The Best EDC Knife: Be Ready for Anything

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A knife is one of the most versatile tools you can have. It may not be the perfect tool for every situation. But it’s a viable tool in most situations.

In terms of things that you should carry with you every day, a knife is very high on the list.

There are a lot of options. We’ve sifted through all the available EDC knives and trimmed the fat. So you can choose the best of the best.

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Kershaw Cryo II

Our Best Choice

Kershaw Cryo II

  • Excellent size for pocket carry and everyday use.
  • Frame lock is super strong and secure.
  • SpeedSafe assisted opening makes this knife quick and easy to deploy. It’s a legitimate defensive option.

SPOILER—if you’re pressed for time, get the Kershaw Cryo II. It’s super affordable. And it works great for most everyday tasks.

If you’d rather check out all the options to really dial in your purchase, stick with us. We’ve collected all the best EDC knives on the internet for your perusing pleasure.

Top EDC Knives on the Market Today

The Best EDC Knife Reviews: Making the Cut, Every day

Our winning EDC knife is up for review first. After that, the contending EDC knives are presented in order of price.

The most budget loving knives are first. The most budget breaking knives are near the end.

Let’s slice and dice.

1. Kershaw Cryo II - Overall Best EDC Knife

The Kershaw Cryo II is one of the most popular EDC knives around. It’s affordable. And offers an excellent combination of features for everyday carry.

First, the size is great. It’s just over 4 inches long when it’s closed (4 ⅜ to be exact). And the blade is 3.25 inches long. So it doesn’t add much bulk to your pocket. And it’s perfectly sized for your usual cutting tasks.

One side of the grip is metal, to accommodate the frame lock. I appreciate the frame lock because it’s one of the most secure locking mechanisms you can get. The blade won’t collapse shut once you’ve got it locked open, even during high-impact use.

The other side of the handle is a G10 grip panel. I find that the handle offers excellent grip traction. And the metal side is no problem for comfort or grip.

The thing that I most appreciate about this knife, though, is the SpeedSafe assisted opening. This knife is a flipper with a thumb stud. And when you press the thumb stud, the blade pops open.

I’ve never had it pop open in my pocket. But it makes the knife easy to deployThe assisted opening also makes this a legitimate option as a defensive tool, if you need it.

My main complaint about this knife is the steel. It’s 8Cr13MoV steel. It's relatively soft steel. So the edge wears down a bit quickly. But it sharpens quickly and easily.

I’ve also had no durability issues with this knife. It holds up just fine to my usual EDC tasks.

You have to compromise a bit on the steel. But this knife is an excellent value for the moneyThe size and function are spot on for an EDC blade.

Pros

  • Excellent size for pocket carry and everyday use.
  • Frame lock is super strong and secure.
  • G10 grip panel offers comfortable grip traction.
  • SpeedSafe assisted opening makes this knife quick and easy to deploy. It’s a legitimate defensive option.
  • Quick and easy to sharpen.

Cons

  • Steel is on the soft side. So the edge wears down relatively quickly.

2. Ontario Knife RAT-1 - Budget EDC Knife

The Ontario Knife RAT-1 is a classic style folder that’s ideal for those who want a simple EDC knife that will handle the usual cutting tasks, without all the tactical bells and whistles that seem to be popular these days.

However, there is one standout feature of this knife: the blade is AUS-8 steel. It’s not super steel or anything. But it’s a reasonably hard steel, with good edge retention and toughness.

The steel is nice in its own right. But somehow, this knife has high quality steel at a remarkably affordable price point. So you get a knife that will last a really long time for the same price as a knife that’s built from a lower grade steel. It’s a deal.

This knife is also conveniently sized for pocket carry. It’s about 4.5 inches closed. And the blade is 3.5 inches long. They’re perfect dimensions for EDC—not too bulky, but still capable when you need to cut stuff.

