The Best Tactical Folding Knife — The Guide You Never Knew You Needed

Last Updated: by Aiden Williams

Here’s one conclusion we have reached (and you probably have too). Many “tactical” knives these days are nothing but fancy pieces of steel that would leave you crying at night after purchasing one. In fact, it seems like most manufacturers are carelessly tossing the word “tactical” around like an old football.

If you’re reading this, you’ve probably bought a terrible excuse for a tactical knife before and you’re trying to avoid making the same mistake again. Or you’re just trying to find the best tactical folding knife for your collection.

If you fall into any of these two categories, we are here to help. We have reviewed some of the best tactical folding knives money can buy. Trust us, by the end of this article, you would have found the tactical knife of your dreams.

Pro Tip: Before you purchase a tactical folding knife, we recommend that you know the local laws concerning knives. Some states have restrictions on knife carrying and you certainly don’t want to be caught breaking the law.

We all love a combat folding knife that is durable, easy to deploy, and gets the job done. Well, the Kershaw Blur Glassbreaker is all that and more! With an efficient blade and a solid grip, this tactical knife is all you would ever need. Little wonder it is our favorite on the list!

The Best Tactical Folding Knives Are:

ProductDetails
1. Kershaw Blur Glassbreaker Speedsafe Opening Folding Knife

  • One-handed flipper for easy deployment
  • Trac-Tec inserts for a firmer, solid grip
  • Convenient pocket clip
  • Partially serrated drop point blade
Check Current Price
2. BlizTec Tactical 5-in-1 Survival Pocket Knife

  • Multipurpose blade
  • 4.75" ergonomic handle crafted from anodized aluminum
  • Seatbelt cutter
  • Glass breaker
  • LED light
  • Stainless steel pocket clip
Check Current Price
3. SOG Escape FF25-CP Tactical Survival Pocket Knife

  • 3.4" hard-cased black blade crafted from 9Cr18MoV stainless steel
  • 4 tools in one
  • Limited Lifetime Warranty
Check Current Price
4. Benchmade Mini Griptilian 556 Knife

  • Crafted from American made 154CM stainless steel
  • Ambidextrous Grivory handle
  • Axis locking mechanism for safe use
Check Current Price
5. Benchmade Contego 810 Tanto Tactical Folding Knife

  • Ambidextrous AXIS lock
  • CPM-M4 stainless steel blade
  • Comes with a Carbide glass breaker
Check Current Price
6. Kershaw Brawler (1990) SpeedSafe Assisted Deploying Knife

  • 3" tanto style blade crafted from 8Cr13MoV steel and finished with black oxide coating
  • SpeedSafe Assisted Opening with thumb studs and a secure liner lock
  • 4-position pocket clip
Check Current Price
7. CRKT Homefront Tactical Folding Knife with Field Strip

  • Award-winning field strip technology
  • Tip-up fixed pocket clip
  • 3.50" blade razor-sharp blade
Check Current Price
8. Kershaw Clash SpeedSafe Assisted Tactical Knife

  • 3.1" blade crafted from hardened 8Cr13MoV steel
  • Glass-filled nylon handle
  • SpeedSafe Assisted deploy system
Check Current Price
9. Benchmade Bedlam 860 Knife

  • Rust-resistant stainless steel blade
  • Axis lock design
  • Reversible pocket clip
Check Current Price

 

1. Kershaw Blur Glassbreaker Speedsafe Opening Folding Knife — Our Top Choice

Kershaw Blur, Glassbreaker Folding Knife (1670BGBBLKST); Partially Serrated 3.4” 14C28N Steel Blade, Anodized Aluminum Handle with Trac-Tec Grip, Glassbreaker Tip, SpeedSafe Opening, Pocketclip;4 OZ.

When it comes to quality knives, Kershaw has never disappointed and the Glassbreaker proves this theory right. There is no limit to what you can do with this amazing folding knife. After trying out this knife, we were so impressed that it just had to occupy the number one spot on our list of astounding tactical knives.

The Kershaw Blur Glassbreaker is the knife you want to take along with you on a hunting, hiking or camping trip. It comes with a 3.4″ partially serrated drop point blade that can cut through the toughest fibrous materials with ease.

This razor-sharp blade is also coated with durable Diamond-Like Carbon to prevent corrosion and rust. This way, if you forget to clean your knife after use, you still wouldn’t have to worry about the blade getting corroded.

There are so many features we love on this blade but we will just try to focus on the top ones. For starters, the blade is crafted from 14C8N steel, providing it with all the durability you’d ever need. You can be sure that this knife would stick around for a very long time.

