When we think of everyday carry knives, most people picture some kind of folding knife. Since the 1980’s folding knife technology and innovation has come a very long way, introducing reliable lock systems, various methods of one handed deployment, and premium materials. All of this combined has allowed for a great deal of variety in the folding knife market, creating a folding knife for just about any budget and taste.
While we love all the variety and innovation of the folding knife market, we can’t ignore the unparalleled utility and reliability that fixed blades can provide. Fixed blades do not have any locking or deployment mechanisms that can fail during use, making maintenance much easier and allows for safer and more reliable use. The lack of mechanical parts also keeps production costs lower, which often keeps the price down for the end consumer. Despite these benefits, fixed blades were traditionally larger than their folding knife counterparts, and relied on leather or kydex belt sheaths for carry. For those of us who live in rural environments that is not really an issue, but public perception and even local regulations have made it more difficult for the urban and suburban knife enthusiast to carry a fixed blade.
Many knife makers recognized these challenges, but their passion for craft drove them to develop viable solutions, they endeavored to design smaller fixed blades with better carry systems. This is no simple task, as it is hard to make a fixed blade smaller without impacting the functionality and ergonomic qualities. Early designs produced by many big name knife companies were lackluster, the compromise between size, functionality, and user comfort was clearly apparent, to put it simply, these knives were not pleasant to use. Many of them were unwieldy neck knives, being too small to be useful or too heavy to be comfortable to carry. The materials used were not ideal, and many got the reputation for being cheap throw away knives.
Recently it seems some makers have cracked the code, creating small EDC fixed blades that don’t skimp on user comfort and functionality. In addition a number of innovative carry systems have been implemented making carry fixed blades just as easy as carrying a folding knife. These knife makers have not gone unnoticed and the EDC community has demonstrated a great resurgence of interest in carrying fixed blades to help them through their daily tasks.
Like folding knives there are numerous fixed blade makers and models out there, which can create a lot of confusion when selecting the right fixed blade for the job, fortunately the knife enthusiasts at KPL are here to help! We will take a look at some of the top names in the EDC fixed blade market and discuss why we love what they are doing!
Bradford will always hold a special place in my heart as they were the first company I found that produced an EDC fixed blade I actually wanted to carry. The Guardian 3 is their most well known design and it was built from the ground up for EDC carry. At a total length of 6.75 inches with 3 inches of usable cutting edge the Guardian 3 is sized perfectly for carrying and using daily.
These production knives are built in the USA and feature a number of blade steels, grind options, finishes, and handle materials. Starting at around $150 Bradford is a great option for the budget conscious EDC user who wants a solid everyday knife with some customization options.
ESEE Knives is owned by Randall’s Adventure Training and are mainly known for their nearly indestructible production knives geared for outdoor use. They do have a few knives in their line up that are great for everyday use, mainly the Izula and Candiru lines. ESEE makes knives primarily of 1095 high carbon steel, which is coated with an industrial grade finish that will help protect the knife from the elements.
The Candiru is just over 5 inches in overall length and the Izula is roughly 6.25 inches. Both these knives can be had with or without micarta handle scales depending on user preference and most varieties can be found well under the $100 dollar mark, making them a great choice for someone who wants a tough knife to handle serious tasks at a great price.
Knives by Nuge is an up and coming knife maker that has exploded in popularity this year thanks to his Wicket Line. The Wicket was originally designed as a neck knife, but has undergone numerous revisions in both knife and sheath design that allows for neck, pocket, or discreet belt carry.
The Wicket currently comes in two sizes the standard which is a mere 5 inches overall and the XL which is 6.5 inches overall. These are available in a variety of steel choices including 1095 and 80CRV2 high carbon steels as well as stainless Nitro-V and premium CPM Magnacut super steel. The wicket is available in scandi grind or full flat grind; the scandi lends to more wood processing tasks, while the full flat grind excels at slicing tasks.
All Nuge knives are designed and made by hand in the USA by Thomas “Nuge” Nugent who prides himself on creating premium purpose driven knives at a great price. If you are in the market for an EDC knife that is just as at home in the city as it is in the woods the Wicket is for you.
Wachtman Knife & Tool is a newer name to the knife world, but it’s certainly not from lack of experience. Alec Wachtman has been working metal since he was 6 years old and grinding knives since he was 14, and that experience definitely shows in his knives. Offering both Semi-Production and Signature Series premium knives, Wachtman knives feature a unique design aesthetic, and striking milled handle scales that really give each knife a truly premium look and feel.
Wachtman produces a number of EDC friendly fixed blades including the 6.64 inch Kliff and the 7.25 inch Eddy 2. This is definitely a maker who demonstrates a passion for what he does, combining artistry and function to produce some amazing knives!
Josh at Offensive Industries is known for designing and producing knives geared toward self-defense. His primary goal was to produce knives that could be carried everyday discreetly, and he has certainly accomplished this task! His knives are sleek and have a point that excels at piercing tasks.
He makes knives in a variety of sizes, but the Fenrir M is a small EDC knife that does a great job slicing while still maintaining the aggressive point found in his larger knives. The Fenrir M is just 6 inches over all, with a 2.5 inch blade, the large handle lends to greater control in use and the blade is the perfect length for most daily tasks.
Josh produces some of the best kydex sheaths on the market, designed for pocket carry and allowing for ambidextrous stowing and deployment. Offensive Industries is a veteran owned company and all knives and sheaths are made in the USA.
EDC Fixed Blade Care
Like all knives, your EDC fixed blade will require some routine maintenance to keep it working well for years to come. KPL has you covered with the best knife care products out there! Knife Shield will not only keep your knife clean after use, but it will also leave behind a rust inhibiting barrier to help keep your knives from developing damaging rust while in use or stored in their sheaths.
The Vibratite Blue Thread Locker will help keep your handles scale screws firmly in place and our storage box tabs will help maintain a rust free environment in your knife box! Check out our full line of Fixed Blade Maintenance tools here! As a special thank you to our readers you can use code BLACKFLAG at check out for 10% off your purchase!