Let’s cut to the chase: You need a good folding knife. And if you’re looking for the best folding knives for everyday carry, you’ve come to the right place!
People who obsess over everyday carry will stuff flashlights, pens, pencils, cables, combs, multitools, lighters, elaborate keychains, and more into their pockets, but a good knife is the first thing you should carry after a wallet, smartphone, and keys.
A good knife can be used to open packages, cut rope, prep food, provide first aid, make a fire, and defend yourself. It should be slim enough to be comfortably carried, but still easily accessible and functional, so you’ll be prepared for any situation.
There are A LOT of opinions out there about what makes a good ‘everyday carry’ knife. A LOT.
So after consulting experts, reviewing countless ‘best of’ lists, and weeding through hundreds of ratings and reviews, this is the definitive list of seven knives that would be great additions to your daily carry arsenal.
Spyderco Para Military 2
The Spyderco Para Military 2 can be found on pretty much every list of the best folding knives, and it’s usually towards the top. Ask knife guys what the single best everyday carry knife is, what knife they would carry if they could only carry one for every trip and every task, and they’ll probably tell you it’s this knife. The Para Military 2 is a great all-round, all-purpose knife, with a fantastic lock, a great opener (called the “Spyder Hole”), and a huge aftermarket scene if you decide to customize it.
More than 1,650 people have reviewed the Kershaw Blur on Amazon, and it has still managed to maintain a perfect 5-Star rating. The Blur features a big, slightly recurved blade that’s excellent at both slicing and piercing. The blade is made of Sandvik 14C28N stainless steel, giving it a great mix of corrosion resistance and hardness, while the handle is made of 6061-T6 anodized aluminum (commonly called “aircraft aluminum”) that makes it lightweight, extremely durable, and scratch resistant. The Blur features SpeedSafe assisted opening so it’s easy to open one-handed, and an inset liner lock that enables a slimmer, lighter knife, while still providing the strength and security of a locking liner. Best of all, it’s made in the USA by skilled knifemakers in their Tualatin, Oregon manufacturing facility.
Opinel No. 8
Opinel is a bit of an oddball in the folding knife world, because the French company created the original design in 1890, and hasn’t changed much since, giving it a pedigree that no other knife can match. Because of that pedigree, it’s a knife that even non-knife-people tend to like. With just a few simple parts (blade, beechwood handle, pivot pin, and lock ring) it’s a reliable knife with classic looks and time-tested performance that seems like it should cost a lot more than it does.
Benchmade Mini Griptilian
The Griptilian helped put Benchmade on the map, and it’s one of their most versatile knives. In fact, there are more shapes, sizes, and colors available in the Griptilian family than any other Benchmade knife. Despite “Mini” in the name, there’s nothing small about the Mini Griptilian. It has a 3” blade that’s perfect for common tasks, and makes it the right size to carry with you on a daily basis. It’s lightweight, sturdy, well made, and has become one of Benchmade’s most iconic designs for good reason.
Watch them test the Griptilian beyond what most people are likely to do with it:
CRKT calls the Squid the pistol of knives: Small in size, but big on ability. Designed by custom-knife-maker Lucas Burnley, the Squid’s blade is just 2.25” long, but nearly an inch wide, and when combined with a drop-point style blade, it has a good balance of tip strength and point geometry for a wide variety of tasks. You get all the functionality of a full-size folder in an easy to carry, compact design.
See the Squid in action:
The Buck 110 is the OG of the folding knife world. First created in 1963, the 110 has been one of America’s best-selling knives for over 50 years now. It’s also guaranteed for life, so if it ever breaks, they’ll repair or replace it for free. If you want a knife your father and grandfather probably used, and something you could eventually pass down to future generations, this is it.
The James Brand The Chapter
The James Brand is a relative newcomer to the folding knife world, but they have quickly made a name for themselves with premium materials, a minimalist design, and clear attention to detail. To create The Chapter, they took the classic single-blade folder and re-imagined it, with simple titanium frame-lock construction that features minimal moving parts, and requires minimal maintenance. Their blade steel holds an edge well, but resists corrosion and is easy to care for.
Learn more about The James Brand: