The Most Durable Pocket Knives

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Six of the most rugged ‘everyday carry’ pocket knives on the market [2022 edition].

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Last Updated on Feb-03-2022 This is an update to our previous Most Durable EDC Knives list, featuring our favorite options in the rugged pocket knife niche in 2022. We have added three new models, and updated our recommended picks.

At a glance…

Benchmade’s Mini Griptilian ticks every conceivable box for a great EDC knife — with a wide set of blade variations, near-complete customization, lifetime warranty, and free sharpening. Additionally, its price doesn’t make your eyes water, making it our number one pick for an EDC knife.

Alternatively, you might consider the CRKT M16 ZLEK. Its AUS-8 blade steel might not match up to the big guys, but it’s a lengthier, pleasantly tactical-looking flipper blade that scores more versatility points over its competition thanks to its glass-breaker and seatbelt cutter features.

RUGGED RATINGS Top Pick
Benchmade - Mini Griptilian 556-1 Knife,...
Most Durable
Benchmade - 275SFE-2 Adamas Knife, Drop-Point...
Most Versatile
CRKT M16-13ZLEK EDC Folding Pocket Knife: Law...
Knife
Benchmade - Mini Griptilian 557 -S30V
Benchmade Adamas Auto
CRKT M16 ZLEK
Rugged Ratings
100%
95%
90%
Perfect For
Those looking for an ultra-tough and well-rounded knife that is easily operated with either hand.
Those looking for a decidedly tactical blade with many safety features.
Those looking for a decidedly tactical blade with many safety features.
RUGGED RATINGS Top Pick
Benchmade - Mini Griptilian 556-1 Knife,...
Knife
Benchmade - Mini Griptilian 557 -S30V
Rugged Ratings
100%
Perfect For
Those looking for an ultra-tough and well-rounded knife that is easily operated with either hand.
Most Durable
Benchmade - 275SFE-2 Adamas Knife, Drop-Point...
Knife
Benchmade Adamas Auto
Rugged Ratings
95%
Perfect For
Those looking for a decidedly tactical blade with many safety features.
Most Versatile
CRKT M16-13ZLEK EDC Folding Pocket Knife: Law...
Knife
CRKT M16 ZLEK
Rugged Ratings
90%
Perfect For
Those looking for a decidedly tactical blade with many safety features.

Last update on 2021-09-20 at 03:27 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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Four Advantages of Carrying an everyday Pocket Knife

If you’re new to the pocket knife world, you might assume their only utility is as a weapon. In reality, a durable stainless steel blade has a massively diverse set of uses in everyday life. 

Before diving into the best folding knives, let’s go through why we may need one as an everyday carry (EDC).

Versatile Utility 

Obviously, most people use knives to cut. 

But this one use-case covers a lot of ground, be it stray threads on your wooly jumper, slicing into a tomahawk steak, that annoying clamshell blister packaging, or even something as simple as a letter of cardboard box.

Portability

We could agree that a pair of stainless steel scissors are perfect for cutting tags or knots. When going into the wilderness, you could certainly argue that you can bring your favorite set of kitchen tools, too. Need to open a package? A rusty old box cutter will do the trick. All those tools are well-suited–in fact, they’re more specialized for those purposes.

Sure, your standard pair of stainless steel scissors could also handle those dainty at-home tasks. An old box-cutter can open that Amazon package. And maybe your swiss-army knife can help you out in the wilderness with a few low-intensity tasks. 

But a high-quality, single EDC knife can replace most if not all of these individual tools — and be more effective and safer while doing it. 

EDC knives take up significantly less space, yet complete most cutting tasks with ease. That way, you can stay mobile in the outdoors without compromising tactical utility — a win-win for the thrill-seeking adventurers out there.

Ready for Emergencies

While we certainly hope you’ll never end up having to use your knife in this way, it’s hard not to see how useful an EDC knife could be in emergency situations. 

EDC knives can be a literal lifesaver when you need to slice through a stuck seatbelt or cut through shirt fabric to attend to an underlying wound in life-threatening situations.

Self-defense

Lastly, and only if the situation truly calls for it, a pocket knife is a great defensive weapon when being attacked by animals or people. 

