Question of the Day: Is your EDC your first choice?


I can EDC anything I like in Tennessee. I am always mixing it up with testing knives, but these four are the core of my rotation.

Thanks to the efforts of Knife Rights, Tennessee has both state-level knife law preemption, and no restrictions on autos or blade length. This is the situation in several states now, to a greater or lesser extent.

Prior to my time at TTAK, I carried a Benchmade Mini-Griptillian or Spyderco Native as my EDC. These two knives did not run afoul of knife laws in Ohio, Idaho, or Tennessee when I carried them. In fact, even prior to TN Knife Freedom Day they were well short of the maximum blade length.

I had not tried an automatic at that point, and even after testing the Gerber Propel Auto, I am not convinced that their utility is better than that of an assisted flipper.

Now that I am free to carry whatever I would like, my EDC changes almost daily. Since I have taken over as TTAK editor, there are knives lying everywhere around the house. Unless I want to bring a specific blade for a situation I may face, I either grab a blade I have been testing or whatever is at hand when I leave the house.

That said, many of you live in places where the light of Liberty has not managed to burn through years of hoplophobia. You may live in a state without preemption. There may be bans on autos, assists, or even locking blades. You may suffer from cranio-rectal inversion and voluntarily live in NYC where you can be prosecuted for possession of virtually any common knife. There may be a length limit for blades you can legally carry.

What say you?

Is your EDC your first choice? or does your choice represent a compromise between what you want to carry and what you are allowed to carry? If you could carry something else that you are unable to now, what would it be?

Want to change the knife laws in your state? Join Knife Rights today.


  1. daniel says:

    I live in NYC, and I carry a 12$ Opinel #8. It’s a great little knife, but I only carry it because I can’t carry some other knives. Before I knew about the knife restrictions in NYC, I bought a 110$ spyderco manix 2 in CPM S110v (freakin lightsaber) but when I learned I couldn’t carry it, I stopped planning on buying EDC knnives, and began spending more money on large fixed blade knives (esee 6, cold steel bushman). I carry the manix whenever I can, and I LOVE carrying it. When I look at the opinel however, I feel the revulsion of not being able to choose my own damn knife. The opinel is a great knife, but I would have liked to choose it myself.

    1. I’m a fan of Spyderco’s non-locking folders such as the UK Penknife for NYC carry. My personal choice is the their Urban Lightweight. Good steel and less than $50.

      It is a slipjoint, but you still get one hand opening, and the finger choil adds some safety, by keeping the blade from closing on your fingers in the event the blade does start to move on you (although I’ve never had a problem, the leafspring is very strong)

      1. daniel says:

        NYC cops will still get you in trouble over a slipjoint if its a one hand opener. They don’t care that it’s not illegal, they have arrest quotas to fill!

  2. I carry a Benchmadeer Mini grip, and a slip joint knife usually. The Mini Griptilian is IMO about the most perfect EDC knife under $100.

    Small enough to be discreet (especially with a deep carry pocket clip from pops) , but large enough to be useful. And the axis lock can be opened just as quickly as a flipper

  3. stuartb says:

    This seems like one of the few freedoms left to us in California, I carry pretty much what I want, well based on what I have, my ‘want’ list is another issue restricted more by budget!

  4. RGwinn says:

    I carry a Benchmade Osborne 940-1, an incredible knife, super light, and super sharp, and easy to open. I carry a 757 Vicar in my Jeep, it is a beast.

  5. MD says:

    Benchmade Griptilian. Fullsize. For me, its the perfect combination of utility, value and ease of carry.

    1. pat says:

      Nice weight, length combination. Got one under $70, drop point with studs.

  6. MD says:

    “Is your EDC your first choice? or does your choice represent a compromise between what you want to carry and what you are allowed to carry? If you could carry something else that you are unable to now, what would it be?”

    As I stated above, I’m pretty happy with my Griptilian. However if I had total freedom of choice, I’d probably carry a nice sized bowie on my belt, and a shivpick at appendix. However both of those violate my employer’s policy, and either could be problematic legally.

