The Top 10 EDC Knives of 2018
Having a dedicated Everyday Carry Knife is nothing short of essential. It’s one of those everyday carry items you’ll find yourself reaching for more than you’d ever think you would. From opening Amazon boxes that come in the mail (YAAAY!) to those blister packs you get accessories at Best Buy in, an everyday carry knife is handy to have with you all the time.
Listing the “top 10” everyday carry knives is somewhat abstract, and is like trying to figure out what people’s top 10 favorite foods are — again abstract. Styles and function vary, from folding knifes to fixed blades, smooth edge or serrated and also the other tools that are on some knives (like cord and seat belt cutters).
Carrying knives isn’t legal everywhere. Check your local laws concerning blade sizes and what’s legal to carry. Some allow only utility knives, others don’t allow spring loaded openers, and others won’t let you carry at all.
Generally speaking, if you’re in your home, you can use whatever blade you wish to do the daily chore of cutting, opening and whittling.
What Is The Best Everyday Carry Knife?
Since people prefer such a wide range of knives, we put together a list of the top knives that work under the following conditions:
- It will fit in a front pocket for folders, or on your belt for fixed blades
- It is non-threatening — no assault blades. We’re going for functionality in everyday use.
- It has at least a main blade for cutting. Some knives have other gimmicks and tools, but it has to have at least a good main blade because that’s what you buy it for.
- The EDC Knife can actually be used everyday as a utility knife for just about any small to medium cutting task.
- The Knife should cost less than $100. We don’t want to break the bank, but we do want something decent that will last!
Why Should You Carry A Dedicated EDC Knife?
It’s true that most multitools on the market come with a blade. It’s also true that many other people live life without carrying one, BUT…
For all of us that know the value of carrying around the right tool to get the job done, a dedicated knife is nothing short of essential. From whittling to pass the time, opening packages, cutting fruits, and of course, cutting a seat belt in a real emergency, having a real knife has purpose and point (excuse the pun). That knife on your multitool is clunky, can bend or break easily and wasn’t the focus of the multitool.
When you carry a knife, you have something that can reliably slice, dice, gut fish and even trim hair if needed. Sure, most of us don’t go to extremes, but guess what? Having that knife around, even to cut the rubber bands that your wife put in her hair in a pinch is well worth the carry (yes, my wife has done that).
What To Look For In Buying A Knife
Buying a knife on the internet is hard, because you just can’t inspect the knife before you pay for it. If you have a local Army surplus store, or even a good local hardware store (where you can actually meet the shop owners), then it’s far better to buy locally where you can inspect the knives and get a feel for one that will work for you.
You’re looking for an everyday carry knife that will stand up to the task of being used every damn day, and workmanship is a very big part. Look for how the knife is constructed. Is there a way for you to tear down and rebuild it? If not, is it built to last the sands of time in your pocket? Just because it has a name brand, doesn’t mean it wont break if it’s construction is poor. Generally speaking, name brand knives (Kershaw, Opinel for example) will pay better attention to the construction than just buying a cheap generic knife that’s made in the eastern hemisphere (China).
Check out the blade. Is it hardened steel? Stainless? Chances are that it is, but we’ve come across a few knives that are so poorly made, they bend under everyday use. The Swiss Army Knife Classic SDs are notorious for bending and breaking because their blades are so thin, for example.
Plain or Smooth Edge Blades (Drop Point)
The plain edge blade is simple, yet oh, so functional. It’s advantages include offering you the sharpest edge possible for the material the blade is made out of, better cutting control, higher accuracy and cleaner cuts. The plain edge also has the ability to give you a pinpoint prick to broad slash, all from a single knife.
The serrated blade is perfect for pulling cuts, much like slicing a loaf of bread. Where a smooth blade would glide over it for the most part, the serrated blade will cut right in and make the job easier to finish off. The serrated blade also will generally cut through most materials easier than the plain edge, but at the cost of precision and cleanliness.
Combo Serrated/Plain blades
Across the forums, everyday carriers tell us to shy away from combo blades. They are clumbsy and you often will snag the material you’re cutting on the serrated edges. Overall, they tell us to choose one blade style for everyday carry, and the other blade style for a secondary backup knife.
People’s Choice of Blade Styles
Most people in the EDC, Prepper and Survivalist forums said they preferred carrying a smooth plain blade for everyday use, and many told us that they also carry a serrated blade knife in their backpacks or secondary pouch as a backup, and for when a sawing action is needed as opposed to a fine cut. Almost none preferred the combo blade, and we heard a lot of complaints that the combo was nearly useless unless you were carrying a 8″ or longer hunting knife where you had plenty of space for each type of blade.
Check out how the blade locks. If it’s a SAK, there’s no lock, meaning if you push the wrong way by accident, you’ll close the blade on your knuckles. Since you’ll be using this knife everyday, you want something that’s going to lock in the open position. Now when you accidentally push the knife blade the wrong way, it won’t close on you.
