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Best EDC Knife: Your ABCs of Every Day Carry Knives

Best EDC Knife
Dennis Owens
Written by Dennis Owens

The knife world has exponentially grown over the last two decades. There are hundreds of knife makers, making it difficult for buyers to know which brand is worth their money. It can be hard for seasoned knife enthusiasts to navigate.

The troubles can come about when trying to select the best EDC knife (Every Day Carry). Let’s try to clear these muddy waters and help you understand what to look for and what choices top our list.

First, let’s define an everyday carry knife. It is not a knife you purchase to keep pristine and unused. The purpose of an EDC knife is to be used daily and for anything that may arise. You are going to use this knife regularly and, sometimes, for an extended period.

EDC knives

The ways to use an EDC knife can range from opening a cardboard box to cutting up kindling for a fire with your children. The name “everyday carry knife” means it is intended to be used very frequently.

Each state will have some lawful regulation for carrying a knife. Some states have stricter laws than others. It may be a wise idea to take a look at those before purchasing. Most states seem fonder upon folding blades, rather than a fixed-blade knife. However, both fixed and folding knives positives and negatives.

Things to Look for in An EDC Knife

  • Lightweight: Most people carry their EDC knives in their pocket, so weight is a concern for many. You also don’t want anything outrageously long. Anything higher than 5 ounces can weigh down your pockets, making it feel like a brick.
  • Blade Length: There is no right or wrong blade length; you just need to find the right blade length for you. Most blades are between two and six inches. A small knife is all about control, and a large blade is for more reach. Three and four-inch blades fall right in the middle, making them a great compromise.
  • Blade Styles: You will notice a few different style of blades for EDC knives.
    • Spear Point is ideal for pushing and thrusting because of a strong The tip comes to a point.
    • Drop Point Blades drop into a flat Drop point blades are a practical option, perfect for many tasks.
    • Tanto Blade is a super strong option because it is thick all the way to the top. There are two different edges.

Contenders for The Best EDC Knife

Benchmade Knife 940 Plain Satin Blade Green Handle

Benchmade Knife 940 Plain Satin Blade Green Handle

Weight: 2.9 ounces

Dimensions: Blade Length – 3.4 inches, Overall Length – 7.87 inches

Features: Tanto Blade, Lightweight, Folding Blade, Stainless Steel, Durable

Description: The 940 was created more than a decade ago, and it is still one of the best sellers. I am a huge fan of Benchmade knives. Benchmade ensures all of their products pass a tough quality control standard.

Because of their high quality, they are one of the best companies. The Benchmade Knife 940 Plain Satin Blade Green Handle is a tanto blade, with a thickness of 0.114 inches. When opened, the knife is 7.87 inches, but it is 4.47 inches when closed. The 940 carries easily; you will barely notice it!

S30V steel is the material Benchmade chose for the 940, one of the best materials for an EDC knife. It holds the edge well and is easy to sharpen. When you want to open the knife, Benchmade’s Axis locking mechanism is easy to open with one hand, while still keeping the blade closed tightly.

The one downside to the 940 is the high price tag, but, considering the quality and durability, it is easy to understand why it is priced so high.

Spyderco Delica 4 Flat Ground Plan Edge Knife

Spyderco Delica 4 Flat Ground Plan Edge Knife

Weight: 2.5 ounces

Dimensions: Blade Length – 2.875 inches, Overall Length – 7.125 inches

Features: VG-10 Steel, Drop Point Blade, Thumb Hole, Lightweight, Sharpens Easily

Description: Next up in our search for the best EDC knife is the Spyderco Delica 4, made from VG-10 steel. It is a nice choice for materials because it is highly resistant to rust and sharpens nicely. One thing to be aware of is VG-10 steel is known to be brittle.

The Delica 4 has a full, flat-grind drop point blade; you won’t have any trouble slicing things like cardboard or plastics.

Like all Spyderco blades, the Delica has their trademark thumb hole. When closed, it measures only 4.25 inches. Combined with the 2.5 ounces, the Delica is a great choice for a lightweight EDC knife. The one downside is the Delica is the VG-10 steel doesn’t hold an edge as well as other materials.

Since it does sharpen well, it is a problem that you can fix with ease. Overall, the Delica makes a solid choice for an EDC knife. It is crafted nicely, sharpens easily, and is lightweight enough to carry with no issues.

Benchmade Knife 531BK Plain Edge Black Blade

Benchmade Knife 531BK Plain Edge Black Blade

Weight: 2.1 ounces

Dimensions: Blade Length – 3.25 inches, Overall Length – 7.42 inches

Feature: Locking Mechanism, G-10 Handle, Spear Point Blade, Lightweight, 154CM Steel

Description: All Benchmade knives are made with their Axis locking mechanism. For the Benchmade Knife 531BK Plain Edge Black Blade, it is one of the most important features because it is a straight body knife.

The 531 is crafted for hard labor; you can apply leverage to the blade with ease. The G-10 handles have a herringbone pattern, giving the user a solid gripping surface even in the rain.

The 531 has a spear point blade with a high flat grind. It is very thin, 0.09 inches, which makes slicing anything a breeze.

However, since it is a spear point, you will find it is great at piercing. Benchmade crafted the blade with 154CM steel. While it isn’t S30V, it is still stain resistant, wear resistant, and hardened to 58-60. There isn’t much to complain about there.

Overall, the 531 is enjoyable to use. The craftsmanship is outstanding. Some may complain about the higher price, but you get a knife made to last.

Spyderco Manix 2 Black Plain Edge Knife

Spyderco Manix 2 Black Plain Edge Knife

Weight: 5.0 ounces

Dimensions: Blade Length – 3.375 inches, Overall Length – 8.00 inches

Features: S30V Steel, Locking System, Folding Knife, Durable, One-Hand Open, Budget Friendly

Description: When comparing EDC knives, one of the first things you’ll notice is the weight of the Spyderco Manix 2 Black Plain Edge Knife. It is nearly double some of the other knives. While it may not be one of the lightest on the market, it is one of the most durable.

The Manix 2 is made of S30V steel with a full flat ground blade; S30V is one of the best steel choices for a knife. You will be able to slice and dice.

The Manix 2 has a locking system referred to as a ball lock that is held in place with a polymer resin. You don’t have to worry about blade play.

It is solidly locked in place. You can unlock the blade with one hand, but it is best to try it a few times because it is spring loaded. It may surprise you! The Manix 2 is tough as nails and will stand up to abuse as your EDC.

Spyderco Paramilitary 2 G-10 Plain Edge Knife

Spyderco Paramilitary 2 G-10 Plain Edge Knife

Weight: 3.75 ounces

Dimensions: Blade Length – 3.44 inches, Overall Length – 8.28 inches

Features: G-10 Handles, Made in USA, S30V Steel, Lightweight, Durable

Description: Spyderco knives are unique with their signature thumb hole for easy deployment and their different style blade shape.

They are undoubtedly one of the best choices on the market because of their ability to offer outstanding products consistently. Their Paramilitary 2 is an updated knife, featuring an ergonomic G-10 handle and 4-way pocket clip.

They made quite a few improvements with the Paramilitary 2, including a different lock. It features a back-mounted liner lock which is a safer user because it increases security. Knife enthusiasts love Spyderco knives because they are made in the USA with high-quality CPM S30V steel.

The blade is 3.44 inches and an overall length of 8.28 inches. The Paramilitary is an excellent choice for an EDC knife, with good ergonomics, well-balanced, high-quality steel, and durability. You can’t go wrong.

Cold Steel Recon 1 Spear Point Plain Edge Knife

Cold Steel Recon 1 Spear Point Plain Edge Knife

Weight: 5.3 ounces

Dimensions: Blade Length – 4 inches, Overall Length – 9.3 inches

Features: AUS 8 Steel, G-10 Handle, Locking System, Budget Friendly

Description: Cold Steel Recon 1 is at the top of many EDC lists, for many good reasons. It is one of the best tactical folding knives because of its durability and ability to perform a large range of tasks.

You can select the knife’s blade from three options: tanto point, spear point, and a clip point made from AUS 8 stainless steel.

All blades have a black, Teflon coating that will resist rust and glare. It also provides lubrication for cutting.

The handle is a scaled G-10 with their Cold Steel’s Tri-Ad locking system. The G-10 handles have laminated scales for an excellent grip during your tasks.

Their Tri-Ad lock works flawlessly and will hold your blade in place. There is no blade play.  The Recon 1 is a budget friendly EDC knife, with high quality, designed for frequent use. It is loved so much that you have to be careful of fakes!

Buck Knives SpitFire Folding Knives

Buck Knives SpitFire Folding Knives

Weight: 3.2 ounces

Dimensions: Blade Length – 3.25 inches, Overall Length –

Features: Drop Point Blade, 420HC Steel, Sharp, Open Hand Open, Lightweight

Description: The Spitfire is made for everyday carrying, with a drop point blade. The blade is made of 420HC stainless steel. I love the finish on this knife, and it is highly resistant to rust.

When you receive the Buck Knives SpitFire Folding Knives , it is insanely sharp out of the box. 420HC holds an edge very well and will sharpen with ease.

The handle is made of aluminum and has a thumb stud to help with one hand opening. You can open the knife with one hand, which is a convenient feature. However, the locking mechanism does allow for some blade play. It is lightweight and super sharp. The Spitfire is an excellent slicing EDC knife.

