The Ultimate Firearms Destination for the Gun Lifestyle

Best EDC Knives For Women: Pink Handles Aren’t The Answer

At RECOIL, we review every product fairly and without bias. Making a purchase through one of our links may earn us a small commission, and helps support independent gun reviews. Learn More


There are plenty of articles floating around the internet praising pocket knives and listing umpteen reasons every man should carry one. While pocket knives have long been associated with Boy Scout preparedness and general masculinity, there are plenty of reasons for women to slip a folding blade into their pants pockets. 

Even a small pocket knife can make basic everyday tasks much easier. Besides making opening your Etsy packages or trimming loose strings off skirt hems at least ten times easier, an EDC blade could be an essential tool if you ever have to MacGyver your way out of a crisis.


It has absolutely nothing to do with pink handles. That may come as a surprise to blade manufacturers who apparently think they can pink-wash cheap designs and peddle them to women.

Like so many things in this world, when it comes to women’s pocket knives, size really does matter. 

The average woman has smaller hands and much smaller pockets than the average man. Mother Nature (and women’s fashion designers) can be pretty sexist in this regard. 

If you’re wondering which folding blades function best in feminine hands, we’ve got you covered. We’ve scoured the blade-sphere in search of EDC knives that take up less of our precious pocket space and balance well in smaller hands. Here are our favorites.


Kershaw Cryo

This affordable little folder is a relatively new addition to my pocket knife arsenal. My son gave it to me as a Christmas present after watching me fumble around with a much larger knife while field-dressing a deer. I fell in love with the Kershaw Cryo, which now rides everywhere with me. 

I was skeptical about how well this one would work as a hunting knife because the blade is incredibly petite at only two ¾ inches. The handle is also relatively pint-sized, measuring three ¾ inches long and less than a half-inch thick. While the blade doesn’t offer tons of cutting surface, the smaller blade is easier for me to control, and the handle fits perfectly in my palm. 

The blade and handle are both made from 8Cr13MoV steel with a titanium carbo-nitride coating that helps prevent corrosion and creates a sleek, modern look. The knife comes surgically sharp right out of the box, and the look is pretty freakin’ sharp, too. 

I’m not the only one who thinks this knife is impressive. Blade Magazine named this one a 2012 Best Buy of the Year. It also made the Men’s Journal Approved Gear list in 2013, but I promise it works just as well, if not better, in a woman’s pocket.

Buck Knives 284 Bantam

Buck Knives has a reputation for quality and durability, and their 284 Bantam is proof that their reputation is well-deserved. Although it is as stylish as it is durable, it is still meant to be a serious pocket knife for serious use. 

With a two ¾-inch drop-point stainless steel blade and a three ¾-inch handle, this knife hits the perfect Goldilocks “just right” sweet spot for most women. It isn’t too big or bulky for the pockets of most ladies' jeans, and it isn’t so heavy that it threatens to weigh down slacks made of lighter, dressier fabrics. 

Buck uses a proprietary heat treatment on its blades that reportedly makes the steel harder, more durable, and more corrosion-resistant. I’m not a metallurgy nerd, so I can neither confirm nor deny the company’s claims. However, in my experience, this blade seems to hold an edge like nobody’s business.

I also love that the handle is textured and well-balanced. This one doesn’t slip around in my palm, even when the work gets wet or bloody. 

The Buck 284 Bantam is a great, little compact blade that is just as capable of slicing fine cheese as tearing open feed bags. So whatever you need your pocket knife to do, ladies, this one is up to the task. 

Spyderco Dragonfly 2

The Spyderco Dragonfly was first introduced in 1994 and has undergone several revamps since then to make it even better. I’m a big fan of the textured grip and index-finger choil, which provide some extra control if you need to do any fine detail cutting. (The grip even comes in pink if that’s your sort of thing.)

At just 2.28 inches, the Dragonfly 2 is a super tiny blade. When folded, the whole package is a measly 3.33 inches and weighs just over an ounce. However, while the weight and dimensions make this one rather runty, it handles like a much larger knife. 

