Best EDC Folding Knives of 2023

When it comes to everyday carry (EDC) items, few tools are as versatile and essential as an EDC folding knife.

Whether you need to open packages, perform light-cutting tasks, or handle emergency situations, a high-quality EDC folding knife is a must-have companion.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll walk you through everything you need to know to choose the best EDC folding knife that suits your needs, outperforming the competition.

Understanding the Importance of a Reliable EDC Folding Knife

Before we dive into the specifics of choosing the best EDC folding knife, let’s first understand why having a reliable one is crucial.

An EDC knife serves as a reliable tool for everyday tasks, offering convenience and practicality in various situations. It is not only an accessory but a functional tool that can make a significant difference in your day-to-day life.

Best EDC Folding Knife Summary

Factors to Consider When Choosing an EDC Folding Knife

Blade Material and Design

The heart of any folding knife is its blade. To ensure superior performance, you must consider the blade material and design. High-quality stainless steel, such as VG-10 or S30V, offers excellent edge retention and corrosion resistance. Additionally, the blade design should be versatile, striking a balance between fine cutting tasks and more robust applications.

Handle Ergonomics and Material

A comfortable grip is vital for extended use and precise control. Look for an EDC folding knife with an ergonomic handle design, providing a secure and comfortable grip. Materials like G-10, titanium, or carbon fiber offer durability without adding unnecessary weight to the knife.

Locking Mechanism

A reliable locking mechanism ensures that the blade stays securely in place during use, preventing accidental closures that could lead to injuries. Popular locking systems include liner locks, frame locks, and axis locks.

Size and Weight

The ideal EDC folding knife strikes a balance between portability and functionality. Consider the size and weight of the knife, making sure it fits comfortably in your pocket or EDC pouch without weighing you down.

Opening Mechanism

Rapid and smooth one-handed deployment is a desirable feature for an EDC folding knife. Knives equipped with thumb studs, flipper tabs, or assisted-opening mechanisms offer quick access to the blade.

Price and Value

While budget is a consideration, focus on the overall value rather than just the price tag. A slightly higher investment in a high-quality EDC folding knife can provide you with a tool that will last for years, delivering exceptional performance and reliability.

Top Picks for the Best EDC Folding Knife

Spyderco Tenacious

As devoted enthusiasts of Spyderco here at The Gear Bunker, we are particularly impressed with the Tenacious, a fantastic performer that falls within the lower end of the budget range. While it shares the 8Cr13MoV steel with the Kershaw Cryo, it possesses a distinct appearance and feel. The leaf-shaped blade arrives incredibly sharp, as we’ve come to expect from Spyderco’s knives in recent times.

Spyderco Tenacious

at Amazon
Prices accurate at time of writing

To provide you with a more personal and detailed experience, I conducted a video review of this impressive knife. The ergonomics are truly top-notch, and it feels like a seamless extension of your hand as you effortlessly tackle your daily tasks. Additionally, we appreciate the versatility of the four-way pocket clip, allowing you to install it either up or down on either side, according to your preference.

Benchmade Griptilian

Benchmade, a highly regarded pocket knife manufacturer hailing from Oregon, USA, is known for producing high-quality and reliable blades. Among their extensive collection, the Griptilian model stands out as the most popular choice, and for a good reason – it is arguably the finest all-around EDC knife available for under $100. Since its original release several years ago, the Griptilian, equipped with the patented Axis lock, has captured the hearts of knife enthusiasts.

Benchmade – Griptilian 550-S30V EDC Knife

at Amazon
Prices accurate at time of writing

Rest assured, this is a top-tier knife that excels in almost every aspect and remarkably comes at a price of less than $100, making it an outstanding bargain. With its 3.4" blade, the standard Griptilian (model 551) is not a small knife, but it still qualifies as an EDC option and impressively weighs just under 3.5 ounces. The 154CM stainless steel blade is flawless, and the Noryl GTX handle, made of sophisticated plastic material, performs exceptionally well, providing an excellent strength-to-weight ratio.

If you find the standard Griptilian a tad too large for your liking, fear not, as Benchmade also offers the Mini Griptilian (model 556). This version is approximately half an inch shorter, weighs around 2.5 ounces, and comes at a slightly lower cost of about $10. For those with a larger budget, Benchmade has recently introduced a higher-spec version of the Griptilian, providing even more choices to cater to your preferences.

No matter which variant you choose, the Griptilian undoubtedly competes strongly as the best EDC knife in terms of value for money, offering unmatched performance and quality at an affordable price.

