Best Flip & Pocket Knives reviewed by Everyday Carry

Flip & Pocket Knives

If you've seen photos of what people carry every day, you might be wondering, “why do so many people carry a pocket knife?” The answer is different for everyone, but it all comes back to the idea that a handy pocket knife is an indispensable tool.

People use their EDC knife everywhere, whether they're at work (say, opening a package) or at home (making a quick repair around the house). Having a knife can also potentially save your life in an emergency (cutting a seatbelt) or in a survival situation if you spend time outdoors.

That said, knives may be restricted depending on where you live and what your local laws are, so be aware of those before deciding what kind of pocket knife you can carry.

The Best Pocket Knife for Everyday Carry

When picking the best pocket knife for your everyday carry, you should consider a bunch of factors: how big the knife is, how it opens, how it locks (or doesn't), how you'll carry it, how durable it needs to be, and so on.

Remember, you'll want a knife that's comfortable (both in your hand and in your pocket), built to last, safe to use, and legal to carry.

For a few ideas, check out our guide to the Best Pocket Knives Under $50. If you live where knife laws are a bit more strict, check out some of our non-locking blade recommendations too.

Different Types of Pocket Knives for Everyday Carry

Because different people have different requirements their knife needs to meet, you'll find tons of different kinds of pocket knives. They serve different purposes, have different designs and styles, and come at a range of different price points.

Some are classic and recognizable, like the all-in-one Swiss knives with multiple tools built in, or the traditional old timer knives your grandpa used to carry with wood or bone handles. Tactical knives and fast-opening flipper or flip knives are more popular these days for their advanced features and attractive designs.

Scroll down to discover some of the best and most noteworthy pocket knives on the site.

Lionsteel SR-11

The “Overall Knife of the Year” award is not a bad title to have attached to your new EDC blade, and that's exactly what the Lionsteel SR-11 is. This high-end production flipper beat out the rest thanks to its top marks in utility, design, creativity, and feel. At just over 8 inches when open, this knife has some serious presence both in hand and in pocket. The SR-11’s aggressive styling adds a unique visual appeal, while ensuring a solid grip thanks to the machined ridges all over the handles. The blade is ready to open right when you need it too. The flipper mechanism is complemented by a set of ball bearings that ensure quick and smooth deployment of the blade.

The SR-11 features a lengthy 3.7” blade that measures in at a hefty 4.5mm thick. It’s made from Sleipner 60-61 HRC tool steel, which is similar to D2. The benefits include chip and wear resistance, and the ability to hold a sharp edge. On top of the blade, you’ll find an aggressive swedge. This design element makes piercing tasks easier by slimming down the front of the blade. Near the pivot, the blade maintains its 4.5mm thickness to retain both durability and stability. It's the best of both worlds in one blade.

The standout feature on the SR-11 is the Rotoblock system. Right in the middle of the frame lock is a circular disc. With a quick turn of the disc, the frame lock is held down in the locked position. Essentially, it’s a lock for the lock - ideal for those who want an added level of security in their folding knives. While the frame lock is already one of the most secure knife locks, the Rotoblock improves on an already solid mechanism.

Finishing touches on the knife include a recessed lanyard hole, reversible low-profile pocket clip, and minimal branding throughout. The Lionsteel SR-11 is available from Amazon in a sleek grey titanium finish and includes a leather carrying sheath. You can pick up one of these robust, yet sleek EDC flippers at the link below, or in other colors direct from Lionsteel.

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CRKT Daktyl

When you think of minimalist knives, something slim, lightweight, and easy to carry is usually what comes to mind. Not something so spartan that it's literally stripped down to its bones. But CRKT have made what seems to be an impossible knife in the Daktyl. Able to perform well as a knife while having the one of the most lightweight profiles ever manufactured, the Daktyl is as visually impressive as it a feat of engineering.

Designed my Tim Hitchcock out of Oregon and named after the Greek word for “finger,” the Daktyl's action centers around a single action. This Hole in One mechanism activates by pushing down on the blade's rear level while closed, letting the blade swing out and click into place. An additional Slide Lock mechanism helps keep the Daktyl secure while both open and closed.

The Daktyl comes with a 3.05” 420J2 stainless steel modified wharncliffe blade, giving enough room for slicing while also having a useful tip for finer tasks. Its handles and lock mechanisms come in 420 stainless steel, giving the knife some weight so it doesn't fly out of your hands when in use. It weighs in at 2.4 ounces, with a carabiner opening at its end while closed that doubles as both an attachment point for EDC and as a handy bottle opener when it's time to crack open a cold one at the end of the day.

