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.

Victorinox Hunter Pro Alox

It seems for as long as people have been EDCing, Victorinox's iconic, candy-red Swiss Army Knife has found its way into pockets around the world. But avid EDCers, knife enthusiasts, and collectors alike especially enjoy the metal-clad “Alox” versions of these tools for their improved durability, grip, and portability. And now after a long wait, Victorinox's take on the classic hunting knife finally gets the Alox treatment. Their new Hunter Pro Alox debuts as a full-sized, dedicated folding knife inspired by the outdoors and styled for the city, featuring their best Alox handles yet.

If you're used to the popular small and slim Alox models like the Cadet and Pioneer, the first thing you'll notice about the Hunter Pro Alox is its larger size. Its 5” handle and 3.875” blade make the knife even more capable and comfortable for tougher tasks. Instead of having a pen knife as one of its many functions like on most Swiss Army Knives, the Hunter Pro Alox is a dedicated knife with the ergonomics and features to match. The aluminum oxide handles are slim, tough, and light, with its signature ribbed texture finish and finger grooves for excellent grip and control. They pair well with the high carbon, bead blasted stainless steel drop point blade both in terms of performance and aesthetics. The blade deploys via a large thumbhole and locks with a lockback mechanism in classic hunting knife fashion.

As such a substantial knife, the Hunter Pro Alox comes equipped with a removable deep carry pocket clip (a rare but welcome new addition on a Swiss Army Knife) and a paracord lanyard. Thanks to the larger size of the knife, the clip can double as a money clip in your urban EDC as well. The paracord lanyard offers improved retrievability from the pocket as well as emergency cordage when you take the Hunter Pro Alox outdoors. Last but not least, a tonal logo on the front of the knife and room for engraving on the back handle add to the knife's refined, understated styling.

Fans of Victorinox's stainless steel blades and aluminum oxide handles will appreciate their application in their purest forms on the Hunter Pro Alox. The locking mechanism, one hand open, deep pocket clip and paracord lanyard combined with its classy silver colorway make it well equipped as a larger EDC around the city, up the trail, and everywhere in between. You can grab one for your kit from Victorinox at the link below.

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Giannini Friction Folder

"Minnesota metalsmith Giannini Forge offers up a unique series of handmade folding knives, each made with a 1095 steel blade, and a perforated handle made from natural aluminum, duracoated aluminum or steel. Blade measures 2.5″, with a 6.5″ length when..." (via TheAwesomer)

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StatGear Slinger

You might think that you need a large knife to take on large tasks, but that's not always the case. Size isn't everything, and with the right design and build quality, even a compact folding knife can do the trick. Take the upcoming Slinger by StatGear as an example. With its beefy tool steel blade and overbuilt handle, the Slinger is built tough to deal with hard use and the biggest of your EDC tasks. The design inspires confidence while still remaining compact and lightweight in your pockets, making it a great choice for everyday carry.

The highlight of the Slinger's design is its stout, modified drop-point blade. Its unique design with its combination hollow-ground straight-edge, curved slicing belly, and sharp point makes for immense versatility, despite it being only 2” long. And since it's made out of venerable D2 tool steel, the Slinger's blade features excellent edge retention and the ability to take some abuse when the situation calls for it. The strength of the Slinger's blade is matched with the ergonomic stainless steel handle that's shaped to afford you a proper grip on the knife during use despite its smaller 3” size. The handle also features internal ball bearings at the pivot point, making the Slinger's flipper opening smooth and easy to actuate with one hand. You can be sure the Slinger's blade will stay open when you're using it thanks to its frame lock mechanism. When you're ready to put it way, it has a skeletonized tip-down stainless steel pocket clip for your convenience.

The StatGear Slinger is available in three beautiful colorways: one with a stonewashed blade and a blue handle with gold toned hardware, another with a grey handle and blue hardware, and a more tactical-leaning all-black edition inclusive of the blade. Its initial run is being crowdfunded by StatGear, and they have a long history of designing and delivering quality EDC knives this way.

