CAMPING & HIKING

Best EDC Knife: Hints for Choosing Your Every Day Carry Knife

Best edc knife
Mark Foster
Written by Mark Foster

If you love going into the outdoors, then you know you must be prepared for everything. Aside from drinking water and nutritious food, you will probably need to carry a knife, but what kind? In this article we will be talking about the best EDC knife, since they are handy and don’t take much space, yet they are very practical and you don’t know when you will need it.

An EDC knife should not be confused for a weapon. It is simply a tool that you can use to carry out your everyday cutting errands, such as cooking preparation, shelter building, general use (such as opening boxes), and even self-defense, if needed.

The choice of everyday carry knives on the market is huge, and not everybody can make the best purchasing decision for oneself. We understand you better. In this article, we will be talking about the best features to consider prior to buying an EDC knife. We will also be reviewing ten top picks for your selection.

Our Top Picks

Product NameWeightBlade MaterialBlade LengthOverall LengthPrice
Columbia River Ken Onion1.6 oz.8Cr14MoV steel2.7 in6.5 inCheck price on Amazon
Spyderco ParaMilitary 2 G-103.7 oz.CPM-S30V steel3.4 in8.2 inCheck price on Amazon
Spyderco Delica Plain Edge2.5 oz.VG-10 steel2.9 in7.1 inCheck price on Amazon
Kershaw Skyline2.3 oz.Sandvik 14C28N steel3.1 in7.4 inCheck price on Amazon
Cold Steel 27TLT Recon 15.3 oz.Japanese AUS 8A stainless steel3.5 in9.4 inCheck price on Amazon
Columbia River Hissatsu5.8 oz.AUS-8 steel3.9 in8.9 inCheck price on Amazon
Benchmade Adamas7.5 oz.D2 stainless steel3.8 in8.7 inCheck price on Amazon
Ontario ON8848-BRK RAT5 oz.AUS-8 steel3.5 in8.5 inCheck price on Amazon
Benchmade 940 Reverse Tanto2.9 oz.CPM-S30V steel3.4 in7.9 inCheck price on Amazon
Buck Knives Spitfire3.2 oz.Drop point 420HC steel3.3 in7.5 inCheck price on Amazon

Things to Consider Before Buying

Choosing one of the best EDC knife seems like such a daunting task. The decisions you have to make can prove to be cumbersome if you do not know what to expect as you shop. To help you make a profound decision, we have discussed five important features to consider.

Blade and Handle Material

An EDC knife with good looks and one that works well are usually two different pieces that differ mainly because of the materials. In actual fact, the pricing of high end EDC knives is determined by the type of blade and handle material.

MTech knife

The best blade material should exhibit excellent hardness, toughness, wear resistance, corrosion resistance, and edge retention. You should also ensure that the blade material is easy to sharpen, clean, and maintain for durability.

You also need high-quality handle material for effective performance during heavy use. Some of the handle materials that come highly recommended by users are: aluminum, fiberglass reinforced nylon, and G-10.

Knife Design

So many features will play a role in the knife you choose. Therefore, it is important that you understand the basic structure of a knife. In understanding the basic design, you can begin to understand the available features that will serve your needs.

EDC knife

An EDC knife has folding parts so it can be easily transported without injury. The folding mechanism keeps the blade tucked away so you can put it in a bag, in your pocket, or clip it on your belt.

Types of Blade Points

The most important part of a knife is the blade. There are different styles of blades and shape that determine what you can use the EDC knife for as well as how the knife performs during use. The following are the major blade points to consider.

  • Clip Point: This type of blade features a crescent-like shape at the tip and looks as the blade’s tip has been taken off. The clip point blade is relatively popular, ranking among the top three-blade choices EDC knife buyers choose.
  • Drop Point: This blade affords you greater control over the weapon when it is in use. The spine slopes naturally from the knife handle to the tip. Hunters commonly choose this option as it is a durable, sturdy blade.
  • Tanto Blade: This blade is short, but is also considered among the strongest you can buy. The tanto blade has a thickness that is even throughout the spine as it moves to the tip. The point is made extra durable for secure stabbing and piercing motions.
  • Trailing Point:This type of blade is thin. It ends up tapering even on each side and the point of the knife curves upward. The upper point trails higher than the rest of the weapon. The cutting area of the blade is generous in size.
  • Spear Point: Consists of a spine and blade sloping inward to meet at a pointed tip. Each side of the blade mirrors the other in a symmetrical style. The tip of the spear point is reliable and durable, allowing you to pierce into objects with considerable ease.

