Are you looking for the best tactical knife brand out there? Well, you've come to the right place. In this article, we'll take a look at some of the top brands currently on the market.
The tactical knife has become a very popular tool for both civilians and law enforcement alike. These tools are designed to provide maximum utility in a variety of situations.
They're also extremely versatile, allowing you to carry them in a number of ways.
There are several types of tactical knives available today. Some are designed specifically for military or police use, while others are intended for everyday use. Regardless of their purpose, they should always be carried responsibly.
If you're interested in learning more about tactical knives, keep reading! We hope that our list will help you find the perfect one for your needs.
Best Brands For Tactical Knives
OUR TOP PICK
Kershaw is a well-known name when it comes to making high-quality tactical knives. Their products have been used by many different branches of the U.S. Military as well as other government agencies.
Their line includes everything from folding knives to fixed blade knives. The company makes a wide range of models, including the K2, which is considered to be one of the most reliable tactical knives on the market.
One thing that sets Kershaw apart from other manufacturers is that they offer a long warranty on all of their products. This means that if anything goes wrong with your knife, you can get it replaced free of charge.
Kershaw's line of tactical knives is a great range of knives. Made with aluminum handles, the blades are crafted from stainless steel. It features a full tang design, meaning that the entire handle is attached to the blade.
This allows the knife to stay strong even after years of use. You can choose between two different styles: a clip point and a drop point. Both feature a black finish and a rubberized grip.
As well as being sharp and efficient, Kershaw makes sure to include safety features on all their tactical knives. A thumb stud is included so that you can lock the blade open securely.
There's also a lanyard hole on the back of the knife. Kershaw has utilized a unique SpeedSafe Assisted Opening feature that allows you to easily access and open the tactical knives safely, quickly, and with one hand.
- SpeedSafe Assisted Opening
- Strong sharp blade
- Used in the military
Spyderco is another manufacturer of tactical knives. Unlike Kershaw, however, Spyderco does not make any type of military-grade knives. Instead, they specialize in producing quality tactical knives for civilian use.
With over 40 years of experience in the industry, Spyderco knows what works and what doesn't. That's why they continue to produce innovative designs that meet the demands of modern-day users.
They have developed a reputation for creating high-performance tactical knives that are easy to use. One of their most popular models is the SPYDERCO® ALTAS™ Folding Knife. This model is ideal for carrying because of its compact size.
It's lightweight and comfortable to hold, yet still packs an impressive punch. Its titanium alloy frame provides strength and durability, while its ergonomic shape makes it comfortable to carry.
It's also equipped with a number of useful features. These include a reversible pocket clip, a removable pocket clip, and a lanyard hole.
The ALTAS Folding Knife is a versatile tool that's suitable for both work and play. With its sleek design and incredible performance, this is one knife that won't disappoint.
- Ergonomic design
- Highly functional
- Great value for money
- Not suitable for heavy-duty tasks
Gerber is another brand that specializes in making high-quality tactical knives. They're known for their ability to create durable knives that are extremely affordable.
Gerber's line of tactical knives includes a variety of models, such as the Gerber Gator Series Fixed Blade Knife. This knife is designed to be used by law enforcement officers or security guards.
Its slim profile makes it easy to conceal in your pocket. It comes with a sturdy carbon fiber sheath that protects the knife during transport.
The Gator Series Fixed Blade knife is built using a combination of materials. This includes a CPM S30V steel blade, a 420HC stainless steel handle, and a nylon sheath.
It's also designed to be highly resistant to corrosion. This means that it will last longer than traditional knives.
A major benefit of having a fixed blade knife is that it offers more versatility when compared to other types of knives. You can use it for many different purposes.
For example, you could use it to cut rope, wood, or even leather. The Gator Series Fixed Blade is perfect for those who want a knife that's tough enough to perform multiple functions.
- Sturdy construction
- Doesn't come with a pouch
Boker is a German company that produces some of the best tactical knives on the market today. Their products are some of the most advanced and reliable in the world.
One of their best tactical knife models is the Boker Plus Tactical Folder Knife. This model has been designed for military personnel and police officers.
It's made from premium quality materials like AUS 8A grade stainless steel. This material is strong and durable. It's also very flexible, which allows it to withstand extreme temperatures.
This knife is equipped with a rugged black finish. This gives it a distinctive look that's sure to stand out among others. It's also fitted with a textured rubberized grip. This helps prevent slipping and improves overall comfort.
