15 Best Combat Knives in 2021

Peter Stec
November 3, 2021
Best Combat Knives

While some knives can be an outdated weaponry item to have, many tactical knives are still valuable. A tactical knife can be used in an emergency, for a self-defense situation, and more. If you have an interest in tactical combat knives or combat knives, in general, let me help you find the best one. 

I have hand-picked the best tactical combat knives that you can go for. How have I chosen them? Well, I have considered many things before listing them here. I have selected combat knives of high quality, fit into everyone’s budget, and are also reliable. 

While there is a galore of tactical knives, I want you to make an informed decision when you buy one. I remember my journey of getting hold of my first and the best tactical knife and the number of difficulties I faced. 

My list covered the 15 best tactical knives, their features, price, and pros and cons. Also, I recommend Spyderco Para 3 Lightweight Signature knife because this is one of the best tactical knives to have. 

Here are the Best Combat Knives – Tried & Tested

#1: Spyderco Para 3 Lightweight Signature Knife 

Spyderco Para 3 Lightweight Signature Knife

Spyderco Para 3 is a fantastic-looking pocket knife with carry-friendly packaging. The superior high carbon chromium knife combined with good edge retention, outstanding balance, and low-friction cutting performance.

The lightweight survival knife has an open-backed construction look, and the stainless steel liners on the FRN handle give it a classic look. The blade length is 2.92 inches when opened, whereas the overall length is 7.21 inches. The lock bar inside the handle’s interior allows a sturdy lock mechanism. The nitrogen-enriched high carbon steel ensures its durability. And the ergonomics of the handle make it easier to hold. This knife is exactly what you need as a first-timer. 

Price: $119.00

Key Specifications 

The blade of the self-defense knife is made of premium CTS BD1N. It features high-carbon chromium and nitrogen-enriched steel blade. The knife is lightweight and easy to carry. The liner is on the FRN handle, which reduces the thickness of the handle. The blade offers cutting-edge performance and is available in a compact and portable design. It also features easy-to-lock use and has a compression lock mechanism, which allows the blade to open easily. 

Pros

  • Offer a comfortable grip.
  • A razor-sharp blade. 
  • Overall, a good rescue knife. 

Cons

  • Some customers have complained that they have received a damaged product, but every feature it boasts is true. 

#2: Ontario Spec Plus SP-1 Marine Combat Knife

Ontario Spec Plus SP-1 Marine Combat Knife

The next tactical combat knife with good blade features is the Ontario Spec Plus SP-1 Marine Combat knife. This one was initially designed for special combat units, sportsmen, and first responders. But it soon became popular. It is made of 1095 carbon steel, which ensures that the sharpness remains intact.

The knife’s handle has finger grooves, which make holding it convenient. To ensure that the knife is safe to use, the handle also features a double finger guard. The blade length is 7 inches, and it’s a fixed blade knife. The addition of a Cordura/leather sheath makes the knife look stylish. Moreover, this knife-making company is famous. 

Price: $39.95

Key Specifications 

The blade length is 7 inches, and it is a full tang blade made of premium quality carbon steel. The handle has finger grooves and is designed to fit perfectly in one’s hands. It also has a double finger guard. The knife weighs 10 ounces and is made in the USA. It offers a lifetime warranty and comes in a combination of Cordura/leather sheath. 

Pros

  • It looks great. 
  • The material used is excellent.
  • Super sharp fixed blades. 

Cons

  • Someone who likes folding knives may find this stainless steel blade a bit bulky. 

#3: Ka-Bar Full Size US Marine Corps 

Ka-Bar Full Size US Marine Corps

This Ka-Bar fighting knife has a plain edge and is quite a rigid blade. Yet again, it is not a folding knife and features a steel blade. The blade is counted among the top fixed blade tactical knives. This marine corps fighting knife was first made during World War 2. It is made in the USA and is often used for hunting.

