Why do I almost always choose a 3" EDC blade?

Discuss Spyderco's products and history.

What's your preferred/typical/usual blade length for EDC carry?

2" or shorter
3
3%
2.5"
12
12%
3"
44
44%
3.5"
38
38%
4"
3
3%
4.5"
0
No votes
5" or larger
0
No votes
 
Total votes: 100

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Bolster
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Why do I almost always choose a 3" EDC blade?

Postby Bolster » Sun Sep 28, 2014 10:37 am

Looking through my rotation of dozens of Spyderco knives, I can't help but notice that folders with 3" blades are the ones most likely to find their way into my pocket for the day. I've tried to go longer, but find the tip starts to get unwieldy for fine work in homebuilding, which I often do. Also, even with a 3.5" knife, I find the folder pokes against my leg uncomfortably when squatting down, where a 3" bladed knife is unnoticeable. I've tried shorter blades too, which are great for control, but then have a heck of a time slicing food or doing many other useful tasks. Neither do I feel particularly secure with a small knife if (heaven forbid) it gets pressed into SD service. (I know they can, given the right levels of skill, but this is not the point of my post.) So most days of the year, it seems a Spyderco folder with around a 3" blade (give or take) makes its way into my pocket for EDC--a Caly3, a Caly Jr., a Dialex Junior, a Small Persian are currently favorite carries. I'm beginning to wonder if I should even buy any more knives that are either longer or shorter, as the get so little use from me--they end up as unused drawer queens.

Even blade profile (leaf, drop, skinner, wharnie) tends to take second place to blade length, for me.

But, this is a forum, so you probably violently disagree. So I'd be interested to know what blade size you typically find the most useful, and for what purpose you tend to use your blades of longer or shorter lengths. To forestall a predictable lecture: we all know different tasks require different blade lengths, and we all change up, based on the task. When I go backpacking, I usually carry a thick fixed 4" blade. When the day will be filled with box-cutting, I might carry a sub 2" blade or even a thin 1" boxcutter. So we all understand that different tasks mean different blade lengths and shapes--no need to rehash that. But what I'm wondering, specifically, is this:

What's the blade size you tend to prefer, or typically carry, as an all-arounder, if you don't know what the day will bring? What size blade usually ends up in your pocket, and why?
Last edited by Bolster on Sun Sep 28, 2014 11:09 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Why do I almost always choose a 3" EDC blade?

Postby bearfacedkiller » Sun Sep 28, 2014 10:46 am

I do a bit of food prep and find 3.5" works better that 3" plus the very vague knife laws here sort of state a 3.5 inch limit. For that reason I would always pick a 3.5" inch blade if I only carried one knife. That said, I always carry two knives and the second one is usually 3 inches.

I voted 3.5"

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Re: Why do I almost always choose a 3" EDC blade?

Postby Evil D » Sun Sep 28, 2014 10:58 am

I'd try a Southard if you don't already have one. You get 3.5 inches of edge in a package that doesn't feel like it's that big and IMO handles more like a 3 inch blade.

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Re: Why do I almost always choose a 3" EDC blade?

Postby Officer Gigglez » Sun Sep 28, 2014 11:19 am

I usually tak about 3.5 to 4 inches in my EDC. Long enough for most chores and short enough to keep the ignorant people from flipping out.

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Re: Why do I almost always choose a 3" EDC blade?

Postby SpyderNut » Sun Sep 28, 2014 11:41 am

Good question. I'm one of the weird ones here who generally prefers to EDC a 2" blade or less vs. a longer blade for most of my cutting chores. Why's that? Well, I work in an office setting and typically never need more blade beyond 2". In fact, (I'll stick my neck out here ;) ) it kind of puzzles me that so many folks "need" a 3" or 3.5" blade for EDC. Beyond cutting fruit for lunch, etc., why do they need a blade that long for for EDC? I'm not criticizing, but rather just curious. For instance, I carried my Lionspy yesterday just to give it some pocket time. I really didn't *need* a blade that long/strong, but it was just a pleasure to have in my pocket. FWIW, My Manbug and/or Ladybug sees more use than 90% of my folders.

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Re: Why do I almost always choose a 3" EDC blade?

