Depending on who you ask, you will get different answers about what a tactical knife is used for. While people in the military and people who face hostile situations regularly use them mainly for self-defence and as emergency rescue knives, the average civilian has different uses for these special knives. While they can be great as combat weapons, they are actually multipurpose knives that can be used for home and outdoors cutting duties. They can be extremely useful during camping, fishing, and all kinds of outdoor activities.
Considering the number of ways they can be used, folding tactical knives are best considered as utility tools that are easy to carry and can be used for several purposes. It is best not to define them by what they are used for but by their features and functionalities. They are expected to be strong and resilient enough to cut through hard materials. The folding features is another thing that makes these knives outstanding. They are also generally easy to carry about.
Just like most other useful products on the market, folding tactical knives are just too numerous. There are thousands of models to consider at any time, and this gives most buyers selection headache. You really don’t have to go through the stress of looking up the specs of a thousand tactical knifes just because you need to buy one. To make the experience easier for you, we will review the top seven folding tactical knives you can buy right now and provide additional information that will help you make the best decision.
Our Top 7 Picks
If you are searching for the best foldable tactical knives, here are the best seven options to consider:
1. CRKT M16-14SFG EDC Folding Pocket Knife
This is from one of the best-known brands in tactical knives and gear industry, Columbia River Knife & Tool. This is a very special pocket knife with lots of incredible features for home use and outdoor activities. It is also a military-grade tactical knife with the patented Veff Serrations blade that can cut ropes, electric cable, cordage, webbing, seat belt, limbs or branches, or most other things you will want to cut in the field.
The CRKT M16-14SFG EDC Folding Pocket Knife has a handle that is designed with scales of non-reflective black G10, friction grooves with stainless steel liners. This special handle is known for its insulating properties, solid gripping texture and being lightweight. The knife also features automated liner safety; a next-level safety innovation that sets a pin between the liner and the frame to keep it safe while it is in use. It is also equipped with clip options that allow four-position carry on belts or webbing. Though designed for military use, this folding tactical knife is also available to civilians, especially outdoor adventurers.
2. SOG Spec Arc Folding Knife
This is one of the most impressive folding tactical knives when it comes to performance. It features a subdued design with a VG-10 stainless steel blade that is big and sharp. It also has a GRN handle with stainless steel liners. It is a versatile little tool that can handle most cutting tasks regardless of the strength of the material and the size. Considering the quality of the VG-10 steel, this is a durable knife. It is ideal for home and will also be easy to use in the field. It is also lightweight, weighing just 4 oz. This means it is easy to carry and can slip into the pocket with minimal effort.
One of the most impressive features of the SOG Spec Arc Folding Knife is the Arc-lock which provides smooth operations. This remains one of the strongest locks on tactical knives and gives this simple SOG knife the edge over similar options. While this tactical knife is a little expensive, the performance it offers justifies the price. Most users are impressed with their decision to buy this and there is a great chance it will be the best folding knife you have ever used.
3. MTech USA Xtreme MX-8054 Tactical Knife
This is a very reliable tactical knife from one of the older and well-known brands in the industry. The knife is made from high-grade stainless steel tanto blade. It is clearly a heavy-duty knife, judging from the design and its features. The blade is 5.5 inches with powerful serrated cutting edge, while the entire knife is about 11 inches. It is generally strong and appears very durable.
Some of the most impressive features about the MX-8054 Tactical Knife include the strong sharp blade, the superior grip for wet weather handling, the extended guard for added protection, and the Lanyard hole to wear around the neck. It also comes with a heavy-duty nylon sheath that includes ties for added security. This knife offers great value for the money and will make a great addition to any outdoor adventurer.
4. Zero Tolerance 0095BW KVT Folder
Zero Tolerance is known for producing premium-quality, professional knives. This particular model is perfect for individuals that are looking for smaller and tougher blades. The blade is just 3.6 inches but is made from an exceptional S35VN powdered stainless steel that offers outstanding edge holding capacity and corrosion resistance. The blade also has an added niobium that improves toughness and makes the blade appear sleeker and more stylish.
Asides from the excellent blade, there are other important features that make the Zero Tolerance 0095BW KVT Folder knife exceptional. The KVT Ball-Bearing Opening System makes it easy to open and use the knife with just one hand even under great pressure. It also has a solid titanium handle that is lightweight and corrosion-resistant. This high quality folding tactical knife is an all-purpose knife that is perfect for everyday use and also ideal for outdoor activities like camping, fishing, hunting and more.
5. Elk Ridge Free Engraving Pocket Knife
This is one inexpensive folding tactical knife that you will love to have with you always. It is an excellent piece of work that comes with free custom engraving up to 30 characters on its rich red Pakkawood handle. It also has black bolster and leather lanyard. Although it is an inexpensive option, this knife has a wonderful sharp blade that is made from carbon steel. It also has an excellent locking mechanism that makes it easy to carry and use safely. This is one of the best pocket knives you can gift anyone.
Using the Elk Ridge Ballistic quality pocket knife will be very easy and enjoyable. Asides from the fact that the blade is sharp and easy to sharpen, the handle is ergonomic. Pressing the small tab inside the handle will close the knife safely. While this little knife is so beautiful and functional, it is not the best option for outdoor activities. It is not waterproof and the size (3-inches) will also limit its usefulness in the field.
