The Best EDC Knives [Updated 2024]

Want the best knife for everyday carry? Check out our review of the best EDC knives, including high-end favorites and value-packed picks.
best edc knives
best edc knives

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A reliable knife in your pocket is one of the cornerstones of practical everyday carry. They’re some of the most versatile tools out there and can even double as a last-resort self-defense tool in worst-case scenarios. We’ll cover a lot of ground today to show the range of options available in the best EDC knives.

Our Tops Picks of the Best EDC Knives

The 15 Best Everyday Carry Knives

Need recommendations for a good everyday carry knife? Any of these high quality knives (the best EDC knives, in our opinion) would make an excellent choice for EDC enthusiasts and anyone who likes to keep a smart tool on them at all times. 

#1 Our Favorite EDC Knife

Kershaw Blur Tanto Serrated Pocket Knife

$65.16

Easy one-handed safe opening with thumbstud. Reversible pocketclip allows for carry tip up or tip down on the right side using pre-drilled holes. Knife blade held in place with a secure liner lock, giving the knife a slim, sleek and stylish design while keeping the blade secure and the user safe. Quality grip offers easy carry in all environments, including wet and marine conditions. Great EDC knife for anyone in need a reliable knife for a variety of purposes.

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02/20/2024 04:40 am GMT

The Kershaw Blur is a favorite knife of the EDC community. It’s a great all-purpose option that’s built to last. It’s also remarkably sharp. The blade is held in place with a secure liner lock, giving the knife a slim, sleek and stylish design while keeping the blade secure and the user safe.

The Kershaw Blur is made with military, law enforcement, and firefighters in mind. It’s durable, lightweight, and has great texture for a comfortable grip. The SpeedSafe-assisted opening system is smooth, fast, and can be performed one-handed. The reversible pocket clip allows for carry tip up or tip down on the right side using pre-drilled holes.

Kershaw Tanto Serrated Knife best edc knives

To be honest, the Kershaw is a larger knife. It’s not a typical EDC item. People tend to gasp when you break it out to slice open a Christmas gift or open a package. 

  • Blade Length: 3.25 in / 82.55
  • Blade Steel: Sandvik 14C28N (stainless steel blade)
  • Weight: 3.9 oz / 110.56 g
#2 Runner-Up EDC Knife

SOG Kiku XR LTE Folding Knife

$147.99 $133.33

CRYO CTS XHP Offers a high degree of corrosion resistance as well as excellent edge retention. XR Lock is reliable and powerful, able to withstand up to 1,500 pounds of force, provides the ultimate built-in blade locking security when open and ensures it only opens when intended. Carbon fiber liners are durable, light, and easy to manipulate and carry.

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02/20/2024 10:35 am GMT

The Kiku XR LTE is our favorite knife and a darling of the knife community. It offers everything that made the Kiku XR so sought after in a lighter and more robust package. It’s a rugged, stylish, and razor-sharp EDC pocket knife with a sturdy shape that will provide years of reliable value.

SOG Kiku XR LTE best edc knives

It keeps the massive strength of the ambidextrous XR locking mechanism, capable of withstanding up to 1,500 lbs of pressure, and the angular drop point blade shape. When you add in the heavily textured G10 handles that give the Kiku its iconic look, you wind up with a strong contender for one of the best EDC knives of 2021.

  • Blade Length: 3.02 in / 76.7 mm
  • Blade Steel: CRYO CTS XHP
  • Weight: 4.1 oz / 116.23 g
#3 Premium EDC Knife

Zero Tolerance Drop Point Pocket Knife

$351.55 ($175,775.00 / 100 g)

Exceptionally hard 3.75-inch blade made with CPM 20CV Steel, offering remarkable edge retention for repeated use. The handle features black G10 on the front scale with a titanium back. Front and back are heavily 3D machined for a secure grip. Opens quickly and easily with a KVT ball-bearing system, using a titanium frame lock to secure the blade into place.

