There are so many good folding knives available today that it is, quite frankly, difficult to pick a ‘bad’ one. Stop by your local knife shop or web retailer and you’re sure to find a blade that will serve you well. If you need some food for thought, below are some of the criteria I use when selecting knives for EDC.
1. Size: I generally prefer folders with blades of 3 1/2″ to 4″ long and closed lengths in the 4″ to 4 1/2″ range. For me, knives in this range are big enough for most tasks while still small enough for comfortable pocket carry.
2. Weight: I like lightweight knives. With today’s materials like titanium liners and FRN or G10 scales it’s easy to find a full-size sturdy folder in the 3 to 4 oz range. You’ll appreciate a lighter knife day in and day out.
3. Sturdy Lock: the web knife forums are full of discussion on the merits of the various lock designs. In my experience, most manufacturers offer good, sturdy locks on their folders these days. If in doubt about a specific model, search the knife forums and you’ll find more info than you want!
4. Blade Steel: I’m not a ‘steel snob’ but I have come to appreciate the modern steels like S30V, D2, 154CM, VG10, etc for their edge holding abilities. They can be harder to sharpen though.
5. Design and Ergo’s: How does the knife feel in your hand and in your pocket? Can you easily open and close it? Does it lend itself to one-handed opening and closing? Can you work it with either hand?
6. Blade Shape: I’m not a huge fan of tanto or semi-tanto blades, but I enjoy using a variety of other blade shapes depending on the task at hand. Try different types and see what you like best.
7. Pocket Clip: It’s gotta have a pocket clip to be in my EDC rotation!
8. Price: I have knives that I use for EDC that range in price from $30 to more than $250 and it would be easy to spend 2-3 times that much. There are some really nice offerings out there in the $100 range from all the manufacturers.
9. Assisted Opening: I find myself preferring AO knives more and more these days for their ease and speed of deployment.
So these are the criteria I use when selecting a new folder for my EDC rotation. Your criteria will certainly vary based on your preferences and needs.
The photo below has a number of my EDC knives. From L-R: Benchmade 913 in D2, benchmade 890, Kershaw Zing, Kershaw Blur tanto, Buck 889 and a Spyderco Delica.