Every man tends to carry a few items with him every day. These are usually things that are necessary tools to get through the day or even for self-protection. Of course everyday carry (EDC) kit is something that has become more popular in recent times, especially with folks who prep, but for a lot of guys it is just something that is a part of their lifestyle. If you are a man, whether you are a prepper or not, there are a few basic items that you should consider carrying on you.
The items that I tend to carry with me every day include:
Every man has his own unique needs and preferences when it comes to what he will need to carry with him every day, but I will point out some key considerations when you look at your EDC options.
An EDC knife is not necessarily a weapon, but in most cases is rather a tool. If you need to do some heavy duty cutting with your knife, it won’t make sense to get a tiny little pocket knife. On the flip side, it won’t make sense to get a big knife that would make Rambo jealous just to cut open some envelopes every once in a while. The intended use of the knife will also have an effect on the shape of the blade, as each blade shape is designed with a specific use in mind. For example, knives with sharp thin points are good for piercing things, while a knife with a serrated edge is intended for sawing things.
Fixed blade vs folding knife
If you want a bigger and stronger knife that you don’t mind wearing on your belt, then a fixed blade knife is a good option for guys who will be doing a lot of work with their knives (such as hunters that need to do a lot of skinning or cutting rope etc). But personally I carry a folding knife as it takes up less space and I do not need a fixed blade knife too often. I especially like that a folding knife is usually a lot more discreet to carry on you without attracting unwanted attention.
I would also keep in mind the grip of the knife, especially if you need to do tasks with it that would require a solid grip. If you plan to use your knife in wet conditions a lot or for skinning animals, you would want to look for a grip that won’t absorb moisture and will be easy to clean.
The last consideration I would also think about is cost. Knives can range from very affordable to crazy expensive. For an everyday carry knife I prefer a knife that is reasonably affordable while still being of sufficient quality to take the punishments of everyday use.
A flashlight is one of those things that you do not realise how much you need it, until you actually need it! I carry a small, but very bright flashlight with me all the time. Not only is it a valuable tool at night, but it is also a good self-defence tool. If a would-be attacker tries to attack you, the bright light of the flashlight can be used to momentarily blind the attacker, giving you time to either retreat away or to launch a counter-attack.
The key considerations for me when I look at EDC flashlights:
Flashlights in my possession tend to take a beating as they are often thrown into a backpack with a bunch of stuff or are handled in rough outdoor environments. The better EDC flashlights tend to be constructed from materials such as military grade aircraft aluminum, which is very light but extremely strong.
Lumens are the measuring unit for how bright a flashlight’s light is. You can get some super bright flashlights that are hundreds of lumens bright, but in reality for an EDC flashlight you don’t need anything too extreme. I usually look for something that has a light of 50 lumens to 100 lumens.
Incandescent lamps used to be the lamp used in all flashlights, but since LED lamps have become commonly available, LED (Light Emitting Diode) is now the lamp of choice in flashligts. That is because they last longer, take less space, use less battery power and are much more robust than incandescent lamps.
From a prepper’s perspective, a flashlight with common regular batteries are a good choice as batteries like that would be much easier to find in an emergency scenario where there might not be power available. However for me, I want an EDC flashlight that is rechargeable. This makes it less expensive to use in the long run as I don’t need to go out and buy new batteries every few weeks.
I mentioned before that some people might think of their EDC knife as a self-defence weapon, but for me another self-defence option is a tactical pen. It might sound like a gimmick, but tactical pens are actually lethal weapons due to their strengthened points and strong construction. Admittedly, if you have to use a tactical pen then you are probably already in a world of trouble. The benefit of a tactical pen is that it is discreet (not easily recognized as being a weapon) and of course also provides you with a writing utensil!
As I want to have a tactical pen as a weapon, it needs to be really strong in order to be used as a weapon that can cause damage to an attacker. Similar to EDC flashlights, the better tactical pens are made from modern materials such as military grade aircraft aluminum to make it light-weight but also extremely strong.
When I look at the design of a tactical pen, I want a pen that would hold well in my hand as a stabbing weapon, which also has a good grip so that it won’t slip when I use it.
Some tactical pens come with additional features such as glass-breakers, seat-belt cutters, etc. Some are a bit gimmicky though, so be aware.
Above I talked about the three basic EDC items that I like to carry on me most of the time. Other items that you could also consider include:
This article was provided by Manomics.com
What is the best folding knife? A good knife is something that a lot of folks like to carry with them at all times. Not only as a possible defensive weapon, but often as a handy tool for various uses. As we mentioned in some of our earlier posts about fixed blade knives and tactical folding knives, there are a few things we like to keep in mind when looking for a new knife.
Everybody will have their own specific things that they will look out for when they are looking to acquire a new knife, but below we briefly list some of the main things we want to think about when buying a knife:
As we mentioned before, a knife is often designed with a specific use in mind. That could be to serve as a skinning knife, a general purpose knife or even a self-defence weapon. So before picking a knife that maybe just looks really cool or is available at a bargain price, be sure you know what you need a knife for and that the knife you are looking at will serve that purpose.
The size and weight will be tied in to what you want to use the knife for. For example, if you want a knife that you will be able to chop some wood with, you probably want a big heavy knife. But if you plan to carry a knife on you regularly for long periods of time, a smaller and light knife will be better suited to you in the long run. A huge Rambo type knife might look really cool, but it might not be the most practical knife for you.
A blade is one of the major factors that determine whether a knife can truly be considered as one of the best folding knife options or not. If the blade is of poor quality, the knife is going to be a dud! There are a lot of modern new materials out there that make blades a lot more durable and sharp. A lot of the best folding knife options tend to have aStainless Steel blade (which doesn’t rust as easily) with some form of Carbon coating to make it even stronger and more durable.
When it comes to blade shape, there are a bunch of shapes you can choose from. Of course, the purpose you want your knife for should determine the blade shape that you end up choosing.
The handle and grip of your knife will have a huge influence on whether your knife will be effective or not. Most of the best folding knife options will have a textured handle for effective grip. The material of the grip could also be a factor. If you plan to do a lot of skinning, you probably don’t want a handle material that is going to be soaking up any blood!
Below we look at 5 foldings knives that we like and think are great. Are there other great knives out there that could also be argued to be the best folding knife? Of course! There are a lot of other knives out there and different folks have different preferences and needs when it comes to knives. So chances are there will be a few people who have a different opinion to ours. If you do have some thoughts, please do share them in the comments sections below and tell us which knife you think is the best folding knife.
When looking the the knives below, we considered how well the knives are constructed, practicallity and of course affordability.
There are a number of features to consider when determining which knife qualifies as the best folding knife. For the outdoor enthusiast, the TAC Force TF-705 is the ideal folding knife to carry along on camping trips and hiking excursions. For the person who spends a significant amount of time in the wilderness, the immensely sharp and sturdy blade of the TF-705 can prove extremely helpful to survival in case of an emergency.
One area in which the TAC Force TF-705 stands out in its quest to be named the best folding knife in its category is in its durability, which can be a problem with some folding knives. Actually, when discussing which knives qualify to be considered as the best folding knife, the first point of interest is durability. A knife is not worth much if it falls apart under the stress of practical use. The TF-705 does not have that problem.
The TF-705 comes in an assortment of colors. When opened, the knife is eight inches long. It comes with a belt clip, making it easy to carry along. Additionally, this knife comes with a number of other handy accessories, including a glass breaker and can opener. As far as the sharpness of the blade is concerned, not even repeated uses will cause the blade to dull significantly. The tactical applications of this particular knife are why we believe it deserves to be considered in the discussion of the best folding knife.
This knife sports a classic folding knife design, with a 3 ¾” 420HC steel blade that is extremely durable and immensely sharp. For the hunter, it is extremely important to have a knife that is sharp and durable, and this knife meets the challenge. The Brucks Dynasty Folding Hunter Knife not only has a folding blade that is sharp and durable, but the crescent design of the blade tip allows for highly detailed work. Another feature that qualifies this knife to be considered in our determination of the best folding knife is that the knife also has a lock-back design that guarantees maximum strength when working with the knife, as well as enhanced safety.
One of the nuanced details that we found alluring was the traditional style Dymondwood handle with brass bolsters, which offers the look and feel of older models, while providing the tactical application and durability of contemporary design.
This knife comes with its own leather sheath for style, protection and easy wearing, being able to be clipped directly onto the best.
The knife also comes with a lifetime warranty. The combination of traditional styling and practical application is what influenced our decision to include this classic in our determination of the best folding knife.
When it comes to tactical folding knives, we would be remiss if we did not include the Border Guard 2 in our discussion surrounding the best folding knife. This knife has a 440C 4.4-inch stainless steel blade, with an overall length of 10 inches. One of the features that stands out about this unique design is its balance. With a larger than normal blade, the glass breaker and the solid steel liners built into this knife, it weighs in around nine inches, yet the balance of the knife, when being used, is superb. The heftiness of the knife contributes to its ability to take on heavy duty tasks, but despite the weight, the deployment of the knife is exceptionally fast.
One part of the design that assists in the rapid deployment of the blade is the Teflon washers which provide added assistance when opening the blade. Actually, the sound that the knife makes during deployment is impressive in itself — a nuance that can be useful in the instance in which the knife may have to be used in self-defense.
This knife has a tanto blade that sports a saber grind, coated with black Teflon. The blood grooves that are cut into it contribute to its utility.
The handle is crafted with two independent slabs of machined aircraft aluminum that is textured to ensure the grip when handling the knife.
In the rare occasion in which a glass breaker and seatbelt cutter are needed, this knife is equipped and up to the task.
The Ontario 8848 RAT is strong and durable folding knife that has a high utility factor, meaning that it can be used for almost anything. The design and presentation of the knife are simple and straightforward; however, the usefulness of the knife is why we selected it as one of the top five folding knives currently on the market.
The design of this knife is focused on offering optimal comfort and performance. One of the unique features of this folding knife is the index finger groove located on the handle, which is designed to ensure that your hand remains in place when using the knife, which allows a greater level of control when cutting.
The handle is superbly designed, featuring an open-built lock frame that is made from nylon 6 scales.
Another benefit of this knife is that it is 100 ambidextrous, possessing dual thumb stubs, as well as a four-way reversible pocket clip. The knife is also recognized for its durability and strength, placing it squarely among the top five folding knives battling for supremacy as the best folding knife on the market.
The Kershaw Blur is one of the most popular folding knife models on the market. When it comes to real folding knife enthusiast, the Kershaw Blur always finds its way into being considered as the best folding knife available on the open market. If a knife enthusiast does not currently own a Kershaw Blur, they have at least handled one at some point.
The thing that probably stands out most with this knife is the handle, which has what Kershaw refers to as “trac-tec” inserts. This hard rubber inlay is among the toughest material in use today, meaning that the handle is about as durable as they come.
With a closed length of 4.5 inches, this folding knife fits into that not too big, not too small category of folding knives. It is definitely designed to be used as a multipurpose utility knife. What is also impressive is the size of the blade, when considering the overall size of the knife. The blade measures 3.37 inches, and it is forged out of stainless steel. Despite the sizeable blade, this folding knife is still ideal for being placed in the pocket. Additionally, the nice swedge of the blade ensures that it has maximum penetration potential.
When it comes to a one-size-fits-all folding knife, the Kershaw Ken Onion Blur definitely makes a powerful argument for being considered as the best folding knife in that category.
