An image featuring the Benchmade 177BK SOCP dagger, which has a black combat fixed spear point blade and molded plastic handle. The dagger is displayed on a black and wood surface. Next to it is the accompanying sheath.

Which Is the Best Benchmade EDC for You?

8 min read

Benchmade is a mainstay of countless "best of" knife discussions. And for good reason. No surprise it's a hugely popular knife brand.

An image featuring the Benchmade 177BK SOCP dagger, which has a black combat fixed spear point blade and molded plastic handle. The dagger is displayed on a black and wood surface. Next to it is the accompanying sheath.

But when it comes to every day carry (EDC), many people wonder: Which is the right Benchmade EDC for me?

The short answer? It depends.

In this blog post, we take a look at:

  • The best Benchmade knife for specific types of activities
  • Some maintenance tips for ensuring your EDC knives are always in tip-top condition

Understanding your needs

You won't use sewing scissors to cut hair—or would you? (No judgment there. But fair warning, you'll likely end up with a bad haircut or hair damage.)

What we're saying is that different knives serve different purposes. For example, it's generally a bad idea to use a kitchen knife for prying cans open or scraping off stubborn grime. Kitchen knife blades are relatively thin and will likely bend or break.

Similarly, what you do on the daily—not to mention, what you're legally able to carry—will hugely influence your choice of EDC.

Outdoor enthusiast

Activities you can do outdoors run the gamut. Some examples:

  • Hiking and backpacking: Trekking through trails while exploring nature
  • Camping: Setting up temporary shelter to spend time outdoors
  • Fishing: Catching freshwater or saltwater fish
  • Hunting: Tracking and harvesting wild animals (legally and ethically)
  • Rock climbing and mountaineering: Scaling cliffs and treacherous mountain terrain
  • Water sports: Kayaking, canoeing, stand-up paddle boarding, whitewater rafting, surfing, scuba diving, snorkeling
  • Survival training: Building shelters, preparing firewood, gathering food
Image featuring a man in outdoor gear standing with his back to the camera while looking at a rocky hill. The hill sits atop a backdrop of blue skies and cottony clouds.

Needless to say, there's no one "perfect" EDC knife that best serves all of these activities. But depending on what you'll use the knife for, here are some tips:

  • Hikers and backpackers: A versatile, lightweight knife for preparing food, repairing gear, opening packages, or shaving tinder
  • Campers: A slightly more robust blade for heavier tasks like splitting firewood
  • Fishermen: A rust-resistant EDC knife for cleaning and processing fish
  • Hunters: A fixed blade knife for dressing game and building hunting blinds
  • Rock climbers and mountaineers: A very sharp, compact knife for light tasks and emergencies (knife weight and maneuverability are crucial)
  • Water sports enthusiasts: A small, rust-resistant knife that can be secured to a life vest
  • Survival training participants: A versatile knife that can handle various tasks, including building shelters and setting snares or traps

Based on the above, some knife options from Benchmade (all made in the USA) to consider:

  • The Benchmade Adamas 275 is a lightweight EDC that features black G-10 handles and CPM-CruWear blade steel. It balances size, weight, and cutting performance. Best for hikers and backpackers.
  • The Benchmade Mini Griptilian comes with a 2.91-inch blade that's made of CPM-S30V stainless steel, has black handles with stainless liners, an AXIS lock system, and a reversible tip-up clip for easy carrying. Best for rock climbers and mountaineers.
  • The Benchmade 15536 Taggedout is a slim, lightweight folding knife with a rust-resistant CPM-S45VN blade, an AXIS lock system, and G-10 handle scales. Best for hunters.
  • The Benchmade 535 Bugout is a versatile, lightweight option suitable for extended use. It comes with a deep-carry pocket clip, thumb studs for quick blade deployment, and a textured Grivory handle. Best for various outdoor uses.
  • The 4400SBK, also known as the Casbah, is a Benchmade S30V automatic with a black Grivory grip. It's lightweight, easy to carry, and can quickly be accessed and deployed in critical situations. Best for various outdoor uses.
  • The Benchmade automatic Phaeton is a new spine-fire OTF (out the front) that's all about style and speed in a semi-tactical EDC. Best for various outdoor uses.
  • Automatic Benchmade knives are equipped with a button or actuation switch that mechanically fires the blade without human intervention. Other examples of full automatic knives from Benchmade include the 2730-3 Mini Adamas and the 2900BK-2 Full Immunity. Best for various outdoor uses.

Important note: Remember to check local laws before getting an automatic knife. Also, follow responsible carry practices when using a pocket knife.