The Slinger itself is born out of the success of StatGear's Pocket Samurai and Ausus crowdfunded knife campaigns. It sits between the two, delivering premium construction qualities and high performance at a size that isn't too big or too small for you to get things done. Secure one for yourself now by making a pledge with StatGear on the Slinger's Kickstarter page at the link below. Rewards are set to ship in early December just in time to make a great gift for the holiday season.

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This is a sponsored post presented by StatGear.

Kershaw Flythrough

There's more to a knife than a blade, some handles, and a few screws to hold it all together. It's how those pieces all come together that makes a design unique, and for many EDCers, something closer to a functional piece of art than just a tool. That's especially true for Kershaw, who works with esteemed knife designers to bring their designs to production at accessible prices. The new RJ Martin-designed Flythrough is an excellent example of this with its unique “See-Through Pivot” as the centerpiece. But that's not all—the Flythrough is chock-full of the practical features you'd expect from Kershaw in an everyday carry knife.

When you pick up the Flythrough, you'll immediately notice the heft and ergonomics of the sculpted steel handles that provide a firm, comfortable grip. A quick flick of the rear flipper tab on the Flythrough deploys the blade with ease, making the most of Kershaw's KVT bearing system and RJ Martin's visually striking see-through pivot. A deep cutout on the spine of the blade combined with generous jimping gives you more control to make precision slicing and cuts even easier. At 3 inches, the 8Cr13MoV blade is sized right for everyday utility. It can handle tough tasks thanks to its sturdy frame lock. A cutout in the handle lets you see into the knife, exposing the lockup point between the tang and frame lock for added visual effect. Other details like a deep carry pocket clip and a matching blacked out blade keep this knife low profile.

The Flythrough is available in an all-black finish for just over sixty dollars. Kershaw is also offering a specialized tool to adjust the see-through pivot of the knife. You can tighten or loosen the pivot to dial in your preferred action. The Flythrough has an overall discreet presence that can fly under the radar, until you get a look at its unique design cues up close. Check it out in all its detail at the link below.

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This is a sponsored post presented by Kershaw.

Opinel No. 8 Black Oak Edition

The venerable Opinel No. 8 remains one of the most popular traditional folding pocket knives you can have in your everyday carry. Its combination of a high-performance blade with classy styling make it a top choice. And now, with the new Black Oak edition of the No. 8, it takes on a more modern look with its new blacked-out blade and dark hardware. The high-contrast blade mixed with a premium black oak wood handle makes a classic knife even more unassuming for a discreet, no-frills EDC.

The stand-out feature of the Black Oak edition is definitely the black blade and ring lock hardware, which contrasts nicely with the dark-veined French black oak wood grain handle. The blade is made of treated 12C27 Sandvik stainless steel, and at 3.25” long with its extremely thin razor edge, it's ready to take on all tasks. And while 12C27 steel is very corrosion-resistant, the dark treatment helps stave off the effects of even the worst the elements can bring to bear on your trusty EDC knife. The black oak handle isn't just for show either, its high tannin content makes it resistant to wear and tear from age, including insect and fungi growth. And at the handle lies the Virobloc ring lock system—also treated with a black color—which lets you keep the blade open during use and keep it closed when its in your pockets for safety.

If you're looking to pick up an Opinel knife for the first time, or if you just want to shake things up a bit with its more modern bent, consider picking up the new Black Oak edition of the No. 8. It's a sharp knife with a modern twist to a traditional style that won't raise any eyebrows when it comes time to use it everyday. Check it out at the link below.