While each of these folding knives share some characteristics that are vital to establishing their worthiness to be considered as a part of our discussion about the best folding knife on the market, it is likely going to be their unique nuances that set them apart.
For instance, the TAC Force TF-705 bolsters a high level of functionality as a utility knife, making it ideal for camping, hiking and wilderness excursions. As an eight-inch knife, the TF-705 offers a good balance between length and concealability. The titanium blade design means that the blade will rarely have to be sharpened. When it comes to a practical utility knife, the TF-705 can hold its own.
The Brucks Dynasty Folding Knife, like the rest of the knives on this list, possesses an exceptional amount of durability. The unique design of the blade tip provides the capacity for the user to do immensely detailed work, but it is the lock-back design that provides the extra strength needed during the cutting process that adds specific value to this particular knife.
When it comes to aesthetics, the traditional style Dymondwood handle, with brass bolsters, definitely offers a sense of nostalgic flair.
For the person who is looking for optimal performance in a tactical design, the Smith & Wesson Border Guard 2 Rescue Knife answers the bell. With a 440C 4.4-inch stainless blade, and an overall length of 10 inches, this knife possesses the durability, balance and strength to perform tactical responsibilities. One of the things that stands out most with this knife is the in-hand balance of the knife, which is so important from a tactical perspective.
Another knife that serves as a highly effective utility instrument is the Ontario 8848 RAT Folding Knife. This knife can be used for virtually anything imaginable. With a straightforward, yet bold, design, the usefulness of this knife is readily apparent. In addition to offering optimal performance, the design also ensures optimal comfort, with its open-built lock frame.
The Kershaw Ken Onion Blur Folding Knife could be the most popular of all of the knives on this list, and there is good reason for this. From the “trac-tec” handle inserts, the durable material and the exceptional balance between blade and handle, this knife conceals well, deploys quickly and provides the balance that is so critical to precision. Although the blade only measures 3.37 inches, it is more than adequate to get the job done.
Above we looked at 5 folding knives that we like and think are really great. But, there are a lot of other great knives out there and everyone his or her own unique preferences and needs. So it is most likely that there will be folks that think there are other knives out there that are in fact the best folding knife for their needs. If you do have another knife in mind that you think is the best folding knife, but which is not on our list, please feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section below. We would love to hear from you!
What is the best fixed blade knife? Fixed blade knives are not generally most folks’ everyday carry knife, but rather are used by folks for outdoor activities or as a survival tool. A fixed blade knife is better suited to tasks such as skinning game, cutting wood or even when constructing a shelter. While you will get fixed blade knives that are designed to be used as a tactical weapons, fixed blade knives are generally more intended to serve as a tool than as a weapon. Before we jump into which knife we think is the best fixed blade knife, let us just have a look at some key things you need to keep in mind when choosing the best fixed blade knife for your own specific needs.
We all differ when it comes what we like and what our specific needs are for a fixed blade knife. But there are some key things we should think about when looking to acquire a new knife.
Sure, a knife is basically a tool to cut things with. But what do you specifically want to do with your knife? Should it be a defensive weapon? Do you need to skin animals with it when you go hunting? Or do you perhaps want it as part of your survival kit? Knives are usually designed with a specific purpose in mind. So to be able to pick the right knife for your needs, be clear on what you want to do with it first.
The size of the knife is a “big” factor in how you plan to use your knife. If you want to have a knife to use in the woods chopping through wood and bushes, you would probably want a bigger knife with a bit more weight behind it. However if you want a knife that you can carry on you everyday, you would want to go for something smaller and lighter that is comfortable to carry.
Like we said earlier, knives are usually designed with a specific purpose in mind. And the blade is also shaped for that purpose. For example, you will notice skinning knives often have a gut hook, while self-defence knives might have Tanto blades. You can see the types of blade shapes you might expect to find in the image below.
Besides the shape of the blade, you also want to pay close attention to the material that the blade is made from. A lot of blades will be made from stainless steel, which does not rust easily (so perfect for fishing, etc), but might not be as strong and durable as some of the composite materials that are available today. Often the material that the blade is made from plays a big role in how expensive the knife will be.
A third factor to keep in mind is whether it is a Tang blade. A Tang blade extends all the way into the handle to make for a very strong and sturdy knife. Thus there is less chance of the blade snapping off if you have to apply a lot of pressure to the knife.
It might seem obvious, but the handle of the knife plays a big part in how you will be able to effectively use a knife. If you want a knife that you can grip firmly, you should probably go with a knife that has a textured grip. If you need to use a knife that might often get wet or soaked in blood when you go hunting, you probably want a knife handle that is made from material that does not absorb moisture and is easy to clean.
Below we list and discuss 5 fixed blade knives that we really like. There will definitely be some folks who believe there are better knives that should in fact be called the best fixed blade knife. And they will probably have a good point too! The fact is there are a lot of of excellent knives out there and we only looked at 5 in this article. So if you want to tell us about a knife that you think is really excellent and is the best fixed blade knife, please feel free to share your opinion with us in the comments section. We would love to hear from you.
When looking for the best fixed blade knife, the ability of its blade to cut is paramount, of course. But the knife is of little use if it can’t be gripped and wielded properly. To that end, this Morakniv product delivers superbly, with a patterned, high friction grip for easy gripping and holding. This knife’s 4″ blade is stainless steel, which combined with its “no slip grip” makes this a safe and reliable knife for working in wet brush and outdoor weather, and in cold outdoor temperatures. This knife retails at around fifteen dollars. This knife’s sheath is sturdy and stays firmly closed even if the sheath is worn upside down on a belt. Some users however, have reported issues with the sheath’s belt loop detaching from the belt. This issue might not make this Morakniv product the best fixed blade knife for users looking for a knife to use outside of camp because of the potential of losing it.
This MTech USA product fits the best fixed blade category largely for its blade sharpness, which allows it to cut through rope, small trees, and brush upon removal from its packaging, making this a good camp utility knife and survival tool. This is one of the larger knives in our best fixed blade knife comparison with a 7″ blade, and an overall 12″ length. This knife is heavy to handle and because of its blade’s thickness, not appropriate for fine cutting. The MT-086 retails for around sixteen dollars and comes with a stainless steel blade. This knife’s sheath is reliable for carrying, although not of the best quality. Because of this knife’s “non-ergonomic” grip, some users have experienced minor hand injuries when using it to perform certain tasks. Glove wearing is recommended when using this knife for extended periods.
This entry in our best fixed blade knife comparison is a product from one of America’s best gun makers, and like this company’s firearms, it’s a well made, no frills product, with a 5″ non-reflective stainless steel blade, and a rubberized handle. This product’s non-gloss blade finish protects it, and makes this product a good best fixed blade knife candidate in that it can do everything from cut tree limbs to dig holes. This knife also features a forward leaning metal cross guard. Some users have complained of wobbling in this area. This is one of the more expensive products reviewed here, retailing at around twenty-five dollars. It also features one of the nicer included knife sheaths seen here, with interior lining and metal reinforcements.
Definitely a contender for our “best fixed blade knife award”, the Buck 119BR is a beautifully designed, very versatile knife that is equally suitable for indoor and outdoor work. In addition to basic utility and camp use, this knife is suitable for carving and detailed work. Retailing at sixty five dollars, this 6″ blade Buck knife is not one of the cheaper knives described here, but in addition to the legendary Buck name, the purchaser gets a well balanced, comfortable to use full-tang knife, with a blade that is fastened with metal retainers at the pommel to prevent wobbling. This best fixed blade knife contender also comes with an attractive sheath made of genuine leather, that both protects and serves as a safe knife transport. Some users have reported receiving mail order knives that have blemished handles and grooves.
Another nominee for best fixed blade knife, this import is a sturdy, effective knife for performing basic camp tasks like cording, rope cutting, skinning and hair removal, and tree limb and brush cutting. Despite the knife’s heavy weight, its balance is very good. This knife has a 6.5″ blade and a harder Kraton handle, which allows for comfortable holding and positioning for different hand sizes. This is the only knife reviewed here that can be used by either right or left handed users. The knife retails at around thirty-eight dollars and comes with a inexpensive but effective nylon sheath. It should be noted that some who have purchased through electronic retailers have noticed problems with blade, beveling, and grind. However, this appear to be more of a “batch” issue than a problem with the quality of the knife in general.
When reviewing options for the best fixed blade knife, the purchaser should consider where and how the knife will be used. All of the knives reviewed here are good general “practical” knives (i.e., they can be used for cording, rope, branch, and brush cutting and some minor butchering). There are some larger differences affecting handling, and in most cases, that is affected by handle construction and materials used. While these products run the pricing gamut and offer some name brands, those factors don’t seem to play much of a part in determining the best fixed blade knife here. The Morakniv-Companion-Outdoor-Stainless-4-1-Inch is a inexpensive, “no-frills” fixed blade knife, but it is also a sturdy, reliable camp utility knife, with a no friction handle that allows for safer handling. This makes it an especially useful knife for camping in cold, wet weather. The largest complaint of users is this knife’s sheath, which “pops off” belts without warning, usually when the user is moving from a crouching or sitting to a standing position or vice versa. This issue seems to result in more lost knives than a safety issue, however.
The MTech USA-MT-086-Hunting-Straight-Overall fixed blade knife is roughly the same price as the above described Morakniv, and is useful for performing the same around camp functions. This is also a larger and heavier knife with a longer blade, and a number of users, especially those with smaller hands, find this knife harder to grip and use. Considering what a fixed blade knife is used for around camp, its 7″ blade may be more than is necessary, and the greatest use of this knife may be for defense or as a deterrent. Another drawback to using this knife as a utility tool is its handle grip. Users have reported having skin rubbed from the palms of their hands when attempting to use this knife for wood chopping, etc. While this knife can certainly be used for such tasks, glove wearing while doing so is recommended.
The Smith-Wesson-CKSUR1-Bullseye-Search And Rescue Fixed Blade Knife is an overall good utility knife with a protected, non-gloss blade that comes in handy for digging without blade damage among the other functions that it performs. It also offers the nicest non-leather knife sheath among the products here. Some users have reported minor use issues here with this knife’s forward leaning cross guard, which at least gives the sensation of being loose when used.
The most expensive knife reviewed here, the Buck-119BR-Special-Fixed-Blade is also the most versatile knife that we’ve looked at. This knife can be used effectively for close work, such as carving and whittling, and comes with a superior quality sheath. Some online purchasers have complained of blemishing on the blade and grooves. It should be noted that these blemishes have no effect on this knife’s quality or effectiveness. But if purchasers are buying it for a display, they may want to consider a retailer where it can be examined before purchase.
The Schrade-SCHF9-Extreme-Survival-Carbon fixed blade knife is a little pricy for a “no-frills” utility knife, but this import is well balanced, and has the best handle material of the lot. The Schrade’s Kraton covered handle allows for a safer and more comfortable grip, and can accommodate more hand positions in working with this knife. The sheath it comes with is an unimpressive and inexpensive nylon affair, but then again, the sheath is the least of your concerns in purchasing a knife. What is more of a concern with this brand are some complaints from purchasers who bought this particular model from major online retailers and claim that the knife arrived defective. Inconsistent blade thickness, beveling, and grooving were the issues found when the knife was removed from packaging. While these issues appear to be limited to a single lot, purchasers may want to limit online knife purchasing to large retailers to guarantee replacement or refund, especially with imported products.
So which knife would we choose?
