Best Tactical Knife 2020 and Buying Guide

Tactical knives have a misleading moniker, yet their name indicates their origin and history. The term tactical evokes the people of combat or self-defense, and while some knives are solely instruments of multitasking gear, others are used in life-saving ways. Many Americans have an everyday carry, a tactical folding knife they have in their pocket or on their hip every waking hour. Yet, many of these same people may not be aware that they are indeed carrying a wrong tactical knife. In this article, I will be explaining my picks for good tactical knives and conclude with the many nuanced facets of knives.

Feature Comparison Table of 16 Best Tactical Knives in the World


Product Name

Blade Material & (HRC)

Handle Material

Tang Or Opening+Locking

Warranty & Sheath

Measurement & Weight

Our Review


8Cr14MoV (59)


Manual & Liner Lock



3.9" x 9.25"

5.90 oz

Smith & Wesson SWMP4LS M.A.G.I.C.

4034 Black Oxide (58)

T6061 Aluminum

M.A.G.I.C. Assisted & Liner Lock



3.6" x 8.6"

7.60 oz

SOG Trident

AUS-8 (58)

Glass-Reinforced Nylon

SOG Assisted & Arc-Lock



3.75" x 8.5"

3.6 oz

Gerber LMF II

420 High Carbon Steel (60)

Glass-filled Nylon

Three-Quarter Tang


Ballistic Nylon

4.84" x 10.6"

11.67 oz

SOG Escape FF25-CP

9Cr18MoV Stainless Steel (58)

Anodized Aluminum

Manual & Lock Back



3.4" x 8.2"

4.8 oz

Kershaw Blur

Sandvik 14C28N (60)

6061-T6 Anodized Aluminum

SpeedSafe Assisted & Liner Lock



3.4" x 7.9"

3.9 oz

SOG SEAL Pup Elite E37T-K

AUS-8 (58)

Glass-Reinforced Nylon

Full Tang



4.85" x 9.5"

5.4 oz

Kershaw Clash (1605CKTST)

8Cr13MoV (58)

Glass-filled Nylon

SpeedSafe Assisted & Liner Lock



3.1" x 7.4"

4.30 oz

Ka-Bar KA1214-BRK

1095 Cro-Van (58)


Full Tang



7" x 11.88"

11.2 oz

Benchmade - Mini Griptilian 556

154CM (61)

Glass-Reinforced Nylon

Manual & AXIS Lock



2.9" x 6.78"

2.81 oz

Gerber Bear Grylls Ultimate

High Carbon (59)

Rubber & TPE Overmold

Full Tang


Mildew-Resistant Nylon

4.75" x 10"

13.4 oz

Harnds Military-Grade

9Cr18MoV (62)


Manual & Liner Lock



4.2" x 9.6"

11.3 oz

CRKT 2125KV Ultima

1.4116 Stainless Steel (57)

Glass Reinforced Nylon

Full Tang


Cordura Zytel

5" x 10"

8.4 oz

Cold Steel Recon 1

AUS-8A (58)


Manual & Tri-Ad Locking



4" x 9.39"

5.3 oz


AUS-8 High-Carbon Steel (59)

Glass Filled Nylon Scales

Manual & Liner Lock



3.75" x 9.3"

6.20 oz

Morakniv Bushcraft

High Carbon (58)

Molded Rubber

Partial Tang



4.3" x 9.1"

5.4 oz

Best Tactical Knife - Top List Reviews

1. CRKT M16-14SFG Special Forces Combat Folding Knife


CRKT (Columbia River Knife & Tool) is one of the praised names in the 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 enthusiasts, and professionals. 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 3.86 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 an 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 the 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.

2. Smith & Wesson SWMP4LS M.A.G.I.C. Assisted EDC Knife

Smith & Wesson SWMP4LS

Whether you prefer an easy to apply self-defense tool, concealable design, multi-functional gear or a sturdy lock back construction tactical folder – Smith & Wesson presents the Assisted Opening SWMP4LS Tactical Pocket Knife for you and all accomplished at a low price. This best tactical knife is equipped with features like combo edge blade, safety locks, thumb knobs, glass breaker, single-handed M.A.G.I.C. assisted opening, ergonomic handle grips, and multi-tools.

The core of the blade is constructed of 4034 Black Oxide Stainless Steel (56-58 HRC) and protected with black Teflon coating. The partially serrated blade has a razor-sharp cutting edge. The 3.6 inches multi-purpose clip point blade is perfect for cutting objects like cloth, plastic, straps, thin rope, twine, or set belt. Smith & Wesson M&P comes with a T6061 Aircraft Aluminum alloy handle with darker grey rubber inlay that provides solid grip and comfort while using it in any forceful works. Smith & Wesson SWMP4LS is backed by a limited lifetime warranty.

The fascinating feature is its Multipurpose Assisted Generational Innovative Cutlery (M.A.G.I.C) mechanism, which releases the blade really fast by either sliding up on the thumb disk or drawing back on the spine flipper actuator button. Furthermore, a unique sliding security switch confirms no accidental flips out as well as a liner lock guarantees the blade does not suddenly close when using the knife. The pocket clip is not reversible and designed for only the tip-up carrying system. Its full length is 8.6 inches, folded length 5.2″ and weight 7.6 oz.

3. SOG Trident Assisted Tactical Folding Knife TF1-CP

SOG Trident

SOG Trident has a partially serrated 3.75-Inch AUS-8 Steel blade (HRC: 57-58). Furthermore, the blade core has undergone Cryogenic Heat Treatment process and finished with stealthy black TiNi (Titanium Nitride) coating – all these procedures have increased blade’s edge retention, longevity, rust, and scratch resistant.

