What Makes A Tactical Knife?

Many people consider a “tactical knife” similar to a “regular” knife. But this is isn’t necessarily true. Is there not a difference between a “Combat Handgun” and a “regular” hand gun?  There definitely is.

But the one who doesn’t know that the two are different won’t be able to explain why. The same is the case with the tactical knife. It is much different from a regular knife- it has blade locks and a proper grip so that the user can hold it properly. The following post explains what you should consider while choosing a tactical knife.

The following points will tell you about distinctive features of a tactical knife.

Design of The Knife
The design of the knife is totally dependent on the task for which it is required. If they are to be used in a rescue operation they will be altogether different than a regular knife. Ernest Emerson says, “When the US Navy asked me to design a rescue knife for their special boat units (SBU), they gave me a list of tasks the knife would be required to perform.  I designed the knife specifically to address those tasks”.  These knives were built due to a tragic accident in which U.S. Marines drowned in a helo crash where the rescue knives which were “regular” knives proved to be self destructive when they were trying to cut the trapped Marines free.

Purpose of The Knife
The purpose of the knife is based completely on the purpose for which it is wanted. If you talk of a tactical knife, then what it is really? Is it a weapon, utility tool, an emergency rescue tool or an entry tool? 

It depends on the requirements of the job which may require two or three knives as a part of your tactical gear which you will need for various operations.  So, you need to check the requirement of the situation and buy the knife accordingly.

For example: An undercover officer requires a different knife when going into a potentially hostile environment than a SWAT officer. 

Ergonomics-Comfort of Handling
Ergonomics simply means that the knife must be comfortable in your hand. Technically, it should be comfortable while in use and able to handle the level of stress. That means there should be no pinch points, sharp corners or unnatural feel while handling the knife. It should be comfortable while carrying it in both a forward grip and in a reverse.

The knife should have no convoluted contours or sculpturing over the handle.  The knife should be such that it can comfortably fit in your hand and not too large or too small.

Blade-Only Steel
It is highly recommended that you choose a blade made of superior quality stainless steel. Don’t go for cheap knives in lieu of saving few bucks. Also avoid buying knives with labels of Pakistan or China over the blade. For example: If you find a knife with just $3.98 price, it’s definite that it has been manufactured in Pakistan or China, no matter what it says. 

The best knife steel is the plain old W1 tool steel which cut other steels and even rusts.

Handle-Stable and Waterproof
There are variety of materials to frame handles such as plastic, G-10, titanium and stainless steel. The most important consideration while choosing the material for the handle is stability and waterproof. It should be stable enough to form a proper grip and shouldn’t absorb moisture sweat, water, gasoline, or oil. 

So, materials like wood, bone, or ivory should not be considered for the handle for tactical knife. It is best to choose metal handles as they will last forever.  Although they are a little heavy but they are more stable than the non-metal handles. In the end, it’s always your choice to decide handle type which suits you.


Author Bio: – Garry Bowman is a blogger and content writer at 911gear.ca, the finest dealers of tactical gear in Ontario, Canada. 911gear.ca also provides superior quality of tactical equipment for law enforcement, military, EMS, security professionals, corrections officers, and preppers.

2 thoughts on “What Makes A Tactical Knife?

  1. Really Informative article.I liked mostly to this question of you………..
    Is it a weapon, utility tool, an emergency rescue tool or an entry tool?
    I also think we should use a tactical knife because we may need anytime.

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