Tag Archives: Best EDC knife

Rethinking every day carry (EDC)

I guess this is the second time I’ve put actual thought into it, and I’ve learned some things since I started actually thinking about it instead of just seeing it… “it” being “every day carry” (aka EDC) knives…

It’s pretty amazing how popular EDC is. I work at an Institute of Higher Indoctrination… err… higher education… and even some of the “progressive” instructors carry a knife (easy to see by the pocket clip), so there must be something to it, right?

I decided to see what it was all about so I got a Buck Vantage Pro and a Spyderco Paramilitary II. They’re both really nice knives, but… they both take up a lot of room in the pocket. I carry mine in my right front pocket, and when either knife is clipped into the pocket it takes up so much room that it’s hard to use the pocket for anything else: keys, loose change, etc…

I also have to admit, when I first started EDCing, I didn’t even see what was so useful about always having a knife on me. That changed when I started taking apart an old PBX – the knife worked great for cutting through zip-ties, stripping wire, I even started using it to open mail instead of using my keys like I used to. The thing is though, for all those tasks the two knives I have might just be a little too much. Useful, yes – but not useful enough to make up for losing the use of my right front pocket.

I started reading more EDC knife reviews and started to notice something… Most of the reviews just focus on the quality and potential uses of the knife under review, and not many talked about what it was actually used for after the review. Those that did mentioned simple things, like opening mail or cutting small cord, maybe stripping wire – NONE of which require a fancy hunter or “tacticool” blade. Not saying that such blades don’t have a use (they do), just that maybe (probably) they’re not necessary for 90% of EDC use.

So… I’m thinking of changing up my Every Day Carry plan for something simpler, like a Case Sodbuster Jr. or CV Trapper. Either one is fine for at least 90% of what I need to do with an EDC knife. Add to that, either is way more discreet than a clip knife and most important gives me back the use of my right front jeans pocket. I’m going to order one of them in the next week or so and hope to have a review up before Christmas.

As for my current two EDC knives, I’ll be keeping them, but only carrying when I might need their capabilities (for example, the Vantage Pro when I’m hunting or the Paramilitary II if I’m camping). Guess it just comes down to the fact I’m starting to realize the most important thing about a tool is how well it works for what I’m doing and not how it looks on me.

Spyderco ParaMilitary II vs. Buck Vantage Pro

I just bought a Spyderco Paramilitary II along with a Buck Vantage Pro because I was looking for a good every day carry (EDC) knife and I thought it would be interesting to compare the two. This was my first Spyderco, and based on the cost and online reviews I read, I expected it to be a lot nicer than the Buck. I wasn’t disappinted, the Paramilitary II is a really nice knife…

Blade – the Spyderco Paramilitary II has a full flat ground, drop point blade made from S110V stainless steel (it’s also available with an S30V blade). The cutting edge has a shallower belly than the Vantage Pro and a pointer tip, so it won’t be as good a skinner as the Buck. Also, the overall blade is thicker so it should be stronger and better for “tactical” uses. This makes sense given Spyderco’s history of making tactical (as opposed to hunting) knives. So which is better? I guess it depends on what you’re using it for… for hunting, I give the edge to the Vantage Pro. For more general cutting I think the blade on the Spyderco is better. My only regret on the blade is that after reading about the difficulty of sharpening S110V blades I wish I had bought the S30V version.

Handle/Clip – Both knives have handles (“scales”) made from something called G10. The scales on the Paramilitary II have a very grippy texture with squared edges. This isn’t quite as comfortable to hold than the smooth, rounded scales on the Vantage Pro, but make the Paramilitary II easier to draw than the Buck. The thinness of the scales and clip positioning and tension also help with ease of draw. The clip on the Vantage Pro holds really tight, maybe to the point of being just a little too tight. The Paramilitary II comes set for right hand, point down carry which I found to work really well. If you don’t like it, it’s easy to change to left hand and/or point down carry.

Opening/closing – The Paramilitary II lacks the back edge blade flipper of the Vantage Pro, but it’s not needed. The Spyderco opens very easily one handed using the large thumb hole on the blade, and unlike the Buck knife never needs a sharp wrist flick to lock the blade. The locking tab is on the opposite side of the blade slot, and so far I haven’t had problems with it “over locking” as sometimes happens with the Vantage Pro.

Overall impression – The Spyderco Paramilitary II is a really nice knife. I had to think long and hard before deciding to drop $150 on a pocket knife, but the build quality and smoothness of operation make this knife well worth the cost IMHO. As an EDC knife, I think the Spyderco is better than the Vantage Pro, but if cost is a consideration or you’re looking for something that will double as a hunting knife the Buck isn’t a bad way to go. The S110V blade should hold an edge very nicely, but it will be harder to sharpen other steels. If that is an issue for you but you like the Paramilitary II, you’re in luck because Spyderco also offers this knife with an S30 V blade. For a great price on the Paramilitary II with S110V blade, check here:

SPYDERCO C81GPDBL2 Paramilitary 2 Dark Blue G10 Handle Clip Point Plain