The lightweight handle manufactured by impact and moisture resistant Glass-Reinforced Nylon as well as having a Digi-Grip pattern for essential anti-slip grip. There is a slot cutter, framed into the handle slab, you can use it for cutting heavy belts, paracord, cable, webbing, thin rope or fishing line without deploying the blade.

SOG TF-1 is assembled with SOG Assisted Technology (S.A.T.) that’s a spring assisted mechanism, the blade fly’s out rapidly by either hand with a flick of the dual thumb studs. While you release the blade, a piston lock system applies a temporary metal bar that takes a position between the knife handle and blade tang. Moreover, SOG’s patented the Arc-Lock technology guarantees the blade close more firmly and unlock more safely.

Bayonet-mounted reversible pocket clip expands from the end of the handle and supports the right or left handed-users for deep and guarded carrying option. SOG Trident offers a limited lifetime warranty. The origin of the knife is the USA. The TF1-CP has an overall length of 8.5-Inch, closed length of 4.75-Inch and weighs only 3.6 ounces.

4. Gerber LMF II - in 3 Colours Top Tactical Survival Knife

Gerber LMF II

Since the 1939s, Gerber the Legendary Company has been manufacturing word’s best outdoor gears and different types of knives especially for outdoor enthusiasts, survivalist, law enforcement and sportsmen. Its head office situated in Portland, Oregon; where they produce most of their domestic products including the LMF II. The Gerber LMF II Survival Knife available in 3 different colors and models. The truth is, all these three tactical survival knives are same except their handle color and sheath. Most importantly, all the parts and accessories of this knife made in the USA and Gerber offers a limited lifetime warranty with this knife.

1. Gerber LMF II Survival Knife, Black [22-01629]

2. Gerber LMF II Infantry Knife, Green [22-01626]

3. Gerber LMF II Survival Knife, Coyote Brown [22-01400]

Gerber LMF II comes with 420 High Carbon Stainless Steel made blade which is 0.198-Inch/5.03 mm thick and 4.84 inches long. The drop point blade has a convex curve shape from blade spine to point. High Carbon steel, 58-60 Rockwell hardness rating and partially serrated cutting edge – all these characteristic features have made it an ultimate tool for cutting rope, set belt, electric wires, branches, vines, slicing, bushcraft chores, chopping, prying, digging, hammering and other everyday works. To protect from corrosion, scratch, and rust the blade is finished with black oxide coating as well as gives a stealthy nonreflective visual signature.

The handle of this tactical self defense knife is made of glass-filled nylon and TPV Overmold. Gerber LMF II was actually designed to free the aircrew members from an accidental aircraft, and the blade has a three-quarter tang because it breaks between the butt cap and tang. Such type of unique craftsmanship protects the users from being electrically shocked while someone cutting the live wires and surviving themselves from the downed aircraft. Moreover, to prevent slippage, there is a half inch grip jimping on the end of the three corners of the handle. There are 2 more lanyard holes on the handle in the middle place of the knife. These two holes are used to lashing the handle with a stick to prepare a spear.

The 10.59 inches Gerber LMF II Survival Knife comes with military-grade ballistic nylon made sheath, and it is coated with fire retardant finish. The multi-purpose sheath is equipped with integrated V shape sharpener, two ergonomic leg straps for calf or thigh carry, MOLLE compatible, easy to carry with waist belt and a strap or belt cutter/safety strap. The knife tightly held in the sheath applying the friction lock method. Also, it has two small profile straps to keet the knife tightly in the sheath, so the knife does not come loose easily while moving or running so fast. You will find right or left hand carry option with this sheath. The knife weight is 11.67 ounces.

5. SOG Escape FF25-CP Tactical Rescue Pocket Knife

SOG Escape FF25-CP

The SOG has impressed me with its knives before as they always have a superior performance which makes them suitable to be used in military, industrial and law enforcement. This award-winning brand’s famous tactical knife is Escape FF25-CP. It is an emergency gear with versatile rescue features that can be carried anywhere for being a compact design. The 3.4″ long partially serrated blade is made of 9Cr18MoV Stainless Steel (HRC 57-58) and coated with a Hardcase black finish for increasing stealthiness and excellent wear-resistance. The 0.13″ thick blade has a sturdy clip point tip that is perfect for deep puncture or opening a can.

SOG Escape FF25-CP Survival Pocket Knife comes with 6061-T6 hard-anodized Aluminum made handle with a black finish. The ergonomic handle is contoured in a user-friendly manner to assure you have a comfortable as well as firm pinch grip in your palm. The multi-tasking handle also features an emergency glass breaker, a wire stripper and an extra line cutter blade situated beneath the handle slab. The formidable line cutter that capable to cut a variety of fibrous things such as seat belts, string, cord, and so on. Moreover, the thumb jimping and blade spine rasp both works together for filing, notching and stable thumb placement.

For easy one-handed opening or closing, it just needs a slight push at the thumb studs. Don’t worry, SOG ambidextrous Lockback Mechanism makes this tactical knife 100% safe when it is in use or able to be safely carried or moved around with all the time. The fixed pocket clip behind the handle can also be used as a money clip. SOG Escape FF25-CP offers a limited lifetime warranty against any manufacturing defects and materials. Its overall length 8.2″, folded length 4.8″ and weigh only 4.80 oz.

6. Kershaw Blur with SpeedSafe Opening Tactical Pocket Knife

Kershaw Blur

Kershaw is one of the best tactical knife brands in the world. It was established in 1974 with a view to design and produce knives and tools; the users of these products would be proud to purchase, use and carry. Keeping this intention in mind, Kershaw presented Kershaw Ken Onion Blur in 2009, and since then the folder has taken the crown of the top position of the tactical pocket knife in the world. This 7.9-Inch Ken Onion Blur is proudly produced in the USA. Its weight is only 3.9 oz and closed length 4.5 inches.

