state knife laws feature

Michigan Knife Laws

TueborThe law in Michigan can be confusing if you have not had formal training. This article will give you a thorough understanding of Michigan’s knife laws in everyday English. It will give you a brief version of the law, a full version of the law with explanations, as well as case precedence. The law does not have to be confusing (and it was never intended to be) and, hopefully, this article will make it more accessible for the common person.

Knife carry laws in the state of Michigan were amended in October 2017.  Spring-assisted knives (switchblades, automatic, etc.) are now legal as of the amendment date.  However, OTF (out the front) double-edged knives are still prohibited.

What is Legal to Own

  • Butterfly knives, also called balisong knives, are legal.
  • Dirks, daggers, stilettos, and other stabbing knives are legal.
  • Throwing knives and throwing stars are legal.
  • Bowie knives and other large knives are legal.
  • Hidden knives like belt knives and lipstick knives are legal.
  • Undetectable knives (knives that do not set off metal detectors) are legal.
  • Switchblades, automatic knives, and gravity knives are legal.

What is Legal to Carry

  • All knives, except for banned ones, are legal for open carry.
  • It is legal to carry a hunting knife concealed.
  • It is illegal to conceal carry dirks, stilettos, daggers, and other stabbing items.
  • It is illegal to carry any automatic NON-FOLDING knife (that is, any knife whose blade protrudes out the front of the handle).
  • On top of this, you can not carry a dangerous weapon with intent to harm.
  • It is legal to carry an automatic or spring-assisted knife (as of October 2017) unless the blade deploys out the front of the handle

The law only limits the carry of dirks, stilettos, daggers, and other sharp, double-bladed stabbing tools. If a knife cannot be used to stab (has no point), it can be carried concealed as long as you do not have the intent to harm someone.  Also, note that while it is illegal to carry a double-edged OTF knife (automatic or not), an OTF knife that is NOT double-edged could technically be legal.  However, I’d stay away from carrying one since there’s a good chance it would be seen as a dirk or dagger by a judge or prosecutor. 

What the Law Says

No Intent to Harm

MCL § 750.226

§ 750.226. Firearm or dangerous weapon; carrying with unlawful intent. Sec. 226.

Carrying firearm or dangerous weapon with unlawful intent-Any person who, with intent to use the same unlawfully against the person of another, goes armed with a pistol or other firearm or dagger, dirk, razor, stiletto, or knife having a blade over 3 inches in length, or any other dangerous or deadly weapon or instrument, shall be guilty of a felony, punishable by imprisonment in the state prison for not more than 5 years or by a fine of not more than 2,500 dollars.

This law makes it illegal for individuals to use a dangerous weapon against another. The law states that daggers, dirks, razors, and stilettos are dangerous weapons per se. The law also goes on to say that any knife over 3 inches, when used against another person, is a defacto dangerous weapon. However, the clause also ends with “or any other dangerous or deadly weapon or instrument.” What would be included under that? We don’t know for sure but case law gives us some ideas.

Any knife can be a dangerous weapon. In the 1971 case of People v Iverson, it was found that carrying a hunting knife is not a per se crime unless you are carrying a hunting knife with intent to harm another person. The implications of this are that, if you are planning on hurting someone with a knife, there is a chance that the knife can count as a dangerous weapon even if it is a 1-inch folder.

Pocket knives over 3 inches are not dangerous weapons per se. The case of People v Vaines in 1945 found that a jackknife (a type of pocket knife) that is over 3 inches in blade length is not an automatic dangerous weapon and carrying it is not a crime. The court goes on to explain that, only when the knife is used for attacking or defending is it than a deadly weapon.

What are the implications of these two cases and the law? It means that you can carry any of the above knives on you as long as you do not have the intent to harm someone. The prosecution must prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, that you, at the moment the police found you, had the intent to harm while you were carrying a dangerous knife.

An example of a case where this happened was in Chicago where a man was convicted of carrying a dangerous weapon with intent to harm. A police officer found the man bent over behind a car at night with leather gloves on during the summer. Given the season, the fact that the knife was in the open position, and the fact he was concealed, a jury convicted him of carrying a dangerous weapon with intent to harm.


Limits on Concealed Knives

MCL § 750.227

§ 750.227. Concealed weapons; carrying; penalty. Sec. 227.

(1) A person shall not carry a dagger, dirk, stiletto, a double-edged nonfolding stabbing instrument of any length, or any other dangerous weapon, except a hunting knife adapted and carried as such, concealed on or about his or her person, or whether concealed or otherwise in any vehicle operated or occupied by the person, except in his or her dwelling house, place of business or on other land possessed by the person. […] (3) A person who violates this section is guilty of a felony, punishable by imprisonment for not more than 5 years, or by a fine of not more than $2,500.00.

MCL § 750.222a

§ 750.222a. “Double-edged, nonfolding stabbing instrument” defined. Sec. 222a.

(1) As used in this chapter, “doubled-edged, nonfolding stabbing instrument” does not include a knife, tool, implement, arrowhead, or artifact manufactured from stone by means of conchoidal fracturing. (2) Subsection (1) does not apply to an item being transported in a vehicle, unless the item is in a container and inaccessible to the driver.

From reading this, we know that it is legal to conceal carry a hunting knife. We also know that it is legal to open carry any type of knife as long as it is not an automatic knife (a knife your not supposed to have in your possession).

