Pocket knives have been around for centuries, but are seeing recent growth in popularity. Part of the reason for the increase in pocket knife popularity is because of crackdowns on gun laws, and for the increased desire for personal protection. While pocket knives don’t always make for the best self-defense weapons, they offer a sense of safety and have tons of practical uses.
If you’re thinking about adding a new knife to your arsenal, this article will be a helpful resource at helping you choose the best EDC pocket knife for your needs.
How to Choose the Best EDC Pocket Knife
EDC stands for “everyday carry,” and refers to a pocket knife that you keep with you day in and day out. Let’s look at a few things to consider when choosing the best EDC pocket knife for you.
When people think of their best EDC pocket knife, one of the first things that comes to mind is the size of the knife. In order for a pocket knife to be suitable for everyday carry, it has to be small enough to fit into most pockets comfortably. We don’t always wear the same pants or shorts, which means that a size capable of fitting most pockets is important.
At the same time, however, you don’t want a knife that’s too small to be of any use. Finding the happy medium between compact and useful is a tricky one, but it’s also an important one. A good ballpark size range for the best EDC pocket knife is around four inches long when it’s closed and no more than three or four ounces heavy.
The material of the blade and the handle of the knife is also extremely important. Having a blade made of high-quality steel is important so that it retains its sharpness and shape. At the same time, the material of the rest of your knife should be waterproof, rust-resistant, and highly durable, so that you’re not constantly replacing it with a new one.
Depending on how crazy your want to get, you can spend a decent chunk of change for the best EDC pocket knife. While it’s important to choose a high-quality knife that will be ready when you need it, you also don’t want to blow your budget on one. Just like finding the happy medium in size is important, finding a happy medium in your budget is also important.
The overall quality of the blade material and handle is what will determine the quality of the knife. The best EDC pocket knife is one that’s sharp, versatile, durable, and made of good materials. You shouldn’t settle for anything less than what your budget will allow.
A truly versatile best EDC pocket knife is one that will offer additional features and uses outside of having a sharp blade. A good example of a versatile EDC pocket knife is the classic Swiss Army Knife. While additional features might make your pocket knife slightly bulkier, it will also give you the ability to do more with a single tool.
Overall Best EDC Pocket Knife
1. Spyderco Para 3 Pocket Knife
The market is positively flooded with high-quality EDC pocket knives, which means that there are tons of options to choose from. However, one of the best options that money can buy is the Spyderco Para 3 Pocket Knife. This knife features a three-inch blade that’s made of high-quality CTS-BD1N steel.
Spyderco Para 3 Lightweight Signature Folding Utility Pocket Knife
1 used from $113.00
Weighing in at just 2.4 ounces, the Spyderco Para 3 is extremely lightweight and portable and will fit into nearly any pocket. While the blade is shapely and razor-sharp, it’s also thick and wide enough to be durable for a number of purposes.
Unlike other Spyderco products, the Para 3 features a compression locking system. As a result, this knife offers a unique combination of being sturdier and stronger, but also more agile than other Spyderco knives.
As an additional vote of confidence, this best EDC pocket knife was awarded the “Most Innovative American Design” at the 2019 Blade Show.
- The blade is high-quality stainless steel that’s designed for sharpness and edge retention
- The fiberglass nylon frame is waterproof, rust-resistant, and easy to grip.
- You won’t have to worry about this blade accidentally opening in your pocket thanks to the Lockback mechanisms
- One of the best EDC pocket knives money can buy
- Very lightweight and compact at just 2.3 ounces and fits into most pockets
- Slightly on the expensive side at right around $100
Best EDC Pocket Knife on a Budget
2. Kershaw Cryo
Not only is the Kershaw Cryo considered by many to be the best EDC pocket knife on a budget, it’s considered by many to be the best EDC pocket knife in general. No matter what Best Of EDC Knife list you look at, the Kershaw Cryo or another great Kershaw knife will be near the top of the list.
Kershaw Cryo Folding Knife
The popularity of Kershaw knives is because they manage to combine quality, affordability, and versatility better than most other manufacturers. The Kershaw Cryo rings in at between $35 and $45, which is cheap enough not to break the budget, but expensive enough to guarantee you’re not getting a piece of junk.
The blade is made of 8CR-13MoV steel, is 2.75″ long, and is quite eye-catching thanks to its ergonomic design. The frame is made of stainless steel, which makes this knife rust and water-resistant. The drop point blade and sturdy frame lock make this knife a viable option for anyone looking for a great EDC pocket knife.
- The blade and frame are made of high-quality stainless steel
- Rust- and water-resistant
- Excellent locking mechanism and compact body
- Very lightweight and easy to carry
- Razor-sharp blade with excellent retention
- The steel is quality, but not quite as durable as other options
Best EDC Pocket Knife for Versatility
3. Victorinox Swiss Army Swisschamp Knife
It should come as no surprise that a Swiss Army Knife takes the top spot on this list in terms of versatility. While other manufacturers have tried to copy the ingenuity of the Swiss Army Knife, most options are either too bulky or too gimmicky. The closest thing in comparison is the leatherman tool, which is often too large for convenient pocket carrying.
Victorinox SwissChamp Pocket Knife
$67.80 in stock
The Victorinox Swiss Army Swisschamp Knife is the ultimate in versatility and getting the most tools in a tiny package. Each of the tools is made of stainless steel which made it water- and rust-resistant. The handle is made of hand-crafted walnut wood and offers one of the most eye-catching designs out of any EDC pocket knife.
