You have covered a large array of manufacturers with a range of different pricing.I've had a couple of Sebenza's myself,and I always was happy with the quality,there are a number of models from Spyderco,and Benchmade that would make most people extremly happy.I also am very impressed with the Microtch LCC for the price,it is one of the best deals out there.
I would say you would be happy with any of these manufacturers.Opinion's about what is the best folder are going to be subjective.If you also run a search you will see the same thread and will help you in your quest for the best folder.If I personally would have to make a list of some of my favorites I've owned in the past here are some to help you with your decision-Chris Reeves Large Sebenza,Benchmade 710,940 Axis Locks,Microtech LCC,Spyderco Police/Native, Speedtech Synergy(Out of production)but one is currently for sale by another formite in the For sale section.Thats about the end for my list of productions,although there are plenty more great production knives available then what I listed or have experience with.I've owned a couple of customs.I loved my Elishewitz with mokume bolsters,really not to much difference in price from what I paid for my Sebenza.In fact there are many custom makers selling folders that are reasonably priced and would make great daily carry's.Shop around and see what works best for you.Good Luck,Ralph
This question could be better answered if "daily carry" were a universally applicable term. Daily carry for me, any more, is suit and tie. Therefore the Small Sebenza is the lead dog.
When I am in jeans and have more things to do with a knife, I prefer the large Sebenza.
The Emerson, with the Wave feature, is suitable for defense purposes.
The Wegner is one of my favorite designs, especially in regards to blade shape. The single liner and a thin one at that is my complaint with this knife. I have a large and a small, like them both, but am concerned about pressing them into service that is a walk in the park for a Sebenza or a Buck 110.
Now that I used up all this band, the answer is : Small Sebenza.
Almost forgot, the CRK&T M16 is good value in the user/beater range. I've got an M16-14 that I would not hesitate to take anywhere and do anything with (within the range of folders, that is).
Even though your question did not mention it, The Benchmade AFCK is a good, comfortable user and the BM 940 Osborne is a dandy little knife. Keep in mind that I am not one of BM's biggest fans, so for me to make these comments is deserving of some fair credit.
For me, an EDC has to be rugged and stand the abuse of heavy using and continuous opening and closing. Liner locks automatically get excluded from my list, LCCs and Sere 2000s included. That's just my personal prejudice. I've got Wegners (3 of them) and I got tired of watching those thin locks march across to the other side. So I use mine mainly for hunting and not for EDC. Framelocks are another matter. Thus a small sebenza works for me. And the axis lock is indefatigable. Therefore a Benchmade is also part of my EDC and I prefer the 720 for its tank-like qualities and general purpose flat ground bowie blade.
I get some pleasure from finding a relentlessly peaceful use for a combative looking knife.
Although I just received it, I feel that the REKAT Pioneer II is a very good EDC. Tough and sharp. It takes a bit of breaking in, but after that it is very nice to have on you. Also, it feels good in the hand.
I would assume(yeah, I know what that means) that the other REKAT knives would have the same feel to them that this does.
Your every day carry is going to depend on YOU, and what YOU intend to use it for. There are LOTS of great knives out there, in many price ranges. I suggest you visit a knife dealer, and handle a few, then choose according to your budget, and intended use.
My daily carry is a Benchmade 720SBT, and I also carry a Leatherman Wave. My daily carry will be replaced soon (on an interim basis) by the Darrel Ralph/Koval kit knife (can't recall the number). It looks like an awesome knife. Can't wait for it's arrival.
The opinions expressed here are my own, and in no way reflect the opinion of any other person, living or dead. Of course, your opinion may vary, in which case the prevailing laws of your jurisdiction shall apply.
I have only got to handle a couple of his knives from dealers at the show, but they are awesome. I have one on order, so I will let you know how I like it in about 18 months. I got a JW Smith tac folder coming from Arizona Custom Knives. From all of the things I hear about JW, you can't go wrong with his tacs. I have been trying to stay away from production knives right now. I picked up a couple of customs, and haven't looked back since. It is all custom for me now. It is a choice I don't see myself regretting any time soon. Oh yes, and if you have to go production, MT LCC. Can't be beat. Best Buy in production folders, period.
I'm going to assume that cost does matter, although it may not be your highest priority.
I think the best general purpose folder for the money is the Spyderco Native Lightweight. It looks and carries like a small knife but it works like a mid-size. The blade shape can handle just about any kind of job and it's strong enough to take abuse. The grip fits the hand securely. For $50 you get great steel (440V) and a great design. If I could only own one knife it would be a Native.
My favorite large folder is the REKAT Sifu, but unless you live in Texas or California it probably isn't legal. Despite the hefty 5.5" blade I carry the Sifu every day and never notice it's there. It is a serious defensive knife that also makes a versatile tool. The finger grooves built into the grip make it impossible to slip no matter how much pressure you put on the blade or at what angle. And the Sifu's rolling lock is stronger than anyone is ever going to need (rated at 700+ lbs).
If you want something larger than the Native but smaller than the Sifu my favorite is the Kershaw Boa. I think it compares favorably to the Microtech LCC (which I do own and like, by the way) in strength, but it is lighter and thinner. I much prefer the Boa's grip and I love the full-sized bottom guard that's built into the blade. The Boa's blade shape may be the most flexible design I've seen, combining a blade-centered point for thrusting with a recurve that has lots of belly for cutting. The "speed safe" opening mechanism is just icing on the cake.
I hope you find a folder that suits your taste, since "best" is obviously subjective. Let us know what you decide to carry.