We all know that frustrating feeling when you need to crack open a package or a bottle of beer but you don’t have the tools to do so. Why find yourself in this situation when you have access to the best EDC essentials on the market.
The everyday carry movement has gained plenty of momentum over the years with an expansive assortment of products to add to your arsenal. If you can think of a daily issue, there’s most likely an EDC product built to serve that purpose. This could come in several different forms like a key organizer or specialized pen. All of these essentials are built with the same goal in mind–to make life simpler. But is it actually helpful to carry any of these products around?
Much of the value you get out of any single tool depends on your lifestyle and what you need access to on a daily basis. While one person may thrive carrying around a hefty multi-tool, a simple flashlight might be sufficient for another.
This list highlights some of the most prominent men’s EDC essentials to make your life easier. Whether you’re looking for a pocket knife to keep on you at all times, or a simple pair of classy shades to keep the sun out of your eyes, this list has it all. So, let’s quickly imagine what your future EDC could look like.
To complete my EDC essentials list, I plunged into an endless rabbit hole of gear. Seriously, there are tons of products out there. My goal was to find the best accessories while taking different needs and lifestyles into consideration, which is how I ended up with these 12 finalists. Overall, you really can’t beat the function and versatility of the Victorinox Huntsman Swiss Army Knife. Another great choice has to be the Orbitkey Clip v2 for its modern, elegant take on a classic design.
Our Top Picks
Why it’s great: I’ve been carrying this exact Swiss Army Knife on me since I was 14 years old. The Victorinox Huntsman has 15 different tools, allowing you to do everything from sewing up a shirt to cleaning your teeth. The slim profile of this knife really shines making it easy to fit in a pocket or slip onto your belt with a pouch. You can also get the Huntsman in several different colors with a custom engraving option for an added layer of personality.
How to use it: To access any tool on this Swiss Army Knife, simply locate and flick it out from the handle.
Flaws but not dealbreakers: None of the tools on this Swiss Army Knife have locks which could be hazardous in the wrong hands. It’s always recommended you use this knife with proper care to avoid injury.
Why it’s great: When you always want time on your side, you need a great EDC watch. The Aquascaphe Bronze Watch from Balto is an elegant option made with real bronze, featuring a double dome sapphire glass display. The entire watch face also glows in the dark so you can keep an eye on the time even during late-night excursions.
How to use it: This watch functions like any other watch, only needing to be wound up every now and then to keep you on time for whatever life throws your way.
Flaws but not dealbreakers: In an era of smartwatches, this watch does little more than tell the time; however, those who admire the classics will absolutely see this as an upside.
Why they’re great: If you live in a place that gets a lot of sun, you can’t forget to pick up a solid pair of sunglasses. The Meller Yster Gold Olive sunglasses are an excellent pair of stainless steel sunglasses with light protection up to category 3 (400UV). These sunglasses are available in three different lens colors with medium or large size options.
How to use them: Sunglasses are pretty self-explanatory–throw them on whenever the sun is blaring. The gold frame adds a touch of class to just about any outfit.
Flaws but not dealbreakers: A few reviewers claim these sunglasses might have some quality control issues. Luckily, Meller has excellent customer service and these issues can be handled efficiently if something arises.
Why it’s great: Another EDC accessory that’s sure to boost your style is a gold or silver chain, which makes the 3mm Cuban Chain from
How to use it: This chain can be thrown on with plenty of outfits for a bit of added classiness. When wearing it, just be sure to match the type of metal with other jewelry you may be wearing for a seamless look.
Flaws but not dealbreakers: This chain is only available in one size—22 inches long. While this is great for men on average, it might be a little short or long depending on your build and dimensions.
Why it’s great: This mini flashlight from Streamlight packs a mighty punch for its size, able to reach 250 lumens. It comes in a 3.8-inch aluminum body and weighs less than a few ounces. You have access to two light settings and the pocket clip on the back doubles as a clip for the brim of your hat when you need to work with both hands in the dark.
How to use it: This flashlight operates via the button on the back which allows you to alternate between the low and high brightness modes. It also includes a USB cable which means this flashlight can be recharged.
Flaws but not dealbreakers: While this flashlight certainly provides a lot of light for its size, it’s no match compared to other, much larger flashlights. You can get away with this light for most daily matters, but you shouldn’t expect it to replace a heavy-duty lantern.
Why it’s great: While you might know Ridge for their reinvention of the wallet, you may also want to check out their specialized KeyCase. The KeyCase is a device used to simplify your life, keeping all of your keys in a Swiss Army Knife-style package for easy access. There’s also a hook on the bottom to hang it off of a bag, and a clip on the back to secure it to the inside of your pocket.
How to use it: This KeyCase comes with a special bolt tool that allows you to open it up and insert your keys accordingly. Once you have them in, it’s as simple as sliding your keys out like a Swiss Army Knife.
Flaws but not dealbreakers: This design is limited by how many keys it can hold–the capacity is 6. Unless you’re a janitor, you likely don’t carry more than 6 keys at any given time so this shouldn’t be a major issue.
Why it’s great: If you want to be more professional in your daily life, you always need a pen on you. The Ti Pocket Pro EDC Pen from Big Idea Design not only fulfills the needs of a standard pen, but it does so in a classy and durable titanium body. This pen has ridges for grip, a pocket clip, and can be refilled in multiple ways for a lifetime of usage.
How to use it: The Pocket Pro can be refilled in different ways, making it customizable to a degree. There is a whole spreadsheet on the website including information about what refills are compatible with this pen.
Flaws but not dealbreakers: While some EDC pens may incorporate alternative tools like a flashlight, for example, this pen does one job—write. This ensures that the pen is no more bulky than it needs to be and is able to do its sole job without fail.