This combat knife features a glass-filled nylon sheath, making it long-lasting and durable, and the edge angle is 20 degrees. The steel used in the blade is 1095 cro-van. The thickness of the blade is good, and its length is 5-1/4 inches. And, the length of the entire knife is 9-1/4 inches. The serrated edge is at the end of the blade. 

Price: $64.14

Key Specifications 

The knife features a solid edge backstrap, and the blade has an epoxy coating. The ergonomics makes it easy to handle and use. This tang knife is 9-1/4 inches long, but the blade length is 5-1/4 inches and features a pointed blade. The partially serrated edge is towards the end of the blade. It weighs 4.8 oz, and the angle’s edge is 20 degrees. 

Pros

  • The right tactical combat knife to go for. 
  • An excellent tactical knife with excellent sharpness.
  • A sturdy tactical combat knife.  

Cons

  • It doesn’t have any belt loop, and since it is quite a long knife-carrying, it may not be easy for everyone. 

#4: Gerber LMF II Survival Knife

Gerber LMF II Survival Knife

The Gerber LMF II Survival knife is one of the best tactical combat knives. This knife has been in use for a long time, and people rely on it because of its impeccable performance.

Gerber is known for crafting robust knives and tools. Along with it. The company also makes outdoor gear. The knives were initially created for the aircrew members. This Gerber survival knife has a razor-sharp edge, and the serrated blade will cut through anything you want. The sheath material used is ballistic nylon, and it also has a fire-retardant coating. It is made in the USA, and the handle is made of glass fitted nylon with TPV overmold. There is a break between the tang and the cap, which keeps the knife protected against stray wires. 

Key Specifications 

The length of the blade is 10 inches and is made of 420HC stainless steel. The handle is made of glass-fitted nylon and has TPV over-mold. The butt cap features an intelligent design that provides effective shock absorption. The sheath makes it a low-profile blade, which makes the blade look stylish. 

Pros

  • Gerber knife is sharp. 
  • The steel blade is excellent.
  • Can cut through most complex objects. 

Cons

  • Some customers have complained about the rubber around the handle coming off.  

#5: Cold Steel 27TLCTH Hunting Folding Knife

The Cold Steel Recon 1 is from the same series as Spear Point Plain Edge. The blade is made of a vacuum heat-treated blade. It has a PTFE finish and makes it rust-resistant. The blade is 4 inches long and can cut hardened thread and rope easily.

The G-10 laminated scale on the handle makes it one of the finest combat knives in the market. The Cold Steel Recon 1 pocket knife is thin and offers good ergonomics. The blade is super sharp and has a superior lubricant as well. This signifies that making deep cuts into objects is not a problem. In addition, it is small and easy to carry. The most significant plus point of this small knife is its ergonomics and fantastic grip. 

Price: $92.01

Key Specifications 

The blade is made of vacuum heat-treated stainless steel and features a PTFE finish. The knife is rust-resistant and even eliminates glare. The blade length is 4 inches and can cut through the most challenging objects efficiently. The handle features G-10 laminated scales, which enhances its ergonomics. 

Pros

  • A good combat knife. 
  • Small in size 
  • Easy to carry. 

Cons

  • The superior lubricant can easily make the blade slip through, which increases the chances of an accident. Hence, handle it with care.

#6: Smith & Wesson Extreme Ops SWA24S 7.1in S.S. Folding Knife

Smith & Wesson Extreme Ops SWA24S 7.1in S.S. Folding Knife

When it comes to one of the best combat knives, you can think of buying Smith & Wesson Extreme Ops SWA24S 7.1in S.S. Folding Knife. It’s an affordable knife; the all-black knife gives it a rugged look; it is durable and very dependable.

In addition, the super-sharp blade can cut complex objects easily. The overall length of this combat knife is 7.1 inches, and the blade length is 3.1 inches. It is a tiny knife, but not a small fixed blade knife. It is foldable, which means you can carry it with you wherever you go. The shape of the blade looks good, and the black color makes it look rough and tough. 

