Tactical situations need you to have a knife that can thrust, penetrate, stab, slash, tear, flick, butt, and hack.
Tactical knives are imposing edge tools as well as general purpose knives. These edge tools have high-quality blade steel and tough blade profiles that are suitable for tackling demanding chores and self-defense situations. The best designs allow for the most effective cut or thrust.
There is only one problem, though. There are way too many fixed blade knives that are advertised as tactical knives. So, you have to do some research in order to find the best tactical fixed blade knife in the overcrowded market.
Table of Contents
- The Best Tactical Fixed Blade Knives Are:
- 1. Ka-Bar US Army Tactical Knife — Best Bowie Style
- 2. Cold Steel Leatherneck-SF Tactical Knife — Most Ambidextrous Design
- 3. Hogue EXF01 Fixed Blade Tactical Knife — Most Versatile Blade Profile
- 4. SOG FK1001-CP Tactical Knife — Best Finger Choil Design
- 5. Mossy Oak Fixed Blade Tactical Knife — Best Value Model
- 6. Gerber Bear Grylls Ultimate Pro Tactical Knife — Most Versatile Tactical Edge Tool
- 7. Schrade SCHF36 Frontier Tactical Knife — Best Tactical Outdoor Design
- 8. CRKT SIWI Fixed Blade Tactical Knife — Best Compact Fixed Blade
- 9. Schrade SCHF57 Fixed Blade Tactical Knife — Most Ergonomic Handle Slabs
- Buying Guide: What To Consider When Selecting A Tactical Fixed Blade Knife
- Final Thoughts
The Best Tactical Fixed Blade Knives Are:
|1. Ka-Bar US Army Tactical Knife||Check Current Price|
|2. Cold Steel Leatherneck-SF Tactical Knife||Check Current Price|
|3. Hogue EXF01 Fixed Blade Tactical Knife||Check Current Price|
|4. SOG FK1001-CP Tactical Knife||Check Current Price|
|5. Mossy Oak Fixed Blade Tactical Knife||Check Current Price|
|6. Gerber Bear Grylls Ultimate Pro Tactical Knife||Check Current Price|
|7. Schrade SCHF36 Frontier Tactical Knife||Check Current Price|
|8. CRKT SIWI Fixed Blade Tactical Knife||Check Current Price|
|9. Schrade SCHF57 Fixed Blade Tactical Knife||Check Current Price|
1. Ka-Bar US Army Tactical Knife — Best Bowie Style
The Ka-Bar US Army is a true tactical fixed blade knife for self-defense and utility. Its design and features are purposely meant for tactical situations.
- Overall length of 11.88 inches
- Blade length of 7 inches
- Blade thickness of 0.165 inches
- 1095 Cro-Van blade steel
- Leather handle material
The Ka-Bar US Army has a heavy-duty tactical blade crafted from 1095 Cro-Van steel, which has excellent sharpness and can take a beating.
It has a strong Bowie blade style with a versatile clip point for superior control when piercing and ripping, while the large belly allows for powerful chopping and cutting.
The outstanding handle design is made of brown leather that gives the Ka-Bar US Army the classical tactical outdoor look it’s known for. I really appreciate the ambidextrous oval shape of the handle, given the fact that it fits comfortably in either of your hands.
But here is the thing, some models may come with a very cheap leather sheath, which will not last long.
- Full tang design creates balance to improve control
- Bowie style blade is good for piercing, ripping, chopping, and cutting
- Stacked leather handle is highly durable
- Oval handle shape is highly ambidextrous
- Cross guard improves your grip on the knife
- Some models may come with a cheaply made sheath
- Possible to get a poorly finished handle
With its 1095 Cro-Van blade steel, Bowie blade style with a clip point, and heavy-duty leather handle, the Ka-Bar US Army is ready for any tactical situation that comes its way.
Overall Rating – 4.9
2. Cold Steel Leatherneck-SF Tactical Knife — Most Ambidextrous Design
Do you want a tactical edge tool that can fit any of your hands? Look no further than the Cold Steel Leatherneck-SF Tactical Knife.
