A Review of the Six Best Tactical Knives

When looking for a tactical knife, there are so many different things to consider: brand, serrated edge vs. straight edge, folding knife vs. fixed knife, and size of the blade. Each of these characteristics change up what the knife is ideal for. Today I’ve compiled a list of the best tactical knives that you can buy today. Let’s get started.


The Kershaw Blur Glassbreaker Knife:

Kershaw Blur Glassbreaker Knife
Kershaw Blur Glassbreaker Knife

This blade measures at 3 3/8 inches long and the knife weighs only 4 ounces, which is light enough to be a fantastic option for an everyday carry knife. The handle is made out of anodized aluminum, with Trac-Tec grip tape inserts that provide a crazy good grip while handling this knife. The knife has a Sandvik crafted recurve blade that is partially serrated; the serrations on this blade come in handy when you need to cut something such as rope. This blade is crazy sharp. Something truly unique about this knife is that it has a built in glass breaker The glass breaker is made out of carbide and is directly attached to the end of the handle. This glass breaker is able to break through almost any glass type, including reinforced car glass. This knife is easy to open, even one handed, because it has a SpeedSafe assisted opening mechanism. A bonus with this blade is that it comes with a lifetime warranty from Kershaw. Plus, this specific Kershaw knife is made in the United States of America, something that many knife owners want and are looking for in their knives.

Advantages of the Kershaw Blur Glassbreaker knife:

  • Made fully in the USA.
  • Comes with a Kershaw lifetime warranty.
  • Has a built in carbide glass breaker.
  • Only weighs four ounces, making it the perfect everyday carry knife.
  • Boasts Trac-Tec grip tape inserts to provide the perfect grip.
  • Has a partially serrated blade.
  • The blade is crazy sharp.
  • Easy to open one handed because it has the SpeedSafe mechanism.

Disadvantages of the Kershaw Blur Glassbreaker knife:

  • The opening stud isn’t designed perfectly.


The Cold Steel Recon 1 Tactical Knife:

Cold Steel Recon 1 Tactical Knife
Cold Steel Recon 1 Tactical Knife

This knife is ready to take on almost any challenge with its four-inch blade made out of Japanese Aus 8A stainless steel. This steel is vacuum heat treated and sub-zero quenched supplying the knife with fantastic durability. Then, the blade is coated in a black Tuff-Ex layer that works to resist anything. This coating fights against rust, it doesn’t let light reflect off of it—making it a perfect option for your tactical operations, and the coating works to provide a lubrication. The handle sports G10 handle scales that work to provide you with an amazing grip, almost like your hand is sticking to the handle. Another unique aspect of this knife is its reversible, stainless steel pocket clip. The pocket clip and the fact that the knife only weighs 5.2 ounces makes this an amazing everyday carry knife because it’s just that easy to constantly have with you. The knife boasts a Tri Ad locking system, which is a locking mechanism specific to Cold Steel. This locking system locks the blade into an open position with it’s tough lever that is on the back of the handle. This knife also comes in micro, mini, and extra-large versions.

Advantages of the Cold Steel Recon 1 Tactical Knife:

  • G10 handle scales give stellar grip.
  • Has Cold Steel’s Tri Ad locking system, guaranteeing you with a sturdy lock.
  • Only weighs 5.2 ounces.
  • Comes in different sized versions of itself.
  • Has a Tuff-Ex black coating that resists everything from rust to reflecting light.
  • Reasonable price.

Disadvantages of the Cold Steel Recon 1 Tactical Knife:

  • This knife has been reported to roughing up people’s pockets.