The Boker Plus Tactical folder knife comes with a solid lock mechanism. This ensures that the blade stays securely locked in place.
There's also a lanyard hole located at the base of the handle. This makes it easier to attach a lanyard if needed.
Another great feature of this knife is that it comes with an ambidextrous thumb stud. This allows users to operate the knife easily regardless of hand size.
- Strong locking mechanism
- Textured rubberized grip
- Ambidextrous thumb stud
- Lacks a carrying case
Hogue is one of the leading manufacturers of tactical gear. Their products include everything from holsters to backpacks.
Their tactical knife collection includes several models that are ideal for both civilian and military applications. One of these knives is the Hogue HO35156-BRK Tactical Fixed Blade.
This knife features a full tang design. This means that its entire length is comprised of one piece of metal. This provides strength and durability.
The Hogue HO35156 BRK Tactical Fixed Blade Knife is constructed from high-quality materials.
These include a 440C stainless steel blade, a VG10 titanium handle, and a black polymer sheath.
It's also designed to be lightweight and comfortable. This is thanks to its ergonomic shape. Its contoured handle offers excellent grip while still allowing you to hold the knife comfortably.
The Hogue Tactical Fixed Blade Knife is perfect for anyone who wants a knife that's versatile and functional. It's also suitable for outdoor activities like hunting, camping, fishing, and hiking.
- Ergonomic shape
- Fixed blades can be hard to maneuver
Cold Steel is another popular brand known for producing high-quality tactical knives. They have some of the best fixed-blades available on the market today.
One of their top-selling models is the Cold Steel AD-10 Tactical Folding Knife. This knife is designed for everyday carry and combat use.
It's made with CTS-XHPVN stainless steel. This is a type of steel that's extremely tough and resistant to corrosion. It's also easy to sharpen and maintain.
The Cold Steel AD-10 is equipped with a drop point-style blade. This means that the tip of the blade is sharpened first. Then, the rest of the blade is ground down until it meets the tip.
This method creates a razor-sharp edge that's ready to cut through anything. The Cold Steel AD-10 folding knife also has a sturdy frame lock. This prevents the blade from accidentally opening during normal operations.
The Cold Steel Tactical Folding Knife is also equipped with a removable pocket clip. This allows users to keep the knife handy without having to worry about losing it.
- Razor-sharp blade
- Sturdy frame lock
- Removable pocket clip
The ZT stands for Zero Tolerance. And what exactly does ZT have zero tolerance for? Blunt knives.
ZT makes tactical knives that are designed for everyday carry and self-defense. They're not just any old tactical knife though. They're built to last.
One of their most popular models is the ZT 0450 Tactical Fixed Blade Knife. This model is built around a strong 420HC stainless steel blade. It's also equipped with a textured G10 handle. This ensures a secure grip in all conditions.
The ZT 0450 Tactical Folding Knife is built to withstand the rigors of daily life. It's equipped with a durable nylon sheath that's water repellent. And if you need to store your knife when you're not using it, it's also equipped with a belt loop.
The ZT 0450's handle is made from carbon fiber and titanium. This means that it's light and durable. But it's also very grippy. So even if you get sweaty hands, you won't slip off the knife.
Benchmade is one of the oldest names in the business. Their reputation precedes them. And they've been making quality knives since 1884.
Their strongest release is the 391SBK Tactical Folder Knife. This model is designed specifically for military personnel. It's ideal for close-quarters fighting.
The Benchmade 391SBK Tactical Fold Knife features an ergonomic black G10 handle. This provides a comfortable grip in all conditions. It's also equipped with a full tang design. This means that there's no gap between the handle and the blade.
The Benchmade Tactical folder knife is also equipped with a reversible pocket clip. This allows you to choose how you want to carry the knife. You can either wear it as a traditional pocket knife or attach it to your belt.
The Benchmade Military Tactical Folder Knife comes with a black leather sheath. This allows you to safely transport your knife. And it protects the blade from damage.
- Full tang design
- Reversible pocket clip
- Black leather sheath
Ontario Knife Company (OKC), founded in 1999, is based out of Toronto, Canada. OKC specializes in tactical folders and fixed blades.
They make some of the best tactical folders on the market today. One of their most popular models includes the OKC 8680 Tactical Survival Fixed Knife.
