Unlike many other websites that claim to have a former SEAL, Green Beret, firefighter or cop testing every day carry (EDC) knives for them by running through a jungle barefoot while battling three tigers with only their trusty little knife, I won’t make the same claim. And if that’s the kind of knife you’re looking for, may I suggest looking at some of the best camping knives available. That said, I do have an appreciation of pocket knives that are not only well built, but also reliable, and to go further with the theme of this site, somewhat fashionable and minimalist.
Because let’s get real… sure you’ll use your knife in some capacity that will justify its price at some point, most likely on a camping trip or when you’re fixing something up around the house. But for a lot of gentlemen of discerning tastes these days, they also want their EDC knife to look as good as it functions. So with all that in mind, I went scouring the depths of the retail web in search of some the the most beautiful and best-rated EDC knives that should feel right at home in your pocket, but also match your sense of fashion and decor. Here I present to you some of the best pocket knives you’ll find anywhere.
1. Spyderco – Delica 4 Lightweight 7.15″ Signature Folding Knife
One of the things that I like most about this particular knife is that it’s been around for a long time. The Delica line of knives has been produced since 1990, which should tell you something about their quality and popularity. The Delica 4 folding knife is a lightweight, clip-carry (that means it includes a clip with it), one-handed instrument that has a blade fashioned out of VG-10 Stainless Steel. For the uninitiated, you may be wondering what VG-10 stainless steel is. Put simply; it’s a cutlery grade stainless steel made in Japan. The alloy contains 1% Carbon and 15% Chromium, amongst other insane materials.
The VG-10 stainless steel was initially designed for the Japanese chef market but eventually found its way into more casual, sport knives like this. All this to say, this is a very high quality, compact EDC knife with some terrific features, including the shape of the blade. And if you’re concerned about the colour of the handle, don’t worry it comes in 7 different colours.
- Full flat ground VG-10 Steel
- Large 13mm opening hole
- Slip-resistant ergonomic handle
- Brand: Spyderco
- Model: Delica 4 Lightweight 7.15″ Signature Folding Knife
- Blade Length: 2.75″
- Overall Length: 7″
- Lock: Back Lock
This sleek and compact folding pocket knife from the Columbia River Knife & Tool company is made of a very nice brushed aluminum two-tone handle and also features a lifetime warranty. The satin finish on the blade makes it easy to clean, and it comes with a patented flipper opening technology. It features one of the slimmest blades on this list if you prefer relatively narrow knife blades on your EDC knife. The defining design feature of this knife that caught y eye is the slightly perforated diamond-shaped holes in the handle along with the “H” shaped polished aluminum that gives this knife a unique look. Discreet, fashionable, and functional, this Crossbones knife is a terrific and versatile every day carry knife for nearly any application.
- Full flat grind blade
- IKBS Ball Bearing Pivot System
- Satin finish on the blade
- Brand: Casio
- Model: DW6900NB-7 G-Shock White
- Case size: 50 mm
3. SOG – Snarl 2.3 Inch Sheepsfoot Blade
You know those movie scenes where the bad guy always does that sneaky pull out a tiny knife out of their tiny little boot pocket or sleeve or some other impossibly tiny space where no pocket knife belongs move and then proceeds to cut the good guy? This is probably the type of knife you’ve been seeing. Designed as an ultra-stealthy blade, this satin-polished stainless steel knife is extremely compact and can be carried on your boot, belt with its clip-equipped hard-moulded sheath, or even around the neck with the included chain. It’s great in the hand as a capable and compact utility knife that you can have on your in almost any situation.
- 2.3″ Satin-polished sheepsfoot blade (it’s called that cause its shaped like a sheep’s foot)
- 100% stainless steel blade
- Snap-fit hard-molded sheath and chain
- Brand: SOG
- Model: Sheepsfoot Blade
- Overall length: 4.3″
- Blade length: 2.3″
- Weight: 1.9 oz
4. The James Brand – The Duva
Dubbed as “The Modern Gentlemen’s Pocket Knife,” the Duval uses an American-made (is that good or bad in the knife world?) Crucible s35n stainless steel for the blade. So while its origin I’m unaware of whether it bestows any particular advantage, what I have learned is that Crucible S35N Stainless steel is necessarily the best stainless steel for knife making available anywhere in the world. The chemical breakdown of this stainless steel alloy is the following: Iron: 79.1%, Carbon 1.4%… wait, who cares about that technical mumbo jumbo, all that matters is this blade is probably the most hardened knife blade you’ll find anywhere. The chemical engineers and metallurgists behind this alloy have made this steel ultra-tough and chip-resistant, which is to say it makes for a fantastic choice for the Duval Knife to use.
