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Old 02-11-2017, 02:22 PM
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Default Seeking advice on an EDC knife

Hello folks - I'm looking for a quality EDC blade with a long handle (4.25 inches or more) but a shorter blade (3 inches or less). The only option I've found that roughly meets this criteria is the Spyderco Delica 4 - the Kahr arms edition especially, since the blade is shorter than the regular Delicas. Due to my local knife laws, we cannot have a large blade... but it seems like most knives with shorter blades also have a very short handle.

I did a Google search which did not turn up many options. I don't know much about knives, so I figured this would be the perfect place to post this question since I've gotten so much useful help and suggestions here over the years. Thanks in advance!

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Old 02-11-2017, 03:13 PM
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I'll start off by saying that I'm a big fan of the Spyderco Delica, and have 2 of them. I've been wanting to get the Kahr model for the 2.5" blade, or possibly having the blade on one of my Delicas shortened and reshaped to 2.5". I don't think you can go wrong with the Delica.

I don't know if it's still available, but I know Emerson made a knife with a sub-3" blade and a full size handle. I think it was called the Snubby. Emerson's can be pricey, though.

Do you have a budget in mind? What kind of tasks do you think you'll need it for? That can help refine the search.
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Old 02-11-2017, 04:06 PM
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Yeap...budget is pretty much determining facto in blades:

1. for an inexpensive no frills edc, I have carried the CRKT M16 for quite a while, does everything a smaller folder is meant to do and is pretty inexpensive. M16 line comes in all kinds of configurations.

2. I would argue its hard to beat a spyderco for cost vs quality. Inexpensive, descent quality, lots of configurations and a blade size for about every state. For a smaller blade, check out the dragonfly line.

3. I bought a Zero Tolerance 301 a while back. Big, Heavy, Strong. but surprisingly, I find that it doesn't hold an edge very well.
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Old 02-11-2017, 04:18 PM
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You'd be surprised how many knives: 1) won't hold an edge very well; or 2) are way too hard to sharpen.

A high-carbon steel (not stainless steel) blade is, in my opinion, the best blade. I base that opinion on years of experience. Easy to sharpen, yet holds an edge very well. (Granted, I own stainless knives also, but my preference is high-carbon blades).



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Old 02-11-2017, 04:26 PM
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No need to go with Janich/Kahr Delica since the standard model has a blade under 3". I would think it would be fine unless you have really big hands. The Kahr model was designed for areas with laws mandating a blade under 2.5" like Chicago.

A shortened Endura is another option. The Janich Endura is 3.5", but you could always just grind your own.

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Old 02-11-2017, 05:38 PM
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I have several Delica 4s. The blades are a bit under 3" on all of mine. I believe the handles are right at 4.25". The Delica is a light weight well made knife, and is not overly expensive. The one I'm carrying today and most days was bought in December 2009 and just got back from Spyderco for a free complementary sharpening. I have removed the pocket clip and let it ride in my pocket with my keys and coins. I like the combo edge for utility, but also have the fully serrated Spyderedge model, a full flat grind VG-10, and a full flat grind ZDP-189 model. The more I carry a Delica the more I like the model.
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Old 02-11-2017, 05:53 PM
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The standard Delica actually does meet your requirements perfectly... Delica(R) 4 Lightweight Black - Spyderco, Inc.

Blade length: 2.875"

Closed length(handle length): 4.25"

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Old 02-11-2017, 05:58 PM
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Got a Benchmade North Fork......about 6 months ago blade is a <3 and the handle is 4.2...... drop point and wood scales so really non-tactical look.
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Old 02-11-2017, 06:08 PM
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I've never owned a Spyderco but have only heard good things about them. If you want other suggestions before you buy, I've got a couple Benchmade folders that serve me well. I've mentioned them both here before, and they continue to impress me. One is the Volli, an assisted opener with a closed length of 4.5" and a blade length of 3". The other is a Grizzly Creek, manual opener of roughly the same size but a 3.25" blade. Both have an s30V blade which I'm really happy with. I use one or the other daily, and sharpening is rarely necessary.
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Old 02-11-2017, 06:37 PM
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Here is a great old carbon steel knife: a Schrade Sharpfinger, made in USA (but now they might be made overseas). I carried one for years.

