Five Choices for an Everyday Carry Knife

OUTDOORS

   02.25.21

Think about the things you carry every day when you leave the house. These are the things that always, without fail, find their way to your pocket and if you should find yourself without it, you just don’t feel right. For many of us, one of those everyday carry (EDC) items is a knife. What makes a good EDC knife? It has to serve multiple functions and most importantly – be handy! It has to be ready to cut multiple things, including things like rope, fabric, meat and more. Most of us with kids have used our EDC knives to open toy packaging in the parking lot of the store at some point.

Blade length is important when it comes to an EDC knife. You need to know your laws where you are. This is really important. Some locations have limits on what is considered legal. 2.5 to 4 inches is generally going to be ok. Smaller and you can make some essential tasks much harder than they need to be, much more and you run the risk of the knife becoming cumbersome, and, in some areas, illegal without a concealed weapon permit. Here are five choices for an everyday carry knife that will serve you well.

1. Gerber Quadrant Folding Knife – Editor’s Pick



Super compact, sharp and so easy to carry

With there being so many EDC knives to choose from, we had to add this beauty from Gerber to the list. It was easy to do, too, because it is what several of us carry every day. This sweet little knife with a frame lock  and a straight-edge-style 7Cr17MoV stainless steel blade folds down into a super compact size that is perfect for your pocket. The bamboo strip adds grip as well as adds a ton of style. The ambidextrous flipper makes opening it a snap and you’ll find that this knife is very handy. The blade measures just 2.7 inches, too. Such a cool knife and it only costs around $35!

Pros/Super compact and cool

Cons/None. Buy one.

Bottom Line/A compact, unique EDC knife

2. SOG Terminus XR G10 – Sweet Price



A great EDC knife that won’t break your bank account

We have some pretty pricey knives in our collections, but every one of us who carries a knife daily has been impressed by the Terminus from SOG and it carries a sweet price. The SOG Terminus XR G10 D2 Folding Knife is easily carried around your neck on a lanyard, or clipped to your belt for easy access. With a 2.95-inch clip point, D2 steel blade, this knife also comes with a durable G10 handle. There are  three different ways to open the knife: it has a jumped blade flipper, dual thumb studs, or by holding the sliding switch back on the side of the knife and flicking the knife with force. A XR locking mechanism connects to a horizontal bar to lock the blade open. It comes with a deep pocket clip so you can carry it securely, but with discretion. We really like this one.

Pros/Balanced knife with multiple opening options

Cons/Some don’t like the red handle

Bottom Line/A sweet deal on a very cool EDC knife

3. CRKT Provoke



One of the coolest, unconventional EDC knives going

We are huge fans of the Provoke, and it is a great EDC knife to have when things go wrong. The Provoke morphing karambit knife is among the first to feature Kinematic technology, staying neatly tucked away in transit and instantly popping out when you need it. Modeled after a traditional karambit, the hawkbill-style blade of the Provoke is forged from D2 steel and finished with a black titanium nitride coating for durability and edge retention. How’s it open? Thumb pressure on the upper crossbar sets the chain reaction in motion, causing the blade to lunge to action while you’ve got a firm grasp on the handle. It’s crafted of aircraft-grade 6061 aluminum. Even the pocket clip is unique as it sits basically flush with the handle and likewise activated with light thumb pressure.

Pros/Funky, functional and cool

Cons/Moving parts can need more cleaning

Bottom Line/The best, unconventional EDC knife

4. Zero Tolerance 0350TS



One of the cooler looking, and extremely functional knives you can get

The ZT 0359TS has a sweet, tiger-striped Tungsten Diamond-Like Carbon coated S30V stainless steel blade, ZT’s SpeedSafe Assisted Opening that allows quick one-handed blade opening with the thumb stud or the flipper. Making the knife coolers is the matte black, G-10 flat scaled handle. The liner locking system prevents the blade from closing during use and provides a secure way to fold the knife. The knife has a quad-mount pocket clip to secure it easily on your person, helping to make this a sweet EDC knife. As seen on TV – NCIS fans know what we mean.

