EDC Recommendations

EDC Recommendations

This is a discussion on EDC Recommendations within the Defensive Knives & Other Weapons forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I have been carrying a cheap Kershaw "Needs Work" 1820 pocket utility knife with a 3.0" blade ($35.00) for about 3 months now. Nonetheless, I ...

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Thread: EDC Recommendations

  1. #1
    Distinguished Member Array alachner's Avatar
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    EDC Recommendations

    I have been carrying a cheap Kershaw "Needs Work" 1820 pocket utility knife with a 3.0" blade ($35.00) for about 3 months now. Nonetheless, I feel I'm ready to upgrade into something nicer and of higher quality. I'm not a knife expert, but I do know that some brands like Spyderco, Benchmade, Gerber, Kershaw, SOG, Ka-Bar, Cold Steel and Bocker are among the finest in the market. Nonetheless, I have absolutely no idea where to begin looking with regards to models, blade materials, etc. so I would appreciate greatly if you all help me choose a new EDC knife. I have about $250 - $350 to invest in a folding utility knife with a pocket clip (self defense purposes) and a blade of 3.0" to 4.5".

    Please send me some suggestions of what kind of knives I should be looking at to purchase. Thanks a lot!
    "If you carry a gun, people will call you paranoid. That's ridiculous... If I have a gun, what in the hell do I have to be paranoid for?" [Clint Smith - Thunder Ranch]


  2. #2
    Member Array mandalitten's Avatar
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    With that kind of money you should be able to get yourself a real nice knife. I personally don't have any experience with knives in this price range, but before you go spend that kind of money you should find out what kind of knife you can legally carry concealed (I assume it will be concealed). Here in Rhode Island I am licensed to carry a pistol, but I can not carry a concealed knife with a blade larger than 3"... However, there is no limit on the knife size if it's visible and I can carry a Bowie knife on my hip if I want to. I know the gun laws are pretty strict in Germany and I suspect it will be similar with knives.

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    Senior Member Array psychophipps's Avatar
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    You would be pretty hard pressed to do better for your money than a Benchmade 710 with your requirements. This has been a flagship tactical folder of theirs for years now and it's an excellent combination of ergonomics, top-notch blade steel, near fixed blade lock strength, ambidextrous use, and relatively light weight. This knife is a real tank and it should last you for years and years so long as you don't do anything too dumb with it.

    One thing to keep in mind with knives is that once you break the $150-200 MSRP price point, you start to see a strongly diminishing non-aesthetic return on the extra money you're spending. The bang-to-buck ratio for actual use takes a very steep nosedive after this point so unless you feel the absolute need for the super-fly, double-dong steels and/or a hand-made knife, then I wouldn't stray much passed this price point.
    Last edited by psychophipps; October 27th, 2010 at 12:32 PM. Reason: added to

  4. #4
    Distinguished Member Array alachner's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mandalitten View Post
    With that kind of money you should be able to get yourself a real nice knife. I personally don't have any experience with knives in this price range, but before you go spend that kind of money you should find out what kind of knife you can legally carry concealed (I assume it will be concealed). Here in Rhode Island I am licensed to carry a pistol, but I can not carry a concealed knife with a blade larger than 3"... However, there is no limit on the knife size if it's visible and I can carry a Bowie knife on my hip if I want to. I know the gun laws are pretty strict in Germany and I suspect it will be similar with knives.
    Thanks for your post!

    I am currently getting an MBA in Germany so what I carry is a two-handed switchblade knife with a blade length of less than 3.34" that I purchased here due to the restrictions imposed by the German Government. The law in Germany with regards to knives and firearms is very strict and prohibits possession and the sale of all types of butterfly and gravity knifes as well as push daggers (allowed only for hunters). With regards to switchblade knives, the law allows anyone to purchase and carry a switchblade as long as the knife's blade is not over 8.5 cms in length (approx. 3.34"), it does not have a one handed open system and it does not have an "Out-The-Front" switchblade. Therefore, I would not be able to conceal carry my Kershaw knife here.

    The EDC knife recommendations that I requested is to purchase a knife to be used in my home country of Costa Rica when I'm on vacation from school and where I need it the most due to increasing crime. There are no concealed carry restrictions for knives in Costa Rica with regards to blade length unless they are large fixed blades, daggers, swords or butterfly knives. All other types of knives may be used for concealed carry.
    "If you carry a gun, people will call you paranoid. That's ridiculous... If I have a gun, what in the hell do I have to be paranoid for?" [Clint Smith - Thunder Ranch]

  5. #5
    Distinguished Member Array alachner's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by psychophipps View Post
    You would be pretty hard pressed to do better for your money than a Benchmade 710 with your requirements. This has been a flagship tactical folder of theirs for years now and it's an excellent combination of ergonomics, top-notch blade steel, near fixed blade lock strength, ambidextrous use, and relatively light weight. This knife is a real tank and it should last you for years and years so long as you don't do anything too dumb with it.

