What Is An EDC Knife?
If you have ever found yourself wondering, What Is An EDC Knife? Then this post is for you.
Basically, an EDC Knife is a knife that you carry with you every day. It is usually a folding knife that is carried in your pocket, but, it can also be a fixed blade knife carried in a sheath.
The best pocket knife for daily use is the knife you have with you at all times. However, different knives are suited to different tasks and need so this post will help you learn to choose the best EDC knife for you. Our best edc knives of 2019 are reviewed here.
What Does EDC Knife Mean?
EDC means; Every Day Carry. It is the collection of items that you carry with you every day. Things like your phone, keys, and wallet are EDC items.
For some of us, our EDC also includes a knife. If you are like me and EDC a folding pocket knife then you know just how useful it can be to have a knife in your pocket at all times.
First and foremost, to me, a knife is a tool. It is not a weapon. So to EDC a knife is always having access to a extremely functional tool that i reach for almost every day.
If i ever forget my knife and don't have it on me i almost feel naked. And of course, if i ever forget it, that will be the day that i really need it.
Should I EDC A Knife?
I am often surprised by how many men do not EDC a knife. I guess it just part of the way i was brought up. As a little boy on the farm i always had my trusty Swiss Army knife in my pocket.
Since i always had a knife in my pocket i became to rely on it and find it useful for a wide variety of tasks. Mundane things such as cutting a string, slicing off a piece of wood, or even breaking down a box or opening a letter are just much easier with a good knife.
(it is also much cooler to flip open your knife to cut that piece of tape then to pick away at it with your fingernails.)
I guess if you are the type of person who has others do everything for you and would never want to get your hands dirty then there is no reason to EDC a knife. However, if you are reading this article, then i am guessing you are not that type of person.
You are more than likely the type of person who enjoys doing things for themselves. Who likes being able to tackle jobs and having the right tools for the job. The type of person who can do anything and knows that a good EDC knife can help achieve that.
If this is the case, then yes, you should EDC a knife.
Is It Legal To Carry A Knife?
Every State, Province, District, Region and Country has their own rules when it comes to carrying a pocket knife.
Some countries it is quite common to see people carrying small knives or even larger fixed blade knives in a sheath on their hip. While other countries frown upon everyday people carrying knives unless they are being used specifically in a certain job or task.
The general rules and law's of carrying an EDC knife vary widely and are outside the scope of this article. I recommend you check with your local authorities or governing bodies to find out what might be legal or not for your specific location and situation.
What Is A Good EDC Knife?
The best EDC knife is the knife you have with you at all times. While it is clear that different types of knives excel at different tasks. Even the best knife won't do you any good if you don't have it when you need it.
For this reason, i recommend an EDC knife that fits your lifestyle and that you are comfortable carrying with you at all times.
For me, that means a folding pocket knife with a clip and a blade length around 3 to 4 inches is the best EDC knife for me.
I am extremely hard on my knives and i have a big pile of broken knives from the last 25 years of carrying a knife every day. So for me, my EDC knife needs to be extremely durable and able to withstand the punishment i put it through.
I also tend to carry a slightly larger EDC knife than many people do which allows me to have more robust choices than someone who wants to carry a smaller, lighter knife.
It all comes down to knowing yourself and knowing what you want your EDC knife to be used for. Is it a slim and light small knife with a 2.5 inch blade that disappears into your pocket and you hardly know it is there.
On the other hand, maybe you are like me and want a more robust knife with a longer and stronger blade. My current EDC is a 5.11 Tactical Scout Folder. It has a 3.5 inch blade that is 4mm thick with solid contoured G10 Scales for the handle
How To Choose An EDC Knife
Choosing an EDC is a very personal thing. Now that you are no longer asking yourself, What Is An EDC Knife? It is time to ask, How To Choose A Knife?
The first consideration is weather you want a fixed blade knife or a folder. If you are not used to carrying a knife every day it is probably best to start with a folding pocket knife and get used to it before you strap a fixed blade EDC to your hip.
The next consideration is the size of the knife. Do you want something that is larger and stronger to withstand the abuse someone like me will put it through. Or do you want a smaller knife that is more suitable to lighter tasks and will rarely see rough use?
Their are a ton of options for choosing your folding EDC knife size. A good all around size is something with a blade that is in the 2.5 to 3.5 inch range. This allows for enough blade to handle most daily cutting tasks while still being small enough to easily carry in your pocket without being to bulky or intrusive.
What Type Of Handle For My EDC Knife?
Once you know the overall style and size of knife you want the next decision to make is the handle choices. Most folding knives can come with a wide variety of handle materials and all different types of colors.
The parts of the handles on either side of the knife frame are called scales. So if a knife seller is asking you what kind of scales you want, they are not asking you about the weight of your knife, they are asking you about the type of handle materials and colors you want.
Their are many types of handle materials to choose from such as; wood, bone, horn, steel, titanium, plastic, rubber, composite materials such as G10, carbon fiber, or Micarta, and a myriad of other materials too plentiful to cover here.
The main thing is that you choose a handle material that will be durable enough for EDC as well as something that provides a comfortable and grippy surface so it doesn't slip when wet or when cutting hard.
An aesthetic choice of handle color is also something to consider. While many of these materials come in a standard black or metal, some of them can come in just about every color under the sun.
Do you want your handle in an OD green to match your khaki pants? Or do you want the light glimmer and patterned look of carbon fiber? The choice is up to you and can help differentiate your knife style from many others.
What Type Of Blade For My EDC Knife?
There are almost as many styles of blades as there are handle materials and colors to choose from.
