10 Best EDC Pocket Knives of 2014

Since I wrote my article last year, not a lot has changed as far as EDC knives go. Sure, lots of new models have come out, but none are really game-changers. While some of these new offerings were just plain gimmicky, there’s also been quite a bit of innovation. Manufacturers keep devising more exotic locking mechanisms and using more exotic metals such as Titanium.

But for most people, every day carry is not going to be an expensive, high-end, exotic experience. While I’m absolutely in favor of looking good, functionality has to come first, and so does value. I own lots of cool knives that I don’t regret buying, but wouldn’t think of using every day. My philosophy for EDC knives is that they be easily replaceable if lost, stolen or damaged.

EDC Pocket Knives From Spyderco, Kershaw, Victorinox and SanRenMu

Having said all that, this list isn’t much different than last year. There’s so many great knives out there, but some are just hype, and some are too new to know how they will perform over time. For me personally, I buy a new knife, I admire it, photograph and review it, and ultimately the infatuation wears off and I give it away or put it into the knife roll or give it away, before putting the Delica back in my pocket.

So mostly the difference in the list expresses gaining knowledge as a collector and handling more and more samples. For example, I now pretty much always have some model Victorinox in my pocket or at least close by. While I usually carry them to augment a dedicated knife, they are awesome in their own rights. There are times when it’s not convenient or wise to carry a larger knife, so I carry just an Executive or Rambler.

NOTE: Prices are approximate and will fluctuate over time. Also note that I am a Spyderco fan boy, so I had to resist the urge to give all 10 slots to Spyderco. I’ve tried to factor my own personal experience in with the consensus of some of the Internet communities along with lots of research.

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# Make Model Price Pros Cons
1 Spyderco Delica $65 – High Quality
– Good Steel
– Lightweight
– Proven Performer
– Less rigid with no proper liner
– Some say it’s too light
– A little expensive

2 Spyderco Dragonfly $55 – High Quality
– Good Steel
– Extremely Lightweight
– Less rigid with no liner
– Some say it’s too light

– A little awkward for large hands
3 Benchmade Mini Griptilian $90 – High Quality
– Great Steel
– Made in USA
– Well Built
– A bit expensive
– A little bulky
4 Kershaw Skyline $45 – Good Steel
– Made in USA
– Great Value
– Unassisted
– Inconsistent quality control
– Check local laws regarding flippers
5 SanRenMu GB-763 $10-$? – Superb Value
– Well Designed
– Solid Performer
– Sometimes impossible to find
– Sometimes sellers gouge you when you do find one
– Cheaper steel
6 Ontario Rat Folder $30 – Great Value
– Well Built
– Solid Performer
– Cheaper steel
– A little heavy
– Grip could be better
7 Victorinox Executive $30 – Swiss Made
– Well Built
– Lots of Mojo For Size
– Orange Peeler Useless For Most People
– Tools Not Laid Out Very Well
– Non-locking
8 Kershaw Freefall $26 – Good Value
– Assisted Opening
– Well Built
– Smooth Deployment
– Inconsistent quality control
– Check local laws regarding flippers
9 Victorinox Cadet $30 – Swiss Made
– Good Quality
– Scratches easily (depending on color)
– Non-locking
10 Cold Steel Tough Lite $30 – Well Designed
– Rugged
– Good Value
– Quality control issues?
– Awkward opening

From Top: Spyderco Delica 4, Spyderdo Native FRN, Spyderco Dragonfly 2
From Top: Spyderco Delica 4, Spyderdo Native FRN, Spyderco Dragonfly 2
Kershaw Freefall
The Kershaw Freefall, a very capable budget knife


    1. You're technically correct, so I updated the post to say "no proper liner" since I don't think it's full liner. That's OK, though, because the knife is plenty rigid without it, and the Delica is still my favorite pocket knife. I just personally think that it would be better with a proper liner, and that the weight can bear it since the Delica is only 2 ounces as-is.

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