(This site is reader-supported. When you buy something using retail links on our articles, we may earn a small commission. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.)
A push dagger is admired for its convenience, compact enough to fit into a boot, and ease of use. Above all, it wallet-friendly depending on the design, originality, brand, and materials used. As a result, push daggers are preferable.
Push daggers are commonly used as self-defense weapons. They are easy to hide and are lightweight. They are prohibited in many regions such as the United Kingdom, some American states, and Canada. Still, it is the choice of an avid knife collector. In this post, let’s learn more about push daggers and go through the top 5 of them.
Overview of Push Daggers
Also called a fist knife, push knife, punch dagger, knuckle knife, and a gimlet knife, a push dagger has a distinctly shaped handle such that the blade expands from the fist’s front. In other words, the handle is short and is in the shape of the T letter. This design makes this knife ideal for close combats.
It is believed that this dagger style is related to the 16th century’s Katar or the Indian punching sword. Nevertheless, this sword was riveted with two vertical bars. During the 1800s, push daggers were popular in the United States, where several politicians and civilians carried them as hidden weapons for self-defense. These knives were also used in the two world wars.
During the 1980s, many brands reintroduced these knives as tactical tools. Today, several push daggers are available in different sizes and designs and are treated by knife enthusiasts as a collectible more than a weapon.
Best Push Daggers in 2022
Cold Steel Drop Forged Push Knife
This one is ruthless! It is a rock-hard steel dagger that is mischievously sharp. It has nothing to prove that you can use it for any other task other than the close quarter combat. Perhaps, this is the reason why this dagger would attract protectors such as the police and watch guards.
Instead of a partial tang and a plastic grip common in other knives of Cold Steel, this one is forged from a single steel piece, which takes the description of atypical exploitation.
Even at its affordable price, the blend of good materials and quality construction makes this dagger another tempting deal from Cold Steel, especially for the collectors.
Arguably, this Drop Forged push dagger is the strongest of its kind at present. It is the largest of all Cold Steel’s push knives. It features an extremely sharp double-edge blade having a wide and thick spear point that is known to stab and pierce effortlessly.
The 4-inch blade is made using 52100 high carbon steel. This steel is known for its great resistance to wear and superb toughness making this tool quite strong and durable. However, it is susceptible to rust, due to which it is maintenance-intensive.
You can easily hide this tool in its included Secure-Ex sheath with flexible tension and a clip made in America. These features make this dagger ideal for tactical and military personnel.
Mike Irie Version 3 Push Dagger
Mike Irie, a custom knifemaker, has been admired for high-quality fixed blade models for almost a quarter of a century. His top-notch fit and finish are also reflected in this V3 push dagger. The CPM steel blade is manually rubbed to give a cool satin finish look, while the micarta scales on the handle are refined and fit flawlessly to the blade.
This custom push dagger features a proficiently executed blade with a hollow ground edge giving a wicked look. The tang smoothly transforms into the drop-point blade whose one side is sharpened to act as a razor edge and the other remains unsharpened.
The blade, which is a bit over 4 inches, is made using a single piece of CPM 154 steel, which is regarded as a great EDC steel with beyond-satisfactory edge retention, fine edge rendering, ease of sharpening, and corrosion resistance. Edge retention is similar to S30V but makes sharpening relatively easier. The steel is also known for its ease of finishing and improved toughness.
The Micarta handle ensures a comfortable grip with its smooth scales affixed to an aluminum pin. It beveled around the edge so that you could experience a soft feel. There are also grooves for your fingers to remain comfortable.
This push dagger comes with a hard Kydex sheath with the front piece textured with carbon fiber and a belt loop.
Benchmade 175BK CBK
Consider this push dagger if you are looking for an extra but effective weapon while moving around town but without a full-size dagger. This concealed and compact backup knife seems to be designed for the law enforcement personnel, as it was introduced after heeding their requirements.
This small dagger goes well with the sheath affixed to the hip and does not surface in public. Retaining the included molded Kydex sheath is not a problem here, unlike what you may think. This is because the sheath is not going to fall.
The blade design featuring the typical dagger shape feels quite strong and is sharpened on both sides. Yes, it is a double-edged dagger.
While one side of the blade is flat, the other is beveled. The finished, chisel-ground blade is made using 440C steel, a knife-friendly material known for its highest strength, great resistance to corrosion as well as wear, and great toughness.