With a cutting edge that runs the entire length of the premium VG-10 blade, the Dragonfly 2 cuts like an absolute champ. Be careful. It also comes out of the box sharp enough for surgery.

All in all, this is a great women’s EDC knife. If I have any complaints, it’s the model name.

I get it. Dragonflies are pretty cool, and lots of women like them. I even have a few friends from college with dragonfly tattoos (some in questionable locations). It really shouldn’t surprise me that a company like Spyderco would name a great women’s EDC after them. But I’m just salty that we rarely get products like “Warrior” or “Eagle?” I’m tired of companies naming their women’s models things like “Meter Maid” and “Butterfly.” (Note: I made those names up, but it is definitely a trend to name women’s products something delicate.)

Benchmade 533 Mini Bugout

Benchmade released this miniature version of its popular Bugout folding knife in 2020. It is lighter, shorter (over an inch!), and perfectly sized for women’s hands and pockets. In fact, it’s easy to forget this one is in your pocket at all. 

Despite its pint-size proportions, Benchmade didn’t cut any corners on blade quality with the Mini. The 2.82-inch CPM S30V blade packs plenty of cutting power. It cuts through tough rope and cardboard without breaking a sweat and will still have a fine enough edge to slice a New York cheesecake when you’re finished. 

The Mini’s handle is understandably tiny (less than 4 inches) but not too slight to fit comfortably in feminine hands. The textured handle is fairly slip-resistant and comes in a rainbow of colors. I’d personally go for the attractive sage green or custom purple if you want to prevent your husband or boyfriend from Bogarting your blade. 

James Brand Elko

The Elko from James Brand is further proof that cool things regularly come in small packages. Sporting a 1.74-inch blade and weighing barely over an ounce, it is small in the hand but delivers big performance. Not only does the Elko feature a fully capable yet compact stainless steel blade, but it also comes equipped with a pry bar that can double as a bottle opener, screwdriver, and pry tool, so you are thoroughly equipped for anything the day throws your way. 

It can also work as a keyring for those occasions when your wardrobe doesn’t accommodate a pocket folder. However, at less than half an inch thick and 2.6 inches long, it will disappear like a David Copperfield trick in just about any pocket. 

Warning: The Elko does have a modern, minimalist aesthetic that may tempt you to show it off. It doesn’t really look like a pocket knife, so if you want to be extra covert with your EDC, this is a great way to do it. 

Brighten Blades Not So Heavy Metal

Brighten Blades is a relatively new company run by three sisters and their mom. That’s right—women’s blades designed by and for women. If anyone understands our needs (and our frustratingly tiny pockets), it’s these gals. 

Their “Not So Heavy Metal” line is ultra-affordable and perfect for pocket carry. Featuring a razor-sharp 8Cr13MoV stainless steel blade, as well as a thumb stud and liner lock for easy one-handed opening and closing, this blade is the perfect tool for removing tags, opening boxes, and cutting zip ties. 

Brighten Blades includes a stylish suede carrying case with every Not So Heavy Metal blade, which is nice if you need to keep yours stowed in your purse or laptop bag. 

I also love that the Not So Heavy Metal is available in a bunch of fun colors with names like Purple (Rain), White (Album), Blue (Oyster Cult), Black (Sabbath), Gold (Digger), Pink (Floyd), Green (Day), and Silver (and Cold)—finally, some women’s EDC knives with rockin’ names that are just as cool as we are. 


Enter Your E-Mail to Receieve a Free 50-Target Pack from RECOIL!

NEXT STEP: Download Your Free Target Pack from RECOIL

For years, RECOIL magazine has treated its readers to a full-size (sometimes full color!) shooting target tucked into each big issue. Now we've compiled over 50 of our most popular targets into this one digital PDF download. From handgun drills to AR-15 practice, these 50+ targets have you covered. Print off as many as you like (ammo not included).

Get your pack of 50 Print-at-Home targets when you subscribe to the RECOIL email newsletter. We'll send you weekly updates on guns, gear, industry news, and special offers from leading manufacturers - your guide to the firearms lifestyle.

You want this. Trust Us.

Add a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Subscribe to the Free