We've updated our top small EDC knives for 2017. These are knives that have actually been used in our everyday carry, so they're tried and true. The best thing about "small" knives is that they can be carried almost anywhere in a non-obtrusive way. Take a look at our list, let us know what you'd add to it, and upgrade your pocket knife this year.
Left to right: Spyderco Dragonfly G-10 Foliage Green, Quiet Carry Bandit Titanium Keychain Knife, Hinderer Knives XM-18 Translucent Green, OTTER-Messer Small Hippekniep Klein 140, Grenadilla Wood and the Zero Tolerance 0700 in Gray Aluminum.
First off, why would someone want to purchase, carry or own a "small" knife? Well, there are probably a number of reasons, but first off, we need to define what a small knife is. For the purposes of this article, we are going to define a small EDC knife as one with the following parameters:
- Handle length less than or equal to 4.25"
- Blade length less than or equal to 3.00"
- Weight less than or equal to 3.50 ounces
Now, before we start receiving messages about how a knife or two may fall "outside" of those parameters ... trust us, we know they do. However, we took the liberty to allow our bias to take control. As a result, a knife or two is added due to how awesome they are.
Now that that's out of the way, let's look at a few of the reasons you may want to add one of these knives to your Primary EDC.
- Lighter weight: A lighter weight usually goes hand in hand with a smaller knife. However, this is not always the case. Handle material, blade material, construction, etc., all play a role in how much a knife weighs. But, for the most part, the smaller the knife the less it will weigh. The number one reason for carrying a lighter weight knife is when your clothing calls for it. Here in Texas, we'll always grab a lighter option if we're wearing lighter-weight dress pants or lighter-weight summer clothing
- Hand size: Male or female, there's no doubt you will be more comfortable using a knife that fits your hand. It's the same with any tool. If it doesn't fit you, when it comes time to actually using it for some sort of work, it will fatigue you more and increase the likelihood of an accident occurring
- Concealability: This reason is pretty self-explanatory. Smaller knives are easier to conceal. This can be advantageous for a number of reasons. Primarily, when you don't want to broadcast the fact you have a knife on you. Again, this may carry more weight as a deciding factor depending on where you live. Down here in Texas, everybody and their brother carries and knife and no one bats an eye. So, concealability may not be as big of a deal
As far as the knives below are concerned, they have all received a substantial amount of carry time and use and we feel like they live up to the title.
We've updated our Top 5 Small EDC Knives for 2016 list from last year, so let's start and see what's changed for 2017.
5. Zero Tolerance 0770, Gray Aluminum
The Zero Tolerance 0770 is a new version of the award-winning Zero Tolerance 0777. The 0770 offers the style and performance of its predecessor, but in a slightly smaller, streamlined version.
The Elmax steel blade provides a razor edge, excellent edge retention, strength, and toughness. In contrast to most of the other knives in the ZT family, the 0770 has a slim handle made with lightweight aluminum scales. It offers quick deployment of the Elmax steel blade thanks to the speedsafe assisted opening mechanism and the built-in flipper. In my opinion, the ZT 0770 is a great Primary EDC blade. Made in the USA.
The Zero Tolerance 0770 is available in two variations:
4. Quiet Carry Bandit Titanium Keychain Knife
Quiet Carry began their journey with the idea to create knives that could handle everyday tasks. We are not talking about defensive applications, we are just talking about taking care of all the little mundane things that pop up during the day. For this to be possible, you have to have a knife with you. That was their whole point.
The Bandit Keychain Knife makes it all too easy. It's so small and accommodating, you can just throw it on your keychain and forget about it. However, if that doesn't fit the bill, feel free to throw it in your pocket and go. With its small size and minimal weight, you will never know it's there. Made in California, USA.
3. Spyderco Dragonfly Foliage Green G-10 C28GPFG, PlainEdge
The Dragonfly is one of those knives that is a small, lightweight cutting machine. The scales are a foliage green G-10, which give it an awesome look. The Dragonfly feels and performs like a much larger blade due to its ergonomically blueprinted handle. The VG-10 blade measures in at 2.25" long and features a full flat grind. The wire clip allows it to be carried perfectly in the pocket and its size and presentation won't have people running in fear. This is a great looking EDC knife that can handle many of the tasks of much lager knives.
The Dragonfly knife is available in five variations:
- Black FRN, PlainEdge
- Black FRN, SpyderEdge
- Foliage Green G-10, PlainEdge
- Stainless Steel, PlainEdge
- Stainless Steel, SpyderEdge
2. OTTER-Messer Small Hippekniep Klein 140, Grenadilla Wood
If you are looking for an EDC knife that breaks the mold of what you typically see, the OTTER-Messer Small Hippekniep Klein 140 may be it.
Made in Solingen, Germany, every knife is ground, stropped and polished by hand. The handle is made out of smooth grenadilla wood, which offers a color range from brown-black to black-violet. The blade is hard carbon steel C75, which will develop a beautiful patina over time. Add a classic look to your Primary EDC and pick up the OTTER-Messer Small Hippekniep Klein 140.
1. Hinderer Knives XM-18
The Hinderer HM-18 with a 3" blade offers a smaller, more minimalist alternative to the ever so popular 3.5" blade. This knife is built to use with thick titanium and a beefy blade, measuring in at a full .140", which is retained all the way to the tip. A lot of folks are hesitant to pay a lot of money for a knife and use it for everyday tasks. I'm telling you, this thing is made to use. It's a tool, treat it as such. I bet you will be surprised at how well it performs and how durable it is. It has an oversize choil, which allows you to choke up for precision work and the solid lock up encourages you to work with confidence.
Made in Shreve, Ohio, USA.
We know we're probably missing your favorite small EDC knife. So, what is yours?