Top 4 Best EDC Knives: Hands-On Reviews and Experiences

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By Bryan Lynch •  11 min read

I don’t know about you, but knives are one of those gear items I just can’t get enough of. They are incredibly versatile and nowadays, there are so many different designs, new materials being used, and innovations that one could spend a lifetime testing out this classic tool.

edc knife with blade steel

With so many to choose from I wanted to take a moment to share four of my recommended best EDC knives, some older and some more modern. A quick note, for this article I will be focusing on folding pocket knives.

Best EDC Knives: My Top 4 Picks

Let’s take a look at four great pocket knives that I have carried off and on for years. Here are my top picks at a quick glance:

EDC KNIVES DETAILS
folding knife with long blade length
  • Nail notch on the blade for easy opening.
  • Lock blade for safety.
  • Easy to sharpen.
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best edc knife with multiple blades
  • Extremely versatile.
  • Extra tools included.
  • Affordable.
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best edc knife with heavy duty stainless steel gear
  • High carbon stainless steel blade.
  • Liner Lock for safety.
  • Light weight.
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1. Buck 110 Folding Hunter Knife Review

Buck Knives 110 Folding Hunter Lock-back Knife, Brass Bolsters, Ebony...

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Specifications

Pros

Cons

Here are pictures of my personal Buck 110 Folding Hunter knife:

This is the classic knife from my childhood. It is the knife that comes to mind when thinking of my grandpa sitting on the porch cutting slices of apple for his afternoon snack. This knife was introduced to me at a young age by my dad and his dad.

Its sturdy construction and simple design allow for comfortable use in everyday tasks. I have bought several of these throughout my life, and they always come razor-sharp right out of the box. Even after hours of cutting, this knife is quite easy to sharpen back to that perfect edge.

It may not have some of the modern attributes we have come to expect, but after being around for fifty years, this knife is still a top seller. It is beautifully crafted, and it gets the job done.

Some people may find this blade a little large to carry in a pocket (not me) but you can always get a leather belt sheath, which will make the pocket knife much more accessible. Plus, leather just has that classic design that looks great.

Buck Knives 110 Folding Hunter Lock-back Knife, Brass Bolsters, Ebony...
  • Razor Sharp Blade - 3-3/4" 420HC stainless steel blade has excellent strength, edge retention and is...
  • Strength and Safety - Easy to open with a nail notch on the blade. The lockback mechanism locks the...

Last update on 2022-11-27 at 13:32 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

2. Victorinox Swiss Champ Review

Victorinox Swiss Army Multi-Tool, SwissChamp Pocket Knife

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Specifications

Pros

Cons

Here are some close-up pictures of my SwissChamp:

Many times while talking with people, I find out that the Swiss Army Knife was their first knife as a child. And that story is no different for me. A knife by itself is versatile, but a Swiss Army Knife can put a whole toolbox right into your pocket.

There are so many great models to choose from that it really is hard to pick just one knife from Victorinox. But, when push comes to shove, I will always go with the Swiss Champ.

The SwissChamp has always been my favorite pocket knife due to the amount of tools included and its compact size. I couldn’t even begin to guess the hours I have spent with this knife tinkering away, completing outdoor projects, fixing things around the house, or starting a campfire with the magnifying glass.

In my mind, a Swiss Army Knife, like the Swiss Champ, is one of the best EDC knives that I have carried because it’s more of a multi-tool than a pocket knife. This lends itself to being incredibly useful in an urban setting or in the outdoors. I have probably carried a Victorinox knife more than any other throughout my life.

Featuring thirty-three tools and an endless amount of uses, there isn’t much I can’t accomplish when I carry my Swiss Champ.

Victorinox Swiss Army Multi-Tool, SwissChamp Pocket Knife
  • READY FOR WHATEVER, WHENEVER. Features (33) functions including: 2.45" blade, Phillips screwdriver,...
  • TRUSTED QUALITY. Made in Switzerland; Victorinox provides a lifetime guarantee against defects in...

Last update on 2022-11-27 at 11:13 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

3. CRKT M21-02 G10 Review

CRKT M21-02G EDC Folding Pocket Knife: Everyday Carry, Black Blade,...

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Specifications

Pros

Cons

Here are pictures my of my CRKT G10:

I have always liked CRKT knives, but this model stood out for me. The knife started out as a general every day carry knife, but it soon turned into a work knife. I have cut my way through carpet, cardboard, rope, tubing, and straps and it still maintains a good edge.

I have dropped this knife from ladders, off of a roof, run over it with my truck and it has been through the washing machine more than once. Yet, it feels just as solid as the day I bought it.

About the only thing that has loosened up over time are the three small screws attaching the pocket clip to the frame. They are not difficult to tighten but a bit of an annoyance as the hex head screws are very small.

