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The 10 Best Pocket Knives for EDC Under $50 in 2020

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The 10 Best Pocket Knives for EDC Under $50 in 2020

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When it comes to picking out an everyday carry knife of your own, it can be all too easy to fall into the trap of thinking that you have to spend a lot of money to get a quality product. While you can certainly get a great knife design featuring premium materials at higher price points, it’s simply incorrect to dismiss all knives that don’t cost a pretty penny as somehow not deserving of your attention. It’s entirely possible to get a quality affordable EDC blade with all the features and performance you need without having to break your budget. Better yet, because these knives don’t cost an arm and a leg, it’s less likely you’ll fall into the other trap when it comes to EDC knives: being too afraid to actually use your blade.

Whether you’re just starting out in the world of EDC and you’re looking for the best cheap knife, or you’re a seasoned vet looking for a beater backup knife or just something new, there’s plenty of options out there in 2020. To help you along in your search, we’ve put together this guide which rounds up some of the best budget knives that you can have in your pocket for less than $50 today.

Buck Knives 110 Folding Hunter

Buck Knives 110 Folding Hunter Pocket Knife

Purchase
Key Features
Lockback
Manual nail nick opening
Brass and wood handle
Specifications
Blade Length
3.75“ clip point
Weight
7.2 oz
Steel
420HC
EDC Rating


Price
$
The venerable Buck 110 Folding Hunter has been a part of many a gent’s everyday carry for decades now, and all the things that made it great back then make it a solid choice for EDC today. It starts with the 3.75" 420HC clip point blade, which has a great all-around shape that’s ready to tackle every cutting and slicing task you encounter. The top swedge of the blade also lets you slip the tip of the blade into small spaces, which makes it especially useful for utility tasks like opening packages. And unlike other blades that feature steel that might be too hard to sharpen without having to send your knife in to the manufacturer, the 420 high carbon steel of the Buck 110 is easy to maintain, even with harder use. Aside from that, the timeless brass and wood look of the knife gives it timeless class, and the manual opening and lockback mechanism make it easier to carry in polite company too.

Image: McKinnon Erario
CRKT CEO

CRKT CEO Pocket Knife

Purchase
Key Features
Liner lock
Thumbstud deployment
Glass-reinforced nylon (GRN) handle scales
Specifications
Blade Length
3.1“ drop point
Weight
2.1 oz
Steel
8Cr13MoV
EDC Rating


Price
$
If you’re looking for a classy gent’s folder but want a more modern design, the CRKT CEO is the best affordable pocket knife for those looking for an office-appropriate carry. It has a sleek, award-winning design that has made it one of the community’s favorite everyday carry knives in the past year. The CEO features a slender 3.1" 8Cr13MoV stainless steel blade that deploys with a thumbstud that sits in a small cut out in the handle when the blade is closed. That allows the blade to sit flush like a pen in your pocket when it’s not in use, but it also allows for an easy open-handed opening unlike a traditional gent’s folder. Also unlike a traditional gent’s knife: the CRKT CEO comes with a right-handed tip-down deep carry pocket clip that lets it disappear into your pockets for a discreet carry wherever you take it.

Image: Yuri Alessandro
Western Active Honey Badger

Western Active Honey Badger Pocket Knife

Purchase
Key Features
Liner lock
Flipper and eye-hole opening
Glass fiber reinforced nylon (FRN) handle scales
Specifications
Blade Length
2.75“ drop point
Weight
2.9 oz
Steel
8Cr13MoV
EDC Rating


Price
$
The Honey Badger features a modern flipper design that employs 20 roller bearings in the pivot that make for a smooth and reliable one-handed opening after actuating the index flipper tab. But it also comes with a large eye hole cut into the flat-ground 8Cr13MoV stainless steel blade that allows for ambidextrous operation. The design of the Honey Badger uses fiber-reinforced nylon to keep things light at just 2.9 oz in total, but it still provides you a solid liner lock to hold the blade in place during use. The deep carry pocket clip is reversible, and set up for tip-up carry, letting you carry it in whatever pocket suits you.
Cold Steel Voyager

Cold Steel Voyager Pocket Knife

Purchase
Key Features
Tri-Ad lock
Thumbstud opening
Griv-Ex nylon scales, reinforced with 6061 aluminum
Specifications
Blade Length
5.5" bowie clip point / tanto
Weight
4.65 oz
Steel
AUS-10A
EDC Rating


Price
$
If you’re looking for a big knife to take on big tasks without spending a ton of money, check out the Cold Steel Voyager. It features a serious 5.5" AUS-10A stainless steel bowie-style clip point (or tanto) blade with a huge belly for slicing and a slightly-upswept tip for piercing and detail work despite its size. The 6.75" Griv-Ex nylon scale handle is built to give you a full grip on the blade when you’re really going at it, and it helps prevent accidentally cutting yourself on your own blade during use. That large size also makes for a big and reliable Tri-Ad lockback mechanism that won’t fail on you when you need it the most, and makes a strong case as one of the best budget pocket knives.
Kershaw Natrix

Kershaw Natrix Pocket Knife

Purchase
Key Features
Sub-frame lock
SpeedSafe flipper spring assisted opening
Carbon fiber and G10 handle scales
Specifications
Blade Length
3.25“ drop point
Weight
2.9 oz
Steel
8Cr13MoV
EDC Rating


