Blade Show 2023 is in the books, and it was another incredible event. Over 1,000 booths with thousands of outstanding knives. Not to mention great gear and even some firearms (knife people like to bring the heat too). During the three-day event, I scoured the show floor for the best EDC knives for 2023, and here is what I found.
10 Best EDC Knives of Blade Show 2023
Kershaw – LiveWire
There was no shortage of OTF (out the front) automatics at this year’s Blade Show. Most likely due to the reversal of legislation in states across the country that previously banned them. So, as a fan of both OTF knives and Kershaw, I was immediately drawn to the company’s LiveWire.
Housed within the black-anodized aluminum handle is the 3.3-inch CPM 20CV blade. The automatic actuation brings the LiveWire to its full 8.1-inch overall length with authority. Likewise, the curved stairway-like button promotes a secure, slip-free deployment of the single edge, spear point blade. The LiveWire carries via a reversible pocket clip for both right- and left-handed users.
For more information, please visit Kerahaw.KaiUSA.com.
Giant Mouse – GMX
Giant Mouse has been making waves in the knife industry with its sleek designs and tight tolerances. This year the company continued to demonstrate that with its GMX folder. In fact, this beauty was named the 2023 Atlanta Blade Show Knife of the Year. That’s no small feat.
Featuring an integral titanium handle, the GMX features a mashup of Scandinavian, Japanese, and Persian influences. Just under the inlaid brass bolster is the ball-bearing pivot mechanism that brings the 3.25-inch trailing point S90V blade to bear. A frame lock holds the GMX at its full 7.6-inch overall length. The folder carries right-hand tip-up only via the titanium clip.
For more information, please visit GiantMouse.com.
CRKT – Pursue
CRKT is never short on great ideas, especially when it comes to working with influential designers. Specifically, in this case, the company has teamed up with Blade Magazine Hall of Fame inductee Michael Walker on its new Pursue folder. Walker is responsible for the invention of over 20 knife mechanisms—most notably the liner lock.
Inspired by one of Walker’s original zipper blade customs, the Pursue features a Fat Carbon Dark Matter handle. Correspondingly, the 3.15-inch Super Dense Twist Damasteel blade rides on an oversized IKBS ball-bearing pivot for smooth deployment. The blade is held in lockup at its overall length of 7.69 inches via the—you guessed it—liner lock.
Finally, the Pursue is carried via a unique pocket clip with an assist wheel in right-hand, tip-up-only carry.
For more information, please visit CRKT.com.
Spyderco – Microjimbo
A company that cannot be missed at any Blade or SHOT Show is Spyderco. The company’s designs are always on point, and its edges are keen. Later this year, the company will be adding to its line of Michael Janich Yojimbo knives with the Microjimbo. This follows the previous release of the Yojumbo but takes the design in a smaller, more carry-friendly direction.
Like the Yojimbo, the Microjimbo features textured G-10 handle scales for a secure purchase. Housed within the stainless-steel frame liners is the 2.45-inch CPM S30V blade with a Wharncliffe profile. When deployed, the Microjimbo is held in its full 6.22-inch overall length via Spyderco’s compression lock. In addition, the Microjimbo has a reversible wire pocket clip for right- or left-hand tip-up only carry.
For more information, please visit Spyderco.com.
Ka-Bar – BK41 Becker Mini Folder
If you know Ka-Bar Knives, then odds are you have heard of Ethan Becker. Becker is a legend in the knife world, especially when it comes to outdoor knives. This year, Ka-Bar and Becker teamed up again for an outdoor and overall EDC folder, the Becker Mini Folder.
A scaled-down version of the larger BK40, the BK41 features an ergonomic glass-filled nylon handle. Correspondingly, the 2.84-inch D2 drop point blade is held in lockup via a liner lock. When in lockup, the BK41 measures at an overall length of 6.75 inches. Additionally, the knife is held in the pocket via a reversible right- or left-hand tip-up or tip-down carry wire clip.
For more information, please visit Kabar.com.
Benchmade – Mini Bugout
The Benchmade Bugout became wildly popular in the knife industry upon its release. Specifically, the Bugout was extremely lightweight, easy to open, features the Axis Lock, and is highly customizable. For this reason, Benchmade releases its little brother, the Bugout Mini, for those looking for the same great qualities in a smaller, more carry-friendly size.
Featuring textured Grivory handles, the Bugout Mini houses a 2.82-inch drop point blade that is legal almost anywhere. Additionally, the CPM-S30V blade is held in lockup via Benchmade’s Axis Lock, for a 6.49-inch overall length. Also, the Bugout Mini rides in the pocket via the Mini Deep Carry reversible pocket clip, configured for right- or left-hand tip-up only carry.
For more information, please visit Benchmade.com.
Heretic Knives – ROC
As I mentioned earlier, OTF automatics are really hitting the scene hard. However, for the most part, there really isn’t much that can be done with the design due to its operation. Or is there? Heretic Knives has managed to change the game with its ROC hawkbill OTF. Who would have thought we would see a Karambit-ish OTF?
Featuring a unique curved shape, the ROC utilizes an aluminum handle and step-like actuation button for easy engagement. Additionally, the 3.18-inch hawkbill blade is constructed of CPM Magnacut and is available in your choice between seven finishes. When open, the ROC comes to a full 7.75-inch overall length. Finally, it rides in the pocket in right-hand only, tip-up carry via a pocket clip with roller ball assist feature.
For more information, please visit HereticKnives.com.
Hogue Knives – Counterstrike
Hogue Knives has been making quality automatics for years, and the company does it right. Its elegant OTF designs feature a simplicity that just works. For example, the Counterstrike offers a sleek design with a simple form factor that hides easily away in any pocket.
The Counterstrike is housed within a matte black 6061-T6 hard anodized aluminum frame with a G-10 or carbon fiber cover. Correspondingly, within the frame is the 3.35-inch CPM 20CV stainless steel blade, in your choice of tanto, double edge, or drop point. When opened, the Counterstrike measures an overall 8.35 inches and carries right-hand only.
MSRP: $309.95 – $399.95
For more information, please visit HogueInc.com.
D Rocket Designs – Osprey Scissor Folder
D Rocket Designs is one of those companies I have kept an eye on for years. Its designs are always unique and full of ingenuity. This year when I stopped by the booth, I spotted the Osprey Scissor Folder, key fob knife. And it is high on my list of purchases when it comes out. I love clandestine knives.
Featuring an innocuous key fob design, the Osprey attaches to any keychain via a scissor-style opening and closing function. Constructed of your choice of titanium or ultem, the diminutive 2.30-inch handle houses the 1.5-inch tanto blade in S90V. However, as mentioned, the Osprey carries via a scissor mechanism on your keychain as opposed to a pocket clip.
MSRP: $165.00 – $185.00
For more information, please visit DRDGear.com.
VZ Grips – VZ Don Gen 2 G-10 Dagger
Speaking of clandestine knives, G-10 knives offer a non-conductive means of carrying a defensive knife anywhere. VZ Grips offers different variations of the G-10 dagger, but the VZ Don Gen 2 had a slick design that stood out to me. Partly due to its aesthetics and partly due to its form factor.
Constructed completely of G-10, the VZ Don Gen 2 has an aggressively textured grip for a secure purchase. With an overall length of 8.19 inches, the dagger has a blade length of 3.125 inches. However, keep in mind, it is G-10, so you are not going to get a functional cutting edge. But that is not what it is for anyway. With a width of only 1 inch and a weight of 1.5 ounces, the VZ Don Gen 2 will virtually disappear on your person.
For more information, please visit VZGrips.com.