The Smith and Wesson Border Guard 2 Rescue Knife:

Smith and Wesson Border Guard 2 Rescue Knife
Smith and Wesson Border Guard 2 Rescue Knife

A lot of tactical knives also have one or two other purposes, such as hunting, self-defense, maybe even fishing. What sets the Border Guard 2 apart from these knives is that the Border Guard 2 is truly designed to be a complete and total tactical knife. Some unique aspects of the Border Guard 2 are a safety belt cutter that is built into the handle. The handle already sports a glass breaking pommel. These two unique aspects make this knife an ideal candidate for safety and rescue workers, and so far they haven’t even had to open the blade. The tanto blade is 4.4 inches of 440C stainless steel. The blade is partially serrated, which makes it perfect for slicing and also sawing through rope. The blade is locked into place using its liner lock. The handle of this knife is made out of aircraft aluminum that has been textured to provide the user with an impeccable grip. The handle also sports an aluminum pocket clip. This knife is also one of the more inexpensive options, but it has just as much quality to it as the more expensive options, it might even be better. While this blade has been designed to serve almost any tactical purpose under the sun, this knife makes a fantastic every day carry blade as well. You never know when you are going to need the extras that call this knife home.

Advantages of the Smith and Wesson Border Guard 2 Rescue Knife:

  • Has a built in safety belt cutter.
  • Has a built in glass breaker.
  • This is an ideal option for rescue workers to own.
  • This is an ideal candidate for your every-day carry knife.
  • The handle has fantastic grip.
  • The liner lock keeps the blade securely locked into place.
  • This is one of the more inexpensive options that you can buy, but it definitely doesn’t seem like a cheap option.

Disadvantages of the Smith and Wesson Border Guard 2 Rescue Knife:

  • While the liner lock does work well, it can feel stiff, especially when the knife is first purchased.


The Spyderco Assist Black Blade:

Spyderco Assist Black Blade
Spyderco Assist Black Blade

This knife stands out from the pack because of its truly unique shape of blade. The blade of this knife is blunt-tipped, which helps make it unbreakable. But, because this is blunt-tipped, you cannot stab anyone. Why would anyone buy a blunt-tipped knife? This makes it a fantastic option for firefighters, EMT’s, and anyone else who is going to be working in a cramped area that doesn’t want to harm anyone or anything. The blade is serrated and on the unsharpened edge of the blade, it has finger grooves. This is another unique aspect that other knives do not have. This finger grooves are very shallow and make that edge of the blade look wavy. You can hold on to the backside of the knife to add grip and then saw through things more quickly. The blade is made out of VG-10, making this a very durable blade and knife. Adding to the list of unique characteristics, this knife sports a patented Cobra Hood grip, that helps to guide your finger to the deployment button so that even in the dark or without looking, you do not have to fumble for the deployment button. But wait, there’s more. The Spyderco Assist also features a retractable carbide tip that is designed to break glass. It also has a survival whistle that is built directly into the handle. This is a truly unique and remarkable knife that I would recommend to anyone looking for the perfect rescue knife. I couldn’t think of anything else that I would want to add, because it already has everything.

Advantages of the Spyderco Assist Black Blade:

  • Features a glass breaker.
  • Features a rescue/alert whistle.
  • The patented Cobra Hood grip guides your finger to the deployment button so that there is no searching and wasting time.
  • The knife has a blunt tip blade, making it the perfect rescue knife, because you can be in cramped spaces and not have to worry about harming anyone or anything.
  • The blade is very durable.
  • The serrated edge is perfect for sawing through rope.
  • The unsharpened edge of the blade has shallow finger grooves, giving you extra grip when sawing.

Disadvantages of the Spyderco Assist Black Blade:

  • This knife is designed for rescue, so many of its characteristics make it pointless in other situations.
  • Would be an awful option for self-defense.
  • It is almost 8 and a half inches long, which does make it a little bit large.


