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If you are a knife person, there's a very good chance you've embraced the broader EDC ("Every Day Carry") lifestyle. EDC is the practice of carrying useful items on your person every day to help you be prepared, to make you more capable and more able to encounter unexpected situations.
Carrying a capable set of EDC tools gives you special abilities, making you an everyday superhero! Some of the most common EDC tools include knives, prybars, watches, pens, pliers, lighters, computer memory, handkerchiefs, wallets, lock-picks, firearms, and multitools.
Let's run through some of KPL's favorite EDC items today, starting with the most commonly carried items, and moving on to some of the more obscure tools carried by EDC enthusiasts!
We are absolutely living in the middle of a pocketknife renaissance era! There are literally thousands of choices for a good quality pocketknife that will serve your EDC needs very, very well. Although KPL owns lots of knives, for purposes of this article we're recommending the Spyderco Delica!
This classic pocketknife is everything you need, and nothing you don't. It's heritage will give you serious cred with knife fanatics, while its super-slicey full-flat-ground blade is an absolute delight to use. For an mid-entry level knife you are also getting an absolutely fabulous steel in VG-10 that'll hold an edge well and sharpen up using standard (non-diamond) stones. For a bit of an upgrade, you can also opt for a version in a supersteel like m390.
The Delica is also super slim, making it disappear in the pocket. Still, for a slim knife it has some of the grippiest scales available. Fiber-reinforced polymer composite handles fit the whole hand easily and are molded with ergonomic one-way traction grip/wedges that keep the knife locked in place without the unpleasant roughness that comes with some G-10 handles.
All-in-all, the Delica is an absolutely solid choice of knife, but there are a world of other choices to pick from!
There used to be a day when everyone carried a handkerchief with them! Unfortunately that's no longer the case, because a handkerchief is one of the most useful EDC items you can carry. Handkerchiefs take up almost no pocket space, and have serve multiple purposes as glasses-cleaners, bandages, knife maintenance wipes, pocket squares, and screen cleaners.
Here at KPL we are huge fans of the custom work done by our friends at Mighty Hanks, but online knife retailers and others offer a huge selection of hanks as well. Make sure the option you choose includes a microfiber backing!!
Everyone should carry a mini-prybar! These little guys can be used for everything from opening boxes to turning screws, to removing staples and disassembling legos. As an added advantage, keeping a prybar around removes the temptation to use your pocketknife as a pry or probe risking a broken tip!
If titanium is your thing, we'd recommend you pick up one of the beautiful products from LynchNW. If you're like us and prefer a tougher hardened steel prybar, Etsy is your friend! Look for a maker that can tell you what steel goes into their products and who can also talk about their heat-treat process.
Aside from a pocketknife, there may be no other EDC tool that you will use more often than a pen. Be sure to choose something that'll write every time you need it. Fisher space pens are always a solid choice, but we've lately become huge fans of Pokka pens, which incorporate Fisher ink technology into an inexpensive plastic body with cool color options.
Of course your cellphone has a flashlight, but that tiny LED has nothing on a dedicated light source powered by Lithium batteries and a modern high CRI LED. If you are well versed in 18650 powered lights and can charge and store your batteries safely, you'll definitely want to go with something from Zebralight (our personal favorite brand).
Despite our love for high-end flashlights, we typically recommend Olight as a go-to for a new high-quality flashlight owner.
Olight products feature proprietary batteries which are more difficult to replace, but which enable hand magnetic charging from on-board the flashlight eliminating the need for external chargers. You'll also get much better color rendition from a high quality light like Olight, and especially if you upgrade even further to an offering from Zebralight.
They say nothing beats a Leatherman, but sometimes a full size multitools can be a bit large for pocket carry or for descreet carry in formalwear. That's why we've absolutely fallen in love with the miniature version pliers by Knipex! Knipex is well-known for making what are probably the best pliers on earth. Their products are true buy-it-for-life quality and line up precisely without exception.
Knipex Cobra Pliers in Miniature 5-inch size
These little guys measure only 5 inches long, making them easily pocketable, while still packing massive leverage and an incredible bite into induction-hardened teeth and a super-strong tongue and groove joint. If you want even smaller, Knipex is now making a 4 inch version of the same pliers for ultimate EDC effectiveness.
Of course firearms are an option, but for those who can not, or who choose not to carry a firearm, less-lethal tools are the way to go. Our team at KPL is a huge fan of POM pepper spray.
This tiny little product packs a serious punch and sports a container that is absolutely safe for pocket carry on a long-term basis. It's also incredibly easy to deploy by slipping a thumb under the button cover and pressing down.
Everyone knows someone that has fallen victim to account theft. Maybe your own email, social media, or banking account has been compromised? Have you tried two-factor authentication? Adding that second factor massively improves security, but still isn't perfect.
Attackers have figured out how to intercept texted codes and key-generated codes to hijack sessions and compromise accounts. If you want the ultimate in protection, safe enought for use even on public computers, get a FIDO key. These simple USB devices are tough enough for EDC and make your accounts nearly bulletproof. Grab one from Yubikey, the inventors of the FIDO standard along with numerous industry participants.
To use it, simply register your accounts for a FIDO second factor, then plug or wirelessly access and tap the key when it's time to login.