In a world where safety, convenience, and practicality are key in everyday living, it is important to find a tool that can tackle all three points without being bulky and excessive. Tactical folding knives will do it all; from assisting you during hunting season, to getting you out of a car with a seatbelt cutter and glass breaker. Carrying a tough tactical folding knife that provides peace of mind each day while being extremely compact and lightweight is the way to go. We’ve rounded up our top 20 favorite tactical folding knives that provide you with more than just a cutting blade – check them out below.
Made at home in the USA, the 06 Fine self defense Knife from Gerber is a production knife that is utility based and built like a tank. With the option to get the blade serrated or non-serrated based on your needs, the corrosion-resistant S30V steel blade is perfect for combat, Military purposes, or at the campground. Dual thumb studs for single-handed opening, a slide safety to keep it locked while open or closed, and a lanyard hole for easy carrying are just a few features of this popular tactical folding knife.
- Blade material: Corrosion-resistant S30V steel
A rugged rifle inspired design is what you will find with the Tanto Veff serrated edge knife from Columbia River Knife & Tool. The folding combat knife has a frame lock and a blade flipper for quick action, a machine hard-anodized aluminum handle, and a 4-position clip. The serrated black steel blade is perfect for sawing through a rope, cardboard, or any other thick material you may encounter. The Tanto Veff blade is an ideal everyday carry knife with its pocket clip and small surface size when it is folded up.
- Blade material: Stainless steel 3.58-inch Veff serrated blade
when choosing a tactical knife to have on you in emergency situations, the Emerson Folding blade by Kershaw is the best tactical knife to put your money on. A waveshape feature enables the flip knife to be opened as you grab it out of your pocket for an ultra instant reaction time. Winning the Blade Show’s Best Buy Award in previous years, the cutting edge of the blade and compact design are a few reasons to check it out. From extreme activities such as gutting your recent animal kill, to removing a few zip ties, the Emerson blade will cut through whatever you throw at it.
- Blade material: 8CR14MOV dual satin and stonewashed finish steel
With SOG Assisted Technology that provides a smooth and fast action single-handed blade opening, the Trident Elite Folding Knife from SOG is the quick-response tactical blade to add to your collection. A black handle that features a no-slip grip and made of glass-reinforced nylon and a rubber mold is created to cut cord-sized objects without even accessing the blade portion. Featuring built-in tungsten carbide glass breaker, a reversible low-pocket carrying clip, a blade locking safety feature and a comfortable grip, the Trident Elite is an EDC fighting knife worthy of notice.
- Blade material: AUS-8 steel blade with satin polish finish
A unique-looking tactical folding knife that is small but fierce, the Xcest Delta Folding Knife by Top Knives is an ideal blade to have on you in a pinch. The black handle features ergonomic grooves with blue G-10 portions so your hand feels comfortable while the blade is in use. Its knife design is a cleaver style blade. The short non-serrated blade is made from N690C0 cobalt vanadium steel, promising you a clean cut that doesn’t dull easily.
- Blade material: N690CO Cobalt Vanadium steel blade with black traction coating
World renown as one of the strongest tactical folding knives in existence, the Sere 2000 by Al Mar is durable, strong, and combat-ready. The incredibly lightweight knife has a ceramic coating that is corrosion-resistant and scratch-resistant, promising a long life for your blade. Dual thumb studs and a reversible deep pocket clip are made for discreet carry. The sharp non-serrated blade is smooth and sharp enough to handle any activity you need it to handle, and the customization choice of handle color, material, and blade length make it a personal preference to keep for a lifetime.
- Blade material: VG-10 Rc 59-60 Steel
Designed by knife fighting expert Jim Wagner who trained the German top counterterrorism team, the Reality Based Serrated Folding Knife by Boker is a game-changer in the tactical knife world that promises exceptional delivery. It features all of the things that military and police need in an EDC tactical knife; A glass breaker that turns into a writing pen for undercover operations, a gladius tip with unique blood grooves, an ergonomic handle with anti-slip texturing and lanyard holes for easy transportation.
- Blade material: stainless steel
Get the best of both worlds with this half serrated, half non-serrated 0350ST knife from Zero Tolerance. The G-10 scale handle perfectly grips your hand and is prime during rough conditions. The Speedsafe assisted opening mechanism helps the blade swing open quickly and efficiently while maintaining user safety. The small blade is made of high performance S30V stainless steel, and is finished with a matte black Tungsten DLC coating for extra durability and style. The versatility of this knife is exceptional due to the partially serrated base that can saw through tough material, while the smooth fine edge portion will chop and slice through your food.
- Blade material: High-performance S30V stainless steel finished with Tungsten DLC coating
Featuring an InterFrame construction with durable textured glass filled nylon scales, a seatbelt cutter for emergency getaways, a Tungsten carbide window breaker and a tough tactical black coating, the M16 series 14ZLEK Tanto knife by Columbia River Knife & Tool is built for emergencies of any kind. Designed by Kit Carson who is a retired Sgt. Major and a high profile member of the Knifemaker’s Guild, this tactical knife offers incredible performance for stressful situations, while still offering the EDC community a knife that is versatile for daily needs. A flipper on the side assists in action-fast opening of the blade, and creates a blade guard while open for extra safety.
- Blade material: 420J2 stainless steel
Another American made tactical knife option, the Blur Glassbreaker by Kershaw is ideal for hunting, fishing, camping, utility chores and emergencies. Trac-Tec inserts on the handle assist in optimal grip stability regardless of rain, snow or sunshine. The partially serrated blade will cut through all kinds of things while offering a powerful push and pull stroke. The SpeedSafe assisted deployment is smooth and allows for one-handed opening. The carbide glass breaker at the end of the pocket knife serves as an emergency device. The deep-carry ambidextrous pocket clip is made for discreet carrying, while the small and light blade won’t drag you down.