Size of the Knife

The size of the EDC knife you choose is usually determined by the overall length, which includes the length of the blade and that of the handle. The average knives range in size from about two inches in length to approximately ten inches.

Ganzo knife

If you opt for the smaller knives, it affords you greater control; the longer the blade, the more difficult it is to control. Moreover, there are some states or countries that limit the blade length of EDC knives. So, you should dig deeper to ensure that you own a legal tool.

Locking Mechanism

EDC knives are usually folding or tactical knives. Therefore, they are integrated with different locking systems for keeping the blade in place once opened. The most popular locking mechanisms are lock back, liner lock, and frame lock.

Each and every locking mechanism has its advantages and disadvantages. Some of the mechanisms are deceptively simple yet very efficient, while others are sophisticated and inconvenient for some users. So, choose wisely.

Best Products on Today’s Market

When selecting EDC knives, you need to look closely at the workmanship and the offered features. This way, you will know exactly what you are paying for. Here are ten top products that you can buy or recommend to a friend.

Columbia River Ken Onion KnifeCRKT Ken Onion Aluminum Ripple Knife

Price: Approx. $30

Weight: 1.6 oz.

Blade length: 2.7 in

Overall length: 6.5 in

Specific features: Satin finish, ken onion drop point blade style, smooth IKBS pivot system, and 6061 aluminum handle with 2Cr13 liner

Best use: Everyday carry, bushcraft, camping, and hunting

Description: The Columbia River Ken Onion Knife is a trailblazing cutting tool engineered for everyday carry, bushcraft, camping, and hunting among other outdoors. It is one of the premium value blades ever to be produced by Columbia.

This weapon is ultra-light, making it an ideal EDC knife of choice. The blade is made of durable stainless steel, while the handle is made of corrosion-resistant aluminum. The satin finish helps keep the blade attractive

The inclusion of the IKBS pivot system ensures the blade remains tough and that you get no blade play when the weapon is in use. The ball bearings make for smooth motion of the blade when it opens and closes.

The blade fits tightly into the handle and the system ensures there is little to no maintenance required of the blade. This blade is a Ken Onion Drop Point; so, you get good control over the blade as you handle it.

PROS:

  • 8Cr14MoV, 58-59 HRC with satin finish is durable and has good edge retention
  • Aluminum handle is black anodized and hand polished, making it attractive and non-slip
  • Drop point blade style is remarkably stress-free to open with a single hand
  • Creative IKBS ball bearing system allows for a smooth and strong pivot
  • Overall low profile is lightweight and suitable for every day carry

CONS:

  • It may be illegal to own the knife without approval in some states

Related: We recommend you to buy the knife along with the Lansky 4-Rod Knife Sharpener. The sharpener features two pre-set angles for restoring the blade’s sharpness.

Check the price on Amazon

Spyderco ParaMilitary 2 G-10 KnifeSpyderco ParaMilitary 2 G-10 Plain Edge Knife

Price: Approx. $140

Weight: 3.7 oz.

Blade length: 3.4 in

Overall length: 8.2 in

Specific features: CPM-S30V blade, clip-point flat-ground, G-10 laminate handle scales, nested compression lock, 4-way clip, and tested for durability and quality

Best use: Every day carry, survival, and hunting

Description: The Spyderco ParaMilitary 2 G-10 Knife is a new adaptation of an older version of the knife, with the new design stemming from changes introduced in the 2010 version of the ParaMilitary 2. It is a great product for the money.

The G-10 handle on this knife is intentionally narrowed to give the weapon improvements in the area of ergonomics, feel, and control. Both the blade and the handle are thin, allowing you to remove the weapon with ease and when necessary.

The manufacturer has incorporated a special compression lock for superior folding and unfolding of the knife. A finger choil is included for additional safety, and the special bushing pivoting system gives the blade an opening action, that reveals a flawless continuity of motion.

