The Ultimate Guide to Choosing the Best Tactical Folding Knife

Tactical folding knives are distinguished by their toughness, strength, and versatility. Military service members, law enforcement officers, hunters, and outdoor enthusiasts frequently use them.

These knives exist in a range of forms and sizes, and they are frequently outfitted with characteristics such as fully or partially serrated edges, tanto tips, and other specialty blade profiles that make them well-suited for various jobs.

They can be used for a variety of purposes, including cutting through strong materials such as rope and leather, as well as self-defense and survival.

The Ultimate Guide to Choosing the Best Tactical Folding Knife

The Significance of a Good Tactical Folding Knife

Anyone who spends time in the great outdoors, as well as military and law enforcement professionals who may find themselves in perilous situations, should have a strong tactical knife.

A decent tactical knife can help you stay safe, protect yourself and others, and complete activities that a normal pocket knife would make difficult or impossible.

A high-quality tactical knife should be long-lasting, dependable, and able to resist repeated use. It should also be built for maximum performance and functionality, with characteristics such as a sharp, powerful blade and a comfortable, ergonomic handle.

A Summary Of What This Blog Post Will Cover

In this blog post, we will go over the most important things to consider when purchasing a tactical knife, such as blade material, form, length, handle material, ergonomics, locking mechanism, weight, and balance.

We will also give an overview of the top five tactical knives on the market today, including a description of each knife, its advantages and disadvantages, and our choice for the best overall tactical knife.

At the end of this piece, you should have a decent idea of what makes a good tactical knife and be able to select the best one for your needs.

Considerations When Selecting a Tactical Folding Knife

Blade Steel

When selecting a tactical knife, the blade material is an important thing to consider. The material you choose will affect how long the knife will last, how sharp it will be, and how much maintenance it will need. Stainless steel, carbon steel, and Damascus steel are some of the most common blade materials.

Stainless steel is well-known for its resistance to corrosion and ease of maintenance. Carbon steel is well-known for its excellent edge holding and ease of sharpening, but it must be handled with caution to avoid corrosion. Damascus steel is a high-end material made by fusing together many layers of steel. This makes a blade that is very strong and lasts a long time.

RELATED – Gerber Legendary Blades | What Makes Them So Legendary?

Blade Profile

Another important thing to consider when selecting a tactical knife is the blade profile. Different types of blades are made for different uses, and the right profile will depend on what the knife is meant to do. Drop point, tanto, clip point, and serrated are some typical blade forms.

Drop point blades are versatile and can be used for a variety of tasks, including slicing and piercing. Tanto blades are made to pierce tough materials and are frequently employed for self-defense.

Serrated blades are good for cutting through difficult materials like rope and leather, while clip-point blades are ideal for precise tasks like carving.

Length of the blade

When selecting a tactical knife, the blade length is an important thing to consider. Longer blades are more effective for chopping and slicing, but they are also heavier and less comfortable to carry.

A shorter blade is more adaptable and easier to handle, but it may be less useful for heavy-duty work.

Handle Material

Another crucial thing to consider when selecting a tactical knife is the handle material. The handle should be long-lasting, comfortable to hold, and secure even in damp or slippery situations. G10, carbon fiber, and aluminum are among the most common handle materials.

G10 is a strong and lightweight material that offers a firm grip even when wet. Carbon fiber is lightweight and robust, but it can be costly. Aluminum is a popular material due to its durability and lightweight, however, it may not provide as tight a grip as other materials.

Grip and Ergonomics

The ergonomics and grip of the knife are important variables that can influence how comfortable and effective it is to use. A good tactical knife should have a comfortable, well-fitting grip with features such as finger grooves, texture, and a contoured design.

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Locking Mechanism

Another crucial element to consider is the locking mechanism of a tactical knife. A solid locking mechanism will keep the blade securely in position while in operation, preventing it from closing or opening unintentionally.

Liner locks, frame locks, and back locks are examples of common locking methods.

Liner locks are popular due to their simplicity and convenience of use, whereas frame locks provide higher strength and durability. Back locks are a proven locking mechanism that offers a secure grasp but may be more difficult to operate.

Weight and Balance

The knife’s weight and balance are important elements that can influence how comfortable and effective it is to use.

A well-balanced knife will feel comfortable in the hand and provide excellent control, but an unbalanced knife will be uncomfortable and difficult to use efficiently.

