Skip to toolbar

The 10 Best Self-Defense Knives 2020 Reviews

The best thing you can do for your safety, we can all agree, is not to put yourself in a dangerous situation. But if you find yourself in such a situation, it’s good to have a weapon you can use. A good self defense knife can act in your favor in this case.

The self-defense knife is different for the combat knife. With the self defense one, your objective is not to attack or kill, but to incapacitate or disable the assailant so you can escape.

Typically with self-defense knives, a slashing motion is preferred to a stabbing one, because it has a better chance to cut through muscles and tendons, but a lesser probability of killing.

There are different kinds of knife blades. Some of them are better for self-defense purposes than others. Another crucial thing is the sharpness of the blade. If you are doing to use a knife for self defense (or any other task other than sitting in a case, for that matter), make sure that you maintain it as sharp as possible.

The other choice you have is between a straight and a serrated blade. They have different pros and cons, so it’s up to your preference. Keep in mind that serrated blades are more intimidating and hence, more likely to scare the attacker away. But it is highly recommended to hide your knife for as long as possible in order to gain a tactical advantage.

In most cases, your opponent shouldn’t know what weapon do you have at your disposition. When defending yourself with a cold steel knife, you should conceal it until the last moment possible.

It’s an excellent job if you succeed to scare the assailant away, but if you can’t, and the law enforcement doesn’t come, you will have to fight him for real.

Is a knife good for home defense?

Don’t forget that a knife is as good as the person that wields it. Besides getting the right blade, you should also put aside time to practice drawing and handling it.

If you have more room to unfold your actions, the slashing motions are preferred. But if you are in close quarters or the assailant is weighing down on you, you will have to resort to stabbing. Just make sure that the blade is not too long to avoid overextending yourself.

A quality sharp knife is highly suitable for home defense. It doesn’t have to be a folding knife, some of the larger fixed blades are a good option. Just like with the self defense pocket knives you take with you outdoors, you have to keep it in its best condition – sharp and in a place where you could easily reach it.

What knives do Navy SEALs use?

Many people look up to the special forces for knife brands, and that’s something manufacturers tend to use to sell their products. That’s why many of them send their knives to the United States Marine Corps, the Special Air Service, or the Navy SEALs, hoping that they’ll like and use them.

After all, if they start using them, the company will be able to sell more products.

So, what are the knives Navy SEALs use? Most of all, sharp ones.

Jokes aside, as it happens with all users, it is more of a personal preference. The primary mechanism to choose the best knife is the trial-and-error. The old-timers usually preferred standard-issue KABAR’s or other OTS dive knives, but now you can find all kinds of OTS brands in a guy’s kit: SOG, Gerber, Ontario, SDK, etc.

The Navy SEALs will use any sturdy knife that holds its edge reliably and has a strong resistance to salt corrosion. So there is a big room for choosing combat knives as well as self defense knives.

How long should a self defense knife be?

There are two factors on which the length of the self defense blade depends – basic dynamics and the possibility to hide it. The optimal self defense knife is several inches long – easy to conceal and easy to wield.

Another important question is whether to choose a fixed blade or a folding knife. Both of them have their pros and cons.

For example, fixed blades are stronger than folding ones, but more challenging to conceal. You could carry a few defense knives on you far easier if they are folding knives, but it will be more difficult for you to draw and unfold one if needed.

The ideal self defense knife has a fixed blade or a folding blade that is no more than 5″ inches long for easier storage, concealing, and wielding. Moreover, some states have knife laws restricting blade length. So have that in mind, especially if you don’t want to have any problems with law enforcement.

Best Self Defense Knife

Kershaw Link Pocket Knife

Sleek and lightweight, the Kershaw Link offers quality at an affordable price. The Link pocket knife has a drop point blade, made of top-notch, reliable 420HC steel. The hardenability and the resistance of the knife blade are boosted by the higher amounts of carbon and chromium in the material.

Made in the USA, the Link series is high quality and high performing. Its non-reflective stonewashed finish creates a scuffled, fade-resistant look that hides smudges and fingerprints. The finish also enhances the blade’s rugged appearance and indestructibility during field use or knife fighting.

The knife’s revolutionary opening system allows fast one-hand deployment, either with a left or with a right hand. The liner lock system safely secures the blade open until you decide to close it.

