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Self-defense knives will never go out of fashion. Nothing says “simplicity and efficiency” like a solid piece of sharp metal with a comfortable grip.

Best Self-Defense Knife - Editor's Choice

Sure, when speaking about defense it’s better to rely on a firearm, given its range and stopping power, but one thing for sure – knives never run out of ammunition. Having a second option on hand is never a bad idea. Here we got a list of different knives that will suit that purpose, plus most of them will prove useful as a tool also. We are confident that everyone will find here something that will satisfy their needs. Enjoy.

Best Self-Defense Knives | Best Self-Defense Knife for Money | Best Knives for EDC

ImageProductBrand
Gerber StrongArm Fixed Blade Fine Edge KnifeGerberBUY
CRKT Provoke Kinematic Folding Karambit Knife by Joe CaswellCRKTBUY
Spyderco Para 3 Plain Edge Knife C223GPSpydercoBUY
Schrade Viper OTF Assisted Folding KnifeSchradeBUY
Smith & Wesson Otf Assist, Finger ActuatorSmith & WessonBUY
Benchmade 4600 Phaeton Auto KnifeBenchmadeBUY
SOG FIELDER LINERLOCKSOGBUY
TOPS Knives Devil's Claw 2 Fixed Blade KnifeTOPS KnivesBUY
KA-BAR TDI Large 7.56in Law Enforcement KnifeKA-BARBUY
Cold Steel Urban Edge Fixed Blade KnifeCold SteelBUY
Fox Karambit Trainer Folding KnifeFox KarambitBUY
SMITH & WESSON M2.0 M&P FOLDING KNIFESMITH & WESSONBUY
Boker USA Plus Jim Wagner RBB Recurve Folding Tactical KnifeBoker USABUY
Hogue EX-02 Sig Folding KnivesHogueBUY
KA-BAR Zombie Acheron Skeleton KnifeKA-BARBUY
Wilson Combat Extreme Lite Carry Knife WTK-ELC-COCOWilsonBUY
FAB Defense Polymer Training Karambit fx-karambitFAB DefenseBUY
TAC Force Evolution Fixed Blade Knife with G10 HandleTAC ForceBUY
CRKT Fixed Blade Bear Claw KnifeCRKTBUY
Mantis BK1 Wicked Push DaggerMantisBUY

#1 Gerber StrongArm Fixed Blade Fine Edge Knife

Gerber StrongArm Fixed Blade Fine Edge Knife

First – the classics. Fixed knives will always be superior when it comes to the rigidness o construction. Mechanisms are often found to be a weakness in the whole build, leading to failures in a long run. A sturdy handle, made out of glass-filled nylon will stand a test of time and will fit just right into any hand. The blade has a drop point shape and the ceramic finish keeps it from corroding. As a nice bonus, it comes in different colors – black and coyote, has a striking pommel (will come in handy in breaking glass, etc.), and also comes with a nylon sheath.

What I liked:
  • Extremely durable
  • The sheath is easy to mount onto almost anything
  • Rubberized grip
  • Ceramic blade coating
  • Ambidextrous handle
What I didn’t like:
  • None.

#2 CRKT Provoke Kinematic Folding Karambit Knife by Joe Caswell

CRKT Provoke Kinematic Folding Karambit Knife by Joe Caswell

This one looks special because it kinda is – its mechanism allows this knife to collapse into a much more compact shape without sacrificing functionality. Its morphing features don’t get in the way of its fast deployment, allowing the user to be ready to defend himself in a second, while still providing a convenient form-factor, being easily conceivable in a regular pocket. The blade is covered in titanium nitride finish, providing additional resistance to moisture and other environmental hazards, also adding to its cool-factor.

What I liked:
  • Great looks
  • Unique mechanism
  • Compactness in its folded form
  • Easy to conceal
  • Easy to deploy
What I didn’t like:
  • High price

#3 Spyderco Para 3 Plain Edge Knife C223GP

Spyderco Para 3 Plain Edge Knife C223GP

Spyderco is widely known for its quality knives, and this is not an exception. 7 inches in overall length, this knife be useful in any situation that requires a sturdy and sharp tool for all of your cutting purposes. Reliable compression lock technology will ensure that your blade stays locked and safe for transfer, and won’t poke you, or snag onto something, while a conveniently placed clip keeps it secure in your pocket.

