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THE TOP 7 EDC (EVERYDAY CARRY) KNIVES OF 2021

by | Sep 8, 2021 | Hunting

THE TOP 7 EDC (EVERYDAY CARRY) KNIVES OF 2021

by | Sep 8, 2021 | Hunting

Tool Reviews | Tactical Reviews | Outdoor Gear Reviews | Gear For Hunters & Fishermen | Websites For Men | Outdoorsman Website | Mens Lifestyle Blog | Traditional Man Blog | Old Fashioned Values In A Modern World | Traditional Masculinity | Best…

One of the most important tools a man can carry every single day is a solid quality knife.

Something that isn’t bulky and doesn’t take up a lot of space, yet durable, with a sturdy blade that holds a sharp edge.

It should be a tool that you don’t mind getting dirty and take pleasure in cleaning. It should be easy and practical to use.

With those bases covered, the choice from then on is going to vary based on each individual’s wants and needs.

We all have different tastes and styles that appeal to us and fortunately we live in a time where there are literally thousands of high quality EDC knives to choose from.

That being said, it can be difficult (and enjoyable) to narrow our choices with so many options out there.

However, YOU know what you want, you just need to remember a few things as you’re doing your research. Here are some things to consider to help you keep your eye on the ball.

WHAT MAKES A GOOD EDC KNIFE?

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FUNCTION

Seeing as how you’re looking for an everyday carry knife, it may behoove you to consider the various tasks and duties you perform every day.

Do you need a rugged blade that you can beat the living hell out of because you work and/or play all day in the great outdoors?

Or, do you work in a warehouse or factory where you are opening boxes, cutting through tape and industrial plastic straps all day? Maybe your everyday carry needs to be a good multi-tool?

Perhaps you do a little bit of all of the above. The point is, there is an EDC knife out there for you.

PRICE

Having a budget in mind before you start this process is a good idea and will prove to be very helpful. Coming up with a dollar limit that is comfortable for you will set parameters and narrow your choices.

This a good thing, as there are plenty of worthy EDC knives out there at reasonable prices. Be realistic about what you can afford and remember that this won’t be the last time you’ll ever have the opportunity to buy a knife.

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PERFORMANCE

Find yourself a knife that has some good quality steel. You don’t  have to break the bank to have a high performing blade and sturdy frame.

You also want it to be balanced and comfortable in your hand, something that feels natural when you employ it.

You’ll know it when it fits you just right and it’ll be hard to settle for anything less from that point on.

STYLE

This is probably the least important consideration, but a consideration nonetheless.

If you’re going to spend your hard earned money and take time to research the perfect EDC knife, you may as well pick something handsome to the eye.

Fortunately there are thousands of choices. 

Now, let’s CUT to the chase! Without further ado, meet The Top 7 EDC (Everyday Carry) Knives of 2021!!

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7 OF THE VERY BEST EDC KNIVES IN 2021

Buck 110 Folding Hunter

Coming out of the gate here with due homage to a classic and traditional favorite.

This USA made icon has a rich legacy dating back to its creation in 1963, when Al Buck decided that a revolutionary locking blade was needed by the outdoorsman who wanted a sturdy knife but didn’t want to carry a long, fixed blade knife.

He was correct in his thinking.

The Buck 110 Folding Hunter features a genuine ebony hardwood handle that is ethically sourced and nearly indestructible.

Colors and markings will vary from handle to handle and remember that these handles are made from natural products, so what may look like a flaw is actually nature’s very own design. Each one will have its own personality and distinctive look.

The blade steel is 420HC and sharpens up quick. This clip-point style blade has a long run before it curves into the point which not only makes it a good piercing blade but also an efficient slicer.

The Paul Bos Heat Treating process, pioneered of course by Paul Bos, is put through a rigorous heat treat process and performance test. It is then tempered to the appropriate Rockwell Hardness through a heating, freezing, and reheating system, giving you a blade that will hold its edge and not fail you.

  • Blade Length 3.75 inches 

  • Closed Length – 4 7/8 inches

  • Weight –  7.2 ounces (205 grams)


When it comes to all around functionality, you’re hard pressed to beat the Griptillian 551-S30V. In fact, it’s about as utilitarian and practical of an EDC knife that you’re likely to find.

The drop point style S30V satin finished blade has held up to the challenge of hard use. It maintains an integral edge and will shave the hair off of your arm right out of the box, as Benchmade’s reputation continues to shine. 

Outfitted with the AXIS lock mechanism and dual ambidextrous thumb studs , it is not only easy to open and close for right and left handers, it also has a reversible stainless steel pocket clip for ambidextrous carry. 

There are more shapes, sizes, blade styles, and colors available in the Griptillian than any other Benchmade product. While the 551-S30V is considered the big brother of the family, it is very “grippy” and extremely well-balanced.

This is one of the best EDC knives you can carry for top quality and without breaking the bank!

If you’re looking for something a little bit smaller and more concealable, consider the Mini Griptilian.

  • Blade Length – 3.45”

  • Closed Length – 4.62”

  • Weight – 3.88 oz


Ontario Knife Company is most well known as a supplier of military knives. Throughout the years they have supplied the U.S. military with products such as the M7 Bayonet, the 499 USAF Survival Knife, the 6144 Military Machete, 6141 MK 3 Navy Knife, the M9 Bayonet, and the USMC OKC3S.

They have also obtained a contract to build the Aircrew Survival Egress Knife (ASEK) Survival Knife System, chosen by the United States Army to be included in its Air Warrior Equipment System.

The knife was tested and approved by PM Soldier and the United States Army Soldier Systems Center to meet the criteria defined by the US Army. If this isn’t enough to make them a trusted brand I don’t know what is.

The Ontario Rat II is a great EDC knife in that it is super affordable and will accomplish most jobs you’re going to need to tackle in a day.

