7 Best EDC Fixed Blades of 2021

EDC is typically associated with folding knives. Not only are the best folders versatile and able to cut well, but they’re also more lightweight and compact than other styles of knives. That said, sometimes folding knives are not enough for the task at hand. If you keep using your favorite folder for heavy-duty jobs, it will simply make the task harder and wear down your knife.

That’s where fixed blade knives come in. Built for all kinds of tasks—from cutting rope to carving wood to prying doors—a full-tang fixed blade is an essential tool for camping, survival, tactical, and everyday use. And these days, there are plenty of fixed blades that are both compact and lightweight, making them a welcome addition to any EDC kit. 

Below, we’ll help you choose the top EDC fixed blade for your needs. And we’ll share our seven favorites!

Picking the Best EDC Fixed Blade

Your EDC fixed blade will serve different purposes than your folder or bushcraft knife. Remember that it’s not going to be as versatile or compact as a folding knife, nor should you expect it to perform quite like the world’s top survival and hunting knives. 

The key is to find a knife that strikes a balance between utility and size. While preference has a lot to do with which fixed blade is best for you, there are a few qualities to consider as you shop around:


Don’t misunderstand—an EDC fixed blade knife may not perform the heaviest jobs in the wilderness, but it should be able to take care of almost anything else. Whether you need to open a letter or cut through wood, your blade should be versatile and tough enough to get it done. 

A lot of the utility you want from your knife will depend on the daily tasks you encounter. For example, if you anticipate frequent heavy tasks, then you might want to pick an EDC fixed blade that’s slightly on the heavier side and has more blade strength. If you rarely have to tackle heavy tasks, then consider going with a lighter, more compact knife that makes detail work easier. 

Opening Difficulty

You don’t want your EDC fixed blade to be hard to remove from the sheath. It should be a comfortable and quick process, which you can usually get with a one-hand or two-hand opening mechanism.

Steel Type and Dimensions

As with any style of knife, it matters what steel your EDC fixed blade has. Again, whether you need a D2, CPM-S90V, or anything in between will largely depend on what you’ll be using the knife for. 

Likewise, you’ll want to pay close attention to the size, weight, and ergonomics of your EDC fixed blade. Remember that this knife doesn’t have to be the one that does the most heavy-duty jobs you come across; it just needs to be capable enough to hold its own while also being practical to carry day in and day out. 

    Kershaw Launch

    1. Spartan Blades Phrike  

    U.S. military veterans Curtis lovito and Mark Carey designed the Spartan Phrike with self-defense and bushcraft in mind. Indeed, this fixed blade is compact and it truly performs as the designers intended it to. The blade can withstand heavy use, many thanks to the American-made CPM S45VN steel and blade hardness of 59-61 HRC.

    The Phrike also offers a secure grip whether you are in wet or dry conditions (the textured G-10 sees to that). And it comes with a full tang design that provides exceptional strength and balance, as well as an integral lanyard hole with an attached lanyard. 

    You can carry the Phrike several different ways and choose between a lined nylon MOLLE sheath, which includes a military-style pull dot fastener, or a Kydex sheath that’s available in multiple color options. Concerning size, this model falls right between a full-size fixed blade and a hideout backup blade; its slim profile makes for an easy carry.


    • Blade: 4.25” CPM-S35VN Drop Point 
    • Handle: G-10, Steel
    • Overall Length: 9.625”
    • Sheath: Kydex
    • Origin: USA
    spyderco para3

    2. ESEE Izula

    The Izula gets its name from the intimidating Peruvian insect, also known as the “bullet ant.” When it comes down to it, this knife is built with the most aggressive survivors in mind, and it’s genuinely one of the best EDC fixed blades on the market. 

    The Izula comes with a 1095 carbon steel blade, which is one of the toughest steels available. If you’re looking for a knife that can perform a variety of heavy-duty tasks, this should definitely be a consideration. It is on the smaller side, but it’s scrappy and capable, just like its namesake. 

    This model is also lightweight, and it offers Micarta handles, which is a material known for both its strength and attractiveness. This is a knife that you want in your EDC kit if you are venturing into a brutal climate. With more than 100,000 units sold, the ESEE Izula speaks for itself. 

    • Blade: 2.875” 1095 Drop Point
    • Handle: Stainless Steel
    • Overall Length: 6.25”
    • Sheath: Polymer
    • Origin: USA
            Benchmade Bailout Knife 537GY-1

            3. Winkler Knives SD

            Winkler Knives is known for its top-notch quality and craftsmanship, and those qualities extend to the SD-1. Perhaps one of Winkler’s most compact and versatile fixed blades, this model totals seven inches in length and makes for a superb boot, pack, or neck knife. The SD-1 offers both practical and unique features, and spending just a few minutes with it will likely make it one of your favorite EDC knives in general.