Why it’s great: The EDC craze has led to the creation of some nifty tools and that is no more apparent than in The Mighty Bar. The Mighty Bar is a small piece of stainless steel featuring one flat side and one side with an edge. This design allows the bar to serve several different purposes with the ultimate goal of ditching that bulky multi-tool.
How to use it: The Mighty Bar can be attached to your keychain or key ring and can be used to open bottles, cans, boxes, and even split open a wooden log.
Flaws but not dealbreakers: The tool itself is incredibly small and lightweight, so although they claim it can split open a log, you’ll need to use another tool in tandem with The Might Bar to actually accomplish this goal. The Mighty Bar is a great tool to complement other EDC items you carry like a pocket knife.
Why it’s great: All you can ask for in an EDC pocket knife is something light, yet sturdy for any work that arises–The James Brand Carter Pocket Knife checks these boxes. This knife features a VG-10 2.8-inch stainless steel blade (conceal carry legal), a slide lock mechanism, a pocket clip, and an ergonomic handle. Not to mention, it’s also available in an assortment of classy colors to match any kind of style preferences.
How to use it: This is a lightweight knife meant to be used in everyday scenarios. It can slice open boxes or cut yarn and string without missing a beat.
Flaws but not dealbreakers: Some EDC knife blades are partially serrated to provide more versatility. While this knife doesn’t have any serrations, it does have a high-quality straight-edge blade that should be able to handle most tasks.
Why it’s great: The James Brand Mehlville Carabiner is a classy, modern take on your classic carabiner for keys. It’s able to hold as many keys as you need, while the notch on the side serves as a bottle opener when happy hour rolls around. This carabiner is also available in four distinguished colors which really sets it apart from the competition.
How to use it: This carabiner is divided into two sections and easily slides open when a bit of pressure is applied to the clip side.
Flaws but not dealbreakers: Unlike some classic carabiners, this one is missing a locking mechanism. However, it’s designed in a way where this shouldn’t be much of an issue for daily usage–just don’t expect to rock climb with this bad boy.
Why it’s great: The Orbitkey Clip v2 is a modernized hybrid of the classic keychain and carabiner duo. It features a durable aluminum carabiner clip and a removable magnetic keychain to house all of your keys. This simple yet effective design makes it a breeze to access your keys while keeping them in a secure place when not in use.
How to use it: This key clip can be worn around a belt loop on your pants or hung off of your bag. Since the actual keychain can quickly pop off, you have a lot more options when storing this on your person.
Flaws but not dealbreakers: The magnetic attachment of the keychain makes it very convenient, but it also opens up the possibility of your keys falling off the carabiner. While this is unlikely, it is something to take note of since the carabiner and the chain are two separate pieces. You could also throw a small tracker on the keychain to ensure you always know its precise location.
Why it’s great: Leatherman is a legend in the industry, which is why the Signal Multi-tool is truly one of the best out there. This multi-tool not only offers 16 different tools, but it’s available in 9 different colors as well. This multi-tool provides access to the usual suspects like pliers, wire cutters, and a knife; however, it also has some unique tool heads like a hammer, saw, and box wrench.
How to use it: This multi-tool can be used while camping or on a worksite if you often need a variety of tools at your disposal. It also has a locking mechanism that will keep the tool closed in the event it ends up in the wrong hands.
Flaws but not dealbreakers: This is a pretty beefy multi-tool that might be a bit uncomfortable in an average-sized pocket. While this could be seen as a downside, it means this tool can serve almost any function you need. It also comes with a black nylon sheath for this exact reason.
Buying Considerations For EDC Essentials
The most important factor to consider when searching for the best men’s EDC essentials is the function they serve. Nobody wants to lug around a useless piece of junk everywhere they go just for the sake of it. Unfortunately, with a market as saturated as this one, you’re bound to run into some products that sound great on paper but don’t actually live up to your expectations. It doesn’t hurt to do a bit of due diligence in determining whether or not a product will actually work the way you hope it will.
Plenty of EDC tools are worth their weight in value if they actually fit the needs of your lifestyle. Do you find yourself constantly needing to open boxes? Grab a pocket knife or Mighty Bar. Is your keychain a noisy mess? Grab a key organizer or carabiner. There are plenty of great EDC products out there, but some of them may prove to be useless if they don’t fit your personal needs.
Contrary to popular belief, size actually does matter and the smaller the better (for EDC gear at least). Despite the need for a multi-tool that can do it all, you really don’t want a clunky piece of metal to cram into your pockets each day. Compact, yet functional, is the EDC forte. Luckily, many brands out there have gotten the memo and have slimmed down their products as a result. It never hurts to search for the smallest product to pack the biggest punch.
Why You Should Trust Us
As a writer at FashionBeans, I’ve done my fair share of research into men’s attire and style trends. I’ve also been putting these principles into practice for over a decade, trying out different brands and determining what’s best. When it comes to everyday carry, there’s a wide swath of products to choose from.
I painstakingly searched through hundreds of EDC items, narrowing down the selections to these 12 items. Despite my efforts, there are still plenty of other products out there that could match your lifestyle perfectly. Hopefully, these recommendations will provide a general idea of what to expect when searching for the best EDC essentials.
Overall, one of the best EDC essentials has to be the Victorinox Huntsman Swiss Army Knife. There’s a reason this brand has been selling products for close to 150 hundred years. Another lifesaver is the Orbitkey Clip v2 for its modern design and functionality.
The must-have men’s EDC essentials ultimately depend on lifestyle. There is no shortage of cool gadgets out there, but if you don’t frequently find yourself needing a knife, why carry one? The one essential I’d say every man should consider is some type of keychain or key organizer. Everyone has to carry keys, so why not keep them tidy and accessible?