Best of EveryDay Carry – Yanko Design Awards 2023

New Year New Gear, they say… but before we explore what 2024 has in store for us, here’s a look at our top EDC gear from the year gone by. Our love for EDC only grew in 2023 as we began venturing outdoors again (you know, after the entire 2-year house arrest), and we honestly believe 2023’s been a golden year for the category. Titanium finally went mainstream, with Apple adopting it for their flagship 2023 iPhones, and we saw multiple independent creators taking to platforms like Kickstarter and Indiegogo to bring their EDC visions to life!

So what really constitutes this list and how did we arrive at our top ten? It’s simple, really. All the EDC have a few things in common. They’re built to be compact, robust, highly utilitarian, and have a wow-factor, whether it’s a unique feature, or just stellar craftsmanship. We’ve even awarded a Best EDC Design of 2023 to a certain multitool so scroll ahead to know more about why we loved it so much!

1. Prytium Titanium Multitool by G.S.G (Best EDC Design of 2023)

With a staggering 14 features built into its compact, lightweight, machined titanium design, the Prytium Multitool wins our award for just being the most versatile, capable, and handy piece of EDC money could buy. Perfect for pretty much any situation life throws at you, the Prytium is the kind of EDC you wish you’d have if you were stranded on a desert island. It’s got possibly every conceivable tool from a folding knife to a bottle opener, pry tool, nail file, glass breaker, and even a few wrenches and screwdrivers to get you through a whole gamut of worldly situations, whether they’re mildly frustrating like a hangnail or actual emergencies that require tactical tools.

Why is it noteworthy?

Aside from being made from Grade-5 that is well known for its sheer durability, the Prytium really surprises with exactly how much it manages to pack into its pocket-friendly design. It does so rather cleverly too, offering tritium slots so that your EDC is visible even at night, a deep pocket clip so you can attach your multitool to your clothing for convenience, and my favorite bit, a removable replaceable blade that you can change whenever the old one gets dull… so you spend less time sharpening your blade and more time using it instead.

2. 8-in-1 EDC Multitool Scissors by Eiger Design

The world of EDC goes well beyond just knives. It also includes tools, fidget toys, stationery, wallets even… but you’ll be hard-pressed to find an EDC scissor, yet here we are. Perfect for indoor and outdoor culinary adventures, this 8-in-1 EDC Scissor comes apart to double as a set of knives… but what’s more interesting is the fact that it also has a built-in bottle opener, can opener, nut-cracker, and even a fire-starter, all in one handy package. Quite like the M-Stand from before that splits into two, this pair of scissors can separate into its individual halves, giving you two knives, and a variety of multitools on demand. Put them back together and the hefty scissors can cut through hard materials like cured meats too, while also relying on a serrated mid-section to crack through walnuts.

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Why is it noteworthy?

This gizmo is the kind your kitchen couldn’t live without, but it’s also perfect for outdoor cooking on a camping trip. Use it as a single scissor, two handheld knives, or by its whole gamut of features… the 8-in-1 EDC Scissors get points for being clever, practical, and reinventing an aspect of life that isn’t just outdoor/lifestyle. Pair it with Uphold’s travel cutlery for the ultimate cooking experience outdoors! Oh, and if you’re looking to buy your own pair of scissors, we recommend checking out the YD Store.

3. Septimo Multi-tool by Jeremy Valdez for CRKT

The CRKT Septimo Multi-Tool may appear to be your typical pocket knife, but it’s ingeniously designed to offer far more than just a flipper blade. Crafted to combine compactness, ergonomic comfort, and a rich array of features, this versatile tool was conceived by Jeremy Valdez, a seasoned member of the 7th Special Forces Group. Inspired by his vision of the perfect everyday carry multitool, the Septimo (which translates to ‘Seventh’ in Spanish) boasts a 2.86-inch fold-out American Tanto blade with a secure liner-lock mechanism. It also includes a built-in bottle opener, a dual-purpose flathead and Phillips head screwdriver, an adjustable wrench, and a handy glass-breaker tip for those tricky situations. Plus, with its convenient pocket clip, you can keep your Septimo Multi-Tool easily accessible, ensuring you’re always prepared for a wide range of everyday situations.

Why is it noteworthy?