What I liked:
  • Simple and reliable
  • Comfortable to use
  • Perfect blade centering
  • Great for EDC
What I didn’t like:
  • Plain looks

#4 Schrade Viper OTF Assisted Folding Knife

Schrade Viper OTF Assisted Folding Knife

Another great knife to add to your everyday carry kit. This one is on the cheaper side, but it doesn’t necessarily mean that it is not that great. Being a gravity-assisted retractable knife, the blade on this one is well placed, does not wobble, and has a strong, solid lock that keeps it in the required position. The knife itself is a bit on the heavy side, though, but some do consider that as a plus.

What I liked:
  • Strong spring and locking mechanism
  • Quick-release blade
  • Cheap
  • Built-in glass breaker
What I didn’t like:
  • May require some practice to use it safely
  • Heavy

#5 Smith & Wesson Otf Assist, Finger Actuator

Smith & Wesson Otf Assist, Finger Actuator

Another great budget OTF (Out-the-front) knife. Double-edged and surprisingly rigid, this knife is one of the best pocket knives on the market, especially for its price. As a nice bonus – it has a conveniently placed glass-breaking knob on the back end of the handle, so it will prove useful in the car, just for emergencies. Yes, it may be a little bulky so it wouldn’t be that easy to carry it around in slim pants, but for your glove box or cargo pants – it will work just fine.

What I liked:
  • Easy to deploy
  • Lightweight handle
  • Double edge
  • Affordable
  • Built-in glass breaker
What I didn’t like:
  • Bulky

#6 Benchmade 4600 Phaeton Auto Knife

Benchmade 4600 Phaeton Auto Knife

Here we have a great example of a simple knife made just right. It’s fully automatic – this means it will auto open and auto close with just a push of a button, it’s featherweight – its handle made from 6061-T6 aluminum, and it’s comfortable to use – the drop-point blade shape will be handy for all kinds of tasks, self-defense or just simple package opening.

What I liked:
  • Lightweight
  • Sturdy
  • Good for everything
  • Automatic
What I didn’t like:
  • Definitely not cheap

#7 SOG FIELDER LINERLOCK

SOG FIELDER LINERLOCK

Nothing says “classic” like wooden inserts in the handle, combined with high luster bolsters to finish the look. Sure, there is nothing extra-premium about this cutter, but if you are looking for a decent pocket knife – look no further, SOG got you covered. It also comes with a lifetime warranty, which will take care of all craftsmanship defects in about 14 days! Pretty nifty for a knife that costs less than 30 bucks.

What I liked:
  • Looks nice
  • Great for EDC
  • Cheap
What I didn’t like:
  • No blade finish

#8 TOPS Knives Devil’s Claw 2 Fixed Blade Knife

TOPS Knives Devil's Claw 2 Fixed Blade Knife

This one comes in the medium-price range, combining the durability of a fixed knife with a mean look of a karambit. Its ambidextrous handle is a perfect fit for all types of users, while also being made out of synthetic Kydex, which is known for its low flammability and a great ability to hold its shape under almost all conditions. This knife also comes with its own sheath, which makes carrying it a lot more convenient.

What I liked:
  • Stylish look
  • Durable handle
  • Sheath included
What I didn’t like:
  • None

#9 KA-BAR TDI Large 7.56in Law Enforcement Knife

KA-BAR TDI Large 7.56in Law Enforcement Knife

Nothing suits the self-defense tactical knife role than a classic knife, outfitted with some modern materials. This 7.5-in fixed knife is made from AUS 8A stainless steel, hollow ground at 15 degrees, and with a drop-point tip makes for an excellent cutter and a pretty well-balanced one. Look-wise this knife speaks for itself – it is a fearsome weapon and a useful tool. It will fit perfectly in the arsenal of all lovers of classic aesthetics.

What I liked:
  • Rigid handle
  • Good balance
  • Sheath included
What I didn’t like:
  • None

#10 Cold Steel Urban Edge Fixed Blade Knife

Cold Steel Urban Edge Fixed Blade Knife

Push knives are mostly famous for their versatility in performing different tasks – like handling boxes, writing notes, or typing messages on tablets or phones – without the knife leaving the hand. Some will find that very handy, but if you are looking for a self-defense weapon – this knife will fit that role pretty decently. It has sharp, serrated edges, that will give any attacker a very bad time. It can be also worn as a neck-knife, using the provided sheath and bell-chain.