The best feature about this knife, however, would have to be the thirty-three tools that it features. A few of these include handle scales, multiple long and short blades, saws, a set of rulers, scissors, tweezers, a corkscrew, a file, and many other attachments. There isn’t much that this knife can’t do, which makes it an excellent option if you’re looking for versatility.
- There are thirty-three different tools included in the knife
- Stainless steel blade and tools are rust- and water-resistant
- The Walnut handle is easy to grip and eye-catching
- The total closed length is just 3.6″
- Like all Swiss Army Knives, it’s compact but slightly thick and bulky
- A little heavy at 6.5 ounces
Other Contenders for Best EDC Pocket Knife
4. Sog Salute Mini Tactical Knife
The Sog Salute Mini is perfect for those of us who are tight on space need a razor-sharp but compact pocket knife. Sog is known for producing excellent knives and outdoor gear, and the Salute Mini lives up to the Sog reputation.
SOG Salute EDC Folding Pocket Knife
$28.17 in stock
The Sog Salute is a knife that I personally vouch for and is one that I’ve used for several years for EDC, but also for fishing and work-related projects. It features a 3″ blade with a folded length of 4″.
The thing that makes this knife even more ideal for everyday carry is the clip located on the back of the knife. You can clip it into your pocket, your backpack, or on the side of your fishing vest. Despite its small size, this knife is durable and surprisingly heavy-duty and features a stainless steel blade and a frame made of rustproof, waterproof fiberglass.
- Rustproof and waterproof blade and handle.
- The clip makes it perfect for everyday carry.
- An extremely sharp blade that retains its edge.
- One-handed opening and closing.
- While it’s sharp and heavy-duty, the blade isn’t long enough for bigger projects.
5. CJRB Small Feldspar Pocket Knife
The CJRB Small Feldspar Pocket Knife is another excellent option in the running for the best EDC knife that’s versatile because it will fit almost any budget. The blade is 3″ long and made of D2 steel, which is near the top of the list in terms of durability and quality. It’s the same material that is used to make a number of military and combat knives, which speaks to its abilities.
This knife also features a reversible deep-pocket clip that makes for safe and easy carrying in most pockets. It’s also hard to beat the value of the CJRB Small Feldspar. It’s sleek, affordable, and high-quality, which are three of the main things you should look for in an EDC knife.
The clip allows you to carry this knife in either pocket on either side of your body. It also allows for easy opening with one hand if that’s all you have to spare. For the same sleek design but a higher-quality blade, you can upgrade to the Small Feldspar with a CPM-S35VN stainless steel blade.
- Very affordable for the quality item that you’re getting
- A reversible clip makes it possible to carry on either side of the body
- Very lightweight and compact
- Available with multiple blade options if you want to increase the quality
- Not as versatile as the Sog Salute Mini
6. Benchmade Griptillian 551
If you’ve got a large budget and want one of the most expensive and possibly the best EDC pocket knife available, the Benchmade Griptillian 551 is the knife for you. Ringing in at just under $200, this knife is far and away the most expensive option on this list. However, as expected, it’s also one of the best and would likely take our top spot if it weren’t for the impractically steep price.
Benchmade 551 Griptilian Plain Drop-Point Satin Finish Knife
1 used from $159.99
This knife features Benchmade’s patented Axis lock that makes for increased safety. At 3.5 ounces in weight, this knife is also extremely lightweight and compact and can be handled with either hand and carried in either pocket. With a blade length of 3.5″, the Griptillian 551 is on the bigger end of the spectrum for EDC pocket knives in terms of size.
The blade is made of stainless steel of the highest quality and the handle is made of glass-reinforced nylon. If the 551 is too big or expensive for you, Benchmade also produces this model in several different sizes and with several different blade types.
- Lightweight and compact considering that it has a 3.5″ blade
- As the name implies, the handle has an excellent grip and is easy to wield
- Can be opened or closed with one hand if needed
- Very well-balanced and resistant to rust and water
- Definitely on the expensive side when it comes to the best EDC pocket knives
7. Victorinox Hunter Pro Alox Knife
The Victorinox Hunter Pro Alox Knife is another excellent option for the best EDC pocket knife but it’s slightly on the larger side. It measures a shade over 5″ long when it’s closed, and its blade is 3.75″ long. It features a drop point blade style that’s made of quality stainless steel and is coated with a Bead Blast finish that adds style and quality to the already impeccable blade.
Victorinox Swiss Army Hunter Pro Alox
The textured Alox handle also makes this knife easy to grip when you need it most. It also features a Lockback design that makes this knife extremely safe and easy to open with a single hand. This knife is perfect of everyday carrying, thanks to how strong and durable it is. It’s designed for hunting, which means that the blade is razor-sharp and used to heavy cutting.
- Designed with the same ingenuity that goes into the classic Swiss Army Knife
- A razor-sharp blade that holds its retention extremely well
- Made from high-quality stainless steel
- Rust-resistant and waterproof
- Slightly on the long end compared to other EDC pocket knives
Wrapping Up the Best EDC Pocket Knife
No matter what kind of EDC pocket knife you’re looking for, we hope that you can find it here. The best EDC pocket knives are some of the most useful and applicable tools that you can have in your arsenal. The fact that you can carry them almost anywhere makes them irreplaceable in terms of practicality. By choosing one of the options on this list, you can rest assured that you will have the best EDC pocket knife for you.
While you’re on the hunt for useful “everyday carry” items, why not check out The Best EDC Flashlights?