    One thing to keep in mind with knives is that once you break the $150-200 MSRP price point, you start to see a strongly diminishing non-aesthetic return on the extra money you're spending. The bang-to-buck ratio for actual use takes a very steep nosedive after this point so unless you feel the absolute need for the super-fly, double-dong steels and/or a hand-made knife, then I wouldn't stray much passed this price point.
    Thanks for your response! I really like Benchmade knives so that model is perfect for what I'm looking for and the price is perfect. I will keep in mind this model as well as your recommendations...
    "If you carry a gun, people will call you paranoid. That's ridiculous... If I have a gun, what in the hell do I have to be paranoid for?" [Clint Smith - Thunder Ranch]

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    Member Array SecPro's Avatar
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    I have an Emerson full size Commander and it hasn't failed me yet. Realible and tough as nails. Of course you can get many others for a lower price than Emerson. SOG makes some outstanding blades, also Boker. Just my .02

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    Distinguished Member Array alachner's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SecPro View Post
    I have an Emerson full size Commander and it hasn't failed me yet. Realible and tough as nails. Of course you can get many others for a lower price than Emerson. SOG makes some outstanding blades, also Boker. Just my .02
    Thanks...I will keep it mind as it looks like an awesome blade!!!
    "If you carry a gun, people will call you paranoid. That's ridiculous... If I have a gun, what in the hell do I have to be paranoid for?" [Clint Smith - Thunder Ranch]

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    I own a number of knives in that price range. I EDC the Spyderco Stretch CF with a 3.5" ZDP-189 blade and carbon fiber scales over a stainless steel skeleton. The ergonomics are outstanding. The carbon fiber is peel-ply, which gives it a grippy, textured surface. The carbon fiber allows the knife to be thinner than one would expect. The ZDP-189 is a powdered super steel from Hitachi that's incredibly hard and wear resistant without being brittle. It sharpens to a razor edge and keeps that edge for a very long time.

    For the price range you quote, you'll want to get a very high quality blade made from either a modern powdered steel like ZDP-189, CPM S30v, or CTS-XHP or even a good tool steel like M4. Look for handle material in either carbon fiber or G10. I gravitated primarily to Spyderco because they bring super steels to the average knife person with good values, plus their Spydie hole opening system is incredibly fast and easy. I find the Spydie hole easier on my thumb and faster to depoly than spring-assisted or auto openers, of which I have several.
    Last edited by TBob; October 27th, 2010 at 06:39 PM. Reason: added link
    "To disarm the people is the best and most effectual way to enslave them"
    - George Mason, American Statesman (1725-92)

  9. #9
    Distinguished Member Array alachner's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TBob View Post
    I own a number of knives in that price range. I EDC the Spyderco Stretch CF with a 3.5" ZDP-189 blade and carbon fiber scales over a stainless steel skeleton. The ergonomics are outstanding. The carbon fiber is peel-ply, which gives it a grippy, textured surface. The carbon fiber allows the knife to be thinner than one would expect. The ZDP-189 is a powdered super steel from Hitachi that's incredibly hard and wear resistant without being brittle. It sharpens to a razor edge and keeps that edge for a very long time.

    For the price range you quote, you'll want to get a very high quality blade made from either a modern powdered steel like ZDP-189, CPM S30v, or CTS-XHP or even a good tool steel like M4. Look for handle material in either carbon fiber or G10. I gravitated primarily to Spyderco because they bring super steels to the average knife person with good values, plus their Spydie hole opening system is incredibly fast and easy. I find the Spydie hole easier on my thumb and faster to depoly than spring-assisted or auto openers, of which I have several.
    Awesome post! I really like that Spyderco...I think you just made up my mind!!!! ;)
    "If you carry a gun, people will call you paranoid. That's ridiculous... If I have a gun, what in the hell do I have to be paranoid for?" [Clint Smith - Thunder Ranch]

  10. #10
    Member Array TBob's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by alachner View Post
    Awesome post! I really like that Spyderco...I think you just made up my mind!!!! ;)
    If so, you won't be disappointed. I picked mine out at a police/military show with all the major knife makers present. I handled and exercised lots of knives for literally hours. For me, the Stretch CF stood out from the pack as a combination of great fit in my hand, outstanding blade steel and shape, the carbon fiber scales, and its incredibly smooth action.
    "To disarm the people is the best and most effectual way to enslave them"
    - George Mason, American Statesman (1725-92)