Able to hide functionality where there seems to be no space for them is only one of the many reasons why the Daktyl is an EDC evolution for knives. Pick on up for yourself at the Amazon link below.

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Kershaw Fraxion

Looking to lighten up your loadout? Kershaw's new collaboration with Danish knife maker Jens Anso offers EDC performance in a sleek flipper format. The Fraxion lives up to its name by weighing a fraction of the competition at just under 2 ounces. And thanks to a thoughtful combination of G10 and carbon fiber in its modern design, it disappears in the pocket yet makes an impression when it's out.

This design is a slight departure from Anso’s other knives, but it’s a welcomed step outside his comfort zone. In your pocket, the Fraxion barely noticeable until you need it. It’s no one trick pony either. You’ll appreciate the KVT bearing-enhanced flipper, blacked out stealthy looks, and reversible pocket clip to accommodate both left and right handed users.

Since the Fraxion is both slim and light, it’s a breeze to carry. The pocket clip lets the knife sit above your pocket just enough to get a secure grip, thanks to the elongated taper of the handles. The handles of the Fraxion are made from G10 laminate overlaid with carbon fiber. It gives the illusion of full carbon fiber handles, but without the hefty price tag. There’s an angular routing pattern carved into the side of the knife that adds some visual flair as well as some extra grip. Your thumb finds its way into the ridge when deploying the blade, giving you some welcomed leverage. The knife is a compact 4” when closed and only 6.75” when open.

The Fraxion has a 2.75” modified clip point blade that’s super sharp right out of the box. There’s a slight recurve on the belly of the blade that improves slicing capability. Essentially, it creates a protrusion that’s easier to control than the full length of the blade. Deploying the blade is quick and easy too. Since the pivot has Kershaw’s KVT bearing system built in, the 8Cr13MoV steel blade flips out with barely any pressure on the flipper lever. Once it's open, the blade stays in place thanks to a sturdy liner lock.

There’s some jimping on top of the blade and a slight finger choil underneath for excellent cutting, piercing, and slicing control. Sticking with the stealthy theme of the knife, the blade is coated with a black oxide finish that will keep the appearance of scratches to a minimum.

Overall, the Fraxion is a solid entry into the EDC flipper knife category. Sleek, modern looks, a sharp and easily deployable blade, and a barely-there pocket presence result in an excellent little knife. You can add a Kershaw Fraxion to your collection via the link below.

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This is a sponsored post presented by Kershaw.

CRKT Sketch

Sure, plenty of high-end premium knives say they're built for hard use. But lets be real, are you going to want to put your expensive grail knife through the wringer? For that, you need a reliable EDC knife you can count on without worrying about roughing it up. Take the new CRKT Sketch, for example. It's an affordable everyday carry folder made to be used, not babied.

The Sketch takes design notes from the Squid, another popular EDC knife also by Lucas Burnley. Think of the Sketch as a more rugged workhorse alternative. It starts with the injection-molded handle. It's not flashy, but it's made to stand up to bumps and scratches while giving you a firm grip. Then there's the 2.768" 8Cr13MoV stainless steel blade. It's formed in a wharncliffe shape that's great for every utility cutting and slicing task. It's also coated in black oxide to help it resist staining and wear even more than a regular blade. It opens with a large thumb slot that works even if you have gloves on, and it stays open with a liner lock.

The best part is at its price point you can't be too worried about wearing it out or getting it dirty. Feel free to tackle your roughest tasks with it. It doesn't need pampering. Pick one up and see for yourself at the link below.

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Spyderco Dog Tag Gen4

When he first made a folding knife into something roughly the size of a dog tag, knife designer Serge Panchenko showed the EDC world there's nothing too small to be useful if it has the right design. The original Spyderco Dog Tag featured an unprecedented form factor that made for an excellent and unique EDC knife. In its latest iteration, Spyderco takes Panchenko's fourth-generation design and takes it to the cutting edge of the dog tag form factor.

The Dog Tag's key feature, of course, it its compact sheepsfoot blade. The shape not only takes up a smaller footprint (making it ideal for this knife in particular), but also helps in strengthening the blade's tip when the cutting gets tough. The 1.18” blade comes in USA-made CTS BD1 steel, with the trademark Spyderco round hole for easy deployment. New to the Gen4 is the double-beveled, saber-ground edge, giving it a symmetrical edge angle compared to its chisel-ground predecessors and allowing for better control during use.

