Optimal EDC blade length

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Dec 7, 2019
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Apologies if this has been done before, but I’m curious what works best for you based on preferences and context. Personally, my tastes are kind of all over the place, but I carry generally from the 3.5” to 5.5” neighborhood. No particular reason. Though by no means would I feel underknifed with a 3.0” or slightly less for everyday tasks. I’ve found smaller knives to be more convenient for opening packages.
 

sabre cat

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Three to three and a half for me.

I have found that sometimes 3 inches is a little short and the 3 1/2 inch blade does not pocket as nicely.

Two of my folding knives have three and a quarter inch blades.
It is a good compromise.
 

Easyrider

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For me it is a 2.750” blade. My favorite knives all have that blade length. It gives me enough blade for my everyday uses and enough handle length for me to get all of my hand on it.
 
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I would have said that 2.875 is the small end for me, but I think my Alox is smaller than that. The Alox gets very light duty though, because I have an entire truck full of tools to back it up.

Outside of work, I'm tempted to say that 2.875 is the small end for me. But I just measured the blade on my Medium Barlow,

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and that cutting edge is 2.625, so I guess I'm wrong.

On the big end, I would say 3.25 is the most. 3.5 is nice sometimes, but for most of what I do, it feels large and unwieldy, with the same pocket space problems that sabre cat mentioned.

If I feel like I "need" more than 3.25, I would want to switch to a fixed blade, as extra peace-of-mind that I'm not going to tweak the lock on my folder, by applying too much Millwright.
 

Steely_Gunz

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3.25"-4", give or take.

Most of my folders that I carry are in the 3.5" to 3.75" realm. They walk the line between being big enough to do real work but not so big to be impractical.

For edc fixed blades, I prefer shorter and stouter. I will often carry my ZT 0180 with its 4ish inch blade, but that feels a but large even though it is no bigger than the Combat Troodon I often carry when that knife is extended.

I have tried a 4" Ontario Blackbird, but something about the knife is just off. I appreciate the level of symmetry but it still feels just a bit flat and smaller than it actually is. My favorite day to day carry fixed blade is a micro version of the Himalayan Imports Ang Khola Bowie. Unlike the Papa Bear I carry on adventures where a heavy duty knife will be appreciated, the Baby Bear sports a blade a touch under 4". Everything else is pretty proportional, so has a shorter handle of about 4.5" but maintains a very wide 2.5" wide blade with a clip point and comes in at about a quarter inch thick sporting a hexagonal hand filling grip, so it's a hard use little bruiser.

That said, it comes in about 1/2" shorter than even my Ultratech if you count the glass breaker and still weighs a very modest 6 or 7oz.
 

sv4

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Feb 13, 2014
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I like smaller knives like the Benchmade Mini Bugout (2.8" blade). Though nowadays I mostly have my old Victorinox Spartan on me, and I'm perfectly happy with it's 2.7" main blade :)
 
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This is variable , depending on the environment , POU , and personal preference .

I can easily carry a Cold Steel XL Espada , plus a Colossus and a Micro Recon keychain on my daily woods hikes .

In the town , or stores , probably opt for smaller carry .
 

[email protected]

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The ones I carry the most have blades right around 3 1/2" or a bit shorter, but the 3.75 inch Endura worked very well for many years.

It's not optimal, but I find a Police 4 Lightweight's 4.4" length to be completely manageable in the front right pocket (where all my knives are carried) with relaxed fit jeans.
 
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rje58

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Dec 21, 2013
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For me, most blade lengths between 2.5 inches and 4 inches work reasonably well. Ideal is between 3.1 inches and 3.6 inches, but ergonomics, blade shape and other factors can be just as important as blade length, if not moreso.
 

Sonnydaze

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I've had a lot of folders...maybe several hundred, but 3" is just too short for my daily casual use....
I carry a fixed cross-draw and a clipped folder...both have 3.5" blades. I'm comfortable with that.
 
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Dec 13, 2011
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I like the 3.5-5ish category for edc.

Typically I have a 5.5" fixed and 4" folder.

That combo seems to satisfy my likes well enough that i have been leaving my longer knives in the box most of the time.

Anything larger in a fixed blade and it becomes very noticeable on the belt. Anything smaller and the utility of the fixed blade diminishes rapidly.

I'll change it up depending on situation, but that doesn't happen often.
 
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Interesting responses from everyone. Usually, my biggest gripe with short bladed folders is the small handle real estate. The smallest knife I can grip fairly comfortably is the Para 3. My Dad’s Native 5, not as much. I dunno, my hands have weird taste.

Unpopular opinion perhaps, but I’d like to see blades in the 3.0” neighborhood that can accomodate a comfortable full grip.
 
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This is variable , depending on the environment , POU , and personal preference .

I can easily carry a Cold Steel XL Espada , plus a Colossus and a Micro Recon keychain on my daily woods hikes .

In the town , or stores , probably opt for smaller carry .
True. For so called non-permissive environments, a folding smatchet might not be the best idea lol.
 
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