Taking some cues from mid-century design, the knife is a very nice looking combination of retro and modern with a frame-lock design. With a front-flipper opening style, this is an easily handled one-handed knife that combines a beautiful symmetry amongst its slim body.
- Blade shape is a modified sheepsfoot
- Opening style is front-flipper
- Lock type is Frame Lock
- Brand: The James Brand
- Model: The Duval
- Blade Length: 2.6″
- Weight: 2 oz.
- Overall Length: 6.4″
5. Zero Tolerance – 0350 Folding Pocket Knife
This is a knife whose expressed purpose is to be stealthy. That’s why the blade is covered in a non-reflective black Tungsten diamond-like carbon coating. Paired with a black handle, which is moderately scaled, it makes for a very sleek but aggressive-looking knife. Made from S30V steel, which is a hardened and corrosion-resistant steel developed by Crucible Industries. I’m going to spare you more of the technical details, you can see some of those below or by clicking through to the product page, but suffice to say, this is a very nice pocket knife that will fit nicely amongst your other black EDC gear that you tote around.
- Built in the USA
- Non-reflective tungsten DLC
- Quad-mount picket clip for right or left-handed carry.
- General all-purpose pocket knife.
- Secure locking system
- Brand: Zero Tolerance
- Model: 0350 Folding Pocket Knife
- Blade Length: 3.25″
- Overall Length: 9″
- Weight: 6.2 oz
6. Kizer – Gemini Framelock Pocket Folding Knife
Probably my favourite part of this EDC knife’s design is the blue accents on the ball-bearing pivot, screws and blue anodized pocket clip. It’s this accent colour when framed against the backdrop of the gorgeous silver blade and handle that makes it a feast for the eyes. The handle is made of bead-blasted titanium, and a steel lock bar insert. The full-flat ground blade is a bit stonewashed and is made of CPM-S35VN steel — a genuinely great flipper EDC knife, made of very high-quality materials.
- Flipper knife
- CPM-35VN steel blade
- Stonewash finish
- Blade grind is flat
- Brand: Kizer
- Model: Gemini Framelock Flipper
- Pocket Knife
- Blade Length: 3.125″
- Overall Length: 7.25″
- Blade Thickness: 0.12″
7. WESN – Henry Pocket Knife
This simple EDC knife offers rapid, two-handed deployment and is a very compact knife designed to reflect the design of pocket knives of yesteryear. Designed with a slip-joint, the Henry is available in a gorgeous Titanium finish as shown above or a Cherrywood inlay that looks even better. Using Swedish 14C28N steel, this small pocket knife punches well above its weight. You can read our full review of the the WESN Henry titanium knife here.
- Titanium or Cherrywood inlay
- Uses Sandvik 14C28N steel
- Spear point blade shape
- Lanyard hole
- Brand: WESN
- Model: HENRY Titanium
- Blade Length: 2.35″
- Overall Length: 5.35″
- Weight: 1.6 oz
8. Civilware – Clipper Folding Knife
From a minimalist design perspective, there is one thing that would make this knife perfect. The removal of the company’s logo. But even with that minor transgression, this is a sharp-looking knife. Minimalistic, clean lines along with the choice of fine materials, and excellent finish on all the elements of the knife, including the screws, lock and even pocket clip, make for an outstanding design.
- Frame lock
- Full titanium handle makes this a very lightweight knife
- Slim profile
- Brand: Civilware
- Model: Clipper Folding Knife
- Blade Length: 3″
- Overall Length: 6.75″
- Weight: 4.15 oz.
9. Cold Steel – Recon 1 Tactical Knife
This knife, in addition to being sexy looking, is rather popular with military, law enforcement and fire and rescue crews. At least that’s what the manufacturer claims. Sharp as a scalpel and tough as a tank, this tactical folding knife has been over-engineered on purpose. With a black coated finish, the blade has three significant advantages, including rust resistance, elimination of glare and light reflections and coated with a lubricant, which causes the blade to slip through even the toughest of materials. An incredibly sharp knife with incredibly sharp looks.
- S35VN Alloy Blade with DLC Coating
- Ambidextrous Pocket / Belt Clip
- Tough PTFE Finish resists rust
- Handle’s G-10 laminate scales contoured and scalloped for superior non-slip grip
- Brand: Cold Steel
- Model: Recon 1 Tactical Knife
- Blade Length: 4″
- Overall length: 9.375″
- Weight: 5.3 oz.
