Best EDC Knife Reviews – The Ultimate Guide – 2017
After reviewing multiple edc knives across various different brands, we think the Zero Tolerance 0801 Titanium is the best edc knife for most people, while the Spyderco Para Military 2 is a superb but costlier alternative. If you're tight on budget, Kershaw Launch 3 might be what you're looking for.
You have probably done some research online while looking for the best EDC knife and as you may have noticed, it’s not easy to find sound advice, and the information can even be downright confusing. That’s what this site is for, to provide you with just the facts and make sure you get your money’s worth.
EDC knives are just that, knives meant to be used every day. You can use these pocket knives for peeling fruit, opening boxes, cutting paper, open mail, cut twines in the garden and so forth. As such they’re indispensable at home or work. However you’re only going to receive the benefits if the knife is well-designed and will last.
Best EDC Knife - Our Choices
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Here are our picks for the Top 10 EDC knives:
Zero Tolerance 0801 Titanium Blackwash Knife
The Zero Tolerance 0801 is a versatile every day carry knife, and with its all-metal frame one of the strongest as well.
The combination of the titanium frame and the stainless steel blade give the 0801 a sharp look, and one-handed deployment simplifies use.
Cold Steel Recon 1 Tactical Knife
The Recon 1 is one of the best EDC / tactical knives today thanks to its versatility and durability. You can use the Recon 1 to cut rope, seat belts, boxes, webbing and more.
The blade comes in clip point, spear point or tanto point, your choice. What makes this one of the best EDC knife for the money is it has been vacuum heat treated and set in sub zero conditions to fortify it.
Zero Tolerance Hinderer Flipper Knife
The Hinderer is a favorite among knife enthusiasts as it is lightweight.
The knife has an ELMAX steel blade that is durable and resistant to wear and tear and corrosion. Furthermore, its flipper opening system uses a KVT ball-bearing mechanism that results in easy deployment.
Spyderco Para Military 2
The Para Military 2 is worthy of being considered one of the best EDC knife today, thanks to its S30V 3.44 inch steel blade and the well-designed handle.
Spyderco has manufactured a lot of quality EDC knives and this is one their best as it is sharp, lightweight and compact.
Benchmade 581 Barrage Folding Knife
The Barrage sports an M390 steel blade that ranks as one of the most durable in the field. As the best EDC knife reviews point out, the Barrage is 8.35 inches long and when folded nearly half that, making it compact.
Also, the AXIS Assist mechanism is ambidextrous, a nice touch.
Kershaw Launch 3
The Launch 3 has a CPM154 powdered blade and has DLC coating that provides additional protection.
The knife also comes with a pocket clip and an aluminum handle. The handle’s push button is recessed so it is level with the handle, a well-thought out safety feature.
Boker Plus Subcom Pocket Knife
The Boker is a 4.5 inch pocket knife, and tipping the scales at 2.5 ounces is one of the most convenient EDC knives we’ve come across.
In spite of the size, the Boker blade – stainless steel and partially serrated – is sharp. Furthermore, the handle is fortified with fiberglass and comes with a pocket clip.
Al Mar Mini Sere 2000
This is the smaller version of the Sere 2000 series, but its 3 inch VG-10 steel blade is very strong and sharpens quickly, not that you’ll be doing that anytime soon.
If you’re looking for the best EDC knife in the world, the Min Sere 2000 is deployed via thumb studs, and the G10 handle gives you a firm grip.
Cold Steel Code 4 Folding Knife
The Code 4 was built for use by firefighters and the police, so that should give you an idea of how strong it is.
The 3.5 inch Aus 8A stainless steel blade is available in different points, and at 4.3 ounces won’t drag you down. One of the best EDC knife online today, the Code 4 comes with a pocket clip and the Tri-Ad locking deployment for quick access.
Gerber GDC Tech Skin Pocket Knife
The GDC is only 3.4 inches when closed, which makes it one of the smallest EDC knives.
However, the 2.5 inch stainless steel blade gets the job done and can open boxes and letters without any problems. In addition, the rubber handle is easy on your hands and is comfortable.
What Can You Do with an EDC Knife?
The number of people that carry EDC knives continue to grow, testament to their usefulness and versatility. Here are some of the benefits:
A Handy Tool
An EDC knife is handy for cutting things, period. We can use our hands to pull, push, grab and rip things, but we need a knife to cut them. Having a pocket knife helps if you need to use a blister pack, for instance. A small pocket knife also comes in handy if you need to cut small wires. You don’t even need to be outdoors to benefit from it, as these knives are just as useful inside your home.
Knives are mainstays in the kitchen because they’re great for cutting food, and pocket EDC knives are no exception. If you’re having trouble cutting steak with a butter knife, just use your pocket knife and it will do the rest.
EDC knives are also useful for slicing and cutting fruits and vegetables, and it’s just as handy for putting spread on sandwich. If need be your pocket knife can be used in lieu of a fork. You can also use the knife to pry open a can of beer.
For Emergency Use
You can use an EDC knife to cut wires or other materials if an animal is trapped, and it’s just as effective for people. If someone is injured and bleeding, decisive action is necessary. To stop the bleeding you need to access the wound quickly and that could require cutting off layers of clothing.
A knife lets you cut through those clothing quickly, and you’ll be able to use those pieces of cloth as tourniquets or bandages. While EMT shears would be ideal in this situation, a pocket knife will do in a pinch in case of an emergency.