Coming to the handle, it is large and spacious enough to give sufficient support to the dagger. The open handle design with a surface coating provides a quick response grip, which is commendable.
The molded sheath ensures a secure carry. The associated reversible belt clip paves the way to other carry methods.
TOPS Grim Ripper
This one is perhaps the toughest push dagger ever. Yes, it is the best push dagger to have if toughness is the priority. The build is thick, the edge is sharp, and the overall feel is of being indestructible.
Even the blade’s finish is tough, which is black, non-reflective traction coating. With a length of 6.5 inches, this dagger is bigger than what you may have expected.
With almost a quarter-inch thick full tang, the 3.75-inch blade is made using 1095 tool steel, a material chosen for not too thin blades and admired for ease of sharpening and great edge retention ability. Apart from the clip point known for piercing, the blade has serrations required for demanding jobs.
This extra heavy-duty design can dramatically pierce and cut in case the need is felt. Thus, it has been the choice of several naval and law personnel.
Coming to the handle, it is made using black linen micarta and is affixed using heavy-duty screws to ensure comfort. This material is also responsible for rendering grip. There are also no rough spots on the handle, which would otherwise hurt your hand.
The included Kydex sheath and a strong clip facilitate several carry options, including strapping to the lower leg. The sheath fits in securely such that the knife does not fall even if you carry it inverted.
ESEE Tertiary Izula
This compact push dagger is known for its unique handle and small backup blade designed for acting as a third line of defense after the main and backup firearm. Although the profile is compact, the shape is of the classic Izula that facilitates daily cutting tasks.
Again, this push dagger has been made by keeping the needs of law officials in mind. Interestingly, there is no handle included, as it is designed as a baseline tool for adding a paracord wrap apart from carrying it as it is.
The shape of the blade is practical for daily uses with its 1095 carbon steel composition. This means you can expect the blade to retain its edge for a good period. The full flat grind and a bit of modification to encompass a sharp top edge render additional piercing power. The full weapon is powder coated to keep corrosion and glare at bay, which is essential for use in tactical scenarios.
While there is no proper handle, the dagger comes with a skeletonized one enabling two not-included G10 scales. It paves way for a secure grip. The molded plastic sheath with an adjustable clip plate allows carrying the tool on the belt or waistband. It is also easy to pull the dagger from the sheath.
Pros of Push Daggers
- Reliable for use in small places such as in a narrow alley, lift, or passage
- No deployment issues, as there are no locks or buttons to use or other parts to flip for deploying the blade
- Immediate usage by taking it out from its sheath, just like removing a standard fixed blade
- Outstanding concealability due to small size with the blade, at times, being within 2 inches and good sheath due to which you can hide in your boot, pocket, in a small corner of your carry bag, and even hide it by carrying it around your neck.
- Non-intimidating appearance due to reduced size
- Ability to set you free from the rope in case of abduction and escape the risky place quickly provided the concealed knife is not found by the captors.
- Extremely easy to use with firm grip and blade between the middle and index fingers for slashing, punching, and stabbing for defense without any specific training.
- Less fatal models available, which are light and premium but do not have sharp blades to hurt to opponent much, although effective as stabling tools
Cons of Push Daggers
Just as any other knives, push daggers do have their limitations. You need to know them while using or carrying one of them for self-defense. These are as follows:
- Possibility of discomfort while holding it, especially if the hands are large enough to render the weapon less effective. Thus, a push dagger may not be a practical tool for you.
- Possibility of being at a disadvantage due to the small and short blade of a push dagger if the opponent has a longer and bigger weapon to combat.
- Not intimidating to those opponents who have firearms.
- Not frightening if you show the knife too soon as the only weapon in hand for defense.
- Confined reachability, as the knife can go only up to how far your arms go. For using it effectively, it is essential to be within the hitting distance.
- Dissatisfactory retention, meaning it is easy to disarm a push dagger. A simple blow just from a stick can simply drop the weapon from your hand.
- Illegal to buy, own, and sell in some states, especially where double-edged knives are banned. In these states, a single-edge dagger can be used.
- Imprisonment if you are caught applying needless lethal force. So, you should use this dagger wisely to protect yourself instead of killing someone, unless it’s a real do-or-die situation leaving you with no other option.
- Premium price for a real model.
A push dagger has a T-shape handle that you can hold in one hand and a fixed blade projecting from your fist. It is a close combat tool with a short blade and is mostly collectible rather than a defensive or offensive tool these days. If you are looking for an affordable model go for the cold steel one.
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.