The everyday carry knife is something to carefully consider. While everyday carry sounds casual, the reality is that you are choosing a knife that you use daily so you want it to be something that is durable, affordable, and comfortable to use. Just like people, knives come in all shapes and sizes.
Here are 11 affordable every day carry knives worth considering.
- 2.875 blade length
- 8Cr14MoV, 56-59 HRC Stainless Steel drop point blade
- 2.4 oz weight
- G-10 handle
- Thumb stud blade for easy and smooth opening
- Limited Lifetime Warranty. This company really stands behind their products, but I doubt you ever have to contact them.
We are big fans of CRKT in the Biggers’ household. Every knife we have bought from CRKT has been exceptional quality. My husband, Matthew, has been carrying the same CRKT knife for 18 years! Occasionally he would carry something else, but it was always his go-to everyday carry. The Drifter is a basic knife style with some nicer features added in. For everyday carry, it is nice to keep it simple. The stainless steel blade has a Titanium-Nitride finish. The Drifter has a locking liner, so your knife stays solid when doing tasks and you stay safe. Getting cut out in the bush is serious!
- 3″ Tanto Blade
- 8Cr13MoV stainless steel with black oxide finish
- Black glass nylon scale handle for a sure grip and durability
- One-handed flipper style opening
- 3.9 oz weight
The Kershaw has a wide tanto blade, making it a little heavier than some knives. At the same time, a tanto is known for allowing you to put a lot of force on the tip to punch through harder things with more ease. A little extra weight can be a good thing. An extra ounce or so is not the end of the world. Two steel plates make up the locking mechanism, so the blade doesn’t suddenly close. For those that want to try out a tanto, this is a budget-priced yet quality knife to throw in a bag or use for everyday tasks around home and office.
- 3.1″ blade length
- German 440A steel blade hardened to 55-57 on the Rockwell Scale
- 4.2 oz weight
- At 7.5″ overall length when opened, this is longer than some EDC knives.
This knife reminds me of the little lockback I used to wear on some yarn around my neck when I was a little girl running the banks of the Skagit River in Washington State. This is, of course, a much nicer and larger version of that knife. I find that some knives you just want because they bring up a great memory.
Puma makes a lot of knives. It is always amazing that all of their lines are made well. When a company makes a lot of different designs, the quality and attention to detail are not always the best, but Puma is one of the exceptions to this rule! A good lockback is a welcome addition to any prepper’s bag or everyday carry. The design is pretty classic, so it is appealing to those of us with a weak spot for old designs and styles that don’t have as much of a tactical look and feel to them.
- 2.9″ blade
- 1.4116 German cutlery steel manufactured in Solingen Germany
- Jacaranda wood scales with nickel silver bolsters
- Overall length of 6.2″
- Weighs just 2.6 oz
First off, $30 for a Puma made from Solingen Germany steel is, well, a steal!
I appreciate a knife with a gut hook and a decent blade for processing birds. I have a knife similar to this model that I have used to gut dozens of chickens in a single day. For those that want a knife that will do the job when adding small game to the menu, this is a knife to consider. Remember that if SHTF or times just get real hard, small game means added protein for the table. This would be a good beginner hunting knife for a teen or older kid that gets out and hunts or wants to do more bushcraft.
- 3″ blade
- 420 HC Steel
- 5.6 oz weight
- Lifetime Warranty
- 4.25″ closed is a nice size for a solid grip
Buck Knives have a solid reputation for quality and attention to detail. This classic lockback will stand the test of time. There is something to be said for just having a basic knife for everyday carry. Those that have the best selling Buck 120 fixed blade knife will probably like this design that has a lot of similarities.
- 3″ blade length
- 4.6 oz weight
- Limited Lifetime Warranty
- 440 Stainless Steel
- G-10 Handle
I still like Gerber knives. It is important to understand that they have knives in a big price range to capture a larger market. This knife has two tools that can come in really handy. A bottle opener can be used to help pry and having a Philips, and flat head screwdriver is very nice indeed. I cannot tell you how many times I have been caught without a darn screwdriver when I should have been able to get to one fast! The screwdriver is also a small file.
A serrated edge and smooth tip offer versatility when performing tasks. The dual thumb studs allow for one-handed opening for everyone. G-10 is a good handle material for standing up to a variety of conditions with no fear of warping or water damage. This knife would be good for those that bushcraft in corrosive environments like near the ocean.
- 3.4″ blade
- Aluminum handle
- One-handed opening
- Lock back for safety
- Hardcased Black Stainless Steel Blade, 9Cr18MoV steel
SOG adds some nice touches to this tactical and basic EDC knife. This knife has a built-in glass breaker and a cord cutter. I always imagined this would be a good knife for those that are on the road a lot or using enclosed tractors and other equipment. There is also a wire stripper function which could be very handy. This is a moderately priced knife that is made to handle any weather conditions. The serrated blade and sharp point help with completing a variety of tasks out in the bush.
Anyone that has ever read a knife article I have written has heard my praise of the Boker. This is a company that has been around forever. Any knife person will know what you are talking about when you mention Boker. Of course all that comes at a price. At around $86, this knife is a bigger investment than a lot on our list. On the other hand, the importance of a good tool that won’t break down when you need it the most, cannot be stressed enough. This knife is also exceptionally lightweight for the size, coming in at a mere 2.1 oz.
This lightweight tanto blade CRKT knife is good for those that want something with a good sized blade but not bulky. The serration on the lower part of the blade is enough to cut through some thick cords while still allowing a lot of the blade length to be smooth for other tasks. I will always love the attention to detail that is obvious in all CRKT knives.
Cold Steel gets points for having such an ergonomic handle. For those that like a more substantial nonslip grip, the Recon 1 may be the knife you have been looking for all this time. Cold Steel has a big following of loyal customers. The blade of the knife is wider than some blades. This is a big everyday carry knife at 9.5″ overall length when opened. If you are a person with bigger hands that is having a hard time finding an EDC knife you are comfortable with.
- 3.4″ blade
- 7.9″ overall length
- 3.9 oz weight
- Multi-purpose EDC knife
- Made in the USA
- Anodized aluminum handle
The partial serration helps when you need to saw through things like rope and other fibrous materials. For the size of blade you get and the substantial handle size, this knife is lightweight; this is partially due to the aluminum handle. At just under $70 this is a moderately priced knife that is actually still made in the USA.
The special features of this knife include a glass breaker and a SpeedSafe Assisted Opening system so you can get your blade out fast. Inserts on the handles are designed to help the knife perform well under slick conditions.
Some of the knives in my post may not be legal in your area. It is your responsibility to check local laws. People usually only get in trouble for knives when they are already in trouble for something else, or they get caught at school.
Price Vs. Quality
There are so many knives out there. You don’t have to pay a lot of money to get quality. When choosing an EDC knife don’t get the cheapest thing you can find but don’t feel that you have to spend $100 to get a good knife. There are plenty of knives on this list that are under $50.
What is your favorite knife for everyday use? Have you had a positive or negative experience with any of the knives I listed in this post?
Samantha Biggers can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.