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12 Best Lightweight Pocket Knives for EDC in 2020

Jonathan Tayag
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12 Best Lightweight Pocket Knives for EDC in 2020

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Your typical EDC knife is likely the heaviest part of your kit. And when you combine it with the other essentials in your pockets, it all can start to feel cumbersome. You might think that's just the price you have to pay to carry a competent pocket knife. After all, good steel has to weigh a ton, right? Actually, there's a category of knives that tip the scales in the other direction. The best lightweight pocket knives give you the features and ergonomics you'd want from an EDC daily driver while weighing just 3 ounces, with some designs shaving enough grams to verge into ultralight territory at under 2 ounces.

Don't mistake the light weight of the knives here for a lack of capability: they aren't just tiny keychain knives. On the contrary, these full-sized, ultra-lightweight knives can handle all of your daily tasks with ease. And while this category of knives used to be more niche, in 2020 there's a ton more options available thanks to better competition, materials, and desire to carry lighter. To help you find the best lightweight knife for your everyday carry, we've put together this guide with some of our favorite ultralight knives for you to choose from.

Spyderco Dragonfly 2

Spyderco Dragonfly 2

Purchase
Key Features
FRN handle scales
Lockback mechanism
Extensive jimping on the blade for fine control
Specifications
Weight
1.2 oz
Length
1.875“
Steel
VG-10
Reviews


Price
$$
For years now, the Spyderco Dragonfly 2 has been one of Spyderco’s most compelling lightweight options for EDC. From its grippy ergonomic FRN handles to the signature leaf-shaped 2.28“ VG-10 stainless steel flat ground for extreme sharpness and ease of maintenance, it’s easy to see why this knife still deserves your attention in 2020. And pretty soon this year, if you’re looking for a bit of an upgrade over the original, it will be available with a much more premium Bohler K390 stainless steel blade, and you can pre-order that particular model right now for delivery later in the year.
Benchmade Mini Bugout

Benchmade Mini Bugout

Purchase
Key Features
Grivory handle scales
AXIS lock
Reversible tip-up deep carry pocket clips
Specifications
Weight
1.5 oz
Length
2.75“
Steel
CPM-S30V
Reviews


Price
$$$
The Benchmade Mini Bugout is one of the most sought-after and talked about everyday carry knives released in the past year, and with its mix of great ergonomics, solid performance, and ultra light weight, it’s easy to see why. Its biggest feature is the premium 2.75" CPM-S30V stainless steel blade, held in place with Benchmade’s signature AXIS lock and deployed via the traditional thumbstud mechanism. The Grivory handles offer the user plenty of grip during even hard use, but it also complements the barely-there weight quality of the knife itself, which weighs in at a meager 1.5 ounces in total. And with its reversible tip-up deep carry pocket clip, it’s not just small and lightweight: it disappears into your pockets when you’re through.
CIVIVI Isham Mckenna

CIVIVI Isham Mckenna

Purchase
Key Features
G-10 handle scales
Liner lock
Flipper opening
Specifications
Weight
1.75 oz
Length
2.875“
Steel
D2
Reviews


Price
$$
Who says an ultralight knife has to sacrifice aesthetics just to achieve light weight? Not Elijah Isham, that’s for sure, and his collaboration design with WE Knives gets the affordable treatment with the CIVIVI brand with the Mckenna knife. It features a 2.92" modified sheepsfoot style blade made out of capable D2 tool steel, which offers great sharpness and edge retention for the price at the cost of some susceptibility to rust and tarnish. But with a knife that looks this great and which cuts as well at the same time, you’re going to want to take care of it.
Kershaw Reverb

Kershaw Reverb

Purchase
Key Features
Carbon fiber and G10 scales
Liner lock
Carabiner clip built into handle
Specifications
Weight
1.6 oz
Length
2.625"
Steel
8Cr13MoV
Reviews


