when buying brass EDC essentials. 

Materials: The materials used to craft an item will almost always play a pivotal role in determining its overall quality and durability. And while every piece of gear on this list will be at lest partially-composed of brass, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take the time to look into the materials being used, as there’s a variety of different grades of available brass, all ranging in composition, purity, and quality. What’s more, you’ll also want to look out for the other non-brass materials being utilized in the construction of an EDC item, as pieces of brass everyday carry gear often see their constructions supplemented via elements made from leather, stainless steel, or aluminum. 

Size: Regardless as to what it’s made from, size and weight should always be considered when shopping for everyday carry gear, and brass-construction items are no different. As such, when shopping, you should keep an eye out for a piece of gear’s dimensions, weight, and general pocket-ability. 

Value: Just like with regular pieces of everyday carry gear, brass EDC items crafted from brass can hugely differ when it comes to overall value, with some offering markedly better bang for your buck than others. As a result, this is very much an area that you’ll want to pay close attention to when shopping — especially if you’re on a tight budget. 

Build Quality: The materials that an item is composed of are of major importance, though how said materials are manufactured and pieced together also plays a monumental role in determining overall quality. It can be difficult to get a sense of build quality merely from looking at items online, though it’s worth pointing out that most pieces of gear made by boutique brands will exhibit markedly better craftsmanship compared to EDC gear born out of mass-produced operations. 

Versatility: With everyday carry gear aiming to offer utility and preparedness, versatility makes for another characteristic that’s always desired in EDC items — making versatility yet another crucial factor to take into account before pulling the trigger on your purchase. 

Good Worth & Co. Best Wishes Key

Good Worth and Co Best Wishes Key
Photo: Good Worth & Co.
Why It Made The Cut
  • A middle finger key blank that’s machined from brass & compatible with most standard home locks. 

Best Brass Key: Injecting a bit of subtle angst into your EDC, the Good Worth and Co. Best Wishes Key is a standard house key compatible with all Kwikset, Schlage, and YALE home and office locks. Machined on both sides, the Best Wishes Key is made from solid brass. This key also ships as a blank, and requires you to have it cut at your local locksmith or hardware store. 

Construction: Brass
Size: 1.0” x 3.0”
Compatibility: Kwikset, Schlage, & YALE Locks

Nagao Seisakusho Higo No Kami Knife

Nagao Seisakusho Higo No Kami Knife
Photo: Amazon
Why It Made The Cut
  • An iconic Japanese pocket knife design dating back to the late 1800s. 

Best Brass Knife: After Japan’s Samurai age came to an end at the tail-end the late 19th century, many of the island’s swordsmiths pivoted their operations and began applying their immense skill and expertise to crafting pocket knives. One such swordsmith-turned-knifemaker was Komataro Nagao, who in 1894 introduced the now legendary Nagao Kanekoma Higonokami knife. Equipped with a katana-inspired Tanto blade mated to a brass handle, this friction folder’s design has gone almost entirely unchanged over the last roughly 130 years — and is even still crafted much in the same way it was upon its debut in 1894. 

Blade Steel: High-Carbon Steel
Handle Material: Brass
Blade Length: 3.0”
Overall Length: 6.69”

Craighill Closed Helix Keyring

Craighill Closed Helix Keyring
Photo: Craighill
Why It Made The Cut
  • A simple yet effective keyring made from 0.125” brass wire. 

Best Brass Keyring: Designed using a less-is-more approach, the Craighill Closed Helix Keyring is a simple yet functional keyring that jettisons traditional circular designs for a unique helix configuration. Made from custom-shaped 0.125” brass wire, this EDC keyring sees both ends capped off with mini cylinder tops, one of which is smooth and engraved with a Craighill logo while the other is knurled — the latter of which unscrews, allowing the user to easily add or remove keys. An, just like with its Summit Card Case, Craighill’s Closed Helix Keyring also pairs wonderfully with its myriad of other stellar brass construction EDC gear. 

Construction: 0.125” Brass Wire
Weight: 1.6oz

Fisher Brass Bullet Space Pen

Fisher Brass Bullet Space Pen
Photo: Fisher
Why It Made The Cut
  • A classic Bullet Space Pen with a raw unfinished brass body selected to form a patina. 

