What is the Best EDC Knife?

Best EDC Knife

Have you ever thought about carrying a knife everyday?  Maybe you already do but you're looking to upgrade.  If so, I'll give you some of the things to look for in your best EDC knife search.

There is a wide variety of gear that can make up your everyday carry but a good EDC knife is usually a big part of that.  It's amazing how many times during a day you find a use for your knife if you are carrying one.

The tasks you do daily with your knife will help to determine which knife you select.  As will your personal preference for style, shape, size, and budget.  I will give you some things to think about that will help you narrow down the search for your every day carry knife.​

Best EDC Knife 2017 Guide

Brand & Model

Blade Length

Blade Material

Price

KnifePath Review

Rating

Kershaw Skyline

Kershaw Skyline

3 1/8"

Sandvick Stainless

$

KnifePath Review

Zero Tolerance

Zero Tolerance

3 1/4"

S30V Stainless

$$$

KnifePath Review

Spyderco Tenacious

Spyderco Tenacious

3 3/8"

8CR13MOV Stainless

$

KnifePath Review

Benchmade Griptilian

Benchmade Griptilian

3 1/2"

154CM Stainless

$$

KnifePath Review

Cold Steel Recon 1

Cold Steel Recon 1

4"

Stainless Steel

$

KnifePath Review

How should I carry my edc knife?

There is several different ways that you can your every day knife.  One option is with a pocket knife clip.  The advantage of a knife clip is it keeps your knife at the top of your pocket so it's quick to access.  

Pocket Clip Knife

However, one disadvantage is it's noticeable so if that's a problem where you work then this might not be the best option for you.  Different knives sit lower in the pocket than others and some have special clips you can buy to make them lower profile if that's your thing.

​Another option is just to carry one in your pocket or edc bag without a clip.  The advantage here is that it's completely hidden.  The disadvantage is it takes a little longer to fish it out of your pocket with this setup.

Finally you can carry a knife in a sheath.  This can be a folding or fixed blade knife and most of the time this would be attached to your belt.  It's obviously not a low profile style to every day carry but it does allow quick access and allows you to carry a bigger knife.​

Fixed Blade or Folding Knife?

This is always a decision when choosing a knife for EDC, bushcraft, or hunting.  However, it probably isn't as big of a deal with EDC as the others.  Most people prefer to carry a folding pocket knife for their EDC.  A

A pocket knife is less intimidating to coworkers and when you are out in public.  In most areas of the country it's a little strange to see someone with a knife sheath on their side.  Most people don't even notice when someone has a pocket knife clipped to the top of their pocket.​

Do I want any extra features in my knife?

Most people prefer to just carry a single blade knife.  For others though, they want a knife that is more of a multi-tool.  It might have a saw, secondary blade, awl, corkscrew, bottle opener, or a ferro rod built into it.  

The possibilities are endless and there are literally hundreds of knives with these options. The reality is that for 90% of the tasks you will be doing each day a single bladed knife will get the job done.

How big of a knife to I need for everyday carry?

Size is always a consideration when you putting something in your pocket.  There is only so much room in there and after a while you start to run out of room.  Throw in a flashlight, a pen, and car keys and you will appreciate a smaller knife.

​For this reason, most of the time I recommend a folding knife that has a blade length of under 3 1/2".  The only time I would suggest going over this is if you feel that your EDC knife is going to be used in self defense.  In that case, go with the largest blade that you can get and still carry it comfortably.

Is this knife legal in my state?

Each state has it's own laws that say what length and type of knife you can carry.  For example a 5" knife blade might not be legal in your state.  Also certain states down allow certain knives like switchblades or Bowie knives.  You can see a list by clicking here.  Also don't forget that you could have local laws forbidding certain knives where you live too.

Serrated edge or not?