Top 10 Best Everyday Carry Knives 2018
That being said, we also gathered people’s opinions on what the best Everyday Carry knife were on Reddit, forums and at a local gun and knife show. Here’s the list of the 10 best everyday carry knives that kept being mentioned as the one we needed for our EDC.
Gerber Paraframe 2
While the Gerber Paraframe 2 is one of the larger knives that people have voted as one of the top EDC Knives, it’s minimal construction and smooth operation even in the field makes it one of the most reliable, trusted knives at an entry level price (Under $50). The blade locks in place to prevent accidental closure and the knife is made of stainless steel all around.
Gerber Paraframe II Specs:
- Overall Length: 8.27″
- Blade Length: 3.53″
- Closed Length: 4.8″
- Weight: 4.2 oz.
- Lock Mechanism: Frame-lock
- Blade Style: Clip Point
- Blade Material: High Carbon Stainless
- Blade Type: Serrated
- Handle Material: Stainless Steel
- Opening Style: One-handed opening
$20, choice of smooth or 1/2 serrate blade
BUY THE PARAFRAME 2 NOW
Kershaw Cryo 2
The Kershaw Cryo 2 is just slightly smaller in length than the Paraframe 2, but also has an assisted opening function. This frame lock knife uses a Hinderer lockbar stabilizer and also like the Paraframe 2, an all stainless steel construction. The blade is made of 8Cr13MoV stainless steel allowing you to hone it to the sharpest edge possible, and the entire knife is titanium carbo-nitrate coated to increase durability during your everyday use. The Cryo 2 allows you to adjust the pocket clip for either knife up or knife down configuration, and also allows for either left or right handed operation.
Kershaw Cryo 2 Specs:
- Overall Length:7.75″
- Blade Length:3.25″
- Blade Material: 8Cr13MoV
- Blade Style:Drop Point
- Edge Type:Plain
- Handle Length:4.375″
- Handle Thickness:0.38″
- Handle Material: Stainless Steel
- Weight:5.50 oz.
- User:Right Hand, Left Hand
- Pocket Clip:Tip-Up, Tip-Down
- Knife Type:Spring Assisted
- Opener:Thumb Stud, Flipper
- Lock Type:Frame Lock
$39.99, Smooth blade
BUY THE CRYO 2 NOW
The Kershaw Leek is one of the favorites among those who carry and EDC Knife for it’s smooth design and compact, but still very functional design. It has a 3 inch Sandvik 14C28N steel blade that comes from the factory razor sharp. It has a spring assisted opener allowing for one handed operation, and is weighted well to feel right in your hand.
The Kershaw Leek allows for either right or left handed operation with just a simple flick. There’s also a tip lock slider that will slide over the tip of the blade while its in your pocket so that the knife can’t accidentally open, slicing up the sausage. ;D The attached pocket clip can either be configured for tip up or tip down position, or removed completely, and the handle has a hole for either a lanyard or speed clip to attach in an easy to reach location on the strap of your backpack, for instance.
Kershaw Leek Specs:
- Blade length: 3 in. (7.6 cm)
- Closed length: 4 in. (10.3 cm)
- Overall Length: 7 in. (17.9 cm)
- SpeedSafe® assisted opening Frame lock
- Reversible (tip-up/tip-down) pocketclip
- Steel: Sandvik 14C28N, bead-blasted finish
- Handle: 410 stainless steel, bead-blasted finish
- Weight: 3 oz. (85 g)
$33, Smooth or Serrated Blade
BUY THE LEEK NOW
SOG Salute Mini
The SOG Salute Mini looks and feels a lot more tactical than the other knives in this top 10 list. SOG is well known for their military and tactical styling and they build their knives to cater to the Everyday Carry, Prepper and Survivalist markets. The Salute Mini is a spring loaded assisted opener that’s both compact and durable. The handles are knurled for the gloved hand in mind, and are supported by a stainless steel frame. Several holes at the back allow you to easily attach a speed clip or lanyard and the knife locks in both open and closed positions.
SOG Salute Mini Specs:
- Overall Length: 7.1″
- Closed Length: 4″
- Weight: 3.60 OZ
- Blade Length: 3.1″
$30, smooth blade only
BUY THE SOG SALUTE MINI NOW
You’ll notice that many everyday carries contain a Spyderco Tenacious C122G and for good reason. It’s a damn good knife to have with you everyday. The Tenacious has a G-10 Laminate handle and 8Cr13Mov Stainless Steel blade for the sharpest edge possible. The oversized round hole allows you to quickly snap open the blade in a one hand operation for use in the field, around the house or anytime you need quick, smooth operation. The Tenacious also features a Walker Linerlock and 4 way pocket clip that allows you to position the knife in any position you might want.
