Home Knife Law Ohio Knife Laws

Ohio Knife Laws


Ohio knife laws are vague and the statutes lack definitions and clear language. This article will examine the Court decisions, or case law, that provide some of those definitions and brings more clarity to the code. After reading this article, even those not trained in the law will know what is legal and what is not, when owning and carrying knives in Ohio.

What is Legal to Own

  • It is legal to own a switchblade or gravity knife
  • It is legal to own a Balisong, or butterfly knife as well as Balisong trainers
  • It is legal to own a ballistic knife
  • It is legal to own a dirk, dagger, or other stabbing knife
  • It is legal to own a Bowie knife
  • It is legal to own a stiletto

What is Illegal to Own

Limits on Carry

Ohio law does not restrict the concealed carry of any specific knife except for what it calls a “dangerous ordnance” which includes ballistic knives. The concealed carry statute simply makes it illegal to conceal carry any deadly weapon. The Ohio Supreme Court said in State v. Anderson, that to convict a defendant of carrying a concealed deadly weapon, the state must prove that the instrument is capable of inflicting death and that it is either designed or adapted for use as a weapon or that it is being carried as a weapon. Some knives that are very likely to be found to deadly weapons, and therefore illegal to conceal carry include:

  • Dirks, daggers, or other stabbing knives
  • Switchblades
  • Balisong, or butterfly knives
  • Gravity knives
  • Stilettos

The law does restrict both open and conceal carry of any dangerous weapon in a school zone or a Courthouse, but you may open carry any type of knife on your person or in your vehicle.

Definition of Deadly Weapon

Ohio Statute defines deadly weapon as any instrument, device, or thing that is capable of inflicting death, and designed or adapted for use as a weapon, or that is possessed, carried, or used as a weapon. In State v. Hall, Ms. Hall was convicted of aggravated menacing, or causing another to believe that she would harm them or their property, when she became involved in an altercation while armed with a steak knife. The jury found that a steak knife fit the definition of a deadly weapon, and the Ohio Court of Appeals agreed. In the case of a student who brought a pocketknife to school in the case of In re Carson, the Court found that the pocketknife, whose blade was one and a half to two inches long, was meant to be used as a weapon. It further found that the pocketknife was capable of causing a deadly wound, and thus was within the definition of a deadly weapon. Just a year before the 2007 Carson decision, in State v. Port, the Ohio Appellate Court found that a Winchester seven and one half inch pocketknife was a deadly weapon, because Mr. Port claimed to be carrying it for protection. The Court reasoned that since the definition of deadly weapon provides that any device carried or used as a weapon is a deadly weapon, the fact that Mr. Port carried the knife as a weapon made it a deadly weapon. In 2010, in the case of State v. Cattledge, the Ohio Appellate Court found that the following characteristics may support the finding that a folding knife is a deadly weapon:

  • a blade that can easily be opened with one hand, such as with a switch, a spring-loaded blade, or a gravity blade capable of one-handed operation
  • a blade that locks into position and cannot close without triggering the lock
  • a blade that is serrated
  • a blade tip that is sharp
  • an additional design element on the blade, such as a hole, that aids in unfolding the knife with one hand
  • the knife does not resemble an ordinary pocket knife

Mr. Cattledge’s knife was found to be a deadly weapon because it was seven inches long with a locking blade and button, which allowed the knife to be opened with one hand.

Not all knives in Ohio are considered deadly weapons. In 2010 in State v. Thompson, the Court of Appeals of Ohio found that Mr. Thompson’s knife was not a deadly weapon. In its decision, the Court said that when determining whether an instrument was a deadly weapon, the trial Court should consider several factors including who is carrying the devise, the circumstances under which it is being carried, including the time, place, and situation that the person is found carrying it, and the reason he or she claims to be carrying it. The Thompson Court recognized that many knives are useful tools for hunters, fisherman, and campers, and workers, and said that not all knives could be considered to be designed for use as a weapon.

Definitions of Various Types of Knives

Ohio Code § 2923.11, defines a ballistic knife as any knife that has a detachable blade, which is propelled by a spring-operated mechanism. Neither the statues nor the case law define any other type of knife.