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    Member Array HiFreq47's Avatar
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    In that price range, I've very partial to the Benchmade 950 Rift personally. It's extremely unique to my eyes, I love the black/gray layered G10 scales aesthetically, and functionally they create what I've come to regard as one of the easiest to grip knives on the market in it's size. I have extremely large hands and knives with blades in the 3.5" range tend to feel small in my hand and tough to hold - not so with the Rift. The Benchmade Axis lock is the best in the industry if you ask me - I'm quite partial to it, especially over liner-locks .. which I will never buy again (have the scar to show why I don't like liner locks). The Rift is big, but I EDC'd it for a few months with no issues and would still be EDC'ing it today if it wasn't lost during shipping when I sent it back to have the blade laser-engraved.

    http://www.benchmade.com/products/950

    I'm currently carrying the Benchmade 520. I had the opportunity to try something different and did. The 520 Presidio is more of a functional knife than the Rift was. It's heavier, bigger, more vault-like in feel, has a more practical blade design, and feels like a very natural fighting tool. Some would consider this too heavy or too big to EDC, but I get to wear jeans to the office so this isn't a problem for me and it's size fits my large hands very very well.

    http://www.benchmade.com/products/520

    Oh, and for the record I don't recommend serrations for either knife (they can be bought with or without serrations). Serrations are typically not recommended for self-defense work (they're more useful for nature-type survival) and they aren't covered by Benchmade's LifeSharp program ... so once they dull you're stuck with them unless you replace the entire blade ($25 from Benchmade - $35 for the black-coated blades).
    Billy
    Fusion Tact-5 in a Pure Kustom Black-Ops Pro
    Glock 23 in a Barber Leatherworks IWB

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    Member Array Diablo's Avatar
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    CQD Mark I (Auto) Plain Edge has always been one of my favorites, but it's a tad on the heavy side at about 7oz. Manual version also available. I have an original MOD auto version. There's also a Type E manual version which is made of cheaper materials, but is only like $70.

    I don't know why, but I have never been into spyderco or benchnmade...but, I'm the minority there.
    Other than this, I have a couple fixed double sided daggers (4"-5.5") and a Microtech Halo III (OTF Auto) that I carry. Right now I mainly EDC the Halo III as it's the lightest of the group and has a 3.9" blade. But none of them fit what you are looking for.

    Check out the video of the CQD Mark I about half way down on the right.

    http://www.code3tactical.com/browsep...Edge-AUTO.HTML

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    Senior Member Array psychophipps's Avatar
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    One thing to keep in mind with the super-tough steels like S30V and ZDP-189 is that they tend to chip rather than roll when they fail. Also, dropping either onto a hard surface where the tip strikes will tend to break your tip clean off rather than put a small bend in it that you can fairly easily sharpen out. You do get good edge retention but this is also at the trade-off of much harder sharpening without special sharpening tools.

    There is no such thing as a free lunch, even in the cutlery industry...

    My last piece of advice is to be sure that you hold the knife in your hands and mess with it a bit before you buy it. You wouldn't drop a ton of bucks on a fishing rod, truck, or firearm that you haven't handled so don't make the same mistake when you buy a new knife. Find out where your closest dealers for Benchmade and Spyderco are and take a trip so you can shop around a bit. Super-duper steels is around 5-10% of the "Best Knife for me" equation so don't let the stats and other nit-noy high-tech details blind you to this fact.

  14. #14
    Member Array TBob's Avatar
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    I sharpen my S30v and ZDP-189 knives with normal ceramic sticks with no problem. ZDP-189 takes significantly more strokes to sharpen if you let it get dull, but regular touch-ups keep it going strong without much effort. I don't own and don't need "special sharpening tools". I use these knives daily and never had one chip or break, but then I don't use them as pry bars either or throwing knives. Early S30v had issues with manufacturers not properly heat treating it, but those days are well behind us.

    I'd put the blade steel at closer to 35% of the buying decision. After all, cutting capability and edge retention are at the core of a knife's mission in life. But agree that the ergonomics, overall design details, and fit-and-finish are also very important. I wouldn't call the material that enables the core capability of the knife a nit-noy detail. Why would anyone pay over $200 for a knife with a blade made from non-premium steel? I guess that people do, but it doesn't make sense to me.
    "To disarm the people is the best and most effectual way to enslave them"
    - George Mason, American Statesman (1725-92)

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    Member Array NoSlack's Avatar
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    Spyderco Tenacious.

    Review here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7TsuIuAYVJI
    and here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qq19p8Uv9P4

    only $29.82 here: http://yourcornerstore.com/index.php...ducts_id=27874

    this is where I bought mine. It's been my EDC blade for over a year and is still rock solid. Before this I carried a Microtech LUDT auto; the Tenacious - thus far - does everything it did with no practical loss of durability or capability.

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