Best EDC Knives in 2020 – Top Everyday Carry Knife Compared!
When you’re looking for an “everyday carry” knife, the first thing you need to realize is that you must be practical. That means you will have to prioritize compactness over performance. The best EDC knife have to be pocket-sized or a folding knife, simply because you can’t have a fixed blade knife on you all the time. This means that it has to be lightweight too.
It really helps if your EDC knife is sharp, but it should retain its sharpness well. After all, it can get very tedious trying to sharpen your everyday carry knife every week. It has to be good enough that you can rely on it to perform for any ordinary cutting task you may need to in your everyday life.
Table of Contents
- 10 Best EDC Knives - Comparisons
- Best EDC Knives in 2018 - Reviews
- 1. Benchmade Griptilian 551
- 2. Benchmade - 940 Knife, Reverse Tanto
- 3. Spyderco ParaMilitary 2 G-10 Plain Edge Knife
- 4. Zero Tolerance 0350 Folding Pocket Knife
- 5. Spyderco Sage2 Titanium PlainEdge Knife
- 6. Benchmade - Triage 915 Knife, Sheepsfoot
- 7. Zero Tolerance 0801 Titanium Flipper Knife
- 8. Cold Steel EDC Tactical Folding Pocket Knife, Recon
- 9. Cold Steel Rajah II Folding Knife
- 10. Gerber GDC Tech Skin Pocket Knife
10 Best EDC Knives - Comparisons
S30V Stainless Steel
Steel: CPM S30V
Cold Steel's AUS8
Stainless Steel (7Cr17)
Best EDC Knives in 2018 - Reviews
What about price? Many good knives are available for less than $100, to tell you the truth. On the other hand, you may have to spend a bit more to truly have the best EDC knife in your pocket. To help make sure you find the best choices, here are our recommendations for your EDC knife:
The Benchmade factory in Oregon uses CNC machining centers and laser cutters to make sure you get aero-space grade EDC knives even for very reasonable prices.
This Griptilian comes with a 3.45-inch drop-point style-blade made from 154cm stainless steel.
The handle of this folding knife is made of injection-molded GFN (glass filled nylon).
- It has an ambidextrous Axis design, and it comes with a durable spring for each liner. This allows for one hand operation.
- When you open it, it’s completely locked.
- It’s very sharp and it retains its edge well.
- The comfy grip has a nice set of textures to keep it secure in your hand.
- It’s available in 4 colors, different edges (plain or serrated), and different finishes (coated or satin).
- It comes with a pocket clip.
- It’s quite lightweight, as it only weighs 3.88 ounces.
- The black finish on the handle doesn’t quite last long, and neither does the coating on the clip.
Many people consider the 940 as the ideal example of the perfect EDC knife. In the decade since it was first launched it has proven itself in countless ways.
This is an EDC knife that you won’t have to replace if you’re going camping and hiking, as it can function nicely either way. This has a reverse “tanto” point, which means that it resembles the points you see in traditional Japanese short swords.
It’s just that the sharp angle is on the backside of the blade. You can choose between a plain edge and a serrated edge, and the finish can be coated or satin.
- The size is just right for most everyday situations. It measures about 4.5 inches when closed and the blade is 3.4 inches long.
- Yet even though it’s not especially small, the weight is amazingly light at only 2.44 ounces.
- The blade uses American-made CPM-S30V (58-60 HRC) premium stainless steel with a nice balance between toughness, sharpness, and edge retention. It’s also resistant to corrosion, while it also offers a nice balance.
- This also uses the exclusive Axis thumb lock, and the handle offers a nice grip even for large hands. With a simple flick of your wrist, you can get the blade to open quickly and the lock keeps it securely in place.
- The blade is extremely sharp, and it can probably shave the hair off your arm.
- There’s no wiggle in the blade even when you use this for many months. In fact, it’s designed to last a lifetime as long as you take care of it.
- Well, the price may be a bit too much for some, especially for a general-use EDC knife.
This is one of the most popular EDC knives around, and that’s not a surprise. After all, it is a Spyderco, and that’s a brand that’s become with synonymous with knife excellence.
This is patterned after the famous Military model, except this ParaMilitary 2 is about ⅔n the size of the original.
This comes with a black modified clip-point flat-ground DLC-coated blade that measures 3.4 inches long. The knife in the closed position measures 4.8 inches, and when open it becomes 8.3 inches long.
- The design of the original ParaMilitary was fantastic, and this is basically the same design though it’s just a smaller model.
- For those who would rather go for a blade that’s longer than 3 inches, the length of this PM 2 is just right.
- The blade is very sharp, and with the steel used it will retain its sharpness for quite a while.
- The G-10 handle design is wider at the pommel and narrower at the grip position. This offers a slip-resistant grip, even when you’re feeling a bit tired. The handle also has laminate handle scales for a textured grip.