Spyderco Tenacious Specs:
- length overall 7.76″ (197mm)
- blade length 3.39″ (86mm)
- blade steel 8Cr13MoV
- length closed 4.45″ (113mm)
- cutting edge 3.39″ (86mm)
- weight 4.1 oz (117 g)
- handle material G-10
$42, Smooth blade only
BUY THE TENACIOUS NOW
Opinel #7 Carbon Blade
When you want the “Porsche” of knives, yet want something that’s functional as well, The Opinel #7 is your go to knife. Found in hundreds of Everyday Carry dumps, the Opinel has gained the well deserved reputation as one of the best all around everyday carry knives one could buy — and the best part is that it’s one of the least expensive knives you can get that’s worth carrying. At around $15 on the street, the Opinel is the perfect Everyday Carry Knife for most needs, and is our knife of choice for EDC.
Opinel #7 Carbon Specs:
- Length Overall: 7″
- Blade Length: 3″
- Closed length: 4″
- Weight: 1.3 oz
$12, smooth blade only
BUY THE OPINEL #7 NOW
SOG Cash Card
When you need to travel light, but also need a trusty knife, the SOG Cash Card Knife is what you’ll want to have in your pocket. Doubling as a money clip, the cash card knife is a light duty knife that’s always with you. John, our knife specialist, carries one religiously and swears it’s the best little utility knife that he’s had. The blade is a 2.75″ VG10 steel blade that locks in the open position to avoid accidental closures. It has a smooth matte black finish, but John’s looks more like a gunmetal silver after everyday carry and use.
SOG Cash Card Knife Specs:
- Closed length: 3.45″
- Weight: 2.00 OZ
- Blade Length: 2.75″
$33, smooth blade only
BUY THE CASH CARD KNIFE NOW
Spyderco Clipitool (with serrated) C176
The Spyderco Clipitool is the only knife that made it to the top 10 that’s got blade options. We like the C176 which houses a smooth main blade, but also has a smaller secondary serrated blade. The Clipitool also has two other options available, scissors and bottle opener/flathead screwdriver combo. Unfortunately, you don’t get all three in the package so that you can switch them out as needed (that would have made it our favorite), but at any rate, you do have options, and the reason most people choose the two blade model is because most people who carry an EDC also carry a multi-tool that already has the other tools on it.
Spyderco Clipitool Specs:
- length overall 4.59/4.57″
- blade length 2.02/2.00″
- blade steel 8Cr13MoV
- length closed 2.57″
- weight 1.8 oz
$19, smooth main blade, choice of secondary tool
BUY THE CLIPITOOL NOW
Benchmade Griptilian Mini
The Benchmade Griptilian Mini is just a solid knife that is built to last. It’s something that can be passed from father to son, and from generation to generation. The Griptilian tips the price scale, coming in at an average of $100, but for many knife affectionados, it’s well worth the price. It has a 3″ blade made of 154CM Stainless Steel and offers a reversible clip for up or down carry. It also offers a lanyard hold for easy to reach backpack or around the neck carry in the field where you need to reach for it often. The Griptilian also offers three blade configurations: Smooth (drop-point), Tanto (katana style) and Serrated.
Benchmade Griptilian Mini Specs:
- Action: Manual-opening (no assist)
- Blade Steel: 154CM (58-61 HRC)
- Blade Length: 2.91″ (7.39cm)
- Blade Thickness: 0.100″ (2.54mm)
- Open Length: 6.78″ (17.22cm)
- Closed Length: 3.87″ (9.83cm)
- Handle Thickness: 0.51″ (12.95mm)
- Weight: 2.81 oz
$89, three blade choices
BUY THE GRIPTILIAN MINI NOW
Gerber EAB Pocket Knife (TSA Inspection Ready)
Those of you that fly often know what a pain in the @ss getting through TSA is, and Gerber has found a way to get you through. The Gerber EAB (exchange-a-blade) pocket knife uses stadard contractor utility blades that can be picked up from just about any hardware store (even dollar stores carry them). When you’re on your way to the airport, ditch the blade before getting to the TSA line. When you land, find a drugstore, dollar store or convenience store and pick up another pack of contractor utility blades, and voila! your knife is in one piece again! This knife also doubles as a money clip.
Gerber EAB Pocket Knife Specs:
- Overall Length: 5.1″
- Blade Length: 1.7″
- Closed Length: 2.85″
- Weight: 2.2 oz.
- Blade Style: Contractor grade utility blade
- Blade Material: High carbon K5
- Blade Type: Fine
- Handle Material: Stainless Steel
- Opening Style: Nail nick for easy opening
$9, removable blades, TSA ready
BUY THE EAB NOW
And there you have it… The top 10 best everyday carry knives for everyday use!
We hope that this gives you some ideas of what you will want to carry as a dedicated folder knife in your EDC. For many individuals, the knife you carry is a very personal choice, and don’t be afraid to take your time finding the best everyday carry knife for you.