If the knife purchaser is looking for a inexpensive but quality fixed blade for basic camping and survival use, than the Morakniv is a good choice. But among the contenders reviewed here, the best fixed blade knife in terms of safety, reliability, handling, and versatility, is the Buck 119BR. While this is the most expensive of the knifes examined here, it offers superior workmanship, stability in handling, a wide variety in use options, and a lifetime guarantee from one of the leading manufacturers in the industry. So while the purchaser must offer up more money for this product, given how important a good knife can be for backcountry camping and survivalist living, the “edge” it offers is an investment well worth making.
Did we not list some knives that some folks could rightfully argue is the best fixed blade knife? Of course! We are only human and there are many great knives out there. Add to that that everyone is different and would have their own unique preferences and requirements, it makes it impossible to identify a fixed blade knife that you can say is without a doubt the best fixed blade knife out there! So if you have some thoughts on a knife that you believe is in fact the ultimate fixed blade knife, please share your thoughts with us in the comments section below. We would love to hear from you!
This article was contributed by James Petzke, the founder of Knife Den.
Buying a knife for self defense is a decision worth taking your time to make. After all, you are buying a knife that just might save your life – or the life of someone you love – one day, and you want to feel like you can trust it with your life. Also, a personal knife can serve as an excellent survival tool in other situations – for instance, during natural disasters and power outages. In this post, learn tips on the best way to choose a knife for self defense.
In a self defense or survival situation, you don’t want to find yourself fumbling to open your knife or to find the knife amidst a bunch of other cool gadgets. You want to have it, blade ready, in hand in a few seconds or less. If you decide to go with a folding knife, choose a knife that offers you a one-hand opening so you can be using the other hand to defend yourself.
While there is some inherent safety value in having a knife that can fold for carrying, a sturdy knife sheath can accomplish the same and won’t leave you vulnerable in self defense situations. This is important because the fold in the knife can buckle just when you need it most, leaving you defenseless. A fixed blade knife carries no such risk.
When the blade and handle are constructed from one single continuous piece of material, you have a nearly unbreakable knife. You can see if the knife is a single piece by looking at the handle to see if the metal from the blade continues to run all the way through to the end.
Also, make sure the blade is firmly affixed in the handle so that it does not have any “play” (make any movement) when you use it.
While a knife with a curved or flat tip might look intimidating, it is much less practical for multi-purpose use. Also, many self defense manoeuvres rely on thrusting or stabbing, which only a sharp pointed tip will give you.
Choosing a knife size is a very personal choice. Your hand size and width, finger length, overall arm and hand strength and carrying preferences will all factor in to what size of knife is most comfortable for you to carry with you.
There is an art to choosing a knife that is not too long and heavy for sustained use, but also choosing a knife that is not to short to do any real damage if damage is called for. The best way to make this choice is to just try different sizes out to see what works for you personally.
Double edge blades are more dangerous for you to use because of the tendency most people have to rest their thumb on the back of the knife while using it. If you have this habit, untraining yourself will likely be more difficult than you anticipate and you may get cut while in the process.
As well, double edged blades are much less useful for other tasks if you are seeking a multi-purpose knife.
While you may have the best of intentions for purchasing a self defense knife, there are still those who may act differently towards you if they see you are carrying a knife.
For this reason, it is best to ensure the knife you buy for self defense can be easily concealed in a pocket, under your clothing or in some other way.
The warranty should cover knife maintenance, any actions that invalidate the warranty, blade sharpening and basic repairs. Any knife worth the money should come with a warranty that at least covers these points.
In the same way, be sure to read user reviews to find out if the knife really is as good as its manufacturer claims. If you are buying a folding knife, you want to know it will stay folded until you want it to open. If you are buying a reputed “very sharp” bladed knife, you want to know it won’t dull out after a few uses.
There are some types of knives that are illegal in some geographic areas (a switchblade is a good example of one type). So before you spend money on a self defense knife, be sure you know whether it is legal out of the box to carry it, if you need a special permit or training or if it is flat out illegal.
James Petzke is the founder of Knife Den, a site that is dedicated to being the best resource online for information about knives of all kinds. It has buyer’s guides, reviews, and information about knife laws in every state in the US.
Most of us have things we carry with us everyday of our lives, whether it be a handgun for self-defense or a flashlight. A whole industry seems to have sprung up around “everyday carry” or EDC. One of those things that a lot of people carry with them everyday is a knife. Different people will have different needs for carrying a knife, such as maybe as a self-defense weapon, however for us an EDC knife is more of a tool than necessarily a weapon (although it can certainly be both). There are a lot of knives out there that are great (and some not so great) EDC knives. So today we want to look at some of the popular knives to try and figure out which knife we think is the best EDC knife for our needs.
Let us just also start off by saying that we here at Smoking Barrel USA are not knife experts. We love a good knife, but in terms of the science and details of what makes a knife truly great there are some real experts out there that really know what goes into a really good knife. For that reason we refer you to some of their expert reviews on Youtube in the sections below.
However, there are some key factors that we think about when we want to buy the best EDC knife for our needs.
The blade of a knife is what will largely determine the success of the knife. There are a few factors that need to be considered when it comes to blades, such as the style of blade (tanto vs drop point vs clip point, etc) and the material from which the blade is made. There are a lot of different types of materials from which knife blades can be made, so for the purpose of this article we won’t go into that much detail. But you can check out this useful page from KnifeCenter.com that describes the various blade materials out there – here. When it comes to the best EDC knife options, most of the top knives will have a stainless-steel blade that is hard and corrosion resistant.
An EDC knife is a tool that will have to work hard on a daily basis. So it needs to be built to be able to withstand whatever work you through at it. Besides the blade quality, we also like to look at the overall build quality of the knife. Is the handle made from flimsy plastic that will scratch easily? How is the knife held together? Will the blade locking mechanism stop working after a few uses? How easy is it to maintain the knife?
The best EDC knife for your needs will likely be one that you won’t even realise is there if it is in your pocket. So when it comes to an EDC knife we want something that is not too large and definitely not too heavy. With modern materials, EDC knives are being made from very light-weight, yet strong, materials. The ideal size and weight of a knife will differ from person to person. Some bigger guys want a nice hefty knife that will fit their bigger hands well, while some folks want a really slim knife that won’t leave much of an imprint when it is in their pockets. It really depends on your personal preferences.
Knives can be expensive…really expensive! But an EDC knife is supposed to be an everyday tool that can take a beating. For us, the best EDC knife is not necessarily the most expensive knife. We would rather go for a reasonably priced knife that has adequate quality to get the job done. We generally aim for knives that fall in the $20 to $40 range. At that range, we won’t feel too bad if the knife gets a scuff or even a bit damaged during daily use.
Below we list and discuss our picks for the 5 best EDC knife options out there. For each knife we considered the overall quality of the knife’s construction, the blade, grip, funcationality, etc.
This knife is designated to be a Rick Hinderer designed knife. From the official Rick Hinderer website it is clear that as a former fire fighter and EMT, Rick designs knives with every day carry in mind.
The blade is a non-serrated modified drop point with a beautiful profile. It is made from 8Cr13MoV stainless steel and is coated with Titanium carbo-nitrade, which enhances the hardness and corrosion resistance of the blade. For secure blade lock up, the Cryo offers a tough frame lock with lockbar stabilization. The Cryo also features Kershaw’s SpeedSafe assisted opening for fast and easy one-handed opening. Access it with either the built-in flipper or the thumbstud. One thing about the blade that some folks would have liked to have is a bit of a serration to help with cutting stubborn materials.
The knife is a little on the heavy side at 4.1 oz, however the thin handle ensures that it is not too bulky to carry it comfortably and inconspicuously in your pocket.
Similar to the blade, the handle is made from 8Cr13MoV stainless steel and is coated with Titanium carbo-nitrade. While the handle is on the thin side, it does have ridges for extra grip. However we wouldn’t be very confident of good grip in wet conditions with this knife. However the Kershaw 1555G10 Cryo G10 is the same design, but has a G-10 grip.
An added bonus for lefties is that you can switch clip to make it left-hand carry. You can also adjust it to be either tip-up or tip-down carry.
For a full review of the Kershaw Cryo 1555TI knife, check out the video below:
The Spyderco Tenacious is probably one of the knives you will find on most “The best EDC knife is…” lists on the net. And rightfully so. It is a hugely popular knife that has served many people faithfully.
Similar to the Kershaw, the Spyderco’s blade is made from 8Cr13MoV stainless steel. However different to the Kershaw, the Spyderco does not have a Titanium carbo-nitrade coating to enhances the hardness and corrosion resistance of the blade. The blade is leaf-shaped and ground flat from spine to cutting edge for cutting performance. The blade’s shape coupled with an oversized Spyderco Round Hole and textured spine jimping allow you to open the blade and position your thumb on the spine in slip-proof confidence ready for work.
The grip is made from G-10, which is a fiberglass based laminate that is very hard, lightweight, and strong. Surface texture is added in the form of checkering. G-10 is an ideal material for knife grips because of its ruggedness and lightweight.
The Spyderco also lets you adjust how you carry your knife (left-hand/right-hand and tip-up/tip-down).
For a full review of the Spyderco Tenacious knife, check out the video below:
If you want a more tactical type of knife, then this knife from Columbia River Knife and Tool (CRKT) might be the best EDC knife option for your needs.
The blade is a Tanto style blade that is made from black coated AUS-4 high-carbon stainless-steel. Different to the Kershaw and Spyderco, the CRKT has a serrated edge on the blade which can come in handy for really tough cutting jobs (example to cut through cord, webbing, etc). The blade is opened using the CRKT Carson Flipper. When the blade is deployed it locks into place with the AutoLAWKS™ safety. AutoLAWKS™ automatically sets a pin between the locking liner and the frame. This pin acts as an additional layer of safety, so the locking liner is less likely to disengage during use.
The handle of the knife is made from glass filled nylon. It is not the most textured grip ever, but it should get the job done for every day carry purposes. As far as weight goes, at 2.3 oz it is much lighter than the Kershaw and Spyderco options.
The clip on this knife cannot be altered and adjusted like the Kershaw and Spyderco knives’ clips can.
For a full review of the CRKT M16-10KZ knife, check out the video below:
This is the only knife on our list of the best EDC knife options that is made in the US (the other knives are made in China).
The blade is a drop point blade and is made from 420C steel. It has a blade hole to assist with one handed opening (similar to the Spyderco, but not as big a hole), but has not jimping.
We really like the handle of the Vantage. It is a black nylon handle that has grooves in for good grip. It is also ergonomical, so should feel pretty good in your hands. The clip cannot do a four way adjustment like some of the other knives can, but it is a really solid clip that feels good and look good when you clip your knife into your pocket.
One thing that has been noted for the Buck Vantage Select seems to be the quality control. A few users have complained about the out-of-box quality of the knife and you will see in the video below there has been some concerns around the centring of the blade. Of course Buck does have a life time warranty on this knife, so if you do decide to get this knife and it is a dud….send it back and have them fix it!
For a full review of the Buck Vantage Select knife, check out the video below:
The RAT 1 from Ontario is the heaviest knife on our list, weighing in at 5 oz. But don’t let the weight put you off just yet, because this is a great EDC knife.