This model is made from lightweight aluminum alloy. This gives this knife its unique look. It's also extremely tough. In fact, it has a hardness rating of 58 HRC. This means that it'll hold up against extreme temperatures and weather conditions.
The OKC 8680 Tactical Fixed Knife is also equipped with an integrated drop point style blade. This allows you to easily switch between stabbing and slashing motions.
- Extremely tough
- Drop point blade
- Fixed blade
Buying a tactical knife isn't the same as buying any old knife. Tactical knives have very specific features. Unless you know what to look out for then you could end up buying a knife that can't even cut tension.
So here in our buyer's guide, we've gone over some of the key things you should look out for when buying a tactical knife.
Fixed Vs Folding
Most people think that a tactical knife needs to be a fixed blade. In fact, this is one of the biggest mistakes you can make when buying a tactical knife because there are so many different types of knives available.
A fixed blade is a knife where the blade stays in place. You don't have to worry about moving it or unfolding it. These types of knives are great for cutting rope, wood, paper, and other materials.
But they aren't ideal for everyday carry. Because they're bulky, heavy, and difficult to conceal.
If you want an everyday carry knife, then you'll probably want to go with a folding knife. A folding knife is simply a knife that folds into its own sheath.
These knives are much more compact than fixed blades. And they're easy to carry on your person.
When choosing a tactical knife, you'll want to choose one that fits your hand size.
You don't want a knife that's too long. Or too short. You want something that's comfortable to hold.
And you want to ensure that the blade length is right for how often you plan on using the knife and what you’re going to be using the knife for.
For example, if you're going to use the knife for hunting then you'll want a longer blade. Whereas if you're only planning on carrying it on your person, then you'll want a shorter blade.
Another thing to consider when picking a tactical knife is the shape of the blade. Some knives come with straight blades. Others come with curved blades.
Straight blades tend to be better at penetrating thick materials like leather. However, they can be harder to control.
Curved blades offer better control. They're easier to maneuver through thick material. And they're generally safer to use.
There are two main types of edges. The first is serrated edges. Serrated edges are sharpened along the entire length of the blade.
They're good for slicing through tough materials. Like cardboard and plastic.
However, they're less effective against softer materials. For example, they're not really designed to cut through a cloth.
The second type of edge is plain. Plain-edged knives are typically used for chopping. They're best suited for cutting through soft materials like meat.
One of the most important aspects of a tactical knife is the handle. It has to feel solid in your hands.
It also has to be comfortable enough to grip during extended periods of time.
When selecting a handle, you'll want to pay attention to the material. Most tactical knives come with aluminum handles. Or carbon fiber handles.
Carbon fiber handles are stronger and lighter than aluminum. But they're also almost always more expensive.
If you’re looking for a knife that can really survive the elements and hold up after years of use, a carbon fiber handle is the way to go. However, don’t let us put you off aluminum.
This is another highly effective handle material. Some people may even prefer it to carbon fiber.
A final aspect of a tactical knife is blade thickness. Blade thickness refers to the distance between the spine of the blade and the tip.
Thicker blades are usually better for penetrating thicker materials. That way you can get deeper cuts.
But thinner blades are better for delicate tasks. Such as filleting fish.
So you should select a blade based on what kind of work you plan on doing with the knife.
Frequently Asked Questions
Now you know what to look out for when trying to find the best tactical knife. But we understand you might still have some questions.
That's why we've put together this handy FAQ section. Any questions you might have had asked and answered!
What Is A Tactical Knife?
Tactical knives are a type of military knife. They were originally developed by the US Military.
And they're now popular among civilians who carry around their own for their own tactical needs.
These knives are compact. Meaning they're small enough to fit inside a pocket or purse.
They're also lightweight. Which makes them ideal for everyday carry.
When Should I Carry A Tactical Knife?
You should always carry a tactical knife if you're going hiking or camping. Or if it's required for any heavy-duty/craft activities. In any situation where you might end up in danger or stranded, a tactical knife can come in handy.
That said, it is imperative that you do not carry a tactical knife around generally. In some states, it counts as a concealed weapon and is illegal.
How Much Do These Weapons Cost?
Most tactical knives cost anywhere from $50-$300.
This price range includes both entry-level models, as well as high-end models. Which one you choose depends on how much you value durability, as well as comfort.
Are There Different Types Of Tactical Knives?
