Knives Illustrated - - News - STORY AND PHOTO BY JOSHUA SWANAGON

We of­ten look to the def­i­ni­tions oth­ers place on a given sub­ject to de­ter­mine what we feel is ac­cept­able prac­tice. It’s hu­man na­ture. It seems that no mat­ter how much we try to be in­di­vid­u­als, we still find our­selves fall­ing into a cat­e­gory. The same goes for knives. There are tac­ti­cal knives, bushcraft knives, EDC knives, and so on. How­ever, what re­ally makes a knife an EDC knife?

It seems as though the def­i­ni­tion of an EDC knife should be de­ter­mined by sim­ple de­mo­graph­ics and/or oc­cu­pa­tion. If you were to go to a deeply ru­ral and wooded town, you would prob­a­bly find a lot of peo­ple car­ry­ing bushcraft- or hunt­ing-style knives on their hips. How­ever, if you were deep in the ur­ban jun­gle you would prob­a­bly find more peo­ple car­ry­ing a pock­etknife that could be any­thing from a tac­ti­cal-style knife to a Tay­lor Brands Old Timer. So, there re­ally isn’t a set def­i­ni­tion of EDC, be­cause it is de­ter­mined by what you carry every day.

That be­ing said, there are fac­tors that make par­tic­u­lar knives more com­mon for EDC than oth­ers. For any knife, you need to take into ac­count your lo­cal and state laws. As men­tioned, in some ru­ral ar­eas you may com­monly see the lo­cals wear­ing fixed-blade hunt­ing or camp­ing knives; whereas in some states or lo­cal ju­ris­dic­tions, that might be against the law, or at the very least, in poor judge­ment.

So, for most cases, a “typ­i­cal” EDC would be a knife that fit the broad­est spec­trum of knife laws. A knife like that would typ­i­cally be some­thing along the lines of a 3-inch, nonau­to­matic blade. What­ever the case, al­ways en­sure that you are within the guide­lines of your lo­cal or­di­nances.


I be­lieve a fun­da­men­tal as­pect of EDC is a knife that ful­fills your typ­i­cal daily needs with­out be­ing too much for sim­ple jobs. My idea of an EDC knife is one that is easy to ac­cess, easy to use and some­thing you won’t shy away from us­ing for any task. The beau­ti­ful thing about knives though, is that you are not limited to just one—i carry at least three on me at all times. You just never know when a given job might re­quire a lit­tle more spec­i­fied touch. Stay sharp and keep it real. KI

A good EDC knife should be some­thing you use daily, no mat­ter how large or small the chores you en­counter.

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