What’s the best steel for an EDC pocketknife?

A few viewers have asked me to talk directly about the different kinds of steels available in modern pocketknives. My hope is that it helps you understand some of the options, and the *actual* role of steel in choosing the best knife for you.

Fellow Steel Snobs: If you disagree with anything I’m saying here, let me know in the comments!


Dean Bridwell says:

Nick, would love to see you do an update on your thoughts for steels since its coming up on 3 years since this one. I know there are some new ones and your thoughts may have changed on some from this list as well.

Justin Westwood says:

I love the way you present your reviews and informative vids. very very good stuff here.

FJ Dubya says:

I’ll bet he could give the Jerky Boys a run for their money in a cocky phone prank! Love that accent. I’m from New Yawk myself. Great, highly informative video, btw. Thanks!

Chris Chapman says:

I just bought a Honey Badger as a budget EDC. It has a 8cr13mov blade. My main concern is edge retention. I’m electrician so I’m mainly using it for opening boxes, and skinning wires… What’s your opinion? Great video by the way!

calangel says:

I like 154CM. Good toughness, relative ease of sharpening, and good corrosion resistance. All with decent enough edge retention.

LastCAPatriot says:


Michael Demetriou says:


drameday says:

I love a good m390 or m4 blade, but I don’t automatically disregard budget steels. Like you mentioned, I enjoy sharpening knives. To me it is both relaxing and challenging at the same time. I love putting a hair popping mirror edge on even my 8cr13MoV Honey Badger. I look at it as practice for my more expensive knives. Another fine video Nick. I’ve been collecting knives since the early 90s and remember when Aus8 and ATS34 were the mainstays. Thumb studs and liner locks were new and innovative. Man this hobby just keeps getting better.

Marcos Shori Maedo Simoes says:


john mitchell says:

Thanks Nick!! Saves Us Tons Of Research…I Wonder If The knife Community Really Knows Just how Much Info Your Giving us. I Do .

Nuancolar says:

Other than consideration of corrosion resistance, steel choice is actually more important in fixed blades than folders. If you carry a folder, any decent steel will do. Really.

youtubesucks says:

Barely adequate needs to be changed to really good for the budget price.

theshapeexists says:

I like all sorts of steels for different purposes. My glock 81 field knife won’t take an edge for shit, but you can cut open steel ammo cans, pry heavy duty wood pallets apart, hammer on it with a sledge hammer and it stays as it was when I bought it 15 years ago. It’s like the same steel they use for a leaf spring on a dump truck. Tough as shit, but rusts when you look at it too long. I tried breaking that knife, and failed. And it’s not even full tang. Great $30 camping knife.

Ryan Harnell says:

Helpful and well organized. Something you don’t always get. Thanks man

Manuraj Singh Chauhan says:

He sounds like Squidward

ueg1974 says:

vg10 and s30v my favorite

Mike Almers says:

Why no CPM3V, CPM CruWear or Elmax? I have blades in all 3 and they are amazing.

Rifleman2423 says:


Jacob Tubbs says:

Nick where does Böhler N690 fall?

The Tinker Wins Prods says:

That voice has to be fake, a gimmick. Can’t be natural.

Adventures with Frodo says:

Surgical SS is 440. Or that was what it was when I was using a scaple.

chav68 says:

He sounds like a voice for a sandwich commercial. Boring video…

David Brown says:

While I love hair popping edges on knives, with very very fine edges. I think for an EDC a steel with larger carbides with more micro-serrations makes a better utility style knife.


I was kinda hoping he would say “see” at the end of at least one of his sentences

Markus Antonious says:

‘Annnd dats a deal bweaker…Whaateever..’ Leo Gorcey, The Bowery Boyz…. Luv it! (And good info!)

Roman Smith says:

Boston accent? Lmao

doktor space man says:

Does it bother anyone else that Nick has the auto-iris setting on on the camera? Turn that shit off, nick.

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