Home / Best Tactical Folding Knife 2017 & Buyer’s Guide

Best Tactical Folding Knife 2017 & Buyer’s Guide

A tactical pocket knife is not an ordinary folding knife or a pocket knife. A best tactical folder has some unique features. This kind of knife was popular with sportsmen and then became popular with military personnel because it could do a variety of tasks. These knives first became popular in the United States in the early 1990’s. The blades were from three to twelve inches but most of the model’s blades today are not more than four inches. Let me help you to choose world’s  top 10 best tactical pocket knives.

Top 10 Best Tactical Folding Knives Review

Image

Name

Blade Material & (HRC)

Blade Edge

Locking Mechanism

Handle Material

Blade & Overall Length

Weight & Warranty

Our Review

8Cr13MoV (58)

Half Serrated Drop Point 

Liner Lock / SpeedSafe

Glass-Filled Nylon

3.1" x 7.4"

4.3 oz


Lifetime

AUS-8 (58)

Half Serrated Tanto Point 

Piston Lock

Glass-Filled Nylon

3.5" x 8.25"

3.1 oz


Lifetime

8Cr14MoV (59)

Half Serrated Tanto Point 

Liner Lock

G10

3.9" x 9.25"

5.9 oz


Lifetime

420 Stainless Steel (58)

Half Serrated Clip Point

Liner Lock

Anodized Aluminium

3.5" x 8.5"

5.46 oz


Lifetime

best tactical pocket knife - Kershaw Ken Onion Blur Folding Knife

Sandvik 14C28N (60)

Half Serrated Tanto Point 

Lock Back

6061-T6 Anodized Aluminum

3.4" x 7.9"

3.9 oz


Lifetime

154CM (61)

Half Serrated Drop Point

AXIS Lock

Glass-Reinforced Nylon

2.9" x 6.78"

2.81 oz


Lifetime

best tactical pocket knife - Kershaw 1990 Brawler Multifunction Pocket Knife

8Cr13MoV (58)

Plain Tanto Point 

Liner Lock

Glass-Filled Nylon

3" x 7.1"

3.9 oz


Lifetime

S30V (59)

Plain

Drop Point

Liner Lock / SpeedSafe

G10

3.25" x 7.7"

5.6 oz


Lifetime

CPM S30V (60)

Plain

Clip Point

Compression Lock

G-10

4.44" x 8.3"

3.9 oz


Lifetime

Sandvik 14C28N/D2 (60)

Plain

Drop Point

Tip-Lock

410 Stainless Steel

3" x 7"

3.1 oz


Lifetime

154CM (61)

Plain

Clip Point

Liner Lock

Glass Filled Nylon

2.9" x 6.8"

2.68 oz


Lifetime

Best EDC Knife - Spyderco Tenacious G-10 Combination Edge Black Blade

S35VN (61)

Plain

Drop Point

Frame Lock

Titanium

3.25" x 7.4"

2.9 oz


Lifetime

Best EDC Knife - Spyderco Tenacious G-10 Combination Edge Black Blade

8CR13MOV (58)

Half Serrated

Clip Point

Liner Lock

G-10

3.43" x 7.9"

4 oz


Lifetime

1. Kershaw 1605CKTST Clash Folding Knife with SpeedSafe

Kershaw is the world’s best knife manufacturing company with more than 44 years of experience of knife production. In 1974, Kershaw was founded with a purpose, where advanced design knives and tools will be made and users will feel proud to buy, use and carry their products. Keeping this objective in mind, Kershaw introduced 1605CKTST Clash in 2012 and since then it has brought under control the first position of the best tactical folding knife in the market.

The drop point shape 3.1 inches blade is made of hardened 8Cr13MoV stainless steel which is coated with black oxide coating for a non-reflective stealthy look as well as increases corrosion and rust resistance. Moreover, the core of the blade is efficiently heat-treated for razor sharpness and higher edge retention. This partially serrated multi-tasking blade is an ideal tool for cutting hard objects and fibrous materials like the set belt, straps, rope, webbing, electric cable, limbs or branches. Glass-filled nylon made 4.3 inches handle has ergonomic finger groove and textured black contours; both of these features ensure a non-slip grip in your hand.

Most importantly, the Kershaw 1605CKTST Clash is equipped with SpeedSafe assisted manual deploy system for easy one-handed opening. With full control, a little push back on the top of the flipper and the SpeedSafe releases the blade super fast with a slight jolt. At the same time, a locking liner mechanism lockups the blade open safely when using it. Immediate accessibility and mobility are supported by a left or right-hand (tip-up/tip-down) reversible black pocket clip for comfortable carriage in your pocket or with your belt. The 1605CKTST Clash comes with limited lifetime warranty, 7.4 inches overall length, closed length 4.25 inches, weight only 4.3 oz. Due to its outstanding characteristics, this best Kershaw pocket knife is always at the top of the list of hunters, camper, travelers, and survivalists.

