Every Day Carry (EDC) is anything you might carry with you on a daily basis. As the old saying goes, “Don’t leave home without it.” Ideas on what to carry with you will vary, but typically include cash, credit cards, ID, phone, first aid kit, your firearm, and your knife.
The knife is a tool that covers a lot of uses. It gives you many abilities including hunting, making things and even protecting yourself. Knives are great because they never run out of bullets and even a dull serrated blade will do some serious damage. You can hit at minimum with the blunt end as well as use the sharp end to thrust, nick, cut, and tear. The knife is also a widely excepted tool allowing you to carry it just about anywhere you go. This makes the knife a must when it comes to all aspects of your EDC.
So the big question is… which knife is best for me?
Folding Blades are knives which unlock and fold roughly in half, like the Gun Girl Knife from Spyderco. This allows them to fit perfectly in your pocket, purse, jacket, etc. Many Folders these days have a clip for your pocket that can actually change sides. This means you can clip it for left hand or right hand use. When looking into a Folding Blade, you will find many types of opening methods. You can use two hands, a flick of your wrist and even gravity. You may also use your thumb, index finger, a spring button, or your pocket to open the knife. These can all vary on design so it is important to think about where you will store your knife so you can pick the best way to draw it.
Fixed Blades are knives that are made as one unit. This is arguably the best type of blade because the knife is solid and in one piece. Many people in the knife world consider this the best option because there is no breaking point between the handle and the blade. Fixed Blades used to be too large for an urban EDC; but now we have the choice of many different sizes. When looking at Fixed Blades, you also want to see the sheath that holds it. These will vary from just being a tight case to something that might velcro or snap around the handle. This option is by far the best for keeping the knife holstered; however it could slow you down when you are trying to draw your knife quickly.
Best Knife for EDC
How do we pick the best knife to have as our EDC? First, you want to consider what environments you revolve around. This includes home, work, urban areas, outdoors, etc. You could probably narrow this down to the two primary areas, home and work. If you work outdoors and/or live in a more rustic environment you might want to consider a durable Fixed Blade. Where as, if you are around more urban activities or live in the city, a Folding Blade might be best.
After knowing what environments you might use your EDC in, you will want to look at your hand size. You can of course purchase a “Pocket Sword”; but it does not do you any good if you can’t hold it. Visit a dealer where you can get hands on with what they have. You should try it in both hands and even consider both grips. This would be your standard Steak Knife or Everyday Grip as well as the Ice Pick or Psycho Grip. You never know how you may need to hold it or how it might get drawn in a situation, so it is best to have something that can be held multiple ways.
Now you have finally found the “Perfect” knife, right? Well there’s probably never going to be “THE” perfect knife! So where does that leave us? Well like many of us, you will start to “Collect” (i.e. gather) knives as you go and play with all types. You will have your favorites per season, environment and maybe even apparel. With that in mind, understand that size does matter. You can definitely go for the “OMG Factor” and Crocodile Dundee the situation. Now you might laugh here; but it is important to know that the bigger the knife, the easier it could be to lose it in a self-defense situation. The nice thing about the small knife is of course it is hard to get out of your hand and easily concealed. This means it is not seen, only felt. Really the only problem with a smaller knife is your accuracy. Under stress you will more than likely punch your target rather than cut it. This is less likely to happen with a bigger or longer blade.
Last but not least, when you finally narrow it down to your purchase, see if that manufacture has a “Trainer” version of the knife. If you can find something similar in shape and size then you will be able to work self-defense scenarios with it. You might also consider getting two of your real knives as well. One that you can EDC and practice drawing. The other just so you can practice cutting stuff to shreds. This will ultimately give you a better understanding of the tool you have chosen and better prepare you for all types of situations.
In closing, take your time. There are some great options available. Enjoy your search while also still prioritize your EDC Knife purchase for the near future. As my instructor always says, “Get to the point, before the point gets to you.” Good luck and happy shopping!
Larry St. Clair is the owner and lead instructor at Martial Way Legacy. He is a competitor and instructor on a number of skills, including American Kickboxing, Muay Thai, Savate, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Bruce Lee’s Jeet Kune Do, and Filipino Martial Arts known as Kali, Escrima, and Arnis. Larry also serves as an accountability coach and helps people set and achieve personal and fitness goals. He coaches the AG & AG Push-Up Challenge and is a self-defense instructor at the AG & AG National Conference.