In recent years, the world of small, EDC fixed blades has become a lot bigger. More and more people are realizing the joys of having a fixed blade knife. There’s no pivot to break, clean, or lubricate, there’s no pocket clip hot spot in your hand, and equipping a fixed blade instills a sense of adventure into even the blandest of Monday mornings. If you like the sound of that, and the numerous other benefits offered by fixed blades, you’ve come to the right place. Here, I’ll break down the best EDC fixed blades out there right now!
Before we jump in, I’ll just put a bug in your ear about carry. Fixed blades need sheaths, and they need to be carried somewhere. If you need to figure that out, I found 20 Ways to Carry a Fixed Blade Knife. I’m sure one of them will work for you.
CRKT is known for collaborating with some of the best knifemakers out there, and the Minimalist, made in collaboration with custom maker Alan Folts, set the standard for what an EDC fixed blade can be. It’s called the Minimalist because it is the absolute bare minimum amount of material needed to make a comfortable fixed blade. Aside from its unique look and tiny footprint, it highlights another benefit of fixed blades – they’re simpler and require less parts, making them cheaper too. The Minimalist comes in a ton of flavors, and all of them are very affordable, usually under $30. This is a great place to start your EDC fixed blade journey!
A few months ago, edged weapons expert Patrick Odle came and talked to us about self-defense knives. He talked about how in a sticky situation, you don’t have time to fuss with a mechanism or a poor lockup. A fixed blade is the perfect solution, and the TPF Defense combines all the features you need. It has a magnetic pocket sheath that puts it right where you can grab it, a textured G-10 handle, a CPM MagnaCut blade, and a design from the Grandaddy of the Tactical Knife himself, Bob Terzuola.
One of the big perks of a fixed blade is strength, and when it comes to the hard, borderline abusive tasks survivalists give their knives, a fixed blade is a must. If you want to carry a survival knife every day, it’s hard to beat the Izula. Just large enough to get a four-finger grip, this little guy is a potent force for any cutting job. And if that job gets a little too hard-core for the humble Izula and it takes some damage, ESEE’s warranty is the best in the industry. Just send it in, and no matter what you did, they’ll send you a brand new one!
The M1 Backpacker is the perfect tool for its namesake. It’s built to be a neck knife, which allows the user to access the knife even while their pack is on. Modern packs have padded hip belts, sternum straps, and tons of storage options, but they can be hard to get past to access a folder. That’s where a quality fixed blade around the neck comes in handy. The M1 is light enough not to wear you down, tough enough to handle food and fire prep, and just the right size for real use. If you spend time with a pack on your back, I’d seriously recommend the White River M1!
If you want to pull out all the stops and get a top-of-the-line fixed blade, Bradford is the name that should be on your mind. Each one is made in the USA of top-of-the-line materials, comes outfitted with a horizontal leather belt sheath, and is designed for real, hard use daily. I espeically love the little sharpening choil included on the new Guardian3.2. I do a lot of piercing in my daily life with packaging and the like, and I love knowing I won’t slide up onto the edge. Mine has a blade made of Bohler M390 steel, the gold standard of blade steels, but the Guardian3 series comes in more steels than you could shake a stick at, as well as numerous finishes, handle materials, and more. There’s a Bradford Guardian3.2 for everyone!
When you need to get some real work done, you want a quality tool that can take the abuse, and if it breaks, you don’t want it to break the bank, too. That’s where the Razel Fixed Blade shines. It has a D2 blade, prized for decades for its toughness and edge retention, and a micarta handle for secure grip in gloved, wet, or otherwise compromised hands. My favorite feature of it is the unique blade shape, with a second edge on the tip. Nothing chisels or carves quite like the Razel, and if something goes wrong, it only costs $60 to replace it.
Old-school doesn’t have to mean folder. The Buck 113 has all the same aesthetic of your grandpa’s knife, but it’s still built in the USA from Bos-heat-treated 420 steel and eis ready for whatever nonsense you can throw at it. Whether you’re skinning an elk, slicing bell peppers, or whittling a chain, the 113 will serve you well. It includes a simple leather belt sheath without too many frills. It’s a simple knife, but its function cannot be denied. If you like the classic look but don’t want to sacrifice performance, the 113 might be for you!
Any hunter knows that a hunting knife doesn’t have to be exclusively for hunting, nor does an EDC knife have to be exclusively for EDC. The Flyway bridges the gap, providing a convenient, razor-sharp blade for all kinds of stuff, not just the caping, skinning, and gutting it was built for. My favorite feature is the SelectEdge, Benchmade’s terrifying, hair-splitting, 14°-per-side edge that has earned me three scars now. And when it dulls, Benchmade will sharpen it back to new for free thanks to their LifeSharp service!
All you CCW folks out there know well the benefits of concealement, and fixed blades are notoriously difficult to hide. The Safe Maker II managed to figure it out, with its chisel grind that lays much more flat than other knives. In addition, its sheath can easily accept a myriad of attachment options. Carry it in your boot, around your neck, in your pocket, on your belt, or concealed just about anywhere. It’s small enough that you’ll forget it’s there, and when you do forget it’s there are try to enter a Taylor Swift concert, you’re only out about $40.
Fixed blades don’t have moving parts. Yes, that means they’re bigger and harder to carry, but try cutting up a Costco rotisserie chicken with a folder. It gets really messy, really fast. If you like to prepare delicious food outside of the kitchen, the Propugnator will do it all for you with ease. When the cooking is done, simply rinse it off and it will be ready for the sheath. The Propugnator’s edge has a section of straight that allows for in-hand, paring-style cuts, and a section of belly at a steeper angle that allows chef’s knife cuts against a board. It’s like an entire knife set in one! Sure, your kitchen set is better, but I ask you: can you carry an entire kitchen set every day?
Why EDC a Fixed Blade?
If your daily life ever gets messy, rough, or lame, having a fixed blade in your collection is wise. You don’t have to carry it every day, but on those days when it would come in handy, you’ll be happy you have one. I hope you found something here that works for you and your lifestyle. If not, there’s a world of EDC fixed blades at Blade HQ. But either way, I’m glad that EDC fixed blades are becoming more commonplace. The world is better for it!