Price: $20.28

Key Specifications 

Overall, the knife’s length is 7.1 inches, while the blade’s measurement is 3.1 inches. The combat knife weighs only 3.5 ounces, and it is durable. The blade is made of 7Cr17MoV black oxide high carbon, and the handle is made of aluminum. The knife gives you easy and quick access. There is a finger flipper, and the thumb knobs allow a user to hold it easily. 

Pros

  • Easy to carry. 
  • Lightweight. 
  • Budget-friendly. 

Cons

  • Some users have complained that the overall look of this combat knife gives away a plastically feeling; otherwise, it’s good. 

#7: CRKT M16-14SF EDC Folding Pocket Knife

CRKT M16-14SF EDC Folding Pocket Knife

The CRKT M16-14SF EDC Folding knife is not like other combat knives. It has been designed for special operations.

The knife is pretty long, with an overall length of 9.25 inches, while the blade length is 4 inches. Blade thickness is 0.14 inches, and the blade is made of high-quality material. It resists smudging, the handle is good, and cuts through different items. The handle is made of aluminum, which makes it lightweight. When it comes to usability, it is easy to hold. There are four-clip options, which are right, left, up, and down. 

Price: 111.56

Key Specifications 

The automated liner safety ensures that the knife is easy to carry and provides an additional layer of lock security. The tactical combat knife features a triple-point serration, which can easily cut through complex objects. It weighs 5.7 ounces, and the total dimension is 5 x 5 x 5 inches. It comes with a limited lifetime warranty. 

Pros

  • A sturdy blade. 
  • Safe and secure.
  • Good cutting power. 

Cons

  • Some users have complained about the lock and pivot being flimsy. 

#8: Kershaw Blur S30V Folding Pocket Knife

Kershaw Blur S30V Folding Pocket Knife

Kershaw Blur S30V knife is a sturdy and durable folding knife. The premium quality material used in the blade ensures that the blade lasts long. In addition, the premium S30V powdered steel blade makes the blade super sharp and offers a fine edge.

One can use this fighting knife for different activities, such as cutting rope, slicing fruits, cutting zip ties, etc. It features a black anodized aluminum handle that provides you with a good grip. Overall, the fighting knife has a rugged appearance. This can be used as the best military knife and is ideal for fishermen, hunters, homesteaders, and more. 

Price: $77.74

Key Specifications 

• The blade is 3.38 inches long and is made of premium S30V powdered steel. 

• The weight is 0.5 ounces, and the style is a blur liner lock. 

• Handle material is good quality basic black anodized aluminum and is ideal for chopping, cutting, and slicing things. 

• It looks good and has a stone-wash finish. 

Pros

  • Ergonomic design. 
  • Easy to carry and store. 
  • Stain-resistant. 

Cons

  • Customization is limited, and that could be a disappointment for a few. 

#9: FOX 479 G10 Black Emerson Wave Folding Karambit

FOX 479 G10 Black Emerson Wave Folding Karambit

I listed the FOX 479 G10 Black Emerson Wave Folding Karambit in the ninth position, a popular military knife. It has a tiger claw rather than a straight edge. This fighting knife is small but powerful.

One can use it as a hunting knife. Being one of the best carry knives, the quality of the knife is impeccable. It doesn’t have different blade shapes but offers quick deployment. The blade is 3 inches long, and overall, the length is 7.5 inches. The adjustable pocket clip lets you use the knife for different purposes. NC690Co stainless steel provides the much-needed durability and consistent edge that one would wish for. 

Price: $127.46

Key Specifications 

It features a tiger claw, and the blade’s length is 3 inches, and the thickness is .11 inches. The blade is constructed using NC690Co stainless steel and is corrosion-resistant. There is an adjustable pocket clip, which makes it useful in different situations. The tip is razor-sharp, which makes it the perfect combat knife. 

Pros

  • Super sharp combat knife. 
  • Extra layer Teflon finish. 
  • Good grip and finger lock. 

