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If you are like most people, you’ve found yourself in situations where access to a cutting tool would have been handy. Whether it was a box that needed to be opened, a cord that needed to be cut, or, God forbid, a life that needed to be saved, few things are more frustrating than not having that cutting tool at hand when it is most necessary. No worries! We are here to help you find that perfect everyday carry knife – the one that is always available but doesn’t weigh down your pockets (or your wallet).
We’ve done the heavy lifting and found several options for you that are perfect for the job. Knives come in a seemingly limitless array of designs, so selecting your individual tool from among the thousands of possibilities out there can be a bit overwhelming. Here are a few considerations for you and some of the best individual products that we have found.
Remember that local laws may govern the size, type, and mechanics of any knife you may happen to choose. Be sure that the tool you purchase is not disallowed by your local and state laws.
What to Look For in Your EDC Knife
When it comes to the knife you will be carrying, there are a number of criteria that you want to look for before buying. Among those are ease of deployment, sharpness, durability, and weight.
- Ease of Deployment – a knife should be available for use without a lot of difficulty, thus it becomes important that a knife is not only within easy reach (in a pocket or on a belt), but that it can also be opened easily. Ambidextrous pocket clips and smooth opening/closing mechanisms are a must.
- Sharpness – blades dull, but some blades dull faster than others. There are literally dozens of steel options for your blade. Obviously, the better the steel, the higher the price, so some consideration for cost must take place when buying your EDC knife. For example, a steel that will maintain sharpness for a longer period of time might be more prone to corrosion and is very difficult to sharpen once the blade does lose its edge. Steels that resist corrosion might require more frequent sharpening. It becomes a matter of which characteristic is most important to you (see the pros and cons for each of the knives listed below for some help with making this decision).
- Durability – similar to the sharpness factor, durability accounts for such blade specs as corrosion resistance and resistance to chipping or denting. It is also important to consider, however, the overall construction of the knife. There is a difference between a knife that uses glue and pins and one that uses screws to hold everything together. Further, you want a handle material that is chip and crack resistant while being light enough to avoid making it feel like you are carrying a brick in your pocket.
- Weight – speaking of being light enough to carry, one final consideration is overall weight of the knife. Sure you like the feel of a solid knife in your hand, but you also don’t want that same knife pulling your pants down on one side or slapping you in the thigh every time you take a step. Lightweight knives can still be sturdy, and sturdy knives don’t have to weigh a ton.
Your Everyday Carry Knife
Here we go with some suggestions.
Spyderco Civilian G-10 Handle Serrated Edge Knife (Black) – Spyderco has long been a leader in designing durable (and often unusual) EDC knives. The Civilian is designed with a nice S-curve, which makes the cutting action more efficient. The blade is made with VG-10 Japanese steel, thus making it one of the higher-end knives we recommend.
Pros – The G-10 scales on the handle are moisture resistant and crack/chip resistant, thus requiring virtually zero maintenance. The blade is extremely sharp, and the serrations only add to its ability to glide through even the toughest of challenges. The blade holds an edge remarkably well and resists corrosion due to its chromium-infused VG-10 steel. The knife comes in at about 6.4 ounces. The pocket clip can be switched for tip-up or tip-down carry.
Cons – the length of the knife (6.5 inches) could be an issue for some. Despite its sharpness and corrosion resistance, the blade can be brittle (so chopping or attempting to use this blade as a screwdriver is not recommended). The knife is razor sharp – almost to a fault – so extreme care should be exercised in its use.
Kershaw 1660 Ken Onion Leek – Kershaw is a leader in American knife making (their manufacturing plant is located in Oregon). The Leek Knife is constructed completely of stainless steel but still comes in at under 4 ounces. The blade is cut from 14C28N stainless steel, one of the best steels used to make mid-level knives.
Pros – the Leek Knife handle is bead-blasted stainless steel, which leaves a durable finish. The blade retains its edge well and is easy to sharpen when it does begin to dull. The drop-point blade makes cutting and puncturing simple. The carry clip is reversible for left- and right-handed users. The Speedsafe assisted opening technology makes rapid deployment of this weapon a breeze.
Cons – there aren’t any. This is the perfect EDC knife. If there is one critique, it’s that the blade is a little low on the edge retention scale. Otherwise, nada.
Columbia River Knife And Tool’s Folts Minimalist Bowie 2387 Razor Edge – Not every EDC needs to be a folding blade. For that, we give you the Minimalist Bowie. This belt-carried knife provides carry comfort and ease of deployment while providing all of the functionality of a folder.
Pros – full tang construction with Micarta scales provides a rugged and durable knife. The blade is 5Cr15Mov stainless steel, providing strength and sharpness without breaking the bank. This knife is light – just 1.6 ounces – and will go practically unnoticed as you carry it. It comes with a belt clip, but the knife is also functional as a neck-carry tool.
Cons – the blade is small – just over 2”. The handle has finger cutouts, so individuals with larger- or smaller-than-average hands may have to make some modifications in grip. The belt sheath is adjustable, so some experimentation might be necessary to find the most comfortable carry position.
Benchmade – Benchmade – Mini Griptilian 557, Plain Tanto, Coated Finish, Olive Handle – So much good in just 4 ounces of knife. The tanto-cut blade is perfect for cutting or puncturing. The 154CM steel blade balances edge retention with corrosion resistance and ease of sharpening, making this folder a low-maintenance working knife.
Pros – The Mini Griptilian is compact and light (just under 4” folded and 3.9 ounces), making it easy to carry all day long. The handle is made with durable and lightweight GFN scales. The spring-assisted opening mechanism ensures rapid blade deployment. The carry clip is reversible for left- and right-handed users.
Cons – none, really. The only drawback is that the clip screws might loosen and back out of the handle over time.
Zero Tolerance 0909 KVT S35VN George Knife – The Zero Tolerance folder is the kind of knife you brag about carrying. It has a neatly contoured G-10 handle with a S35VN steel blade. The blade retains its edge while boasting a high degree of corrosion resistance. When closed, the knife is less than 5 inches, and the whole thing comes in at 7.5 ounces.
Pros – S35VN steel is one of the best materials for blade making. The pocket clip is reversible and rides high on the knife, concealing more of the tool in your pocket. And this thing is sharp!
Cons – no assisted opening. It flips open, so some practice at deploying the blade may be in order. Because of that premium steel blade, the price is a bit more than some customers may prefer – but quality of this sort isn’t cheap!
There you have them. The 5 top recommendations for your everyday carry knife. Get your hands on one of these and never be at a loss for a sharp edge when you need one.