How to Choose a Knife for Everyday Carry


If you’re an outdoorsy person or hobbyist, then you need a multipurpose knife at your disposal at all times. So what are you most likely to reach for? Probably an everyday carry (EDC) folding knife, one of the most versatile knives on the market. Whether it’s for self-defense, cutting open packages, or slicing fruit, it’s one of those tools you’ll quickly develop a need for a number of times. 

An EDC folding knife is compact and lightweight. This knife can be folded and stored in your pocket, hence the “everyday carry” descriptor. But not all EDC knives are created equal. Let’s dive into what constitutes an EDC knife and what features you should be on the lookout for. 

Popular EDC Folding Knife Features

Some popular features of this foldable knife include a locking mechanism, a compact design, and a 2.5-inch to 3-inch blade. In addition, some of the blades are slightly curved. Expect to see handles made from metal, wood, or aluminum.

EDC Features to Consider

Blade Material 

Consider investing in an EDC folding knife like this one, with a blade that’s made of zirconium oxide, an advanced ceramic that’s much tougher than steel. (Oftentimes, these kinds of knives have blades that are made from a poor-grade blend instead.) It tends to hold its edge longer than traditional metal and requires less sharpening/blade changes. In addition, it’s less sharp to the touch compared to steel, but it’s still quite effective at cutting items like cardboard, tape, or clamshell packaging.

Blade Exposure 

Some everyday carry knives boast longer blades than your average utility knife. If safety is paramount for you, then think about buying an EDC knife with less blade exposure. Less blade exposure doesn’t necessarily mean less effective or sharp. In fact, you can still have a shorter blade that cuts effectively and manages to protect you from potential lacerations. Because they fold into themselves, that means the short-but-sharp blade will put you at less risk of cutting yourself by accident.

Size and Feel 

The last thing you want is a knife that’s uncomfortable to hold, especially if you’re working for extended periods of time. That can lead to long-term muscle injuries.

Purchase an everyday carry knife that fits your hand like a glove. If it has an ambidextrous design, that means you and other family members or work team members can also use it, regardless of their dominant hand. Plus the compact, lightweight, durable handle should feel comfortable to hold. A sturdy metal handle will do the trick. 

When you’re done with it, store the knife in your pocket or use the lanyard to hook it to a belt loop, the end of a bag, toolkit carrier handle, or other convenient packaging that you know you’ll keep with you at all times. A leather cord is highly recommended to connect this knife to one’s person, but looping it on a keychain can do the trick in a pinch.

Locking System 

Always be on the lookout for an EDC folding knife with a safe, spring-assist deployment that ensures that you won’t have to deal with a troublesome locking system. With a proper locking system, that means you can just as easily close this knife as you can keep the blade in place for cutting use. This also reduces the risk of potential injuries.

Handle Material 

As we discussed earlier, everyday carry knife handles are typically composed of aluminum, metal, and wood. Keep your eyes peeled for knives with metal handles. In this case, the metal handle is more resistant to wear and tear. It’s durable, sturdy, and it fits well in your hand. You’ll also find that it’s a sleeker design, and it’s easier to store.

Built With Safety in Mind

Who doesn’t want a safe tool at their disposal? The safer you are, the harder and longer you can work. Injuries certainly interrupt workflow. They can also result in pain, costly medical bills and extensive worker’s compensation paperwork if not properly used on-the-job. A safe blade and a safe handle make for a safe worker.  

No-Tool Blade Change

Think about investing in a knife that doesn’t require a tool to change blades. Changing blades, especially if an extra tool is needed, is another common result of accidental and unnecessary injuries. Besides the prevention of potential injuries, this also ensures a steady, uninterrupted workflow. 

If you keep all of the above features in mind while you hunt for it, you’ll be golden. An effective blade, less blade exposure, metal handle, no-tool blade change, spring-assisted deployment, and a comfortable feel all contribute to a wonderful cutting experience.