It is critical to select a knife that feels comfortable and balanced in the hand, with a weight and balance that are appropriate for your needs and tastes.

Best Tactical Folding Knives Available on the Market

Benchmade Griptillian

When it comes to all-around functionality, you can’t beat the Griptilian.

The 551-S30V Griptilian is a plain drop-point blade with a Black Nylon handle. The blade stands at 3.45" in length and is used for everyday, outdoor, or tactical situations.

Benchmade 551 Griptilian Plain Drop-Point Satin Finish

at Amazon
Prices accurate at time of writing


The Special Forces G10 models share a unique design offering a combination of Carson M16 Series features requested by military procurement specialists.

The dual grind Tanto blades were specified because they offer maximum strength. The open build allows two Carson Flippers to be incorporated, resulting in a true hilt; very rare in folding knives.

Automated liner safety provides an extra layer of lock security, Veff Serrations provide superior cutting power of rope and straps, and the G10 handle provides exceptional grip in all conditions.

Spyderco Resilience

Superior Blade Steel – The 4.20" stainless blade is ground flat from the spine to the cutting edge for non-stop cutting performance.

A Secure Grip – It has a FRN laminate handle, Ergonomically milled with prolonged fatigue-free cutting in mind. Comfort in hand means easier use long-term.

Easy-to-Use – The blade’s shape coupled with an oversized Spyderco Round Hole and textured spine jimping allows you to open the blade and position your thumb on the spine in slip-proof confidence ready for work

Pocket-Friendly – The Resilience includes a Walker LinerLock and a 4-way pocket clip lets the folder be set in a variety of carry and draw positions: Tip-up/tip-down left-hand/right-hand.

SOG Trident AT

A folding knife designed for professional users, Trident AT features rapid assisted opening with SOG’s innovative ambidextrous AT-XR Lock, as well as an integrated line cutter and glass breaker.

Trident AT is easy to carry, with a highly functional 3.75" cryogenically heat-treated D2 stainless steel blade.

Its powerful AT-XR locking mechanism also features built-in blade locking safety and a spine-mounted safety system.


at SOG Knives
Prices accurate at time of writing

Emerson CQC-7

The Emerson CQC-7BW and CQC-7AW were directly modeled after the classic CQC-7B Tactical Folder; Emerson just added the signature ‘Wave Feature’.

The Emerson CQC-7 model has all of the qualities that have made it the legendary knife that it is known to be, with the added bonus of having a lightning-quick opening.

Featuring a straight, chisel ground belly and a prominent tanto point. Each blade is flat on one side and sharpened on the other, per Emerson Tradition.

There are many iterations of this classic everyday tactical knife, but only one is the original- The Emerson CQC-7B/AW.


at Emerson Knives
Prices accurate at time of writing

Best overall tactical Folding knife recommendation

Based on our research of the most important factors, we think the Benchmade Griptilian is the best overall tactical folding knife.

It has a long-lasting and multipurpose blade made of superior stainless steel, as well as a pleasant and secure handle made of high-quality polymer.

The Griptilian also has a safe and easy-to-use locking system and a balanced weight to give you the most control and make it easy to use.

In Conclusion

There are many things to think about when choosing a tactical knife, such as the blade’s material, shape, length, handle material, ergonomics and grip, locking system, weight, and balance.

When choosing a tactical knife, you should think about what you want to use it for and where you’ll be using it.

A serrated blade, for example, will be more effective for cutting through tough materials like rope or fabric, whereas a straight-edge knife may be more versatile for a wider range of jobs.

With the right tactical folding knife, you have a reliable tool that can help you with a wide range of tasks, both in the field and at home.


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Table of Contents

  • The Significance of a Good Tactical Folding Knife
  • A Summary Of What This Blog Post Will Cover
  • Considerations When Selecting a Tactical Folding Knife
  • Blade Steel
  • Blade Profile
  • Length of the blade
  • Handle Material
  • Grip and Ergonomics
  • Locking Mechanism
  • Weight and Balance
  • Best Tactical Folding Knives Available on the Market
  • Benchmade Griptillian
  • CRKT M16
  • Spyderco Resilience
  • SOG Trident AT
  • Emerson CQC-7
  • Best overall tactical Folding knife recommendation
  • In Conclusion

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