EDC and Reliability: 5 Things to Remember

Today, I want to talk about how reliability plays into the gear you carry, and what specifically are my go-tos when it comes to gear I know I can count on. Be sure to let me know in the comments what you look for when buying your gear. 

Let’s briefly understand what EDC is first. Fundamentally, EDC is a form of preparation. Being able to have control over the things that happen in our life, no matter how small a level, is reassuring. So to a lesser extent, you could even say EDC is a form of security. Over the years though, as the EDC hobby has grown, the nature of the game has changed a lot. A good example of this are the pocket dumps you’ve probably seen online which prioritize aesthetic appeal over practical use. While I do enjoy a good-looking pocket dump as much as anyone else, unfortunately this makes it difficult to discern the good from the bad. It also doesn’t help that a lot of these people don’t actually use their tools on a regular basis, and there’s a crap ton of marketing fluff out there now. 

Starting with my knife, let’s talk about some of the things you can do to ensure that you’re getting something you can count on. The knife I’ve carried religiously for the last couple years is the Chris Reeve Sebenza 21 Small. A lot of people can attest to the prowess of this knife, and it’s probably one of the most well-known knives amongst enthusiasts. Without a doubt, this knife’s reputation precedes it, and this is why you should always consider something that already has a solid, proven track record. A good knife should last you for many, many years to come. One of my other favorite knives is the Benchmade Bugout, which I have here, but it’s also not something I would necessarily trust my life to. The Axis lock that Benchmade uses has two springs which are called Omega springs, and they’ll eventually need to be replaced given enough use. On the other hand, the Sebenza uses a simple frame lock which is less prone to failure. Simple isn’t necessarily better, but it does generally mean less things to go wrong. 

Next, properly maintaining your tools will also prolong their longevity and ensure that they’re ready to go when you need them. I regularly disassemble my knives to clean them and apply lubricant to the components. This also applies to my flashlights. O-rings are used to keep out contaminants and waterproof a flashlight, but if they get dry or snap the waterproofing can be compromised. It’s good practice to regularly lubricate the O-rings on your flashlights. Similarly, you should periodically recharge your flashlight’s battery, and take care to store your other rechargeable batteries at a half-charged state. 

On the topic of flashlights, my go-to flashlight is the Oveready BOSS 35 which I’ve had for about three years. Oveready makes custom flashlights in the US, and enjoys a reputation for utilizing some of the most advanced components out there. This flashlight has a light sensor which allows for programmability and a bounce feature. Even after three years, and that’s a long time in the flashlight world, this remains one of the most advanced lights out there. There’s also a separate body that you can run with a larger battery for more capacity, runtime, and versatility. All this said, making sure your gear is future-proofed is a form of reliability in itself. With flashlights, especially for EDC, don’t worry about the lumens too much, and look for things like full programmability. You might’ve already guessed from the company name, but they make tough lights and my BOSS 35 has seen some good abuse. 

Going back to future proofing, let’s talk about my watch. I don’t do smartwatches because they are inherently disposable. The industry is progressing so quickly, and anything you buy now will likely be obsolete in a few years. I learned my lesson the hard way having owned both a Fitbit and Apple Watch 3. I could never remember to charge them, especially the Apple Watch which had to be charged literally every day, and there was always something buggy going on with them. This isn’t to say that smart watches don’t have merit – which they do – but to say that they’re just not as reliable as a traditional watch. G-Shocks on the other hand are extremely tough, and I never have to worry about something like flicking my wrist when I want to know the time. This particular model has solar charging and atomic timekeeping which basically means I’ll never have to charge it or reset the time manually. Not having to think or go through numerous loopholes is a hallmark of a good tool. And as many will say, your tools should be working for you and not the other way around. 

Hopefully this has explained some of the things to look out for when you’re trying to find reliable gear for your EDC. Although EDC as a hobby has definitely experienced a paradigm shift, it doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t do your due diligence when purchasing new gear. This in mind, it’s just as important to have tools that actually perform as well as they look good.

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