Everyday Carry

The Most Popular Gear in 2021

Mikey Bautista
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The Most Popular Gear in 2021

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2021 somehow both crept by slowly and was over in a flash, and altogether it was a pretty eventful year both in and out of the world of everyday carry. As we brace ourselves for 2022, we'd also like to revisit all the gear that you the readers found the most interesting the past year. Thanks to your interest and clicks on the site, our algorithm and analytics let us know what you all were into on a weekly, monthly, and with this roundup, yearly basis.

When we looked back through our database for the year, the surprising standouts were well-established EDC essentials mixing it up with some rock-solid newcomers. It shows that while there's definitely room for the freshest gear to break out, the classics never go out of style, or ever skip a beat with how useful they can be, even today. Better yet, it's a great list to show new EDCers gear that will stand the test of time.


The Most Popular EDC Gear in 2021


Leatherman

10. Leatherman FREE T4

Purchase
Specifications
Brand
Leatherman
Model
832684
EDC Rating


Price
$$
The Leatherman FREE T4 brings 12 functions to bear in a 3.6“, 4.3 oz package. Many familiar tools from the FREE P-Series make an appearance, such as a 420HC knife, spring-action scissors, an assortment of drivers, openers, a heavy-duty file, and even a detachable pair of tweezers. You can deploy all the tools one-handed thanks to the FREE’s magnetic architecture and cam lock system, making them buttery smooth to open, locked in place while in use, and as easy to close up when you’re finished with your tasks. And when you’re ready to grab the T4 and go, its included and removable pocket clip gives it a secure spot in your EDC.
Knipex

9. Knipex Cobra XS Pliers

Purchase
Specifications
Brand
Knipex
Model
‎8700100
EDC Rating


Price
$

The Knipex Cobra XS is one of the most popular compact everyday carry tools and one look at its small size and innovative design makes it easy to see why. This precision-crafted German tool measures 3.9“ in length, but has a quick-adjust box joint mechanism that lets you grip up to a 1“ wide item all the way down to a flat sheet of paper when in its minimum position. Because it’s designed to fit in the fifth pocket of your jeans, you can always have this tool on you as a backup, and it’s great to have underneath a sink as you’re trying to get at nuts and fasteners in awkward spaces without a lot of clearance where larger traditional tongue-and-groove pliers and wrenches would fail.
Nitecore

8. Nitecore TIP SE

Purchase
Specifications
Brand
Nitecore
Model
TIP SE
EDC Rating


Price
$
You might think that a light small enough to fit on your keychain can only be good for use as a toy, but Nitecore’s TIP SE fits 700 lumens out the front max from its dual OSRAM P8 white light LED modules. This newest update to their keychain light line integrates USB-C recharging for your convenience, letting you carry and use the same cable that you use to top your phones and other devices off to keep your light going when you need it. And since it’s made out of hard anodized aluminum allow that’s wearproof and waterproof up to an IP54 rating, it’ll stand up to everyday hard use when attached to your keys via the rear loop.
Leatherman

7. Leatherman Wave+

Purchase
Specifications
Brand
Leatherman
Model
‎832531
EDC Rating


Price
$$
For many people in the EDC community, Leatherman’s line of multi-tools is the be-all and end-all when it comes to butterfly-style tools for everyday carry. And for years, the Wave+ has been the standard by which all others are judged. With 18 tools including strong needle-nose pliers, a replaceable wire cutter, straight edge and serrated knives, a saw that can be accessed while the wool is closed, and interchangeable screwdriver bits, the Wave+ has just about everything you need for EDC. And it does all this while still being contained in a relatively small package that still fits your pockets.
Orbitkey

6. Orbitkey

Purchase
Specifications
Brand
Orbitkey
Model
Key Organizer Set
EDC Rating


Price
$
The new Gift Sets are a greatest hits of Orbitkey’s recent and popular releases that are perfect for giving to a friend or loved one (or even yourself). Each set features a unique Orbitkey colorway paired with one of two useful accessories, and they’re a great way to introduce someone to the simplicity and efficiency of a well-kept keychain. The Key Organiser Set pairs an Orbitkey with the Multi-Tool v2, a stealthy one-piece multitool that can ride alongside your keys and offers 9 total functions. These include a pry bar, a flathead screwdriver, a PH2 Phillips-head screwdriver, a letter opener, a metric ruler, an imperial ruler, a box cutter, a coarse file, and when you need a little break from work, you can use the ever reliable bottle opener to crack open a cold one.
Olight

