There isn’t a more practical and important tool across tactical situations or outdoor environments than a knife. Whether in self-defense or in the remote wilderness, your safety isn’t something you should leave to chance. We’ve looked at both fixed and folding knives to showcase the knives we feel are the top-rated knives of the year.
Straight Edge Knife by KA-BAR
Year after year we return to the basics for some of our “Best of” lists, and KA-BAR’s United States Marine Corps Certified Straight Edge Knife is one of those. It doesn’t get more classic than the USMC tang stamp and that slight glisten off the powder-covered carbon steel blade.
Whether you’re enlisted in the military or an outdoors person, this blade is one of the premier multifunctional straight edge knives on the market. The blade is 7 inches long and nearly 12 inches in total when including the handle. The handle is constructed with stacked leather, giving it great balance and helping to reduce grip fatigue. The blade is constructed with wear resistant 1095 Cro-Van steel for superior edge retention. Proudly made in the U.S.A. and with a rich history that dates back to World War II, you won’t find a more iconic blade.
Pocket Knife by Kershaw
What’s not to like about a Rick Hinderer-designed blade? Especially when that knife has been modified to fit what customers routinely request. The Kershaw Cryo G-10 Pocket Knife has been one of the top-rated knives for years so it’s no surprise this family of blade styles was recently selected as a Blade Show Best Buy. The biggest update on the Cryo G-10 is found in its namesake—the introduction of a G10 front scale. This modification provides extra grip and also lightens the weight of the knife.
And while the blade weighs in at a mere 3.7 ounces, the 8Cr13MoV steel blade is as solid as they come. Featuring a drop-point style and length of 2.75 inches, this is a perfect easy-to-conceal knife.
Tactical Folding Knife by Benchmade
Benchmade released their newest folding blade knife, the Benchmade Bailout Axis Folding Knife, earlier this year. It features a much thinner and slimmer handle, as opposed to the chunkier handles of the Triage or Griptilian. The knife is approximately 4.7 inches when closed and about 8 inches when opened, making this one of the shorter tactical knives out there.
Even at a shorter length, the blade has superior tip strength and slicing performance as well as its ambidextrous locking mechanism. The blade is a traditional Tanto-style blade made from Benchmade’s proprietary high-carbon steel and backed by the brand’s Lifetime LifeSharp warranty and sharpening service.
As far as tactical folding knives go, you aren’t going to find a more well-balanced blade at this price point – especially one backed by Benchmade’s generous sharpening service.
Multi-Tool by Gerber
Sometimes you don’t need a knife so much as a cross-functional tool for cutting. The Gerber Truss Multi-Tool is a perfect example of a multi-tool unit with a great blade. With 17 tools in all, the Truss can handle just about any task. You can even edit and remove which tools you don’t need. So, while we could focus on the wire cutter, saw and cross driver, we’ll give you the details of the two blades that the Truss features.
The tool itself is approximately 4.35 inches long and extends to 6.5 inches when open. There is a plain edge blade and a serrated edge blade, both measuring 2.25 inches long. The best part? You don’t have to open the pliers to extract the blades. The multi-tool is MOLLE compatible and can be mounted either vertically or horizontally.
What are your favorite knives? Did it make it onto our list of top-rated knives for the year? Let us hear your thoughts in the comments.
If you enjoyed this article, check out are write-up on ‘6 Features of Tactical Pens’.