Here’s our breakdown of the 7 best EDC knives to get your hands on in 2023. We cover each knife in-depth show you why they deserve the attention they’re getting. Our goal is to help you make every dollar you spend count. We want the next knife you get to be one that leaves you with no regret and no buyer’s remorse.
By the time we’re done here, you’ll know exactly what to look for in a high-quality EDC knife. You’ll have a clear idea of what you need and have 7 top-rated EDC knives to choose from. Let’s dive right in!
Top 7 Best EDC Knife Reviews in 2023
In this section, we’ll take an in-depth look at each of the fantastic knives we’ve handpicked for this list. Each of them has something to offer and we’ll point out what stands out about them. You’ll find what we liked and didn’t like about each knife so that you can get a clear idea of how it will perform in the real world.
By the end of this section, you’ll be able to make a balanced and well-informed decision. If you’ve ever had an EDC, you’ll know how vital they are when the situation arises. You need a quality knife if you want peace of mind and a versatile blade by your side. Let’s get into our best EDC knives review!
CRKT Squid Folding Compact EDC Knife
This is a subtle compact knife that’s perfect if you’re looking for something small and versatile. The black stonewashed finish is gorgeous and adds a whole lot of durability to the knife. It clips quickly and easily onto a belt and sits comfortably in your pocket thanks to the low profile pocket clip.
This is a sharp knife that’s quick and snappy. I wish the opening process was a little more intuitive at first. You’ll get used to it over time and with a little practice. You’re getting a small CRKT knife that’s great for one-handed use and possibly one of the best EDC knives at this price.
- Beautiful and corrosion-resistant black stonewash finish
- The pocket clip is low profile and clips very easily
- Compact blade for EDC situations where subtlety is necessary
- The non-slip G10 handle is more comfortable than it looks
- A little too much bendability in the handle (in the gap)
- Blade opening isn’t too intuitive and takes a while to get used to
Outdoor Edge Razor-Lite EDC Knives
This knife takes quite a unique approach and uses a replaceable blade tech. You’ll get 6 spare replacement blades with this knife. If you’re worried about all the added stress of changing blades, this knife does it fast! You just have to push the release button and slide the knife out.
Despite having more moving parts, this knife is durable enough to be an excellent outdoor EDC. It’s not designed for heavy-duty work, so you’re better of using it for light and general handy work like cutting materials and prying things open. This is one of the best EDC knives if you want something easy to maintain and suited to lighter work.
- Blades are extremely easy to release and replace
- Comes with 6 replacement blades that are pre-sharpened and hand finished
- TPR rubberized handle inserts give you a non-slip grip and loads of friction
- Excellent value for money in the long run
- Blades don’t hold their edges as well as non-replaceable blades
- The pocket clip is a little short and could be a bit tighter
Gerber Pocket Square EDC Knife
Here’s a handsome Gerber knife with a minimalistic design. It’s kept bare as bones and as a result, is simple to use and even easier to maintain and clean. It’s not the perfect be-all-end-all knife, but when you consider how cheap it is and compare that to its quality and craftsmanship – you’ll quickly see its value.
If you already have a main EDC and want to offset some of the load and work to a smaller and more expendable knife, this is an excellent choice. It’s rugged and robust enough to handle tough work, while still looking good and handling well.
You’re getting one of the best cheap EDC knives to add to your collection or back up your main EDC knife. If you want to know how to get better value and longer lifespans from your pocket knives, here’s an excellent read about correct maintenance and cleaning regimens.
- The machined aluminum handle is sleek and attractive
- An expertly centered and balanced blade
- Its handle is well-suited to larger hands and is comfortable
- The blade locking system is top-grade and safe
- Its blade comes dull and needs a thorough sharpening (which is quite tough on this knife)
- Quite heavy for a knife this size
Off-Grid Knives Rhino Blackout EDC
If you want a manual and non-assisted EDC, here’s a great option. It’s built solid and has heft when you’re holding it in hand. The action isn’t as snappy as you might like, but it’s very smooth. Since the blade is heavier, this isn’t too much of an issue. It clips back into place quickly and without any stuttered movements.
You’re getting an exceptionally durable knife with a reliable blade locking mechanism. It’s safer and more reliable than most pocket knives at this price point. It will take loads of damage and rough use without showing it. This durability comes at the expense of compactness and a lightweight frame.
You’ll immediately notice that this knife is quite bulky and hefty. Many people love heavier knives and feel that they have better control over them. Overall, you’re getting one of the best EDC knives for the money. It’s reliable and will last for ages.
- Ceramic ball bearing flipper is silky smooth
- The non-reflective blade is very resistant to wear, scratching, and peeling
- Handles texture give it excellent grip and ergonomics
- Linear fantastically balances strength and functionality
- Action isn’t quite as fast as it should be
- Quite bulky for a short-blade EDC knife
Benchmade Mini-Griptilian EDC Knife
This Benchmade knife strikes the balance between cost and performance excellently. It’s just affordable enough to not force you to take a second mortgage if you lose the knife (I’m clumsy and this happens more often than it should).
You might want to change out the belt clip for something slightly more flexible and versatile, but that’s a matter of personal preference. The blade is exquisitely sharp and comes that way out the box. You’ll find that it has cutting power that matches some far more expensive blades.
To balance out the cost a little, the handle admittedly feels quite cheap. It’s durable for what it is but doesn’t have that heft to it. This isn’t a big deal for me, but for some, it’s a no-go. Either way, you’re getting a knife that blends premium features and quality with some mid-range ones to keep it affordable and practical.
