EDC: The 25 Best Pocket Knives of 2023
A pocket knife is a manly man’s accessory of choice, and not only for the rugged, outdoorsy guy. Even the city dwellers can get many uses by carrying around their pocket knife everywhere they go. Because you just never know when you need to open that box, or slice up your avocado for lunch, right?
All jokes aside, the pocket knife is not called an EDC, or “every day carry” for no reason. Because it is an essential part of a man’s repertoire, and let’s face it, you never know when it will come in handy.
- Pocket Knives Buying Guide
- 25. Civivi Elementum Pocket Knife
- 24. Case Mini Trapper
- 23. Leatherman Free K2 Multitool
- 22. The James Brand The Elko
- 21. Spyderco Para 3 Lightweight Pocket Knife
- 20. Gerber Sedulo Pocket Knife
- 19. We Knife Banter Pocket Knife
- 18. Victorinox Mountaineer
- 17. CRKT Pilar III
- 16. Gerber Fastball
- 15. CRKT Homefront
- 14. Boker Kwaiken Air
- 13. Buck Knives 110 Folding Hunter Knife
- 12. Benchmade 533 Mini Bugout Pocket Knife
- 11. Boker Plus Panchenko Brass Lancer Pocket Knife
- 10. Nagao Higonokami Friction Folding Knife
- 9. Victorinox Cadet Swiss Army Knife
- 8. Quiet Carry Waypoint G10
- 7. Opinel No.8 Folding Knife
- 6. Kershaw Cryo
- 5. SOG Knives Kiku XR Blackout
- 4. The James Brand Carter
- 3. Benchmade Bugout
- 2. Spyderco Paramilitary 2
- 1. Chris Reeve Sebenza 31
Pocket Knives Buying Guide
Like every item you’re thinking of investing in, the pocket knife is no different. There are a few considerations to take into account, therefore we gathered this small buying guide for you.
Just so were clear, these are guidelines, and they vary from person to person. What works for someone, might be totally different than what someone else needs.
But let’s start with the budget. There are pocket knives that will do the job just fine for under $20, but slime brands go anywhere from a couple of hundred dollars close to the thousand dollar mark. As we mentioned, you know your needs, and you set your budget. A knife that is meant for practical purposes versus a rare collectible will not cost the same.
The functionality of the pocket knife we briefly mentioned in the previous point. What are you planning to use it for? Are you a camping fanatic that spends every free moment outdoors, or you’re into collecting valuable objects? Whatever the purpose, do a little research beforehand, so it will fulfill your needs.
The blade is another important consideration. There are a few different types of blades that have various lengths, shapes, and are made from different materials. They are mostly steel, but the quality of the metal also plays a role in how well the blade will perform. They usually range between 2.5” and 3” long, and they can handle most tasks.
Durability is also a factor to keep in mind. Some pricey options might seem ridiculous at the time, but chances are it will last you a lifetime. You know the saying “you get what you paid for?” certainly applies here. You can get a very affordable pocket knife, but if you need to replace it after only a few short months, that’s something you will have to decide for yourself.
Locking system is super important, especially if you live with curious little people that could hurt themselves. Always make sure it’s properly locked so little hands can’t get it open before you put it away, it will save you a lot of headaches. But even for yourself, it will prevent any unpleasant surprises.
The overall style of the pocket knife has to include all those considerations, but also how it feels in your hand. The material of the handle is also something to think about. You want a material that is easy to grip, lightweight yet durable.
Some places have very strict laws when it comes to the types of knives you’re allowed to carry, so make sure you follow those restrictions. After all, even a pocket knife can be considered a weapon, so tread carefully.
Now that we narrowed down the features you should look for, let’s see which are the 25 best pocket knives of 2023.
An affordable option that carries quite a few remarkable features, this pocket knife makes a great budget find. Featuring canvas micarta handle scales and steel blade make this a lightweight option. It has a manual flipper opening that is super smooth, and the flipper acts as its own guard that protects you from cutting yourself.