Postby spyderg » Sun Sep 28, 2014 12:05 pm

Right now my EDC is a Techno, (2.55'') and I find it perfect as my EDC size, big enough to do most tasks, small enough to safely use around my young children, (opening toys etc.) without wifey getting worked up, or even noticing for that matter. For days when I know I'll need to open a bunch of stuff around them and need a good sharp tip, Lava is a good fit. When I've got a bunch of slicing, boxes etc. to do, out comes the Manix2. Out at airsoft in the bush, cutting rope, tarps, heavier cutting etc. I grab my ZT 550. But the Techno seems to be a good balance of size and strength when I'm not planning on any particular cutting tasks.
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Re: Why do I almost always choose a 3" EDC blade?

Postby MacLaren » Sun Sep 28, 2014 12:14 pm

I really don't like anything under 3.5"
I voted for 4". I realize I will be in the minority, but I really like as much blade as I can get. I live in the country, and there's not any real strict laws in NC that I know of. I also feel like, that if I'm gonna drop a lot of money on a pocket knife, then I want a lot of blade. On the other hand I can see the benefits of a smaller blade, especially if you live in conditions opposite of mine. But, I just like em 3.5" or longer.

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Re: Why do I almost always choose a 3" EDC blade?

Postby spyderg » Sun Sep 28, 2014 12:16 pm

SpyderNut wrote:Good question. I'm one of the weird ones here who generally prefers to EDC a 2" blade or less vs. a longer blade for most of my cutting chores. Why's that? Well, I work in an office setting and typically never need more blade beyond 2". In fact, (I'll stick my neck out here ;) ) it kind of puzzles me that so many folks "need" a 3" or 3.5" blade for EDC. Beyond cutting fruit for lunch, etc., why do they need a blade that long for for EDC? I'm not criticizing, but rather just curious. For instance, I carried my Lionspy yesterday just to give it some pocket time. I really didn't *need* a blade that long/strong, but it was just a pleasure to have in my pocket. FWIW, My Manbug and/or Ladybug sees more use than 90% of my folders.

I don't think anyone who works in an office setting needs a long blade either, probably don't need anything other than a letter opener or perhaps a tiny box cutter for that matter, but it certainly handy to carry a small knife. However many working a blue-collar, labour job can surely benefit from a longer blade. Cutting down cardboard from cabinets, appliances, construction materials, you name it. In a warehouse you'll encounter plastic wrap and strapping that you need a longer blade for. I happen to be one of these folks and I can say that my day to day tasks outside of work usually require something more than a 2'' blade as well. Or it at least makes things easier. I recently got a Techno, (2.55'') and it seems to be working well for me overall. I like the thick blade stock as I feel I can really use it and not have to worry about breaking a tip as I feel I might with most small knives.
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Re: Why do I almost always choose a 3" EDC blade?

Postby bearfacedkiller » Sun Sep 28, 2014 12:24 pm

In the back of my mind I always want to keep the option open in case my knife needs to be pressed into service as a SD tool. Some may carry a knife larger than is need for utility for that reason.

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Re: Why do I almost always choose a 3" EDC blade?

Postby jujigatame » Sun Sep 28, 2014 1:06 pm

3" blades seem to be the sweet spot for me. The Native and UKPK were my go to daily pieces for quite a while before I got two other knives recently. One was a Delica, the other a Des Horn and those are right in the same neighborhood. So it seems 3" is the magic number whether I consciously think about it or not. I don't mind longer blades in certain packages but I never feel under equipped with a 3" Spyder.
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Re: Why do I almost always choose a 3" EDC blade?

Postby Waco » Sun Sep 28, 2014 4:34 pm

My Leatherman Rebar has a couple of 2.5" blades for short-blade tasks. My Native 5 seemed redundant with the Rebar on my belt, so it's gone. My Endura works better for making a salad, slicing an apple, eating a steak in the break room.... My Millie is overkill for just about anything I do with a knife, but I like it. I carry it more on the weekends. :D

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Re: Why do I almost always choose a 3" EDC blade?

