How to Build an EDC Tool Kit

When you leave home, what do you take with you? The answer to that question probably depends on where you are going.  I would argue there are at least three items you never leave home without, your phone, wallet, and keys. Unless you have the ability to predict the future, the challenges you might face when you leave your home are unknown. That’s why we recommend adding more than just your phone, wallet, and keys to your EDC tool kit. 

What is an EDC tool kit?

You might be asking yourself, what is an EDC tool kit? An EDC tool kit is an assortment of items that you have with you every day. One of the best parts about building an EDC tool kit is that your gear is customizable to fit your preferences. You have the option to have tools that you carry on your person, in your car or both! We will talk about specific tool options later on. 

How to Build an EDC (Everyday Carry) Tool Kit

Why should I build an EDC tool kit?

Picture events in your life on a linear path. You have everything that you did to prepare for the event to the left, the event occurs, and then you have everything that happened after the event to the right. An event could be anything as mundane as getting a splinter to as extreme as a gunshot wound and everything in between.

Doing everything we can to be prepared before the event will affect how we react and what we do after. This theory is known as “being left of bang.” A book called Left of Bang, written by Jason A. Riley and Patrick Van Horne, goes deeper into the theory if you want to read more. 

Having a thoughtful EDC tool kit helps us live left of bang. Figuring out what to carry so that we have it before the event improves our chance of overcoming adversity as it arises. 

How to Build an EDC (Everyday Carry) Tool Kit

What should I have in my EDC tool kit?

Like we said in the beginning, what someone carries in their EDC tool kit is unique to that person. What sort of situations have you found yourself in where you needed something but didn’t have it? Before you leave on your next adventure, what can go wrong, and what can I carry to help make it go right again? Asking yourself those types of questions could be an excellent place to start. If you still feel stuck, don’t worry; you’ve come to the right place. We will talk about some of the essential EDC items to help you get started. 

How to Build an EDC (Everyday Carry) Tool Kit

Part 1: EDC Tools To Carry On Your Person

When I think about EDC tools to carry on my person, I think about what I can fit in my pocket(s) that will provide practical uses without being bulky or burdensome to carry. 

Knives

Purchasing a knife can be a great way to start your EDC tool kit. With some gear, the saying two is one, one is none applies, and knives are no exception. The two categories to think about are survival/emergency and then everything else. 

Survival/Emergency Knives

You should use the survival/emergency knife only in survival or emergency situations. There are many options to choose from, and they all vary in cost, design, and materials. The most common design is known as a foldable knife, but you can choose a fixed blade as well. 

How to Build an EDC (Everyday Carry) Tool Kit

Foldable Knives

Foldable knives come with pocket clips attached, making them easy to fit securely in your pocket. The knife's blade folds inside the handle for safe storage and transport. Some foldable knives come with a spring-assist. A spring-assisted knife is a knife that springs open after the blade is pushed open with force. Spring-assisted knives differ from a switchblade knife which will deploy the blade with only a push of a button. Switchblades may be illegal in your state, so make sure you know the laws regarding knives in your state before buying one. 

How to Build an EDC (Everyday Carry) Tool Kit

Fixed Blade Knives

Fixed blade knives do not fold into the handle; instead, they use a case or sheath to cover the blade. Depending on the size of the knife, you may be able to fit it in your pocket. If the knife doesn’t fit in your pocket, make sure the sheath has a belt loop so you can carry it that way.

How to Build an EDC (Everyday Carry) Tool Kit

The Everything Else Knives

Everything else knives are used for everything other than survival/emergency scenarios. You would use these knives to cut tape or cardboard, or you can use them for other miscellaneous tasks that would dull or potentially ruin your survival/emergency knife.

EDC Utility Knives

You could purchase another foldable or fixed blade knife, but we recommend an EDC utility knife. EDC utility knives are designed to change blades with common utility brands. Many EDC utility knives also have features like bottle openers, prybars, screwdrivers, etc. EDC utility knives will have either a clip or a loop to secure the knife on a keychain, ensuring this tool is never too far when you need it. 