The knife has a slightly re-curved 3.4 inches drop point blade. The 3.18 mm thick blade is formed of high-performance Sandvik 14C28N stainless steel and protected with Diamond-Like Carbon (DLC) coating for additional rust and corrosion resistance. The blur has a half serrated multitasking blade that provides an extra cutting advantage for rope, cord, set belt, electric cable, and other fibrous materials. This Blur offers 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.

The handle is made of 6061-T6 anodized aluminum to make it durable, lightweight, tough, and scratch resistant. When it is anodized, this means it can accept a dye to change the handle color. For a very solid grip, there are Trac-Tec grip-tape inserts on the handle. It has an easy one-hand opening with a SpeedSafe system. To open all you do is pull back on the flipper or manually push on the thumb stud. Inside the knife’s handle is a riveted strip of stainless steel. It enables a lighter slimmer knife with the security and strength of a locking liner. The pocket clip is reversible. You can change it to a tip-down or tip-up carry. The Kershaw Ken Onion Blur Folding Knife is one of the best-selling pocket knives on Amazon.

7. SOG SEAL Pup Elite Fixed Blade Knife E37T-K

SOG SEAL Pup Elite E37T-K

The SOG is one of the best multi-tools, outdoor gear and military knife manufacturing companies in the world. They have more than 33 years of knife producing expertise. All the products produced by this brand are extremely high quality, durable and field tested. If you are searching for a wide range of versatile use a good tactical knife under $100, then SOG SEAL Pup E37T-K will be your best selection. The knife is covered with a lifetime condition warranty and weight 5.4 oz.

Read More: Top 7 SOG SEAL Pup Elite Fixed Blade Knives Review

Its 4.7-mm/0.185-inch thick AUS-8 stainless steel blade core has 57-58 hardness Rockwell scale rating that means it is one of the strongest steels in the world. The method of cryogenic heat conducted process that enhances the durability, viability and edge retention of the blade. Hardcase Black Tiny finish and with heat conducted process have not only made it rust resistant but also improve the sustainability and razor sharpness at the same time. The 4.85 inches partially serrated multi-tasking blade is useful for combat, survival, and hunting as well as daily utility works like cooking, cutting, chopping etc. Also, the blade spine rasp for filing, notching, and thumb placement. The clip point helps to make dip hole with less thrash. Due to its cryogenic heat conducted AUS-8 stainless steel blade with stain and rust resistant TiNi coating, the knife can stand in salt spray or ocean water, snowfield and tropical rainforest.

The tang part (3”-4”) of the blade goes through the handle that fulfills it as a full tang tactical knife. The handle of this fighting knife created of high-quality fiberglass reinforced nylon. This material is a component that resistant to harsh acids, electrical energy, and obsessive temperatures. The handle is scored by the pattern of deep diamond checking for a strong grip and pleasant holding. At the same time, the ergonomic deeper finger grooves also provide maximum strength and lower-upper thumbs protect your finger from slipping. This 9.5 inches knife arrives with a Kydex sheath and a belt loop extra. You can also carry it with a backpack or other gears and attach it either right or left-handed as well.

8. Kershaw Clash Assisted Opening Top Tactical Knife 2020

Kershaw Clash (1605CKTST)

Kershaw believes in quality material and innovative designs with modern technology. Although Kershaw sells some knives at a low price, they never compromise with the quality of their products. If your budget is low and looking for an allrounder pocket knife, then you are in the right place. The Kershaw Clash tactical folding knife is one of them. This folder is highly recommended for slicing, camping, and tactical chores.

The 3.1 inches blade built from 8Cr13MoV stainless steel. 8Cr13MoV has excellent toughness and wears resistance in any harsh condition. The blade core is proficiently heat-treated for better edge retention and razor sharpness. Its half serrated multitasking blade is useful for cutting flexible and hard object like rope, webbing, cordage, set belt, branches, limbs or electric cable. The drop point blade is finished with black oxide coating that gives it non-reflective stealthy look and increases corrosion and rust resistance.

The 4.3 inches textured glass-filled nylon ergonomic handle contours with a secure grip pattern that provides a solid non-slip grip in your hand. Most importantly, the Kershaw Clash is designed with the SpeedSafe assisted manual opening mechanism. With full authority, a light back press on the flipper tip and the SpeedSafe deploys the blade fast with a light jolt. A liner lock system lockups the blade in place solidly and safely. The full length of this knife is 7.4 inches and closed length 4.25 inches and weight 4.3 oz. It has a reversible pocket clip and comes with a lifetime great Kershaw warranty.

9. Ka-Bar KA1214-BRK USA Fixed Blade Fighting Knife

Ka-Bar KA1214-BRK USA

If you want the same features that the Marines need in their tactical knife, then stop your searching furthermore. The 11.88 inches USA made KA1214-BRK is the ideal one. Its 1095 Cro-Van stainless steel blade with full tang structure both have created an ergonomic and nearly indestructible knife. The 0.165-inch / 4.19 mm thick blade has a razor sharp 20 degrees partially serrated multipurpose cutting edge. The 7-inch blade guarantees instant death if it is applied to a wild animal or a human. The clip point blade (56-58 hardness scale) has a non-reflective black powder finish to reducing scratch and friction drag and protecting from rust as well.

Read More: Top 10 Ka-Bar USMC Fixed Blade Knives Review

KA1214-BRK best tactical knife comes with hand-made Kraton G handle. It is the composite stuff of Synthetic Elastomer. The Kraton handle provides better grip, good control, and durable than wood. Even in any situation, you can apply the pommel as a hammer, and the Kraton-G handle will not break or crack as like as wood. The Synthetic Elastomer feels comfortable and fits in your hand. The knife is effectively useful for chopping or cutting or cooking in any hunting and survival trip or any outdoor adventure.