What is illegal then? Well, we must first find out what “other dangerous weapon” means. Case precedence will help with this.

People v Smith (1975) found that “other dangerous weapon” must mean other types of stabbing instruments. The implications of this is that carrying concealed a non-hunting knife that has a blunt tip is not illegal. Some dive knives have blunt tips and, under this law, you can carry them concealed. To further emphasize this point, the case of People v Grandberry in 1980 found that axes (top tomahawks for tactical use) do not qualify as dangerous weapons in this clause since they can not be used to stab others. From these two cases, we know that, as long as the knife cannot be used to stab others, it is legal to carry concealed.

What is a Hunting Knife?

The case of People v Payne in 1989 found that a hunting knife is a knife used to cut open and skin game. It is usually a wide, single bladed knife with a pointed tip. The law makes no distinction on folding or fixed blade. It also has no distinction in blade length.

Conclusion on Michigan Knife Laws

Michigan’s laws are not that confusing, it just requires some investigation and analysis. In Michigan, you can own any knife you want. You can also open carry any knife you want unless it is an automatic knife whose blade deploys out the front of the handle. The only limits to concealed carry are that you must not use the knife to harm others and that you can not carry a stabbing knife like a dirk or stiletto whose blade is deployed out the front of the handle.

Note that this is not legal advice and there is no client-attorney relationship. Talk to an attorney in your area if you need assistance. There are also county laws that come into play as well.

If you have a question, type it in the comment box below.


*This article was updated in April of 2019 using the State of Michigan Statutes overview which you can check HERE.

Peter Stec
Latest posts by Peter Stec (see all)


  1. Police Officers are the problem when it comes to common sense knife laws.
    Why do they always look for ways to arrest rather than be understanding?

  2. So I was wondering if you are carrying a knife as a minor and you catch yourself in a situation with an adult trying to hurt you would I have the right to defend myself with a knife?

    1. That’s a really tricky point because it would really depend on a lot of things. If you are in obvious danger (like being kidnapped) and you use the knife to escape, no one will criticize you, but anything less severe than that and you could be charged. However, that may also be to the discretion of the Police officer to shows up to investigate. Every officer has discretion to do as he sees most appropriate in the moment, and that could go either way. I wish I could help more, but that’s the reality.

    2. Nolan, Michigan has the stand your ground law which means if you are in fear of your life or think the person can and will inflict great bodily harm to you or someone with you, you are allowed legally to use deadly force. Just be sure to not be carrying an illegal double edged knife or other weapon. There’s not a blade length law in Michigan as long as you’re not carrying it as a weapon. It’s worded weird but just never tell law enforcement that it’s for self defense, always say it’s a tool. Hopefully you never have to be in this type of situation. Be smart

  3. I am a bagpiper here in Michigan on the side. When I wear my kilt and cultural garb, I usually carry sgian duv (a kind of small dagger with a single blade). Stopped into Walmart after a gig and was harrased by some lady saying she was offended that I was wearing it. She said she was calling the police. The cops said that since I was on private property and it was a cultural dagger, they would not pursue. The lady was pissed. On they way out, she was booed by people who were of Irish and Scottish descent. I felt pretty proud being backed by fellow Celts! Knife owners-1 anti knife people-0.

  4. That one law says that if the blade is over 3 inches that you can be charged with a felony. So if I were conceal carrying a knife and a cop pulled me over and saw it, couldn’t he charge me with a felony for carrying that knife?

    1. YES THATS EXACTLY WHAT IT MEANS. We are a hunting family. My son moved to Michigan last Spring. He was pulled over for speeding in August 2019 and the officer saw a long hunting knife between his seats and gave him a ticket for that. He followed up for several months and nothing was ever done about it. Last night he was pulled over for speeding again and arrested and put in jail for outstanding warrent for the knife charge. They never sent him a letter, court notice, nothing. So my 21 year old son who has never done anything except speed had to spent a night in jail and now faces a felony!!!! Prays for him would be greatly appreciated.

  5. So is carrying a folder/flipper knife with a visible pocket clip counseled carry or open carry?

    1. The high school I work at has a cooking class are those knives allowed? They are not secured just shoved in a drawer. We have all different lengths. Anyone has access to them.
      What’s the law on that if any?

  6. Whats the rules pertaining to a machete if you plan to go hiking and use it in the wilderness/ possibly cross state lines into ohio

    1. I have a 24” machete I carry in the cargo bay of my SUV in a sheath for clearing brush while hiking. There have been 2 times I’ve been pulled over where officer asked about weapons in the vehicle (once by state trooper other was local PD) and neither had a problem when I told them. I think as long as you have it stored in a responsible way and disclose you have it shows your intent you should be okay.

  7. So I bought an automatic knife in South Carolina and brought it back to michigan if i put it in my pocket and carry it around will i get in trouble for doing so it’s folding knife not an otf the blade is a single edge that is 3 and 1/4 inches long

    1. As far as I can tell Damian, you should be good as long as you’re not showing intent to harm someone (except in case you’re attacked by a bunch of hoodlums in an alley). You just don’t want to mess with OTF knives.
      Thanks for the question!

    1. Hi Sombra H:

      I just pulled this from the Michigan State Legislature website in late November of 2018:

      “750.227 Concealed weapons; carrying; penalty.
      Sec. 227.