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Nitecore NTK10 Titanium Utility Knife

If there's one versatile piece of gear you might not be carrying but probably should, it's a utility knife. It's purpose-built to handle everything from breaking down boxes to precision craft work. And since the blade is replaceable, maintenance is just a matter of swapping in a new one when it starts to get dull. But the run-of-the-mill utility knife at your local hardware store might not match the performance and build quality of the rest of your EDC gear. The new NTK10 is the popular flashlight manufacturer Nitecore's take on a utility blade optimized for daily carry. Its durable titanium construction and EDC-focused features make it worthy of a spot in your pockets.

The NTK10's frame is made of precision-machined aerospace-grade titanium alloy, which gives it the durability to stand up to daily heavy-duty use while staying light in your pockets. Fully loaded with its razor-sharp replaceable Japanese OLFA CKB-2 craft utility blade, the NTK10 weighs in at a mere 2.38 ounces. And despite its small 4.5” size, the 30 degree slant on the OLFA blade, combined with its pointed tip, make it quite versatile and able to take on your everyday slicing and piercing tasks with ease. With jimping on both sides of the frame, the NTK10 also lets you get a solid grip to accomplish bigger tasks, even if things get a bit slippery. And with its blade locking mechanism, you also have the assurance that the blade won't retract on you when you're not expecting it as well.

But what truly sets the Nitecore NTK10 apart from the standard utility knife are the extra EDC features built into the frame. The first is the bottle opener built into the tip, ready to go when the blade is fully retracted. The second is the glass breaking tip on the pommel, which makes it a useful tool to have in an emergency rescue situation. And unlike dollar store utility knives, the NTK10 has a removable pocket clip for convenience. If you're looking for a serious upgrade to your current utility knife, the NTK10 might be the right tool for the job. You can grab one at the link below.

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WESN Titanium Micro Knife

Sometimes the biggest surprises come from the smallest knives. While it may look like it belongs on your keychain, the WESN Titanium Micro Knife is a bona fide EDC blade, complete with features you wouldn't expect on a knife this small. It doesn't skimp on materials, performance, or carry options. Packing a flipper deployment, pocket clip, titanium scales, and a locking blade that's built for EDC use into its tiny design is no small feat, but the WESN gets the job done.

The entire WESN knife might be smaller than just the blade on your current EDC at just 2.25” long when closed, but don't count it out. Its 1.5” AUS8 stainless steel blade deploys in a flash by way of either a thumb stud or the much-welcomed flipper tab on a knife this small. The shape of the modified drop point blade maximizes the cutting edge, giving you a lot more to work with than you'd expect for a smaller blade. Once deployed, the blade locks up into a stainless steel frame lock — a secure and convenient alternative to slipjoints and back locks. The flipper tab also acts like a finger guard to let you really put the knife to work. 

The WESN isn't just compact, it's lightweight and durable too thanks to its grade 5 titanium handle. The entire knife weighs just one ounce, making it a breeze to carry whether you use its included pocket clip or make use of its lanyard attachment hole. For a more premium carry option, slip it into its matching, made in the USA leather sheath. A knife this compact can be extremely versatile in your setup as a primary blade, a backup, a keychain option, or even as a makeshift moneyclip. You can pick one up on Amazon at the link below.

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MecArmy EK3R Slipjoint

Depending on where you work or live, your options for an EDC knife can be pretty limited. You've got to consider blade length, how it locks (if at all), and if it'll draw unwanted attention when you use it. This usually means a keychain knife, which can be too small for some tasks, or a traditional knife with an outdated design and materials. Luckily the MecArmy EK3R measures up as a full-sized albeit compact knife option with a non-locking slipjoint mechanism and low profile styling that makes it a viable modern carry option even in the strictest locales.

Between its length and low profile, the EK3R falls in the sweet spot between keychain knife and full-sized folder as a dedicated compact EDC. It's 3.8" long when closed, and its stainless steel handles bring the knife's thickness down to just 0.5" overall. The Sandvik 12C27 steel blade comes in at 2.65", clearing the common sub-3" length restriction while giving you plenty to work with. The upswept wharncliffe blade shape offers all-around utility and manages most light EDC tasks. A larger thumb hole takes the place of a nail nick to make its two-handed operation deploy the blade in a literal snap thanks to its non-locking slipjoint mechanism.