- Overall length of 11-3/4 inches
- Blade length of 6-3/4 inches
- Blade thickness of 0.19 inches
- German D2 tool steel
- 5-inch long Griv-Ex handle
The first outstanding feature of this model is the German D2 tool steel blade, which is great because this material offers maximum toughness and edge retention.
This model sports a razor-sharp hand-honed clip point blade with a sabre grind, providing you with unmatched strength and cutting power for all your tactical cuts.
I like the five-inch Griv-Ex handle material, which is an incredible fiberglass reinforced plastic that provides a strong non-slip grip.
Another good feature is the non-reflective black powder coating on the blade that not only reduces glare, but also increases corrosion resistance and aesthetic appeal.
Out of the box the blade is covered in excess oil, which can be quite annoying for some people. Also, this model packs a little bit of weight.
- D2 tool steel blade has superior wear and abrasion resistance
- Sabre grind improves strength and durability
- Double quillon guard improves protection in combat situations
- Full tang provides great grip performance for striking
- May be covered in too much oil out of the box
- It is also a little bit heavy
This knife has the classic look and feel of a Bowie blade. It cuts and chops well, and it can easily be wheeled for tactical situations and combat.
Overall Rating – 4.9
3. Hogue EXF01 Fixed Blade Tactical Knife — Most Versatile Blade Profile
The Hogue EXF01 is a precision built high performance practical knife that effortlessly fits the role of a tactical edge tool where durability is important.
- Overall length of 10.5 inches
- Blade length of 5.5 inches
- Blade thickness of 0.25 inches
- A2 tool steel blade
- G-10 composite handle
The Hogue EXF01 Fixed Blade Tactical Knife is available in two sizes (5.5-inch or 7-inch blade), allowing you to match the ideal size to your tactical application.
It comes with a full tang blade crafted from A2 tool steel, which is great because this material has impressive edge retention and wear resistance.
I really like the false edge, instead of keeping it narrow all the way up to the tip, the manufacturer widened it in order to improve the strength of the tip.
Another good feature is the G-Mascus G-10 handle material that is completely 3D machined and it forms to your hand for superior gripping.
But the thing is, the grip may be a little bit narrow for some people.
- Available in two blade sizes for preference
- Abrasion and corrosion resistant cerakote firearms finish
- Matched handle scales color provide low key visual footprint
- Torques tool provides space for storing small items
- Fully sculpted handle offers exceptional ergonomics
- Grip may be a little bit narrow for some people
- Wished it had grooves on the handle for improved grip
The Hogue EXF01 has been designed to easily overcome demanding tasks with reliability and ease of use. But it could perform better with a more superior grip.
Overall Rating – 4.8
4. SOG FK1001-CP Tactical Knife — Best Finger Choil Design
The SOG FK1001-CP Tactical Knife not only has appeal by being a tactical fixed blade, but it is also a very versatile and easy to use edge tool.
- Overall length of 8.5 inches
- Blade length of 4 inches
- 7Cr17MoV blade steel
- Rubber handle material
- Clip point blade shape
The SOG FK1001-CP is forged from heavy-duty 7Cr17MoV blade stainless steel, which comes razor-sharp with remarkable edge retention and rust resistance.
This edge tool retains the same clip point shape as the original Bowie style knife, but it substitutes the cross guard for a large finger choil.
The full tang clip point design and jimping on the spine improve the knife’s strength and versatility for tough chores. Another good feature is the intelligently notched sheath that adds versatility in the field by providing you with means of cutting wires and cords.
What I don’t like about this knife is the blade steel because it isn’t the most incredible choice, even though it is good for tactical applications.
- Full tang construction is perfect for tough tasks
- Grooved rubber handle and finger choil provide unmatched grip
- Notched sheath allows you to cut wires and cords easily
- Great Bowie clip point style is good for tactical cuts
- Could be better with a higher quality blade steel
- Some models may come with a dull straight edge
This uniquely crafted Bowie style knife with a clip point, jimping on the spine, ergonomic handle, and a versatile finger choil is a great field companion for tactical applications.