- Excellent quality and crafted to last a long time
- Fits in your pocket while still offering you the versatility of a larger blade
- The blade comes extremely sharp and ready to use right out the box
- The belt clip is easy to swap out and change frequently
- Its black finish comes off quite easily
- The handle doesn’t feel very sturdy
Western Active Honey Badger EDC Knife
This is probably one of the most ergonomic tactical folding knives you’re going to use at this price. It fits fantastically into your hands and can also manage larger hands with thicker fingers. The blade flip doesn’t take much force to engage and it’s super-reactive. There’s a little bit of resistance from the locking mechanism and it might catch at times. Other than that one flaw, this knife is almost the perfect EDC knife.
It’s under the legal 3” length limit that many states and countries have in place. You’ll be able to take it almost anywhere with you and use it in almost any way. The multi-directional grip is one of the best of a small compact knife like this. You won’t have any trouble holding this knife in either hand or direction – it’s a high-quality EDC knife.
- The handle has a fantastic multi-directional grip for tactical and outdoor use
- Flipping the blade is exceptionally smooth and quick
- CR13 steel is rugged and can be sharpened to an exquisitely sharp edge
- At 2.81” it’s legal to carry in many states and countries
- Linear lock level can get a little sticky over time
- The finger node is large and can sometimes get in the way when you’re opening/closing the blade
SOG Flash II Straight Edge EDC Knife
You’re getting a decent 3.5” straight blade that can be sharpened to a fine edge. It will stay sharp for longer than most other pocket knives and wears well. It’s a subtle-looking blade despite its longer overall length. The handle is built to be light and convenient, though it feels quite plastic and cheap. You won’t have any trouble cutting with this SOG knife.
I expected it to be harder to cut with since it’s pretty lightweight, but this isn’t true at all. The safety lock is excellent and powerful. You’re not going to run into any issues as it’s well designed and works very consistently. Overall, this is one of the best EDC knife of money if you’re into ultra-sharp straight blades that hold their edge well.
- Larger blade size that doesn’t feel heavy at all
- Flipper function is snappy and reactive
- Safe one-handed use thanks to the piston locker
- The straight edge spine is thick and gives a superbly sharp edge
- Glass-reinforced handle is a little slippery when wet
- Handle feels quite cheap in your hands
Factors to Consider Before Buying an EDC Knife
No matter how you go about your day or what kind of a profession you have, carrying an EDC knife would never let you down. These knives are built to be subtle and unobtrusive, and they’re designed to be multitaskers. However, since there are many choices to pick through, picking just one EDC knife might seem impossible. Pay attention to these essential features if you’re looking for the best EDC knife for yourself:
You’re going to use the EDC knife every day, probably even multiple times a day. Therefore, if this knife isn’t durable, you’re going to be very disappointed. Make sure the knife is made of sturdy material and has good construction.
Let’s face it, very few people spend an excessive amount of money while getting an EDC knife. These small and handy knives tend to get lost quite often, and they also wear down quickly due to the high workload. Therefore, make sure the one you’re buying isn’t too pricey.
Even if you get a cheap and sturdy knife, if you can’t use it comfortably, there’s no point in buying it at all. An EDC knife should have a comfortable handle, a good pocket clip, a blade that you can put to good use, and a subtle and compact profile that you can carry everywhere.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Q: What Is an EDC Knife?
A: EDC stands for ‘everyday carry,’ and therefore, an EDC knife is meant to be carried most of the time conveniently. Pocket knives are also considered EDC knives. These knives can be applied to most of your cutting, trimming, or scraping tasks in your everyday routine. Another feature of EDC knives is that they are incredibly portable.
Q: Is It Safe to Carry an EDC Knife?
A: An EDC knife is usually carried around conveniently because of its compact design. It is easy to stash inside a pocket or conceal in other garments or materials. However, there are risks associated with using the knife for the wrong reasons and will put someone into trouble.
To make sure that carrying an EDC knife is safe, you must be aware of your establishment’s policies (school, workplace, malls, etc.) and the ordinances of your locality. If nothing is said about carrying a pocket knife, then carrying it for self-defense is allowed.
Q: What Is the Best Size for an EDC Knife’s Blade?
A: This depends on how you plan to use the knife. If you travel often you should bear in mind that many states and countries have different rules and regulations regarding the legal length of EDC knives. Many states in the US need it to be less than 3” in length (just the blade, not the total length of the knife).
If you’re into the outdoors and need something tactical, you might want to go over 3” and get something closer to or over 4” long. It all comes down to how and where you plan on using the knife.
Q: Are Foldable EDC Knives Better Than Fixed Blade EDC Knives?
A: Yes, and no. Foldable knives have the benefit of being able to fit a longer blade into a compact design. They have more moving parts and are therefore less durable and reliable. They’re also harder to keep clean and the handles often have quite a bit of flex in their frame.
Fixed knives (the smaller EDC type) are often less than 3.5” (blade length) but are bulky and hefty. They’re a little less versatile than folding knives, but make up for that by being very robust and sturdy. There are also large fixed knives like hunting knives, but those aren’t EDC knives (not usually).
Q: What Do I Need to Know About Cleaning and Maintaining an EDC Knife?
A: Keep the knife dry and protected when you’re not using it. Keep the blade sharp and avoid using it for unintended purposes like prying open cans with the tip and doing abrasive work. When you clean it, make sure to get the grooves and crevices.
We’ve gone in-depth on each of the 7 knives we chose to review. You’ve learned what to look for and should now have a good idea of what you’ll need in an EDC. As you make your choice, keep your needs, and planned uses in mind. Go back over the knives you’re interested in and learn everything you need to – then make your decision. Once you’ve got one of the best EDC knives in hand, you’ll be ready to take on and handle whatever life has to throw at you!