The Benchmade Contego Folding Knife:

Benchmade Contego Folding Knife
Benchmade Contego Folding Knife

The four-inch blade on this knife is made out of CPM-M4 steel, that you can get in gray or black. This steel is high quality steel that won’t dull, nick, or chip. The thickness of this blade is 0.156, which is actually thinner than most tactical knives, however, because it is thinner, you can get it way sharper. The steel on this blade holds an incredible edge for long periods of time and who has time to sharpen their knife in survival situations? Having the extra sharpness means that you can cut through tougher things such as rope. The blade is a combo blade, meaning half of it is straight edge and the other is serrated. The serrations come in when the sharpness won’t cut it, because you can get a sawing motion going, such as cutting a tree branch. However, you can get this knife without the serrations, if that is what you prefer. The handle of this knife includes a carbide tip that is made to break through glass. The handle is made out of G-10 that has been textured to provide you with a fantastic no-slip grip. A unique thing that the Benchmade Contego has is the AXIS locking mechanism. This lock is extremely tough and hard to break, in fact, it can withstand up to 800 pounds of pressure before it breaks. However, after time, this locking mechanism will begin to work a little bit less. A bummer about this knife is how expensive it is.

Advantages of the Benchmade Contego Folding Knife:

  • Can get it with a combo blade or just a plain straight edge blade.
  • The blade is a little thinner than most tactical knives, but what you give up in thickness, you definitely gain in sharpness.
  • The steel is high quality, durable steel.
  • The knife has a built in glass breaker, perfect for survival or rescue purposes.
  • The handle has amazing no-slip grip.
  • The AXIS locking mechanism can withstand 800 pounds of pressure before it fails.

Disadvantages of the Benchmade Contego Folding Knife:

  • This is a pretty expensive knife.
  • The AXIS locking system has its perks, but it definitely isn’t the best locking mechanism out there.
  • Over time, the AXIS locking mechanism will slowly start to break down and not work as quality as it did before.


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

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

This knife has been considered one of the most famous fixed blade knives in the world. This knife has been around since World War Two when it was designed for the US troops. It has been changed a little bit since World War Two, but it is still made in the USA, which some knife owners search for when purchasing. The blade is made out of 1095 Cro-Van steel, which is a tough and durable steel. The thickness of the blade is 0.165 inches and the length of the blade is 7-inches long. This blade is a straight edge blade, giving you perfectly clean cuts every time. One of the unique characteristics of this knife is that the handle is made with genuine leather, adding a very aesthetically pleasing aspect to the knife. The sheath that comes with this knife is also made out of leather. This is a simple design that gets the job done.

Advantages of the Ka-Bar Full Size US Marine Corps Fighting Knife:

  • The handle is genuine leather, helping the knife look very classy.
  • This knife has been around since World War 2, so you know you can trust it.
  • Made in the USA.
  • This is the most famous fixed blade knives in the world.
  • Very durable and very sharp blade.
  • Comes with a leather sheath.
  • Simple, straightforward design.

Disadvantages of the Ka-Bar Full Size US Marine Corps Fighting Knife:

  • The simple design doesn’t have any special add-ons.



Tactical knives come in many different shapes and sizes and have all kinds of characteristics that make them unique. While the large variety is a blessing, it can also be a curse when you aren’t sure what you are looking for or what you want in your knife. Hopefully this list of the six best tactical knives will help narrow down your search and get you exactly what you want and need.



Knife Care, Maintenance & Safety


Wicked Edge Sharpening
Wicked Edge Sharpening System

With a little routine upkeep, a quality knife can provide decades of dependable service. First, let’s get some common sense points out of the way. To begin with, never use your knife for tasks other than its primary purpose: cutting. While different blade styles allow for all manner of piercing, slicing and sawing, it is generally best to confine the use of your knife to its intended purpose. This means refraining from gouging, prying, hammering or any other potentially abusive action that will, at the very least, shorten the longevity of your knife’s lifespan. Next, bear in mind that your knife is first and foremost a tool. Treating it with respect and care will ensure personal safety and continued performance over time. Always cut away from yourself and be sure to make precise and deliberate cuts. Keeping your knife clean, oiled and sharp will go a long way towards protecting your investment in a quality tool that has both practical everyday uses and possible lifesaving potential.

