What is a Tactical Knife?

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To start things off, it’s not something you’re going to see in your kitchen. A good tactical knife is either fixed or foldable, with a non-reflective blade. It is a tool small and compact enough for taking around with you, hidden inconspicuously in your back pocket. These knives are very versatile, and perfect for an active life. They are sturdy, portable devices that are at your daily disposal, depending on what knife you end up buying.But perhaps the most attractive feature of all tactical knives is that they have personality. Each knife is crafted differently with its own outstanding quality; some with better grip, while others specialize in their fine tip to cut almost everything. Designs vary to suit individual needs, accustomed to fit your hand. These knives were made to be taken out with you, so your survival instinct is always backed with the right gear.

How is a Tactical Knife Different from a Regular Knife?

Your regular knife isn’t made to be taken outside of the house. It specializes in cutting onions, not, per say, seat belts. Kitchen knives are not as strong, may have cheaper quality handles than a tactical, and aren’t really all that safe if you’re not careful. Though they may be big and the length of the blade is long, it is best to leave kitchen knives by the chopping board.

kitchen knife edited

On the other hand, tactical knives are constructed to fit in a small secure placing without harming the user. If you have a fixed blade version, it usually comes in an enclosed pocket or sheath. Or, if you carry a foldable, it’s folded in its handled body, so you’re fine.Another factor often ignored is the attachment you develop with a tactical knife. You can’t judge it until you’ve used it. Most tactical knives are bought for a sense of security. They’re there in your pocket so that you feel secure, and you have a safety device with you always. If you’re placing your well being in the custody of a blade, it’s got to be one you can trust.

What Makes a Knife ‘Tactical’?

To understand the attributes of a tactical knife, it is necessary to break down its parts.

The first and most obvious is the blade.

The blade will be small but strong. You won’t be able to bend it like a kitchen knife. There will be a non-glare coating peppered over a stainless steel or high carbon steel material. Reliable knives are usually thicker around the trim, so even if they dull in time, they can still cut well. The material should withstand any weather condition, as you may need it at any time anywhere. They are usually crafted with a moisture repelling and rust resistant material.

fixed blade knife with background

Next comes the handle.

Balisong edited

The handle should have a good grip, fit in your hand easily, and never be an absorbent material. If your knife slips out of a sweaty palm, it could prove dangerous to yourself and useless in a tight situation. So, the handle should be potent, and also lightweight. You want a balance between the blade and handle so that you don’t lose control over hastened movements and quick retractions.

After these main factors come to the side subjects that differentiate individual designs.

  • Size. The knife must be firm and packed so that carrying isn’t a hassle and it is somewhere easy to access. Typical sizes range between 8-9 inches and in larger cases, 11-12 inches.
  • Fitting of the blade is essential as well. It must fit in your hand and there should once more, be a balance when holding it. While lightweight is necessary, a beautifully intricate blade isn’t mandatory to enhance quality. The detail of design comes in the simplicity and reliability of the blade.

tactical knife in sheath edited

  • How you carry your blade is also important. Convenient and accessible is important, followed by the preference of foldable or fixed.

What is a Foldable and Fixed Blade Knife?

  • Foldable
  • Fixed blade

A foldable blade’s handle is also used as its cover. It is compact and easy to carry, with the convenience of not having to buy a sheath for it. They are especially helpful for small tasks and carrying with you everywhere you go. Cutting paper or opening a package are basic functions while working your way through wood or rope are slightly more advanced.

Drop-point Blade

A fixed knife tends to override foldables in the sense that it will always remain stronger than its more compact counterpart. It is one piece of equipment, not two movable parts. The grip also tends to be more comfortable as foldable blades may waver when taken out.

knife and tree edited

How/Where Do You Use a Tactical Knife?

That depends on what you want to use it for. You may find that your job calls for it. A military soldier or a day cop will most likely have a knife on them. Navy men will find a tactical knife very handy since they can encounter many knotted situations with rope on the boat. Hunters using it to skin deer. For those who live to a less extreme, they may use a tactical knife as a security measure. It creates a sense of self-awareness and safety when you are equipped with a robust weapon at all times and that’s fine. It’s an unpredictable world.

This doesn’t mean though that you’ll only unsheathe your knife towards a person. You may take it to handle a difficult situation. Common situations can be found when camping or going out on a hike.

knife fight


Out in the wilderness, a knife is a weapon, a utensil, an all-around good guy. It can sharpen other gear, cut rope or nearby shrubbery, sticks and branches. When fishing, it can catch and skin the fish. Cutting mushrooms and berries from bushes is easier and you’re less likely to touch harmful plants. If the zipper of the tent is stuck, cut your way out. Chuck at trees to get Kindle and fuel for a fire.

mushroom and knife edited

You can cut yourself free from entangled vines and twigs, make markings in trees to identify charted area. So the question is, why would you go camping without a knife? A miniature blade is advantageous in many environments, man-made or not.


  • Mark Williams

    Mark is an avid hunter with a passion for wildlife and innovation. Come along on an adventure of mind, body and soul.

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1 thought on “What is a Tactical Knife?”

  1. Tactical knives are made with design elements that allow them to be more effective in a fight. These design elements include a centered weight balance, ergonomic grip, a hand guard, a pointed pommel, and a matte-coated blade.


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