tactical knives, best tactical knives

It can be difficult to keep up with what’s new in the gun world. This is also true of the cutlery industry, and it’s why we’ve put together this list for you. If 2018 is any indication, tactical knives still dominate the market.

Thanks to the Knife Rights campaign to reform state-level statutes on spring-opening folding knives, the market has seen more auto-opening models in various lines. Manual one-hand-opening folders are available in every shape and size. People going into military combat or in need of a serious fixed-blade survival knife will find they are equally well covered. Any way you look at it, 2018 has been a good 12 months for fans of tactical knives. Below, check out 25 of the best tactical knives to hit the market this year.

This article was originally published in “Tactical Life” August/September 2018. To order a copy and subscribe, visit outdoorgroupstore.com.

Tactical Knives: Bear OPS Bold Action III Stiletto

The Bear OPS Bold Action III Stiletto features a handy 2-inch blade made of 14C28N stainless steel and a black aluminum frame. The pocket carry clip provides for right-hand, tip-up carry. It weights 1.4 ounces. (bearandsoncutlery.com)

Tactical Knives: Bear OPS Bold Action IX

The new Bear OPS Bold Action IX auto is a compact push-button folding knife with a 2.75-inch, 14C28N stainless blade on a handle that combines G10 with carbon fiber. Finally, the knife weighs a feathery 2.4 ounces. (bearandsoncutlery.com)

Tactical Knives: Benchmade 133 Fixed Infidel

Benchmade has taken its classic out-the-front Infidel auto and turned it into an efficient fixed-blade boot knife. The D2 blade is 4.52 inches long on a handle of aluminum. The knife weighs 5.11 ounces, and Benchmade includes a sheath made of Boltaron. (benchmade.com)

Tactical Knives: Benchmade 417 Fact

Benchmade’s 417 Fact is a slim folding boot knife with a 3.95-inch black or satin blade of S30V stainless steel on an anodized aluminum handle. The blade locks open with the company’s patented Axis lock system. The knife weighs 3.24 ounces. (benchmade.com)

Tactical Knives: Boker Plus Kwaiken Auto

Boker has enlisted Lucas Burnley into its elite group of custom designers. One of the first collaborations is the Kwaiken Auto, which has a 3.5-inch blade made of 154CM stainless on an aluminum handle frame. It weighs 3.35 ounces. (bokerusa.com)

Tactical Knives: Chris Reeve Sebenza 21 CGG Doppler

New for 2018 in the Chris Reeve Knives lineup is the Sebenza 21 CGG folder with its laser-engraved Doppler-pattern handle. The knife comes with either a 2.94- or 3.6-inch, stonewashed S35VN blade on a titanium handle. (chrisreeve.com)

Tactical Knives: Case Winkler Recurve No. 6

The Winkler Recurve No. 6 is the second in W.R. Case’s collaboration with knifemaker Dan Winkler. This one was designed by ex-SEAL Harold Bologna. The 4.5-inch blade is made of 80CrV2 carbon steel, and the knife has a laminate handle in black or tan. (wrcase.com)

Tactical Knives: Condor Atrox

The new Atrox from Condor Tool & Knife fits the description of a serious fighting knife. The 10.86-inch blade is crafted from 1075 carbon steel while the handle is Micarta. The sheath is black Kydex, and the knife weighs 29.6 ounces. (condortk.com)

Tactical Knives: Condor Low Drag

Condor’s Low Drag is a basic but highly practical field utility knife designed by Joe Flowers. The 6.58-inch blade is made from 1075 carbon steel, and the handle is Micarta. The knife weighs 15.9 ounces, and Condor includes a  a leather sheath. (condortk.com)

Tactical Knives: CRKT Offbeat

Although Pat Crawford has offered custom versions of this design for many years, CRKT now has a production model, the Offbeat, in its extensive line of tactical folders. The 8Cr14MoV stainless blade is 3.52 inches long, and the handle is stainless steel. (crkt.com)

Tactical Knives: DoubleStar Lite-Fighter-X

DoubleStar’s Lite-Fighter-X was designed by a knifemaker with years of Army special operations experience. The Nitro-V stainless steel blade is 4.75 inches long, and the handle is made of G10. This new DoubleStar knife weighs 8.7 ounces. (star15.com)

Tactical Knives: ESEE Expat Medellin

ESEE’s Expat Medellin was designed to provide a plain but functional work knife for the outdoor adventurer. The AUS-8 stainless blade is 3.5 inches long with a black or satin finish, and the black FRN handle has stainless liners. The Expat Medellin weighs 4.1 ounces. (eseeknives.com)