2. SOG Aegis Assisted Folding Knife AE04-CP

The SOG Aegis Assisted Folding Knife AE04-CP is the perfect gear for law enforcement and outdoor enthusiasts like a camper, hunters, travellers, and survivalists. They would be proud to carry this knife and use it when the need arises. This SOG best pock knife has a 3.5-inch partially serrated blade. The blade is made of Japanese AUS-8 stainless steel (57-58 HRC) and coated with polished Hardcased Black Tini; it’s a mixing of nickel compound and titanium. The tanto point blade is 0.13-Inch/3.302 mm thick with a very sharp and strong tip for piercing. Most importantly, the blade core goes through the Cryogenic heat treatment procedure to make sure that the blade will stay strong and razor sharp after a long use.

The SOG Assisted Technology (S.A.T.) finishes opening the knife using coil springs that are high tension and then is locked into place. This means, all the showcasing top-end locking and opening technology knives are designed with a secure piston lock which can be loosened swiftly by a sliding button. An easy one-handed open pocket knife requires you just to press the ‘kick that comes through the pass through on the lock clincher. When you close it, an extra safety mechanism prevents it from opening in your pocket accidentally. This best folding tactical knife made in the USA.

The handle is constructed of impact resistant and abrasion glass-reinforced nylon and has an ergonomic contour textured grip to protect from slipping. The 8.25 inches knife is designed to fit comfortably in your both right and left hands and is balanced for a natural feel. To make sure that it does not fall out of your pocket it has a reversible clip on the back of the handle that can also be used as a money clip. This SOG best tactical folder knife comes with a limited lifetime warranty. It has a folded length of 4.75-inch and just 3.1 oz weight that makes it small enough to carry it in your pocket discretely.

3. Columbia River Knife and Tool's M16-14SFG Special Forces Folding Knife

Best Tactical Folder Knife - Columbia River Knife and Tool's M16-14SFG Special Forces Folding Knife

CRKT (Columbia River Knife & Tool) is one of the praised names in tactical knife and gear industry. It was founded in 1994 and reputed for its innovative design and production of tools, knives and lifestyle gears for the worker, sportsmen, outdoor enthusiast and professional. The tanto shape blade is constructed of stiff 8Cr14MoV stainless steel and its hardness is 58-59 HRC. This type of high-quality steel has excellent edge holding ability and greater strength. The 3.88 inches tactical blade, hardware, and the whole frame are coated with a black titanium nitride finish for making it non-reflective, increasing corrosion and scratch resistance. Its tough hollow grind can penetrate hard objects and the unique design veff serrations blade is ideal for cutting rope, electric cable, cordage, webbing, set belt, limbs or branches etc. Overall Length of the knife is 9.25 inches, folded 5.375 inches, weight 5.9 oz.

The M16-14SFG Special Forces Folding Knife handle is designed with scales of non-reflective black G10, friction grooves with stainless steel liners. The G10 is known for its lightweight, best insulating properties, aggressive and solid gripping texture. The knife is featured with automated liner safety mechanism. This innovative automated liner safety design has taken the locking liner to the next level. The locking system has a pin between the frame and locking liner. That pin uses as an extra tier of security. When you need to fold the blade just pull the red color buttoned security lever back, draw the locking liner over and smoothly close the blade into folded position. Additionally, this Special Forces Folding Knife has equipped with the trademark of Kit double checkered thumb studs. Single hand deploying and folding makes it very easy to use. The knife has a reversible pocket clip, limited lifetime warranty and proudly made in the USA.

4. BlizeTec 5-in-1 Best Survival Tactical Folding Knife

BlizeTec 5-in-1 Best Survival Tactical Folding Knife

This BlizeTec pocket knife is not only a best tactical folding knife but also a 5-in-1 multitool survival knife with LED Light, Glass Breaker, Seatbelt Cutter & Magnesium Fire Starter. The drop point 3.5 inches partially serrated blade is made of 420 stainless steel which is 2.54-3.81mm thick and HRC Rating 57-58. Due to its black Oxide finish the blade is corrosion and scratch resisted. The knife has a liner lock system and a stainless steel pocket clip. Moreover, it comes with Nylon Pouch sheath for convenient carry.

The 4.75 inches ergonomic handle is made of Anodized Aluminium that is sustainable in any harsh circumstances. The overall length of the knife is 8.5 inches and the closed length is 5 inches. Perfect size knife is very easy to use and carry. This best tactical pocket knife is highly recommended for outdoor adventurers like survival, camping, hiking as well as tactical use. BlizeTec Survival Knife comes with lifetime warranty. The total weight of this folding knife is just 5.46 oz (154.79 g) with all the accessories.

