Top 13 Best Tactical Knife 2019: Top Pick’s By an Expert

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If your goal is to identify the best tactical knife, then you are in luck! Whether you aim of buying is for self-defense, rescue mission, hunting or combat, it’s essential to choose the ideal knife for you. There are tons of tactical knives out there. So it’s easy for a first-time buyer to make the wrong choice.

Some people also believe these set of knives are outdated. But it will surprise you to know that they are among the most versatile pieces of weaponry out there. There are numerous purposes a tactical knife can serve than a gun can’t.

Top 7 Best Tactical Knife: Editor Pick’s

Tactical Knife Model
Editor's Rating
Price
Smith & Wesson Border Guard
Smith & Wesson Extreme Ops
MTech USA Ballistic MTA845BK
MTech USA Extreme MX8054
CRKT M16-14SFG Folding
SOG Trident Tactical
Cold Steel Recon 1

Have you thought about why soldiers move around with tactical knives even they are carrying the most sophisticated guns? That’s because there are numerous purposes this knife can serve. So if you aim to splash the cash on the, then this best tactical knife review will make your day! Read to learn more and be able to make an informed decision.

Best Tactical Knife Review

1. Smith & Wesson Border Guard for Tactical, Survival, and EDC

Name top brands that produce the best tactical knife, and Smith & Wesson comes to mind. The quality of this knife is out of the world. It’s also suitable for different applications. Whether you like getting involved in outdoor survival missions, a collector or find yourself in positions where you have to respond to various crisis, Smith & Wesson is a wise choice.

You can make use of this knife, whether you are right or left-handed. Another highlighted feature is that it comes with exceptionally serrated blades which make it an ideal outdoor survival weapon. This knife also comes designed with high-grade black carbon steel, which makes it sturdier and powerful enough to cut through materials of various strengths.

The pocket clip feature not only makes it a breeze to carry around. It also promotes smooth and quick access, which is an excellent emergency capability you won’t find in many knives at this price point. The blade is also a bit long, measuring 4.4 inches in length. It also weighs 8.8 ounces, which is a bit heavy but not a deal-breaker.

The grip comes built with textured inserts, which are highly gritty. And this, together with the thumb and finger grooves, gives the knife an excellent grip. So, you can cut through whatever you want without the knife slipping off your grip.

Highlighted features

  • The knife is large and solid
  • Liner lock to secure the blade
  • Long-lasting black oxide carbon stainless steel
  • Aluminum handle featuring Trac-Tec inserts
  • Ambidextrous thumb knobs to ensure smooth handling

2. Smith & Wesson Extreme Ops Folding Knife

The Smith & Wesson Extreme Ops rank as the best tactical folding knife on the market for obvious reasons. As usual, the blades come designed with high-quality oxide carbon stainless steel. So it’s safe to say that the knife is well-built and would likely stand the test of time.

This folding knife is also a breeze to carry around not only because of its ability to fold to size. It features a pocket clip and finger flipper that makes it super easy to access. The handle makes this knife remarkably comfortable in hand, thanks to its finger indentations and textured material.

However, the blade length of this knife is a bit shorter than the Smith & Wesson Border Guard EDC knife earlier mentioned. But it still does the job it’s meant to do satisfactorily. The knife is pretty lightweight, and thus its easier to carry around. The handle size makes it ideal for users with large and small palm sizes. It fits in hand perfectly well, and you can move around with it in your pocket, conveniently.

So, whether you are a first responder, knife collector or a survivalist, know you can count on the Smith & Wesson Extreme Ops Folding Knife. It’s versatile, sturdy, and convenient to use. You can even open the blade with one hand with ease in any emergencies.

Highlighted features

  • Lightweight
  • Budget-friendly
  • Blade is sharp
  • The blade is a breeze to release and park
  • Small enough to carry around in one’s pocket
  • Simple design without glass breaking pointed end that can leave a hole in your pocket.

3. MTech USA Ballistic MTA845BK Spring Assist Folding Knife

This MTech is a highly rated folding knife and has what any best tactical knife should have. First off, it’s portable and suitable for intended users with low budget. However, being affordable is not the only feature that sets this knife apart.