The lanyard makes for additional transport options for the user. The handle has a texture that guarantees exceptional grip, even in a sweaty palm. The overall performance of the blade has been enhanced, along with the entire design of the weapon.

PROS:

  • CPM-S30V stainless blade is durable, corrosion resistant, and maintains a sharp edge
  • Proprietary compression lock allows for easy unlocking of the blade
  • Spine and choil jimping provide additional safety during use
  • Ergonomic handle curves offer a strong grip for better handling in humid conditions
  • Steel pocket clip provides support for convenient accessory carry

CONS:

  • You might buy a defective model, if not careful during the purchase

Related: The edge will eventually become blunt; so, we recommend you to buy the Spyderco Tri-Angle Sharpmaker. The sharpener is made of high-quality materials for effective edge restoration. You should also consider buying the Spyderco Tri-Angle Stone. The stone is necessary for ultra-fine sharpening of the blade.

Check the price on Amazon

Spyderco Delica Plain Edge KnifeSpyderco Delica Plain Edge Knife

Price: Approx. $75

Weight: 2.5 oz.

Blade length: 2.9 in

Overall length: 7.1 in

Specific features: VG-10 blade, fiberglass reinforced nylon handle, ambidextrous thumb-hole, drop point blade shape, flat blade grind, and lock back

Best use: Every day carry, survival, and hunting

Description: The Spyderco Delica Plain Edge Knife is one of the most popular everyday carry blade from the Spyderco collections. Unlike conventional EDC knives, this particular model is available in numerous color options for preference.

It is made of the best materials on the market, which have undergone quality and durability test to provide you with a high-quality knife for the price. The knife comes with a four way clip ideal for a left or right handed user and the screw together design ensures a durable weapon.

It features a full flat stainless steel blade, making the blade stronger. The handle is made of fiberglass reinforced nylon. Dual skeletonized liners made of stainless steel are found inside the handle.

This makes the knife strong, without any additional weight. You get a fully refined, thin, cutting edge and the inclusion of bronze washers gives you a tool that opens with fluid motion. Moreover, the lock back system isn’t as effective as a liner or frame lock system.

PROS:

  • VG-10 blade offers the hardness of carbon and the corrosion resistance of stainless
  • Fiberglass reinforced nylon handle is lightweight, waterproof, and easy to clean
  • Drop point blade tip offers remarkable strength to withstand heavy use
  • Ambidextrous thumb hole provides additional safety during use
  • Flat grind blade is simple as well as easy to maintain

CONS:

  • Lock back system is not as effective as a liner or frame lock system
  • Flat grind blade does not feature a very durable edge

Related: We advise you to buy the knife along with the Smith’s PP1 Pocket Pal Sharpener. This best seller sharpener will provide you with a fine, sharp edge.

Check the price on Amazon

Kershaw Skyline KnifeKershaw Skyline (1760)

Price: Approx. $52

Weight: 2.3 oz.

Blade length: 3.1 in

Overall length: 7.4 in

Specific features: Made in the USA, Sandvik 14C28N steel, liner lock system, reversible pocket clip, G-10 handle, and stonewashed finish

Best use: Every day carry, camping, survival, and hunting

Description: The Kershaw Skyline Knife is a well-built folder for the money. This competitively priced knife is made in the United States. It is a very lightweight EDC knife that guarantees superior performance with every cut.

The knife features a durable, corrosion-resistant stainless steel blade that will perform exceptionally in humid conditions. The Sandvik 14C28N stainless steel blade is a top grade type of metal that combines superior resistance to corrosive properties and exceptional cutting.

As far as Kershaw knives are concerned, this particular knife comes with remarkable edge performance, and excellent metal hardness. It is incorporated with a flipper, allowing for simple flip open with fluid ease.

The unit is also absent of ball bearings or springs; so, you are purchasing a manual knife. The clip that comes with this dagger is reversible with tip up/tip down carrying options. The handle is a G-10 durable design with a stonewashed and a visually appealing finish.

