While wrapping a wedding gift for a friend on her big day, I misplaced my scissors just when I needed to cut the scotch tape. Good thing I had my EDC knife handy! What's that? EDC stands for "everyday carry," and an EDC knife is what some people would call a pocket knife. While you do have to be careful about the state laws for carrying sharp tools, buying the best EDC knife can a sound investment in more ways than one.
Want to add a new hole to your belt? Let an EDC knife do that! How about using it as a first aid item? These are just a few of the many uses that EDCs are commonly used for making your life easier.
There are several kinds of EDC knives out there, each with their own features, accessories, and materials. Since a good one can be on the expensive side, most people limit their purchase to one at a time. Most are quite durable and sturdy, so you’ll definitely get good value for your money.
Best EDC Knife Comparison Table
What is an EDC Knife?
EDC stands for "everyday carry," and some people use the term for other objects besides pocket knives. EDC objects are usually light, compact, durable, and multi-functional.
More specifically, an EDC knife is a compact pocket knife that retains its sharpness for a long time. You can carry it in a pocket or purse without worrying about space. The best EDC knife will be handy for many cutting and sawing tasks that don’t require a huge tool.
Why You Should Have the Best EDC Knife with You
If you’re wondering why you should invest in the best EDC knife available, here are just a few solid reasons.
Many owners of EDC knives say that their main reason for carrying one is to defend themselves in case of mugging, harassment, or any other threat. If this is your reason, you'll need to practice with the knife regularly for it to be effective. But you should also remember that an EDC knife isn’t an offensive weapon. You should use it for self-defense, and only if there’s a need to.
First aid knowledge and equipment can come in handy for several problems. An EDC knife is useful for removing splinters, trimming moleskin, making splints, etc. It’s also good for cutting people out of seat belts in case of an accident.
When you’re hiking or camping, the best EDC knife can replace several utensils. You can use it to clean fish, dress meat, and slice up whatever you want to eat. The best EDC knives will also have can and bottle openers.
If you want to pry open window in an emergency situation, the best EDC knife will come in handy. However, keep in mind that the levering is for small projects only. Small blades may break easily, so use your judgment.
Scissors are best, of course, but if you can't find yours, your pocket knife will do in a pinch. Some users have used it to cut neckties, turn long sleeves into short, and even make a pair of shorts out of pants. You can also use it to make another hole in your belt if required.
You may not want to drag a heavy shovel along when you're out on the trail. But if you need to dig a hole, your EDC knife could do the job. This is useful for setting traps, digging latrines, or anything similar.
If you've packaged gear on any trip, the packaging might be quite difficult to open. Many hikers prefer to keep the packages sealed for as long as possible, so having an EDC knife will help to open them as they're needed. The same goes for opening dehydrated, freeze-dried, or canned meals.
The best EDC knife will also come in handy for making certain gear. These include whittling cups, forks, walking sticks, and even spoons from wood.
Things to Consider When Purchasing an EDC Knife
If you want the best EDC knife for carrying around, make sure to consider certain qualities. This will help you make the best choice for your needs.
Fixed or folding
Most go for a folding knife, which is a compact and safer option. Depending on your state an local laws, folding vs fixed EDC may be a legal question. If you want the stability of a fixed knife, make sure there's a sheath to cover it. It will probably be too large for a pocket, so you’ll have to clip it on a belt or wear it around your neck on a cord.
A folding knife is best for staying unobtrusive in an urban environment. In rural areas, when hiking or camping, you’ll do best to carry the knife on a belt clip or cord for easy access. The latter situation is also best for a fixed blade since you'll have to cut ropes and perform other cutting projects more often.
Size and weight
The best EDC knife will be lightweight and fit in your pocket. The material should ideally be Micarta or G10. This is because you’re probably buying the knife to carry it every single day, so you don’t want it weighing you down. The best weight for an EDC knife is under 150 grams or 5 ounces. The preferred length should be less than 13 cm or 5 inches. Also be aware of any laws in your area regarding concealed blade length.
The blade styles for the best EDC knife vary according to your preferences. The three most common types are a full ground edge, full serration, or partial serration.
A full ground edged knife has either a straight edge or a curved one, both of which are smooth. These are good for shaving, peeling, scarping, skinning, and other purposes that require push cutting. A fully serrated blade, though, is best for sawing and slicing through tough substances like wood, rope, or leather.