Definition of Concealed

In 1929, in Porello v. State, the Supreme Court of Ohio found that concealed “on or about his person” meant that the weapon was kept in close proximity so as to be convenient and within immediate reach. In State v. Pettit, in 1969 the Court was asked to define ‘concealed’ and decided used the definition given by the Court of Appeals of Maryland, in Shipley v. State. The Shipley Court said that a weapon was concealed so situated as not to be discernible by ordinary observation by those near enough to see it if it were not concealed. It specified that absolute invisibility was not required, stating that ordinary observation did not extend to an unusually careful, thorough, or detailed search.

Conclusion on Ohio Knife Law

Ohio law allows for the ownership and open carry of any type of knife.

Conceal carry statutes in Ohio do not specify any type of knife, other than ballistic knives, that one may not conceal carry. Instead, it makes it illegal to conceal carry any deadly weapon. The Courts have called everything from a pocketknife to a steak knife a “deadly weapon”. The test however, is whether the instrument is deadly AND is made or modified to be a weapon or is being carried as one.


  • ORC Ann. 2923.11 (2013)
  • State v. Hall, 2008 Ohio 1405 (2008 Ohio App.)
  • In re Carson, 2007 Ohio 5687 (2007 Ohio App.)
  • State v. Port, 2006 Ohio 2783 (2006 Ohio App.)
  • Porello v. State, 121 Ohio St. 280 (1929)
  • State v. Pettit, 252 N.E.2d 325 (1969 Ohio App.)
  • Shipley v. State, 220 A. 2d 585 (1966 Md. App.)
  • State v. Anderson, 440 N.E.2d 814 (1981).
  • State v. Cattledge, 2010 Ohio 4953, (2010 Ohio App.)
  • State v. Thompson, 925 N.E.2d 188 (2010 Ohio App.)


  1. This was very helpful. Thanks.
    Do you know if Ohio makes weapons laws only on the state level? Or do they allow cities to make their own ordinances as well?

    • Cities are indeed allowed to make their own ordinances that are more restrictive than state law in Ohio. IE, if you are carrying a knife and you are in Akron, leave it in your car or they will charge you with carrying a deadly weapon if the blade is larger than the palm of your hand.

      • Is says in the article that a knife less than 2 inches long was considered a deadly weapon. So that rule doesn’t work. I was planning on buying a credit card knife in case i want to open a package away from home, but i’m not sure i’m going to risk carrying something that may be considered a concealed deadly weapon.

    • These case laws are some of the dumbest precedents ever set. At least that I have ever seen. So I can openly carry a gun in public in Ohio for self protection, and that’s fine. If I carry a knife openly in public and a police officer decides for himself what my intent is for carrying it, I can go to jail on potential felony charges? What kind of sh!t is that!? Those old military issue combat knives are about the best all around utility/bush knife you could ask for. They’re also huge and conspicuous. So the gun is a deadly weapon and that’s fine, but a knife is a deadly weapon and it’s not OK? Anyone else see the disconnect in logic here?
      How do we fix these laws?

  2. I am under 18 and live in Ohio my mom recently got devorced from my step dad and he stalks us I also walk alone at night to and from work and was wondering if it is legal for me to take my dagger with me UN concealed (I am trained in knife fighting) the blade itself is about 7 inches please respond thanks

    • I know it’s been two years, but if your intent is to use the knife for self defense as a deadly weapon in defense of your estranged stepfather then no, you cannot carry the dagger.

  3. Made please remember that just about anything can be a defensible weapon.
    A pencil, a pen or even a stick on an iicicle an be used to stab someone so be creative.
    In women’s self defense classes they they that a car key an puncher someone if it is playing ed between the fingers while making a fist.
    The list is endless.
    Try hitting someone with a tube sock that has 2 or 3 golf balls in it.

  4. @madz it clearly says that intent of carry matters and carrying it for defense makes it a no go as well as it being a dagger making it clearly a deadly weapon

  5. I’m under 18 and I believe it is stupid to make knives illegal due to the fact that people can use anything as a weapon. It also makes it difficult for collectors such as me Who like things like switchblades, butterfly knives, and leverlocks.

    • You can, just carry it openly. It says Ohio allows you to open carry any knife, right? That’s what I got out of it anyway. It says “Ohio law allows for the ownership and open carry of any type of knife.”

