With or without locking blade? Let’s
consider your choice
Many EDC knives feature a locking blade. The pocket knife could have a twisting lock, back-lock, liner lock or frame lock and it doesn’t end there as there are many other mechanisms. What a lock does, is simply locking the blade, thus preventing it to close involuntarily - something your fingers will appreciate. Some locks also work the other way around and prevent blades from involuntarily opening in your pocket, though most locks only lock an opened blade.
More often than not, a locking blade is just a nice feature. Because, admit it, how often do you handle a knife in such a manner that it could close on your fingers? The forces alone, applied when properly yielding a knife, will prevent it from closing, unless you’re using it as a chisel or pick. However, it can also be easier when a blade just folds back without having to unlock it first. Having said that, when choice permits, we’d opt for a knife with locking blade too. Because, yes, we’re feature sensitive too and it’s just a nice though having a bit of extra safety when inevitably acting clumsy somewhere in the future.
The art of opening
An EDC knife has a blade that’ll fold out and fold in again, but who thinks that’s the end of it, is sorely mistaken. There are many ways to open a knife and the underlaying theories could fill books. Let us keep it simple by saying a knife can be opened using two hands or just one hand. Everybody will know the trusted fingernail slot in the blade, to open a folding knife. For this, you need both hands and sometimes that’s not ideal. For example: when a situation dictates you need hold onto an object, such as a line that needs tensioning or when you need one hand to keep your balance as on a ladder. In that case, you’ll be glad to know many EDC knives can be opened with one hand. We distinguish two ways: knives with a knob or thumbhole on the side of the blade that’ll let you fold the blade out with your thumb and (assisted) opening systems where you initiate opening the blade with your finger or thumb on a stud on the back of the blade, after which you could flick your wrist or a spring loaded assistance kicks in.
Quality: the road from robust to collector’s
The internet is swamped with information about the (individual perception of) quality of EDC knives. All kinds of materials used for blades and handles are analysed up to molecular level, but as with a lot of these things, the diversity of opinions and subjectivity will lead to a multitude of conclusions that can drive you up the wall. Don’t, there’s no need as long as you look factual at the material properties and be honest to yourself about the purpose of your EDC knife. There are high-end EDC knives with a blade made from tough super steel that stays sharp for a really long time, while still being corrosion resistant. Sharpening them eventually, will take some effort, while carbon blades on the other hand, can easily be sharpened to astonishing levels of sharpness and will stay sharp just as long, although they can corrode when extremely neglected.
Same goes for the handle of an EDC knife. To name but a few materials: titanium has a luxury look to it, is light, extremely strong, corrosion resistant and feels surprisingly nice to the touch. But it comes with a price tag. Wood also feels very comfortable and warm in the hand and has a stylish look to it, but it’s a bit more sensitive for damage and needs to be maintained. Synthetic materials are often considered to look cheap, but they don’t require maintenance and can offer a good grip too.
Just to add to it, some EDC knives feature blades with bearings. Often these are one hand openers. The smoothness and ease of use are great, but the border between just robust and collectible object is pretty blurry. For some it will be quite functional, for most just another interesting feature to tick.
Sane advice from expert enthusiasts
If you’re looking to buy an EDC knife that’ll fit your practical purposes perfectly and nothing more than that, our experts will gladly advice you about the pro’s and cons of the knifes that qualify for your needs. But rest assured, when you’re a knife enthusiast, know our experts can drool over a nice EDC just as much as you do and appreciate every little detail.