The knife comes designed with a thumb stud which makes it super easy to deploy with just one hand, making it a wise choice for emergencies. The belt cutter and glass breaker are a superb addition to this knife, making it ideal for EDC and a plethora of applications.

There is no time to waste trying to reposition this folding knife in your hand to open it. It also comes designed with a unique locking mechanism that keeps its extremely sharp blades firmly in place. With this feature, you don’t have to worry about getting hurt by your knife. It’s not like other poorly made blades that can accidentally flip out on their own.

The MTech MTA845 is one of the most reliable and durable folding knives out there. Being incredibly sharp makes it super easy to cut through a variety of items with ease. The 3.75 inches long blade comes produced with a high-grade stainless steel material, which is the reason the knife can retain its sharpness even after prolonged usage.

Highlighted features

  • Fairly priced
  • Great weight
  • Thumb stud for easy deployment
  • Pocket clip for easy and safe transportation
  • Added deep clip makes it super easy to carry around

4. MTech USA Extreme MX8054

Here is another top brand from MTech, a proud producer of quality and affordable knives. The MTech MX8054 as called is a fixed blade knife that comes built with everything you require in a knife considered ideal for camping and survival training or conditions.

The 440HC stainless steel black tanto blade is a feature worthy of note with regards to this blade. It gives it the desired razor-shape edge, needed to cut through a wide variety of materials. The carbon content added to the blade also enables it to retain its sharp edges longer than anticipated.

This knife comes with everything that makes a tactical knife a weapon in one’s hand. When you hold one of this monster fixed blade knife, any attacker would think twice before coming closer. The design alone looks scary, while the 51/2 inch blade can do a lot of damage when used on anyone, including animals.

So if you are interested in splashing the cash on the best tactical fixed blade knife, then try out the MTech MX8054. The G10 handle of this knife and the entire design makes it extremely attractive. The handle design also makes it a breeze to use in any situation, whether wet or dry.

Highlighted features

  • Great sheath
  • The knife is extremely sharp
  • Unique handle design for superior grip
  • Blade features saw back design to handle delicate materials
  • Ideal for self-defense, camping, and survival due to blade sharpness and knife’s ruggedness.

5. CRKT M16-14SFG Folding Pocket Knife

The CRKT M16 is unarguably the best tactical survival knife for the money. There are a plethora of tactical pocket knives out there, but the M16 stands out from the crowd. First, it comes designed with a tanto-shaped blade made of the 8Cr14Mov stainless steel material of excellent stiffness. The hardness of the blade, on the other hand, is 58-59 HRC rated, which makes it suitable for a lot of applications, including kitchen use.

The CRKT M16-14SFG comes coated with a titanium nitride finish, which makes it resistant to corrosion and scratch. The ergonomic design makes it possible to have a firmer grip irrespective of the environmental condition you find yourself. The Veff serrations is a noteworthy feature. It’s the reason the CRKT M16-14SFG cuts through seat belts, ropes, electric cables, branches, and others easily.

This knife’s finish makes it highly attractive and ideal for users that like showing off. The titanium nitride finish on the blade makes it non-reflective and eye-catching. The handle comes designed with high-quality G10, which is lightweight, has a solid grip texture, and looks incredibly aggressive. The automated liner safety is another incredible addition. It’s the reason you can open the knife with one hand, effortlessly.

Highlighted features

  • Sturdy frame lock
  • Easy to grip G10 scales
  • Well-built folding pocket knife
  • Ideal for special forces usage
  • The blade’s edge is incredibly sharp out of the box

6. SOG Trident Tactical Opening Knife TF1- CP

If you need a budget folding knife that retains its blade’s sharpness after extended use, the SOG Trident Tactical Opening Knife TF1 – CP is for you. The partially serrated AUS-8 Steel blade rated HRC 57 – 58 is not the only feature that sets this folding knife apart. Its 3.75 inches long blade Cryogenic Heat Treatment is a laudable process. It also comes coated with titanium nitride, a unique process that many knives at this price point didn’t go through.