The hard plastic made sheath offers the user to bear it left or right side. This plastic sheath is well suitable to wet tropical conditions because it protects the knife from water and moisture pretty well. Also, the sheath comes with a minor safety system for the young child. A short strap that wraps around the handle for keeping the knife tightly into the plastic sheath. The knife has a limited lifetime warranty.

10. Benchmade - Mini Griptilian 556 Drop-Point Knife

Benchmade - Mini Griptilian 556

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 the 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 a diamond shape grip pattern that ensures a 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.

11. Gerber Bear Grylls Ultimate Best Tactical Survival Knife

Gerber Bear Grylls Ultimate

Gerber was founded in 1939, and its headquarter in Portland, Oregon, USA. This American brand was established intending to providing quality gear for hunters, survivor, and soldiers. Gerber Bear Grylls Ultimate is one of their best selling knives for many years. The 4.75 inches blade core is formed with toughest 7Cr17Mov High Carbon Stainless Steel that has 57-59 HRC rating and excellent rust resistance. This type of ultimate steel is far better than 440A or S30V steels. The 7Cr17Mov has higher edge retention and keeps razor sharpness for a long period even heavy uses. The drop-point blade has a stealthy gray color Toxic coating for increasing corrosion or scratch resistance in any harsh environment.

Read More: Top 12 Tactical Fixed Blade Knives Review

Due to its full tang design, the knife is as strong as simple to use and maneuverable. The 3.2 mm thick half serrated straight edge blade is an ideal tactical survival knife for slicing, chopping and feathering the sticks, firewood batoning, and other fundamental works. The main body of the handle is created with TPE Overmold top quality plastic. The gray areas of the handle are covered with a textured rubber coating which provides proper traction and comfortable grip while using it by your bloody, muddy or wet hand. The full tang steel pommel at the base of the ergonomic handle can be applied as a hammer. The handle has two extra lanyard holes in the middle of the knife. Those are used to lashing the knife with a stick to make a spear.

Another important characteristic of this knife is its multi-use Nylon sheath. It is mildew resistant, military-grade and lightweight including friction lock option and velcro closure those keep the knife firmly. Additionally, it has a belt loop for sideways carry. The sheath also contains a fire starter ferrocerium bar in a watertight holder on the upright slot, Bear’s “Priorities of Survival” pocket guide and emergency whistle. On the reverse side, you will find a carbide pull-through diamond stone sharpener that can be displaced or transferred for left or right-handed use. Gerber Ultimate has a limited lifetime warranty, overall length 10-Inch, and weight 13.4 oz.

12. Harnds Military-Grade Double Safety Lock Pocket Knife

Harnds Military-Grade

Multitasking, military-grade, one hand deployment and fold, large size, razor sharp robust blade and handle, double security locking system, suitable price, hard-to-beat all-rounder tactical folding knife – are you looking for this? Then this Harnds Military-Grade Tactical Gear is definitely for you. The blade core of this Harnds knife is produced by black 9Cr18MoV stainless steel. Due to its higher hardness rating 58-62, the blade has excellent edge retention and stays razor sharp after a heavy use. The 4.2 inches drop point blade has titanium carbonitride finish that turns it stealthy as well as enhances rust and corrosion resistance. The half serrated blade is 33 mm (0.15-Inch) thick that means you can use it for cutting hard and flexible materials like limbs or branches, electric cable, webbing, rope, cordage, set belt etc.

The G10 handle is textured with the black and red grip pattern. The ergonomic finger grooves ensure solid and comfortable holding even your hand is wet or muddy or bloody. The most important and unique feature is its lock back and Liner lock system which assure double safety and guarantee. It has a steel pocket clip for everyday carry. This folder comes with a wear resistance Nylon Sheath, portable in your bag or with the belt and limited lifetime warranty. The Harnds Military-Grade Tactical Knife is highly recommended for hunting, slicing, camping, survival, and fishing. Its weight is 11.3 oz, closed length 5.4-inch and overall length 9.6 inches.

13. CRKT 2125KV Ultima Veff Serrations Tactical Knife 2020

CRKT 2125KV Ultima

CRKT has sought to deliver the best tactical knives those can accommodate nearly and any combat needs that you might have. This comprehensive approach is visibly observed by the sheer glut of unique and amazing features of the CRKT 2125KV Ultima. The 2125KV is designed by Michael Martinez, made in the USA and offers a limited lifetime warranty. The knife weight is 8.4 oz and full length 10.039 inches.

This razor-sharp tactical fixed blade knife features an impressive 5-inch partially Veff serrated modified tanto point blade. The premium quality 1.4116 stainless steel blade with durable non-reflective black titanium nitride finish – all have made it a perfect option for cutting objects like webbing, hoses, rope, leather, strapping or small branches. The blade on the knife sports a truly razor sharp tip, and has a dual taper grind for maximum strength. For sturdiness, the blade is 4.7 mm/ 0.185 inches thick with Rockwell hardness of 55-57, meaning that the knife is robust, and can basically handle anything you throw at it without breaking or bending.

What I like most about this knife is the ergonomic and special handle. The unique patented-pending handle achieves 22 to 23 pressure points on your hand. Additionally, the injection-molded glass filled black Nylon handle has more than seventy triangular grip pattern segments divided by rather “ooze grooves” or sipes. These ooze grooves serve the purpose of channeling away water, oil, and mud.  Large handle with several triangular grips means that the knife is extremely versatile, and gives added assurance in harsh or wet working conditions. For optimum feel, this full tang tactical knife is designed with horizontal fingertips grooves. The CRKT 2125KV comes with a custom black Cordura and Zytel sheath with adjustable loops, 550 paracord, leg strap, an injection-molded linear and utility pocket with the Fastex buckle to carry multipurpose tools, sharpeners or folding knives.

