Feb 21, 2018143 views

Compact Fixed Blade EDC

I’m looking for a very small fixed blade to use everyday at my maintenance job. There are a lot of options named in different discussions/polls here and I’d appreciation some help narrowing them down. I’m a huge ESEE fan and am leaning towards the Candiru (if we ever get a drop). I know the Izulas are great, but I’d like something a little more compact. I like Moras as well, but the models I know of seem to be bulky for this purpose. I plan on beating the crap out of it, so I’d like a steel that can be reworked easily enough, and I’d like a slim profile so I can wear it inside the belt (I plan on making my own sheath). I’ve sold a fair amount of Outdoor Edge products working at Dick’s, but never been too impressed. Is Le Duck really that good? Anyone swear by a specific knife with these features? Any advice would be appreciated, but I’d really like to hear from some people who have tried and tested something in this category.
Price range: less than $100

Update: bought an ESEE Candiru.
I’ve been using it at work for over a week now and I’m very happy with the purchase so far.
Pretty much everything I read about it before buying has been true. Yes it’s a small knife, maybe too small for larger hands. Yet, it has been adequate for all of my daily needs. The only time it felt too small for me was when I first wore it. The stock, molded-plastic sheath they send has a very positive hold. So much so that it was a bit difficult to get a grip on the handle and extract the blade when I was wearing it with the clip, inside the waistband at 4 o’clock. The sheath only took about a day to break in though and I no longer have that issue. The sheath still has a positive hold and there is no rattling when I walk or run.
I can see why people recommend getting the scales and I probably would too, but for my hands they are not necessary. I did, however, add a pcord style wrap using a strip of leather for aesthetics and comfort.
Cutting wise, everything I’ve thrown at it has been a breeze: cardboard, plastics, wood, and tape. It helped me install a dishwasher and change a door on a fridge. No it won’t be the all time best slicer because of blade thickness and the coating, but that is not why I bought this knife and again, everything I’ve encountered so far has been like butter.
In conclusion, I love it so far. Perfect size, even with bulky sheath, it has been very comfortable to wear and use. I’ll be back to add more once I have something to report in terms of durability.
Excellent choice man. Keep in mind when the finish starts to get beat up it will rust if you don't oil it. Just a dab will do ya, on any exposed metal including the edge!
I love my Izula 2!
Benchmade hidden canyon hunter is what I carried. You can find it for less than $100 S30v Steel Benchmade's warranty is great comes in 2 different versions, one with a kydex sheath and one with leather, both rigged for horizontal belt carry.
Its designed to be a skinning knife I know, but it works great for utility, has great ergos
Lots of solid comments in here so far, I’m going to agree with these guys and would say price is helpful when recommending a knife. As far as steel, anything from your Sandvik steel to S35 would be okay, but it would require you to know how to sharpen a knife and maybe keep a small portable sharpener with you to run the edge through five to ten passes after a few jobs.
I always am a fan of supporting ppl with brands they know and trust and have used in the field. Esee is a great company and have lots of videos on their abuse and use that live up to their great work horse reputation in all climates. The humid areas of FL where they are really tried out with their high carbon steel shows how even in humid conditions there is not much concern for their maintenance. One just needs to be cognizant of high carbon steels such as 1095 because they will rust quickly if not maintained or taken care of. This is valid when keeping a knife and carrying it IWB (Inside the Waistband) such as I do and you are stating you’d like to. If you are working actively and are likely to sweat, there is your humidity and something to consider.
Esee coats their knives and either a forced patina (which you could do at home) or coated blade willl aid in this topic. The fact you are going to be using it actively will probably not be a concern as you will be constantly engaging the bevel. I’ve owned about six Esee over the years and they have all held up well. If it also helps, the company has fantastic customer service and is also owned and operated by some fantastic people.
If you are interested in other stainless options, which are larger, but could be modified to carry how you are describing, look into Bradford‘s and also Spyderco’s Mule series. They are larger but, are excellent fixed blade knives for EDC. I personally rotate between these, a Lionsteel, and a Chris Reeve all IWB at the 5 o’clock position if I’m not carrying a firearm. The options are endless just about, but if you should decide to carry OWB, maybe look into Bark River Knives as they have some excellent knives intended for the working man/woman. Good luck, we look eager to hearing what you went with.
I horizontal belt carry a Candiru daily. It's a very hardy blade and very useful. It's definitely a 3 finger blade. I also own an Izula and Izula 2, both have the same blade...but the 2 has a slightly longer handle. Also keep an eye out for ESEE's new offering, a small neck knife coming out this year... https://goo.gl/images/mGBcSr
Here's your answer, my friend - the Kershaw Skyline Fixed Blade. Compact/slim, yet robust S30V blade with a really nice Kydex sheath.
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I have a couple blades with S30V, but don't pretend to be a steel expert. I think the general consensus is that it has excellent edge holding, toughness, and corrosion resistance, without being ridiculously hard to sharpen like some of the "super steels." What I really like about this knife, aside from the materials, is the build - it's slim, but feels substantial, and carries well in its custom sheath (just need to add a Spyderco clip or similar belt attachment). Got one for my son to use at work in a local market (uses constantly to open/break down boxes & crates, cut produce, etc) and it's his favorite work knife. It also looks relatively non-threatening for a fixed blade.
S30V is going to be much harder than you are used to with Esee and Mora knives. High carbon is softer and easier to sharpen, and takes a helluva beating.
I think going with your gut might be the right choice, the candiru or izula (I love my izula 2) are going to be a lot more durable if you are real abusive.
That skyline is a great knife for sure. But it isn't a pry bar.
Edit. Sorry this reply was meant for the OP. @jaykawb
You should also know how much you'd be willing to spend. That narrows it down a bit. :)
Seems you're on the right track; depending on how disposable you want it to be, a Mora or Candiru/Izula would do well.
Any experience with either ESEE? I haven’t come across either model in any shops near by to see how they fit my hand. I do have an ESEE 6 and 3HM, but I don’t think they tell me much other than material feel.
I've had a few Izulas, but not the Candiru. The biggest difference will be that the Candiru was intended to be a 3-finger knife.
Borrowed pic for size comparison: