The Absolute Best EDC Knives

For Under $50 Dollars

There are many things to consider when deciding to purchase a new folding knife, but for most of us, ultimately it comes down to the price. I decided to find the best edc knife under $50, turns out it was more a little difficult than I thought.  Keep reading to find out why!

If you’re like me (on a budget), buying an expensive name brand pocket knife can take some saving and planning, and many times it’s just not in the budget to spend that much on a knife.​

Thankfully, with the growing number of knife manufacturers, like Spyderco and Kershaw to name a few, many have made and continue to make some excellent pocket knives that fit into most anyone’s budget. Not only are these folding knives highly affordable, but they are also quality made knives.

So while they may be cheap on price, they still have many of the great features of the more expensive ​folding knives.

When I started writing all this down I thought this would be an easy list to put together, but after doing a little research I quickly realized that finding the best edc knife under $50 was a little more difficult than I had anticipated, for the simple fact that there are just so many to choose from.

So what did I look at to decide which knives made the list? Obviously my main focus was the price of the knife, I decided to keep it under the $50 mark. There are a few knives in the list that are bumping up against that ceiling, but all these folding knives are under that set mark.​

Also I looked at blade and handle materials, I didn’t include every edc knife I could find for under $50, that would be too easy and defeat the purpose of this write up. I wanted the absolute best edc knife under $50, but it also had to have been made from quality materials.​

Our Top 10 Best EDC Knife under $50

I looked at each knife individually and compared the blades, handles, and even the ergonomics of each to comprise the best 10 I could find for under $50. Eventually this list may change, but for now this is what I came up with.

Spyderco Tenacious​

Spyderco Tenacious

I choose the Spyderco Tenacious as my top budget edc pocket knife, Why?

​It's a simple answer really, because it is. The Tenacious is extremely affordable, has nice G-10 handles and the blade material is more than adequate for an EDC knife being 8Cr13MoV.

Out of the box of course the Tenacious is razor sharp, ​the blade is a little soft so you may find you need to sharpen it a little more often. However, the 8Cr13MoV touches up very easy.

The G-10 scales feel nice, they have good texture to prevent slips and can withstand heavy use. If you would like additional information on the Spyderco Tenacious I would encourage you to check out my full review.​

So while the Tenacious may be produced in China, its value is off the charts. I love this knife and it's probably the best EDC knife under $50 you'll find.

Spyderco Tenacious Plain Edge Folding Knife, Black/Silver
  • Blade length 3 3/8" (86mm)
  • Blade steel 8CR13MOV
  • Weight 4oz (115g)
  • Handle material G-10

Last update on 2018-04-21 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Ontario RAT 2

UPDATE July 2017: I've recently moved this knife way up my list, it's the best edc knife under $50 I've carried in a long time. I still love my Spyderco Tenacious, but the RAT 2 is growing on me fast.

It’s rare that you find a knife of this quality selling for as low as this one does. Compared with other more expensive folding knives the Rat 2 will hold it’s own without question.

For an EDC knife, the RAT 2 is absolutely perfect. I really can't explain how much I like this knife.​

The fit and finish of this knife is awesome, there is zero blade play and its just an overall solid knife.

The plain edge blade is constructed from AUS-8 steel and has a nice satin finish to it. It’s super sharp out of the box, easily re-sharpened and its edge retention is very respectable.​

While its not an assisted opening blade, it is deployed with thumb studs and is very fast and smooth, no complaints here on that front.​

The black nylon handle is not as grippy as say a g-10 handle, but is plenty grippy enough to prevent slips. Ergonomically speaking the Rat 2 handle is very comfortable. No sharp edges to dig into you hand, it just feels really good in your hand.​

The pocket clip is drilled for your choice of tip up, tip down, left or right hand carry.

Seriously, you are going to be hard pressed to find a better edc knife under $50 than the Ontario Rat 2. This knife is just an awesome!

Ontario Knife OKC Rat Ii Sp-Black Folding Knife, 7Inches
  • Cutting Edge: 2.75", Plain
  • Blade Thickness: 0.093"
  • Blade Color: Satin
  • Handle Material: Nylon 6 Handle Color: Black
  • Weight: 2.8 oz.

Last update on 2018-04-21 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Kershaw Cryo

The Kershaw Cryo is number 3 on my list for a few reasons, first of all this folder is very affordable. You can pick up the original Cryo for well under $50. Believe me, for what you get in this knife that is a heck of a deal.

