The Best Knife for Self Defense

Survivor HK 738Despite the simplicity of their construction, knives are serious weapons. A knife is normally considered as a weapon of last resort for self defense that can save a life when no other means are available. Knife fights are not exempt from brutality, profuse bleeding and other terrible things, so anyone choosing a knife as a self defense item has to be mentally prepared for it.

A person should not carry a knife for self defense if they are not prepared to use it on someone else. It’s better to be unarmed than to carry a weapon which a person is unfamiliar with in hopes of getting lucky. In some situations, just showing the knife and threatening to fight back is enough to deter a criminal, but the wielder of the knife must always be prepared to use the weapon.

People who carry and use a knife should also realize that, despite the justification of their actions, police are likely to frown upon the use. Certain knives are illegal to carry in specific states or regions. Anyone interested in carrying one should check local knife laws to avoid troubles.

The selection of knife for self defense is not an easy. There’s no perfect knife that fits everybody’s needs. It’s a matter of personal choice. There are several criteria to consider before choosing a knife for self defense:

  1. The type of knife should match one’s defense tactics: if stabbing, get a knife with a long, thin blade which has a high penetration ability; for cutting, look for a double-edged knife with bent edges, kerambit, or other similar type.
  2. What is the overall length and weight?
  3. How does the grip feel in the hand?
  4. Is the knife convenient for everyday wear and concealing?
  5. Self defense knives should not be expensive – it could be lost or taken away

Types of knives

Fixed blade knives are more reliable and efficient for self defense, but carrying one in some states is illegal, depending on the size.

Folding knives are not as reliable and efficient, but most thumb-opening folding knives are not only legal almost everywhere and easily explainable as a tool, but provide both slashing and stabbing capabilities.

Butterfly knives belong to the folding class of knives. Butterfly knives open by a flipping motion of the wrist. When it is closed, its rotary expanding two part handle totally covers the blade. Butterfly knives are very popular with martial art practitioners and are ideally suitable for a concealed carry, but are illegal in many states.

One of the most challenging types of modern self defense knives is the kerambit. This unusual blade looks like the claw of a tiger. A kerambit knife is a very efficient self defense tool. Because of the knife’s unusual shape of its blade and the design of its grip, it is able to make deadly cuts and provides the effective transfer of mechanical energy from the user’s body to the knife blade.

Plastic and ceramic cutlery deserves noting due to an attractive feature – they can’t be recognized by metal detectors. But despite manufacturers’ guarantees, non-metal blades are not as reliable as traditional steel blades.


When choosing a knife for self-defense, consider the practicality of the weapon. Longer fixed blades are better for self-defense. They allow a person to draw the weapon faster and be further away from an attacker. However, it is not practical to carry around a long knife. A small folding knife is much more portable, but far less effective for self-defense. It needs to be found and opened before being used. A double-edge knife can cut the attacker when swung both ways, but can also cut the swinger.

Different areas have different laws regarding carrying a knife for self-defense. Some places limit the size of the blade or the type of knife. Butterfly knives and switchblades are illegal in most areas. Some areas have specific rules about concealing a knife or having access to one while inside a vehicle.

Best Knives for Self Defense

It is not easy for a person to find a good knife for self defense. The most important thing is that the knife is handy so that the knife holder cannot be hurt easily.

  1. Survivor HK-738BK Fixed Blade Knife 9-Inch Overall – The HK-738BK 9 is a fixed blade knife that is perfect for all outdoor treks. With a black blade and a cord wrapped hilt, the reliability of the HK-738BK is assured.
  2. TA-TP2BK Tactical Pen by Tom Anderson – This tactical pen looks like an ordinary pen, but it can be used as to break glass. The tactical pen is 5.25 inches overall and is made of aluminum. The cap screws off and on and the ballpoint pen cartridges are replaceable.
  3. Mt-588Bk neck knife by Mtech USA – A useful knife, the fixed MT-588BK is a small yet efficient tool for several purposes. It measures 4.25 inches overall with a black finished stainless steel blade. It has a black grenade style hilt and comes with a pocket clip.