Moisture, fingerprints and debris are your enemy when it comes to keeping your knife in top form. Always pick a cool dry place for storage, wipe away fingerprints and moisture, and clean the pivot point (or other nooks and crannies) with a Q-Tip or air duster. A drop or two of decent oil to the blade will help prevent rust and corrosion, while oil, used sparingly, around the pivot area will help ensure good action and ease of movement. For knives that may be used for food purposes, mineral oil is a safe bet. Though it may evaporate relatively quickly, it is cheap, plentiful and will not impart any toxins or go rancid over time. If your knife should see use in a saltwater environment, be sure to rinse it thoroughly after use, allow it to dry completely and consider applying wiping it down with a light coat of oil to protect the steel.

As the old adage goes, a sharp knife is a safer knife. Though perhaps seemingly counterintuitive at first, experience shows us that a sharper knife allows for more exact cutting using less force and diminishes the opportunity for slippage. A sharper knife improves cutting technique by reducing the exertion required to perform the task. A sharp knife, used responsibly with fingers away from the business end and out of harm’s way, is actually a very safe tool.

As a simple reminder for knife care, remember DOCS:

Dry- The entire knife along with the blade

Oiled- Moving parts in particular

Clean- All pivot points and locking mechanisms

Sharp- To ensure effective and safe cutting


Should your knife require some service beyond general maintenance, virtually all reputable knife makers offer some kind of warranty or servicing policy. Since these guidelines vary from brand to brand, it is best to check directly with the manufacturer for the most accurate information. Unless very confident in your abilities, it is wise to allow any repairs, modifications or other service to be performed by a professional. Working on your own knife may void the warranty, as will any other actions considered misuse or abuse, including using the knife as a hammer, chisel, pry bar and screwdriver. Normal wear and tear is also not typically warrantied. Much like any other tool, if properly maintained and used within the parameters of its intended purpose, malfunctions are rare and a person can reasonably expect to rugged dependability.  If a new knife owner follows these guidelines and exercises caution and common sense, they will not only protect their investment but also have a trustworthy tool suitable for years and years of faithful service.

My Holy Grail, by C.O.

Microtech Ultratech
Microtech Ultratech

When my friend introduced me to BladeOps.com, I never imagined that one of the first knives I saw would become my grail knife. My friend told me about the cheap out-the-front knife that was used in the Dark Knight movie and encouraged me to get one for myself. After making the purchase, I started browsing through the other various wares of BladeOps.com and that is when I discovered the Microtech Ultratech. I didn’t really know what it was, but the tanto edge was so slick and clean. I fell in love with the design immediately and thought, “I have to have this!” That was when I discovered the price. While some might consider the lower $200 range to be cheap for a knife, I had never spent over $50 at this time. I knew I would need to save up for a while. What I didn’t realize is that the knives sell out relatively quickly and there are long waits between productions. After nearly 3 years of saving, waiting, and watching, I finally managed to score my grail knife. It is more amazing than I even imagined and I am extremely satisfied. The engineering is perfect and I am very pleased with the fit and finish. I know this blade will satisfy me for quite some time. I wonder what my new grail will become.

My Paramilitary 2 is a Pocket Sized Light Saber, by Z.M.