The blade and handle are 8Cr13MoV, with Titanium carbo-nitrade coating, I’m not going to get into the science of it here. But I can tell you 8Cr13MoV material is a top notch stainless steel, so for the simple reason this knife is made almost entirely out of it gives me no reason to doubt its quality, or durability.​

Optionally, if you would rather have a different handle material, the Cryo is also offered with G10 handles. I personally think G-10 is one of the best handle materials out there, so this makes the Cryo and even better value in my eyes.

SpeedSafe with the flipper make this pocket knife an easy choice for the best EDC knife under $50!

Kershaw Cryo (1555TI); 2.75” 8Cr13MoV Steel Blade and Stainless Steel Handle with Titanium Carbo-Nitride Coating, SpeedSafe Assisted Opening, Frame Lock, 4-Position Deep-Carry Pocketclip; 4.1 OZ.
  • Designed by Rick Hinderer and precision engineered by Kershaw
  • 2.75-inch 8Cr13MoV stainless steel blade features excellent toughness, edge retention and wear and corrosion resistance
  • Great companion for any hiker, landscaper, backpacker, hunter, wilderness guide, electrician or anyone in need of a reliable everyday carry
  • All-steel construction is coated with a matte gray titanium carbo-nitride, increasing the blade's hardness, edge retention and overall lifetime
  • Excellent everyday carry for numerous tasks including opening packages, stripping wire, removing splinters, cutting zip-ties, aggressive animal defense and making fire kindling

Last update on 2018-04-21 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Cold Steel Micro Recon 1

When I first saw the Cold Steel Micro Recon 1 something about it just fit my eye, I really liked the looks of this knife. It's a tactical style knife and I just really like everything about the way it looks and feels.

The AUS-8 steel blade is really solid and more than capable to handle tough jobs. Or course if comes razor sharp from the factory, but its also easy to touch up if need be. AUS-8 is a excellent value priced steel.​

The G-10 handles are very well textured and provide good traction when using this knife. The ergonimics of the handle were well thought out, the finger grooves are a nice touch and provide a comfortable grip.​

The Tri-Ad lock is a proprietary Cold Steel  system and is  very strong, its a bit stiff at first use but loosens up as the knife breaks in. The clip has been replaced with a small key ring.. The only real complaint I’ve got with this knife is its small size. But if you're looking for a small edc, this is best edc knife under $50 for you.

Overall though, for the price of this pocket knife, you absolutely cannot beat the the Micro Recon 1 in terms of value.​

Cold Steel 27TDS Micro Recon 1 Spear Pt. Folding Knife Black
  • Blade Thickness: 2.5 mm
  • Handle: Griv-Ex Style G-10
  • Overall Length: 4.38 Inch
  • Steel: Japanese AUS 8A Stainless Steel with black Tuff-Ex Coating
  • Pocket Clip: Stainless Pocket/Belt Clip

Last update on 2018-04-21 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Kershaw Leek

Kershaw Leek Review

No budget edc knife list would be complete without the inclusion of the Kershaw Leek.​ This knife has quite a few features I personally like, and a few I don’t. But for its cheap price tag, it's not going to be perfect.

The Leek has a Sandvik 14C28N steel blade,​ which is a top grade knife steel. It’s edge retention is really good and its very easy to re-sharpen when needed.

The handle is bead-blasted stainless steel, and can get a bit slippery in wet conditions. However, with some well thought out handle ergonomics this really isn't an issue. 

What I really like about this knife is the Speedsafe deployment with your index finger, its lighting fast. If you haven’t tried a Kershaw with the Speedsafe I would highly recommend you do so.

The Leek is also equipped with thumbstuds and the deployment is also very quick, I prefer the index finger, but both are equally good.

Overall the Leek is very well built, its sharp, thin and light. For an EDC, it the perfect size, you can’t really notice it in your pocket. It’s the perfect combination of size, weight & length.

