The Best Tactical Knives that will Fit Your Needs

When it comes to choosing a knife which we can use in different kinds of outdoor activities or chores and in most demanding situations, we usually go for a tactical knife. We can use it in cutting ropes, rigging, cutting fish or meat, cutting small branches, and many others. Today, a tactical knife is also being used in hunting for purposes like preparing trap stakes, skinning small animals, or cutting small branches or large leaves to clear your way. When situation demands, we can only use it for self-defense.

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Are you planning to purchase a tactical knife? Still have no idea on which to choose? Let me help you with that. In this article is my list of best tactical knives, but before I present them to you one by one, let me first give you some knowledge about it.

What is a Tactical Knife?

A tactical knife is a cutting tool which is designed to be used in extreme situations. It can have one or more military features and may have the capability to be used as an emergency combat weapon. However, it is primarily designed to be used as a utility tool and not as a combat weapon. To put it simply, you should be able to use your tactical knife in a variety of tasks.

Key Parts of a Tactical Knife

1. Blade

The best material for a knife’s blade is steel. It is strong and can be forged to sharpness. The shape of a blade tells what the knife is optimized for. Tactical knives can either have curved or straight blades. For best tactical knife, I recommend a blade with a strong thick point and has a cutting edge that is thick enough to have lateral strength but not too thick that it will be bulky or too heavy to carry.

2. Handle

A good handle gives you a comfortable feel in your hand even when you are using your knife under stress. However, it must not sacrifice the durability of your handle. For example, some soft rubber-like handles feels good in your hands but it easily breaks or it pops off at some point. A good handle must be strong, stable, and does not absorb moisture.

Also, it must not give you an unnatural feel to your hand. I do not recommend handles with over-pronounced grooves which forces your hand in a pre-fixed position. Although, it is good for handles to have grooves for a better grip, it should just allow your hand to go through with it but not force it. Also, avoid tactical knives with sharp corners and pinch points.

Some tactical knives are folding. These knives have a fulcrum where the blade and the handle meet. In this type of knife, the handle also serves as a protector of the blade. Also, it has a lock which allows the blade to be put safe in place when folded.

For the best tactical knife, it is good to choose a lock which does not collapse under great stress, is able to safely maintain the blade in its place when not in use, and allows smooth and quick access to the blade when needs to be used.

Factors to Consider in Choosing Your Best Tactical Knife

Purpose

A good tactical knife must be able to perform a variety of purposes. However, your knife’s design must be inclined to its main purpose. What do you intend your knife to be used for? Do you plan to use it mostly for utility purposes or is it mainly for self-defense? Are you going to use it daily or are you just going to keep it as an emergency kit? Is it mainly for poking and digging or for cutting? If you are frequently going to use your knife in poking or digging, the best tactical knife would be something with a design that has reliable, strong, and thick point.

Avoid knives with delicate needle-like points. If you are going to use it mainly for cutting different types of materials, choose a serrated blade. Serrations prevent knives from dulling, and even when dull, they can still cut. However, it will not be as neat as a sharp and non-serrated knife. Also, if you are mostly going to cut cloths or webbing, it is good to choose a tactical knife with a curved cutting edge. This design allows cutting of these types of materials efficiently.

Comfort

The comfort in using your tactical knife affects how you will be able to maximize its capability. You can have a tactical knife with a blade which can cut the strongest of materials but you can’t use maximal force because it feels very uncomfortable in your hand. Maybe the handle is too big or too small, the grip is just not right, or for some other reason it just doesn’t feel right. Your tactical knife is comfortable to use if you are able to easily maneuver it in both the forward and reverse grips.

Find the size of the handle that fits your hand well. I recommend that you avoid tactical knives with handles that have too much contours which forces your hand to hold your knife in a particular position. You should also consider the weight of your knife. A comfortable knife is light and agile but a good one must also provide a sense of strength coming from it.

Also, your handle should not have pinch points or sharp edges that may hurt you when you use your knife. Like wanting our best hunting boots to feel comfortable so that we wouldn’t worry on uneasiness whenever we use it, we would also want our best tactical knife to feel right in our hands so we don’t have to worry of getting blistered hands whenever we perform our tasks.

For tactical knives which are folding, a comfortable one must allow you to smoothly fold and release your knife without worrying of being accidentally cut. Also, it must retain your blade in place both when folded and when in use.

Durability

Of course we would want our tactical knife to last long. Would you want your knife to simply break in just a number of uses? Since all knife blades are made of steel, we will not discuss about the blade material here. Although some say that the best steel to use in tactical knives is Damascus steel, your blade’s resistance to breakage still depends on the forging process.