If you’re traveling at night or through a dangerous area, an EDC knife can tip the scales in your favor and ward off potential attackers. Hopefully, you won’t even need to use it, because simply flashing your blade at an attacker could be a good enough deterrent on its own.

A stainless-steel blade pocket knife is an invaluable, multi-purpose tool that not only offers convenience but also carries the potential to save your own or someone else’s life.

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Given their importance, selecting a knife that guarantees tough endurance is crucial. The rugged pocket knife market is vast, with some options purchasable for less than $10 and some for upwards of $500. 

There are a set of design principles that indicate actual durability and longevity regardless of the price. This article will take you through what it takes for a pocket knife to be genuinely durable and review the top finds from our extensive research.

This list will focus on rugged EDC pocket knives (everyday carry), and so we’ll highlight knives with a blade length of around 4 inches or shorter.

How to tell if a pocket knife is good quality

As usual here on RuggedRatings, all our product entries are ultimately measured against our BIFL (buy-it-for-life) system. In the realm of pocket knives, that means knives that are…

#BIFL
  • Rugged – Features in place that enhance the knife’s overall durability, such as tough materials, corrosion resistance, and more.
  • Repairable – Knives with extended or ideally lifetime warranties.
  • Upgradable – Knives with additional pocket clips/carry pouches, blade sharpeners, or other accessories.
  • Multipurpose – Knives with additional features such as glass-breakers, partially serrated edges, or anything in between.

Component Breakdown of EDC Knives

Pocket knives, sometimes referred to as folding knives, jack-knives, or pen-knives, are small, retractable blades designed for portability.

There are three critical components to rugged pocket knife design that, to some degree, determine the knife’s quality and durability and will therefore be our primary focus when assessing our picks.

1. The Blade Material

Firstly (and most importantly), there is the Blade. The material from which the blade is made is the deciding factor of its durability. In most cases, pocket knife blades are made from steel alloys with varying designs in shape, edges, points, and thicknesses.

We will prioritize blades with good hardness, wear-resistance, corrosion-resistance, and edge-retention.

Pocket Knife Blade Type. Infographic
Most Durable Pocket Knife | Blade Types | Infographic | Rugged Ratings

Pocket Knife Materials: ease of sharpening, edge retention, corrosion resistance and material toughness. Infographic
Most Durable Pocket Knife | Material | Infographic | Rugged Ratings

2. The Handle

Then there is the Handle. In pocket knives, this is also the compartment where the folding knife is securely locked when the blade is retracted. It needs to be strong and impact-resistant, but also comfortable to grip and lightweight for maximum portability.

Accordingly, we will be focussing primarily on metals and composite materials for this purpose.

Pocket Knife Handle Materials. Infographic
Most Durable Pocket Knife | Handle | Infographic | Rugged Ratings

3. The Lock Mechanism

Finally, we have the Locking Mechanism. This is the component that secures the blade in the retracted position when not in use. There are different categories of lock mechanisms, within which knife manufacturers have different proprietary locking systems. There is the:

  • Liner locks
  • Button locks
  • Frame locks
  • Lever locks
  • Back locks
  • Slip joint locks
  • Axis locks
  • Compression locks.

We will primarily be focusing on Lockback and Button locks for their hold strength and resistance to wear.

Pocket Knife Locking Mechanisms Infographic.
Most Durable Pocket Knife | Locking Mechanism | Infographic | Rugged Ratings

With that said, let’s begin with our search for the most durable pocket knives on the market today.

We’ll be grouping knives into three price-based categories:

  • $50 and under
  • $50 – $150
  • $150 +

– DISCLAIMER –

The laws regarding the personal possession and carry of knives and blades vary between states and countries. Before purchasing a pocket knife or any other type of blade, ensure that you are acting in accordance with your local jurisdiction to avoid confiscation of your knife, fines, or arrest.

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Most Durable Pocket Knives | Comparison Table

You don’t have to pay a premium price to get a quality, rugged knife for your everyday tasks that will last for years to come.


Cold Steel Micro Recon 1

#BIFL Rating 65%
Cold Steel Micro Recon 1 | EDC Pocket Knife
Cold Steel Micro Recon 1 | Image Credit: Amazon com

Weight: 1.12 oz (32 g) | Total knife length: 4.38” (11.13 cm) | Blade length: 2” (5.08 cm)

The Micro Recon 1 is a great example of this.

