I’d imagine more people carry knives than carry guns but there are thousands of articles about what gun to carry. Here at TactPunk we’ve decided to give you some things to look for in a good EDC knife.
Now I’ve carried hundreds of different knives and most of them had a problem or two so I know what to look for in a good knife. I won’t be participating in the fixed or folding debate because they both have upsides and downsides. Some of my opinions will differ from the “experts”, they usually do, but I don’t claim to be an expert, I’m just a guy who likes knives.
The number one thing to look for is affordability. I don’t make tons of money so I can’t afford a beautiful knife made by someone like Gil Hibben. You can find a really good EDC knife without breaking the bank. Recently Kershaw released the Emerson designed CQC series of knives, these are cheaper than Emerson built knives and have all the same features soldiers, cops, and federal agents have trusted for years. Selling for about $60 they’re a great value, I own a few.
Durability is an important factor as well. The knife you buy at a flea market for $5 simply won’t hold up as well as a knife manufactured by a reputable company. The type of steel a knife is made from has a lot to do with its durability. No steel is perfect, some sharpen up like razors but dull quickly, some never seem to get really sharp but are great at holding that edge. You’ll need to decide for yourself which steel is for you.
Your personal EDC knife choice will depend on what you plan on using the knife for as well. Will it be a defensive weapon? If so a knife that you can open or draw fast and consistently is ideal. Will you be cutting tree limbs or boxes open all day? In this case a knife made from a high grade of steel will be useful. Do you want a knife that can ride on a belt or in a pocket all day then filet a fish or gut a deer? A lighter knife with a razor edge might be the way to go then. There isn’t a knife produced that is absolutely perfect in all circumstances but there are tons that will be perfect for you when you’re honest with yourself about how you’ll use it.
At the beginning of WWII the USMC was looking into fighting knives and adopted a version of the classic Fairbairn–Sykes fighting knife. The Marines quickly realized that while the Fairbairn-Sykes was indeed a great fighting knife it couldn’t hold up to other uses Marines had for knives. It wasn’t good at clearing brush, opening cans, or crushing skulls. The Marines began to look into alternative knife designs. Enter the KA-BAR. While the KA-BAR wasn’t as good as of a fighting knife there wasn’t brush it couldn’t clear or a can that could resist its sturdy blade. I have my grandfathers KA-BAR from WWII and when I showed it to someone recently they treated it like a museum piece. Big mistake! If the SHTF tomorrow it’d be one knife I’d have no qualms about carrying. Even 70 years later I trust that it will do any job I ask it, whether that’s crushing a skull or opening a MRE.
Whatever knife you choose to carry is the most important knife in your arsenal. That reproduction samurai sword that’s above your fireplace won’t do shit at 2am in a dark alley. Honestly, it probably won’t do shit at anytime other than look cool. Don’t waste your money on junk blades.