This is another affordable pocket knife that offers a lot of bang for your buck. It is also one of the most attractive looking offerings as well, and it comes with a variety of handles options. This one is a double-blade construction, with a clip-point and a spey-point blade. The brand dates back to the 1800s, and their patterns and designs reflect its heritage.
This brand does multi-tools very well. They put an emphasis on pliers, but for this model the blade is the piece de resistance. Made from stainless steel and measuring 3.3 inches, the sheepsfoot blade comes in handy. Their other features are an awl, bottle opener, pry tool, among a few others. You can swivel them open smoothly with one hand.
This tiny knife is not only super cute, but it can get attached to your keychain. Don’t let its small size dissuade you from considering it though. It comes with a Sandvik 12C27 stainless steel blade that is hard, wear resistant, and edge retentive. The keyring loop is strategically designed for twisting screws and opening bottles as well.
Just like their other models, the Para 3 features the brand’s trademark leaf-shape blade made from BD1N stainless steel, and full-flat grind. Weighing in at only 2.4 ounces, it really is one of the lightest models of pocket knives on the market. It sports a compression locking system that has a sturdy build, making it an agile offering that is ready for any challenge.
20. Gerber Sedulo Pocket Knife
Boasting an American-made craftsmanship, the brand focuses on the EDC design and features. With an ambidextrous pivot lock, the blade snaps into place via dual thumb studs. The blade is made from high quality S30V steel that is designed with a classic drop-point shape. And the handle features an aggressive pattern that offers a sturdy grip.
The clean black-out aesthetic of this knife gives it a discreet and minimalist look. Not just attractive, the premium stainless steel makes the blade very functional with its well-defined spear point tip. The handle is made from textured G10 handle scales, which gives you superior grip.
Another iteration from Swiss Gear, this model from Victorinox features a versatile look. The modified spear point blade and Cellidor handle, it boasts 18 functions. Despite its compact style, with an overall length of 5.87 inches, it offers you a great knife that is not only very functional, but also very easy to carry around.
17. CRKT Pilar III
Designed with a unique look, the clean, curvy lines maximize the knife’s utilities. The broad blade is crafted from high quality steel and combined with fine points that are appropriate for regular usage. It comes with a thumb slot that allows you to open it with one hand, and the handle’s design features a reliable frame lock.
16. Gerber Fastball
Gerber’s best all around knife, Fastball is sized perfectly for carrying in your pocket. The polished presentation and fairly light weight make it a practical utilitarian model. A consistent option, the locking system and the precision detent, as well as its attractive features, make it a suitable knife that is smooth and quick.
15. CRKT Homefront
Any model from CRKT will be a good choice, but the Homefront is made with the brand’s Field Strip construction. This technology allows for the knife to be dismantled and reassembled without needing any tools. Intuitive for routine maintenance, the clean tactical aesthetic and top-notch materials make this knife an impressive choice.
This knife stands apart from the others with its super-sleek silhouette that is inspired by samurai sword designs. One of the lighter knives available at the moment, it weighs in at only 2.96 oz., although measuring 8.39” in length. Highly secure due to its linerlock mechanism and ball-bearing blade, the brand offers a few variations.
The brand’s 110 Folding Hunter was first introduced in 1964, and it really hasn’t changed much since. At the time, it was one of the few lockback folding blades of its caliber. Built tough enough to survive even the most challenging uses, it still has the same quality today. And it is a very attractive model that boasts a Crelicam ebony & brass handle.
We find this mini version of the original Bugout worth noting. The compact sized model the blade is only 2.82 inches long, and it weighs only 1.5 ounces, making it the lightest offering available on the market. With many of their most desirable features, such as the AXIS lock, dual thumb studs, and reversible clip, make this folding pocket knife an excellent choice.