Everyday Carry Knives

Your two main choices on a blade edge are either a plain edge or a partial serrated edge.  The plain is just like it sounds.  It has a plain ground edge from the tip to the handle.  Plain edge blades are better for control cutting and whenever a push cut is required.  The result is a much cleaner cut than you can get with a serrated edge.

A partial serrated edge starts with a plain edge at the tip and then for like the last 40% of the knife blade before the handle it becomes serrated.  A serrated edge is better for cutting hard things that require a slicing motion.  Things like rope, wood, or heavy cardboard.  In theory a partial serrated edge gives you the best of both worlds.

I own everyday carry knives of both styles.  My personal preference lately has been to go with a plain edge.  I find it does the majority of the tasks I ask of it.  It's also easier to sharpen a plain edge than it is to sharpen a serrated edge.​

Which opening style is right for me?

There are several ways that knives are opened.  It can be one handed, two handed, assisted, etc.  They can also be left handed, right handed or ambidextrous.  Let's look at a few of them.

  • Two Handed - Just like it sounds.  This style of opener takes two hands to perform.  They usually have a nail clip on the blade to perform this action.
  • Assisted Opening - These types of openers usually rely on springs or bearings to perform the action.  The are easy to open with one hand and are quick to open.
  • Thumb Stud - Some knives have a stud mounted to the blade that allows you to flick the knife open with your thumb.  With practice these knives are as fast to open as assisted knives.  They also have the advantage of being legal in certain states that might not allow assisted knives.  Finally this style is sometimes ambidextrous if they put the stud on both sides.
  • Thumb Holes - Some knives like Spyderco have a large hole in the blade that allows you to grab it with the tip of your thumb and open it one handed.  This gives you some of the same advantages as the thumb stud style without having a stud on your blade that might snag your pocket as you draw your knife.  Thumb holes also make a knife ambidextrous.  

Should I worry about locking mechanisms?

Absolutely.  The locking mechanism on your carry knife is one of the most important pieces of the knife.  If it fails you could be looking at a nasty accident.  Here is the most common ones on EDC pocket knives.

  • Slip Joint  -  This style doesn't really lock into place.  If enough pressure is applied the knife will close.  This is important to know and use it accordingly.  You will commonly find this in what I would call your grandpa's knife.  Think Old Timers, Case, and Swiss Army knives.​  This style of knife usually relies on a two handed approach to closing the knife.
  • Lockback - Also referred to as a spine lock.  There is a solid piece of metal that runs the length of the handle that keeps the blade locked into place when its open.  It's a solid lock design that has been used for decades.  This system requires a two handed approach to closing the blade.
  • Liner Lock - One of the most popular lock styles on pocket knives today.  When the knife is opened a leaf spring comes over from inside to hold the blade securely.  This style allows your to close your knife with one hand by sliding the leaf spring​ out of the way.  The only disadvantage is you are closing the knife onto your finger so you have to be careful.

​There is several other styles of locks like clasp, lever, and ring locks.  Individual knife manufacturers also have their own signature style locks like AXIS lock, Arc lock, and Tri-Ad lock.  All of these are beyond the scope of this article and I will try to cover them in a separate article or on individual knife review pages.

How about the handles?

The handles is another important part of an overall good EDC knife.  It's also one that there is going to be a lot of personal preference involved.  You not only want one that looks great but it also has to provide a good grip and be comfortable in the handle.  The most common materials used in these knife handles are:

  • ​Wood
  • Bone
  • Celluloid
  • Aluminium
  • G-10
  • Micarta
  • Zytel
  • Titanium
  • Delrin
  • Rubber
  • Stag
  • Stainless Steel
  • Kraton
  • Mother of Pearl

As you can see there is a lot of choices here.  This allows for a high level of personalization to go into your knife. 

Final Thoughts

As you can see there is a lot of features that goes into finding the best EDC knife.  Also by mixing and matching some of these features you will have a variety of great knives.  That's the beauty of carrying a knife everyday.  Nobody says you have to own just one knife.