Every product is carefully selected by our editors. If you buy from a link, we may earn a commission.

The Best EDC Folding Knives

Spanning a range of materials, sizes and prices.

The-Best-EDC-Folding-Knives-gear-patrol-full-lead
Courtesy

Editor’s Note: This list has been updated with new picks for 2017. Our previous picks can be found on page two.

A good folding knife, first and foremost, needs to be functional. It needs to handle what you throw at it, day in and day out, unscathed. But beyond functionality, a truly great folding knife has the looks to back up its function. If you’re going to invest in a knife, it should be one that you’re proud to show off — whether you’re opening boxes or slicing pieces of artisanal cheese. It doesn’t need to cost four figures (though it can), and great knives can be had at just about any budget.

Additional contribution by Amos Kwon, AJ Powell and Michael Finn.

Opinel Slim No. 8

Each Opinel has been crafted in France since 1890. In fact, the word Opinel was added to the French dictionary and is synonymous with “folding knife.” The Slim No. 8 is more ergonomic than the standard No. 8, though the blade is also more flexible. It’s great for light duty, everyday tasks like opening boxes.

Blade Length: 3.25 inches
Blade Material: stainless steel
Handle Material: olive wood
Weight: ~1 ounce

Buy Now: $34

Case Abalone Tribal Lock Knife

Case Knives has been a fixture of American manufacturing since 1889 — three years after Coca Cola’s founding. Case makes hundreds of knives for all sorts of applications. The Tribal Lock is a standout in the EDC category for its simple construction, pocketable size, and mesmerizingly beautiful handle made of an abalone shell, an alien-looking mollusk species.

Blade Length: 4.1 inches
Blade Material: stainless steel
Handle Material: abalone
Weight: 3.3 ounces

Buy Now: $219

Zero Tolerance 0055

Designed with the help of Gus T. Cecchini, the mad genius behind GTC Knives, the 0055 is a head-turning folder with lines seemingly inspired by some kind of futuristic concept car. Its unique sleekness is owed partly to Cecchini’s signature SLT hidden flipper tab, which stays tucked away when not in use.

Blade Length: 3.75 inches
Blade Material: stone-washed steel
Handle Material: titanium
Weight: 5 ounces

Buy Now: $275

CRKT Gusset Black

Here’s another impressive folder designed by a mad genius boutique knife maker. Ken Onion, a Hawaiian knife maker credited as the creator of the first commercially successful assisted-opening mechanism, came up with the Gusset while riding in a dune buggy. It is exceptionally strong, thanks to the open architecture, and exceptionally light for the same reason.

Blade Length: 3.5 inches
Blade Material: black oxide stainless steel
Handle Material: stainless steel
Weight: 4 ounces

Buy Now: $60

Benchmade Presidio II Family

Benchmade is well known for its tactical combat knives (try not to spit out your coffee when you see the Infidel). The newest Presidio II, one of Benchmade’s most popular combat knives, has been upgraded to be lighter and stronger than ever before. It’s best suited for those who require all-around backcountry performance but prefer a tactical aesthetic.

Blade Length: 3.7 inches
Blade Material: stainless steel
Handle Material: aluminum
Weight: 6.1 ounces

Buy Now: $205

Bear & Son Cutlery MC-100-CB2-LD

Bear & Son Cutlery is a relatively under-the-radar company that deserves your attention. Case in point: the MC-100-CB2-LD. The whole knife — blade, handle, locking mechanism and all — is made entirely in Bear & Son’s shop in Jacksonville, Alabama. The cocobolo wood and Damascus steel lend it a very special look and feel.

Blade Length: ~4 inches
Blade Material: Damascus steel
Handle Material: cocobolo wood
Weight: 4.5 ounces

Buy Now: $277

Gerber US-ASSIST S30V

Gerber’s “smoothest, most consistent deployment to date,” according to the brand; the ball bearing system is Gerber’s most refined assisted-opening system ever, providing a buttery-smooth opening every time. It has thumb studs on both sides, which will appeal to ambidextrous knife users. And, like most of Gerber’s products, the knife is entirely designed and assembled in Portland, Oregon.

Blade Length: 3 inches
Blade Material: stone-washed steel
Handle Material: glass-filled nylon
Weight: 3.9 ounces

Buy Now: $119

Spyderco Domino

The Domino takes design cues from knives by the late Kit Carson, one of the greatest knife makers of the 21st century. It is a modern folder with an integrated high-strength Reeve Integral Lock, built to get the job done for generations.

Blade Length: 3.1 inches
Blade Material: stainless steel
Handle Material: carbon fiber laminate, titanium
Weight: 4.2 ounces

Buy Now: $340

SOG Aegis Mini

If you’re looking for a reliable, durable, high-performance everyday carry knife, the SOG Aegis Mini is tough to beat. The clip point is a great all-around design, and the belly on the blade makes it great for everyday use. The deployment is fast and smooth thanks to the high-tension coil springs — a useful trait in any situation.

