I recently analyzed the top expert tactical sites to determine: What are the best EDC tactical knives.

Listen to the experts. They got that way for a reason.” Erica Larsen

Everyday carry is a hot topic, and for good reasons.

Most of us want to be prepared for emergencies and even survival situations.

Maybe we're all former Boy Scouts.

Beyond emergencies, however, there are a number of reasons why EDC knives are so popular.

Just look at all the Amazon packages the need opening.

Or, those plastic clamshell packages that would otherwise frustrate you.

And, if you do anything outdoors, a knife is absolutely required.

So, we've established need, (that was easy) but which one?


Knife Informer

Matt Davidson describes himself as a long-time outdoor and knife enthusiast based in California, with the goal of pointing you in the right direction and avoiding the mistakes he made many years ago.

So what are his top 10 EDC knives?

  1. Spyderco Paramilitary 2
  2. Zero Tolerance 0350
  3. Benchmade 940 Osborne
  4. Benchmade Griptilian
  5. Spyderco Manix 2
  6. Spyderco Delica 4
  7. Kershaw Blur
  8. Ontario Rat II
  9. Kershaw Skyline
  10. Kershaw Cryo G-10

Summary – Matt actually lays out his recommendations based on price ranges and the results above keeps with this methodology by showing the most expensive knives first. In order to keep the list to ten, I've taken some editorial liberties to exclude a few of his recommendations.

Quite a list – thanks Matt.


Gearmoose is described as a digital magazine and store for men that features everything you need to find the perfect gift, update your EDC, or successfully kill a one-hour lunch break, in one convenient place.

So, what are the Gearmoose top 10 EDC knives?

  1. Zero Tolerance 0095BW Titanium Flipper
  2. Cold Steel Recon 1
  3. Zero Tolerance Hinderer 0566
  4. Zero Tolerance 0801 Titanium Blackwash
  5. James Brand Chapter
  6. Cold Steel American Lawman
  7. Cold Steel Code 4
  8. Kershaw Launch 3
  9. Buck Knives Vantage Force Pro
  10. Spyderco Para Military 2

Summary – Gearmoose presents a little different take with a dominance of Zero Tolerance and Cold Steel knives. This only shows why it's good to get different expert opinions.

Thanks Gearmoose.

Wilderness Today

Wilderness Today states that their mission is to provide you with the best information in the market pertaining to all things outdoors. Their editorial staff has outdoor experience all over the continental United States and hopes that the information they provide makes your next trip outdoors more enjoyable.

So, what are Wilderness Today's 10 best EDC knives?

  1. Kershaw Blur – best overall value
  2. Benchmade 940 Osborne – best high end
  3. Spyderco Endura 4
  4. Benchmade Super Steel Barrage
  5. Benchmade 710 McHenry
  6. Spyderco Delica Plain Edge
  7. SOG Flash II
  8. Spyderco Tenacious G10 Combo
  9. Spyderco Pacific Salt
  10. Ontario RAT 1

Summary – Wilderness Today also covers a list of traditional EDC knives, such as the Buck knives. I've ignored these recommendations to keep this post consistent with the best modern folding knives.

Thanks Wilderness Today.


Gearhungry states they were launched in 2011 as an independent digital magazine focused on one thing – digging up the best gear for guys from all corners of the Internet.

So what are Gearhungry's top 10 EDC knife recommendations?

  1. Ontario 8848 RAT EDC
  2. Kershaw Ken Onion Blur EDC (best choice)
  3. Spyderco Tenacious Plain Edge EDC
  4. Kershaw 1990X
  5. BlizeTec Survival
  6. Kershaw 1555G10 Cryo
  7. Spyderco Delica 4 Lightweight (premium pick)
  8. Kershaw Volt SS
  9. CRKT Squid Folding Straight
  10. Sanrenmu 7010LUC-SA

Summary – Again, another eclectic listing but still with some of the companies that seem to appear in other favorites. Most unusual probably the BlizeTec which, in addition to a knife blade, sports a magnesium rod, LED light, glass breaker and seatbelt cutter. Ultra EDC anyone?