The above treatment processes also combine to give the SOG Trident Tactical Knife a unique characteristic. They are the reason for improved longevity, scratch, and rust resistance the knife has. This brand of the tactical knife is also ideal for many situations such as camping, survival, hiking, EDC, and many more! It is also by far the best tactical rescue knife on the market.

This knife also originates from the United States of America and comes slapped with a limited lifetime warranty. The non-slip glass-reinforced nylon (GRN) handle is the reason for the knife’s excellent grip. And as a consequence, it is convenient for individuals with large and small hands to use comfortably. It also has a closed length of 4.75 inches; overall length is 8.5 inches and weighs 3.68 ounces.

 Highlighted features

  • Lightweight
  • Large-sized EDC knife
  • The Digi-grip variable pattern on the handle promotes a coarser grip
  • Patented arc actuator enables it to lock stronger and release with ease.
  • Ambidextrous design makes it ideal for right and left-handed users.

7. Cold Steel Recon 1 Tactical Knife

The Cold Steel Recon 1 is a knife that is ready to tackle any task you throw at it. The knife is lightweight, a feature that makes it super easy to transport. It also comes designed with a non-slip G10 handle uniquely contoured and scalloped. The stainless steel blade of this knife has also been vacuum-heated and sub-zero-quenched. And these treatments help to improve performance. It’s also the reason the knife can handle diverse tasks better than others at this price point.

The Recon 1 also uses a special thumb disc that makes it a breeze to open. The pocket clip is another highlighted feature of the knife. It is sturdy and makes it possible for you to carry the knife comfortably, wherever you want to go. The knife’s blade comes produced with the highly-rated Japanese AUS 8A stainless steel material, whose thickness is 3.5mm.

The black Teflon finish on this knife not only makes it tougher but serves as an incredible added feature. The finish makes the blade highly rust resistance. So you can use it under any condition without fear of ending up with a corroded blade and blunt edge.

The black Teflon finish also serves as a super lubricant to the blade, making it a breeze to cut through harder materials with little to no friction. Being a black finish also means that you won’t experience light reflection when using this knife under a very sunny condition.

Highlighted features

  • Highly-rated stainless blade
  • Non-reflective tactical knife
  • Uniquely contoured non-slip handle
  • Clip-point blade for better cutting performance
  • Features a sturdy pocket clip and thumb disc for ease of use

8. Kershaw Blur 1670BGBBLKST Glass breaker Folding Knife

Kershaw has been blessing us with a wide range of knives and tools since 1974. So, speaking of experience, the company does have what it takes to produce a top-quality knife that can stand the test of time. The Blur Glass Breaker Folding Knife shows how much the company has improved with regards to the quality of their offerings.

This brand is one of the best EDC folding pocket knives on the market. The knife’s partially serrated blade can cut through the toughest of materials most knives can’t, and does it with great ease. This knife is also ideal for diverse situations. These include emergencies, fishing, hunting, camping, hiking, and other outdoor activities that might require moving with a knife for protection and other reasons.

The Kershaw Blur has also received accolades for its incredible performance when used for chores at home and other tactical purposes. So, it’s one budget-friendly but versatile knife that can offer you excellent value for your hard-earned money. And thanks to the Trac-Tec insert on the handle, you won’t have problems using this knife in any weather condition. Also, the SpeedSafe assisted opening feature makes it possible to deploy the blade with one hand, which is why this knife is considered an ideal option for emergencies.

Highlighted features

  • Reversible pocket clip
  • Textured grip making it non-slippery
  • Features a glass breaker for emergencies
  • The serrated edge is incredibly sharp out of the box
  • Limited lifetime warranty for manufacturing defects

9. Gerber LMF II Survival Knife 22-01629

Gerber is a popular figure in the knife industry. They have also been in the business of producing quality gears and knives since 1939. And their products have been targeted at athletes, outdoor lovers, law enforcement agents, and survivalists.

Now looking at the Gerber LMF II, you will understand why Gerber deserves a place in the hall of fame for knife makers. It comes with a 420HC steel material, which is the reason the blade can hold its edge well. This fixed blade survival knife has also been field-tested to determine whether it can withstand rigorous and rugged use. It did perform brilliantly and showed why having it is a great addition, particularly in emergencies.