Overall Rating – 4.6
5. Mossy Oak Fixed Blade Tactical Knife — Best Value Model
The Mossy Oak Fixed Blade Tactical Knife has a heavy-duty 6-inch blade that gives you leverage without unnecessary strain on your fingers when working out a tactical problem.
- Overall length of 11 inches
- Blade length of 6 inches
- Handle length of 5 inches
- Stainless steel blade
- Classic wooden handle
The Mossy Oak has an outstanding full tang stainless steel blade, which is a great construction with its superior strength, rust resistance, and edge retention.
The model has a classic walnut wooden handle that not only gives the knife its traditional charm, but also provides an ergonomic grip for tactical situations. I really like the included pommel in the design that not only helps to properly secure the handle, but also protects your fingers during combat and other tactical situations.
Another amazing feature is the good quality sheath, which is made of protective leather with a strong belt loop for secure and safe carry.
My only complaint goes to the handle design, I wish it had some kind of grooves on the scales to improve the grip in wet conditions.
- Stainless steel blade has great edge retention
- Ergonomic walnut handle is easy to wheel
- Heavy-duty pommel improves finger protection
- High quality protective leather sheath
- Full tang construction is ideal for tough tasks
- Wooden grip could be better with grooves
- May not be the best choice for wet conditions
The classic walnut wood handle, full tang stainless steel blade, and the integrated pommel make this knife a work of art. It certainly qualifies as a tactical blade.
Overall Rating – 4.6
6. Gerber Bear Grylls Ultimate Pro Tactical Knife — Most Versatile Tactical Edge Tool
The Gerber Bear Grylls Ultimate Pro is the ultimate tactical and survival knife. It features a fire steel, integrated pull-through sharpener, a belt loop carry, and a slim pocket clip.
- Overall length of 10 inches
- Blade length of 4.8 inches
- 9Cr19MoV blade steel
- Full tang construction
- TPE overmold handle
The Gerber Bear Grylls Ultimate Pro is crafted out of 9Cr19MoV steel, which is tougher and holds an edge better. This model has a full tang construction, which means the blade runs the full length of the knife from the tip to the butt for strength and durability.
I am particularly impressed with the integrated pommel that not only provides added finger protection, but it is also great for pounding into hard surfaces.
Another exceptional feature is the drop point shape of the blade, which is a great style for tactical, survival, and general purpose utility.
The knife itself is a work of art and a great performer, but I am a bit disappointed with the quality of some of the accessories.
- Highly versatile sheath design with a sharpener
- Tougher and better edge holding blade
- Full tang construction with a pommel is great for pounding
- Drop point blade is good for tactical, survival and utility
- Finger choil for added grip performance
- Some accessories aren’t of the highest quality
- Sharpener may have a missing part
The Gerber Bear Grylls Ultimate Pro is the solution to all your tactical, survival, and self-defense problems. It is one of the all-time best tactical edge tools.
Overall Rating – 4.6
7. Schrade SCHF36 Frontier Tactical Knife — Best Tactical Outdoor Design
The Schrade SCHF36 Frontier is a heavy-duty knife crafted for every tough tactical application. Its full tang construction makes it an ideal choice for combat, self-defense, and survival.
- Overall length of 10.41 inches
- Blade length of 5.05 inches
- Blade thickness of 0.25 inches
- 1095 high carbon steel
- Textured black TPE overlay handle
The Schrade SCHF36 Frontier features a 1095 high carbon steel blade, which is great because this material stays sharper longer compared to other blade steels.
The drop point quarter-inch blade steel provides a tough and durable tip that is capable of piercing and stabbing a wide range of materials. I really appreciate the fine straight edge that comes razor sharp out of the box for slicing and cutting in tactical applications.
The ring texturing on the TPE overlay handle is incredible, providing a sure grip in any weather conditions, while also offering a contouring design that fits your hand.
There is one possible disappointment, though. Some models may come with uneven grind, rendering the blade useless.
- Blade steel is capable of retaining the edge longer
- Quarter-inch drop point blade delivers superior piercing power
- Fine straight edge offers excellent slicing performance
- Ring texturing scales provide a weather-proof grip
- Ergonomic finger choil design improves handling
- Some models may come with uneven grinds
- May be a little bit cumbersome for some users
The quarter-inch drop point blade is perfect for combat and survival, the Ferro rod striker provides a fire, and the ergonomic handle gives you full control of the knife. The perfect tactical and survival tool features.