14. Cold Steel Recon 1 Combo Edge Tactical Pocket Knife

Cold Steel Recon 1

Important Features and Specifications


Blade Length: 4 inches
Blade Thickness: 3.5 mm
Blade Material: Japanese Aus 8A stainless
Overall Length: 9.38 inches
Handle Material: G-10
Knife Weight: 5.3 OZ
Made In: Taiwan

Cold Steel brand is known for raising the knife manufacturing grade in the knife industry. This best tactical folding knife has a 4 inches long partially serrated edge blade. The tanto point blade core is made of imported Japanese AUS 8A steel stainless metal which is 3.5 mm thick and vacuum heat treated as well as sub-zero quenched. The Cold Steel brand also used a thumb disc for making the folding knife easy to open and has a strong fixed pocket clip for comfortable carry.

To prepare it for the tactical mission, the blade is coated with a black Teflon finish that provides it 3 prime tactical advantages. First of all, it makes the blade resist rust. Second, its stealthy feature, this black coating eliminates illumination and reflection of light. Finally, the Teflon finish turns the blade super lubricant and enough slip which can easily go through the taught element without creating any friction.

The Cold Steel Recon 1 comes with G-10 laminate scales which are scalloped and artfully contoured for a firm, nonslip superior grip. Moreover, the knife is assembled by latest and durable mechanical fasteners and anchored with 6061 heat-treated spacers. The knife is equipped with belt clip / ambidextrous pocket clip and total weight is 5.3 oz only. Most important, this 9.38 inches tactical folder is assembled with the Cold Steel’s revolutionary Tri-Ad locking mechanism, which effectively reduces lock failure.


  • Highest quality stainless steel blade
  • Excellent grip, non-slip G-10 handle with finger grooves
  • Latest and 100% secure locking mechanism
  • Non-reflective stealthy knife
  • Easy to open and carry


  • Unusual pressure on back side could break the knife

15. CRKT M16-14ZLEK Law Enforcement Folding Fighting Knife


The M16-14ZLEK has a 3.75-Inch AUS-8 High-Carbon Stainless Steel blade which is triple point serrated. When I tested it to cut the things like rope, straps, cord, canvas, electric ware, vegetation, heavy plastic or fibrous materials then found greater advantages compared to the plain edge blade. Its incredibly stiff and sharp tanto shape point allows me to pierce into thin metals and solid objects. All the parts of this folding knife are painted with black Ti-Nitride coating to make it stealthy as well as increasing stain, rust and corrosion resistance.

The InterFrame construction handle is complemented with textured Glass Filled Nylon over the 420J2 stainless steel liner. To make sure best permanence in any circumstances the handle is assembled with offset Torx fasteners. The friction grooves support all-weather grips in my hand. Moreover, the knife features with a cool seat belt cutter to the Carson Flipper and a handy tungsten carbide glass breaker at the handle butt. Also, the Flipper makes the blade really easy for quick single-hand opening and sets itself as a finger guard when open. This M16-14ZLEK tactical knife is made in the USA.

M16-14ZLEK is manufactured with the automated liner safety mechanism. It puts a pin between the frame and liner lock. The metal pin performs as the 2nd tier of security. To fold the blade just draw back the red color buttoned security lever, turn the locking liner over and smoothly close the blade into the folded location. Its four-position pocket clip allows me tip-up, tip-down in pocket carry and left or right handed for mobility. The CRKT M16-14ZLEK arrives me with a limited lifetime warranty and measures 9.25-Inch in overall length, 5.5-Inch in folded length, 6.2 oz in weight.

Note: You will get more CRKT’s top tactical knives on this listing; those are purchasable in different colors, plain and serrated blade.

16. Morakniv Bushcraft Small Tactical Fixed Blade Knife

Morakniv Bushcraft

The blade is made of high-carbon steel and one-eighth inches thick. It is extremely durable and sharp. The blade length is 4.3 inches long. It weighs 5.4 ounces. The knife is hardened to withstand blade stress when splitting wood. The coating of black will help to protect against corrosion.

The carbon blades (HRC 56-58) need to be oiled after using for extra corrosion resistance. To help prevent the knife from easily slipping off it has a Scandi grind. The tactical blade also stays sharp for a long time. It goes into the wood and does not become stuck. The blade of the knife is thin and razor sharp. It has a black plastic sheath comes with Fire Starter and diamond sharpener. The sheath has a removable belt clip and belt loop.

The handle is ergonomic with a high-friction grip of rubber. Makes it easier to handle and carve with. The Fire Start yields 7,000 strikes and creates a 3,000-degree spark. The tactical knife locks securely on the sheath with durable plastic clips. Works well when it is wet. Has a limited lifetime manufacturer’s warranty. It is the definitive carving tool with balanced handling and sharp edge. It can be used for hunting or tactical applications.


  • This useful knife comes with multiple accessories
  • Straight edge blade suitable for outdoor activities
  • Compact Morakniv fire starter, approximately 7,000 strikes
  • Scandi grind blade edge for stuck free cutting & holding long time sharpness
  • The blade can be used for batoning to cut wood


  • Comes with cheap sharper
  • There is no lanyard hole with this knife

How to Choose a Best Tactical Knife in 2020 – Buying Guide

The thought process it takes to chose the tactical knife is extensive. First, you have to determine the use for your knife as well as know the difference that makes a tactical knife. Knowing these two things will help with your choice but narrowing down the use will allow you to make a more detailed and informed decision on which knife will be best for you as an individual. The next several paragraphs will help in outlining and informing the best ways to choose the best tactical knife.