Aside from its compact size, it also has a keyring hold for maximizing portability and an easy-on-the-eye slate black color coating.


Blade

The blade is available in two-point variations – Tanto (high point with a flat edge suitable for piercing) and Spear (also pointed, but with a curved ‘belly’ suitable for slicing).

The blade itself is composed of Japanese AUS 8A steel [1], known for its good strength and corrosion resistance, but not for its ability to hold an edge as well as other materials.



Handle

The handle is a 2.38” (6cm) Griv-Ex, G-10. The material is a glass-based epoxy resin laminate, which is exceptionally durable and essentially impervious to water.

As for ‘Griv-Ex’, this is Cold Steel’s way of denoting the outer grip layer of the handle, which is composed of the hardened, molded skin of the South African ‘Grivory’ reptile.


Locking Mechanism

The Micro Recon 1 uses Cold Steel’s gold-standard Tri-Ad ® system, which exists within the Lockback category of locking mechanisms.

The system utilizes a combination of features designed to resist the wear resulting from positive and negative pressures, securely holding up to 800lbs of hanging weight, and even adjusting itself over time to adapt to wear by deepening its position in the lock channel.


Cold Steel Micro Recon 1

PRICE: Around $30+

PERFECT FOR: First-time knife owners looking for a durable general-use blade.

Cold Steel 27TDS Micro Recon 1 Spear Point, Black
490 Reviews
Cold Steel 27TDS Micro Recon 1 Spear Point, Black
  • Blade Thickness: 2.5 mm
  • Handle: Griv-Ex Style G-10
  • Overall Length: 4.38 Inch
  • Steel: Japanese AUS 8A Stainless Steel with black Tuff-Ex Coating
  • Pocket Clip: Stainless Pocket/Belt Clip

Last update on 2021-03-10 at 02:16 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Spyderco Ladybug 3

#BIFL Rating 80%
Spyderco Ladybug 3 | EDC Pocket Knife
Spyderco Ladybug 3 | Image Credit: Amazon com

Weight: 0.6 oz (17 g)  | Total knife length: 4.37” (11 cm) | Blade length: 1.9” (4.8 cm)

Colorado-born blade pioneers at Spyderco also had a significant influence on the folding knife industry. They introduced one-handed opening, pocket clip handles, and serrated edges to the pocket knife world.

That legacy is continued in the Ladybug line of pocket-friendly blades.

It also comes in a wide variety of colors and has a keyring attachment. With the compact size, you’d be hard-pressed to find a more portable, unassuming knife.


Blade

Like many of Spyderco’s knives, the Ladybug utilizes VG-10 steel [2], which has more chromium for better corrosion resistance, fantastic edge-retention capabilities, and great overall toughness.

It’s available in three shape variations:

  • PlainEdge (as it sounds)
  • Hawkbill (curved and serrated on the concave side for ‘pulling’ cuts)
  • SpyderEdge (two-step serration for 24% increase in surface area).

Handle

The handle is composed of tough fiberglass-reinforced nylon resin (FRN) as with many other EDC pocket knives, which contributes to the insane lightness of the blade.


Locking Mechanism

The Ladybug uses a typical Lockback style mechanism, which is sturdy and reliably safe, but prone to slight wear over long periods. 

Overall, this knife is perfect for those looking for a rugged, BIFL EDC pocket knife for low-duty tasks such as opening mail, boxes, etc. Its blade is durable and will remain sharp for a greater period than the Micro Recon 1, but beware of the Ladybug’s truly miniature size, it may not be suitable for the more ‘heavy-duty’ tasks.


Spyderco Ladybug 3

PRICE: Around $45+

PERFECT FOR: Those prioritizing small form-factor for use in everyday tasks.

Spyderco Ladybug 3 Signature Folding Knife with...
186 Reviews
Spyderco Ladybug 3 Signature Folding Knife with...
  • POCKET-FRIENDLY - One of Spyderco's smallest lightweight locking knives is the Ladybug. Small enough to...
  • CHOOSE THE BEST FOR YOU - Available with a choice of blade steels, handle colors, and edge...
  • LIGHT AND DURABLE - This Ladybug 3 handle is fabricated with Fiberglass Reinforced Nylon. FRN is a...
  • LOW FRICTION - This knife features a blade ground with flat bevels that extend from the spine all the way...
  • DEPENDABLE - If you are looking for control and precision, look no more. This knife features our...