Cons

  • At this price, one will expect a leather sheath, but it comes with no sheath. 

#10: CRKT SIWI Fixed Blade Knife

CRKT SIWI Fixed Blade Knife

If you are looking for an excellent fixed blade price at a good price, you may want to look at CRKT SIWI Fixed Blade Knife. This small knife comes with SK5 carbon steel, which provides optimum sharpness and holds the edge well.

In addition, it is small; hence, it is easy to carry. As far as the look is concerned, I am not that impressed, but it does the cutting job pretty well; hence, I don’t have any complaints. The blade also features a black coating, which makes it corrosion-resistant. In addition, it comes with a limited lifetime warranty. Therefore, if you find any defect with the workmanship and materials, you can use the warranty. 

Price: $78.72

Key Specifications

The blade is made of high-quality carbon steel, which makes it corrosion-resistant. CRKT SIWI Fixed Blade Knife package includes a manual. It weighs 5.6 ounces, and the shape of the blade is a drop point. It features a plain blade edge, and the blade length is 3.3 inches. 

Pros

  • Sturdy combat knife. 
  • The handle is excellent. 
  • Great finish. 

Cons

  • The sheath and clip system needs some work because many customers complained about them. 

#11: Ontario Knife Company, M9 Bayonet, and Scabbard

Ontario Knife Company, M9 Bayonet, and Scabbard

M9 Bayonet and Scabbard knife by Ontario is a sharp, huge, and rugged knife. It is designed for military purposes, and the black handle keeps the hands well-protected. The weight is 16 Oz and is not for the faintest of hearts.

The blade length is 7 inches, and the blade grind is a flat bevel. It has a zinc phosphate coating, and the handle is grooved for better grip. It’s a folding but pretty large knife; hence, if you need a long knife, buy it; else, choose another one from the list. Moreover, the weight can be a letdown for a few. 

Price: $141.16

Key Specifications

The handle is made of zinc and is grooved, which provides an optimum grip. The blade length is 7 inches, and the overall length is 12.25 inches. The overall knife weighs 16 ounces, and the lock type is fixed. The blade grind is flat bevel, and the knife is made in the USA. 

Pros

  • Super sturdy combat knife. 
  • Looks good. 
  • Super sharp. 

Cons

  • A heavy knife compared to all the other fighting knives, which may be difficult for a few. 

#12: 991513 SOG Seal Pup Elite TiNi Knife with Kydex Sheath

991513 SOG Seal Pup Elite TiNi Knife with Kydex Sheath

The SOG Seal Pup Elite TiNi knife’s handle is made of glass-reinforced nylon. Its color is unset, and the blade material is high-quality stainless steel. It’s a newly designed knife from SOG, and the handle has better ergonomics.

The deep finger grooves offer better grip. The blade has a spine rasp for thumb replacement, filling, and notching. It features a straightedge and a fixed blade, which is 4.85 inches long. For the handle, glass-reinforced nylon is used. The knife includes a belt loop and a black Kydex sheath. 

Price: $65.03

Key Specifications

Better ergonomics with deep finger grooves. Glass reinforced nylon black handle that fits perfectly in the palms. The company provides a limited lifetime warranty, and the blade’s length is 4.85 inches. 

Pros

  • Good grip
  • Sharp blade
  • Looks good 

Cons

  • Customers have complained that the sharpness lasts for a limited time and needs repeated sharpening.

 

#13: Smith & Wesson 10.6in High Carbon S.S. Fixed Blade Knife

Smith & Wesson 10.6in High Carbon S.S. Fixed Blade Knife

Another good combat knife by Smith & Wesson is 10.6in High Carbon S.S. Fixed Blade knife. It features a fixed blade, as the name suggests. You will find multiple colors for this knife, and the handle’s material is thermoplastic elastomers.

The blade material is high carbon stainless steel. The edge is plain, and it weighs 7.05 Oz. It is a tanto blade with a tanto point blade. The blade’s length is 5.2 inches. The durable tanto blade is made to last long, and the TPE handle makes the knife convenient to handle. In addition, the design is such that it won’t slip. 

