Starting on the bigger side of things, this snappy automatic spear point folder from Hogue has enough size and heft to provide a bit of an intimidation factor if it needs to be drawn. Fitted with a 3.5-inch blade and deep carry clip, it¨s not so hefty that it¨s overbearing for daily carry, and a safety lock switch protects its owner from any risk of accidental deployment. Given Hogue¨s background in gun grip manufacturing, you can trust that the ergonomics on the EX-A05 are rock solid.
Pros/Substantial blade, rapid deployment, concealed carry
Cons/A bit on the big side depending on state law, and it’s not cheap either
Bottom Line/Good stretch buy if you aren’t put off by its size
Check Out The Hogue EX-A05
A touch more discreet than the Hogue, the Pro-Tech Godson is a clean and simple automatic-deployment folding knife with an aggressive spear point (almost dagger shaped) blade. Though the Godson is the downsized version of the brand¨s large 4-inch Godfather automatic, its 3.15-inch blade is plenty big for the purposes of utility and self defence, if needs must. Though available in a range of finishes, we¨ve opted for the all-black variant here with its matte black anodized aluminum scales, for added discretion.
Pros/Compact quality with an effective blade shape
Cons/A bit pricey
Bottom Line/Good for daily carry, and effective for protection if absolutely necessary
Check Out The Pro-Tech Godson
Opting for the WE Knives Banter in this list speaks more to our opening statement about having a single knife that you¨re extremely comfortable with for all situations. The Banter¨s blade is just a touch under three inches in length, and is a quintessential example of an everyday folder that you can carry everywhere and use for anything. It¨s these particular qualities that you want in a knife should an emergency situation arise, rather than some sort of fancy combat knife that you only take out of the house every once in a blue moon.
Pros/Well built, deep carry, comfortable size, well priced, and effective for most tasks
Cons/Not as big as some might be looking for
Bottom Line/A good EDC knife will trump a “combat knife” any day, at least without specialty training
Check Out The WE Knives Banter
Look, it¨s not our place to tell you what you are and aren¨t capable of, but in a lot of cases bringing a knife to a fight！whether with someone armed or unarmed！is a huge gamble and not one to be taken lightly. Odds are you don¨t know your opponent, nor do you know what they are capable of. Sure, there¨s a chance that drawing a knife could intimidate them into backing off, but there¨s not even the slightest guarantee of that. There¨s the matter of them catching you off guard with a strike, and the knife changing hands. Also a very bad scenario to be facing. Beyond that, once law enforcement gets involved (if a knife gets drawn, odds are they will), there¨s a mighty fine chance of you going away in cuffs regardless of who or what started the altercation in question.
The point is, your blade is your LAST option, and that¨s where it should stay. Defend yourself if you absolutely must, but don¨t draw it unless you¨re committed and confident in your decision.
Pros/Less likely to get stabbed or handcuffed
Cons/One less “war story” to tell your buddies over a beer
Bottom Line/Be safe, be smart, and don’t get yourself hurt
See Our Best Folding Knives Under $100
OK, by now some of you are shouting at me to give you something a little more tactical/combat focused, so here¨s your option. The Shrill is one seriously sharp and stabby piece of hardware that is slender enough to tuck into a boot or under a belt without it being immediately apparent that you¨re carrying. It rides deep in its supplied leather sheath, so it might be worth adding a short paracord lanyard to it for east of access. This thing has 4.8 inches of dual-edged blade, making it the largest and most offensive tool of this list.
Pros/Designed to damage
Cons/Really a single purpose tactical tool
Bottom Line/The cops might take issue with this one
Check Out The CRKT Shrill Dagger
The Civivi Dogma fits surprisingly well into this list. Its overall design aligns it more with the everyday carry side of things, opening via a flipper tab rather than being a pushbutton automatic, however its 3.46-inch clip point blade is plenty capable of doing damage when called upon. It¨s also one of the more affordable options on this list, which is always a plus.
Pros/Hollow grind clip point blade delivers both great slicing and puncture capability.
Cons/D2 steel isn’t the best for long term corrosion resistance, so be sure to properly care for it
Bottom Line/A great budget buy that ticks the right boxes for this category
Check Out The Civivi Dogma
Kershaw¨s latest entrant in the automatic category is the Launch 1, and based on its specs it¨s a solid candidate for a safety and self defence carry. It¨s another good midsize option, with a blade length of just over three and a quarter inches. Its two-piece aluminum construction creates an interesting integral backspacer, and even with a sub-$100 sticker price it¨s entirely made in the USA. Though designed with a swappable clip for either left or right hand carrying, the location of the push-button for deployment would make this pretty cumbersome for a lefty.
Pros/Good bang-for-buck, and USA made
Cons/Bit wonky for a lefty
Bottom Line/Good easy-to-carry auto for states that allow it
Check Out The Kershaw Launch 1
On the off chance that you have some semblance of formal blade combat training on your resum└, the Fox Knives folding Karambit, could well be an effective tool. The combination of its grip ring and hawkbill blade shape make it a bit of a particular carry for any other situation outside of combat, not to mention the fact that it¨ll likely make non-knife people around you look at you a little sideways if you were to pull it out to open packages or take on other more menial tasks. You¨ll note a patented Emerson Wave deployment hook on the top of the blade, which is meant to grab the inside of your pocket and snap the knife open as you draw it！a clever and effective way to have the knife out and at the ready in a hurry. Most commonly used in reverse grip (blade towards the pinky finger rather than thumb), the Karambit¨s ring is meant to provide added grip/security in the event that an assailant attempts to knock the weapon from your hand.
Pros/Designed to fight/for self defence
Cons/A dangerous design when mishandled, and not practical at all
Bottom Line/If you want/need it, we won’t stop you
Check Out The Fox Knives Karambit