      (1) A person shall not carry a dagger, dirk, stiletto, a double-edged non-folding stabbing instrument of any length, or any other dangerous weapon, except a hunting knife adapted and carried as such, concealed on or about his or her person, or whether concealed or otherwise in any vehicle operated or occupied by the person, except in his or her dwelling house, place of business or on other land possessed by the person.”

      It basically says you can’t carry a doubled edged OTF (out the front) knife (only a folding knife) in the State of Michigan. Perhaps I’m interpreting this wrong?

      Thanks for your message,

    2. I guess no state wants to be too damn good in all aspects, or else we’d have the right to carry a 3′ sword in MI and a the right to carry a concealed handgun (shall issue) in CO. How the hell they can each be so confused about one thing but not the other is beyond belief.

    3. The ONLY kind of OTF knife that is NOT legal to carry in Michigan, is one that is double-edged like a dagger and therefore falls under the definition of “dirk, dagger, or other stabbing instrument”. I suspect the “Guardfather” spike weapon would also fall under that definition as well.

    4. Use EXTREAM caution if you own or carry any kind of dual edged knife in Michigan, even if it folds!!! It’s the wild west right now with dual edged knives in this state… your guess is as good as the next guy as to if your knife is legal or not based on the actual law… We need clear Knife Laws in this state not ones that can be easily manipulated by dishonest officials…
      I have a letter from the Michigan Governor’s office and several emails from the State Police stating dual edged folding knifes are legal in Michigan… Yet the Zeeland Police and Ottawa County Prosecutor believe dual edged folding knives can be called daggers, dirks or stilettos… And since those three terms are apperently NOT defined anywhere in MI’s laws… Guess what… You and I have no rights or protection under the law! Arguably Michigan has some of the worst written laws in this country as it relates to knives.
      Contact your State Representatives and ask them to support a repeal of 750.227, it needs to go!
      Rep Steven Johnson introduced House Bill 55123 (2018) to do just that, but that bill died in the House Judiciary committee… That committee apparently doesn’t want the people of Michigan to have Laws we can understand?!?!? that Bill needs to get reintroduced as it was written in 2018….

    5. You can tell that the people who wrote the legislation have no clue about the different types of knives! Typical for politicians to make and have laws enforced on things they know very little about or see on TV. I am confused however, so is an auto OTF non double blade legal to carry or not????

    6. Hey Will;
      Thanks for the question. I didn’t know the answer to your question but I did some research today and updated the post to show an answer. Basically, a non double-edged OTF might technically be legal (since it’s not double-edged), but if I were a betting man, I’d bet that if you’re caught with it by an officer with an attitude, the judge will see your knife as a dirk or dagger and you’d still be charged for illegal carry/possession. That’s not 100% since I’m not a lawyer, but it’s my best opinion based on my research.
      Best of luck

    7. you can carry an out the front knife as long as it only has a single edge, LEO and Military are authorized to have a double edged OTF knife in michigan however

  8. The exact definition of an assisted knife is when you yourself apply pressure to the blade causing it to flip open with the help of a spring. With assisted knives you don’t apply pressure to the blade.

  9. I bought a knife to carry and or show off I live in upper Michigan and bought this offline with the description that it was a spring assisted not an automatic but if I look up automatic knives it will come up with this knife model what’s the deal with that can I carry it or not?

    1. can I carry a knife (2.5 inch blade) that locks? it locks in place once I pull the blade out of the side and I have to push something to drop it back down (it’s not fast, nor is it supposed to be. Its that orange eddie bauer knife) is it legal to carry around? I’ve been carrying it around for months and never thought about it

  10. WOW!!!! From what I get in all these knife requirements is some monkey State Congressman got together and decided to let their stupid out in all it’s glory. Michiganers. You can carry just about any knife you want as long as it stays in your pocket while someone is beating the shit out of you. As long as you do not carry it with intent to defend yourself. We elect these retards?

    1. I’m with you!!! I agree ?%!!! I am a Michigander and I’m ashamed!!!

    2. Screw it if I’m being attacked I’m pulling that thing out idc what they say that’s one of the dumbest rules ever.

  11. I was pulled over today and had a dagger in my vehicle. It was given to me by a buddy that got it from a burned down house he was renovating. It had a handle with metalic knuckles. I was told by the officer it was considered like brass knuckles. I forgot it was in my vehicle. They confiscated it and said they were turning it over to the district attorney and I would hear from them in a couple weeks. To me it is a novelty piece ( has painting on the blade. After reading here I’m affraid they might charge me with a felony. The cop said they didn’t arrest me on the spot cause I have a cpl but might still catch a charge. I have a clean record and have a family. Imy affraid to be charged with a felony go to jail or something like this. I had no idea it was a felony to have. What do you think my chances of being charged with it are?
    Cop says they may just deem it to be destroyed? Should I get a lawyer or wait to hear from d.a. first?