I would say if you're looking for the best edc knife under $50, its hard to beat the Kershaw Leek.  But, the best reason to love the Kershaw Leek…Made right here in the USA.​

Kershaw Leek Pocket Knife (1660) 3-In. Sandvik 14C28N Blade and Stainless Steel Handle, Best Buy from Outdoor Gear Lab Includes Frame Lock, SpeedSafe Assisted Opening and Reversible Pocketclip, 3 oz.
  • Versatile 3.5 In. blade made with 14C28N Sandvik Steel, one of the highest performing knife steels in the world, for increased hardness, corrosion resistance and edge retention
  • 410 stainless steel alloy handle provides resistance to corrosion and extra strength and hardness
  • Frame lock gives the knife a slim sleek style while holding the blade open during use; Tip Lock keeps blade closed during carry
  • SpeedSafe Assisted Opening allows opening with minimal effort and maximal functionality; simple pocket carry and tactical engagement with strong or weak hand
  • Blade Length: 3 in.; Closed Length: 4 in.; Open Length: 7 in.; Weight: 3 oz.

Last update on 2018-04-21 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Spyderco Ambitious

Spyderco Ambitious

The Spyderco Ambitious is the very definition of a budget EDC pocket knife. Even advertised as such by Spyderco themselves in their line of value-priced folding knives.

If you like a small EDC pocket knife, the Ambitious is perfect. Just a little over 5 inches opened with a compact 2.25 inch blade, it will fit nicely in your pocket and you will not be weighed down.​

Much like the Tenacious, the Ambitious has G-10 scales and sports the 8Cr13MoV steel blade with liner lock. If you can tell from other knives listed here I personally like the feel of the G-10 and the blade steel is more than capable for these budget knives.​

For reference the Spyderco Ambitious is an inch shorter that the Delica 4, ​but a little fatter. As with most of Spyderco’s offerings, the ergonomics are great and the knife fits great in the hand.

The Ambitious would be a perfect EDC knife to carry in cities that restrict blade lengths, ie Boston or Chicago.​

Overall the Ambitious is a good little pocket knife with a great price tag for the budget conscious collector.

Spyderco Ambitious Black G-10 PlainEdge Knife
  • Made using the highest quality materials
  • Tested for quality and durability
  • The most trusted name in you cutlery needs
  • Part of Spyderco's line of value-priced folding blades, with G-10 handles, Walker LinerLocks, spine and liner jimping, lined lanyard holes, and skeletonized, full-length internal liners
  • Palm-sized, versatile knife with flat-ground, 8Cr13MoV steel blade and rugged screw-together construction

Last update on 2018-04-21 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Kershaw Brawler

Kershaw Brawler

Next up on the list, the Kershaw Brawler. What I really like about this knife if the speedsafe function with flipper, makes for super fast one hand blade deployment.

​What else do I like about the Brawler you might ask, the price tag of course. It's cheap and packed with some awesome features.

The blade steel is 8Cr13MoV with a black oxide coating, it looks pretty cool for sure, however the black coating can scratch. But in my experience with this knife it can take a beating, so I'm not concerned about a few scratches.​

The 8Cr13MoV is very easy to sharpen and can hold a nice edge for quite a while, if you're looking to go 4 or 5 months in between sharpening with heavy use, then maybe this one isn’t the knife for you, but a touch up every couple months is pretty respectable for normal use.​

The thumb studs, or blade stops depending on who you ask, protrude on both sides of the blade. For me they are not really functional for opening, I find they are to close to the handle and awkward to use. The flipper is much more convenient for me.​

The glass filled nylon handle is nice and strong, with a nice texturing to prevent slips and accidents when wet. It’s matte black finish is pretty scratch resistant and should hold up to most jobs.​

Another nice feature to this knife is the pocket clip, the handle is drilled for quad carry, tip-up or tip-down and left or right handed. So however you prefer to EDC, the Brawler is made to please.​

For the guy looking to save a few bucks, I’d say the Kershaw Brawler could absolutely be the best edc knife under $50.

Bestseller No. 1
Kershaw Brawler (1990) Folding Pocket Knife with 3.25” Back-Oxide Finished High-Performance 8Cr13MoV Steel Blade; Black Glass-Filled Nylon Handle Scales with Reversible 4-Position Pocketclip; 3.9 oz
  • 3.25" tanto style blade made of 8CR12MOV stainless steel features excellent edge retention and corrosion resistance with black-oxide finish
  • Handle features black glass filled nylon scales, flipper, SpeedSafe assisted opening, thumb studs, 4-position pocketclip and secure liner lock
  • An excellent utility knife for many tasks including opening packages, piercing holes, cutting cords, opening cans, wilderness rescue and breaking down boxes
  • A reliable companion for any backpacker, first responder, hunter, angler, gardener, hiker or landscaper
  • Highly functional, stealthy, folding pocketknife is easily carried and ready to go in an instant

Last update on 2018-04-21 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Sog Flash II​

SOG Flash II Review

The Sog Flash II folding knife is nice inclusion to my top 10 list. Both versions of the Flash 2, plain edge and partially serrated edge can both be bought for less than $50 each.

