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Date Published: 2022-09-19

An EDC Self-Defense Knife

An EDC Self-Defense Knife

By Adelia Ladson

A good everyday carry knife is even better if it’s also well-suited as a self-defense weapon. There are too many situations to name, here, that would make using a knife to defend yourself. Just because you have an EDC knife, doesn’t necessarily mean that it will serve to defend. Even though, when you think of a knife to fight with, the image is usually of a combat-style fixed blade knife pulled from the scenes of action movies that you’ve seen, you can find a self-defense pocket knife as well. The pocket knife is easier to carry discreetly, which is the main advantage of an EDC self-defense knife.

What To Look For

When you’re looking for an EDC self-defense knife, the first thing that you need to consider is the speed that the pocket knife will deploy. In a self-defense situation, you need a weapon that’s immediately accessible to you, which means the pocket knife needs to be assisted opening or automatic. Also, look for a handle that has a lanyard hole so that a wrist lanyard can be attached. This will help assure that you can keep control of the pocket knife under extreme circumstances. The handle should be heavily textured and grippy, but it should also fit comfortably in your hand regardless of how you need to hold it. The blade needs to have the strength and flexibility to stand-up to impact so a high carbon steel is good but stay away from D2 tool steel, which is strong but can be brittle under duress. Also, look for extra features like a glassbreaker pommel, which can also used as a striking implement.

The Top Contenders

Because there are lots of choices out on the market, I’ll make it easy and point you toward the top contenders in EDC self-defense knives. I’m going to break them down into assisted opening and automatic pocket knives. Here are three solid examples of each.

Assisted Opening Pocket Knives

An assisted opening knife has a mechanism that will take over after the initial manual nudge, giving you the advantage of a quick opening will a small amount of effort. The blade’s natural position is closed, and it’s deployed with either a flipper or thumbstud.

USMC Combat Assisted Opening Pocket Knife

The best EDC self-defense knife to start with is the Marine-tough USMC Combat Assisted Opening Pocket Knife. You can guarantee that it will back you up because it’s officially licensed by the Marine Corps. The powerful, non-reflective stainless steel blade can be opened effortlessly with the blade spur. The black and green, heavily textured aluminum handle gives you a secure grip even if your hand is sweaty and it has a glassbreaker pommel.

Delta Defender Assisted Opening Karambit Knife

Pumped-up with steroids and folded so that it will still fit in a pocket, this knife on the list was designed and constructed for the modern battlefield. The Delta Defender Assisted Opening Karambit Knife not only backs you up but it looks like it can back you up, which may intimidate an assailant into retreating. The double thumbstuds assure quick deployment of the curved and penetrating blade, which has a non-reflective finish that extends to the handle. The self-defense pocket knife has the traditional karambit open-ring pommel and its thick and beefy handle scales are textured G10 that are ergonomically designed for a no-slip grip. At just over 5", when closed, the Delta Defender Karambit pocket knife slides easily into a pocket and it has a pocket clip to secure it.

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  • USMC Combat Assisted Opening Pocket Knife
  • Delta Defender Assisted Opening Karambit Knife
  • Automatic Pocket Knives

    Many times assisted opening knives are confused with automatic knives. A spring assisted knife’s natural position is closed and an automatic knife’s natural position is open – the blade is being held in a closed position by tension. When you open a knife and there is no effort involved except for pressing a button to deploy the blade, it is an automatic.

    Phantom Series Black OTF Tanto Knife

    The Phantom Series Black OTF Tanto Knife can be quickly and easily deployed with the ambidextrous sliding button at a moment’s notice. Pushing forward on the button deploys the blade out the front of the handle and pressing backwards on the button retracts the blade back into the handle. The 3 9/10” stainless steel tanto blade is exceptional at both piercing and slicing due to its shape. The OTF has a black, metal alloy handle that is patterned for non-slip handling in any environment. The metal pocket clip is reversible and can be carried in the button back or button front positions. When clipped into the pocket it has a nice low profile “ride”. The end of the knife features a glass breaker pommel designed to shatter glass or break anything else you might need to in case of an emergency. When you purchase a Viper-Tec Knife, you get a manufacturer's lifetime warranty.

    USA Tactical Blade OTF Automatic Opening Knife

    I'm finishing out the list with another automatic OTF since I really do believe that they make the best EDC self-defense knives. The USA Tactical Blade OTF Automatic Opening Knife can be deployed and retracted with rapid precision with the slide trigger on the side, giving you a blade that's up for anything. The two-toned, 3Cr13 stainless steel dagger blade deploys from an aluminum handle that has carbon fiber insets to reinforce its construction. The handle also features a glassbreaker pommel with a lanyard hole and a pocket clip for ease of carry.

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