Recommended EDC Knives

What follows is a list of some of my favorite EDC knives, and knives that I recommend if you aren’t sure where to start. If you are new to the site and new to knives, these are what I think are among the very best EDC knives that I have reviewed.

These choices vary in size and price, so some may be too big or too small to fit your budget or style of EDC, but I think most will agree that there isn’t a bad knife in the list. These are all great knives and I’d be happy to have any one of them in my pocket.

Did I leave something out? Feel free to tell me about it in the comments section below.

I recommend purchasing EDC knives at and BladeHQ.

Recommended EDC Knives:

  • Buck Marksman Review Buck Marksman Review

    You may have noticed a lack of reviews of Buck knives. I have nothing against Buck. I reviewed the Vantage a couple years back, and haven't gotten around to reviewing anything else because nothing else in their lineup ... continue reading

  • Zero Tolerance 0562 cf Review Zero Tolerance 0562 Review

    By this point we have seen quite a few of Hinderer / KAI collabs hit the market, and I have covered them extensively on the blog. We started with the heavily built 0550, moved to the critically acclaimed 0560, a knife ... continue reading

  • Chris Reeve Mnandi Review Chris Reeve Mnandi Review

    When I think Chris Reeve Knives, I first think of the Sebenza, their flagship blade. Then my mind wanders to the Umnunzaan, their amped up tacticalicious offering. Only after sampling both of those knives did I ever t ... continue reading

  • CRKT Swindle Review CRKT Swindle Review

    I have been on a bit of a high value folder kick recently, focusing especially on the $30-40 segment. I've neglected this part of the market over the past year or two, favoring fixed blades and higher end folders, but ... continue reading

  • ESEE Zancudo Review ESEE Zancudo Review

    By now most people are well acquainted with ESEE knives and their variety of fixed blade offerings. Hallmarked by their thick powder coatings, 1095 steel, USA origins, and unlimited lifetime warranty, I have grown to ... continue reading

  • Ontario Rat II Review Ontario Rat II Review

    Not everyone who reads the site knows about this, but I do have a couple sections dedicated to knives I have reviewed and recommend. Of particular interest could be the recommended EDC knives section, and the recommen ... continue reading

  • Chris Reeve Large Sebenza 21 Review Chris Reeve Large Sebenza 21 Review

    For many the Sebenza 21 is a knife obtained on the steep ascent to the upper echelons of production knife collecting. It's not a starter knife. It is something to be gradually aspired to, pined over, and then climatic ... continue reading

  • Strider SJ-75 Review Strider SJ-75 Review

    I have come to really enjoy my Strider SnG. Perhaps its because I won it in a contest, and therefore, had no qualms about carrying and beating the crap out of it. Regardless, it is a knife I have really enjoyed. But h ... continue reading

  • Case Sod Buster Jr Review Case Sod Buster Jr. Review

    I recently reviewed the Victorinox Cadet. This is a time honored knife, but frankly I was unsure whether many people would be interested in reading a review on it. The feedback was actually really good. So much so tha ... continue reading

  • Victorinox Alox Cadet Review Victorinox Alox Cadet Review

    Think back to your first experiences with a pocket knife. If you are anything like me, it probably came in the course of exploring your father or grandfather's desk drawers or perhaps rifling through that treasure box ... continue reading

  • Benchmade 940 Review Benchmade 940 Review

    If you are as obsessed with knives as I am, you may be on the hunt for "the perfect EDC knife." You know, the one blade that has it all. Naturally, it is the perfect size, features great materials, is beautifully desi ... continue reading

  • Spyderco Paramilitary 2 Review Spyderco Paramilitary 2 Knife Review

    I get reader requests from time to time to take a look at a particular knife. I try to oblige, although it isn't always possible. I really appreciate the feedback and it's extremely humbling to hear that someone wants ... continue reading

  • Benchmade Mini Griptilian Review Benchmade Mini Griptilian Review

    As much as I enjoy discussing the latest and greatest knives, sometimes we need to stop and appreciate the modern classics. As someone who tries to stay on top of all the new stuff coming out, I can tell you that the ... continue reading

