Choosing an EDC knife is not an easy task.
We’ve spent 18 hours testing and reviewing the best EDC knives on the market right now. We’ve compiled everything we’ve discovered into this article.
There are many types of EDC knives in the market, which can make your decision that much more complicated.
In most cases though, the choice of EDC knife is all based on personal preferences.
However, it is important to ensure that the knife you carry is able to help you out in difficult, as well as simple tasks and is versatile in the sense that it can be used to cut stuff, fix things, and maybe save your life if need be.
Be sure to research all of the different options before choosing an EDC knife.
You want to be sure that the knife you carry on you everyday is going to benefit you in the way that you need.
What Is An EDC Knife
EDC stands for “every day carry.”
So, when you get an EDC knife, you’re looking for a knife that is strong enough to use for almost everything… while still being highly portable.
A good EDC knife should be one that won’t make your pockets bulky or unwieldy… but it should also be sharp, have a highly sturdy blade, and be incredibly durable.
An EDC knife is light enough that you can forget it’s in your pocket but is still reliable enough to handle just about any job.
Now that you know what an EDC Knife is, you might be wondering…
Why An EDC Knife Is Important
The process of picking the perfect everyday carry knife is an incredibly personal experience that changes, sometimes vastly, from person to person.
No two people are the same and, similarly, no two blades offer the same exact features, benefits, and drawbacks.
That being said, there are some things you can keep an eye out for that will make the process a good deal more manageable and effective, so long as you keep yourself focused on the end goal.
We’ve outlined a few of the most important things below:
How To Choose An EDC Knife
Regardless of the gear type for which you are searching, you should always set a budget.
Knives can range from as little as a few dollars to as much as literal thousands, so it’s best you decide well ahead of time how much you feel comfortable spending.
Just remember, the price you set for yourself will also somewhat determine your range of available options. Luckily, there are superb knives for just about any budget.
The number one thing you should consider when choosing a knife is what you’ll use it for.
Some folks need a rugged blade that can handle the punishments of outdoor living.
Other, more urbanite people might only need something that can open packages and cut loose strings off of clothing. Figure out the kinds of hurdles your life throws at you and cater your search to them.
Definitely on a lower tier than functionality, at least when it comes to importance, style is no-less a determining factor in your search.
After all, if you’re going to carry and use a knife, it helps to find that blade appealing at which to look.
Thankfully, we live in a world where the options for styling are just as wide-ranging as the functionality or more.
So you shouldn’t have a problem finding one you like to look at that suits your needs.
Ideally, the knife you choose will last for years and years — with some having the potential to be passed down to the next generation or more.
Of course, that’s going to largely depend on your willingness to care for your knife — including required maintenance, like sharpening and cleaning your blade.
If you’re not willing to do these things, the longevity of your knife will shorten and, therefore, you might be more well-suited to a pocket knife that can be easily replaced.
However, we suggest you simply take the time to learn what to do to keep your blade working and you might find you never need to replace it.
How To Find The Perfect EDC Knife
Now that you’ve got some idea of what your needs, budget, and personal preferences are, it’s time to take a deeper dive into the options out there.
Remember, there are literally thousands of everyday carry knives available — meaning, one way or another, there’s the perfect one out there somewhere for you.
Below you will find a list of the different types EDC knives you can choose from.
Different Types Of EDC Knives
A folding knife is a type of Everyday Carry knife in which the blade and handle are connected by a pivot making it possible for the blade to easily fold into the knife’s handle.
It is a knife that can easily fit in your pocket. Folding knives come in different styles and types. There are those that have single blades and there are others that have multiple blades, as well as smooth and serrated blades.
When considering getting this type of knife, it is important to consider your daily activities.
For instance, if your work entails cutting cardboard, you would benefit more from a serrated blade. Folding knives are extremely versatile and safe, and are a solid choice for an EDC knife.
Read our review of the iconic Spyderco ParaMilitary 2 folding knife here.
Fixed Blade Knife
The difference between the fixed blade knife and the folding knife is exactly what you would think, it does not fold into itself.