The blade is a clip point blade and is made from AUS-8 steel, which will be a bit of a problem if you have to use your knife in wet conditions. AUS-8 is a good type of steel, however it is not the most corrosion resistant steel out there. The blade is pretty sharp out the box. You can get the blade in the Satin finish (as shown in the pic above) or in the more tacticool looking black option
As with the other knives, it has a thumbstud for easy one-handed opening and employs a liner-lock to secure the blade in place when it is deployed. Similar to a few of the other knives, the clip on the handle is four way adjustable (tip-up/tip-down, left-handed/right-handed).
The grip is ergonomical and textured plastic. It is not as good as perhaps something with G-10 grips on it, but for an everyday workhorse at this price it is too be expected.
Build quality on this knife is pretty solid (which is why the knife is a bit heavier than others) with little to no blade play.
For a full review of the Ontario RAT 1 knife, check out the video below:
Let’s recap the knives discussed above to compare them to each other and try to figure out which one of them will be the best EDC knife for our needs.
The Kershaw Cryo knife is a nice looking knife at a very reasonable price. The knife is not too big, while still having an adequate blade to serve as the tool that you need it for. The blade is made from coated stainless steel, which should serve you well and keep a decent edge. However we would like a better grip on the handle for our choice EDC knife. If you want a solid knife for a good price, the is probably one of the best budget EDC knife options out there.
The Spyderco Tenacious is a popular knife that you will find on most people’s list of “the best EDC knife options”. The Sypderco’s blade is made from the same type of steel as the Kershaw, however it does not have the added coating that the Kershaw has. What we like about the Spyderco more than the Kershaw is the grippy handle that the Spyderco has thanks to the G-10 material. Overall, the Spyderco is an excellent knife that is really well made and has a solid blade. You cannot go wrong if you were to go the Spyderco route.
The CRKT M16-10KZ is a light-weight tactical style folding knife. It is made from similar steel as the Kershaw and Syderco, but is a Tanto styled blade, which is very sturdy and sharp. If you want a tactical style knife for EDC, then this is a good choice to go with.
The Buck Vantage is a nice looking knife with a handle that we really like. It is very similarly priced to the other knives, however this knife is made in the US and also has a life time warranty on it. There have been some concerns about quality control on these knives, but hopefully Buck has sorted that out by now.
The Ontario RAT 1 is a hefty workhorse type knife. The blade is really sharp right out of the box, however as it is made from AUS-8 steel it might get rusty if you tend to use it in wet conditions often. Overall build and quality of this knife is excellent.
So which knife would we choose?
There really are some awesome knives out there. The 5 knives we discuss above each have their unique selling point that make them contenders to be called the best EDC knife in our eyes. To recap, when we are looking to buy a EDC knife, we want something that has a good blade, is constructed well, fits well in our pocket for comfortable carry and is not too expensive. If we take those points into consideration, we would pick the Kershaw 1555TI. It is really well priced, we like the blade style and the fact that it has Titanium carbo-nitrade coating on it. While we would like a grippier handle, the thin handle does make for a low profile knife that will sit well in your pocket.
The knives we discussed above are some of the knives that we really like as EDC knives. However we know there are A LOT of great EDC knives out there and different folks will have different opinions on what they think the best EDC knife is. So if you have some thoughts on the matter, please share your thoughts on what you think the best EDC knife is in the comments section below.
Before we start talking about the best tactical knife on the market today, let’s go through what exactly makes a knife ‘tactical’. Many manufacturers can tack on the description of ‘tactical’, but this is sometimes just marketing and hype. Add to that the fact that what may be a tactical knife for one person may not be so for a second person, and you will only end up making costly mistakes when buying the best tactical knife for yourself if you don’t understand truly what a tactical knife is, and what it can do for you personally.
What is a tactical knife?
We look at 7 different aspects you need to consider when choosing the best tactical knife for your needs:
So now that you have a greater understanding on what makes a knife tactical for you, what is the best tactical knife on the market today? Here is a list of 5 of the best tactical knife options:
This is the second most expensive item on our best tactical knife list, and has a fixed plain edge blade made from 1095 carbon steel, with a Kraton handle, and has an overall length of 11.75 inches (blade is 7 inches long). It comes with a Kydex sheath for easy carry on belts.
Kraton is known for being a robust material that can be gripped well and is slip resistant. Of course, it will not weather as well as metal handles, but Kraton will last longer than leather, as well as other natural materials. We really liked the butt of this tactical knife too, as it is quite large and solid, allowing you to use to as a hammer, if needed.
The 1095 carbon steel blade is very sharp and will make light work of any tasks related to fishing, hunting, or other tasks in the great outdoors. We did find the blade a little difficult to sharpen, but knives in this category tend to have this issue in general. We recommend using a coarse sharpener. The carry sheath is one of the best we have ever seen. It is made from tough, durable plastic that grips the knife securely into it. Simply put, you can rely on the sheath to ensure your knife never falls out, even when bent over or crouched – ideal for hiking, hunting and fishing. You cannot move the knife out of the sheath unless you grasp the handle firmly and pull. There are also a lot of handy holes for straps, ensuring you create the best carry option that is comfortable for you.
This is one our mid-priced items on our best tactical knife list, and features a thick carbon steel blade with an anti-corrosive black coating (tungsten), and an ergonomic plastic handle coated with a high friction rubber grip. Overall length is 9.1 inches (blade length is 4.3 inches).
Carbon steel is tougher and sharper than stainless steel, so this knife has a very sharp edge, whilst also being easily sharpened. We welcome the tungsten coating, which will mean that anyone who is worried about their blade getting rusty in wet conditions can rest easy knowing this blade will resist rust (although the manufacturers do recommend you wipe the blade clean after every use and add oil to keep it corrosion free). The blade is also annealed (a process where a metal is heated to a certain temperature and then allowed to slowly cool) which allows this blade to withstand stress, such as when batoning (splitting or cutting wood). We really liked how the spine of the blade has been ground especially for use with a fire starter. What’s more, the blade has a Scandi grind, which allows it to bite into surfaces and cut without slipping, whilst not getting stuck, and is long enough to carve with.
Grip is further enhanced with the high friction rubber grip which we found gave great control of the blade, but starts to wear with use. We also did not like the finger choil as it meant we had to grip the knife in one way only. We’re sure the manufacturers felt this made this tactical knife more ergonomically shaped, but we felt many people would want to be able to use this knife with different grips (for example, reverse grip where the blade comes out of the bottom of your closed fist). However, if you plan on only using a tactical knife in a forward grip motion, then this choil would feel comfortable in your hand.
The plastic sheath is functional. It comes with 2 attachments, a belt loop and a belt clip, so we liked that there were different ways of carrying your tactical knife to suit. But it lacks retention – a key aspect we would look for, especially when being in the great outdoors. This is a real shame, as this is a robust blade, designed for use on tough surfaces such as wood, and is corrosive-free, and yet the sheath cannot retain the knife correctly, which is imperative when in the great outdoors.
This is our most keenly priced item on our best tactical knife list, and is 9.875 inches in length (4.5 inch blade) with a Japanese stainless steel blade and Kraton handle. Kobun stands for ‘soldier’, so this knife has been created with self-defence in mind. As such, it is our lightest knife on our best tactical knife list, making it ideal for everyday carry.
Despite having a thinner blade when compared to other tactical knives, it has a reinforced point which makes is resistant to breaking and bending, as well as a spine that runs nearly to the tip of the blade, which makes it very robust. We found the blade edge very sharp out of the box and resisted dulling. Sharpening takes a little longer than some other pocket tactical knives, but this is offset with the fact that you get a much sharper, robust knife. We did notice that the blade does show signs of wear and tear easily. However, this does not seem to affect its performance. The blade style is ‘tanto’, which means it is mainly for self-defence and fighting. However, we found this knife useful for lots of everyday tasks, such as wood work, carving meat and other foods, sharpening, chopping…….in fact, most tasks. The knife point also stays needle sharp throughout – very handy for when you need to dig at something.
For such a robust and tough knife, it is thin and has a slender profile, which means we hardly felt it at all when carrying it around. The only drawback we could think of is that, despite being thinner than most other tactical knives on our best tactical knife list, it is still thicker than the average pocket knife, and it definitely will not fit into most pockets. The sheath that comes with it is also very slender, and does not add any bulk to your profile. We found retention of the knife very good, and it holds the knife snugly, even when running. A fantastic tactical knife for everyday carry, so long as you don’t mind carry a tactical knife in a sheath, rather than in your pocket.
This is our most expensive item on our best tactical knife list, and has an overall length of 10 and ¾ inches (blade length 6 inches) and is made from San Mai III stainless steel, which is renowned for toughness, sharpness and strength, whilst also being easy to re-sharpen. It comes with a durable nylon sheath for carrying.
This is the toughest and sharpest tactical knife on our list. We found that it can easily batton through the toughest wood, butcher and field dress dear and other game, and behead fish. The blade also has a black finish to resist rusting, making it ideal for hunting trips or whenever you need to be in the great outdoors. This is the ultimate big game hunting knife as well as survival knife, and it can handle the most arduous tasks without dulling. The Kraton handle is outstanding and will never let you down, giving you incredible grip.
A minor disadvantage is that this knife is simply too big to handle tasks such as skinning, slicing vegetables, peeling vegetables or filleting fish. If you are looking for more of a ‘camping’ tactical knife, then this is not the best tactical knife for your needs.
This is a mid-priced item on our best tactical knife list, and is 9.5inches with a blade length of 4.85 inches. The manufacturers boast that their SOG knives have been tested and evaluated by the SEALS (tested on criteria such as tip breaking stress, blade breaking limit, prying, penetration, hammering, chopping, two week salt water immersion, sharpness, edge retention, handle twist off force, gasoline and acetylene torch resistance, ability to cut 6 different types of line and rope, and the ability to handle intense hand-on competition out in the field) and is therefore a very tough tactical knife. It features a blade made from steel and has a clip point shape with a black TiNi finish. The blade has gone through a cryogenic heat treatment process (temperature is slowly decreased to under -300 degree Fahrenheit and then gently increased to room temperature). This creates a blade that holds its sharpness for longer with decreased possibility of edge-chipping or micro-fracturing. The handle is made from glass-reinforced nylon, which makes this tactical knife feel very comfortable in your hand, and deep finger grooves for added grip. It also features an added spine rasp for filing, notching and thumb placement.
We loved how tough this blade was. It made light work of shaving wood and cutting through other materials, while the edge remained needle sharp. The feel of the handle is fantastic, feeling extremely comfortable whilst offering us all the grip we needed. The only issue we had was the nylon sheath it came with. The sheath has a Kydex insert inside (the Kydex gives fantastic retention). However, the sheath design is bad. The Kydex insert is only held in the nylon sheath with a piece of double sided scotch tape on the bottom and top of the insert, which means that when you remove the knife from the sheath, the insert pulls out with it. This is major issue as accidents can happen. We did find, however, by inserting and removing the knife many times into the sheath, the Kydex insert loosens its grip just enough to stay inside the nylon sheath when removing the knife.
We simply could not decide on one knife that beats all for the title of the best tactical knife! It really does all depend on what tasks you expect to accomplish with your chosen tactical knife.
For everyday carry and self-defence, you cannot beat the Cold Steel 17T Kobun Tanto. As the lightest and slimmest tactical knife on our best tactical knife list, this can be worn all day with you barely noticing that you are carrying it. However, it is too large to fit into a pocket, but keep in mind that most ‘pocket’ tactical knives are inferior in both durability and sharpness when compared to the fantastic Kobun Tanto.