Spyderco Delica 4

For two decades, the Delica has remained a timeless classic, enduring the test of time. Its key strength lies in its simple and unassuming design, which proves to be highly effective. The size of the Delica is perfectly balanced – compact and lightweight enough for easy carry without becoming a burden, while the blade is sufficiently long to handle various tasks with ease.

Spyderco Delica 4 Lightweight

at Amazon
Prices accurate at time of writing

While the Delica may not be the most visually striking knife or boast innovative features, its enduring popularity and consistent sales year after year stem from its remarkable effectiveness as an everyday carry (EDC) tool. It may not have many bells and whistles, but it gets the job done efficiently, solidifying its reputation as a reliable and practical EDC option.

Spyderco Paramilitary 2

Since 2010, one knife has garnered the interest of knife enthusiasts globally and continues to be an iconic design that sparks discussions among all – the Spyderco Paramilitary 2.

Spyderco Para Military 2 Signature Camo

at Amazon
Prices accurate at time of writing

Spyderco is renowned for crafting exceptional pocket knives, and the Spyderco Paramilitary 2 stands out as one of their finest creations. While it may be slightly more affordable than the 940 Osborne, it can be a bit challenging to find in stock, requiring a bit of patience. Nevertheless, the value it offers is outstanding, as the Paramilitary 2 ticks all the right boxes at only half the price of some so-called ‘premium’ knives.

This knife boasts premium S30V steel, a durable G-10 handle, unmatched ergonomics, and it proudly bears the label ‘Made in the USA.’ The factory edge is incredibly sharp, capable of hair-popping sharpness right out of the box. Its unique compression lock may perplex some, but it performs brilliantly, ensuring there’s no hint of blade play. As expected from Spyderco, the ergonomics are superb, and the overall fit and finish are of exceptional quality. Unlike many other supposed ‘premium’ pocket knives, the Paramilitary 2 is designed for real-world use, catering to those who truly appreciate a reliable knife that excels in various field tasks.

Benchmade Bugout

The moment Benchmade introduced the Bugout, it became an instant sensation. Its appeal is evident as it offers the perfect blend of size and performance while being remarkably lightweight compared to its competitors. Weighing just under two ounces (1.86 to be precise), this knife boasts a 3.25" drop point blade crafted from CPM S30V steel. The ingenious reduction in weight is achieved through a shrunken and lightened axis lock bar, along with ultra-thin grivory handle scales devoid of any liners.

Benchmade Bugout EDC Knife

at Amazon
Prices accurate at time of writing

The Bugout’s design targets weight-conscious hikers who prioritize every gram, making it an ideal companion for their adventures. However, its advantages extend beyond the hiking realm, as its exceptional lightness and slim profile also make it an outstanding everyday carry (EDC) option. The inclusion of a deep carry clip adds to its practicality.

While some individuals express concerns about the handles’ flex, a similar sentiment is often voiced about the lightweight Manix 2, and yet, there is limited evidence of any issues with breakage.

Maintenance Tips for Your EDC Folding Knife

To keep your EDC folding knife in top-notch condition, follow these maintenance tips:

  • Regularly clean the blade and handle to remove dirt and debris.
  • Apply a small amount of lubricant to the pivot and moving parts to ensure smooth operation.
  • Sharpen the blade when needed using a high-quality whetstone or a sharpening system.
  • Check and tighten any loose screws or fittings to maintain the knife’s integrity.


Investing in the best EDC folding knife is a decision that will enhance your everyday life significantly.

By considering essential factors like blade material, handle ergonomics, locking mechanisms, size, and weight, you can make an informed choice that meets your specific needs. Brands like Spyderco and Benchmade offer exceptional models, each with unique features that cater to different preferences. Remember to maintain your knife properly to ensure its longevity and optimal performance.

Now that you’re equipped with this comprehensive guide, you’re ready to make an informed decision and find the perfect EDC folding knife that will undoubtedly outrank the competition in both quality and performance.

*Originally published on The Gear Bunker

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Table of Contents

  • Understanding the Importance of a Reliable EDC Folding Knife
  • Best EDC Folding Knife Summary
  • Factors to Consider When Choosing an EDC Folding Knife
  • Blade Material and Design
  • Handle Ergonomics and Material
  • Locking Mechanism
  • Size and Weight
  • Opening Mechanism
  • Price and Value
  • Top Picks for the Best EDC Folding Knife
  • Spyderco Tenacious
  • Benchmade Griptilian
  • Spyderco Delica 4
  • Spyderco Paramilitary 2
  • Benchmade Bugout
  • Maintenance Tips for Your EDC Folding Knife
  • Conclusion

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