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Father’s day is coming up fast. You want to give dear old Dad something he’ll appreciate and use every day while not dipping too deeply into your ammo budget. Here’s an easy choice — everyone needs a good everyday carry knife. Or another one.

I never leave the house without a blade in my pocket and neither should you…or your pop. So here are five good, basic, very functional everyday carry knives that you can afford to give and your Dad will be happy to own.

Ka-Bar Dozier Folding Hunter

The Dozier is one of the most versatile EDC knives you can get for the money. It features a 3-inch AUS8 steel blade and the Zytel grip comes in a number of color choices. For about $26 you can’t go wrong.

Price = $26.24


Cold Steel Mini Tuff Lite

The Mini Tuff Lite has Cold Steel’s dependable Tri-Ad lock, keeping its 2-inch 4034 stainless blade firmly in place when open.

Price = $29.74


SOG Traction

The SOG Traction has a tuff lockback mechanism and a 3.5-inch 5CR13Mov clip point blade.

Price = $29.96

5.11 Mini Icarus

The 5.11 Mini Icarus liner lock folder has a 3-inch blade made of 8Cr13Mov steel.

Price = $32.00


Ontario RAT II

The immensely popular RAT-II liner lock folder features a 3-inch AUS-8 stainless steel bald and a nylon handle. The RAT folder comes in a variety of styles including different blade and handle colors.

Price = $35.00

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    • “chineseum chicom.”

      That easily keeps 70 bucks in your pocket, compared to pricier blades.

      Besides, pop is 87 and tends to lose small things.

      I’ve lost too damn many 100+ dollar blades to keep buying them. 🙁

      Thanks for providing some reasonably-priced options, Dan… 🙂

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  1. I’m an old fart. Kershaw assisted opening is my go to blade. I can one hand it into action if need be. And not too pricey.

    • +1. The Kershaw Oso Sweet is a great EDC for under $20. But for a little bit more, The Kershaw Leek is my preferred blade. With a bit of practice, it deploys as fast as an automatic knife, and they hold a pretty good edge.

      Are these anything close to the quality of a Benchmade or other premium knives? Of course not. But my EDC’s see a lot of time in the woods and yard, and so I tend to lose them periodically, so these fit the bill.

      • “But my EDC’s see a lot of time in the woods and yard, and so I tend to lose them periodically, so these fit the bill.”

        You know what I mean.


        (Look, I like nice blades, and keep a few in the dresser for occasional use. I’m sick and fucking tired of reaching for one and finding an empty pocket… 🙁 )

      • True. I lose them. But I don’t sweat it because they are functional at a reasonable price. I normally carry 2. A Kershaw and a Swiss Army Knife. Before I retired that SAA was in constant use.

        When I hit the boonies I add a Mora Knife to my belt. Cheap, lightweight razor blade.

      • My Kershaw Ken Onion Blur has been MIA for a few .months, now. Green casing. If anyone sees it, please, send it home.

    • I carry the Boker plus auto (under$50) with D2 steel blade. It holds a good edge and handles most everything I throw at it. I also carry a cheap ass knife for dirty work. Remember to keep in mind some states still have laws against auto knives, out the front knives and switchblades. Only because I have a weapons permit can I carry an auto knife in Iowa.

      • I can do the assisted opening here in CA. But the auto, out the fronts are only legal with a sub 2 inch blade. And they are very pricey.

  2. I’d rather buy my own knives. My kids can buy me a rare steak and a bourbon. I’ll be good.

  3. I don’t need another knife. Been carrying the same liner lock for 30 years and have a couple sitting in the nightstand drawer should I need a replacement. I also carry a 2 blade Case folder I’ve had for many years as well as a decent quality multi tool. Been known to slide a sheath and old GI K-Bar onto the belt if I think I might need a heavier blade.
    If Dad needs a new blade, get him a nice knife. If Dad tends to loose pocket knives, these aren’t horribly overpriced works of art, so go for it. If Dad is good on carry knives, buy him a nice steak or whatever he likes and treat him to a liter of his favorite beverage. Hey, he’s your old man. if your over age 10 you should have a good idea of his likes, wants or needs. Most of us old farts are actually pretty easy to please and not so complicated to shop for.