Because this knife does not fold into itself, you are also going to want to make sure that the blade is protected at all times.
There are different types of fixed blade knives on the market and they are mainly categorized depending on the purpose they serve.
These include: combat knives, hunting knives, dive knives, boot knives and survival knives among others.
It is therefore important to know exactly what you want the fixed blade knife for in order to ensure you get a blade that will work best for the purpose you intend to use it for.
Multi-tool knives are the most versatile pocket knives you can carry with you everywhere you go.
The great thing about these types of knives is the fact that they not only include a blade, but also other useful tools you may need in your everyday life. The most common type of multi-tool EDC knife has a reamer, screwdriver, knife blade, a bottle opener, and a wire stripper.
It is possible to get a multi-tool knife that has things like tweezers, scissors, nail file and even magnifying glasses. This knife is suitable for those who like to be prepared, but don’t want to be carrying a lot of different things.
Because of its versatility, this is a great knife to bring with you when camping.
One of the most famous multi-tools on the market is the Leatherman Wingman.
Card knives are becoming quite popular amongst the Everyday Carry enthusiasts.
These knives are incredibly thin and are designed to look a credit card in terms of shape and size. The design of these types of knives enables you to carry them in your wallet along with your credit cards.
Card knives are great for people who travel on business a lot or don’t want to carry around a stand-alone knife.
They are lightweight, convenient and fairly durable.
A lapel knife is meant to be easily be concealed and inconspicuous.
You can have it in a lapel, a sock or a tie without it being too obvious.
These types of EDC knives are especially nice for people who walk home late at night alone or even for campers who spend a lot of time outdoors at night. You can protect yourself or use it for other purposes such as cutting objects.
With this type of knife however, it is very important to know how to hold it. Because it does not have a large handle, it can accidentally cut you, so use them with caution.
It is not advisable for people with minimal experience to carry this type knife around in their Everyday carry kit.
Now that you’ve got some idea of what your needs, it’s time to take a deeper dive into the options out there.
Here is our complete list of the Top 15 Best EDC Knife on the market.
15 Best EDC Knives On The Market
Opinel No. 08
The Most Budget Friendly
The Opinel No. 08 is an everyday carry (EDC) knife with a worldwide flair.
It's produced by a French firm that has been operating for decades.
Opinel's folding pocket knives are available in a variety of sizes, with each number in the model name representing a different blade size.
The Opinel No. 08 is the 3.35-inch version, which is in line with most people's ideal blade length (3.5 inches).
Some users may find the lack of a real thumb rest and the slow-opening blade to be inconvenient, although overall, the Opinel No. 08 is a wonderful budget EDC knife with a classic appearance.
It is quick to use and cuts effectively, thanks to its light weight frame.
Gerber Decree Knife
Tactical Folding Knife
Gerber's Decree is one of their USA-made tactical folding knife collection's largest, and it's a fully versatile, full-sized EDC knife with a sturdy glass-filled nylon handle and a rubberized diamond texture for a secure grip in all weather conditions, as well as an integrated steel tip glass breaker.
The steel modified tanto blade — which is protected by a non-reflective, corrosion resistant black ceramic covering — measures 30 millimeters in length and has an anatomically contoured handle that makes it comfortable to grip.
Kershaw Cryo Folding Knife
The Kershaw Cryo was first envisioned by Rick Hinderer and produced by Kershaw, it has remained one of the greatest everyday carry tools in the world.
This is because of its unique combination of relative affordability, remarkably durable materials, and a timeless silhouette that looks as good to us now as it did the first time we laid eyes upon it.
Unencumbered by flashy accouterments, it manages to remain eye-catching thanks to its versatile drop point blade, ergonomic stainless steel handle (with a sturdy frame lock), and all-gray colorway.
And it is those same features that will keep this in your everyday carry loadout day-in and day-out. Simple yet beautiful, scrappy yet elegant, the Kershaw Cryo is a knife that should be in every EDC enthusiast’s repertoire.