5. Olight i3T EOS Ti

Purchase
Specifications
Brand
Olight
Model
i3T EOS Ti
EDC Rating


Price
$
This crowd-favorite EDC light is able to reach its 180 lumens maximum output from its Philips LUXEON TX emitter and hold it for 20 minutes, all on easy-to-replace alkaline batteries. A large rubberized tail switch lets you switch between its two modes: a 5-lumen Low for sweeping scans and when you don’t want to blind yourself or your companions, and the aforementioned 180-lumen High for when you need a burst of illumination. Helix-styled body knurling on its lightweight, IPX8-rated titanium body offers a distinct style and an enhanced grip, while the lanyard-ready, two-way pocket clip gives you multiple carry options.
CRKT

4. CRKT Pilar

Purchase
Specifications
Brand
CRKT
Model
5311
EDC Rating


Price
$
The Pilar's distinct, minimalist design comes from knife designer Jesper Voxnaes, and it bears some of the features and qualities of his more expensive work. The thumbhole cutout deploys the 2.4" sheepsfoot satin-finished blade. The 8Cr13MoV blade steel is a common choice at this price point, but its ability to hold a decent edge and sharpen easily can be appreciated in a daily beater knife. The tough framelock design helps the Pilar fit in that role. It offers good ergonomics thanks to the blade’s integrated forward finger choil and the aggressive cutout on the handle, providing comfort and confidence during use. Finally, a robust stainless steel pocket clip mounts on the framelock side of the handles, offering tip-up or tip-down carry.
Benchmade

3. Benchmade 535BK-2 Bugout

Purchase
Specifications
Brand
Benchmade
Model
535BK-2
EDC Rating


Price
$$$
Aesthetics aside, the new CF-Elite handle on the blackout 535BK-2 offers improvements to both strength and weight, ideal for an ultralight knife. Compared to the original Bugout’s Grivory scales that could flex under high pressure, this model’s carbon fiber-reinforced polymer handle boasts 50% higher rigidity while actually weighing less at 1.8oz compared to the original’s 1.85oz weight. The new Bugout still largely keeps the same great premium features of the original: a 3.24" long, premium CPM-S30V drop point blade (with a black DLC finish this time around), Benchmade's ambidextrous AXIS-lock, dual thumb-studs for quick manual deployment, textured handles for grip, a reversible pocket clip for multiple carry options, and a lanyard attachment point for retrieval and retention.
Victorinox

2. Victorinox Hunstman

Purchase
Specifications
Brand
Victorinox
Model
1.3713
EDC Rating


Price
$
The Hunstman is one of Victorinox’s most popular Swiss Army Knives and for a good reason: a rich feature makes it practical for both outdoor adventures and for EDC. You have access to a 3.6" long Sandvik stainless steel knife, perfect for everyday cutting tasks. It also comes with a wood saw, which allows you to cut through branches, ropes, and small pieces of wood when you go hiking or camping. The addition of a pair of scissors allows you to do more delicate and precise cuts if needed. But the practicality doesn’t stop there—you get 12 other functions to help you out. It features two different screwdrivers, a can opener, a bottle opener, a smaller blade, Victorinox’s signature toothpick and tweezers and even a corkscrew to open up a nice bottle of wine during a picnic, just to name a few.
CIVIVI

1. CIVIVI Elementum

Purchase
Specifications
Brand
CIVIVI
Model
CIVC907A
EDC Rating


Price
$
We recommend the Elementum as one of the best budget knives you can EDC, and judging by its continuing popularity deep into 2021, the community seems to agree. Its sized just right with a 2.96“ drop point blade in a capable D2 tool steel, with a quick rear flipper deployment and reliable liner lock. The G10 scale adds just the right amount of grip resulting in a balanced, functional knife that fits the minimalist aesthetic while still delivering on performance and value. The Elementum was awarded Blade Show 2021's Best Buy of the Year, adding even more to its legacy as an everyday carry knife.

#civivi #victorinox #benchmade #crkt #olight #orbitkey #nitecore #knipex #leatherman #trending-gear #buying-guides see all



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