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02/20/2024 11:10 pm GMT

The Zero Tolerance 0308BLKTS is a larger knife on this list. It’s a capable blade that can stand up to anything you throw at it. It’s made using the highest quality materials precision manufactured to give you a lifetime of service.

The result is a beefy knife offering a 3.7″ blade with exceptional edge retention, wear resistance, and corrosion resistance. Stylistically it combines a highly textured G10 front scale with an ultra-strong titanium back scale framelock for a rugged knife ready to go anywhere.

Zero Tolerance 0308BLKTS

It’s an undeniably expensive knife, but what you end up with is a high-end EDC pocket knife that you can rely on for a lifetime.

  • Blade Length: 3.75 in / 9.6 cm
  • Blade Steel: CPM 20CV
  • Weight: 6.9 oz / 197 g
#4 Most Minimal EDC Knife

Opinel No. 6 Carbon Steel Folding Knife

$16.00

This essential tool is a must-have for outdoorsmen and handymen alike. The Stainless Virobloc safety ring has two sections, one fixed and one sliding for secure locking. Opinel's carbon steel is extremely hard, thereby guaranteeing excellent cutting quality. Handle is made from hard, durable Beechwood from France. Opinel products are guaranteed under normal use and exchanged in case of manufacturing defects.

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02/21/2024 12:16 am GMT

Opinel has been making quality, affordable knives for over 100 years. No. 6 is the smallest and most carryable of their lineup and sports a virtually unchanged design dating back to the company’s founding.

It’s a great design, too, sporting a lightweight beechwood handle with a rotating Virobloc safety ring and a sharp, easy-to-maintain carbon steel blade.

Opinel No. 6 Carbon Pocket Knife

There’s nothing fancy, tactical, or even particularly modern about the Opinel, and we think that’s just fine. It’s a remarkably inexpensive little folder that your great-granddad might have carried and loved just as much as you will.

  • Blade Length: 2.87 in / 72.9 mm
  • Blade Steel: XC90 Carbon Steel
  • Weight: 1.48 oz / 42 g
#5 Best Value EDC Knife

CRKT Pilar III Folding Pocket Knife

$58.29

D2 Blade Steel is crafted of strong D2 steel that keeps its edge and features a resilient satin finish. The highly grippy G10 handle thrives throughout years of use and the eye-catching, off-color lanyard loop elevates the look. A thumb slot opening mechanism deploys the blade and the IKBS ball bearing pivot system makes for a super smooth rotation. Frame lock utilizes a thick lock bar to secure the blade.

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02/20/2024 02:28 pm GMT

Designed by renowned Danish bladesmith Jesper Voxnaes, this is without a doubt a knife a Viking would be happy to carry. The Pilar III updates the style and design of the original to serve modern urban EDC tasks better.

It notably trades out one of the stainless steel scales for a textured G10 panel to improve grip. That has the added effect of creating a striking black and silver aesthetic we seriously dig. Functionally it updates the rounded tip of the original Pilar with a spear blade profile more practical for everyday utility tasks.

CRKT Pilar III Pocket Knife best edc knives

What didn’t change were the stellar ergonomics, stainless steel frame lock, thumbhole open, and buttery smooth ball-bearing pivot.

  • Blade Length: 2.97 in / 75.36 mm
  • Blade Steel: 8Cr13MoV
  • Weight: 3.60 oz / 102.06 g
#6 Budget Friendly EDC Knife

CJRB Folding Knife Feldspar Tactical Pocket Knife

$35.98

A true everyman’s knife with a simple, highly functional design and true attention to small details, from the sturdy drop-point blade, to the deep-carry clip, to the perfectly dialed-in thumb studs. Supremely comfortable grip and a thin profile in hand. D2 is a tried-and-true performance steel that stays sharp and performs well under the harshest conditions all without breaking the bank.

