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Best Tactical Combat Knives

The 8 best military and combat knives you should buy


The best military knives would only include knives that the military use.

The best combat knives would only include knives specifically for close quarter fighting.

I believe that the best tactical combat knives include knives used by militaries, knives specifically used for combat situations, but the tactical element should mean that they are a more well-rounded knife that is useable in less extreme situations too.

So, they must excel in military and fighting situations, but they should also perform well with more mundane tasks.

This makes the best tactical combat knives ideal for military people, veterans, knife fighting specialists, survivalists, preppers, bushcrafters, and generally for people who spend a lot of time outside on their own.


What makes the best tactical combat knives


A good tactical combat knife isn’t all about looking good whilst inflicting damage on someone, there are important features that a tactical combat knife should have to make my list which are just as important if not more so than lethality and aesthetics.


These are:


  • Made from high quality materials
  • User safety
  • Efficiency of use
  • Performance
  • How the handle differing environments, like water, dirt, and grime
  • Are they easy to use when wearing tactical gloves
  • Easy to conceal
  • Useful as an EDC (Everyday Carry)


What is the best tactical combat knife for you may differ slightly from what someone else finds to be the best knife for them, this is because we are all different sizes, shapes, have different mentalities, skill levels, and will be used in differing situations.

For example, someone may prefer a serrated blade because they are often in situations where they need to cut rope. Whereas someone who will mainly use it to prepare and process food in the wild will prefer a smooth blade.

Then there are other factors like when and where you are going to use it, a folding knife will be better as an EDC but a fixed knife may be better if you are going off into the woods and mountains on an extended survival trip.

What blade length you will want to buy depends on the situations you are most likely to use it in also.

For instance, if its main use is to whittle some wood around a campfire then you will need a shorter blade, if you are on a multi-day hunting trip then you will need a longer blade.

You should also test the knives out personally if possible, as there might be a knife that everyone you know says is amazing but if the ergonomics do not fit your hand shape and size then in a combat situation it could prove to be more dangerous to yourself than the opponent.

It needs to be comfortable in your hand and easy to hold in extreme weather conditions or if it is covered in blood.

Most knives will be made from either high-carbon steel or stainless steel. High-carbon steel can generally maintain a sharp edge, but stainless steel is less likely to rust.

Finally, the most important thing you have to consider when thinking about what the best tactical combat knife for you is… what is legal in the area where you live or where you are likely to carry it.


Best Tactical Combat Knives


The winner – Spyderco Paramilitary 2


This is a great all rounder tactical knife, that is well made, will last a long time, maintains its sharpness well, is a mid-ranged priced knife, and has options for left handers which isn’t always the case.


  • 44” blade
  • 28” overall length
  • 75oz weight


For me personally this is the knife that is basically a perfect fit for my hands, the handle is effortless to grip and has an excellently placed finger choil.

Some people prefer fixed tactical knives, but I prefer folding ones as they are easier to carry. But you must be able to deploy a tactical knife quickly for it to be useful, and this knife is really quick and easy to deploy.

The way it is designed allows you to open it with the thumb opening, you can swing it open by pressing the compression lock, there is also the Spydie Flick and Spydie Hole methods.

The reason I carry this as an EDC knife is that it has everything you need for a combat knife but can also handle the more mundane everyday tasks too.

This is primarily down to the blade design. It is thicker at the base and thinner at the tip, meaning it can do nimble tasks but also heavier grunt work.



  • Excellent grip: the G-10 handle is comfortable in the hand and is still gripy when wet
  • Price quality ratio: premium quality materials but at a mid-range price makes it good value for money
  • Concealment: streamlined and a small effective blade makes it a great EDC




  • Weight: on the heavy side for the length of the blade and handle
  • Clothing: whilst comfortable in the hand, I have noticed the handle does wear out my clothing pockets
  • Design: Some people may think the look is a bit boring, and it isn’t overly stealthy either


A final thing to mention is if you are still on the fence about buying the knife, Spyderco sell a portable sharpener that is designed for their knives in mind.

It is the easiest and most pleasant way I have found to sharpen a knife, and it easily packs into any sized backpack. So, it is especially useful as a Bug Out Bag item.

In my opinion the above knife is a great knife that would suit most of the people most of the time. But there are a lot of great tactical combat knives on the market, here are some I have previously owned, tried, and can recommend.


Benchmade Griptilian 551


Benchmade are a respected knife brand, and if you only owned Benchmade knives then you wouldn’t be at a disadvantage.


  • 45” blade
  • 07” overall length
  • 88oz weight


Buying this blade is almost like customising your own knife, there are 3 metals to choose from, 3 points to choose from, 2 finishes to choose from, and you can choose a serrated or straight blade.

