What Is A Tactical Knife Used For?

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You know what?

Whenever playing a Role-Playing Video Game with a military or doomsday concept, one of the most common initial weapons given to the character as a beginner is a knife.

As depicted in the game, it doesn’t do much – but what really is a tactical knife?

The tactical knife may always be confused as a fighting knife, which is different in a way.

Just like in the game, it has one or more military features that are usually designed to aid in dire situations.

However, it may still have a feature that can be used in combat.

Easily put, this is more of a utility tool and not designed as a weapon.

Based on history, its functionality leads to increased sales as private custom knife makers started producing these knives for personal use.

Some of the tactical knives we see today are originally launched in the market as hunting knives.

Civilians (aside from military personnel) have a growing interest as it includes multiple functions too.

Though they are more likely to be used as a general-purpose utility knife, it was used for hunting, camping, or emergency purposes.

Tactical knifemakers even opened mass-production factories to supply the demand in the past.

What is it?

The ideal blade size would be around 3 to 4 inches, making the whole knife size about 8 to 9 inches.

The blade is usually made from stainless steel, with a thickness that can give stability.

It should also be resistant to water or sweat, and even with oil and gasoline.

It should easily cut cloth and strings.

The typical non-reflective blade seen in a tactical knife should be tough enough to handle multiple uses and hard pressure.

A full tang knife is the best choice if it would be used for intense jobs.

Different sizes and shapes are now available in the market, and there are no specifics preferred as it would depend on the needs of the person using it.

This kind of knife has a non-slip handle for a good grip, which can be typically made with grooved hardwood, synthetic leather, or carbon fiber.

Today, carbon fiber became the most preferred handle due to its durability.

There are knives made from one full stainless steel or aluminum material from the blade to the handle, and sometimes have holes that will help in handling the knife properly.

A matching folder would be necessary for handling these knives on the go and should have a secure pocket clip.

It should also allow easy access to the user even with one hand, but secure enough to not fall easily with physical movements.

Over time, to cope up with consumer’s changing needs, tactical knives are available in a variety of styles and designs.

Many would agree that this kind of knife is not limited to a fixed structure, as the most popular (and widely used) is the folding type.

It allows safety for the user without the need for a folder and functional to carry for everyday use.

What is it used for?

Based on the article by Bob Terzuola (called the “Godfather of the tactical knives”) on his own website, it is a tool for survival.

Its primary function should be able to help you during challenging situations not just in terrestrial areas, but in urban locations too.

It was also mentioned that it should be able to perform two functions – to cut and to penetrate.

The small size makes it easy for one-hand usability and should be comfortable if used in any position.

Speaking of cut and penetrate, people today would use this tool even when opening a mail.

This makes it a basic everyday knife – that some may just use to peel some fruits for personal consumption.

While it works well as a do-it-all knife, it can be used for self-defense.

Again, it should not be mistaken as a fighting knife, because of its small size.

It is typically designed for hard or quick use, because of its size and durability.

What type should I buy?

Honestly, the best tactical knife would depend on the person’s need.

However, like in buying normal household kitchen knives, it is advised to buy from trusted manufacturers to ensure quality.

The growth of online review sites should be able to help you decide on what will be the best one for you.

Avoid buying from unknown sources as this knife should be able to withstand pressure, and a sub-standard one can lead to accidents, injury, or even permanent disability.

Some sellers may claim the durability of the metal used while neglecting the importance of the material used for a good grip.

Both should be sturdy enough to hold one another when in use.

It is also recommended to measure the knife’s specification to see the grip on your hands if buying the item online.

This knife would need a sturdy grip from the user, and should be checked to ensure safety.

The material used on the handle is usually in the description, and the information will be helpful if you have special preferences, such as having a sweaty hand.

Get more information through an authorized salesperson or check the manufacturer’s website to get more information.

Some knifemakers claim for a lifetime warranty, and the coverage may be explained in more detail when you visit in-store.


As a summary, consider the following factors when buying – its main purpose for you, the kind of metal that would be best for that purpose, and how ergonomic it is to you as the user.

Though a tactical knife is not usually meant for fighting and violence (though the use of the word ‘tactical’ suggests otherwise), the aesthetics that invoke military purposes makes it confusing to those who are not familiar with knives.

In conclusion, it is a perfect everyday companion that performs basic knife functions and can be used to protect oneself through self-defense.

Last Updated on July 22, 2021

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My name is David Strong. I'm a knife expert and a US Marine veteran. I used to fight in Iraq, so I gained lots of combat experience there, especially when it comes to combat, tactical, and outdoor knives. And this blog is where I share my expertise with you alongside my friend Andy.