But that’s not even the best part yet. The Glassbreaker’s handle is created with 6061-T6 anodized aluminum, making it durable and giving it a solid grip. This superb knife comes with Speedsafe Assisted Opening, making it easy to deploy with one hand.

You would love that this knife also comes with a Limited Lifetime Warranty to cover any manufacturing defects. However, if you do break this tactical knife’s blade by accident, Kershaw will replace it for only $10. Way cheaper than ordering a new one.

Specs

  • One-handed flipper for easy deployment
  • Trac-Tec inserts for a firmer, solid grip
  • Convenient pocket clip
  • Partially serrated drop point blade

Pros

  • It offers a secure grip
  • Surprisingly lightweight
  • Very versatile

Cons

  • The clip design could be so much better

Conclusion

If you’re looking for a versatile tactical folding knife that you can carry along for your camping or hiking trips, you have a winner right here. We aren’t so impressed by the clip design but that is a forgivable flaw.

Overall Rating – 4.8/5

CHECK CURRENT PRICE

2. BlizTec Tactical 5-in-1 Survival Pocket Knife — Best Under $50

BlizeTec Survival Knife: Best 5-in-1 Tactical Pocket Folding Knife with LED Light, Seatbelt Cutter, Glass Breaker & Magnesium Fire Starter

Not everyone is into high-end tactical knives. Some of us just want a simple knife that won’t drain our pockets and that is completely valid. If you’re an adventurous knife enthusiast looking for a multifunctional knife under $50, you will definitely love this knife.

The BlizTec 5-in-1 survival pocket knife is nothing short of a lifesaver. It has five major features and trust us, we love all five of them. They include:

For starters, it features a 3.5″ multipurpose drop point blade that is crafted from 420 class stainless steel. This partially serrated blade is finished with black oxide coating, giving it a rust-resistant and durable quality.

It also features a seatbelt cutter located on the opposite end of the main blade. This seatbelt cutter will surely come in handy if you ever get trapped by the seatbelt of your car. It comes with an exceptional serrated edge that cuts easily through the tough straps of any seatbelt.

And just in case you ever find yourself in an ugly emergency situation and a window is your only escape route, the BlizTec 5-in-1 survival knife can be your superhero. It comes with a glass breaker that can get you out of sticky situations.

We love the fact that this knife is backed by a lifetime warranty, making it a completely risk-free option.

Specs

  • Multipurpose blade
  • 75″ ergonomic handle crafted from anodized aluminum
  • Seatbelt cutter
  • Glass breaker
  • LED light
  • Stainless steel pocket clip
  • Magnesium fire starter

Pros

  • It is lightweight and multifunctional
  • Razor-sharp serrated main blade
  • It is pretty handy in emergency situations

Cons

  • The magnesium fire starter may take some time to create a spark
  • The knife is a little too small

Conclusion

The Bliz-Tec 5-in-1 survival knife is the companion you need for just about any emergency situation. It has so many lovable functions that we’re sure you will find intriguing. The knife may seem a little too small but its size makes it easy to fit into your pocket.

Overall Rating – 4.5/5

CHECK CURRENT PRICE

3. SOG Escape FF25-CP Tactical Survival Pocket Knife

SOG Tactical Folding Knife - Escape Pocket Knife, Emergency Knife and Survival Knife w/ 3.4 Inch Serrated Edge Knife Blade and Glass Breaker (FF25-CP)

If you are familiar with the SOG brand, then you can tell that this is going to be good. SOG is known for producing high-quality knives with unique and impressive designs and this is one of their masterpieces.

The SOG Escape FF25-CP is a knife that would take your breath away with its versatility and performance. We were impressed by how the SOG brand managed to combine compactness, versatility and incredible performance all in one package.

This tactical knife features a 0.13-inch thick blade crafted from 9Cr18MoV stainless steel. The partially serrated blade also has a Hardcase black finish which makes it resistant to the wear and tear you would normally find on most old knives.

Apart from its razor-sharp, durable blade, one feature of the Escape FF25-CP that caught our attention was the handle. The handle comes with an astounding ergonomic design, created with anodized aluminum and a black finish. It is crafted in such a way that you would feel no ounce of discomfort when wielding this knife.

This survival knife’s handle features a line cutter, wire stripper and an emergency glass breaker.

You would love that the Escape FF25-CP features a Lockback mechanism, ensuring your safety when the knife is in use.

