Tactical knives are fine works of art that fuse both substance and style. It is not enough to just buy the run of the mill or the cheapest tactical knife you can find. It’s imperative to consider the knife’s quality and match the tactical knife with your personal needs. Both benign and extreme circumstances warrant the proper use of a well-matched tactical knife, and decision making on it is not to be taken lightly. This is why we have prepared this guide to the top 5 best tactical knives for the money. All of them have been reviewed by experts and tried in various challenging environments. They are all different, but choosing either one of them will not leave you disappointed.

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Summary: Top 5 Value Tactical Knives

ModelSizeEditor's Rating
1. Puma SGB SP Drop Hunter7.15 inches5.0/5.0
2. Ontario RAT18.62 inches4.8/5.0
3. Spyderco Paramilitary 28.27 inches4.8/5.0
4. Benchmade Criptilian Tactical Knife8.07 inches4.8/5.0
5. Kershaw Blur7.9 inches4.8/5.0

It’s quite challenging to rank the best tactical knives because of variations. Sometimes, it can certainly feel like an apples to oranges type of comparison. Of military origins, tactical knives have unique features depending on model and brand. Some are specialized enough for a very specific purpose.

Your individual usage requirements dictate the best tactical knife selection. Some fixed features that are non-negotiable include enduring power or durability, ergonomic design, and suitability to the vicissitudes of your intended environment.  For example, water or ocean-based users should steer clear of carbon steel types that are quite prone to acquiring rust from salt water. Edge quality is a higher priority when it comes to choosing a tactical knife for general daily use.


Tactical Knife Reviews

Select among the best and highly applauded tactical knives available today.

1. Puma SGB SP Drop Hunter

The Puma SGB SP Drop Hunter is the embodiment of form and function. Its unique appearance does not make it any less useful. Made of German cutlery steel, this knife boasts of super features and a limited lifetime warranty.

Features

Don’t let the dark brown handle deceive you of this knife’s slashing power. Defend yourself with finesse using this German steel-powered sharp beauty. Ideal for camping and general outdoor use, the Puma SGB SP Drop Hunter boasts of a Rockwell Scale-tested hardness (level 55 to 57). The knife is 7.15 inches in length with a Pakkawood handle.

Specifications

The knife weighs 5.1 ounces with a fine edge and ballistic sheath. Of the 7.15 overall length, 3.1/8 inches comprise the length of the blade at 0.13/3.3 inches thick. You are also shielded with the finger guard that is stainless with a matte effect and inlay shield. The Pakkawood handle is dark brown and versatile aesthetically.


2. Ontario RAT1

Boasting of value for money, this 5-ounce black beauty holds its own in durability and portability. Black is the standard but it also comes in avant-garde knife colors like baby pink. Basic daily tasks and skinning is the Ontario RAT1’s specialty. You can achieve both precision and control with this well-designed tactical knife.

Features

The ergonomic handle made of nylon 6 is designed for ease of maintenance and cleaning. The lanyard hole and pocket clip make for easy carrying and storage. You can single-handedly open the knife with its built-in thumb stud. At 55-56 HCR, 3.5 inches comprise the blade length.

Specifications

Made of AUS steel of stainless variety, it is 5 ounces heavy and 5 inches in closed length. Overall, the knife is 8.62 inches in length. It has a complete set of protective mechanisms like lanyard holes, thumb studs, and a quad position pocket clip.


3. Spyderco Paramilitary 2

Slim and sleek, the Spyderco Paramilitary 2 is top notch in ergonomic design and quality.

Features

Coil your fingers and ramp your thumb with comfort as you aim the long blade accordingly. The lanyard hole leaves ample room for additional storage. Its plain edge with extraordinary performance as a stylish tactical knife is its signature to satisfied customers. The tip is considerably thinner and has a nice compression lock when the blade is not in use.

Specifications

The entire knife weighs 107 grams. The cutting edge is 78 mm out of the 210 mm overall stretched length. When closed, it is 122 mm. It has CPM-S30V steel and G-10 material for the handle.


4. Benchmade Criptilian Tactical Knife

The innovative and multi-purpose Benchmade Criptilian Tactical Knife is a frontrunner for a good reason. Ideal for first response, tactical operations and a classy knife collection, its performance, and customer satisfaction is one for the books.

Features

Light in weight and firm to the grip thanks to its texture, this tactical knife is a strong all-around knife contender. It has the least risk for corrosion due to the drop point stainless steel blade. Both right and left dominant hands are catered to by the pocket clip and AXIS lock system.

Specifications

The blade is made of Bohler N680 at 58 to 60 hardness level.At 8.07 total length, 3.40 inches comprises the blade at 0.115 inches thick and 4.62 inches comprise the handle at 0.64 inches thick. The plain edge has a drop point style and satin finish, amounting to a total weight of 3.82 ounces.


5. Kershaw Onion Blur

This no-nonsense blade ranks high for its general purpose functionality and removes your tactical worries in a blur. The Kershaw Onion Blur is an ideal knife for multiple general purposes.

Features

You can firmly grip this lightweight and enduring knife with its aluminum handle coupled with Trac-Tec inserts. The steel blade is S30V in stainless and stonewashed variety. Opening with one hand is made easy in this model.

Specifications

With a total open length of 7.7/8 inches, the Kershaw Onion Blur is 4.5 inches long when closed and 3.3/8 inches accounts for blade length for a total weight of 3.9 ounces. The Trac-Tec inserts are made of 6061 T6 of anodized aluminum variation. The reversible pocket clip and thumb stud are additional safety and carrying specs.


Your Tactical Knife Buying Guide

Here are some of the important factors that you need to look for in a tactical knife.

  • Intended Purpose. Emergency rescue tactical knives are different from general outdoor tactical knives. Your intended purpose shapes your selection of the right knife for your situation. An ill-suited knife, no matter how good the specs, is a bad purchase for you. If you happen to have special circumstances that make certain types of knives unsuitable, you also have to make note of these as you buy your tactical knife.
  • Aside from your intended purpose, ergonomic design is also a top consideration. If you are using your tactical knife regularly, the grip and strain on your hands must be set to the barest minimum. The appearance is also important especially if you want the knife to be discreetly positioned along with the rest of your gear.
  • Portable sizes are good for nomadic users. Those who are not really totally mobile or on the go who also need supreme slicing and cutting performance can go for larger sizes. The exact dimensions in the description are a good gauge as pictures cannot completely convey scaled sizes. A standard ideal knife size has a blade of 3-4 inches at least.
  • Strength and durability of materials are your best indicator of value for money. Wet environments require waterproof materials for better grip, especially with the handles.
  • Carrying and Locking Capacity. Whether you prefer sheaths or clips, it is essential to see your modes of carrying your tactical knife before you make your purchase. There are special considerations for left-handed knife users as some knives only favor right-handed users. The lock system to be used should also be taken into account.
  • A reputable knife manufacturer will provide you with a favorable warranty protection. You can read as many reviews as you want to check if the manufacturer is true to their word in giving sound or reasonable warranty conditions.

Conclusion

A solid grip, reliable material for handles and blades, and a sturdy locking mechanism make for an ideal tactical knife. Most of all, it should ergonomically fit your hand whether you are right or left-handed.

A well-chosen tactical knife can be used in the most opportune of times and can even save you or your loved ones’ life. Take advantage our research and reviews to land your perfect tactical knife and you will later reap the benefits of a well-thought of purchase.