5. Kershaw Ken Onion Blur Folding Knife with Speed Safe

best tactical pocket knife - Kershaw Ken Onion Blur Folding Knife

The Kershaw Ken Onion Blur Folding Knife is known to be amongst the original Kershaw Blurs. It is equipped for multitasking with a 3.4-inch full tanto blade that is slightly re-curved. Its blade is coated with durable Diamond-Like Carbon (DLC) to prevent rust and corrosion. The Sandvik 14C28N stainless steel blade core provides extreme razor sharpness and enhances hardness as well as edge retention. The blade is 3.18 mm thick with 58-60 hardness. The blur has a partially serrated blade that provides an additional cutting advantage for short work of cord, rope and other fibrous materials. This Kershaw Ken Onion Blur proudly made in the USA.

The black Blur has a very solid grip. This is possible because the handle is made up of the 6061-T6 anodized aluminum and its Trac-Tec inserts pattern. The facts remain that even though it is coated and anodized it is very light (only 3.9 oz) and very durable. This best tactical pocket knife comes with the Speedsafe feature that enables a one-handed opening. By pushing the thumb stud, resistance is overcome, and the blade comes out of the handle instantly and easily.

This Blur has a limited lifetime warranty against any manufacturing defects and free lifelong sharpening. Most importantly, by chance you broke this Blur’s blade; Kershaw will replace it just for $10. It also comes with a pocket clip for a tip-up or tip-down mobility. Its closed length is 4.5-inch; overall length is 7.9-inch, featured with a liner lock. The Kershaw Ken Onion Blur Folding Knife is one of the best-selling pocket knives on Amazon.

6. Benchmade - Mini Griptilian 556 Knife, Drop-Point

Best Folding Tactical Knife - Benchmade - Mini Griptilian 556 Drop-Point Knife

Benchmade was founded in 1979 in California as Bali-Song then in 1988 evolving its name to the Pacific Cutlery Corporation. The Benchmade evaluation was set out with a dream to become world’s best knife manufacturing company and now they are. At the present time, The Benchmade Knife Company is running by Les de Asis and Roberta in Oregon City, Oregon, United States. The American made Benchmade – Mini Griptilian 556 Knife is featured with the 154CM stainless steel blade. It is finished with the non-reflective black coating. 154CM is a better stainless steel than 8Cr13Mov or VG-10 and has better wear and scratch resistance. The 2.91 inches partially serrated blade keeps the sharpness for a long time. Higher (58-61) HRC, 2.54 mm thickness and razor-sharp drop point blade design have made it an ultimate cutting tool for different types of elements like rope, set belt, electric cable, webbing, cordage, limbs or branches etc.

The handle is made of injection molded Glass Filled Nylon (GFN) and decorated with diamond shape grip pattern that ensures solid grip for a hard task and comfortable for everyday carry. The knife is assembled with one-handed opening and closing ambidextrous design Benchmade’s AXIS lock. Very old school, you can swiftly flick this open with a certain amount of thumb pressure. Both thumb studs are approved and field tested, average in shape and size. A perfect EDC knife for slicing, push cutting, piercing for outdoor activities and tactical purposes. Benchmade provides a limited lifetime warranty and free lifesharp service. Benchmade – Mini Griptilian 556 Knife has a reversible pocket clip. It measures 6.78 inches open length, 3.87 inches closed length and weight 2.81 oz.

7. Kershaw 1990 Brawler Multifunction Pocket Knife

best tactical pocket knife - Kershaw 1990 Brawler Multifunction Pocket Knife

The Kershaw 1990 Brawler Multifunction Pocket Knife is a best rescue and tactical folder to punch through hard materials. The 3 inches blade is made of the 8Cr13MoV stainless steel with the black oxide coating for corrosion resistance and to provide a stealthy look. This modified tanto point is a perfect blade for these particular chores and other physically demanding tasks because the blade metal has an essential hardness to support the sharp point and building it stronger than others. Also, the blade has a grind that supports narrow the sharp blade and increases piercing power. Its flat belly provides a fantastic cutting advantage, ideal for bearing down on different chores as well as very easy to resharpen.

The handle of Kershaw 1990 Brawler Multifunction Pocket Knife is made of durable and lightweight Glass-filled nylon. The textured black contours with the grip pattern feature on the handle provide a very solid grip in slippery and wet cases. The handle has angled curves inside the palm of the user’s very hand. This type of model is useful in multitasking and in extreme rescue situations. There is a pre-drilled lanyard hole bottom of the handle.