Pocket Sized Light Saber
Pocket Sized Light Saber, My Spyderco Paramilitary 2

I don’t have an excessive amount of knives, maybe 20-30 in all. Out of the collection, there are about 5-10 that I would say are “in rotation.” I put sarcastic quotation marks there, because one knife has not left my pocket for about a year. I will carry the Spyderco Paramilitary 2, and a SOG Twitch II. I might slip a Benchmade 915 Triage in my pocket before I walk out the door and realize that the Triage is in my back pocket and the Para 2 is in the front pocket. The same happens with most of my blades. I can’t seem to find a knife that is more suited for my EDC (Every Day Carry) than the Paramilitary 2.
I even tried not to buy The Para 2. I have seen a lot of reviews of the Para 2 on YouTube, and I mean a lot. Nutnfancy, cutlerylover, TheApostleP, the list goes on, and they gave the Paramilitary 2 high marks and recommended buying one. But I kept saying to myself, “Self the Paramilitary 2 has been around for years, there has got to be something better, Right?.” Than one sunny Tennessee Saturday I had the opportunity to fondle a Paramilitary, not the Para 2 but the first one. If I had the cash in hand I would be writing about the original Paramilitary. It is that awesome before the refinements of the Para 2, and it was a combo blade (partly serrated) which I am not a big fan of personally in the EDC role. I ordered one as soon as I had the enough cash in the Zack fund (where I save for buying sharp and pointy things).
When I opened the simple but iconic Black, Red, Silver, and Gold Spyderco box and removed the new addition to my knife collection and noticed something I had missed when I first handled the Para 1. It wasn’t the Cheshire cat smile that had taken control of my face. The Knife felt great in any hand position, but it was more than comfort. The balance is so spot on that knife feels like it is part of your hand. Not like Freddy Krueger or Wolverine, but like using the right tool for the job. The G-10 (Camo on my Para 2) is grippy but not so rough that is sands your pocket apart after a month. The Para 2 is my first compression lock and almost instantly became my favorite locking mechanism. It is everything I like about a liner/frame lock married to everything I like about the Benchmade Axis Lock.
The blade shape seems to be right for just about anything. The full flat grind slices through normal day to day tasks like a pocket sized light saber deconstruction object on a molecular level. That is to say the CMP S30V blade came sharp out of the box and into the phonebook paper that had suddenly created something that looked like the start of a paper mache project. The fine tip had me a little concerned about snapping it off, but I avoid using it like a screwdriver or pry bar and stick with the using it as a knife and it has held up great. I think it would make a capable self-defiance blade fast in hand great penetration and cutting.
The Paramilitary 2 may not be the perfect knife for every person or even every task, but it is so close to perfect for me that I can’t seem to get it out of the EDC rotation.

Freedom Isn’t Free, by W.H.

Freedom Isn't Free
Freedom Isn’t Free

This is my Cold Steel Ti-Lite. I own many knives that are far more extravagant looking, made of better materials, and carry a heavier price tag, but this knife is truly my favorite. It has not to do with its capabilities as a blade, or what utilitarian function it serves, but the memory of my dear friend Matt Smith, or as some in his battalion knew him as ” Lance Cpl. Mathew Smith”.

Matt was my good friend all through high school. We played football together, we fished together, we hunted together, we talked about guns and knives together. We were two peas in a pod. After we graduated high school, Matt immediately enlisted in the Marines. As a joke referring to a YouTuber known as ParkourDude91, I got Matt a Kabar knife with ” Semper Fi ” written on the side of it in silver sharpie marker. On the day that Matt left for his deployment, he gave me a Cold Steel Ti-Lite knowing how much I disliked Cold Steel. On May 10, 2003, Matt’s mother called me and told me something that I was not ready for. At the young age of 21, and only 8 days before returning home, Matt’s Humvee was involved in a non-hostile accident which took his life.

Other than the missing thumb stud, the knife is mint condition. I’m afraid to carry it, afraid to use it, afraid to lose or break the one thing I have left of Matt. I keep it on my desk along with a picture of him and I standing on the banks of Lake Erie right before we set out to go Walleye fishing.

Freedom isn’t free, and he will not be forgotten.

Never Bring a Knife to a GunFight, by C.M.

