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There are many ways to carry a knife. You can put it in your backpack, pocket, lanyard, chain, or on your boot. Well, you can also wear it on your belt. Such a knife is known as a belt knife.
Although small in size, a belt knife is versatile. This is because you can use it for the most chores such as cutting woods, carving them, and opening packed items. Such a knife may not be ideal for handling large items. This post aims to guide you such that you can smoothly choose a belt knife without any confusion.
2021’s 3 Best Belt Knives Reviewed
Gerber GDC Money Clip w/ Built-in Fixed Blade Knife
This high-tech tool is made for modern knife fans who can now even store three cards and five bills in its clip. Yes, this one is a knife-cum-holder tool. This Gerber multitool is compact and thin due to which you can quickly deploy it.
It also comes with a 1.75-inch blade having a fine edge and made up of titanium-coated stainless steel for inobtrusive access and highly practical use. This money clip comes with a wide etchable surface, G-10 handle, and rust-proof build for being your daily pal.
A finger slot containing toothed thumb rest ensures a superb grip despite the knife being small in terms of overall length. Just press against the thumb grip to enjoy a stronghold that sustains even if you apply some force while cutting. After usage, the blade returns to its strong sheath.
- Handy concept of storing cards and bills
- Great grip
- Super affordable
- Small for some
KA-BAR Becker BK2 Campanion Fixed Blade Knife
This belt knife is ideal for all those who want to prove themselves tough in any survival condition. Made originally for marine workers and warriors, this knife is reliable for any adventure in the outdoors. It comes with a fixed, 5.5-inch long blade that is fixed, sharp, and made up of stainless steel.
You can rely on this blade for any common chores while camping, hiking, or performing any water sport. You can even split, chop, and pry apart by making profound penetrations. The edge is sharp, and it remains so for a satisfactory period.
The handle is ergonomic. It means you can expect maximum comfort and a safe grip. The Grivory material renders a balanced grip no matter what you do. You also get a glass-reinforced nylon sheath for protection.
- Easy to carry
- Heavy-duty construction
- Great grip
- Value for money
- Sheath likely to blunt the edge
Morakniv Garberg Full Tang Fixed Blade
Consider this knife if you want the most durable belt knife. Its 4.3-inch long blade having a full-tang design and the robust MOLLE multi-mount mechanism make it possible for the knife to endure the impact of any harsh chore without any damage.
The blade is made up of carbon steel that gives you a razor-sharp edge, excellent toughness, high hardness, and resistance to corrosion. The full tang ensures a great heft, while the scandi grind makes the knife perform well while chopping and splitting hardwood.
You also get a polyamide sheath, belt loop, the secondary lock for holding other Morakniv knives, belt Velcro straps, and multi-mount base.
- Almost indestructible
- Edge retention
- Value for money
- Need for proper maintenance to prevent rusting
Why Choose a Belt Knife?
Why would you put a small knife on your belt? Well, the idea of having such a tool that is tucked away where it is not visible immediately seems wise, especially when it comes to self-defense.
The self-defense requisites have persuaded people to use knives having small blades. Many times, they prefer a knife whose blade stays concealed or hidden.
Is Belt Knife a New Concept?
No! It is still unclear when this knife was first made. However, as per the records, the American armed forces used to make belt knives at the time of the Civil War.
The American armed forces carried knives when they used to go to the battleground, which would aid them not only on the ground but also for survival. They always carried these knives on their belts.
It is perhaps from here that these knives got their name as belt knives. With time, they began producing cases for these tools so that they remain intact inside and do not harm anyone while traveling. At present, they are in use as a replacement for larger tools.
How to Choose the Best Belt Knife for You
Each belt knife tends to differ from the other in terms of price, size, weight, handle material, and blade material. So, how do you determine the best belt knife for your needs?
Well, for this, you simply have to identify your requirements and budget and accordingly compare the features of the most promising models. These features are nothing but the buying factors to consider for analytical comparison. So, let’s check them out now!
Checking out the weight is important, as it will help you determine whether you will be able to handle the knife comfortably or not. If the knife feels heavy, you will be unable to handle it smoothly. Further, you will be unable to use it precisely for the targeted task. On the other hand, if the knife is too light, you will just not feel the right grip level.
The weight of a knife is reliant on its build material. So, you also need to pay attention to the material. The right weight for you is the one that ensures a superb balance while being compact for several chores.
The most recommended weight range for belt knives is 6 to 10 oz. Such knives are also ideal survival knives that have some good weight and are easy to carry anytime.
