Best Tactical Knife – Reviews, Comparison And Advice

Premium Choice

Ka-Bar-Full-Size-US-Marine-Corps-Fighting-Knife

Ka-Bar Full Size Marine

Our Choice

Kershaw-Blur-Tactical-Folding-Knife

Kershaw Blur

Budget Choice

SOG-SEAL-Strike-Tactical-Knife

SOG SEAL Strike

Tactical is often a word that gets thrown around, and knives that get branded with this word often are useless and overhyped. But, unfortunately, this is very much the same in the gun world too, and all you end up with is a steel blade or gun that ends up being a complete waste of time or money. But we’re not looking for guns in this guide.

Here we are looking at what is best tactical knife is and what features make it great so you can walk away with a blade you love as a part of your tactical gear set. So let’s get started!

What Is The Best Tactical Knife On The Market Today?

Let’s take a look at the best tactical blades for 2020, what makes them unique and whether they fit the bill for your specific use:

1. SOG SEAL Strike  

SOG-SEAL-Strike-Tactical-Knife

1. Blade Size – 4.9″
2. AUS-8 Stainless Steel
3. Anti-Slip Nylon Handle
4. Frame Lock sheath 

The SOG SEAL Strike is a great all-rounder for survival purposes. SOG has been a huge figure on the market for years, and it feels like the SOG SEAL has taken all of their knowledge and real-world experience then combined it into one knife-shaped package. This item is both rugged and durable, and we found it to be an ideal choice in terms of accessories for any outdoor adventure.

There’s a lot of features packed into the SOG Strike. Coming with a nylon sheath, the blade itself is just as sleek as the carrier it’s in, and as a utility steel blade, it surpassed our expectations. The SEAL Strike takes its inspiration from the military, and you can tell it means serious business with the black handle and sharp looking blade.

SOG SEAL Strike Blade Information

The blade of the SEAL Strike is partially serrated and measures 4.9 inches. It’s a steel blade made from AUS-8 stainless steel that makes a great companion on outdoor expeditions. This military-style knife also boasts clip point designs, which yields some pretty aggressive jimping at the top. This helps you to control the blade a lot better so that jobs are easier to carry out.

As we began to review this SOG Seal product, we discovered that the steel blade doesn’t only have to be used for cutting wood but can be used on metal as well, which is quite impressive. The knife’s durability is boosted tremendously by the powder coating, which is why the military also uses it. This coating adds to the item’s rust resistance as well.

The most interesting thing we found out about this blade after completing our review tests was how it had been treated. SOG has used a cryogenic heat treatment on the steel blade to increase both its resistance to wear and its toughness. With continued use, we‘ve found that the blade’s edge doesn’t chip, and it retains its sharpness for longer periods than my other SOG knives.

SOG SEAL Strike Handle and Grip

The blade is placed in a durable and truly rugged housing that has been crafted from stainless steel and glass-reinforced black nylon. The anti-slip features of the nylon handle give a better grip, and the finger grooves are quite deep as well. We used it as a glass breaker to test out the handle and found it to be excellent even when utilizing it in odd situations.

The handle scales have a diamond checked pattern, which means your grip won’t be compromised whether the fixed blades are wet, dry, or even dirty. So whilst it’s not the prettiest handle by any stretch of the image, it is still comfortable to grips to hold and doesn’t get affected by temperature changes.

SOG SEAL Strike Sheath

For the price of this blade, the black sheath that is included is what you would get on average for the brand. You can get the knife with a standard nylon sheath, which is hard backed or pay extra for a deluxe model that comes with a belt clip attachment too so you can carry it easily.

The frame lock feature of the black sheath adds an element of security to the blade. It’s this that made me think this knife is the best choice for hiking or day to day outdoor activities.

Pros

  1. The blade of the SEAL Strike is partially serrated and measures at 4.9 inches and its made from AUS-8 stainless steel that makes a great companion on outdoor expeditions
  2. This military-style knife also boasts clip point designs, which yields some pretty aggressive jimping at the top, which helps you to control the blade a lot better so that jobs are easier to carry out
  3. The blade is placed in a durable and truly rugged housing that has been crafted from stainless steel and glass-reinforced black nylon

Cons

  1. While the metal is pretty durable and you won’t encounter any problems during normal use, it is so fragile that breaking its tip-off isn’t that hard to occur
  2. This is a common problem with most SOG knives, and this is the same with this model – the knife will come as dull as possible, creating you additional problems

2. Cold Steel Recon 1

Cold-Steel-Recon-1-Tactical-Knife

1. Blade length – 4″ 
2.  Weigh 5.3 Ounces
3. AUS 8A Blade Steel
4. Linerless G10 Handle Design

Recon 1 made it onto our best tactical knives list because we love it when companies take their existing designs and refine them to the point of perfection. Of course, we like it when new models come out, but it gets us very excited when an already good knife becomes even greater.

