The thought process it takes to choose the best tactical knife is extensive. First, you have to determine the use of 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.
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.
Top 10 Best Tactical Knives Review
BLade material & Edge
handle material & Tang
Sheath or Lock
Rubber & TPE Overmold
Rubber & TPE Overmold
6061-T6 Anodized Aluminum
How to Choose a Best Tactical Knife – Buyer’s Guide
What is the Purpose of Your Best Tactical Knife?
The usefulness of a knife is completely up to the individual using the knife. 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 Police officer may benefit from a fixed-blade serrated 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
Before choosing a knife, consider the overall 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 blades- Fixed blade knives with a small blade are used most frequently for hunting, skinning and cleaning games. They are kept sharp and compact for easy maneuvering. Folding knives with a small blade can be used for the same purpose but they are also used for utility. From cleaning game 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.
Measure the Blade Length According to You Requirement
• Small Blades:
• Medium Blades:
• Large Blades:
Fixed blade knives 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 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 4.25 inches.
Selecting the Blade Material
Blade material is important because it determines the strength and versatility of the blade. A folding knife will be made with a variety of stainless steels whereas fixed-blade knives are made with carbon steels. Below is a list of materials most commonly used in Fixed-blade and Folded knives.
Fixed blade knives are most commonly made of 42oHC Steel, 154CM, S3oV, High-Carbon Steel, Cryogenic Heat Treatment and 13C26 Sandvik. All Steels with variable degrees of hardness and moldability.
Folding knives are more commonly made with materials such as ATS-55, Kin-2, BNG10, Co-special, M390, and CPM-2oCV. Folding knives are made of tool steel or stainless steel depending on the use intended for the knife. One may be harder and more resistant to corrosion than the other but everything is taken into consideration when making a blade.
Knife Tang For Fixed Blade
In a quality 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 blade for the different purpose. Most popular, effective and durable shape is 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 knife has good construction, balance, and leverage. Some other tangs you can consider like partial tang, encapsulated tang skeletonized tang, tapered tang, extended tang.
Considering the Knife Handle
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 handle 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 non-slip grip or grip pattern with the body of the knife handle.
Blade Opening Mechanism of Folding Knife
• Manual Opening Knife:
• Single-Hand Opening Knife:
• Two-Hand Opening Knife:
• Automatic Opening Knife:
• Assisted Opening Knife:
The Locking Mechanism of Folding Knife
• Lock-Back Folding Knife:
• Frame-Lock Folding Knife:
• Liner-Lock Folding Knife:
Carrying Portion or Pocket Clip of a 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. 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. 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 tactical knife. This is a critical option for any newbie. Most of the common people think that a higher budget ensures 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 best tactical knives for the money.
Best Tactical Knife under $10
Don’t worry, if your budget is under $10, still can buy a tactical knife. Though it would be hard to find a good one you can use it for utility work. But remember, under $10 knives do not have strong steel blade, safety lock, and sheath. So you should not use it for any heavy task. Some of my recommended best tactical knives under $10.
Best Tactical Knife under $20
The twenty dollar is also a lower price range for a quality blade. 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. Don’t worry still I have some recommended best tactical knives under $20.
Best 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 best tactical knives under $30.
Best Tactical Knife 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 point, durable material for the ergonomic handle, heavy duty sheath with convenient carrying option. Overall a significantly finest design perfect tactical knife under $50.
Best 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 which has comfortable ergonomic handle is made of a super quality component, long time edge retention and razor-sharp stainless steel blade that is designed for multiple purposes, good quality tactical sheath with a variety of facilities. Best tactical knives under $100 are capable to sustain around any types of hard condition. With this range of budget, only buy a knife from most reputed brands.
Best Tactical Knife 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. These are my recommended best tactical knife under $200.
Some Trusted Best Tactical Knife Brand
In the knife industry, you will find hundreds of knife manufacturing company. If you select a famous knife manufacturing company rather than new or non-popular brand, the chances of picking the wrong product would be very less. This is why I am going to suggest you some most reputed tactical knife manufactures names as well as some of their best products.
Gerber Tactical Knife
Ka-Bar Tactical Knife
SOG Tactical Knife
MTECH USA Tactical Knife
Smith & Wesson Tactical Knife
Kershaw Tactical Knife
Zero Tolerance Tactical Knife
Spyderco Tactical Knife
Columbia River Tactical Knife
Cold Steel Tactical Knife
The legality of the knife depends on where you are going to use or carry it. For the 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 the knife length and carry option. Read more about the details from Wiki Knife Legality.
Choosing the best 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 best tactical knife for the individual. Chose wisely and chose well. The tactical knife can serve you for the best job but also serve you for a very long time with the right choice and care.