Necessity may be the mother of invention, but for the Septimo Multitool, it was more like a strong survival instinct. The origin story of the Septimo is probably the wildest thing you’ll ever hear. A member of the 7th Special Forces, Jeremy Valdez was posted in Afghanistan in 2009 when his helicopter crashed during a combat operation. In the heat of the moment, Valdez realized that the tools he had at the time failed miserably at real-world applications when it came to prying open fuselage, cutting harnesses, and freeing his fellow soldiers from the blazing, mangled chopper wreckage. Some people live in the trauma of such incidents, but not Valdez. He went to the drawing board and came up with the Septimo – a tribute to his fallen brothers and sisters, and an EDC so capable it has literal military experience.

4. Rike Knife S05 by Rike Knife

This knife almost won Best EDC of the Year for just how bonkers-beautiful it is. Intricate to the point of being absolutely impossible to counterfeit, the Rike Knife S05 has one of the most unique Damascus blades we’ve ever seen. In fact, I can say with a degree of confidence that I’ve never seen a blade this beautiful. With a dizzyingly detailed pattern that’s brought about by using different grades of metal that are hammered, forged, and acid-etched to reveal the marbled texture, the S05’s blade is a literal work of art. It sports a clip-point design that folds into a titanium handle that has a marbled pocket clip too. The price of such beauty? Well, given that you’re paying for top-tier craftsmanship, the $550 price tag doesn’t really hurt as much.

Why is it noteworthy?

I’m going to sound like an absolute broken record at this point, but that Damascus blade has my heart. Almost like a piece of psychedelic art, it has something hidden in every corner, from checkers and strips to even Japanese symbols. Oh, and as far as the blade’s sharpness goes, it has a viciously sharp edge that cuts through materials like they’re made of butter.

5. KeyMaster by EDC Monster

I’d like to think that the KeyMaster is key-shaped because of its sheer ability to ‘unlock’ any kind of real or metaphorical door that holds you back. Sure, the key-shaped design means it’s the ideal size to fit on your keychain, but let’s also acknowledge the fact that this key-sized EDC has 14 different tools built in, including multiple wrenches for bicycle spokes as well as hex nuts, a few popular screwdrivers, a fold-out scalpel blade, a bottle opener, and even a miniature scale that has BOTH metric as well as imperial measurements.

Why is it noteworthy?

It’s small enough to sit on your keychain, weighs a paltry 29 grams (1 ounce), and is made from the most durable metal known to mankind. What’s not to love?! The KeyMaster is a handy-dandy EDC for when you need to perform minor repairs or when you need a small knife to cut open boxes, slice paracord, whittle wood, or defend yourself. And when you’re done, crack open a brewski with the built-in bottle opener!

6. Folding Travel Cutlery Kit by Uphold Living

The problem with travel cutlery is that in the interest of portability, it often makes a few unfortunate trade-offs. Take the spork, for instance… a two-in-one piece of cutlery that saves material/space, but is just an odd contraption that nobody loves to use. The Uphold Travel Cutlery Kit possesses the unique distinction of being a rather no-compromise solution. Designed to be as small as a bunch of credit cards, this kit contains not one, not two, but three cutlery sets that you can use just as you would the ones at home. The Uphold kit features a working spoon, fork, and knife that sit flat when not in use, but curve to assume their ergonomic shape when you need them, thanks to clever design and the use of flexible materials at exactly the right points, while relying on food-grade titanium alloy and aluminum alloy for the rest.

Why is it noteworthy?

Single-use plastic spoons and forks are a menace. Not just for the environment, which they pollute by thousands of tonnes every year, but also for humans. Why? Because flimsy plastic spoons and forks don’t offer any robust functionality at all. They bend and flex when you try to cut through food, and they’ll melt if your gravies are too hot. Uphold’s alternative is vastly better. Not only is it made from durable metals like titanium, but it’s also designed to be compact when tucked away, and incredibly functional when you need to dig into your food. The full-length design gives you all the convenience you need while you eat, and the fact that you’ve got a separate knife, fork, and spoon means no more dealing with that spork nonsense.