Specs

  • 4″ hard-cased black blade crafted from 9Cr18MoV stainless steel
  • 4 tools in one
  • Limited Lifetime Warranty

Pros

  • Durable stainless steel blade
  • Comes with Limited Lifetime Warranty to cover any manufacturing defects
  • Safe to use

Cons

  • Can be tough to open

Conclusion

The SOG Escape FF2S-CP is your go-to knife when you need multiple tools handy. It gives you multiple tools for the stress of one. This way, you can have all you need in just one knife.

Overall Rating – 4.5/5

CHECK CURRENT PRICE

4. Benchmade Mini Griptilian 556 Knife

Benchmade - Mini Griptilian 556 EDC Manual Open Folding Knife Made in USA with CPM-S30V Steel, Drop-Point Blade, Plain Edge, Coated Finish, Black Handle

The Mini Griptilian 556 is everything you need in a tactical knife and more. If you’re after a survival knife that is high-performing yet inconspicuous, this mini knife should be your first choice.

It is lightweight enough to carry comfortably, friendly enough not to raise eyebrows when used in public, and still big enough to get the job done.

This knife comes with a 2.91″ drop point blade that features a hollow grind. The blade is crafted from 154cm Steel. Now, this isn’t the best steel out there but it is in no way, a low-grade steel.

When it comes to cutting tasks, the Mini Griptilian isn’t too shy to perform. It doesn’t matter if you are working on a construction project or trying to break open a box. This knife will definitely not leave you stranded.

We really like the ergonomics on this small but amazing knife. Featuring a cool thumb ramp and a great diamond pattern on the handle scales, there is no doubt you’d feel comfortable using this knife. It comes with a pocket clip that offers good retention buries deep into your pocket.

On the downside, it’s a little expensive so if you’re working with a tight budget, you should go for other cheaper options.

Specs

  • Crafted from American made 154CM stainless steel
  • Ambidextrous Grivory handle
  • Axis locking mechanism for safe use

Pros

  • It has a pretty great design
  • Highly efficient

Cons

  • It is on the expensive side

Conclusion

The Mini Griptilian knife is an outstanding choice especially if you need an ultra-lightweight yet sturdy knife for your daily tasks. It is quite expensive, but trust us, you will get great value for your money.

Overall Rating – 4.5/5

CHECK CURRENT PRICE

5. Benchmade Contego 810 Tanto Tactical Folding Knife

Benchmade - Contego 810 Knife, Reverse Tanto Blade, Serrated Edge, Coated Finish, Black Handle

Let’s say you want a combat folding knife that you can abuse without it wilting like a malnourished flower. We have the perfect knife for you! The Contego 810 Tanto Tactical folding knife is one knife that can stand whatever harsh tests you throw at it.

It is one knife you would be proud to own. Now, this knife was crafted for outdoor use but you can as well use it to handle a few indoor tasks.

The first thing that struck us about the Contego 810 was its reverse Tanto blade style. Thanks to this style, you get a lot of options on how to use this knife.

The 3.98″ blade is crafted from CPM-M4 steel, making it super durable and resistant to rust. With a partially serrated design, this knife can cut through anything, from ropes to hard plastic. Its reverse Tanto style also makes penetration easier and smoother.

One thing we love about this combat knife is that its handle is crafted from stainless steel liners intertwined into textured G-10 scales. This makes it lightweight and moisture repellent. The ergonomics are quite exceptional and with this knife, you don’t have to worry about your blade slipping out of your hands when in use.

Did we forget to mention that the Contego 810 comes with a carbide glass-breaker at the pommel? Our bad. This knife certainly has what you need and we are pretty sure you would love it the minute you set your eyes on it.

Specs

  • Ambidextrous AXIS lock
  • CPM-M4 stainless steel blade
  • Comes with a Carbide glass breaker

Pros

  • This combat knife is pretty tough and durable
  • Has a secure locking system
  • Comes with Limited Lifetime Warranty

Cons

  • The coating may wear off after a while

Conclusion

The Contego 810 is one combat knife that is ready whenever you are. Not only does it feature an exceptionally sharp blade, but its lock system is also something you just can’t ignore.

Overall Rating – 4.5/5

CHECK CURRENT PRICE

6. Kershaw Brawler (1990) SpeedSafe Assisted Deploying Knife

Kershaw Brawler Folding Pocket Knife (1990) with 3” Black-Oxide Finished High-Performance 8Cr13MoV Steel Blade; Black Glass-Filled Nylon Handle Scales with Reversible 4-Position Pocketclip; 3.9 oz

The Kershaw Brawler (1990) is just the tool you need to cut through tough surfaces and materials. Its modified tanto point blade is perfect for carrying out any physically demanding task including hunting and skinning.