    • oldmaninAL,

      Note that most 11 year-old children have a hard time buying their fathers even small quantities of premium liquor–although some of the children these days sure look like they are 21 years old by age 11.

  4. Country of origin would be nice to include in the specs. I know ‘China’ is all but guaranteed but it’s not necessarily a given. I carry a US-made Buck that’s right in the same price range as the ones listed and though it’s not high-end by any means, it’s a solid, non-Chinese piece at a very affordable price point. I use and abuse it constantly. I run it across a stone every week or 2 and it’s always ready for more abuse.

    • Vic, I actually wore out the pivot (bolster?) on my folding Buck. Spent years wiring up or repairing boats. If I had a brain, I would have searched for a non-folder to skive wire. I’m STILL looking for the right non-folding short blade with thumb rest and large full handle. Found custom made in Texas, but $80. Still skiving with $10 Dewalt folding tantos. EZ to sharpen, and I can afford to lose one or two. Serrated part cuts rope, too. Accidentally folds shut on your thumb on occasion though…
      Don’t forget, Vets get 10% off at Home Depot and Loews if you just sign up. Pays the tax. I’m cash shy and deprived.

      • Says so right on the blade as well as the package it came in. Not sure what else I could possibly go by.
        Now was it ‘made in USA’ or just ‘assembled in USA’, hard to say, though I’d bet on the latter.

        • about 30% of Buck knives are made in either China or Taiwan. Another 15% are assembled in US with components made in China.

          the rest are made in USA.

        • My Buck is pushing 40 years old and is *deeply* stamped USA on the blade…

  5. for those really worried about where the knives in this article are made…

    KA-BAR/Dozier series is made in USA in Olean, New York.

    Cold Steel Mini Tuff Lite — Cold Steel knives overall are manufactured are Taiwan, Japan, China, India, Italy, and South Africa, and a few models are made in the United States. The Mini Tuff is either made in USA or Taiwan depending in production date.

    SOG Traction is made in Taiwan.

    Mini Icarus is a 5.11 tactical product and, usually, either made in USA or Taiwan depending on production date.

    Ontario RAT II is made in Taiwan by Ontario Knife Company which is one if the oldest US knife companies and makes most of their knives in US

  6. Knife makers would like people to think there’s a reason for an everyday carry knife and I suppose if you live in Hickville on a farm it might make sense but for the vast majority of us, and I am a daily carrier of a firearm, I have NEVER had any reason for a daily carry knife. I’d carry a full sized multi-tool like a Leatherman LONG before I ever carried a knife. A knife is far far too impractical for daily use to carry. I’m a retired mechanic who still has shit loads of very nice Snap-On tools, wirefeed welders, two complete ox-acetylene setups and the list goes on on and on. Someone is making out big when I croak.

    A daily carry knife is something that a tool whore like myself has lived without for 66 years with zero need or chance of changing.

    • mlee
      I’ve carried a pocket or belt blade most everyday from about 5th grade till today. I’m 58 the days I don’t use it are rare, I actually say wow I didn’t use it all day.

      • Like I said, it depends on a persons circumstances. I would go MONTHS without using it. I suspect that urban men would have little daily use for it. For example, I squished the garden hose end running it over yesterday. I cut it off today. Now could I have used a knife? Yes but I have more tools that are DESIGNED exactly for that purpose, one is for cutting hose and I have two others that are for cutting cable…such as 4ga, 1ga 2 ga etc electric cables. That’s what I used and it provided an easier cleaner cut than a knife. To each his own but I have no need on this planet for a everyday carry knife.

  7. A friend walked five miles and stood in line for 45 minutes to see the Holocaust museum in DC. At the entrance he first realized that he had his nice knife and that he was about to lose that knife or do a long walk back to the car and start over with a longer line. You just cannot have anything nice these days. This is why my blades are all around $25. I can use, abuse, and resharpen. If I lose one, I am only annoyed, not devastated. A $400 knife will never leave home and would sit in a jewelry box like a Rolex. I use $25 knives every day. That’s EDC.

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