Thanks Gearhungry.

Blade Reviews

Dan, the Editor comments that starting in 2010, BladeReviews was born out of a lifelong interest in knives and tools with a focus to provide high quality written reviews on all manner of knives and a common thread of hands-on and thoughtful reviews.

So what does Dan think are the top 10 EDC knives?

  1. Zero Tolerance 0562 CF
  2. Chris Reeve Mnandi
  3. Spyderco Sage 1
  4. Benchmade 940 Osborne
  5. Spyderco Paramilitary 2
  6. Benchmade Mini Griptilian
  7. Spyderco Dragonfly 2
  8. Spyderco Delica 4
  9. Kershaw Skyline
  10. ESEE Zancudo

Summary – Dan actually had many more knives listed in four groups – Ultra High End, High End, Mid Range and Budget. In order to compile my listing, I took the top 2, 3, 3, and 2 recommended knives from each of the respective categories.  Again, another worthy listing with some of the brands and models we've come to know and respect.

Thanks Dan.


HiConsumption is yet another digital lifestyle magazine catering to men and covering the latest news in gadgets, architecture, design, fashion, art, vehicles and much more. They have a team composed of influential tastemakers providing insight into emerging trends and allowing their readers to stay ahead of the curve.

So what are their top 10 EDC knife recommendations?

  1. Chris Reeve Small Sebenza 21
  2. DPX Gear Heat/F
  3. Zero Tolerance ZT 0900 Les George
  4. Reate Knives Hills
  5. Spyderco Paramilitary 2
  6. Cold Steel Recon 1
  7. Benchmade Mini Griptilian
  8. CRKT No Time Off
  9. Ontario RAT Model 1
  10. Kershaw Cryo

Summary – Again, a little editorial license to compile a list of 15 recommended knives down to 10 by listing the most expensive first and omitting anything but modern EDC knives. Still, a very representative listing of some of the best and what is beginning to become, most well known knives with a few unique knives, especially at the high end.

Thanks goes out to HiConsumption.

PewPew Tactical

Eric Hung of PewPew Tactical really doesn't look like the stereotypical gun owner and is a biomedical engineer and entrepreneur who gravitates towards educating people about stuff he loves. As someone who personally received and read virtually everything Eric publishes, I highly respect him and his team of contributors and I believe you will too. PewPew's listing is only the top 8 but still a worthy listing.

So, what is Eric's top 8 EDC tactical knives?

  1. Benchmade Mini Griptilian – writer's choice
  2. Spyderco Delica 4
  3. Cold Steel Recon 1
  4. Spyderco Tenacious
  5. Kershaw Cryo and Cryo II
  6. Opinel #8 – Hipster approved
  7. Kershaw Leek
  8. Kershaw Zing – Editor's pick

Summary – One thing is certain with Eric's reviews, someone has actually purchased, used and abused them to come up with their results. Although this listing really only includes EDC knives under $100, it still shows nicely and again, includes some of the features we see commonly.

Thanks Eric, for another great review.

Survival Sullivan

It's about time we hear from the prepper world. Dan Sullivan uses a pen name to avoid the difficulties of using his real Romanian name. It didn't take Dan long to learn about prepping after he survived the 1989 Romanian revolution at 5 years old and his seriousness and dedication really shows in his blog.

So, what does Dan think are the best 10 EDC knives?

  1. Kershaw Cryo G-10
  2. Spyderco Tenacious
  3. Kershaw Skyline
  4. Benchmade Griptillian
  5. Spyderco Manix 2
  6. Zero Tolerance 0350
  7. Benchmade 940 Osborne
  8. Spyderco Paramilitary 2
  9. Kershaw Ken Onion Blur
  10. Columbia River No Time Off

Summary – You've got to respect some of these sites even more than normal when you realize that they've really been through it. Dan makes some recommendations that are well in line with some other experts and continues to add to the credibility of reviewing EDC knives with this top EDC site approach.

