This post contains affiliate links. We may get paid an affiliate commission if you buy something or take an action after clicking one of the links on this web page.
After years of running this website, I thought it might fun to do a little EDC update. Tony used to do these and I enjoyed them. I don’t know if this will be a quarterly, or semi-annual update, but I felt like doing it and thought it would be cool. Ben also contributed so that’s great. Let us know if you like this sort of thing in the comments section, and it can become a regular segment.
Lately, the thrust of my EDC has been simplification. And I don’t mean carrying less stuff. I own and have enjoyed flashlights, pens, and watches, but the only things I ever regularly carry are knives (a pen would tag along in my pocket if I didn’t work from home).
No, I’ve been simplifying by scaling back my knife collection, and by extension my actual EDC rotation. As I’ve alluded to in recent reviews and podcasts the sheer number of knives I own is disproportionately large relative to my actual cutting needs. Thus I’ve begun to liquidate my 40-or-so knife collection, holding on to just the bare essentials – the few knives that I can justify owning for the purposes of carrying on a regular basis.
This means that, barring review samples, I might become a (more or less) One Knife Man. My current forerunner for permanent EDC knife is a standard Benchmade 940. It’s hard to beat – and hard to explain – the interplay of light weight, thoughtless deployment, and cutting performance that makes it so good and so ineffable. We’ll see if it still reigns supreme when we check in for the second Roundup.
The newest blades to hit the review table include are the CRKT Pilar and the Benchmade Bugout. The Pilar is a fun knife – probably more ‘fun’ than it is ‘good’ – that opened my eyes to the value of what CRKT does. It wasn’t a fun knife to carry throughout the hottest weeks of the year, but there’s a lot to like about it. With the Bugout, I hoped to find an alternative to the Griptilian as an entry-level Benchmade knife. When I got it I realized it’s probably too specialized to really compete with the Grip, but it’s an interesting knife nonetheless.
Arguably the most significant update to my EDC is that I streamlined my keys a few months ago. Over the years I had collected an assortment of keys from various apartments, houses, etc. I probably had a dozen keys and hadn’t used the majority of them in years. I stripped away the unused keys, kept the ones I do use, and color coded them for convenience. This made a huge difference in my EDC and is something well worth doing if you haven’t done a “key audit” lately.
As far as knives go, I’ve had the good fortune to check out all sorts of cool stuff. Much of it has been reviewed, but I have a number of items on deck including a Hogue EX05, a Benchmade Proxy, and a Todd Begg Steelcraft Bodega. All awesome knives.
As for my regular rotation, I repurchased the Strider SnG a few months ago and have been carrying it regularly. I sold my original SnG when I was in debt pay down mode, but now that I’ve paid off most of my debt I decided to bring a SnG back into the fold. This was right before the announcement that Strider knives was disbanding so I picked it up for a decent price. For whatever reason I really enjoy this knife, especially with the new “dagger grind”. This version of the SnG slices so much better than my old full flat grind variant. It’s a huge upgrade. There is nothing else quite like the SnG, and I don’t see myself getting rid of it any time soon.
Beyond that, when I need a flashlight I carry the Streamlight Microstream. Ben gifted this one to me, and I am really glad he did because it’s an excellent little light. Everything you need for daily carry and nothing you don’t. I’ve used the “hat light” feature a few times and it’s great for power outages, grilling, and other extended use situations. Ben was on point with his review and I echo his recommendations.
My watch has been the Sinn U1. I bought this watch a couple years ago and it hasn’t left my wrist since. It’s a unique piece that has held my interest for 2 years strong now. The fact that I haven’t moved on to something else says a lot, as this was a replacement for a more expensive Planet Ocean 2500. I will eventually review my U1, but Aaron and Grayson have been doing a great job with their watch reviews. I’ll probably release my review during a lull in the action.
For my watch, I have a black Big Skinny bifold. This wallet was recommended by Tony and it’s my second Big Skinny wallet. I got 3 or 4 years out of my first one, and this wallet is holding up even better. Great wallet and reasonably priced.