This best tactical EDC knife has manufactured with the SpeedSafe assisted feature that ensures an easy and automatic one-handed opening. Just turn back on the top of the flipper after that the SpeedSafe assisted opening mechanism takes over, releasing the blade out of the ergonomic handle and ready to use the knife. When you deploy the blade, the flipper will take a position as a finger guard and ensure additional protection during incautious use. It also comes with a Liner lock. The 7.1-inch Kershaw 1990 Brawler also features a 4-position or reversible pocket clip (tip-up/tip-down, left/right) and limited lifetime warranty. Weight 3.9 oz and folded length 4.1 inches.

8. Zero Tolerance ZT0350TS G10 Handle Folding Tiger Striped Blade

Zero Tolerance ZT0350TS G10 Handle Folding Tiger Striped Blade - Tactical Pocket Knife

Important Features and Specifications

 

Blade Length: 3.25 inches
Closed Length: 4.625 inches
Blade Thickness: 0.121 inches
Blade Material: S30V Stainless Steel
Overall Length: 7.75 inches
Handle Material: G-10 Handle
Knife Weight: 5.6 OZ
Made In: USA
Warrenty: Limited lifetime manufacturer’s warranty

The Zero Tolerance ZT0350TS is one of the best tactical pocket knives for versatile use. This model is reinvented to be 10% smaller and lighter than the original. It has a non-serrated blade, having a tiger stripe finish for the added razor sharp cutting edge. Combat and quick response becomes easy since it comes with the SpeedSafe system for easy one-handed release of the blade, enabled with the ambidextrous thumb stud. Additionally, the Zero Tolerance ZT0350TS has a liner lock for secure close in place.

For a person wearing gloves, the grip is never an issue even when you are putting on tactical gloves. The blade is made of extreme S3OV stainless steel, which makes the blade, sharpens easier; weather protected and capability to cut down solid materials. Such steel blade helps to keep sharpness after a long time use. The stainless steel is coated with the tungsten DLC which makes it very difficult to be corroded.

The textured matte black G-10 handle provides a solid grip and also offers more pressure for cutting. No matter how tactical the knife may be, its design makes it good looking and also gives an additional preference. The knife measures 3.25 inch for the blade length, 4.625 inches in the closed length, 7.75 inches in the overall length and 5.6 ounces of weight.

9. Spyderco Paramilitary 2 Black Blade Knife

Spyderco Paramilitary 2 Black Blade Knife - Best Tactical Pocket Knife

Important Features and Specifications

 

Blade Length: 3.438 inches
Cutting Edge: 3.078 inches
Blade Thickness: 0.141 inches
Closed Length: 4.812 inches
Overall Length: 8.281 inches
Blade Metal: CPM S30V
Locking Mechanism: Nested Compression Lock
Blade Shape: Clip Point
Knife Weight: 3.9 OZ
Made In: Golden, Colorado, USA.

This best tactical folding knife was first introduced in 2010 with several changes to the earlier version. The Spyderco Paramilitary 2 Black Blade Knife comes with the integration of a new bushing pivot system which generates fluid action that provides constant manufacturing tolerance. To eliminate the inconvenience of hard edges in the pocket, the handle has been made to have a thinner profile. This piece comes from Golden, Colorado, U.S.A.

Additionally, this best tactical EDC pocket knife is manufactured with nested compression lock. One is Spine, and another is Choil Jimping as well as screw-mutually construction. The ambidextrous four-way clip enables tip up and tip down, left hand and right that makes it easy to remain deep inside the pocket. The blade and pocket clip are coated in black to prevent the folders from reflecting.

This knife comes with ergonomic G-10 handle, which is slipping resisted. The blade steel is made of the CPM S30V steel with a lengthened blade tip and coated with the non-reflective DLC (Diamond-Like Coating). The blade is sharp, smooth, can guarantee user comfort and performance. The flat ground blade from the spine to the razor sharp edge cuts smoothly and precisely through all the materials. It measures 87mm (3.438 inches) for blade length, 122mm (4.812 inches) for closed length, 78mm (3.078 inches) for cutting edge, 3.5mm (0.141 inches) for blade thickness and it weighs 111g (3.9 OZ).

10. Kershaw 1660CBBW Leek with Composite Blackwash Blade

Kershaw 1660CBBW Leek with Composite Blackwash Blade - Tactical Folder Knife

Important Features and Specifications

 

Blade Length: 3 inches
Closed Length: 4 inches
Overall Length: 7 inches
Blade Metal: Sandvik 14C28N/D2 Composite
Locking Mechanism: Tip-Lock Slider
Knife Weight: 3.1 OZ
Made In: USA.

The U.S.A made leek is designed with a wavy to braze line permanently joining the razor-sharp D2 cutting edge and the Sandvik 14C28N spine. The knife edge is made of a high carbon and high chromium D2 steel that is useful in penetrating a stubborn edge. The blade is coated with blackwash and composite black-oxide finish. Kershaw 1660CBBW’s composite blade has a design that is slim, easy to carry and very versatile.

