Knives for EDC: Finding the Perfect Everyday Carry Knife

Knives for EDC, or “everyday carry,” are unique. They are tools, extensions of our identity and essential companions for daily tasks. From opening boxes to preparing a snack, a good EDC knife can make life easier and, in some cases, safer.

What makes an EDC knife?

Everyday carry knives are purpose-built for daily living. Whether a folding pocketknife or a fixed blade with a sheath, having the correct knife when needed is essential.

Purpose and design

EDC knives are designed for general utility. They should be versatile and capable of handling various urban or outdoor tasks. Their design usually focuses on being a helpful cutting tool that is easy to carry and access at a moment’s notice.

Legal considerations

It’s important to consider local laws when choosing an EDC knife. Knife laws vary significantly across countries, states or provinces, and municipalities. These laws typically affect blade length, locking mechanisms, and whether you can carry a concealed blade. 

Be sure to review all relevant laws before open-carrying or concealing a blade.

Choosing the right blade for EDC

Damascus steel Gentleman's folding EDC pocket knife

When choosing an everyday carry, you should consider the following:

Blade steel

The heart of any knife is its blade, and the steel it’s made from plays a crucial role. Stainless steel and carbon steel are common choices. Stainless steel offers corrosion resistance, while carbon steel, like CPM S, is known for better edge retention.

Damascus steel, especially the high-carbon variants found in BigHorn Steel EDCs, is the most rigid and rugged material. Real Damascus steel holds a sharp edge for long periods, especially if properly cared for. Damascus also has a beautiful wavy pattern formed during the forging process.

In the case of BigHorn Steel, our steel is folded 512 times, among the highest fold counts available in the world. Lower fold counts generally run the risk of shattering.

Blade shape and size

The blade shape determines the knife’s efficiency in various tasks. Drop point and spear point blades are versatile and strong, ideal for EDC use.

Regarding size, a blade length suitable for your daily tasks while adhering to legal restrictions should be considered.

Heat treatment and edge retention

Quality heat treatment ensures good edge retention, a critical aspect of blade performance. Stainless steel knives from brands like Spyderco are renowned for superior heat treatment processes. 

However, the high-carbon steel and high-heat forging process of making Damascus steel knives remains unmatched. This ancient process has been used for centuries for the finest edged tools, rings, chef knives, and cutlery.

What is Damascus steel?

Damascus steel is famed for its distinctive patterns of banding and mottling reminiscent of flowing water. Historically, it was known for its toughness and ability to be honed to a sharp, resilient edge.

Today’s Damascus steel is typically made by forging together multiple layers of different types of steel, creating a strong, visually striking blade. BigHorn Steel’s blades are folded 512 times for superior durability and edge retention.

Benefits of Damascus steel in EDC knives

Damascus steel will always be the top choice for knife blade materials. The following are some of the great benefits of choosing artisan Damascus:

  • Aesthetic appeal: The unique patterns in Damascus blades make each knife visually distinctive.
  • Durability and edge retention: Modern Damascus blends can balance toughness and edge retention, making them suitable for various everyday tasks.
  • Craftsmanship and quality: Damascus knives often reflect higher craftsmanship, appealing to EDC enthusiasts who value function and form in their tools.

Technological advancements in EDC knife design

Fixed blade Damascus steel knife with sheath

Advancements in material science have introduced new alloys and composites, enhancing the performance of EDC knives. These innovations are even true in traditional Damascus steel making, whereas manufacturers constantly try different combinations of metals to get the perfect result.

Innovations in blade and handle design

Innovations aren’t just limited to materials. Ergonomic designs, adjustable pocket clips, and ambidextrous opening mechanisms are some modern features that enhance EDC knives’ functionality and user experience. 

Handle materials

EDC knife handles come in pure Damascus steel, acrylic, bone, G-10, carbon fibre, and titanium. These materials offer a balance between durability, weight, and aesthetics. For instance, carbon fibre handles are lightweight and robust, making them great for everyday carry gear. 

Locking mechanisms

Safety is paramount with any knife. Locking mechanisms like liner, button, and frame locks provide safety during use. Each mechanism has its advantages in terms of strength and ease of use.

Additional features

Features like a pocket clip, thumb stud, or deep carry clip enhance the functionality of EDC knives. They make carrying and deploying the knife more effortless and more convenient.

