Have you ever needed to cut something and looked up to see every man in the room holding out a pocket knife for you? Knives are a great multi-purpose tool to carry around for both convenience and safety. I’d recommend keeping one on or near you every day. From slicing an apple to opening a package to cutting a line, seatbelt or bandages in an emergency, an everyday carry (EDC) knife is sure to make your life easier.
Opinel No.08 Stainless Steel Pocket Knife
These French-made classics are the least expensive knives on our list, but not to be overlooked. Sharp, versatile and anti-corrosive, an Opinel will last you for years stored in your purse, glove compartment or hiking pack. There are even engraving options, if you want to be sure to identify it as yours. MSRP: $17.00; opinelusa.com
TUSA X-Pert II Titanium
A thigh, calf or forearm holster might seem a bit overboard for a knife, but for outdoor addicts, it can’t be beat. Whether you’re a fisherwoman, diver, hiker or hunter, this titanium fixed blade with a built-in line-cutter can be a godsend for women on the go. You don’t have to live like Laura Croft to enjoy an easily accessible tool, because any flopping fish, rip current, too-tense line or tangled animal isn’t going to wait for you to find in which pocket your knife is hiding. MSRP: $99.00; tusa.com
While this folding knife was designed for tactical self-defense, it doesn’t shy away from everyday chores. Whatever cutting challenges arise on the range, in the field or on the job, the tanto blade slashes through it all. The pocket clip can affix to a waistband, range bag or wherever you please. If you find it to be too bulky, just try the mini version. MSRP: $205.95; emersonknives.com
Spyderco Dragonfly 2 FRN K390
An exceptionallyly sharp, high-end lightweight knife, the Dragonfly 2 is the perfect size for everyday carry. It’s slim and short so it can easily be clipped to your waistband and forgotten about. Additionally, the FRN handle is extra grippy and the K390 blade is state-of-the-art cold work tool steel. MSRP: $145.00; spyderco.com
This folding knife is a great value and awesome starter pocket knife. It’s ambidextrous, so its lock as well as a moveable pocket clip can be accessed from either side. The stainless-steel blade and aluminum handle are reliable and lightweight for any adventure whether it’s a trek to hunt camp or a tent in the backyard. MSRP: $52; gerbergear.com
WeKnife Company’s Minax folding pocket knife comes in at the high end of our lineup, and with good reason: Designed by Ferrum Forge Knife Works, this folder boasts top-end steel that will last you a lifetime ... several, in fact. This heirloom-quality blade boasts attractive titanium handle construction finished in antique bronze, making it just as beautiful as it is functional. The next time you're surrounded by "knife guys," your Minax will have them begging you to tell them where you got it. MSRP $310; weknife.com
All of these knives are better than having nothing on your person in an emergency, but choosing the best one for you will depend on its intended use. There’s a reason so many people have knife collections. They all do something a little different! That being said, many people choose to carry a knife as a backup self-defense tool in case they can't access their firearm or in the event of a malfunction.
State laws vary in regard to types of knives you can carry and when, so be sure to check your local regulations before carrying a blade, for any reason. If you do wish to carry a tactical knife, your responsibility is the same as if you were carrying a firearm. Find training and practice, so you’re actually prepared, not just holding something pointy.