The slim tip gives it a more cutting effect excellent for piercing and the drop point blade shape ensures it’s a good slicing knife. At the same time, this best tactical pocket knife has pure 410 stainless steel handle which is finished with black-oxide blackwash coating to making a matching with blade color. When it comes to handling a knife, the easier, the better. On this note, this piece of germ features the SpeedSafe system that makes it easy to release the knife on a one-handed touch even if you are left or right handed.

The Kershaw 1660CBBW Leek also features a secure frame lock, a tip-lock slider and a pocket clip which makes it safer and easier to carry. The Kershaw 1660CBBW leek measures 7.6 cm (3 inches) in blade length, 10.2cm (4 inches) in closed length, 17.9cm (7 inches) in overall length and weighs 88g (3.1 OZ).

11. Benchmade Mini Griptilian Folding Knife

Benchmade Mini Griptilian Folding Knife - Best Tactical Folding Knife

Important Features and Specifications

 

Blade Length: 2.91 inches
Closed Length: 3.87 inches
Blade Thickness: 0.51 inches
Blade Material: Premium Stainless Steel 154CM (588-61HRC)
Overall Length: 6.78 inches
HARDNESS/HRC: 58-61
Handle Material: Injection molded, GFN
Knife Weight: 2.68 OZ (75.98g)
Made In: USA

If you are looking for a knife for all around functionality, you have just found it. The American made Benchmade – Mini Griptilian 555HG comes with a premium stainless steel 154CM (58-61 HRC) having a well-rounded characteristic manufactured for all toughness including good edge retention and resistance to corrosion. As one of the best tactical folding knives, it offers durability. This tactical EDC knife is ideal for outdoor use and everyday utility works.

The reversible tip-up clip which is of a standard type makes it easy to be carried about. The injection molded Glass Filled Nylon (GFN) handle provides exceptional power. This handle provides strength to the screws, steel liners, Axis and the clips. Usage is made easy and quick when the ambidextrous designs allow the springs on each liner to apply a certain amount of pressure on the locking bar to launch the knife tang.

The Benchmade tactical pocket knife has a lanyard hole bottom of the handle. The Benchmade – Mini Griptilian 555HG measures 7.39 cm (2.91 inches) in blade length, 2.54 mm (0.51 inches) in blade thickness, 17.22 cm (6.78 inches) in overall length, 9.83 cm (3.87 inches) in closed length, 12.95 cm in handle thickness and 2.68 OZ (75.98g) in weight.

12. Zero Tolerance Sinkevich Titanium Folding Knife

Zero Tolerance Sinkevich Titanium Folding Knife - Best Tactical EDC Knife

Important Features and Specifications

 

Blade Length: 3.25 inches
Closed Length: 4.1 inches
Overall Length: 7.4 inches
Blade Metal: S35VN Stainless Steel 
Locking Mechanism: Frame Lock
Knife Weight: 2.9 OZ
Made In: USA.

The Zero Tolerance Sinkevich Titanium-Folding Knife is one of the best tactical pocket knives having a closed frame lock. The model number is ZT0450. The blade is made of the S35VN stainless steel drop point blade with extended tang and having a satin and stonewashed finish.

It also has a titanium handle and as a result of the titanium, stainless drop point, satin and stonewashed finishing, the U.S.A made knife offers strength and durability. Its sleek nature makes very easy for slicing through objects and material and yet ensuring neatness. The polished hardware also adds to its good look. The handle has a lanyard hole at the bottom of it.

The award winning 0450 model is its manual opening mechanism. It comes with a pocket clip which is reversible for ensuring mobility, and this pocket clip is a deep carry clip which makes it easy to be carried on your belt and in the pocket. Judging by the looks, the titanium folding knife is very sleek and sophisticated in design. It measures 3.25 inches (8.3cm) in blade length, (10.4cm) 4.1 inches in closed length, 7.4 inches (18.8cm) in overall length and weighs 2.9 OZ (82.2 g).

13. Spyderco Tenacious G-10 Combination Edge Black Blade

Best EDC Knife - Spyderco Tenacious G-10 Combination Edge Black Blade

Excellent quality, dedicated and enthusiastic customer support, more than 95% consumer satisfaction – due to all these reasons the Spyderco Brand remains one of the best tactical EDC knife producing companies in the modern world. The Spyderco Tenacious G-10 Combination Edge Black Blade folding knife is one of them. Due to its much-admired Military model, this EDC knife has the multitasking performance characteristics. The most amazing factor is, Spyderco is selling this top quality knife at almost half the price compared to other similar Spyderco blades.

This best Spyderco folding knife is famous for its flat ground 8CR13MOV stainless steel blade. It is a half plain edge and half combo serrated blade which comes with a round hole for the index finger. The size of the index hole is 14mm in diameter. Releasing the blade is not at all a complex process in that the proprietary compression lock enables this knife to lock open. The flat ground blade is 3.43 inches long and the overall length of this knife is 7.88 inches. The blade is covered with a non-reflective stealthy black coating that makes it super lubricant when cutting a flexible element as well as increases corrosion and rust resistance.

