The Best Tactical Knife – An Overview of the Top 10 Choices

Tactical knives are often described as knives that have military features. They are rugged tools that have a variety of uses. A tactical knife can serve as your everyday utility blade or as a self-defense weapon. They must be designed for both daily chores and emergency uses.

Tactical knife sales have soared in recent years. They are popular with the military, law enforcement, and handymen. They have also become popular among self-defense enthusiasts, preppers, and survivalists. Not all tactical knives are created equal. This article will help you choose the best tactical knife for your needs.

An Introduction To Tactical Knives

best tactical knife

When trying to choose the best tactical knife, you should start by asking yourself what your primary needs are. If you are in law enforcement, you need a knife that is easy to carry. It should be something you can use for routine cutting chores. Having a serrated blade that can cut through seat belts in an emergency is a must. For military use, you may prefer a fixed blade that will stand up to abuse. For self-defense, you will need something compact and easy to conceal.

The best tactical knife will be made out of high-quality steel. The better the steel, the better a knife can take and keep a sharp edge. If the tactical knife is for outdoor survival, you may want to choose one that is corrosive resistant. Whenever possible, take the time to hold a knife before making a purchase. Check that it is ergonomic and comfortable for your hand size.

Tactical knives can be broken down into two major categories. These are folders and fixed-blade knives. A fixed blade will be best for heavy outdoor use. It can be used for chopping, batoning wood, cooking, and hunting duties. A folding knife will be better for self-defense, emergency use, and everyday chores. The following list will cover the top five knives in each category.

best tactical knife

Best Tactical Knife – Top 5 Fixed-Blade Knives

Gerber Mark II

KA-BAR EK44, Ek EK44 4 with Sheath , Black 12.625 inch
  • package dimensions :34.798 cm L x 8.382 cm W x 5.842 cm H
  • Product type :KNIFE
  • country of origin:United States
  • Package weight :4.0lbs
  • Handle material: Glass-filled Nylon

This tactical knife features a 420 HC stainless-steel blade. Stainless steel is good for outdoor use as it resists rust. The knife is further protected with a black oxide coating. The blade is serrated on both sides to aid in sawing or cutting through rope and cord. It has a sturdy aluminum handle that can even be used for hammering. The blade length is 6.6″ long.

Buck Intrepid-L

Buck is a great company with a lifetime warranty that is the best in the business. This model is a 5″ tanto blade made with 420 HC steel. The blade is perfect for slicing, cutting, or puncturing tough materials. It features a black, non-reflective coating to protect it from wear. Non-reflective coatings also prevent glare from showing your position, which can be useful in a tactical blade.

Spyderco Fred Perrin Street Bowie

Spyderco Tropen Premium Flipper Knife with 4" CPM S30V Steel Curved Blade and Black Polished G-10 Handle - PlainEdge - C237GPI
  • Folding Knives: Locking folding knives are safe, compact, and easy to carry. They also happen to be where the Spyderco revolution began.
  • G-10 Handle: An epoxy filled woven glass fiber that is rigid, non-slip, and impervious to temperature changes and chemicals.
  • Full-Flat Grind: This knife features a blade ground with flat bevels that extend from the spine all the way to the cutting edge. This grind reduces drag during cutting and decreases overall weight.
  • PlainEdge Blade: This knife has a sharpened blade with no serrations or teeth sometimes referred to as a smooth blade.
  • Specifications: Closed Length (Inches): 5.11, Overall Length (Inches): 9.13, Blade Length (Inches):4.02, Blade Steel: CPM S30V, Grind: Full-Flat

This blade was designed by a French Military Commando with self-defense and survival in mind. It features durable VG-10 steel with a black ceramic coating. The knife is light, well-balanced, and has an ergonomic handle. The overall blade length is 5.05″. The classic Bowie shape is great for a fighting knife. It also works well for hunting, camping, and woodworking tasks.

SOG Seal Pup Elite

SOG Pentagon FX Covert – FDE, STEEL

This knife has amazing edge retention thanks to the super hard AUS-8 steel. It features a clip-point blade with serrations. The blade is perfect for any outdoor needs. The handle has a molded, checkered pattern for an excellent grip. This makes the knife well-suited for use in any weather condition.

Ka-Bar USMC Fighting Knife

KA-BAR Full-Size U.S.M.C. Straight Edge Knife Brown, Large
  • Made in: USA
  • Category name: knives
  • Made in USA or imported
  • Model: 5017; Weight: 0. 68 lbs. ;
  • Edge Angle: 20 Degrees; Steel: 1095 cro-van;

This classic knife has been a favorite since WWII. The Ka-Bar is the ultimate survival and fighting knife. It has consistently been used by military forces for decades. The hardened steel blade is so durable that the knife can be used for a variety of tasks. It is sturdy enough to use as a hammering tool. The knife can be used to chop, split wood, and cut through coarse materials such as rope or canvas. It is well-suited for use as a hunting knife or for hand-to-hand combat. It has a proven record that makes it the best tactical knife in this category.

Best Tactical Knife – Top 5 Folding Knives

Ontario Rat Model 1

Ontario Rat II Linerlock D2 CF
  • Package length: 1.27 cm
  • Package width: 4.064 cm
  • Package height: 10.922 cm
  • Product Type: SPORTING GOODS

This is a great budget knife. It features a 3.6″ stainless steel, AUS 8 blade. It has a non-slip nylon handle. This knife is lightweight and perfect for pocket carry. It can be used for self-defense or routine tasks.