- The compression lock is very secure whether you have the blade in the open or closed position. This can be opened with one hand via the locking mechanism, as you can operate this with your index finger. Or you can use a gloved hand to open it through the finger hole at the top.
- This can be carried tip-up or tip-down, in your right or left pocket. There’s also a hole in the handle for a lanyard.
- You may have to oil the DLC (diamond-like coating) every now and then to make it look perfect.
- This may be too popular, and the problem with popular pocket-sized items like this one is that too many fakes abound. You have to be very careful when you buy this, especially if you’re buying from an unknown website.
Zero Tolerance is well-known for its acclaimed 0300 knife, but this is the 0350 version that took consumer requests and comments into account.
This makes for a much better EDC knife as it’s somewhat smaller and lighter than the original.
The blade uses S30V with tungsten DLC coating, and it is 3¼ inches long. When closed the textured G-10 handle is just 4⅝ inches long, and it’s still manageable when open at 7⅝ inches long.
- This is a workhorse of a knife, and the S30V remains sharp for a very long time.
- The G-10 handle fits nicely in your hand with its ergonomic curves and the textured, matte-black scales.
- You can open this easily with one hand, as it has the SpeedSafe ambidextrous assisted-opening system. It’s so easy to deploy that you can do so with gloves using the blade protrusion or the thumb stud.
- Once the knife is open, there’s no blade play whatsoever.
- It has a reversible pocket clip so you can pocket this in 4 ways, and there’s a lanyard hole in the handle as well.
- This thing is solidly built, and it’s designed for many years of everyday use.
- That’s not really too heavy at 6.2 ounces, but then it may take a while for you to forget that it’s there in your pocket.
Here’s a funny thing about the Sage2 from Spyderco: some people claim that there are several knives that’s better than this and they may even claim that you can get better knives from Spyderco.
Yet these are the same people who admit that this Sage2 is also their EDC knife. This simply illustrates that it satisfies all the requirements that people have for their everyday carry. It’s just that good.
This features a full-flat ground CPM S30V blade with a spear-point shape. The blade is 3 inches long, and when the knife is open the entire thing is 7.2 inches long. When closed, it measures a more compact 4.2 inches. This also features an all-screw constructed titanium handle, along with a Michael Walker linerlock with ball-bearing detent.
- The handle feels nice to the touch as it’s made of titanium. It has nice beveled scales that offer a good grip.
- This is very lightweight, as it only weighs 3.5 ounces.
- The lock can be relied on to work, so you don’t cut yourself digging for this in your pocket.
- The steel used for the blade is sharp and it keeps the sharpness well. It’s also easy enough tom keep sharp just with stropping.
- The hole on the blade (aka the “Spydey hole”) also allows you to open the knife quickly and easily.
- It looks functional and unassuming instead of intimidating.
- You may have a problem keeping a grip on the handle if you have blood or grease on your hands.
Some people take an EDC knife along “just in case of emergency”. What kind of emergency? Well, the kind that may require you to save people from being trapped in a car.
If you want an EDC knife for that kind of emergency because of your job or because you just want to be prepared, then you need the Benchmade Triage 915.
This is intended for everyday use, but it’s also the choice of many rescue experts for their own everyday carry. Many sailors use this too. That’s because it’s a triple-utility tool, since it works as a simple knife, a 440C safety hook, and as a carbide glass breaker.
It measures 4.7 inches when closed, and when you open the 3.5-inch blade it becomes an 8.2-inch knife overall.
- Despite the overall length and the 0.45-inch thickness of the handle, it weighs just 5.1 ounces.
- The various utility tools included in the knife make it a superior tool for rescue, as it can break car windows and cut seatbelts with greater efficiency. Of course, that seatbelt cutter makes for one heck of a package opener.
- It’s even great for saltwater use, as the sheepsfoot-style blade uses N680 steel. This steel is noted for its superior anticorrosive qualities, and it also retains its edge quite well.
- Like many other Benchmade knives, this uses the Axis mechanism with a spring in each liner for the locking bar.
- The G-10 handle is nicely shaped and textured, and it’s impervious to moisture damage.
- The manufacturing facility in Oregon operates with tolerances that are only usually found in the aerospace industry. These are made with tolerances of just half the width of your hair.
- It comes with the deep carry reversible clip so you can carry this in various ways.
- This is only manually opened without any sort of mechanical assistance.
- The texture on the handle can be quite rough for flimsy clothing materials such as wool pants.
The renowned custom knifemaker Todd Rexford collaborated with Zero Tolerance to come up with this 0801 model, and it’s a beauty.
This comes with an all-metal frame, with a blade made from ELMAX stainless while the handle is made of titanium.
This is manually opened, but you really don’t need the assistance of springs to flip the blade open easily. That’s because it comes with the KVT ball-bearing system that enables you to open this one-handed. When closed, this measures 4.7 inches. Opening the 3.5-inch blades gives you an overall length of 8.2 inches.