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02/20/2024 10:35 am GMT

For those not looking to drop a serious chunk of change on a pocket knife, it’s hard to beat the value proposition of the CJRB Small Feldspar. It costs less than a replacement pocket clip on some of the other EDC knives on our list yet gives you surprisingly excellent performance with serious style.

CJRB used G10 scales in various sharp patterns, a fully nested liner for excellent ergonomics, and a utility-forward D2 drop point blade. It’s a no-nonsense approach to building a folding knife that relies on common materials but offers uncommon value. 

CJRB Small Feldspar Pocket Knife

There are plenty of better-quality knives out there, but the Small Feldspar is a strong contender for one of the best EDC knives at its price point. 

  • Blade Length: 3 in / 76 mm
  • Blade Steel: D2 Tool Steel
  • Weight: 2.82 oz / 80 g
#7

CRKT CEO Bamboo Folding Pocket Knife

This board-room ready knife has a supremely low profile, a thin, sleek blade, and a handle designed to look like bamboo scales. It’s a sleek touch to the working spirit of everyday carry. Recessed thumbstud with IKBS ball bearing pivot deploys the blade fast. High carbon stainless steel blade takes an edge well. Liner lock can be easily closed with one hand. Glass reinforced nylon handle is durable and lightweight.

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If this were a beauty pageant, the CRKT CEO would win by a landslide. Designed as a ‘Gentleman’s Knife’ that’s just as at home in the boardroom as it is in the field, it combines a rapier thin straight-backed blade with a spectacularly stylish body.

The body is slender, measuring barely half an inch wide and deep, and displays an eye-catching Japonesque fish scale pattern. There are several colors and blade coatings available if you don’t want to rock classic black.

CRKT CEO Pocket Knife

It opens smoothly and is excellent as a general-purpose slicer, but it’s certainly not the best or most durable blade out there. The CRKT CEO is gorgeous and fun to use, but the very best EDC knives on our list provide more actual utility as an EDC folder.

  • Blade Length: 3.11 in / 78.92 mm
  • Blade Steel: 8Cr13MoV
  • Weight: 2.10 oz / 59.53 g
#8

Spyderco Endela Folding Knife

$92.05

Full-flat-ground VG-10 stainless steel blade for exceptional cutting performance. Supports one-hand opening. Handle is injection molded from tough fiberglass-reinforced-nylon and includes a sturdy back lock mechanism. Finely tuned ergonomics reduce fatigue during prolonged use. Bi-directional texturing pattern ensures a secure grip. Pocket clip allows both left and right-handed carry, tip-up, or tip-down. Perfectly suited for everyday utility.

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02/21/2024 01:45 am GMT

The Spyderco Endela is possibly the best value EDC knife on the market today,making it a popular knife. It combines the pocketability of the Delica with the robust utility of the larger Endura.

Designed from the ground up to be the perfect middle ground, the Spyderco Endela combines the best features of the company’s wildly popular Endura and Delica lines for a middleweight powerhouse. It’s light enough to be comfortable for everyday carry yet provides a substantial enough blade for any utility task that comes your way.

It’s available in various colors, patterns, and blade profiles, all showing the iconic Spyderco thumb hole and rounded spine. Like most Spyderco knives, it’s fully ambidextrous and can be carried point up or point down by moving the pocket clip.

Spyderco Endela best edc knives

Given its shockingly affordable price and high-quality blade steel, we can say with confidence that the Spyderco Endela is one of the best EDC knives available today.

  • Blade Length: 3.41 in/ 87 mm
  • Blade Steel: VG-10
  • Weight: 3.1 oz / 88 g
#9

Benchmade Mini Bugout Knife, Drop Point Blade

$159.00

Light as a feather and incredibly tough. Ideal for outdoor use. A great go-anywhere tool. American-made steel for first-rate edge retention and corrosion resistance. Precision drop-point construction for strength and versatility. Fully ambidextroud handle has an ergonomic textured grip and is molded from glass-filled nylon for superior durability. Axis locking mechanism ensures safety and a smooth open and easy close.