What I liked:
  • Keeps hands free for different tasks
  • Sheath and ball-chain included
What I didn’t like:
  • Short reach

#11 Fox Karambit Trainer Folding Knife

Fox Karambit Trainer Folding Knife

When it comes to knives – no self-defense tool is good enough without practice. It would be greatly irresponsible to practice with a live weapon, such as a sharp knife. This is where this guy comes in handy – while mimicking the look and feel of a real karambit, this training knife has blunt edges on the blade. Just keep in mind, that even if the blade is dull – it still can cause serious pain and trauma if used forcefully on sensitive areas. A great alternative to a lethal self-defense weapon.

What I liked:
  • Great training tool
  • Non-lethal
What I didn’t like:
  • Non-lethal

#12 SMITH & WESSON M2.0 M&P FOLDING KNIFE

SMITH & WESSON M2.0 M&P FOLDING KNIFE

If you like purely mechanical flip-knives you will love this one. This is a great example of a “form that follows function” design paradigm – combining textured aluminum handle with a sharp stainless-steel blade, oxidized – it creates a pretty affordable, yet durable tool. As a nice bonus – the blade of a knife retains its sharpness significantly well. Great choice, if you live on a budget.

What I liked:
  • Great edge retention capabilities
  • Lightweight
  • Reliable
  • Cheap
What I didn’t like:
  • Simple looks

#13 Boker USA Plus Jim Wagner RBB Recurve Folding Tactical Knife

Boker USA Plus Jim Wagner RBB Recurve Folding Tactical Knife

Are you looking for a knife that will look great in your everyday carry kit – here is a nice option. Ergonomic aluminum handle with individual finger grooves will fit your hand just right and the addition of a glass-breaker tip is a nice touch that boosts its functionality. It even comes with a fake writing pen tip, if you choose to conceal it even more – just put it in your front shirt pocket and no one will notice that you are carrying a knife. An interesting idea, that’s for sure.

What I liked:
  • Easy to conceal
  • Comfortable handle
  • Reversible pocket clip
What I didn’t like:
  • None

#14 Hogue EX-02 Sig Folding Knives

Hogue EX-02 Sig Folding Knives

Yet another excellent knife, this time from Hogue. Made from high-quality materials, this short but sharp tool will allow you to always have some of the extra utility on you, while also providing a self-defense option, just for peace of mind. Another cool thing about this cutter is the variety of handles, so you can find the look that more suits your personal style.

What I liked:
  • Compact design
  • Highly durable
  • Sharp spear-pointed blade
  • Variety of options for the handle
What I didn’t like:
  • Not cheap

#15 KA-BAR Zombie Acheron Skeleton Knife

KA-BAR Zombie Acheron Skeleton Knife

Here we have an interesting option for all the folks who value lightweight knives. The skeletonized knives while perhaps not being too comfortable to hold, are emphasizing on reducing the overall weight of the piece, which leads to a knife that is incredibly fast in action and easy to carry on long distances. KA-BAR quality shines once again, putting the glass-filled nylon sheath as a part of the whole package.

What I liked:
  • Extremely lightweight
  • High-quality materials used
  • Sheath included
  • Great recurved blade
  • Good price
What I didn’t like:
  • Not the most comfortable knife to hold

#16 Wilson Combat Extreme Lite Carry Knife WTK-ELC-COCO

Wilson Combat Extreme Lite Carry Knife WTK-ELC-COCO

The looks on this Wilson Combat Extreme Knife are just stunning. Being made for the best high-alloy Bohler with truly an Italian Quality in mind, this knife is lightweight and razor-sharp. Another nice detail about this cutter is the addition of genuine cocobolo hardwood, as a material for its handle. The grooves on the handle give this knife a good, comfortable grip, reducing all potential slipping, securing its position in the owner’s hand.

