Any Everyday Carry (EDC) acolyte will tell you that a knife is an essential part of your day-to-day. Who knows when you’ll need to snip a loose thread, pull out a stubborn staple, or file your nails? Having the right EDC pocket knife that can keep up with your needs is step one to being prepared and never stressed.
A quick Google search will yield with it results of various knives and I’d say the name that comes up again and again is, as you can probably guess, Victorinox’s Swiss Army knife. It’s a tried and true classic that still gets a lot of attention today for its iconic design and menu of tools hidden in the little pill-shaped body. But if you’re a bit of a contrarian like me, then you may want other options (though if you’re looking for affordable single-blade pocket knives or a pricey pocket knife that looks as good as it feels, there are plenty of options outside the multi-tool category as well).
Leatherman Free P2
Leatherman’s slick design offsets the relatively high weight this knife has at 7.6 ounces. But within its compact 4.25-inch frame is an array of 19 impressive tools that range from the every day (scissors and can opener) to the niche (awl and electrical crimper). While you may not find a use for every one of the tools, there’s a little comfort in being prepared for, quite literally, every situation.
Best tools on the Leatherman Free P2:
- Package opener
- Set of 4 screwdrivers
- Pry tool
A third of the weight and a fraction of the price, the Gerber Dime holds up against the Leatherman Free P2 as a great butterfly-open knife for you to consider. Its lightweight design betrays the 12 useful tools on this one. The stainless steel construction is a great upgrade at this price point, giving it durability without sacrificing on bulk.
Best tools on the Gerber Dime:
- Wire Cutter
- Needle-nose pliers
- Crosshead Driver
Swiss+Tech 7-in-1 Keyring Multitool
If you’re looking for a truly compact EDC, the Keyring Multitool by Swiss+Tech should be on your radar. You’re looking at a multitool that’s less than 3 inches and 2 ounces and boasts 7 tool options for your use, including an 100,000-hour LED flashlight. That alone puts this high on the list for me.
Best tools on the Swiss+Tech 7-in-1 Keyring Multitool:
- LED Flashlight
Another Leatherman option, the Skeletool CX is a sleek cousin to the Free P2. Coming in at just 5 ounces, the Skeletool CX makes up for its barebones design with its unparalleled performance. It includes tools for any type of adventurer, from the carabiner attachment to its extra-sharp knife.
Best tools on the Skeletool CX:
- Large-sized pliers on butterfly design
- Carabiner that doubles at a bottle opener
- Large bit driver
Poler Hobo Knife
Let’s get the elephant out of the room here: I don’t know we can say “Hobo” anymore. But this knife is a camper’s EDC dream. Its simple design belies the 4-in-1 toolset, which includes a three-set of cutlery and a bottle opener, making outdoor meals all the better.
Best tools on the Poler Hobo Knife:
- 3-set cutlery (spoon, fork and knife)
- Carrying case is included
The James Brand Ellis
The James Brand has made a name for itself in the EDC market for its simple designs and beautiful branding. Its multitool, the Ellis, is the pinnacle of both. Similar to the Victorinox Swiss Army Knife, it’s got a little more design to it while not sacrificing on performance. Coming in seven color options (with the choice of a serrated or straight blade) makes this knife truly custom to your needs.
Best tools on The James Brand Ellis:
- Proprietary “All Things” scraper
- Choice of serrated or straight blade
- Keyring attachment or pocket clip