PROS:

  • Sandvik 14C28N blade has the highest level of hardness and superior edge retention
  • G-10 handle has incredible dimensional stability, mechanical strength, and lightweight
  • Liner lock system allows for simple one hand operation in a safe manner
  • Pocket clip is removable and reversible for tip-down or tip-up carry
  • Flipper system allows for easy opening with the index finger

CONS:

  • Does not feature assisted opening system, making it manual
  • The pivot screw is a bit tight for smooth operation

Related: We recommend you to buy the Shopline Pocket Knife Sharpener along with the knife. You will need the sharpener for edge restoration whenever the blade becomes dull.

Check the price on Amazon

Cold Steel 27TLT Recon 1 Tanto KnifeCold Steel 27TLT Recon I Tanto Point

Price: Approx. $170

Weight: 5.3 oz.

Blade length: 3.5 in

Overall length: 9.4 in

Specific features: Japanese AUS 8A stainless, vacuum heat treated, anti-glare finish, G-10 handle, super strong pocket clip

Best use: Every day carry, camping, hunting, hunting, and hiking

Description: The Cold Steel 27TLT Recon 1 Tanto Knife is particularly built for out-of-doors adventures. At first glance, you will admire the tanto point style. The weight may be a bit of a problem for some users, especially if you are into light backpacking.

This knife hosts a sub-zero quenched stainless steel, durable blade; so, it is resistant to rust and corrosive properties. The G-10 handle is equally durable and features a texturized surface, giving the appearance of scales.

The laminate scales are scalloped, contoured, and laminated for the ultimate grip in all weather conditions. It opens with impressive ease, thanks to the included thumb disc, and the pocket clip. This makes the unit convenient to carry around.

With a black finish, this unit can resist rust with greater ease, and there is no glare or reflection when it is in use. The black finish also serves as a lubricant to ensure the blade can slip through tough materials with considerable ease and reduced friction/resistance.

PROS:

  • Cold steel knife blade is strong and very capable of maintaining a good edge
  • G-10 handle is strong, stable, and does not break when exposed to extremes
  • Laminate scales on the handle are scalloped, non-slip, and contoured for a secure grip
  • Thumb disc design allows for easy opening of the blade
  • Pocket clip is super strong for convenient transport

CONS:

  • Tanto point blade may not be convenient for some cutting chores

Related: We advise you to buy this knife along with the Work Sharp Guided Field Sharpener. The sharpener is integrated with sharpening guides, a leather strop, ceramic rods, and diamond plates for superior performance.

Check the price on Amazon

Columbia River Hissatsu KnifeColumbia River Knife and Tool 2903 Hissatsu Folding Knife

Price: Approx. $50

Weight: 5.8 oz.

Blade length: 3.9 in

Overall length: 8.9 in

Specific features: AUS-8 steel, 58-59 RC hardness, tanto blade style, flat blade grind, stainless steel frame/liner, tip-up pocket clip, thumb disk opener, and liner lock system

Best use: A suitable choice for hunting, camping, and survival

Description: If you are in search of a high-quality tanto blade knife at a competitive price, then the Columbia River Hissatsu Knife is your best bet. It is a convenient EDC and you can use it in different outdoors, including camping and hunting.

The knife has a traditional Samurai design; so, it offers superb power when it comes to slashing and penetrating. The blade is made of durable AUS 8 steel making it resistant to corrosion, strong, and offers great performance.

The edge retains nicely on this knife and the black coating makes it stain resistant. The opening mechanism is patented; it is an outburst assist feature, including a spring that forces the blade open rapidly up to 30 degrees.

The knife adheres to regulations, but a screw set can be used to disable the burst open mechanism if jurisdiction demands. It does promise a rapid deployment and ease of handling. The patented AutoLawks attribute ensures the knife remains closed until it is put to use.

PROS:

  • AUS-8 steel blade is remarkably easy to sharpen compared to most blade materials
  • Outburst assisted opening system allows for effective unlocking of the blade
  • AutoLawks safety mechanism develops a virtual fixed blade for additional safety
  • Glass reinforced nylon handle is strong, waterproof, and durable
  • Textured black Zytel scales offer a remarkable, non-slip grip

CONS:

  • The outburst assisted opening system may not be convenient for every user

Related: This knife is very easy to sharpen, but it also gets dull notoriously fast; so, you will need the Lansky PS-MED01 Blade Medic. The sharpener will help you restore the edge for continuous superior performance.