Best Brass Pen: With a sleek, compact, and thoroughly pocketable design, and the ability to write upside-down, under water, in space, and in extreme temperatures ranging from -30°F to +250°F, the Fisher Space Pen is already a remarkable everyday carry pen. This particular version of the Bullet Space Pen is constructed around a body made from raw unfinished brass. Not only does this construction give the pen a unique look and feel, but it also guarantees that it will form a heavy patina over time with regular use as the material is exposed to oxygen and comes into contact with the oils on your skin. 

Construction: Raw Brass
Closed Length: 3.77”
Ink Cartridge: Fisher PR4

Zippo High Polish Brass Lighter

Zippo Brass Lighter
Photo: Zippo
Why It Made The Cut
  • A legendary American lighter equipped with a brass case with a luxury watch-style high-polish finish. 

Best Brass Lighter: Since their introduction in 1933, Zippo lighters have been a bonafide everyday carry essential, used and trusted by everyone from outdoorsmen to military personnel. This particular lighter features a case that’s made from heavily-polished brass. Genuinely offering a lifetime of use, this old-school-looking Zippo can also have its actual lighter insert swapped out for one of Zippo’s more modern butane or arc inserts. And, in typical Zippo fashion, each one of these lighters is made right here in the USA — in Bradford, Pennsylvania, to be more specific.  

Case Construction: Brass
Origin: USA
Weight: 3.2oz

Griffin GPT Original Brass

Griffin GPT Original Brass
Photo: Griffin
Why It Made The Cut
  • A pocketable powerhouse of a multi-tool containing nearly a dozen integrated functions. 

Best Brass Multi-Tool: Short for the “Griffin Pocket Tool,” the Griffin GPT Original is a venerable pocketable powerhouse, cramming nearly a dozen tools and functions into a highly compact 3.0” form. Machined in America from 0.18-inch-thick brass, the pocketable and keychain-ready multi-tool contains a scoring tool, bottle opener, pry bar, pocket clip, 0.25” bit driver, and 4mm, 5mm, 6mm, 7mm, and 8mm wrenches. Considering its size and weight, the GPT Original packs an enormous amount of utility into a very small footprint. 

Construction: Brass
Tools & Functions: 11
Weight: 0.84oz

Maxx & Unicorn Co. Brass Money Clip

Maxx and Unicorn Co Brass Money Clip
Photo: Maxx & Unicorn Co.
Why It Made The Cut
  • A straight-forward brass money clip that’s been cut, bent, engraved, & tumbled entirely by hand in America. 

Best Brass Money Clip: While most segments in the larger EDC space evolve at a fairly rapid rate, some pieces of everyday carry gear remain largely untouched from a design standpoint. Case in point; the traditional money clip. The Maxx & Unicorn Co. Brass Money Clip features a simple folded oval design that’s been cut, bent, engraved, and tumbled entirely by hand, entirely in America. Simple, tried, and true. 

Construction: Brass
Origin: USA
Dimensions: 2.50” x 1.0”

Shinola Brass Pocket Tape Measure

Shinola Brass Pocket Tape Measure
Photo: Shinola
Why It Made The Cut
  • A brass-cased pocket tape measure created through a partnership between Shinola & TEC Accessories. 

Best Miscellaneous EDC: Born out of a collaboration between everyday carry gear purveyors TEC Accessories and the Detroit-based horological outfit, the Shinola Brass Pocket Tape Measure is a boutique-made take on a classic piece of kit. Sold with an included Hex wrench for easy assembly, this item features a brass housing with Shinola branding and a tumbled finish. Inside, the housing contains 3’ of measuring tape that’s capped off with a metal tap engraved with Shinola’s lightning bolt logo. This tape measure’s tiny (1.24″ X 0.38”) size also makes it a fantastic — and markedly more accurate — alternative to using the Measure App on your iPhone. 

Construction: Brass
Tape Length: 3’
Dimensions: 1.24″ X 0.38″

Craighill Summit Card Case

Craighill Summit Card Case
Photo: Craighill
Why It Made The Cut
  • An elegant business card holder with a PVD-vapor-finished brass body. 

Best Brass Card Holder:In today’s digital age, paper business cards have increasingly gone the way of the dodo. Having said that, the increased rarity of these once-common items allow modern business cards to make even more of a statement. And when it comes to storing your business cards, there are very few options better than the Craighill Summit Card Case. Measuring 4.0” x 2.50” x 0.50” and weighing just 4.7oz, this case features a hinged lid and a curvilinear cutaway that makes it incredibly easy to remove business cards — of which it can hold 19, or 9 credit cards. Boasting a beautiful fit and finish, the Summit Card Case is made from brass that’s been hit with a PVD vapor finish. This item also pairs wonderfully with Craighill’s myriad of other stellar brass construction EDC gear. 