Unlike lots of traditional slipjoint knives, the EK3R boasts all-metal construction and an included clip for tip down, deep-pocket carry. You can remove the clip to keep the knife as discreet as possible and make use of its lanyard hole for easier retrieval, too. The EK3R is available with a plain stonewashed handle or opt for either a "curl" or "skull" patterned laser-engraved handle at the link below.

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Kershaw Concierge

There's nothing wrong with having statement pieces in your EDC, but there's a good chance you wouldn't want it to be your knife. With that said, you can still carry a discreet knife with eye-catching details from every angle. Kershaw teamed up with knife designer Dmitry Sinkevich to put his sleek, minimalist spin on the new Concierge. It has practical EDC features with modern gent's knife styling and subtle design cues you'll appreciate when you take a closer look.

Immediately upon handling the knife, you’ll notice the unique look and feel of its machined G10 handles. It offers the same light weight and grip you expect from a modern material like G10, but it also sports a woodgrain-like pattern you'd find on traditional knives. Since the Concierge features a secure liner lock mechanism, it allows for both sides of the handle to make the most of the machined G10 material. Instead of simply bolting a pocket knife to one side, Sinkevich-designed a unique inlaid pocket clip. This feature is easy to appreciate especially when using the knife. Since the clip is nearly flush with the scales, the clip stays completely out of the way allowing for a firm and comfortable grip. To add some extra grip, there’s a beefy jimped back spacer too.

The blade itself measures in at a reasonable 3.25” and features a sleek gray carbo-nitride coating on top of the 8Cr13MoV base steel. It deploys via a flipper mechanism that uses Kershaw’s KVT ball bearing system. A light press on the flipper lever, and the blade effortlessly opens with a single hand. Instead of an exposed screw, there’s a custom cap on the pivot that adds to the overall sleek appearance of the knife. The blade is a modified drop point with a gentle swedge on the top. The shape is quite versatile, ideal for slicing, cutting, and piercing tasks.

If you’re looking for a new EDC blade that’s easy to use, quick to deploy, and comfortable to carry, the Concierge is an excellent option. At just under 60 bucks, we believe it’s a tremendous value as well. You can add one to your collection at the link below!

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This is a sponsored post presented by Kershaw.

Benchmade 818 Mini Loco

They say a sharp knife is a safe knife. But even better is a sharp knife that's both easy and comfortable to control. Benchmade's Mini Loco 818 brings thoughtful ergonomics and an overbuilt design to their usual premium materials and quality USA-made construction to handle your daily tasks. This new mini version of the Loco keeps its uniquely useful blade shape and dials in the rest of the proportions to be smaller, lighter, and more EDC-friendly overall.

The Mini Loco features a premium 3.38” CPM-S30V blade with a unique reverse tanto blade shape that lets you put immense pressure on the tip without having to worry about chipping during piercing tasks. But unlike with a regular tanto blade, the Mini Loco's shape is far more versatile because it still has a curved belly that lets you slice, too. That well-rounded design is complemented with the easy one-handed manual opening afforded by the large thumbhole set into the blade itself.

With its curved shape that conforms to your hand with enough thickness at 0.59” to have full control, the Mini Loco has the ergonomics to let you hold onto the blade while in use. That overbuilt quality extends to the stainless steel frame and spacers in the handle as well. And the hallmark Benchmade AXIS-lock system gives you the confidence that the blade won't snap shut on you even during the roughest of use as well. Plus, for a tactical knife, the Mini Loco's G10 scaling and overall aesthetic actually looks quite elegant in hand. But with its reversible tip-up deep-carry pocket clip, it can also let you run incognito when you need it.

The Benchmade Mini Loco's compelling mix of thoughtful design and capability make it a great choice for everyday carry. Pick it up at the link below.

