Best Flip & Pocket Knives reviewed by Everyday Carry

An Introduction to Damascus Steel EDC Knives

A handy pocket knife is one of those things we EDCers love to collect. Some zero in on their favorite material, like titanium or wood handles, others might collect knives from their favorite designer. But for many enthusiasts, knives with a damascus blade and their distinct wave pattern are a prized part of their collection. While they're stunningly beautiful knives, they shouldn't be thought of as just display pieces — they're capable tools in their own right. In this guide, we'll explain what makes a Damascus knife so special and list some great options worth a spot in your collection.

Leatherman Skeletool KB

When you think of a multi-tool, there's a good chance you picture a Leatherman. They're known for their quality and performance, but not necessarily for being lightweight. That started to change with the original Skeletool, which cut down on bulk and put a bigger emphasis on the tool's blade. As the newest offering in the Skeletool line, the Leatherman Skeletool KB gets even more barebones. It's a minimalist, lightweight folder that's the perfect size for everyday carry.

The “skeletonized” design of the Skeletool line of tools made them a go-to lightweight option for mid-sized and keychain multi-tools. The new Skeletool KB strips away many bulkier functions so it has a 'naked' feel to it. You can see the side of the blade, save for the edge, exposed through the handle when folded. It's a striking minimalist look, but it's not just for show. By cutting out all that non-essential material in the handle and blade, the Skeletool KB manages to weigh in at an incredible 1.5 ounces in total. That's so light that you'll barely notice it in your pocket until you need it. And with its deep carry pocket clip (which doubles as a bottle opener), it's not too conspicuous.

Of course, you can tackle your everyday cutting and slicing tasks easily with its 2.65" drop point blade. It's made out of reliable and easy to sharpen 420HC steel that'll you can feel confident in using daily. And with its featherweight design, it'll also work well for light duty tasks out on the trail.

The Leatherman Skeletool KB is a knife you won't want to leave behind. Make it a part of your own minimalist everyday carry at the link below.

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4Ever Survival Knife

"A durable fixed-blade knife for everyday adventures. We dig the angular design and circular perforations in the blade. In addition to its full tang 440C stainless blade, it packs a kit of survival gear inside its handle. Available with..." (via TheAwesomer)

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CRKT Crossbones

From the handle to the blade, the Crossbones is a marvel of slim, minimalist design. So much so that it went on to win the Best Imported Knife of 2017 at this past Blade Show. It's a feat made even more impressive given it's up-and-coming knifemaker Jeff Park's first production blade from CRKT. The Crossbones has an understated sleekness to it that makes it a perfect choice for a classy modern gent's knife. And its ergonomics and versatility make it a great choice for general everyday carry use, too.

The Crossbones sports a thin, 6061 aluminum handle with a two-tone “cross” pattern that gives it its signature look. A darker, diamond-textured section gives excellent grip to its otherwise slender frame and contrasts the rest of the brushed aluminum on the handle. An IKBS-assisted flipper tab keeps the knife's trim silhouette when closed while quickly deploying its 3.5” AUS-8 blade into a solid liner lock. The Crossbones is an excellent slicer thanks to the full flat grind on its blade, making short work of your everyday cutting tasks. And at a mere 4.5" closed and 2.4oz in weight, it's neither too big nor too heavy for your pockets.

If you're looking for a knife that cuts as sharp as it looks, the Crossbones is a great low-profile option for you. Give this modern EDC gent's knife a try and pick one up at the link below.

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CRKT Snap Lock Folding Knife

"The design is more than a decade old but it’s still one of the most unique available, and finally back in production. The CRKT Snap Lock Folding Knife, originally designed by Ed Van Hoy, is skeletonized as all hell and extremely lightweight for it at 2.6 ounces, not to mention safely locked both folded and unfolded thanks to a unique ambidextrous Snap Lock mechanism that’s actuated using your thumb (at which point the blade can be swung 180° open; see second image). The handle is still comfortable and..." (via GearHungry)

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Kershaw Dividend

Given their vast catalog, there's plenty to like from Kershaw's knives. So much so that sometimes, it would be interesting and useful to take features from one knife and mix them in with others to create the perfect EDC blade. With the Dividend, Kershaw's already one step ahead. It's a slimmer, sleeker knife in the vein of their popular Link and Leek models, sized and shaped for everyday carry, and one of the few Kershaw knives made in the USA.

You probably know what features come next. Like most Kershaw knives, the Dividend comes with a SpeedSafe-assisted flipper opening which secures with a steel liner lock. Its blade folds into lightweight anodized aluminum handles with a slight curve for a more comfortable full-handed grip. 

The Dividend's payoff comes from its blade. Its length is exactly 3 inches, giving it a balance of utility and compliance with many local laws. Its modified drop point geometry gives it a long belly with a narrower angle, granting extra precision and slicing performance. A 4-way clip and lanyard hole rounds out its carry options, making the Dividend a versatile EDC blade in any orientation.

