SHOT Show best EDC knives
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I could just as easily spend all my time at SHOT Show looking at and fondling knives as I could guns and related items. But that’s a personal problem.

A good knife is a critical part of your EDC gear. Have you ever seen someone who carries a gun who doesn’t also carry a knife? Such a creature may exist somewhere in the wild, but it’s about as common and easy to find as Bigfoot or Nessie.

While your carry gun is obviously an important EDC item, you’ll get a lot more regular use out of your blade than you ever will from your trusty mohaska. We hope.

That’s why we also look around SHOT for some of the latest everyday carry knives…purely out of professional obligation, of course. It’s a huge sacrifice, but someone has to do it.

So after much research, here are our favorite new EDC knives from SHOT 2020 listed in order of price (and, coincidentally, blade length).


Civivi Odium
Dan Z for TTAG

CIVIVI is the relatively new, more affordable label under the Chinese WE Knife umbrella. WE, along with Kizer, has shown that Chinese knife makers can do much more than just OEM work and do it very well.

Already owning one CIVIVI (as well as a couple of Kizers), I made it a point to stop by their booth and see what’s new.

Civivi Odium
Dan Z for TTAG

CIVIVI’s new Ferrum Forge-designed Odium is a standout. With its 2.65″ D2 blade, it’s a reasonably sized, reasonably priced, lightweight everyday carry knife with a deep carry pocket clip that will last you for years and years. It’s got great ergonomics and comes in a range of G10 color options, too. With a modest MSRP of $62 (about $55 retail) it’s a quality knife that you can afford (when it hits stores later this year).

SOG Terminus XR

SOG Terminus XR
Courtesy SOG

If you’d rather not buy a Chinese-made blade, SOG (which I found out stands for Studies and Observations Group) has really made a move to up its game recently, something that’s readily seen in its latest products. They’ve dropped the big box models and steels in their lineup (D2 is now the “base” steel in their most affordable knives) and have reoriented more toward increased quality across their product range.

Their latest knives (and tools) feature better steels, excellent finishes and more imaginative designs. I loved a lot of their new blades — especially the (ultra-light) Ultra XR and (beefy) Kiku XR — but the best all-around EDC choice has to be the updated Terminus XR G10.

SOG Terminus XR
Courtesy SOG

The new more affordable version of the Terminus has G10 scales in either crimson or olive with a 2.95″ D2 blade, an ambidextrous deep carry clip and SOG’s XR locking system (basically the much-loved, no-longer-patented Benchmade Axis lock).

Best of all, MSRP is $54.95 with retail expected in the $45 to $50 range.

Benchmade 575-1 Mini Presidio II

benchmade mini presidio II
Dan Z for TTAG

Benchmade is another knifemaker that released so many great new blades this year that it made picking a favorite difficult. New knives like the truly elegant Tengu and the handy Mini Bugout were eye-catchers, but for a good overall blend of EDC size and use-ability, the 575-1 Mini Presidio II is the choice.

The US-made Mini Presidio II has a longer drop point blade than the others here (3.2 inches) with a higher grade steel (CPM-S30V). It has a reversible, tip-up, deep carry clip and Benchmade’s CF-Elite handle material (a carbon fiber-reinforced nylon polymer that’s lighter and more rigid that previously used materials).

MSRP is $145 with retail at about $125.


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  1. Very nice blades, though I’m not sure I could bring myself to shell out $125-$145 for a folder (awesome CPM steel or no) the way I tend to misplace (I didn’t lose it, it’s just not been misplaced for a few months, honest!) my pocket knives.

    • I agree, I’ve misplaced or outright have lost or had stolen too many high end knives to want to spend well over a hundred for another “donation” to my Grandkids “Will It Survive the Elements” and “Unbreakable Huh?” tests.

    • Rookie, I don’t get it. First, a knife was the earliest tool invented by man. That means it must be pretty important. (OK. The first one was stone, but you understand.) Why wouldn’t I want the best knife I can get? Second, how do you loose something like that? Do you loose your handguns? Last, knives are personal. A couple of days ago I gave a friend a blade that cost me $500. He loved it. He also won’t loose it. Losing a knife is just plain stupid.

      • the knife was invented a few minutes after the first tool, the hammer, broke and sharp chips flew off of it. this was a couple years after monkeys found some spoiled honey.
        even to this day it is very difficult to make a knife without a hammer.

        • Tsbhoa, nope. Sorry. It was called flaking. One piece of flint against another. You can find evidence of it up and down the Appalachicola. Chattahooche, and the Flint Rivers, after any high water. No hammering involved. Hammering came later. With you know. Metal.

        • get some selsun blue, worked for me.
          no way a stone wasn’t utilized to bludgeon grains before flint was discovered.

        • tsbhoa, I know of a few dangerous things. A few of them have tried to kill me. I survived. I looked. Shampoo isn’t one of them.

        • haha skirts not shirts.
          “i took off my pants and felt free
          the wind blowin’ up me
          and up the canyon
          as far as i could see.”
          don van vliet

  2. No love of Benchmade due to their somewhat public monetary support of in and out of state democrats. Their choice on who they want to support. My choice on who I want spend my money with.

