You can open boxes with a car key. And it’s certainly possible to tear a sandwich in half using just your bare hands. Or, you could execute these quotidian tasks like a gentleman—using a pocketknife. The EDC (every day carry) knife is the emerging category that transforms Grandpa’s pocketknife into something slimmer, lighter and sharper using modern materials like titanium and Old World techniques.
EDCs also bring improved mechanical elements. Old-school pocketknives often open using a fingernail pull, requiring two hands, with the blade prone to snapping closed on fingers. These modern knives offer single-handed operation with a satisfying flick. Locking mechanisms make them as safe as they are beautiful.
Chris Reeve introduced the first integral frame-lock knife, which it features on the Small Sebenza 31 Macassar Ebony Polished ($575, middle right). At just under three inches when closed, this Idaho-made piece of premium S45VN steel and polished titanium is worth the 24-month wait to purchase. Also crafted in titanium, with a rosewood inlay, is The James Brand Chapter ($399, top right). The rich Damasteel blade mimicks traditional forging. Benchmade’s popular Bugout is available in a broad range of custom styles and scales (knife talk for handles). The Bugout 535BK-4 ($275, bottom) in aircraft aluminum is light with good grip and a premium steel blade with a black cerakote finish. The blade on the Glory Folder in Ironwood ($499, middle left) from New West Knife Works is made from the same S35VN steel used for their kitchen knives. Its fluted handle is stylish, yet tough enough for deep-sea fishing.
Once you get into the habit of toting a gentleman’s knife, you’ll be surprised by how often it comes in handy. Slice an apple on the park bench? No problem. Separate a few Lego bricks for the kids? Prepare to impress. Trim a stray thread from a buddy’s sport coat? You got this. Grandpa would be proud.