17 Best EDC Essentials For Men in 2023
So, you’ve set out to create your go-to list of EDC items. You’ve already checked off all of the necessities: your wallet, keys, and phone. But where do you go from there? You’re not sure what tomorrow will bring. Maybe you’ll need to change a flat tire or tighten the tiny screws that keep your glasses from sliding down your nose. Regardless, you’ve likely run into issues that stray from your routine at some point in time, and that probably won’t change.
As everyday carry has become one of the most prominent practices in being prepared, it’s not always easy to determine what items are the most beneficial to keep handy. I mean, between your pockets, your car, and maybe a backpack, you only have so much space for your EDC items. It’s crucial to decide on the most worthwhile ones.
There are thousands of options to choose from, and depending on your personality, lifestyle, and even your location, you might find that one item is more useful than another. Regardless, EDC items are designed to be reliable, and you should be servicing them in ordinary situations—hence, “everyday” carry.
Despite it boiling down to personal preference, we’ve put together a list of the 17 best EDC essentials for men in 2023 to give you a solid jumpstart into choosing some functional everyday carry items that certainly won’t disappoint.
Keeping a knife as one of your essentials is never a bad idea. A small, functional pocketknife is the holy grail of EDC. A knife is useful in almost any situation. Whether you need to cut yourself free in an emergency or merely cut yourself a piece of pie, you’ll be surprised at how often you whip your knife out (safely, of course).
Not to mention, the knife industry has a broad range of pocketknives, where you can find a knife that slips effortlessly into your back pocket and folds beautifully into the palm of your hand.
Although it might seem obvious, having your wallet as part of your EDC kit is necessary. You’re bound to need your identification, cards, or cash on a daily basis. That said, it’s time to toss that bulky tri-fold in the trash and upgrade to a slimmer, more convenient option. To ensure you have enough space in your pockets for all that you need accessible, investing in a minimalist wallet may be your saving grace.
At Axwell, we invented the Axwell Wallet the world’s first fully customizable minimalist wallet with Mag-Lock™ technology. Carry up to 12 cards, cash, and more at a fraction of the size of a traditional wallet. Fits comfortably in your front pocket to prevent back pain and pickpocketing. Blocks RFID theft to keep your identity protected. Never lose your wallet again with the Chipolo x Axwell - Tracker Bundle. If you're looking for the perfect everyday carry wallet then look no further.
Imagine if you had night vision. Well, a flashlight is basically the next best thing, and it’s super convenient. Running into an impromptu scenario in the pitch-black night is not typically anyone’s cup of tea, especially in an emergency. Carrying a flashlight on you at all times is useful in more ways than one.
You’ll likely find yourself pulling it out for little things, like searching under the couch for the TV remote. And yeah, sure, your phone has a built-in flashlight. But in all reality, an actual flashlight is much brighter and more reliable; you never know when your phone might die. Regardless, you won’t regret adding a flashlight to your list of essentials.
A quality watch is imperative for your EDC kit. While we understand that your phone can tell you the time just fine, a watch can provide you with various additional functions that you may need at any given moment.
Having a durable, waterproof watch can be a useful tool to keep on you at all times. Some options even come with a built-in compass, which could undoubtedly save your life in a geographical crisis.
Multi-tools are what they imply: a multi-tool. There are plenty of multi-tools that feature various gadgets, including mini scissors, a Phillips head screwdriver, a pocketknife, and even a bottle opener. So, when you’re on the lake and in dire need of a beer, no need to fret. Not to mention, there are a plethora of multi-tools on the market that are smaller than your average Leatherman. You can find the perfect size and usefulness to fit into your unique lifestyle.
The Axwell Mission Multi-Tool Card is unlike any other multi-tool on the market. Imagine carrying 23 unique tools in your pocket without even noticing it. Tools that allow you to do things like tighten a bolt, open a box, cut a cord, and crack open a cold beer. The best part is, it is the exact same size as a traditional credit card so you can easily stow it away in your wallet.
6) Key Holder
Keeping your keys in one place makes life much easier. What’s more is that a key holder can double as a place to hold several additional EDC items, such as a flashlight, mini pry-bar, or anything else you can secure alongside your keys. Never lock yourself out of your home or car again and invest in a key organizer.