German brand Boker has been making EDC knives since the mid-1800s. Their long lasting expertise has perfected their products, as you can tell by this collaboration with Serge Panchenko.
Featuring a unique design, it comes with a premium stainless steel blade that features a large eyehole, which deploys easily from its handle. The handle is made from antimicrobial precision machined brass and sports nice black details against the yellow metal.
This Japanese model is a classic that portrays the “less, but better” motto to a tee. Dating back to its original construction in 1896, the brand offers a very minimalist knife that comes with just a blade, a handle, and the pivot.
The blade, made from blue paper steel, comes with an integrated handle that is made from brass or iron. A real beauty for the EDC connoisseurs, might not be a good choice for a rookie.
Versatile and stylish, the Cadet from Swiss powerhouse Victorinox is as good as it gets. This multi-tool knife comes with eight built-in tools, the whole lot made from reliable stainless steel and textured Alox scales. Very similar to their original model that was created all the way back in the late 1800s, the Cadet is durable, functional, and an overall solid choice. A must have in every backpack.
8. Quiet Carry Waypoint G10
This knife is one of the best offerings available on the market. That’s if you’re looking to spend a bit of money on it, because it is not cheap. But the high quality justifies the price. Using the best type of steel for the blade construction, the Vanax SuperClean, it is very resistant to corrosion and wear and tear. The handle is also durable, and it comes either in steel or G10 material.
This is probably the least expensive model on our list, but worth noting nonetheless. To top it all off, it is a very decent buy for the price. The construction is still made by the expert craftsmen that started this brand in 1897. The pocket knife boasts the same quality that has been in the family since its beginnings, with a classic silhouette and a high-end blade.
6. Kershaw Cryo
This model from Kershaw makes almost every single list where pocket knives are mentioned. It is no coincidence, because not only do you get a good quality knife that checks many boxes, the price is also very reasonable. It is an eye-catching article that has an all-gray color, an ergonomic stainless steel handle, and a versatile drop point blade.
You will derive endless pleasure from simply opening and closing this knife with one hand, that’s how cool the design is. The blade will come out cleanly thanks to the tab, where you can place your forefinger, then using a flick of the wrist it flips right open. To close it, the XR lock brings it right back into place, just slide your thumb and forefinger on it. The blade offers edge retention and it is also corrosion resistant.
4. The James Brand Carter
Based in Portland, The James Brand creates militaristic knives that are sleek and simple, with clean lines and an understated aesthetic. It offers you plenty of utilitarian functionality, and it is very convenient to carry. The 2.8-inch blade and a grippy G-10 handle folds down to 3.7-inches when it is closed. An attractive and compact model for new EDC enthusiasts.
3. Benchmade Bugout
A worthy contender, the Bugout from Benchmade is considered a cult classic among the EDC community. A very lightweight model, the 2.35-inch steel blade comes with a 4.22-inch handle. A compact workhorse, its highlight is the Axis lock. Ambidextrous, secure, and self-regulating, Benchmade has perfected this model’s mechanism. The knife comes in a variety of blade shapes, finishes, and grips.
One of the most tactical options on the list, the Paramilitary 2 from Spyderco is an aggressive powerhouse. With all the makings of a legendary tool, it is one of the better built EDC knives at the moment.
The high-quality construction as well as its iconic silhouette make this a great investment. A bit on the longer side, it measures 8.3 inches when fully deployed. The 3.4-inch blade is in a leaf shape that allows for great precision.
For the guys who always expect the best, this revamped Sebenza from Chris Reeve is an investment that was worth waiting for. The brand took the best qualities of its predecessor and made a few subtle yet nearing perfecting changes.
The Integral lock features Ceramic Ball Interface that improves stabilization. Crafted from titanium and S45VN steel as a standard, you can add shardwoods or Micarta options to make it your own.
This sums up the best 25 EDC pocket knives of 2023. As you can see, you can surely find one to suit your taste and budget, as we tried to make the list as varied as possible.