Including a knife as part of your everyday carry (EDC) is a great idea for many reasons. From opening boxes and packages to being prepared in case of an emergency, a knife can be exactly the tool required in a variety of situations. Some people never leave home without their trusty cutting tool. Others shy away from knives in their everyday lives because of safety concerns. If you are relatively new to EDC knives and still learning how to utilize it confidently, here are some tips for choosing a secure option for everyday carry.
Tip #1—Limit Blade Length
If you have shopped around for EDC knives, you have likely realized that there are many different shapes and sizes of blades to choose from. While each has a unique design to meet certain goals and purposes, they may not all be heavily geared toward safety. In general, EDC knives with smaller blades are easier to control, making them safer to use. Additionally, many people find that shorter blades provide great utility for just about any basic task. These EDC knives, for example, have a unique finger-friendly® blade that is less than half an inch long but still very effective and useful as an EDC tool.
Tip #2—Choose an Easy Open Design
Since many EDC knives are folding styles, a major consideration for safety is the method or mechanism used for opening the blade. This is an area where people who are not used to handling a knife can feel uncertain. Some EDC knives have opening mechanisms that can be difficult to master or that require two hands to properly operate. While these are not necessarily unsafe, they can take time to learn and may not be the best choice if safety is your top concern. Look for EDC knives that feature an easy to open blade. Spring assist is also a great feature, especially if you want to be able to fully deploy the knife with one hand.
Tip #3—Opt for Quality Materials
Cheaply made products, especially knives, present their own safety hazards. The last thing you want is for your EDC knife to break when in use, resulting in an injury. While any knife can potentially malfunction, it seems that those made with quality materials tend to last longer, work better, and be generally safer to use. Blade materials are especially important to evaluate. Steel blades, for example, require oiling and maintenance to keep them from becoming rusty in moist conditions. On the other hand, blades made from stainless steel or ceramic materials don’t tend to have this problem. When evaluating brands and materials, look for companies that consistently create sturdy and safe products without a lot of required maintenance.
Tip #4—Consider Carry Options
Each person has their own unique way that they pack their EDC items. From pockets and purses to lanyards and keychains, having a knife that works well with your carry preference is important to maximize safety. Carrying a knife in a way that it wasn’t intended to be carried can result in damage to the knife or to the person carrying it. If you plan to carry items in your pocket or purse, seek out an EDC knife that is small enough to fit comfortably. Many have built-in clips and safety locks to ensure that both the blade and the knife stay put while in transport. If a lanyard or keychain is more your style, opt for a design that includes a lanyard hole.
Tip #5—Understand Blade Edges
Just as blade materials can make a big difference in safety, so can the design of the blade edge. Different edge types work better for different tasks, and knowing which is the best for you is a key to EDC knife safety. Edges that are fully serrated are generally going to be popular for sawing through very tough materials, like wood or leather. A full ground edge is more popular for lighter duty and precision tasks, like slicing fruit or cutting cardboard. Many EDC knives incorporate the two, creating what is known as partial serration. With this option, the blade is smooth from the tip to about the halfway point and then becomes serrated for the rest of the length. As you can imagine, the safest blade edge is the one that is used correctly and for its intended cutting purpose.
All of the above tips will help you choose an EDC knife that has the potential for maximum safety. However, a great product is only as safe as the person wielding it. As with any tool, it is important to take the time to learn how to properly carry, use, and store your EDC knife. With a little wisdom and prudence, and some smart shopping, it is very possible to choose a secure knife for everyday carry.