The knife has G-10 laminate scale handle for durability and firm grip. The handle profile has economic curves and locks your hand firmly in place. It’s a manual opening knife and mechanized by locking liner. You can easily close and open the blade one-handed. Spyderco Tenacious is designed with tip up or tips down reversible pocket clip and very easy to configure for either in left or right-hand carry. Only 4 oz weight and 4.4 inches closed length to make it one of the best every day carry folding knives.

How to Choose a Best Tactical Folding Knife?

When choosing this knife you want to make sure that it will give you ease of use, security, peace of mind, and effectiveness. Make sure that it has a firm, comfortable grip, and a secure blade. If you are looking for a best fighting knife that will give you an advantage in case you are attacked and will protect you then choose a tactical folding pocket knife. There are many manufacturers of tactile pocket knives but which is the best is what you choose and like.

What are the Major Attributes of the Tactical Folding Pocket Knife?

When you are going to choose a tactical folding pocket knife you should know, what the meaning of it is. The best tactical pocket knife has some unique attributes. Let me describe in points.

1. Almost always secure single hand opening system.
2. Secure and safe blade locking mechanism.
3. High-quality stainless steel made blade.
4. Modern, durable and high-quality composite material handle.
5. Handle material like carbon fiber, plastic, metal.
6. Comfortable finger notch with grip skin.
7. Light weight knife, easy to use for varied work.
8. Pocket clip especially reversible.

What is the Purpose of Your Best Tactical Pocket Knife?

Because there are so many different tactical pocket knives in the market; you should first determine what you are going to use it for. This will help you to narrow it down to a few instead of several hundred. This knife can be used as a survival knife, for self-defense, an all around utility knife, as a knife for protection, or general use for a camping trip. The more you know what its purpose will be the easier it will be to buy the right model.

Features Have to Consider before Picking up One

One of the features you should consider is the opening system, what fits your wants, personal style, and needs, locking system, blade types and functions and more. Make a list of features you would like so you get what you want in a knife.

Considering the Overall Length of the Pocket Knife

Blades of a tactical folder knife can range from very small two inch blades to large blades over eight and a half inches. The size of the blade can make a big difference even if it is only a few inches. Choose the size for how you are going to use it.
Recommended: Most of the popular pocket knives are made of 6 to 8 inches and the best overall length is 7.7 inches or 19.56 cm.

Considering the Knife’s Blade

Before you decide on the tactical knife to buy you need to consider what type of stainless steel blade you need, blade edge and the length you need, the number of blades you want your knife to have, and manufacture of the knife.

Selecting the Blade Core Material

Blade core material is generally high carbon steel or stainless steel. How the steel has been heat treated is a huge factor in the performance of the blade. When looking at the blade core material, the first thing that you should do is look for one with a specific alloy name. Most knives will have a specification sheet that will list various compounds of the material of the blade. Under the category of “blade material”, you may see a compound like 8Cr13MoV, 440C, AUS-8 or other compound numbers.

If the manufacturer does not list the alloy but states surgical steel or stainless steel, you should not pay more than thirty dollars for the knife. The next step is to choose the knife from a respected manufacturer. Some knife owners say that the most popular blades are the 154CM and the S30V, AUS-8, carbon steel because these two are sharper, harder, and tougher that some of the more foreign and exotic blades.

Selecting the Blade Length

The first thing that you need to do is check the legality of the length of blade that you can have in your area. Next, you need to consider what you are going to use the knife for so you can choose the correct blade length and not get one too small or too large.

• Small Blades: These knives are anything fewer than 2.75 inches and used for intricate tasks. They are legal in most places, lighter, and easier to carry. The disadvantages with this small tactical pocket knife is that are not as versatile or strong as larger knives.

• Medium Blades: These range from 2.75 to 4 inches and are large enough to handle various tasks but still small enough to be mobile. These knives also have different locking mechanisms. The only real disadvantage is that some areas ban knives over 275 inches.

• Large Blades: These knife blades are over four inches and focus more on self-defense and can be more intimidating than the smaller blades. They are also easy to carry discreetly. They are also heavier and bulkier. In some locales, they may not meet the requirements of the law.

Selecting the Blade Edge

• Plain Edge: This kind of blade edge is better at doing push cuts and gives you better control of the knife. It also gives you cleaner, more accurate cuts. Plain edges are easier for the owner to sharpen, so you do not have to send it back to the factory to be sharpened. It does not have the ability to do pull cuts and saw.