    • gosh, i would see that as depending largely on the type of work you do. both slicey and stabby, they must be good for something…
      if i was being paid to let the air out of tires i might choose that blade shape. or letting the blood out of sentient beings.
      letter opener, fingernail cleaner, box cutter?

      • It’s easier to catch an unseen sheath opening with a blade having a straight top line, and if a person spends any time at all turning the sharp side up to slice open sheathing for wire bearing cables (or opening animals) where the point acts as a guide it really helps to move away from that neutral spear point to something having a little belly and an elevated tip, but not upswept as that creates its own damage.

        • o yeah. playin’ west side story near the park bench. scarred for life. seen a guy’s sister run him over with a boat propeller water skiing too. ulna and radii straight thru. saved the arm, bad scar, reduced usage. saw all the fingers come off when the fork lift shifted it’s load left. had a guy busted shearing off both thumbs because the opposed digit pays more. dumbass didn’t collect and can’t use his hands too tuff. wife’s aunt stabbed herself to death with a kitchen knife. needed aftermath for that mess. lot’s more, .38 suicide, two rope suicides, 9mm suicide while at the poker table, 12ga suicide at the boat ramp with a shrine to the kids on the pickup bed. i’ll stop now, not done.

        • sent you a reply, it was swallowed up whole as was another above twice. maybe something about our threads…

        • one guy playing west side story. wife’s aunt took herself out with kitchen knives. aftermath, whole deal. buddies sister ran him over with an outboard (unfamiliar with powerboats). got the ulna and radii. still has an arm.

  3. I have absolutely no interest in these knives and that is the problem with these articles. The author’s needs and interests have no common ground with mine. I won’t look at a knife shorter then 3.8 inches or one made in Chairman Mao’s forges of slavery.

    • Viejo torr, I accept that you don’t want a knife with a blade under 3.8 inches, but note that some work sights, such as many federal facilities, allow knives with a blade under 3.0 inches to be carried as tools, but blades 3.0 inches and longer are considered dangerous weapons and not allowed to be carried on workers or kept in their vehicles by non-security personnel or only under special circumstances. So blades are under 3.0 inch are very important for EDC for a significant number of people.

      • Exactly. My state requires both <3” and a blade shape not designed for stabbing. So spear points and bayonet shapes are out. Plenty of great options remain and a lot of folks live under such illogical oppression.

        Just so odd I can carry a pistol concealed with as many rounds as I want but not a 3.1 inch drop point. Knife laws may be even more draconian and inconsistent than gun laws. Someone also needs to explain to me why automatic knives are any more dangerous to others than non-autos. They don’t fire with enough force to penetrate deeply. Stupid shit all around. Now I’m all worked up dammit.

  4. “…but it’s about as common and easy to find as Bigfoot or Nessie.”

    The “Glock-Ness Monster”…


  5. Cheapo CRKTs have worked well for me over the years. They aren’t supper l337 moneybags status symbols, but they cut string, bottles, and other plastic containers when needed. Currently using the smaller M16-10KZ. Soft steel and won’t take or hold a razor sharp edge.

    SOG does make ok stuff but the Fixation dagger bends and doesn’t come back true. I think a literal mule stole my last one out in California, noticed it was gone and I hadn’t taken it out. The only thing that brushed me was a mule.

    CASE also makes good knives, solid construction, take and hold an edge well.

    • I’ve had really good luck with my “Bob Dozier” folding hunter from KA-Bar. Nothing flashy, but it’s been a dependable little knife and a lot better than I expected for $20.

    • A CRKT M16-01KS has been my EDC knife for about 6 years. Decent steel, Stays sharp, touches up easy, mechanism stays free and I didn’t spend more than $50-55 if memory serves. In my pocket 16+ hours a day, 7 days a week. At nearly 60, I’m too old to get in a knife fight. If I need a knife to keep someone away, I’ll take the 250+ year old Baskethilt Broadsword hanging on my wall with me. They’ll die from laughing at this auld fart if nothing else.😂

    • I love CKRT for the money too. Also check out Kershaw’s Hotwire. Its small with a 2.5″ or so blade that is a thin drop point and is spring assisted. It costs around 10$. It doesn’t hold an edge super great but Ive carried it for about a year now cutting boxes, leather, plastic, etc… and it has always been good for me provided I run it on my whet stone every so often. My only real complaints are that the clip really needs locktite or nail polish to prevent it from getting loose and the handle is a little slick but both of those can be fixed easily.

    • I won’t buy a Benchmade, those people suck!!

      Lots a others, and I’ll spend a few hundred on a good one. Cheap ones fall apart, or the metal dulls after cutting a few boxes open.

      My blade is one of the most important parts of my edc. I always have a small pocket knife in the pocket, and a clipped large blade in the pocket. Sometimes a small fixed blade for backup on the belt.

      • Bunch of brand name, every kid wanted one in the grunts because it was the over priced “cool” knife. I kept my money and got something less flashy.

  6. D2 is pretty good blade steel.

    I’m with you Dan, I’d spend just as much time looking at blades as gats.
    I’m still trying to find a genuine Ulu.

