This article will provide you with a complete list of the best fighting knives in the world. Some of these combat knives have a long record and have even been used by regular military personals and special combat units in many missions and wars. Either way, along with the everyday home utility, military, or campsite cutting duties, a knife works an integral part in self-defense just after a firearm.
Feature Comparison Table of 15 Best Combat Knives in the World
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Blade x Overall Length
Blade Material (HRC)
Handle + Sheath Material
4.8" x 9.8"
420 High Carbon Stainless Steel (60)
Glass-Filled Nylon + Thermo-Plastic
7" x 11.88"
1095 Cro-Van Stainless Stee (58)
Leather + Leather
7" x 12.3"
AUS-8 Stainless Stee (58)
Glass-Reinforced Nylon + Nylon
7" x 11.88"
1095 Cro-Van Stainless Stee (58)
Kraton-G + Plastic
4.85" x 9.5"
AUS-8 Stainless Stee (58)
Glass-Reinforced Nylon + Kydex
6.5" x 12.75"
420 High Carbon Stainless Steel (59)
Die Cast Aluminum + Ballistic Nylon
6.75" x 11.75"
German D2 Tool Steel (62)
Griv-Ex and Kray-Ex + Secure-Ex
8" x 12.8"
1095 Cro-Van Stainless Stee (58)
Manmade Kraton G + Glass-Filled Nylon
6.88" x 12"
1075 Carbon Steel (59)
Kraton + Nylon
6" x 10.5"
7Cr17 High Carbon Steel (59)
Black Rubber + Ballistic Polyester
4.5" x 9.45"
154CM Stainless Steel (61)
6061-T6 Aluminum + Nylon
6.4" x 12.1"
1095 High Carbon Steel (58)
Thermoplastic Elastomer (TPE) + Cordura
8" x 12.8"
420J2 Stainless Steel (59)
Nylon Fiber + Nylon & Plastic
Top 15 Best Fighting Knives 2021 Review
How to Choose the Best Combat Knife in 2021 – Buying Guide
Knives have been an important tool for humans across our entire history. Not only can they be used in many different tasks, but act as an efficient weapon in combat. These knives have been used in situations ranging from war to self-defense. However, with so many varieties, it can be difficult to find the right combat knife. However, in this article, I hope to convince you of what to choose when it comes to the knife.
What Is the Combat or Fighting Knife?
In order to decide on what makes the combat knives, one must know what a combat knife is. Fighting knives are designed primarily for close-combat fighting. Additionally, they serve as a utility tool to help the wielder perform a variety of tasks, such as cutting through plant life. Despite innovations in guns, knives remain relevant, whether on the battlefield or in the deadly situations citizens may accidentally come into.
What is the Role of Your Best Fighting Knife?
When looking for the knife, the purpose of the knife is going to have is primarily one of effectiveness in close combat. I will look for a knife that is good against both opponents that are armed and those not. Secondarily, the knife is going to be one that is tough and able to perform many of the secondary tasks that are expected of a military knife.
Which One would be Preferable – Fixed Blade or Folding Knife?
One of the larger debates when choosing a combat knife is whether it is a fixed or folding knife. The latter means that the blade can fold into itself, making it easier to carry and not requiring a sheath. This allows the user to keep the presence of the knife a secret from an attacker, making it a surprise advantage if combat ensues. However, the folding point of the knife is its weakest, and once it is damaged, the knife ceases to fold out easily and making it worthless.
Additional weaknesses include the time it takes to unfold the knife, during which the attacker is either getting closer or attacking; there is a chance for the knife to fold in on itself unexpectedly, even cutting the user. My recommendation, pocket knives for fighting are preferable for police or paramilitary forces.
So, choosing folding knives would not be a good idea for using them as personal self-defense for citizens or military forces. A fixed blade knife is not prone to broken folding mechanisms, easy to use or carry, and overall more solid.
But a fixed blade knife for combat also has some cons. A fixed blade is unable to become conceal, and there are lots of restrictions to carry it in a public place. Lastly, keeping the blade hidden away may not be the goal of the user, as its presence may cause potential attackers to avoid, flee, or surrender to the user.