Vintage Old Timer 7 1/8 Schrade Usa 152 Fixed Blade Sharpfinger Knife + Sheath! | What's it worth



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Old 02-11-2017, 06:48 PM
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Quote:
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The other is a Grizzly Creek, manual opener of roughly the same size but a 3.25" blade. Both have an s30V blade which I'm really happy with. I use one or the other daily, and sharpening is rarely necessary.
The North fork is a shorter version 2.9" blade of the Grizzly Creek pictured...^^^^^^

sorry typo ...... not 3.9...2.9"

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Old 02-11-2017, 07:03 PM
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Ahh, that may be more appropriate if blade legality is a concern. I just looked at the Benchmade site, I need to check my facts before posting in the future.

The Volli is listed with a 3.26" blade, and the GC is a 3.5".
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Old 02-11-2017, 07:21 PM
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Delicate 4 put 20degree edge on the VG-10 you'll have a great and hair shaving sharp knife
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Old 02-11-2017, 08:10 PM
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Usually pack a Sog Trident Tanto with a blade about 3.75 inches. Spring assist with Aus-8 steel. Other is a rugged Buck Alpha folder with a 3.5 inch blade. Great too for hunting/ skinning. Just a suggestion
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Old 02-11-2017, 08:32 PM
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A Barlow four blade boy scout knife. (none of the four blades are sharp as I might cut myself)
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Old 02-11-2017, 08:44 PM
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I'm partial to Benchmade. I've owned several.
Benchmade Mini-Barrage Family

Four inches closed. 2.91 inch blade. Assisted opening. Strongest lock made.

Have one in my pocket now with an S30V blade. I have large hands and there is plenty to hold on too.
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Old 02-11-2017, 09:20 PM
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The knife that first comes to mind is a Case seahorse whittler. Handle is 4.0", a little under your spec. The main blade is a nifty 2 3/8" Wharncliffe with a 1 1/2" coping blade on the other, and a similarly sized pen blade.

My photo fu is weak tonight, but I gave Conchita one of these in smooth persimmon orange bone. It is stunning. She reciprocated by giving me the same pattern in walnut jigged bone with lined bolsters. Here is a stock picture which doesn't do the knife justice, but at least you can see what it looks like:


This is a slipjoint knife with no tactical application whatever, but it is more than up to the demands of an EDC knife.

For a modern one-hand opener, I am partial to the Mini Barrage as well.
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Old 02-12-2017, 02:31 AM
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I carry an Ontario RAT2. 3 inch flat ground drop point AUS-8 blade, with 4 inch linerlock handle.
Won't win any beauty pageants, but a really nice knife in the 20-30 dollar range.
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Old 02-12-2017, 09:12 AM
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I have around 25 knives of all shapes and sizes but for an EDC knife its pretty hard to beat a Kershaw to me. An OSO Sweet or a Brawler fits your descripition though they might be a hair big, they are pretty slim and easy to carry and I like assisted opening. Best of all they are cheap at around 25 bucks. I have had about every kind of knife including Spydercos and admit that they and especially Benchmade, might have a tiny bit better steel but they will still need to be sharpened occasionally just like any other knife.
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Old 02-12-2017, 09:19 AM
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Smith and Wesson makes some nice knives
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Old 02-12-2017, 09:24 AM
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Benchmade and Spyderco are my choices, although I pretty much carry Benchmade automatics as EDC. I think you're gonna have a hard time finding a big discrepancy between blade and handle length, as folding knife makers like to fill the handle space with blade. Shorter blade, shorter handle . . .
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Old 02-12-2017, 10:46 AM
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I try to keep blade length on my folders under 3.5". I think the my Emerson A100 is probably a bit over that, but I've found that size to be very usable and it fits most legal requirements. My favorite EDC, is an all titanium Grayman Dua. Not as recognized a name as the others mentioned in this thread, but an outstanding example of knife making. The closed length is about 4" and the blade is a little over 3". It is extremely solid and well made. It also really pushed the limit for what I would spend for a knife, but I have never regretted buying it.
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Old 02-12-2017, 11:36 AM
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Thanks for all of the advice so far!! I was not expecting so many responses already - you folks are a wealth of knowledge!