If you expect to be hunting big game a lot, or need a real ‘survival tool’, the Cold Steel SRK San Mai III is the best tactical knife. It simply won’t let you down, even if you have several animals to butcher or dress. It’s our most expensive item on our best tactical knife list, but it will last you a lifetime. The Morakniv Bushcraft Carbon Black Tactical Knife should be your first choice if you spend a lot of time camping – just be aware of the sheath that comes with it as it simply does not retain the knife well (you may want to buy a separate sheath if you plan on keeping it on your person). If you expect to be on the move all the time, and need a tactical knife to remain put, KA-BAR #1213 Black Straight Edge Knife comes with the best sheath. Just remember that this knife is uncomfortable when carving wood, so don’t buy if you expect to work with wood a lot.
And if you simply want the best tactical knife overall, which can handle everything but the most extreme of tasks, then SOG Specialty Knives & Tools E37SN-CP Seal Pup Elite Knife is your best bet.
We realise there are a lot of great tactical knives that we did not discuss, which some people will believe is in fact the best tactical knife. If you have an opinion, please share your thoughts on what the best tactical knife is in the comments section below.
There are many reasons why you may want to carry a pocket knife with you. We human beings have quite flexible hands, especially with our opposable thumbs, which means we can grab, tear push and pull many things. However, one thing we can’t do without using tools is cut. Carrying a pocket knife helps you open boxes and packages easily, as well as help in first aid, such as cutting bandages or fashioning tourniquets. And if you like fishing or the spend time in the great outdoors, a pocket knife becomes indispensable, from roasting hot dogs to shaving down kindling, from removing hooks to cutting lines…the list of uses is endless! So what is the best pocket knife on the market today?
We take a look at the five most popular pocket knives on Amazon and give you the lowdown!
This is one of our most expensive items on our best pocket knife list, but you do get what you pay for. Last year (2014), Buck celebrated their 50th Anniversary of these knives, and many people who bought them 50 years ago have passed these knives onto their sons, who will testify that these knives are still in fantastic shape. In fact, they’ve even become family heirlooms to be handed down from generation to generation, so get one of these and you’ll be sure to use it for most of your lifetime, and it will still be in good enough condition to hand it down to a son or even grandson. Buck back this up with a ‘4-Ever’ lifetime warranty too.
This knife is 3 ¾ inches steel clip blade with a closed length of 4 7/8 inches, and weighs 7.2 ounces, so it’s definitely not as small as many other knives, but what it lacks in the ‘handy size’ department, it more than makes up for in sheer power, and of course these knives have become somewhat of a prestige brand (all of the 110’s knives manufactured from 2014 onwards will come with a ‘1964 50 years’ emblem). This is the perfect knife for those who like to collect knives and have something to pass on to a younger generation.
As these were originally designed in 1964, these knives boast classic looks with a Dymondwood natural wood-grain handle with polished brass bolsters, stainless steel blade and a genuine leather sheath. These knives are truly beautiful and classic – perfect for those who don’t like the look of ‘modern’ knives. It’s also equipped with a nail-notch lockback design, which allows the knife to opened and closed safely. This is very important as we found the blade to have a razor sharp edge, and some users have made the mistake of placing their fingers across the handle to close the knife, resulting in cut fingers – be warned!
There are a couple of drawbacks. This knife is heavy compared to more modern knives, with a lot of weight being attributed to the natural wood handle. When fully opened, the point of balance is near the middle of the handle, which makes it ideal for controlled cutting, but the knife is not so good for general cutting. Also, the nail-notch lockback systems does mean you need two hands to open the knife. For everyday use, needing both hands can make this knife cumbersome, when there are more modern designs that allow you to fold knives back up with one hand. We would recommend this knife for anyone who is a hunter or fisherman, as this razor sharp and robust knife can skin, gut and clean all sorts of game animals and fish. And of course, this is the best pocket knife for anyone who just wants to have a genuine all American heirloom to pass onto a younger family member!
This is one our tiniest knives on our best pocket knife list. Made from stainless steel, it measures 3.31 by 0.75 by 0.25 inches, and weighs a miniscule 2 ounces. We were very impressed with how thin it is. We could put it into our back pockets and forget it was there! This is in direct contrast to a lot of other Swiss army knives which tend to have plastic handles, which make them at least 50% thicker. Also, having an all stainless steel design means we did not have to worry about scratching the handle, a real worry sometimes with inferior plastic handles. And the stainless steel plates just gives the knife a much more elegant look compared to those with plastic sides, which can look ‘cheap’.
We were pleased with how sharp the knife was too, although this is nowhere near as good as the above Buck 110, so we would not recommend for tackle box, camping and hunting. As you would expect with all Swiss army knives, this comes complete with a whole host of tools (key ring, bottle opener, large and small screwdriver, wire stripper, can opener, nail cleaner and nail file). We do wish they had added some scissors though.
This is one of the best pocket knife options for every day carry. You would forget you were even carrying it most times, and yet it would be there for you when you need it. What’s more, it even features a panel on one side that allows for engraving – perfect for anyone who wants to buy this as a present for someone. The only drawback we could foresee is that stainless steel is a nightmare to use with wet hands. So if you’re expecting to be in wet environments with this pocket knife, this may not be the best pocket knife choice for you. Otherwise, we can’t fault this pocket knife for every day carry.
This is one our mid-sized knives on our best pocket knife list, measuring 4.5 inches closed (8.5 inches when open) and weighing 5 ounces. It boasts ergonomic nylon handles and spine jimping, giving this knife great control and grip, with good weight and balance, and the thumb stud allows you to open and close this knife with one hand. The Liner lock locking mechanism is solid and trustworthy, so you have no worries about unwanted opening accidents. One gripe we had is that the pivot is a little stiff when new. You may need to flick the blade out a number of times to get it to start flicking out smoothly. If you’re confident about modification skills, you could also use a round file to cut away some of nylon handle near the thumb stud, which will make the blade flick out a lot faster and smoother. But only do this if you’re confident.
The steel blade is heavy with a robust working tip, making this a knife ideal for slicing. Also, the thick steel liners throughout makes this one of the most heavy duty folding knives on the market today. What’s more, this knife comes with a four position pocket clip to suit many different carry styles, making this an easy pocket knife to carry every day. We could even see ourselves using this knife for self-defence reasons (make sure this is legal in your state).
Our only gripe is that the handle scales could have been more textured, as we found them too smooth and slick. But, considering the cheap price, the best pocket knife in this price range that can also hold its own against pocket knives in much higher price bracket.
This is not so much a pocket knife as a multi-function tool, but it makes it onto our best pocket knife list for its sheer number of uses and it’s incredibly compact size, which makes this the perfect tool for every day carry. The Micra Multi-Tool is made from durable stainless steel and measures a tiny 2.5 inches when compact, and weighs only 2 ounces, meaning it can easily be added to a key chain and forgotten about until it is needed. Despite its size, it manages to fit an incredible 10 tools; knife, tweezers, 3 screwdrivers, scissors, nail file, nail cleaner, ruler and bottle opener.
We love the spring-action scissors as the design makes it robust yet comfortable to use. However, we did have issues with the pivot, as it doesn’t pull the blades together hard enough, which means soft materials such as thread or plastic slip through the blades. On paper and cardboard, the scissor worked perfectly. The bottle opener works smoothly and is adequate for what it is expected to do. The screw drivers were our favourite tools, as the brilliant interlocking tab design on these make them rigid when closed, and the small screwdriver is small enough to use on eyeglasses. The knife isn’t our favourite tool as the chisel ground edge makes it ideal for peeling or scraping, but difficult to slice anything accurately. We were surprised at how stiff and narrow the tweezers were, making them a lot better than most of the tweezers we see included with Swiss army knives. The nail cleaner, nail file and ruler all do their jobs adequately.
This is the perfect tool for every day carry, but if you expect to use the knife as your main tool, we recommend you look elsewhere. The scissors are a great addition, but think about what materials you would expect to use it with. If it’s mainly paper and cardboard, you’ll love these scissors. But if it’s soft materials, then these scissors are not up to the mark. So if you want a cutting knife, this is perhaps not the best pocket knife for you. However if you like all the extra little tools, it could be the knife for you!
Our most expensive knife on our best pocket knife list and designed to give you a lifetime of use. The stainless steel blade is 2.91 inches with an overall closed length of 3.87 inches (opened length is 6.78 inches), and it weighs only 2.56 ounces. Sold with a useful pocket clip, this knife is compact enough for everyday carry.
The blade itself has a great modified drop-point to it, and is easily deployed using the thumb studs, which has great traction and is situated exactly where you would expect. We really liked how the design of the blade involves ‘designer scratches’! You would think that having a blade that looks already scratched would be a drawback, but the scratches look great, and it also means that any real scratches you cause to the blade are effectively camouflaged. However, the edge of the blade is a real let down. The edge is quite thick which makes cutting through anything coarse or thick, such as cardboard, difficult.
The handle on this pocket knife is one of the best we’ve ever seen when it comes to grip (this knife is, for this reason, often referred to as a ‘Mini Griptillian’). This knife has a finger choli which allows you to have good grip and keeps your fingers safe by preventing them from sliding into the cutting area. Also, on each handle scale, there is a checker board pattern of tiny pyramids which gives you incredible grip. The only caveat we would say is that the uneven base can cause pain to anyone with delicate hands and skin.
We loved the axis lock and felt this was quite a unique aspect for a pocket knife. The omega springs on each side of the lock give the much needed tension required to keep the blade within the handle. When the knife is open, the axis lock prevents the blade from closing on your hand. All this means that this knife should never fail to deploy exactly when you want it to, whilst not accidentally deploying itself.
Overall, this is a robust pocket knife that is much more robust than cheaper pocket knives and will last the test of time. However, do ask yourself what you expect to use this knife on, as the fat blade edge will cause problems if you wish to cut thick, coarse material.
You should choose the best pocket knife for you keeping in mind what you intend to use a pocket knife for. Although the idea of carrying a pocket knife is for you to be able to use it in unforeseen circumstances, with a little thought, you can imagine the likely scenarios you would expect to find yourself in. What kind of activities do you do regularly? Do you find yourself in wet environments? What types of material do you expect to use your knife on? Asking yourself questions like this will allow you to pick the most useful tool from our best pocket knife list. Let’s quickly recap all the items on our best pocket knife list:
The Buck Knives 110BRS Folding Hunter Knife is our largest and heaviest knife on our best pocket knife list. Add to that the two handed opening, and it’s obviously not the ideal option for every day carry, unless you actually spend most of your time in the great outdoors. However, if you want the sharpest blade ever, that can slice through most things, and is guaranteed to even outlive you, then this is the best option. Add to that the prestige of owning one of these blades, and you can see why these knives are some of the most popular knives on the market.
The Victorinox Cadet Swiss Army Knife is one of the smallest options on our best pocket knife list, making it ideal for everyday carry. Despite this, it still has a very sharp blade, and useful tools. The all stainless steel gives it a very classy and elegant look, and the only drawback we could think of is that it would be difficult to grip when wet.
Ontario 8848 RAT Folding Knife is a mid-size option on our best pocket knife list, and an ideal option for someone who wants something more robust than smaller pocket knives, but also something small enough to be able to carry at all times. The only issue we had with this item is that the handle could have had better grips.
Micra Multi-Tool is ideal for anyone who does not expect to use a knife very often at all, as the other tools included (especially the three screwdrivers) are so versatile. Definitely not for you if you spend a lot of time outdoors, naturally. But an inexpensive option for simple, everyday carry, especially as it is our smallest option on our best pocket knife list.