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02/18/2024 12:35 pm GMT

The Benchmade 533 Mini Bugout is a smaller, more urban EDC-friendly version of the venerable Bugout folder. It keeps the same low-profile style and razor-sharp CPM- S30V steel just in a more pocketable package.

Benchmade went with Grivory scales, a strong, lightweight, high-grip choice for a knife designed for no-nonsense utility. At just 1.5 oz, the Mini Bugout is one of the lightest knives we reviewed. 

Like all of Benchmade’s knives, the Mini Bugout comes with the Benchmade LifeSharp guarantee. They’ll clean, service, sharpen, and polish your knife till it shines like new for the cost of postage.

Benchmade 533 Mini Bugout Pocket Knife

We’ve used it several times on other Benchmade blades, and they never disappoint.

The Benchmade 533 Mini Bugout is a superb option if you’re looking for a light and dependable EDC knife that won’t let you down when it counts.

  • Blade Length: 2.82 in / 71.6 mm
  • Blade Steel: CPM-S30V (58-60 HRC)
  • Weight: 1.5 oz / 42.52 g
#10

CIVIVI Elementum Pocket Knife

$52.50

Sharp and lightweight pocket knife / folding knife. High performing D2 blade provides outstanding strength and edge retention. Ceramic ball-bearing pivot construction ensures fantastic, super smooth actions, allowing for quick and snappy one-handed deployment effortlessly. Civivi knives and tools are built to last.

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02/18/2024 04:13 pm GMT

The CIVIVI Elementum is a stripped-down little knife with a lot to like. It combines classic pocket knife form and function with modern styling touches like G10 panels, pivot ball bearings, and a liner lock.

Our first impression is that a blade at this price has no business looking this good. The textured handles are as sharp as the blade, and the flipper pops it open in a quick yet controlled movement. 

Its drop point blade is made from D2 tool steel (with the option to upgrade to 14C28N) and comes with a decent edge out of the box. A few passes on a ceramic rod, and we were shaving slips of paper off like it was nothing.

CIVIVI Elementum Pocket Knife

For the price, it’s hard to beat the value the Elementum offers. It’s a quality blade, quality handle, with a solid flipper and locking mechanism.

  • Blade Length: 2.96 in / 75.2mm
  • Blade Steel: D2 Tool Steel (14C28N also available)
  • Weight: 2.89 oz / 82 g
#11

Benchmade Griptilian 551 Knife

$160.00 $152.75

The CPM-S30V stainless steel blade is well-balanced, offering superb edge qualities and rust resistance. The glass-filled nylon handle is tough yet attractive, making it ideal for hard jobs and everyday carry. AXIS lock is strong and fully ambidextrous. Can be opened and closed single-handedly. Lightweight design and handle grips make it comfortable to hold and use. The reversible pocket clip offers ultimate accessibility. Drop-point utility blade style and all-around functionality make it ideal for everyday use.

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02/18/2024 09:29 pm GMT

The Benchmade Griptilian 551 is an all-around workhorse of an EDC pocket folder, which why it’s part of our list of the best EDC knives. It offers no-frills, with a 3.45″ plain drop point blade and a grippy black nylon handle, yet oz for oz, it’s one of the most dependable and downright practical knives out there.

Benchmade Griptilian 551 best edc knives

The Griptilian is the affordable, durable knife you beat the heck out of day in and day out. It doesn’t have any flashy features or next-gen materials, just proven reliability and quality construction.

  • Blade Length: 3.45 in / 87.6 mm
  • Blade Steel: CPM-S30V
  • Weight: 3.88 oz / 110 g
#12

Spyderco Delica 4 Folding Knife

$81.79 $73.25

Full flat-ground VG-10 Steel with a highly refined cutting edge and a 13mm opening hole. Dual skeletonized stainless steel liners in the handle which strengthen the knife without additional weight. Slip resistant jimping. Phosphor bronze washers smooth out the open/close action and the clip is upgraded to a four-way tip-up, tip-down, left-or right-handed clip. Bi-directional texturing for slip-free tactile traction.

