Alright, be honest: Have you ever used your EDC folding knife for things you really shouldn’t?
Like scraping off a sticker, prying out a loose screw from your electronics, or… Really anything that isn’t cutting?
Then one day, knowing that we shouldn’t be so rough with our knives, it happens: The edge gets damaged. The tip breaks off. The knife action becomes loose.
It happens to the best of us. But it really doesn’t have to — you just need to add a pry bar to your everyday carry kit. They’re small, convenient, and take care of just about everything that your folding knife can’t (or shouldn’t).
In this guide to the best EDC pry bars, we’re going to cover the bases of what to look for in one, then give you our top five picks for different styles of pry bars. So pick one up, add it to your keychain, and save your knives some hassle.
How to Choose the Best EDC Pry Bar
Pry bars are remarkably simple tools, but each brand puts their own twist on the classic design of a bar with a flat edge. That comes out in four different areas, each of which we’ll explore in more depth below.
Tools and Functions
The best pry bars for everyday carry can have a range of tools and functions, from a simple and straightforward single edge design to bottle openers, screwdrivers, pocket clips, and even bit drivers.
Does more tools mean a better pry bar? Not necessarily. Depending on your everyday carry style, you may want to trend towards the more minimalist single tool setups. But if you don’t already have a multi-tool as part of your daily kit, consider getting one of the more fully loaded pry bars.
Size and Shape
What’s comfortable for you to hold in your hand may not be for me, and vice versa. That’s just the nature of having different sizes of hands, and it’s something you should account for when you’re looking for an EDC pry bar.
Similarly, if you want to carry your pry bar on a keychain or in your front pocket, you’ll almost definitely want a smaller and more compact version. But if you want the most leverage possible with the least amount of strain, a larger pry bar is the way to go.
What your pry bar is made out of will be a big factor in how much enjoyment you get out of it.
The most affordable pry bars are often made of stainless steel — which, while durable, is also quite heavy.
For pricier pry bars, titanium is usually the material of choice. It’s lightweight but exceptionally tough stuff, making for easy use in just about any situation.
All of which leads us to the final element to consider before buying a pry bar: Price.
The most affordable pry bars cost between $10 and $20, and sport simple designs with stainless steel construction. High end pry bars can range around $100, but come with superior titanium construction and a wider array of tools.
Ultimately, it’ll be up to you to balance your budget against how much you need more functions and a lighter weight construction.
Now, onto our picks!
Best Overall: Vero Engineering Fulcrum (and Mini Fulcrum)
Joseph Vero, lead designer and CEO of Vero Engineering, has some of the most truly unique EDC gear we’ve seen lately. His obsessive attention to detail yields some exceptionally refined products — like the Fulcrum and Mini Fulcrum.
Far from being just a pry bar, these fully titanium tools also come with a magnetic bit holder hidden in their pocket clip and two O-ring banded bits at the other end. It’s one of the slickest uses of a bit driver we’ve seen in a pocket tool, and perfect for fine-tuning your knives at a moment’s notice.
The full sized Fulcrum measures in at 5.2 inches, and the Mini Fulcrum at just 3.5 inches. And while they’re pricey for this category of tools, their all-titanium construction and immaculate design make the cost worth the investment.
Best Minimalist: The Matsey Hexbar
If you already have a multi-tool as part of your everyday carry setup, then you probably don’t need a pry bar with lots of bells and whistles. In that case, the handsomely minimalist Hexbar from The Matsey will be right up your alley.
Made from titanium, The Matsey Hexbar is a simple and straightforward tool with some nice design touches for extra utility. It works as a pry tool and a bottle opener, with a multi-function hole that can either hold hex bits or be used to add the tool to a keychain or lanyard. And with its pleasantly textured grip, this pry bar is very comfortable to use in any situation.
Most Unique: GlowRhino Tritium Pry Bar
Ever wondered how the glowy hands and numerals work on dive watches? For the best of them, it’s not through solar power — it’s through the use of tritium, a radioactive isotope of hydrogen that naturally glows at all times.
Glow Rhino has leveraged that tritium technology in their whole lineup of EDC tools, adding a small glowing piece to each item.
That’s true in their Tritium Pry Bar too. A mostly minimalist take on the tool, it deftly combines a bottle opener, pry tool, and lanyard attachment hole, then wraps it all up with a glowing piece of tritium. That means you’ll never be at a loss for where this tool is, whether you’re digging through your sling bag at night or searching under the couch for where you left your keys.
Also Consider: Pena Titanium Pry Bar
Even though it comes in at just 2.75 inches in length, Pena’s Titanium Pry Bar has a seriously heavy duty construction and big prying surface alongside good gripping edges. The only drawback might be in the positioning of the tool’s bottle opener: It can kind of get in the way of your grip, giving slightly less leverage than the straight pry bars listed above.
That’s all paired with a bit driver for full function efficiency, but the real draw here might be the price: It’s one of the only titanium pry tools you’ll find for under $50. That alone makes it a great choice for the guy looking to try out a top notch pry bar without having to drop a full bill on it.
Best Value: CRKT Pryma
Designed by Jesper Voxnaes in Loegstrup, Denmark, CRKT’s Pryma tool is without a doubt the best pry tool for under $20. The tradeoff? It’s made of a heavier stainless steel.
Combining the functions of a carabiner, bottle opener, glass breaker, wrench, and pry bar end, it’s almost closer to a minimalist multi-tool than a dedicated pry bar. And while it doesn’t have quite the same smooth prying action as the other tools on our list (the handle feels a bit odd sometimes), this is still one heck of a tool for the price.
Frequently Asked Questions
And to finish things out, let’s take a look at the questions we’ve heard guys asking about EDC pry bars online.
What is the purpose of an EDC pry bar?
An EDC pry bar is great for everything your knife shouldn’t be doing: Scraping, prying, loosening and tightening screws, etc.
What are EDC pry bars made out of?
EDC pry bars can be made from a wide variety of materials, but the most common ones are stainless steel and titanium.