These Four EDC Fixed Blade Knife Options All Have Their Positives As Everyday Companions.
Fixed blades are common in the woods though far less so on the streets—politics has largely seen to that. Folders are in the pockets of many these days and are somehow considered “less dangerous” than fixed blades.
I cannot for the life of me understand this as there is little if any practical difference in terms of capability, with the exception of fixed blades in theory allowing for a longer blade.
There is this idea that a fixed blade is more lethal. Sure, a longer blade allows for greater reach and penetration, but it’s also harder to use in close confines—and substantially more difficult to deploy.
EDC Fixed Blade Knife Pros And Cons
The argument against the carry of larger fixed blades is certainly political, not practical. It could be considered in the same vein as the political arguments surrounding guns, most of which are dedicated to regulating what amounts to cosmetic features. If it looks scary, the thinking goes, you can convince people it is more dangerous.
The interesting part is that the four small EDC fixed blade knife options in this article are, for the most part, around the same size as box cutters. The thing is, when we see EDC, we often think about how the item is meant to be on your person, at the ready for utility jobs and even self-protection if need be. The latter is more the case with guns, where there are no power settings, only a fully lethal one.
In my stories on guns, I have often talked about how accessory-laden modern self-defense arms can be, but at the end of the day you’re not going to open your FedEx deliveries with a gun. Self-defense is a major purpose of firearms, whereas your EDC knife should be a jack-of-all-trades and capable of handling all your daily cutting tasks.
In the process of preparing this article, I had the pleasure of moving into a new house. As such I got to put the four test blades through their paces, cutting everything from tape and cardboard to zip ties—and even dinner when I couldn’t find my silverware. In place of my carving knife I used the White River M1 Caper to serve chicken dinner.
The point is, these are supposed to be knives that benefit from fixed-blade construction, able to handle tasks that might damage a folder.
Best EDC Fixed Blade Knife Options
Boker Pocket Knife
Boker has quite the little devil with the Pocket Knife. The name, of course, implies that it is to be carried in the pocket, and it comes with a sheath that works very well in this role. It’s the longest blade in the group but has the smallest handle.
The handle size is deceptive; it is very minimalist in the pocket and the sheath sits low, thus making the knife appear to have a much smaller blade. It carries well and is lightweight—two things I like. However, in use, it becomes a bit more of a challenge.
I do get that the Pocket Knife, designed by veteran knifemaker and police officer Mickey Yurco, has a self-defense vibe. The EDC fixed blade knife’s long, narrow tip is an obvious thruster, though the overall texture of the full piece is very slick. The handle shape forces the hand into a slightly uncomfortable angle. Sheathing the knife is also difficult if clipped deep in a pocket.
As a regular-use knife, I have seen better. That said, in a self-defense role, this would be the best of the bunch. If the blade is in your hand in the reverse grip, it feels solid and firm. The tang cutout between the choil and the handle is perfect for pinky finger placement in the reverse grip, and the knife is an effective stabber and slasher in tight spaces.
This is an excellent blade to pair with grappling techniques and for dealing with heavy clothing. All said, I like what Boker did here. It is a knife that goes in your pocket, but I don’t think it is well suited for the role of a traditional pocketknife.
Gerber Gear Vertebrae
Gerber’s Vertebrae is a really interesting little blade. It is sort of the opposite of the Boker in that it is mostly handle and very little blade. The grip is the knife’s dominant feature and it is full, rounded, and rubberized. It allows for a very reassuring handhold in bad weather or if you happen to be doing anything that involves water or mud. Unfortunately, I was unable to test the blade on game, though it was accidentally left out atop my chicken coop in a snowstorm and suffered no ill effects.
Due to the blade’s small size, I would categorize the Vertebrae as simply a cutting tool. It can’t reasonably be used for much in the way of self-defense; the blade is so short it would have problems going through thick fabric and reaching places necessary to stop an attack. For general use, it saw service as a box cutter and for cutting tie-downs.
As an outdoor knife, it functions well for striking ferro rods, and for very, very light bushcraft tasks and making tinder. The blade size was the limiting factor here. The handle worked great and offered no issues.
Now, I must talk about the sheath—and calling it that is being gracious. For how well the little blade is made, the sheath is clearly an afterthought. Not only does it barely work, it’s flimsy and also can be dangerous. Three times while I was carrying the knife, it simply fell out of the sheath.
I had not pushed it far enough into where the notch on the spine engaged the sheath tab. I thought I had got it to click in, but I had not. The clip is long and somewhat hard to manage. It lacks sufficient spring pressure to keep it in a pocket and is so long that it looks out of place carried there. This is a fine tool overall—it just needs a better sheath.
White River Knife & Tool’s Model 1 Caper
White River Knife & Tool’s Model 1 Caper was the best performer of the reviewed EDC fixed blade knife bunch. I have come to expect great knives from White River, not just ergonomically but also in terms of the quality of steel the company uses. The blades are heat treated very well, are not brittle, and stay extremely sharp even in heavy use.
The first thing I noticed about this knife is the grip, which is not only minimal but very comfortable. I can tell White River spends a great deal of time on the small things, such as the tang cutout having a very nice rounded interior edge that feels great on the finger and never digs into it. The grip material and shape feel terrific in the hand. The only downside is the Micarta® handle gets dirty fast and can stain.
The sheath is very well constructed and allows for positive sheathing with an audible click when the knife is seated. The sheath is meant for belt carry and is not a clip style like the others in the test, and fits most standard belts. The sheath surprised me a bit; it was the easiest to use of the bunch.
As far as utility for a carry knife, this one is probably the most versatile of the group. It is extremely sharp and has an aggressive, fine tip. It is so sharp it can pass through just about any normal material easily. I used it to cut heavy packaging straps and minutes later to prepare dinner. This is the definition of an all-purpose knife.
Citadel Vannak V
Made in Cambodia by Citadel, the Vannak V is an excellent EDC fixed blade knife. Overall, I really like this little guy. It doesn’t claim to be anything other than a daily use, small-task cutter. It’s great for opening mail and packages, light food prep, and small craft work. It is very pleasant to use and has an exceptional appearance.
Despite it being a great performer, I don’t have a tremendous amount to say about the Vannak V. It is devoid of gimmicks and is just a very tiny knife that does no more than its size allows. I like the wood grip and that the knife is made by hand by people who obviously care about what they’re doing.
The fit and finish are great. I have no complaints about grip texture or the depth of the tang cutout as the knife can’t really be used in the reverse grip—it’s just too small. The sheath is leather, minimalist, and completely functional.
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