Check the price on Amazon

Benchmade Adamas KnifeBenchmade Adamas 275 Knife, Drop-Point

Price: Approx. $200

Weight: 7.5 oz.

Blade length: 3.8 in

Overall length: 8.7 in

Specific features: D2 stainless steel, G-10 handle, axis lock system, drop point blade type, durable and user-friendly Cordura sheath, and limited lifetime warranty

Best use: Every day carry, law enforcement, fishing, survival, camping, and hunting

Description: The Benchmade Adamas Knife is priced on the higher end of the scale. This knife is a choice among police and law enforcement. The weapon is fitted with a drop point, tactical blade and a hearty G10 handle for extra durability.

This knife is part of the series created by Shane Sibert in an effort to honor the countries’ fighting heroes. The unit has an AXIS locking mechanism for ensuring it remains closed until you are ready to use it.

You can open it with either hand with just your thumb, thanks to its ambidextrous design. A lanyard hole makes for an extra portability feature. Full stainless steel liners steady the weapon and strengthen it simultaneously.

The Benchmade Adamas 275 Knife is a good choice, if you are after high-quality EDC knife features without paying too much attention to the price tag. However, it weighs a few extra pounds compared to competing models.

PROS:

  • D2 stainless steel blade is highly durable and very effective at retaining the edge
  • G-10 handle is stable, strong, and convenient to use in demanding chores
  • Drop point blade is ideal for strenuous cutting activities during outdoors
  • Strong pocket clip is suitable for convenient accessory carry
  • Cordura sheath is strong, convenient, and provides ultimate accessibility

CONS:

  • It is heavy compared to other EDC knives on the market
  • It is a bit expensive for a tight budget

Related: We recommend you to buy the Benchmade 981084F Maintenance Kit and Sentry Solutions TUF-Glide. The kit and solution will help with the maintenance of the knife.

Check the price on Amazon

Ontario ON8848-BRK RAT Folding KnifeOntario Knife ON8848-BRK Rat-1

Price: Approx. $30

Weight: 5 oz.

Blade length: 3.5 in

Overall length: 8.5 in

Specific features: AUS 8 steel, non-corrosive, open post design, ergonomic nylon handle, thumb stud, flat ground blade, and liner lock system

Best use: Every day carry, survival, home, camping, and hunting

Description: The Ontario ON8848-BRK RAT Folding Knife is the ideal choice if you are in need of a high performing EDC knife for your out-of-doors adventures. It comes highly recommended by over a thousand users, translating to guaranteed quality performance.

The knife has a corrosive resistant, strong, and durable AUS 8 blade manufactured out of the best stainless steel. The unit is available at a very budget-friendly price range. The knife is fitted with an open post construction.

As a result, you have super easy time maintaining the blade and keeping it sharp and clean. The high performing handle is made of nylon and you get greater control thanks to the spine jimping.

The pocket clip is a four-way position option. Liner locks increase the longevity of the knife, and the thumb stud allows you to open the unit with one hand operation. You get no glare or reflection off the Satin finished flat ground blade.

PROS:

  • AUS 8 steel blade offers superior toughness, corrosion resistance, and edge retention
  • Open post design is easy to maintain, sharpen, and clean for quality performance
  • Lanyard hole and four-way pocket clip provide adequate carry options
  • Liner lock system is easy to operate compared to other blade locking systems
  • Thumb stud allows for easy and convenient one-handed opening

CONS:

  • It is a little bit heavy compared to other EDC knives.

Related: We recommend you to buy the knife along with the PreciSharp 3-Stage Knife Sharpener. You will need the sharpener to restore the blade whenever the edge becomes blunt after some serious cutting chores.

Check the price on Amazon

Benchmade 940 Reverse Tanto KnifeBenchmade - 940 Knife Reverse Tanto

Price: Approx. $180

Weight: 2.9 oz.

Blade length: 3.4 in

Overall length: 7.9 in

Specific features: CPM-S30V steel, reverse tanto blade, CNC machining, ambidextrous design, two omega-style springs, anodized aluminum handle, and superb edge qualities

Best use: Every day carry, survival, camping, hunting, and fishing

Description: The Benchmade 940 Reverse Tanto Knife is a high-quality, high performing every day carry model. This is the ideal knife for an outdoor enthusiast with a more flexible budget. It comes highly recommended by over three hundred users for its superior performance.