7) Money Clip
Reaching into your pocket only to find emptiness where you last felt cash is the ultimate bummer. Investing in a money clip can be a lifesaver in multiple aspects; decreasing the chance to lose your money is only one of them. With the convenience of credit cards and Apple Pay, everyday carrying cash may be a mundane, old-school practice that you’ll find fewer people doing these days.
However, having cash handy can bail you out of plenty of situations—not every retailer accepts cards, nor do cards work in the event of a disaster. That said, having cash as one of your EDC items is not a bad idea; it’s only better when you have a sturdy clip to keep it secure.
The Axwell Money Clip is slim, lightweight, and made of solid steel to keep your cash safe at all times.
It’s uncertain when you’ll ever need a pen. But contrary to popular belief, people still use them. Whether you need to sign a document or doodle during your Monday morning meeting, a pen is an essential item to keep on you at all times. Tons of pens on the market even double as self-defense weapons, and you could never go wrong there.
Pulling out your phone to type a note can be frustrating, not to mention rude. Staring at a screen doesn’t necessarily give off the “I’m listening to you” vibe. Having a notebook to jot necessary thoughts and ideas down throughout your day is especially beneficial.
Studies have even shown that you’re much more likely to remember something by physically writing it down rather than typing it into a device. And let’s face it, there aren’t many better feelings than the classic glide of a pen on paper.
A lighter is a clear and dependable choice of an EDC essential, especially for outdoor folk. However, lighters aren’t only useful in circumstances of survival. Nearly any instance could benefit from having a lighter handy. If your gas stove isn’t lighting and you told the Mrs. you’d make dinner, no need to worry. Pull out your handy-dandy lighter and get to cooking.
It’s a given that you already have your phone as an EDC item, but it’s so important that it’s worth being listed. You base your life around your smartphone, and that’s absolutely what it’s for.
That said, it’s critical to keep it on you and fully charged at all times, especially in case of something as frightening as a medical emergency. Or, equally alarming, a DoorDash emergency. Apps like Uber and Lyft can also be significantly helpful in certain situations.
Earbuds are nice to have in your pocket on any given day. Whether you stop by the gym on your way home from work or you merely need to have a private phone call on the bus, you can’t go wrong by packing them.
13) Lip Balm
If you’re anything like me, lip balm is at the top of your list of essentials. And if it’s not, then you should certainly consider adding it to your EDC kit. Aside from moisturizing lips, lip balm is surprisingly versatile. Lip balm is flammable, which means it can be used as a fire starter or even a small candle.
You can also use lip balm as moisturizer for other skin problems, including treating dry hands and small cuts. It also makes a quality lubricant for tools and other items.
14) Challenge Coin
Challenge coins are a very popular EDC for a variety of carriers. If you’ve been awarded a challenge coin for serving in the military, we thank you for your service and support in the carrying of your coin.
Even for other civilian organizations, coins are a common item to carry every day. They’re often carried as reminders or for their mere significance. Whether it be for proving your achievements or on-the-fly magic tricks, challenge coins can be a great item to add to your kit.
15) Pry Bar
If you’ve yet to EDC a pry bar, think again. Miniature pry bars are even more useful in nearly any situation, from cutting open boxes to prying a nail. Knives are useful in these situations, but when you carry an especially expensive blade, it’s not always the best idea to use it when the job requires more of a durable piece of equipment.
It might be an old-timey custom, but having a hankie on hand is one of the smartest things that chivalry ever taught. How often do you find yourself wiping your hands on your jeans because the restaurant didn’t give you any napkins?
Well, a handkerchief can offer a whole new eating experience. You can use your handkerchief to clean your other EDC items and even use it as an aesthetically pleasing backdrop for your next pocket dump Instagram post.
17) Valet Tray
Unfortunately, you can't hold your items in your pockets at all times. So, where do you dump your EDC essentials when you go to bed? A valet tray is a perfect answer for keeping all of your items in one place when you can’t keep them on yourself.
There are hundreds of options for valet trays on the market, accommodating all of your needs. Valet trays vary in size, shape, and design so you can find the perfect one for your tailor-made EDC kit.
You maintain a unique and distinct lifestyle, and your EDC items should unquestionably reflect your needs. If you’re stuck considering which items will be useful to carry every day, these 17 essentials are definitely worth a second look.
Sign up for our Axwell Army Newsletter by clicking here and get a discount on your first purchase.