Choosing the EveryDay Carry (EDC) knife that suits you is as personalized as the knives themselves. If you sampled the buying decisions of current owners, you would get a full spectrum of opinions on what makes a knife the best knife. Still, when you’re ready to change, upgrade, or add a new EDC knife, make sure that among your other ideas you’ve asked and answered some practical questions for yourself.
These days the selection of knives is so vast that it’s easy to be distracted by the shiny objects. It’s like intending to purchase a replacement headlight and coming away with an underbody light kit, truck bed lighting, truck tool box lighting … well, you get it – a bunch of shiny objects beyond what you originally intended to purchase.
Here are some practical considerations to keep at the front of your mind.
Purpose Should Guide Your Buying Decision
Purpose should be the guiding principle when choosing your next everyday carry knife. Whether you’re buying your EDC to cut cords or to protect yourself, that purpose is what you need to keep returning to in your mind, so you get the features you need. The best EDC knife for you will be the one that easily takes on the daily challenges you present it with. Choose one that is specially designed to complete the task.
Make a list of tasks that you currently do using your EDC knife. Think about those times when your knife didn’t hold up to the task. Recall experiences when you admired the capabilities of someone else’s knife. Write it all down. Once you compile your list, you will be better able to decide the edge type, size, opening mechanism, and locking mechanism for your knife that suits you best. It’s much easier to come away from the sale satisfied if you got just what you were looking for in the first place.
Size and Weight Matter for an Every Day Carry Knife
By its nature, a tool that you carry around every day needs to be a comfortable fit, so size and weight are important criteria. A good knife will use strong, yet lightweight materials like G10 or Micarta so that you will not sacrifice strength for usability. Not sure what to start with? As a general rule of thumb, you want an EDC pocket knife that is under 5 ounces (~150 grams) and less than 5 inches (~13 cm) so that you can comfortably carry it in different scenarios.
Fixed vs. Folding Knives Present a Distinct Difference
Are you looking for a small, discreet knife that you can easily slip into your pocket? Or do you want something that you can feel on your hip and which is accessible in a flash? It’s another distinction that dictates your EDC knife purchase.
Folding knives are a great option if you want to remain unobtrusive in public. They are smaller with blades that easily tuck away. If you use your EDC knife for your job, you don’t need it at your fingertips for an emergency situation, and you don’t need it to draw a lot of attention hanging from your belt. Beyond purpose, these are a couple considerations when choosing fixed or folding blades.
Carrying a fixed blade knife may be preferred when you habitually cut rope, skin game, or complete other outdoor tasks that you need to do quickly and efficiently. Fixed blade knives are often stronger, and always require a sheath. Having a fixed blade knife on your person is not out of the ordinary, but adhering to local carry laws is a lot less awkward than being harassed where wearing a fixed-blade knife is taboo.
EDC knife owners choose to own folding knives because of their weight advantages and versatility. Likewise, fix blade knife owners enjoy the convenience of rapid accessibility and the strength of a bigger knife.
Local EDC Laws Have a Say in Your Knife Purchase
It is important to know your local laws pertaining to knife carry. Depending on where you live, the laws concerning the length of blade, whether or not you need to obtain a permit, and the right to carry a concealed weapon can vary.
Before making your final decision on which knife you are going to purchase, make sure you familiarize yourself with all of your state’s regulations regarding knives.
Whether you call it your friend or you call it your tool, your everyday carry (EDC) knife is your companion. It will travel with you through the best and worst of times, keeping you company as you journey through life. Just like you, it will receive scratches and scars, but its wear and tear is just a reminder of all the adventures you’ve had and those that are left to come.