6. Smith & Wesson Border Guard SWBG2TS Folding Knife
Smith & Wesson are well known for their legendary weaponry. Their selection of tactical knives are great for self-defence and all kinds of outdoor survival activities. This particular folding knife is also a great choice for first responders to crisis situations. It features a 4.4 inch Tanto serrated blade that is versatile and can conveniently cut different materials you will encounter at home and in outdoor environments. It is unlikely that this tactical knife will let you down in any situation.
This S & W knife is the true multi-function tool with its honed cutting edge. It also features dual blood grooves, a glass break, strap cutter, and a lanyard hole. Other features that will improve your experience using this knife include easy carry pocket clip for quick access, textured Trac-Tec handle inserts, ambidextrous thumb knobs for easy handling, and liner lock for additional blade security.
7. Off-Grid Knives OG-220S Rapid Fire Camping & Hunting Folding Knife
This is a superb folding tactical knife that is highly functional and can be used in various outdoor cutting duties. It belongs to the special ‘Rapid Fire Collection Series’ that are strongly built with the best materials. This series is currently used by members of the US military, Firemen, Law Enforcement, First Responders, and all sorts of adventurous civilians. It is highly recommended for outdoor adventurers, especially those who spend so much time in wet environments since the blade is rust-resistant.
The Off-Grid Knives – OG-220S has some wonderful features that make them endearing to users. The most important features include the cryogenically treated Razor sharp Japanese AUS-8 steel blade, the all-weather grip that is made with tough and lightweight fiberglass reinforced nylon scales, the movable pocket/belt clip that is customizable into four positions, and the ambidextrous assisted opening. This is an excellent knife, which is why it is more expensive than most tactical knives of similar sizes.
How to choose the best folding tactical knife
As stated in the introductory part of this article, there are thousands of folding tactical knives on the market right now. While many are made with the right materials and offer good performance, some are not too good. Trying to sort through the thousands of available options can be very difficult which is why we have tried to make it easier for you by reviewing just seven of the very best options available at the moment.
Factors to consider when choosing a folding tactical knife
Though we have reviewed some of the very best folding tactical knives on the market, it is important that we discuss the factors that influence their usefulness and performance. These are the factors you must consider before buying any tactical knife. Here are the most important ones:
Why You Need a Tactical Knife
This is the most important factor to consider when looking for any tool at all. Folding tactical knives are not all made equal. While some are heavy-duty multi-purpose knives, others are just pocket knives that are ideal for home use and minor outdoor cutting tasks. The strength of the knife and the way it is designed will determine what it can be used for. Buy folding knives that can serve the real purpose you are buying them for.
The blade is the most important part of a folding tactical knife. You need to know the material the blade is made from, the way the blade is designed, and any other finishing features that improve its performance. You also need to consider the length of the blade and its suitability to the kind of tasks you want to perform with the knife.
The handle of a tactical blade is another important feature to consider carefully. The material the handle is made from, the length of the handle, the structure and design of the handle, and the grip handle are just some of the most important things to consider about the handle. Depending on these metrics, the handle can offer comfort and convenience or make the knife uncomfortable to use. Ergonomic handles are great for overall performance.
The Locking Mechanism
The locking mechanism is important for your safety when carrying the knife and when using it. It will keep the blade open when you are using it, making sure that it does not snap shut accidentally and cause you injury. This is also the mechanism that will ensure that the blade of the knife is securely held when it is in your pocket or elsewhere until you open it.
The Opening Mechanism
The locking mechanism releases the blade when you need to use your folding tactical knife. You need a knife with a responsive opening mechanism, especially when you use it for serious outdoor activities. The reliability and speed of this mechanism can actually make the difference between survival and fatality.
Other important features
Some of the other important features you must consider when you want to buy a folding tactical knife include blood groove, lanyard holes, blade edge angle, the weight of the knife and warranty.
Frequently asked questions
Is carrying a tactical knife legal?
To understand the legality of carrying a tactical knife where you live, check your state knife-laws. The purpose of a tactical knife and the job/hobby of the individual will also affect legality. You need to play safe and do your homework before carrying a tactical knife with you.
Is tactical knife dangerous to use?
Most folding tactical knives are well-designed with safety features. This does not mean that they are not dangerous. In the hand of an inexperienced and clumsy user, they can cause injury.
What is the ideal size for folding tactical knives?
The ideal blade length for a tactical knife can be anywhere from 3.0- inches to 5.5 inches. Most fit within this spectrum though few can be a little longer.
Can a tactical knife be used as a rescue knife?
Yes, tactical knives are used by many people as rescue knives. Many models have been designed specifically with the fire and rescue emergency professionals in mind. You may have to look for features like a glass breaker and an integrated whistle.
As we have stressed throughout this article, folding tactical knives come in different forms. They are made for different purposes ranging from regular home cutting tasks to self-defence. To buy the best tactical knife, you need to be sure of what you need it for and check to see that the option you are considering has the features that support your intending use. To make the process of finding the right knife easy for you, we have reviewed the best seven options on the market and discussed the important factors to consider before making a choice. We have also answered some question that may be running through your mind. We sincerely hope that the information here helps you find the perfect folding tactical knife for your need.
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