The Benchmade Mini Griptilian Knife is our most expensive option on our best pocket knife list, and it is built to last. It has the best grip we have ever seen on a pocket knife, so if this has been an issue in the past when you’ve bought knives, then you will be pleased with the performance of this knife. But do ask yourself what materials you expect to be slicing through, as the fat edge on this blade makes cutting through thick, coarse material uncomfortable.
Our best pocket knife choice on the market today:
We couldn’t decide on one knife that we think is the best pocket knife of the knives discussed above, so we picked two! For the sharpest blade we’ve ever seen that will see us through anything that life can throw at us, we have to choose the Buck Knives 110BRS Folding Hunter Knife. Not ideal for everyday carry due to size and weight, but this is the go-to knife that you will be able to rely on in even the harshest of conditions and environments.
For everyday carry, we think the best pocket knife is the Ontario 8848 RAT Folding Knife. We struggled to find knives almost twice the price of this pocket knife that is as well made and robust as this pocket knife, and yet compact enough to carry with you wherever you go.
Do you have an opinion on what is the best pocket knife? We know there are many many great pocket knives out there and that different folks will have an opinion on what they think the best pocket knife is. If you have some thoughts on the topic, please share them in the comments section below.
First of all, let’s describe what a tactical flashlight is. We all know what flashlights are, and have at least one lying in our houses somewhere. But what makes a flashlight tactical? Simply put, a tactical flashlight is a flashlight that has been designed for tactical (police or military) use, with many allowing themselves to be mounted onto a gun to help you shoot in low light. Because they are designed to be used with guns, they tend to be smaller, give out more light, and are constructed from more robust materials (such as weapon grade aluminium) than standard flashlights.
Although designed originally for the police or military, many civilians concerned with self-defence also buy these tactical flashlights, especially if they carry a pistol. A tactical flashlight can help you in a number of ways in low lighting or darkness. It can help identify your target, eliminating the advantage that a would-be attacker has when using the darkness to stalk you. Many would-be attackers will flee just by you simply shining a light on them. A very bright light shone into a would-be attacker’s eyes also has the effect of disorientating them momentarily. You could gain vital, life-saving seconds as your opponent shields his eyes from your flashlight. If you do need to use your pistol, a tactical flashlight will also allow you to see your gun sights properly – extremely important if you end up discharging your weapon. And lastly, some tactical flashlights will have toothed or serrated bezels, which can be used to strike your opponents face if he gets close enough.
There are literally hundreds of tactical flashlights on the market right now, so which one should you choose. We recommend that one of the aspects to look for when choosing the best tactical flashlight for your needs, is the size of the flashlight. The best tactical flashlight needs to be small and light enough for you to carry every day, and ideally should not be much bigger than the palm of your hand. If you plan on mounting a tactical flashlight onto your pistol, then of course you need to make sure your chosen flashlight is compatible with your make and model of pistol. Also, look at the light output which is usually measured in lumens. Lumen, usually abbreviated to lm, is a measure of the total amount of visible light to the human eye from a light source or lamp – the higher the lumen value, the brighter the light source is to the human eye. A low lumen output will not give you the advantage of disorientating a would-be attacker, so if that is important to you, you need to look for a higher lumen output. The best tactical flashlights have adjustable brightness so that you can change the output according to the situation and need.
The best tactical flashlights tend use LED lights instead of incandescent (nearly all tactical flashlights now use LED). LED’s are much more robust and can withstand being dropped, unlike incandescent bulbs which tend to break and shatter. Incandescent bulbs also burn through and use up batteries much faster than LED’s. A robust construction is vital when choosing the best tactical flashlight. You need a flashlight that you can carry every day, and will be reliable when you really need it. A tough material, such as hard anodized aluminum, will allow you to carry it every day, in all sorts of environments, without worrying that your flashlight may fail on you when you need it most. And lastly, a level of water resistance (or even better waterproof) will again mean you don’t have to worry about where you are taking your flashlight, and it failing on you when you need it most.
So what is the best tactical flashlight on the market today? We’ve reviewed 5 popular models. We will go through size, ease of use, luminosity, and performance.
In our 5 best tactical flashlight list, this is the most expensive model. It’s made from impact resistant polymer, with the face cap made of machined aircraft aluminium which has been anodized black. It boasts C4 LED technology, and fits a broad range of weapons using a key kit (included with flashlight). It’s also extremely lightweight (weighing only 2.9 ounces) and compact (2.7 inches in length). Lumen output is at 110 lumens, it runs on one CR2 battery, and it will run for 1.5 hours of continuous use. Attaching and detaching from your weapon is fast and simple using the rail clamp. But the real draw is the integrated aiming laser, which is perfect for long range targeting. An ambidextrous on-off switch can toggle between momentary and steady beam, and there are 3 modes; LED illumination, laser only, or LED and laser at the same time.
We really liked the laser as it is bright and very distinct in the centre of the hotspot or beam. The whole unit feels very secure on a pistol, whilst being extremely lightweight, adding almost nothing to the weight. Of course, all flashlights will add to the bulk and shape of the pistol, and even with such a compact tactical flashlight, you may find that you need a new, bigger holster to fit your weapon, but we cannot fault the manufacturers for this, as this is a likely consequence of most tactical flashlights. We did find the laser adjustment screws rather stiff at first, but a little firm pressure was all that was required.
Our main issue was the polymer material. It’s not as robust as we would like, and some other users have even found that the polymer clip sides can snap right off if not handled carefully. Now, of course you need to take care with your tactical flashlight, but considering this is meant to be a flashlight for use with a weapon, we would expect the materials used to be a bit more robust. After all, if you find yourself in the unfortunate circumstance where you need to use your weapon for self-defence, careful handling is going to be last of your concerns. We do wish the manufacturers made both clip sides metal instead of polymer to make this a more robust tactical flashlight, especially for the price. Also, there is no mention of how resistant this tactical flashlight it to water, and we would advise against getting it wet. However, if having a laser to help your aim is at the top of your list, then this is the best tactical flashlight for your needs.
This Orion tactical flashlight made it onto our best tactical flashlights list because of the sheer brightness of its output (500 lumens – runs on two CR123A batteries), and its robust construction that make it reliable in the harshest of environments. It has a virtually indestructible LED emitter, and is recoil proof, ensuring that even if your pistol has quite a harsh recoil, this tactical flashlight will not budge. The body is also made from high strength aluminium, which has been hard anodised, making it durable in all environments. Add to that an IPX-7 rating, which means that this tactical flashlight can be submerged in up to a metre of water for up to 30 minutes, and this is one tough flashlight!
It can be mounted to most pistols but can also be mounted to rifles using the Picatinny or Weaver Rail mount. At 500 lumens, this tactical flashlight is ideal if you need something to momentarily disorientate a would-be attacker. It’s reasonably compact at a length of 5.2 inches and weighs 3.4 ounces (without batteries). You can choose between a constant beam (by pressing the constant button), or there is a pressure switch for momentary light.
We really liked this tactical flashlight, despite being a little bulky. We loved how the brightness of the beam does not dip, even when your batteries are running out, Instead of the usual slow dimming of light, it remains at full beam until the battery has almost run out, and then it goes to super dim. The only issue we could find with this tactical flashlight is that when we tried mounting the pressure switch we found there was no adhesive, and the backing was raised in places, which creates a non-flat surface. However, if having a startling beam that will disorientate attackers, and complete reliability in all environments is high on your priority list, this is definitely one of the best tactical flashlight options around.
This flashlight makes it onto our best tactical flashlight list for being one of the most inexpensive flashlights available, and yet still being robust. It is made from aircraft grade aluminium, which makes it tough and yet still light (weighing only 2.5 ounces). It is also very compact at only 3.7 inches in length. It uses a rail mount to mount onto pistols, and can mount onto any Weaver or Picatinny rail. Output is at 90 lumens and it uses one CR123A battery.
We liked how simple and robust this flashlight was for its small price. However, at 90 lumens, remember his flashlight is not really bright enough to disorientate an attacker. Also, the pressure switch does not plug in. It actually replaces the rear of the flashlight. In other words, you need to choose between the option of the pressure switch or the button, you can’t use both. And there is also no mention of how this tactical flashlight fairs with water, so we would advise to keep moisture away from this unit. Having said all that, for the price, this is one of the best tactical flashlight options for anyone on a budget.
This also makes it onto our best tactical flashlight options list for being a fantastic budget option, but also for its incredible light output at 1000 lumens. It is made from aluminium alloy, and is powered by one 18650 battery. It is a slightly big tactical flashlight at 5.2 inches, but it boasts the ability to absorb shock, and is also waterproof (however, there is no IPX rating, so we do not recommend submerging this tactical flashlight in water – it should be fine for use in the rain, however). There are two modes; a toggle pressure switch and a button switch. It comes with a 20mm rail mount, and can also be installed on a standard weaver rail.
We would have preferred the flashlight body to have had a flat black finish instead of being shiny, for tactical reasons, and we did find the pressure switch a little flimsy, with some users finding the wires disconnect from the housing after a while, but for the price, and the sheer power you get, this deserves to be on our list of best tactical flashlight options.
This has to be one of the best tactical flashlight options when it comes to versatility. Made from aluminium, it boasts a light output of up to 550 lumen, using two CR123A batteries, and has a six mode operation; high for dazzling brightness to disorientate, low ‘candle’ mode for reading, camping etc, SOS flashing mode, and three detachable colour lenses (red for night vision, green for reading maps, and blue for differentiating blood and other fluids). It is however our bulkiest and heaviest tactical flashlight on our list, weighing 7.4 ounces and measuring 6.4 inches in length. It comes with a LiteXpress X-fire remote pressure switch. This is the best tactical flashlight for someone who expects to use not only for self-defence situations, but find themselves often in environments were they need light, and need something robust enough to handle their busy lifestyle. The manufacturers back this flashlight with a 5 year warranty.
We really liked the mount on this flashlight as it was rubber gripped so it does not scratch or damage the finish. Drawbacks include the momentary switch, which is a rough diamond pattern, which does not stick to the pump of the pistol very well, and the screw that tightens the mount to the rail is a bit flimsy. Also, the spiral cord for the pressure switch is a little too long for our liking. And of course, it is rather big compared to other tactical flashlights. Also, we would have liked an IPX rating for water resistance, which the manufacturers do not mention. However, for someone with a very outdoorsy, active lifestyle, but who also wants a tactical flashlight with the ability to disorientate, this is definitely one of the best tactical flashlight options available.
Our reviewed flashlights range from the cheapest at under $18 to just under $121, and your choice will ultimately come down to your budget, as well as what you plan on using your flashlight for. Let’s quickly recap on the 5 best tactical flashlight options:
The Streamlight 69240 TLR-4 Compact Rail Mounted Tactical Light with Laser Sight is made from impact resistant polymer, and weighs 2.9 ounces. It is 2.7 inches in length. Brightness is at 110 lumens. The main draw for our most expensive flashlight on our best tactical flashlight list is the aiming laser. The polymer body material is not as robust as we would like, and this tactical flashlight cannot come into contact with water.
The Orion H40-W 500 Lumen LED Tactical Flashlight is made from hard anodized aluminium, is 5.2 inches long, and weighs 3.4 ounces. Output is at 500 lumen, and it has a waterproof rating of IPX 7. The only issue we could find was difficulty in mounting the pressure switch.