What Makes a Knife a Tactical Knife?

A tactical knife is a knife which has different types of multipurpose features and crafted for use in combat or extreme survival circumstances. Actually, it is a gear that designed to accomplish some special military requirements in any harsh situation. Those needs can extend from cutting a cable, rope or wood, using as a tool, opening a metal box, or defending yourself in a close- combat scenario.

An example to illustrate the genesis of the tactical knife from law enforcement or military use every day carries and civilian use is the rescue knife. This knife may have a seatbelt cutting component or glass breaker on the handle or the knife may have a partially serrated tanto blade, ideal for cutting flexible stuff and puncturing into the solid materials.

What are the Differences Between a Tactical Knife and a Regular Knife?

There are several differences between a Tactical knife and a Regular knife. A tactical knife is any that meets military specification, may that be fixed-blade or folding. A regular knife, fixed or folding, is most commonly used by the sportsman in hunting, fishing, and household utility activities. Regular knives are often made of lower quality material.

But the tactical knives are made of harder materials with harder edge retention as to stay sharper longer. Usually, a tactical knife is used by military personnel, law enforcement, survivalist, outdoor enthusiast, traveler, and amateur collector.

A regular folding knife has a lock that locks the blade to the handle and it’s different because it tends to be a little harder in releasing it. The difference between the two kinds of knives is as vast as it is similar to the naked eye. Once you delve deeper, you will start to understand the complexities of knife craftsmanship.

What is the Purpose of Your Tactical Knife? 

The usefulness of a knife is completely up to the individual using the gear. Protection, utility, part of your job or just to carry? The uses are vast but the knife chosen is important because many knives are made with specifications and use in mind. A hunting knife used for skinning and cleaning an animal will be made to sharpen more often and have a straight edge. Depending on what the hunter prefers, it may be folding for easier carry or fixed for strength.

If it is being used for a job, then it might be beneficial to understand exactly what the job requires. A carpenter will benefit from a folding knife that has multiple blade types. A combat soldier may benefit from a fixed blade combat knife for self-defense in the event that it comes to the last resort. You see, knives are created for purposes, and choosing the right knife depends on the use for that knife.

Considering the Overall Length of the Tactical Knife

The length of the knife depends on the purpose in which you are going to use it. For any utility, traveling, office use or law enforcement or edc reason would require a shorter and lighter (Fixed 6″-8″ & Folding 6″-7″) knife.

The outdoor task like survival, hunting, camping, skinning, cooking, self-defense, hiking, would require a medium length tactical knife (Fixed 8″-12″ & Folding 7″-10″) due to mobility. A folding knife is used for utility more often and it’s easier to be concealed and stored.

Finally, extreme use of survival tasks need a longer thinner blade knife (Fixed 12″-16″ & Folding 10″-12″). These types of longer knives are usually used when the need arrives.

Most Critical Selection the Blade Material

Blade material is important because it determines the strength and durability of the blade. A knife will be made with a variety of stainless steels whereas best tactical knives are made with carbon steels. Blades that have a high carbon count are usually harder and tougher than their low-carbon counterparts and are often easier to sharpen, but they do have some significant drawbacks. In addition, high carbon steel is significantly more erosion-prone, meaning that it requires more upkeep such as oiling and that environments with many corrosive elements, such as on a boat at sea with sea spray and salt, will quickly deteriorate the knife. Below is a list of materials most commonly used in fixed-blade and folded knives.

Blades are most commonly carbon/alloy steels made of D2, O1, 1095, 42oHC, 154CM, S3oV, and 13C26 Sandvik. All these carbon steels have variable degrees of hardness and moldability as well as best for the different types of environment.

Stainless steel blades have less carbon in them and are therefore strengthened, and they don’t dull much quicker, though they are relatively difficult to sharpen and stainless steel is significantly less prone to corrosion.

Commonly used stainless steel materials such as 440 A, B, C, ATS-34/154CM, S60V, ATS-55, Kin-2, BNG10, Co-special, M390, and CPM-2oCV. If used for prying, the stainless steel blade may bend instead of break, which is significantly easier to repair in the field.

Measure the Blade Length According to Your Requirement

Before choosing a tactical knife, measure the blade length of the knife. A folding knife will have a smaller blade in comparison to a fixed-blade knife due to the fact that the blade has to be folded into the handle. A fixed-blade knife has more chooses for blade length than a folded knife. A folding knife is convenient for utility, concealment and carry but its blade lengths are limited in uses.

• Small-Length Blades: Fixed blade knives with a small blade (3″-4″) are used most frequently for utility tool and edc carry. They are kept sharp and compact for easy maneuvering. Tactical folding knives with a small blade (2″-3″) can be used for the same purpose and they are easy can be concealed. From everyday carry through the public to opening boxes, to being used as a makeshift screwdriver. The possibilities are endless and storing a folding knife with a small blade is much easier than a fixed blade knife.

• Medium-Length Blades: Fixed blade knives with medium length blades (4″-7″) have a wide range of uses. From cutting rope or material to cleaning game and fixing things around the house. A folding knife with a medium-length blade (3″-5″) is easily stored carried and used by Electricians’ cutting wire, survivalists cutting rope, vines or fishing line or the everyday person trying to free a small animal from a bush. It fits easily in a pocket, purse or bag and is light enough to keep from being obvious about carrying a knife. Due to its easily maneuvered in activities, a medium-length blade can be and is used by most people.