- Blade material: 14C28N steel blade
With a hard-earned reputation for reliability and strength, the Recon 1 Folding Knife by Cold Steel is a popular knife used by military and law enforcement personnel. The thin, razor sharp edge has precision like a scalpel and the durability of a tank., while the DLC coating provides longevity. The Tri-Ad lock mechanism keeps your fingers safe while the blade is in use and is one of the strongest locking grades ever produced. The handle features fantastic gripping designs so it won’t slip out of your hands while the weather is sweaty hot or rainy.
- Blade material: CTS XHP steel
For a dependable blade weighing in at only 8.8 ounces, check out the Border Guard Folding Knife by Smith & Wesson. The texturized grey and black handle made of black aluminum contain Trac-Tec inserts, a seatbelt and rope cutter, a glass breaker at the end of the handle and ambidextrous thumb knobs for easy handling. The high carbon black oxide stainless steel blade features blood grooves and a partially serrated blade for a multi-purpose function and makes an ideal everyday carry item due to its versatility.
- Blade material: 7CR17MOV high carbon black oxide stainless steel
Designed to be a go-to multi-purpose tactical knife, the Spec Arc Folding Knife by SOG has your safety and convenience in mind through its superb design. The 4-inch VG-10 stainless steel blade has a smooth and strong bead blasted finish to ensure durability and to deter any reflection that may serve as a distraction while in use. The GRN handle is sturdy in construction and features grooves for easy grip and stainless steel liners. The Arc-Lock mechanism provides a smooth like butter operation while keeping the blade in a strong position.
- Blade material: VG-10 stainless steel
We love Gerber for their solid knife construction and knife enthusiast cult following, and the Fine Edge Tanto Folding Knife makes no exception to the quality this brand delivers. Made in the USA, the S30V steel tanto blade is corrosion-resistant and features two fine-point edges to assist with a variety of cutting needs. An oversized blade release button sits near the blade for a crazy fast blade opening. The sturdy handle is made of Type III anodized 6061 lightweight aluminum, which promises durability but not at the expense of being heavy to carry around. A convenient lanyard hole sits at the top of the handle to transport it around the neck, or you can clip it in your pocket for a discreet carry.
- Blade material: Corrosion-resistant S30V steel tanto blade
The SA20 Pro-Tech Strider Folding Knife by Pro-Tech offers a badass look and an unparalleled delivery of quality. Designed through a collaboration between Pro-Tech and Strider, two common names in the knife world, the SA20 blade is made of 154CM stainless steel and has a drop point style. The front handle is made from textured black G10 and has a black stainless steel backing, and both handle and spine feature large and deep grooving for supreme grip. The button lock at the base of the blade allows for swift and smooth deployment, while the handle features an ergonomic thumb and finger groove for sturdy handling.
- Blade material: 154CM stainless steel
Featuring a well-crafted fine-edge blade that stays true regardless of environment and temperature, the Adamas 275 Folding Knife from Benchmade has the rugged look you want from a tactical knife. Able to open and close single-handedly, Benchmade’s AXIS lock system is exceptionally strong and is fully ambidextrous. The G10 handle remains comfortable even when you’re using it for a long time, and features a reversible pocket clip for easy carry and a Cordura sheath for ideal accessibility.
- Blade material: D2 stainless steel
An extremely versatile and unique-looking tactical knife from Spyderco, the Assist Folding Knife is built for high-pressure situations. From slicing through seatbelts to hacking off smaller tree limbs, the patented blunt-tipped blade made from VG-10 stainless steel is partially serrated to get you through any tough situation, but remains light and versatile enough for EDC. The unique wavy, die-cut patterns along the inside of the handle and the blunt edge of the knife were designed by firefighters to easily slice through rope when squeezing the blade and handle together.
- Blade material: VG-10 stainless steel
A titanium alloy frame with G-10 scales, a patented RotoBlock system, and a whole bunch of tools in one handy device make up the HEST/f 2.0 by DPX Gear. The true go-to for a versatile every day carry item, the HEST has a hex driver socket wire stripper choil, wrench, box cutter and chisel. The extremely lightweight material with a deep pocket carry stainless steel clip means you’ll likely forget you even have it on you. An integrated glass breaker with option round head screw, pivot adjustment, and a patented RoboBlock frame lock that prevents slippage all come together to make this tool a force to be reckoned with.
- Blade material: D2 steel coated with black milspec
Available in two sizes, the American Lawman Folding Knife by Cold Steel was designed in honor of those who serve in Law Enforcement. The drop point blade made of CTS XHP alloy is sharp enough for any task you’ll throw at it, all while being EDC-friendly enough for anyone’s needs. The DLC coating keeps the blade corrosion and rust-resistant and gives it a sturdy, long life. The contoured G-10 handle is contoured for grip security regardless of weather condition and is equipped with the Tri-Ad locking mechanism to provide safe and secure handling.
- Blade material: Carpenter CTS XHP alloy with DLC coating
Small, strong, and extremely versatile, the MIL – SPIE 3.5 H-01 Folding Knife by Tops Knives is a trusted tool used by law enforcement, military, and civilians alike. The name of the knife is an acronym for Military-Special Projects Individual Equipment and speaks to the durability and strength of its design. Featuring a fairly narrow carrying profile, lightweight design, a secure grip and a hunter’s point tip blade, this is an ideal knife to have in any situation.
- Blade material: N690Co / Cobalt Vanadium with black traction coating