Apart from contributing to the weight, a blade material also contributes to the sharpness and overall knife durability. A blade can be made up of one of the following materials:
- Steel: Is the most preferred material for knife blades. This is because it is strong, durable, and resistant to corrosion as well as rust if not exposed to water for long. However, you will get knives with blades whose steel surface is coated for ensuring a longer lifespan by not getting corroded at all. 1095 steel is perhaps the widely used blade material, as it is quite sharp and durable. You also have the carbon steel option that is lighter than the option mentioned above but is prone to rusting if proper care is not taken.
- Titanium: This is comparable to steel, as both materials are strong. However, titanium is more reliable when it comes to surviving in extreme temperatures. Unlike steel, it is lighter, as it is less dense.
This feature is often overlooked, but it is an important one to consider, as the right length is required for productivity and effectiveness. Most of us feel that a longer knife blade is always the best option when it comes to the belt knives. However, this is just not true.
Rather, just recall the uses of your belt knife. Then, think whether a short blade or a long blade will be suitable for ensuring maximum versatility. The recommended length range for the blades of belt knives is 4 to 6 inches. Otherwise, the knife will become a bowie or survival tool.
Again here, you need to come out of the illusion that a thicker blade is better than a thinner blade. This is because it all depends on your requirements and priorities. For example, thin blades tend to slice better, while thicker blades are tougher than their thin counterparts made using the same steel material.
Similarly, a high-quality thin blade is likely to be more durable, as it can endure more stress than a thick one of less quality. It is just fine to go with a thinner blade, as the modern superior steels almost eliminate the need to have a thick blade for being tough.
However, you may go with a thick blade, as some tasks need it. The best thickness range is 0.1 to 0.25 inches.
For the best grip and comfort, it is important to check the handle of a belt knife. To choose the most comfortable hand, consider the design. It can be either classic or modern, wherein you can wrap your index finger around the handle.
For some users, a handle that gives dedicated space for each finger is the most comfortable one. Such a handle comes with small mounds due to which even holding it becomes easier than before. This design should be cozy for you.
The length of the handle should be such that it comfortably fits in your fist. If you want to gauge numbers, it is obvious that a handle of just 3 inches is insufficient. For a safe grip and cozy feel, a handle that is 4 to 5 inches long is ideal. This is also the universal size for any fist.
Comfortable handling is also the result of the right handle material. So, it is vital to choose the right handle material. In the case of cheap handle material, the knife is at the risk of falling. Following are the common handle materials, each with their pros and cons:
- Plastic: Is mostly utilized for making cheap knives. The handle may be cozy, but your palm is likely to become clammy; hence knife may slip. Another benefit you get is in terms of durability. However, plastic handles will not last for several years.
- Metal: It is usually used along with leather or rubber. Leather is a costly material, although it ensures a sleek look, durability, and good holding. However, animal lovers will never go for it. In that case, the blend of metal and rubber is ideal. These handles are usually strong, light, and durable. The rubber ensures a proper and more comfortable grip. Titanium and steel are the widely used metals for making the handles of belt knives. The best one here is titanium, as it is light, safe, and highly durable. You also get a good balance while performing any task.
- Wood: Is the conventional option for those who want a stunning appearance. However, you will have to polish the chosen wooden handle so that it becomes more stunning as well as durable than before. If you do not polish, the material becomes more prone to damage.
- Bone: This is the costliest option. Bone handles, nevertheless, last for years to come. Again, this option is not something that animal lovers would choose.
You cannot carry a sharp blade on your belt just like that. You need a protective case. This is where the role of the sheath comes in. It protects your knife, and you too. For this protection, the sheath itself must be strong for which you should choose the right material. Following are the widely used sheath materials:
- Leather: Is the traditional material that is known for its durability but infamous for its prize and animal cruelty.
- Kydex: Is ideal, as it is cozy as well as light. However, being a kind of plastic, the material results in scratches.
- Nylon: Is ideal for any kind of survival environment. It is affordable, as well as famous. However, it is likely to break down quickly.
Belt knives are mostly available as fixed-blade tools. The best belt knife for you is the one that is affordable, durable, and versatile enough to perform diverse tasks in the outdoors.
Hi, I am Jay. I am the creator of Knife Guides, your one-stop site for everything related to knives. I am a computer engineer by profession, knife aficionado by passion. Here I work with a group of people who’ve always had a passion for knives and blades. Over the years we’ve kind of become experts and decided to share our knowledge and ideas. I am also an avid hiker and enjoy offshore gamefishing.