The term "tactical knife" has seen a significant amount of attention in the last decade or so, but it's difficult to pinpoint when this phenomenon began. It's true that for such a specialized blade to be classified as "tactical" would require its use in military scenarios, but the more exclusive features of these knives have made them increasingly popular with law enforcement personnel and civilians alike.

These cool knives are versatile tools that can be used for a number of purposes, including self-defense. This is an essential tool for any person who wishes to defend themselves in dangerous situations. A good knife should be able to make quick work of an attacker with minimal effort and should have enough utility to last all day on the job or wilderness excursion without needing to trade it in halfway through.

Tactical Knives: How Do They Look?

Knives that are called Tactical Knives are usually long and thin, with a wide blade that makes it easier to grip. This allows the user to use the sword at its full length without having to stop or adopt an awkward position while doing so. There is also usually a squared-off butt of the knife, allowing for increased penetration power. 

The most advanced knives feature serrations at the top of their blade in order to cause more slicing force against an object than a sharp point would be able to do. A lot of these Knives also have rubber or plastic handles which can be used for comfort and ease of carrying when necessary. 

Besides that, a lot of these cool pocket knives also have long and thin sheaths which can be attached to the user's leg or belt. It is essential that these sheaths are long enough for the user to draw the knife easily even when it is attached to him. 

A lot of these sheaths are made from plastic but some, especially those made for more serious situations, may also be made from leather. The most popular Tactical Knives in movie-making are usually a modified bowie knife and a double-edged dagger which was used in ancient times by knights and warriors.

Categories of Tactical Knife

A tactical knife is typically designed with two primary categories in mind: utility and self-defense. The first category includes items like:

  • A strong blade that can withstand anything from the toughest of branches to the thinnest of ropes.
  • Multi-purpose tools, such as a pry bar, hammer, bottle opener and screwdriver head that is often incorporated into the design of the deadliest knife for easy access. (Some are even equipped with a basic universal joint.)
  • An ergonomic handle that allows full utilization of leverage and counter-weight when wielding the knife in its non-grip position. This is particularly important for those who will use their tactical knives in self-defense applications.
  • A sheath that allows the most convenient accessibility.

The second category includes items like:

  • A handle that is often designed with a paracord wrap for a more non-slip grip, and also provides storage for the aforementioned utility features. It's not uncommon to find a string of fire-starting tinder inside of a well designed knife handle in order to guarantee the user's ability to start a fire in almost any condition, particularly when using flint and steel or other primitive means.
  • A sheath that is designed to accommodate the aforementioned multi-purpose tool, as well as a jagged edge or spike for a potentially lethal edge. This option is often the best choice for those who will use their tactical knives in self-defense applications.

Qualities of Tactical Knife

In case you're not sure what a tactical knife is, it's best described as a military-style knife. These knives are typically made of tougher steel and have serrated blades to give them an increased ability to cut materials such as wiring, rope, and other similar items. They also often have jimping on the blade to make it easier for the user to have better control when they need to cut small objects or slices of fruit or meat. 

These knives can vary in size from about 2 inches all the way up 4 inches long (or more!). Obviously, the larger size knife will be much heavier, and they may be less suited for someone to carry around in their pocket on a regular basis. There are some that are called "tactical folders" that have smaller blades and handles but fit into a spring-loaded housing designed to open the knife quickly.

There is really no such thing as a truly "one size fits all" tactical knife because so many people have different preferences on style. If you look around online or at your local sporting goods store for some of the most popular tactical knives that are available today, you should be able to find something that appeals to you.

Why Do You Need a Tactical Knife?

What do all of these features have in common? They make the knife extremely versatile, giving you the ability to quickly adapt your tool to meet whatever circumstance you may find yourself in. This makes it a valuable asset to have in the field, but the utility is also what distinguishes a tactical knife as a tool intended for self-defense purposes. That's what we're going to discuss in this article.

While there is no "one-size-fits-all" answer for the best self-defense tool, there are some general guidelines that can be applied when determining what type of knife you should use. 

  • Personal Preference

The first thing to do is determine your personal preference for grip after you decide on a blade style (like a drop point or clip point). Some people prefer a guard that keeps their hand from sliding onto the blade while it's in their pocket, while others may want to have the handle exposed so they can place their index finger on top of it for more control.

  • Carrying Your Knife

Then you'll need to decide how you want to carry your knife. The most popular options are either inside of a pocket or clipped onto the outside. For those who are interested in using the knife as a weapon, pocket carry is preferable because it allows for easy access when you need it most. The clip is sturdy enough to keep the knife from falling out of your pocket but not sharp or obstructive enough on the outside to prevent you from drawing quickly.

  • Your Comfort Level

The next consideration is how comfortable you are using the knife in your hands. The more form-fitted the handle, the more control you'll have over it. You may want to consider a leather grip for extra comfort when training with your tactical knife, which can also help prevent blisters and cuts from occurring on your hands if you'll be utilizing it as an actual self-defense tool in a potentially violent situation.

  • Blade Style

Another thing to keep in mind is the blade which you choose. The most common options are either serrated or plain, but there are other options that could be right for you depending on how smooth or jagged your blade is.

A plain edge is usually good for utility purposes, allowing you to slice and dice items that you can't use a serrated blade on. A serrated edge is more useful for cutting rope or other textured materials that you might encounter in a survival situation, but it's not as versatile as a plain edge. It also requires more frequent sharpening than a plain edge.

If you plan on keeping your knife in your car or at work, however, it's best to opt for one that has a smooth surface. An untextured surface won't give you the traction required to pry open a door or window during an emergency situation.