- We do like the use of ELMAX steel for the blade, even if it’s part of the reason why this isn’t exactly a cheap EDC knife. In many ways it’s one of the best materials for all-around blades. It’s relatively easy to sharpen, and it’s resistant to rust, and it’s even better than S30V in edge retention.
- It’s great that even though it’s manually opened, it’s still easy to open after you break it in and loosen it up. You just pull back on the built-in flipper and the blade rotates out.
- The titanium handle has a secure frame lock and machined grooves for a more secure hold.
- It comes with a deep-carry clip that lets you use it for your left or right pocket.
- It’s sharp right out of the box.
- We actually didn’t mind the 5.8-ounce weight, but those used to 3-ounce knives may need a few days to get used to this.
- There’s also no jimping on the back of the blade, though admittedly the superb ergonomics of the handle makes that feature unnecessary. Besides, it detracts from the nice lines of the design.
This is a classic design from Cold Steel, and lately it’s been available for discounted prices. That’s good, because even with its original price this has been the favorite EDC knives of quite a few paramedics and firemen. With the new discount, the value for money goes even higher.
The discounted model has a blade that’s 4 inches long. As such, it’s made for larger hands. However, you can find versions of this model with a 2 or 3-inch blade. In fact, there’s a version that’s even larger at 5.5 inches for the blade.
- The blade uses Carpenter CTS-XHP alloy with DLC coating, and it’s an improvements over the AUS-8 found in earlier generations of this knife. This is very sharp, and you have to be careful as it’s sharper than many premium kitchen knives.
- It also stays sharp for a longer time, and when it’s time to resharpen it’s fairly easy to do. The quality of the blade is just fantastic, as it can cut paper very easily. Heck, you can shave with this too.
- The G10 handle works as expected, with a textured surface and finger contours to provide you with a secure grip. The shape of the handle won’t allow your hands to slide over to the blade, even when your hands are greasy.
- The lock on the blade is very secure, as it uses the famed Tri-Ad lock. This means that the blade won’t spring open non matter the force of the shock on the knife.
- It’s actually compact and quite lightweight when it’s in your pocket.
- We mentioned the fact that this is available with 2 and 3-inch blades, and that’s because quite a few places frown on 4-inch blades. Check first if it’s legal to carry in your hometown.
- You’ll probably need 2 hands to open this.
Quite a lot of people are impressed with the design of the famed Kukri knife used by the legendary Gurkha warriors, and that’s the design you see on the Rajah 2.
The blade and the handle curve downward, and that’s a design that provides a lot of force for cutting and slicing. The blade is made from Japanese AUS 8A stainless steel, and the points are also thick, wide, and quite sharp.
This is a blade that you need to strap to your belt, as the blade alone measures 6 inches long. With the handle, the entire length of the knife is 14 inches when opened.
- This works very well in a military combat or self-defense situation. You can deploy the blade with the thumb ramp with incredible speed.
- It’s extremely useful for camping activities. The tough steel of the blade can handle most cutting and chopping tasks.
- Despite the size and the 13-ounce weight, it actually feels quite comfortable in your front pocket.
- The Triad Lock on the knife is strong, which is crucial for a blade of this size.
- The design is just plain cool, for lack of a better word.
- Because of the size, this may not be legal to carry in many locations.
- It’s also best suited for outdoorsmen or law enforcement officials, as some people may just find it too big even if it was legal to carry in their city.
What if you want something really small, really light, and really affordable? If that’s the case, then you’re probably looking for the Gerber GDC Tech Skin Pocket Knife.
This fits your description of the perfect EDC knife to a T.
When closed, this measures only 3.4 inches, and the blade is only 2.52 inches long. The price is also comparable to the price of two tickets to the cinema.
- This comes with a rubberized handle, and when it’s folded there’s no exposed metal part (not even a clip) that can mess up the other stuff in your pocket like your smartphone.
- The lack of a clip is actually a good thing if you wear suits to the office daily.
- With this short blade and unassuming looks, this will probably be legal where you live.
- It’s still a good knife—the blade is sharp and it doesn’t dull the edge easily. It offers a good grip too.
- You’ll probably need two hands to open this.
- Also, the rubber handle can be a bit sticky during the summer months.
Yes, it is true that most of the knives on this list come with a 3-digit price tag. Yet they’re not really expensive. In fact, when you consider the many years you can carry these EDC knives around, they’re all very affordable. You can go out of your home everyday knowing that at least you have a good knife in your pocket for opening packages or for emergency situations.
That’s the point of carrying the best EDC knife. It’s provides you with the reassurance that you’re more prepared to deal with what life can throw at you than the ordinary folks who come up empty-handed. It just doesn’t matter what you’ll use this knife for. In the end, if you’re going to bring a tool like an EDC knife with you on a daily basis, don’t you to owe it to yourself to get the very best? It’s not just a matter of convenience—it may just save your life and the lives of the people around you.