Tactical Knives: Hoffner 3.5 Folding Knife

Hoffner Knives offers customizable tactical folders. In this line, the 3.5-inch blade is made of 440C and the handle is G10, but you can choose the blade profile and grip color/style. Special indexing holes allow you to switch grips quickly. The weight is 4.54 ounces. (hoffners.com)

Tactical Knives: KA-BAR Ek Commando Presentation

KA-BAR recently brought back the legendary John Ek Commando from WWII. Three variants are available, and this presentation model comes with a walnut handle and a 6.62-inch, 440C stainless blade. This knife model weighs 8.8 ounces. (kabar.com)

Tactical Knives: Kershaw Decimus

Kershaw’s new assisted-opening Decimus folder was designed by custom knifemaker Rick Hinderer. The 8Cr13MoV stainless blade is 3.25 inches long, and the handle scales are made of stainless steel. The Kershaw Decimus weighs approximately 4.5 ounces. (kershaw.kaiusaltd.com)

Tactical Knives: Kershaw DuoJet

The Kershaw DuoJet uses the company’s SpeedSafe assisted-opening system with both a flipper and a thumb stud. The 3.25-inch, 8Cr13MoV blade is mounted on a stainless handle with carbon-fiber inserts. This new knife weighs 4.9 ounces. (kershaw.kaiusaltd.com)

Tactical Knives: Mode One MO-SU-001

Mode One is a new company with a full line of tactical and work blades. The MO-SU-001 survival knife comes with a 4.69-inch, 9Cr18MoV stainless blade with a stonewashed, black oxide or black stonewashed finish. The handle is G10, and the knife weighs 11 ounces. (mode-one.com)

Tactical Knives: Ruger RTD

Made by CRKT, Ruger’s new RTD folder features Ken Onion Field Strip Technology so it can easily be broken down for cleaning and maintenance. The 3.67-inch blade is made of 1.4116 stainless while the handle scales are glass-reinforced nylon. The knife weighs 4.02 ounces. (crkt.com)

Tactical Knives: SOG Ace

New for 2018, the fixed-blade SOG Ace is meant to be an affordable, convenient field utility knife. The 3.8-inch blade is crafted from 7Cr17MoV, and the handle is made of TPR. The Ace weighs 4 ounces altogether, and a molded polymer sheath is included. Its MSRP is $34. (sogknives.com)

Tactical Knives: Spartan-Harsey Sugar Skulls Edition

The Spartan-Harsey folder has been around for a couple of years, but Spartan Blades has unveiled several special-edition models with deeply laser-engraved titanium handles. The Sugar Skulls model has a 4-inch, S35VN blade mounted on a titanium frame. The knife weighs 5.88 ounces. (spartanbladesusa.com)

Tactical Knives: Spyderco Respect Bowie

Designed by Sal Gesser, Spyderco’s new Respect Bowie will put some serious combat steel on your belt. The 7.94-inch, CPM 154 stainless steel blade sits on a black G10 handle. This fixed-blade knife weighs 12.5 ounces and has an overall length of 13.15 inches. (spyderco.com)

Tactical Knives: Steel Will Intrigue F45-11

Steel Will’s new liner-locking Intrigue F45-11 features a D2 tool-steel blade with a high flat grind that is 3.6 inches long. A simple flipper will help you deploy the blade quickly. The handle scales are made of FRN, and the whole knife weighs 2.89 ounces. (steelwillknives.com)

Tactical Knives: TOPS Operator Seven

The new Operator Seven from TOPS features a 7.25-inch, 1075 carbon-steel blade and a Micarta/G10 handle. Another notable feature: The blade is 0.31 inches thick. The knife weighs 18.9 ounces, and TOPS includes a leather sheath. (topsknives.com)

Tactical Knives: Winkler Jaeger

An especially interesting bit of news at SHOT was that knifemaker and TV personality Jason Knight is working with Daniel Winkler on a new line of knives. The Jaeger has a 3.75-inch, 80CrV2 carbon-steel blade, and several handle styles are available. It weighs 5 ounces. (winklerknives.com)

Tactical Knives: Zero Tolerance 0393

The new Zero Tolerance 0393 is another collaboration with custom knifemaker Rick Hinderer. The 3.5-inch blade is made of DLC-coated CPM 20CV stainless steel. The frame is made of titanium with G10 inserts, and the knife weighs 5 ounces. (ztknives.com)

Up Next

Mighty Italian Mini: Looking Back at the Beretta Model 1934

The Beretta Model 1934 Pistol, chambered in .380 ACP, was a benchmark for quality...