            The length and shape of the SD-1’s blade make for an uber-smooth cutting surface that lends to above-average slicing and puncturing work. It comes with 80CRV2 high carbon steel, which is known for its strength, edge retention, and reliability. In other words, you can use the SD-1 for some of the toughest survival tasks and hardly ever sharpen it. However, you will need to clean and oil the blade following each use. The handle on this model is sculpted to fit your hand, which results in optimal grip. Overall, this is perhaps the highest quality knife on the list. 

            • Blade: 3.25” 80CrV2
            • Handle: Sculpted
            • Overall Length: 6.25”
            • Sheath: Lined Bolatron
            • Origin: USA
                    CRKT m16

                    4. Benchmade 375 Adamas

                    Benchmade needs no introduction, and the 375 Adamas fixed blade model provides all the quality and function that we have come to expect from the Portland, Oregon knife manufacturer. 

                    The design of the 375 began after project manager Shane James consulted his old unit—the 3rd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment—on what it would take to create the best fixed blade in the world. Above all, the rangers told him to focus on hand position. Tough cutting jobs require a comfortable, ergonomic handle, which is why that of the 375 gives users various notches and a thumb ramp for grip security. The lack of handle material lends to the 375’s lightweight charm, and it can easily be wrapped with 550 cords. 

                    The exceptionally tough D2 steel blade comes in a drop point design and thick serrations on the top, which proves invaluable when cutting thick rope. This blade steel can withstand long-term heavy abuse. Whether you’re looking for a primary EDC fixed blade or a backup, the Benchmade 375 deserves your attention.

                    • Blade: 4.2” Cru-Wear Drop Point
                    • Handle: Paracord, Stainless Steel
                    • Overall Length: 9.17”
                    • Sheath: Polymer
                    • Origin: USA
                            Kershaw Leek for sale

                            5. Bastinelli Picolomako

                            The Bastinelli Picolomako is perhaps the most unique-looking knife on this list. But there’s much more to this knife than its looks. It’s lightweight, about as sharp as you will find, and it offers incredible ergonomics. Plus, the Picolomako comes with a spectacular sheath with positive retention, several carry options, and effortless deployment. 

                            The blade on the Picolomako is N690CO steel, which is one of the sharpest on the market. The knife comes with a G-10 handle and retention ring, making it feel comfortable and secure in the hand. And if you need more control during tough tasks, the karambit on the top of the blade proves quite useful. 

                            Furthermore, the Picolomako has a ring at the back, which provides added security in self-defense situations. Just remember how sharp this thing is, so you can’t get too comfortable with it!

                            • Blade: 3” Bohler N690 Trailing Point  
                            • Handle: Contoured
                            • Overall Length: 7.5”
                            • Sheath: Kydex
                            • Origin: USA
                                    Kershaw Leek for sale

                                    6. Cold Steel SRK Compact

                                    According to the manufacturer, the Cold Steel SRK Compact was “designed for those who want or need a low-profile fixed blade.” But don’t let the compactness fool you. This model is a great all-around blade that is a little smaller and lighter than the original models but still provides a beefy feel. There are more low-profile knives out there, but this is still a spectacular buy, especially considering it falls within the sub-$50 category.

                                    The clip point blade is manufactured with SK5 steel, which is a highly reputable Japanese high carbon tool steel. You can count on this blade, as it provides balanced toughness, abrasion resistance, and above-average edge retention. This model is also comfortable to hold thanks to a subtle palm swell on the handle, and the Kray-Ex material is highly slip-resistant. If you’re in the market for a budget EDC fixed blade, don’t look past the SR-K Compact. 

                                    • Blade: 3” Bohler N690 Trailing Point  
                                    • Handle: Contoured
                                    • Overall Length: 7.5”
                                    • Sheath: Kydex
                                    • Origin: USA
                                            Kershaw Leek for sale

                                            7. Bawidamann Blades 

                                            Bawidamann Blades are designed and produced with the most advanced and highest quality materials in the world. The company is 100% American, family-owned and operated, and it specializes in knives that serve a wide range of purposes. 

                                            These are truly unique blades, and they cater to everyone from police officers and soldiers to individuals who simply want a reliable EDC knife. With several different fixed blades to choose from, Bawidamann Blades is a manufacturer worth exploring. You would be hard-pressed to find knives that offer more practicality and versatility, and most models come with the company’s signature complete carry systems.

                                            The Sum-Up 

                                            Sometimes a folder simply won’t do. Rather than wearing down your favorite folding knife, turn to a fixed blade for heavy-duty jobs. Fixed blades are specifically designed to keep you safe and functioning whether you’re in a camping, survival, or tactical setting.

                                            Each of the knives listed here is also a superb option for your EDC kit. Remember to consider utility, ease of opening, steel type, and dimensions when determining which EDC fixed blade to invest in next. And don’t forget to contact or come by Ridgerunner Blades for any additional information you might need!


                                            Pin It on Pinterest