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There are so many different types of knives that we can’t list a small part of them. However, most of you will agree that a karambit knife is unique and looks like no other. We present you with 5 of our top picks for the throne of the best karambit knife. We also have a buyer’s guide, which should help you make the right choice.
In a hurry? See our top picks…
CLICK on any image below to see Ratings and Reviews on Amazon
|Top Top Top||FOX 479 G10 Black Emerson Wave||Check Price on Amazon|
|Top Top Top||CRKT Provoke Kinematic||Check Price on Amazon|
|Top||Spyderco Karahawk||Check Price on Amazon|
What is a Karambit knife, and is it legal?
Karambit knife comes from Indonesia, and it is designed and made to look like a claw, a tiger’s claw more precisely. It has been a known and popular part of history in this part of the world.
In most states and countries, the karambit knife is perfectly legal. They are designed and most commonly used for hunting and agriculture purposes. The best karambit knife has to be versatile and able to meet most requirements you may have at any given moment.
Karambit knife is also used for martial arts and self-defense. Thanks to its design, the knife can be used with more freedom and offers a much better level of grip, compared to ordinary knives.
Of course, many people use these knives for minor applications such as opening mail, etc. Some even consider them as art and have massive collections with hundreds of karambit knives.
Best Karambit Knives in 2023
Here is our list of top karambit on amazon.com. We have picked folding, fixed knives at varied price ranges so that all our readers can benefit from our list.
Fox 479 G10 Emerson Wave Karambit – Best folding karambit knife for the money
Fox 479 G10 Emerson Wave is the best karambit knife, in our opinion. The entire knife is elegant, well-made, and comes with all the advantages you will ever need. It also looks great, and it is capable of meeting any requirement you may have today or in the future.
Emerson Wave refers to the blade design, which is oriented towards fast deployment. In other words, a blade can be unfolded within seconds, and it can be ready to use. Thanks to this shape, the knife is super easy to use, convenient, and powerful.
The design is most common on professional karambit knives and also on the expensive models that are designed for martial artists, professional hunters, etc.
Improved edge retention
The material we are looking at is stainless steel, a select type known for superb strength and advanced capability to maintain its sharpness at all times. The blade itself is lightweight, incredibly versatile, and perfect to use.
Yes, the best knife of this type comes with a pocket clip as well. We should add that it is fully adjustable, and it can be used for all kinds of purposes. The clip itself is safe to use, and it will make sure your new knife stays within you all the time. You can remove it if you don’t need it.
- Superior design
- Emerson Wave
- Edge retention
- Pocket clip
- No sheath
CRKT Provoke Kinematic EDC Folding Pocket Knife
Featuring Joe Caswell’s unique design and bringing in innovation, this unit is designed with versatility in mind – able to support you in all kinds of situations. There are a few features that make it stand out among folding pocket knives.
The D2 steel blade is razor-sharp out of the box. It has incredible edge retention and measures 2.41 inches in length. It can also resist corrosion and rust and has a non-reflective coating. Altogether, the knife weighs about six ounces.
The handle is also worth some attention. It is based on aluminum and while it has a minimalist design, it ensures an almost instant blade deployment. Moreover, your fingers will always be out of the rotational direction of the blade – no accidents whatsoever.
The control is exceptional. Stick your index finger through the hole and the knife will feel like an extension of your arm. The base of the knife has a discreet lock lever to keep the blade secure. Also, the handle is slightly patterned to prevent slipping.
- Nonslip handle
- No risks to get injured
- Good blade security
- Excellent edge retention
- Cannot be cleaned in a dishwasher
- The pocket clip does not feel too sturdy
Spyderco Karahawk Specialty Folding Knife
Spyderco has nailed it with this superior knife. Based on lightweight materials and featuring a hawkbill blade shape, it can be your best friend in a series of circumstances.
Featuring great looks and durability, the G10 handle is practically epoxy-filled woven glass. It is solid and durable. It cannot be affected by chemicals or harsh temperatures. Given the rugged material, it is less likely to slip out of your hand.
