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Everyday carry all-stars: Upgrade your gear with these best-in-class, fast-action flipper knives

A compact, reliable blade is the cornerstone of any legit EDC setup. Upgrade yours with a good flipper knife

Hand holding a flipper knife
Image used with permission by copyright holder

A compact, reliable blade is the cornerstone of any good everyday carry (EDC) setup. Whether it’s for slicing open your daily Amazon delivery, cutting up a roast beef sandwich, or taking down ninjas on your morning commute, a good pocket knife is a practical, versatile, and essential tool.

Flipper knives (or just “flippers”), in particular, provide great all-around utility. They’re versatile, lightweight, and easily pocketable but deploy almost as fast as an old-school switchblade with the flick of a finger. So, if you’re looking to upgrade your EDC, here are the best flipper knives that anyone would be proud to add to their well-honed everyday carry.

The James Brand The Carter flipper knife in white, isolated on a plain studio background.
The James Brand

The James Brand – The Carter

With its catalog of beautiful, one-of-a-kind knives, Portland-based The James Brand is a perennial favorite here at The Manual. Every TJB knife balances simple, minimalist utility with a modern, rugged aesthetic. The Carter is a perfect addition to any EDC. The VG-10 stainless steel blade is corrosion-resistant and features a slide-lock mechanism to ensure it stays open when you need it. The design is also slim and lightweight, so it rides neatly in your pocket or on your hip. Plus, a thumb disc makes it fully ambidextrous, so it flips open lighting fast when needed.  

Kershaw Cryo II Flipper Knife (in Blackwash) isolated on a white studio background.

Kershaw Cryo II

We’ve long been fans of everything Kershaw, and its Cryo II flipper knife is another perfect example of why. It’s compact and lightweight yet a heavy-duty tool with an all-steel handle for a confident, comfortable grip. Built-in lock bar stabilization all but guarantees lock overtravel. The 8Cr13MoV blade steel is strong, hard, and capable of holding an edge longer than most. With Kershaw’s proprietary assisted opening tech, the 3.25-inch blade opens lightning fast with just one hand. Plus, it looks boss in the matte BlackWash finish. But, the best part? It’s available for around $40 to $50.

Benchmade Mini Barrage flipper pocket knife on a plain white background.

Benchmade Mini Barrage

Few knife companies so deftly balance everyday use with military-inspired good looks like Benchmade. That’s why the brand is another favorite here at The Manual. We’re hard-pressed to pick just one to carry, but the 585 Mini Barrage makes a great addition to any EDC. The first of the company’s knives to feature the Axis Assist mechanism, it deploys quickly and easily with just one hand. It weighs just 3.4 ounces and measures less than seven inches long when open, so it’s plenty compact to keep in your pocket or on your hip. It’s also personalizable with the brand’s handsome laser marking, so you can truly make this one your own.

Gerber Fastball knife on a plain white studio background.
Gerber Gear

Gerber Fastball

We’ve showered Gerber and its custom knife shop with plenty of love in the past, and with good reason. The company has a solid track record of producing affordable, durable, well-designed knives, and the Fastball flipper knife is no exception. This American-born EDC flipper features a 3-inch S30V Wharncliffe blade with a handsome black oxide coating. Integrated B.O.S.S. (that would be “Balls of Stainless Steel”) ball bearings guarantee smooth, consistent, one-handed deployment that’s as easy as flicking a light switch. Plus, the removable, three-position pocket clip provides for ambidextrous carry.

Emerson Knives CQC-8 Flipper knife on a plain white background.
Emerson Knives

Emerson Knives CQC-8 Flipper

Emerson Knives has a loyal following among hardcore survivalists, tactical blade enthusiasts, and even Britain’s SAS Regiment. The brand’s CQC-8 has long been regarded as one of the best flipper knives Emerson has ever designed. As the name implies, the CQC-8 Flipper adds a flipper tab to the mix for rapid deployment via flip, wave, or thumb. The 3.9-inch up-swept-saber-style blade is incredibly versatile, ideal for camping, hunting, patrolling, or whatever you’re into. To let the world know you mean business, customize it with a serrated blade and a black skull lanyard for around $20.

Spyderco Sliverax Carbon Fiber Flipper Knife on a plain studio background.

Spyderco Sliverax Carbon Fiber Flipper Knife

Spyderco is well-known as a maker of no-nonsense, tactical gear worthy of the U.S. military. The Sliverax elevates the company’s standard EDC knives as the first to combine a compression lock mechanism with a flipper-style opener. With the company’s trademark Round Hole and index finger flipper, the drop-point blade deploys swiftly with just one hand. The 3.48-inch blade boasts a full-flat grind for improved edge geometry, while a negative blade-to-handle arc provides better leverage and a swifter opening. The slim, advanced design offers structural rigidity and ensures the knife is pocket-friendly. A reversible deep-pocket wire clip also allows the user to configure for tip-up carry in either a left or right pocket.

Zero Tolerance 0450CF Folding Knife in carbon fiber, isolated on a plain white background.

Zero Tolerance 0450CF Folding Knife

Another favorite among EDC aficionados, Zero Tolerance’s entire line of best-in-class knives is designed for hardcore use. The 0450CF is a compact, lightweight solution with a smooth KVT ball-bearing mechanism that opens almost instantly with the flick of a finger. The 3.25-inch S35VN stainless steel blade is ultra-hard and resilient with exceptional edge resistance, so it’s ready for repeated use and abuse. The blacked-out design features a titanium and carbon fiber handle with scales and a DLC coating for enhanced performance. It’s handsome, tough, and versatile — the ideal gift for everyone from hunters and avid outdoorsmen to law enforcement and military personnel.

Don’t forget to complete your EDC kit with some of the best new everyday essentials for men.

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Mike Richard
Mike Richard has traveled the world since 2008. He's kayaked in Antarctica, tracked endangered African wild dogs in South…
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