The Monstrum Tactical 90 Lumens LED Flashlight is our cheapest flashlight on our best tactical flashlight list, and is made from aircraft grade aluminium. It is 3.7 inches in length and weighs 2.5 ounces. Light output is at 90 lumens, which we feel is rather low for a tactical flashlight. Also, this flashlight cannot come into contact with water.
The CISNO New T6 LED 1000LM Tactical Flashlight is made from aluminium alloy and is 5.2 inches long. It has the highest lumen factor of all of the flashlights featured in our best tactical flashlight list at 1000 lumens. It is also rain resistant. The only issue we could find was that the pressure switch is rather flimsy.
The LiteXpress SET-KOMBI89: LXL448001B Led Aluminium Flashlight is made from aluminium, is 6.4 inches in length and weighs 7. 4 ounces. Output is at 550 lumen and this is truly the most versatile item on our best tactical flashlight list, with 6 different modes. However, this flashlight should not be used around water, and there are issues with the momentary switch.
So which do we think is the best tactical flashlight?
The best tactical flashlight choice depends on what you want the tactical flashlight for. For true versatility, you cannot beat the LiteXpress SET-KOMBI89: LXL448001B Led Aluminum Flashlight, but it is bulky and, unless you are a real outdoorsy person, we doubt you will appreciate all the different modes. And if you love the idea of an aiming laser, then the Streamlight 69240 TLR-4 Compact Rail Mounted Tactical Light with Laser Sight will be the best tactical flashlight for you. However, our favourite was the Orion H40-W 500 Lumen LED Tactical Flashlight. A robust, truly waterproof tactical flashlight, that is also reasonably compact. And if you are budget conscious, then the CISNO New T6 LED 1000LM Tactical Flashlight is perhaps the best tactical flashlight choice for you. Boasting an eye watering 1000 lumens and rain resistance, it cannot be beaten in this price range.
What do you think is the best tactical flashlight? We know there are many tactical flashlight options out there and different people with have their own opinion on what they think the best tactical flashlight is. If you have some thoughts on the topic, please share it in the comments section below!
Before we decide what the best EDC flashlight is, let’s understand what EDC actually means. EDC is the abbreviation for ‘Every Day Carry’. So an EDC flashlight is one that you can and would be wanting to carry every day. So why should you be looking for in the best EDC flashlight? Apart from the obvious, such as the ability to find things in the dark, especially important if you live in an area where you are prone to experiencing blackouts, an EDC flashlight is useful as a self-defence tool.
The best EDC flashlight for your needs has to have one overriding criteria; will you be able to have it with you at all times? No matter how amazing a flashlight is, if you can’t carry it at all times, then it is not a true EDC flashlight. It can have great battery life, shock resistance, water resistance, brightness etc, but if you don’t have it with you when you need it, then it is a useless tool. Ultimately the best EDC flashlight is the one that fits in with your lifestyle. Let’s have a look at some main considerations you need to keep in mind when choosing the best EDC flashlight.
Size: The best EDC flashlight for your needs has to be the right size. Ask yourself how you plan on carrying an EDC flashlight. Will you keep it in a holster or on your belt? Perhaps in your pocket or purse? There are even some lightweight flashlights that can be worn on a keychain or lanyard. Naturally, with some options (such as on a lanyard) you’ll want the lightest flashlight possible as you don’t want a heavy flashlight weighing you down. For us, when we look at EDC flashlight options, we want a flashlight that easily fit in the palm of our hands. If it is much bigger than that, it will likely be too large to comfortably carry it around as an EDC device
Battery life: The battery used is going to be an important factor to consider when choosing an EDC flashlight. This is not so much a separate consideration as it is a follow-on from the size consideration. The size of a flashlight is very much tied to the size of the battery. Micro flashlights (the smallest on the market) tend to use watch type batteries. Larger flashlights will use AA, AAA CR2 or CR123A batteries. Consideration needs to be given on availability of batteries. Naturally, AA and AAA batteries can be found almost anywhere. Other batteries are less widespread, for example watch batteries might only be sold in mainly specialist stores. As a rule of thumb, the specialised batteries will give you a higher performance, but will be less available in your area. General batteries will give you less performance, but will be available in most stores. Then there is of course the consideration to use rechargeable batteries, which will be more expensive to initially buy, but can save you money in the long run as you do not need to keep replacing batteries. For us, the best EDC flashlight takes quality rechargeable batteries that has a long life-span.
Self-defence situations: The best EDC flashlight should give you a self-defense option. There are 2 ways to use an EDC flashlight in self-defence situations; as a means of disorientating your would-be attacker, and as a striking tool. If you choose to have an EDC flashlight that needs to disorientate an attacker, you need a flashlight that has a lumen factor of 120 or above. Lumen, abbreviated to lm, is a measure of the total amount of visible light to the human eye from a light source or lamp – the higher the lumen value, the brighter the light source is to the human eye. On the other hand, if you wish to have an EDC flashlight to use as a possible striking tool, larger, heavier flashlights are recommended.
Durability: As mentioned before, carrying a flashlight every day will put it through some considerable wear and tear. There’s no point in a flashlight that doesn’t work when you really need it to because it could not withstand you carrying it every day. Depending on what your typical days are like, you need to look at aspects such as shock resistance, water resistance and lens that are scratch resistant and shatterproof.
Materials: The best EDC flashlight options tend to be made from anodized aluminium, with some made from titanium or stainless steel. Stainless steel is extremely strong, and ideal for those who spend time in harsh environments, but it is also the heaviest material. Titanium is as strong as stainless steel, but 45% lighter, so this is ideal for anyone who needs a tough flashlight, but will carry it in such a way that lightness is key. Aluminium is the most common material, as it is a nice middle ground. It’s half as strong as titanium and stainless steel, but strong enough for most people to carry every day, the lightest out of all the materials, and the most cost-efficient.
Shock resistance: Being shock resistant is an important criteria when looking for the best EDC flashlight. Carrying an item every day means it is prone to being dropped. The best EDC flashlight options use LED lights now instead of incandescent bulbs, as they are shock resistant, as well as having a longer lifespan and being cheaper. If you spend a lot of time in the great outdoors, or in environments where you are expected to be at a height, look at flashlights that mention ANSI FL1 standards. This is an impact resistant assessment where the flashlight is dropped onto cured concrete from a defined height, and it has been proven to still work, and has no breaks or cracks.
Water resistance: If you expect your EDC flashlight to come into contact with water, looking at the level of water resistance a flashlight has is important. An aspect of the ANSI FL1 standards is the IPX rating, which you need to look out for when buying an EDC flashlight. A flashlight that states IPX4 means that it is splash resistant (ideal for those simply worried about their flashlight being exposed to rain). IPX7 will mean that a flashlight can be submerged in up to a metre of water for up to 30 minutes. IPX8 will mean that a flashlight can be submerged to a depth of more than a metre continuously, and still works perfectly.
So what is the best EDC flashlight on the market today? We’ve reviewed 5 popular models. We will go through size, ease of use, luminosity, and performance in order to decide the best EDC flashlight!
The first flashlight on our list of the best EDC flashlight options comes from Streamlight. This tactical EDC flashlight uses 2 CR123A batteries (lithium batteries included) and is made from anodized aluminium with an impact-resistant tempered glass lens. It boasts 50,000 hour lifetime LED light, and three modes; momentary, variable intensity and strobe. With the O-Ring seal it has an IPX7 rating for water resistance, which means it can withstand being submerged in water by up to a metre in depth for up to 30 minutes. It comes with a removable pocket clip that the manufacturer’s state is unbreakable, an anti-roll face cap, and a nylon holster. Brightness is at 250 lumens in high mode (and 13 lumens in low mode). It is also only 4.7 inches long (and 0.8 inches in width) which makes this a compact EDC flashlight. This is a fantastic EDC flashlight with easy and fast handling; simply use the rubber push-button tactical tail switch – easily handled with just one hand. The strobe mode is perfect for causing disorientation when faced with an attacker. The Ten-Tap programmable switch allows you to select one of three different programs; factory default is high/strobe/low, but you also can choose high only, or low/high. This flashlight is also impervious to shock as it has been tested from a 2 metre height.
As would be expected when looking at the best EDC flashlight options, we found it difficult to fault this EDC flashlight. The pouch could have been a little bit sturdier as we don’t feel it offered much protection. A molded nylon pouch would be preferable. Also, another minor issue was the counter-intuitive switching system. Click once and it comes on in high mode. Three clicks will get you the strobe mode, and five clicks will get you the low mode. It seemed a bit baffling that the manufacturers would choose the low mode to be the last mode instead of the first mode. However, this is a very minor issue. All-in-all, a fantastic, robust and lightweight EDC flashlight. So if you need a really tough flashlight that can take some hard knocks, this is possibly the best EDC flashlight for your needs.
This EDC flashlight uses 1 AA battery (battery not included – choose from alkaline, NIMH rechargeable, 14500 lithium or lithium-ion, or carbon zinc) and is made from aluminium that has been anodized black. The aluminium is rust and corrosion resistant, whilst also offering impact and water resistance. Brightness is at 220 lumen maximum for up to 171 metres, although it’s worth noting that you will only achieve this with Li-Ion (lithium ion rechargeable) batteries. You should be able to achieve 96 lumens with alkaline batteries, 66 lumens with NiMH, and 193 lumens with Li-Ion batteries, so we think 220 lumen is a bit of a stretch, but 193 is still very respectable. Dimensions are 4.1 inches in length and 1 inch in width, making it a very compact EDC flashlight. It also boasts a patented Pure Beam Focusing Optic System, which is a system that allows this flashlight to shape the light into useful beam patterns, whilst also making it easy to adjust from spotlight to floodlight. It comes with a removable metal clip so you can clip it onto pockets and keep with you wherever you go.
An issue we noticed with this flashlight is that the black coating (the aluminium has been anodized black) scratches off rather easily. It is very easy to adjust from spotlight to floodlight, but we found that the LED light had no reflector, so the ‘throw’ isn’t as good as it could be. The manufacturers also don’t state how impact and water resistant this flashlight is (no IPX rating) although they do state it has been tested and rated to ANSI FL1 Flashlight Standards, and they do offer a lifetime warranty. Additionally, there is a hole to fit a lanyard on, but we were stumped finding a split ring that would fit through it. If you plan on wearing this EDC flashlight on a lanyard, keep this in mind, as you will have to find a tiny split ring to fit through the hole. Lastly, although the manufacturers state you can use any AA battery (alkaline, NiMH, carbon zinc, lithium or Li-Ion batteries), we found that using Li-Ion batteries meant that after about an hour of use, the flashlight can get very hot and needs to be turned it off so that it does not melt the plastic lens. Keep this in mind if you want an EDC flashlight with a high lumen factor but also envisage needing a flashlight that will operate for longer than an hour. Having said all that, this is good little EDC flashlight that can be bought for under $10 – bargain! So if you are on a budget, then this is the best EDC flashlight for you.