  12. What about carry swords for ComicCon and other conventions when en-route to the vicinity? Are they legal to carry?

    1. I use to do a lot of “Ren” (Renaissance) Fairs around the State of Michigan, most of the time (for both vendor and actors) swords and stabbing weapons had to be “in some manner, locked away and inaccessible to the occupant of the vehicle” while traveling. This was the way it was usually printed on invitations and instructions. Once on site these could be carried, but required what was referred to as “Peace Tied”. During “the day” this was done by a guard at the gate or entrance to the Kingdom or Castle you were entering. It was a cord with a special knot that made it difficult or impossible to draw you sword, which kept “Peace” in the area. Modern day Ren-Fairs use zip-ties as the same means; most of the time we would leave them on the sword or what ever even when traveling. That being said, I had an event where an officer helped my wife change a flat tire and seen my swords and daggers in the trunk of the car. He did look at them and replied to her “that’s a good idea when transporting those”, and left it go at that.

    2. Im not an expert on this but a few friends of mine often use swords in there cosplay at ComicCon and they haven’t had a problem with any officials or police. Safe to say you’d be just fine

  13. if i own a switchblade and i am from indiana but i carry it to my lakehouse in michigan and carry it around is it still legal to have, or what would i get charged with. my knife is a benchmade infidel double edged blade. please respond thanks.

    1. double edged otf(out the front, aka switchblades) are illegal in Michigan. as of 2017, single edged otf knives are legal as long as it is not, essentially, used as a weapon….this means if you are carrying a double edged switchblade…thats a felony….if you are carrying a single edged switchblade…your fine. if you use ether one to defend yourself from an attacker….that’s a felony. dumb ass rule but that’s whats currently on the books bud.

  14. Three questions
    1) what is a “gravity knife”?
    2) are “flipper” knives legal?
    3) are knives like the kershaw ken onion series with the assisted opening legal?

    1. a gravity knife is a special kind of knife where you turn it upside down and press a button to let gravity deploy the blade. Some places confuse these with butterfly knives but they are NOT the same thing. you can google them to see what they look like. flipper knives are totally legal. And “assisted opening” knives are legal. It is only considered an automatic knife if it is deployed by the press of a button.

  15. While this article only speaks of state law on knives. You must remember Mi has NO preemption on knife laws, so a knife that is legal in one city or township may not be legal in the next city.

    1. STATE LAW superceedes all local and county laws.

  16. If I were to buy a switchblade off the internet and keep it in my house for collection would I get in trouble with any kind of law enforcement

    1. By my reading that would be illegal. Possession in MI of a switchblade is illegal. Spring assisted is okay by my reading.

  17. The (to oversimplify) “illegal to carry a knife with a point” (except hunting knives, vaguely defined) is a pretty bizarre law. Knives without a point are rare. Shitty kitchen steak knives have a point.

    Glad I read this though, I’ve been “carrying” a double edged knife (instead of a FIREARM moron law…) but now realize its illegal and stopped carrying it. Dumbest thing ever, I can open carry a .45 but not a Gerber Mark II (double edged fairly well known “stabbing and slashing” type knife) W T F.

    So how do i get a decent self defence knife that falls under this “Hunting Knife” definition. A knife that only slashes? What the hell. I’ll just go back to the .45. Bizarro World law.

    1. because a double edged knife can penetrate an officers bullet proof vest better than a bullet can.

    2. I know this post is a bit old but, check out the clinch pick. I conceal it on the front of my belt, police have seen it and, now all want one. Three inch blade, fit’s your palm swell, amazing for upclose and, personal… plus making bomb ass spaghetti lol. Take this with a grain of salt on legality. I’m a veteran so I tend to get the “move along” quite often. Might be wrong but, we play with the gift’s the God’s gave us lol.

  18. Are karambits legal in michigan? I cannot find a answer anywhere

  19. If you were carrying a knife and someone attacks you can you use that knife to fight back?

    1. Auto knives are illegal in michigan no matter the situation, atleast springloaded one and tension knives. Now if you have a knife on you and are attacked you are allowed to use a knife to defend your self, but if attacked warn them that you have knife and will defend if they continue, defend your self

  20. Is it legal to own these and throw them at a target in my backyard?

    1. if the blades ar 3 – 4 inches and are concealed yes, i would contact your local police station and ask them.

    2. legal at home yes. Might have trouble if you carried them out and about. Especially if concealed.

  21. Can a 15-16 year old carry a balisong with it clipped to there pocket or in a sleeve on the belt? Also what is considered open Cary and closed carry with a knife?

    1. Concealed carry, not open carry, open carry is for firearms. and yes as long as it is concealed and not used for unlawful meanings.

    2. Hello, I work in a Michigan privately owned business where alcohol is served and run into situations where someone with a large (well over 3, maybe 5 inch) bladed knife will be in a holster on their belt or shoulder harness. Do I have the right to ask him to put the knife in their vehicle or deny them entry?

  22. How old do you have to be to carry a pocket knife under 3 inches?

    1. I believe you have to be atleast 15 in michigan

  23. Ok I am sure someone has asked this before but here I go…..I have a small foldable knife that has a blade with a small tang on the back to open it. It is not a button nor will the blade automatically pop open it is part of the actal blade. But it does allow you to “flip” it open.. Is this considered a automatic/switch blade under the law? It is legal to sell them they are in every convenient store and mall kiosk in the state so I would assume they are legal to carry.

    1. id say legal. It really is not auto, spring or gravity assisted. I’m no pro though.

    2. So can I OPEN carry a stiletto style folding knife with only one edge and be legal?

  24. I have an Uncle Henry 183uh fixed blade with a leather sheath I use to carve wood,cut fruits and vegetables.
    Is that legal to carry on my belt in its sheath?

