Although every person’s EDC needs will be different. It is possible to build a good EDC collection on a small budget. In order to get a good range of products in our EDC we have gone for a budget of £100. This is enough to get you started and get you the essentials. However, if you want to add things like sunglasses and watches you are going to need a bigger budget. For the purposes of this post we are going to look at including a flashlight, a knife, a multi-tool, and a pen. If you have some budget left over we will also give you some other suggestions which you can potentially add to your EDC gear.
Before we get started it’s worth noting that if you take all of the most expensive items from each section you’ll exceed the £100 budget. But, by mixing and matching the options you will be able to build a very good generic EDC collection.
When looking at an EDC flashlight we are looking mostly at a single cell light (i.e. AA or CR123A), this is because any bigger and the flashlight can become much heaver and harder to carry. Of course this depends on your pockets and carry options. For the majority of people though a single cell flashlight is more than adequate.
For something that packs an awful lot of power for its size. Take a look at the Fenix E15. This flashlight can put out 170 Lumens and has three different settings so you can adjust the light output for different tasks. Yet, it’s still small enough to also attach to your keys and weighs 23 grams. At the time of writing this article the flashlight costs £26.95. Not expensive by any means, but if you don’t see a flashlight as a major part of your EDC then you may want to look at the other options below.
If you want a flashlight that’s a little cheaper at £16.95, but still pretty powerful (55 Lumens) then the Inova X1 Mini could be up your street. One of the real benefits to this little flashlight is that it is powered by an AA battery. This is fantastic because they are so readily available unlike other battery types. One drawback of this flashlight though is that it has neither a pocket clip nor a keyring hole. This obviously doesn’t affect performance, but it does make it easier to lose or harder to carry for some people.
Inova X1 Mini
For a tiny key ring sized EDC. The Fenix E01 doesn’t pack an output anywhere near that of the two above, but it has an awesome run-time with a regulated output so it won’t dim. It also runs off a single AAA battery which are stupidly easy to replace. It’s waterproof to IPX-8 and made of aircraft grade aluminium so it’s able to take a bit of a beating too. All that in one flashlight for just £10.95? Did we mention it’s also able to be carried on your keys!
UK Friendly Carry Knife
You can get a really good quality UK Friendly knife for under £35, and they are all a bit different too.
You could probably guess the Spyderco Bug would be one of our recommended knives in this section. It’s a fantastic little slip joint. It’s small and discreet, but still really sharp and usable. At the time of writing this article we have over 125 reviews on this single product. The end result is that it’s rated an average of 5 stars. That pretty much says it all.
If you want a UK folder that also looks awesome. The Douk Douk Petite Folder could be for you. This knife looks fantastic thanks to the patterning on both the blade and the handle. The knife itself is slim and tough with a C75 Carbon Steel Blade. We also love the inclusion of a lanyard loop for attachment to a keyring or paracord. Excellent choice of knife!
Douk Douk Petite Folder
If you want a more robust knife you should look at the Lansky World Legal Knife. The knife alone is just £16.95 too, meaning you get a whole lot of knife for the money. This isn’t a knife for everyone, but if you want a tool which is strong, ergonomic, and has a fantastically strong slip joint, you’ve found it. There is a nice lanyard hole, but ultimately this is far too big for a set of keys. Luckily it has a low-carry pocket clip though, so panic over.
Lansky World Legal Knife
Some of you will want greater versatility in your knife. If that’s you the Victorinox Farmer Alox should be on your radar. A classic Swiss Army Knife (SAK) with lots of useful everyday tools. Although you have a good range of tools, it’s still really easy to carry and comes with a keyring loop for easy attachment to your key set. Overall a very well built tool that can offer you a good range of options.
Victorinox Pioneer Range Farmer Alox
No matter how much we use a computer, a pen is still very much common place wherever you are in the world from the office desk to thick jungle, even on coral reefs. You want a pen that’s both hard-use, but also could quite happily fit into the urban environment. With that in mind, here are a few. . .
The Smith and Wesson Tactical Pen is one of our most popular pens. Which isn’t surprising giving its rugged design yet modern style. It looks that part and acts it too. With the one end you can write, turn the pen around though and you have a PDA stylus. A really nice and well made pen, which comes with a refillable black cartridge.
Smith & Wesson Tactical Pen
The Schrade Tactical Combo Pen is next up. This pen is fantastic for a number of reasons. Firstly the price which is brilliant for the quality of product. With this pen you get a choice of using either a German made iridium fountain nib or Schmidt roller-ball. On top of choosing a nib, you also get colour choice, which for some people can be a decisive factor. Like many of the other products featured ni this post, take a look at the reviews, then tell us it’s not a good choice.
Schrade Tactical Combo Pen
The final pen we want to shine a light on is the Boker Plus Tactical Pen. A really simple and effective pen. It looks good and does the job required. It doesn’t have an over tactical look, and very easily fits into the urban/office environment.
Boker Plus Knives Tactical Pen
Unfortunately many aren’t UK Friendly Carry. However, there are number which are, and some of these are pretty cool.
We’ll start off looking at the Leatherman Style PS. This is a really handy and travel sized multi-tool. It includes some great tools such as spring-loaded pliers, scissors, tweezers, bottle opener, screwdriver and nail file. The clip too means you can carry this tool almost anywhere either on your pack or in your pocket. Great tool!
Leatherman Style PS
Next up is the Boker Tech-Tools 3 and 4. Although this is quite expensive for an EDC on a budget, for what you get they are actually fantastic value. Not only do get a really good quality knife, but you get all the tools. That’s why many people are getting their hands on these as a bridge between a knife and multi-tool. There are two main differences between the 3 and 4. The four essentially includes pliers and a saw. It completely depends on you needs as to the one you choose. Either way you’ll be satisfied with your tool!
Boker Plus Tech-Tool 3
Finally we draw your attention to the Gerber Dime multi-tool. This is a multi-tool designed for your keyring, it’s amazingly small and will fit comfortably onto your keys, but don’t let that make you think it can’t do a job. It has 10 different tools that you will find use for regularly. For the price of just £18.95 it’s really hard to find fault with it!
Anything else we should include?
As we said at the start, many people would put things like watches and sunglasses in their EDC gear. If you’re on a budget though it’s unrealistic you could also include a decent watch. There are however some other things you may want to consider . . .
You could include a Maxpedition Pocket Organiser Mini as a way of helping you carry and store all your EDC essentials. They are really compact and durable. Definitely worth looking at especially as your EDC collection begins to grow.
Paracord is something that could be pretty useful. It can be made into a lanyard or monkey knuckle and be attached to your gear either for effect or to aid in getting the items out of your pocket. You never know! It’s also pretty darn cheap too.
The Freekey Keyring System is a genius little bit of tech that will allow you to easily and quickly attach and remove items from your keys. With this simple system, you no longer have to spend ages trying to get your tools or keys on and off. For just £4.95 why wouldn’t you?
Freekey Keyring System