8 Best EDC Knife – Top Pocket Knives To Carry All Of 2023

Men's Fashion

While your everyday carry may include a sleek key organizer, a rugged carabiner, and maybe even a fancy pen, none of these can compare to an EDC pocket knife.

The best EDC knife is something pretty much every man should own. For one, these knives serve as valuable tools when opening boxes, envelopes, and whatever else you may need to crack into. EDC knives can also be used for self-defense in case you ever find yourself in a sticky situation. Not to mention, they also make great gifts for just about anyone.

So, it’s pretty clear a pocket knife should be at the top of your everyday carry list, but now you might be asking yourself, “What’s the best EDC pocket knife to buy?” This list features an array of EDC knives for a variety of requirements and lifestyles. After sifting through these options, you should have a pretty clear idea of what might fit your specific needs.

So, let’s dive into these 8 contenders to take the throne of best EDC knife out there.

Key Takeaways

The EDC market is packed to the brim with pocket knives, which means I had my work cut out for me to arrive at these 8 finalists. I pored through countless customer reviews and researched dozens of brands. Overall, the best EDC knife to fit most lifestyles is the Gerber Highbrow Compact Pocket Knife. This knife comes in so many different variations, there’s truly an option here for everyone. If you have a bit more cash to throw at your everyday carry, or you want to give a great gift, the Civivi Vision FG Pocket Knife is also a fantastic option.

Our Top Picks

a collection of gerber folding knives
bladehq / Instagram

Gerber Highbrow Compact Pocket Knife

Why it’s great: The Gerber Highbrow Pocket Knife comes in two different sizes, offering a variety of edge configurations and blade tips to choose from. There are also plenty of colors available for those with particularly picky taste regarding everyday carry gear. This is an extremely safe knife to use with two locking mechanisms built in to maintain structural integrity. Not to mention, it can be altered to serve both left-handed and right-handed users.

How to use it: The pivot lock activates immediately once the blade is deployed, but you can apply the additional slide lock for maximum security. This is an extremely versatile knife that can be used for a host of different scenarios depending on the specifications you choose.

Flaws but not dealbreakers: While aluminum is not necessarily the worst material for a blade, I personally wish Gerber had chosen a stronger, more reliable metal. Regardless, aluminum should be well-fitted to tackle most daily tasks.

Weight: 5.3 Ounces | Blade Length: 2.8-Inches | Material: Aluminum | Locking Mechanism: Pivot Lock & Slide Lock

MTech USA Spring Assisted Folding Knife

Why it’s great: MTech USA is well-known for making budget-friendly knives and tools for all types of lifestyles. This spring-assisted knife can be deployed quickly and with one hand if necessary. It’s also extremely small, able to be thrown into a pocket or clipped onto a bag for easy access. The bottle opener at the end of the handle is a nice addition, providing some extra versatility.

How to use it: To deploy this knife, all you need to do is apply some light pressure onto the thumb stud and the blade should spring open from there. This knife features a frame lock which utilizes one side of the handle to keep the knife open.

Flaws but not dealbreakers: While this knife is a steal for the price you pay, it’s also very small and not the best quality. It’d be the perfect choice for easy tasks like opening a box but don’t expect to get much hard usage out of this tool.

Weight: 3.53 Ounces | Blade Length: 2.75-Inches | Material: Stainless Steel | Locking Mechanism: Frame Lock/Liner Lock

CIVIVI Vision FG Pocket Knife

Why it’s great: The Vision FG pocket knife from Civivi features a superlock mechanism which is much more reliable than a liner lock. The textured G10 handle will keep this knife firmly in your hands at all times and the reverse tanto blade makes it great for chopping. If you decide to go for the ivory color option, the blade will be made of Damascus steel, also featuring an opulent pattern.

How to use it: The thumb stud is found on both sides of this blade, and the pocket clip can be applied to either side of the knife making it ambidextrous. The superlock mechanism is located on the back of the knife and must be pressed down to fold the knife closed.

Flaws but not dealbreakers: The superlock is incredibly sturdy, ensuring this knife doesn’t collapse during usage. That being said, it can be extremely difficult to close, at times requiring two hands to get the job done.

Weight: 4.11 Ounces | Blade Length: 3.54-Inches | Material: Damascus/Nitro-V | Locking Mechanism: Superlock

Smith & Wesson Extreme Ops Folding Knife

Why it’s great: Smith & Wesson is most prominently known for manufacturing firearms, but this brand also produces some excellent knives for everyday carry. Not a bad gift for Dad! The Extreme Ops Folding Knife features a lightweight design and offers a ton of versatility. The blade has a combination edge, both straight and serrated. This knife also features a drop point blade which is one of the best styles for a variety of tasks.

How to use it: This is a pretty standard knife. Use the thumb stud to flick open the blade, and close it by sliding the liner lock on the side.

Flaws but not dealbreakers: I’m personally not a fan of liner locks because they tend to be more hazardous when compared to other types of locking mechanisms. That being said, as long as you use this knife properly, you shouldn’t run into any major issues.

Weight: 3.84 Ounces | Blade Length: 3.1-inches | Material: Stainless Steel | Locking Mechanism: Liner Lock

Spyderco Tenacious Lightweight Folding Utility Pocket Knife

Why it’s great: This utility knife from Spyderco features the brand’s signature thumb hole for efficient deployment. You can also get this knife with a straight edge, combination edge, or “Spyder” edge, which essentially features a unique serration design. Regardless of the edge choice, this knife features a full-flat-ground blade, making it perfect for slicing and dicing.

How to use it: The round thumb hole makes deployment easy, and the liner lock makes it just as easy to close. With such a simple design, this knife can easily take on most daily tasks.