Price
$
The Natrix takes its design from Kershaw’s high end Zero Tolerance label (the 0777, to be precise), designed as a budget pocket knife with an accessible price point compared to the original knife. This particular incarnation of the knife has a striking combination 3D-machined G-10 and carbon fiber scaling that adds a bit of flair while helping keep the knife light at just 2.9 oz in total weight. It also features a 3.25" drop point blade with easy-to-maintain 8Cr13MoV stainless steel and a black treatment that lets it more easily weather scratches and the elements as well. The sub-frame lock of the design allows it to keep the blade open during use after just a flick of your finger on the SpeedSafe spring-assisted flipper opening of the knife. When you’re done, the low-profile deep carry pocket clip lets it sink into your pants pockets out of sight and out of mind.
Opinel No.9 DIY

Opinel No.9 DIY Pocket Knife

Purchase
Key Features
Virobloc mechanism
Manual nail nick opening
Polymer handle
Specifications
Blade Length
3.25" sheepsfoot
Weight
2.8 oz
Steel
Sandvik 12C27
EDC Rating


Price
$
The trusty Opinel is an often-recommended best budget EDC knife on a budget, but this is perhaps the best of the many iterations of the classic French knife that you can carry. The Opinel DIY No.9 has added features that make it useful for daily cutting and slicing tasks as well as some do-it-yourself handiwork, as the name implies. The satin-finished Sandvik 12C27 stainless steel blade has a sheepsfoot design that’s great for utility work, and there’s special serrations at the base of the blade that let you use the knife as a wire stripper and wire cutter when you’re doing electrical work. The polymer handle of the blade has a cutout to store a standard bit, and a hole at the pommel that lets you slot that bit in to use the knife as a screwdriver when the blade is closed. The Virobloc safety ring that makes the Opinel knife a favorite worldwide EDC option is also present on this design, allowing you to lock the blade open for extended use and lock it shut when it’s on your pocket too.
Spyderco Tenacious Lightweight

Spyderco Tenacious Lightweight Pocket Knife

Purchase
Key Features
Liner lock
Round Hole opening
FRN handle scales
Specifications
Blade Length
3.39" leaf
Weight
3.8 oz
Steel
8Cr13MoV
EDC Rating


Price
$
Spyderco makes some of the most popular everyday carry knives in the business, and their budget options deliver a quality experience at a lower price. One of their best is the Tenacious Lightweight, which weighs in at 3.8 oz while providing a capable mid-size 3.39" 8Cr13MoV blade with Spyderco’s trademark leaf-shaped blade and a sharp full-flat grind. The signature Round Hole opening allows for easy ambidextrous manual opening even when you’re wearing gloves, and the textured FRN scales let you keep a hold on the knife even when things get wet. The liner lock holds everything in place even during rough use, and for more delicate work you can avail of the aggressive top jimping on the blade to have more precise control over the cut.

Image: Angel Arsi
Victorinox Cadet LE 2020

Victorinox Cadet LE 2020 Pocket Knife

Purchase
Key Features
Non-locking slipjoint multitool
Nail nick opening
Aluminum scales with anodic oxidation
Specifications
Blade Length
2.375“ drop point
Weight
1.62 oz
Steel
Sandvik stainless steel
EDC Rating


Price
$
If you need a knife that’ll do more than just cut, a Swiss Army Knife (SAK) is a solid choice. The Cadet is one of the best budget options, and this limited edition for 2020 features light blue Alox scales that looks great while providing a bit of extra grip on the tool during use. Aside from the Sandvik stainless steel blade that’s 2.375" long, the Cadet LE 2020 comes with a nail file, flathead screwdrivers, a bottle and can opener, and a wire stripper all in one.
Gerber Flatiron D2

Gerber Flatiron D2 Pocket Knife

Purchase
Key Features
Frame lock
Eyehole opening
Micarta handle scales
Specifications
Blade Length
3“ cleaver
Weight
5.35 oz
Steel
D2
EDC Rating


Price
$
With its D2 tool steel blade, you can really get to chopping with the distinctive cleaver-style shape of the Gerber Flatiron. Its stout shape stands up to rough use, and the stainless steel frame lock gives you confidence that the knife won’t close on you when you least expect it. The large choil on the blade lets you get a choke grip on the blade for fine control and added security, and with its hollow grind you can even do a bit of food prep on the go if you need to so long as you make sure to use only food safe oil when maintaining the knife. It's a good cheap knife if you're exploring the versatility of EDC cleavers.
CIVIVI Exarch D2

CIVIVI Exarch D2 Pocket Knife

Purchase
Key Features
Liner lock
Front flipper opening
G10 handle scales
Specifications
Blade Length
3.22“ drop point
Weight
2.61 oz
Steel
D2
EDC Rating
Just released
Price
$
CIVIVI is the budget line of WE Knives, and they’re been putting out a lot of excellent and affordable everyday carry knives over the years that really give other brands a run for their money. The Exarch is one of the most popular designs to come out recently, and it features an attractive minimalist design that features a 3.22" D2 tool steel drop point blade that deploys in a cinch with its low-profile front flipper tab and caged bearings in the pivot. Unlike a traditional index finger tab, the front flipper design doesn’t stick out to ruin the aesthetics of the knife. It’s also less likely to open up without you knowing when its sitting in your pocket with its deep carry pocket clip.

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Discussion (3 total)

I'm impressed. These are all wonderful options! But if I may add a couple of suggestions?

The Ganzo Firebird FH21 (ASIN B07LB1PJS9) and FH41 both offer D2 steel blades on ball bearing pivots with