SOG Flash II
Designed For US Special Ops
SOG Specialty Knives, Inc. is a North Carolina-based manufacturer of knives for both military and non-military users, including EDC folding knives to fixed blade knives.
The maker's most famous product is the SOG Knife, a knife designed for a US special operations unit known as the Military Assistance Command, Vietnam – Studies and Observations Group (MACV-SOG), during the Vietnam War. That was how SOG got its name.
The SOG Flash II comes standard with a reversible, low-carry pocket clip and a safety lock that prevents the blade from inadvertently deploying in your pocket when not in use. The Flash II is 3.1 ounces light despite having all of the aforementioned features, which suggests SOG was able to do so without sacrificing durability.
Victorinox Cadet Swiss Army Knife
Most Efficient & Long Lasting
There's no way a "best of everyday carry knives" post can exist without at least one Swiss Army Knife. But if we had to choose one of their folding multi-tool knives that stands above the rest, it would be the Cadet.
This isn't because it's the most efficient, long-lasting, or stunning.
Rather, it's because this knife is as close to the original blade that was first issued to Swiss troops in the late 1800s as possible. Of course, this alone isn't enough to put it on our list.
It has a fantastic design, with stainless steel tools and textured alox scales that are as attractive to look at as they are pleasant to hold. You may begin to see what makes this one of the finest human creations, bar none, when you combine it with a sturdy slipjoint blade and eight other built-in instruments.
Yes, we mean all inventions, not just folding knives. If you identify yourself as an EDC enthusiast but don't own a SAK, it's time to reconsider your definition.
Kershaw Blur Black
The Kershaw Blur is a small, compact, and lightweight knife with a great look. At first sight, it appears to be an expensive knife with a $100 price tag. Given the quality it delivers, it's a steal that you can get for far less than that.
The Blur is an EDC knife designed to be versatile and capable of performing a variety of everyday functions. It has a Sandvik 14C28N stainless steel blade with exceptional hardness and lifespan. The drop point blade is also coated with diamond-like carbon (DLC), which improves its corrosion resistance and looks.
The assisted opening on the Blur makes it easy to open with one hand. The Blur has a thumb stud, a liner lock, and a reversible pocket clip, all of which are well-located. It measures 4.5 inches when closed and weighs 3.9 ounces when empty.
Buck Knives' 110
Best under $50
Buck Knives' 110 Folding Hunter Knife was first produced in 1964. And it is a testament to the knife's quality that it has essentially remained unchanged in its design for more than 50 years.
There's a reason why it hasn't needed to be changed, and that's because it was one of the first lockback folding blades on the market that was strong enough to endure the same types of rigorous activity as a fixed blade — like skinning and dressing game. It can still take what modern man dishes out.
It's also significant, because it features the same quality steel as many other Benchmade knives. For my money, though, this one is the best EDC knife ever designed: It combines the benefits of folding down small enough to fit into your pocket with the premium blade material. It also doesn't hurt that it's so timelessly elegant in its
This blade is nearly flawless from tip to handle, whether you're an urbanite or a wilderness bushcraft survivor. It's exceedingly probable that this knife will be among the greatest cutting knives in any generation.
Buck Knives Vantage Pro
Sharp & Dependable
Buck Knives is a household name in the knife world, and it's difficult to argue against them. Buck Knives has been in business since 1902 and is well-known in the field for popularizing folding hunting knives. The Buck Vantage Pro is one of the best EDC folding knives on the market, according to experts.
The Vantage Pro is a noteworthy example of a knife that combines ergonomics and cutting power. It has a 3.25-inch S30V steel blade that is harder, more durable, and more resistant to corrosion than the previous versions.
The DuoSharp 2 uses high-performance steel that will stay sharper for longer, making it much easier to sharpen your knife for the first time and keep it sharp over time. It's also extremely light; you'll barely feel the handle in your hand while using this knife. The Duraline handle feels very strong and comfortable in your hands
Overall, the US-made Vantage Pro is a sharp and dependable EDC knife that you can count on for common activities.