    • I would not carry it, carry a traditional pocketknife, maybe one with tape residue on the blade so it could be considered a tool. If you are worried you are in danger keep it ready to open.

    • Is the Cold Steel Tuff Lite Plain Edge Folder Knife a deadly weapon? If it is you cannot legally carry it. If it isn’t you can carry it. Unfortunately you won’t know until your criminal defense attorney and the prosecutor work out a deal.

    • I just looked up images of a karambit knife. I think you might have a difficult time convincing the arresting Ohio officer that a karambit is a box opener or some other tool. It’s clearly designed for slicing and stabbing flesh. But it will be up to the prosecutor /judge/jury that hears your case.

  6. is it illegal to carry a spring assisted knife that has a seatbelt cutter and a glass breaker and if its covered up by your shirt when its hooked on the inside of your pocket with the pocket clip

    • From what it says it would appear that it being covered by your shirt would be considered “concealed” so it wouldn’t be legal for your shirt to cover it

    • No. Most of them have very thin blades and are made of composite, making it not fully metal. This also prevents extensive sharpening, which would risk breaking the blade altogether. They do not even set off metal detectors. I asked an Ohio police officer at a courthouse about this since I collect knives. He stated that card knives in wallets will usually be overlooked. At most you will get a lecture about carrying anything that can be modified to make a weapon. Also, I would not suggest using a card knife extensively as a utility blade due to it’s fragility.

    • I am curious about the knife laws in Cleveland. I have heard laws are different depending on the area. Is it legal, to conceal a folding knife, which does require two hands to open, and has about a 2 inch blade in public, or in buildings (gun-free or not)?

    • It is legal under the ORC (2923.11 Section J), the only type of knife that is illegal for an Ohio citizen to carry is a “ballistic knife,” or in other words, a knife that the blade is launched from the hilt and used as dangerous ordinance.

    • The 2nd Amendment says that we have the right to keep and bear arms….it does not limit us as to any certain type, so any legislation passed as law putting limits on any particular weapon is Unconstitutional.

    • In my opinion it would be perfectly legal to do so as a tool, but youir situation and history can change it’s definition to weapon. If you are engaged in a crime (ANY CRIME) then it is assumed to be a weapon. If you have a conviction of a violent crime, it is assumed to be a weapon.

      If you have no criminal history and you are just walking down the sidewalk with it in your pocket, it’s a tool.

  7. The key is to put the gaps where they won’t be seen, as within the bureau or face outline. In the last picture above, where the gaps are appearing on the outside of the bureau, there will be an end board going over that side. In another photo the bureau being constructed will go side-by-sde against another. This is the reason pocket-opening joinery is frequently utilized as a part of implicit cupboards, where the sides of the bureau are typically covered up, and if there are some pocket gaps inside the face outline nobody will truly mind.

    Coincidentally, in the event that you should have the pocket gaps where they can be seen, there are exceptional attachments you can purchase to fill them, in an assortment of woods, yet the fittings will in any case appear as large ovals. I think you can purchase them from Rockler, Woodcraft, and so on., and presumably Kreg as well.

  8. “WE THE PEOPLE” are the power! Contact your local legislators and rally for your rights! A knife has been mankind’s first tool after a rock or club.

  9. So, if I read this right, after I blaze a trail through tall grasses and thorns I would be safe to put it in its sheath and tit my I machete on my back around my leg in OpenView and walk through a neighborhood on my way back from the trail However I would be in the devised to put her jacket or shirt over the weapon over the machete sheath machete and therefore concealing it even though it would keep suspicion at bay.

  10. So a small Karambit probably wouldn’t be allowed to be carried around because they would deem that a deadly weapon, correct?

  11. Wait so what is considered open carry? How can I have a knife on me while out and about and have it be considered open carry?

  12. Most law enforcement will not care in Ohio if you carry any knife mostly in rural areas as long as during defense or altercation the knife is not reached for I carry a cold steel frontier Bowie with the blade being 12 1/4 ive had cops compliment it the easiest thing to do if confronted do not at all say for self defense or protection i refer to my knife as a tool

  13. If you have a conceal carry license, obviously used for a handgun, in Ohio, can the conceal carry cover your knife as well? I am looking at purchasing a James Coogler Karambit, as a tertiary weapon, should my primary or backup fail me. Am I allowed to carry this type of knife on my belt in a sheath, or must I carry it some other way?

