Everyday carry (EDC) folding knives are all the rage these days. They’re the pinnacle of convenience—a compact tool that you can carry with you everywhere you go. They’re perfect for when you need them in a pinch, and you can also find countless uses for them. But how do you go about choosing the right one?

These knives boast different features that usually cater to safety or effectiveness. It all depends on what you want to prioritize. Does safety come first for you, or do you want a tool that can expertly cut a wide variety of materials? Why not both? Let’s dive into the “magic” of this ordinary little tool and what to consider when purchasing one. 

What Is an EDC Folding Knife?

As mentioned, an EDC folding knife is part of a category of gear known as “Everyday Carry.” Other everyday carry items include phones, watches, flashlights, multi-tools, and more. As you can tell by the name, the everyday carry folding knife folds up so it can fit in your pocket. For example, these EDC folding knives are lightweight and compact, making them easy to use and transport. 

EDC folding knives are considered to be more “generalist” in terms of tools. These are what you use to cut materials you’d encounter during your day-to-day, such as tape, clamshell packaging, twine, paper, and cardboard.  

Some folding knife handles are made of stainless steel, aluminum, titanium, carbon fiber, and fiberglass laminate. As for EDC knife blades, most are composed of carbon steel, zirconium oxide, stainless steel, alloy steel, and tool steel. 

What Should You Consider When Choosing One?

Safe Yet Effective Blade

Safety should always take precedence when you’re using a knife, regardless of type. While some folks may believe that “safe” means “ineffective” or “dull,” you can find an EDC folding knife with a blade that’s both safe and effective. You can have the best of both worlds. 

As you’re shopping for that perfect everyday carry knife, consider one with a zirconium oxide blade. Zirconium oxide is an advanced ceramic that’s harder than traditional steel, and it also holds an edge for significantly longer than other blade materials. It’s safe to the touch and can cut a myriad of materials with ease. 

In addition, look for knives with zirconium oxide blades that are thicker than standard ceramic blades. This way, you won’t have to worry about breakage, dullness, or rusting. You won’t have to change blades as frequently since zirconium oxide blades are built for longevity. That’s more money in your pocket. 

Durable Handle 

Durability is important, especially for your EDC folding knife handle. You want a handle that’s easy to hold yet sturdy. You want a feature that’s made to last. Think about purchasing an everyday carry knife with a handle that’s composed of heat-treated, high-grade steel. 

A quality steel handle will also fit perfectly in your pocket. The last thing you want is a material that’s too bulky, cumbersome, and uncomfortable against your body. With a sleek, lightweight yet strong steel handle, you’ll have a tool that’ll stand the test of time. 

Spring-Assist Deployment With Locking Liner

With EDC folding knives, convenience is just as crucial as safety. That’s why you should buy one with spring-assist deployment and a locking liner. A locking liner (or liner locks) helps you open and close your knife with one hand without repositioning said knife in your hand. No clumsy fumbling or awkward readjusting, which can lead to cuts and lacerations. In this case, convenience and safety go hand-in-hand. 

Compatible With Multiple Blades 

Sometimes one size doesn’t fit all. Well, in this case, one blade type may not work for every task. Consider investing in an EDC folding knife that’s compatible with multiple blade types. For example, rounded-tip blades may be great for paper, but you need a pointed-tip blade for puncturing flexible plastic. 

This opens up the realm of possibilities in terms of what you can cut, while giving you blades that are particularly suited for making certain cuts. 

No-Tool Blade Changes 

What’s more irritating than changing blades? Changing blades with an extra tool. Thankfully, you can cut out the middleman with certain EDC folding knives. Buy an everyday carry knife that doesn’t require a tool to change blades. This minimizes your risk of injuries and helps decrease downtime from not working. Let your workflow flow!

Ambidextrous Design

It’s difficult to find the right knife if you’re left-handed. Instead of attempting to maneuver a tool that doesn’t suit you, purchase an everyday carry knife that’s ambidextrous by design. With some of these, all it takes is a simple switch of the blade orientation to make it suited for left-handed use. 

The EDC Knife for You

EDC folding knives can be a great asset for an array of tasks. As long as you keep the above features in mind while you’re on the hunt for one, you’ll get a quality tool to add to your everyday carry arsenal that’ll be all the bang for your buck.