Postby The Deacon » Sun Sep 28, 2014 4:48 pm

For going on ten years now, my normal primary folder has been a Stretch with a 3.5" blade. It rides nicely in the bottom of my back pocket and has handled any task I've ever called upon it to perform. However, there have been moment, mostly back when I was working, where a bit more discretion was needed, so I also have a Kiwi and a Jester with me at all times.
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Re: Why do I almost always choose a 3" EDC blade?

Postby GoldenSpydie » Sun Sep 28, 2014 4:59 pm

SpyderNut wrote:Good question. I'm one of the weird ones here who generally prefers to EDC a 2" blade or less vs. a longer blade for most of my cutting chores. Why's that? Well, I work in an office setting and typically never need more blade beyond 2". In fact, (I'll stick my neck out here ;) ) it kind of puzzles me that so many folks "need" a 3" or 3.5" blade for EDC. Beyond cutting fruit for lunch, etc., why do they need a blade that long for for EDC? I'm not criticizing, but rather just curious. For instance, I carried my Lionspy yesterday just to give it some pocket time. I really didn't *need* a blade that long/strong, but it was just a pleasure to have in my pocket. FWIW, My Manbug and/or Ladybug sees more use than 90% of my folders.
You answered your own question. They only make one size of PM2, Yojimbo, and Native, so that's the size I have to carry. ;) :D

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Re: Why do I almost always choose a 3" EDC blade?

Postby hawkeye180 » Sun Sep 28, 2014 5:15 pm

I was just talking to my Dad about something similar. I like three inch blades a lot. I also like 3.5 and 4 inch blades. I don't mind a heavier/longer knife that will stabilize itself in my pocket.

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3.5" blades rule

Postby bh49 » Sun Sep 28, 2014 5:39 pm

For most of my tasks I am using native5 with 3" blade. The knife has outstanding fit for my hand. I tried to carry just one knife for couple weeks and native did just fine. Except one task. It can cut an apple, but it is easier to use Caly3.5 or big Persian for this. So I am really waiting for Shaman to show up. My vote for 3.5".
spyderg wrote: I don't think anyone who works in an office setting needs a long blade either, probably don't need anything other than a letter opener or perhaps a tiny box cutter for that matter, but it certainly handy to carry a small knife. However many working a blue-collar, labour job can surely benefit from a longer blade. Cutting down cardboard from cabinets, appliances, construction materials, you name it.
Last November I bought an elliptical machine. The box was about 6.5'x5.5'x2'. Breaking that box out of heavy duty cardboard was a piece of cake with my 3" Native. I think that in this particular case is much more important ergo's of the handle than blade length. Edge retention also helps. I cut the box on 2'x2' pieces (my recycling center rules) and knife was still sharp.

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Re: Why do I almost always choose a 3" EDC blade?

Postby SpyderNut » Sun Sep 28, 2014 6:53 pm

GoldenSpydie wrote:
SpyderNut wrote:Good question. I'm one of the weird ones here who generally prefers to EDC a 2" blade or less vs. a longer blade for most of my cutting chores. Why's that? Well, I work in an office setting and typically never need more blade beyond 2". In fact, (I'll stick my neck out here ;) ) it kind of puzzles me that so many folks "need" a 3" or 3.5" blade for EDC. Beyond cutting fruit for lunch, etc., why do they need a blade that long for for EDC? I'm not criticizing, but rather just curious. For instance, I carried my Lionspy yesterday just to give it some pocket time. I really didn't *need* a blade that long/strong, but it was just a pleasure to have in my pocket. FWIW, My Manbug and/or Ladybug sees more use than 90% of my folders.
You answered your own question. They only make one size of PM2, Yojimbo, and Native, so that's the size I have to carry. ;) :D
But, that was my point exactly. :) In other words, although I don't *need* the strength or length of the Lionspy for EDC, it is just simply fun to have in my pocket. Just like I really don't *need* to drive my full-size 4x4 crew cab half-ton pick-up truck when my wife's small Mustang would suffice just as well as a primary form of daily transportation. I guess my point (if there is one ;)), is simply this: unless a person works in a job/field that requires a 3" or 3.5" blade for daily cutting tasks (as described by spyderg) or they prefer the SD benefit of a 3" or a 3.5" blade, having said length of blade seems to be a little unecessary to me for 95% of daily chores (just like in the pick-up analogy above). Please don't get me wrong; I'm not trying to dissuade anyone from carrying a 3" or longer blade at all. God knows I love my Starmate, Kris, Centofante , et al that are over 3". Just my .02. :)

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Re: Why do I almost always choose a 3" EDC blade?

