A dog might be man’s best friend, but an everyday carry (EDC) knife is man’s indispensable tool.

Everyone has a different set of criteria for what makes the best EDC knife. Some use it for work. Others use it for jobs around the house. For many, an EDC is used frequently outdoors while hunting, camping or fishing.

A reliable EDC knife might also save your life in a crisis situation.

A good EDC is what knife owners often talk about when they talk about knives. It’s that big of a deal.

The Ideal Everyday Carry Knife

As noted above, the idea of the perfect EDC knife is different for different people.

While the term “everyday carry” hasn’t always been around, the idea has been ever since people started carrying knives. The need for an EDC knife comes from a very simple concept: It’s better to have a knife and not need it than it is to need a knife and not have it.

Jim Bowie, for example, made the Bowie Knife famous, and he carried it everywhere for both survival situations and close hand combat. Neither situation will (hopefully) come up for the modern-day knife owner, but there are plenty of other situations that will.

They can range from:

  • Opening a box at work
  • Making quick repairs at home
  • Cutting rope for camping
  • Stripping cable or electrical wire
  • A multitude of life-saving uses, from cutting a seat belt to cutting cloth for a tourniquet
  • Scaling a fish
  • Self-defense when life throws an aggressive bad guy in your path

That’s just off the top of our heads. Really, most cutting needs come up unexpectedly, like when you are up on a ladder or underneath the house wrapping pipes. That’s really when you’ll be glad you have your knife with you.

Choosing An EDC Knife

What type of knife do you want to carry every day? It depends completely on you.

Folding knives are typically the choice for millions. From the old Swiss Army Knife to more modern blades, a folder is easy to carry and extremely useful in a wide variety of situations.

For those who often face bigger jobs, a fixed blade knife is often the way to go. Built to handle tough jobs, a fixed blade is often harder to carry but also a better choice if you have more difficult cutting jobs.

From there, the choices multiply. Both folding and fixed blade knives come in a wide variety. There are even those that can be carried in a cell phone-sized case, making them even more practical for everyday carry.

One caution: Check the local laws on knives. While they are changing almost every month around the country, some places still prohibit the carry of certain types of blades. Most local and state governments also limit the size of the blade.

Once you know those issues, choosing an everyday knife is completely up to you. Just know that having a knife is better than not and knowing how to responsibly handle a knife are part of being a good knife owner.