  14. Is it legal to carry a large knife such as a Bowie knife that has a holster which can attach to your belt? The knife does not fold it is one solid piece of metal and has a holster which attaches to your belt which should not be considered ‘concealed’ because it is hanging on your side in plain sight. Just a curious question.

  15. wow ohio laws need updating I might have found my next project I’m a lawyer and this is factual I’ve looked into it because I’m a country boy in the city I Carry a assist open lock blade folder but have every day of my adult life and it stays clipped to my pocket where it’s seen and ive had multiple officers say that’s concealing and others say it’s not I’m an avid 2nd ammendment supporter I have a carry license just don’t find that carrying is necessary generally but my pocket knife is a tool more then anything I’d like to see some reform and vagueness cleared up so hopefully I can see who I need to talk to about that the state house owes my mentor a favor or two because I’m very interested in this there needs to be clear cut guidelines not fair to us to interpret the law lawyer or not and expect police who are so rational to side with you thats just not how the legal system works or should be

  16. defense and corporate attorney obviously lol but Im proud of it and operate with moral and standards in my life not all of us are scum bags.

  17. it sounds to me that the law is worded so that any concealed knife is technically illegal. I find this unsettling considering that many construction workers and farmers often have legitimate need of a pocketknife for use on the job.

  18. Is a tac force speedster model auto knife legal to have in your vehicle. It is easy to open with one hand has a lockable blade but it has uses like a seatbelt cutter and a thing to break open a window

  19. I want to buy a fixed tactical knife for personal safety. I attend University in an inner city that has been plagued by crime. I’m concerned about having this on campus

  20. I have a Bowie knife in original Bowie knife and it is a good working tool I use that for a lot of things I used to fly fish when I go fishing I also use it to help cutting beef I also help my grandparents around the house cutting up cardboard boxes for stuff because they have back problems and a bunch of other health stuff I don’t see why you can’t just carried out in the open as long as you don’t reach for it or going to threaten someone I’m 18 but yet I know the rules and I know it’s illegal to harm someone which I would never do I’m a good soul I would never hurt anyone especially someone I don’t know these knives that I use are good tools and that’s all they ever been for me is for someone especially for me when I’m at the ranch house helping out cutting bail twine and whatever else I need it for these things are very useful and it sucks that I can’t use them power for any other purposes that mean even if I’m defending myself from a rabid dog or an animal it really sucks you know

    • I don’t think you know the law or rules as well as you think you do.

      Since you have no history of crime, no arrest or convictions as I believe you indicated, if you only use it as a tool,then it’s a tool, not a weapon, but the Bowie knife is a big knife and having that on your person for every day travels is going to get attention. Now, if you are heading off to the woods to do a little bushcraft, and you stopped by Krogers to get some food to take out there with you, then yeah it’s going to be vewed by police as perfectly reasonable for you to have it on you.

  21. It says nothing about not being able too as a minor, aslong as it is not consealed I don’t see a problem with it. If I am wrong someone please email me

  22. Ridiculous! I can travel to Ohio with my CCW permit and carry a concealed handgun, but no one is allowed to carry a 3.5″ Spyderco, w/thumb hole, and locking blade, because it is a deadly weapon? The right of self defense is a God given right, and should be treated as such. Ohio, take some lessons from your neighbor, Indiana, and pass some sensible knife laws.

  23. So let’s get this straight it’s ok to carry a 45 acp 3 – 15 shot mags if you have a CCW but a knife may not be legal were is the logic in that

  24. May we as Ohioans carry a bowie knife on our belt, I used it to bust car windows, cut seat belts, in the event of a car crash, AS THE TOOL I USED FOR THE REASONS STATED ABOVE IS DEEMED ILLEGAL. Maybe i’ll just get my CCW and shoot the damn window out and shoot the seatbelt off if were wrecked and in immediate danger and need to leave the vehicle (I.E. a car accident I was in, we ended up in a lake and the electric windows quit working and 2 seatbelts got stuck, were it not for my cousin and his quick thinking breaking windows with his handle and cutting the belts loose I would have drowned.) I doubt i’ll let anyone make me stop carrying this.