The USA-made Dividend shows off Kershaw's knowledge and mastery over their own products, giving you a robust blade designed tip to clip for EDC. Pick one up in gray at the Amazon link below, and be sure to check out its black-handled version as well.

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CRKT Homefront EDC

When shopping for EDC knives, the ability to strip it down to its individual pieces probably isn't at the top of your list. But if you think about it, it makes plenty of sense when maintaining your favorite everyday blade. With recessed spaces and moving parts, even the best-made EDC blades can fall prey to the gunk and debris that come with everyday use. Not a problem for CRKT's Homefront EDC. This Ken Onion design first appeared as a field-stripping specialist for outdoor carry, but has come back as a mainstay for your everyday kit.

Like the original Homefront, the EDC version comes with Field Strip technology that lets you dismantle the knife without tools for ease of cleaning and upkeep. This new version comes with a few key changes: the 3.5” vintage WW1 bayonet style blade now comes in 1.4116 stainless steel giving it ample resistance to wear and tear. This folds into lightweight glass-reinforced nylon handles for a lighter carry at 4.3 ounces. The Homefront EDC also comes with a deep-carry pocket clip to help cement its position as an everyday blade in your pockets.

It's not every day that a knife that can come apart in your hands can be considered its best and most impressive feature. Check out and pick up the CRKT Homefront EDC at the Amazon link below.

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Kershaw Pub

The newly released Kershaw Pub is part knife, part multi-tool, and all kinds of useful. It's a refreshing take on an easy-to-carry EDC knife made in collaboration with custom knifemaker Dmitry Sinkevich. Because of its compact size and handy set of extra features built in, the Pub makes for a capable primary knife or backup option to carry anywhere.

At first glance, the Pub doesn’t even look like a knife. When the blade is closed, it looks more like a keychain than anything. The standout feature in the Pub's unique design is the back end of the blade. When you fold the knife partially open, an attachment loop opens up so you can throw it on a belt loop, key ring, or lanyard. When using the knife, the loop becomes a support for the blade, ensuring that it won’t close during use.

The compact 1.6” modified sheepsfoot blade is made from thick 8Cr13MoV steel that feels nice and sturdy during use. The non-locking slip joint, low-profile looks, and sub-2” blade make the Pub ideal for carry in even areas with strict knife laws. There’s also a bottle opener and screwdriver tip/prybar built right into the frame of the knife for quick fixes on the go.

Kershaw’s Pub is available in three different colors: carbon fiber, blue, and black. You can check them out in more detail below.

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Update 06/09/17: Congrats to this week's winners Russ W., Rafael F., and Eric B.! Thanks to everyone who participated. Stay tuned for more giveaways in the future.

This contest is sponsored by Kershaw.

Opinel No.8 Outdoor

It's easy to see why Opinel knives have long been EDC favorites thanks to their variety of sizes and inexpensive price points. They're light in the pocket but heavy on performance, thanks to a rust-resistant blade with enough length for precision slicing, a unique locking collar, and a full-sized grip. And with the No. 8 Outdoor model, that same grip adds survival tools and features to an already solid knife.

The Opinel No. 8 Outdoor uses a slightly larger stock for its Sandvik 12C27 modified stainless steel blade. This extra 3.35” space gives the knife room to add serrations towards the handle in addition to a shackle key slot commonly used in sailing.

Opinel's signature lightweight wood handles are traded out for fiberglass-reinforced polyamide, which gives the Outdoor shock-, humidity-, and extreme temperature resistance. Its outdoor functionality is rounded out with a 110db survival whistle, an integral lanyard for ease of carry, and safety lock to keep it closed during travel and transport.

Opinel's knives are simple and effective additions to any EDC. The No. 8 Outdoor brings all the right features to the table for an even more useful survival knife and multi-tool. Pick one up in orange at the Amazon link below, and be sure to check out its other hi-vis colorways to best match your outdoor carry.

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The Best EDC Knives Under 3" in 2017

When it comes to your EDC knife, size matters. And bigger isn't always better. A knife that's too big can be unwieldy to use and carry, not to mention illegal depending on where you live. On the flip side, a knife that's too small might take more effort for even simple tasks. For a lot of you, the best EDC knife is just under 3" long. In this guide, we'll break down why you might want a smaller knife, what to look for in a compact EDC, and highlight 10 EDC knives around the 2.5” to 3” sweet spot that are a cut above the rest.

The Beginner's Guide to EDC Knife Blade Steels

Your EDC knife is only as good as the steel in its blade. A knife made of good steel will be sharp, stay sharp, and won't break on you. On the other hand, knives made of dubious steel are unreliable and downright unsafe. They tend to dull easily and end up chipping and breaking when you need them most. There's a lot of blade steels to pick from, and each has its own set of advantages to consider for your EDC. In this guide, we'll go over what to look out for in a steel before buying your next blade. To make things even easier, we'll give a few examples of our favorite knives made of each type of steel.

