Everyday Carry

Reader's Choice: 5 Knives EDCers Want

Jonathan Tayag
Reader's Choice: 5 Knives EDCers Want

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Our recently team put together a list of EDC knives that came out this past year that we'd love to get our hands on. After sharing our picks, we took to the comments and social media to see what you, the readers, were excited about too. In this guide we've listed the lights you've chosen, and we hope it gives you even more great knives to pick from as the year comes to a close.

Zero Tolerance 0804CF

The ZT 0804CF is a beautiful knife made in collaboration with Todd Rexford that cuts as sharp as it looks. It has a super-sharp 3.875” drop point blade that's made of CTS-204P stainless steel. That premium steel means it can also keep a sharp edge for longer than most knives despite hard use. Its flipper opening and KVT ball bearings also grant easy one-handed deployment. The attractive handle features a carbon fiber exterior and a sturdy titanium frame. Its steel lockbar insert also lends itself to a sturdy frame lock that will stand up to constant hard use.

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StatGear Ausus

StatGear's Ausus is a crowd-favorite EDC knife that's enjoyed wide support on Kickstarter. Its rugged design is exemplary, with a sturdy frame and linen micarta handles that can take a beating. The 3.5" drop-point blade is also made of hardy D2 steel to take on any heavy duty task you throw at it. If you missed out on the Kickstarter, that's okay, because the Ausus is now available on Amazon.

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Benchmade Bugout 535

The Bugout 535 has a lightweight and low-profile design that features premium materials. It's almost featherweight at a mere 1.85 ounces, achieved with its slim handle and blade. The Bugout has a thin S30V drop point blade that's 3.25" long. The handle is made of an ultralight Grivory material that's textured to make it easy to hold even when your hands are wet. The trademark Benchmade AXIS lock makes for a solid and easy-to-use experience. And when it's time to put it away, the deep-carry pocket clip keeps you stay discreet.

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Chris Reeve Sebenza 21

The Sebenza maintains its position as the end-goal grail knife of many in the EDC community. And the best part is that you can make it your own by choosing the blade shape and size you want when you buy. They all feature S35VN steel and a beautiful titanium handle with integral lock.

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Gerber 06 Auto Tanto

With its 3.7” S30V tanto blade and automatic opening, the Gerber 06 Auto is a high-speed tactical knife. Its push-button opening is big and easy to find on the handle, but it also has a safety mechanism to prevent mishaps. The lightweight 6061 aluminum handle has an ergonomic shape to improve your grip. And the rear strike pommel offers added utility for both defensive and emergency use.

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Thanks for your recommendations! We'll be back soon with more staff picks, and we'd love to hear from you again then.

#readers-choice #buying-guides #knives #benchmades-mini-bugout-alternatives #benchmade-bugout-vs #bugout-vs-native see all

Who Likes This (52)

43 others

Discussion (26 total)