Some of the more standard blade styles such as; drop point, clip point, or spear point tend to make very useful and classic EDC knife blades.
However, different blade styles such as the Tanto Blade, Sheepsfoot, Wharncliffe, or even modified cleaver and chopper styles are becoming much more popular.
These more specialized blade styles can give a unique look to your EDC knife as well as provide improved functionality for certain tasks such as puncturing, chopping, or safety.
If you want to learn more about all the different blade styles and shapes that you can choose then check out our detailed post, What Are The Different Blades On A Pocket Knife Used For?
There are a myriad of blade steels that you can choose from. Without going overboard on details in this article we just recommend that you choose a decent quality stainless steel with good hardness and solid toughness. Spyderco recently announced a new proprietary steel developed in conjunction with Crucible Industries called CPM SPY27 which proves to be a great EDC knife blade steel.
How Do I Keep My EDC Knife Sharp?
Knife sharpening is a very useful and important skill to know when you EDC a knife. A dull knife is requires you to push harder when cutting things and that can make it more likely to slip and cut or injure yourself.
There are lots of different ways to sharpen your knives. Their are all kinds of sharpening tools, stones, and even electric and mechanical sharpening devices available.
They all have the same goal and do pretty much the same thing as a simple sharpening stone. To get you knife sharp and keep it sharp.
If you are just looking for a basic tool that won't break the bank to keep your knife sharp then i recommend you get yourself a silicon carbide sharpening stone from your local hardware store or even Walmart or Amazon.
Many of these can be had for just a few bucks and come with two different grits, one coarse for material removal and rough shaping. As well as a finer grit side that refines the bevel a bit more and puts a finer edge on your knife.
It will take you a little bit of practice to learn how to use it properly but it is a good skill to have to help you care for your EDC knife.
If you are like me then it will not take long before you realize that this basic edge is not as sharp as your knife can be and will want to move on to more specialized sharpening tools. I like to be able to slice up whatever material i want to as well as shave the hairs off my cheek when i am done.
If you want to learn more about how to sharpen you EDC knife then check out our post about sharpening to find out What Is The Best Way To Sharpen A Pocket Knife?
How To Carry An EDC Knife
Once you have figured out what type of knife to carry, the next decision is if you want to carry it loose in your pocket or attach it with a clip to keep it in place. There are many different options with pocket clip carry, such as;
- Front pocket or back pocket?
- Strong side or offhand side?
- Left Hand Or Right Hand?
- Tip up or tip down?
- Deep carry or regular?
- Lanyard pull or not?
- Inside carry or outside carry?
Each of these options can help guide your choice on the exact knife you prefer as well as the style of clip you may or may not want to use. Many folding EDC knives have clips that are screwed on and can be changed into different positions to allow you to experiment until you figure out what works for you.
Front Pocket Or Back Pocket?
I prefer to carry my knife in my back pocket but i know quite a few who prefer it in their front pocket. For me, the main determination is that I carry my wallet and keys when carried in my front pocket and the clip and the knife get in the way when i am trying to get my wallet out.
Strong Side Or Offhand Side?
I am right handed and prefer my knife on my right hand side, or strong side. I am much more dexterous with my right hand and prefer to pull out and open my knife with the same hand as the one i will be using to hold the knife when i am cutting.
Right Hand Or Left Hand?
Similar to strong side or offhand side, the question of right hand or left hand is important when choosing your knife. The main difference is that this determines which side the blade comes out when carried on the right or left side. It is much more natural for a right handed person to draw a right handed knife from their right hand pocket and smoothly open it with a quick flick of their thumb.
On the flipside, if you are left handed you may want to carry on your left hand side and would then need the clip mounted on the opposite side to facilitate proper opening ergonomics.
Tip Up Or Tip Down Carry?
I usually prefer a tip up carry. For me this usually allows easier one handed opening with a thumb hole or thumb stud on a folding knife blade. The one drawback for me with this style of carry is that gravity can open the knife in your pocket is it doesn't have a solid detent that helps keep the blade closed.
Deep Carry Or Regular?
Some knives either come with, or can be changed to, a deep carry pocket clip. This basically allows the knife to sit lower inside your pocket when clipped. For some people this makes it more difficult to access one handed, especially if your pants and pockets are on the tighter side. Deep carry clips also make the knife more unobtrusive and less visible which can be a consideration for some people.
Lanyard Pull Or Not?
One other option for knives with a lanyard hole is to have a small woven or braided lanyard attached that can make it easier to grip and pull out of your pocket. This lanyard can be tucked inside or left partially hanging out of your pocket to make it much easier to grasp your knife one handed when needed.
Inside Carry Or Outside Carry?
Do you want you EDC knife tucked into your pocket with the clip slipped over the outside or do you want your knife hanging on the outside of your pocket? For most people the answer is inside. This keeps your knife more securely stored and less possible to fall off or get caught on things. It also keeps it tucked out of site which may be a consideration for some people in certain places.
However, there is nothing stopping you from keeping it tucked inside your pocket when not in regular use and then clipping it on the outside for easier access when you are using it often.
Now You Know, What Is An EDC Knife.
Choosing an EDC knife is a very personal thing and the knife you choose now will probably change as your skills, knowledge, requirements, and appreciation for knives changes over time.
Hopefully this article give you some insight into how to choose the right EDC knife for you, And, if someone asks you, What Is An EDC Knife, you will be well armed with knowledge to answer them.
What is your favorite EDC knife? How did you choose it and what do you use it for most? I would love to know so please drop a comment below. Also, feel free to share this to help educate other on what an EDC knife is and how to choose the right one for you.