Up Your EDC Game With These Functional Tools, Without Breaking The Bank

By Tim Stetzer

We’re always on the lookout for a great EDC tool that we’d want to pocket. Here are a few we found that won’t bust your budget.

Bobby Bushcraft Beads

If you’re a gear junkie, you probably like to have unique things, and also a way to tell your gear apart from other folks. Especially if you have a popular piece of kit, be it a knife, a flashlight or some sort of tool. Custom lanyards are a good way to do that, and lanyard beads are a great accent piece to really make those pop.

Bobby Bushcraft currently offers 7 different beads including a Bushcraft Backpack, a Bushcraft Lantern, a Bushcraft Anvil, a Bushcraft Piranha, and a Camp Fire bead that all embrace various aspects of the outdoors like hiking, knife making, fishing and camping. There are also two beads that channel Native American lore including the Bison, which is a symbol of health, strength, stamina and stubbornness and the Rabbit, which according to Native American legend was a great hunter and a trickster.

The beads are exquisitely crafted with fine detail and sized to fit paracord or similar lanyard materials.

All beads are all completely handcrafted in New York City in small batches. They are made of Red Brass which is a type of bronze — an alloy of copper, tin, and zinc.

MSRP: $49.99
Website: BobbyBushcraft.com

Dogfish Head Steampunk Swiss Army Huntsman

Do you like knives? Do you like beer? Do you like knives that can open beer? Well, if that’s the case, then Delaware-based craft beer brewer Dogfish Head may have just the blade for you.

Dogfish Head has a custom Victorinox Huntsman made just for them. The Huntsman features 15 tools, including the ever-so-important bottle opener, and has a slick steampunk-style scales along with the Dogfish Head shark logo. They’re a nice nexus of EDC practicality and craft beer nerdity all rolled into one. For the record, this one is on my birthday list as a “must-have” item.

They’re only $45 and are sold through the Dogfish Head online store, or on-site at the brewpub in Rehoboth Delaware or the brewery itself in Milton, Delaware. As an added bonus, if you pick one up in person, you can add some beer to your order too, like some of the limited bottle releases only available at those locations.

Steampunk Gear-inspired pattern with Dogfish Head Logo
Length: 3.5 inches
Width: 1 inch
Weight: 3.5 oz.
Handle Material: Cellidor
Tools: large blade, small blade, can opener, 3mm screwdriver, bottle opener, 6mm screwdriver, wire stripper, reamer, punch and sewing awl, corkscrew, scissors, wood saw, multipurpose hook, toothpick, tweezers, and keyring
Lifetime warranty
Made in Switzerland

MSRP: $45.00
Website: Dogfish.com

Benchmade Work Sharp EDC Edge Maintenance Tool

If you actually use your blades enough, they’re going to eventually need maintenance, no matter what kind of wonder steel you use. That’s not always going to be while you’re at home either, so it’s nice to be able to touch things up on the go, and that’s exactly what the Benchmade Work Sharp Edge Maintenance Tool (EMT) is made for.

The EMT has built-in angle guides to help you keep a consistent bevel when using either the integral ceramic hone or the leather strop. The tool opens via Benchmade’s blue anodized pivot collar and can be carried with either the mini deep-carry pocket clip or it’s MOLLE compatible to clip on a pack, vest or bag.

Open Length:
8.02 inches
Closed Length: 4.35 inches
Thickness: 0.647 inch
Edge Angle: 20°
Weight: 1.31 ounces

MSRP: $50.00
Website: Benchmade.com

CRKT Clever Girl Folder

CRKT always has always had innovative designs, and the new Clever Girl is no exception. It was designed by Austin McGlaun in Columbus, Georgia, as part of CRKT’s Forged by War program, which allows military vets to take the experiences they learned on the battlefield and create tools that they would have liked to have had while deployed.

The Clever Girl Folder takes the already popular fixed blade version from McGlaun and converts it into a fast and compact EDC defense tool. The Clever Girl opens smoothly and quickly with a press of the flipper opener on the IKBS ball bearing pivot system.

Flippers are big this year, as you’ll see looking at some of the other new items this month, but it’s something that CRKT has been doing for quite a while, and they’ve got it down to a science.

The Clever Girl locks up using the innovative Deadbolt locking mechanism. CRKT explains it as steel bolts that interlock with the base of the blade when it’s opened to yield “outrageous strength.” Disengaging the lock is as simple as pushing in on a prominent button positioned at the pivot point. This makes for a simple mechanism that doesn’t require your fingers to cross the path of the blade as the knife closes.

Add in a 4-inch upswept D2 blade, and an ergonomic G-10 handle, and you’ve got a tool that’s ready to immediately deploy in your defense when you find yourself in harm’s way.

Blade Length:
4.084 inches
Closed Length: 5.422 inches
Overall Length: 9.5 inches
Blade Thickness: 0.150 inch
Blade Edge: Plain
Blade Steel: D2
Blade Finish: Black PVD coating
Weight: 6.9 ounces
Handle: G-10
Pocket Clip: Tip-up,Right/left carry
Lock Mechanism: Deadbolt lock
Made in Taiwan

MSRP: $160.00
Website: CRKT.com

Gerber Fastball

Gerber has been actively pushing their USA-made products and they’ve been coming on strong with new, domestic designs. The 2019 Fastball exemplifies that with a fast and slick B.O.S.S. Tech ball-bearing opening system that’s so fast you’d swear it was an assisted opener, but it’s not.