Last update on 2021-08-15 at 03:18 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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Havalon Piranta Edge

#BIFL Rating 65%
Havalon Piranta Edge | Image Credit | Amazon com
Havalon Piranta Edge | Image Credit | Amazon com

Weight: 2 oz (56 g) | Total knife length: 7.25” (18.42 cm) | Blade length: 3” (7.62 cm)

With its target market firmly set on the ‘game hunting, fishers, and anglers’ crowd, the Piranta Edge has managed to both satisfy its core demographic and actually reach further out to those looking for an inexpensive but very sharp EDC blade. 

The Piranta Edge is surgically sharp — it has to be, in order to properly field dress, skin, quarter, and butcher game. Accordingly, you won’t be doing any prying, chopping, or twisting, as the blade will snap. They have you covered with 12 replacement blades per purchase, though. 


Blade

The Piranta Edge blade is composed of stainless steel #60A[3].

It’s weaker in dimensions like edge retention and corrosion resistance when compared with other options, but that’s not what it’s shooting for. It’s shooting for next-level sharpness, and the Piranta Edge blade certainly achieves that. 

There are countless user reviews pointing to its surprising sharpness, with many confirming it can be used to skin an entire game animal like a moose without breaking or dulling, with the speed and ease of a hot knife through butter. 


Handle

The handle in the standard Piranta Edge model is a vibrant orange that will stand out against the browns and greens of a wooded area, composed of stain-resistant ABS plastic with rubber grips. 

It has an open back for easy cleaning, with ambidextrous thumb studs for easy deployment. 


Locking Mechanism

Havalon has gone with a standard liner-lock style locking mechanism, which isn’t the toughest, but certainly offers enough confidence that it won’t fail when performing the fairly light-duty jobs it’s designed for.


Havalon Piranta Edge

PRICE: Around $50.

PERFECT FOR: Hunters, fishers, and anglers of all types looking for their affordable EDC dressing knife.

Havalon Piranta-Edge - Outdoor Knife + 12...
  • Our best selling knife is the perfect hunting companion for faster, easier skinning and field dressing of...
  • Blaze orange handle is stain resistant with an easy-grip black rubber inlay, liner-lock construction and...
  • Includes 12 additional surgically-sharp replaceable #60A blades at 2.75" in length, ensuring you always...
  • Open knife measures 7.25" in length; fits 60A and 60XT blades; heavy duty stainless steel blade &...
  • Features ambidextrous thumb studs and an open back for easy cleaning & care; nylon holster included

Last update on 2022-02-03 at 12:45 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

$50 — $150 EDC Knives

The knives in this category are a noticeable step up in quality from the lower price range, primarily through superior blade materials and locking mechanisms, while still being reasonably affordable for high-intensity gear.

CRKT M16 ZLEK

#BIFL Rating 90%
CRKT M16 ZLEK | EDC Pocket Knife
CRKT M16 ZLEK | Image Credit: Amazon com

Weight: 3.7 oz (105 g) | Total knife length: 8.25” (21 cm) | Blade length: 3.38” (8.6 cm)

Legendary knifemaker Kit Carson’s collaborations with CRKT produced two highly renowned series of knives – the M16 and the M21, each one worth an entry.

Today, the M16 deserves the spotlight, given the newest features added to the M16 ZLEK model.

It’s one of the longest on the list but still small enough to be considered handily portable.

In true homage to its designer, the M16 ZLEK features a ‘Carson Flipper’, a smooth one-handed deployment design allowing for a quick-draw, which also acts as a blade guard when deployed.

The attached seatbelt cutter and tungsten carbide window breaker make this knife uniquely suited to various emergencies.


Blade

The blade is made from AUS 8 stainless steel, similar to the Micro Recon 1, which is formidable enough for everyday tasks and very easy to sharpen. Still, it has average corrosion resistance and slightly worse edge retention.

This model features a Spearpoint design with ‘triple-point’ serration on the knife belly – suitable for cutting through fibrous material and vegetation.


Handle

The handle is composed of glass-reinforced nylon and is designed with multiple holes to increase grip and reduce the overall weight to 3.7 oz (105 grams). It features a two-position pocket clip.


