An everyday-carry pocket knife is a useful utensil to have by your side on the day-to-day. But when the going gets tough, small folding pocket knives won’t do you much in terms of function and efficacy. In demanding times of survival or self-defense, you’re better off opting for a tactical knife built to take on everything from your daily needs to your toughest tasks.
For the most part, the difference between a folding pocket knife and a tactical knife is multi-purpose. Typically, tactical knives are used by first responders, law enforcement, and other occupations that require tools that will over-perform and never fail. However, they’re also a suitable option to have on hand in the case of an unexpected catastrophe — car crashes, self-defense, etc.
You’ll find that most serviceable tactical knives have specific, yet common features to help you tell them apart from their less-capable counterparts. Some of these characteristics include speedy and accessible deployment systems; textured, non-slip grip materials on the handle for added support; and purpose-built blade construction.
In order to find the optimal right-hand man (or tool) for you, we selected the best favorite tactical knives.
SOG Escape Tactical Folding Knife
We trust anything SOG touches. Inspired to recreate the Vietnam War-era MACV-SOG bowie knife, Seattle-based designer Spencer Frazer started SOG Specialty Knives to pay tribute to the U.S. Special Forces that came before his time. Its tactical folding knife is equipped with a durable stainless steel clip point blade and a heap of features to help you handle any task at hand, whether it’s cutting cords and seat belts, breaking glass, or protecting yourself.
- Clip point blade for added sharpness when piercing
- Partially serrated for easy cutting and stripping
- In-handle glass breaker for further emergency utility
- Offers prompt one-hand opening
Grand Way Spring Assisted Tactical Knife
Grand Way’s spring-assisted tactical knife is a perfect starter knife. Crafted with a heat-resistant, 440 stainless steel blade encased in black oxide, this tactical knife is durable enough to provide assistance through most activities, from deep in the wilderness to strenuous situations on the streets. It provides a quick draw and blade deployment thanks to its spring-assisted opening; reliable, razor-sharp cutting performance; and an upright pocket clip for added comfort.
- Spring-assisted quick-draw is optimal for self-defense
- Great balance of simplicity and function for starters
- Dependable versatility at a great value
Ka-Bar BKR7-BRK Combat Utility
For the wilderness man, a functional and lasting tactical knife is one of the most important pieces of equipment you’ll carry. You never know when your survival rests on your ability to cut kindling for a fire, stoke a fire, open a can of food, or cut down branches for cover, and the last thing you want is a dull, impractical knife. This slight-weighted and sturdy survival knife from Ka-Bar was designed for soldiers and explorers alike, boasting an unwavering 7-inch, 1095 Cro-Van steel blade; a comfortable and precise, glass-fiber reinforced Grivory handle; and an easy-to-fasten concealed sheath.
- Practical for outdoor adventure use and as a tactical tool
- Strong and reliable Grivory handle to limit fatigue and increase control
- Carbon steel will rust in wet environments so take proper maintenance
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