  25. Is it illegal to conceal carry a 1in S&S precision mini shiv in my boot??

    1. if it has no real point (shiv?) id pick a more rounded point. Also no two sided knives. I’m not sure of your model but those are.the laws.

    1. Knives vs guns. Apples and oranges.

    1. I believe concealing it would be the issue. Should think of a holster, either sideways or whatever on belt. I didn’t look at actual knife, just stating it how I understand ot.b

    2. it is literally a one sided hunting knife. They are the easiest to see that’s legal. Re-read above about concealment of it.

    3. hunting knives can be concealed. Stated above.

  26. My 17 year old son went to Gander Mountain to buy a multi tool as a christmas gift for his older brother. The store would not sell it to him as they said it had a knife on it. I went back to the store to purchase it for him and to discuss it with the manager. She told me that they will not sell anything with a knife blade on it to anyone under the age of 18 as it was the law. My response to this that this may be one of the most ridiculous things I have ever heard. A minor could buy a hatchet, steak knives, paring knife or a butcher knife but they are not allowed to purchase a multi tool in an outdoor recreation retailer. My question is; is this a true law on the books or is this a company policy that Gander Mountain has?

    1. I’m 40+ and was carded for a wrist rocket the other day. It was a thing on their registers that asked for bday if it was a weapon. I laughed but showed and bought it anyway. 18+.Tractor Supply! Bet it is a state law. But many teens accept their fathers pocket knives as a keepsake?

    2. I’m 33 and was carded for buying slingshot ammo in Michigan. Yep, just some marbles. I said to the lady, “these are just marbles.” Lady: “I know, but it says slingshot ammo so I need to see your ID.” Me: “So you’re saying that if I walked 6 more aisles and was in the toy section and grabbed the marbles that are in the same exact bag but labeled “marbles” we wouldn’t be doing this?” Lady: “That’s correct.” I love Michigan lol

    1. You can carry both spring assisted (no problem at all) and fully automatic knives in michigan. Must be some ancient law that people have in their mind. Just talked to a local gun & knife shop owner.

    2. can or can’t? It deffinately says can not be spring assisted or auto.

  27. All I want to know is whether it’s legal to carry a folding knife that has a blade over 3 ” in length

    1. if you live in michigan folding knives are fine but needs to be 3 inches, MCL 750.226 No. Michigan law specifies that a person, with intent to use the knife unlawfully against another, shall not go armed with a knife having a blade over 3 inches in length.

      This is if you are living in michigan

    2. so if there’s to intent to use against the law, it’s ok to carry a knife over 3″ long. Also if the knife has more than one blade.

      *Rick Fisher….” It’s not if you win or lose….It’s how you play the game…”*

  28. I recently purchased a double edge karambit with a belt holster from, but was unclear on the difference between open and conceal carry. I understand that it’s illegal to conceal carry any double-edged, non folding, stabbing instrument, which is what I presume to be what category karambits fall under.
    I carry all my knives on belt holsters, and plan to do the same with my karambit. I’ve walked into grocery stores and baseball parks with a ten inch throwing knife on a belt holster without any problem.
    I guess what I’m trying to ask is if it’s on a belt holster, is visible, and I’m not deliberately trying to hide it; is it considered open carry?

    1. That’s how I look at it. Wouldn’t be concealed that way. I’m planning on wearing mine too. but I disagree with a karambit being included as a stabbing knife. It is really more for slicing if you have seen any YouTube Vids. Besides that, I’m claiming it as a hunting Skinner and gutting knife. Easily shown if they wanted an example. I personally would feel legit even as a concealed knife. Also I’m touting it as more of a tool.

    2. ask the officer just how you might “stab” someone with a blade that is curved like that. I’d definitely fight a charge in court, based on what I’m reading here.

    3. I’m not sure there is a distinction between open carry and concealed carry with knives. I think thats just for guns. You are either carrying or not, with knives. (I’d guess its becasue you can conceal most all knives without much trouble, even pretty big ones)

  29. SO it is legal for me to carry my bowie hunting knife that is obviously over 3″ in length so long as I am carrying it without harmful intent?

    1. Yes. Considered a hunting knife.

  30. So you can carry as long as it’s for protection from someone robbing you or trying to hurt you ?

    1. sounds like, as long as you aren’t obviously able to over power them using just your body. Then its legal to.defend with a blade.

  31. Can you have a auto knife shipped to you if you live in Michigan ? Says to cilivan

    1. you can have it shipped to you but it is illegal to own an automatic opening knife with out proper licenses

    2. yes. Maybe some places would hold it but most say you are responsible to check your local laws. It is deff illegal though, even in your home.

  32. So how about butterfly knives? Can you carry them as long as they are concealed since they are a double-sided folding knife as compared to a non-folding one?

  33. so no double-sided non-folding knives are legal? Does this mean butterfly knives are legal since the fold?

  34. Why can u Cary a knife and not knuckle dusters? This makes no sense. That sound be changes. Don’t know about you but I would defiantly not want to cause serious cuts and scars to a person. I would much rather leave bruises and at most a broken nose. Can someone explain this to me?