  25. I’ll gladly hand it over to each law enforcement officer that wants to take it from me, buy another and repeat the process. I will protect my right to protect my family and myself from freak accidents that could have been avoided had someone possessed the appropriate tool. PLUS if I need to cut something, whatever that may be, HEY I HAVE A KNIFE ALREADY 🙂 I’m a superb hunter and fisher and believer in an adult should take care of his or her children especially in the event of an accident, which are occurring more and more frequent.

  26. So what I’m hearing is, it is illegal to conceal carry a “deadly weapon”, but to OPEN carry something like a switchblade, it would be legal (?)

  27. In conclusion Ohio law allows for the ownership of any knife and the open carry of any knife and it is illegal to conceal a deadly weapon. So is it legal to have and use an open carry knife for self defense purposes?

  28. is it legal to open carry an out the front knife (in my case the microtech UTX-85) in Ohio? Also does having a pocket clip showing mean that you are open caring.

  29. Does anyone know if a TDI Law Enforcement knife would be considered a “deadly weapon”? I know one man was charged because his blade was between 1.5-2″ and this blade is over 2″. However, since it’s curved inwards would there be the chance that it’s not considered deadly? For those not familiar with this blade it’s a karambit style knife with a fixed blade.

  30. I have a sword cane which I use as a primary walking cane due to arthritis in my knees and ankles. Is this allowable under Ohio law of concealed since I do not plan on using it as a weapon of any sort?


  32. I need to carry a switch on me because I walk through a ghetto neighborhood and for self defense (for a 14 year old) would it b okay if I concealed carry?

  33. I was just recently issued a citation for having a knife under 4 inches in the state of Ohio I was on my property was in my back pocket in the police considered it concealed can I go to jail for this or can I get it absolves?

  34. CONCLUSION: anything that can be defined as a “deadly weapon” (a ‘weapon’ capable of lethal force) is ILLEGAL to conceal-carry. Simple as that.

    There are some potential loopholes, though. For example: if you want to conceal-carry something as self-defense, substitute a knife for something used as a tool that you can double as a weapon for self-defense and reasonably say you had no initial intent of using said ‘weapon’ or ‘tool’. Make sure it’s not too big and make sure you aren’t carrying it in a position that enables you to grab it too fast (like a sheath on your waist).

    Yes, Ohio knife laws are contrived and retarded.

  35. I carry a bushmaster with six inch blade mainly for dogs but they come handy in a pinch as a tool also nice website ty

  36. I don’t carry knives to fend off people. I carry knives to fend off dogs. So, what happened when a nasty pit bull lunged at me? One I panicked. Two I forgot I had a knife. Two of them to be exact. Your article has been helpful. Top shelf page. Thank You:)

  37. Throwing knives? Illegal to carry or can i carry them if i use them as intended. Plus i use knives everyday to open boxes at work.

  38. i think that ohio has some messed up laws but i carry a bowie knife it is used as a tool i have been stuck on high ways without any tools. thats when i started carrying a bowie knife and havent been stuck sense

  39. How the bloody (explicit) (explicit) does one open carry a knife? Because pocket clips are barely visible and I dont want my knife just sticking out where it can be knocked to the floor. I want to carry a stilletto because I do not like the construction of a lot of folders.

    It genuinely infuriates me that all of these fancy looking knives with special names are considered illegal to conceal carry for defense, when most serial kilers just use guns, which if they were never caught they could own legally, and if not, they are a criminal anyway so they wouldn’t care, and kitchen knives that you can literally buy in any dollar store.

    I get gun regulations, because a civillian doesn’t need to have an RPG, or things along those lines. But we are talking about knives. A tool that can be used as an improvised weapon in dire situations. Knives basically only give 2-6 inches of reach. So if someone is genuninely trying to harm you. the least you could do is give people the right to defend themselves with something other than an overglorified bottle of aerosols, and possibly a handgun if the person defending themselves isnt riddled with mental problems and can afford a handgun and the proper permits.

  40. Wouldn’t a butterfly knife be illegal because some have holes, and can be opened with one hand (obviously) and as well that I heard, although it could be an untrue rumor, that butterfly/balsong knives are illegal in Ohio.