Columbia River Knife and Tool M16-14ZLEK

CRKT Tuna Compact EDC Pocket Knife: Everyday Carry Plain Edge Folder, IKBS Ball Bearings, Thumb Stud Open, Frame Lock with G10 Handle 2522,Gray/Black
  • Smooth Opening: IKBS ball bearing pivot deploys the blade smooth
  • Easy To Sharpen: High carbon stainless steel blade takes an edge well
  • Easy Opening: Thumb stud allows for fast opening with one hand
  • Exceptional Grip: G10 handle provides exceptional grip in all conditions
  • Brute Strength: Frame lock utilizes a thick lock bar to secure the blade

The Columbia is another good budget blade for self-defense. It has a non-reflective blade. The blade is made with AUS 8 steel and comes in the classic tanto shape. The serrated edge and tungsten carbide window breaker make it a good choice for law enforcement use.

Spyderco Paramilitary 2

Spyderco Caly Prestige Knife with 3.40" ZDP-189 Stainless Steel Blade and Black Carbon Fiber Handle - PlainEdge - C144CFPE
  • Iconic Design: The Calypso is one of the classic mainstays that spawned numerous variations and converted legions of knife buyers to the benefits of flat-ground, thick leaf-shaped blades.
  • More To Love: Available now in a premium variant, is the Caly 3.5 with a ZDP-189 blade and carbon fiber handle. The Caly 3.5 combines beauty and functionality into a new Spyderco classic.
  • Superior Blade Steel: The leaf-shaped blade is made of three layers of steel. The core is high carbon ZDP-189 Japanese powdered steel, the outer laminated layers are softer, pliable 420J2 steel.
  • Pocket-Friendly: It comes with a gray carbon fiber handle and a mid-positioned back-lock. Its low-seated wire clip designed for right-hand deep-pocket, tip-up carry.
  • Ergonomic: Great Ergonomics means more control over the cutting edge. The Caly 3.5 accomplishes this with a substantial finger choil located where the handle and blade meet.

This is an excellent choice for military personnel. All Spyderco knives come with a razor-sharp blade. The blade is easy to sharpen and retains that sharpness even after heavy use. It features Spyderco’s patented “spider hole.” This allows for quick deployment in emergency situations.

Cold Steel Recon 1

Cold Steel Recon 1 Series Tactical Folding Knife with Tri-Ad Lock and Pocket Clip - Made with Premium CPM-S35VN Steel, Tanto Plain Edge & 4-Max Scout Folding Knife, One Size
  • Product 1: GREAT FOR THE TOUGHEST JOBS: The Recon 1 is a popular knife with Military and Law Enforcement Personnel, Fire and Rescue crews and civilians and is trusted to perform in even the toughest jobs and the most taxing conditions
  • Product 1: PREMIUM STEEL: Features exceptional CPM-S35VN steel, which is very tough and durable, highly corrosion resistant, and able to take and hold a fine razor sharp edge; Commonly used steel in high-end, superior quality custom knives
  • Product 1: COMFORTABLE, SECURE GRIP: Tough and durable G-10 handle material provides a secure and comfortable grip in all conditions
  • Product 1: ULTRA-RELIABLE LOCKING MECHANISM: Features custom knife-maker Andrew Demko's famous TriAd lock that has been proven over time to be unsurpassed in strength, shock resistance and durability and gives unrivaled protection for your irreplaceable fingers
  • Product 2: Features an extra wide, drop point blade and stone wash finish, which is identical to the original 4-Max

The Recon 1 has a black finish to prevent glare and protect against rust. The handle is contoured for a firm grip. This aids in making all of your cutting chores easier. It’s also good for self-defense applications. The blade measures 4″ long and is made with Japanese Aus 8A stainless steel.

Benchmade BKC Bedlam Axis Folding Knife

Spyderco Delica 4 Lightweight Signature Knife with 2.90" Flat-Ground Steel Blade and High-Strength Black FRN Handle - PlainEdge - C11FPBK
  • Wide Spectrum of Handle Colors: The Delica 4 now offers new vibrant tones including blue, green, brown, gray, orange, zome green, black and purple.
  • Superior Blade Steel: The blades are full flat-ground VG-10 Steel with a thinner highly refined cutting edge and a larger 13mm opening hole.
  • Ultra-Lightweight: Inside the handle are dual skeletonized Stainless Steel liners which strengthen the knife without additional weight and double as an anchor for external and internal components to attach through generating more sturdiness.
  • Ergonomic: Added to the blade's spine is slip resistant jimping. Phosphor bronze washers smooth out the open/close action and the clip is upgraded to a four-way tip-up, tip-down, left-or right-handed clip.
  • A Secure Grip: Molded onto the FRN Handle's surface is Bi-Directional Texturing for slip-free tactile traction. It provides resistance to slipping in the hand.

This folding knife by Benchmade is the best tactical knife in its category. It is made with 58-61 HRC steel and features a compound blade. The blade works well for piercing, slicing, and cutting. It is perfectly balanced for combat, survival tasks, and more. The handle is made with sturdy G10 material and is also contoured. It has an open length of 9.76″ and is only 5.76″ closed.

You can’t go wrong with the selection of any of these ten knives. Most knife manufacturers offer one or more tactical-knife models nowadays. With so many choices, you should be able to find something good at any price point. Please let us know what your choice is for the best tactical knife.

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