Today’s TSP Amazon Item of the day is the Outdoor Edge 3.5″ RazorLite EDC. A few years back I found the Outdoor Edge Razor Blaze Knife and picked up it primarily for skinning as the swapable replacement blades just made so much sense. You can read my original review here. I really loved this knife and have gotten a lot of use out of it over about 3 years now.
Then very recently I picked up the Razor Bone using longer blades and reviewed all the options for it here. This was a new item from Outdoor Edge for me anyway and it turned out that they had been doing a lot of cool stuff since I had gotten my first knife from them. As I was looking over options I also noticed the Outdoor Edge 3.5″ RazorLite EDC. I put it on my future review list at that time.
Well after getting my hands on the Razor Bone/Fin frame I just decided to get the EDC version as well. If there can be a perfect “EDC Utility Knife” this may be it. You guys know I have recommended the Gerber EAB as an EDC tool for years. Always sharp as a razor and it avoids using your really good knife for harsher tasks, getting it gummed up with tape, etc. Yet it has limits due to its size and form.
The Outdoor Edge 3.5″ RazorLite EDC honestly is a game changer. It holds the blade absolutely locked so you are not going to get hurt by it. The EAB does so as well but you have neither a full sized handle or blade to work with. I have cut things with the EAB and done work with it where I was more than a bit concerned about slipping.
While I feel knives from Outdoor Edge like the Razor Fin & Razor Blaze are knives specifically for say a fishermen or a hunter, the RazorLite EDC to me, is a knife for everyone. So much so that I am officially retiring my long standing recommendation for the Gerber EAB to fill this type of roll in an EDC Utility Blade. Long term listeners to my podcast will realize that is a big deal, I have been recommending the Gerber since at least 2012. Long before TspAz reviews even existed.
The premise of all these knives is simple your blade is always razor sharp because when it gets dull, you toss it out and replace it with a new one. New blades cost about $1.60 – $2.00 each depending on the type. The blades are made with an inexpensive steel called 420 J2, which has poor long term edge retention but sharpens very easily and is extremely resistant to corrosion and rust. This steel, until these knives came out, had two primary uses.
- It is used by many high end knife makers as liners, springs, etc in their folding knives, due to high corrosion resistance.
- It is used by many makers of surgical scalpels. Generally scalpels must be incredibly sharp and are used one time in surgery and deposed of. Inexpensive steel that stands up to harsh chemicals for sterilizing and gets incredibly sharp easily is perfect for this application.
Given the above I think 420 J2 is perfect for what Outdoor Edge is doing with these knives. Personally I don’t toss them as soon as they start to dull, I use a sharpening steel and given how soft J2 steel is 3-5 strokes brings it right back. So I do sharpen these types of knives, generally about 10-12 times just using my steel, then I feel the blades have about had it. Again this is the same steel they make scalpels from, it is not great for long term use, rather to be easily made scary sharp. It serves the role here perfectly.
I have now after carrying this little knife for a week, retired my EABs forever. Yes the blades cost more but they also do a hell of a lot more. You also should know by now I look at total cost of a thing, not the unit cost. If you use a steel to keep the edge true you should be able to again do that about 10-12 times, this reduces cost over time by 10-12x without much work. Again if you know how to use a sharpening steel (and you should) the J2 steel is soft enough that it is like spreading butter to get it back to an absolute razor.
I also heard from a few listeners after my last review of the Fin/Bone frame that carry the Outdoor Edge 3.5″ RazorLite EDC and have done so for a while. All four who reached out said they loved it. I think if you give it a try you will as well. This frame comes in 3 color options, Orange, Gray and Blue. The Gray and Blue are sold by third party sellers on Amazon, but there is not much premium on the cost. The orange is sold directly by Amazon and ships faster and costs a buck or two less. Check the video below to see just how awesome this little knife is.
Remember you can always find the TSP Amazon Item of the day by just going to TspAz.com
P.S. – They also make a 3 inch version which uses slightly smaller blades. If you watch the video above you will see just how compact the 3.5 is, so I don’t know that anyone really needs a smaller frame but it does exist. For me owning two other products in the line I didn’t want to add a third required blade length though. So I did not even consider it. Finally those 5 inch blades for the Fin/Bone will lock right into this knife as well, so you can keep them with your fishing gear, carry the 3.5 as an EDC tool, and convert it to a fillet knife on your fishing trips.