So for me the popularity of the SOG brand ​and the adequate materials used on this pocket knife make it a top 10 choice easy.

The Flash 2 has a 3.5″ AUS-8 Japanese steel blade.​ SOG knives are pretty well known for using the AUS-8 steel in a lot of their knives. If I were to put in on scale of 1-10 for taking and edge, I would give it a 10 for sure. As for retaining that edge, it be a 4 probably. The ease of sharpening makes up for the shorter retention if you ask me.

The handle is constructed from glass reinforced nylon (GRN) and is pretty strong, also with a nice texturing to prevent slips. The clip is mounted on the very end of the handle and carries very low in your pocket.​

Additionally when the blade is closed, the safety lock​ prevents the blade from being opened at all. This would be helpful in a house with small kids if you accidentally leave it sitting on the coffee table or something like that.

The Flash 2 is a bigger knife, so if you prefer a smaller EDC knife, the original Flash 1 would be a good option. It’s blade is an inch shorter at 2.5 inches and weighs only 1.30 ounces.

I think the SOG Flash II would make a nice complement to any person's pocket.

SaleBestseller No. 1
SOG Flash II Assisted Folding Knife TFSA98-CP - Black TiNi 3.5" Partially Serrated Blade, GRN Handle
  • Sharp, quick release Folding blade knife from song
  • Partially serrated blade
  • Blade available in tiger stripe, black TiNi, or satin finishes
  • Quick access folding knife with additional safety lock to provide extra security
  • Partially Serrated, 3.5-inch AUS-8 steel folding blade has a drop point shape with a hardcase black TiNi finish

Last update on 2018-04-21 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API


To start off with, the M16 is the perfect sized for edc, if you've search this article looking for a budget edc knife, the M16 is a great option.

With that being said, the CRKT M16 is also a very nice folding knife. It looks awesome and is very comfortable to hold and use.

The blade is made from 8Cr15MoV steel, which I haven't really used all that much. But I can say it's performed quite well. It's a softer steel so the edge retention isn’t great, but it’s not bad either. Also it can be touched up easily so this for me isn’t a deal breaker.

Opening this knife is simple, it has the a flipper so a quick swipe with your index finger and the blade is deployed quickly.

The handle is made from glass-filled nylon in a solid tactical black color, There isn't a ton a texture on the handle, but it's not really necessary, The handle shape has a nice ergonomic feel and there isn't much worry of your hands slipping. The little texture if does have has been well implemented.

The M16 comes equipped with the AutoLAWKS system, which prevents the liner lock from releasing with the knife opened. You have to disengage the lock to release the liner and close the blade. It can be difficult for 1 hand closing, but as you get used to it it becomes easier.

As I said, this is a niced sized knife for edc, it's 7.125" open length and only 2.3 ounces. It would make a perfect addition to your pocket.

Bestseller No. 1
CRKT M16-01KZ Folding Spear Point Straight Edge Knife
  • AutoLAWKS safety system
  • Knife has open build frame, high carbon stainless steel blade, and the signature Carson Flipper
  • An affordable everyday carry knife, the M16-01KZ features a spear point blade
  • The signature Carson Flipper extension to the blade helps with one hand opening
  • The handle features easy-to-grip glass-reinforced nylon scales and a stainless steel lined InterFrame

Last update on 2018-04-21 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Buck Knives 279 Folding Alpha Hunter

Buck Knife Alpha Hunter

The Alpha Hunter from Buck Knives I just really like. Couple reasons I like this folding knife, for one it’s a Buck Knife, so their forever warranty applies. It’s Made in the USA, anytime I can support American made products I will do it.

