(This site is reader-supported and we earn commissions if you purchase products from retailers after clicking on a link from our site.)
What are neck knives, and are they legal?
A neck knife is precise, as the name suggests. It is a small knife carried around your neck. It will hang from your neck using a chain or a cord. The sizes vary, and these knives can be found and purchased in many different variations.
A neck knife is usually treated as a pocket knife, and as such, the same rules apply. We should add that it is legal because a knife of this kind is used for opening mail or similar applications. It is also convenient for hunters and those who want to survive in a dangerous environment.
The bottom line is that neck knives are legal in most states and most countries, but you should check with local authorities to see this type of knife allowed to carry and use.
5 Best Neck Knives of 2020 Reviewed
SOG Small Fixed Blade Knives
SOG Small Fixed Blade is the best neck knife period. The model itself is well-made, from 9CR18MOV steel, it is small and compact. The length is 2.3 inches, which makes it ideal for all kinds of usages. The knife is lightweight and comes in a great package.
The sheath is made from a unique material, specially designed for this blade. It is extremely strong, yet lightweight, and looks excellent. Besides all of this, the sheath is comfortable to wear at all times.
We should add that the sheath will keep the blade strongly in place, but you can easily pull it out when needed.
1.9 ounces of weight
Believe or no, the knife with the sheath weight only 1.9 ounces, which is impressive. The main goal of this knife is to stay as lightweight as possible while providing superior strength and making sure users can use it for all kinds of operations.
You won’t feel it is around your neck, but the knife is ready for all kinds of applications. We always consider the weight as one of the main factors when looking for a new knife.
Designed by Jason Brous
The handle is original, and you won’t find a similar type anywhere in the world. The reason for that is simple. Jason Brous designs it, and it has a few benefits. First of all, the handle is small and compact, yet it offers an excellent level of grip.
- Level of grip
- Uncomfortable to use
CRKT Minimalist Bowie Neck Knife
Now we present you a knife that is extremely practical and versatile. We will explain why this is the case in the content below. At the moment, all we can add is that this is the most popular model on the market and the one that deserves your full attention.
Five different versions
One of the most exciting benefits or advantages is the fact you can choose between 5 different types of units. They vary in shape so you can get a drop point model, curved blade, etc. They are different in color, which may be the most important benefit for some users.
Glass-reinforced nylon sheath
The sheath is a masterpiece. It is made from a combination of glass and nylon. What this means is that the sheath is super-strong, yet very lightweight. It will keep the blade securely in place at all times.
The only downside is the design of the sheath. It looks obsolete and cheap. Of course, it is the opposite of cheap.
Limited lifetime warranty
The tested model impressed us thanks to the limited lifetime warranty. Keep in consideration that this is one of the most affordable models out there, so a warranty of this kind is a plus side.
- Value for money
- 5 different versions available
- Convenient design
- Sheath doesn’t look very nice
- Handle design
Spyderco Ark Personal Defense Knife
This particular unit is designed and made to be the best neck knife in terms of practicality. The blade, handle, and overall design is all focused on enhanced practicality, simplicity, and overall strength. You need this knife if you are planning to use it all the time and to push it to the limits.
The blade, which is 2.5 inches long, is made from H1 stainless steel. This is a special version of the metal, and it has a unique compound, which makes it immune to corrosion. We tested it in various situations, and the blade stayed like new.
Don’t forget that this variation of metal is stainless steel with corrosion improvement. It shares the same perks we have mentioned above in the buyer’s guide.
Heat mounted handle
There is no special about the handle. It looks straightforward, and it is reasonably comfortable. However, the handle is heat mounted on the knife itself, which makes a permanent bond.
Thanks to this process, the handle and the knife are extremely strong, and they can withstand heavy-duty usages. Also, there is no gap between the handle and the blade.
We must add something regarding the blade. Yes, it is perfectly sharp, as we all know. But, the blade design is impressive. It makes the entire knife suitable for all users, and it is useful regardless of what you are planning to do with it.
The blade is a perfect combo between the size, the weight, and the shape. It can be one of the most practical neck knives of all times and the one you should consider.
- H1 stainless steel
- Heat mounted handle
- Great blade
- Value for money
- Lack of sheath
- One version only
KA-BAR TDI Law Enforcement Knife Fixed Blade
Let’s take a look at one neck knife that changed the way we think about these knives. For some of you, it is going to be the most beautiful and the most desirable. It is something you must have as soon as possible. For others, it will be a nice addition to the collection
AUS 8A steel
The knife is made from AUS 8A steel, a very common material in the world of small knives. The metal is strong and very easy to maintain and sharpen. Let’s also add that this metal is immune to corrosion, and it maintains sharpness above average.
The blade is something special and the main reason why we have a high opinion about this unit. We liked the shape, and we believe it is one of the most practical there is. The curved design allows you to open a package, to easily cut through anything. Add the sharpness, and you get an excellent blade.
Another reason why this type of blade is so appealing is the self-defense. The knife itself is advertised as a self-defense weapon, and we agree with the claim. Of course, you will need some time to get used to the design and learn a few moves.
