EDC On A Budget
Every day we see people who cheap out on their daily carry items because they just don’t have the money for quality stuff. I’m someone that’s on a tight budget currently, so when I’m making purchases I make sure to do a ton of research before pressing that fated “Place Order” button.
Your EDC gear doesn’t need to be expensive, but it doesn’t need to be Flea Market quality crap either. So, below I’m going to give you some products ideas on how you can improve your EDC gear.
Keep in mind, some of these items aren’t products I’ve tested myself, but people that I trust that have used them extensively.
Let’s Get Pointy
Knives are the #2 EDC item I see people choosing garbage bin quality for. A lot of these GBQs (see what I did there? I made an acronym) aren’t much cheaper than the knife I primarily carry, or some of the offerings that I’ll be recommending to you.
The Ontario Rat 1 is the knife that I always recommend immediately when “budget” and “knife” are used in the same sentence. I bought one when I started a job as an animal caretaker and needless to say…I beat the ever living hell out of it. If you want my full review here’s the link. Regardless, the Ontario Rat 1 is probably the best sub-$30 knife that you can find. It’s smooth, it holds an edge real well, and it’s cheap!
*The Rat 1’s that are above $30 use a different blade steel than the standard model*
The Spyderco Tenacious is slowly becoming my favorite knife buy, but it is a little more expensive than the Ontario Rat 1. The price coming in around $35-$40 depending on where you shop. I haven’t even started my review on it, but I’ve had it for a about a year and a half now. I won’t say it’s as smooth as the Ontario Rat 1, but it holds it’s edge better, and it just cuts a lot nicer.
I have used it to cut a lot of frozen meat, vegetables, fruits, etc. with the factory edge…so far it doesn’t show any signs of slowing down.
The Kershaw Barricade is really for the people who are constantly on the road, but don’t have the financial capability to buy “top tier” equipment. The knife itself is assisted opening, it has a seat-belt cutter, and a glass breaker. I’ve not had the pleasure of having one in for review yet, but I know a lot of people who stash one in their glove box.
The Ganzo F720 is the cheapest one on the list, coming in at $20 on Amazon. This is another knife I have no experience with, but a very good friend of mine who does some construction type work praises. It has an axis lock similar to Benchmade, but it’s heavy, and it doesn’t have the world’s best pocket clip.
And then he said “LET THERE BE LIGHT!”
Knives were the #2 item I saw people going with GBQ products, right? Well, flashlights are #1. The El-Cheapos we find at gas stations are fantastic for storing around the house for when the power goes out.
They suck for daily carry use though, especially lights we throw in our pockets. Want to know why? Washers and dryers. I know I’m not the only one to say “Huh, it still works!” after a light falls out of the dryer.
The Streamlight MicroStream is a very cheap option coming in at around $16. This light puts out a usable 45 lumens/683cdl beam out to about 20ft. It doesn’t have an intense hotspot, but it does have very usable flood.
So far my current MicroStream (I lost my first) has gone through an entire washer and dryer cycle 2 times without any issues. I can’t think of a harder “torture test” than that for a pocket light. You can find my full review here.
Yes, another Streamlight product; what can I say? They’re budget friendly and reliable. The Stylus Pro I had (but gave to a friend) was beaten to hell and back over a year period. It got dropped in a pond, it smacked concrete and tile floors often, and went through a ton of wash/dry cycles. Price? $19.
I have a full review on the older version of the Stylus Pro that had lower output.
The Olight I3E is my favorite “cheap gift” to give to people. I have 2 circulating in my family and they get used pretty extensively. The I3E is the cheapest ($10) and smallest option that’ll be on this list. It has an impressive output of 90 lumens, it uses standard batteries (like the two above), and the run time isn’t half bad.
The Streamlight ProTac 1L-1AA is for those who need a brighter light than the options above, but not a search light. The ProTac series from Streamlight offers a really nice beam of light, good output, and they’re tough as nails.
The Extras are pretty self-explanatory. These are items that are going to be user dependent, but they’re items I either use regularly, or integrated into my daily carry at some point.
1. CRKT Pryma; Your knife ain’t a prybar!
2. CRKT Eat’n’Tool ; Never know when someone will give you cake!
3. Pocket Mag Carrier; I prefer the NeoMag, but these get the job done.
5. Timex Expedition; Not everyone wears a wrist watch, I have since I was a kid. I have 3 Expeditions and they’ve proven to be extremely durable and accurate enough time pieces.
These are just some budget gear ideas to incorporate into your EDC set-up. If you have any suggestions for me to add to this list, or to even get in for review, be sure to hit me up on Facebook!