Price
$
The Kershaw Reverb was made for outdoor adventures, but its looks offer a dressy EDC use as well, especially with its attractive carbon fiber scales in the handle. The carbon fiber looks great, but the weight savings with using them helps the overall package weigh in at a super light 1.6 ounces in total. There’s a convenient carabiner clip at the rear of the handle that allows you to attach it to gear or webbing when it’s not in use. When it comes time to use the knife, deploying the blade is a two-handed manual affair with the thumb groove in the satin finished blade. And with 2.625" of 8Cr13MoV stainless steel fashioned into a useful drop-point hollow ground blade, there’s plenty of cutting power to get most of your tasks done with ease.
CJRB Cutlery Ria

CJRB Cutlery Ria

Purchase
Key Features
Carbon fiber scales
Liner lock
Thumbstud opening
Specifications
Weight
2.2 oz
Length
2.875"
Steel
12C27
Reviews


Price
$
The CJRB Ria shows that you don’t have to sacrifice quality blade steel and stylish design just to get an affordable knife. The Ria sports a 3“ 12C27 stainless steel blade with a drop-point shape with a great belly for slicing work and a solid tip for efficient piercing even through hard material. As with some other knives on this list, CJRB took advantage of the great looks that carbon fiber scaling affords the user along with the weight savings to bring this knife down to 2.2 oz. The slim nature of the knife makes it great for modern gent’s carry as well, and with its deep carry pocket clip, it rides low and discreet in your pants office when you’re trying to be low-profile.
Kizer Microlith

Kizer Microlith

Purchase
Key Features
Carbon fiber scales
Titanium pocket clip
Liner lock
Specifications
Weight
1.73 oz
Length
2.375"
Steel
CPM-S35VN
Reviews


Price
$$$
The Microlith is a compact premium folding knife made in collaboration with custom knifemaker Nick Swan. But its stout shape and heavy-duty construction make it suitable for more than just good looks. With a 2.375" CPM-S35VN stainless steel blade, it’s ready to take on all your daily cutting and slicing tasks with no sweat. The carbon fiber scales are weaved more naturally compared to the waffle design of most knives that use the material, and it contrasts well against the bead-blasted finish of the blade itself. It also contrasts well against the beefy titanium pocket clip attached to the side of the blade with two security screws. Deployment of the blade is easily done with a single hand either with the flipper tab or the ambidextrous eyehole in the blade, and the stainless steel liner lock holds everything in shape while the Microlith is in use.
Deejo 37g

Deejo 37g

Purchase
Key Features
Liner lock
Juniper wood scales
Pocket clip
Specifications
Weight
1.3 oz
Length
3.14“
Steel
Z40C13
Reviews


Price
$
The weight of the Deejo knife is in the name, and if you take one look at its design you can see how things can get that light. Its unique skeletonized frame keeps things light while providing a firm frame lock for the 3.14” Z40C13 stainless steel blade. You can choose between different wood and steel combinations, or even opt for a completely metal design that makes for a more minimal carry, if you prefer.
Zero Tolerance ZT 0235

Zero Tolerance ZT 0235

Purchase
Key Features
Carbon fiber scales, stainless steel frame
Non-locking slipjoint, double detent
Traditional nail nick opening
Specifications
Weight
1.8 oz
Length
2.5“
Steel
CPM-20CV
EDC Rating: 5
Newly Released
Price
$$$$
You probably know Zero Tolerance for their high-end production knives, and the new ZT 0235 definitely fits that bill. But it’s also a bit different: this collaboration design with Jens Anso is their first foray into making a dedicated modern gent’s knife for everyday carry. The ZT 0235 isn’t your granddad’s old sodbuster knife, though. It features premium materials and design through and through with a 2.6“ CPM-20CV stainless steel blade that offers great cutting performance even without a lock, and a beautiful carbon fiber handle that helps keep the weight down to an ultralight 1.8 oz. And unlike the traditional knives of old, the 0235 features a reversible extra deep-carry pocket clip that lets it slide into your pockets discreetly and securely until you’re ready to work.
WE Knife Co. Gentry