Flaws but not dealbreakers: The blade of this knife is pretty far off from the center of the handle, which may make it difficult to properly close at times.

Weight: 3.68 Ounces | Blade Length: 3.39-Inches | Material: Stainless Steel | Locking Mechanism: Liner Lock

Outdoor Edge 3.5-Inch Pocket Knife With Replaceable Blades

Why it’s great: The Outdoor Edge 3.5-inch Pocket Knife is a great choice for those who explore the outdoors frequently. The blade on this knife is easily replaceable, which is perfect when the edge has become dull. Having the option of a replaceable blade also means you won’t have to worry as much about damaging it when doing tough work. With the option to pick up a pack of 27 additional blades, you should definitely have enough replacements for just about any situation.

How to use it: Replacing this knife’s blade is a simple process–press the blade release button and slide the blade out from the handle. You can then replace the blade by sliding a new one into the handle, making sure the release button is secured.

Flaws but not dealbreakers: Overall, this knife may not be as durable as some other knives on the market because there are more moving pieces. While the removable blade might sound like a great idea to one person, another might find it to be a bit dangerous.

Weight: 2.6 Ounces | Blade Length: 3.5-Inches | Material: Stainless Steel | Locking Mechanism: Lockback

SOG Small Fixed Blade Knife

Why it’s great: Some people just don’t like folding knives and that’s understandable. If you fall into this category, this SOG Small Fixed Blade Knife might be the perfect EDC choice for you. With its low profile, you can pretty much carry this fixed blade as easily as any folding knife out there. This knife’s sheath also features a hook for easy attachment to a belt or pants, and it can be removed just as quickly in case of an emergency.

How to use it: This fixed blade is full tang, which means the steel from the blade runs down the entire handle–ensuring it can be put through the wringer without breaking. This knife can be used for work, outdoor expeditions, or just daily usage.

Flaws but not dealbreakers: The biggest factor holding this knife back is its sheath. The quality is admittedly a bit cheap, so you might be better off picking up an alternative sheath for this knife.

Weight: 3.8 Ounces | Blade Length: 2.3-Inches  | Material: Stainless Steel | Locking Mechanism: N/A

Cold Steel Recon 1 Series Tactical Folding Knife

Why it’s great: The blade of this Cold Steel Recon 1 Knife is made from genuine steel, so it definitely lives up to the brand name. The durable tri-ad locking mechanism is pretty much the gold standard when it comes to folding knives. This knife also features a combination edge, tanto tip, and ergonomic textured handle for excellent usability.

How to use it: This is a heavy-duty knife that can tackle tough working conditions like a champ. The blade is deployed using the thumb stud on the side, and it’s closed by pressing down the tri-ad lock found on the back of the handle.

Flaws but not dealbreakers: Since this is such a large and heavy-duty knife, it might not be the best choice for everyone. There are definitely better options out there for light work.

Weight: 5.28 Ounces | Blade Length: 4-inches | Material: CPM-S35VN Steel | Locking Mechanism: Tri-Ad Lock

man holding a pocket knife by civivi
civivi_fan_photos / Instagram

Buying Considerations For EDC Knives

Size

The size of a pocket knife is usually one of the best indicators of its everyday carry functionality. While larger knives may be able to do more, it’s much easier to carry a lightweight knife wherever you go. Not to mention, it’s important to follow legal regulations for concealed carry of a knife. In the US, pocket knives with a blade 4 inches or shorter are generally legal to carry in most places. That being said, you should check the local laws for your area, and choose your EDC knife accordingly.

Type

The type of knife you get also plays a substantial role in its versatility for day-to-day usage. Most pocket knives either open manually or have an assisted open mechanism for efficiency. Those who aren’t fans of folding knives may choose to go for a small fixed-blade knife instead. There’s also the type of blade on your knife, which could have a straight, serrated, or combination edge. Finally, you have the shape of the blade which can vary depending on the tasks you’ll typically be throwing at your knife.

Durability

The durability of your knife is not only an important factor in the value you get from it, but it’s important for your overall safety as well. If a folding knife is built with a cheap lock, there’s a chance it could break and potentially hurt you in the process. This is why I’m not the biggest fan of standard liner lock mechanisms. I prefer tri-ad or lockback designs which are generally more durable and therefore safer. As far as blade material goes, stainless steel is standard and a solid choice, but stronger steels should last even longer if properly taken care of.

man holding two black finish knives
coldsteelknive / Instagram

Why You Should Trust Us

As a writer at FashionBeans, I’ve done my fair share of research into men’s attire and style trends. I’ve also been putting these principles into practice for over a decade, trying out different brands and determining what’s best. While style is often associated with the clothes you wear, it can also include the items you carry on a daily basis. A great EDC knife can be used for a variety of situations and is an excellent tool to add to your everyday carry arsenal. So, I made sure to include only the very best on this list, narrowing down dozens of options in the process. Hopefully, these recommendations will inform you of what to expect in your search for the best EDC pocket knife money can buy.

Final Verdict

Overall, the best EDC knife you should consider buying is the Gerber Highbrow Compact Pocket Knife. You can get this knife fitted for just about any kind of lifestyle, making it the perfect option for so many out there. Another excellent choice is the Civivi Vision FG Pocket Knife with a stunning design and a multitude of convenient additions.

FAQ

    • In general, many EDC knife blades are made with stainless steel. This is a solid baseline, but there are stronger steels out there as well. Any steel with a high carbon content should lead to better durability and overall longevity.

      • The intended purpose of your knife ultimately determines what type of blade you should get. That being said, drop point blades are extremely durable and versatile—perfect for everyday carry. A combination blade with a partially straight edge and partially serrated edge also gives you the best of both worlds for any tasks life may throw at you.

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