5 Reasons to EDC a Utility Knife, (and a few not to)

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Backnife Ceramic Utility Knife
Backnife Ceramic Utility Knives

1) They are Super Easy to Carry

I personally carry two of them on my keychain at all times, as I frequently hand one over to a friend (or even a stranger at Home Depot). I’ve also stuck one in a wallet (They’re about the thickness of two credit cards), while my wife throws one in her purse. Try not to forget about them if you throw it in a pocket, they’re small enough that they might slip your mind. Attaching a lanyard can help with that.

If you’re carrying one backpacking, you can tie it with a bit of paracord to a pack, or simply store it in a small side pouch. I actually carry an extra one in my med kit. I want a super sharp edge when I need it, and don’t want to worry about any corrosion that might have occurred on a steel blade. The total weight of carrying two when hiking? 6 grams. I think my shoelaces weigh more.

They’re also fantastic as a backup blade for Fishing. Utility blades are razor sharp, and cut most rugged line with ease. The ceramic blade of the backnife won’t corrode and lose its edge, even in salt water. Sharp when you need it.

2) Save the edge on your Main Blade for ‘Real’ Tasks

Pulling out an 8″ blade to cut off some annoying plastic twist ties is going to raise some eyebrows in most places. And even if you don’t care about that, (or possibly even enjoy the shocked looks). Using a blade to cut through plastic, cardboard, and other annoying things can be hell on your blade edge.

cardboard
The Bane of your Blade Edge

Use your utility knife for opening your Amazon packages, cutting the ties off your kids toy boxes, tags from your wife’s clothing purchases, or even trimming the last bit of stubble you missed on your chin. … Okay maybe forget about that last one.

3) Easy to Replace Blades

Don’t even bother getting out a sharpening stone when it begins to dull, just put in a new blade! The ubiquitous Stanley Utility blade is everywhere. Convenience stores, pharmacies, hardware stores, and even some grocers carry them.

Can probably buy them at your florist

So after cutting up that cardboard, or trimming fibreglass, or zip ties, just toss the blade and replace it. You can also find a variety of different styles of blade to put in your holder. Serrated, titanium, ceramic, hook tip, curved tip etc etc. You can swap out what you need anytime you want for the task at hand.

4) Great for Travel

Forget you were carrying your utility blade when about to go through security at the airport? No worries, toss it out with that half full bottle of water (that cost $4) and get a new pack for buck when you land. Better, just stash a pack of blades in your checked luggage, and just carry the holder with you beforehand. If you’re traveling light with just a carry-on, then best to just buy the utility blades when you get to your destination. Voila! Now you have a blade again for your travels.

5) Price

A really good knife will set you back a bit, depending on quality. But a lot of utility blade holders can be found in the price range of $10-40, depending on material and how many ‘extras’ they have. Our own Backnife is only $11.95, while something like the TPT from BigDesign is $69 but boasts some additional features.

As mentioned previously, utility blades are found pretty much anywhere. They cost a few dollars a pack for simple blades, up to $5-10 a blade for Titanium, Ceramic or other specialty blades. The value/cost ratio is pretty amazing for Utility Blade Holders.

…And now a few reasons you might Not want to carry one

So if a Utility Blade Holder is so great, why wouldn’t you want to carry one?

Well first off, it’s another thing to carry. If you already have knife in your EDC, or are trying to reduce the number of things in it, then you might not want yet another addition to it.

There’s also the ergonomics or handling issues with a small blade. At roughly 3″ for most holders, it isn’t a lot to hold on to for a strong firm grip compared to a standard knife.

There’s also the fact that they don’t have a very big cutting edge. At best, they can usually extend about 1 1/2″ of cutting edge at a time. And for bigger jobs, that might just not ‘cut’ it. (Apologies for the Dad joke)

Final Thoughts

That said, at about 1oz (3 grams) each, I’ve never found the Backnife to be obtrusive at any time. I’ve carried one just about everywhere possible over the last year. Vacationing in Banff, running & hiking the Bruce trail here in Ontario, and everyday it hangs off my keychain. I can’t count how many times it’s been an invaluable tool when I need something cut.

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