Since the Dog Tag isn't designed to be a locking folder, an integral spring bar and ball-bearing detent secures the blade both in and out of use. This is built into the knife's aluminum handles, which keeping it as light as possible when carried—or worn—just like its namesake.

The Panchenko Dog Tag remains one of the most innovative knives for EDC, and the Gen4 keeps up its heritage of being one of the most useful compact folders you can carry. Pick up one from the link below.

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Interview: Les George, Knife Designer

Interview

If you've been following the knife releases of Kershaw and Zero Tolerance the past few decades, then you might recognize the name Les George. He's a knife designer who's been at it since 1992, learning his craft from legendary knifemaker Stan Fujisaka of Kaneohe, Hawaii.

He enlisted in the United States Marine Corps in 1997, serving for over a decade in various heavy equipment and ordnance roles, and deployed to dozens of countries around the world. His long service has given him a unique take on using and designing tools, and he's put this experience to use with his creations.

2017 marks Les George's 25th year as a knifemaker, known for his clean, military-inspired designs and collaborations with Kai USA. We got in touch with him for this interview with help from our sponsor Zero Tolerance to announce the release of his latest design, the ZT0920, and talk about his EDC, his love of all things knives, and the future of his work.

Gerber Edict Green

Gerber's original Edict was designed for the people who needed a tough knife for even tougher situations. First responders, military, and law-enforcement could make use of the Edict's heavy-duty materials and design for reliable performance in the field or during emergencies. By taking the original Edict's rugged fit and finish and tweaking it for everyday use, Gerber have refreshed and updated the knife to fit right at home in your EDC.

Two standout features remain in the new Edict: its hefty, high-performance blade, and its rubberized handles that give exceptional grip. Its 3.6” blade features Crucible 154CM steel, giving it excellent edge retention in a drop point shape more ideal for everyday tasks that need longer and more precise slices or cuts. The Edict's handles come with a lightweight FRN core wrapped in a diamond texture overmold to give it the extra grip for hardier cutting jobs. Dual thumbstuds and a lockback mechanism let these two parts come together in a robust whole, giving you a knife that can cut with the best of them from either hand.

And while the Edict is larger than the usual EDC knife, it's relatively light weight at 3.6 ounces. An included pocket clip and lanyard hole still let you EDC the knife in your pockets or strapped to your kit.

The Edict's a rugged knife made in the USA for the people who need it the most. Pick up the new green EDC Edict from the link below, and be sure to check out the original black Edict Tanto for more tactical needs.

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Benchmade 535 Bugout

They say an ounce in the morning is a pound by the evening. And whether you’re going out for a hike or just a stroll around the block, having an EDC that won’t weigh you down is important. Keeping your carry light can be hard, especially since plenty of quality tools use plenty of metal, which isn't exactly light. But the new Benchmade Bugout 535 brings the elusive ultralight EDC setup that much closer. Weighing in at less than two ounces, this knife combines quality materials to achieve a super lightweight design that doesn’t skimp out on functionality either.

The Bugout 535 was made with an emphasis on outdoor use, which just so happens to also check all the boxes when it comes to an EDC knife. The Grivory handle mixed with the high quality CPM-S30V stainless steel blade means this knife is as tough as it is light. CPM-S30V is known for its hardness and edge retention so it’ll last longer with little maintenance, and even longer if you take care of it well. The use of Grivory, a durable synthetic polymer, helps shave weight when every gram counts.

Dual thumb studs and a symmetric handle make one-handed deployment a breeze whether you’re using your right or left hand and the signature Benchmade AXIS lock definitely helps its case. Not to mention that it’s just a strong lock to have on such a light knife meant to be used outdoors. The reversible deep-pocket clip is just the icing on top, providing multiple ways to carry comfortably and discreetly.

If you’re looking to add a lightweight knife to your carry but don’t want to to sacrifice functionality, the Bugout 535 is a slick option. This knife was made for the outdoors but has all the makings of a quality EDC knife, so if you want to add it to your carry make sure to hit up the link below.

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Kizer Feist

As much as we love gear that's jam-packed with features, sometimes less is more. Especially when all it takes for a good EDC knife is a combination of the right materials and a unique, functional design. Case in point: the Kizer Feist, a collaboration with knife designer Justin Lundquist. Equipped with some of the finest materials around on its handles and blade, it's an elegant expression of utility-driven simplicity at a great value.

The Kizer Feist definitely does more with less: it's a compact knife at only 3.625” when closed with a blade length of 2.875”. That sub-3” blade not only helps pass even the more stringent local knife restrictions, but it also cuts like a bigger knife thanks to its sharp edge spanning the entirety of its modified wharncliffe geometry. The Feist also uses an excellent blade steel in CPM-S35VN, commonly found in high-end knives for its toughness, sharpness, and edge retention.

