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What's Better for EDC? Plain vs Serrated vs Combo Knives

When choosing the best pocket knife for your everyday carry, one of the decisions you'll need to make is what type of blade edge you should choose.

The common recommendation is to go with a plain edge (for reasons we'll get into later), but you might notice two other types of edges: serrated and combo edges. Instead of an unbroken edge on the blade, these two alternatives add some “teeth” to the knife.

You may not have needed serrations on your knife before, or don't know enough about them to add them to your kit. In our last guide for custom-designed knives for everyday carry, one reader asked: “Why don't you guys ever feature serrated knives?”

Well today we will, and our goal is to compare each type of edge in the context of EDC tasks so you can make the right choice when picking one.

8 Custom-Designed Knives You Can Actually Afford

The “holy grail”—it's the elusive, be-all and end-all item at the top of your wishlist that's just outside the realm of obtainable. As EDCers, we've all got that one knife we aspire to own. And more often than not, it's custom made, bordering on “if money wasn’t an option” territory.

You've seen every picture of that knife on Instagram pining for it, you've read every review, and you've even re-calculated your budget over and over again. And after all that, you still can't see yourself dropping two grand on a knife.

But don't worry, there is hope. More and more custom knife makers are teaming up with manufacturers you know and trust to bring their designs much more within reach in the form of collaboration production knives.

We've rounded up our favorite (relatively) affordable grails from 2016 in this guide. With any of these picks, you’re getting as close to all the design, functionality, and looks of a custom, on a blade you can use without worrying about its cost.


Spyderco Paramilitary 2

169 people have this

S30V SteelG10 HandlePlain EdgeMade in the USA...

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Spyderco Snap-It Salt

Few blade steels on the market are as unique as Spyderco's rustproof H-1 steel. While H-1 is obviously useful for cutting in any environment, the Salt series uses it best by featuring it in tried-and-tested Spyderco knives like the Delica and Dragonfly 2. 

The Snap-It puts a twist on the Salt's design by integrating a gated carabiner hook into its business end, so you won't need a clip to EDC it as a go-anywhere knife. The Snap-It Salt's handles also got updated with a two-tone FRN for easier grip. All the Salt's original features are also here, including a 2.96” blade in your choice of plain or serrated edge. 

Need the perfect knife for your next outdoor adventure? Pick up a Snap-It Salt at the link below, clip it to your gear, and off you go.

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Spyderco Delica 4

115 people have this

4-way Clip. Screw-together construction.Skeletonized steel internal liners. Phosphor bronze washers.FRN Bi-Directional Textured® handle.David Boye Dent. Enlarged opening hole...

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Spyderco Dragonfly2

82 people have this

Left/right, tip-up wire clip.David Boye Dent. 11mm Spyderco Round Hole.FRN Bi-Directional Texturing? handle.Spine, choil, and handle jimping.Leaf-shaped flat-ground blade.

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Spyderco Bug SS

69 people have this

Smallest knife in Spyderco's product line; slip-joint folder, with flat-ground blade made of stainless steel and satin-finished stainless steel handle


Spyderco Endura 4

60 people have this

4-way Clip; Screw together construction; Skeletonized steel internal liners; Phosphor bronze brushings; David Boye Dent
FRN Bi-Directional Textured? Handle; Enlarged opening...

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Spyderco Dragonfly

39 people have this

Compact, folding knife with leaf-shaped, flat-ground blade of premium VG10 stainless steel
David Boyle Dent; spine, choil and handle jimping for positive grip; large Spyderco...


Spyderco Manix2

36 people have this

Ambidextrous tip-up clip. 14mm Spyderco Trademark Round Hole. Oversized piped lanyard. Thumb and handle jimping. Ball Bearing Lock®.

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Spyderco Sage

25 people have this

Folding knife with CPF-S30V steel bladePlainEdge is ground flat for precise cuttingTwill-woven carbon fiber handle for comfortLinerLock folding system; silhouette wire pocket...

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Spyderco Manix 2 G-10

26 people have this

Ambidetrous tip-up clip.Spyderco's patented Ball Bearing Lock.Black G-10 Handle with full-length skeletonized steel liners.Made in Golden, Colorado.


Spyderco Grasshopper

24 people have this

Micro-sized Slipit folding knife with flat-ground, 8Cr13MoV stainless steel plain-edge blade
Stainless steel handle with Slip Joint lock
Clip-less design--lanyard hole...

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Spyderco Sage 2

21 people have this

Folding knife with CPM-S30V steel spear-point blade
PlainEdge is ground flat for precise cutting
Screw-constructed titanium handle for comfort
Reeve Integral Lock...


Spyderco Cat

20 people have this

Left or right-hand, nested tip-up clip.Screw-together construction.Michael Walker LinerLock.Flat-ground, leaf-shaped 440C blade.

Spyderco Manix 2XL Glow in the Dark

This limited-edition knife not only features a big 3.85″ blade, and a sturdy stainless steel body, but it’s got glow-in-the-dark handle scales. Other features include a ball bearing lock, a lanyard hole, and a pocket clip… (via TheAwesomer)

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Spyderco C188ALTIBBKP Dog Tag Folding Knife

12 people have this

Plain sharp edge 3.23 inches overall length 2 inches closed length 1.23 inch blade length Black Titanium handle

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Spyderco Native

15 people have this

Compact, folding knife with an ergonomic design to maximize cutting ability and minimize discomfort and fatigue
Hollow-ground, plain-edge blade made from premium CPM-S30V...


Spyderco Native 5

15 people have this

4 Position Ambidextrous ClipBlack FRN handleWill replace current FRN Native...

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Spyderco UK Penknife

13 people have this

Ambidextrous deep pocket tip-up wire clip.Finger choil. Spine jimping.Hollow-ground blade. Leaf-Shaped blade.Made in Golden, Colorado.0...