Best Tactical Folding Knives

The 20 Best Tactical Folding Knives

Posted in GEAR, GEAR GUIDES By

Along with everyday home and campsite cutting duties, a quality tactical knife can play an integral part in self defense, just after a firearm and before a capable tactical pen or tactical flashlight. Before you hit the Walmart shelves this summer looking for a tactical knife worth carrying, check out our list of what we consider to be the 20 best tactical folding knives available on the market that are actually worth adding to your everyday carry arsenal, in no particular order.

Cold Steel Recon 1 Tactical Knife

Cold Steel Recon 1 Tactical Knife

We like to believe that if the word tactical is attached to a knife, it better be able to withstand the elements as well as years of abuse. The Cold Steel Recon 1 Tactical Knife doesn’t disappoint. Its clip-point stainless steel blade is vacuum heat treated, sub-zero quenched, and then finished in black Teflon that not only maintains a consistent lubrication during cuts, but also resists rust, glare, and light reflections during tactical operations. Additional features include a nonslip grip G-10 scaled handle and Cold Steel’s Tri Ad locking system. BUY IT

SOG-TAC Mini Auto Tactical Knife

SOG-TAC Mini Auto Knife

Sporting a slim, compact, and field ready design, the SOG-TAC Mini Auto Knife features an extremely fast blade travel, a safety button that double locks the blade in either the open or closed position, a partially serrated tanto-style steel blade, and a reversible bayonet style clip for carrying in your pocket. BUY IT

Propel AO Tactical Knife

Propel AO Tactical Knife

Gerber wanted to build a knife that would not only satisfy most every man’s everyday carry needs, but would also meet the tactical requirements of field personnel. After collecting input from seasoned military and law enforcement personnel, Gerber created what is now the Propel AO Tactical Knife. A G-10 composite handle maintains a slim profile, a balanced feel, and houses the full-size 420 high-carbon steel, black oxide coated lockable blade than can be deployed when engaged at only 45 degrees. A three-way adjustable clip is also built into the Propel AO that is customizable to the knife’s orientation when in your pocket or on your belt. BUY IT

  solid-line The 21 Best Fixed Blade Knives solid-line  

Spyderco Assist Black Blade Tactical Knife

Spyderco Assist Black Blade

Although working in emergency services isn’t a requirement to carrying the Spyderco Assist Black Blade Knife ($84), the desire to be prepared in high-pressure situations is. This seriously awesome tactical knife features an unbreakable blunt-tipped, toothed blade crafted from VG-10 material that easily slices through seat belts or any other fibrous obstacle, along with a rapid deployment Cobra Hood grip, a retractable carbide tip for breaking glass, and a survival whistle built right in to the handle. For when time is really short, a die-cut pattern on the inside of the handle allows you to quickly cut ropes or lines by simply squeezing the handle and blade together in your hand. BUY IT

Boker Plus Subcom Tactical Pocket Knife

Boker Plus Subcom Pocket Knife

Its definitely not the largest knife on this list, but what the Boker Plus Subcom Pocket Knife lacks in size, it more than makes up for in functionality. It sports a fiberglass reinforced nylon handle, an ambidextrous thumb stud, both thumb and palm index ramps, and a black coated, partially serrated 1 7/8-inch long stainless steel blade. It measures in at only 4 1/2-inches long and 2.5 ounces, rendering it ideal as a money clip or as a standalone EDC knife. BUY IT

GDC Tech Skin Pocket Tactical Knife

GDC Tech Skin Pocket Knife

We personally carry the GDC Tech Skin Pocket Knife and know several others that do as well, and for good reason. This little gem features a 2.5-inch drop point blade crafted from rust-resistant stainless steel, a lock back safety function, and a rubberized techhide handle with additional thumb studs for optimum grip while cutting. When the knife’s blade is closed, there is absolutely no exposed metal, thus preventing it from scratching or otherwise damaging your phone or other gear you may be carrying in your pocket. BUY IT

Smith and Wesson Border Guard 2 Rescue Knife

Smith and Wesson Border Guard 2 Rescue Knife

One of the more truly tactical knives on the list, the Smith and Wesson Border Guard 2 Rescue Knife serves many functions thanks to a 4.4-inch ComboEdge Tanto blade, an integrated thumb knob seat-belt cutter, glass breaker, liner lock, and aluminum pocket clip. BUY IT

Contrast AO Tactical Knife

Contrast AO Tactical Knife

Weighing in at only 3.3 ounces, the Contrast AO Tactical Knife is comfortable enough for everyday carry in your front pocket, while a lightweight corrosion and rust resistant G-10 handle, Gerber’s advanced one-handed Assisted Opening 2.0 mechanism, and 3-inch smooth or serrated matte black finished steel blade ensure optimum performance when you need it most. BUY IT

Benchmade Mini Griptilian Knife

Benchmade Mini Griptilian Knife

Benchmade has a solid reputation for crafting some of the best pocket knives available for purchase. A good example of this is their Mini Griptilian Knives. They boast a modified drop-point stainless steel blade with a corrosion and scratch resistant BK1 coating, a durable, spring-loaded AXIS locking mechanism, and a reversible pocket clip for carrying on your belt, in your pocket, or for stashing your folded cash. BUY IT