Locking Mechanism

The 13ZLEK uses a stainless-steel liner lock which, combined with CRKT’s AutoLAWKS feature, can turn the knife into a virtual ‘fixed’ blade.


CRKT M16 ZLEK

PRICE: Around $90.

PERFECT FOR: Those looking for a decidedly tactical blade with many safety features.

Sale
CRKT M16-13ZLEK EDC Folding Pocket Knife: Law...
128 Reviews
CRKT M16-13ZLEK EDC Folding Pocket Knife: Law...
  • Safe And Secure: Automated liner safety provides extra layer of lock security
  • Cutting Power: Triple Point serrations cut fibrous materials with ease
  • Emergency Rescue: Seat belt cutter and glass breaker included
  • Designed by Kit Carson in Vine Grove, Kentucky
  • Limited Lifetime Warranty covers any defects in materials or workmanship, see company site for details

Last update on 2021-07-13 at 05:21 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Benchmade Mini Griptilian

#BIFL Rating 100%
Benchmade Mini Griptilian | EDC Pocket Knife
Benchmade Mini Griptilian | Image Credit: Amazon com

Weight: 2.81 oz (80 g) | Total knife length: 6.78” (17.2 cm) | Blade length: 2.91” (7.4 cm) 

Precision parts, hand-made assembly. This is the promise of Californian blade maker Benchmade and is also where the inspiration for the name originates.

The Mini Griptilian knife has been a fan-favorite for years, probably in part due to its vast customizability.

From the blade itself to the screws in the handle, every part is subject to material or color customization (at additional cost).

In its most compact form though, the blade Mini Griptilian represents an ultra-tough mid-range EDC option.


Blade

The blade is composed of CPM-S30V stainless steel, which is arguably the greatest all-rounder knife material, with an optimum balance of edge retention and corrosion resistance thanks to the addition of vanadium carbides.

As standard, the blade is a plain drop-point, but you have the additional options of Tanto and Sheepsfoot (flat design to avoid accidental point-penetration), all three of which can be equipped with serrated edges on half of the blade’s surface.


Handle

The handle is composed of glass-filled nylon, a tough composite material that is rigid and has enhanced surface hardness.

G10 and Carbon Fibre handles are purchasable upgrade options.


Locking Mechanism

The Mini Griptilian uses Benchmade’s own ‘Axis Lock’ mechanism, which is operated via a spring-loaded bar that can be moved backward and forwards, locking and unlocking the blade in both the open and retracted positions.

It is known for its ambidextrous operation, reliable locking strength, and high ‘fidget factor. With its premium materials, endless customization options, and additional support features such as the lifetime warranty and free sharpening service, the Mini Griptilian easily earns the maximum score from us: 100% BIFL Rating.


Benchmade Mini Griptilian

PRICE: around $130+

PERFECT FOR: Those looking for an ultra-tough and well-rounded knife that is easily operated with either hand.

Benchmade - Mini Griptilian 557 -S30V Knife,...
44 Reviews
Benchmade - Mini Griptilian 557 -S30V Knife,...
  • HIGH-QUALITY: The CPM-S30V stainless steel blade is extremely well-balanced, offering superb edge...
  • WELL-DESIGNED: Benchmen's AXIS lock is exceptionally strong and fully ambidextrous. The Mini Reptilian...
  • COMFORTABLE: The 557's smaller, lighter design and handle grips make it comfortable to hold, use and take...
  • VERSATILE: The Mini Reptilian 557's tango blade style is mostly tactical in nature but is versatile...
  • GUARANTEED FOR LIFE: Benchmade's limited Lifetime Warranty and LifeSharp Service keep your knife in the...

Last update on 2021-07-13 at 03:53 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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Kershaw Leek 1660

#BIFL Rating 80%
Kershaw Leek 1660 | Image Credit: Amazon com
Kershaw Leek 1660 | Image Credit: Amazon com

Weight: 3 oz (85 g) | Total knife length: 7” (17.9 cm) | Blade length: 3” (7.6 cm)

Kershaw, the sister company to equally revered knife makers Zero Tolerance, have been producing high-end blades for close to 50 years — all made in the USA. 