Choosing a suitable handle for a Damascus EDC knife

While the blade is the star, the handle is equally vital. For Damascus EDC knives, choosing a handle that complements the blade’s aesthetic while offering practicality is key.

Materials like stabilized wood, carbon fibre, or titanium are popular choices, each adding to the knife’s overall appeal and functionality.

Integrating modern features with traditional Damascus blades

Modern Damascus knives blend traditional blade-making art with contemporary features. Look for options with ergonomic designs, advanced locking mechanisms, and convenient pocket clips. These features enhance the everyday usability of the Damascus knife without compromising its traditional charm.

The best Damascus EDC knives in the market today 

EDC knives come in various price points, from budget-friendly options to high-end models. Brands like BigHorn Steel offer great value, providing high quality at a reasonable price. 

Spotlight on BigHorn Steel Damascus EDC Knives

Known for its exquisite craftsmanship, BigHorn Steel offers a range of Damascus EDC knives that combine beauty with practicality. For those seeking a personalized touch, custom Damascus folders provide both uniqueness and utility. Fixed blades are ideal for those who prefer the reliability and strength of a fixed blade, with the added beauty of Damascus patterning.

Check out these best-sellers: 

Caring for your Damascus steel knife

Maintaining a Damascus steel knife involves regular cleaning and careful storage, like other high-quality knives. However, due to the unique properties of Damascus steel, it’s important to follow specific care instructions to preserve the blade’s distinctive patterns and prevent corrosion.

Proper maintenance extends the life of your knife. Regular cleaning, adequate storage, and timely sharpening are critical. Brands like BigHorn Steel provide resources and tools for maintaining your EDC knife.

Why choose an EDC knife?

From cutting through packaging to preparing food to surviving in the wilderness, an EDC knife is an essential tool. Its versatility makes it a must-have in your everyday carry gear. 

Outdoors use

While EDC knives are often associated with urban use, they are equally valuable outdoors. Features like a full flat grind, robust locking mechanisms, and corrosion-resistant materials make specific EDC knives suitable for outdoor activities like camping and hiking.


In emergencies, having a reliable knife can make a significant difference. Whether cutting a seatbelt or preparing a makeshift shelter, an EDC knife can be a lifesaver.


In survival situations, an EDC knife can be a critical tool. Knives with a fixed blade, sturdy construction, and simple design are often preferred for reliability in demanding conditions.


While primarily tools for everyday tasks, EDC knives can also serve a defensive purpose. You must understand the legal implications and responsibilities of carrying a knife for self-defence.

If considering an EDC knife for self-defence, factors like quick accessibility, reliable locking mechanisms, and appropriate blade length are crucial. Training in the safe and effective use of the knife is also essential.

Emerging EDC knife design trends

The EDC knife market is continually evolving. Trends like minimalist designs, eco-friendly materials, and multifunctional tools are gaining traction. These trends reflect a broader shift towards sustainable practices and technology integration in EDC gear.

As technology advances, we expect further innovations in EDC knives. This might include intelligent features like GPS tracking, enhanced safety mechanisms, and even more advanced materials for better performance.


Choosing the best everyday carry knife involves understanding your needs, preferences, and the legal requirements of your area. Whether a folding knife for general utility or a fixed blade for more demanding tasks, the right EDC knife can be an invaluable ally in your daily life.

BigHorn Steel is your source for Damascus knives

BigHorn Steel carries some of the highest-quality Damascus steel knives available. We are more than an online shop with a room full of inventory; we have a physical location in beautiful Jasper National Park in Alberta, Canada. With some of the most austere mountainous environments on the planet, our knives are tried and tested in real-world conditions, guaranteeing you high-performance knives.

We are always available to chat online, by email, telephone, or in person if you are in Jasper, Alberta. Stop by our shop, and we’ll give you a guided tour of our collections.

Frequently Asked Questions

What blade is best for EDC?

The best blade for EDC depends on personal preference and the tasks you expect to perform. Versatile shapes like drop points or spear points are generally recommended.

What size knife is best for EDC?

The ideal size for an EDC knife is one that comfortably fits in your pocket or on your person in a sheath and falls within the legal requirements of the area where it is carried. Whether open carry or concealed, it is critical to understand the laws around what knife you can carry and how you can carry it.