You can go for a mixture of the two with the partially serrated blade. This is serrated on the lower half near the handle, with the edge becoming straight towards the top.
The folding EDC knife also has several options of its own. There are assisted open knives, cutouts, and thumb studs, to name just a few. However, the opening mechanism should be reliable, one-handed, and suitable for either hand. The choice between an assisted or manual opening is a personal one. In any case, make sure that the knife you choose and its features fall within the legal boundaries of your area.
Carrying an EDC Knife for the First Time? Avoid These Mistakes
Even if you invest in the best EDC knife available, it might cause accidents if you don’t follow the rules. A newbie to knife-carrying should take care to avoid the following:
The spine whack is a manufacturer’s test. It involves hitting the knife’s spine against a very hard object, usually wood or concrete. This tests the knife for pivot failure. If the manufacturer has already performed such a test, there’s no need for an owner to abuse the knife.
Don't strike the knife on its handle. This will stress the blade.
Heavy prying isn’t a suitable activity for even the best EDC knife. This could break the blade and compromise the knife's safety, along with its pivot performance and alignment.
It can be extremely dangerous to throw an EDC knife. You could hurt yourself or others.
Tips to Take Care of Your EDC Knife
Even the best EDC knife will wear down and grow dull if not maintained properly. Take care of your knife with the following tips:
Sharpen the blades
Your knife blade may dull if you expose it to a lot of corrosive salts, and through use. Once you’ve cleaned the blades, use the right sharpening method to keep the knife like new.
Oil the handles
If your EDC knife has a wooden handle, you should oil it with mineral oil from time to time. This will prevent the wood from fading and cracking.
Whether the knife you own is a lockback or a flipper, it would benefit from some oil in the pivot every now and then. This ensures that the opening and closing goes smoothly. A carbon steel blade will also benefit from an all-over oil coating to prevent rust.
The best EDC knife shouldn’t be cheap since it’s made to last and be useful. The overall price varies according to the quality of the materials used in both the handle and blade. A military grade knife costs around $150, while the most basic knives may be less than $20. There are also options in between that provide several useful features without breaking the bank.
How We Reviewed
To give you the best-rounded reviews possible, we’ve selected the best EDC knives with high Amazon ratings. We’ve also looked at several price ranges and features to ensure that there’s an unbiased selection. Our list has something for everyone.
How We Reviewed
We now come to our picks for the best EDC knives you can get this year, in no particular order.
Opinel Folding Pocket Knife
- Made in France
- Beautifully crafted
- Made using the highest quality materials
This Opinel knife is a stainless steel option that’s also equipped with leather lace and a Virobloc Safety Locking Ring. It comes from one of the leading brands for EDC knives. This particular knife measures around three inches long and has a beechwood handle to boot. The safety ring can easily lock your knife in a closed or open position. The most unique factor of this knife is the low price, which you probably won’t find with any other option.
Customers have naturally loved the low price as well as the convenience of the leather lanyard. The Amazon rating for this item is 4.6 out of 5 stars.
Kershaw Cryo 1555TI
- Designed by Rick Hinderer and precision engineered by Kershaw
- 2.75-inch 8Cr13MoV stainless steel blade features excellent toughness, edge retention and wear and corrosion resistance
- Great companion for any hiker, landscaper, backpacker, hunter, wilderness guide, electrician or anyone in need of a...
This Kershaw Cryo model has a steel blade, a stainless steel handle, and a titanium carbo-nitride coating. This gives a tough result, with excellent edge retention and resistance to corrosion. There's also a frame lock along with SpeedSafe Assisted Opening for easy and quick access whenever necessary.
Users have loved having this knife with them while landscaping, hiking, hunting, or just in general. It’s a good starter knife but probably won’t match the standard of more heavy-duty options. This EDC knife has an Amazon rating of 4.5 out of 5 stars.
Buck Knives Vantage Pro
- SUPREMELY SHARP BLADE - 3-1/4" Drop Point S30V Steel Blade delivers a combination of edge retention, ductility,...
- CONVENIENT ONE HAND OPENING - A Thumb Hole on the blade facilitates a smooth one-handed opening action and locks open...
- SAFE AND SECURE GRIP - The Ergonomic Grip made from Injection Molded reinforced nylon with CNC contoured G10 material...
