Everyday Carry (EDC) is becoming not only increasingly popular but important as well. The ability to carry a knife or multitool on your person to handle whatever comes your way is extremely useful. And for some professions, including fishermen, trail guides, hunters, and emergency personnel, it is a must.
Knives and pocket tools are useful for a wide range of tasks, and especially if you find yourself in a survival situation. There you can use your EDC knife to cut wood for a fire, cut clothing for bandages, and prepare food. And of course, you can also use your knife for self-defense should the need arise.
Now if you have never carried a knife or pocket tool before, or it has been a while, you may be wondering how to choose the right one. As knife aficionados, we could go on and on about all the different elements that go into a knife’s design. But here we will narrow that focus and talk about the criteria to look for in a pocket tool and how to choose the best fit for your needs.
Look, with a wallet, cell phone, spare change, breath mints, and whatever else you have jangling around in your pockets, you don’t need another heavy object weighing you down. You want to keep your pocket tool as light as possible. A good rule of thumb is to shoot for something that weighs five ounces or less.
When it comes to blade length, the largest and longest does not necessarily mean the best. We’re not looking to slay dragons here. You’ll find that many EDC knives feature a blade range of 2-5”. As you might expect, a shorter blade offers more control, while a longer blade provides a better reach. The length of blade you can EDC will in part be determined by your local jurisdiction’s laws, so be sure to check those out before your purchase.
Knife Blade Types
There are a wide variety of blade shapes from which to choose. The shape of the blade helps determine the performance of the knife, as well as the task. Common shapes include spear point, drop point, and tanto (a good, all-purpose blade type).
A blade’s finish is important because it helps protect the metal and prevent corrosion. The best knife material also helps make it look good. As with shape, there are tons of finishes from which to choose. Popular ones include stonewash, blackwash, and Diamond-Like Carbon (DLC).
Where the sides of the blade meet each other is called the edge grind. This runs the entire length of the blade and is an important feature because it helps determine the resistance of the knife when you cut with it. The three most common EDC grinds are Full Flat Grind (FFG), V grind, and Hollow grind.
When choosing a knife, you want a blade that will resist corrosion, retain a sharp edge through repeated use, and sharpen easily. Stainless steel is the optimal choice for meeting these criteria and is the most popular with EDC. Another option is high-carbon steel, which is phenomenal when it comes to edge retention and hardness. The downside with high-carbon steel is that it is more vulnerable to corrosion than its stainless-steel counterpart.
Knife Handle Materials
Knife handles are crafted from a variety of materials. The two key attributes to keep in mind here are grip and comfort. Wood, plastic, rubber, and stainless steel are popular options. Wood looks great and provides a good grip but is vulnerable to water damage. Rubber offers water resistance, as well as a great grip. You may want to consider testing out different handles to get a feel for them and help determine which one is right for you.
Budget and Appeal
When it comes right down to it, there are two inescapable considerations: how much you are willing to spend and whether you like the way the knife looks. Determine your budget first, and then see which knife ticks off the boxes on your checklist.
Is a Multitool Right for You?
Multitools are a great option when you want more versatility and options than just a knife can provide. Multitools usually consist of a knife, folding pliers, scissors, a wire cutter, screwdrivers, and a bottle opener. However, they can feature a wide range of additional implements.
If your routine calls for more versatility and options, then a multitool may be the best choice.
The Best Pocket Tool for Your Everyday Carry
Taking into consideration the many elements and options at your disposal, it really comes down to personal preference and staying within your budget. Investing in a good EDC knife or multitool will pay dividends long down the road. And do not forget to double-check with your local laws and ordinances on what they say about carrying in your locale.