• Serrated Edge: This type of edge does a good job of cutting tougher materials due to the extra strength that comes from a higher pressure per area. These blades are usually thinner and allow the blade to cut well than other knives. They are also difficult to sharpen so you have to send it to the factory to be sharpened.

Combination Edge: This knife-edge is both serrated and plain, with the plain edge at the front of the knife. It lets you manage the part of the blade for rigorous cutting and the other division for easy push cutting. It will also have to be sent to the factory to be sharpened. It is also not as clumsy as a serrated edge knife.

Blade Number and Its Performance

The best pocket knife can have a single blade or multiple blades. They may even have tools. A knife with more blades may not always be the best. Before choosing the number of blades you want your best tactical folding knife to have looked at the knife’s performance.

• Swiss Army or Multi-Tool Pocket Knife: This type of knife has more than blades. It has tools like tweezers, nail files, corkscrews, toothpicks, and more. On the market today, these are the most multi-dimensional tactical pocket knives. It was originally created to meet the demands of the soldiers in the fields. They come in many different sizes and shapes ranging from three tools to 87 tools Giant Swiss Army Knife. They are for those who are the jack-of-all-trades.

• Multi-Blade Pocket Knife: When the knife has more than one blade they will let you do various jobs. They can have from two to four blades. The two-blade knives are very traditional knives, but the three or four blade knives offer you different blades. There is a blade for skinning an animal. One may let you ‘carve wood. Unfortunately, a knife with multiple blades is not as strong or durable but does give you a variety.

• Single Blade Pocket Knife: These come in a variety of sizes and shapes. Their size and simplicity are the best qualities of this type of knife. A single-blade knife focuses on the design of one large blade. They usually are sturdier, lighter and stronger due to their locking mechanisms so they can be used for more demanding work. They are perfect for being an all-purpose knife. One disadvantage is there is a lack of variety.

Considering the Best Tactical Folding Knife Handle

• Handle Length: This depends on how large your hand is. With a larger hand, you would need a longer handle so you can grip it better and not be too close to the blade. Hold the knife in your hand to see how the handle fits.

• Handle Material: There are many different types of material that you can choose. Each one has different disabilities. If you like the look of a classic knife chooses wood, bone, or plastic but if you want a modern sleek knife choose for a clean metal design. Choose a composite material or rubber if you want a tactical appearance.

• Handle Design and Structure: This is decided by the user’s carrying preferences and comfort. If you plan to wear gloves when using the knife or have large hands, then you should choose one with a larger handle. Choose a slim handle if you want a compact size and a grip is not an issue.

• Handle Grip: The grip should be efficient and comfortable. It should also feel good in your hand and easy to grip when you are using it. You do not want one that could slip when you are using it.

Safety Features of a Best Tactical Folder

You should make sure that you have the right locking mechanism, so it does not accidentally come open when you are carrying it in your pocket. You need to look at the materials the handle is made of and what type of grip that it has.

Blade Opening Mechanism

When looking at the different opening mechanisms you need to know the speed that you want it to open because if you have the knife for protection, it can be a difference between life and death. If you are just using it for doing everyday chores, the speed it opens would not be that important.

• Manual Opening Knife: This type you can use your hands to open it or you can use a thumb stub. On some, there are grooves on the blade that lets your nail to grab the blade to open the knife.

• Single-Hand Opening Knife: This kind is usually opened using your thumb to push in a stud to open it. There are some with a hole in the blade. These can be opened quickly.

• Two-Hand Opening Knife: This type is generally opened using your fingernail. It is considered a “manual open” tactical folding knife. The older generation used one.

• Automatic Opening Knife: This is like the popular switchblades that were seen in the 1950s that automatically opened with the press of a button very quickly. Today they are not legal in most places. These knives are expensive.

• Assisted Opening Knife: It is a hybrid of two systems. The user initiates the opening with their thumb allowing a spring to kick in and completely deploy the blade. They were created to get around the law that prohibits automatic open knives.

The Locking Mechanism

This is the part of the knife that keeps the blade open. It also helps to prevent the blade from snapping shut accidentally. If it snaps shut on your fingers, it could cause serious injuries. It is a security feature that will keep it closed when you are carrying the knife. There are several different types of locking mechanisms to choose from.

• Lock-Back Folding Knife: This is one of the earliest and most basic designs of locking knives. Along the spine of this knife is a little notch the handle. You will need to use your thumb to depress the locking mechanism before you store the blade. It does not suit a one-hand operation.

• Frame-Lock Folding Knife: On this type of locking mechanism one side of the frame will slide under the blade when you have it fully deployed and lock it into place. It is easy to operate with one hand and very secure. It uses the handle to assist in folding the knife.

• Liner-Lock Folding Knife: this locking mechanism basically works in the same way as a frame-lock mechanism. The difference is that one side of the liner shifts and locks the blade. The rest of the handle stays in place. On modern knives, they are a common locking system. It is functional and very secure.