Postby FDE » Sun Sep 28, 2014 7:29 pm

I prefer a 3" blade for my everyday knife because its large enough for food prep while not being unwieldy for fine detail cuts. I like to be able to reach the tip of the blade while still holding the handle and 3" is about the max length I'm able to do that with my medium sized hands.

Grip for detailed cuts; for example cutting paper along a dotted line or cutting pages from a book.
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I also like to be able to use this grip to dig slivers from my hands. The thumb at the blade tip makes for excellent control for this task.
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Re: Why do I almost always choose a 3" EDC blade?

Postby GoldenSpydie » Sun Sep 28, 2014 8:05 pm

SpyderNut wrote:
GoldenSpydie wrote:
SpyderNut wrote:Good question. I'm one of the weird ones here who generally prefers to EDC a 2" blade or less vs. a longer blade for most of my cutting chores. Why's that? Well, I work in an office setting and typically never need more blade beyond 2". In fact, (I'll stick my neck out here ;) ) it kind of puzzles me that so many folks "need" a 3" or 3.5" blade for EDC. Beyond cutting fruit for lunch, etc., why do they need a blade that long for for EDC? I'm not criticizing, but rather just curious. For instance, I carried my Lionspy yesterday just to give it some pocket time. I really didn't *need* a blade that long/strong, but it was just a pleasure to have in my pocket. FWIW, My Manbug and/or Ladybug sees more use than 90% of my folders.
You answered your own question. They only make one size of PM2, Yojimbo, and Native, so that's the size I have to carry. ;) :D
But, that was my point exactly. :) In other words, although I don't *need* the strength or length of the Lionspy for EDC, it is just simply fun to have in my pocket. Just like I really don't *need* to drive my full-size 4x4 crew cab half-ton pick-up truck when my wife's small Mustang would suffice just as well as a primary form of daily transportation. I guess my point (if there is one ;)), is simply this: unless a person works in a job/field that requires a 3" or 3.5" blade for daily cutting tasks (as described by spyderg) or they prefer the SD benefit of a 3" or a 3.5" blade, having said length of blade seems to be a little unecessary to me for 95% of daily chores (just like in the pick-up analogy above). Please don't get me wrong; I'm not trying to dissuade anyone from carrying a 3" or longer blade at all. God knows I love my Starmate, Kris, Centofante , et al that are over 3". Just my .02. :)
Ah, I see. I would have to agree. :)

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Re: Why do I almost always choose a 3" EDC blade?

Postby Bolster » Sun Sep 28, 2014 8:18 pm

spyderg wrote: However many working a blue-collar, labour job can surely benefit from a longer blade. Cutting down cardboard from cabinets, appliances, construction materials, you name it. In a warehouse you'll encounter plastic wrap and strapping that you need a longer blade for.
I don't understand this argument. For the type of work listed above, I'd rather have the following inexpensive utility knife with a 1" blade--it will cut cardboard and strapping better than any of my thicker, pricier knives, and if I slip, I only have to contend with a 1" deep gash. More efficient and safer. (I would love to carry a Spyderco utility knife if they made one.)

Image

I think the "blue collar needs longer blade" argument is more cultural, than it is practical. I do blue-collar and white-collar, and my blue-collar work usually requires considerable control of the blade tip. I start to lose that control at 3.5", so seldom carry my Caly 3.5 or my Stretch for blue work.

I would be open to carrying a smaller blade than 3" except every time I need a knife for food prep, I wish I had a 3.5". So I don't really see myself going shorter than 3".

Based on the poll responses so far, looks like the sweet spot is 3.25".

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Re: Why do I almost always choose a 3" EDC blade?

Postby Doc Dan » Sun Sep 28, 2014 8:48 pm

I prefer a 2.5" to 2.875" blade. Any longer and a fixed blade is better.


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