Construction: Brass
Card Capacity: 9 (or 19 Business Cards)
Weight: 4.7oz

Prometheus Lights Beta QRV2 Classic

Prometheus Lights Beta QRV2 Classic
Photo: Prometheus Lights
Why It Made The Cut
  • A 90-lumen, brass-bodied keychain light with a clever proprietary quick-release mechanism. 

Best Brass Flashlight: Originally introduced in 2013 and now on its second generation, the Prometheus Lights Beta QRV2 Classic is an updated take on the world’s first-ever quick-release keychain torch. Powered by a single AAA battery, this light features a body milled from solid C360 brass and a super sturdy quick-release mechanism that utilizes proprietary canted-coil-springs. Weighing 2oz and spanning just 2.95″ in length, the Beta QRV2 Classic comes armed with a Nichia 319A emitter that affords a 131’ throw and a maximum output of 90 lumens. IPX8-rated, this light also comes loaded with a rechargeable battery offering between 50 minutes and 50 hours of burn time depending on mode, as well as the ability to also run off of widely available store-bought AAAs. 

Length: 2.95″
Body Material: C360 Brass
Max Lumen Output: 90

The James Brand The Mehlville

The James Brand The Mehlville
Photo: The James Brand
Why It Made The Cut
  • A spring-loaded, dual-gated brass construction carabiner engineered specifically for everyday carry. 

Best Brass Carabiner: Traditional climbing carabiners are great for everyday carry use, though in an effort to deliver an more EDC-friendly take on the segment the everyday carry experts over at The James Brand custom-engineered The Mehlville. Machined from a solid block of brass, the The James Brand The Mehlville features a clever spring-loaded dual-gated, dual-compartment design that practically guarantees that you won’t lose your keys. Sold with an included titanium keyring, this everyday carry-biner also boasts an integrated bottle opener made from 304 stainless steel.  The James Brand also produces this carabiner in a top-shelf titanium version as well as in several different anodized 6063 aluminum variants. 

Construction: Solid Brass
Number Of Gates: 2
Built-In Features: Bottle Opener

Tru-Nord Zipper Pull Compass

Tru Nord Zipper Pull Compass
Photo: Tru-Nord
Why It Made The Cut
  • A sealed American-made compass with a watch-style case & Lexan glass lens. 

Best Brass Compass: For nearly 70 years, Tru-Nord has been designing and crafting compasses and navigation tools in Brainerd, Minnesota, utilizing a combination of classic designs and modern constructions. The Tru-Nord Zipper Pull Compass is a sealed compass that boasts a watch case-style housing that’s precision-machined from solid1.063” 360 brass rods before being capped off with a lens made from Lexan glass — the same ultra-rugged material used to make the windows in race cars. Weatherproof and highly resistant to shocks, this compass also benefits from the use of both a space-age cobalt steel magnet and a dial that’s been hit with phosphorescent glow-in-the-dark paint. This compass also comes backed by a lifetime warranty. 

Case Material: 360 Brass
Sealed: Yes
Diameter: 1.0”

Trayvax Contour Wallet

Trayvax Contour Wallet
Photo: Trayvax
Why It Made The Cut
  • A thoroughly modern tactical wallet that’s been brought to life using old-school materials. 

Best Brass Wallet: Representing the brand’s most refined wallet to date, the Trayvax Contour is a thoroughly modern tactical wallet that’s been brought to life using an unmistakably old-school material array. Equipped with an integrated bottle-opener, an attachment point, and a Torx wrench-adjustable sliding clasp, this slim front pocket wallet is comprised of a CNC-machined and PVD-coated brass top plate that’s been adorned in oil-tanned top-grain leather. Armed with RFID protection, the wallet offers storage for 13 cards while still boasting room for up to 10 paper bills. Made in America, this wallet also comes backed by a generous 65-year “Heirloom” warranty. 

Construction: Brass & Leather
Card Capacity: 13 (+ 10 Bills)
RFID Blocking: Yes
Weight: 4oz

The Best Carbon Fiber Everyday Carry Essentials

Best Carbon Fiber EDC Essentials 01 Hero

Antique materials not your thing? Then be sure to check out our guide to the best carbon fiber everyday carry essentials for a curated list of EDC items crafted from the lightweight yet rugged composite weave.