Check out the world of stun­ning cus­tom EDC cut­lery with these ex­am­ples that can make their place in your pocket or on your man­tle. BY DAVID JAYE

When I was in pub­lic school many years ago, Mrs. Golden, who had started her teach­ing ca­reer in a one-room school sev­eral decades ear­lier, asked all the boys who had a pock­etknife in their pocket to stand up. Half a dozen of us com­plied and she di­rected her next com­ments to the boys still seated, in­struct­ing them that a boy with­out a knife can­not cut string, whit­tle a piece of wood or peel an ap­ple and is re­ally of no use to any­one.

You can see the in­deli­ble signs of chang­ing times when a knife at school to­day re­sults in re­moval from class with a di­rect pass to the prin­ci­pal’s of­fice, ex­pul­sion from school and per­haps an in­ter­view with a po­lice of­fi­cer. Not in Mrs. Golden’s class. She di­rected those boys to get a knife and carry it daily.

My knife was a Western two-blade trap­per and it stayed with me at all times. In one of my fa­vorite books, “On Your Own in the Wilder­ness,” co-au­thored with Bradford Angier, Colonel Townsend Whe­lan stated he car­ried a large, two-blade knife in his back pocket since he was a tad­pole. Hand­made fold­ers were not too com­mon back then, I be­lieve Ron Lake had just in­vented the in­ter-frame, and tac­ti­cal fold­ers were only a slip joint folder with a clip-on tab that you had to send away for and mount on the spine of the blade. It takes all kinds to make the world go around, which in­cludes many var­ied tastes in all sorts of sub­ject mat­ter, as well as what kind of knife they EDC.

How the Pros EDC

I was re­cently speak­ing with Brian Mayer, a vet­eran USMC sniper and

SWAT Counter-sniper with the West­min­ster Po­lice Depart­ment in Orange County, Cal­i­for­nia, think­ing he might have a unique per­spec­tive on EDC knives. He told me that he daily car­ries a 4-inch-blade tac­ti­cal folder, on and off duty, and although he uses it daily to cut seat­belts, Te­flon hand­cuffs and other nor­mal tasks, he has not had to use it for self-de­fense. Although, he added with a smile, he had taken a lot of knives away from per­pe­tra­tors in his ca­reer.

Most peo­ple do not find them­selves in harm’s way like Of­fi­cer Mayer and although they carry a knife daily, they have not thought of us­ing it as a de­fen­sive weapon. EDC for them is cut­ting string, peel­ing an ap­ple or clean­ing their nails or—like my friend Bruce Gibson, who has hunted the USA, Canada, Africa (twice) and Asia—to open a bot­tle of wine to share with his wife. He prefers a fold­ing Puma Univer­sal and has car­ried it daily and on sa­fari all over the world. It is a knife, but with its Sam­bar Stag scales, is also a piece of man-jew­elry.

Beauty and Func­tion

As with any knife you se­lect, you should take time to con­sider your EDC’S uses and where it fits into your life. Some things to take into con­sid­er­a­tion when choos­ing your EDC are oc­cu­pa­tion, ge­og­ra­phy and the type of daily tasks you per­form. Where a po­lice of­fi­cer might need to per­form ev­ery­thing from cut­ting seat­belts to self-de­fense, a back­packer may need to be able to do ev­ery­thing from cut rope to whit­tling. When de­cid­ing on your EDC con­sider the tasks you per­form the most and se­lect a knife that is go­ing to fulfill those needs the best. An old adage states: “A sur­vival knife is the one you have on you at the time a sit­u­a­tion arises.” This is the core of the EDC phi­los­o­phy and along this line of thought, an­other adage states that “one should for­get their knife is there un­til they need it.” If a knife is too heavy or too large and must be con­stantly re­ar­ranged for com­fort, it will be left at home, in the truck or in that pack that went over the water­fall with the ca­noe. A light folder best an­swers this re­quire­ment, as well as be­ing more po­lit­i­cally cor­rect in po­lite com­pany.