10. QuietCarry – Bandit Titanium Keychain Knife
You usually don’t think of pocket-knives as being travel friendly, but in the case of the Bandit Titanium Keychain Knife, we can easily throw it into that category. Why? Cause it’s primarily considered a micro-knife. With a size that is no larger than a standard house key, I’d almost liken this to an Exacto knife, except that it’s gorgeously made and tough as nails. Designed as a super-handy, super accessible knife, the Bandit is a distinct every-day-carry item that comes in three or four finishes. Attach it to your keychain, zipper or necklace to cut through life’s daily tasks.
- Secure grip
- Lock-back design
- Blade Type: Clip point
- 416 Stainless Steel Blade
- Blade Grind: Hollow
- Brand: Quiet Carry
- Model: Bandit Titanium Keychain Knife
- Blade Length: 1.2″
- Full Length: 3″
- Weight: 0.7 oz
11. Off-Grid Knives – Original Fat Boy Utility Folding Knife
Another very small, and very every-day-carry friendly knife, the Fat Boy utility folding knife is made out of Japanese AUS8 steel. This means the blade is imbued with relatively low carbon content, meaning it resists rust quite well and is easy to sharpen. One of the disadvantages, however, of low-carbon blades is that they will become dull a bit faster than their high-carbon content cousin blades. That said, the button lock-release on this small knife along with all of its other design flourishes makes for an attractive looking knife.
- Upper-mid-range Japanese AUS8 Blade Steel
- Button lock release
- Comfortable for hands of all sizes.
- Brand: Off-Grid Knives
- Model: Original Fat Boy Utility Folding Knife
- Blade Length: 2.24″
- Weight: 5.1 oz
12. James – The Wayland Pocket Knife
A single clip-point-bladed knife in a slim, and modern form is what the Wayland EDC pocket knife presents. But it’s not just that. It’s extremely reminiscent in shape and form to what you could see as the epitome of the American folding knife. A classic, yet modern interpretation of ideal EDC tool. With an overall length of 6.9″ and a blade length of 3.0″, it truly is a beautiful pocket knife you can be proud of just tossing on the table with your other EDC gear.
- Sheepsfoot blade shape
- Three finishes
- Non-locking slip joint
- Brand: The James Brand
- Model: The Wayland
- Blade Length: 3.0″
- Overall Length: 6.9″
- Weight: 2.8 oz
13. Benchmade – Griptilian 551 Knife
Not only is this a very high-quality knife, at a reasonably affordable price, it also comes in a variety of choices for both the blade and handle. That means you can choose from four different handle colours as well as choosing either a serrated or plain edge and also choosing between a satin or coated finish. With a lifetime guarantee, this Benchmade pocket knife is intended for everyday outdoor or tactical use, comes with a standard lanyard hole and a nice reversible clip. Definitely a super sharp, flick-open knife you can depend on.
- 154CM Stainless Steel Blade
- Manual Opening blade
- Brand: Benchmade
- Model: Griptilian 551 Knife
- Blade Length: 3.45″
- Overall Length: 8.07″
- Blade Thickness: 0.115″
- Weight: 3.88 oz
14. Chris Reeve Knives – Sebenza 31 Plain
The price of this pocket knife is not for the faint of heart. But it comes from one of American’s finest, albeit lesser known knife brands. The Sebenza 31 is made with a ceramic ball interface and offers a warm “click” when opened, made possible by aerospace tolerances. Available in two sizes, small or large, this knife can be configured to be in the right or left-hand orientation. Additionally the stonewashed drop point blade is made from CPM S35VN steel encased in sandblasted titanium handles.
- Large or small
- Reeve integral lock with ceramic ball interface
- Off-set clip design
- Brand: Chris Reeve Knives
- Model: Sebenza 31 Plain
- Blade Length: 3.61″
- Blade Thickness: 0.12″
- Overall length: 8.4″
15. BOKER – BOP586-BRK Plus Subcom Knife
This unusual and tiny knife exactly for its diminutive size. Lightweight and seemingly entirely made of the same metal the straight edge blade is made of a VG-10 Steel with a titanium frame lock. While made in China, which doesn’t often denote the highest quality of blades around, the price of this micro-knife, or rather one that you could easily slip into a boot or carry on your keychain is very affordable. Makes for a great backup or small EDC knife along with a “cool” factor that is as Tim Cook would say… OFF THE CHARTS!
- Available in a Titanium or Black finish (which is serrated)
- Limited lifetime warranty
- VG-10 Steel Blade with Titanium Frame Lock
- Brand: Boker
- Model: BOP586-BRK Plus Subcom Knife
- Blade Length: 1.875″
- Overall Length: 4.5″
- Weight: 2.3 oz
16. CRKT – Seismic Black with Veff Serrations Pocket Knife
Going from one extreme to the other, this is definitely one of the larger knives I’m going to include on this list and once again it comes from CRKT. This partially serrated EDC knife is finished in a beautiful black that carries another focus. Its G10 handle (G-10) is a type of fiberglass laminate that is terribly good at being both strong but also provides low moisture absorption and a high level of electrical insulation. Additionally the handle’s design is particularly good at providing superior grip in all weather conditions. Let’s add to that the fact that it’s an extremely good looking knife, and although I’m usually not a fan of partially serrated blades, this knife makes even that look good.