So, if you are seeking the best tactical knife that has the power to withstand abuses, then the Gerber LMF II will make a wise choice. The blade is not only sharp but sturdy, as it can cut through the fuselage of an aircraft when there is an emergency.

The knife is also made in the United States of America and comes in diverse colors. But if you are a law enforcement agent who is always involved in classified operations and tactical missions, the black color is ideal for you.

Highlighted features

  • Overall length is 10.59 inches
  • Has a handy built-in sharpener
  • Comfortable, versatile and safe to use
  • Features a robust and reliable 420 HC steel for
  • Sheath material comes coated with fire retardant

10. Kershaw Emerson CQC-7K Folding Pocketknife (6034T)

The Kershaw Emerson CQC-7K is another incredible tactical knife. It should also interest you to know that this reasonably priced pocket knife was the winner of the 2014 knife show.

Apart from being extremely beautiful, the Kershaw Emerson is a reliable knife. It comes with a 3.25 inches tanto blade designed with the high-grade 8Cr14MoV steel material for improved performance. And this makes it sturdy enough for slicing and piercing anything that crosses its path. These include plastic materials, the opening of packages, self-defense against aggressive animals and humans, cutting cords, and making fire kindling when necessary.

The combination of satin and stonewashed finish also contributes to making this knife irresistible. Another highlighted feature is the wave-shaped feature that promotes the instant opening of the blade once pulled out of one’s pocket. So, this is a pocket knife you can count on when you find yourself in a situation where you have to defend and attack.

In addition to its quick deployment, the CQC-7K features a handy pocket clip. The clip makes it easy to carry around as it offers multiple carry options. In other words, you can place the knife with the tip facing sideways, downwards, or any direction of choice.

Highlighted features

  • Irresistible blade finish
  • Budget-friendly pocket knife
  • High-grade and performance steel
  • Razor-sharp blade for cutting diverse materials
  • Unique wave-shaped opening system for quick deployment
  • Ideal for outdoor enthusiasts, law enforcement, first responders, and military personnel

11. Benchmade Contego 810 Knife

The 810 Contego Reverse Tanto Blade is another fantastic and elegant looking knife. It features a CPM-M4 stainless steel blade that has some toughness and can withstand abuses. The blade is wear-resistant and as a result, can retain its unique appearance for an extended period. The G10 handle is also not only durable. It also wades off moisture and maintains its shape even in extreme temperatures.

This knife comes specially decorated for tactical application. Its design and features make it ideal for such use. It has a reverse tanto blade, which allows you to apply maximum force to the tip, thus making it a breeze to cut and pierce through a wide range of materials. So, if you are seeking a well-built tactical knife, then the Contego 810 is a wise choice. But keep in mind that you cannot use it as an EDC knife.

The grip of this knife is extremely secure, and it also features a clip that has good retention – it’s never too tight and inconveniencing. The glass breaker also looks like it would last for an extended period. Check the video testing done by Benchmade, and you will understand why.

Highlighted features

  • Built for tactical uses
  • Has a limited lifetime warranty
  • Strong and ambidextrous axis lock
  • Durable and high-quality CPM-M4 steel blade
  • The handle is large yet comfortable to hold and use

12. Buck Knives 0722 Spitfire Folding Knife

The Redpoint is a knife that can serve multiple purposes. You will find it quite useful for rescue and tactical operations. With a reputation for safety and performance, it is undoubtedly a knife to add to your collection. The Safe-Spin deployment technology makes it possible to open or close the blade with one hand. With excellent glass and cutting features, you have no issues breaking and slashing your way out of difficult situations.

The 2-3/4 inches partially serrated 420HC blade comes covered with titanium. And this makes the knife non-reflective even when used on an extremely sunny day. The high-quality steel material also makes it possible for the blade to retain its sharpness after prolonged uses. It’s also rust resistance and cuts through objects with high strength.