The handle is massive compared to other models, and it makes using the knife great. You will soon notice this benefit, and you will enjoy holding the knife in your hand. Thanks to the size and shape, we recommend the knife for users who are planning to use it regularly.
- Interesting design
- Comes with a sheath
- Stainless steel type
- Require some time to get used to the shape
- Isn’t very affordable
ESEE Knives Izula-II Fixed Blade Knife
ESEE Knives Izula-II Fixed Blade Knife is the last model on our list and the one that is very popular and desirable. The main elements of the knife are a great blade and even better handle. We will explain why this is the case later on. Keep in mind that it is made in the United States, and it meets all the requirements.
Yes, this is another variation of stainless steel, and it is super strong, reliable, and durable. You will like using the blade for all applications you may have in mind, thanks to advanced sharpness and low maintenance.
There is no need to add that the knife is rust-resistant and can be exposed to water or wet conditions.
Tan Micarta handle
The handle is known merely as Tan Micarta, and it is comfortable to use. You may feel that it is soft, but this isn’t the case. In reality, the handle is capable of meeting all the usages and will stay in perfect order for a long time.
The handle is one of the unique types on the market and deserves a place among collectors.
The knife is available in black and desert versions, which is yellowish. We tested both of them, and they performed above the average on our tests.
- 2 versions
- Type of steel
- Yellow version doesn’t look great
- Size of the sheath
How to Choose the Best Neck Knife for You
Don’t think that the best neck knife is a simple, small, and ordinary item that can be purchased for $1, and it is more of a symbol than an actual knife. These units share the same list of advantages as pocket knives and add a few more. This means that there are several factors to consider when looking for a new one.
The material of the blade
There is no need to add that material is the first and the essential factor to look for when purchasing a neck knife. This factor is mandatory for all knives of all sizes and all types.
There are two main options here. The blade can be either made from stainless steel or carbon steel. Former is popular, affordable, requires less maintenance, and it is better when it comes to corrosion resistance.
Carbon steel knives are more expensive, sharper, and more complicated to maintain. Sharpening is far more complicated and time-consuming. On the other hand, some people prefer this material due to added strength.
We recommend you stainless steel blades. They are more common and more user-friendly. Of course, carbon steel is a valuable option, as well.
After all, you will carry your neck weapon around your neck. That’s why sheath is mandatory to consider, and it can make a massive difference. The sheath will keep the blade away from your skin and also protect the knife.
The sheath must be carefully chosen. The best ones will keep the blade tight and secure even when you shake it. You will need to use force to pull it out, and the knife will stay in a sheath at all times. A sheath isn’t useful if it makes sounds while shaking it.
A lanyard is an essential part of the neck knife. Once again, we can see two main alternatives. The first one is a chain, usually made from aluminum, stainless steel, or even silver. We recommend this alternative if you are at risk of slipping, falling, or you want a heavy-duty option.
For most of you, a paracord or synthetic cord will do the job just fine. It is lightweight, safe to use, and it is more comfortable than the chain option. An interesting fact is that it can last longer than the chain.
Blade length of your new neck knife can’t be generalized. There are so many alternatives on the market that you can choose any one of them and get the best blade. All we want to tell you is that the blades for these knives are between 2 and 4 inches in length.
Smaller blades are more practical, and they are ideal for opening mail or packages. They are very sharp as well, but they are less efficient when it comes to survival or hunting. If you are a hunter or you want to use the blade in nature, go for a bigger version.
It isn’t difficult to understand why the best neck knife must be as lightweight as possible. You will carry it around your neck for hours, so you need a lightweight design. Neck knives vary in weight between 2 and 10 ounces.
Weight is linked or better said based on the blade length and the materials used. A stainless steel model with an aluminum handle will be one of the lightest options. Always make a choice with which you are comfortable.
All neck knives have handles, but not all of them are the same. You can choose between wood, aluminum, steel, and Tan Micarta or similar materials. The handle is to provide a comfortable grip and to add safety to the overall usage of the blade.
The handle must be durable and strong. That’s why we prefer models made from aluminum or even stainless steel. Weak handles can significantly decrease the lifespan of a neck knife.
As you would expect, neck knives come in all kinds of sizes and shapes. However, there are three main designs used and available at the moment. The first one is standard, where we can see a separate handle and a separate blade. These knives are big and practical.
The second type is knives that are made from a single piece of steel. They have a blade and a handle that is made from the same piece. These are usually the smallest and the lightest.
The third type is exciting. They are similar to the first type, but they have a curved blade. This makes them the best for opening packages and self-defense, but not very practical for other actions.
With all knives, the warranty should be considered. Neck knives are no different. Some of them are expensive, and we all know that each one will be used for heavy-duty applications. This translates to a need to have an outstanding warranty.
Models that come with a lifetime warranty are simply the best and the most desirable. Knowing this advantage also helps you understand that that unit is well-made and strong.
In the end, all we can say is that the SOG Small Fixed Blade is the best neck knife we discovered and it gets 4.8 out of 5 stars. The knife is appreciated for the design and the advanced handle, among other things. We also like the strength and the sharpness it provides and maintains. Last but not least, this is a convenient and lightweight knife.
Let us know if you find the right neck knife for you.