The RAT 1 was designed first and foremost to be a sturdy, hard-use knife that can take a beating, and it does that with flying colors. However, for those of us who prefer a more slimline, lightweight pocket knife, the Rat II is just a scaled down version and has all of the great features of the original, packed into a size that is much more EDC friendly. 

The first line of the Rat II was released with an AUS-8 blade steel which does not hold edge for very long and isn’t the highest grade steel. This was a big disappointment for a lot of fans of the Rat I which had D2 steel. However, OKC was listening and promptly released the Rat II in D2 steel and for the same price!

I know that D2 over AUS 8 steel is not for everybody as the AUS-8 is easier to sharpen and perhaps doesn’t rust as easily, but the D2 holds its edge better and needs sharpening way less. Like anything, if you simply take care of it, rust shouldn’t be much of an issue anyway.

It comes with a carbon fiber handle but for the difference in price, in my opinion, the sturdy regular plastic handle would work just fine and has a sharper look.

  • Blade Length – 3”

  • Overall Length – 7”

  • Weight – 2.75 oz


If you’ve found yourself, for the sake of money, denying your craving for a Rick Hinderer knife, suffer no longer. Combine the expertise of Rick and the design and production engineers at Kershaw and you have The Cryo.

Sharp not only to the touch but also to the eye, the sturdy Cryo is built of pure stainless steel coated with matte grey titanium carbo-nitride. For secure blade lock up, the Cryo offers a tough frame lock with lockbar stabilization.

The Cryo also features Kershaw’s SpeedSafe assisted opening for fast and easy one-handed opening with either the built-in flipper or the thumb stud.

This knife is a quintessential EDC beater knife. Aesthetics that are tactical and hard, combined with a Rick Hinderer design that is ridiculously affordable, make this a knife that is hard not to consider. It holds its edge decent enough and with just a few sharpening strokes it is right back up to par.

  • Blade Length – 2.75 “

  • Overall Length – 6.5 “

  • Weight – 4.1 oz


Imagine if Morakniv made a down to earth, simple, wooden handled folding knife and you’ve got the Opinel No. 8.

For less than $25 this is an extremely lightweight, durable (within reason), good handling, long lasting knife with character and considered the “working man’s knife”or “penny knife” by French farm and rail workers.

Opinel knives range in size from the No. 1 which is a key chain knife with a .78″ blade, to the No. 13 ‘Le Giant’. However the No.1 and No.11 were discontinued in 1932. Among these sizes the No. 8 is by far the most popular and seems to be the best hand fit for most people.

Traditional Opinels are made of carbon steel and beech wood with a nail-nick opener, but modern options include the Swedish 12C27 Sandvik stainless steel blades, horn and polymer handles, partially-serrated edges and thumb-hole openers.

The locking collar can be twisted to lock the blade closed as well as open and is damn near impossible to swing open on its own, which is an important safety feature as far as I’m concerned.

The wooden handle has a surprisingly good grip texture and floats the knife if you drop it in water, so the stainless steel model will be a safe bet for fishermen or boaters as opposed to the carbon steel model.

  • Blade Length – 3 3/16”

  • Overall Length – 7 ⅝”

  • Weight – 1.6 oz


This little fixed blade, drop point, 440A steel, neck knife is a fantastic EDC knife. It is not only functionally versatile, the Li’l Friend can be carried in your pocket, around your neck, attached to equipment, or even to your belt.

It has a sand-colored G10 handle and Kydex sheath.The 440A blade is not going to stay ridiculously sharp after a short time of hard use, but it will sharpen back up nicely with a couple of strokes. 

This is not a high end knife, let’s just call it what it is, a handy little blade for quick small jobs (cutting cordage, opening boxes, skinning small game) and a knife that can take a beating and costs less than $30.

I think it’s a great little knife to compliment another, larger EDC knife, but it will definitely hold its own depending on what your needs are. This is a great stocking stuffer for the highly experienced and rugged outdoorsman or even a first knife for a young beginner. 

  • Blade Length – 1 ⅜”

  • Overall Length – 3 ⅜”

  • Weight – 1.3 oz


A favorite among first responders, where speed and safety are of the utmost importance, the Triage family from Benchmade are perhaps our favorite EDC knives here at Rugged Man.

The Triage Auto 9170BK packaged in high-strength aluminum with the speed and efficiency of AXIS auto and an automatic opening hook.

It sports a N680 stainless modified drop point blade, black anodized aluminum handle with black G10 inlays, and a carbide glass breaker tip. The hook-shaped safety cutter features 440C stainless steel and an automatic opening as well as a slide release/lock. 

These knives have some of the most storied reviews out there, with active overseas deployed military, law enforcement, EMT’s, fire fighters, and first responders of all kinds.

Not to mention a favorite of rugged outdoorsmen and preppers/survivalists of all walks of life. The stories of countless times the seatbelt cutter has been used to cut people free from their seatbelts in crashes or the glass breaker doing its job is enough to make me want to own this everyday carry knife. 

  • Blade Length – 3.58”

  • Overall Lenth – 8.31”

  • Weight – 5.75 oz


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“Preparedness, when properly pursued, is a way of life, not a sudden, spectacular program.”
— Spencer W. Kimball

As we wrap things up here, we at Rugged Man appreciate you stopping by and hope that you found this article helpful. Maybe at least it got you pointed in the right direction if you didn’t know where you were going when you got here.

Remember how fun it can be to search for your next EDC knife and that this will not be the last knife you ever purchase. So take the stress out of the equation and use this time to sharpen your knowledge and skills about knives and knife anatomy, and perhaps many other components that build out a good EDC Essentials List.

Stay prepared so that you can protect and provide when your time comes to step up. And, be RUGGED. Which is all of the time!

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