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The James Brand Elko Micarta

Not all knives need to be tactical to be good enough for EDC. Sometimes it's better to carry just the opposite, like a more traditional gent's knife or a small and discreet keychain knife depending on how and where you'll use it. Maybe you even want a knife that's both: the elusive gent's keychain knife. For that, the latest collaboration from Urban EDC Supply and The James Brand should do the trick. It's a classy take on The James Brand's extremely popular Elko slipjoint knife, this time with rugged OD green micarta scales that aren't just for show.

Instead of the modern-looking anodized aluminum scales found on the original Elko, this exclusive collaboration rocks OD Green micarta that's often found on more traditionally styled knives. The material is just as lightweight and exceptionally durable, but it features a tactile, textured finish to add much needed grip on a smaller knife like this. The Elko weighs in at only 1.3 ounces and measures 2.60” when closed, making it the perfect size for keychain blade duty.

Compared to other keychain knives, the Elko manages to feel more substantial in the hand during use. The 1.74” drop point Sandvik 12C27 blade makes quick work of light tasks for the average EDCer. Whether you live somewhere with stricter knife laws or you prefer gear that's simple to use, you'll appreciate the Elko's ambidextrous nail nick and non-locking, manual slip joint deployment.

The attachment point on the back of the Elko that lets you carry it on your keychain also provides some added utility, doubling as a small screwdriver or pry edge in a pinch. If keychain carry isn't your thing, you can also loop a lanyard through and carry it in your coin pocket or even tucked into a gear sheath or pouch organizer. You can grab the OD Green Micarta Elko exclusively from Urban EDC Supply's store page at the link below, with orders set to ship out this November.

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Victorinox Skipper Pro

If you tie knots on a regular basis (paracord, anyone?), you know how important having a marlinspike can be. It's a critical tool that helps you handle and manipulate rope in any condition, whether in the outdoors or out in the open seas. But carrying a dedicated spike can be a bit too much for your pockets, which is why the new Victorinox Skipper Pro makes for a good everyday carry option. It's a nautical-themed Swiss Army knife that comes with all the essential tools you need in a compact package, including a marlinspike.

It starts with a locking, stainless steel, partially-serrated knife with a large manual thumb-hole opener that's easy to find and manipulate. The serrations on the blade make cutting rough material like rope easy while the plain edge lets you slice delicately as well. The punch and marlinspike contribute to the nautical utility of the tool, letting you manage, tie, and undo rope knots in a cinch. And for all your other tasks, it comes with the traditional set of screwdrivers and bottle openers you've come to expect from a quality SAK. There's even a pair of embedded tweezers set into the beautiful blue polyamide handle.

With a 4” handle, the Skipper Pro gives you enough surface area to maintain a good grip on the tool when performing tasks, and that makes it an ideal tool even if you don't need all the rope management benefits it provides. And at only 6.9 ounces in weight, it won't be a burden in your pockets like other multi-tools can be. Take a look at the finer details of this new SAK at the link below, and make a part of your EDC today.

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Spyderco Efficient Green

You don't always have to pay top dollar for solid EDC performance. Spyderco have long proven it with their budget line of linerlock knives, with the Persistence, Tenacious, and Ambitious being popular favorites. The Efficient released last year as their newest entry to the value-minded lineup, and new for 2018 is the same great knife in a foliage green and silver colorway. If you haven't picked up the Efficient before, you’re missing out on a knife that’s true to its name in both performance and cost.

Like its name suggests, the Efficient makes the most of the space it takes up. This means hitting the EDC sweet spot at a blade length of 3”, in a capable 8Cr13MoV steel with a drop point shape and full flat grind. These attributes give it great slicing versatility in a steel that's easy to maintain and hone, while being easy (and legal) to carry. Like most Spyderco knives, you also get the benefit of the signature Spydie hole on the blade that lets you deploy the blade ambidextrously.