• Large-Length Blades: Tactical fixed blade knives (8″-10″) with a large blade are mainly used for specific purposes in survival, from cutting branches for firewood to filleting a fish. A folding knife with a large blade (5″-8″) also has specific purposes. From cutting wood with a saw blade, clean large game animals or self-defense. They are harder to conceal, carry, and maneuver compared to smaller blades. An example of a large fixed-blade knife is a machete, often used by survivalists to cut away overgrowth and hunting. A folding knife with a large blade is called a Mega-folder and is classified by any folding knife that has a blade longer than 5 inches.

Selecting the Blade Edge Depending on the Cutting Object

The picking of blade edge dispends on use of the knife. There are three main edge types – plain edge, which is flat and even, and serrated edges, serrated edges which are saw-like teeth on the edge of the blade and partially serrated edges which feature the combination of plain and serration.

• Plain Edge Blade: It is the most-used type of blade edge due to its ease of sharpening and precision cutting, chopping or firewood batoning. However, plain edged tactical knives often have trouble cutting through heavier material and require more sharpening to maintain their edges, two very serious drawbacks to consider. This is not to say that plain edged blades are incapable of slicing, far from it, but plain edged blades can be incapable or, at the very least, ineffective when faced with strong or flexible materials.

• Serrated Edge Blade: Serrated edge blades, on the other hand, have no problem cutting through tougher material when applied in a sawing motion. Also, maintain their sharpness longer, and can cause extra damage to a target by getting caught on the skin. That said, one fatal flaw of serrated edge knives is that they may catch and stick on an opponent’s skin or clothes, and one may lose grip or control of the blade. Sharpening a serrated edge blade is not an easy task. You should not buy serrated edge tactical knife until the purpose arrives where you want it.

• Partially Serrated Edge Blade: To get the “best of both worlds,” so to speak, a combination plain and serrated edge is a solid choice for someone who wishes to have either edge at their disposal at any given time. Naturally, while this does allow for more utility, where the blade types are on the blade, whether sharing the same edge or on opposite ends, will affect the use of each edge. Partial-serrated knives can be used almost any task you want. In my own experience, I suggest a partially serrated blade with a plain edge and serrated edge sharing the same edge so that the strength of the blade’s spine is not compromised in any way and can still be used in tasks such as batoning.

Selecting the Effective Blade Shape or Tip

For the sake of brevity and relevance to finding the best “general-use” tactical knife, I shall only mention the three most common blade point types.

• Drop Point: Perhaps the most common type of blade tip is the drop point, characterized by a wide “belly” and a flat blade spine that gradually slopes and tapers to a point. Drop point knives are usually considered the best general-use knives due to their maneuverability and precision when using the blade tip. Their construction also champions blade strength, making a drop point knife perfect for most scenarios.

• Clip Point: Clip point knives are dissimilar to drop point knives, as clip point knives usually feature a concave slope, whereas drop point knives have a convex slope. Clip point knives surpass drop point knives in piercing potential, but the thinner point does increase the possibility of the tip breaking. Despite this, clip point knives such as Buck and bowie knives both feature clip points and are held in high regard by hunters across the globe.

• Tanto Point: The point is high on the blade with flat grinds, equaling a strong point. Sacrificing a belly in the design left an even more powerful point and the craftsmanship to be a perfect tactical knife. Though it can be used to pierce sturdy materials, controlling the point is tough.

What Should be Blade Spine Structure?

The “back end” of the blade that is opposite the edge is known as the spine, and as far as tactical knives go, a flat-spine and a single-bladed knife is the most acceptable solution. While two-sided knives have greater stabbing potential, they lack the utility often needed from tactical survival knives, such as batoning, and generally weaken the blade. While it may be tempting to choose a double-edged knife, a more durable single-edged knife with a flat spine is a better choice overall.

Knife Tang For a Fixed Blade Tactical Knife

In a best fixed blade knife, you will find a portion of the blade which extends into the handle is known as a knife’s tang. Remember you only need to check this feature in fixed blade knife. Durability, balance, and weight of a fixed blade knife depend on the tang. The manufacturer produces different types of tang blades for the different purpose. Most popular, effective and durable shape is a full tang knife. This is when the blade extends to the end of the handle and covers the full length of the knife. A full tang tactical knife has good construction, balance, and leverage. Some other tangs you can consider like partial tang, gut hook, encapsulated tang skeletonized tang, tapered tang, extended tang.

Most Ergonomic Tactical Knife Handle Design and Its Material

For proper holding and using a knife, you must need a perfect length handle. Also, sometimes it depends on your hand size. The Bigger size hand requires a long handle. The standard size of a handle of the medium size knife is 4 to 5.5 inches, both for folding and fixed blade. At present, there has made revolutionary changes in the knife handle material. If you need a waterproof, durable handle then you should buy an aluminum, high-quality plastic (Rubber, G10, Molded Plastic, Micarta), carbon fiber, or metal handle knife but if you like the old or classic knife then find a premium quality wood, bone or leather handle.

Handle design and structure also is an important issue for the tactical knife. Select a knife that has ergonomic finger grooves which is so effective for different circumstances. The grip of the handle should be non-slip and comfortable. You may not want that your knife could slip from your hand when you are using it. Select one that has a non-slip grip or grip pattern with the body of the knife handle.

Careful about Opening and Locking Safety Mechanisms

Folding knives unlike fixed blade knives have to have different mechanisms attached in order to ensure the safety of its users. There are several extra craftsmanship additives that are added to the blade, handle or tang in order for the knife to open safely or lock in place.

One is the blade lock. The blade lock is a small device that slides into place safely locking the blade. This is so the user doesn’t accidentally cut or stab themselves when carrying the knife. Those tactical folding knives are mechanized with Liner Lock, Frame-Lock, Piston Lock, AXIS Lock, Compression Lock, Tri-Ad Locking system safer than others.