How to Build an EDC (Everyday Carry) Tool Kit

Multi-Tool Knives

Multi-tools commonly feature at least one knife in the design. There are many recognizable multi-tool brands such as Leatherman, Gerber, and Swiss Army. Besides having a knife attachment, multi-tools can also have scissors, bottle openers, saws, screwdrivers, etc. The size of the multi-tool will determine how you carry it. Some multi-tools are held on a keychain, while others are designed to be carried in a case on your belt. 

How to Build an EDC (Everyday Carry) Tool Kit

Wrapping Up Knives

As you can see, there are many options for knives. We encourage you to research and pick the best knife that meets your budget and functional needs. 

Pen and Paper

Since the invention of modern smartphones, pen and paper might sound like an outdated concept; however, do you have something to take notes on if your phone is dead or unavailable? I will often use my notebook to write down information when I am on the phone with someone, and I don’t want to use the speaker because I am in a public place. A small notebook fits in your pocket no problem because they are the same size as a wallet. 

How to Build an EDC (Everyday Carry) Tool Kit

You can carry any pen you want, but EDC-specific pens are something you should consider. EDC-specific pens are capable of doing more than just writing. Some pens feature compasses, flashlights, screwdrivers, flint, and more. 

Flashlights

Flashlights are another great thing to add to your EDC tool kit. Once again, smartphones make flashlights seem like an outdated tool since your phone has a flashlight feature; however, what will you do if your phone is dead? 

How to Build an EDC (Everyday Carry) Tool Kit

Flashlights for EDC have many options. Some are designed to fit on a keychain, while others have a clip to fit in your pocket securely. Depending on the flashlight you purchase, it can run on a disposable or rechargeable battery. Whatever your next adventure is, make sure you can light the way when things get dark.

Pocket Organizers

Purchasing a pocket organizer is an excellent option for your EDC tool kit. Pocket organizers come in all sorts of colors, sizes, and prices. Some organizers are designed to fit inside of a pants pocket, while others are meant to be used to keep all the tools in one place in your backpack, bag, or satchel. If you want an easy way to have all your EDC tools in one place, consider purchasing a pocket organizer. 

How to Build an EDC (Everyday Carry) Tool Kit

Part 2: EDC Tools For Your Car

Vehicles are a great way to carry items that might be too bulky to carry in our pocket(s). When selecting items for your vehicle’s EDC tool kit, you can ask yourself the same questions for your personal tool kit. You can put all these items in a backpack to carry outside of your car or in a bag to keep organized in your vehicle at all times. Some things you should keep in your vehicle include a first-aid kit and a multi-tool set. 

First-Aid Kit

First-aid kits are another highly customizable option for you to have in your EDC tool kit. Some basics to have with you are band-aids, gauze, kerlix, hot/cold packs, and a tourniquet. These products will help control bleeding and provide care for you, your family, or someone else in need. 

How to Build an EDC (Everyday Carry) Tool Kit

Taking a first-aid class can provide the skills and knowledge necessary to provide life-saving care. The courses can also provide additional information on what to carry beyond the basics of what we talked about here. 

Auto-Safety Kit

The potential trouble we may run into on the road is unknown. Mechanical issues may require more than your small multi-tool. There are vehicle toolsets out there that you could buy, or you can make your own. Whatever you decide to do, ensure that your toolset has a multi-bit screwdriver, booster cables, zip ties, spare fuses, a traffic vest, and cones. 

How to Build an EDC (Everyday Carry) Tool Kit

Final Thoughts 

Never leave home without an EDC tool kit and your wallet. If you’re looking to upgrade your wallet to something more modern, checkout the Axwell Wallet. Make it unlosable with our Chipolo x Axwell - Tracker Bundle

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