They helped pioneer automatic deployment functionality in pocket knives, and always seem to deliver reliable, high-quality blades that flirt with the ‘premium’ price category without being truly unaffordable. 

The Kershaw Leek 1660 is touted as the ultimate EDC knife, due to its combination of quality steel, compact size, and relative affordability. Designed by a former US Marine, legendary knifemaker Ken Onion[4] (inventor of the ‘SpeedSafe’ opening mechanism), it features two opening actions; flipper and thumb stud deployment, to match your speed preference. 


Blade

The blade material is composed of a thin Sandvik 14C28N high-performance stainless steel[5], which is admired for its ability to hold its edge and resharpen easily when required. 

Its 3” drop point-style blade is perfect for any manner of day-to-day cutting tasks, but due to its 2.29mm profile, is unsuitable for prying.


Handle

The handle is composed of 410 stainless steel with a bead-blasted finish that matches the tone of the blade for a slick, cohesive look. It’s 8mm thick for a sturdy enough grip, complete with a reversible (tip up/down) pocket clip on the right-hand side. 


Locking Mechanism

The Kershaw Leek 1660 uses the ever-reliable frame lock mechanism, which fixes the blade firmly in place when not in use. To open, simply apply pressure to the blade protrusion or thumb stud.

This blade represents a perfect mid-budget option for someone in need of an EDC knife. It’s quite affordable for the quality of the blade and construction, compact enough to take with you anywhere, and comes with a limited lifetime warranty.

– Editor’s Note – given the fixed position of the pocket clip, it’s not an ambidextrous option.

Kershaw Leek 1660

PRICE: Around $90.

PERFECT FOR: Mid-budget shoppers in need of an EDC knife that will last for relatively low-intensity cutting tasks.

Kershaw Leek Pocket Knife (1660) 3-In. Sandvik...
  • Versatile 3 inch blade made with Sandvik 14C28N Steel, one of the highest performing knife steels in the...
  • 410 stainless steel alloy handle provides resistance to corrosion and extra strength and hardness
  • Frame lock gives the knife a slim sleek style while holding the blade open during use; tip lock keeps...
  • SpeedSafe Assisted opening allows opening with Minimal effort and maximal functionality; simple pocket...
  • Blade length: 3 inches; Closed length: 4 inches; Open length: 7 inches; Weight: 3 oz.

Last update on 2022-02-03 at 12:46 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

$150+ EDC Knives

To our final price point, and in this category, there should be no exceptions and no compromise. Premium blade steels, lightweight portability, and smooth and effective operation.

Kershaw Launch 8

#BIFL Rating 70%
Kershaw Launch 8 | EDC Pocket Knife
Kershaw Launch 8 | Image Credit: Amazon com

Weight: 2.4 oz (114 g) | Total knife length: 8.25” (7.4 cm) | Blade length: 3.5” (8.9 cm)

Straying from the typical design style featured in this list, the Launch 8 is ‘Italian Stiletto’ inspired, with a long and slender form factor.


Blade

The Launch 8 uses CPM 154 for the blade, high-end steel produced using a unique ‘particle metallurgy’ process, making it tougher and with better edge retention than its 154CM counterpart. It’s also corrosion and wear-resistant, and this model has a Spearpoint style with a plain edge.


Handle

The handle is made from anodized aluminum, which is reasonably tough but agreeably light and has carbon fiber inserts for a smooth feel on the grip.


Locking Mechanism

As an automatic knife, the lock utilizes a push-button design, where the blade is held by the tension created from a coiled spring, and released when the button is pushed. It has powerful locking strength and forces the hand out of the blade’s path when pushing the button.

The button is also flush with the handle to prevent accidental pushing and is somewhat ambidextrous if you can operate it with the index finger of your left hand.

This knife is suitable for a variety of everyday tasks and even some heavy-duty cutting and slicing with its high-end blade material. Still, it is also particularly well-suited to self-defense applications, with its slim-profile and rapid automatic deployment.


Kershaw Launch 8

PRICE: Around $160.

PERFECT FOR: Those looking for a stylish, automatic EDC knife.