  • Cold Steel Voyager Review img-cold-steel-voyager-01-thumb

    New for 2011, the updated Cold Steel Voyagers are taking the knife world by storm. There was a lot to like about the original CS Voyagers, but as technologies advance old classics need updating. And I gotta say, the n ... continue reading

  • Chris Reeve Knives Small Sebenza 21 Review Chris Reeve Knives Sebenza 21 Review

    I don't think many people get into the hobby of collecting knives with the idea that one day they will buy a pocket knife that costs hundreds of dollars. Well, at least I didn't start out my little edged adventure ... continue reading

  • Spyderco Dragonfly Review Spyderco Dragonfly Review

    The Spyderco Dragonfly is a knife that, frankly, I didn't think I would like. As far as every day carry goes, I'm into medium to large size folders. Maybe it's a macho thing, I really don't know, but I just felt like ... continue reading

  • Spyderco Delica 4 Review Spyderco Delica

    Ah, the Spyderco Delica - is there a more classic EDC design? Well, if we are talking about modern folding knives, I'd argue there really isn't. One of Spyderco's most popular knives, the Delica 4, is the brand's brea ... continue reading

  • Ontario RAT 1 Review Ontario Rat 1 Review

    These days if you want a high value EDC knife, there are plenty of options. Kershaw and Spyderco make some great knives in the $30 and under category that are easy choices for EDC. If you want something that is both h ... continue reading

  • Spyderco Sage 1 Review Spyderco Sage 1

    A while back I took a look at the Spyderco Sage 2. The Sage 2 is an absolutely fantastic knife and with it's eye catching titanium handle, I find that the Sage 1 often plays second fiddle. Case in point, it has taken ... continue reading

  • CRKT Folts Minimalist Review CKRT Minimalist Review

    The CRKT Folts Minimalist is an intriguing design from acclaimed custom knifemaker Allan Folts. I recently had the pleasure of speaking with Mr. Folts (there may be an Alan Folts interview in the mix - stay tuned) an ... continue reading

  • Benchmade Griptilian Review img-benchmade-griptilian-01-thumb

    The Benchmade Griptilian is practically a household name in the knife world. It is one of Benchmade's most popular designs and it appears in countless variations. And for each of these variations I know there are cou ... continue reading

  • ESEE Izula II Review ESEE Izula II Review

    Ah, the ESEE Izula, one of the most iconic small fixed blade knives of our time. Named after an infamous South American Ant, the Izula was designed to be a small, sharp, and incredibly tough blade for outdoor and ever ... continue reading

  • Cold Steel American Lawman Review img-cold-steel-american-lawman-thumb-01

    When I hear the words "hard use folder" it's often accompanied by a mental image of dollar signs. For whatever reason, we have equated hard working blades with titanium, super steel, and triple digit price tags. Those ... continue reading


  1. says

    Have you taken a look at the benchmade mini pika now that they updated it again and shifted it to the HD line?
    Quite nice!
    Incredible fit and finish on mine. Price was right too. I like it better than the older red class edition.

    • says

      Hey Sarge! I have not had a chance to check out the new Mini Pika, although I have heard about it here and there. I will have to check one out. I’m always interested in exploring new high value edc options so I’ll have to make some time for this one. Thanks for the great suggestion.

  2. Peter says

    Have you guys done a review on the Doug Ritter RSK MK1
    It’s also called a “ritter griptilian”
    It has the same scales, axis lock, etc. of the Griptilian but it has a very nice stonewashed s30v blade that has a blade shape that is similar to a sebenza.

    If you haven’t reviewed it yet you definitely should check it out.

    • says

      Hey Peter! I have not done a review on the Ritter Grip yet. Man that is a knife I have wanted to own for a while now, and agree, it’s got some nice improvements over the regular Griptilian and it’s long overdue for a full review. I’ll pick one up, I’ll review it. Thanks so much for excellent suggestion. :)


      • Peter says

        Thank you, I’ve feel like this knife doesn’t get the attention it deserves. Everybody who I know who has ever bought one has absolutely loved it! The Spyderco Para Military 2, Buck Vantage Pro, and the Benchmade Ritter RSK MK1.