The smooth blade measures 2.35 inches and is based on VG10 steel. It has a saber grind and maintains its thickness throughout most of the unit for extra strength. It is razor-sharp out of the box as well.
Unfolding the knife should take less than a second. Indeed, it will take a few times to get used to it, but you will figure it out straight away. The ergonomic handle ensures you hold the knife the right way without injuring yourself while deploying the blade.
- Quick unfolding mechanism
- Nonslip handle
- Sturdy and strong blade
- Non-reflective coating
- Blade lock does not feel extremely sturdy
- The pocket clip could be tighter
Schrade SCH112 8.4in High Carbon S.S. – Best Fixed Blade Karambit for the Money
This model can be the best karambit knife if you are looking for a simple knife that is made to last. It is advertised as a heavy-duty unit capable of meeting all your requirements, and it is a worthy choice you can make. Of course, there are a few additional features we would like to mention.
As you can see, the knife offers a minimalistic design. There isn’t anything special about it. The knife looks simple, and it is easy to use. You should get this model if you are putting functionality above the design.
The knife may be affordable and straightforward, but it is far from cheap. This refers to the material of the blade, the handle, and the overall ergonomics.
The blade and the center part of the handle are made from carbon steel, 8Cr13MoV, more precisely. This material is stronger than conventional steel, and it can withstand more pressure and will stay perfectly sharp for a long time.
As always, we must add that the blade requires advanced maintenance, and the sharpening is more complicated than with stainless steel blades. You will need time and a sharpener to invest in maintaining the sharpness and the functionality of the blade.
The handle is made from a thermoplastic elastomer. It is different than most other handles you can find on karambit knives. For instance, it is more durable, stronger, and also more pleasant to use. On the other hand, it isn’t one of the strongest out there.
- Thermoplastic elastomer handle
- Carbon steel blade
- Minimalistic design
- Value for money
- Requires plenty of maintenance
- Uncomfortable protrusion ring
MASALONG Outdoor Survival Claw Tactical Teeth Knife – Best Budget Karambit
MASALONG Outdoor Survival Claw Tactical Teeth has a unique blade, and it is designed for hardcore users. The type of steel, the sheath, all suggest that. On our tests, it performed well in all situations, and we were unable to damage the blade.
Two different versions and four combinations
At first sight, you may believe that there are four different versions of the blade. In reality, there are 2 of them, and you can choose separate sheaths. Some of them are made from leather, and on our tests, we liked them the most.
The sheath in question offers a tight fit and will keep the blade securely in place at all times. Luckily this applies to all sheaths available, so you don’t have to pay close attention to each one.
The stainless steel in question is very desirable for all knives, especially karambit models. It is a perfect combination of lightweight material and strength. The hardness is 58-60HRC, above the average score, and one of the main advantages we noticed.
The blade is well-made, and it looks great in the sun. Don’t forget that you have two variations when it comes to finishing. We tested all of them, and the results are identical.
It isn’t uncommon to find a karambit knife with teeth on the upper side of the blade. This one has the famous teeth. They may look appealing, but they are added for improved cutting and better performance. They also make this knife stand out from the crowd.
- 58-60HRC hardness
- 4 different variations
- Teeth blade
- Leather sheath
- Black sheath is cheap
- Requires frequent sharpening
Vulcan Gear Tactical Knife – Best cheap Karambit
The last model on our list is super-strong and has a bigger blade than usual. You can have it in one of 4 versions, including a model with a spider motif. We tested all of them.
4 inches blade
As we have mentioned already, the blade is slightly longer than other models of this class have. It is 4 inches in length, making the knife a more capable weapon and also more versatile when it comes to the range of use.
You can use the knife for self-defense, hunting, or while working on a farm. It is already known as one of the most versatile models out there and one of the most desirable.
Nylon cord and sheath
Both nylon cord and sheath are included in the package. A great thing is the fact they don’t add the cost to the entire package, so the knife is generally affordable. Both of these accessories are well-made, and they share the same list of advantages as the actual knife.
