Great EDC Folding Knives 3 Inches and Under
These Small Everyday Carry Knives are Handy Tools for Work and Play
Knife laws vary from state to state, but the rule of thumb is that you can carry a folding knife with a blade no more than 3 inches or less. That can cause a lot of conflict for people who need (or just want) a usable knife for hunting or as a heavy-duty EDC, but think that such a thing can’t be found at 3 inches. While it is a little harder to find reliable folding 3 inch blades, it’s not impossible. Here are a few of our favorites.
The slimmer version of the Buck 110 solved a lot of problems for people with smaller hands. The Buck 112 Ranger has basically the same feel and functionality of the 110, but it’s lighter and the blade comes to exactly 3 inches, where the 110 reaches our over 3 3/4”.
The Buck Bantam isn’t an ideal EDC for the great outdoors because the blade is only 2 ¾” and the handle is even slimmer than the 112. But it still has the characteristic sturdiness of Buck knives with a thermoplastic handle that’s actually pretty comfortable once your get used to the size. This is a great backup knife for prying or cutting twine. Buck also make smaller version of the knife. You can check out the Buck Nano Bantam Review on Nothing But Knives.
This comes in at the same size as the Buck Bantam, but it’s a little more heavy duty. The handle has a rubber strip so you’ll have a more secure grip, and the serrated edge provides a lot more cutting power, making the Redpoint a more viable option for your camping trip.
The Paraframe is hard to beat in terms of durability. The open design means that this knife can be made entirely of steel without weighing a ton, and since it’s made of just a few solid pieces it’s easy to clean and fix, and the frame lock mechanism is a lot stronger. If you dropped this thing from the higher levels of the atmosphere it probably still wouldn’t break. There are other versions of this knife, but the Tanto is a little longer at 2.88” and has the added benefit of a partially serrated blade.
If you want a Gerber with bit more heft, the AO series is worth looking at. With the color scheme and all the bells and whistles attached to this thing it might come off as gimmicky at first, but the bigger handle should be a lot easier to grip than most 3” blades, and the one-handed assisted opening can actually get a little addicting once you get used to it.
We are far from legal experts on the matter of knife regulation, but we’ve done a little research and found a few good references on the matter. A lot of states seem to be pretty free with knife carry, some going so far as to allow 5 inch fixed blades. But not all of us are so lucky. The point is, people in the more strict states don’t need to despair, because there are plenty of great folding knives in the 3 inch range out there.