A Reader Asks: What’s The Best Knife For New Jersey EDC?

Image: Courtesy Wikipedia

Image: Courtesy Wikipedia

Reader Amagi asks:

I’ll be moving back from Philadelphia (free-ish state) to the Garden State (not free state). Friends, Family, Work and my girlfriend are all reasons for my move. If I had my druthers, they would all move to Kentucky with me.

With that being said, I was wondering if you could do a review on EDC knives for those of us who live behind the iron curtain. We have several restrictions when it comes to knives: no locking device, size of the blade, assisted opening. These are “no nos” in the Garden state, as well as New York City.

I have a hard time finding a half-decent knife for EDC because a lot of the knives featured on TTAK and TTAG are illegal to carry for every day use in slave states. I normally just carry a SAK, but anything more would help.



As Screaming Sam Kinnison once infamously said about starving Ethiopians, “If you want to help them, don’t send them food; send them luggage.” The best EDC option for anyone in New Jersey is a one-way rental truck to GTFO.

The reason for this, and the sad answer to Amagi’s question, is that knives are not legal for everyday carry in New Jersey. Any contact with law enforcement can result in arrest, seizure and prosecution if you’ve got any kind of knife in your pocket. There are published reports of people being arrested for carrying a Swiss Army Knife or a multi-tool with a knife blade.

Until these laws are challenged or repealed, the Garden State is occupied territory. Live or travel there at your own risk, if you’ve got a knife in your pocket.

FYI, I’ll be blogging New York’s knife laws in the near future.



  1. Evan says:

    My suggestion would be move to PA just across the border. I literally can’t stand it here. If you defend yourself you’ll get a bigger sentence than your attacker. It just boggles my mind that a 10 minuite drive across the Delaware I can strap a glock or Kershaw to my hip and be Ok. NJ is not a good place to be. Also I’m stealing that iron curtain line.

  2. Anonymous says:

    I’ve been arrested in NJ with two friends. All of us were carrying knives and none were questioned about them. So I guess it depends on the LEO.

    1. MothaLova says:

      The knife law as written in NJ is highly ambiguous regarding which sorts of knives are permitted. I’ve been told by people in the know that the police exercise their discretion to target those most likely to be involved in crime. It’s another hook by which they can arrest someone they think might have committed a crime, or might be about to commit a crime. If you seem like the decent sort, you’re not likely to be targeted.

      Not that this should be so reassuring to anyone, of course. The right to self-defense – not to mention the right to be free in general from unreasonable harassment – includes the right to carry a knife. One shouldn’t have to worry about going to jail just because he’s got a Kershaw in his pocket.

  3. Mick says:

    Go down to a hardware store and pick up a clip-on tool holder and put a standard head and a phillip’s head screwdriver as well as either a pair of pliers or a crescent wrench in it. You pick the length of the screwdrivers. Being stabbed with a screwdriver or making sure someone doesn’t bother you again (pliers clamped on a finger or just grabbing a hold of skin or whatever else protrudes is a great deterrent) will garner some respect. You don’t have to slash someone, poking them will hurt just as much and will slow them down accordingly. You can always have a reason to carry tools on you as long as you let the Po-po know they’re not for self defense.

    1. Mr. Lighter says:

      “In other news, screw drivers, hammars, wrenches, rocks, sticks, and fists have all been banned in New Jersey. The rest of the Union has decided to just give New Jersey back to the United Kingdom.”

    2. MothaLova says:

      Not a bad idea at all, Mick.

  4. BLAMMO says:

    One of the laws in NYC alludes to a knife that cannot be readily open with one hand. When I go into the city (from Long Island), I only carry a Leatherman 300. The knife and tools are all internal. Almost impossible to open with one hand in under half a minute. And I don’t wear the sheath. It may not be visible. I either keep it in my day pack or coat pocket. I leave my Charge and Surge home. Their tools are external and the blade can easily be open with one hand.

    Don’t know about Jersey but it can’t be any worse. Can it?

    1. MothaLova says:

      NYC rules are by far the worst in the country as far as I know. Mayor Bloomberg and Cyrus Vance (the city’s prosecutor) truly want to rid every street of every knife. KnifeRights.org has been fighting them in court.

  5. Evan says:

    Anonymous Your really lucky. The LEO probably doesn’t know the laws. If he/she did you’d probably be reading this blog in Jail.

  6. Evan says:

    It’s worse than that here Blammo. You can get arrested for having a little Leatherman.

  7. Scared to say says:

    I’ve hated every minute of living here in NJ since 2007. And no- I cannot leave because I’m older and disabled. WHAT kind of state even makes it ILLEGAL to own a slingshot for crying out loud? I’ve carried a knife of some sort since I was 14 years old. Whether a Boy Scout knife or a Swiss Army knife or a Spyderco or a Kershaw. I’m not “allowed” to the right to defend myself if some young gang wannabe comes up to me and threatens me? The city where I live in Southern NJ is loaded with gang members and crime/drugs/murders. If I go anywhere I should have the reasonable ability to protect myself in any situation. Oh how I want to leave here. Most restrictive state I’ve ever lived in. And I have to “prove” the reason why I’m carrying? And that it’s for a valid reason? What a joke. Even a walking cane can be considered a weapon. So I can’t take a walk and have assistance because I’m a perceived threat to an officer?

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A Reader Asks: What’s The Best Knife For New Jersey EDC?

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