I guess my price range would ideally be anything under $75, although I would be willing to pay up to $100. The roles for the knife would be simple EDC tasks (cutting cardboard, opening mail, cutting up food, whittling, etc.) but since I would have it on me all of the time, I would also want it to be able to cut a seatbelt quickly in the event of an auto accident or similar emergency. A glass breaker might be nice, but I know that really narrows down the selection (Benchmade Triage 915 comes to mind). And last of all, and probably the least likely role - emergency self defense. I have my CCW permit, but there are some places that you can legally carry a knife where you can't legally carry a gun. I would prefer something that doesn't look too "tactical" as I live in a state that has no formal blade length requirement, per se, but the law does basically state that you cannot carry the blade with primary intent to use as a weapon. Also, I feel like assisted opening might not be a good idea due to the nature of laws in my state (while assisted opening is definitely not an auto, folks who don't really know knives might assume it's the same thing.)

A steel that holds it's edge well would be ideal - I don't know too much about the VG-10 that the standard Delica comes with. Also, I think I would like to have a lock on the knife - I would feel safer using it in the field for the roles I described than a slipjoint. I almost purchased a Zero Tolerance 0350 on Amazon for $90 the other day, but I am personally not a fan of liner locks (or frame locks). My limited research has shown that they can fail more than a lockback (Delica style) or a ball-bearing lock like the Axis or Arc lock (BM Griptilian or Spyderco Manix 2 style).

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Old 02-12-2017, 12:10 PM
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SpartanZeroOne,

Given your parameters, I think the Delica 4 FFG would be a good choice. I got mine from eBay in the $50-60 range. I think the VG-10 blade holds an edge very well. I use mine for things like slicing food, opening packages, etc., almost every day. I usually touch up the edge every couple of months, but I could probably go longer and still have a good, clean-cutting edge. It also sharpens pretty easily with a Spyderco Sharpmaker (I added ultra fine stones and use a stropping block, too). It's thin and light. The 4-position clip gives you a good variety of carrying options, or just remove the clip and carry it in your pocket. I find it easy to open and close with one hand. I like the security of the lock, too. And if you get one in a color other than black it won't scream "tactical." And the blade is just under 3".



I've seen the Kahr 2.5" version going for around $85, also on eBay. If you have to deal with a 3" length limit it does give you a bigger margin for how blade length is measured. Plus it's the maximum length if you go places like the post office. IIRC, the Kahr version came about because one of Michael Janich's self defense students worked in a federal building and they had a 2.5" blade length limit.

But again, I'm very much biased towards the Spyderco Delica as it's just about perfect for my needs. Keep an open mind and try to handle as many knives that meet your parameters as you can.

I still think it's hard to go wrong with a Delica, though.
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Old 02-12-2017, 12:32 PM
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I like my Kershaw Leek it does everything I need it too.
and keeps a sharp edge
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Old 02-12-2017, 12:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SpartanZeroOne View Post
I'm looking for a quality EDC blade with a long handle (4.25 inches or more) but a shorter blade (3 inches or less).
That is going to be a problem, one of the big goals for a maker is to squeeze as much blade as they can into the handle. Kershaw makes the Barge where they added a prybar to the end of the handle making the handle longer with a short blade

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Old 02-12-2017, 01:13 PM
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Quote:
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That is going to be a problem, one of the big goals for a maker is to squeeze as much blade as they can into the handle. Kershaw makes the Barge where they added a prybar to the end of the handle making the handle longer with a short blade