What I liked:
  • Stylish
  • Good grip
  • High-quality materials
  • Easy to maintain its edge
What I didn’t like:
  • High price

#17 FAB Defense Polymer Training Karambit fx-karambit

FAB Defense Polymer Training Karambit fx-karambit

Here we have another example of a well-made polymer training knife. While its form allows for some realistic training, its lack of sharp edges provides safety during training. Still, it is a good idea to avoid some sensitive areas (like the eyes, the groin, etc.) and wearing some sort of protection while training with this thing. Overall, it is a pretty good, affordable training karambit.

What I liked:
  • Allows for a safe training
  • Non-lethal
  • Cheap
What I didn’t like:
  • None

#18 TAC Force Evolution Fixed Blade Knife with G10 Handle

TAC Force Evolution Fixed Blade Knife with G10 Handle

Do not get too encouraged to mess with this guy, just because of its size. Yes, it is on the short, more compact size, but the tanto-like tip of this blade makes for a great stabber. This knife will prove itself very useful in a variety of situations, even for something as simple as opening a letter or cutting up paracord.

What I liked:
  • Great build quality
  • Sharp blade
  • Compact and agile
  • Sheath included
What I didn’t like:
  • None

#19 CRKT Fixed Blade Bear Claw Knife

CRKT Fixed Blade Bear Claw Knife

This knife comes with an interesting design decision – a big hole in the middle of the blade, for your pointing finger. With an unusual grip like this, you have more control of the movement of your blade, which also strengthens your grim, making it almost impossible to kick the knife out of your hands. As an amazing self-defense weapon as it is, it also makes for a great rescue tool, cutting ropes and seatbelts with ease. Another good thing about this product – it comes with a custom nylon sheath, that has seven mounting holes in it, making it possible to wear it as you see comfortable.

What I liked:
  • Unique shape
  • Handy nylon sheath
  • Very controllable
  • Great grip
  • Easy to use
  • Affordable
What I didn’t like:
  • None

#20 Mantis BK1 Wicked Push Dagger

Mantis BK1 Wicked Push Dagger

This Mantis BK1 is sure got that futuristic look to it. It’s made out of high-grade, black-oxide coated stainless steel, with some bits of carbon fiber scales in the handle, just to complete the sci-fi look of it. Being useful both as a tool and a self-defense weapon, this push dagger comes with its sheath, which can be worn on a belt or even as a boot-knife.

What I liked:
  • Unique look
  • High-grade materials
  • Sheath included
What I didn’t like:
  • Not that useful as a cutting tool

FAQ

Can a pocket knife be used for self-defense?
Yes. Even the very look of a knife can potentially scare off the attacker. Just have in mind, that even the smallest of pocket knives can cause a lot of damage, which can lead to some legal issues in the future.
How long should a self-defense knife be?
It is advised to look for a knife that has at least a 4-inch blade. But even shorter ones can still be effective if used properly.
What are the main criteria when buying a knife for self-defense?
The main criteria are: Build quality, concealability, and your own ability to handle it. You should choose a knife that you feel most comfortable with.
What type of knife is the most suitable for self-defense in the city?
The type you are more proficient with. The karambit is also a great option.
What to look for when buying a knife?
It is advised to check the locking mechanism, how well the blade is centered, are there any moving parts where there should be none. Then – check how well the knife fits your hand, how heavy it is, would it be easy to carry around or not.
Is Damascus steel suitable for self-defense?
Yes, it is.

Conclusion

In the end, we want to make a short summary, pointing out a few models that we believe can be the best choice, according to your budget.

Best low-budget models:

Best expensive models:

 

#Best Self-Defense Knives #Best Self-Defense Knife for Money #Best Knives for EDC #TOP-20 Self-Defense Knife #Selfe-Defense Knife Review # Best Knives for Self-Defense

Max Endless
Max Endless
Weapon Expert & School Teacher
Hi, I’m Max. I'm a weapon expert and a teacher of English from Belarus. These two qualities allow me to share my opinions and observations about news from the gun world. I'm really into firearms and different weapons because I was learning about them since my childhood.

My life has taken me through different complications and exciting moments, so what I’ve learned is to always be ready to fight. My father is professional military personnel and he made me familiar with various weapons since my childhood. My first one was a bow, and then I started to have a fancy for this unbelievable world of firearms. My main specialization allows me to share my thoughts about different devices, guns, and gun details with the English-speaking community. In my articles, I talk about pistols, rifles, knives, shotguns, and many other tactical and survival things.

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