The durable nylon synthetic polymer textured handle is very wear-resistant. It is reinforced with glass threads to increase its strength. The convenient pocketclip is the perfect finish for this premium class blade.

With dimensions of 7.6″ x 1″ x 1″ inches (blade length 3.25″) and a weight of 4 oz, this knife is available in several color options. The company provides a limited lifetime warranty against workmanship defects.

Kershaw Clash Pocket Knife

Another member of the Kershaw family, this comfortable folding pocket knife is ideal for everyday tasks – precision cutting for detailed projects, cutting boxes, self-defense, or home protection. It is the perfect utility knife, survival tool, or a gift for your family and friends.

The Clash series three-inch blade is suitable for any task at hand. It is made of top quality precision heat treated Chinese 8Cr13MoV steel containing carbon and slightly less nickel for hardness and edge retention.

The 8Cr13MoV blade steel strongly takes and holds an edge. It also offers wear resistance that can withstand damage from both abrasive and adhesive wear. The Kershaw’s Bead-Blasted glass and aluminum oxide finish enhances the blade’s aesthetics and complements its end-use.

The SpeedSafe Assisted Opening system enables one-hand deployment that is smooth, secure, and fast. The secure locking system holds the blade in place, making it one of the best self defense knives with folding blades.

The glass-filled nylon handle material is very tough and able to take heavy-duty hard use. The reversible pocketclip allows the user to choose how to carry the knife – tip-up or tip-down.

The product dimensions are 4.2″ x 3.1″ x 7.4″, the weight – 4.3 oz. It comes with a limited lifetime warranty.

Smith & Wesson High Carbon Fixed Blade Knife

Smith and Wesson focuses on creating knives for every situation. A perfect survival or self-defense knife, this durable quality blade will always be on your side.

With 9″ overall length, a blade length of 4.7″, and a weight of 7.7 oz, it is made of high-quality 7Cr17MoV high carbon stainless steel. The rubber wrapped handle and handguard prevent slipping and accidents.

The blood grove dual-blade is equipped with a belt/boot sheath system for quick and easy access. It also features a lanyard hole for carrying. All this makes it the best self defense knife with a fixed blade.

This 12″ x 7.5″ x 2″ and 5.6 oz knife is subjected to the Smith & Wesson limited lifetime warranty for defects in the material and workmanship.

Tac-Force Tactical Spring Assisted Knife

The TAC Force TF-705 Series tactical folding knife features a 3 1/4″, 0.1″ thick half-serrated stainless steel blade with a 4 1/2″ closed length.

The spring-assisted opening mechanism provides an easy one-handed deployment. The liner lock holds the blade securely into place.

This knife’s sturdy aluminum handle features a half-serrated blade for cutting branches, ropes, and more, which makes it the perfect rescue, survival, and self-defense tool.

The handle has a bottle opener, a screwdriver, and a glass breaker on the end, which can be used in an emergency situation. The pocket clip makes it safe and convenient for carrying.

TAC Force is part of a family-owned business founded in 1982, called Master Cutlery. Now it is the largest wholesale knife manufacturer in the US. This knife comes with a 30 days money-back guarantee.

Smith & Wesson Extreme Ops Folding Knife


The Smith & Wesson Extreme Ops Folding Knife’s partially-serrated clip point cutting edge is made of black high carbon stainless steel. It has ambidextrous thumb knobs, jimping, and an index flipper.

The black textured aluminum handle comes with finger indentions for reliable grip and a pocketclip for easy carrying. The handheld size is suitable for everyday carry and fits comfortably in your hand and pocket. Its dimensions are 7.1″ x 0.3″ x 1″, the blade is 3.1″, and its weight – 3.5 oz, which makes it one of the best self-defense knives on the market.

The easy opening is provided by thumb studs when a quick deployment is needed.

As with its other blades, Smith & Wesson provides a limited lifetime warranty for this self-defense knife.

Kershaw Cryo Pocket Knife

Designed by Rick Hinderer and precision engineered by Kershaw, the Cryo Pocket knife is a great companion for everyday carry. A real treasure for any hiker, landscaper, backpacker, hunter, wilderness guide, or electrician.

Beautifully designed and skilfully made, the Cryo is a sturdy knife that is aesthetically pleasing and feels great in the hand. Built of pure stainless 8Cr13MoV steel coated in titanium carbo-nitride for maximum performance.

