Tactical knives are great for combat or emergency conditions. Unlike EDC (everyday carry) knives, they are designed for toughness and quick deployment in tactical situations. Whether you are adding a new knife to your collection, or replacing an old one, here are five of the best tactical knives money can buy.
1. Emerson Knives
Emerson was founded by Ernest Emerson, who began designing custom knives in his garage in 1979. The Emerson brand quickly rose to prominence as an expert knife maker, thanks to its perfect blend of craftsmanship and an eye for practical design.
The Emerson CQC-7 is the iconic tactical knife that has arguably changed the knife industry. Many other knife brands have tried to mimic this model, but they have yet to surpass the original classic.
Durable yet stylish, this tactical and utility knife is a knife for every task it encounters. Whatever your needs may be, the CQC-7 is highly reliable as a tactical folding knife, a survival knife, or an all-rounder blade.
2. Microtech Knives
Microtech Knives use only American-made manufacturing, materials and labor. Every part is developed in the United States with over 95 percent of all components constructed in-house. Every Microtech knife also comes with a lifetime warranty.
To most knife collectors, the Microtech Ultratech is the de-facto OTF (out-the-front) knife. As the flagship model, Microtech offers a staggering variety of Ultratechs, with a wide selection of colors and patterns.
This blade has been updated continuously over the years, and its popularity is proof that Microtech knows how to build OTFs right.
3. Benchmade Knives
Since first opening its doors more than 20 years ago, Benchmade has grown into a company that readily offers more contemporary knife designs and innovations to their fans.
Another OTF flagship in production for over 10 years, this blade features a switch that pushes the blade out of its handle and pulls it back. The Infidel also comes in a smaller and lighter mini design.
4. Spyderco Knives
In 1981, Spyderco made history by introducing the first Spyderco folding knife, pioneering the concept of a round hole on the blade for one-handed opening, a utility clip for fastening at the top of the pocket and a serrated knife edge for an aggressive cut.
Today, these features have since revolutionized the knife industry and defined the form of the modern tactical folding knife.
The big brother to the popular Spyderco PM2, this tactical knife is nearly 10 inches long, but it only weighs 4.5 ounces. It boasts the same winning features as the PM2, without compromising the utility. The Military is a reliable slicing and cutting tool for any tactical purpose.
5. Marfione Custom Knives
Marfione Custom Knives was created by Microtech founder Tony Marfione to sell highly customized Microtech knives. Marfione Custom Knives not only offer the signature build quality of Microtech, but they are limited in quantities.
Today, Marfione knives are highly prized collectibles by knife enthusiasts everywhere, who have the discerning taste to appreciate the workmanship and unique features that go into every knife.
Marfione first introduced this UDT (Underwater Demolition Team) knife over 20 years ago. The L version (or LUDT) is the larger version of Marfione’s UDT automatic knives. Perfect for tactical use, the LUDT features a mirror polished compound steel blade alongside DLC satin flats and a notched thumb rest.
A purple Muonionalusta meteorite inlaid push button adorns the handle, giving the knife its purple haze accents. The knife handle has a black stainless-steel frame with purple-anodized titanium hardware and black tip-up stainless-steel clip.
Things to Keep in Mind When Purchasing
If you are buying your first tactical knife, there are some things to consider before you buy.
Stick to your budget.
Like buying any tool, choosing your knife is all about balance. While setting a small budget may make you lose out on some high-quality knives, you do get a higher sense of enjoyment when you find a gem you can afford.
Remember, one man’s ceiling is another man’s floor. Everyone has a different opinion on value, so set a price point you are comfortable paying.
Know your state’s knife laws.
All 50 states have their respective knife laws. Because of the differences between inter-state and federal laws, knife laws are a tricky subject.
It is crucial to know how your local court interprets the knife laws. A little effort before you buy your knife can save you money and time and can even help you avoid potential fines and a conviction.
Learn to clean and maintain your knife.
Your knife won’t stay good as new forever. Invest in a set of quality maintenance tools, such as a whetstone, honing steel and a strop. Learn how to keep the blade sharp and clean regularly, and you’ll continue to get years of reliable service from your knife.