Kershaw Blur Glassbreaker Tactical Knife

Kershaw Blur Glassbreaker Knife

This tactical knife by Kershaw is not only extremely functional, but was built to withstand most any abuse you can throw at it. The Sandvik-crafted, partially serrated recurve blade features a durable, glass-breaking carbide tip and is complimented by aircraft grade aluminum handles with Trac-Tec grip tape inserts for an improved grip and a SpeedSafe assisted opening mechanism for easy one-handed opening. BUY IT

Al Mar Black Mini Sere 2000 Tactical Knife

Al Mar Black Mini Sere 2000 Tactical Folding Knife

The Black Mini Sere 2000 Tactical Folding Knife by Al Mar is one of the more expensive knives on this list. None of us here have any personal experience carrying this particular knife, but we have found nothing but positive reviews from other online sources who have used it. It features a VG-10 Cobalt stainless steel blackened blade with a corrosion and scratch resistant ceramic coating, dual thumb studs, and a top-mounted black stainless steel Deep pocket clip. BUY IT

Schrade SCHA4BG Tactical Folding Knife

Schrade SCHA4BG Tactical Folding Knife

Having personally carried the Schrade’s tactical pen, we decided to include their tactical knife folding knife to this list. It features a black treated drop-point steel blade, a thick, aluminum handle with inlaid rubber grips, and a specially-designed spring-assisted opening feature with a backup safety lock. BUY IT

MicroTech Mini Matric Katana Flipper Tactical Folding Knife

MicroTech Mini Matrix Katana Flipper

The Mini Matrix Katana Flipper boasts a 3-inch reverse tanto blade, a smooth flipper opening mechanism, a blade-locking frame lock system, a special edition Katana two tone finish that gives the knife more of a “tactical” feel, and a weight of only 2.5 ounces that makes it ideal for everyday carry. BUY IT

Benchmade BKC Bedlam Axis Folding Tactical Knife

Benchmade BKC Bedlam Axis Folding Knife

Judging on looks alone, Benchmade’s BKC Bedlam Axis Folding Knife is the toughest tactical knife on this list. The specs aren’t too shabby either. It boasts a 154CM stainless steel blade, black G-10 handle scales, a reversible tip-up deep pocket clip, and and AXIS locking mechanism with ambidextrous thumb-stud openers. BUY IT

Zero Tolerance Blackwash Hinderer Tactical Knife

Zero Tolerance Blackwash Hinderer Flipper Knife

If the Zero Tolerance Blackwash Hinderer Flipper Knife wasn’t so well-made, we’d probably buy it anyway just because it looks so incredibly awesome. Made right here in the USA, it boasts a 3.75-inch steel blade with a tungsten DLC Blackwash finish, a titanium frame lock and lock bar stabilizer, a 3D machined, BlackWash finished G-10 handle with a titanium backing, a KVT ball-bearing opening system, a four-way reversible pocket clip, dual thumb studs, and a flipper. Someone mentioned recently that Chuck Norris personally carries this knife in his pocket, which never gets used thanks to his roundhouse kicks. Whether this is true or not, watch out for Chuck Norris, or just carry your own Zero Tolerance knife and learn karate. BUY IT

Benchmade 275 Adamas Tactical Folding Knife

Benchmade 275 Adamas Tactical Folding Knife

Although larger than most other knives mentioned here, the 275 Adamas Tactical Folding Knife by Benchmade is heavy duty enough to handle even the toughest of everyday tasks. Along with Benchmade’s tried and true AXIS locking mechanism, the Adamas boasts a large, G-10 handle with full stainless steel liners for improved strength and durability that can easily be gripped while wearing gloves, an ambidextrous thumb stud, a black coated steel blade, and a reversible black steel pocket clip. BUY IT

SL Pro Tactical Knife

SL Pro 2 Tactical Knife

Although technically a knife, the SL Pro 2 Tactical Knife can just as easily be considered a multi-tool perfect for becoming lost in the woods with thanks to a solid steel construction, a built-in LED flashlight, an emergency whistle, a 3-inch partially serrated blade, and a magnesium alloy fire rod inside the detachable flashlight housing that can produce a shower of sparks at over 2500 degrees fahrenheit. BUY IT

Spyderco Pacific Salt Tactical Black Blade

Spyderco Pacific Salt Black Blade

Built specifically to meet tactical objectives on land or in water, the Spyderco Pacific Salt Black Blade Knife features a plain edged H1 steel blade coated in black carbonitride along with carbonitride treated internal steel parts that render the knife protected against rust and pitting even during saltwater use. Additional features include a textured black fiberglass handle, an enlarged blade hole for easy one-handed opening, a reversible titanium pocket clip, and a lanyard hole. BUY IT

Covert Double Bevel Serrated Tactical Knife

Covert Double Bevel Serrated Tactical Knife

If you’re going to bring a knife to a gunfight, this is your best bet. Designed by Colonel Rex Applegate of the U.S. Army, Gerber’s Covert Double Bevel Serrated Tactical Knife was designed for self defense applications during close-quarters combat and features a high carbon stainless steel blade with a titanium nitride coating, glass-filled nylon handles, a heavy duty pocket clip, and a patented Rotolock locking mechanism. BUY IT

Spyderco Sage Titanium Folding Tactical Knife

Spyderco Sage Titanium Knife

Part of a series of knives honoring knife designer Chris Reeves, the Spyderco Sage Titanium Knife features his patented Reeve Integral blade-locking mechanism along with a stainless steel flat-ground spear-point blade, a solid titanium scaled handle that offers an optimum grip during use, a reversible wire pocket clip, and an ambidextrous round hole for one-handed blade deployment. BUY IT

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