Dress knives are be­com­ing very pop­u­lar for beauty, along with func­tion. A CPM steel or mod­ern pat­tern welded blade, housed in a ti­ta­nium frame, sport­ing Da­m­as­cus bol­sters with amber stag, mastodon ivory or the more sta­ble ivory Mi­carta or car­bon fiber, have be­come EDC jew­elry for the dis­cern­ing knife afi­cionado.

All of the beau­ti­ful knives in this ar­ti­cle are light years ahead in ma­te­ri­als, form and func­tion, by mak­ers from


all fields and ca­reers. In­fused with a le­gion of in­no­va­tive ideas, this gallery is com­posed of: knife art by Don Han­son III with his Slim Clack Tac­ti­cal Folder, Bob Ohlemann presents his el­e­gant EDC folder called Free­lancer XL Re­curve, Chuck Gedraitis’s Yakuza Flip­per, RJ Martin’s Da­m­as­cus Q-36 Dress Tac­ti­cal Flip­per Folder, Darriel Caston’s unique OTF (Out the Front) Wharn­cliffe-bladed CBS Skunkworks Col­lab­o­ra­tion and Paul Lusk’s pocket -size Gen­tle­man’s Liner Lock.

A Well-re­ceived Les­son

Mrs. Golden should have been ev­ery­one’s teacher. With her mild ap­proach and a teach­ing style, forged from per­haps half a cen­tury of hon­ing, for the most part, in ru­ral school­houses where com­mon sense and prac­ti­cal­ity ruled the day, she lit a spark in the fer­tile mind of at least one stu­dent and I have car­ried a knife every day since. I would be proud to carry any of these beau­ti­ful and prac­ti­cal EDC fold­ing knives and I know when the chips are down, they would do their mak­ers proud as well. I am pos­i­tive that Mrs. Golden would ap­prove, don’t you agree? KI


+ SPECS PAUL LUSK Model: Gen­tle­man’s Liner Lock Over­all Length: 6.75 inches Blade Length: 2.75 inches Blade Ma­te­rial: Da­mas­teel Bol­ster: Da­mas­teel Han­dle Ma­te­rial: Mam­moth ivory Web­site: Paulluskknives.com

+ SPECS BOB OHLEMANN Model: Free­lancer XL Re­curve Over­all Length: 8 inches Blade Length: 3.5 inches Blade Ma­te­rial: CPM154 Bol­ster: Zir­co­nium Han­dle Ma­te­rial: Vin­tage West­ing­house ivory Mi­carta Web­site: Ranger­madeknives.com

+ SPECS DARRIEL CASTON Pro­duc­tion/man­u­fac­tur­ing: Paulo Balazano and Zo­diac En­gi­neer­ing Model: CBS Skunkworks Col­lab­o­ra­tion Over­all Length: 6.75 inches Blade Length: 3.5 inches Blade Ma­te­rial: Chad Ni­chols Da­m­as­cus Bol­ster: None Han­dle Ma­te­rial: Ti­ta­nium Web­site: Drock­et­de­sign.com

+ SPECS CHUCK GEDRAITIS (Top Left) Model: Yakuza Flip­per Over­all Length: 8.25 inches Blade Length: 3.625 inches Blade Ma­te­rial: CPM154 Bol­ster: Wood­grain pat­tern cop­per/nio­bium su­per­con­duc­tor Han­dle Ma­te­rial: Bronze LSCF Web­site: www.gedraitisknives.com

+ SPECS DON HAN­SON III (Bot­tom Left) Model: Slim Clack Over­all Length: 8.625 inches Blade Length: 4 inches Blade Ma­te­rial: DH3 Da­m­as­cus Bol­ster: DH3 Da­m­as­cus Han­dle Ma­te­rial: Ol­dass Mi­carta Frame: Ti­ta­nium Web­site: Sun­fish­forge.com

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