Everyday Carry

The Best Compact Fixed Blade Knives for EDC in 2020

Jonathan Tayag
The Best Compact Fixed Blade Knives for EDC in 2020

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If you're looking for a compact everyday carry knife, you might think that a folding knife is your only option. But have you considered a fixed blade? At first glance they might not seem like the best for EDC, but you'd be surprised. They actually offer a few advantages over their folding counterparts that make them better-suited for your EDC. In this guide we'll break down the benefits of fixed blades and show you 10 excellent options that offer serious performance at a size and weight that puts some folders to shame.

What's a “fixed blade,” and why would I carry one instead of a folding knife?

In short, it's a knife that doesn't fold into the handle, and usually carried in a protective sheath. While folding knives are more convenient for many people, a fixed blade has its own set of advantages:

  • More reliable: with no moving parts to break, they won't fail on you during hard use.
  • Knife legality: if folding knives are restricted where you live, a small fixed blade might be a legal carry option instead.
  • Alternative carry options: you can carry one at your belt, on your leg, in a boot, around your neck, or even attach it to your bag, instead of taking up more space in your pocket.

If it sounds like your EDC could benefit from a fixed blade, check out these knife options.

Schrade Neck Knife

This drop point fixed blade knife with a sharp sub-2” edge slides into a sheath that functions as a cash and card clip. The round hole in the handle makes it easy for you to draw the knife but also holds the knife in place when not in use.

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Ontario Knife Company Little Bird

The Little Bird features a 1.75” blade made of strong 1095 carbon steel in an attractive black oxide finish. It also integrates a glass breaker in the handle, making it useful for getting out of emergency situations.

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TOPS Mini Bowie

Who says bowie knives have to be huge? The Mini Bowie from TOPS certainly isn't. It has a 2” 1095 carbon steel blade and measures only 4.25” overall. Despite its compact size, it retains the signature bowie deep belly and upswept tip that lets it cut like a much larger knife.

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CRKT Minimalist Tanto

The tanto blade on this knife is excellent for compact EDC knives because it's proficient at piercing tasks. CRKT pairs the blade with a lightweight ergonomic handle that molds itself to your grip and guards against cutting yourself on the blade.

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SOG Instinct Mini G10

With the textured G10 handles on the SOG Instinct Mini, you're able to wield its clip point blade with expert control. At just 1.6 ounces, you'll barely notice it in its sheath when worn as a neck or belt knife.

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ESEE Candiru

The Candiru is a lightweight, skeletonized neck knife that weighs just 1.6 ounces. Despite the minimal frame and light weight, its hard 1096 carbon steel makes it capable even for rough use. If you want to add a bit of grip texture you can wrap paracord around the handle and keep a supply on hand for emergencies.

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Spyderco ARK

Spyderco's ARK, or Always-Ready Knife, is designed to be useful even when your hands are slippery and wet. The blade itself is made of H-1 steel, a special alloy immune to rusting. It features Spyderco's signature ergonomics and a plain edge that makes quick work out of anything you take to it.

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Boker Plus Mini Slik Tanto

The Mini Slik is small enough to fit in the palm of your hand, but don't think it's a lightweight knife. It may only weigh 1.7 ounces but the tanto blade maximizes cutting and piercing performance. Plus, the ergonomic handle makes this knife easy to use.

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DPx Gear HEAT Hiker

This knife features a unique skeletonized design that incorporates a carabiner in the handle. You can hook it on directly to your gear for easy access when you need it, while it's ultra light weight makes it an invisible, yet essential addition to any carry.

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Buck 113 Ranger

The Buck 113 Ranger has a timeless, traditional design that's a break from the tactical skeletonized knives that dominate this list. It features 420HC blade steel and premium walnut wood handles that fits any gentleman's EDC. It's a bit bigger and longer than its peers on this list, but it is one of the smaller traditional fixed blades you can carry.

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Do you carry a fixed blade knife in favor of a folding one? Let us know why and which your favorite is in the comments!

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Who Likes This (44)

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Discussion (14 total)

Rammy ·
Good to see your list of best fixed blade EDC knives.
Thank you for sharing this useful information.

DMA Inc.
J.S. Leonard ·
How about the LT Wright Patriot or the Heafner Knives Little Bear. Both are extremely well made hademade EDC fixed blades. The LT Wright Patriot should without a doubt be on this list as is was designed and built as an EDC fixed blade.
Karl Hicks ·
That mini Bowie looks seriously awesome. I may need to acquire one.
Mahrezza F ·
I love my CRKT Dogfish, been with me for 4 years or so, my preference for urban carry, and I do carry either my Izula or the BK-11 when I'm doing outdoor stuff.
Andrew ·
Where's the hurricane razor?
Daniel Griffin ·
Nice selection, but my choice is my CRKT Drumfire. Small but sturdy.
logan ·
what about the cold steel spike series
Chris K. ·
Great list!
I personally like carrying little fixed blades additional to a folder.
My favorites are:
TRC Knives TRC 12S or Mini
Spartan Blades Enyo
ESEE Izula
Bark River Necker, PSK or Pocket Bravo
Enzo Necker
Kind regards,
Jared Campbell ·
Great List! The Bradford Guardian 3 is another great small fixed blade knife for EDC.
Gabriel ·
The Spyderco ARK is not serrated.
Deerlord ·
The reverse legality issue should be noted. In California one needs to be extremely careful of carrying fixed blades. They absolutely must be completely open carry or one runs the risk of being charged with carrying a concealed weapon, no matter the length. It's an absolutely ridiculous law, you can actually legally walk around with a broadsword on your back (its been done) but a sub one inch fixed blade in your pocket can get you in a world of trouble.
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