Yes, there are different types of tactical knives. Some are designed for EDC use. While others are built specifically for tactical applications. EDC means everyday carry.
This means they're great for carrying in your pocket or bag. EDC doesn't mean taking your tactical knife with you on mall trips. It means the knife is needed for everyday use, like for household maintenance.
Folding knives are perfect for EDC. Because they're easy to store in your pocket. And they're lightweight.
On the other hand, fixed blade knives are better suited for tactical purposes since they're longer and sturdier.
For example, the Spyderco Foldable is an excellent EDC model. However, it's not recommended for tactical purposes.
Which One Should You Buy?
That really comes down to personal preference. If you want an EDC model. Then go for a folding knife. If you want a tactical model. Go for a fixed blade.
Do All Tactical Knives Have The Same Features?
Not all tactical knives are created equal. Some may have more features than others. For example, some may have lanyard holes. Others may have a thumb stud. Still, others may be made from stainless steel.
But regardless of which features you prefer. You can rest assured that every tactical knife will have at least these basic functions:
- Designed to help in emergencies
- Able to handle the rigors of the great outdoors
- Comfortable to use (even in the rain)
- Easy to carry
- Efficient to draw
- Efficient to sheath
- Equipped with suitable safety features
Why Are They Called "Tactical" Knives?
Because they're meant for use in combat situations that require tactics. And they're often called "combat knives".
However, they're not all created equal.
Some are made for survival. Others are made for hunting. Still, others are made for general purpose use.
So which ones are worth buying? We'll tell you everything you need to know about tactical knives. So you can make an informed decision.
What Is The Difference Between Combat & Survival Knives?
There are two main categories of tactical knives. They're known as survival knives. And combat knives.
Survival knives are used by people who live off the grid - and who don't depend on modern conveniences. Like electricity. Water. Gasoline. Etc.
These people rely on their own resources to survive.
In contrast, combat knives are used by those who work in law enforcement, the military, etc.
And they're used for self-defense.
Both types of knives are important. But each has its own uses.
Do Tactical Knives Need Maintenance?
Yes, much like any other blade, a tactical knife will need maintenance, but perhaps not as much as, say, your average pocket or kitchen knife.
This is because they're usually made out of tough materials that resist wear and tear.
If you follow proper care instructions. Your tactical knife should last a long time. The only maintenance they will need is cleaning after use. This will stop the blade from ruining over time. A good honing session from time to time doesn’t go amiss either.
How Do I Clean My Tactical Knife?
First, you must wash your hands thoroughly before handling any type of knife.
Then wipe the blade clean with a damp cloth.
Next, dry the blade completely.
Finally, apply a light coating of oil.
You can find many different types of oils online.
How To Store A Tactical Knife?
Store your tactical knife in a safe place.
Keep it away from children. And pets.
Keep it where it won't get wet or dirty.
Also, keep it away from heat sources like radiators and fireplaces.
Tactical Knife Safety Tips
Tactical knives are more than just really, really useful, they are also weapons. In fact, their original purpose was for the sake of winning a fight. So you need to be careful around them.
If you're not safe, you could have a serious accident and lose a limb or your life. Which would make for a very awkward camping trip.
So be sure to follow these safety tips.
Never point your tactical knife at someone.
Never let anyone else handle your tactical knife.
Be aware of what's going on around you.
Don't ever point your tactical knife at yourself.
Always treat it with respect.
Use it responsibly.
Never give a tactical knife to a child
Tactical knives are useful for more than just jumping someone. They can also help you survive if you ever end up in a sticky situation.
But they aren't just for fighting. You can also use one for hunting. Or even gardening.
They're great tools for everyday use. Just remember to always be smart when using them. That way, you can avoid accidents and injuries. Which means you can enjoy them safely.
Choosing the right tactical knife is essential. It's something every person needs to consider. Choosing the wrong one may cost you your life — not to be dramatic or anything.
When looking for the right tactical knife be sure to look for ones that fit your lifestyle and budget.
Also, remember to check your state laws on tactical knives. Typically they are allowed across most states, but it depends on your intention with the knife.
No matter the state it is illegal to carry a tactical knife with the intention of using it against another person in a way to intentionally cause harm.
So if you have beef with someone, use your fists rather than a tactical knife. You're less likely to go to sing-sing for life that way. Alternatively, be the bigger person, and try and sort things out like a reasonable adult — no violence!
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