Choosing the Right EDC Knife

Every day each of us makes life-and-death decisions, though the impact of those choices may not be immediately apparent.

Remembering to buckle a seatbelt, taking prescription medication, and checking both ways before stepping into an intersection may not seem like life-changing choices, but in an instant the effects of those choices can be realized.


If you're a member of the law enforcement community "life-changing choices" may mean taking a few extra seconds to evaluate a suspect in a traffic stop before approaching. For military professionals, following basic orders and staying aware of your surroundings may be all that it takes to stay alive another day.

Choosing to carry a knife and having that knife accessible to you is one of those choices that are critically important.

A knife may seem like more of a convenience — a tool for opening boxes and letters — in the worst scenario that thin metal blade may be all that separates you from death.

Why an EDC Knife

This was true for a U.S. solider on foot patrol in the Middle East. Based upon his testimonial there was nothing extraordinary about the particular day when his everyday carry knife would prove invaluable — the objective of the mission was to meet with local community leaders to gather intel.

But before the soldier could meet at the rendezvous point he was passing a doorway and was suddenly attacked by a guard dog. The vicious guard dogs in that region are descended from early mastiffs and are massive in size, weighing 150 pounds or more and are trained to kill, so when the dog sprang on the soldier and bit down on his arm the struggle was not to avoid a few stitches but to keep from having his throat ripped out.

The dog attacked so quickly it made it impossible for the soldier to access either his primary M4 or secondary (M320) weapons. The last hope was his Cold Steel Recon Tanto that was sheathed behind the magazine pouches on his plate carrier. Drawing the knife, the soldier drove it into the dog's neck and escaped the incident with only a few minor lacerations.


It happened in a heartbeat. The attack was violent and sudden, and but for having his knife at the ready that soldier might have been seriously injured or killed. But the dog attack was just a prelude to an even more violent attack that would follow, this time at the hands of his own kind.

That same solider — whose name and rank have been withheld — was clearing a compound with his squad when, upon entering the doorway of the second room, several enemies attacked at once.

The soldier took a dominance position in the corner of the room, and amid the gunfire several of the attackers reached him just as his primary weapon, his M4, experienced a double feed and stopped cold.

In that case his backup weapon was an M320 40mm grenade launcher, which require 44 meters of centrifugal spin to arm the warhead. Best case scenario firing would result in a dud round. Worst case scenario would mean that everyone in the room was killed.

The soldier had to act fast and took a knee. While his squad members dealt with two rifle-wielding attackers our solider was left alone, his Cold Steel Recon Tanto his only weapon, against a man coming through the darkness swinging a bladed weapon that turned out to be a farming implement.


The American soldier slashed his attacker's thigh, then arm, and soon the fight was over. In the dark corners of that room a half a world away the soldier stood with his knife in his hand, once again saved by his Recon.

If recent events around the world — from the Boston Marathon Bombing to the attacks in Paris and Brussels have taught us anything it is that evil is a global phenomenon and that no one is completely immune from its impact.

And while it may not be feasible for us to carry a big fixed blade every day, like the soldier mentioned above, preparation is the most essential safeguard against victimization, and that's why it's absolutely essential to carry a knife.

What is a Knife?

It may seem like an odd question, but to Cold Steel President Lynn Thompson it's more of a challenge.

"A knife is a weapon first," Thompson says. "Let me explain what I mean by that. When you are making a knife to the standard of quality required for a weapon, there isn't a higher standard!


It's something you can trust your life on! It's something you give to your son or daughter, brother or sister as they go to war. Something you hope will help get them home safe! That's a huge responsibility and there's no higher honor - it's something we instill in all of our employees at Cold Steel."

Much of the focus on tactical weapons for personal defense and military and law enforcement applications revolves around firearms, but if a firearm fails you need to be prepared — and well equipped — to protect yourself at striking range.

That's why a good knife is so critical, and why Thompson and his team invest so much in their products.

"When you mass-produce a product and you hold it to such a high standard, it's a battle. We raised the bar, and now we have to live up to that. I always tell our employees that we should be our own biggest critics. Our own toughest competitors. We accept nothing less than perfection, and that's tough!"


When asked what sets Cold Steel apart, Thomson has a quick answer.

"We torture test our products. We put them through hell. The toughest tests in the industry — and if they don't pass, they don't get released! Think about it, you make a razor sharp blade and put a hinge in it. It had better have a strong lock! I love my fingers too much to trust them to a weak knife!"

Thompson carries every day, and so do millions of other Americans, including the soldier whose knife saved his life not once but twice. You should too, and here are three great carry knife options from Cold Steel.

Recon 1

The Recon 1 is the little brother of the knife used in the story above. And there's plenty of reasons why so many people love this EDC knife particularly in the military, law enforcement, and fire and rescue communities.


"Our Recon 1 series continues to set the standard for Tactical Folding Knives," says Cold Steel. These dependable knives have a hard earned reputation for reliability and strength. Every facet of their construction has been over-engineered to make them as durable and effective as possible. Every model in this diverse series features our world renowned Tri-Ad lock, keeping your precious fingers safe from harm when using your knife in even the most taxing conditions."

Large Voyager

The Large Voyager comes with a durable Carpenter CTS BD1 alloy blade and the company's ultra-reliable Tri-Ad locking system for complete confidence.

The Griv-Ex handles have plenty of texture for a secure grip and feature 6061 aluminum liners. A high-end take on a familiar knife design, the Voyager is perfect for all types of daily chores yet works well in the worst scenarios.


"The Cold Steel Voyager series is designed to be the true 'everyman' knife. Lightweight, comfortable, super sharp, they are rugged, dependable and perfect for hunting and camping as well as general utility and daily cutting chores."

Code 4

The Code 4 is designed to be the lightest, trimmest EDC knife you can find that still offers the type of features necessary in a tactical or duty knife. The trim dimensions mean this knife will fit in any pocket, it can be opened quickly and the durability is beyond question.


The Code 4 is available in a variety of blade configurations and offers ambidextrous pocket clips and thumb studs. Each Code 4 provides sturdy, 6061 Aluminum handles and Cold Steels's proprietary Tri-Ad locking mechanism. And as you'd expect each knife is fitted with a razor sharp blade.

In the minds of the complacent warding off an attacker might seem far-fetched. But for those who realize evil holds no prejudice choosing a quality EDC knife is of utmost importance.

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