The G10 handles keep the Efficient light while giving it a solid grip. These are angled in a way that takes advantage of the blade's thin profile and drop point tip for precision, while still able to use its belly for longer slices. Skeletonized liners and a solid metal backspacer give the knife plenty of structural strength, crucial in ensuring the solid lockup of its liner lock when in use. A few more Spyderco staples make their home on the Efficient's handles, including a built-in lanyard hole and a reversible pocket clip, giving you all the options you need when it comes to EDC.

The Efficient is true to its name in form, function, and price, giving you tremendous value for an everyday knife. It's a fresh look on top of classic Spyderco features and performance, and you can pick it up from Amazon at the link below.

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Gerber Kettlebell

Bigger isn't necessarily better when it comes to your EDC blade, but having a compact knife that cuts like a full-sized one never hurts. By keeping the blade length on the shorter side and rounding out the rest of the knife with overbuilt features and design language, you get a “little big knife.” The new Gerber Kettlebell falls in the category with its 2.5” blade, EDC-focused design, and thoughtful features that you'd normally expect from a much bigger blade.

The Kettlebell's main draw is its compact profile and 2.5” long blade, making it a viable option for EDCers especially where knife laws are strict. The versatile clip point blade shape handles most types of cutting tasks while the 7Cr17MoV stainless steel it uses offers decent everyday performance for the price. The blade deploys via dual thumbstuds and secures into a beefy frame lock. With the blade deployed, you'll notice two deep finger choils for a firm grip, giving you more confident control over a knife that's on the smaller side.

Anodized textured aluminum scales give the knife a rugged yet modern look, while other carry-focused details like a removable tip-up pocket clip and a lanyard attachment hole round out the knife. If you're after a practical EDC blade that's on the smaller and more affordable side, check out the new Kettlebell in grey and green at the link below.

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Opinel No 12 Explore

There's a reason so many people rely on the classic Opinel knife for tasks both big and small. Despite its traditional looks, it's one of the sharpest knives you can get for your money. The new Opinel No. 12 Explore shakes things up, bringing Opinel's everyday reliability to the outdoors. While it swaps out materials and adds in some survival essentials, you still get the efficient ergonomics that make an Opinel ideal for your everyday carry.

Fiberglass-reinforced polyamide replaces the traditional wood handle you find on a standard Opinel knife. This new handle is more durable, and especially resistant against cracking due to moisture when you're outdoors. It features an attractive high-visibility two-tone styling with grip surfaces etched into the handle that are made to look like topographic map contours. At the hilt, there's a built-in 110 decibel whistle for emergency situations, a cutting hook, and a fire starter. The blade on the Explore is made of highly corrosion-resistant 3.94” Sandvik 12C27 stainless steel. This makes it much more resistant to the elements when you're outdoors than the standard carbon steel blade you find on a regular Opinel knife. And it can cut well too, with a thin blade and a clip-point shape that's suited for all tasks large and small. Like other Opinel knives, opening is manual via a nail nick, and the blade locks into place with a ring at the handle.

The hardy design of the Opinel Explore makes it a great choice for outdoors EDC, but everyone can appreciate its more modern styling and the emergency survival essentials it packs into its pocketable frame. With the No. 12 Explore, you'll be ready for the challenges life throws at you, wherever you may be. Check it out at the link below.

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10 New EDC Knives Under 3" in 2018

When it comes to everyday carry knives, bigger is not always better. Sure, bigger knives are great for large tasks, but their added heft can them impractical in some situations and a burden on your pockets. And even if you did have the pocket space for a bigger blade, they're not always legal to carry depending on where you live. That's why smaller, more compact, pocketknives under 3 inches enjoy wide popularity in the EDC community. With the right design, materials, and build quality, they can handle your daily tasks, and even more, when the time comes. Today is a great time to be in the market for such a knife, with plenty of new and innovative designs released this year. In this guide, we'll highlight some of our favorite recent sub-3" knife releases and show why they belong in your everyday carry.

The James Brand Elko