Thank you Dan. Only 40 knives? You won’t catch up with me! Today I went to school. Discontinued stainless Kershaw 1840 in the briefcase and another in my pocket. As I sit typing, I have another stainless 1840 and a black 1840 on the second shelf of the desk and a Cold Steel SRK on the floor.
When I find a design that fits in my hand and deploys to my expectations, the price is irrelevant.
That’s is Ben’s collection. I’m at well over 100 pieces personally – I should probably count!
Well done with the 1840’s. Nice pieces from Kershaw.
Always appreciate your thoughtful comments and insight.
Everyone has their own personal preferences on what they carry, but I have not found a review of the Mitchell Money Clip Wallet if you have done one.
If you have not tried one, you should. Worldwide business and popularity from a very simple design. All hand made by David Mitchell, materials sourced locally whenever possible (obviously can’t source Italian leather locally, but even the steel is).
I have no relation to or affiliation with Mitchell Leather, just really like their product. Never heard a complaint from anyone who has gotten one.
Keep up the great reviews. Going to link to this one on another site as we have been discussing the 940 series.
Thank you very much. You know I have never heard of Mitchell Leather. Their wallets look beautiful. I especially like that money clip wallet. Beautiful. I haven’t ventured into wallet reviews, but I’m a sucker for good leather products. Cheers,
Ha. I usually come here for the blade reviews, recently signed up for the newsletter and started getting emails for items other than knives. Didn’t notice there were no wallets…another hot EDC item you might want to add to the review list!
David Mitchell has been around a long time (took over from his dad, his mom still works in the shop with him). Uses some Italian leather I believe but mostly Horween from Chicago and some Milwaukee leathers. The bison leather used in my wallet is from Milwaukee. The more I use it, the more beautiful it gets. Super thin. I don’t know how people hear of him other than word of mouth since he doesn’t advertise, but he gets orders from around the world.
Like I said, might be worth checking out.
You are right. At this point we have covered multi-tools, watches, and flashlights. I’ve been resisting pens, but I see no reason why we couldn’t write on pens and wallets – especially if there is an interest.
Word of mouth is the best way to hear about good stuff. I am in business myself, and while there are more ways than one to attract new clients, there is nothing like a referral directly from a satisfied customer.
I will help start the pen list looking forward to when you guys are ready to start doing them. Mitchell would be my only contribution to the wallet list.
Fisher Space Pen
Pilot Vanishing Point Fountain Pen
TWSBI Classic Fountain Pen
Thanks, WIC. I will keep these in mind.
Very nice. I like the fact that we can get your concurrent thoughts on what you guys carry, instead of focusing on a singular object like a review does. It’s good to spice it up every so often.
Ben do you still have the PT and Sebenza btw?
Benjamin Schwartz says
Thanks for the feedback, I’m glad to hear you like the article! I agree, the different pace makes for an interesting contrast, and it’s fun to see what my fellow reviewers are carrying.
I do still have both! In fact, right after this article went live the Sebenza went back into my pocket – it’s not really any better than the 940, but I just got struck by a mood. It does carry a bit easier than my particular 940, which came back from Lifesharp with the clip extremely tight. It will probably loosen over time but right now it’s a little hard on the pockets. I’m thinking I’ll hold on to the Sebenza even as I shrink my collection, for sentimental reasons. The PT may eventually be filtered out, but even as a recovering collector it’s hard to get rid of something so rare and unique, haha.
Andrew McCormick says
Love the idea of a collection update and overview, or at least something along your Best EDC knives at any price video you did a few years back. Also would love to see a review of the Big Skinny wallet! I’ve gone through tones of different designs and makers and I always seem to come back to them!
Hey Andrew, First of all sorry for the slow response. OK, a collection update would be cool. I don’t think I’ve ever shared my collection anywhere. It would take some work as I have maybe 100 knives.
OK, I would be open to reviewing my wallet. I sometimes wonder if I have gone too far astray from the original premise of the website with our watch reviews (I love watches, but am not sure if my readers share that interest!). The problem is I don’t have much experience with anything besides the Big Skinny.
Also, I am working on an article about buying and selling knives on the internet. Maybe that’s of interest as well. I should be able to finish it up soon.
Michael Veach says
I like update info
Thanks, Michael. We should do another one of these. Long overdue!