So, you want to enter the world of everyday carry (EDC) knives. Before you start searching for EDC knife sales, you should consider questions like these: How can you stay safe? What do you need to know about self-defense using an EDC? We have compiled the top nine things you need to know about EDC, safety, and self-defense.
1. Knife Laws Vary By State
Self-defense within and outside of the home can factor into the legality of knife use. If you keep a knife in your nightstand in case of intruders, brush up on your local laws.
In some states, owning particular knives is deemed illegal. In others, owning the knife is legal as long as no one removes it from the home. Some states require knife owners to conceal knives that leave the home. Other states don’t care about concealment and only worry about knives if they are used to cause harm to others.
Wherever you live or plan to travel with a knife, do your due diligence and find out the laws specific to that state. As a knife owner, you are responsible for understanding where specific knives are and aren’t allowed to be. Some of the factors that may affect the legality of your knife by your location:
- Blade Type
- Knife Material
- Blade Size
- Your Age
- Your Criminal Background
- Your Location
- Concealment of the Knife
2. You Have To Choose Between Strength And Convenience
A knife that folds into itself is much more convenient for transportation. Accidents are less likely to happen when the default mode of the knife conceals the blade.
Knives with a full tang are stronger than folding knives. Full tang knives keep the steel running through the handle so it does not have a weak point. The pivot point on folding knives is a point of weakness.
A folding knife will suffice for everyday use, such as opening packages or slicing rope. For situations when you need a knife for self-defense or more intense outdoor activities like batoning, the strength of a fixed blade is irreplaceable.
3. You Must Maintain Your Knife
Take care of your knife by storing it properly. After a day of being carried around, make sure to bring your knife home and store it properly to avoid corrosion or damage. Keep it in a cool, dry place. Moisture will damage the blade. If it is a folding knife, keep it folded. For a fixed blade, keep it sheathed. This can prevent anyone from accidentally touching the blade.
You also must clean and lubricate your blades. If you have a folding knife as your EDC blade of choice, make sure you maintain it in good working order. Keep the folding mechanism well-lubricated. Ensure the knife folds down and locks well to avoid the blade discharging on its own and causing injury.
Clean your fixed blade knife after every use. Keep its sheath in good condition, too, as it protects anyone whose path it may cross. For knives that don’t see regular action, apply a small amount of oil to the blade a couple of times yearly.
4. Grip Your Knife Well
Learn the proper grips for your specific knife. Fists aren’t typically the best way to brandish your blade. Putting your index finger and thumb on opposite sides of the blade while wrapping the other fingers around the handle will generally give you the most control over your knife.
5. Always Cut Away From Your Body
Even the most skilled knife man will remind you to always cut away from your own body to prevent accidental cuts. Whether you’re pulling your EDC out to peel an apple, open an Amazon package, or cut through a seatbelt, cut away from your body. Slipping is all too easy.
6. Routinely Sharpen Your Knife
A dull knife is more dangerous than a sharp one. Keep the blade of your knife sharpened and in good working condition. Regularly inspect your knife for signs of wear or damage. Keep the blade clean to prevent any potential damage from corrosion.
7. Take A Class
The more knowledgeable you are about your tools, the more effective they will be. Training is invaluable if you want to get the most out of your knife. You can learn the best techniques, grips, uses, and safety tips for your specific knife.
Find a local knife fighting class to learn forms and maneuvers for self-defense. Using a knife for self-defense takes practice and strategy. A class can help you gain these in a safe environment. Attempting to use a knife you are unfamiliar with in self-defense will put you in more danger than if the weapon wasn’t there at all.
As another reminder, find out first what knives are legal as self-defense weapons in your state.
8. Try De-Escalation In Confrontation First
Just because you are carrying a self-defense knife doesn’t mean you have to use it. You might not need to pull out your EDC immediately if you face a threat. Assess the circumstances. Before pulling out your knife, keep your cool and try to keep your distance. Using a non-confrontational tone can help prevent the situation from getting worse. Attempt to leave the scene, but don’t let your guard down until you know you are out of harm's way.
9. Determine How You Will Carry It
You don’t want your EDC to weigh you down. A lightweight tool that you can easily conceal is the goal. Figure out the safest and most comfortable way to have it on your body.
This list will help get you started on your EDC journey and help you confidently navigate the knife world, especially if you’re going to buy your knives online. These tips will ensure you make informed decisions, choose responsible practices, and are committed to safety. Stay sharp, stay secure, and did we mention you should check your state laws? Because you should.