So everyone here knows that knives can be extremely useful tools both during work, home and leisure time. We all know that on some occasions they're also used in crime; there are even cases where well meaning individuals may be inadvertantly breaking the law. This blog will discuss the reasons for carrying a knife, as well as what to do and what not to do with your knife. Hopefully this wil help you to get the most from your cutting tool!

EDC or Every Day Carry simply means an item or product that you carry with you everyday without fail. Many things fall into this category without anyone even noticing such as a Mobile Phone, Chap-stick, Wallet or Biro etc. However, in this context we are almost always referring to a knife. Usually a simple, small folding knife that can be easily stored in ones pocket within easy reach for a variety of utility tasks.

Further, due to restrictive laws in this country all Every Day Carry knives must have blades of less than three inches as well as not locking open, they must be readily foldable at all times to be carried without a specific reason or purpose such as a chef taking his knives to work with him/her.

Whittler knives are often a good example of an excellent EDC item to carry. Most of them feature a number of sub-three inch folding blades with various styles and uses. We stock a good selection of such knives.

As a general rule it's best to tailor the carried knife to the expected tasks at hand. Someone who uses their knife to cut open a lot of boxes may find they prefer a knife with a slight downwards curve. Someone who does a lot of Bushcraft may like a knife with a Scandinavian grind that bites into wood deeper and with less resistance.

I find that a Wharncliff or Sheepsfoot blade serves me best day-to-day as it provides a good curved cutting edge as well as a less 'scary-looking' point that is more friendly to anyone who sees you using your knife.

Carrying any kind of knife can be extremely beneficial as long as you're aware that there are restrictions. They can help you open things, cut food, fruit and trailing strings from clothing. You never really realise just how useful they are until you've carried one for a while and suddenly find you haven't got it on you. We actively encourage others to carry a UK legal, sub-three inch locking knife making full use of your rights. Knives have been with us since the stone age, and they're one of the reasons for humans evolving into what we are today. Carrying one gives you a reliable way to remain self sustaining, capable and efficient. 

So how do you carry your EDC knife? 

I personally always use the pocket clip, with the body of the knife inside with the clip on the outside. This allows easy access to your tool, but prevents it from bouncing around inside the pocket. These clips are often misidentified as belt clips, but they are not. Some knives are so light such as the Cold Steel Lucky that the pocket clip can be used as a tie clip with the body of the knife inside the shirt. Other options include things like boot carry - pockets in military boots will often accept small folding knives and are an excellent option.

If you're planning on going somewhere where you're legally able to carry a locking knife or a fixed blade how do you get it there?
The best bet is to carry it sheathed and wrapped deep inside your bag if you're on foot, or in the boot of your car if you have one available. You should be able to show that it's not immediately accessible which demonstrates you have no intention of using it illegally until you have taken it where you need to go. You need to be extremely cautious transporting your knives and exercise polite conversation if ever asked why you have it with you. 

Buying and carrying knives: The Law

The laws about buying and carrying a knife depend on the type of knife, your age and your circumstances.

As a general rule - 

It is illegal to:

  • Sell a knife of any kind to anyone under 18 years old (16 to 18 year olds in Scotland can buy cutlery and kitchen knives)
  • Carry a knife in public without good reason - unless it’s a knife with a folding blade 3 inches long (7.62 cm) or less, eg a Swiss Army knife
  • Carry, buy or sell any type of banned knife
  • Use any knife in a threatening way (even a legal knife, such as a Swiss Army knife)

So it follows to ask when is it ok to carry a knife?

Examples of good reasons to carry a knife in public can include:

  • Taking knives you use at work to and from work
  • Taking knives to a gallery or museum to be exhibited
  • The knife is going to be used for theatre, film, television, historical re-enactment or religious purposes, e.g. the Kirpan some Sikhs carry
  • A court will decide if you’ve got a good reason to carry a knife if you’re charged with carrying it illegally.

Almost any knife that isn't on the banned knives list is ok to carry under specific circumstances in the UK. You just need to be able to prove a valid reason for having it with you. If you're going fishing or off hunting rabits (with permission) a reliable knife can be extremely handy. While it's a shame our laws are too restrictive to allow us to carry safer, locking knives on a day to day basis; there are plenty of excellent legal knives available. 

A comprehensive list can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/buying-carrying-knives

As a final note, there are a handful of places where it's not appropriate to have a knife with you, and a few more where it's illegal, regardless of what kind it is. Going to a nightclub for example is a place common sense would dictate is inappropriate, it's not illegal, but it's not a good idea and we'd discourage you from trying. Are there situations where it could still be useful? Sure, but it's not woth the potential implications. 

Scools and prisons are obviously places where carrying a knife is illegal, even as a vistor. This is set to expand along with the proposed new knife legislation we may have to accept in the coming months. 

 What do you carry, how do you carry them and what do you use them for? Leave a comment below! :)

Kershaw Knife on Brown Background

Images Copyright Paul Freeman