Besides household and campsite cutting tasks, tactical folding knives can play an important role in self-defense. Smaller, more discrete ones can be safely kept inside your pocket and act as a daily defense while bigger knives will not just scare your offenders. They are also strong enough to use during extreme circumstances. As they say, the only thing worse than using a knife to a gun fight is not even having a knife. But if you are going to get a knife, make sure you get the best tactical folding knife. That’s where our guide can help. Read on.

Check The Best Tactical Folding Knife

The best tactical knife has an ergonomic design, strong blade, and good locks. Several important aspects have to be considered when choosing a knife that suits your needs. Tactical knives were initially used by the military, but today, they have become a part of an outdoorsman’s arsenal. They should be tough enough for hunting, rope cutting, slicing meat and many other uses.

In this regard, the design of a tactical knife is the important aspect. A knife’s purpose coincides with its design. The design is what makes it a knife. Even if the best materials were used, if it was badly designed, the materials will just be wasted. Choose the best design and get the knife that meets your needs.

ImageModelSizeEditor's rating
Buck 110 Folding Knife8 9/16" overall length4.8/5.0
CRKT M16-02Z
7.31 inches
Cold Steel 26SXP Ti-Lite Zy-Ex Knife6 inches blade length4.5/5.0
Cold Steel Hold Out III7 inches overall length4.5/5.0
SOG Flash II Folding Knife8 inches overall length4.3/5.0

Reviews of the 5 Most Popular Tactical Folding Knives

1. Buck 110 Folding Knife

Buck 110 is an iconic knife with a timeless, elegant design. Ideal for hunting and other outdoor recreations for size and portability, this knife boasts a strong knife lock and plain 420HC stainless steel.


This stainless steel knife has a simple design that makes it very reliable and easy to use. The neutral handle enables it to perform various cutting tasks. Such versatility is also delivered by the shape of the blade. It has a sharkish tip and a larger blade with an angled belly. The 420HC steel can be sharpened very quickly. The handle is bow-shaped, where balance is in the middle. It comes with a leather sheath which is traditional for this kind of knife. It also features two-handed opening, nail nick, and clip blade design.


The 110 weighs 7.2 ounces. It has a blade length of 3 ¾ inches and handle length of 4 ¾ inches. The handle is made of brass bolsters and wood scales while the blade is of 420HC stainless steel, with 0.12 inches thickness.

2. CRKT M16-02Z

A tough medium sized everyday carry knife, the CRKT M16-02Z belongs to a popular series that are built to perform. It uses the brand’s InterFrame construction that’s designed to be rigid.


The handle is designed with the brand’s AutoLAWKS knife safety, a locking system wherein a pin is set in between the frame and locking liner. The pin provides an additional layer of safety since the liner won’t disengage when the knife is being used. The tanto style AUS-4 blade has hollow grind and bead blast finish. The edge is plain while the pocket clip is tip-down in style. The manual type, liner lock knife is opened by a flipper and thumb stud. The handle is made of GFN and stainless steel.


CRKT M16-02Z weighs 3.60 ounces. The blade is 3.125 inches long and .12 inches thick. The handle is 5.375 inches long and .53 inches thick. It is made in Taiwan and was designed for right-handed users.

3. Cold Steel 26SXP Ti-Lite Zy-Ex Knife

This Ti-Lite version is a much cheaper model than its counterparts but has the features you’ll want for a lightweight switchblade. This knife was created to offer customers an affordable alternative with unique characteristics you’ll surely love.


Ti-Lite 26SXP carries the style of classic 1950s switchblade. The handle is built with 43% glass-filled Zy-Ex and premium quality stainless steel for the liners and leaf spring locks. This makes it sharp, strong and good looking like the more expensive Titanium-made counterparts sold at a price you can afford. The manual tactical knife is designed with liner locking, plain edge type, and tip-up pocket clip. It comes with a small, unobtrusive clip for pocket storage.


Ti-Lite 26SXP is 13 inches long and 6.80 ounces heavy. The spear point blade measures 6 inches long and .16 inches thick and is made of AUS-8A and satin finish. The handle is made of Zytel and measures 7 inches long. It is designed for right-handed users.

4. Cold Steel Hold Out III

Another Cold Steel knife makes it to our best list, and this one also boasts strength and lightness. Hold Out series is meant for pro hunters, but this one is ideal for everyday use for it is very thin and flat. You’ll love the minimalist design of this tactical knife, but don’t be deceived. It may be simple but it is highly functional.


Hold Out III features AUS 8 steel, G10 handle, ambidextrous pocket clip and thumb stud and Tri-Ad lock. This locking system is deemed the strongest on the market. The handle is made of G10 and boasts a good grip. The handle is uniquely designed with holes, but they are more than attractive for they help give it a good grip. The pocket clip makes it portable and designed for deep carry.


The spear point blade of Hold Out III is 3 inches long, 0.11 inches thick and has a plain cutting edge of 2.50 inches. It is made of CTS-XHP, with flat grind and satin finish. The handle is made of G-10, is 4 inches long and 0.34 inches thick. The manual type knife weighs 2.50 ounces. It has a thumb stud opener, a lock back locking type and is designed for left and right handed users.

5. SOG Flash II Folding Knife

One of the affordable yet quality options you have, SOG Flash II is a spring-assisted knife that quickly releases the blade. It boasts powerful lock, safety mechanism, and edge retention property.


SOG Flash II has a durable glass-reinforced nylon handle that is lightweight and features a diamond slip-free texture. The blade releases easily using the sliding button. It has a safety tab on the side to prevent accidental release. It is built using a special heat treatment that retains sharpness longer. The pocket clip is reversible and mounted on the bayonet for deep carrying.


This tactical knife measures 8 inches long and weighs 3.10 ounces with a stainless steel frame and liner. The drop point styled blade is 0.13 inches thick and 3.5 inches long. Hardness is at 57-58 RC, with a hollow blade grind and satin finish. The handle is made of FRN and measures 4.50 inches long. The knife can be used by both left and right handed users.

What to Consider when Buying a Tactical Folding Knife


The blade is the life of the knife. It dictates what it can do. The best knife obviously should have a sharp edge to perform its task. Consider the material of the blade, how it sharpens and how it reacts to tension. Quality blades are not just strong; they should also be corrosion-resistant.


A good quality handle should be durable and moisture resistant, so the best options are fiberglass materials such as G10. Other materials such Zytel, FRN, and titanium are also preferred for their minimal moisture absorption.


It is worth spending on a knife that gives good value for your money. Be wary of those that are significantly overpriced. It helps to read reviews and learn about the best features of the knife. If it suits your needs, you don’t need as many features that add to the price.


At the end of the day, the best tactical folding knife is the one that best suits your needs. Certainly, there are so many products available on the market. You don’t have to let this wealth of options lead to confusion. The key is to determine your needs and narrow down your choices based on your most important considerations. Don’t forget to read our reviews so you can make an informed decision.

More guides: Fixed Blade Tactical Knives.