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02/19/2024 03:08 pm GMT

The original Spyderco Delica was one of two knives that revolutionized pocket knives as we know them. Gone were Grandpa’s Buck knives, in were high-strength fiberglass handles, high-end steels, and better design overall.

The Delica 4 is the culmination of everything Spyderco learned about making knives over the last 30 years. It boasts a grippier, more ergonomic handle and screw-based construction to make cleaning and maintenance more accessible than ever. 

Spyderco Delica 4 Plain knife

The result is a light yet durable EDC pocket knife that’s fully ambidextrous and a joy to use.

  • Blade Length: 2.875 in / 73 mm
  • Blade Steel: VG-10 Steel
  • Weight: 2.5 oz / 71 g
#13

Gerber Fastball Folding Knife

$129.99

High carbon S30V steel with machined aluminum handles. Finger flipper deployment and reliable detent for safety and security. Finger flipper won’t tear fingers up, yet stiff enough for smooth flip knife deployment every time. Slim, lightweight knife with single liner for off-centered 3 in. blade. Wharncliffe/drop point blade with shallow flat grind and needle tip point.

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02/19/2024 03:33 pm GMT

Designed specifically with EDC in mind, the Gerber Fastball is an eye-catching pocket flipper with dependable performance. It’s lightweight, flips out with a single gesture on Gerber’s trademark B.O.S.S (Balls of Stainless Steel, hilarious right?) bearing system, and incorporates a sturdy liner lock for heavy use.

Gerber went with a Wharncliffe blade profile in S30V steel. That’s an excellent blade profile for everyday utility, especially if you’re doing a lot of slicing or cutting without sacrificing a usable tip. 

Gerber Fastball Pocket Knife best edc knives

If you’re a past fan of Gerber and want to upgrade, this is the Gerber knife to choose.

  • Blade Length: 3.0 in / 76.2 mm
  • Blade Steel: S30V
  • Weight: 2.7 oz / 76.54 g
#14

Spyderco Para 3 Lightweight Pocket Knife

$124.60

Machined from premium CTS BD1N, a nitrogen-enriched high-carbon chromium steel for superior balance, edge retention, and low-friction cutting performance. Lightweight, open-backed construction and stainless steel liners reduce handle thickness and provides excellent support. High-strength mechanism locks the blade securely open during use, yet allows it to be closed easily and safely with only one hand.

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02/19/2024 10:12 pm GMT

If you want a lightweight full-size EDC pocket knife, it’s hard to go wrong with the Para 3 Lightweight. Spyderco put the utility-forward clip point blade of the acclaimed Para 3 in a shockingly light fiberglass reinforced nylon handle plus a pared-down wire pocket clip.

That allowed them to shave a full oz off the weight of the Para 3 without sacrificing durability or usability. You wind up with a pocketable, easy-to-open, and reliable EDC knife at a very reasonable price. 

Spyderco Para 3 Lightweight Pocket Knife best edc knives

If you only need one knife and don’t much care for gee-whiz features or super-premium materials, the Spyderco Para 3 is one of the best EDC knives out there.

  • Blade Length: 2.92 in / 75 mm
  • Blade Steel: CTS BD1N
  • Weight: 2.4 oz / 68 g 
#15

SOG Terminus XR LTE Pocket Knife

$139.95 $106.55

A tough and corrosion resistant, cryogenically heat-treated steel. The Titanium Nitride coated blade for sharpness and toughness with minimal maintenance. Reliable and powerful, able to withstand up to 1,500 pounds of force, provides the ultimate built-in blade locking security when open and ensures it only opens when intended. Just as durable, but far lighter and easier to manipulate and carry.