    • I’m now in that club. I’ve found myself watching as many Blade videos as gun videos since shot 2020. I have had my benchmade since prior to the political stunt, I carry it every day except at work. Knives are “weapons” in my line of work so I carry a Gerber Mini paraframe, hard to claim a sub 2″ knife is deadly. I’ve been looking for a US made folder to carry besides the Benchmade and a US made deep concealment folder for work. My problem, I keep falling in love with $400 blades.

    • D2 has become the new gold standard for decent budget blades. AUS-8 has been kicked to the curb, and I’m okay with that.

      In general though It’s amazing in the knife community the amount of snobbery that exists, reviewers And forum posters complaining about S30V and looking down their noses at 154CM and VG-10, which I think are excellent all around knife steels.

  7. I usually carry 2 knives, 2 handguns (Glock 19 and a 43 as a backup) and 4 spare mags total, as well as a small flashlight and a CAT tourniquet. You never know when the zombie apocalypse will happen, or when the Chinese will invade us. I might add a knight to my collection.

  8. I purchased a KaBar warthog about 10 years ago and just ordered the same knife as a replacement. Not bad for a 20 dollar knife

  9. My favorite EDC is a CRKT M16-13ZLEK. It has the carbide glass breaker and seat belt cutter, line cutter, one hand opening, etc. I actually had to use the glass breaker to rescue a child from a locked hot car, not mine. It works.

  10. Spyderco Endura. Spyderco Bill Moran fixed. Bark River Kephart, Bark River Gameskeeper, plus plus. TOPS BOB Fieldcraft. Esee Junglas. Cold Steel Voyager and Trail Master. Buck General. Randall and Lucas Forge customs. No Gerber, SOG, cheap steel. Benchmade highly overrated and just don’t feel right. Keep the Buck 110 for sentimental reasons, but it’s not in the league of the good stuff. I’ve become a fan of good steel and balance and design and toughness and durability and functionality. I have some expensive knives (and hatchets) but none i wouldn’t use, some very hard.

    • I like the cut of your jib. You mention a lot of good knives. I bought a Bark River at a gun show in the last couple years for $35. First I heard of one, has mosaic pins, burl scales, etc. I thought any knife made in Michigan that used mosaic pins was worth $35. I think it was supposed to be $135. Impressive knife. Like the ESEE and Tops 1095 stuff also.

  11. Are the folks at CIVVI aware that the definition of the English word “odium” is:
    general or widespread hatred or disgust directed toward someone as a result of their actions:
    I bet they’re not aware of that.

  12. While I don’t have one yet, I’ve been looking at getting a Havalon folder when I can afford it since it uses #60 replacement scalpel blades. Surgically sharp every time for fine work.

    • Very effective for detail work on whitetail, turkey in my experience. Always scalpel sharp, and when it’s not, put another one in. Smart innovation. Still like traditional blades.

  13. All nice looking blades. I own a couple SOGs and I like them. I’ve eyeballed a couple of CIVIVI’s knives but haven’t bought any … yet. My last couple of knife purchases have been Boker Kalashnikov’s and a TOPs Street Scalpel. I don’t do Benchmade … they’ve chosen sides and they’re on the wrong one. Bought one of their knives years ago but they’ll get no more money from me.

  14. Benchmade became irritating, but the AXIS lock is awesome. HOGUE is now making knives with the same lock (but they call it an ABLE lock). Hogue is making a RItter RSK virtually identical to a Griptilian, and also making a smaller folder called a Deka with the same lock. The Hogues have 20CV blades and G10 grips and they’re not only cheaper than Benchmade, they’re BETTER.

  15. I avoided expensive knives because I’m frugal (i.e., cheap). But I bought a Chinese made LA Police Gear TBFK S35VN EDC Folding Knife a couple of years ago (when it was on sale – remember I’m frugal). Regular price is only $40, I don’t remember what the sale price was, but I do remember it was less than $40. It has held up well, although I don’t abuse equipment (I’m too frugal). They are out of stock now but if interested see:

    LAPG also has good prices on their private branded clothing, etc. (especially when they are on sale, you know).

  16. Silent knife. Holy knife . Blade is bright. All is right. Drown young virgins , mother’s and child. Slashing blade is so very wild. Sleep in heavenly pee,eace, sleep in heavenly peace

  17. I’m a knife enthusiast, too. Thanks for mentioning SOG. Just my opinion, but in recent years, I have not been interested in their folders. Looks like they have chosen a new direction, so I will consider them again.

  18. My fave new knife of the past couple months is the Spyderco Police 4 lightweight. Love love love it.

    Anyone looking to get a cheap BM, knifeworks was running a sale recently on the Grizzly Ridge with blue accents, 79.99 for S30v.

  19. “Mohaska” is refering to an ILLEGAL item: gun, drugs, weapon. Its an imperfect application of a colloquialism for a legally carried firearm. Where as “gat” doesn’t infer legal status of the firearm.

  20. I quit with Chinese made knives years ago. Cut somebody with one and an hour later you have to cut them again.

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