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FAQ

We tend to get a lot of the same questions so we will try to address the most common ones here. What is the best knife for EDC? What is the best blade steel? What is your EDC? What is your favorite knife? 

 

What's the best EDC Knife? What do you carry? 

Here are some of my important factors for EDC (Everyday Carry) Knives. 

Personally I carry 2 knives on me, always. One that never gets used and is strictly for self defense and the other is a utility knife that is used all day, every day. I usually have one fixed blade and one folding knife. The key for me is they're always in the same spot. I do not switch pockets, positions on the body, nothing. Under stress you want them to always be where you need them to be. 

I tend to like a smaller fixed blade for an EDC knife carried in a minimalist kydex sheath with a Mummert Knives Titanium Clip. Typically I prefer the knife to have a 2"-4" blade that is around.190" thick in a good quality steel such as S30V or a high grade Titanium like 6Al-4V. Titanium has a great advantage of high strength to weight ratio while also being highly corrosion resistant. Some great examples are any of Ban Tang's knives, Daniel Fairly Kwaiken, John Gray Accomplice, Kingdom Armory Grayling. 
For a folding knife I prefer a Titanium chassis framelock that has an opening hole or thumbstud with a blade of high quality steel or titanium that is 3"-4" and rides on Phosphor Bronze washers. I'm not a big fan of flipping knives and blades that ride on bearings. I do not use pocket clips since they always seem to either scratch up your car door, steering wheel, desk, whatever, and also seem to catch on clothes and come right out of your pocket. I deep carry knives of use a MDTS Pocket sheild to keep the knife in the same spot every time. When knives are carried deep in your pocket they tend to collect dust, line, dirt, sand, coins! anything really and that will hinder a flipper or even completely clog up the bearings and render it useless. When you need your knife, you want it to open and usually with one hand. Some great examples of folding knives are...

What is the best blade steel?

This is a tricky question because there is no best steel for every application. Some will be great for one task while being horrible at another. The same goes for blade shape. A Tanto may be great for piercing a door but will be horrible for filleting fish (I've filleted many fluke with a Titanium Tanto Kwaiken that Alfa Knife made me some 5 years ago now). 
Some great blade steels that I like are 
Tool Steel - CPM, A2, O1, D2
Stainless Steels - 440C, 154CM, CPM154, CPMS-30V, CPMS-35VN, CPMS-90V
High Carbon Steels - 15N20, CPM REX M4, 1095, 5160
A good Blade is a sliding matrix of Hardness, Corrosion Resistance, Edge Retention, Toughness, Ease of Sharpening, and Wear Resistance. 
  • Very hard steel (e.g. chisels, quality knife blades): HRC 55–66 (Hardened High Speed Carbon and Tool Steels such as M2, W2, O1, CPM-M4, and D2, as well as many of the newer powder metallurgy Stainless Steels such as S30V, CPM-154, ZDP-189, etc.)[13]
  • Axes: about HRC 45–55
  • Brass: HRB 55 (Low brass, UNS C24000, H01 Temper) to HRB 93 (Cartridge Brass, UNS C26000 (260 Brass), H10 Temper)[14]

Hardness

logocircle-smallHardness is the ability to resist deforming when subject to stress and applied forces.   Hardness in knife steels is often referred to as strength and is generally measured using the  (aka “HRC”).

Toughness

logocircle-smallToughness is the ability to resist damage like cracks or chips when being used in heavy duty applications.  This also defines the steel’s ability to flex without breaking.   Chipping is a knife’s worst enemy and never easy to fix.  Note that the stronger or harder the steel the less tough it will likely be.  Also, the measurement of toughness is less standardized as hardness.

Wear Resistance

logocircle-smallWear resistance is the steel’s ability to withstand damage from both abrasive and adhesive wear.  Abrasive wear comes from softer surfaces coming in contact with rougher ones.  Adhesive wear occurs when debris is dislodged from one surface and attaches to the other.  Wear resistance generally correlates with the steel’s hardness but is also heavily influenced by the specific chemistry of the steel.  In steels of equal hardness, the steel with larger carbides (think microscopic, hard, wear resistant particles) will typically resist wear better.

