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Urban Evac Tip: Selecting your EDC Knife or multitool

As part of your Every Day Carry, you should have a pocket knife or multitool with you all the time. Which one should you get? The right answer: whichever one suits your lifestyle, workplace and wardrobe — and of course, budget.

Take your pick. Left-right: Victorinox Swisscard, Benchmade Mini Griptilian, Leatherman Skeletool, Victorinox Adventurer, German Army Knife, Victorinox Cadet.

Pocket Knives

There are a couple of factors that you want to consider when choosing an Every Day Carry pocket knife. One is the size and weight – will it fit in your pocket without tearing a whole or slowing you down? You should also look at what’s legal to carry in your city or county. In some places (like New York City), it is illegal to carry a knife with a blade more than 4 inches long. In the UK, 3 inches is the limit, and you’re not allowed to carry locking blades.

Benchmade Mini Griptilian

Popular pocket knives include the Griptilian and Mini Griptilian from Benchmade, and the Endura and Urban from Spyderco. Read the Benchmade Mini Griptilian review from Survival Today.

The Spyderco Urban Leaf is as legal as it gets, with a non-locking blade under 3 inches.

Swiss Army Knives

There’s a lot to like about Swiss Army knives. They are multifunctional and affordable, and in most cases, people don’t really treat them as dangerous knives.

There are dozens of Swiss Army knives to choose from – it really boils down to the “look” that you prefer, and the selection of tools that you need. There are versions with the traditional red scales (see Victorinox Climber, above left) and also all-metal aluminium oxide (“alox”, see Victorinox Cadet, above right).

A bigger option is the German Army Knife (also available in a “civilian” version as the Victorinox One-Hand Trekker). This has a locking blade and a wood saw in addition to other tools.


A full-size multitool like the Swisstool is bound to be useful. However, there are obvious weight and size disadvantages. You wouldn’t want to put this in your pocket.

In the past few years, a lighter class of multitool has emerged. The Skeletool and Freestyle from Leatherman are lightweight and have less features, but are easier to carry. Read the Leatherman Skeletool review at Survival Today.

Other options

A non-threatening alternative is a keychain tool. A popular keychain tool is the Atwood Prybaby. Hand-crafted and super-strong, the Prybaby is expensive ($50 and up). A more affordable, commercial version of the one-piece tool is the Gerber Shard. View the comparison between the Atwood Prybaby and Gerber Shard.

If you really don’t want to carry a knife in your pocket, you can put one in your wallet instead. Check out the Victorinox Swisscard Lite, which packs a small knife, red LED flashlight, set of screwdrivers, scissors and a few other tools in a form factor that’s just about the thickness of 2-3 credit cards.

The Shopping List

1. Victorinox SwissCard Lite
2. Leatherman Squirt ES4 Keychain Multi Tool
3. Gerber Shard Keychain Tool
4. Columbia River Knife and Tool / Doug Ritter RSK Mk5
5. Benchmade Mini Griptilian Axis Lock 2.8″ Plain Satin Edge Black Handle
6. Spyderco Urban Leaf
7. Victorinox SwissCard Lite

This is part of the Urban Evac series. Please visit for more info on urban evacuation and escape.

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  2. swiss army knife victorinox on Wednesday 30, 2011

    I would be preferring those swiss army tool for my EDC. That would really be of great help to me. Multi-tools is really a lot of help. Keep posting in here.