This 3-inch blade is crafted from high-grade 8Cr13MoV stainless steel and is finished with black oxide coating. The coating not only makes it resistant to corrosion but lends it an inconspicuous stealthy quality as well.

The handle of the Brawler (1990) is crafted from durable and lightweight glass-filled nylon and provides you with a grip so solid, you’d never want to let go of this knife.

What we absolutely love about this knife is its SpeedSafe Assisted Opening. This feature lets you open the knife as casually as you would open a bottle of water. Perhaps, even more easily.

The essence of the assisted opening is to help users open the knife easily with one hand and we love that. Now, there are tons of other tactical knives out there with SpeedSafe Assisted opening but you will definitely feel the difference with this knife.

Here’s a bonus: it also comes with a limited lifetime warranty so in the event that you purchase a defective knife, you can always return it and get a perfect one.

Specs

  • 3″ tanto style blade crafted from 8Cr13MoV steel and finished with black oxide coating
  • SpeedSafe Assisted Opening with thumb studs and a secure liner lock
  • 4-position pocket clip

Pros

  • Very efficient steel blade
  • Comes with fast, easy deployment
  • Features a safe and secure locking system
  • Has an attractive blade coating if you’re into aesthetics

Cons

  • The black coating may wear off over time

Conclusion

The Kershaw Brawler is a sturdy and efficient blade. Even better, you don’t have to spend a truckload of money on this knife. It is affordable and will be a great gift idea for people who want a sturdy knife for the job site.

Overall Rating – 4.3/5

CHECK CURRENT PRICE

7. CRKT Homefront Tactical Folding Knife with Field Strip

CRKT Homefront Tactical Folding Pocket Knife Take Apart Field Strip, Serrated Edge Black Blade, Flipper Open, Liner Lock, Nylon Handle, Deep Carry Pocket Clip K260KKS

The CRKT Homefront tactical folding knife is the ideal choice for people who want a razor-sharp, action-ready knife handy at all times. It comes with a corrosion-resistant blade crafted from 1.4116 stainless steel.

Now, this steel is impressive because it is super easy to sharpen. This makes it easier for you to keep your blade razor-sharp at all times.

If there is one thing we love about this knife, it is its handle. The handle is crafted from black Glass-reinforced nylon. For a solid grip, it is textured with subtle grip patterns.

But that’s not even the best part yet. This knife is crafted with field strip technology, making it easy to dismantle and clean without having to use any tools.

Specs

  • Award-winning field strip technology
  • Tip-up fixed pocket clip
  • 50″ blade razor-sharp blade

Pros

  • It is easy to dismantle and clean
  • Easy to sharpen and maintains sharpness
  • Sufficient grip

Cons

  • The flipper feels weak

Conclusion

The CRKT Homefront tactical folding knife is one of the cool kids on the block. If you aren’t impressed by its sturdiness and high performance, then the field strip technology will definitely wow you.

Overall Rating – 4.4/5

CHECK CURRENT PRICE

8. Kershaw Clash SpeedSafe Assisted Tactical Knife

Kershaw Clash Folding Knife (1605) with SpeedSafe Assisted Opening, Stainless Steel with Reversible Pocketclip and Glass Filled Nylon Handle, 4.3 oz, 3.1 Inch Blade, 7.4 Inch Overall Length

Just when we thought Kershaw was done, they hit us with yet another astounding knife that we just had to put on our roundup. The Kershaw Clah is a high-quality knife that features a 3.1″ blade crafted from hardened 8Cr13MoV stainless steel. The blade is coated with black oxide coating to resist corrosion and rust. But there is more to this blade.

We love that the core of the blade is heat-treated in order to boost edge retention and razor sharpness. Thanks to this efficient blade, the Kershaw Clash can chew through hard objects and fibrous materials.

It is also equipped with SpeedSafe assisted deploy system, making it easy to open the knife with one hand and chug a beer with the other.

Specs

  • 1″ blade crafted from hardened 8Cr13MoV steel
  • Glass-filled nylon handle
  • SpeedSafe Assisted deploy system

Pros

  • Super easy to deploy and use
  • Retains edge for a long time
  • Comfortable to wield

Cons

  • The blade isn’t as durable as other options

Conclusion

The Kershaw Clash is the knife you want to have with you anywhere you go. With a sturdy yet lightweight build, this tactical knife will come in handy when you least expect it.