Ryan Brock Tobler ·
I prefer to edc less expensive knives than the ones on this post, like the Ontario Rat 2, Spyderco Delica 4 or even a Victorianox SAK. For me paying 400 dollars for a folder is crazy. Even 200 bucks is a bit much. I'd like to see some less expensive edc knives then the ones on this page . That Benchmade Bugout knife looks pretty cool though.
Austin ·
The price observation makes total sense I had been carrying an older S&W folder but decided to back the Ausus Kickstarter campaign and have loved it so far (it was nowhere near the price point of some of the other knives on this list). I fully believe that a great item doesn’t have to have a hefty price tag on it, price isn’t always the perfect indicator of quality.
Agree... Everybody has a cost carry curve they feel comfortable with... Many of these knifes would never leave home or see any usage. Thus the SteelWill Cutjack in D2 is my best buy/value of new releases within a budget (under $50) price.
J.S. Leonard ·
If you ever decide to take the plunge and get a high-grade folder or even a custom you'll understand the price point. Now there's nothing wrong with those knives you listed that you prefer but I've got knives that will outperform all of them and they cost in the price range that you're talking and more. A lot of these knives such as a Chris Reeves sebenza can take a lot more abuse and are stronger and have better material than any of the knives that you listed. And that's the whole point of paying more or top dollar I should say for these folders, it's that they last they're built better and there's something that you can hand down to your kids or even your grandkids. It's a lot like buying a Miata. Now there's nothing wrong with me Autumn it'll get you where you're going it's reliable and it'll last you for as long as you properly need it, but it's not a Porsche 911. The Porsche in every way and it will last longer that's why you see 1966 Porsches still being driven around we have a local doctor that drives his as a daily driver. The higher end in custom folders are your Porsche 911's, more performance Better Built better materials. Now I don't know if you're a gun guy or not but you can buy a Hi-Point 9mm and there's been plenty of videos done on that on YouTube that you can see where they shoot it and test it and torture it and it works, but there's no way in hell I would carry one Norwood most people most people are going to go out and spend the extra money to get a quality firearm. Now you're no different your knife could be your backup they could possibly in a situation end up saving your life so ask yourself do you want to risk your life or the life of another on budget or would you rather by once cry once and have the best that you could get?
Robert Fejes ·
I agree. People generally don't expensive knives - or cars, etc. - just because they're expensive. They gather information about products and make a decision. I carry Benchmade, Spyderco, SAKs and Sebenzas. They're all good knives, but the Sebenzas are great knives. The fit, finish and performance on Chris Reeve products is second to none. And they are working knives, not some safe queen.
J.S. Leonard ·
You need to check on Grimsmo Knives. If you think Chris Reeves knives are good, wait till you get your hands on a Grimsmo. They are probably the most perfectly made knife ever made. Yes they are users and they're not safe Queens and yes they are extremely pricey but you don't get that kind of fit and finish with those materials and handmade quality to each knife holds anywhere else. Each knife is individually machined and assembled. They are pure perfection and that's why they're the darling of the knife world right now.
ThreePercenter ·
don't waste money on overpriced knives. General maintenance will make that miata last just as long as anyone's porsche. 99% of those vehicles use the same parts, manufactured from a different country. That is a pointless argument. Who makes porsche? Volkswagen. Who makes both their parts? A Touareg factory in Bratislava, Slovakia... Thehy don't last any longer because they are more expensive. Comparing knives with a car analogy from a mechanics POV, is pointless.
J.S. Leonard ·
Yes but the Porsche will outperform the Miata every time all day everyday. That's the point also, I mean it won't last as long as the Porsche. I'm sorry but most of your Miatas you see on the road today especially the ones that came out in the 90s aren't on the road anymore.
J.S. Leonard ·
Ok, you don't like the car comparison. Then look at like this. Firearms; you want quality materials, precise machining, longevity, craftsmanship, an appealing appearance and of course accuracy. Now you can buy a HiPoint 9mm for $159. It will go bang and function as it was designed, but a $500 Glock 19 is a better pistol and will out perform and out last the HiPoint.Then if you want the best performance, craftsmanship and longevity you step up to a Carolina Arms Group (CAG) 1911. They go from $3700- $4100 and are a completely hand smithed pistol with top of the line materials. Can the HiPoint and Glock do what the CAG does? They can shoot and get the job done, but neither are capable of shooting as well or as accurately. Neither has the fit and finish. Neither will last as long. Neither look as good. I see it too often where people go out and by a Glock 19 a Sig 320 and HK VP9 and a Glock 43 but complain about how expensive a Carolina Arms Group 1911 is. Had they just save their money throughout the year they could have bought the Carolina Arms Group but they chose to buy a bunch of cheaper pistols and then complain about and bash the pistol that they really want, but because they can't afford it right then right there they bash it. This is what happens with higher-end knives. People can afford them right then, you just have to save for it and buy once cry once. But they don't do that, instead they buy a $65 knife here a few $50 knives there a $75 knife or two. In over the span of a year or two they could have already bought a high-end knife or two on what they've spent on cheaper knives and then they do the same thing that the gun owners do about the Carolina Arms Group, they bash and complain about the cost of custom knives. But to sit there and say with a straight face that a Spyderco Delica or any of the other lower-cost knives are on the same playing field as a Three Sisters Forge Beast, Chris Reeves Sebenza or Grimsmo Norseman is just absolutely comical and absurd.
ThreePercenter ·
Not complaining at all... and I save just fine. It's how I built my Bronco, my 5k PC, get new phones, Nice things for my house, vacation, etc etc... I just dont need to save for knives. I don't go around hacking pallets like on 'forged with fire'. I dont believe all the hype of 'it could cost your life'. Every scenario has a counter.