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02/21/2024 01:34 pm GMT

Another entry in the SOG LTE lineup, the Terminus XR LTE offers the popular Terminus XR with carbon fiber panels for an ultra-lightweight carry. It has an updated handle that we can only describe as ‘carbon forward’ and utilizes the robust SOG XR locking mechanism.

The clip point blade is made from cryo-treated S35VN steel for remarkable sharpness and corrosion resistance and flips out like a dream with no resistance.

SOG Terminus XR LTE Pocket Knife best edc knives

What’s most remarkable about the Terminus XR LTE isn’t the features but the price. It’s honestly shocking you can pick up a lightweight, carbon-fiber pocket folder with premium blade steel for what we would consider an entry-level nice knife price. 

  • Blade Length: 2.95 in / 74.9 g
  • Blade Steel: CRYO CPM S35VN
  • Weight: 2.2 oz / 62.4 g

Why an EDC Knife is Important

Knives are man’s oldest companion. One of the first tools due to its utility and versatility. Some of the oldest manmade objects include crude knives, hand-held tools with some type of point or edge for cutting, chopping, stabbing, and tearing. In fact, knives predate our species

While technology has evolved drastically since the dawn of Homo sapiens, and our tools have become remarkably more sophisticated, the knife is still pretty much the same: a handle and a sharp part. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, right?

Nevertheless, despite the utility of a quality knife, many people in the modern world don’t carry a knife with them everyday. Let’s talk about why you should carry one of the best EDC knives in our list. 

Everyday tasks

Knives are not solely weapons. They are multifaceted tools that can make our lives easier, safer, and better. There are a million tasks we have to perform every day that would be much simpler if there was a knife in our pocket, such as removing clothing tags, opening mail, cutting zip ties, slicing paper, opening packages or containers, or cutting wire, threads, string, or tape. Keeping a reliable blade on hand will make your life much easier. 

Survival

Life is unpredictable. Who knows when you’ll find yourself in a dangerous situation that requires quick thinking and a simple tool. A broken down car, a dangerous alley, a slick road… These are all common situations that could turn into catastrophe at a moment’s notice. Having a simple tool like a knife that can cut through a seatbelt, unscrew a screw, cauterize a wound, or a crack a window can be a lifesaver. 

Self defense

We hope it never happens, but there might come a point in your life where you need to defend yourself, especially if you work in security or law enforcement and regularly come into contact with difficult people. Having a knife on you at all times won’t guarantee your safety, but it will put you in a much better position. We recommend carrying a tactical knife of a good size with solid grips. 

Furthermore, if you are carrying a knife for protection, you ought to know how to use it. Take some self defense lessons so you learn how to be safe without injuring yourself. 

Food preparation and eating

Whether you’re on a weekend camping trip or grabbing a bite to eat from a street vendor, you may find yourself in a situation where you lack utensils. One feature of a knife is that it can be used to cut and eat food. If the blade is strong, you can cut pretty much anything you would eat (including that fish you just caught). It can even open beer bottles!

Make a fire

Admittedly, you probably don’t find yourself in need of an impromptu fire very often. But when you need one, you really need one. With a good knife, you can shave off kindling, cut off wet wood, tear paper or cardboard, and even saw through some thin branches. 

Alter/adjust clothing

When I was young, my family went to a fair. I fell over a curb and turned a small hole in my jeans into a big one. I figured the pants were done for, until my uncle pulled out his knife and turned those jeans into shorts. I was much more comfortable for the day and wore my new shorts throughout the summer.

Fortunately, clothing is usually easy to cut, so a small knife would be the perfect size for this. Unless, of course, you want to punch a new hole through your belt or cut through heavy material, then you’ll need something larger.  

How to Choose an EDC Knife

When it comes to choosing an EDC knife, it’s most important to pick one that you will actually carry every day. If a $5 knife from Walmart meets your needs, that’s perfectly fine. You may have the budget for a $200 knife, but don’t buy it just because it’s great if you won’t carry it every day. 