While the Feist might look like a two-handed gent's knife, it's actually a bona fide flipper. Instead of a rear flipper tab, the Feist deploys as a front flipper by way of slight jimping on the spine of its blade. By rolling your thumb from the top of the blade around the pivot to the back of the handle, you can either quickly flick the knife out or slow-open for a more discreet deployment. It's a uniquely functional design choice by Lundquist that keeps the streamlined silhouette of the knife without sacrificing access.

As another welcome addition to a smaller knife, the Feist locks with a frame lock between its matte 6AL4V titanium handles. The backspacer and included pocket clip are also made in matching titanium to bring a clean aesthetic overall backed by durability and light weight. For a high performance, minimalist gent's knife that comes in at well under $200, check out the Kizer Feist at the link below.

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Spyderco Meerkat

Like the diminutive desert dweller it's named after, the Spyderco Meerkat is a compact knife with a scrappy set of features. And like its furry counterpart, the knife keeps and does its best work under the surface. On first look it's a subtle, pocket-friendly knife that's useful for EDC, but dig a little deeper and the Meerkat bares the teeth of a beastly knife.

It starts with the Meerkat's blade. The 2” length keeps it nice and compact, with a modified leaf shape that gives it a versatile slicing belly for everyday tasks. But despite its size the blade is a remarkable piece of metal. It's a 3-layer laminated blade with the exceptionally tough and abrasion-resistant HAP40 tool steel at its core, flanked by SUS410 martensitic (crystalline) stainless steel, giving the Meerkat's blade even more strength and corrosion resistance.

To pair with this triple threat steel, Spyderco have also given the Meerkat one of their most unique locking mechanisms—the Phantom Lock. The lock's hidden completely within the knife's handles, and disengaged with a clever pivot motion that scissors the handles, allowing the blade to fold in. Keeping with the Meerkat's compact design, the handle scales themselves come in lightweight, injection-molded FRN, in a hi-vis orange sure to give some pop to any EDC. And with molded grooves that accept a reversible deep-pocket carry clip, the Meerkat is as comfortable to use as it is easy to carry.

You don't need to dig deep to find yourself a high-performing EDC knife. Pick up the Spyderco Meerkat from the  link below.

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Gerber Pocket Square

Before, if you wanted a gent's knife, it usually meant you'd have to settle for something with a traditional design and outdated materials. But times are changing, and maybe you want a classy knife with a modern design (and performance) to match your lifestyle. With its clean lines and aluminum styling, the Gerber Pocket Square pairs well with a nice suit or a sharp dress. It has a modern minimalist gents aesthetic that can be as sharp as the way you look.

It starts with a design that's true to its name. It has a sleek aluminum handle with squared off edges and attractive lines beveled onto it for grip. The Pocket Square features a 3" drop point blade that rests flush with the handle when closed. You can swing it open with either hand because it has ambidextrous thumb lifts that also lie flush.

The secure liner lock holds the blade in place when deployed but it also doesn't disrupt the knife's look. In a similar way, you can keep the reversible tip-up deep carry pocket clip or remove it if it suits you. And if aluminum doesn't do it for you there's a glass-filled nylon handle version to choose from.

The Gerber Pocket Square is a great everyday carry knife, whether you're taking it out for a night on the town or going about business as usual during the day. Make it part of your own classy ensemble at buy one the link below.

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20 Flipper EDC Knives for Every Budget

If you're looking for an EDC knife that's quick and easy to open, a flipper knife is a sure choice. They're made with a small tab on the blade that you can push with your index finger to flick the knife open. This lets you get straight to work without having to use both hands to get it open. It's fast, intuitive, and it's even better when paired with an assisted opening system.

Now, there's a lot of flipper blades out on the market, and they come in many shapes and sizes. The good news is that you can get yourself a solid EDC flipper blade no matter what your budget is. In this guide, we'll show you our favorite flipper knives, sorted by budget. That way, whether you're looking for an entry level knife or looking to pick up a high-end item, we've got you covered.

Spyderco Lil' Nilakka

No, “Lil’ Nilakka" isn’t just a tongue twister... it’s also one of Spyderco’s newest knives. The Lil’ Nilakka is a custom collaboration between Spyderco and Finnish knife maker Pekka Tuominen. It's a take on the traditional Finnish “puukko” knife that draws inspiration heavily from shapes found in nature and focuses on outdoors use. The small size, rare blade steel, and unique handles give a traditionally outdoors-specific design a new role as an EDC.