Spyderco Para Military 2
Best Tactical Knife
The Paramilitary 2 from Spyderco is undoubtedly the most tactical of the every day carry knives on our list. This knife, also known as the PM2, has all of the makings of a legendary cutting tool — from high-quality craftsmanship to its well-known form and everything in between.
The Buck 110 is another excellent EDC knife; it's a fierce competitor for the title of best EDC knife ever made. However, the PM2 isn't for folks looking to reduce their carry; when deployed, it measures up at a colossal 8.3 inches.
The 3.4-inch blade is considerably robust, but it's still serviceable for light duty applications. What that means to the user in terms of performance is that the handle offers a lot of grip and torque for tough cutting chores, while maintaining the signature leaf blade form (with its razor-sharp point) for accuracy.
This folding knife also includes a proprietary compression lock that may be the toughest and most dependable ever built into a folding knife. All things considered, this tiny pocket blade is nothing short of incredible.
SOG Trident Elite
The SOG Trident Elite is a feature-rich EDC knife that you can rely on during emergency situations.
Even when the blade is not deployed, you can use it to cut thin ropes, belts, and webbing, courtesy of its built-in line cutter.
In addition, the handle includes a glass breaker, making the Trident Elite a versatile EDC knife.
Out of all the products listed here, the Trident Elite is easily one of the longest, coming in with an overall length of 8.7 inches. It has a 3.7-inch AUS-8 stainless steel blade that deploys quickly and smoothly, thanks to SOG’s assisted opening mechanism.
The blade of the model listed here comes with a TiNi finish, which makes it extremely scratch-resistant, but you can also opt for a satin-polished model.
Like other modern EDC knives, the Trident Elite comes with a reversible pocket clip. If you want an EDC knife that makes you more prepared for emergencies, get the Trident Elite.
GERBER StrongArm Fixed Blade Knife
Best Under $100
The ever-changing battlefield demands equipment that is adaptable and dependable, with tools developed specifically for combat and survival scenarios. Since 1966, Gerber has been producing survival knives for those in the military, rising to the challenge of combining decades of expertise while continuing to innovate.
The fixed blade by Gerber's StrongArm does just that: it is a traditional fixed blade built for tremendous strength with an innovative sheath system that is the first of its kind. The multi-mount, snap-together sheath is simple to use and may be attached vertically on Molle, or horizontally on a belt.
The StrongArm is the next step in the evolution of the traditional fixed blade, with customizable features that can meet your needs on-site.
Cold Steel Recon 1
Founded in 1980, Cold Steel is a reliable brand when it comes to edged weapons and tools, and that includes swords.
The Recon 1 is in the same mold as the American Lawman in that it offers a no-nonsense profile, with its entire design built to be effective and efficient.
The Recon Series is composed of knives with different styles. The product we got here comes with a non-serrated, spear point blade with a diamond-like carbon (DLC) coating for enhanced protection against corrosion.
The blade is made of S35VN steel and measures 4 inches.
Combine that blade length with the G10 handle’s 5.375-inch measurement and the Recon 1 easily checks out as one of the longest EDC knives on this list. It weighs 5.2 ounces and includes Cold Steel’s Tri-Ad locking mechanism. The handle has a lanyard hole and a pocket clip.
CRKT CEO EDC Folding Pocket Knife
A knife that’s dressed for success
It's easy to mistake it for a pen stowed in a pocket. And that is precisely how the CEO folding knife was intended. It represents the working ethic of everyday carry with a supremely low profile and no corners cut on usability and comfort.
Another strong knife from Richard Rogers' workshop in the rugged hills of Magdalena, New Mexico, which is known for its clean, simple, and highly-usable designs.
The lightweight, low-profile CEO reclines as a pen until a sealed note is needed opening or a suit needs finishing. A tiny thumb stud activates IKBS, swiftly deploying the satin-finished stainless steel blade with lubed ball bearings to minimize friction.