  41. The first thing police officers ask is”a knife or anything that will hurt me.”Literally everyone is terrified of any sharp.That fear makes it difficult when seen having a knife,regardless of purpose or intentions.Too many instances of misuse have occurred.

  42. Is it legal to carry a fixed blade tactical knife 15” overall. The intent is to not conceal it. Only to be used as a tool. Only as self defense when my own or another life is endangered. Even in such a situation as such I would be hesitant to use it.

  43. so from what the law says i could legal own a PRACTICE butterfly knife because it isn’t deadly because their is NO blade or sharp tip and cant be used as a weapon.

  44. I would like to know on better detail on the carry and conceal because it says within reach.. why carry for self defense if its not in reach ?? Do i carry it in my hand or lock it on my pocket with the clip?

  45. What about dull swords? I wanna walk around with my sheathed butterfly swords or woldo (not really expecting good news about my woldo hahaha)

  46. What of machetes? I am an avid collector of the various types of them, and I was wondering if there were any distinct statutes or bylaws that regulate their ownership or usage in Ohio, or anywhere else for that matter? (i.e., at what point does a knife become a machete?)

    Many thanks if you can provide some insight here!

  47. I carry a kitchenbutcher knife less than 7 inch blade. I carry it on my car for protection. I wan to know if its illegal. I will be traveling soon and want my protection with me.

  48. Um so basically here in Ohio as long as your stated reason for carrying isn’t self protection and it is a good utility type reason you should be good.

  49. Hi I’m about to turn 18 here in April and since I’m not the age of 21,I would still like to defend my life,liberty,and my pursuit of happiness ,I wanna know if I can conceal carry a fixed blade appendix style it has a holster,please get back to me soon!!!

  50. just curiuos if i carry lets say a bowie knife in a sheath in open view to my leg while riding my bike for safety concerns while traveling is this construed illegal ?

  51. If the knife has a point on it. Are you serious? Ohio knife laws are a joke. What if you have a CCW? Can it be concealed then?

    • So my older brother chased me into my room with a butcher knife. At this time I was only about 10 or 11 and he was either 11 or 12. Now I am 14 turning 15 and I am trying to figure out if that is considered attempted murder or not. I was too young to understand what was going on. And now I’m just trying to justify cause his criminal records have been whiped clean cause he has “mental issues”.

  52. I think you should be fine carrying any knife as long as it isn’t against any local ordinance. And it isn’t tactical looking and you say that you use it as a tool for cutting tasks.

    • Matt, there is no restriction against a “tactical” looking knife. You can even say it’s a weapon for defense as long as it’s open carried. If it’s CONCEALED, then you better call it a “tool”.

    • Is it illegal for a minor to carry a pen knife or pocket knife for the sake of protection? In a teenage girl and have a fear of getting attacked while I’m walking home or out by myself? I wanna know if it’s okay for me to bring a pen knife with me if I go into a store or something because there is so much talk about girls getting trafficked while they are leaving stores. It’s scary.-.

      • Hey Courtney;
        While I think it’s important to do our best to follow most laws meant to maintain order, there are things I just do because I know I’m not breaking any moral laws. If I feel I am in danger, I don’t worry as much about man’s laws (as I do worry about God’s laws).
        Good luck!

  53. I’m under 18 and was wondering if I carry a folding karambit with a 3.25 inch blade in my pocket if it would be legal or not?

  54. Im making my own knives now (fixed blades) and i was wanting to carry em for utility, camping fishing, hiking so on and so forth and also if the opportunity arises it would also be a way to get my name out there in the knife making community if someone asks or something like that. Now it’s main purposes is not self defense but if it comes to it i will use it and would that get me in any trouble with the law if said event happens. I will be making sheaths for it and was going to open carry sense it sounds like you have too so if i open carry does that mean that nothing is cover the knife for example my shirt or jacket is over it and can’t see it is that technically “concealing” it. Also frome reading it my knife doesn’t really match the definition of a “deadly weapon” (anything and everything is a deadly weapon but that’s just me) because it’s a fixed blade and dosent have any moving parts so am i good there or nah. It’s has a 4 1/ 2 in blade does that make any difference. Hope any or all of this makes sense, hope to hear back from you guys soon

  55. I am a bit confused. Some posts, and the article say that you can open carry any knife of any kind. Could be a bowie 12′ or a standard multi-tool.