        • says

          My pleasure Peter! I have only heard good things about it, and I’m a huge Griptilian fan to begin with – so naturally I’m all about an upgraded blade shape with S30V. I’m sure it’s an awesome knife. Can’t promise that the review will go up tomorrow but it is officially on the list. Thanks again for the great suggestion.


  3. Matt Davis says

    After looking over your recommendations I respect your opinions. It seems you really keep in mind function,construction, affordability and looks of course. I will be buying a benchmade griptilian, spyderco delica 4, and one that is not on the list a tops fixed blade of some sorts. Thank you for a practical perspective on knives for the working collector. As appealing as autos and assisted knives are I am always scared of malfunctions. I guess I should get over my fear but, manual folders are almost just as quick with less problems. If you stumble on one that is great in 100-150 range let me know. Until then i’m sticking to fixed or manuals.

    • says

      Hey Matt,

      Thanks man. I do take the recommended knives section seriously as I want to provide some honest people that may not know a ton about knives, but want to make a sound purchase. Also, I tend to agree with you on manuals vs assisted and auto knives, I think with the great number of awesome manual folders out there it’s entirely possible to get by without assisted openers (or autos for that matter). That said, assisted openers can be fun and if you go with something like a Kershaw, (ZT), or Benchmade assisted opener it should be extremely reliable. If you want a suggestion for a nice assisted opener in the $100 range the Zero Tolerance 0350 comes to mind – that is a really solid knife.


  4. ricardo says

    The Ka-Bar Dozier Hunter 3 inch blade is and excellent edc knife.Its a lockback design with aus 8 steel , very light weight at 2oz and comes with tip up carry. The price is a steal at 20.00 made in Taiwan

  5. Robert says

    I EDC The Para2 in s30v DLC black on black. And the Benchmade 550 Griptilian in 154cm, have everyday for 5 months now. What a spectacular duo! I am pleased to see that these knives made your list, they are well worth the $ for what they give in return. I use them both daily in my career as a Auto Tech, mostly the Benchmade because of it’s serrated blade, but the Spyderco gets a fair amount of use also and its perfect foraelf defense. Love the website, I am a new subscriber, and will be reading often.

    • says

      Thanks for stopping by and commenting, Robert. Both the Para 2 and the 550 are modern classics and made their way onto the list for very good reason. Keep on enjoying yours – cheers!


  6. Sollux says

    Hmmmmmmm……. Why do I not see any opinel knives listed? Opinel #6,7,and 8 are all excellent edc knives!

    • says

      Hi Sollux,

      There is a simple answer for that – I haven’t reviewed any! Not yet at least. I have owned a #8 for a while and plan on reviewing it eventually. But you are right, they are great EDC knives.



  7. ed says

    Great read! Thanks for the article. I have 3 follow up questions: (1) what is the overall best edc self-defense tactical folding knife (assuming price is not a factor); (2) would you recommend carrying an assisted opening knife; and (3) if so, what is the best assisted opening knife for edc self-defense centered (assuming price is not a factor). Thanks in advance for your response!

    • says

      Hi Ed,

      My pleasure! Thanks for checking it out. Great questions.

      (1) – This is so tough to answer. I do not have any kind of martial arts background which makes it really hard to comment on the efficacy of these blades on a self defense basis. Everyone is different in their styles, needs, etc. A good place to look at some of my favorite tactical folding knives is at my Recommend Tactical Knives page. That said, I like the Benchmade Barrage, the Benchmade 940, and the Spyderco Paramilitary 2 a lot.

      (2) – This is really based on your individual tastes, preferences, and needs. I personally am not a huge fan of assisted openers, but I do see the value, especially for people who may need to reply in their knives in a defensive / high stress scenario (eg, law enforcement, military).

      (3) – Once again the Benchmade Barrage is a great assisted opener. Slim, no-nonsense design paired with high end materials and exceptional fit and finish.

      Thanks again for the great questions. Hope this helps.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>