    1. it depends on where in michigan you currently reside, most cops or cities see (for example) a karambits pinkie ring as a “brass Knuckle” but if you are responsible you be fine and as long as it is not a full hand knuckle holder, legal to own but not in public

  35. Why is it that you are allowed to carry a knife that can not be detected by metal detectors but you can not carry a switch blade that can be detected by a metal detector

    1. its because you can walk up to someone with a closed switchblade and they have no idea untill its aginst there neck

  36. P.S., in Malaysia, Indonesia and Brunei, the Karambit/Kuku Macan is a weapon, pure and simple. It has no utility function, being carried concealed on the person and used to rip open someone’s throat or disembowel them. Straight up illegal. You can use a Spyderco Hawkbill the same way, but you can’t say it’s ‘only designed to be used as a weapon’. Don’t know if Michigan LE would see it that way, though.

    1. From this article and looking at the same laws on, it seems that they’re absolutely legal.

    2. I would think/ hope that karambits are legal. Not a “stabbing” knife and also its a tool, originally a rice/garden tool. Could deff be a hunting/skinning knife, with double blades even? The convex side can skin well and concave can get into hide and cut.

    3. That’s my story. Lol. I just ordered two (one longer and one shorter) TRADITIONAL Filipino karambits. Water buffalo horn handles ECT. I just wonder about the concealing thing. I’d wear it on my belt though.

  37. Hi,
    Is it legal to carry a 4″ Cold Steel Voyager in my pocket? As a utility knife?

    1. Yep, that’s legal. As long as it’s not used for unlawful intent, which, by the way, self defense in many situations, is lawful. Where it’s not is if you have more force than your opponent barehanded and you take out a knife to up the ante, as that would be deemed too much force.

  38. Is it legal for me to carry my swiss army Hercules concealed in my pocket that is over 3″ in. Long?

    1. Yes. Just don’t use it for unlawful purposes. For a more in depth discussion of that, see my post to the comment above yours.

  39. I’m thinking of getting the seal pup elite (link provided at bottom) the blade is just shy of 5 inches i think its ok to carry in Michigan as long as i open carry i just have a few concerns. first if its in a sheath on my belt does that count as open carry? Second do you think I’ll scare people or get harassed by police. my last concern is if this is to much knife for an every day carry i like it because its big enough to handle most things i would need a knife for but not to large that it scares people or get in my way. I want a fixed blade rather then a folding but if having a fixed will cause me trouble maybe its not worth it.

    1. You don’t have to open carry most knives, remember. If I were a officer of the law, I would deem this as double edged, due to the saw blade on the back. It’s a beautiful knife, but stick to folding knives. There’s less to worry about with them.

  40. “MCL § 750.222a

    § 750.222a. “Double-edged, nonfolding stabbing instrument” defined. Sec. 222a.

    (1) As used in this chapter, “doubled-edged, nonfolding stabbing instrument” does not include a knife, tool, implement, arrowhead, or artifact manufactured from stone by means of conchoidal fracturing. (2) Subsection (1) does not apply to an item being transported in a vehicle, unless the item is in a container and inaccessible to the driver.”

    Does the last part mean to say that Knives are TO BE in a container and inaccessible to the driver or SHOULD NOT BE in a container. What a confusing and poorly written law….

    1. This excerpt is only stating that stone knives/tools/implements/etc are not to be considered “Double-edged, nonfolding stabbing instruments” unless they are being transported in a vehicle and not stored in a container inaccessible to the driver. It has no bearing on knives NOT made of stone, so don’t worry about it.

    2. “double edged” non folding does not “apply” if carriedlocked away in a vehicle.

    3. I interpret this law as you can carry these things that are typically illegal if it’s in an inaccessible container in a car.

    4. that’s how I take it as well. Transporting safely a knife that’s allowed in home but maybe not public. Like a lock box.

  41. My name is eric kriston bosserdet I was arrested and held one year for carry conceald hatchet in mi. Van buren co. And released no charges.?

    1. that is illegal, mainly its a hatchet. That is illegal and released with no charges probably cause you did nothing and was just seen with it

  42. I have a old hunting Knife my grandpa passed down to me it’s 10 inches long can I carry it?

    1. As long as you don’t do unlawful activity with it, in theory, yes.

  43. We in Michigan have the right to “Open Carry” period. As long as it is not a illegal knife, your good to go. Oh and from what I am understanding. Unless it is a hunting knife, being used as such cannot be concealed in a vehicle. Fuck my grammar , We the people have rights…. Look this up… Michigan declaration of rights; 6 Bearing of arms. Sec. 6. Every person has a right to keep and bear arms for the defense of himself and the state. History: Const. 1963, Art. I, § 6, Eff. Jan. 1, 1964. Former constitution: See Const. 1908, Art. II, § 5.

  44. I’m not sure how much truth is behind this but I heard if you have any kind of hunting license or fishing license you can carry any sized fixed blade knife you want. If you don’t have a hunting license your blade can’t be any bigger than 3 inches .

    1. well in a sense yes and no, in hunting season it is allowed on hunting ground or around the game you have scored. If not and is way over 3 inches such as a 5 inch skiing knife, you probably would be questioned

  45. Guys — this content is misleading in that as of 1/18/15, the Michigan State Police do not allow you to carry a large double-edged hunting knife in your car, except in certain circumstances.

    Quote from,4643,7-123-1591_3503_4654-10953–,00.html

    ————begin quote——————-
    3. I recently purchased a double-edged survival knife. Does Michigan law allow me to carry this in my vehicle?

