The 8 Best EDC Pocket Knives
For the new and aspiring knife guys (and gals) among us
I’ve carried a knife in my pocket nearly every day for about a decade. You may think that’s a little weird and unnecessary, but try carrying a knife every day for even just a week — once you get used to having it, you realize just how incredibly useful it is.
When I look for an EDC (everyday carry) knife I consider price, materials, and features. The knives on this list come in a range of prices, but almost all of them have assisted openers, blades around three inches in length, and clips so they attach easily to my pocket. They’re also all folding knives. Fixed-blade knives certainly have a place in your cutting arsenal, but I have yet to find one that’s slim enough to carry every day.
The Scallion has been my go-to EDC knife since the beginning. It’s small and sleek, and the assisted opener helps the blade flick open faster than any other knife on this list. The 2.25-inch blade may be smaller than most people want, but I’ve found it the perfect size for the odd tasks I use my EDC knife for like opening packaging or slicing rope. I find pocket clips crucial for keeping the knife secure and the Scallion’s is one of the best.
The Fastball is a close second to the Scallion. They’re similar in design with a sleek handle and three-inch blade. Although I think the Fastball looks cooler. It feels good in the hand and slim in the pocket. For an extra $10, you can also get it customized. The only knock on the Fastball is the assisted opening, which even after months of use, requires a bit of effort to move. Gerber claims this is intentional for safety reasons, (the blade won’t ever flick open accidentally) but I just find it annoying.
Sog Cash Card
Light and simple, the Cash Card is the perfect knife for minimalists. At just two ounces and only a quarter-inch wide, you’ll barely feel it in your pocket but it actually features a 2.75-inch blade. As the name suggests, you can use it as a money clip, although I never liked it much for that. But it is a very functional, comfortable-to-use knife that I’ve always been enjoyed carrying and using when I need to.
CRKT makes a ton of awesome knives, but if I had to choose my favorite it’s the Slacker. It houses a satin-finished three-inch drop point blade between a textured aluminum handle. The checked pattern not only balances the look, but it also makes for solid grip amid daily grime. It’s most unique feature is that it can be field stripped. This means you can completely take it apart to clean it without any tools. This may seem overkill for most recreational knife users but once you get used to having a very clean knife, you’ll really appreciate this feature.
The Leek is the Scallion’s older brother. It’s got a similar Ken Onion design with the drop-point blade, sleek stainless steel handle and assisted opener — in a slightly larger package. I find the four-inch handle and three-inch blade a little too big for most everyday uses. But if the Scallion is a little wimpy for you, definitely consider the Leek. It’s also worth noting that out of the box, Kershaw blades are some of the sharpest and they hold their edge very well over time.
Spyderco Mantra 3
Syderco knives have a unique look, with their leaf-shaped blade and Syperhole deployment system. They’re also very popular. Personally, I’ve always found the Spyderhole to be difficult to use (if you’re not familiar it’s that big hole in the blade which you insert your thumb into to open). But that’s why I like the Mantra, which also has a flipper for easy opening. Besides that, the knife is pretty standard with a laminate handle and a 3.25-inch blade. I’m also a big fan of the wire clip, which is much more discrete than the fully metal clips of other knives on this list.
The James Brand The Chapter
If the Scallion or Fastball is your Timex watch, the Chapter is your Rolex. The James Brand makes some of the nicest and best-looking knives out there, but the Chapter is my favorite for EDC. It has a 2.81-inch drop point D2 steel blade, and a stainless steel handle that’s durable and stylish. It’s all black, except for a lime green thumb stud, and looks beautiful both open and closed. A recessed thumb grip is comfortable (and looks cool) and a nice clip keeps it at the top of your pocket.
Opinel No. 7
Because of the lack of assisted opening and rounded, bulkier design, I find that the Opinel pairs better with a cheese plate in a picnic basket than in my pocket. That said, it’s a handsome knife with a lot of practical uses. I like the wooden handle and unique ring-style locking mechanism. Plus, at $17, you can’t beat the price.
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