Since we cannot determine that by just looking at our knives let’s just consider other factors like the knife’s thickness. It is obvious that thicker blades are stronger than thinner ones. However, too thick blades are also not good as it will be too heavy and bulky.

Thus, I recommend that you choose a thickness that is enough to confer strength while not being too heavy and bulky. For the handle, choose a material that does not shrink or crack and does not absorb moisture. Also, always make sure that the point where the handle and the blade connects is strong and stable.

Carry

Since you are going to use your tactical knife in a lot of different tasks, it is very important that you are able to carry it anywhere easily. Most modern tactical knives have spring metal clips directly attached to the handle. What’s good about this is that it allows you easy access to your knife. You don’t have to rummage your bag to find your knife, you can just clip it to your pocket or your belt.

If your knife is a fixed blade type, make sure that you have a good quality sheath that does not come off easily so that you don’t have to worry about being stabbed when you put it on your pocket or clip it in your belt. Your knife’s portability also depends on its size. It must be small enough to be able to be always carried without hassle but not too small that it defeats its purpose.

One reason that folding tactical knives became popular is that it is easy to carry. The folding feature allows it to conserve space while making sure that the blade is safely protected.

Best Tactical Knives​

1. TAC Force TF-705 Series - Assisted Opening Tactical Folding Knife with Half-serrated Blade

This product comes in different colors and designs that you can choose from. The colors are grey, black, red, pink, and rainbow and the designs are plain and camouflage.

  • Purpose
  • Comfort
  • Durability
  • Carry

This product design has a half serrated blade which allows you to cut any material. The non-serrated edge near the tip of the blade allows you to cleanly cut objects which are not too sturdy. Its blade is 3-1/4-inch long, which is long enough to be easily used in cutting. It also has a strong enough point that you can use for digging.

Another good thing about this product is that it has plus features. It has a bottle opener and a glass breaker at the end of the handle which you can use in emergency situations.

The problem with this product is that the contours in the handle made for bottle opening may cause discomfort in handling the knife or injury when you use it recklessly. The hard and pointy edge in the handle purposely made for breaking glass may also obstruct safe use of the knife.

Pros

  • Half-serrated blade for cutting any material
  • Spring assisted which allows easy one handed blade deployment
  • Safe and stable lock
  • Handle has curve which comfortably fits your hand
  • Has bottle opener and glass breaker features
  • Folding and has a pocket clip so it is easier to carry
  • Handle material is durable and blade thickness is enough to withstand stress

Cons

  • Bottle opener and glass breaker in the handle may cause injury if the knife is handled carelessly.

2. MTech USA Ballistic MT-A845 Series – Spring Assist Folding Knife with Thumb Stud

This product design has a thumb stud which allows you to quickly deploy it. It has a black aluminum handle with cut-out design.

  • Purpose
  • Comfort
  • Durability
  • Carry

This tactical knife has a sharp blade which is 3.75 inches long and 3.5 mm thick. This length is very suitable for cutting and slicing and the thickness allows you to have a good support force in cutting. Its blade also has an inner curve which makes it effective to be used in carving. It also has plus features for seatbelt cutting and glass breaking which you can use in emergency situations.

The problem I can see in this product is that since it has non-serrated blade, you have to always keep it sharp for you to surely cut your desired material.Also, the back side of the blade is a little too thick.

Pros

  • Sharp blade with inner curve
  • Spring assisted which allows easy one handed blade deployment
  • With thumb stud for faster deployment
  • Safe and stable lock
  • Handle allows good and comfortable grip
  • With pocket clip for easy and safe carry
  • With seatbelt cutter and glass breaker for emergency purposes

Cons

  • Non-serrated blade
  • Back side of the blade is a bit too thick

3. TAC FORCE BLACK Tactical Rescue Folding Pocket Knife – with Spring Assisted Opening and Dual Thumb Stud

This product design has dual thumb studs for you to easily and quickly deploy the knife. It has an extended tang at the base of the blade that prevents your finger from slipping into the blade and being cut when you apply too much pressure.

  • Purpose
  • Comfort
  • Durability
  • Carry

This products folding feature allows it to be easily carried since its length becomes much less when folded. Its length when closed is only 4.75 inches so you can easily slip it in small spaces like your pocket. It also has a stainless pocket clip which allows you to carry it securely. The clip is firm so you don’t have to worry about it slipping away. It is also long enough that only a small portion of the knife protrudes so it is good for concealed carry.