A locking liner keeps it in place between the sleek and strong glass-reinforced nylon handle. The CEO: is ideal for making a long to-do list while paired with an extra dark roast.
The Zero Tolerance 0095BW
High-End Yet Durable & Rugged Knife
The Zero Tolerance 0095BW is unmistakably high-end, with its edgy design making it stand out in a big way.
But the 0095BW isn’t just about appearances. It’s also an extremely rugged and durable knife that can easily laugh off even the most taxing tasks.
Equipped with a 3.6-inch CPM S35VN steel blade with a diamond-like carbon (DLC) coating and a BlackWash finish, the 0095BW cuts efficiently and stays razor-sharp for a long time.
The harpoon-style blade is easy to re-sharpen and has excellent corrosion resistance.
The handle is just as impressive as the blade.
It’s made of titanium, guaranteeing extreme strength and durability, and has a matching BlackWash finish. The US-made 0095BW includes a KVT ball-bearing system and a flipper for a ridiculously smooth blade deployment. In addition, it has a titanium frame lock, a hardened steel lock bar insert, and a reversible pocket clip.
If you want an EDC folding knife that screams high-end, get the 0095BW.
Gerber 06 Auto Knife
Built specifically from feedback gathered from United States military personnel, Gerber built this heavy-duty 06 Auto Knife — a fully automatic tactical folder built to stand up in the field or for everyday carry.
The knife features a slide safety engaged in both the closed and open positions, a stainless steel pommel with a strike point, and an over-sized release button that is simple to operate with a gloved hand.
The blade on the Gerber 06 Auto Knife is made from S30V stainless steel that is prepared to be used and abused without taking any damage or sacrificing sharpness or edge stability.
This is the perfect knife for those whose lives demand more than just an ordinary pocket knife.
How To Take Care Of Your EDC Knife
Just like any knife, EDC knives need a little TLC from time to time. Maintenance and upkeep are necessary if you want them to continue to perform at their best.
But it’s nothing difficult or complicated. All it takes is the occasional sharpening and regular cleaning. Doing so will make a quality EDC knife last several lifetimes (or longer).
How To Clean An EDC Knife
Most EDC knives are made of stainless steel. This makes cleaning them extremely easy.
First, scrape off any crud or grime from the blade (use a surface cleaner, like Windex, to get out stubborn stains).
With a damp rag, you can wipe down the blade and handle. And with a q-tip, you can clean out all the nooks and crannies a typical folding EDC knife has.
It’s also a good idea to oil your knife once in a while. To keep the hinge swinging like it is brand new.
Gun oil works best for this, applied to a q-tip and gently rubbed on the hinge-point (but you can also use WD-40).
How To Sharpen An EDC Knife
Many knife makers will sharpen your knife for you.
If your Kershaw, Spyderco or Benchmade blade is getting dull, send it back to the manufacturer. Let them use their specialized equipment to sharpen it correctly.
This also ensures that the blade is sharpened correctly and evenly.
Of course, this means parting ways with your EDC knife for several weeks.
You can also sharpen an EDC knife yourself, using a multitude of knife sharpeners.
Sharpen your blade every once in a while. Make sure you stay on top of it, a dull knife is more dangerous than a sharp one!
The Final Word
Buying an EDC knife is an important step towards becoming a prepared survivalist.
It’s a tool that serves a vast multitude of purposes, and it fits comfortably inside pants pockets, under a shirt, in a boot or on a belt.
EDC knives are an essential tool for anyone who considers themselves a survivalist. But finding the right one can be difficult.
Do your research, shop around, and find the best EDC knife for you.
It makes all the difference in the world carrying an EDC knife. Find one that feels like the perfect fit for your body, your preferences, and your survival needs.
If you’re interested in EDC Gear, here are some of other survival gear reviews:
- Bug out bag
- Survival Watch
- Survival flashlight
- Survival shovel
- Water containers
- Neck gaiters
- Survival Machete
- etc., etc., etc.
Do you wear an EDC Knife? Which one is your favorite?