If you are looking for a robust flashlight that you can truly use everyday, this is the best EDC flashlight option. This EDC flashlight uses either one 18650 rechargeable battery, or two CR123A batteries (does not come with batteries). Maximum output is a blinding 1050 and it uses one of the highest performing LED lights, the XM-L2 U2. It is made from aircraft-grade aluminium with a hard-anodized finish that is anti-abrasive. Dimensions are just over 5.6 inches with a width of 1 inch, making it the longest flashlight on our list, but still very compact. It has 5 modes which give you different brightness levels; 0.3 lumens, 20 lumens, 280 lumens, 800 lumens, and 1050 lumens. The higher the lumen, the less run time you will get from your batteries (1585 hours at the lowest ‘firefly’ mode of 0.3 lumens down to 90 minutes using the ‘turbo’ mode of 1050 lumens). It also has a strobe mode at 1050 lumens which only takes one second to turn on – perfect for self-defence situations. It boasts an ultra-clear glass lens with has been treated with an anti-reflective coating, giving a superior beam, and a smooth reflector which gives a perfect beam and throw. Additionally, it has a reverse polarity protection design which protects the flashlight from improper battery installation.
Handling is easy; simply press the tail switch gently to give a momentary beam, or keep pressing until it clicks to turn it on to constant (press again to turn light off). When the light is on, you simple press the side switch to circle through the different lumen outputs. Strobe can be turned on after you have switched the flashlight on to constant and then by holding the side switch for a second. One press on the side switch will then turn off the strobe back to general light.
This is a very robust EDC flashlight, boasting an IPX8 rating, which means it is waterproof when submerged beyond a depth of 1 metres continuously, and has been tested to be impact resistant from a drop of 2 metres. This is the flashlight to choose if you spend a lot of time in the great outdoors and don’t want to worry about your flashlight letting you down. It also boasts extras that you’ll be hard pushed to find elsewhere. For example, it has a ‘firefly’ mode at 0.3 lumens. For anyone who does not spend much time camping, or out in the wilderness, it’s hard to understand why there would a 0.3 lumens option. But for anyone who spends time outdoors, this level of brightness is similar to moonlight, and is perfect for reading maps or guiding the way through terrain without blinding yourself. You can also choose between cool white and neutral white light (most manufacturers do not give you a choice). Cool white is more reliable for self-defence in the dark and serves as a ‘guiding star’. On the other hand, neutral white is gentler and protects the eyes. The choice is yours, depending on what you want to use this flashlight for. It comes with a stainless steel clip to clip onto pockets, belts or anywhere you want to clip it on to, spare O-rings to ensure your flashlight stays completely waterproof, a sturdy holster for protection to protect your flashlight, and a lanyard – complete piece of mind that you can carry this flashlight however you want.
We found it almost impossible to fault this flashlight. At under $50, it’s an absolute bargain when you take into consideration the many different uses you can get from it. It can even stand on its tail – we envisage many uses for that. The only very minor issue we had was that we found with certain brands of CR123’s, the flashlight would turn off on its own after about a minute on the ‘turbo’ (1050 lumen) mode. This didn’t happen with all CR123’s we tried, and didn’t happen with any 18650 batteries. Also, when using an 18650 battery, we couldn’t find any difference between the high (800 lumens) mode and the turbo (1050 lumens) mode. Using CR123’s however, the turbo mode was definitely brighter. Having said that, even at 800 lumens, this flashlight is very bright, so we didn’t really care all that much. It is the best EDC flashlight for anyone who worries that their lifestyle is too ‘rough and ready’ for an EDC flashlight to handle – it’s practically indestructible.
This EDC flashlight uses one AA battery (included with flashlight – can use alkaline or NiMH) and will give a maximum lumen factor of 130 lumens with a 289 feet reach. It has three modes; low (8 lumen), medium (50 lumens) and the high mode at 130 lumens. It is made using aircraft grade aluminium, and is rated IPX8 which means it is waterproof when submerged beyond 1 metre continuously, which makes this a robust flashlight. The aluminium is also hard-anodized with an anti-abrasive finish. It is a tiny 3.5 inches in length, making it the shortest flashlight on our list of the best EDC flashlight options, and is only 0.5 inches in width, making it the slimmest flashlight too.
Handling is simple with the tail cap switch, which controls all the functions on this flashlight; simply push the switch to turn it on and then little clicks will cycle through the different modes. It boasts a digitally regulated output and a high-efficiency total reflection lens, which mean it can maintain constant brightness and has reverse polarity protection, which protects from improper battery installation. The manufacturers back this flashlight up with a lifetime guarantee, and it comes with an extra O-ring and a lanyard.
This is a sturdy little flashlight that can handle most things that are thrown at it. It’s so small it can be carried very easily on a lanyard, though we wish it had a removable clip for anyone who wanted to clip it onto a belt or pocket. We noticed there are some issues with centring the beam with this flashlight. We found the beam to be almost elliptical, so if beam quality is important to you, this may not be the best EDC flashlight for your needs. However, for the price (under $26) you get a very robust flashlight that is tiny enough for you to carry anywhere.
This is the most budget priced flashlight on the list of best EDC flashlight options, being sold for under $5, and uses one AA battery. Despite the low price, it has a CREE Q5 Led light that has lifetime of 100,000 hours, and can achieve a lumen factor of 400 lumens. However will only be able to achieve this with rechargeable 3.7 volt batteries. It is made from aluminium alloy casing and the manufacturer’s state that it is waterproof, but do not give an IPX rating. It comes with a steel body clip to attach to pockets or belts.
The unique selling point for this EDC flashlight, according to the manufacturers, is that it’s a ‘zoomable flashlight’, which means you can adjust the focus and zoom in and out. Dimensions are 5.3 inches in length and 1.6 inches in width, making it the second longest flashlight on our list, and the widest.
We were quite pleased with how bright the light was on this EDC flashlight, but quality is an issue. The zoom function is inconsistent; we found the zoom to be tight, making it difficult to adjust the focus. It is a mini flashlight, so it does not give great coverage over distance, but we can’t fault the manufacturer for that as this was not what it was designed to do. We don’t believe it is completely waterproof, considering no IPX rating is given, so we recommend anyone who buys this EDC flashlight to think of it as ‘splash proof’. Also, the body casing feels robust, but we wonder if it would be up to any serious wear and tear. Having said all of that, for under $5, this is a great little flashlight. At this price, you can buy several of these and stash them in different bags, areas around the home……anywhere, and you’ll never be too far from a flashlight! So if you just need a cheap flashlight to keep around, this is perhaps the best EDC flashlight option for you.
Our reviewed list of the best EDC flashlight options range from the cheapest at under $5 to just under $50, and your choice will ultimately come down to your budget, as well as what you plan on using your flashlight for, and where you are likely to store and use it. Let’s quickly recap on the 5 best EDC flashlight options:
The Streamlight 88031 Protac Tactical Flashlight is our second most expensive flashlight, but considering how robust it is, with its anodized aluminium construction, shock resistant from a drop of 2 metres, and an IPX7 rating, this EDC flashlight will last many years. It uses two CR123A batteries, has a maximum lumen factor of 250 and a useful strobe mode to disorientate would-be attackers. It is 4.7 inches in length, and a very skinny 0.8 inches in width.
The Coast HP1 Focusing LED Flashlight is our second cheapest EDC flashlight coming in at under $10. Constructed in aluminum that has been anodized black, it uses one AA battery and states it can achieve 220 lumen as maximum output, although we only managed 193 lumens using a Li-Ion battery (other batteries gave a lower lumen factor). There is no strobe function, although this flashlight can produce useful beam patterns. Beam ‘throw’ would be better if the LED light had a reflector. Dimensions are 4.1 inches length with a width of 1 inch. This EDC flashlight is sold as water and shock resistant, but we can’t find an IPX rating, or a test done for shock resistance from a height, so we expect it to be able to handle normal wear and tear, but this would not be the best EDC flashlight for anyone who spends time in the great outdoors. We had issues trying to find a split ring small enough to fit through the tiny lanyard hole, and using the flashlight for an hour on Li-Ion batteries is known to cause it to get too hot. However, for under $10 this is a good EDC flashlight for general use.
The ThruNite TN12 2014 Edition 1050 Lumen Single CREE XM-L2 U2 LED EDC Flashlight is our most expensive EDC flashlight on the list, but you really do get your money’s worth! Made from aircraft-grade aluminium with a hard anodized finish, it boasts an eye-watering 1050 maximum lumen output with an additional strobe mode as well, to disorientate attackers. It uses one 18650 battery, or two CR123A – we preferred it with two CR123A batteries, as with the 18650 battery we could not achieve the maximum 1050 lumen factor for the turbo and strobe modes. Still, even the second highest mode of 800 lumen gave a very bright light. This is an extremely robust flashlight, boasting an IPX8 rating and shock resistant from a drop of 2 metres. Dimensions are 5.6 inches in length, making it the longest EDC flashlight on our list, and it is 1 inch wide. It also has extras not usually seen on EDC flashlights, such as the ability to stand on its tail, a very low 0.3 lumen ‘firefly’ mode, and the option to choose between neutral white and cool white. Add to that the extras you get (steel clip, lanyard, holster and O-rings) and you have a flashlight that you can depend on for many years, no matter how active your lifestyle is.
The Fenix Flashlights E12 130-Lumen Flashlight is our mid-priced EDC flashlight, using one AA battery and giving a maximum lumen rating of 130 lumens. This is our tiniest EDC flashlight, being only 3.5 inches in length and 0.5 inches in width. Despite that, it is still decently robust as it is made from aircraft-grade aluminium and has an IPX8 rating. The beam is rather elliptical, with issues of being able to centre the beam, and we would have liked a removable clip with this flashlight. But this a fantastic flashlight for anyone who wants a very small option that they can carry on a lanyard every day.
The Ultrafire® Cree 7W 300LM Mini LED One Mode Flashlight is our most keenly priced EDC flashlight, costing under $5. It only has one mode of 400 lumen (although we could only achieve this with 3.7 volt rechargeable batteries). Its USP is the ability to adjust focus and zoom in/out. It is made from aluminium alloy casing and the manufacturer claim it is waterproof. With no IPX rating, we would recommend you consider this as ‘splash proof’. This is the second longest EDC flashlight on our list with a length of 5.3 inches, and our widest flashlight with a width of 1.6 inches, but still compact enough to carry around every day. Zooming in and out can be a little problematic, but for the price we can’t complain.
The best EDC flashlight for you depends on what you want the EDC flashlight for. If you have an outdoorsy lifestyle, the Ultrafire or the Coast HP1 will not be the best EDC flashlight options for your needs. If you can stretch to it, the best EDC flashlight for you has to be the ThruNite. It will never let you down. The Streamlight Protac is also a good flashlight to consider, although the ThruNite does outperform it in every aspect. Also, if you want a strobe function to disorientate attackers, again you need to choose between the ThruNite and Streamlight Protac. If you want the smallest possible EDC flashlight that you can carry on a lanyard, then the best EDC flashlight will be Fenix flashlight – you may forget you even have it on! Despite its size, it is still very robust and will give you many years of use.
For us, if we had to spend money on a new flashlight, the best EDC flashlight is the ThruNite TN12. This particular flashlight has been a favorite of flashlight enthusiast for some time, and the re-release of this design in 2014 only served to increase its popularity. The ability of this lamp to use multiple battery types, in addition with the attention to detail found it in its design, makes it stand out. The new featured side switch, which allows for simple toggling between modes, has transformed a great flashlight into a fantastic flashlight. Although all of these lights have something to offer, the TN12 sets itself apart in a number of ways, establishing itself as the best EDC flashlight on the market.
As always, there will always be different opinions on what is the best EDC flashlight! If you have an opinion on what the best EDC flashlight is, please feel free to share your thoughts on what is the best EDC flashlight in the comments section below.