Price: $49.39

Key Specifications 

Handle material is thermoplastic elastomers, and the blade material is high carbon stainless steel. The weight of this knife is 7.05 Oz. The blade provides you with a tanto point blade, which makes it durable. The blade’s length is 5.2 inches, and the overall length is 10.6 inches. 

Pros

  • It is sharp. 
  • Plain edge. 
  • Long-lasting and Durable

Cons

  • Customers have complained about its sheath. Many are not happy about it and feel it’s of poor quality. 

#14: Oerla TAC Knives OLX-004 Fixed Blade Outdoor Duty Straight Knife

Oerla TAC Knives OLX-004 Fixed Blade Outdoor Duty Straight Knife

Oerla TAC Knives OLX-004 has a 420HC alloy steel blade, and the handle is made of fiberglass. The blade’s length is 3,9 inches; however, overall, the length is 9 inches. It weighs 9,5 ounces and looks decent.

The sharp blade at this price is pretty impressive. The handle provides you with a deep index-finger indentation, which allows you to have a better grip. The blade is made with precise cryogenic tempering, which enhances the crystalline structure of the edge and makes it tough. It is one of the best combat knives to have, which can also come in handy when you need to cut something challenging during an emergency. This one of the best tactical combat knives is made to last long. 

Price: $28.50

Key Specifications 

The design is ideal for vertical and horizontal carry. The handle material is fiberglass, while the blade material is alloy steel. The blade length is 3.9 inches, and it weighs 9.5 Oz. The blade’s shape is straight back, and the edge is a compound bevel. 

Pros

  • Suitable for everyday carry.
  • A tough combat knife.
  • Sharpness is good and has a tough blade. 

Cons

  • Some users reported that the tip broke off when they tried to cut something solid.

#15: SOG Seal Pup Elite Tactical Fixed Blade

SOG Seal Pup Elite Tactical Fixed Blade

For the last pick, I have chosen SOG Seal Pup Elite Tactical Fixed Blade. It features a 4.75-inch blade made of high-grade stainless steel. The blade is fixed and is made for outdoor purposes. It is a navy SEAL knife and comes along with a sheath.

The total length of the knife is 9 inches. SOG Seal Pup Elite Tactical Fixed Blade weighs 5.4 Oz, making it easy to carry. The handle is made of glass-reinforced nylon, which provides excellent grip and requires no maintenance. One can use it for camping, hiking, rescue, belt, boot, skinning, and military knife. The blade is partially black titanium nitride-coated. 

Price: $82.13

Key Specifications 

The knife is back, and the blade is made of stainless steel. The blade is 4.75 inches and weighs 5.4 Oz. For the handle, glass-reinforced nylon is used. The partially black titanium nitride-coated blade is razor-sharp and sturdy. 

Pros

  • It looks great. 
  • Lightweight but sharp. 
  • Good size. 

Cons

  • For a true combat knife fan, it may feel too light. Some have also complained about its balance.

Types of Combat Knives

Types of Combat Knives
Image: Source

Combat knives are available in multiple types. Therefore, it is always better to learn about each type to choose the right combat knife before buying one. 

Fixed Blade

As the name suggests, a combat knife with a fixed blade will be fixed, and you can’t fold it in half.  Many knives come with a fixed knife. One famous knife-making company, Ka-Bars, is known for making fixed knives. These types will be a little challenging to carry since you can’t fold them, and you will have to take care of the whole knife. However, they will mostly come with a sheath so that one can carry it easily. 

Bowie Knife

Bowie knives date back to the 19th century. These knives were used during the American Civil War as well and were the first choice for every frontier, and even today, Bowie knives are preferred by many. Since they are so popular, today they are used as fighting knives. 