Benchmade 319 Proper

When you think of a proper gent's knife, Benchmade knives probably aren't the first to come to mind. But with their new 319 "Proper," that's all about to change. It's Benchmade's first take on a classic slip joint folder. It's a non-locking folding knife with a ton of character, crafted by one of the best blade makers in the USA. It’s significantly less aggressive than Benchmade's usual offerings thanks to the blade size, shape, and handle materials, but it's every bit as capable for EDC.

Instead of the cheap carbon steel you commonly see on slip joints, the Proper uses a corrosion-resistant, American-made CPM S30V steel on its 2.86” blade. Its sheepsfoot blade shape is ideal for a variety of cutting and slicing tasks, thanks to the large belly and distinct point. In keeping with the traditional slip joint design, the Proper comes with scales made of either red contoured G10 or a dark green micarta resin that both give a unique tactile feel and extra grip. It opens and closes with a nail nick and the slip joint mechanism keeps it firmly in place. There’s no pocket clip, but there is a lanyard hole so you can easily grab it from your pocket.

If you've been wanting a knife of Benchmade's caliber but prefer less tactical knives, the Proper is an excellent place to start. Pick up this modern, soon-to-be-classic from Benchmade via the link below.

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Victorinox Pioneer Olive Alox 2017 Limited Edition

If there's one piece of kit that can work its way into any EDC, it'd be a Swiss Army Knife. You probably already own one for its handy set of tools in an all-in-one package. With all the different models, sizes, colors, and tool configurations of Swiss Army Knives, they've become a popular collectible in the carry community. This year's limited edition release is equipped to tick all the right boxes as a new crowd favorite: a pocket-friendly 93mm size, durable and slim Alox scales, and best of all, a classic olive drab green color to accent any carry style.

The new olive digs come to one of the most well-rounded models of the Swiss Army Knife in the Pioneer. It's sized just right for all-around use in the hand and in the pocket at 3.5” long and half an inch thick. The Pioneer offers an excellent tool set for general EDC utility: a large main blade, a reamer/punch for poking, a combination can opener/small screwdriver, and a combination large screwdriver/bottle opener/wire stripper. Lastly, a keyring attachment gives you the option of tossing it on your keys or outfitting it with a paracord lanyard for better retrieval, grip, and emergency utility.

If you find the Pioneer too big for your EDC needs, you can also opt for the smaller Cadet or keychain-sized Classic Swiss Army Knives in the limited edition olive green Alox finishes as part of this year's release. Check out the Pioneer at the link below.

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Benchmade 560 Freek

When it comes to your EDC knife, having the right grip on it can make all the difference. A good grip grants more control, which makes cutting tasks both easier and safer. The new Benchmade 560 Freek, with its dual polymer handle, gives you the kind of precise control you want out of your EDC blade.

It starts with the simple yet reliable blade opening and lock on this knife. The thumbstud on the 3.6" S30V blade offers easy one-handed opening. That blade stays locked in place during even hard use via Benchmade's signature ambidextrous AXIS lock. The blade itself also has jimping at the spine, giving you fine control during precision tasks.

But the real source of control is the dual-polymer handle on this knife. It's made of a combination of lightweight and grippy Grivory and Versaflex polymers. The handle materials are also cut in a diamond and striped pattern for more texture to grip. And the handle is large enough for your fingers to wrap around it for a firm grip.

The Benchmade 560's superior ergonomics will help you make quick work out of any cutting tasks ahead of you. Grab one for yourself at the link below.

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10 Wood Handle EDC Knives

There's something special about the way a knife with a wood grain handle looks and feels when it's in your hand. It's a classy and timeless look you don't get with the trendy metal and polymer handles that you see on other knives. And unlike most knife handle materials, wood grain only gets better with age. Wooden handled knives like this can be more than just a tool in your EDC. You might even treasure one enough to pass down like an heirloom. In this guide, we've put together this list of our favorite knives with wooden handles, ranging from classic traditional knives to modern tools with an organic touch.

Spyderco Efficient

If you're looking for a solid EDC knife that won't break the bank, efficiency is king. You want a knife with high-end features and serious performance at a comfortable price point. With a name like the Efficient, Spyderco has put together a value blade that's more than up to the challenge.

The Efficient is a folding knife made with many of the hallmarks of Spyderco's higher end offerings. It's classic Spyderco design language throughout, from the large thumbhole opening to the thoughtful ergonomic details. For example, the thumbhole allows easy one-handed opening for both righties and lefties. Paired with its reversible clip, it's EDC-friendly from the moment you slip it in your pocket right up to the cutting task at hand.

When in use, grippy G10 scales on an already ergonomic handle give you a firm grasp on the knife. Jimping on the choil and on the top of the blade give even more precision.

You'll appreciate that kind of control too, since the Efficient is seriously sharp. It sports a 3”, full flat ground, plain edge drop point blade. That'll make short work of most everyday cutting tasks, and its 8Cr13Mov stainless steel is easy to touch up after extended use.

With this feature set, the Efficient comes in as a new contender for one of the best value folders you can EDC, dollar-for-dollar. Pick one up at the link below.

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