What is an EDC Knife? Top 3 EDC Knives for Beginners

What is an EDC Knife? Top 3 Everyday Carry Knives for Beginners

When you turn on the news, you’re often greeted with chaotic scenes. From natural disasters to mass casualty incidents, there seems to be no end to the unpredictability of modern life!  With the speed at which things can happen today, it’s important to stay prepared for any eventuality in order to keep yourself and your family safe. But the problem often revolves around the fact that you can’t reasonably carry every single tool that will keep you safe everywhere you go! You have to make choices and one of the best choices you can make for your everyday carry (EDC) is a knife.

Knives are great for so many different applications. From making tools to self-defense, a knife will multiply your ability to do practically anything. 

What is an EDC Knife?

But carrying any knife isn’t going to do though. Kitchen knives and machetes are just about as useful as plastic picnic knives are in an EDC application. So, what exactly makes a knife an EDC knife? Which sort of knives are going to be best for someone who is new to everyday carry to purchase and carry with them?

In this post, we’ll discuss all of these things to help get you on the right track. You’ll feel confident in what to look for when shopping for an EDC knife to ensure you can meet the challenges that the 21st century has to throw at you. Let’s get started.

What is an EDC Knife and Why You Should Never Leave Home Without One

An EDC knife has a few important qualities to it. The first and most important one is that it is a knife that you’ll feel comfortable carrying every day. It has to accomplish the tasks that you need it to while also being small enough to carry with you without drawing attention to yourself. 

It should also be just a knife. A lot of beginners to EDC go for the multi-tool with a knife attachment on it. But oftentimes that knife in that multi-tool is difficult to deploy and even more difficult to use. 

EDC Everyday Carry Knives

EDC knives serve all sorts of functionality as well. From being used in everyday tasks like cutting open boxes to the extraordinary like having to cut away a seatbelt to escape from a car wreck, EDC knives can help solve all sorts of problems that you may encounter each day. While you don’t know what will be thrown at you when your head comes off your pillow each morning, you can know that you’re prepared for just about anything when you carry an EDC knife.

Considerations to Make When Purchasing an EDC Knife

There are a lot of knives out there, so how do you figure out which one you should purchase? Well, the good news is that there is an EDC knife out there for everyone. Again, you want to buy a knife that you’ll carry with you every day so take the following into consideration when making your first purchase.

What is an EDC Knife?


One of the first things to consider when you are looking to start building out your EDC kit with a knife is price. Knives vary pretty widely on price, with some knives going for as low as $10 and as high as $600+! The old adage “you get what you pay for'' definitely comes into play here. 

You’ll want to do a bit of shopping around for the right price. Avoid buying a knife that is too cheap as these are going to be really low quality. The materials used are going to corrode faster and the deployment mechanisms are going to wear out faster, which ultimately could lead to a catastrophic failure. This could be annoying at best and unsafe at worse.

A good median price for an EDC knife is going to be between $35 - $150 range. Steel quality, deployment mechanisms and finishes are all going to play a factor in price, so be sure to do your research before purchasing your first knife. 

What is an EDC Knife?


The most important part of an EDC knife is how functional it is. If it’s not going to serve the purposes you bought it for, then you’re going to end up getting frustrated and feeling some serious buyer remorse! 

Do you need a knife that can be deployed in a moment’s notice? Consider getting an assisted open knife. The tension bar that helps open the knife helps spring the blade open when you press on it, getting your blade out immediately when you need it. 

What about a knife with a serrated edge to it for sawing? A fixed blade is likely going to be your best bet as it’s difficult to create a serrated edge in a folding knife. Fixed blade knives are great for EDC, as long as you are comfortable wearing it on a belt loop. They don’t fit very well or comfortably in your pocket due to the length of the blade and handle. But they’re pretty handy as you don’t have to rely on the opening mechanisms to get your blade out and in use.

What is an EDC Knife?


An EDC knife needs to be something that you can depend on for a long time. The last thing you need happening when you need to cut something in an emergency is for your knife to fail. 

There are a ton of different methods for forging steel, each possessing a different level of quality. Edge retention, corrosion resistance, and toughness are just a few factors that come into play when researching the type of steel used in knives. 

A few examples of steel used in knives are:

  • Bohler Uddeholm M390 for high quality blades
  • 1095 for medium quality blades

Remember to check the specs on any knife that you look at for the steel quality used to ensure that you are getting what you pay for.

Top EDC Knives for Beginners

Now that we’ve thoroughly covered the reasons for why you ought to never leave the house without a knife as well as some pointers on what to watch out for when shopping for an EDC knife, let’s talk about some of the best entry level EDC knives.

Benchmade Bugout

Benchmade Bugout

Benchmade is an industry leader for a good reason. Their blades are made from CPM S30V steel which is resistant to corrosion and as well as provides long lasting edges for many uses between sharpening sessions. 

The knife has a total length of just under 7.5” fully deployed, with a blade length of just shy of 3.25”. Its universal design allows both right and left handed users to comfortably deploy the blade quickly, with dual thumb studs on the end of the blade. 

Spyderco Paramilitary II

Spyderco Paramilitary II

The sleekly designed Spyderco Paramilitary II does one of the most important things that EDC knives can do: stay concealed. The Paramilitary II is forged with a special curvature to the blade that allows it to take away any aggressive angles that poke out of pockets and indicate that you’re carrying your knife. This causes it to almost disappear when clipped to the inside of your pocket, making it so that only you know you’re carrying it.

Deployment of the Paramilitary II is quick, but not in the same fashion as open assisted blades like the Benchmade Bugout. But for what it lacks in deployment speed, it makes up for in grip. The ergonomics of the grip makes holding and using the Paramilitary II seamless and essentially makes it become like an extension of your hand.

Civivi Elementum

Civivi Elementum

If you’re on a tight budget, but you don’t want to skimp on the quality of your EDC knife, consider picking up a Civivi Elementum. These great little knives are forged out of D2 steel which holds an edge and stands up to a ton of abuse, resulting in a knife that will last you for years without breaking the bank. 

The open assist on the Civivi Elementum is located on the rear of the handle, keeping your fingers and hand away from the blade upon deployment. The handle leaves a lot to be desired, especially when compared to the Paramilitary II. It’s not as ergonomically shaped to the natural curvature of your hand, which can make it not feel as natural when you use it. But if you’re looking to just get started carrying an EDC knife, this is a great option.

Final Thoughts

Regardless of the type of knife that you choose, picking up an EDC knife is one of the smartest decisions you can make. From opening up packages to cutting seat belts to escape from a car wreck, the applications of an EDC knife are practically endless. And remember that the best knife that you can carry is one that you’ll actually keep on you every day!

What is an EDC Knife?

And if you’re like us, you’ll also want to optimize your wallet as well. Every EDC knife needs a wallet to compliment it. Match your knife to the Axwell Wallet with our replaceable magnetic RFID blocking cover plates to keep your most important information safe no matter where you go. Stay prepared and stay safe out there.

Sign up for our Axwell Army Newsletter by clicking here and get a discount on your first purchase.

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