Many of us tend to understand Everyday Carry or EDC as any stuff at any point in time with an individual or gear that one takes along daily such as money and keys. However, both interpretations are only partly true because the exact connotation is actually wider. In reality, EDC items are those things that are essential in your normal routine of day-to-day life or during uninvited emergency that can come at any time. These items are such that you would always like to have with you for instant use or execution of a task. This is why they are also known as utilitarian items.
Of all the different stuff, a good knife is perhaps the backbone of your EDC toolkit. Although some items are quite common, there is no standard EDC list because each one has different needs as well as varying situations. An increasing number of people have started carrying stuff such as flashlights, first aid, stopwatch, and even a pocket knife for facing a variety of unpredicted situations. This is exactly an EDC knife that forms a part of the EDC kit designed to have items with practical utility in life.
Best EDC Knife: Choosing the Right One
Picking a daily use knife is a bit tough task with no single everywhere applicable choice. If you ask 10 people about the best EDC knife, you are likely to receive 10 different choices. This is exactly why a selection becomes confusing, just because it is one’s own personal preference.
Nevertheless, the best EDC knife needs to be durable and strong enough to make you do any task, right from ordinary to miraculous, including saving yours or someone’s life. Therefore, while buying, you have some factors, features, or capabilities to consider of an EDC knife.
This is the first thing to find out. Ask yourself why I need an EDC knife. In case you are expecting several tasks to be done with it, you will come across several EDC knives perfectly geared for versatility. In fact, the best EDC knives are highly versatile. However, each of them shall differ in terms of blade; a small serrated blade can do a few tasks better than a big straight edge one. Therefore, jot down all tasks for which you need an EDC blade. This will help you choose the right blade edge and point.
Fixed or Folding Type
This is perhaps the most important choice to make at the time of choosing the best EDC knife. A majority of people prefers folding type due to their more compact length and pocket fitting ability. In case of a fixed blade, a sheath covers as well as secures it to prevent wearing on a cord or belt. However, you should choose as per the environment in which you will be using it as well as according to your preference. For example, in urban area, a folding blade is better because it will be lighter to carry and shall be unobtrusive. However, in a rural area, a fixed blade is easier to use for cutting the barriers often. If you need a maximum blade length, durability, as well as strength, a fixed blade is ideal.
This factor is important to consider, as you are likely to carry the knife around. In case you need something that you remain in the pocket, a more compact choice is wise. Because most folding knives measure in the range of 2 to 6 inches, you can choose approximately 3 or 4. In case of fixed blade models, you can go with any length of your preference, if you do not mind having the sheath outside the pocket.
Further, the kind of task to be done also helps in determining the length. For example, for office use, a smaller knife of 2 inches is perfect; while for yard work, a bigger model is comfortable. Finally, you should also pay attention to the blade length restrictions put forward by the government in your area. In this case, the options might be very restricted.
If weight is your priority factor, you surely will prefer small and light EDC knives. In this case, a folding type is your best bet for both performance and practicality. Choose a model having a blade length of within 3.5 inches and a weight of less than 4.5 ounces.
Well, there are three to four main blade types to consider as per your multitude of needs. First is the full ground edge having either a curved or a straight design for pushing cuts, scraping, stabbing, poking, and precision tasks. Second is fully serrated ideal for slicing through hard items such as leather, wood, plastic, and drywall but not for self-defense stabbing, as it gets stuck. Lastly, a partially serrated blade is serrated close to the handle and has a straight edge close to the tip to give the pros of both of the above blade types.
Opening and Closing Mechanism
The best EDC knife opens with ease on demand and with one hand! This is because you never know when you would need to open it instantly with just one hand. Moreover, the opening mechanism should be able to work with either hand, as the user may be left or right handed. You may even choose to have a manual or assisted opening to open the knife automatically or quickly the moment you take it out from the pocket, but this is illegal in many regions.
Just as the opening mechanism, you would also need a solid locking mechanism to ensure no closing while in your hand. Most EDC knives come with liner lock, lever lock, or lock back. However, a quality EDC blade shall also have a secondary safety option.
This factor refers to both handle and blade. A steel blade is hard enough to overcome the wear and tear as well as retain the sharp edge for a longer time. This means you shall not be sharpening every week. While not all premium steels are affordable, it will not cost you significantly to have a reliable steel such as S30V, VG-10, 154CM, and 14C28N.
For handle, G-10 as a fiberglass resin is super tough and light in weight, whereas Zytel is an indestructible plastic with relatively more grip. You can even choose Micarta (cloth + resin mix) for strength, titanium as a lightweight and strong option almost impervious to rust, or carbon steel for durable sharp edge although vulnerable to quicker rusting than stainless steel.
A multitool EDC knife with 15 functions is most versatile but perhaps is also most expensive. A single blade can fulfill over 80% of your needs, but having one more blade with partial serration adds more functionality. You might also need a sharp tipped blade for sharp works and a pocket clip for handy usage. Therefore, buy as per your needs!
Top 5 EDC Knives
Kershaw 1660 Ken Onion Leek Folding Knife with SpeedSafe
With 3-inch, 14C28N stainless steel blade, this one is sleek and razor sharp item. It features a manual as well as an ambidextrous assisted opening system for smooth and quick use and positional locking system featuring a tip lock slider. It just weighs 3.1 ounces and measures 4 inches in length when closed. The blade is a tailored drop-point for slicing as well as detailed work, and piercing with its slim tip. You can configure pocket clip for tip-up or down carry.
Spyderco Tenacious Plain Edge Knife
With G-10 handle, 4 oz of weight, and 3 3/8 blade length, this one is tough and tireless mid-size option for all fatigue-free tasks. It features steel liners for boosted strength and rigidity of handle without bulkiness, 4-way pocket clip, 8Cr13Mov stainless leaf-shaped ground flat blade for ideal cutting, textured spine serrate design for slip-proof opening.
Ontario 8848 RAT Folding Knife
This one weighs 5 ounces and measures only 4.5 inches in length when closed. The blade is 3.5-inch long featuring flat ground/plain edge style and is made up of AUS-8 steel. The knife also features ergonomic nylon handles and spine serrated design for greater control, liner lock mechanism, easy one-handed opening, and a 4-way pocket clip.
Zero Tolerance G10 Handle with Speed Safe
This one features S30V stainless steel blade having a black tungsten layer for low friction and 3.25 inches length, SpeedSafe ambidextrous opening system, and G-10 handle with textured scales for protected grip. Weight is around 6.2 ounces.
Gerber 31-000345 E.A.B. Lite Pocket Knife
Designed for comfortable grip, this one has a replaceable utility blade with standard size or 2-1/4-inch contractor blades. It is ideal for different tasks with its tapered shape and circular edges, deep finger grooves, and stainless steel handle. The weight is only 2.5 ounces and the total opened length is 5.1 inches.
An EDC knife is handy for fighting against the attacking rivals, cutting fruits, shaping loose threads, opening mail, cleaning your nails, and/or performing an emergency tracheotomy for breathing well until a medical treatment becomes available. In this way, such a knife helps in survival and emergency situations for ensuring peace of mind or successfully execution of the desired task. Although it is not necessary for all to be a mobile survival store, it is essential to have an EDC pocket knife wherever permitted.