Kershaw Barge 1945 @ IWA 2016 - YouTube
The Barge looks interesting!! I'll have to check that out. The one thing about Kershaws is it seems like many of them come with low-grade to mid-grade steels with only a few models offered in S30V. (plus most have liner/frame locks) I don't know much about steels though - I'm still trying to learn, so all of the feedback from those with more experience is appreciated!
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Old 02-12-2017, 01:17 PM
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The Delica 4 hits a good size, weight, price, quality point for me. The more I carry one the more I appreciate them. The standard VG-10 steel is an excellent starting point. The big question is blade grind and edge style. I'd have one of each if I could.
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Old 02-12-2017, 01:25 PM
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Quote:
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The Barge looks interesting!! I'll have to check that out. The one thing about Kershaws is it seems like many of them come with low-grade to mid-grade steels with only a few models offered in S30V. (plus most have liner/frame locks) I don't know much about steels though - I'm still trying to learn, so all of the feedback from those with more experience is appreciated!
Been studying up on all the different steels myself Spartan. Lots of stainless steels with added carbon, vanadium, or other hardening alloys. If interested in a heavy duty folder the Buck CSAR has 154CM steel and comes with a glass breaker. 3.5 inch blade but this is heavy at 8.5 ounces. Comes with a decent nylon sheath.
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Old 02-12-2017, 02:09 PM
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I've worn out several Buck 110's over 30 years of EDC. The 110 s little brother the 112 might be a good option for you. The blade is 3inches, the handle is large enough to not feel small.
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Old 02-12-2017, 02:35 PM
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The Delica/Endura models with the stainless steel handle seem nice - possibly sturdier than the FRN handles and very thin from what I understand. Only thing I don't care for is the stainless pocket clip, but I'm sure a black clip could be gotten through Spyderco for a little more discrete carry.

Anyone have any experience with the stainless steel handle model?

Thanks for all the feedback and thoughts thus far!!
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Old 02-12-2017, 02:55 PM
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All my spydercos are FRN and I have no experience with the SS models other than just handling them, but I've seen quite a folks mention the stainless steel handles being slippery.
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Old 02-12-2017, 03:15 PM
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The Delica/Endura models with the stainless steel handle seem nice - possibly sturdier than the FRN handles and very thin from what I understand. Only thing I don't care for is the stainless pocket clip, but I'm sure a black clip could be gotten through Spyderco for a little more discrete carry.

Anyone have any experience with the stainless steel handle model?

Thanks for all the feedback and thoughts thus far!!
The FRN handles have steel liners and are very strong. The current catalog shows a Combo-edged FRN Delica at 2.6 oz. The Combo-edged Stainless model is 4.1 oz. The catalog also indicates full flat grind is not available with the stainless handle. The FRN full flat grind Delica weighs 2.4 oz. One of the charms of the Delica is its light weight. At 4.1 oz I'd opt for the new Par 3, which has a full 3" blade and sells for $120.
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Old 02-12-2017, 03:45 PM
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The Delica/Endura models with the stainless steel handle seem nice - possibly sturdier than the FRN handles and very thin from what I understand. Only thing I don't care for is the stainless pocket clip, but I'm sure a black clip could be gotten through Spyderco for a little more discrete carry.

Anyone have any experience with the stainless steel handle model?

Thanks for all the feedback and thoughts thus far!!
The FRN handles have steel liners. The Ladybug, the small one with the sub-2" blade, does not have steel liners, FYI.

The clips are black on all the ones I've seen. If you're going by the ones in my picture, the finish is just really worn. Someday I'll get some new clips. One neat thing about the Kahr models is that the handles have matching colored clips, which you can choose based on the pants you wear. For example, they have a blue model with a blue pocket clip if you wear blue jeans to help keep it low profile.

My concern with the stainless steel handles is traction. For that reason I've never gotten a steel handled one. The FRN handles on my Delicas give me a good, secure grip.