The handle is comfortably shaped, with a deep finger groove near the blade to keep your hand in place. And the grip material provides decent grip. However, it’s still a bit smooth. So the grip traction isn’t amazing.

And the blade locks open with a liner lockIt works well. But it’s not designed to withstand excessive impact. However, these things are only an issue if you regularly use your knife for high-impact tasks.

But, overall, this Ontario knife is an excellent buy for anyone who prefers a simple blade that prioritizes ordinary utility over tactical versatility.

Pros

  • AUS-8 steel is excellent steel, considering the price of this knife.
  • Excellent dimensions for everyday pocket carry.
  • Handle is very comfortably shaped, with a finger groove that provides a secure grip.
  • 4-way clip position enables you to carry tip up or tip down on either side of your body.

Cons

  • Grip texture is a bit smooth.
  • Liner lock isn’t the strongest locking mechanism. Not suited for heavy, high-impact use.

3. KUBEY EDC Tactical Folding Pocket Knife - Value EDC Knife

The KUBEY EDC Tactical Folding Pocket Knife offers an excellent balance between high quality construction and price.

First, the blade is built from AUS-10 steel. It’s a high-grade steel with excellent hardness that’s popular for making Japanese chef’s knives. However, it’s also formulated to be flexible and easy to sharpen.

So this knife will hold an edge for a long time. But the blade won’t chip during high impact tasks. And it’s relatively easy to sharpen once you’ve worn the edge down. That’s a really great combination of characteristics, especially in an EDC knife.

The size is also great for everyday pocket carry. It’s 4.5 inches long when it’s closed. And the blade is 3.7 inches long. It adds very little bulk to your pocket. And it’s not overkill for ordinary things like opening packages.

Unfortunately, the clip can only be positioned for tip up carry. If you want to carry tip down, you’ll have to look elsewhere.

My only gripe about this knife is the handle. The shape is fairly angular, which isn’t as comfortable as a more rounded shape, in my experience.

And the titanium grip panels don’t offer a lot of grip texture. It’s fine for casual tasks. But if your hands are wet or sweaty, it can be a bit slick.

Ultimately, this knife is plenty comfortable and safe to use for everyday tasks. But it could be a bit more comfortable and offer a bit better grip traction.

Even if the grip is sub-optimal, the materials and build quality of this knife are a home run, especially given the moderate price point. You’d be hard pressed to find a better knife without spending more money.

Pros

  • AUS-10 steel offers an excellent balance of edge retention, toughness, and ease of sharpening.
  • Ideal size for everyday pocket carry and typical cutting tasks.
  • Frame lock securely locks the blade open and is strong enough for high impact tasks.
  • Amazing quality for the price.

Cons

  • Grip texture and shape could offer better comfort and grip traction.

4. CRKT Avant EDC Folding Pocket Knife - EDC Flipper

The CRKT Avant EDC Folding Pocket Knife offers a nice blend of everyday utility and tactical viability.

It’s a flipper with a ceramic ball bearing system. So the blade pops open quickly and smoothly, which makes for easy deployment.

There’s no assisted opening mechanism. But the action is as good as you can get without assisted opening. You could use this knife as a defensive blade, if the need arose.

This knife is also super conveniently sized for pocket carry. The blade is 3.17 inches long. And it folds down to about 4 inches when the blade is closed.

It’s about as compact as a knife can get while still being useful for regular use. You won’t even notice it’s in your pocket until you need it.

The grip is really comfortable, and just enough to get a full 4-finger grip, unless you’ve got thick fingers. And the carbon fiber grip texture provides more grip traction than you’d expect from looking at it.

The only downside of this knife is that the blade is 8Cr13MoV steelIt’s good enough for EDC and normal use. But I’d like a higher grade steel at this price point.

But still, if you want a quick EDC flipper that could easily double as a defensive blade, this is the knife to get.