This proudly made-in-USA knife uses an S30V blade and is available in three businesslike colors: Flat Sage, Urban Grey, and Black. At under 3 ounces, this is the lightweight of our features this month and it’s an easy knife to forget you have on you until you need it.

Premium steel, lighting-fast opening, and made in USA quality make the Fastball a strong contender for space in your pocket this year.

Blade Length:
3.0 inches
Closed Length: 4.1 inches
Overall Length: 7.1 inches
Blade Material: S30V stainless steel
Blade Style: Wharncliffe
Blade Finish: Black oxide
Handle Material: Aluminum
Available Colors: Urban Gray, Flat Sage, Black
Locking Mechanism: Liner
Pivot Assembly: B.O.S.S. Tech ball bearings
Pocket Clip: Tip-up/down, right carry and tip-up, left carry
Weight: 2.7 ounces
Made in the USA

MSRP: $105.00
Website: GerberGear.com

Kershaw Bareknuckle

This brand spanking new midyear release from Kershaw takes its cues from the Zero Tolerance 0777, but with a slimmed-down, made-in-USA design. The Bareknuckle is a manual opener using a flipper design in conjunction with Kershaw’s KVT ball-bearing system, resulting in fast, one-hand operation.

The drop point blade is made from Swedish Sandvik 14C28N steel with a high nitrogen content for corrosion resistance and finished in a Blackwash finish that hides scratches and further aids in corrosion resistance. The attractive olive anodized handle is ergonomically designed and houses the tough subframe lock that keeps things tight when you’re putting the Bareknuckle through its paces.

The Bareknuckle offers a great mix of modern design, light weight and rugged build for a folder that will stand up to hard work without being heavy in the pocket.

Blade Length:
3.5 inches
Closed Length: 4.7 inches
Overall Length: 8.2 inches
Blade Material: Sandvik 14C28N
Blade Hardness: 58–60 Rockwell
Blade Style: Drop point
Blade Finish: BlackWash finish
Handle Material: 6061-T6 aluminum, olive anodized
Locking Mechanism: Sub-frame lock
Pocket Clip: Reversible deep-carry pocket clip (right/left, tip-up)
Weight: 3.4 ounces
Made in USA

MSRP: $129.99
Website: Kershaw.KaiUSALtd.com

SOG Terminus XR

SOG has a well-deserved reputation for some big, tough field knives but the new Terminus XR shows that their EDC game is strong as well. The Terminus XR’s are light, handy and fast. The textured G-10 XR’s come in either OD Green or Crimson and house a D2 blade just under 3 inches, which should make them legal in all but the most Draconian places (I’m looking at you Chicago!).

With a practical drop point design and easy to maintain stonewashed blade finish, the XRs are made to be used, not put up in a safe or display case. The ambidextrous flipper opening system is fast, and easy to deploy and the XR lock makes sure the blade stays safely engaged while you’re using it.

Add in a flat profile, a deep carry pocket clip, weight barely over 3 ounces, and an affordable price tag and you’ve got a great choice for an EDC user.

Blade Length:
2.95 inches
Closed Length: 4.26 inches
Overall Length: 7.21 inches
Blade Material: D2 tool steel
Blade Thickness: 0.10 inch
Blade Hardness: 60-62 HRC
Blade Style: Clip point
Blade Finish: Stonewash
Handle Material: OD Green or Crimson G-10
Locking Mechanism: XR
Pocket Clip: Deep carry (tip-up, right/left carry)
Weight: 3.2ounces
Made in China

MSRP: $55.95
Website: SOGKnives.com

Spyderco Endela

Not too big, and not too small, the new Spyderco Endela is just right. It sits in between the Delica and the Endura in size and may be just the EDC knife you’re looking for.

I picked one up at the BLADE show this year and it’s been in my pocket ever since. It even bumped out the Paramilitary 2 that was one of my primary EDC knives for the past couple of years. The Endela is light, rugged and disappears in your pocket with its flat profile, and well-designed pocket clip; something Spyderco is well-known for. The flat ground VG-10 blade cuts like a scalpel, and my experience with the edge retention on VG-10 has been extremely positive, so I have high hopes for edge longevity.

The Endura was always a bit big for me, and while I have carried a Delica off and on over the years it was never quite the right fit for me. As it turns out the Endela was what I was waiting for all this time and it just might be what you need too!

Blade Length:
3.41 inches
Closed Length: 4.69 inches
Overall Length: 8.10 inches
Blade Thickness: 0.118 inch
Blade Material: VG-10 stainless steel
Blade Style: Drop point
Blade Grind: Full flat
Blade Finish: Satin
Blade Edge: Plain or partially serrated
Handle Material: Bi-directional textured FRN
Handle Color: Black
Locking Mechanism: Lockback
Pocket Clip: Tip-up/down, reversible
Weight: 3.1 ounces
Made in the USA

MSRP: $123.00
Website: Spyderco.com

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