This is ideal if you are an experienced tactical combat knife owner, as you know what works for you, but it could be a little daunting for people who are beginners, and they could make wrong choices.

An added bonus is you will never have to sharpen this knife if you don’t want to, they will sharpen it for you!


Cold Steel SRK


If you really batter your knives around and go through multiple knives a year. Then this will be a good choice for you, as it is cheap, but it is made from strong CPM-3V steel.


  • 6” blade
  • 75” overall length
  • 10oz weight


If you like your knifes heavy, long, and looking to cause some serious damage… then this is probably the knife for you.

It is also often used by military units the world over, including the Navy SEALs so you know it is functional and can be relied upon.

It is a very simple knife, and there isn’t much that can go wrong with it. There are no noticeable weak points.

Whilst I find it a little on the heavy side, and it isn’t great for concealing. But if I was in a survival or combat situation, then I would have faith in the performance of this knife.


Gerber StrongArm


I haven’t found a better knife for under a hundred dollars, a truly great budget knife that will not let you down.


  • 8” blade
  • 8” overall length
  • 9oz weight


It has a high-carbon steel blade which means it is sharp, but it normally means it is then prone to rusting. However, they coat the blade with a ceramic.

This means you get the best of both worlds, a super sharp edge, which is also long-lasting.

Whilst it is a great combat knife, it is also a great tactical knife which is great in a wide rage of EDC and survival situations, for example it has a pommel for striking which makes it handy for breaking things like glass and ice. 


Kershaw Ken Onion Blur


Named not because it is only useful for chopping onions, but because it was designed by the award-winning knife designer… Mr Ken Onion.


  • 37” blade
  • 88” overall length
  • 2oz weight


If your main concern is stealth, then this is probably the best knife for you. It comes in a beautiful tactical black handle and blade.

It has a straight and serrated blade which is always handy. And talking of the blade it is very hard wearing and never gets stuck in anything which is very important if you are in a combat or survival situation.

The only real issue I have with the blade is that the thumb stud that you must press to open the knife is a bit sharp and uncomfortable which is an area they could look at.


Ontario 8846 RAT


This is one of the best-selling folding knives on the market and comes with a straight or serrated blade of your choosing.


  • 5” blade
  • 5” overall length
  • 5oz weight


Due to its size and weight, it is better as an outside carry rather than a concealed EDC. But on the other hand, due to its size and weight, it is able to handle pretty much any tactical and combat situation.

The handle is nice to touch, but I found it a little slim for my hands. Although I do have larger than average hands.

The knife opens by pressing a thumb stud, the thumb stud is well placed, comfortable, and responsive.


Pro-Tech TR-5


Possibly more expensive than people would like to spend on a knife, but if you are serious about having a well-functioning and long-lasting knife then this does come into the reckoning.


  • 25” blade
  • 6” overall length
  • 5oz weight


The blade on this knife is probably one of the toughest steels you will find, as it uses CPMS35VN stainless steel, this makes for an extremely tough knife that is next to impossible to chip, break, or crack.

And with just minimal maintenance this knife will never rust or corrode. Hence the high price point, I guess.

I love the weight and balance of the handle; it just screams premium. The only downside really is that the handle is made from metal and gets really cold in winter.

Which isn’t a problem if you are wearing tactical gloves but can be an issue if you are barehanded.


Zero Tolerance 0450


A good allrounder knife, that performs well under all situations, but you could say it also never truly excels at anything either.


  • 25” blade
  • 37” overall length
  • 04oz weight


As well as combat, the knife performs well when processing animals when out hunting. It has an easy-to-use one-handed deployment, which is idiot proof. The frame lock is also very well-made and has never failed me.

The blade has a simple satin finish, which basically means it will always look the same and you do not have to worry about if the coating is wearing off.

The metal handle does mean it isn’t desirable in extremely cold or hot conditions.

In conclusion it is a knife that would suit beginners, as it is a good reliable knife that looks cool.




I am a proponent of if you can carry a tactical combat knife by law, then you should carry one.

I always prefer to have something on me that I do not need, than to find myself to be in an emergency situation and not have something I need.

So, if you are comfortable with carrying a tactical combat knife, then I hope the article has given you some ideas and pointers.

The last thing l would like to mention, is that if you do go out and buy a tactical combat knife then make sure you look after it.

You should make sure you keep it sharp, clean, and in good working order. If it fails you when you need it, then that can put your survival in peril.

About Tom Bell

Hi - I'm Tom, the owner and founder of TheSurvivalSpirit.com! I'm a passionate outdoors enthusiast and am dedicated to bringing you the hottest online survival advice.  


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