Knife and Gun Fight
Knife and Gun Fight

We all have heard the saying ” Never bring a Knife to a GunFight ” maybe a better saying would be, Never bring ONLY a Knife to a GunFight! Here is why I think that is a better rule to live by…
In 1995 I found myself transplanted from the gun unfriendly state of New Jersey to the Great Wild West of New Mexico. Almost immediately, I applied and was accepted to work for the state and went to the state’s law enforcement academy in Santa Fe.
On one of the last Fridays during the academy, a fellow cadet named Marquis, asked if I could take him to Kirkland AFB in Albuquerque on my way home. Marquis was in the National Guard and his drill was at 0600 Saturday, so he wanted to stay in the bases lodging overnight to ovoid the early morning hour-long commute.
Being new to Albuquerque, I didn’t know that the area around the base was not a very good one. This area is frequently mentioned during the news due to the high violent crime occurring there.
After dropping off Marquis, I pulled out of the base and onto the main road to get back home. Unfortunately, before I hit the main road I had to stop for a red light. Not exactly paying attention to anything except the light I was waiting on, I did not notice the man coming up from behind my vehicle. He came up the side and hit me in the head with a brick through my open drivers window. I blacked out for maybe one or two seconds and came to finding myself in the middle of the intersection with blood in my eyes. As I’m trying to figure out what just happened, I start to get pulled by 3 men out of my window. I instantly tried to get to my pistol, a Glock 27 that I kept in my vehicle’s center console. But as hard as I was being pulled, I could not reach it! Then one of the men tried to open my car door to get me out. As he started to try to work my door open, I grabbed my Benchmade AFCK out of my pocket and slashed his arm. This gave me the opportunity to finally be able to grab my gun. I fired three shots at the men, and as I did, one of them slunk down. Instantly, all the aggression stopped and their main concern was to get themselves out of there! The two others half dragged the other guy back across the street to their car and took off! It was over! I called both 911 and my father who lives about 20 minutes away. Wouldn’t you know it, my father made it to me first and after looking at me, decided to take me to the hospital and have the police meet me there.
I recovered from a concussion and later learned that none of the men involved were ever apprehended! Just a lifelong lesson learned, to always be vigilant, pay attention to your surroundings, and ALWAYS carry a gun and a knife!

I’m A Fan of Knives, by M.R.

I'm A Fan of Knives
I’m A Fan of Knives

I’ve been a fan of knives since I was a little kid. Ever since my older brother gave me his boy scouts knife, I’ve been hooked. Where I went, so did that knife. I can’t even begin to tell you how much I abused that thing, but it held up to the rigors of what a young outdoors lover could dish out. I learned to appreciate what a fine instrument a knife could be. In a pinch, or to just to whittle on a stick, or to carve my name in a tree out of boredom.
Over the years my collection has grown. Family and friends never seemed to understand or to appreciate my love of a fine blade. I still to this day carry a knife with me wherever I may roam. And I still own that first boy scout knife which my brother handed to me nearly forty years ago now. No I no longer carry it, but that knife will forever hold a place deep inside my heart.

Ask Edward, by W.W.

Ask Edward
Ask Edward

While driving home from work one evening several years ago, I approached an intersection that was controlled by a traffic light. The traffic light was red and I was preparing to make a right hand turn. There was a vehicle in front of me doing the same and a vehicle to his left, operated by an elderly man who was preparing to continue straight once the light turned green. In New York State the traffic laws allow you to make a right turn on a red signal after making a full stop and when it is safe to proceed. The vehicle in front of me stopped, then proceeded to make his right hand turn on the red signal. The elderly man, prompted by the movement to his right, assumed the light had turned green and proceeded forward into the intersection. To my horror, I observed a black Chevrolet coming from the right, traveling at high speed, enter the intersection and collide violently into the car driven by the elderly man. In an instant, I jumped out of my car and ran to the man’s vehicle. There was smoke emanating from under the hood and he was conscious but confused, dazed and in pain. Fearing that the vehicle may erupt into flames I tried to get him out of the car but could not release the seatbelt hasp. Not wanting to waste time, I pulled out my Case pocket knife that my grandfather had given me before he passed away and sliced right through the seatbelt as if it was a hot knife through butter. I pulled him out of the wreck and carried him to the nearest curb and waited with him for EMS to arrive. Shortly after that, the engine compartment erupted into flames. Within 5 minutes however, the flames were extinguished by emergency workers who arrived on the scene and the elderly man was removed safely to the hospital. I’m happy to report that the elderly man, who I later learned was named Edward, fully recovered from his injuries that consisted of broken ribs and two broken wrists.

When I think back on that day I will never forget the look on Edwards face when I first approached him and I will also never forget how easily the Case knife that my grandfather had given to me, sliced through a stubborn seatbelt. Since then, my knife collection has grown significantly and when people ask why I carry a knife every day………… I tell them to ask Edward.