I prefer glocks to 1911's too.

I dont complain about expensive things, or why they are expensive. I just chose not to invest in what I consider overpriced items. If I wanted a Carolina Arms 1911, I would get one. Same goes for knives, or cars. I chose to invest in other things.

Not the first time you wrote a book on this subject, and my guess is, it wont be the last either. It's personal preference, not complaints and poor investments. So lets just let it go.
Fimbrethil ·
totally agree, my car payment isn't as much as some of those knives....nothing warrant's that kind of price tag on a folding knife...my humble opinion.
ThreePercenter ·
I had an 06 auto tanto back in 2012 and it lasted a while, before the tip broke. I did something with it that a knife has no business doing I am sure. I love auto knives and ever since then, that is all I have used. If you want an auto knife, check out BLADEHQ.com

Don't waste money on overpriced knives.
Deerlord ·
Just received my Ausus in the mail a few days ago. Haven't used it all yet but from first impressions it's a beast of a knife and tanks like it are some of my most appreciated designs. With that being said the factory edge needs a little work and the kydex holster a bit more snug than I'd like. Other than that though I'm sure the blade will be a delight and will probably outlast me.
Geary Jacobs ·
Can post some pictures with the kydex and which color did you decide on? Lastly, is it spring assisted when opening or just plain a old fold knife? Any other comments and do you recommend it
Tracker ·
I’ll see your Benchmade 535, but raise you a black handle. Anything but baby blue, really.
bafire77 ·
The color made me hesitate initially, but after carrying this one for several months now I got over it quickly. This knife is my go-to EDC when on shift, and it takes a beating at the fire station on a daily basis. I have several Benchmades, including a Griptilian and a Volli, and this one and jumped to the top of the rotation. Super light in the pocket, but built to typical Benchmade quality.
Tracker ·
I’m hoping that it’s a popular enough model that they diversify a little bit. The 560 is worth trying out, that’s my current go-to. I also carry a 943 often. Both with black handles - I’m just too plain.
James R. ·
I'm planning on getting one, then buying replacement scales. There's someone on etsy that has some great reviews on carbon fiber replacement scales.
John Wallace ·
I think the spyderco para 3 should have made this list, imo
Austin ·
I’ve been carrying the Ausus for a couple weeks now and have enjoyed it so far. The knife sits firmly in your povket without causing to much disturbance. The blade has been really well done so far in my usage, and the knife overall feels solid and dependable without being to bulky or heavy for everyday carry and usage.
Leif Thorson ·
I just got my 06 AUTO on Monday. I got the G10 handles with the serrated tanto though.
It is my new carry knife replacing my CRYO II. so far it is doing great in the few things i've done with it.
International Man Of Myst ·
Apart from all of the great features of the Sebenza (quality, build, materials, finish, etc.) they're also available in left handed versions - which made me a SUPER FAN.
That Gerber looks sweet. Has anyone owned a Gerber knife? How reliable are they?
Although I can't speak for the tanto point, I've had my 06 auto drop-point/serrated since 2008 and it is the best knife I own. It has taken all the abuse I have thrown at it through multiple deployments and assorted field use. As far as knives go nothing beats the satisfying thwack of such a heavy blade flinging open at the push of a button. If anyone has the money to spare, I would highly recommend this knife.

With that being said I didn't pay for mine, and if it wasn't a freebie I don't know that I would have looked for/bought a knife at this price point. Also the heft and weight of this knife can be a drawback for some as an EDC knife. I don't EDC mine but rather only reserve it strictly for field use. But if you are in a profession which already has you humping a metric $#!t-ton of gear anyways, I don't suppose you will much notice the extra few ounces of this thing vs a sleeker knife.
Aaron Pierce ·
I have to say I like the list. Finally an All-American line-up (not sure about the Kickstarter Knife though). Iit was nice to see something that’s appealing to me instead of the normal cheap, Made in China, Made in Taiwan stuff. I have plenty of less expensive knives and truly there IS a difference. Worksmanship, ergonomics and more—it’s all there. But for people who haven’t used any of the higher-end stuff—they just don’t know what they’re missing. Oh well—to each his own.