Another mechanism for safety is the assisted open. The assisted open helps the user open the blade with an assisted extended rod or spring. The rod or spring when pushed down with the thumb puts pressure on the blade and opens it with a swift motion; keeping the fingers at a safe distance. SpeedSafe, Spring, Automatic, M.A.G.I.C assisted opening knives work better in modern time.

Carrying Portion or Pocket Clip of a Tactical Folding Knife

A folding knife has several ways to carry it when not in use, besides the sheath. A folding knife can also have a pocket clip. The pocket clip allows for easier storage and transfers from use and non-use. Reversible 4 position pocket clip is most convenient to use. But exposes the knife to the outdoor elements causing the knife to rust, scratch or malfunction sooner than if it was in a carrying sheath. The sheath protects the knife from the outdoor elements the user doesn’t want the knife exposed to. Kydex, Nylon, and Leather sheaths are durable for a fixed blade knife.  This is a user decision as to the preference of which they prefer.

Choose a Best Tactical Knife for the Money

Budget is another major factor when you are going to buy something like a knife. This is a critical option for any newbie. Most of the common people think that a higher budget ensures the highest quality product. It is true but not always. If you have a detailed idea or a perfect buyer’s guide you can easily buy a good tactical knife under your budget. Let me present some recommended budget ideas.

Knife under $10

Don’t worry, if your budget is under $10, you still can buy a tactical knife. Though it would be difficult to find a good one that you can apply for utility work. But remember, under $10 knives do not have a strong steel blade, safety lock, and sheath. So you should not use it for any heavy task.

Knife Under $20

The twenty-dollar is also a lower price range for a quality knife. With this budget, I wish you would get a durable handle but not a good edge retention blade. Almost all the knives under $10 to $20 are made in China. My suggestion is, try to increase your range and move to 30 dollars.

Top Tactical Knife Under $30

The $30 dollar budget is the most desirable price range for the newbies. You will get medium quality knives with this economical range. There is some popular knife manufactures those who use to make top-rated tactical edc knives under $30.

Best Tactical Knives Under $50 

For most tactical fixed or folding knives, this is the ideal budget range. When you move over 30 dollars, you will get improved edge retention stainless steel blade, upgrade tactical blade design like partially serrated or full serrated, razor-sharp robust tip, durable material for the ergonomic handle and heavy-duty sheath with convenient carrying option. Overall at $50, you can buy a significantly finest design perfect tactical knife. Read More: Best EDC Knife Under $50

Good Tactical Knife Under $100 

If you ask me what is your recommended price range then I will tell you this is the ideal budget range I use to consult with the others. With this budget, you can easily purchase an ideal tactical knife that has a comfortable ergonomic handle made of a super quality component, long time edge retention, and razor-sharp carbon steel blade. These types of knives are designed for multipurpose, featured a quality tactical sheath with a variety of facilities as well. A knife under $100 is capable to sustain around any type of hard condition. With this range of budget, only buy a knife from most reputed brands.

High Quality Tactical Knives Under $200 

Those who want a special knife for collection, gift, or need to use the knife for any super hard task on a daily basis then you should go this budget range. Knife enthusiast, professional survivalist, and retired army officer use to buy tactical knife under $200.

Some Trusted Best Tactical Knife Brands in 2020

In the knife industry, you will find hundreds of knife manufacturing company. If you select a famous knife manufacturing company rather than a new or non-popular brand, the chances of picking the wrong product would be very less. This is why I am going to suggest to you some most reputed tactical knife manufacturers’ names.

Smith & Wesson
Zero Tolerance
Columbia River Knife and Tool
Cold Steel

Check the Knife Legality Rules in Your Town

The legality of the knife depends on where you are going to use or carry it. For example, the United States of America has specific federal rules in various states about the length of the blade, it can be carried or concealed or open carried. Different countries have different types of rules regarding knife length and carry option. Read more about the details from Wiki Knife Legality.

Some Extra Features You Can Consider

Blade edge angle
Blood groove
Color or finish
Solid pommel
Knife weight
Lanyard holes
Decorative milling
Safety features like-
Glass breaker
Sharpening stone
Emergency whistle

Final Verdict

Choosing the top tactical knife is choosing the knife that performs during its intended use. The knife that may be good for one will not be for another. With that in mind, the above points should help in determining and narrowing down the high-quality tactical knife for the individual. Chose wisely and chose well. The knife can serve you for the best job but also serve you for a very long time with the right choice and care.

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Best EDC Knife Under 100


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  3. Thomas Haslett

    I am an ‍amateur trip traveler and hunter. I use to go for hunting in the forest or mountain area. Usually, have to carry a tactical knife for multiple purposes. But on my last trip, I broke my knife. So I need a new one and looking for it. I think I have got my master peace in this top 10 best tactical knives review. I believe you have written world’s tactical knives review both for the folding knife and fixed blade. Good job David.

    • Hey Thomas, thanks for visiting my blog and a lovely comment. I really like your comment; also it provides the feedback about my work.

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  5. Last month I was looking for a tactical folding knife, then I searched on Google and find your niche. There were several review blogs and I have found this article is very helpful for me. I bought the first one CRKT M16-14SFG. After using it over a month I can say it is supporting me more than my expectation. It looks very nice and I can do multiple tasks with its lots of features. That is why I just wrote this feedback to your blog.

    Thanks !

  6. Hey John, I don’t have a good concept about the knives but this holiday season I am going on an outdoor trip. That is a tropical area. Would you please tell what I should choose fixed or folding and survival or tactical?

    • Wow, what an excellent question!

      If you need to do any heavy duty multi-purpose tasks then definitely choose a fixed blade tactical knife.

  7. I need a lightweight and everyday carry easy use assisted opening tactical folding knife. I have found several knives from your top listing. But I need you to choose a best one for me. Please…

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