(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.)
Emergencies require urgent solutions. Having the right tools nearby and knowing how to use them can work wonders, not to mention saving your life. Whether it comes to a fight or a camping trip in the wilderness, having the best tactical folding knife out there will bring in a series of advantages. Such circumstances demand quick and efficient solutions. A tactical knife, for instance, could be your best daily accessory.
>>In a hurry? Click here to find out our favorite tactical folding knife
There are many types of tactical knives out there and not all of them can match your actual necessities. From this point of view, it pays off doing your homework before jumping to buy one. Apart from knowing the benefits and uses of such a knife, you need to know what to look for when buying one.
We discuss, what you need to know to find the best tactical folding knife, what are our favorite folding tactical knives, and why do we love them.
5 Best Tactical Folding Knives of 2023?
Hoffman Richter HR-30 – Great value for money tactical folding knife
Hoffman’s best tactical folding knife relies on 440C steel and extremely durable titanium coating. The steel, sharpness, and coating are likely to last for ages. You have a notched blade that allows plenty of control, so you can slice and cut through all kinds of tough materials.
The folding knife has a spring-assisted opening mechanism. It opens in no time, but it is also safe to keep in your pocket. You do not want the knife to open in your pocket, so it is also enhanced with a liner lock safety switch.
Other than that, the blade measures 3.75 inches and the knife weighs eight ounces. According to some reviews, it is said to be an unbreakable knife.
- Good looking
- Safety mechanism
- Easy to open
- Could have had a nonslip grip
Gerber 06 30-000118 – Best tactical folding knife from Gerber
This is Gerber’s so-called FAST knife, meaning it features forward action spring technology. It is solid, built to last, and face all kinds of situations. It features a tanto shaped blade, which is excellent for thrusting – suitable for all kinds of operations too.
The unit has a pocket clip, while the edge is partially serrated. It has the sharpness and a fine cut, but a few serrations close to the handle. The blade is made of 7Cr17MoV stainless steel and measures 3.75 inches – overall, the knife goes to 8.75 inches.
It is worth mentioning the handle as well. It is a G10 unit, so it ensures a good grip even if your hands are sweaty or you need to use the knife in wet conditions.
- Easy to open in unexpected situations
- Great grip, even when wet
- Partially serrated edge
- Durable materials
- Spring could have been a bit tougher
Buck Knives 0870 – Great tactical folding knife from Buck knives
This unit might be the best tactical folding knife out there if you want a simple and lightweight design. It weighs just over four ounces. It has a partially serrated blade – tanto design, which measures three inches. Despite the partial serrations, it is extremely sharp.
Made of 420HC steel, the blade has a nonreflective coating. It can resist corrosion and will maintain its edge sharpness. It is great for piercing, prying, and scraping, while the serrations can help to cut through textured materials.
You can open the knife with one hand, yet it is safe enough to avoid accidents in your pocket. It has a skeletal framework, which keeps the weight low.
- Good looking design
- Nonreflective coating
- Durable materials
- Solid and strong
- It is not spring assisted
Smith & Wesson Extreme Ops SWA24S – Popular cheap tactical folding knife
Smith & Wesson does not fool around when it comes to tactical knives. This unit has an impressive size – 7.1 inches. The blade itself measures 3.1 inches, while the knife barely weighs 3.5 ounces, so it is lightweight and easy to handle.
The blade is made of 7Cr17MoV stainless steel. The black oxide adds to its look, but it will also prevent you from reflecting light if you hunt. The handle is based on aluminum. It is black and matches the blade as well.
Access is fast and simple. You have a pocket flip and a finger flipper – it makes no difference what hand you open it with, it will open up in no time.
- Easy to open
- Durable construction
- Finger flipper
- The top of the blade is not sharp
SOG FF25-CP – Popular tactical folding knife from SOG
SOG is one of the leading names on the market when it comes to knives. This tactical folding knife is excellent for emergencies. It opens up in no time and it will provide easy access regardless of the action.
When closed, the knife measures 4.8 inches. The blade itself is 3.4 inches in length – made of hard anodized 6061 T6 aluminum. Over half of it is serrated. The rest is a line and ensures a clean cut – it also has a super sharp tip. The tactical knife has a cord-cutting groove, a glass breaker, and a wire stripper, so it is more complete than other alternatives.