7. Typhoeus Morphing Knife by CIVIVI

We’re big fans of CIVIVI’s knives in general, but when I laid our eyes on the Typhoeus for the first time, I honestly felt my jaw drop a little. The Typhoeus isn’t your conventional folding knife, because it has a handle that folds too. Once you flip the blade out, you can either use it as a conventional clip-point knife, or fold the handle further to turn it into a push-dagger. This unique format gives you two knives, a conventional one and a hardcore tactical one, so you can cut open boxes and defend yourself with equal effectiveness. The Typhoeus features a 14C28N steel blade sitting within a G10 handle, but our eyes are on the Damascus steel variant that gets an upgraded aluminum handle for a more robust experience.

Why is it noteworthy?

The novel format is exciting and really reinvents a category (knives) that doesn’t see too much out-of-the-box thinking as far as mechanisms are concerned. Plus, with the Typhoeus you really get two knives for the price of one, and that itself should be enough to convince the moderate skeptic!

8. A2 Badger OTF Knife by Tekto Knives

Another one of our favorites remains Tekto’s OTF range. In a world where most portable knives have blades that swivel inwards and outwards, Tekto’s OTF (or Out The Front) knives shoot outwards when you hit the switch on top. The A2 Badger grabbed our eye this year for how compact yet capable it was. It eschewed the spear-point edge seen on most OTF blades for an American Tanto-style blade, crafted from titanium-coated D2 steel, and features a glass-breaker tip on the reverse end of the handle, giving you a knife that’s dangerous from head to toe!

Why is it noteworthy?

We firmly believe that if you’re an EDC enthusiast or even an amateur collector, you NEED to have an OTF knife in your arsenal. The A2 Badger, to that degree, is perfectly compact, well-built, and designed to be reliable and last long. The titanium-coated blade holds its edge remarkably well, and that aluminum handle feels great in your grasp, whether it’s for cutting or for shattering even laminated glass. When all’s said and done, that pocket clip lets you slide your OTF knife right into your jacket or pants, for another day.

9. M-Stand Titanium Multitool by ActMax

The M-Stand proves that there’s always room for more features in an EDC. It might look like your conventional push-dagger, but the M-Stand, as its name suggests, also doubles as a stand for your smartphone or tablet simply by splitting it apart into its two halves. Neodymium magnets hold the two titanium halves together, giving you an EDC you can wear around your neck simply by sandwiching a chain between the left and right elements of the M-Stand. However, when you need to use its vast catalog of features, split it apart and you’ve got two knives that also have built-in features like hex wrenches, a bottle opener, a paracord cutter, pry-bar, fire starter, and the phone stand, as I mentioned earlier. Snap them back together and you’re armed with a rather capable spear-point push dagger that you can wear between your knuckles and use for everything from self-defense to shotgunning a beer-can!

Why is it noteworthy?

The beauty of the EDC industry is its rather low barrier to entry. Sure, you’ve got a few big-name brands that dominate the category, but then an independent small-time creator shows up with a novel design and a Kickstarter campaign, getting the entire EDC community excited to see something new. The M-Stand is that novel design. It’s unlike any multitool we’ve seen. It does its job well, and has a fidget-like quality that’ll have your hands and eyes falling in love with it every single day!

10. Batch #003 Knife by Leatherman

When it comes to multi-tools, Leatherman is practically a household name. Back in 1975, during a European holiday, Tim Leatherman and his wife Chau found themselves encountering leaky hotel plumbing and making roadside repairs to their temperamental Fiat. This experience sparked a brilliant idea that gave birth to the plier-based multitool – a remarkable innovation that Leatherman is renowned for pioneering. Based out of Portland, Oregon, the Leatherman company still champions this category as one of the most functional tools in their catalog, but earlier this year, the company developed a new kind of EDC that caught our fancy. The Batch #003 isn’t your everyday EDC knife. It comes with Leatherman’s proprietary interchangeable blade system. Press a button and you can pop out the old blade for a new one. Unlike most knives with replaceable standardized blades, Leatherman actually makes their own blades in-house, offering you a choice between a drop-point and a sheepsfoot blade, both made from 420HC stainless steel and completed with a stone-washed finish.

Why is it noteworthy?

Aside from being a gorgeous folding knife, the Batch #003’s proprietary blade-changing system sets a standard that I really hope more knives follow in the future. It’s difficult to sharpen some types of blades (especially serrated ones), and discarding a knife for just that fact seems like a truly wasted potential. Swapping blades is a great way to prolong a knife’s overall lifespan. Did I also mention that the Batch #003 comes with its own torx and bit drivers too? Just as a nifty cherry on the cake!