Edit: I misread your post. I didn't realize you were talking about the stainless steel clips on the stainless steel handled models.

Last edited by ContinentalOp; 02-12-2017 at 03:47 PM.
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Old 02-12-2017, 03:55 PM
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Given your parameters and price range I would buy something like this.



I carry this exact knife daily. It serves me well. And if I somehow break it, yes I'll be mad but at least it wasn't one of my $150-$250 knives.

For an EDC knife primarily used as a utility knife you don't need to spend much. And later on you may find your requirements for an EDC have changed.

I would also take a good look at Kershaw. They have a very broad line to choose from. The 8Cr13MoV steel is made in China. I'ts not the best steel but certainly good enough for an EDC utility knife. It holds an edge well and is easy to keep sharp. This is how Kershaw and others that use this steel are able to keep their prices down.

Other premium steels such as 154CM and CPM S30V are much harder and resist corrosion better. But again, you don't necessarily need those. Work up to those later.

I would also stay away from tanto blade knives. A serrated blade also helps greatly for box cutting and other chores.

Also consider how the knife opens and closes. Assisted knives are nice one hand opening IF legal in your area. For a utility knife, I like knives that I can open and close easily with one hand such as the Benchmade Griptilian.

And consider which pocket you intend to carry the knife. Is the pocket clip reversible?

Choosing a knife is like anything else. And if you have a limited budget, choose wisely.
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Old 02-12-2017, 04:15 PM
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Check out the Buck 722 Spitfire. I've owned mine a year and have enjoyed carrying. A lot of people have mention how similar it looks to some of the Spyderco's.

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Old 02-12-2017, 04:35 PM
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I have been carrying a Jess Horn Spyderco as an EDC for well over 20 years. It is lightweight, has a 3" blade and 4" handle. The blade holds an edge and it can be touched up to razor sharpness using a sharpening steel in just a minute. It is handy and so lightweight that I never feel it. I've tried other knives, but they were either too bulky, heavy or complicated to get open. I am right handed, but carry the Spyderco clipped onto my left pocket and open it with my left hand with the flick of my thumb. I don't have to use any fancy "butterfly knife" moves. or flick it open and lock it. The only drawback (and it really isn't critical) is that the lock is on the back of the handle, so if you aren't careful, you could accidentally unlock it while using it by squeezing the handle.
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Old 02-12-2017, 07:25 PM
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I'll join the crowd of Spyderco Delica fans and recommend you check out the 'emerson' version with the wave opening feature. It works quite nicely. Nothing wrong with the traditional spyder hole opening method but the wave is even slicker. I have the larger Endura wave but will add a Delica wave soon. Hard to go wrong with any Spyderco.

As to the pocket clip, all mine have been black but the edges wear and become more noticeable as the stainless shows. I took some 0000 steel wool to a black clip and turned it into a nice dull flat grey/satin stainless that blends nicely with jeans.

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Old 02-12-2017, 10:34 PM
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Quote:
"but I am personally not a fan of liner locks (or frame locks). My limited research has shown that they can fail more than a lockback (Delica style) or a ball-bearing lock..."

My experience is the opposite and I like liner locks better. Once I was prying pretty hard on something with a Spyderco Endura serrated blade and the fleshy part of my had depressed the lockback bar and the blade closed on my fingers. Luckily it just pinched my index finger with the unsharpened part of the blade or I could have lost some fingers. Another little "life lesson" to not depend on any type of knife lock as total safety.
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Old 02-12-2017, 11:29 PM
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The liner lock on my oldest Benchmade failed. I've gone to their axis lock only. So it can happen even though you think it would'n't.
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Old 02-12-2017, 11:48 PM
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I've used a Camillus Slimline penknife since 1963: it was my grandfather's. Circa 1936.


Carbon steel blades.

Easy to sharpen, holds an edge better than modern knives.