Carrying Portion or Pocket Clip

One of the most impotent attributes of the tactical folding knife is the pocket clip. There are two kinds of pock clip available in the market. One is fixed pocket clip and another is the reversible pocket clip. The best option is the reversible pocket clip. It keeps the best tactical pocket knife vertical for comfort. It also rides higher in your pocket for easy and quick access. If you choose not to have a pocket clip, it will take up less space but can slide all the way down into your pocket.

Choose a Best Tactical Folding Knife for the Money

Best Tactical Folding Knives Under $30

This is the economical range. Most of these are made with not as much attention to detail and from a material that is cheap, but there are some great knives in this price range. They are sometimes called flea market knives.

Best Tactical Folding Knives Under $50

For most tactical EDC knives this is the ideal price range. Once you go over thirty dollars, you will see that higher quality steel is used for the blade. The overall design significantly improves, and better material for the handles is available.

Best Tactical Folding Knives Under $100

In this price range there are small improvements in functionality and design as well as better quality material, including the handle and blade. After purchasing a less expensive first knife most will move to this price range.

Best Tactical Folding Knives Under $200 

You will get best EDC knife on the market in this price range. The knives have every detail perfect and use the excellent quality material. This is the price range of collectors and knives from well-known manufacturers.

Consider Consumer Product Review and Rating

There are many tactical folding knives on the market. Most are found on different sites for sale. Every site offers product reviews and ratings, so one knife that is featured on several sites will have different reviews and ratings. This makes it hard to list a particular tactical knife and give it a product review and rating, stating that this is what the consumer rates it when it could be different on another site.

Some Trusted Best Tactical Folding Knife Brand

  • Kershaw
  • Spyderco
  • Cold Steel
  • Zero Tolerance
  • Benchmade
  • Buck Knives
  • CRKT
  • Leatherman
  • Case Cutlery
  • SOG
  • Schrade
  • Boker

Final Verdict

Some say that for it to be the best tactical folder knife it has to be expensive, have a carbon steel blade, and be a certain length and more. To some, it may be the one that was handed down to them from their father. If this is your first tactical folding knife take your time and look at all the features and get the one that suits your needs.

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10 comments

  1. I have read your all the top 10 pocket knives review. Your collection is really great, and your review is also too. But I need a knife that can be useable in the water if I need to do that. Would you please help me to find a best one?

    • Hi Hick, thanks for your excellent comment and feedback. You know this kind of good feedback increases my writing inspiration. Anyway, you have asked me a question about the knife which can survive on the water. But I am not clear one thing from your comment that you want to use the pocket knife in the water on a regular basis or just for sometimes. If you want to use it for regular basis then all these best tactical knives are not perfect for it. But if you want to use it for sometimes then I will suggest to buy my second top selection ( Spyderco ParaMilitary2 G-10 Plain Edge Knife). I think you have got your answer.

  2. I am hardly searching for a tactical folding knife which I can use for EDC purpose. But I don’t find any site that is good enough except yours. You have selected top 10 best tactical pocket knife; those are really so excellent in quality. Your description is so unique and informative. In a short review, you have provided full of description of all the knives’. Also, your buying guide has tons of the description, how to choose a best tactical knife.

    This is an ultimate buyer’s guide that I am hardly looking for. Great work John. I will recommend your site to my other friends. I think I should buy this Zero Tolerance G10 Handle with Speed Safe Knife; it is congruent according to my work.

  3. Always a fun topic!

    I would primarily advise considering three factors when getting a tactical knife:
    A) Blade Length – Min 3.5 inches
    B) Lock – Tri-ad, Axis, Back, Compression, and then Liner/Frame lock = favorites in order of preference
    C) Weight – Should be light enough you will want to carry it. 3-5 oz is appropriate

    Here’s my top 10 (off the top of my head, mostly based on my own purchases)
    1 Spyderco Tenacious
    2 Spyderco Military
    3 Spyderco PM2
    4 Spyderco Endura
    5 Cold Steel Recon 1
    6 Cold Steel Large Voyager
    7 Cold Steel American Lawman
    8 Ontario Rat 1
    9 Benchmade Griptilian
    10 Byrd Cara Cara 2

    • Hey, Start-Up Survival, thanks for your comments and suggestion. I know everyone would not agree with my Top 10 Best Tactical Folding Knife 2017 list. I will keep mind your advice if I need to update it.

  4. What a great top 10 list you have made! I really admire your hard work.

  5. Perfect collection that I am expecting from google. You have elaborated all the knife parts and features in your review. Comparing to the other blogs I don’t find such a described list that you have.

  6. Thank you for publishing this article in here. I was hardly looking for a list of best tactical folder knife, but most of them don’t have a perfect and complete list except yours. keep up the good work.

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