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April 28, 2016 5 min read

A knife is a tool, not a weapon. Repeat that last sentence to yourself one hundred times. A knife is the first ever tool made by humans, marked by stone versions that are over 2 million years old. We had a need back then. Nevertheless, things have shifted a bit since that point. Today’s society instantly connects the idea of a blade with a deadly weapon rather than a tool.
For us at Carry Smarter, this isn’t how we interpret an EDC pocket knife. They should be used as a key or a mobile phone, Not literally. You’re not going to make a phone call on your Swiss Army Knife.
The objective is to perform efficiently everyday tasks in that a sharp blade is required; opening boxes or envelopes, cutting ropes or tags. There are endless potentialities and they will grow apparent once you have ready access to one. If your work or lifestyle demands you to require a sharp edge more than ten times a day, you should upgrade to a trade knife, not a pocket knife.
Determining the right one for you can be tough.  So to help slim down your selection process, let’s take a look at the several major features out there.
Length Of The Blade
For an EDC pocket knife, you only need a 3″ blade. Sometimes a bit smaller. Any longer and you’re in a separate class of the knife. Again, let’s focus on the minor chores and tasks. Take into consideration that there are legal issues with longer blades. You can look up the law in our other blog post here.
The outside dimensions of the knife when it is in the closed state.  Personally, we think slimmer and smaller is better. But too small and it will get lost in your hand, making it unusable as a tool. The purpose is to find a balance that suits your pockets and your palm.
An everyday carry pocket knife should be light-weight. The difference between a couple of ounces doesn’t seem like much on paper, but just wait till you’re carrying it 12+ hours a day.
Compare weights of various models and then investigate the composition or reviews to make sure it can survive some daily abuse.
Carry Design
Carrying your EDC knife in a container on your belt is plausible, but we’re not very into that look. Your knife should be concealed, but readily available.
You don’t need to carry it around your neck advertising it to everyone. We’re focusing on an “office kind of scenario” and casual. We prefer pocket clips as well as in pocket carry selections. Depending on the dimension/colour/finish of the pocket clip, your knife carry still may be pretty visible, but not fundamentally sticking out like a sore thumb. Some are more discreet than others while others leave a substantial amount of the knife visible. With a pocket clip, you can immediately and easily access the knife to accomplish a small task. In-pocket carry is perfect for stealthily taking in a public environment, except you may have to sift around in your pockets for it. The best way to conclude that issue is to carry less in your pockets. Switching among the two carry methods is a great balance, depending on the context. Find what operates best for you.
Blade Material
Nine times out of ten, you’re going to find steel is best for an everyday carry blade. Titanium sure is good for its strength to weight proportion, but it doesn’t keep a sharp edge like steel does. There are a broad array of steels to choose from out there, all slightly varying from one another depending on the element content. Each type of steel has its benefits and downfalls including corrosion protection, strength, edge retention, cost, and more. For instance, while 30+ layer Damascus steel is great-looking and highly desirable for pocket blades, it is very expensive due to its complex construction. There is no right or wrong steel, but there are some who are certainly better than others. Here is a comprehensive guide on steel knife types for you to get lost reading. Here is an essential guide for those who just want to scan the surface.
Handle Material
Strength, sturdiness, grip and aesthetics are all part of the ruling process for this one.  Handles (or “scales” as they’re referred to) range from G10 synthetic grips, rare and exotic rainforest hardwoods, brass, titanium amongst countless others.  Given above; wood/brass, G10, animal bone, titanium, respectively. The decision is up to you. We’ve found the knives with organic materials look a little less “weapons”, more relaxed and better accommodated for non-threatening office carry, which is our intention.
Edge Type
The majority of the knife world is pretty much in consensus that a non-serrated blade is best for everyday carry.  Some may disagree, as their daily tasks may include cutting rope and such. As we noted above, if you’re using a knife in these circumstances you should likely enhance to a work knife with a serrated blade, not a pocket knife. A simplistic sharp edge should be all you require for an EDC pocket knife, enabling you to make accurate, well-defined cuts.
Locking Method
Talking about the diversity of different locking systems out there is a lot like trying to argue about which German car is the best. They’re all exceptional. Test them out in the shop and sense which one you favour. The basic styles are:
- Slip Joint (which doesn't lock, like the Swiss Army knife),
- Lock Back (adamant, usually with the visible locker at the rear of the handle)
- Liner Lock (the most common, where the tensioned liner pops in place to keep the blade open)
- Frame Lock (similar to the above Liner Lock, except the frame is the tensioned locking system)
Opening Method
Some open fast, while others require two hands and time. It isn’t just about rapid deployment. A couple of these methods make the form factor considerably larger, which isn’t perfect in our opinion.
Company History
If this matters to you, there are lots of fascinating stories out there. Made in the UK, made in France, made in Germany invented or taken by a famous historical figure, etc. Maybe you’ll be drawn towards one brand and appreciate their specific values.
This one starts from a few quid up to thousands of pounds. It all depends on what you’re looking for and how upset you’ll be if your investment goes missing/gets lost. Based on your personal circumstances, you might not be too disconcerted if you lose a £25 knife, but perhaps you’re in the £15 club. Although they’ll be pretty heartbroken, others may find the peril of carrying a £300+ pocket knife is a risk which is cancelled out by its benefits. Generally speaking, the more you spend, the higher quality you’ll get as the blade market is extremely cut-throat and competitive in the pricing. But once you get high up there, you’re paying for exotics and craftsmanship. This doesn’t mean you can’t find an amazingly high quality and useful EDC pocket knife for below £50, or even less than £20. In our mind, sub-£100 blades are our favourite.
Function over aesthetics as always. But EDC pocket knives can be like pocket jewellery while still being completely functional, let your taste and preference guide you.  A non-threatening look will enable your tool to be carried in an office or a public space without agitating your sensitive coworkers. If you don’t socialise with society or simply don’t worry about people’s opinion on this, there are loads of tactical and aggressive-looking devices out there.
Carry Smarter.

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