The handle itself isn’t fascinating, but its shape is. It is perfectly ergonomic, and we should add that the handle lies in hand entirely without any issues. This is mandatory if you are looking for a karambit knife, you are planning to use for an extended period.
The entire knife is easy to use, simple in design, and versatile. The handle simply matches all of these.
- Stainless steel
- Cord and sheath included
- Returns are not possible
- Can’t be used as a neck knife
How to Find the Best Karambit Knife for You
Image by DanXaw
If you are interested in finding the best knife of this kind, you will need the buyer’s guide mentioned below. These knives may be an unknown matter for some of you, and you will need to know which parameters need to be considered and why. Let’s start with the basics.
The material of the blade
Karambit knives are not different when it comes to the material of the blade. They are usually made from stainless steel, carbon steel, or even some types of iron. There is no need to point out iron models must be avoided at all costs.
Stainless steel units are the best value for money, and they are lightweight. The maintenance is low, and the blade is durable and robust. Carbon steel is more difficult to maintain, but a stronger type of steel.
Types of karambit knives
Now is the time to see the main types of this knife. There are 3 of them, and they may look similar at first sight, but they are entirely different.
- Fixed blade- These units have a fixed blade, and they can’t be folded. They are the oldest, the most affordable, and the least practical type.
- Manual models- They are folding knives, but you need to open and close the blade manually. They are practical and reasonably affordable.
- Butterfly- Models of this kind are automatic, meaning you will have to press a button or a lever to open the knife. They are the most desirable and the most practical.
The handle is a mandatory part of any knife to consider. There are several types you need to consider. The main rule is that a handle must provide an excellent level of grip at all times. Aim for models with rubberized or ergonomic handles.
When it comes to the material used for a handle, manufacturers use plastics (should be avoided), steel (strong and reliable), or nylon reinforced with glass (the best option).
Length of the blade/knife
Most units have a blade with 3 inches of length. It translates that a knife will be 5-6 inches in total length. These models are the most popular of them all.
Consider a unit that meets the laws in your state or the country. In most cases, a knife under 3 inches of blade length isn’t considered a weapon.
At the back of a karambit knife, you can see a ring. This is called a protrusion ring, and it is present in 97% of cases. There is a valuable reason why manufacturers have been using these rings for years.
The protrusion ring enhances the stability and the grip of the handle. You will be able to use it better, complete various missions, and you will be able to maintain the grip under a lot of pressure.
The ring is mandatory if you want to perform exceptional moves or tricks with the knife. When choosing your ideal protrusion ring, make sure it is comfortable to use and is big enough for your fingers.
These days you can have the best karambit knife in any color you want. You may know that these knives dominate the world when it comes to the colors of a blade. You can have it in black, silver, rainbow colors, or even some rare hues.
Color choice is up to you entirely. There are no differences in the compound of the metal or the handle strength, and regardless of which color you choose, you will get the same list of benefits. Also, we recommend units with resilient and robust colors.
You need a belt clip on your karambit knife, and there is an apparent reason for that. A belt clip allows you to carry the knife at all times and to keep it within easy reach. Most models come with this addition, but some units don’t. If you choose one of them, you need to consider the next factor.
You may believe that a karambit knife is easy to pair with a sheath. After all, you can choose and find a unit that matches your criteria just right. Well, this isn’t the case. In reality, finding the sheath that matches your blade is almost an impossible task.
Most of these knives are unique and have different blades, so you need to find a precise sheath, a complicated task to be honest. That’s why getting a unit with the sheath included in the package is more important than you may believe.
The cord is usually located on the sheath, and it allows you to carry the knife around your neck or the waist. Keep in mind that just a handful of models on the market have it.
But you can add a cord at any given moment. It should be made from synthetic, due to strength and affordability. You can even match the knife with a chain made from steel, silver, or other metal.
Fox 479 G10 Black Emerson Wave Folding Karambit is the best karambit knife in our opinion.Thanks to it’s edge retention, Emerson Wave design and the overall quality. It is a stunning model that deserves your full attention at a reasonable price.
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.