The Cold Steel Recon 1 blade shape was created in 2001. However, the new version is a lot lighter, has a stronger frame lock, and a much more clever overall blade design. As a result, you get a heavy-duty set of tactical folding knives at an affordable price.

Cold Steel Recon 1 Uses

This Cold Steel product is another military-inspired tactical option that has a lot of different functions. For a larger looking military knife, it’s very strong too. You can use this out on trails and also as a backup knife. We’ve seen others online using it to baton wood, which is an incredible skill for a folding knife to have.

Cold Steel Recon 1 Blade Information

The length of the Recon 1 is 9.75″ with the blade making up 4″ of that. Overall it weighs 5.3 ounces, which we found quite surprising when holding it in-store before purchase. It’s definitely a product that has been geared towards hard usage and for self-defense as well.

There are different blade options you can have with this purchase. These are the Bowie or clip point blade, the spear point, or the American tanto. You can also choose from having a plain edged blade or having it partially serrated. Made from an AUS 8A steel, the brand has upgraded some of its steel blades to the CTS-XHP version.

Cold Steel Recon 1 Handle

The biggest sticking point with the original Recon 1 was the handle material, so we are very glad this got an upgrade. Now it has a linerless design and uses a G10 blade. The handle is strong despite the lack of steel liners, and there is also aluminum handle backspaces as well. You can use the handle as an ice or glass breaker because this tactical item is quite strong.

Folding the Cold Steel Recon 1

Use the thumb stud at the side of the item to get the blade to come out. Within the folding mechanism is a powerful back spring that makes it a bit tricky to deploy, but with the right flick of the wrist, we can normally get it snapped out.

The lock on it has been built phenomenally and is easily the strongest lock available today. In addition, because it has a stop pin, any heavy-duty tasks are forced onto this instead of onto the locking mechanism, meaning that the lock can take on more pressure and won’t break.

Cold Steel Recon 1 Verdict

This aluminum handle drops point blade tactical knife rivals any other knife out there, even the titanium built ones. As far as our review goes, we find this similar to the Cold Steel AK-47.

When choosing between these options in the store, it comes down to which one you like the looks of most. The Recon 1 is tough as titanium, and the fact it has been upgraded from a bargain-priced product into such an impressive tool is fascinating.

Pros

  1. The Recon 1 is another military-inspired tactical knife with many different functions and is a larger military knife that’s also very strong.
  2. The length of the Recon 1 is 9.75″ with the blade making up 4″ of that, but it still manages to have an overall weight of 5.3 ounces, which is pretty lightweight for its class
  3. The handle is an upgrade on the last model, and now it has a linerless design and uses G10, so it is strong despite the lack of steel liners, which it compensates for with aluminum handle backspaces

Cons

  1. Unlike the quality seen in most other Cold Steel products, this one feels extremely cheap and doesn’t justify its high price
  2. The handle isn’t very good, with constant rattling sounds coming out of it and a very small and practically unusable pocket clip

3. Spyderco Paramilitary 2

Spyderco-Paramilitary-2-Tactical-Knife

1. Drop Point Blade
2. Pocket Size
3. Good Handle Grip
4. Compression Lock

There always comes a time when you need to carry a knife around, whether it’s on the hiking trails, at a survival weekend, or on the campsite. Unfortunately, larger knives are the ones we tend to drop the most, so being able to carry such a small and compact built product like the Spyderco Paramilitary 2 tactical drop point blade is a joy.

Spyderco Paramilitary 2 Size And Weight

This Spyderco option is really small. When the knife is open, it only measures 9 inches and 5 inches when it’s closed. It’s a tiny tactical item that fits well in your pocket if you want to carry it. Talking of carrying this black and camo print knife, the weight won’t be an issue for anyone. Weighing in at only 4 ounces, all of its size and lightweight features make it a true everyday carry.

Spyderco Paramilitary 2 Handle

Although this isn’t a highly durable aluminum handle, we couldn’t find much to complain about. Its gunmetal grey and green camo colors have been constructed from stainless steel liners with an excellent ergonomic handle design.