WE Knife Co. Gentry

Purchase
Key Features
Titanium handle, carbon fiber scales
Non-locking slipjoint design
Lanyard hole
Specifications
Weight
1.9 oz
Length
3“
Steel
CPM-S35VN
EDC Rating: 4
Newly Released
Price
$$$$
If you’re looking for something that ticks off more of the boxes on traditional gents carry than not, the Gentry is purpose-built for you. The shape is traditional, a la the popular traditional gent’s “toothpick“ style of knife, but the materials are decidedly modern with a sleek and slim premium S35VN stainless steel blade and a titanium handle with carbon fiber scaling. The slender body shape and smart use of premium materials lets the knife clock in at an impressively light 1.9 oz, but with the design and the strength of materials it’s not just for being admired.
MKM Burnley Cellina

MKM Burnley Cellina

Purchase
Key Features
Aluminum handle
Non-locking slipjoint
Comes with a leather sheath
Specifications
Weight
1.81 oz
Length
2.75“
Steel
M390
EDC Rating: 4
Newly Released
Price
$$
With all the slipjoints on this list looking more traditional than not, it’s nice to see the new MKM Burnley Cellina break thae mold with a modern knife design that’s just missing a normal liner or frame lock. This gives you the ergonomics of a modern knife, with the added amount of legality of carry that forgoing the lock gives you in more restrictive environments. And with the premium 2.75“ Bohler M390 stainless steel blade on this knife, you’ll make short work of most tasks that don’t need the rigidity of a fully locking knife.
CRKT Inara

CRKT Inara

Purchase
Key Features
Stainless steel handle
Frame lock
Hollow grind
Specifications
Weight
1.8 oz
Length
2.75“
Steel
8Cr14MoV
EDC Rating: 4
Newly Released
Price
$
The Inara is a sleek utility knife with a unique reverse tanto modified wharncliffe-style blade that’s designed to excel at everyday cutting and slicing tasks like opening up boxes on the regular. And with its easily sharpened 8Cr14MoV stainless steel blade you can easily touch up the edge when it inevitably gets dull on the job. The Inara is priced at an affordable range, with the features you need for daily carry like a solid frame lock for hard use, and a deep carry pocket clip for added convenience.
SOG Ultra XR

SOG Ultra XR

Purchase
Key Features
Carbon fiber handle scales, titanium pocket clip
XR lock
Clip point blade shape
Specifications
Weight
1.2 oz
Length
2.8“
Steel
S35VN
EDC Rating: 5
Newly Released
Price
$$$
SOG’s update to their knife lineup this year has been very impressive, integrating better materials and their new XR lock which eliminates blade play entirely making a big impact in their new designs. They just released a new Ultra XR knife, with a beautiful combination of carbon fiber scales in the handle and a premium S35VN stainless steel blade that’s been treated with a cyro gold finish that contrasts well aesthetically. The beauty of the XR lock in the handle also means one handed opening is easily achieved by actuating the lock and flicking the knife open, making for a smooth opening that’s faster than most non-assisted opening flipper style designs in actual practice. Rounding out this beautiful knife is a strong titanium pocket clip that’s also designed to hold some cash, for added convenience.

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Discussion (9 total)

David B Huber ·
I have to suggest the Victorinox MAP Walker (ASIN B01E414BDM - $18) at 1.6oz. with 2" blade and saw in a 3.3" package.
gargoyle ·
I own a Deejo and I have to say - they've skeletonized it to the point of being nearly useless. There is so little to grip that after a couple days of fussing with it, I tossed it in a drawer and I'm not sure how deeply lost in that drawer it is.

That said, I also own one of the ZT 0235's and that knife is a *DREAM* to own. Razor sharp out of the box, light, but still substantial enough you can grip it and do some work. I give Zero Tolerance two huge thumbs up for that knife. I'd happily buy another one, just to have a spare, and a couple more to give to family and friends. EXCELLENT knife.
Ryan ·
The Spyderco Para 3 Lightweight is what keeps coming back to my pocket. It's a lot of knife with little weight.
Alex ·
Leatherman Crater c33 just honest
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