But just because it is made in the USA doesn’t mean I automatically love it, the Alpha Hunter is a solid folding knife on its own merits. It’s heavy duty construction speaks for itself.​

The 420HC satin finished blade is 3.5 inches long with a drop point. The 420HC is Buck’s standard blade material, it has good wear and corrosion resistance while remaining easy to sharpen.​

The handle has a stainless steel frame with black rubberized scales, they are very durable and offer a secure feel. No pocket clip option here though, its intended to be sheath carried.​

The all steel construction just makes this knife a bit on the heavy side for pocket carry anyway, coming in at a hefty 8 ounces (1/2 pound) it would be a noticeable addition to your pocket.​

Another issue I found with trying to pocket carry this knife, the rubberized scales make it hard to get the knife in and out of your pocket. And pocket lint likes the rubber crevices.​

The included Nylon sheath is how I carry and store the Alpha, its a mainstay in my hunting pack and has field dressed many game animals for me.​

The Alpha Hunter is a little more expensive than the knives above, but I like it and it's a solid knife. ​

Bestseller No. 1
Buck Knives 279 Folding Alpha Hunter Knife with Heavy Duty Sheath
  • RAZOR SHARP FOLDER - The 3-1/2" Drop Point 420HC Steel Blade delivers excellent strength, edge retention, and corrosion resistance. The full bellied blade is suitable for heavier tasks. Closed Length 5", Weight 8 oz.
  • CONVENIENT ONE HAND OPENING - A Thumb Stud on the blade facilitates a smooth one-handed opening action. The Alpha Hunter is the perfect balance of weight and design
  • SAFETY GRIP - Anti slip black rubberized handle with steel frame ensures a safe and secure grip
  • 20-Foot cord

Last update on 2018-04-21 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Best EDC Knife under $50

So there you have it, my final list of the best edc knife under $50. If you have any to add to the list, or just disagree with some of my choices I’d like to hear from you.

Being a knife enthusiast its hard to narrow the list down to just 10, because there are many more awesome knives​ out there that easily could have made this list. I could have comprised this list of just Kershaw and Spyderco edc knives under $50 just because they have so many to offer, but that would have left out many other great knives from other manufacturers and I couldn’t just ignore them.


When it's all said and done, I love the Spyderco Tenacious and I'll take that knife all day if I have to choose the best edc knife under $50!!!

10 thoughts on “Best EDC Knife Under $50 Dollars

  1. Are you kidding me or what? The Spyderco Tenacious beats the Ontario Rat 1 in every single category in my book except for price. Don’t get me wrong, I love both knives, but if I could only have one, give me my Spyderco Tenacious any day of the week and twice on Sunday!

  2. I personally own a Benchmark HK Ascender drop point with G10 scales and I love it. Slim profile makes it easy to retrieve or reinsert into the pocket. Only allows left or right hand point down carry, but it doesn’t both me much. 9Crt13 steel is easy to keep a decent edge on. Best thing? It’s only $31 online.

  3. I have personally used nearly every knife on this list with the exception of 2 and I wouldn’t recommend any of them. They all have flat 2-D handle designs and horrible ergonomics. Just try using any of these knives for a few hours of heavy cutting chores and you’ll know what I’m talking about. I look for better ergos in a knife than any of these folders! I’d only recommend these knives if you either don’t use your knives, or like getting blisters/bruises on your hand.

  4. It is easy for Dan to say no to these choices, but fails to offer an alternative under $50 knife with better ergos.

    Personally, I prefer 3″ and under thus my top pick in this price range would be the Ontario Rat2 instead of Rat1. Could also consider the equal Esee Zancudo.

  5. Anyone know of a pocket knife company that put three holes in the blade that graduate in size, I’m trying to find this one knife i used to have that had those holes and the blade was almost a shiny copper/bronze color, thanks for any help

  6. Well stated @yogi I own all with the exception of the buck. The tenacious over the rat. But I do love my rat. In addition If your looking for a great deal try (GANZO G726M-GR Folding Knife 440c Blade Green G10 Handle Axis lock) g10 + axis if you want benchmade griptillian but don’t want to put out the $.. only down fall is its 440 but if you take care or ur knifes and know how to properly sharpen a blade well worth it. @14 to 15$ “That’s a sore d*ck. Can’t beat it..”

  7. CRKT Drifter for me. Over any of these actually. Plane jane knife, no frills, no hassles. The steel as good as the best of these. And you can cop it for just $20-$25. crazy!
    great blade profile, perfect edc length, G10 handles (the stainless are too slick), thin width but solid grip, and light but tough. if the clip was reversible I would dare to say its perfect.
    also i have admiration for the Kershaw scallion with plastic handles. And none of the dumb blade holes. Great flipper/assisted opening with the short blade. Uninspiring steel and a banana of a clip are slight detractors though.

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