The texture makes it enjoyable to grip, and because of the material it’s made from, it won’t wear away any time soon. The handle is also strong enough to be used as a glass breaker during emergency situations without hurting your hand.

Spyderco Paramilitary 2 Blade Information

Having a blade that has been poorly built can really put the kibosh on what would otherwise be a great knife. With the Paramilitary 2, the edge matches the knife’s look, being intimidating and ultra-sharp as well.

It’s a tough blade crafted from a high-carbon steel compound. The entire edge is also powder coated with diamond-like carbon to keep it hard-wearing and durable. Plus, this carbon steel blade won’t rust.

Pocket Clip

A big part of a tactical knife is how you carry it, with the pocket being the number one choice. There’s plenty of options with the included pocket clip. You can slide it into your pocket and let it sit snugly or firmly secure it into place. Having the pocket clip included with the price means you can carry your purchase around safely in a convenient way that is also strong enough to last.

This pocket clip will support a knife configuration of the tip down and on the right-hand side, too, which limits the number of ways you can carry it. However, it is always within your reach, and you can pull it out in an emergency self-defense situation.

Locking Mechanism

The way a folding knife acts on deployment is important. Because the edge is so sharp, it’s crucial that you lock it away securely, so it doesn’t spring open by accident. The Paramilitary 2 has a compression lock that lets you flip the blade open when you need it but also keeps it in place and safely stored when in the retracted position.

Pros

  1. When it is open, it only measures 9 inches and is only 5 inches when it’s closed, and that results in a tiny tactical knife that sits well in your pocket if you want to carry it.
  2. The handle, which is colored in gunmetal grey and green camo colors, has been constructed from stainless steel liners, and that combined with its texture, makes it enjoyable to grip
  3. The Paramilitary 2 has a compression lock that lets you flip the blade open when you need it but also keeps it in place and safely stored when in the retracted position

Cons

  1. Though unconfirmed, there have been many reports that report this product as a fake, with some glaring issues like taking minutes after opening, operating hinges and uneven curvature. This is also where most of its other problems originate, like its chunky and cheap feel

4. Ka-Bar Full Size

KA-BAR-Full-Size-Marine

1. Marine Fighting Knife
2. 1095 Cro-Van steel
3. Knuckle protection
4. Leather Grip

An almost upgraded fighting version of the Colonel Rex Applegate tactical knife, the Ka-Bar is one of the best tactical fighting products out on the market right now. Much better than the Karambit or Emerson versions of the same kind of product, this black bladed tool also comes with a leather sheath that provides beautiful storage and protection. In addition, the blade has been crafted from CRO-van steel instead of titanium, which is an unusual but strong choice for a tactical knife.

Ka-Bar Fighting Knife Blade Information

Because we’ve always been fans of the Karambit and Emerson fighting knives, we found ourselves constantly comparing this one to them. One thing the Emerson products can’t say is that the army and the marines use their tactical knives.

The Ka-Bar itself measures at just over 11 inches, and the blade’s edge is 7 inches alone. Thus, the sharpness of the blade lasted for a long time, and it was sharp as soon as we took it from its sheath.

Pros

  1. An upgraded fighting version of the Colonel Rex Applegate tactical knife, the Ka-Bar Fighting Knife is one of the best tactical fighting knives out on the market right now
  2. The knife itself measures at just over 11 inches, and the edge of the blade is 7 inches alone, coming as sharp as possible out of the box
  3.  The weight of the knife is also pretty impressive considering how large it is, and it’s pretty easy to use

Cons

  1. The handle not only doesn’t add anything new to the table, but its material is also very grating to the skin of your hands, making it very uncomfortable to use
  2. There is also the huge drawback of the company’s practice by which you can only buy the serrated blade version in-store, not online

5. Kershaw Blur

Kershaw-Blur-Tactical-Folding-Knife

1. Top Quality Brand
2. Sandvik Stainless Steel Blade
3. Carbon Coating
4. Anodized Aluminum Handle

Straying away from the fixed blade and going back to a suitable knife for everyday carry on your pocket clip is what the Kershaw Blur was designed for. The brand name Kershaw should immediately tell you what fine quality this product will be. It’s so much more than a combat knife or a tool for cutting. Its features and the way it’s been designed take it above and beyond what many tactical options have to offer.

Kershaw Blur Handle and Blade

The whole point of a knife is to have a sharp blade. The handle has to be comfortable to grip and durable for lots of use as well. So what does the Blur have to offer in these categories?