Tactical Knife 

Tactical knives are used for fighting, and that’s why they are often associated with combat knives. However, a good tactical knife can be used for other purposes as well, for example, for extra functionality. These knives are designed to help people when they are in a combat or self-defense situation. Tactical knives are also called utility knives because of their multipurpose usage. One popular example of these knives is the Swiss Army knife. It is a knife but comes along with many other tools. 

Karambit Knife 

If you have seen a curved blade with a tiger’s claw, you probably have seen a Karambit knife. These knives are mainly designed for self-defense purposes. The curved shape of the blade gives it a unique look. Using a Karambit knife will need some practice because it is different from other knives. 

Folding Knife 

A tactical knife can come in a folding style. Unlike fixed blades, you can easily fold a folding blade. Carrying these blades become easy because they can be easily folded. Moreover, since they can fold, they also become safe to carry. There are many folding combat knives. If you want something easy to carry and small, you can try folding knives. They also are good pocket knives. 

The Best Tactical Knives Navy SEALs Use

The Best Tactical Knives Navy SEALs Use
Image: Source

Navy SEALs require knives that are not just sharp and robust but meet their requirements as well. Since they can find themselves in a challenging situation, their need for a knife has to be met. Some of the popular knives-making companies that navy SEALs trust are Ontario MK 3 Navy Knife, Fairbairn-Sykes, Glauca B1, WING-Tactic, Karambit, Ka-Bar, and a few others. These are the chosen knife-making companies for them. 

Buying Guide for Best Combat Knife: Things to Consider When Buying Combat Knives

Ergonomics

You will want your knife to inflict a lethal blow when needed, which is why ergonomics play an important role. The ergonomics is basically the design of the blade. The ergonomics should provide you with a good grip so that when you hold it, it doesn’t slip. Moreover, when you try to use it, you should be able to use it comfortably. 

Size

The size of the blade matters. You need to know the purpose of buying the combat knife. Do you only want to use it during combat, or will you want the knife to be used for different purposes as well? Think about that. You will find small size knives and big size knives. Think about the situation where you would like to use and accordingly buy. 

Blade material

The best material to choose for the blade material is stainless steel. Choose a material that is corrosion, rust, and stain-resistant. This way, the blade will last long and stay secure. Also, a less maintenance blade will be a good choice because that will save your time. 

Blade & tip design

The shape of the blade and tip will tell you how each blade will behave. There is no best blade shape, but you need to study each blade and tip type to make an informed decision. So, you have drop point, tanto point blade, perverse tanto, clip point, assist blade, bowie, coping blade, needlepoint, s curve, pen blade, spey point, and more. Better to do some research about different blade and tip designs and then choose. 

Weight

Always go for a tactical knife that will let you perform well. And this is the primary reason why weight is essential. Pick a knife whose weight you will be able to handle and balance. If you lose the balance of the blade, it won’t perform well. 

Handle

Finally, the handle should be slip-resistant and made of high-quality material. If the handle is weak, your hand can easily slip, and you may even injure yourself. Read about the description of the handle, and pay attention to the material used. 

Verdict

Out of all the knives, I prefer and recommend Spyderco Para 3 Lightweight Signature Knife. The design of this knife is good, and it offers a good balance. So, if you want to buy the best combat knife, you can go for this one. The blade is sharp, made of the finest steel, and the handle offers a good grip. Do some research about each tactical knife as well, and once you find the one that suits your requirements, go for it. Pay attention to the price, blade material, sharpness, and handle material before buying.

Also read: Best hog skinning knife and Best horizontal carry knife.

About The Author
Hey Knife Up gang! I'm Pete, and I'm just another man like you in a small rural town who loves the outdoors as much as the other million internet users that cruise sites like KnifeUp.com every day. The difference is that I like to share what I know and research what I don't totally know so that YOU can have all the info you need to feel confident and prepared for all things outdoors-related! And, for those who care, I have 42 years of wilderness canoeing and bushcraft experience in Northern Ontario and spend most of my Summers covered in mosquitos and fish slime, but hey, it's a lifestyle choice, eh?

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