    MCL 750.227 No. A dagger, dirk, stiletto, or double-edged non-folding stabbing instrument of any length, or any other dangerous weapon, except a hunting knife adapted and carried as such, cannot be carried concealed on or about a person, or whether concealed or otherwise in any vehicle operated or occupied by the person, except in their own home, place of business or on other land possessed by the person.

    ————end quote——————–

    1. That is not what that law says. It says “except a hunting knife adapted and carried as such,” you need to also have a hunting or a fishing license on you or in the vehicle, and it must not be concealed.

    2. id like to see anywhere that says you have to have a hunting license to Cary a hunting knife. Otherwise id be fighting it in court for sure.

  46. Under the ‘open carry’ in Michigan, can I open carry my kabar? even though it is In a Sheath? and in full view?

    1. mainly michigans, the open carry is for firearms, not knives you are not allowed over 5 inches, mainly due to the “publics safety” also if its concealed, it is hard to hide a knife that big, secondly, the open carry laws allows almost any weapon for be Open carried in certain places with no ammo near the gun and i believe the distance has to be 3 feet away from the gun unloaded. and must be un concealed meaning it must be visible at all times.

    2. Again, imo a one sided kbar especially, should-would be considered a hunting knife.

    1. generally, if you are not using for unlawfull reasons you are fine. and keep it sheathed

  47. I am 14 and going on a backpacking trip in a public park can I open carry a large fix blade knife

    1. no you cannot open carry a knife, it must be concealed with a sheath, also assuming your age is 16 now you are allowed to now.

  48. The grammar on this page sincerely makes me doubt the accuracy of the information given.

    1. you are missing a comma American English Professor…

  49. I’m curious. Does Michigan allow a person to carry a Katana (or similar sword like weapon) on their person in public. With no intent to harm of course. I want to buy one and simply walk around with it but I’m not sure if it is illegal or not.

  50. Nice! Thank you for clarifying the law, i carry a knife everyday for practical and defensive purposes now i can’t state my case if every approached by law enforcement

  51. So it is legal for me to carry a 4, 5, 6″ single blade folding knife on my belt as long as i dont carry it with intent to harm?

  52. @Jarod, if I understand the laws right, it’s legal to open carry pretty much anything here, so long as it’s not outright banned.

    But there’s LEGAL and then there’s what police will stop you for. Open carrying an 8 inch hunting knife might be legal, but that doesn’t mean you won’t go through what “Ottawa County is Unjust” did, being detained, spending months and thousands on legal defense, before having all charges dismissed.

    It’d be nice if prosecutors and police were actually held liable for knowing the laws they are enforcing.

  53. I have read a lot of people saying that a hunting knife is considered a dagger in Michigan, but that is from 2-3 years ago. Have the laws changed to allow it? Also is it legal to carry my hunting knife in a sheath on my belt?

  54. Thanks to help from some great people at with understanding what Michigan Knife Laws actually are. And persistent demanding from Me that those Michigan Laws be upheld in Ottawa County. More than five months after it all started, the charges are finally been dropped. Formal charges that had been brought by the Zeeland Police against My 14 year old Son for having a knife in his pocket, a completely legal knife under Michigan Law. My Son was simply riding his bike in the city of Zeeland MI on April 13th 2013 when a Zeeland Police Officer saw a knife in his pocket and stopped him. The Officer who stopped My Son not only did not know Michigan Knife Laws. He would also exaggerate the length of the blade on My Son’s knife by a full 2 inches in the Police Report. That night in April, Zeeland Police Officer Bowyer used a “printed out downloaded ruler from the Internet” to measure the blade. He did this because, according to the Police Chief, “he could not find a ruler anywhere in the Police Station that night.” This length issue would make the case drag on and on. Mostly because the Prosecutor would never take the time to see the actual knife and would only go by the Police Report and pictures that showed the blade 2 inches longer than it actually was. And that large of a knife concerned the Prosecutor. These charges should have never been brought against My Son and should have been dropped as soon as the Prosecutor reviewed the charges and the situation of this case, even with the exaggerated blade length. No unlawful intent was found as Michigan Law requires for the Law to have actually been broken. But the Ottawa County Prosecutor would not drop the charges. So I went round and round with the courts. I was told My Son would be in JAIL if he was over 18, for simply having the knife he had on him while he was riding his bike that night. But remember no Law was found to actually have been broken. In fact to get further confirmation no laws were broken I found on the Michigan State Police web site that it states that it is NOT illegal to have knife with a blade over 3 inches in Michigan. And an email from the Governor’s Office confirmed my interpretation of Michigan’s knife Laws as they relate to dual edged folding knives. They confirmed that dual edge folding knives are not illegal in Michigan, unlike what the local Prosecutor was telling us. All in all it has been a long frustrating summer of waiting and wondering when Justice would come, if ever in Ottawa County. After spending countless hours learning and trying to understand Michigan Knife Laws, before I found Losing countless hours of sleep and spending thousands and thousands of dollars on Lawyer bill’s. Finally we were offered a 60 Day deferment. As long as My Son did “nothing else wrong” in 60 days from his Pre-Trial, the charges would be dismissed. It was 74 days after the Pre-Trial before the Prosecutor would drop the charges, but at least they have finally been dismissed.
    Please take the time to visit and learn more about knife laws and knife safety. Maybe even consider becoming a member and supporting this great organization. “Can you Imagine Your Life without a Knife?”