Overall Rating – 4.6
8. CRKT SIWI Fixed Blade Tactical Knife — Best Compact Fixed Blade
The CRKT SIWI is a compact, sleek, and versatile fixed blade knife. Its unique design features will meet your everyday tactical applications.
- Overall length of 7.4 inches
- Blade length of 3.3 inches
- Blade thickness of 0.20 inches
- SK5 carbon steel blade
- G-10 handle material
This tactical knife is forged from a tough SK5 carbon steel blade, which contains excess carbide composition for superior edge holding capability and unmatched abrasion resistance.
The blade sports a stout modified drop point shape with a flat grind, giving it the ability to take on any tactical and survival cutting tasks with ease.
I really appreciate the fact that it is covered with a powder-coated finish that provides a protective layer for superior abrasion and corrosion resistance.
But the thing is, the G-10 handle that comes with the knife isn’t of the best quality. Also, it may be a little bit small for those who desire big tactical blades.
- SK5 steel holds the edge pretty well
- Powder coating improves abrasion and corrosion resistance
- Modified drop point is exceptional for piercing
- Has an ergonomic finger choil for a stronger grip
- Lanyard hole for added versatility
- Blade may be a little bit shorter for some users
- Could be better with the highest quality G-10 handle
The CRKT SIWI is compact, practical, and easy to wheel, making it perfect for tactical and survival use.
Overall Rating – 4.4
9. Schrade SCHF57 Fixed Blade Tactical Knife — Most Ergonomic Handle Slabs
The first thing that will grab your attention when you hold this knife in your hand is the stout feel and the handsome non-reflective finish that gives the blade a vintage look with a modern tactical flare.
- Overall length of 6.3 inches
- Blade length of 2.6 inches
- 65MN high carbon steel blade
- G-10 handle slabs
The SCHF57 from Schrade comes with a heavy-duty blade that is crafted from 65MN high carbon steel, which has special edge holding capability.
The expertly and ergonomically built handle features G-10 slabs that don’t expand, shrink, or rust, and they provide a strong grip for superior control.
I really appreciate the drop point shape of the blade, which does not only pierce with precision, but it is also easily controllable in tactical applications.
Another good feature is the thermoplastic belt sheath that is compatible with the FR4 removable Ferro rod attachment for added versatility.
What seems like an inadequacy for me is the lack of a finger choil, which could help strengthen the grip.
- Superior edge holding blade steel
- G-10 slabs provide a strong and consistent grip
- Drop point blade is easily controllable in tactical scenarios
- Ferro rod attachment on the sheath adds versatility
- Jimping on the spine offer a tactical grip beyond the bolster
- Doesn’t feature a finger choil
- Handle design could be better with more finger grooves
The Schrade SCHF57 has a tough build, low profile, and practical features that are much needed in tactical applications.
Overall Rating – 4.4
Buying Guide: What To Consider When Selecting A Tactical Fixed Blade Knife
Do you want to be prepared for tactical situations? Well, just about everyone knows that having a heavy-duty tactical knife is one of the most important things to consider.
But! What makes the best tactical fixed blade knife? How do you make sure you aren’t stuck with a blunt blade that won’t do you any good when you need it the most?
No need to worry because the following factors will help you select the best model.
Look For A Rugged Design
A tactical fixed blade must be a rugged utility edge tool that you can use for chopping, cutting, paring, and even breaking things (glass breaker) with its pommel. In other words, the blade has to be tough enough to handle the most difficult cutting jobs.
So, for an edge tool this tough, you will need a blade that has a full tang design. A full tang simply means that the blade steel runs the full length of the knife.
This universal style is the strongest. The feel, shape, and size all coordinate in a tool of great versatility. It is free of any moving parts that are usually easy to break.
Choose A Purpose Built Blade
One of the most important features when choosing a tactical fixed blade knife is the size of the blade. On a small scale, a fixed blade with a 4 to 5 inch blade is going to be convenient for everyday carry. This size range is easy to conceal and great for fine detail work.