It is worth noting that you can open the knife with one hand. You also have a lock-back mechanism for security.
- Can be opened with one hand only
- Made of durable hard-anodized aluminum
- Multiple purpose applications
- Lock back system for safety
- A bit heavier than other units in this range
Benefits of a Tactical Folding Knife
The folding profile makes it easy to carry around with no risks at all. You do not have to wear a sheath by your belt and look like a warrior on your camping trip. Instead, since it is foldable, it can easily go inside your pocket, with no risk of cutting yourself. A folding unit is also compact, yet not as durable as a fixed blade alternative.
Nothing compares to a good barbecue in the wilderness when you go out camping. Whether you use this tool to hunt or you got something else, you will need it to split your prey open and get it ready for your barbecue. You could do that with any random knife – sometimes, if the situation asks for it, you could do it with a stick. However, a tactical folding knife will get the job done faster and easier.
Out there camping? Raining? Lost?. You can use your knife to cut small branches and come up with a shelter. Even if you are on an organized trip and you have a tent, the knife is just as handy to cut some twigs and branches for a nice fire – whether you want to warm up or just spend the night with your friends around a campfire.
Both simple and intense situations
Last, but not least, a tactical folding knife could become your best friend under all kinds of circumstances. It makes no difference if you only need a knife to cut a twig or to slice the meat you bought from the supermarket. It also makes no difference if you have to defend yourself in the wilderness. A tactical knife will get the job done, no matter how simple or intense the situation is.
What To Look For In A Foldable Tactical Knife
Choosing the best tactical folding knife is not as easy as it may seem. Sure, if you are in an emergency, any knife can become a tactical knife. But then, you want to make sure you are ready for anything, so a little research will work a long way.
Size does matter. Some units barely measure a few inches, while others can go up to nine inches in length or even more. If the knife is too small, you risk breaking it or not having enough cutting surface. If it is too big, it might become clumsy and heavy. Ideally, the size should be picked with your personal needs in mind, so think about what you might need the knife for.
Blade and edge
There are more types of configurations out there. A plain edge is sharp and continuous – traditional and classic. It serves all kinds of purposes. A serrated edge is excellent for textured materials, such as fabrics or ropes. However, this type of edge is difficult to sharpen. The cutting experience is not that clean, but it can help in certain situations.
Damascus steel has a unique look and it is one of the most expensive options out there. It is practical, but given the price, it is more of a collector’s item. Lots of manufacturers rely on AUS8 steel instead, which is easy to sharpen, durable, and reliable. There are more types of steel used in this industry, including S30V, 440C, and D2, among others. As for the grip, ensure it is made of durable materials to prevent cracking.
Types of blades
The clip point blade is classic. It is sharp and reduces drag and withdrawal times, yet the tip is more fragile than the rest of the blade. The drop point blade is also popular – slightly rounded for extra control. It has a large cutting edge, but the point is not too sharp. The tanto blade has a flat grind. It is strong and great for piercing, but it lacks a cutting edge for efficient slicing.
It is worth mentioning the dagger point too – double-edged blade for stabbing, as well as the spear point – sharp, with a strong tip and great for throwing knives.
When it comes to the actual design, it is nothing but a personal preference. Choose a unit that will make you happy and proud by looking at it only. Sure, you want efficiency before everything else, but good looks will also give you good vibes.
Last, but not least, consider a reputable brand and remember – the best tactical folding knife is meant to be extremely well rated by other buyers too.
Choosing the best tactical folding knife can be a bit challenging for newbies. At the end of the day, you want something that you can always rely on. If you have a hard time opening the knife, you are less likely to use it then – you will seek other solutions.
The necessity of a reliable knife is even more obvious when it comes to emergencies. Whether you go camping in the wilderness or you are in the military, imagine having to spend a lifetime trying to open the knife. There are times when opening a knife quick can be the difference between life and death.
On another note, it pays off going with a reputable brand. You want a brand with decades of experience on the market, a brand that has tried everything to determine the best solutions out there. You want a good customer service should any issues arise with your knife too, hence the necessity of a well-established company.
As for the actual knife, it pays off doing a bit of research and choosing a well-rated item. If a knife works for hundreds or even thousands of people, chances are it could be the right tactical folding knife for you as well.
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.