Kershaw’s revolutionary SpeedSafe Assisted Opening system enables smooth, secure, and fast one-handed blade deployment that locks into place for confident handling.

The knife handle is made from stainless steel containing chromium for rust and corrosion resistance. The 4-position pocketclip provides tip-up or tip-down carry on both the right and left sides.

Chosen by Blade Magazine as 2012’s Best Buy of the Year, and Men’s Journal Approved Gear in 2013, this self-defense knife has dimensions of 6.5″ x 0.4 x 0.2″, a blade length of 2.75″ and a weight of 4.1 oz.

Kershaw backs this product with its limited lifetime warranty against defects in the workmanship.

Smith & Wesson Border Guard Folding Knife



This S & W self defense knife features two blood grooves, a glass breaker, a strap cutter, and a lanyard hole for carrying around, which makes it the perfect choice for first responders.

The 7Cr17MoV black oxide high carbon stainless steel knife blade comes in two kinds of carbon steel blade shape – with a straight or a partially-serrated cutting edge.

The aluminum handle with track tech inserts has a secure locking system for the blade and a clip that makes it ideal for everyday carry.

With an overall length of 10″, a blade length of 4.4″ and a weight of 8.8 oz, it is a sturdy, yet highly portable self-defense knife. This S & W jewel comes with the company’s limited lifetime warranty.

Gerber Paraframe Mini Knife

The smallest of the eight blades in the Paraframe series, this Gerber knife is minimalistic and open frame.

The clip-point blade is easy to open and ideal for cutting in close quarters, which makes it the perfect self-defense tool. Available in multiple blade shape variations, made of high-quality carbon stainless steel. With an unfolded length of 5.25″ and a blade length of 2.22″, it can be locked securely for sturdy use.

There is more air than metal inside the smooth stainless steel handle, which makes it lightweight (1.6 oz) and easy to keep clean. Just clip the knife into your pocket, and you’re ready to go.

Backed by a limited lifetime warranty in North America and a 25-year limited warranty outside North America.

Smith & Wesson Assisted Folding Knife



This S & W folding self defense knife has an ambidextrous thumb hole, thumb ramp jimping, and an index flipper.

The partially-serrated drop point blade is made of 8Cr13MoV stainless steel.

Its black and grey aluminum handle is designed with a glass breaking tool, a strap cutter, and a pocketclip. The M.A.G.I.C. assisted opening, and the safety and liner lock make it ideal for everyday carry.

Its overall length of 8.6″, the blade length of 3.6″, and the 7.6 oz weight make it a very comfortable and sturdy knife.

Like all the S & W knives, this product is covered by the company’s limited lifetime warranty.

BlizeTec Survival Knife

This premium 5-in-1 pocket-size stainless steel survival and self defense knife comes with a nylon pouch. The knife features a drop-point steel blade with a serrated saw, a magnesium alloy fire starter, a bright LED flashlight, a window breaker, a blade lock, a seatbelt cutter, and a pocket clip.

The BlizeTec survival knife is multi-purpose and has a blade lock. You can use it for every occasion, including camping, hiking, hunting, and self-defense. A MUST HAVE item for emergency preparedness and an excellent gift for your family or friends.

This self defense knife is 8.5″ long unfolded with a 3.5″ blade and weighs only 5.46 oz. Designed to fit perfectly into your palm, it avoids the hassle of having a big knife while simultaneously giving you all the benefits of a large blade knife.

The emergency multi-tool was produced with “ease of use” in mind. It can be carried with the belt clip or with the nylon pouch.

This sleek design silver survival and defense tool carries the BlazeTec trademark and is a subject to its limited lifetime warranty.

Final words

One’s ability to wield a knife for self-defense is as essential as having a quality blade. Using your knife for everyday tasks gives you the advantage of knowing it better when you are in an emergency situation. An added bonus is that you get more for your money.

Don’t forget to use your knife regularly. Whether it’s vegetable-cutting, camping, or hunting, you will quickly get familiar with it, which will help you greatly if you ever happen to be in a knife fight with it.

So when you chose a blade, you should also practice your self-defense movements from time to time in order to best your knife-wielding abilities. Also, keep your knife in the best possible condition, and it will serve you faithfully for an extended period of time.

Last update on 2020-11-12 at 13:44 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Login/Register access is temporary disabled