What makes a good EDC knife?

  • You don’t mind getting it dirty or messy
  • It fits conveniently on your person for everyday carry
  • It’s practical and fun to use.
  • You’re willing to sharpen it from time to time.
  • You understand what makes the knife great. 

The purpose of your EDC knife

Consider how you will actually use your EDC knife. While the best EDC knives can do just about anything, they aren’t all the same. They have different features that make them suitable for different purposes. For instance, serrated blades (serrated edges) serve very different purposes than straight edges. 

It’s important to choose a knife that compliments your lifestyle. Think about the types of situations you find yourself in all the time (including potential emergencies) and how a knife would help. If you work on a farm, you might need a knife to cut bales of hay or rope, or you might use it to tighten the occasional screw. If you work at a desk, you might use it to open letters or boxes. 

Opening mechanism

Your EDC knife’s opening mechanism is an important aspect and you have lots of options, such as thumb studs, cut outs, flipping nubs, and more. The mechanism should be quick, comfortable, and reliable. If you need to defend yourself quickly or cut away a seat belt, you do not want that mechanism to fail. It must open instantly every time. 

Some knives use two-handed opening systems, but these aren’t suitable for everyday carry. You’ll want a one-handed system because they allow for quick access. These are called assisted opening knives and usually have a thumb stud that opens when pressure is applied. Keep in mind, however, that assisted opening mechanisms are illegal in some jurisdictions, so you may be stuck with a manual opening knife.

Furthermore, the best EDC knives can be opened with either hand. Some cheap knives only have a thumb stud on one side, but this makes it impossible to operate with either hand without fumbling around awkwardly. Go with an ambidextrous knife opening mechanism. 

Locking mechanism

The best EDC knives must have a solid locking mechanism. There’s really no debating here. Carrying a folding knife that doesn’t lock properly is extremely unsafe. A poor lock can open accidentally and damage your flesh or property, or it might close on your hand while you’re using it. If your lock doesn’t work, it’s smarter to carry a fixed blade knife in a sheath. 

The most common locking mechanisms in EDC knives are liner locks, lock backs, and lever locks. The best EDC knives use a secondary locking mechanism as well. These locks are all about equal in terms of function and reliability, but make sure they are made from quality materials. This is an area where cheap manufacturers will try to save money. 

Grip style and material

The best EDC knives will have a knife handle with a comfortable grip that fits easily in your hand, ideally with some kind of textured grip. They have a concavity to hold on to, a good sized choil for your fingers, and jimping (a series of notches down the spine) on the backside for your thumb.

There are a wide variety of grip materials to choose from. The most common are:

  • G10 – A strong and relatively lightweight epoxy and fiberglass resin).
  • Titanium – A strong and lightweight material that’s impervious to rust.
  • Zytel – A lightweight and basically indestructible plastic.
  • Micarta – A cloth (generally linen or canvas) and resin hybrid. 
  • Carbon Fiber – Extremely lightweight, but also brittle. It’s more for style than function. 

Edge type

In terms of the blade’s edge, there are three types available for EDC knives:

  • Full ground edge – This is a blade that has a straight or curved edge. Full ground edge blades are suited for scraping, poking, skewering, stabbing, shaving, and pushing cuts (like skinning a fruit or animal). 
  • Full serration – Serrated blades are suited for slicing through tough materials such as plastic, drywall, rope, leather, or wood. They are not good for stabbing as the serrations tend to get stuck on things, making it hard to disengage. 
  • Partial serration – This is when the blade is serrated near the handle and straight near the tip. The purpose of partial serration is to get the advantages of both types in the same tool.

As you can imagine, partial serration is the preferred edge type of EDC knife users because of its dual benefits. But remember what we said earlier: Always consider your needs. If you have a specific use for a full ground edge or a full serrated edge, don’t be afraid to pick up the knife that meets your needs. 