Zero Tolerance 0470

#BIFL Rating 90%
Zero Tolerance 0470 | EDC Pocket Knife
Zero Tolerance 0470 | Image Credit: Amazon com

Weight: 3.2 oz (90 g) | Total knife length: 7.8” (19.8 cm) | Blade length: 3.4” (8.6 cm)

Representing the height of premium knife design, this brand uses only the finest, most robust materials for every part of their knives. Every product is superbly finished with exacting detail in both form and function.

The 0470, whilst expensive, exemplifies everything you could want in a knife and more.

The 0470 is comfortably weighty with its solid construction. It opens via a flipper mechanism with manual KVT ball bearings that match the speed and smoothness of an automatic. It also has a reversible, right/left tip-up pocket clip.


Blade

The blade material is CPM-20CV, which is described as ‘ultra-premium’ for a few reasons. Formed through a powder metallurgy process, you get the combined benefit of extreme wear resistance and edge retention. Added Chromium also allows for a very high standard corrosion resistance.

It’s probably the finest blade steel on the list, and this model has it in a drop point, plain edge style.


Handle

The 0470 has a finely detailed Titanium handle, which is extremely strong and impact-resistant. It’s fitted with an exceptionally stylish marbled carbon fiber insert that is smooth to touch.


Locking Mechanism

A-Frame” lock style, which has a slightly stronger hold than the Liner style, is used in this model. It is also composed of Titanium which, in lock designs, is subject to wear due to the repeated motion but is countered in this design with a hardened steel lock bar insert.

Ignoring its core features and materials, the look and feel of this knife alone are enough to satisfy even non-knife users. When you consider its superior CPM-20CV blade material, suitable for almost any task you put in front of it, its tough titanium handle and smooth, ball-bearing assisted flipper opening, it’s hard to ignore this EDC knife.


Zero Tolerance 0470

PRICE: Around $260

PERFECT FOR: If you’re looking for the perfect cross-point of function, durability, and style with the budget to match, look no further.

Zero Tolerance Sinkevich KVT Pocketknife; 3.4 Inch...
  • Designed by Dmitry Sinkevich and precision-built by ZT, the 0460 is strikingly handsome, highly...
  • Unique marbled carbon fiber front insert is a dramatic new take on carbon fiber; instead of a “weave”...
  • KVT ball-bearing opening system and built-in flipper makes opening the knife easier, faster, and smoother
  • Lightweight titanium handle helps the 0470 weigh in at only 3. 2 oz. ; even with a substantial 3. 4-in....
  • Zero Tolerance knives are made in the USA with quality materials; ZT fit and finish is second to none;...

Last update on 2021-07-29 at 10:42 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Benchmade Adamas Auto

#BIFL Rating 95%
Benchmade 0275SFE-2 | Image Credit: Amazon com
Benchmade Adamas 0275SFE-2 | Image Credit: Amazon com

Weight: 6.17 oz (175 g) | Total knife length: 8.9” (22.1 cm) | Blade length: 3.8” (9.65 cm) 

Making their second appearance on the list after the Mini Griptilian, Benchmade are back with an absolute tank of a knife in their Adamas Auto

The Adamas family of knives from Benchmade are tactical folding knives that aim, above all, to be reliable — which makes them perfect for this list. 

Designed for heavy-duty outdoor tasks like rope and foliage cutting, the Adamas Auto is an automatic switchblade that features a thick blade and sturdy construction. So sturdy, in fact, that they can withstand up to 1,117 inch-pounds of force before soft failure. 


Blade

The Adamas blades are composed of CPM-CruWear (63-65) steel [5], also known as ‘super steel’ for its incredible ability to blend high wear resistance, hardness, and toughness with decent corrosion resistance. It makes for a really resistant blade that will last.

You have a choice of either a drop-point or serrated drop-point blade style. 


Handle

The handle is a black G10 that feels both comfortable and sturdy, with an arc along the back and a protruding belly along the middle. It has a reversible tip-up ‘deep-carry’ clip and lanyard hole at the base. 


Locking Mechanism

The Benchmade Adamas Auto proudly features an Axis-style secure locking mechanism. To open, pull backwards on both sides of the bar and the blade will rapidly swing out to a locked position. To close, pull back on one side of the Auto AXIS bar and fold. A lock is also positioned along the spine to prevent accidental or early deployment. 