Fixed blades between 5 and 7 inches are capable of tackling a wide range of hard-hitting tactical, utility, everyday carry, hunting, camping, bushcraft, and survival cutting chores. They also excel at finer and more detailed work.
A tactical knife’s cutting strength and versatility depend mostly on the blade steel. The best fixed blade tactical knife should have one of the following materials: carbon / tool steel or high carbon stainless steel. Both have their trade-offs.
Many bushcrafters and survivalists prefer carbon steel, such as the 1095 tool steel for its durability and because it can take and hold a keen edge in the field. The main disadvantage to carbon steel is that it can rust or stain easily if it’s not coated properly.
Although, high carbon stainless steel can and will stain if exposed to humid conditions for an extended period. It resists rusting and corrosion much better than carbon steel, due to the chromium that is added to the steel.
The 1095 tool steel and stainless steel are just a few examples of the best blade steel for a tactical fixed blade knife. In general, you have to choose a tactical knife that is able to survive the most brutal cutting jobs.
Tactical Knife Profile
A good tactical knife must have a tough profile or tip. The most popular tactical blade shapes/profiles you can consider are:
Blade steel that drops from the spine to meet the edge and form the tip is considered a drop point blade. The tip is capable of different tough tactical and utility tasks without breaking.
The blade of a spear point profile is symmetrical. This kind of blade can be single or double edged. But the best profile for thrusting is a double edged design.
This is a blade with a long main edge and a short secondary edge. The most important part of this profile is the heavy-duty tip, which is specifically crafted for puncturing and superior penetration.
The tip end of the spine has been clipped away to reduce weight in order to produce a finer point. This allows you to use the knife for slicing and a well-directed penetrating thrust.
In a tactical situation, you may need to handle your fixed blade knife for hours at a time. So, the best fixed blade tactical knife you choose should have a handle that fits comfortably in your hand and helps you maintain a sure grip in all weather conditions.
The handle should be made from a material that doesn’t absorb moisture and that resists warping and shrinking. The tactical fixed blade knife I have is made from close-grained hardwood. High quality plastic is good, but may be slippery when wet.
One of the materials that is not easily affected by extreme weather conditions is wood. There are many different types of close grained wood used for knife handles. The most remarkable aspect of wooden handles is comfort.
They offer a strong grip that is slip resistant. They are usually ergonomic and allow for precision cutting experience. The durability of wooden handles is unmatched as long as you take good care of them.
Knife handles made of this material are lightweight, smooth, and premium. This material has greater strength to weight ratio. They are also very versatile and hold good resistance to temperature, expansion, rusting, and corrosion.
Micarta and G-10
Micarta and G-10 are made of laminate materials, including cloth, fiberglass, and laminated paper among others. Intricate designs contain raw materials that are layered in patterns. G-10 offers an aggressive grip, while Micarta offers a softer grip.
TPE (Thermoplastic Elastomer)
This is a composite of materials that contain elastic and thermoplastic properties. The sticky properties of this material, along with the ribbing in the handle, make the handle easy to grip in humid conditions.
Ergonomic Knife Choil
The unsharpened, short section that separates the cutting edge of a fixed blade knife from the handle is called a choil. It is usually slightly curved to accommodate your finger grip. The purpose of the choil is to strengthen the knife in this section, which is potentially the weakest.
A sizable blade choil allows you a superior grip on the blade for increased leverage and control you need for finer work. But make sure you always wear leather or cut-resistant gloves, and exercise extreme care when handling a blade with your finger in the choil.
The overall winner of this tactical fixed blade knife comparison is the Ka-Bar US Army Tactical Knife. This is a unique Bowie style knife for the modern user.
A number of things make it stand out compared to the other models in the list, including its rugged 1095 Cro-Van steel blade that can take a serious beating.
The 7-inch blade and 0.165-inch blade thickness are perfect for tackling a wide range of tough tactical, utility, EDC, survival, bushcraft, and other outdoor cutting tasks.
The drop point blade with a flat grind is exactly what tactical situations need for extreme sharpness, piercing, slicing, and cutting.