This Buck Knives offering is a folding EDC knife with a sharp steel blade of around three inches. This gives you edge retention, hardness, toughness, and ductility all at once. It’s also resistant to corrosion and erosion even when used for a long time. The injection-molded reinforced nylon makes for a unique ergonomic grip with CNC G10 material.
Users of this knife have loved the one-handed opening, along with the stainless steel liners for enhanced safety and durability. They've given the Vantage Pro an Amazon rating of 4.4 out of 5 stars.
- 3.75 INCH AUS-8 STAINLESS STEEL KNIVES: An action-ready, sharp EDC knife, camping knife, hiking knife and survival knife...
- 3.6 OUNCES W/ GRN HANDLE: A grooved emergency knife handle lets this hunting knife and rescue knife cut cord, line or...
- SOG ASSISTED TECH (S.A.T.) AND ARC ACTUATOR: Open this everyday carry knife one-handed; make this your every day pocket...
This SOG Trident is a spring-assisted knife that has a three-and-a-half-inch blade with partial serration. The material of the blade is Aus-8 stainless steel. This knife is hence perfect for hiking, camping, and general survival. This tactical pocket knife is among the fastest options on the market, with a string lock and easy release.
Customers are delighted with the scratch and peel resistance of this knife along with the low upkeep required with the glass-reinforced nylon. It has a good Amazon rating of 4.4 out of 5 stars.
CRKT No Time Off
- IKBS Ball Bearing Pivot System
- ILS Safety
- Heavy Duty Traction Grip
The CRKT No Time Off is a folding pocket knife with a plain edge. It also has an IKBS ball bearing pivot system, with a pin between the locking liner and frame. The steel blade measures around three inches and has a nylon handle reinforced with glass.
Customers love the beautiful appearance and secure performance of this knife. Its Amazon rating of 4.4 out of 5 stars is the proof of the reliability it offers.
Benchmade Mini Griptilian
- BLADE STYLE: 2.91" (7.39cm) Drop-Point style blade, weighing only 2.68oz (75.98g)
- AMERICAN MADE STEEL: 154CM (58-61HRC) stainless steel with well-rounded characteristics, including good edge retention,...
- DURABLE MATERIALS: Injection molded, GFN (Glass Filled Nylon) handle offers exceptional strength to weight, stainless...
This Benchmade Mini Griptilian knife is available in several colors. These include black, blue, pink, yellow, and several other shades. You also have a choice of any combination between plain and serrated edges with satin or coated finishing. The blade is of stainless steel, with edge retention and rust-resistance. The nylon handle is filled with glass, providing a sturdy yet attractive appearance. Overall, this knife is one of the lighter, smaller options that don’t compromise on strength.
Customers love the customized option of this knife along with the tough performance. You'll notice that this brand has achieved a high Amazon rating, i.e. 4.7 out of 5 stars.
Spyderco ParaMilitary2 Black G-10
- AN IMPROVED CLASSIC - Undeniably one of Spyderco's most popular and in-demand designs, the Para Military 2 distills the...
- SUPERIOR QUALITY - We kept the same high-performance full flat-ground blade but we've also lengthened the blade's tip...
- A SECURE GRIP - The G-10 handle is narrowed at the end improving the ergonomics. The handle and blade have been profile...
The Spyderco ParaMilitary2 is a plain-edged knife made with high-quality materials and a durable body. It has a blade thickness of three-and-a-half millimeters and comes with a nested compression lock. The handles are of G-10 laminate, and the blade has a unique blade shaped in the leaf style.
Users of this knife love the ergonomic handle, the 4-pocket clip, and the liner lock provided with the package. This assures you of a secure and safe experience. Spyderco has gained an impressive rating of 4.4 out of 5 stars on Amazon.
The James Brand County Ebony
This James Brand County Ebony knife has a straight edge blade that measures two-and-a-half inches in length. The blade and handle work smoothly together for a great experience. It looks much like a classic pocketknife but is smaller than the average offering. It’s a slipjoint style, so won’t lock like many other items on this list.
Even users who don’t generally carry knives are more than satisfied with the materials and finishing of this option. Its Amazon rating of 4.8 out of 5 stars is the proof.
Our Favorite EDC Knife
You can determine the best EDC knife by knowing just what you need from it. For a partial serration and medium price range, though, the SOG Trident is the most logical option. If you’re simply looking for a starter knife, consider the Kershaw Cryo 1555TI.
Do you have a favorite EDC knife? Tell us about it in the comments!