7 Days with a Fixed Blade Knife for EDC

I’ve never carried a fixed blade knife for EDC. I love folding knives and despite keeping fixed blades in go-bags or handy on camping trips, I’ve never had a desire to carry one on a daily basis. So I went cold turkey and tried it. I left all my folders at home for a week-long vacation in Montana and committed to my ESEE Izula for EDC.

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Fixed Blade Knife Carry Positions

I typically throw fixed blades in a backpack or keep them around camp, so I’d never had a need for a belt attachment. First item of business? Find a way to carry this thing. I started out by picking up a small Tek-Lok to attach the Izula fixed blade handle tip-up on my belt:
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This carry position keeps the knife at hand when I want it and the draw puts it ready for use. Resheathing is pretty easy and I typically can do it one-handed, without having to fiddle with my shirt.

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I enjoy this carry position around camp, but I quickly found it’s a pain when trying to access the knife while sitting or buckled up in the car. Additionally, I didn’t put thread locker on the screws and some of them fell out a couple days into the trip. My mistake, but it put me in a bad spot. So, I improvised and went to a static line—a nifty little trick I picked up from a Lucas Burnley video a few years back:

knife-static-line

The static line was good and allowed me to easily shift positions from waistband appendix carry to waistband hip carry. But I didn’t love it. The sheath inside my waistband made me sweat and sometimes the knife shifted to where it was floating somewhere inside my pants. The sheath on the Izula has excellent retention, so I wasn’t worried about accidentally cutting off any vital personal hardware, but digging through my pants to get the knife out wasn’t my favorite. When I was backpacking for a couple days, I couldn’t find a comfortable place to attach the knife in tandem with the backpack waist belt. I suppose I could have attached it to the pack, but what happens when I take the pack off and go wandering?

I longed to have a folding knife clipped to my pocket.”

Convenience

I use my pocket knife all the time, but particularly when I’m sitting down. I work an office job at Blade HQ and on this road trip I was in the car a lot. Getting the fixed blade on and off my belt was inconvenient while seated. Additionally, if I planned to use it again quickly, I found myself leaving it unsheathed on the dashboard or on a table. This wasn’t ideal with little kids running around. With a folder, I can loan my knife out or set it somewhere with more peace of mind knowing that it is closed. I like the convenience of a folder.

Entertainment

I flick my folding knife like crazy. It’s good stress relief when I’m driving, thinking or keeping my hands busy. The fixed blade knife offered no such entertainment. Utility– absolutely. Pleasure— not so much. I suppose that’s the end result of my seven day experiment: I just didn’t love carrying a fixed blade the way I love carrying a folder. It got the job done well, but the knife stoke that I get from carrying a folder just wasn’t there.

Another Shot at It

My week of bad fixed blade knife carry wasn’t the end of the road for me. I had been curious to try a leather sheath in a horizontal cross draw position in front. Several guys in the shop carry Bradford Guardian Fixed Blade Knives like this and I like the concept:

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Jared carries a Bradford Guardian3 on his belt.

I tried this carry position out for two minutes with the knife pictured and it just wasn’t for me. My 32″ waist is too little real estate and I don’t have the frame to conceal a fixed blade knife well. I’m a pretty skinny sucker, so waistband carry will likely always drive me crazy—too much grinding against exposed hip bones wasn’t doing it for me. I love carrying a fixed blade once I arrive in camp, and I can’t deny their usefulness. But I can’t see myself carrying an EDC fixed blade knife in the near future.

Final Word

I spoke with Mike Perrin, one of the owners of ESEE at the Outdoor Retailer trade show a few months ago. As is my habit, I asked him what he carries. An ESEE 4 perhaps? Candiru? Izula? Nope. He pulled a well-worn Sebenza 21 from his pocket. I asked if he ever carries a fixed blade knife for EDC. He said he doesn’t. And at this point, neither do I.

Do you carry a fixed blade knife for EDC? If so, where do you carry it? I’m still open to ideas here…

About the author: Ben Petersen is the marketing manager at Blade HQ. His current EDC is a Benchmade 940BK, right side, front pocket, deep carry clip.

10 comments

  1. During the week my EDC knife is an old sog flash 2 (partial serrated drop point) love this knife for everyday work “stuff” BUT come the weekend, oh its on. friday evening after I get home from work my baby comes out. A CFK D2 in a horizontal right hand carry on my right hip for me the length of the knife and sheath combined allows it to sit just slightly out from my hip enough to keep it out of the way but allowing me to have easy access. the leather sheath that I got with the knife is snug enough to allow me to replace it without having to snap it in place for easy access when doing something that I’d need knife, hand, knife , hand type work. for me since im a bigger guy this type of setup works great. one of the things that I like about this type of setup is that most places and people think little of someone carrying a medium sized fixed bladed knife around (I live in a rural area) with a little practice and in most situations this knife is and has proven to be a most dependable and useful tool.

  2. I do carry a fixed blade every day. I carry it on my hip tip down. It’s worked well for me. Currently I have an Anza knife on me.

  3. I simultaneously carry both a folder and a fixed blade (different tools for different tasks). My fixed blade is an Obake on a static line tucked in my right-side waist band, set up for a reverse grip draw. I imagine that for a concealed carry, the handle rubbing against the abdomen would start to irritate the skin, but I wear an undershirt so that has never been a problem. I’m also skinny and I’ve never had a problem with the Obake slipping into my pants and dangling by the cord. That may be because my undershirt provides friction against the chord wrapped handle.

  4. I carry a fixed blade everyday. I either carry a pocket clip sheath in my rear back pocket or a traditional carry on my belt/right hip.

  5. I am in the same boat. I really want to carry a good solid (yet smaller) fixed blade. I am still shopping for the perfect one. I have seen many out there and prefer to buy US made. But my EDC has always been an automatic folder. Push a button and its ready to go. I am an EMT/FF and to have that instead of a fixed blade is best. But for camping and hiking I wanted to try fixed blade. But your little article and experiment has shown me that a folding knife might just have to do. Thanks for the read and words of wisdom.
    Chris
    Idaho

  6. I worked at a pizza place for 3 years and for the last year or so I carried a CRKT minimalist on my belt and the 1 o’clock position. Its worked fine and I used my thumb to pull it out and pushed it against my belt buckle to put it back in the sheath. It was a clip point minimalist

  7. Hey Ben! Great blog post! I personally carry a few blades on me. The fixed blade I carry is the Gerber GhostStrike. It is awesome. I also carry a decent sized folder (partially for the entertainment quality you meantioned) and victorinox cadet or small multi-tool. I work in an office environment but I always come across opportunities to use my gear.

  8. Do you have a link for the cord wrap shown on the Izula in the blog “7 days with a fixed blade knife for EDC? Thanks

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