A well-made EDC knife helps you prepare fire especially if the weather isn’t ideal. One of the nice things about having a pocket knife is you can use it to spark a fire, get tinder ready and cut off some branches and perform general wood prepping tasks. These aren’t things you’ll likely need to do on an everyday basis, but if you’re camping or you’re traveling in a rural location, make sure you have an EDC knife just in case.
Hiking and Camping
No one goes camping or hiking without a knife as it’s an essential piece of equipment. A pocket knife is useful for roasting food, kindling, cutting small twigs and other tasks. Knives of course, are also useful for self-defense just in case you run into some wild animal.
A knife is a valuable tool for anglers and fishermen. From taking off hooks to cutting lines and preparing to cook fish, a pocket knife is indispensable.
First Aid Utility
We touched upon this earlier but it bears repeating. A pocket knife is a valuable tool in case there is an emergency, and this applies whether you’re out in the woods camping or in the office. Whether it’s cutting ropes, dressing up wounds or other emergency situations, you will never go wrong with an EDC knife on standby.
You never want to find yourself in a position when a knife needs to be used for self-defense, but it’s better to be prepared.
What to Look for in an EDC Knife
Here are the most important features you should consider.
An EDC knife needs to be in the 3 inch range, more or less. Remember an EDC knife is for doing small everyday tasks and not cutting down trees.
When we talk of size we refer to the knife’s dimensions when it is closed. The general rule is the smaller and slimmer the knife, the easier it will be to carry.
If you look at EDC knives online the difference in weight may not seem much as it’s just a few ounces here and there. But if you’re going to carry the knife with you all the time those few ounces’ difference will be felt. Aluminum is light but steel is more durable. Titanium is light and strong but also more expensive.
Unless you’re wearing a belt pouch to work in the office, you’ll want a pocket knife with pocket clips and options for carrying in-pocket. The nice thing about pocket clips and why they’re widely used is they conceal your knife yet keep it accessible when you need to use it. That is also their advantage over in-pocket methods as those will require you to dig in your pockets.
Here are the most popular options:
- Drop Point: often found on survival and hunting knives, they’re useful for piercing and skinning game as they have a sizeable belly and a point you can control.
- Spear Point: spear point blades are very sharp and ideal for piercing, with some having a single or double edge. The belly is smaller compared to drop and clip point blades, but you can use it for slicing.
- Clip Point: these are ideal for everyday chores and can be used in hunting as well. Due to the narrow point, a clip point blade is more suitable for piercing than slicing.
- Needle Point: a needle point blade is symmetrical and tapers to a sharp end, and as such it is more of a specialty blade than anything else. It is best used for piercing and also self-defense.
- Tanto Point: also called the chisel point, it has a distinct appearance and noted for its strength and durability. With its flat grind and high point, a tanto point is suitable for piercing tough materials and push cuts.
- Straight-Back Blade: also known as the traditional blade shape, this is an all-purpose blade you can use for cutting everything from food to boxes.
- Trailing Point: A trailing point blade is suitable for slicing and skinning, and it’s also lightweight. However the design is not as strong as those of the others mentioned here.
- Sheepsfoot Blade: a sheepsfoot blade has a flat cutting edge that is ideal for slicing and cutting, and it’s also difficult to hurt yourself with it. For this reason the blade is widely used by emergency response teams because they’re safe and functional. You can use it to cut seatbelts in case of an emergency as well as other restraints without hurting the person.
- Wharncliffe Blade: a Wharncliffe blade looks similar to the sheepsfoot and is often used for cutting and wood carving, making this an all-purpose blade. Spey
- Point Blade: these are specialty blades often found on knives with multiple blades where they are used to skin animals with fur.
Knife Blade Material
There is no shortage of blade materials to choose from, but in most cases steel will suffice. However there are a lot of options available for you. Titanium has a nice strength to weight ratio, but it is more expensive. Each steel variant has its own strengths and drawbacks, plus you need to consider factors like edge retention, how easy it is to sharpen, strength and corrosion resistance. There really is no single right steel type as it depends on how you’re going to use the knife.
Materials for the Knife Handle
The most important factors are grip, durability and strength (though some would include aesthetics as well). The handle (also called scales) can be made from a wide array of materials like titanium, G10, wood/brass, hardwoods and other materials. The choice is up to you, though knives with organic handles are less threatening.
Serrated vs. Non-Serrated Edge
The general consensus is a non-serrated blade is ideal for EDC. Serrated blades are harder to sharpen due to the design, but they are more effective for cutting harder materials like ropes. However if your daily chores involve cutting of boxes, fruits and other tasks that require clean cuts, a non-serrated blade will suffice.
Everyday carry knives employ different locking mechanisms and some prefer one over the other. A quick look online reveals a wide range of options but the following are the most popular.
- Liner Lock: this is the most widely used wherein the tensioned liner pops into position so the blade remains open.
- Frame Lock: this is similar to the liner lock but rather than the liner, a frame is used as the tension locker.
- Lock Back: the lock back has a conspicuous locker at the back of the handle.
- Slip Joint: there is no locking mechanism as it works like a Swiss Knife.
The frame and line locks are the ones you’re most likely to come across online, but there are a lot more, so feel free to try them and see which one you’re most comfortable with.
Some of these everyday carry knives open quickly while others require a two-hand operation. If speed is of the essence then the opening mechanism is something you have to look into. The opening method used by a knife can affect its form factor and increase its size, something you don’t want.
So which of the top 10 knives we reviewed you should buy? Again, the choice of the best EDC knife is up to you, because while these pocket knives may have the same goal, their design varies, plus there are other factors you need to consider as outlined here. Just make sure to read the product description and use the knife for what it is meant for, and it’s going to last a long time.