The problem with this product is that it is non-serrated so you need to keep it sharp to cut. Also, it may need a bit more force to close or put the blade back due to the spring assist.

Pros

  • Sharp non-serrated blade for clean cutting
  • No notches in the back of the blade so you can apply force for assistance
  • With dual thumb stud for easy and quick deployment
  • Safe and stable lock
  • Handle gives a decent feel and a good grip
  • With pocket clip for easy and safe carry
  • With seatbelt cutter and glass breaker for emergency purposes
  • Folding knife so easy to carry

Cons

  • Non-serrated blade so you need to keep it sharp
  • Spring assist may make it hard to put the blade back

4. Smith & Wesson Border Guard SWBG2TS – Folding Knife with Liner Lock and Partially Serrated Tanto Blade

This product design has a lanyard hole which you can use if you want to make sure that you won’t lose your knife or if you just want to keep your knife in one place at home. You can also use it in some other purposes that you can think of.

  • Purpose
  • Comfort
  • Durability
  • Carry

This product has partially serrated blade which allows you to cut any type of material. The non-serrated part of the blade is honed and lets you cut certain type of materials cleanly. The blade is straight with a strong point which is good to use in digging and poking. It also has a strap cutter and a glass breaker for emergency purposes.

The back of the blade has no notches so you can press it if you need more force in cutting. If you want a knife which is sharp and smoothly cuts, and you won’t be cutting sturdy types of materials, this could be the best tactical knife for you.

The problem with this product design is that the grooves in the handle are too defined that it may force you to a certain gripping position which can be uncomfortable for you. Also, I think that the length of the handle is a bit too long.

Pros

  • Half-serrated blade for cutting any material
  • Honed blade for smooth cutting
  • Has strap cutter and glass breaker for emergency
  • Safe and stable lock
  • Has thumb knobs for easy deployment
  • Blade is made of high carbon stainless steel for durability
  • Has pocket clip for safe and secure carry
  • Folding so it is easier to carry

Cons

  • Grooves are too defined
  • Length of handle is a bit too long

5. MTech USA Ballistic MT-A705 Series – Spring Assisted Folding Knife

This product has spring assisted opening which allows you to quickly deploy it. It has a liner lock which locks the blade securely into place.

  • Purpose
  • Comfort
  • Durability
  • Carry

This tactical knife is only 4.5 inches long when close so it is easy to carry. Its weight is not disturbing when you put it in your pocket. It also has a silver stainless steel pocket clip which lets you carry it safely and securely.

The problem with this product is that the blade is non-serrated so you have to always keep it sharp to cut. Also, the contours in the handle made for bottle opening may cause discomfort in handling the knife or injury when you use it recklessly. The hard and pointy edge in the handle purposely made for breaking glass may also obstruct safe use of the knife.

Pros

  • Sharp on-serrated blade for a clean cut
  • Handle texture gives decent feel and good grip
  • Has spring lock for easy and rapid one-handed deployment
  • Has stable lock
  • Aluminum coated for durability and rust resistance
  • Has pocket clip for safe and secure carry
  • Folding so it is easier to carry

Cons

  • Non-serrated blade so it needs to be kept sharp
  • Bottle opener may cause discomfort and injury in handling
  • Hard pointy edge in the handle may obstruct safe use

Conclusion

ow that we have laid down the list of our best folding knives, it is now time for us to pick our best choice among the best.

My best choice among the above listed knives would be Smith & Wesson SWMP4LS M&P Linerlock Knife. Unlike the other non-serrated knives, it has partially serrated edge which allows you to cut sturdy materials with its serrated part and smoothly cut softer materials with its sharp non-serrated part.

Also, unlike the handles of the other knives, it has a rubber inlay which gives you more comfortable, softer feel in your hand and minimizes the pressure you take in strenuous tasks. Not only that, the texture of the rubber also gives you good grip. Another is that unlike other knife which has too defined grooves which may force you to certain grip positions, the handle has grooves which are enough for proper grip.

It does not have too many contours which may obstruct comfortable handling. Also, it has a thumb knob and finger actuator which allows you to deploy your blade safely and quickly. Lastly, it has a safety lock, a glass breaker, and a pocket clip as its plus features.

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Joseph Gleason
 

With a dedicated respect to the environment, I understand the importance of being an informed hunter who learns as he goes. I truly recognize the value in how things were done before and how things are done today. Born and raised in upstate New York, I grew up exposed to skilled hunters who taught me the importance of what responsible hunting can provide both to myself, my family, and to the environment. I continue today to work towards refining my craft and finding new ways to practice the time honored traditions that were passed down to me from those who came before.

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