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Old 02-13-2017, 01:59 AM
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I have several Delica 4s. The blades are a bit under 3" on all of mine. I believe the handles are right at 4.25". The Delica is a light weight well made knife, and is not overly expensive. The one I'm carrying today and most days was bought in December 2009 and just got back from Spyderco for a free complementary sharpening. I have removed the pocket clip and let it ride in my pocket with my keys and coins. I like the combo edge for utility, but also have the fully serrated Spyderedge model, a full flat grind VG-10, and a full flat grind ZDP-189 model. The more I carry a Delica the more I like the model.

If you carry a knife with keys and coins, you'll soon have a very chewed up knife. I learned a long time ago not to put anything but a handkerchief in my knife pocket.
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Old 02-13-2017, 05:53 AM
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If you carry a knife with keys and coins, you'll soon have a very chewed up knife. I learned a long time ago not to put anything but a handkerchief in my knife pocket.
Attached photos of my EDC Delica 4 sans pocket clip taken this morning. Its has been carried bottom of pocket with keys and coins for seven years now. Fiberglass reinforced nylon is very durable, but granted it's not as pretty as a brand new specimen.
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Old 02-13-2017, 09:59 AM
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After three years on this forum I finally figured out what EDC was. Slow and steady wins the race.
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Old 02-15-2017, 07:33 AM
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Other options for fixed blade EDC could be the Gerber Ghost Strike or the Ka-Bar TDI, to name a few.

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Old 02-15-2017, 07:34 AM
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I read an article the other day about the merits of carrying a small fixed blade for EDC.

Two that were recommended are the Benchmade Hidden Canyon Hunter and the ESEE Izula II. The BM Hidden Canyon can be worn horizontally on the belt and would seem to be an easy carry in most EDC situations, except maybe mesh shorts in the summer. Anyone have experience with either of these blades.

Does anyone EDC a small fixed blade? Any thoughts on this from those that do carry a knife as part of their EDC kit as opposed to carrying a folder? And are their any small fixed blades out there you'd recommend besides the two above?
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Old 02-15-2017, 07:35 AM
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Old 02-15-2017, 12:51 PM
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I have carried this little Anza, not daily, but frequently, for many years. It drops into a front pocket, or into a back pocket next to my wallet. More than just a cutting tool, it has served as a pry bar and gasket scraper as well.

Anza does not offer this exact knife any more, but they have something very similar with micarta scales.



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Old 02-15-2017, 03:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SpartanZeroOne View Post
I read an article the other day about the merits of carrying a small fixed blade for EDC.

Two that were recommended are the Benchmade Hidden Canyon Hunter and the ESEE Izula II. The BM Hidden Canyon can be worn horizontally on the belt and would seem to be an easy carry in most EDC situations, except maybe mesh shorts in the summer. Anyone have experience with either of these blades.

Does anyone EDC a small fixed blade? Any thoughts on this from those that do carry a knife as part of their EDC kit as opposed to carrying a folder? And are their any small fixed blades out there you'd recommend besides the two above?
I believe I saw someone recommend an Old Timer Sharpfinger fixed blame earlier.

For my lifestyle and day in day out use, carrying a fixed blade knife on my belt or around my neck would probably draw unwanted attention. I have carried a fixed blade knife when I expected I'd need more than the usual small folder I normally carry. I'll usually carry the folder too.

I see my every day carry knife as something that is almost always on me. My keys and my knife will be with me almost always. I'll have those two items on me while my wallet and cellphone are on my desk, and my pistol is in a drawer.

It still amazes me that people will freak when I pull out my Delica. Before that I carried little drop point Bucks in the Duke/Squire/Knight series which were 2" to 3" blades, some folks see small utility knives as evil weapons, I see them as must have tools. I've been carrying a pocket knife for about 45 years now, I'll stick to a discreet pocket knife for most every day.

A small fixed blade may work for you. You will definitely want one available from time to time, but you should also have a decent quality small folder on hand. Just my opinion.
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Old 02-17-2017, 02:16 PM
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Has anyone carried or owned a Chris Reeves Sebenza? I'm infatuated with them but not sure I want to drop that kind of coin.
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