Blade Length: 3 inches
Blade Material: AUS-8
Blade Type: clip point
Handle Material: Glass Reinforced Nylon
Weight: 2 ounces

Buy Now: $90

Kershaw Launch 3

The Launch 3 features a fully automatic plunge-lock design for fast deployment. A bit of jimping on the spine of the blade provides plenty of grip regardless of conditions. The aesthetic of the knife is also a huge plus; the handle is sleek and minimalist, with just enough of a tactical appearance to keep things serious.

Blade Length: 3.4 inches
Blade Material: CPM154, DLC coating
Blade Type: drop point
Handle Material: Anodized aluminum
Weight: 3.4 ounces

Buy Now: $100

Gerber Edict

 

Based in Portland, Oregon, Gerber is known for crafting high-quality knives at affordable price points. The Edict is new for 2016 and is made in the USA. Thumb studs on either side of the blade make it easy to open with one hand and the lock-back locking system keeps the blade sturdy for heavy-duty jobs.

Blade Length: 3.6 inches
Blade Material: 154CM
Blade Type: tant?
Handle Material: rubber over-molded glass-filled nylon
Weight: 3.6 ounces

Buy Now: $80

CRKT M16-03S Classic

The M16 is a classic CRKT knife designed by none other than Kit Carson. Carson was a legendary CRKT knife designer who recently passed away. To commemorate him, CRKT brought back the iconic M16. The knife has a liner lock design with an added pin lock that can be engaged by your index finger. This keeps the knife in a locked position for safety and security.

Blade Length: 3.46 inches
Blade Material: AUS-8
Blade Type: spear point
Handle Material: 6061 Aluminum
Weight: 3.3 ounces

Buy Now: $90

SOG Aegis Mini

If you’re looking for a reliable, durable, high-performance everyday carry knife, the SOG Aegis Mini is tough to beat. The clip point is a great all-around design, and the belly on the blade makes it great for everyday use. The deployment is fast and smooth thanks to the high-tension coil springs — a useful trait in any situation.

Blade Length: 3 inches
Blade Material: AUS-8
Blade Type: clip point
Handle Material: glass-reinforced nylon
Weight: 2 ounces

Buy Now: $90

Kershaw Launch 3

The Launch 3 features a fully automatic plunge lock design for fast deployment. A bit of jimping on the spine of the blade provides plenty of grip regardless of conditions. The aesthetic of the knife is also a huge plus; the handle is sleek and minimalist, with just enough of a tactical appearance to keep things serious.

Blade Length: 3.4 inches
Blade Material: CPM154, DLC coating
Blade Type: drop point
Handle Material: anodized aluminum
Weight: 3.4 ounces

Buy Now: $100

Benchmade APB Assist Family

The Benchmade APB Assist is a locking system that debuted last year. It is an assisted opening system (though it also comes in an unassisted version) that has two buttons on either side of the handle. When pressed simultaneously, the blade can be folded back into the closed position. It also has one of the best locking mechanisms out of any knife we’ve used. It’s solid and doesn’t budge at all.

Blade Length: 3.6 inches
Blade Material: 154CM
Blade Type: drop point
Handle Material: G10
Weight: 5.46 ounces

Buy Now: $210

Zero Tolerance 0456

The 0456 is a collaboration between ZT and Dmitry Sinkevich. Sinkevich is a Russian knife maker who makes everything from knives with bone handles to balisong knives. This example is a titanium-handled, steel-blade knife that has a unique blade shape. It also has a KVT ball-bearing opening system that’s ultra smooth and fairly low maintenance.

Blade Length: 3.25 inches
Blade Material: CTS-204P, two-tone finish
Blade Type: sheep’s foot
Handle Material: titanium, stone-washed & satin finish
Weight: 6.6 ounces

Buy Now: $300

Spyderco Military Titanium C36TI

The Spyderco Military Titanium follows the same design as the regular Spyderco Military but trades the G10 handle for a titanium version. The titanium is lightweight and durable and gives the knife a cohesive and seamless look. It features Syperco’s characteristic thumb or finger hole in the blade for easy opening with either your index finger or thumb.

Blade Length: 4 inches
Blade Material: CPM S30V
Handle Material: Titanium
Weight: 5.8 ounces

Buy Now: $400

Rockstead Higo X

The Higo X is the type of knife that you pass on to the next generation. It should be used judiciously, for tasks where your standard EDC feels second rate. The ironwood handle is beautifully finished and is paired with a polished stainless steel blade.

Blade Length: 3.5 inches
Blade Material: ZDP-189 Stainless Steel
Blade Type: drop point
Handle Material: Ironwood
Weight: 4.6 ounces

Buy Now: $1,190

This content is created and maintained by a third party, and imported onto this page to help users provide their email addresses. You may be able to find more information about this and similar content at piano.io
Advertisement - Continue Reading Below
More From Buying Guides