- Deadbolt locking mechanism
- Flipper opening
- Veff Serrations provide superior cutting of fibrous materials
- Blade Steel: 1.4116 (German steel)
- Brand: CRKT
- Model: Seismic Black With Veff Serrations Pocket Knife
- Blade Length: 3.97″
- Overall Length: 9.44″
- Blade Thickness: 0.15″
- Weight: 6.3 oz
17. Gerber – Fastball Cleaver Pocket Knife
Just one quick glimpse at this knife tells you that someone with a mind for meticulous design must have envisioned this. With a unique yet somehow still minimalistic flair, this EDC knife is not exactly made out of the same level of steels seen in some of the other more expensive knives on this list. But perhaps what it lacks in that department, it more than makes up for in style and the unique cleaver shaped blade. With a machine anodized aluminum handle, a finger flipper and 20CV steel blade construction, this is one capable EDC pocket knife.
- Blade Material is 20CV steel
- Aluminum handles
- Made in Portland, Oregon
- Finger flipper
- Brand: Gerber
- Model: Fastball Cleaver Pocket Knife
- Overall Length: 7.1″
- Weight: 2.7 oz
18. The James Brand – The Elko EDC Knife
This, for lack of a better word… cute EDC knife from The James Brand, is just the type of knife you might want to hang on your keychain as a backup to your main EDC knife. Why? First, it comes in a huge variety of handle colors and blade finishes. So matching the rest of your outfit as well as the rest of your EDC gear is easy to do. Second, the Elko comes with a very compact, yet capable Sandvik 12C27 stainless steel blade and an included pry bar that doubles as a key ring, bottle opner, screw-driver or pry tool. That’s a whole lotta capability from a very small EDC knife. But of-course without a sense of minimalism and design that tickles my fancy, this knife, despite all that functionality would have never made it on to this list.
- Drop point blade shape
- Slip joint lock type
- 416 Stainless Steel blade
- Brand: The James Brand
- Model: The Elko
- Blade Length: 1.74″
- Overall Length: 4.33″
- Weight: 1.3 oz
19. SOG – Cash Card – Garnet EDC Knife
Another beauty of an EDC knife comes from manufacturer SOG (Studies and Observations Group) who have made this light, simple and compact minimalist tool that can double as a money clip. The thin and well designed handle is the first thing that drew me to this knife because of its judicious use of empty space and matching silver coloured bolts. Small, capable and utterly charming, that’s how we like our EDC knives around these parts.
- Folding Knife
- Linerlock locking mechanism
- 8Cr13MoV Stainless Steel blade
- Handle also made of stainless steel
- Brand: SOG
- Model: Cash Card – Garnet
- Blade Length: 2.75″
- Weight: 2 oz
20. True – Classic Series Gentleman’s Knife
This, once again, is the type of pocket knife that your dad or granddad would be caught wearing. With an obvious nod to classic pocket-knife design, closed, this knife almost resembles what you would expect to see at your local barber shop as a shaving knife. That said, despite its classic shape, the Gentleman’s Knife from True is packed with modern features. Made with slipjoint opening the blade is made from finely crafted and dependable 8CR13MOV stainless steel which provides a superior measure of strength and sharpness. And to top it all off, the handle is made from real rosewood which will feel absolutely terrific in your hand.
- Drop Point blade shape
- Blade steel is 8CR13MOV Stainless Steel
- Non locking slipjoint
- Rosewood and stainless steel handle
- Brand: True
- Model: Gentleman’s Knife
- Blade Length: 2.5″
- Overall Length: 6.125″
21. The James Brand – The Carter Everyday Carry Knife
The people at The James Brand dub this as their most advanced everyday carry knife, and it may well be. But luckily, while outfitting this fantastic pocket knife with all the bells and whistles, they didn’t forget to pay attention to the aesthetics of this drool-worthy knife. Using slide-lock technology, this knife is designed for use with one hand and includes a symmetrical thumb-disc on top of the blade, making it extremely easy for one-handed opening.
- Ambidextreous Slide Lock
- Blade steel is: VG-10 Stainless Steel
- Edge type os Straight Edge
- Brand: The James Brand
- Model: The Carter
- Blade Length: 2.75″
- Overall Length: 6.55″
- Weight: 3.0 oz