Considering the Overall Length of the Knife
If a knife is too short, it makes it weak, less likely to penetrate, and give it a shorter range; too big of a knife and it becomes unwieldy. The average common ground is a fixed blade fighting knife with a total length of 10 inches. It gives it a weight and length that is effective, yet won’t weigh the user down.
• Small Blade Length: A small fixed blade knife is best with a blade length of 3.5 inches and a total length of 7 inches. This smaller size can allow it to be a hidden fixed blade. However, this limits its strength.
• Medium Blade Length: The ideal length for a medium fixed blade knife is 5.5 inches, with the total length being 10 inches. This balance between large and small gives it the power small would have and ease of use large may limit.
• Large Blade Length: A large combat fixed blade knife would world best at 12.5 inches total length, with the blade being 7.5 inches long. This knife has the most range and power potential. However, its larger size might be unwieldy in inexperienced hands.
Choosing the Blade Material
Blade material is of the utmost importance when deciding what knives you choose. This is because this will be the deciding factor of many attributes of the blade, including resistance to corrosion, ability to flex, ease of sharpening, hardness, retention of edge, and many more. Although weight may seem important, it is less so when it comes to the best military knives due to their smaller size. Unfortunately, no material can be high performing in all the attributes listed above, as many require a tradeoff with another.
The main choices for material when talking about the knives is tool steel (best for keeping its edge, but it takes an extremely long time to sharpen, and has average corrosion resistance), stainless steel (extremely effective at resisting erosion such as rust and is comparatively easy to sharpen, but its edge doesn’t last long), and carbon steel (very durable, relatively easy to sharpen, and takes a sharp edge, yet is prone to erosion).
Due to the primary purpose of the knife in question, combat, the main attributes that will be important are being able to get a good edge and the knife being tough. This means that carbon steel would be the best choice when you need to select good combat knives. Although it may be affected by corrosion, this can be prevented through proper care.
Selecting the Blade Shape or Tip
Seeing as this is a combat knife, the blade shape and point are extremely important. These will affect what attacks the user can do and the effectiveness of different attacks.
• Drop Point: A drop point is a blade in which a non-sharpened convex curve goes from the back of the blade to the point. Benefits include a strong tip and long cutting edge, making it great for slicing. However, it does make the point broad, making it a poor piercing weapon.
• Clip Point: It has an unsharpened back that is straight to about halfway up the blade and then goes toward the tip, which can be curved or straight. This allows it to perform well at both slicing and piercing. However, due to its narrowness, the point is weaker.
• Spear Point: A spear point is a blade that is symmetrical along the long axis. It can be single or double-edged; the latter is suggested to allow a sharp point. Due to its design, it has a strong and potentially sharp point, making it good at piercing, but limited slicing power.
• Scandi Point: A Scandi point has a start of straight on both sides with both edges curving towards the point. It is easy to keep sharp, but it is time-consuming due to the amount of material. Since the cutting edge tapers thin, it isn’t good in regards to slicing and strength.
• Hollow Point: A hollow point is a blade in which both sides have had a conclave edge ground into them, coming together for a thin point. This thin point is very light, making it good for slicing. Its sharp point can pierce well, but its thin nature is prone to breaking.
• Full Convex: A full convex has a gentle curve starting at the base of the blade guard. Due to its shape, it is extremely durable and keeps its edge. Unfortunately, this means it takes a while to get the edge when it is needed.
The Blade Spine of the Fighting Knives
The blade spine is the side opposite to the cutting edge. Although this is often flat, it can be used to increase a knife’s potential. If the knife is made to be double-edged, the point becomes sharper, as well as providing another sharp edge to attack with. However, some disadvantages that the knife will be lighter, which limits its power.
Selecting the Knife Blade Edge
The blade edge is one of the primary ways a blade is used in knife fighting, the other being the point, making it very important. It should always be kept sharp, as a dull knife is less effective and acts as a danger to the user. An important decision to make a choice a combat knife blade edge is plain or serrated.