    But in other posts people say you cannot carry a knife. So which is it?

    • Even though judges can do whatever they want in their “interpretation” of the situation, the general rule is that you cannot carry (either concealed or open) a “deadly weapon” which is described in the article. It’s all about intent! My advice is that you stick to carrying something that a “normal” person might carry like a pocket knife. A multi-tool is fine. If you want to look “cool”, then there are lots of very “cool-looking” pocket knives you can get, so there should be no “normal need” to walk around with a Bowie strapped to your hip unless you have something to prove or your pride is getting the best of you. That’s just my opinion and of course, I’m not offering legal advice here – only a lawyer in Ohio can give you that officially.
      Thanks for your question,

    • A 12 foot blade would be the biggest knife I ever saw. But maybe you meant a 12 inch blade.

      In the state of Ohio you can OPEN carry any knife if you are of legal age, not in a restricted location or have a prior conviction which limits you. You can read this yourself in Ohio Revised Code section 2923.

      Police will still harass you and ask you why you are carrying it and they may try to charge you with menacing or public disturbance or something like that, so Don’t carry a big blade unless you are going to be out doing bushcraft in your own woods, or something like that.

  56. Josh Sargent ? How’s baseball these days . Last I heard you were picked up by the Reds . Balt has me on the farm situation again . They cannot make there mind up on anything . They made me get rid of my beard . Said it’s slowing down my fast ball . Average 90-98 call me man I miss ya 302-632-4744

    • Doesnt mention those specifically but based on what a karambit is used for in the state’s eyes, I would say it’s illegal to conceal carry a karambit

    • I’m not a lawyer but I just read the entire Section 2923 of the Ohio Revised Code and when it comes to knives, as long as you are of 18 or older, not in a school zone or courthouse or other restricted area, and as long as you have no prior convictions which could limit your right to carry a weapon of any type, then you can carry any type of knife as long as it’s open carried (not hidden or in a unlikely location).

      Some people will still call police on you, and they will still come and harass you, and try to trick you into incriminating yourself, but the law indicates you can open carry any knife.

      I suggest you review ORC 2923, Make sure you read the ENTIRE section because the entire section always applies.

    • I live in a bad neighborhood on the east side of Cleveland & I always carry a 12in survival knife on my belt the police have detained me a couple times over it but I read the Ohio revised code first & already knew not to say it was for protection because it I’d then classified as a deadly weapon which is illegal. So when asked why I had it on me I replied mostly as a deterrent to ward off any potential issues but mainly because its a survival knife & You never know when or where you could be put in a position to have to depend on survival instincts. After a disagreement with the officer over the legalities of it, and after 45 min back in forth with dispatchers, the decision on weather to arrest and charge me came down to when asked why I was carrying it what I replied. Basically because my answer wasn’t for protection, it was not classified as a deadly ordinance therefore legal. Supervisors that got involved told officer to return my weapon and release me. Needless to say the officer on scene was not happy over the decision or the fact a detainee had more knowledge on the Ohio revised code then him, being it’s his job to know it. He refused to hand it back to me, but instead, he walked 15 ft into a field n stuck it in the ground told me to wait till he was in his cruiser to retrieve it. I told him I wouldn’t ever want to hurt anyone and I figure when people see it, it would prevent most bad ppl with bad intentions from doing harm in my presence. No hard feelings i know you’re just doing your job I wasn’t trying to be difficult or u show u up I simply read every rule on it b4 carrying it to make sure I was allowed & had I not done that I wouldn’t know crap about it. I would have probably been arrested just now. After saying that his whole demeanor changed now everytime I see that officer weather I’m carrying it or not he beeps & waves at me.

    • Review the city codes. which is 2323 (Repealed) If there are no other restrictions, then the Ohio Revised code is the primay deciding factor.

    • I’m 13 and six foot, I live in a small town so cops know I’m around 13 and know evryone carries a knife. Is it okay in other places to have my 3.5 inch Kershaw brookside that is sprint assisted opening in my pocket with clip visible ?

