Every Day Carry – “EDC” – has expanded into it’s own sub-industry in recent years, blossoming from just “keys-phone-gun-wallet” to medical gear, flashlights and of course knives. While a trip through Instagram may have you believing that without a Rolex and a fancy inlaid mother of pearl auto opener you aren’t worthy to leave the house, us mere mortals must work within our budgets IRL. So let’s take a look at some EDC knives that are both functional and affordable.
The Best Budget Blades: EDC Knives For Gun Carriers
All of these TFB EDC Knives we’re selected based on the following characteristics:
- Folding or Assisted Opening with a lock
- $50 maximum street price
- TFB Staff recommendations
At this price range, I thought pure EDC functionality trumps feature set and blade material debates. While all of the below knives are attractive in their own way, their usability far outweighs their aesthetic appeal. And for $20-$50, if you lose one of these EDC knives, you aren’t going to waste much time lamenting over your buried blade.
I predict there will be three categories of people who form up after reading this analysis:
- ”Buy Once, Cry Once” – Spend as much as you can afford on a quality knife that will last forever.
- ”These are perfect, I carry the ACME brand listed here.” – Thanks for validating my purchase.
- ”I buy The $5.99 Home Depot knives.” – These are too expensive.
And honestly, you are all right. But typical budget EDC knives need to perform and be affordable to a wide swath of gun carriers. Please let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.
One of the most popular of Kershaw knife series, the Leek, has a slim, versatile, modified drop-point blade with good slicing capabilities. The high performing blade steels sharpen to a razor edge and hold the edge for a extended use. The three-inch blade is perfect for most tasks and the slim tip allows the knife to excel at piercing and detail work. SpeedSafe Assisted Opening allows for easy blade deployment with the use of a simple pull back on the ambidextrous flipper. The variety of colors are fade-resistant, scratch-resistant and permanently bonded to the anodized aluminum handle.
American custom and premier knifemaker and designer, Ken Onion, invented and pioneered the SpeedSafe Assisted Opening mechanism for many of Kershaw’s top-selling knives. The youngest ever inductee into the Blade Magazine’s Hall of Fame, Onion creates award winning and innovative knives and technologies available to knife enthusiasts, collectors and everyday knife users.
The Skyline is a stylish, lightweight, slim and comfortable to carry pocket knife from Kershaw. The manual opening Skyline is a perfect sized EDC for everything from opening packages to slicing snacks. The Skyline’s versatile drop-point blade offers a sharp tip and the 3.1-inch high-performance Sandvik 14C28N stainless steel blade comes razor sharp and offers high wear and corrosion resistance. The profile of the Skyline is extra thin and it weighs in at just over two ounces providing the advantage of discrete carry. The textured handle’s G-10 scales offer a secure grip. The handle design, with its deep index-finger contour, further enhances the Skyline’s safe grip. The Skyline opens manually with a built-in flipper. Just pull back on the flipper and add a wrist roll for a quick, left or right handed open. A liner lock keeps the blade locked open for secure use. The Skyline is engineered and built by skilled knifemakers in Tualatin, Oregon, and is built to last a lifetime.
Being prepared for anything requires equal parts mental readiness and having the right tools at your disposal. The Swagger AO Knife is an everyday tactical blade to help complete the readiness equation. Like a favorite hand tool, the Swagger offers ease of use, stout construction and comfortable carry with a 3.25-inch blade and assisted opening convenience.
Smooth, One-Handed Opening
A knife is only as good as it is easy to open, and Gerber’s proven Assisted Opening 2.0 technology delivers silky-smooth one-handed deployment, paired with a reliable plunge lock to keep the blade fixed where it belongs. Simply engage the thumb stud, and the mechanism works its magic to deploy the blade when you need it, be it to cut through a rope or respond to a critical situation.
Trust the SOG Twitch II to fit into any pocket, pack or purse. SOG, based in Seattle, WA, created this knife for people who want a beautiful knife that fits into everyday life.
- 2.65” AUS-8 STAINLESS STEEL BLADE: At 3.55” in closed length, the SOG Twitch II keeps you ready for anything, anywhere
- ONE-HAND OPEN + LOCKBACK: SOG Assisted Tech powers the Twitch II open fast; the Lockback keeps it secure and unlocks easy
- HARD-ANODIZED ALUMINUM HANDLE: A beautiful, high-quality blade you can pass down to the next generation
- FLICK THE “KICK”: Open the Twitch II with a single finger; an artfully crafted mechanism anyone can master with ease
Kershaw Cryo Folding Knife – $29.99
A Rick Hinderer knife, the Cryo series of knives are results of a collaboration between Hinderer and the designers of Kershaw. Skillfully crafted and beautifully designed, the Cryo is built of pure stainless steel coated in titanium carbo-nitride for a no-fuss, no frills, sleek knife. The Cryo is designed with EMTs, police officers and first responders in mind. A sturdy knife that is aesthetically pleasing and feels great in the hand, the Cryo offers users a secure blade lockup using a tough frame lock and SpeedSafe Assisted Opening accessed using either a flipper or thumbstud.
Signature to a classic Hinderer design, Rick Hinderer uses a lockbar stabilizer in many of his designs. Hinderer claims fame over his Hinderer-style filler tabs among many other award-winning technologies and collaborations in Kershaw’s knife lines. Famous for the Kershaw Cryo, Hinderer designs unique and powerful knives built tough and built to last.
It’s a pistol of a knife: it obliterates tasks. This Lucas Burnley-designed everyday carry knife is compact in stature but packs some heat in the features department. It comes with a frame lock for safety, and friction grooves on the drop-point blade for a secure grip. Be careful where you point it.
The Squid is an everyday carry folding knife from designer Lucas Burnley of Albuquerque, New Mexico. Based on the concept of a compact pistol, it’s small in size and big on ability. Don’t let the 2.25” blade fool you; this is a full-on, tactically inspired knife that’s ready to take on your largest cutting challenges. By keeping it wide at nearly one inch and using the drop-point style, Burnley was able to give the blade a good balance of tip strength and point geometry for utility tasks, packing all the functionality of a full-size tactical folder, into an easy to carry, compact design.
Just like any good gun, you want something that’ll keep you safe. That’s why the Squid comes with an internal frame lock and deep pocket clip for a secure carry. When you’re ready for this knife to see some action, use the thumb stud to deploy the blade. So go ahead and bring this sidearm with you wherever you go. Just remember, it’s loaded.
Our classic folding knife is a design icon. Simple and beautiful, sharp and durable, the No. 8 is an international bestseller. Tuck it into your pocket for a picnic. Keep it in your desk for workday lunches. Carve into charcuterie, cheese, or a crisp apple, or whittle a stick for campfire s’mores. With an easy-to-maintain stainless steel blade, this knife is ready for wherever your adventures might take you. Opinel knives are designed to stand the test of time; some carry Opinel knives handed down from parents and grandparents. Follow a few simple instructions to ensure your knife lasts for years to come.
Smith and Wesson focuses on creating knives that are ready for all situations. Whether you are a knife collector, survivalist or a first responder, you can trust that your S&W knife will be the tool you can rely on in any situation.
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