At nearly $400, it’s easily the most expensive knife on the list. What you get in return, though, is an EDC blade that meets or exceeds expectations on nearly every dimension — strength, resistance to wear, versatility, a high fiddle-factor, and more, with its considerable size and weight being the only potential downside. 


Benchmade Adamas Auto

PRICE: Around $360.

PERFECT FOR: Those looking for a premium all-rounder who aren’t concerned with portability.

Benchmade - 275SFE-2 Adamas Knife, Drop-Point...
  • HIGH-QUALITY: The D2 stainless steel blade holds an edge exceptionally well. The G10 handle is durable...
  • WELL-DESIGNED: Benchmade’s AXIS lock is exceptionally strong and fully ambidextrous. The Adamas 275 is...
  • COMFORTABLE: The 275 is rugged yet comfortable to hold and use. The reversible pocket clip and Cordura...
  • VERSATILE: The Adamas 275’s drop-point, utility blade style serves well for a variety of tasks. It’s...

Last update on 2022-02-03 at 12:46 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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Conclusion

Every one of our picks has been chosen especially for their ability to stay operational for years, or perhaps forever. In that way, you can’t go wrong with any of the knives in this list — but a few certainly stand out for their dedication to longevity.

Earning the much-revered 100% BIFL score, Benchmade’s Mini Griptilian ticks every conceivable box for a price that doesn’t make your eyes water, making it our number one pick for the most durable EDC knife.

Its blade steel has everything you could want in an EDC and more, and you can make the knife entirely your own with a wide set of blade variations, and near-complete customization (at additional cost). It’s hard not to enjoy the lifetime warranty and free sharpening service, further extending the lifespan of your purchase.

It’s not the ‘toughest’ on the list “per see”, but for the price, there may be no other option that offers better value for money.

If money’s no object, of course, you could upgrade to the Adamas Auto, also from Benchmade. It’s certainly more durable, but it comes at the cost of a weightier and altogether less portable unit, making it not ideal for EDC. 

Alternatively, you might consider the CRKT M16 ZLEK. Its AUS-8 blade steel doesn’t match up to the big guys, but it can handle everything an everyday carrier might put it through and more. It’s a lengthier, tactical-looking flipper blade that scores more versatility points than its competition thanks to its glass-breaker and seatbelt cutter features.

Frequently Asked Questions:

What is the best pocket knife to collect?

That depends entirely on your preference and intended use. Collector knives are usually limited-editions that aren’t intended for heavy use and certainly not as an EDC.

Most reliable pocket knife brands?

The most reliable pocket knife brands include Benchmade, Zero Tolerance, CRKT, Spyderco, and Kershaw.

Best quality pocket knife brands?

The highest quality pocket knife brands come from premium knifemakers like Benchmade, Zero Tolerance, and CRKT.

Best pocket knife brands 2022?

Highlights of pocket knife brands in 2022 include Benchmade, Kershaw, and Spyderco.

What is the most durable pocket knife?

In our opinion, the most durable pocket knife is the Benchmade Adamas Auto, featuring the sturdiest construction and resistance to wear.

What is a good pocket knife?

A good pocket knife is one that combines portability with ease of use, sharpness, and resistance to wear.

How to tell if a pocket knife is of good quality?

As with all products, the best way to assess the quality of pocket knives is to measure their features and construction in accordance with the buy-it-for-life rating system, which includes the elements of ruggedness, repairability, upgradability, and multi-purposeness.

What pocket knife stays sharp longest?

Benchmade and CKRT have good reputations as it relates to blade sharpness duration.

Best quality pocket knife for the money?

In our opinion, the Benchmade Mini Griptilian represents the best value for money in pocket knives, combining great overall utility of its CPM-S30V stainless steel with good after-care service and warranty terms.

Which is the best blade material for a Pocket Knife?

The best blade materials for pocket knives are CPM Family (20CV, S90V, and S110V), M390, ZDP-189, and Elmax.

Your feedback, corrections, angry or happy thoughts are welcome here.

lapg edc items from lapd

What to check next: Essential EDC items from the LAPD. The products vetted by law enforcement officers and military personnel are available to purchase online through verified suppliers like the LAPG, a law enforcement supplies, and police officer equipment store. And since they are used by one of the largest and most active police departments in the US and the World, you can be sure that not only are they going to be fit for purpose, but also suitably rugged and long-lasting.

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