    • If you’re found to be 14 years old carrying a dagger in any situation, the copy will probably do something about it. It looks suspicious and of course, if it’s concealed, that’s illegal in Ohio. Even open carry will draw questions and it would also be illegal in school, so you’d be better off not to have it. If there’s a reason to seriously need protection, I might add that the odds of successfully fighting off an attacker with your knife is statistically low. Personally, when I feel like I’m in some danger, I have (and carry) pepper spray (technically meant for dogs, but does a good job on an attacker).

    • No,only because youre phrasing it as “for protection”. In this case it can be viewed as: youre going to use this to harm someone,even if theyre threatening you. But if you have a reason to have it,like for your job, and you can prove it then yes it is legal.

  57. I have a question I’m 12 and have a pretty big collection of knives so they are saying I can carry my ww2 style combat knife on my belt

    • You’re 12. So no, you may not. You need to wait until you are of legal age 18 (21 to be safe) and you need to also remember other restrictions such as the following…

      1. City code as well as Ohio revised Code – Akron for example has a strict control against knives.
      2. Location. You can’t be in a school zone or courthouse, or in other structure where weapons are restricted.
      3. You can’t be consuming or under influence of alcohol or other substance of abuse, even if it’s legal to do so.
      4. You must be engaged in lawful activity. You can’t go looking for trouble, or trespassing, or the like.
      5. You must reasonably feel threatened. That one is easy now days, but how threatened are you at an event that has a heavy police presence like a county fair? Something to think about.
      6. You can’t be otherwise restricted such as having a violent felony conviction or being restricted by the courts.

  58. I live in dayton ohio, i have a ccw and I carry my 4in stiff blade everywhere I go. I do lawn and landscaping so its a good tool you just need to realize that if you use it as protection it is illegal to carry because it is a “weapon” but if you actually have a use for it besides being scared its okay. If not wait until you’re 21 get a ccw for a firearm and do your thing in peace.

    • No, completely wrong. It’s not illegal to carry a deadly weapon (Your 4 inch stiff blade) even when it’s carried as a weapon, as long as it’s open carried (in plain sight) and not violating one of the other restrictions.

    • Technically yes, but many will argue that’s not reasonable or rational and will feel you are inducing a panic which is another charge completely. Now, if your at some festival where it would be expected to see that, and you are in costume, conducting yourself in a friendly peaceful way, and NOT DRAWING THE WEAPON from the sheath, then I would say it’s probably okay, but remember the police get a vote also.

  59. Read SB 140, the law has been altered to only classify a knife as a deadly weapon if it is used as a weapon. I am uncertain if this is now in effect or will shortly be in effect but it has passed the Ohio Senate by 32-1.

  60. Hello, based on this article if i open carry my 5 in ka bar it would be okay as long as i am not in a school zone court house or any where it restricts weapons? I generally carry a knife because i love to hunt and fish. But was always weary of wearing it around. Thanks in advance

  61. Great forum. Is it legal in Ohio for work purposes, whether it be professional or personal, yard work, as a civilian to carry a spring assist / OTF or push button knife in your pocket with clip exposed. Not for use as a “deadly weapon,” “no intent.”

    • Hi! I’m not an officer or super knowledgeable on the topic but I’ll say I carry a Kershaw launch 4 to work and school every day. I wouldn’t carry an otf but as far as spring assisted just pick something small enough not to cause a panic.

  62. Boy how times have changed! When I was a young lad in the early 60’s, as a Boy Scout we were required to follow the Boy Scout Motto of “Be Prepared”. We were told we should always carry our Boy Scout Knife with us so we were “prepared” for a situation requiring the use of a knife. This included carrying it to school! Imagine being told to do that these days!

    • I agree completely. We’ve degenerated as a society and while technology has improved and cars have more luxuries, our kids are being destroyed through lack of proper moral/ethical training, men are being feminized, there’s no such thing as right or wrong, we’re being legislated to death while crime increases, criminal activities carry weaker sentances and our language has deteriorated on top of all that! My heart is burdened with heavy stuff like that!
      thanks for you thoughts,

  63. Ohio law open carry but iffy carry simple folder with pocket clip out of pocket cliped to pocket and say it’s tool

  64. Is having the pocket clip out open carry or concealed carry. And is it fine to concealed carry a normal every day work purpose folding knife legal at thirteen or dose it have to be open carry

Leave a Reply to Bob1 Cancel reply

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here