The knife is one of the simplest tools in history, and no technological innovation ever has (or likely ever will) make it obsolete. This is why tons of people – from paramedics to computer programmers – consider a good knife to be an integral part of their EDC (every day carry) gear. If you’re pondering whether or not you should do the same, here are some sensible arguments for owning an EDC knife.
There are a host of different situations you can find yourself in where a knife would be handy, if not positively life-saving. From cutting fruit to opening stubborn packages, there are tons of tasks that knives make easier. Besides taking care of whatever cutting jobs you run into, knives can also pull double duty as capable tools for a number of other needs.
Knives are valuable for first aid. You don’t need to conjure up an extreme scenario involving impromptu surgery to justify carrying a knife, either. With a good knife, you’re equipped to cut away clothes, make tourniquets, and free other people from obstructions (e.g. car windows, seat belts) that might be preventing them from getting treatment.
From a survival standpoint, having a trustworthy knife is essential. It can mean the difference between making a fire and freezing to death by allowing you to cut dry wood, shave tinder, and even strike sparks. A good blade will also be invaluable in preparing shelter should you need it.
Of course, a knife is also a viable weapon for self-defense. Just make sure you’re trained and prepared to use an EDC knife this way before you pull it out in a threatening situation. Introducing a weapon to a confrontation raises the stakes, so you have to be prepared for whatever happens.
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When it comes to a small, convenient knife you can carry every day, your first thoughts will undoubtedly be of folding knives. Don’t let your imagination hold you back, though! Fixed-blade knives can serve just as well in most everyday applications. In fact, they often do a better job. Regardless of how well-made a folding knife is, it simply cannot be as strong as a fixed blade attached to a full-length tang.
Don’t assume that a fixed-blade knife is going to be bulky or heavy. Once you start looking at the possibilities, you’ll discover plenty of different models that are no larger than heavy folding knives. Just bear in mind that you may need to settle for a slightly shorter blade if you opt for a fixed one.
Knives with fixed blades tend to be a little more tightly-regulated than folding pocket knives. Take a moment to check your local weapons laws before you opt for a fixed-blade EDC knife. You don’t want to pick out a tool that’s going to end up getting you in trouble the next time you meet a police officer!
Thanks to the ever-increasing popularity of tactical equipment and the number of consumers who are investing a lot of thought into their everyday carry gear, there are now a lot of great knives designed expressly for EDC use. In some cases, this means a knife that incorporates lots of additional tools for added functionality. The Swiss Army knife (made by Victorinox) is the classic example here.
Knives that don’t include added tools can often be lighter and more reliable than their multifunctional brethren. You usually get better ergonomics with a dedicated folder, too. Spyderco makes a number of different folding knives that are suitable for everyday carry. The company’s products are generally prized for their durability, simplicity, and low prices.
If you’re convinced that an EDC knife belongs in your pocket, now you just have to pick one out. Decide whether or not you want extra tools along with your blade. Make the choice between fixed and folding knives as described above.
Most importantly, try not to make your final decision without getting a chance to try a potential knife out yourself. Like a lot of small tools, EDC knives are intensely personal. You simply can’t know for certain how a small knife is going to feel in your hands if you’re buying it sight unseen. Shopping in the real world will typically give you better results than online shopping unless you’re absolutely clear about what you’re buying.
Hopefully, this quick look at the advantages of EDC knives has proved to be inspiring. If you’re ready to pick out your first knife – or want to upgrade to a more versatile tool – there’s no time like the present for buying an everyday carry blade.