Pros/One of the coolest looking, and durable knives out there

Cons/Pricey, but cool

Bottom Line/We’d be happy to carry one ourselves

5. Benchmade Bugout



A sweet, balanced blade

The Bugout has a CPM-S30V, coated, stainless-steel, drop-point, utility blade that holds an edge exceptionally well and provides great corrosion resistance. Benchmade’s AXIS Lock is exceptionally strong and fully ambidextrous. It is a manual knife that can be opened and closed with just one hand. The glass-filled Grigori handle is comfortable, thin and tough. The knife also weighs less than 2 ounces, making it an ideal EDC knife. The reversible, mini deep-carry pocket clip is pretty handy, too. The Bugout comes with Benchmade’s limited Lifetime and Life Sharp Service, too, so if it fails, you can get it fixed or replaced for free.

Pros/A popular, lightweight EDC

Cons/The handle doesn’t fit all hands well

Bottom Line/A good EDC

6. Kershaw Select Fire – Bonus Pick



More than just a pocket knife

We got one of these multi-tool knives from Kershaw a while back as a gift and it has since found its way into our pocket and truck pretty much ever since. It is just so handy that it is hard not to include it in this list. It has a 3.4-inch blade made of 8Cr13MoV stainless steel that is bead-blasted for easy maintenance. There is a flip-out screwdriver head with a mini ruler etched on the sides. The head accepts standard bits, and there are two phillips head and two flat head bits carried in flip out carried in the glass-reinforced handle. The drop-point blade has a thumb stud for easy open and the blade is held in place by a lock liner.

Pros/Extremely handy knife/tool

Cons/Blade length makes it illegal in some areas – check local laws before carrying in public

Bottom Line/AT this price, and with this functionality, you’ll want to buy several just because

Knife laws

Knives fall into a weird category. They are tools, but can also be classified as a weapon, depending on where you are. There are a few things to keep in mind when carrying a knife. You are responsible for knowing the laws when you carry a knife, and those laws can change depending upon where you go.

There are two main areas that affect how an EDC knife can be regulated – blade length and opening mechanism. Blade length is a big one depending upon your state. three inches seems to be the golden number, too. In Michigan, anything three inches or less is fine. Above that, and you had better be going hunting or fishing, as longer knives are legal to carry during those activities. Sound a little confusing? That’s why you need to know your local ordinances and state laws.

A good resource is the American Knife & Tool Institute Website.

The deal with steel

There are different steel types used in knives and they play a big role in performance and cost.

Carbon steel is considered very tough and has excellent durability and the ability to sharpen and resharpen. The biggest trade-off is corrosion resistance. They simply cannot be allowed to sit with water on them, as rust will be an issue.

Stainless steel is simply carbon steel with chromium added to resist rust. These types of blades resist rust, but the usual throwback is the steel becomes softer, making edge retention a little iffy.

Various tool steels are the premium steels used in the higher quality knives. These precision steels hold an edge extremely well, and allow the knife makers to create some very cool things. These steels fall into the perfect spot on the Rockwell hardness scale  right in the 55-57 range usually. This means the steel is extremely durable, but usable. They will hold an edge, but also allow you to resharpen when needed.

What makes a knife good for everyday carry?

A knife that is of good quality and is small enough to not be intrusive, while also being usable makes the best carry knife for you. It should fit well on your person and in your hand when you use it.

What is the best EDC knife?

The best carry knife for you is the one you can afford and are comfortable carrying with you daily. It doesn’t have to be the most expensive or the flashiest, it has to be right for you.

About the Author

Derrek Sigler has been a professional outdoor writer for more than two decades since earning his Master’s Degree in creative writing with a thesis about fishing humor. But if you ask anyone that knows him, he’s been telling fishin’ stories since he was old enough to hold a pole. He has written for Cabela’s and served as editorial director for Gun Digest books. Over the years, he has also written for Petersen’s Hunting, North American Whitetail Magazine, Wildfowl, Grand View Media, and has worked with Bass Pro Shops, Hard Core Brands and Bone Collector. Successful Farming had him write for their magazine and he has appeared on their TV show to discuss hunting and ATVs on multiple occasions. He writes about the things he loves – hunting, fishing, camping, trucks, ATVs, boating, snowmobiles and the outdoor lifestyle he enjoys with his family in their home state of Michigan and more as they adventure around North America.

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