A (much too) few words about EDC knives

A knife is one of the most basic tools that accompany man from the dawn of time – or rather, more or less, from the moment he observed that a piece of sharpened flint is more suitable for tearing apart mammoth meat than his very own rotting teeth. It’s been a while since that moment, true, but the basic use of a knife has not changed: it’s mission is making our lives easier on a daily basis, both at home and outdoors.

Some might say that using a knife outside of your kitchen automatically puts you among the mentally disturbed and dangerous. But I guess that since you’re reading this article you probably don’t share that point of view. In fact, you most likely realize that a knife is – above all – a tool. An extremely useful and handy, all-purpose tool.

 

 

How a stoneage EDC knife could have looked. Source: http://www.archerytalk.com/vb/showthread.php?t=1528378

How a stoneage EDC knife could have looked. Source: http://www.archerytalk.com/vb/showthread.php?t=1528378

 

A knife can be used to cut food, ropes, textiles and paper, skin animals and gut fish. It can be used for sharpening sticks which you’ll later use to make a sausage crispy and yummy over a bonfire, or to make pegs which will help you set up a tent. You’ll use it together with a flint to make fire, or chop wood and dig pits. Quite a load of possibilities, right? And this is just the beginning of the list. I think we can agree that the good old knife is a very useful thing to have around.

EDC

But what exactly does EDC stand for? In short words, EDC (or everyday carry) is what we call equipment designed for… well, everyday carry. Good examples of EDC stuff we all carry around would be a wallet, house keys or a cell phone. So when we speak of EDC knives we mean models which, by virtue of their design, are suitable for carrying in your pocket, on your belt or in a briefcase on a daily basis. For that to happen, the knife must meet some basic, fairly logical requirements: it should be lightweight, not too big and relatively universal. And most importantly it must allow to be carried around securely. Simple and logical, right? Sort of. It’s all quite relative, actually, so let’s take a shot at making it a bit easier to understand.

 

 

The most common „everyday Joe's” EDC stuff most of us can find on themselves, straight off the author.

The most common „everyday Joe’s” EDC stuff most of us can find on themselves, straight off the author.

 

Let’s start with the length and type of blade. 8 centimeters (around 3,5 inches) is actually all you need. No pun intended. Really. The length of your perfect blade (again, no pun intended), of course, somewhat dependends on the size of the palm of your hand. A 6 cm (2,5 inch-ish) blade will be just fine for people with a small frame, while a guy sporting a proud Viking pedigree, with hands the size of bear paws, might need something a tad longer. Let’s say, some 10 cm (2,5 inch). The blade itself should be non-serrated – unless you’re working with ropes every day, in which case a serrated blade is actually a better option. The blade shape largely depends on your taste, but the most common and useful shapes for EDC knives are drop point, clip point and spear point, along with a slightly more exotic spike or warncliff design.


 

Weight is a simple matter – the lighter, the better. Typically, the part of an EDC knife which is influences the tool’s weight the most is its grip. So the material of which the grip is made is very important. Your best choice would be polycarbonates (that’s smart for „plastic”), though aluminumis also fine. Of course, the thickness of the blade itself, its design and the material from which it was made are also a factor, but here we come to the question of finding a compromise between durability, weight and price. As we want the knife to be a durable all-around tool, forget openwork designs. Just do. As for the material – steel is most common, and for a reason. OK, you will find blades made of aluminum (or rather its alloys) or titanium, but each of these alternatives has its drawbacks. Aluminium is very soft and a blade made of it will get dulled faster than you can say „chimichanga”. Making blades of titanium on the other hand is just a sly way of making people who don’t know jack about metallurgy pay a load of money for a mediocre-quality tool. Totally not worth the price. In some circles, knives made entirely of polycarbonates are becoming quite popular. But this is quite a touchy subject, so let’s not dwell on it too much. Let’s make it clear: in the case of EDC knives, steel remains the undisputed favorite. What type of steel? Sorry, not today – this article is already becoming a bit too long. I just might cover the topic of steel types in the future.


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The next two matters we must discuss is the way of transporting your knife and the eternal question…

Fixed or folding?

Folding. Nuff said. Really, that’s not even an issue and don’t make me explain it. OK, I really can understand this whole Rambo fascination people have sometimes, but a knife which you are supposed to carry around every day should be, as we’ve already discussed, small – and a knife with a fixed blade will always be twice the size of its folding counterpart. An EDC knife should also be discreet, unless you want to see people in the streets giving you the bad stare and you don’t care much about being labelled a psychopath by your (now ex-) friends at the office. Be discreed. That’s the gentelman’s way. And here is where we get to the matter of transporting your knife.


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If you plan to carry your knife around in the briefcase or a backpack, you’re taking the easy way, and the possibilities you have are endless. Really, go wild – sky’s the limit. However, if you want to have the knife with you even when you visit the toilet (because, you know, reasons), you’re limited to just three options: a pouch, a clip or wearing the knife around the neck. Now, belt pouches are fine, but they don’t really blend in with a tie and that sharp-dressed man look. Also, they draw attention. And we don’t want that, right? Also they can make some of the everyday stuff a bit difficult. Trust me, with a belt puch, your favourite armchair will become a bit less comfortable and you’ll quickly find you’ve got bruises at precisely the place you have the pouch attached. The second option is wearing the knife around your neck. Remember what I wrote about being seen as a psycho? This is how you do it. With a neck knife, you can choose between two options: either you carry the knife on your shirt and thus hinder your social life, or you wear it discreetly under your shirt, thus making it impossible for you to draw it quickly and without undressing (and there goes the social life, again). Of course there is a third option, too – one in which you’re not wearing a shirt. In this case, however, I’m sorry, but I can’t help you. On the bright side, guess that means „social life” is not much of a thig for you. Right?

A clip is the most universal, most common and probably the best way to carry an EDC knife. A clip allows the knife to be attached to your belt, your pocket (on the inside or the outside) or MOLLE webbing, thus allowing for easy acces. It’s comfortable and it’ discreet.


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You can say that you know the basics. Or rather – the basic reason I really barely touched the topic here. Probably they also realize the usefulness knife EDC in everyday life, and perhaps even have any, you decided to acquire. If so, you remain only on the basis of the above guidelines, choose something for themselves.

As some readers probably noticed, not touched on the issue of hybrid knives multitoolami (although it appeared the pictures), the same multitools or knives rescue. However, not all at once – if the subject is (or another you missed this article) you are interested, let me know in the comments below. I’ll see what I can do.

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