Al Mar Mini SERE 2000 Folding Knives

Al Mar Mini SERE 2000 Folding Knives

Weight: 3.5 ounces

Dimensions: Blade Length – 3 inches, Overall Length – 7 inches

Features: VG-10 Steel, Lightweight, Sharp Blade, Durable, G-10 Handle

Description: The Al Mar SERE 2000 has been used for decades, intended for an Army’s survival and escape program. Many military members pick this as their EDC knife. However, the Mini SERE is a smaller version of the original, allowing it to be carried with ease.

Just because it is smaller doesn’t mean it isn’t just as good as the original! The blade is 3 inches and made from VG-10 steel, giving it strength and ease of sharpening. Right out of the box, the Al Mar Mini has a super, sharp blade.

The chances of breaking the tip are slim. You deploy the blade with a pair of thumb studs. The handle is a scalded G-10 with steel liners for a good grip. It only weighs 3.5 ounces, making it a great, lightweight option.

Zero Tolerance 0801BW Flipper Titanium Blackwash Knife

Zero Tolerance 0801BW Flipper Titanium Blackwash Knife

Weight: 5.8 ounces

Dimensions: Blade Length – 3.5 inches, Overall Length – 8.2 inches

Features: Made in USA, Titanium, Frame Lock, One-Hand Open

Description: If you prefer to purchase knives made in the USA, Zero Tolerance blades are made by Kai USA Ltd, which is the same parent company as Kershaw Knives. Zero Tolerance designs their blade to be “proudly overbuilt,” focusing on top quality and good materials.

As soon as you pick up the Zero Tolerance 0801BW Flipper Titanium Blackwash Knife, you will notice how solid it feels in your hand. You can feel confident that this blade will last you for years to come.

The frame of the 0801 is made of titanium, giving it a worn look after years of use. It has an integrated pocket clip, a built-in flipper for one-handed deployment, and a frame lock with a hardened steel lock bar that will keep the blade in place.

However, it is heavier than most EDC knives. Also, considering the length, it may be heavier in your pocket.

These are nine great options for the best EDC knife. To make your selection, you should determine what features matter the most for you! The quality of the steel should matter as well, especially for the higher priced EDC knives. You will want to make sure the handle has a grip, especially in the rain.

While all of these EDC knives are great, the Spyderco Paramilitary 2 and Benchmade Knife 940 stand out as two of the best choices on the list. Both are made with high quality, S30V steel. They are lightweight and have a secure locking mechanism. Either one will work perfectly for a variety of tasks.

Have A Knife for Your Everyday

I hope this review was hopeful. What is your favorite EDC knife? Let us know in the comments!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Dennis Owens
Dennis Owens

Dennis Owens is a graduate of National Camping School and REI Outdoor School. He knows everything about what gear to take with you, how to plan your trip to stay safe and what to do if you get lost in the mountains. We are lucky to have Dennis with us as he is a ‘walking encyclopedia’ when it comes to the wilderness.

  • Gustavo Woltmann

    An important thing I look when buying an EDC knife is that it doesn’t bulk that much when inside my pocket. The Ontario RAT 1 is my best pick. I bought for just about $30. It’s definitely worth the price because it has a AUS8 blade which is 3.5 inches and it’s easy to clean and sharpen.

    • Dennis Owens

      I agree, Gustavo. The concept of being compact should present itself whenever you carry your knife around you. Some knives, while very effective, can be very bulky too.

  • Jamie Lyons

    When the Para MiIitary 2 was first available to buy, there was a lot of hype from reviewers, stating that this is the best EDC on the market, etc, etc. For a little over $120, I’ll admit, I found this hard to believe, however, temptation did get the better of me, and in the end, I bought one.

    It would seem my fellow knife aficionados, were absolutely right. The size, the weight, the feel and the Para Military 2’s blade quality were all absolutely spot on, a true EDC classic.

    • Dennis Owens

      The Para Military knife might be a divisive purchase for the budget-conscious, I think it pays for itself. Durable construction, nice sharp edge, and compact design makes this a really versatile and reliable knife.

  • Eugene Anderson

    I would definitely recommend SpydecoDelica 4. It’s great for cutting food and other daily tasks, but not tough enough for hard use. The blade can be sharpened rather easily to a fine edge. Besides that, downside of this knife is its slower deployment in comparison to knives with other types of locks. When its finish and performance are valued, Spyder isn’t far behind any other knifes that cost much more.

    • Dennis Owens

      A great recommendation, Eugene! Its blade is very durable and can cater your basic outdoor cutting needs. And yes, its blade can be sharpened easily without all the fuzz.

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