Tactical and emergency rescue

Professionals falling under the tactical and emergency rescue umbrella include:

  • SWAT teams: Highly trained police officers who respond to high-risk situations such as hostage rescues
  • Search and rescue (SAR) teams: Professionals and volunteers who locate missing people
  • Military combat medics/pararescue: Highly skilled medical professionals who provide emergency care in remote locations or combat zones
  • Firefighters: First responders trained to control and extinguish fires, rescue people from burning buildings, and help with many other emergencies

Image showing a red helicopter and several emergency personnel in tactical gear.

Their knife needs can include:

  • SWAT: A durable, folding knife with a partially serrated blade and secure grip for cutting rope or breaching light materials
  • SAR: A lightweight but heavy-duty folding knife suited for tasks like clearing brush, cutting rope, or building basic shelters
  • Pararescue: A folding knife capable of simple utility tasks like stripping bark for insulation but also suited for lifesaving tasks like cutting straps to free someone or breaking glass
  • Firefighters: A dedicated rescue knife or a multi-tool with a folding knife blade

Benchmade's tactical folding knives are designed for first responders and anyone needing a heavy-duty all-purpose knife:

  • When it comes to self-defense tactical knives, Benchmade sets a high bar for durability. The Benchmade 9170SBK Triage features a coated N680 partially serrated blade, a glass breaker tip, and a seatbelt cutter. It's a push-button automatic with integrated safety for making sure the blade stays in place when deployed.
  • The Benchmade Claymore 9070SBK-1 pocket knife is a slender push-button powerhouse featuring a textured Green Ranger Grivory grip and a CPM-D2 blade. Discover the latest Benchmade Claymore for sale at Northwest for more top-of-the-line tactical knives.
  • The tactical 8551BK Benchmade Mediator serrated comes with a black S90V blade, G-10 handles, and a reversible clip suited for both left and right-handed users.
  • A Benchmade switchblade knife like the Benchmark Composite Lite Auto (CLA) may be suitable for some SAR teams, particularly for light cutting tasks.

Professional use

Other professions that may need a Benchmade knife:


  • Knife uses: For stripping wires, cutting electrical tape, trimming excess insulation, cutting cable ties
  • Suitable Benchmade options: Griptilian or a dedicated electrician's knife

Carpenters and woodworkers

  • Knife uses: Cutting twine, carving or whittling, trimming excess glue, scribing lines on wood surfaces
  • Suitable Benchmade options: Bugout, Griptilian, or a fixed blade Benchmade
An image showing an artist crafting a huge art piece using wood.



  • Knife uses: Cutting automotive belts and hoses, removing gaskets, stripping wires
  • Suitable Benchmade options: Griptilian, Presidio

Construction workers

  • Knife uses: Cutting drywall and plastic sheeting. opening packaging, scoring or marking surfaces
  • Suitable Benchmade options: Griptilian, Adamas

Artists and craftspeople

  • Knife uses: Cutting materials such as paper and fabric, detailing and carving, precision trimming
  • Suitable Benchmade options: Altitude, Mini Presidio

Daily urban commuter

The daily urban commuter's backpack often contains a laptop, a phone, and other tech. Don't forget the wallet, keys, travel passes (if applicable), and items such as hand sanitizer, hygiene kit, and a change of clothes. A reusable water bottle and a book for whiling away the long travel time will likely also make the list—and, in some cases, medications.

An image featuring a man waiting on a train platform while looking at the phone in his hands. The bespectacled man is wearing a tan hoodie and a black leather backpack.

But what about EDC?

Regulations around the world regarding EDC knives for urban commuters vary. So it's best to avoid carrying a knife unless it's a multi-tool with no locking blade.

In the US, locking knives are generally legal to purchase and carry, while automatics are allowed in 39 states.

Globally, stricter regulations are common. For example, Japan restricts all but small utility knives, and China bans most folding knives. Canada knife ordinances are similar to the US—restrictions depend on municipality or province. In Europe, countries like the UK and Germany ban locking knives exceeding a specific length.

Be sure to double-check local laws regarding Benchmade automatics—or any knife—before carrying one with you during your commute.

Benchmade EDC knife maintenance tips

Regular maintenance is vital to keep your Benchmade auto or fixed blade knives in excellent shape.

Routine cleaning and lubrication

Clean the blade with mild detergent and warm water, then dry thoroughly. Apply a light coat of lubricant to the pivot and locking mechanism.

Sharpening and edge maintenance

Use a sharpening stone or service (Benchmade offers one). Keeping your knife's edge sharp ensures it's always ready for any task.

Storage and care

Store your knife in a dry place to prevent rust and damage. Avoid prolonged exposure to moisture. Use a case or sheath to protect the blade and handle.

Northwest Knives: Home of durable, high-quality knives

At Northwest Knives, we provide premium, best-in-class knives not just from Benchmade but countless other manufacturers, including Spyderco, Reeve, Buck, and Kershaw. We only carry knives that have passed the most stringent quality standards—that's our guarantee.

Browse Northwest's extensive knife selections or reach out for any questions.