• Plain Edge: A plain edge is the usual type of sharp edge when people think of knives. Their simple shape makes it easy to sharpen. Additionally, they tend to be sharper and more precise. However, it requires more sharpening and can have difficulty cutting through tough or flexible material. They work best with push cuts, rather than slicing.
• Serrated or Saw-toothed Edge: A serrated edge was created to do effectively what a straight edge could not, that being cutting through tough material. The teeth that make up the edge are great at cutting through things such as thick clothing, even when teeth are dull. The saw-like edge can also cause greater damage in combat by catching the attacker’s skin or clothes. However, it comes with its own weaknesses, such as potentially getting stuck and difficult to sharpen a serrated knife.
• Combination or Partially Serrated Edge: In recent years, many knives have had a combination of a sharp and serrated edge on one side or putting them on opposing edges. This allows the user to reap the benefits of both types. However, it isn’t perfect. The knife also has the weaknesses associated with both, and where each component is placed greatly controls how effective each part is.
The Blade Tang for Fixed Blade Combat Knives
The tang of a fixed blade knife is the piece of metal that goes from the base to the blade guard to the bottom of the knife’s handle. There are several knife tang types but I am recommending only 3 main types; full tang (blade continues fully through the handle), partial tang (metal blade only goes partially into the handle), and rat-tail (a thin piece of metal starts at the blade guard and goes all the way through). Full tangs are the strongest since the metal is a single piece of steel. The other options are cheaper choices, but when choosing a combat knife, it is best to spare no expense.
Considering the Knife Handle
The handle of a knife is arguably just as important as the blade itself. It allows the user to wield the military knife, and a bad handle choice can make a knife uncomfortable to use. Important things to think about when selecting a knife handle include sturdiness (micarta, treated wood), its resistance to the elements (waterproof), ability to absorb shock (leather, rubber linings), an ability for the user to grip (shape), and more.
A quillon should also be put on the handle, as it keeps the user from cutting themselves on the blade. Some knife handles have finger grips, which can better a person’s hold of their knife; however, it limits the ways in which the knife can be held comfortably which prevents it from being fully recommended. Lastly, the handle should be removable to allow cleaning and repair.
Solid Pommel of the Handle
The pommel of a knife is very important to the structure of the handle, often being part of the tang or an end cap. A solid pommel helps strengthen the structure of a handle. Additionally, a solid pommel can be used as a blunt attack, potentially driving away attackers before further combat becomes necessary.
The Knife Should be Easy to Carry
Knives are often preferred due to their ease of carrying. A combat folding knife can often fit in a pocket, shortening itself in half once the blade fits itself in the handle. For a fixed blade, a sheath is required, often made of leather or nylon. This aspect is very important, as an easy-to-carry knife is more likely to be brought along, which means a user more prepared for combat encounters.
Best Combat Knife Brands 2021
When you are a newbie and looking for the best fighting knife in the world then try the top knife brands for fixed blades. This is one of the easiest and common tricks to find a qualitatively better knife. There are hundreds of knife-producing brands in the market and some of them are good or bad. If you choose a top knife manufacturing company rather than a non-popular brand, the probability of selecting the wrong knife would be very low. My recommended top 10 combat knife brands are –
Smith & Wesson
Columbia River Knife and Tool
There are many attributes to look at when deciding on what would make the best combat knives. In the end, I decided a long, 10-inch knife with a 6 inch fixed blade. The blade would be made of carbon steel, with a clip point. The spine of the blade would be serrated, with the sharper edge being plain. The knife would have a full tang which acts as a solid pommel, which goes into a micarta handle with leather grips.
How to Fight with a Best Fighting Knife
Every good knife combatants should have an absolutely solid grip and balance on his knife such as that it can protect him from any sudden attack in a moment. Through our three key points, strong grips on to fight with the knife, you will know the hub of a knife fight to ease your starting difficulty at the same time as learning how to battle with a top tactical knife.
Forward Solid Grip: A usual and predominant knife holding that is right for a newbie with the blade opposite way with observance to your small fingers.
Filipino Standard Grip: Keeping your thumb a little ahead on the blade’s spine is called Filipino standard grip which mixes saber, hammer and customized grips.
Solid Hammer Grip: The grip provides users to make a circumference with the fingers below the handle of your knife and thumb imposing by the forefinger.
Modified Saber Grip: Keeping your thumb on the side of the blade is known modified saber grip. Also, it is a great martial arts tactic against any horizontal or slashing attacks.
Traditional Saber Grip: Keeping your thumb before the thumb guard or thumb rise is known traditional saber grip. Saber traditional grip helps to create more trusting leverage or pressure through your thumb.
The reverse grip is something like defensive, and opposite grip toward the stabbing angle as well as the thumb holds the butt of the knife handle and the knife blade is pointed downwards.
Reverse Grip Edge In (RGEI): In this technique, the cutting edge of the blade points towards of the knife user through the quillon digging under the palm for the martial art clawing skill of knife combat.
Reverse Grip Edge Out (RGEO): The sharp or cutting blade edge of the knife is far from the body or directed away with a reverse grip which is known as reverse grip edge out.
Pro User Grips
These kinds of solid grips are the resultant techniques of the many years of practice and designed to assist in any dangerous circumstances for the pro user or military experts.
Palm Strengthen: A smart skill where the fighter rests the knife butt in her or his palm to push the blade point like a nail driver directly into the enemy body.
Those Who can Battle with a Combat Knife?
Not only the vulnerable person but also everyone should learn how to battle with a knife. Almost everywhere carrying a knife is legal; an additional advantage is the concealability and this is one of the core aspects that will help of at the end of the day.
Those Who Need to Learn Knife Fighting Training
Political and Business Man (VIP): If you are a political leader or a VIP or a rich person, there would be so many enemies around you. In this case, a basic knife fighting training will give you the confidence and security yet without any bodyguard or security.
Military and Solder: Fighting with the knives is planned to assist in any aggressive physical conflict, particularly for special combat soldiers.
Citizens Under Intimidation: Learning knife fighting with a knife is something like preparing yourself for any threat from your enemies or attackers.
When Do You Need to Use Your Best Military Knife?
You should now compare the military knives with the tactical knives because tactical knives are used on multi-purpose chores, and also it creates less physical damage. Actually, fighting with a knife is not anything like sword fighting.
Following unusual circumstances that force an individual to apply the knife:
Self- Protection: If you have any risks to your life then use the combat knife to protect yourself. Also, it is one of the most common gears that are allowed to carry for self-defense, rather than firearms in all most all over the states in the US and other countries.
Vulnerable Places: If a thief or hijackers or evil person attacks on you in a vulnerable place like a dark alley, you can use your knife to make him distract and it will provide you enough time to run away if you don’t want to engage with him.
Protect Your Family Member and House: If somebody is threatening your family members’ life, don’t waste a single moment buy a fighting knife and prepare yourself for a knife conflict!
Obstacles, Resolution, and Suggestion for Knife Fighting
Fighting with a knife means as ‘the knife that will cause struck at a short space while in a hand to hand conflict between two people’. Let me give you some resolution and suggestion to assist you out when engaging in the Knife Fighting training:
- You have to maintain a little bit of distance from the attacker, if you stay in his striking range, he could attempt a sudden attract and that would be unavoidable.
- Don’t ever try to guard yourself against the opposite arm though afraid you are!
- Begin with the solid hammer grip technique; it is an ideal knife holding step for any newbie.
- Remember never make yourself defenseless by throwing your knife at the attacker however helpless or angry you are.
- For Filipino solid grip, use your thumb; if you have little bit time at the combat situation, first check his leg position and aim a week point of his body and make a sudden fast move by applying knife as the thumb extension.
- Always keep your attention on holding and controlling your knife with your bare hand.
Learning the combat tactics with a knife is not an easy task, it takes years of practice. You can learn the necessary part of it in a couple of months. Most of the people do not want to emphasize the necessity of knife fighting. But it is the best way of saving your life from a life destructive attack. Every time using your knife fighting skill is not about to kill someone, it is a tactic of self-defense and keeps the attackers away.
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