Size and weight

Since you’ll be carrying your EDC knife every day, you’ll want to take size and weight seriously. A massive knife may look cool and perform well, but is it something you want on your belt all day long? Alternatively, a small blade may be easy to carry, but ineffective at most tasks. 

There’s no simple solution here. We can’t tell you the right size. You’ll need to consider your purpose and preference. That said, the best EDC knives are typically about three inches or so, but no more than five inches. In terms of weight, look for a knife that’s under five ounces (150 grams). 

Fixed vs folding

Another feature you will need to consider is whether to buy a fixed or folding knife. Many EDC people choose to use a folding knife because it fits better in their bag, their toolbox, or on their person. If you choose a fixed blade, you will also need to buy a sheath to store it. Storing a fixed knife without protection is dangerous and will damage the blade.

Whether you choose a fixed blade for a folding knife depends on your needs. The best EDC knives are the ones that solve your problems. If you live or work in a rural setting, it may be smarter to carry a fixed blade if you need to cut rope or remove brush, vines, or weeds. You may also want a fixed blade if you can store it in a toolbox, glove compartment, or truck bed.

But if you’re in an urban environment, and need to keep a knife in your pocket at all times, you probably want to choose a folding knife with a compact size that fits easily into your pocket and doesn’t create much weight. It’s also easier to carry a folding knife without anyone knowing.

Blade material

Your knife’s performance is also important, so you’™ll want an option made from thin, high performing steel with an easy to sharpen cutting edge. Anything thicker than a smartphone is too much for everyday carry. Opt for something that’s comfortable in your hand and doesn’t feel cheap. Price and steel quality are often closely linked, so think carefully about whether you need high-priced, high-end steel or if something more affordable will meet your needs.

Cost

While there are plenty of good EDC knives available for less than $50, the best EDC knives will typically cost more. Since you’re going to carry your knife every day, it’s smart to pay a little more to get something quality that will work when you need it and last. A good knife will take care of its owner, require less maintenance, and save you in your time of need. 

How much can you expect to pay? The best EDC knives run between $100 and $200. There are lots of cheaper knives on the market that work well for EDC carry, but the $100-$200 price range is the sweet spot that seems to work for every knife enthusiast.

It’s hard to say what is the most popular EDC knife, but in our opinion that award goes to the Cold Steel Recon 1 Series Tactical Folding Knife. This knife is nearly perfect. It’s one of the best tactical folding knives on the market, as it’s great for cutting through boxes, rope, fabric, and even seat belts. 

The sturdy AUS 8 stainless steel blade offers a black, corrosion resistant Teflon coating. The Tri-Ad locking mechanism secures the Cold Steel when opened, while a deep pocket clip keeps it at the ready. Every unit is vacuum heat treated and then cooled in sub-zero temperatures, which makes them stronger.

Furthermore, the Cold Steel is affordably priced. At under $100, it offers great value.  

The Legality of the Best EDC Knives

We think of knives like a ubiquitous tool, but depending on your jurisdiction, you may need to be careful about the type of knife you carry around. In some places, carrying any kind of knife is illegal. You could end up with a fine, have your knife confiscated, or – in some rare places – get hauled off to jail. So it’s important to be familiar with the rules of wherever you live and wherever you’re traveling to.

The Best EDC Knives Should Suit You

Choosing your everyday carry knife isn’t an easy decision. Fortunately, there’s no right or wrong answer. Ask a dozen people what they like to carry and you’ll get a dozen answers. What’s important is that you find a blade that suits you, just make sure it’s durable and versatile. Hopefully this list of the best EDC knives will help you make a decision that’s right for you.

Dennis Hammer
Dennis has been a part of EDC since he was young - before he even knew what it was! As an artist, he loves beautifully designed products that function well. He also likes to be ready for any situation, which makes EDC perfect for his lifestyle.

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