Great tactical knives all have one thing in common: they accomplish their purpose. Whether you are looking for a great tactical knife to use on your next hunting or fishing trip, to suit your various needs in the field, or to add to your armory, look for the right balance of quality, capability, and handiness.
Tactical vs. combat or hunting knife
The term “tactical” generally serves as a catch-all term for many different styles of knives. Hunting and combat knives are often included in the category of a tactical knife, although they can have very different purposes. A true tactical knife essentially serves utilitarian purposes. Military personnel select tactical knives based on features like portability, concealability, and usability in the field over combat-related features. Tactical knives are best suited to slicing through clothing before administering first aid, getting through a seat belt after a roll-over, breaking through a window in an emergency, and performing various handy functions like cutting 550-cord or high-speed duct tape.
Different features, like push-button switchblades or serrated edges, will depend on your specific needs, but these unique features should probably be the last thing you look for as you scan the different tactical knives for sale. Read on to learn about the fundamental characteristics of a great tactical knife.
When you look at blades, there are two major types: folding or straight. Both are useful for different purposes. In both cases, you want to make sure your blade is crafted with a high-quality metal. In almost all cases, that high-quality metal should be steel. Other metals, especially aluminium, can melt and warp with use. Steel stays strong, resists melting and warping, and holds a sharp edge. These are among the essential qualities of your tactical knife, whether your purpose is utilitarian, hunting, or combat.
If you choose a straight blade that does not fold, look for a blade crafted from one solid piece. The handle of a straight blade should cover the blade, but it should be obvious that it is one seamless piece.
If you choose a folding blade, the blade cannot be a seamless piece, but should still be crafted with steel. Folding blades may have an edge on one or both sides.
The handle of your tactical knife can be made of a variety of materials, including plastic, wood, and steel. The handle might be decorated or plain. Cheap plastics may splinter, warp, or break with use; you should look for quality elements that can withstand the elements. Built-in grooves or gripping features can also help you keep hold of your knife and enable you to use it more effectively.
When you look for a tactical knife, your priority needs to be the quality of materials in both the blade and handle. Once you have verified the quality, you can start looking at additional features to suit your specific needs.