Thanks Dan for your insights.

The Pocket Knife Guy

The Pocket Knife Guy doesn't really provide a wealth of information about who is behind the blog, but it is apparent that this is a totally legit site with some very useful information. That is as opposed to the “top ten” sites that proliferate on virtually every conceivable product to purchase with a profile that only changes as to the phony recommendations.

So, what are the Pocket Knife Guy's top 10 EDC knives?

  1. Benchmade 940 Osborne
  2. Spyderco Delica 4
  3. Spyderco Manix 2 Lightweight
  4. Kershaw Skyline
  5. Benchmade 556 Mini Griptilian
  6. Spyderco Paramilitary 2
  7. Buck Spitfire
  8. Spyderco Tenacious
  9. Kershaw Cryo
  10. Spyderco Persistence

Summary – Not a bad list. In fact you can see the attention in the details of his or her recommendations when it's stated that the Kershaw Cryo is lighter and small than the Cryo II. Size and weight are the two most important criteria for determining the list.

Thanks The Pocket Knife Guy for a great listing.

Knife Up

Knife Up concludes our survey of the best EDC knives from the Best EDC websites. Knife Up has been around for a number of years and provides some great reviews and insights in addition to sharing some of the legal rules and restrictions around knife use and ownership.

So, what does Knife Up feel is the top 10 EDC knives?

  1. Syperco Delica 4
  2. SOG Aegis
  3. Benchmade 275BKSN
  4. Case Cutlery Black Trapper
  5. Ontario XM-2TS
  6. Kershaw Blur
  7. Cold Steel Recon 1
  8. Benchmade 581
  9. CRKT M16
  10. Buck/Tops CSAR-T

Summary – Few surprises in the this final survey of the 10 best EDC knives. Some familiar names, even though the ordering may be a bit different. Bottom line, Knife Up has been around for a while and their opinions are respected.

Again, and finally, thanks Knife Up for your insights.


I want to first acknowledge and thank the 10 EDC gear and knife sites that I used to develop this post. Their insights are truly worth sharing.

It should be understood that this is in no way a scientific survey and there are no statistical inferences that I use to come up with my own conclusions.

I tried to avoid sites that clearly were “top 10” type affiliate sites, and

sites which represented so many products that they couldn't possibly have added any value to a specific subject, EDC knives.

Interestingly, it became difficult to get the last few expert sites since at a point the sites quickly loose quality.

I also avoided sites which listed the top 35 or 65 knives, they clearly didn't add any research value.

Finally, although not in all cases, I tried to present sites with some significant readership as a mark of credibility. Many I was already aware of and had a degree of respect.

So, what are the best EDC knives?

I've made my recommendations both on my own research, which is presented on the various reviews on this site, and the preponderance of recommendations from the best EDC websites above.

I'll present two recommendations for each of the three categories – High End, Mid Range, and Budget.


High End

Mid Range


Over and over again, the above knives received vote after vote for the best EDC knives.

Since I've owned or reviewed all of the above, I couldn't agree more.

Of all the everyday carry items, knives are probably the number one most significant everyday carry article.

It's important to select a knife that meets your needs and the reviews above go through a myriad of possible selections.

With all the expert knows what does come through is that some knives are more commonly recommended that others and I believe the six knives I've detailed above meet that criteria.

There are certainly other great candidates and some great knife companies that will continue to produce superb selections.

It is interesting, however, that some knives, through time and usage, have become classics, and I believe you have just reviewed the premier classics in EDC knives.

If you enjoyed reading this article on the “Top EDC Tactical Knives”, I also have the “Top EDC Tactical Flashlights” that you may also like – the results may surprise you.