Overall Rating – 4.3/5

CHECK CURRENT PRICE

9. Benchmade Bedlam 860 Knife

Benchmade - Bedlam 860, Serrated Scimitar, Coated Finish

When it comes to high-quality construction, the Bedlam 860 reigns supreme. With a 154CM stainless steel blade, this knife stands tough even when applied to difficult tasks. One thing we love about this knife is that it can be used under a wide range of temperatures without experiencing any adverse effects.

We also love that the blade on this knife is curved, making it one of the best options when it comes to defense.

The Bedlam 860 also comes with an Axis lock design that helps to hold the knife in a closed position. This way, you would not have to worry about your safety when using this knife.

Specs

  • Rust-resistant stainless steel blade
  • Axis lock design
  • Reversible pocket clip

Pros

  • Great for defense and survival
  • Easy to deploy and use
  • Solid grip

Cons

  • It is expensive

Conclusion

The Bedlam 860 is an excellent option if you’re looking for a tactical knife that can perform well in any kind of situation or temperature. With its curved blade, it makes for a great defense tool which is why it is all too common in the military. However, it is a little expensive.

Overall Rating – 4.3/5

CHECK CURRENT PRICE

How To Choose A Tactical Folding Knife — A Buying Guide

What do you look out for in a tactical folding knife? For many people, all they need is an easy-to-use knife that will offer them security and high performance.

If you want a multifunctional defense knife that you can carry with you anywhere you go, then you have to choose the best of the best tactical pocket knives.

What Makes A Tactical Folding Knife Great?

The best of the best tactical folding knives have unique features that make them a worthy addition to your knife collection.

Some of the key features of a great tactical knife are:

  • Lightweight and easy to carry
  • A secure one-hand opening system
  • A secure locking mechanism
  • High-grade blade metal with a sharp edge
  • An excellent pocket clip (usually reversible)
  • Handle crafted from material like G-10 or metal
  • A life-saving feature such as a glass breaker, seatbelt cutter and so on

Not all tactical folding knives will have all of the features listed above but a good one should have most of these features.

Things To Consider Before Choosing A Tactical Folding Knife

The Blade

What do you want in a blade? Before you decide on a tactical knife, you need to consider several aspects of the blade and decide if it is what you want. Some of the features you should look out for in a blade include:

Steel

Usually, most blades are crafted from stainless steel or high carbon steel. However, when looking at the core material of the blade, look out for one with a specific alloy name like 8Cr13MoV or AUS-8.

You also want to choose a blade from a reputable manufacturer like the AUS-8 or the 154CM. These blades are usually sharper and more durable than other options.

Length

Blade length typically varies from about two inches to over eight and a half inches. To choose the right length, you will need to check your local laws on blades to ensure that you don’t go for an illegal length.

You should also consider what you need the knife for so that you don’t end up getting a blade that is too small or too large.

Edge

The blade edge is a really important factor that you need to consider before picking out a knife. Blade edges are usually plain, serrated, or a combination of both. Plain edge blades are usually used for push cuts and are easy to sharpen.

They may not be able to handle tough cuts but they can be quite efficient. Serrated edge blades can cut through tough materials as they have extra strength.

However, they are difficult to sharpen. Combination blades are both plain and serrated and give you the best performance. They aren’t as awkward as serrated edge blades but you may have a hard time sharpening them.

The Handle

When choosing a tactical folding knife, you want to choose one with the perfect handle. Look out for the handle length, its grip, and its design. If you have large hands, you should go for a longer handle to ensure a better grip.

The handle’s grip has to be super comfortable. This way, you can wield your knife efficiently like a pro. You don’t want a handle that makes you feel as clumsy as a henchman in stilettos.

The Safety Features

We know knives are dangerous tools. This is why you need a knife that is both safe and secure. Before selecting a tactical folding knife, make sure that it has the right locking mechanism. This way, it doesn’t accidentally come open or hurt you.

Final Thoughts

When it comes to choosing a tactical folding knife, you certainly don’t want to rush. If this is your first time buying a tactical knife, you want to avoid buying one that would make you swear off knives for the rest of your life.

Hopefully, this buying guide will help you make the right choice. Think of it as your best friend holding your hand as you shop for a tactical knife.

We highly recommend the Kershaw Blur Glassbreaker but if this tactical knife doesn’t make your heart leap for joy, you can try out other options.

Leave a Reply