As its name suggests, the Lil' Nilakka gives you all of the design seen in the standard Nilakka in a smaller package that's better suited for EDC at a modest 5.6” overall length with a 2.3” cutting edge. But what really shines is the premium RWL34 Damasteel blade. Rarely seen on knives, this steel is known for its high strength, strong resistance to corrosion, and extreme edge sharpness that’s easy to maintain. It's an excellent fit for a blade that's traditionally “zero ground,” as the same shape that gives it its sharpness also makes its edge prone to damage and difficult to sharpen. Spyderco applied a full flat grind and even precision-machined a secondary microbevel to the blade for a practical balance of sharpness and durability.

The blade deploys manually via Spyderco’s signature round hole into a sturdy liner lock mechanism that's easy to operate thanks to a thumb cutout in the handle. And those G10 handles look pretty close to ivory, but they're much more resistant to wear (and certainly less illegal) than the real thing. The smooth handles and compact size at just 3.30” closed help the knife glide into the pocket, while a wire-style pocket clip keeps it secure for tip-up carry.

If you've been looking for a small, unique knife for your carry, the Lil’ Nilakka is certainly capable. It’s available in limited numbers as a first-of-its-kind “flash batch” at the link below.

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8 New Production Knives by Custom Designers

While carrying a high-end custom knife for day-to-day utility is certainly practical, dropping over a thousand dollars on one might not be. After all, a custom knife is like a functional piece of art, featuring rare materials, precision craftsmanship, and a level of finishing that can only be achieved by hand. Whether it’s out of your budget range, or simply long sold out, a custom knife may not be in the cards. However, there’s still a way to get all the design and functionality of a custom knife without breaking the bank: collaboration production knives.

Last year, we saw a huge increase in collaborations between production knife companies and custom knife designers. The trend continues, and the result is a bunch of affordable knives based on those unobtainable customs that we all long for.

Even though they’re not the “real” thing, production knives come darn close, with plenty of their own benefits. They’re way more affordable thanks to the more common materials they’re made from. Production knives are mass produced, so they’re much easier to get a hold of than a custom. It’s going to sting a lot less if you scratch up a $45 knife than its $1400 custom counterpart. You’re still getting a lot of the design and functionality of the custom at a more affordable price.

Here are 8 new production knives for 2017 that are based on high-end customs.

Manker Elfin

Some of the best things in life come in small packages. After putting together a sizable stable of flashlights, Manker set their sights on making a compact EDC knife. And while it would have been easy to pair a flashy design with generic materials and call it a day, they've done the opposite with the Elfin. By making the most out of limited space and using top-tier materials, their first blade shows experience and effort far beyond a freshman attempt.

CPM S35VN steel is a material you usually find on the highest-end knives, thanks to its high performance during tough use and ease of honing and maintenance. It's not a coincidence that it's the steel Manker uses for the Elfin, giving its 1.5” edge enduring operation in spite of its size. Titanium handles keep the knife light but resilient to match its blade steel, making it easy to carry without worrying about hard use both in and out of pocket.

Its steel and shape lend itself to both cutting and piercing tasks, while a flipper tab and frame lock makes the Elfin quick to deploy and get straight to the cutting task at hand. And while the handles don't make room for a clip, a lanyard hole lets you EDC the Elfin with a lanyard or split ring for attaching on a keychain or bag.

Materials make the Manker. Pick up the Elfin from the Amazon link below.

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Victorinox Spartan PS

When you think of Swiss Army Knives, their red, blue, or silver multi-toools are what usually comes to mind. While they handily get the job done, they probably aren't your go-to if you're after a murdered-out, all-black-everything EDC. Thanks to a new process—Polispectral (PS) coloring—that gives a covert coating to a high-utility multi-tool, Victorinox brings their popular Spartan multi-tool back into the fray by keeping it distinctly low-profile.

Polispectral coating gives the Spartan PS's tools a unique, shimmering look that changes depending on how the light hits them. This creates a shifting color range from dark gray to anthracite, giving the Spartan an exotic look to match the rest of your stealthy gear. By itself, the Spartan's a capable tool with 13 functions within its medium-sized frame, including 2 blades, drivers, openers, and the usual pair of slots for a toothpick and tweezers. As a new addition, the Spartan PS comes with a branded lanyard that helps with retrieval during pocket carry, making it easier than ever to carry a Swiss Army Knife in your EDC.

Shining, shimmering, splendid—the Spartan is back in black to get the job done. Pick one up at the link below.

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