The holes in the scales help to keep the knife lightweight while at the same keeping the overall feel of the handle sturdy. They can be a bit of annoyance as they can be a catch all for random debris or becoming hung up on other objects.

One of the other features that I have really enjoyed is the large thumb stud on the side of the blade, which makes assisted opening quick and eas

CRKT M21-02G EDC Folding Pocket Knife: Everyday Carry, Black Blade,...
  • Safe And Secure: Automated liner safety provides extra layer of lock security
  • Fast Opening: The flipper deploys the blade fast

Last update on 2022-11-27 at 13:32 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

4. Cold Steel Pocket Bushman Review

Pocket Bushman

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Specifications

Pros

Cons

Here are close-up pictures of my Cold Steel Pocket Bushman:

I am not one to judge a book by its cover, but the first time I saw this knife it just looked like a hunk of metal. Once I got my hands on it, I realized that it is a no nonsense, no frills hunk of metal – and I mean that in a good way.

The handle is a single piece of steel rolled over with no scales or mosaic pins to speak of. The handle houses the blade and the Ram Lock feature locks the blade in place when it is fully opened.

Coming in at over ten inches long when fully opened, the Bushman is probably one of the largest folding knives I have ever carried. For years now, I have used this knife in all manners of tasks, and I am still amazed that it feels like a fixed blade when I’m using it.

It was razor-sharp out of the box and maintained that edge longer than most knives I have used. Even though I have used this knife a lot, it is the one knife I have sharpened the least.

The locking mechanism is tough and has held up to a lot of abuse, but I don’t personally care for the two handed requirement for closing. In, fact at times it seems a bit unsafe. The way this works is that there is a small hole at the bottom of the handle. A piece of cordage (paracord) is threaded through and tied off to make a loop. When I am ready to close the blade I have to pull on the cordage with my right hand while either holding onto the spine of the blade or the handle with my left hand and then the blade can be closed. It is a bit awkward the first few times, but after some practice it becomes a smoother process.

But considering the insanely low cost of this blade and how much I have used it, I can look past the detail of the locking mechanism.

For those interested, we did a more deep-dive review of the Cold Steel Pocket Bushman.

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Pocket Bushman
  • Weight: 6.6oz
  • Blade Thickness: 3.5mm

Last update on 2022-11-27 at 11:52 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API


EDC Knives Buying Guide – What I Look For:

Uses

How the knife is going to be used is definitely something that needs to be considered. Am I going to be slicing open boxes and cutting cordage or straps? Will I be using it for food prep? Am I going to be using the knife a few times a day, or is it going to be used frequently?

Thinking of questions like this will help me to choose a design that better suits me and my needs.

Size

The size of a knife comes into play for two reasons.

The first reason has to do with the previous section, what I’ll be using the knife for. The size of the pocket knife will also play a role in how you carry it. Will it be in a pocket, on your belt, or in a purse or bag?

The second reason has more to do with local laws. Many areas now classify a knife over a certain length as a concealed weapon. This is a situation where size does matter, so it is important to check your local laws before purchasing a knife.

Material

The material a knife is made from is going to affect many things like:

I like to purchase items that will last me a long time and can be passed down to others, so what it is made from is an important factor. However, if you are looking for a “throwaway knife,” then this won’t really apply to you.

Price

Price can be a bit of a catch-22 for me, and I generally have the belief that I get what I pay for. I will spend three hundred dollars on a knife if that knife will be used a lot, and it’s a quality tool. Having said that, I also don’t want to spend three hundred dollars on a knife when a twenty-dollar knife will serve the same purpose.

But price range really is a personal choice. So, weigh all the options of the above categories to determine what price range is best for you and your everyday carry knife.


Wrap Up

It’s funny. It’s not until I get to the end of this article that I realize I left out a fixed-blade knife. I think that is because, for a lot of people, a fixed-blade knife is not an everyday carry knife so much anymore.

However, there are certainly plenty of people that still carry them, and there are situations that call for them. A fixed blade can be a great everyday carry knife, and it doesn’t have to be some monster blade hunk of steel. While this is an extreme example, a neck knife is a fixed blade, but is generally quite small.

Anyway, these are but four of the best EDC knives I have used in my lifetime. I hope to share more with you soon. Please feel free to leave a comment or question below. Stay sharp!

Bryan Lynch

Bryan grew up in the Midwest and spent every waking moment outdoors. Learning how to hunt, fish, read the land, and be self-reliant was part of everyday life. Eventually, he combined his passions for the outdoors, emergency preparedness, and writing. His goal was to spread positive information about this field. In 2019, Bryan authored the book Swiss Army Knife Camping and Outdoor Survival Guide. His second book, Paracord Projects For Camping and Outdoor Survival, is scheduled to be released on March 2, 2021.