The large-sized blade release button is another added feature that makes this knife a breeze to use. This button makes it possible to open the blade even if you are wearing an over-sized glove. The knife also comes with a lifetime warranty, which is an indication of how much confidence the manufacturer, Buck Knives, has on its product. The company has been in business since 1902, so they should know how to make a top-notch knife.

Highlighted features

  • Lifetime warranty
  • The rubberized handle holds up well
  • Safe-spin deployment technology for easy opening
  • Contoured all-weather handle for secure and safe grip
  • Seatbelt cutter and glass breaker makes it ideal for emergencies

13. SOG Fixed Blade Tactical Knife (E37SN-CP)

The SOG is a famous knife maker, and the company seems to have a better understanding of what users want. Made with the needs of users in mind, the SOG Fixed Blade is a tactical knife that ticks all the boxes that a highly-rated tactical knife should possess. It’s by far the best tactical Bowie knife on the market. It is also incredibly versatile. It serves as a complete rescue knife, bushcraft and backpack knife, all in one product.

This SOG Fixed Blade knife is a handy hunting tool. So, don’t forget to take it along with you on your next hunting trip. You will find it incredibly useful when you find yourself stranded in the woods. And with this knife in your hand, you can wade off any attacker, be it animal or human, provided the human attacker isn’t with a gun.

The Molle compatible sheath attachment also makes it much easier to transport this knife around. There is a unique handle on this knife that is super grippy. The knife also comes assembled with AUS-8 stainless steel cryogenically hardened for improved strength and performance. The weight is also perfect for a knife at this price point. It is not too heavy or too light in hand.

Highlighted features

  • Great design
  • Well-built and sturdy
  • Superior knife edges
  • The sheath has extra pocket
  • Perfectly handles light to highly demanding tasks

Buying Guide: What to Consider When Choose Tactical Knife

By now, you must have realized how vital a tactical knife is for your safety and ease of living. Many of them do serve multiple functions and thus, are a great addition to one’s collection of tools.

But not all knife brands are the same, even amongst tactical knives. They have varied length and tons of other features. Some may also be great for EDC and not for tactical tasks. So before you splash the cash on a new knife, there are a plethora of things you need to consider. These tips might sound simple but can determine how happy you will be with your purchase. So you need to take out time to read this section to be able to make an informed decision.

Desired blade shape

The fixed blade and folding tactical knives come with varied blade shapes. So just because two knives are both tactical, means they must have the same blade shape. You need to compare the different forms and choose the one you find to be ideal for the intended use.

Blade shape examples for tactical knives are drop point, clip point, modified clip point, modified drop point, tanto blade, and modified tanto blade. These are not just ordinary names. They influence the usability and performance of the knife.

However, the tanto and drop point blades, including their modified alternatives are two of the most popularly used knife blade shapes. These blades are ideal for outdoor use and can tackle a wide variety of tasks thrown at them. So, these knife shapes are a popular option for outdoor and urban survival kind of chores. The tanto, as well as the modified tanto, seems to be ideal for thrusting function. They are also not a wise choice for woodsman kind of chores.

Automatic or manual opening knives

You also need to consider if an automatic or manual opening knife will be ideal for you. The automatic opening knife is quite a breeze to use, as it opens with the push of a button. But the knife opening you end up choosing is not entirely your decision to make. You need to check and be sure that the state or area you wish to use it allows civilians to move around with an automatic folding knife.

If they do not permit such, then you will be better off with the assisted opening tactical knife type. But if you can manipulate the knife to open quicker manually, then the manual opening knife won’t be a bad idea.

Type of folding knife style

Before you buy a tactical knife, you need to decide the primary uses of the knife. Do you intend to use it for rescue or survival operations? What is your primary aim? Know that both knives have different blades built to ensure safety and ease of use in different situations.

For instance, the rescue knife has blunt ends or tips and is ideal for the first responder. You can use such knives to cut someone loose when trapped by the seatbelt or cut someone’s clothes to save their lives, without damaging the person’s skin.

But the survival type of tactical knives has pointed and sharp ends for penetrating different materials. The edge of these knife types can also be single or double.