    1. I feel you. They should know the laws they enforce. Police use certain tactics to scare you anyways, legal or not. Its the same way with them and medical cannabis laws right now.

  55. Logic does not work in Ottawa county, but according to the US code the title “Switchblade” does not apply to the action of a ‘spring assisted’ knife as described below:
    15 U.S.C. § 1244 provides that the federal Switchblade Knife Act does not apply to: … 5) a knife “that contains a spring, detent, or other mechanism designed to create a bias toward closure of the blade and that requires exertion applied to the blade by hand, wrist, or arm to overcome the bias toward closure to assist in opening the knife.”[59]
    So according to the law the knife is being opened by the blade and not “mechanical contrivance”, as the blade is already opened manually before the action comes into play… a thumb stud or ‘flicker’ on the back of the blade should make no difference per the law. Review MI case law, People of the State of MI vs Mata, 51st district 2003.

    1. Thank you. Very good.

  56. MCL 750.227 prohibits a person from carrying a …. non folding stabbing instrument … or any other dangerous weapon concealed.

    That includes tomahawks.

    It also says concealed or otherwise in a vehicle. There is no exception for transporting it. So even if carrying it openly, you have to walk from your home to wherever you are going.

    Lastly, there is no preemption and local laws are often much more strict (many cities ban carrying knives over 3inches and some ban all knives for carry).

  57. I know logic does not always work, but trying to be logical with respect to a one-handed opening knife, I would think a mechanical contrivance would have to be something separate from the blade. Now, what does that mean for thumb studs? Are they separate from the blade or a mechanical contrivance? But to my main point, a blade with a lever integral to the blade for one handed opening should not be a mechanical contrivance since nothing apart from the blade is being used to open the knife. Thumb studs would seem more suspect than such a blade design. Any legal opinions available?

  58. Dealing with a case in Ottawa County where the prosecutor who at the moment is keeping charges standing against my 14 year old Son because the Officer called My Son’s knife a dagger. The knife is a dual edge spring assisted folding knife. When I emailed the Governors Office they replied with the Following about dual edged knives:

    “MCL 750.227 does not ban all double-edged knives. MCL 750.227 prohibits a person from carrying a dagger, dirk, stiletto, a double-edged [and] nonfolding stabbing instrument of any length or any other dangerous weapon concealed on or about his or her person or whether concealed or otherwise in a vehicle, except in his or her dwelling house, place of business or on other land possessed by the person. The exception within the statute for hunting knives only applies to a “hunting knife” and only if the person can show he or she was using and carrying the hunting knife as a hunting knife. The portion of the statute that refers to “any other dangerous weapon” applies to stabbing instruments, including knives, when such stabbing instruments are used as a weapon or carried for use as a weapon. Therefore, double-edged folding knives are legal to possess concealed in Michigan, provided the person is not using the knife as a weapon or carrying it for use as a weapon.”

    He was riding his bike down the sidewalk minding his own business. No unlawful intent was found. Yet the charges stand? I was told by the arresting Officer on the night it happened that knives over 3 inches are illegal in Michigan as are all dual-edge knives, and if he was over 18 he would be in JAIL. He then went on to exaggerate the blade length by 2 inches in the Police report, with pictures. The paper ruler in the Police report makes a 3.75 inch blade 5.75 inches long. No justice for knife rights in Zeeland.

    1. I know this is old but this guy naturally wants to protect his son but is twisting the statute. If you read the statute carefully and then how this guy changes it you’ll see that the son is obviously guilty based on the statute. The dad said that double edged knives are legal as long as they’re not being used as a weapon or carrying it to be used as a weapon. The statute doesn’t state that. The statute basically states if it’s double edged and CAN be used as a weapon it’s illegal. If you take a butter knife and put a razor sharp edge on both sides of it you cannot carry that off your property because that’s considered a dangerous weapon now based on the Michigan Statute.

  59. I have a KA-BAR knife and the blade is 8 inches but is a hunting knife can i still legally carry it with me?

  60. Nice summary but you missed one very important statement.

    There is NO STATEWIDE PREMPTION! Knife laws can change from city to city including and up to outright bans. So beware.

  61. Are spring assisted knives illegal to carry?
    Also wondering would it be considered a switchblade or automatic knife?

  62. Excellent summary. I read through the laws myself a few months ago when I was in the market for a fixed blade to camp with. This summary really helps elimate the need to read and reread each line of each statute several times before understanding. Thank you and great job. I would love to see something like this for a city or county level.

  63. What is the legal leangth of a fixed blade knife you can carry in a sheath on your belt in the state of michigan?

  64. Are “assisted” knives illegal in Michigan? Do they fall under the “automatic” knife category?

  65. From what you said, can I carry any length fold knife, concealed in my pocket as long as I do not have unlawful intent? Is that correct?

    1. A “flick knife” is just what Brits and others in the Commonwealth call a switchblade knife. The law banning those in the state of Michigan was repealed in October of 2017.

    2. What about boot knives that are no longer then 3 inches. Would I get in trouble for carrying that I’ve been doing research and couldn’t find an answer. It might be a stupid question but no one has asked it yet.

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