Corrosion Resistance

logocircle-smallCorrosion resistance is the ability to resist corrosion such as rust caused by external elements like humidity, moisture and salt.  Note that a high resistance to corrosion does involve a sacrifice in the overall edge performance.

Edge Retention

logocircle-smallEdge Retention represents how long the blade will retain its sharpness when subject to periods of use.  It’s what everyone talks about these days but unfortunately the measurement of edge retention lacks any defined set of standards and so much of the data is subjective.  For me, edge retention is a combination of wear resistance and an edge that resists deformation.

 

 

What's the best EDC Knife? What do you carry? 

Here are some of my important factors for EDC (Everyday Carry) Knives. 

Personally I carry 2 knives on me, always. One that never gets used and is strictly for self defense and the other is a utility knife that is used all day, every day. I usually have one fixed blade and one folding knife. The key for me is they're always in the same spot. I do not switch pockets, positions on the body, nothing. Under stress you want them to always be where you need them to be. 

I tend to like a smaller fixed blade for an EDC knife carried in a minimalist kydex sheath with a Mummert Knives Titanium Clip. Typically I prefer the knife to have a 2"-4" blade that is around.190" thick in a good quality steel such as S30V or a high grade Titanium like 6Al-4V. Titanium has a great advantage of high strength to weight ratio while also being highly corrosion resistant. Some great examples are any of Ban Tang's knives, Daniel Fairly Kwaiken, John Gray Accomplice, Kingdom Armory Grayling. 
For a folding knife I prefer a Titanium chassis framelock that has an opening hole or thumbstud with a blade of high quality steel or titanium that is 3"-4" and rides on Phosphor Bronze washers. I'm not a big fan of flipping knives and blades that ride on bearings. I do not use pocket clips since they always seem to either scratch up your car door, steering wheel, desk, whatever, and also seem to catch on clothes and come right out of your pocket. I deep carry knives of use a MDTS Pocket sheild to keep the knife in the same spot every time. When knives are carried deep in your pocket they tend to collect dust, line, dirt, sand, coins! anything really and that will hinder a flipper or even completely clog up the bearings and render it useless. When you need your knife, you want it to open and usually with one hand. Some great examples of folding knives are...

What is the best blade steel?

This is a tricky question because there is no best steel for every application. Some will be great for one task while being horrible at another. The same goes for blade shape. A Tanto may be great for piercing a door but will be horrible for filleting fish (I've filleted many fluke with a Titanium Tanto Kwaiken that Alfa Knife made me some 5 years ago now). 
Some great blade steels that I like are 
Tool Steel - CPM, A2, O1, D2
Stainless Steels - 440C, 154CM, CPM154, CPMS-30V, CPMS-35VN, CPMS-90V
High Carbon Steels - 15N20, CPM REX M4, 1095, 5160
A good Blade is a sliding matrix of Hardness, Corrosion Resistance, Edge Retention, Toughness, Ease of Sharpening, and Wear Resistance. 
  • Very hard steel (e.g. chisels, quality knife blades): HRC 55–66 (Hardened High Speed Carbon and Tool Steels such as M2, W2, O1, CPM-M4, and D2, as well as many of the newer powder metallurgy Stainless Steels such as S30V, CPM-154, ZDP-189, etc.)[13]
  • Axes: about HRC 45–55
  • Brass: HRB 55 (Low brass, UNS C24000, H01 Temper) to HRB 93 (Cartridge Brass, UNS C26000 (260 Brass), H10 Temper)[14]

 

Handle Materials

Some common handle materials...

 

 

 

Metal - 

Titanium - A nonferrous metal alloy

Aluminum

Brass

Copper

Synthetic - 

G10

Micarta

Carbon Fiber

Mother of Pearl

Natural - 

Bone

Horn

Antler

Wood