Knife size to choose

Another thing you need to consider before choosing a tactical knife is the size of the knife. You can either choose an extremely small or large size knife. But that depends on several factors such as the ease of transportation and intended use.

Now, focusing on the ease of transportation, a smaller-sized knife will be more conducive if you intend to carry it in your front pocket. But if you want to move around with a knife placed in your back pocket, a small or larger model will be ideal.

The Handle design of the knife

You need to also consider the size, design, and shape of the handle of your knife of choice before splashing the cash. There is a need to be critical when checking the handle of the knife you wish you acquire.

Check if the handle is ergonomically designed, feels comfortable when gripped tightly, feels smooth in your palm, and has a non-slip surface or ideal for all weather conditions.

Different Type of Uses of a Tactical knives

Tactical knives come designed for a range of purposes. These include camping, hunting, or everyday cutting needs, but they are useful as self-defense tools. All knives, technically speaking, are ideal for self-defense.

Some of the uses of tactical knives are:

Camping

Out in the wilderness, a knife serves different purposes; it is a weapon, cutlery, and an all-around tool. Here are a few things you can use the knife for:

  •  To cut lines/ropes
  •  To cut sticks for fire or to clear nearby shrubbery.
  •  You can use it to scrap the bark of the trees to get fuel to make fire.
  •  When you go fishing, it can be used to catch and skin fishes.
  •  If the zipper of your tent is stuck, you can cut your way out.
  • Chuck at trees to get Kindle and fuel for a fire.

Hunting

If hunting animals is your thing, then you will find the tactical knife quite useful. You might need it for gutting, skinning and other functions.

Military / paramilitary

In some cases, your job requires you to have a knife; for example, is Military and Police Officers.

Defense

Tactical knives are useful for defending oneself. They can also enable you to help others in distress.

The best-fixed blade tactical knife

There is a range of quality fixed blade knives, but the SOG Fixed Blade Tactical Knife (E37SN-CP) is by far the best-fixed blade tactical knife. It is ideal for a wide range of outdoor activities and made with quality material for enhanced performance. This knife’s cryogenic heat treatment is one of its highlighted features. It makes the steel harder at the atomic level, making it stronger than many fixed blade knives at this price point.

MILITARY KNIVES

You can use the military knife as a combat knife. It is a fighting knife designed specifically for military use. It also comes designed for hand-to-hand or close combat fighting. Military knives used for other tasks other than combat is known as “utility knife” or “survival knife.”

There are different types of knives made with troops in mind. Some of them are:

  • Combat fixed blades
  • Switchblades/automatic knives
  • Karambits
  • Combat tomahawks
  • Boot knives
  • Neck knives
  • Fixed blade dagger

FAQ: Frequently Ask Question About Tactical Knife:

Who makes the best tactical knife?

This question is a bit dicey because all the knife manufacturers on this list are top-notch. Their knives come manufactured with high-quality materials that perform incredibly well and can stand the test of time.

But some companies have mastered the act of knife making. The quality of their product has been consistent since inception. A good example is the Smith & Wesson knife manufacturers. Even though their tools are usually budget-friendly, the quality and standard are unbeatable.

What is the best quality tactical knife?

The best tactical knife is by far the Smith & Wesson Border Guard Knife. The knife comes built with quality carbon steel, which makes it possible to cut through materials of diverse strength with ease. Its serrated blade also makes it the outdoor weapon of choice. The knife is also versatile and has excellent emergency capabilities, thanks to its unique pocket clip. This knife is feature-rich and has everything you might be looking for in a tactical knife.

Final verdict

Finding the best tactical knife might seem like a chore, but it shouldn’t be after reading this review. But if you have one, a tactical knife can be a lifesaver. It can save your life and equally enable you to help others in emergencies. So it’s a great weapon to carry around.

The tactical knife can serve multiple purposes, but some comes designed for just one need. This knife helps during rescue missions, combat, survival, and EDC. You can also conveniently use some for your house chores, which shows how useful tactical knife can be.

We hope you had fun reading this article and that you can now make an informed decision when buying a tactical knife. You can also share your questions below if you have one.

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