Although military personnel, hunters, and outdoorsmen have had knives for decades, the term ‘tactical knife’ is new. In the 1990s, these knives were for special military scenarios. A tactical knife is a multipurpose tool. It is an extension of the user.
Tactical knives come in different sizes, shapes and designs. They are durable and used in any stressful situation. Tactical knives can cut wood, pry open doors, dig holes, or help with first aid. If needed, they can turn into deadly weapons. All knives are not equal, here are some things to consider when choosing a perfect tactical knife. For an overview of the best tactical knives out there, go see this comparison from Military Gear Hub.
1. Decide the Use
An important question to ask is, what do I need a tactical knife for? Tactical knives are utility tools for specific situations. They can cut, split material, and can be for hunting, or military use. The right knife is the difference between life and death. What job to you expect the knife to perform? Are you in the military or are you heading outdoors for an extended period? Tactical is relative and that brings us to length.
The use helps us determine the length needed. A bigger knife may not be better. A twelve inch blade is impractical if you are carrying it in a holster on your waist. For legal reasons, civilians cannot buy knives exceeding specific lengths. Check the maximum length you can buy. An ideal length is a 5-9 inch blade. If you’re selecting a Tactical Folding knife, try one with a 4 inch blade and 8-9 inch length when extended.
2. Decide on the Tang
The blade’s tang is the size and design of the metal that goes into the handle. , you want a blade with a full tang. The knife will look like one solid piece of metal. The full tang will be the same width of the blade.
Avoid the hollow handle blades as they come with narrow tangs. These can break when the knife is under duress. Some folding knives do not carry full tangs, so avoid cheap knives that fold and pretend to be tactical. There are Tactical Folders: a knife designed by Knifemaker Bob-Terzuola that are stronger than conventional folding knives. When choosing the best, it’s wise to go with a straight knife with a full tang. If the handle gets damaged, you can create a makeshift handle around a full tang.
3. Decide on the grip
Make sure you take time to hold the knife. Assess the grip, material of the handle, and weight of the knife. It must feel smooth when held forward (blade facing up), and backward/reverse grip (blade facing down). The Pommel or butt of the blade should not obstruct your grip.
Here is a good video on the topic:
4. Decide the Design
Your tactical knife should have two main design elements: a cutting edge and a thick point. Choose a knife with a sharp edge, a serrated side and a minimum thickness of 1/8″. Avoid fancy blade designs with fancy colors and curved shapes. While folded blades were mentioned before, a general design flaw with them are locking mechanisms.
These locks have failed others many at critical points. If you’re going to be using this blade frequently, stick with a straight tactical knife. You can buy different blades for different purposes. Get a strong folded blade for every-day carry if you desire those. Blades are either stainless steel or carbon. Carbon blades rust faster than steel blades and need more maintenance. Decide which is easier for you.
5. Choose the Highest Quality
Don’t cheap out on your blade. There are many inferior blades on the market. They intend to capitalize on the demand for tactical knives.
Choose a quality blade and do not compromise on price and quality. When you hold, feel and even test the knife you should know you have an excellent tool in your hands.
Use these factors to pick a high-quality, durable, and sharp blade. Don’t skimp on price. An excellent tactical knife could mean the difference between life and death.
Research reputable knife manufacturers. Visit a shop that can help you choose the knife that’s right for you and your tactical knife will serve you for a long time.