Straight out of the box, the blade is razor-sharp. The stainless steel blade has been molded into a curved design that gives it a more elegant feel. As well as being made from high-grade steel, it also features an almost diamond-like carbon coating.

This makes it resistant to rust and looks beautiful at the same time. The handle is, of course, anodized aluminum with grip tape inserts, which makes it durable while feeling solid in your hands.

Both the blade and handle put together, despite the materials they are made from, are actually very lightweight and quite sturdy as well. So we would say that the Kershaw Blur definitely ticks all of the right boxes in this category.

Kershaw Blur Opening and Locking

When you have the Kershaw Blur folded away, it looks very simple and passive to the eye. However, on the side, you’ll find a tiny little flipper that, when pulled, allows the blade to gracefully emerge from its cavity inside the handle.

The mechanism that releases it is very quick and has the added feature of being incredibly safe as well. With secure speed technology used in almost all of Kershaw’s knives, the assisted opening ensures that the item emerges safely without ever becoming delayed or jammed.

Kershaw Blur Pocket Clip

Included in the knife’s price is a pocket clip so that you can put it into your pocket and then secure it in place so it doesn’t drop out. The clip-point blade composition is pure excellence. In addition, you can decide on whichever way you like your item to sit in your pocket or bag because the clip is reversible, which is a really neat touch.

The handle includes some pre-drilled holes that allow you to change how the blade hangs within the knife. All you have to do is unscrew the clip and then fasten it back into the holes provided. This can help if you like having the tip of the blade up or down when carrying it.

Pros

  1. Straight out of the box, the blade is razor-sharp and combined with the Sandvik stainless steel used that has been molded into a curved design all give the knife a more elegant feel
  2. The carbon coating used on the blade helps it to remain as durable as possible even after a lot of abuse and protects it from rust and abrasion
  3. The handle is made out of high grade anodized aluminum with grip tape inserts, which makes it durable and gives it a really solid feeling in your hands

Cons

  1. The pocket clip included isn’t quite deep enough and this means that the knife isn’t completely hidden when it’s in your pocket
  2. Because the blade is so sharp, we noticed it dulled quite quickly as well, so it would be a prodcut that you have to sharpen on a regular basis

What is a tactical knife?

All tactical blades have features in common. For example, most have one-handed opening functionality that is quick and easy to use, and the grip material will be strong and aggressive. However, when you want to get your first knife, there are a few things you have to think about in order to get the best.

The first thing we need to consider is what you are going to be using it for. The second is under what conditions do you need this knife to perform. Finally, the last thing you should think about when looking for the best tactical knife for you is how it will fit into your hand. Just because you splash the cash on the most expensive option doesn’t mean a thing if the blade isn’t suiting your needs.

Does your tactical knife need a serrated blade?

With most other fixed blades, you would go with your preference on if it is serrated or not. With tactical knives, this isn’t the case. In order to get the best option, you have to think about exactly what this tool will be used for.

Most knives that will be used outdoors need to be heavy-duty, easy to carry, made from durable materials, and have either a serrated or partially serrated edge. This makes it easier to cut through tougher materials and is especially handy if you aren’t going to be around a sharpener for a while.

A tactical knife that will be best at slicing or self-defense should have a drop point blade with a plain edge. Having the right tool in your hand for the job is half of the battle with finding the best product on the market.

What is the best steel for a blade?

Blade steel is incredibly important to survival knives, and the material we would choose above the rest is the 1095 carbon steel. This adds 0.95% of carbon to the blade, helping it keep its edge and fight off rest. Carbon options can last a lifetime with the right storage and the proper care, but you want to get a thicker blade made from this steel as thinner ones tend to be brittle and break easily.

Final Words

Having a tactical knife is one of these things you don’t know you need until you actually do. It has much-needed features that even the military uses, so nothing can replace its utility for survival or just everyday carry.

Trought the article, we’ve looked at many of the factors needed when searching for the best one, and in our opinion, if you use the information above properly, you can choose the best product in today’s market. Just be careful because with all the different types of blades, their materials, can they close or not, how long they are and where the center of gravity is, you can get two on the surface identical-looking options with very different features and uses.

Suffice it to say, it hasn’t been an easy mission to choose the best of the best, but after many hours of testing and research, we’ve managed to find the top 5 competitors. If you read carefully through the article, it will be a 10-minute job to choose one of our five candidates and find your next best survival companion.