  7. The Rev says:

    I’m an expat living in the UK. My EDC is the Spyderco UK Penknife. As mentioned above the notched joint is strong enough for my daily tasks, and I wouldn’t cry myself to sleep if something ever happened to it. However 2 days ago I ran to the local Tesco to pick up some milk and it wasn’t until I was in the shop that I realized my ZT 0200KW was along for the ride! Needless to say I made it back without incident.

  8. El Chapo says:

    Microtech Makora II.

  9. Trey Rodrick says:

    I currently live in Omaha Nebraska, the current state knife laws say you can’t carry more than 3-1/2in blade. I currently edc a spyderco paramilitary 2, which sits just shy of 3-1/2. If I had the legal ability to, I wouldabsolutely love to carry my spyderco szabo or schemp tuff.

    1. Good luck. With Texas and Oklahoma both reaching the pretty good to great level , Nebraska ought to be ripe.

  10. MD Matt says:

    I live in Maryland so the laws are a little “fuzzy.” State wide, we can carry any folder we want of any size, provided it isn’t an auto. To my knowledge, assisted openers haven’t been specifically addressed in state code; so like a lot of places you may clear your name in court but only after Johnny law has his way with you. I live in Baltimore county and sometimes travel into Baltimore city. The county doesn’t have anything specific for knives, but the city is where Freddy Gray supposedly got arrested for some variant on a auto, possibly an assisted opener. Technically, you can carry a fixed blade, but only if it is openly displayed—and let’s be honest, nobody is going to be happy with a 4 inch+ fixed blade on my belt in hippyville.
    My employer does-not-like “weapons.” The definition of which is up for interpretation. I used to carry a parashoot multitool in my pocket on work days and a Kershaw R.A.M. in my off time. Recently the R.A.M. vanished (have no idea where it got to) so I had to do some shopping.
    I decided on an Emerson mini cqc-7 for work days and an Emerson sheepdog for my off time. Both are well-built locking folders that shouldn’t fall afoul of stupid auto laws. I was on the fence about carrying a folder at work, but finally decided that I should be in the clear after carrying a key bar clipped to my front pocket for a couple months without comment. The mini cqc-7is just under 3 inches so hopefully will still qualify as a tool—not that I’m going to be advertising. I’d much rather have a durable fixed blade, but barring that I’m pretty happy for the moment.

    1. Thorough reply. Thanks. And thanks for the sitrep for Baltimore.

      1. MD Matt says:

        You are welcome. Baltimore and Maryland in general are a mess when it comes to knife laws. Dirks and bowies are specifically banned for public carry in state code, though what would qualify as a bowie or dirk is anyone’s guess at this point. I suspect the law stems from the century old fear of public fights on sandbars and has never been cleaned up. Bowie style blades are common in folders and fixed blades, though true bowies and dirks are relatively rare in my experience—always wanted one of those cold steel Natchez bowies as a BBQ knife myself, but you don’t see that many of them around outside the dedicated knife enthusiast crowds.
        Maryland’s code centers around the “pen knife” which is a vaguely defined folding knife of indeterminate length. We can own, but not carry autos and as previously stated assisted openers occupy an unfortunate gray area.
        To make this worse, there are numerous anecdotal cases of police detaining the person for pretextual reasons and then creatively remembering or understanding knife laws in order to arrest the individual. Freddy Gray is the most famous example but hardly the only one. Being a gun and gear kind of guy, I have decided to opt for caution in my EDC items until someone clears up the nonsense.

  11. cmeat says:

    i think chicago is 2.5″ max blade. so i compromise a bit- i would like to carry an osbourne 940 but settle on the ol’ leek. really like it.
    i keep a bk-24 in the jacket’s zippered pocket. my bk-14 in cro van is easier to sharpen, but even the kids liken the difference to a pre and post 1963 quarter. you can just tell that the d2 is, something. it has a different “ring” when you flick your thumb off the edge.

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Question of the Day: Is your EDC your first choice?

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