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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.

SOA Scout Assisted Opening Pocket Knife

More than just a pocket knife, the SOA Scout Assisted Opening Pocket Knife is a multi-talented jack-of-all-trades. I choose this self-defense pocket knife as my favorite out of the list of assisted openers. I find it to be just an all-around good survival knife with its unique handle design that incorporates a good length of paracord, useful for numerous situations. The tough nylon cord ends in a wrist lanyard and the tough polymer handle is textured and features jimping on top and bottom. The sharp blade also has jimping along the spine, as well as, a thumb slot for quick deployment. The stainless steel blade can also be deployed with a flipper, allowing for quick one-handed deployment in the heat of battle.

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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.

Gerber 06 Automatic Opening

When speed and readiness is everything, only a fully automatic pocket knife will do and the Gerber 06 Automatic Opening is one of the best. With a design that sets it apart from the rest of the pack, this automatic is extremely well-balanced, providing you with excellent handling and a comfortable feel. It's a 10th anniversary edition of Gerber's proven automatic family of knives. The features that set it apart are its Cerakote-finished aluminum handle and S30V stainless steel blade, which is corrosion-resistant. The blade can be released with a push of the over-sized button and the safety lock prevents accidental deployment. The handle has a pommel built for striking and a lanyard hole so that you can add a wrist cord.

SOG Pentagon Blackout OTF Automatic Opening

The SOG Pentagon Blackout OTF Automatic Opening Knife is an American-made, lightning-fast switchblade knife. The blade shoots out of the front of the handle, making it a highly effective and efficient EDC self-defense knife, as evidenced by the OTF design's use as a weapon for decades. However, its American-made S35VN spear point blade is also effective and efficient for daily cutting tasks since it's extremely wear-resistant. The automatic OTF knife was designed for professionals, law enforcement and soldiers with a hard-anodized aluminum handle that guarantees years of hard-use. You'll find the pocket knife easy to open with either hand, using the switch, which has multiple interface points, increasing the speed at which you can deploy the blade. SOG's Dynamic Lock-Up System ensures that the penetrating blade moves quickly to the open or closed position and stays securely in place.

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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