Pros

  • Blade flips open super smoothly and quickly.
  • Compact enough to fit in any pocket, but still large enough to be useful when you need it.
  • Excellent grip shape and texture.
  • Includes a thumb disk for more controlled, deliberate opening.

Cons

  • For the price, the steel could be better.

5. SpyderCo Delica 4 - Lightweight EDC Knife

SpyderCo knives are incredibly well designed and exceptionally durable. The SpyderCo Delica 4 manages to cram both of these characteristics into a remarkably lightweight knife.

First, the blade is constructed from VG-10 steel. It might be the best steel for an EDC knife. It’s relatively hard. So the edge retention is great. And this steel simply does not rust. The corrosion resistance is off the charts.

However, it can take a bit of work to sharpen. But the sharpening effort is totally worth it because the durability is so amazing.

And, this knife uses high-impact polymer for the grip panels, which are lined with skeletonized steel inserts for exceptional durability and low weight.

That might seem like it would cause durability issues. But this knife is impressively durable. My old Delica 2 has lasted for over a decade now.

The grip texture is also excellent. It’s got texturing that creates resistance to slipping in both directions. So whether you're pushing or pulling, the grip helps keep your hand in place.

And if that’s not enough, the spine of the blade has jimping for your thumb to help you maintain a secure grip.

The only trouble with this knife is that the blade can be a bit stiff to open. It’s not difficult at all. But the bronze washers that smooth out the blade action only make it smooth. You can’t really flip the blade open with a quick flick. But it definitely won’t open if you don’t want it to.

But, for an EDC knife, this Spyderco is one of my favorites. The size, steel, and grip design are all outstanding. It’s well worth the slightly premium price.

Pros

  • Blade steel is amazingly corrosion resistant and holds an edge remarkably well.
  • Super lightweight.
  • Impressively durable, especially considering the low weight.
  • Grip shape and texture are outstanding.

Cons

  • Blade can be a bit stiff to open.
  • A bit pricey.

6. ESEE Knives ESEE-3MIL-P - EDC Fixed Blade Knife

The ESEE Knives ESEE-3MIL-P is one of the best EDC fixed blades mainly because of the size. Many other fixed blades are too large to keep on your belt every day.

But this knife is just 8.31 inches in total length. And the blade is 3.875 inches. So it’s about the size of a typical folder. It just doesn’t fold.

But it’s small enough that you could carry it on your belt without attracting much attention or causing discomfort.

The blade is made of 1095 carbon steel. The edge retention is excellent. You won’t have to sharpen this knife very often.

But it takes a little work to sharpen, especially if you let it get really dull. And carbon steel has a tendency to chip if you use it for prying or pounding.

At the other end, the Micarta handle is both comfortably shaped and remarkably grippyThe grip texture provides better grip traction than almost any other texture.

It can feel a bit aggressive during long, hard use. But, overall, the grip is outstanding.

This knife comes with a polymer sheath. However, I’d recommend having a kydex holder molded if you’re going to use this as an EDC knife.

But, even without a sheath, this knife is superbly constructed and will last for decades.

Pros

  • 1095 carbon steel holds an edge very well.
  • Size is ideal for an EDC fixed blade.
  • Incredibly comfortable handle with superior grip texture.
  • Includes a polymer sheath.

Cons

  • Can chip during prying and high impact use.
  • Carbon steel will rust if not properly cared for.

Cutting Out

If you’re still without an EDC knife, you’re traveling without one of your most essential tools. A knife is handy in so many situations, including common ones like opening plastic packaging and Amazon boxes.

There are very few things that deliver as much convenience per dollar as a decent EDC knife.

Kershaw Cryo II

Kershaw Cryo II

If you want a solid EDC knife that will do the job without draining your bank account, get the Kershaw Cryo II. It’s perfectly designed for EDC carry and use. And it can double as a defensive blade, if you need it.

That’s it. Get an EDC knife. Stop ripping packages open like a savage. And start cutting them open like a professional.