Out of the box you will be impressed by the construction of the knife. The blade is made of CPM-S30V material, which is tough, hard, and very effective at maintaining a good edge. It features an anti-glare finish for great performance during the day.

The stainless steel liners fortify the knife and the backspace is crafted out of a durable form of anodized titanium. If you are ambidextrous, left-handed or a right-handed, this knife is easy to flick open with the included thumb studs.

This knife comes with a reversible tip up clip for portable solutions. The handle is crafted out of Anodized 6061-T Stainless Steel for extra strength and durability. Get high-quality features and unmatched performance by purchasing the Benchmade 940 Knife.

PROS:

  • CPM-S30V stainless steel blade offers high toughness and good edge retention
  • Reverse tanto blade is strong for heavy use and remarkably easy to sharpen
  • Anodized aluminum handle is strong, waterproof, and high performing
  • Innovative axis mechanism provides ambidextrous design for convenient operation
  • CNC machining and modern laser cutters provide control and tolerance

CONS:

  • It is quite an expensive EDC knife compared to competing models

Related: The blade has good edge retention, but it will eventually need sharpening, and our top pick is the JIHO Sharpener for Straight and Serrated Knives. The sharpener features replaceable and reversible carbide blades, preset sharpening angles, and ceramic finishing slot for unmatched performance.

Check the price on Amazon

Buck Knives Spitfire KnifeBuck Knives 0722 SPITFIRE Folding Knife

Price: Approx. $35

Weight: 3.2 oz.

Blade length: 3.3 in

Overall length: 7.5 in

Specific features: 420HC steel, aluminum handle, drop point blade style, 4 position removable clip, and lock back mechanism

Best use: Every day carry, self-defense, survival, camping, and hunting

Description: The Buck Knives Spitfire Knife is what you need for your outdoors. The folding knife moves with splendid ease and is light enough to carry in your pocket. The blade is made out of durable 420HC stainless steel for better corrosion resistance.

The handle is made out of anodized materials and is available in three color options, including gray, green, and orange. The carry system is a removable clip also made of high-quality steel. The blade offers spectacular, super sharp cutting performance.

One hand opens the lock on the device thanks to the lock back design. The aluminum in the handles keeps the knife light and sleek in appearance. You can order this weapon with or without serrations as you prefer.

The blade is a drop point style for smooth and deep penetration. If you are an enthusiast outdoorsman with a limited budget, then the Buck Knives 0722 Spitfire Knife is the ideal choice for you.

PROS:

  • 420HC steel blade offers excellent corrosion resistance, edge retention, and strength
  • Thumb hole allows for one hand opening
  • Lock back system secures the blade when open for additional safety
  • Lightweight aluminum handle offers great performance during use
  • 4-position removable clip allow for convenient carry options
  • Inexpensive price tag is suitable for a limited budget

CONS:

  • Drop point blade has a broad tip, making it less convenient for piercing

Related: We advise you to buy the knife along with the SunrisePro Kitchen Knife Sharpener. The sharpener features preset sharpening angles, a ceramic finishing slot, and tapered diamond rod for superior sharpening.

Check the price on Amazon

Wrap Up

Your personal preference ultimately plays a huge role in the ECD knife you end up buying. You might even end up buying more than one if you need a knife for extreme, environmentally-defined scenarios that require a great deal of cutting power. Whatever unit you end up choosing, it needs to be durable, long lasting, and it should meet your needs in different situations, whether everyday mundane tasks and chores, or for emergency purposes.

Has this information been helpful in your quest of finding the perfect EDC knife for your application? Please join us in a fruitful and educative conversation in the comments section below.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Mark Foster

Mark Foster

Mark Foster loves to push his limits when it comes to survival in the wilderness. He might go for a 30-days adventure without any food or equipment except for a survival kit and a knife. We should mention that his survival kit has 122 items in it, so he know what he is doing. Mark is working on his book to share with the world all his experience gained during those brave adventures.