smith and wesson mp4ls m&p large
Tactical Gear

10 Best Self Defense Knives For 2021 (Concealed Carry Use)

Being able to defend yourself is essential in the dangerous world that we live in.

With the added protection that a self defense knife brings, you can feel confident that you can defend yourself.

What to Look for in a Self Defense Knife For Concealed Carry

There are a few things that you should look for when you are in the market for a self defense knife.

You should know how lethal it is, if it is legal, the size of the knife, and the type of blade the knife has.

Lethal

All knives can be lethal, even the blade from a Swiss army knife.

However, some are more lethal than others. Any blade that is over 3” is considered a deadly weapon.

Blade Type

  • Drop Point: a general use knife.
  • Tanto: better for piercing, not as good at slicing.
  • Spear: great for thrusting.
  • Double Edge: designed for hunting or slaughtering.
  • Serrated: excellent at cutting through fabric such as belts.

Legality

Laws are different from state to state on what type of knife you can conceal carry and the length of the blade.

The laws vary quite a bit, but many states restrict push button (automatic) knives, switchblades, and blades over certain lengths.

So, always check the laws of your state before buying and carrying any weapon.

The list below does not have any automatic knives, and the blades are all below 4”, which many states restrict blades over 3” or 4”.

#1. Smith & Wesson A24S Extreme Ops

smith and wesson a24s extreme ops
Image: KnifeCountryUSA.com
  • Blade Size: 1”
  • Blade Type: Partially Serrated
  • Materials: High Carbon Stainless Steel, Aluminum
  • Color(s): Black
  • Price: $13.42

The Smith & Wesson A24S Extreme Ops knife is a tactical folding knife that can easily fit in your pocket or pack.

It is designed with a high carbon stainless steel blade that is partially serrated to provide extra functionality.

The knife comes with ambidextrous thumb studs to ensure easy opening with one hand.

With the ability to deploy the blade rapidly, you can easily defend yourself.

Smith & Wesson’s A24S Extreme Ops Knife has a 3.1” blade, and the full size is 7.1” when fully extended.

This offers a convenient size that will fit anywhere, and it comes with an aluminum clip to secure it in your pocket or attach it to your gear.

The handle is designed with jimping to provide you a comfortable grip.

Designed with liner locking technology, you do not have to worry about the blade slipping.

Smith & Wesson’s A24S Extreme Ops Knife is a highly recommended blade that is perfect for anybody.

At only $13.42, you can not get a better self defense knife.

It is available from Knife Country USA. Here’s where to buy it: www.KnifeCountryUSA.com

#2. Kershaw 1990 Brawler Pocket Folding Knife

kershaw 1990 brawler is one of the best self defense knives on the market
Image: KnifeCountryUSA.com
  • Blade Size: 25”
  • Blade Type: Tanto Point
  • Materials: Stainless Steel, Glass Reinforced Nylon
  • Color(s): Black
  • Price: $38.71

Kershaw’s 1990 Brawler Pocket Folding Knife has excellent features that bring pocket knives to the next level.

The precision heat-treated steel is strong and durable.

The tanto blade’s steel edge will last and offers adhesive and abrasive resistance.

A black oxide coating gives the blade a sleek tactical look that minimizes light reflection and provides mild corrosive resistance.

The handle is crafted with a glass-filled nylon synthetic polymer that provides excellent wear and heat resistance.

Kershaw’s 1990 Brawler Pocket Folding Knife comes with a SpeedSafe assisted opening system that uses a torsion bar for fast deployment.

With the slightest pressure, you can smoothly deploy your blade to protect yourself in an emergency.

It includes a secure locking system to prevent unwanted movement of the blade and, once secured, prevents the blade from accidentally deploying.

With an overall size of 7.1”, you can easily concealed carry it in your pocket with the included 4-position pocket clip.

It is available from Knife Country USA. Here’s where to buy it: www.KnifeCountryUSA.com

#3. CRKT M16®-03KS Folder

crkt m16-03ks folder
Image: Blade-City.com
  • Blade Size: 552″
  • Blade Type: Spear Point
  • Materials: 12C27 Sandvik Steel, 2Cr13 Steel
  • Color(s): Black
  • Price: $47.95

CRKT’s M16®-03KS Folder is a tactical folding knife that provides a durable spear point blade.

The blade is constructed out of 12C27 Sandvik steel that is 3.552” long.

With a black oxide finish, it has a smooth black finish that helps prevent light reflection, and it also provides corrosion resistance.

This tactical folding knife has an overall length of 8.25” and only weighs 3.8 oz.

The M16®-03KS comes with a Carson flipper opening that provides fast deployment of your blade when you need it.

With a frame lock, the blade provides a stable blade that can handle whatever force you need to apply.

The handle is made of durable 2Cr13 steel and comes with a 4-position clip to provide additional storage options.

It is available from Blade City. Here’s where to buy it: www.Blade-City.com

#4. Smith & Wesson MP4LS M&P Large

smith and wesson mp4ls m&p large
Image: KnifeCountryUSA.com
  • Blade Size: 6”
  • Blade Type: Partially Serrated
  • Materials: 4034 Black Oxide High Carbon Stainless Steel
  • Color(s): Black
  • Price: $48.31

The Smith & Wesson MP4LS M&P provides excellent features that can handle any situation that you throw at it.

The tactical knife includes a partially serrated 3.6” 4034 black oxide stainless steel blade.

The blade is treated with a black oxide finish that provides a sleek low-reflection blade treated to prevent corrosion damage.

With a flipper actuator and a M.A.G.I.C. assisted opening technology, the blade can be deployed rapidly to help you in any situation.

It also includes an ambidextrous thumb plate to assist in blade deployment.

A unique feature of this knife is the pistol-style side safety lock.

The contoured handle is constructed out of aluminum with a rubberized grip and inlays.

A glass breaker is constructed into the hilt to provide additional functionality in case of an emergency.

It also includes a black finish stainless pocket clip.

If you are looking for a solid everyday knife, the Smith & Wesson MP4LS M&P Large is an excellent choice.

It is available from Knife Country USA. Here’s where to buy it: www.KnifeCountryUSA.com

#5. Krait Knife Spear

krait knife spear is another one of the best self defense knives in the world
Image: FirstTactical.com
  • Blade Size: 51”
  • Blade Type: Modified Spear
  • Materials: D2 Steel
  • Color(s): Black, Coyote, OD Green
  • Price: $54.99

The Krait Knife Spear by First Tactical is an advanced tactical knife that offers excellent utility.

Unlike many other utility knives, the Krait Knife Spear is designed with a thinner frame and blade to provide you faster deployment.

It has several features that make it a top-notch self defense knife.

The 3.51” blade is constructed out of high carbon, high chromium D2 steel.

The D2 steel is the strongest steel that First Tactical offers, and it can handle any job.

A complex convex curve allows you to have additional stability while using the knife, giving you extra control by keeping whatever is being cut center with the blade.

Sometimes it can be a pain to try and operate the controls of a knife while having gloves on.

With Thumb Bridge Technology, First Tactical takes away the difficulty of using a blade while using gloves to allow you to deploy your blade in all kinds of situations.

The blade coils allow you to choke up on the handle for a more precise cut.

First Tactical is the only blade on this list that offers different color options for the handle.

The handle comes in black, coyote, or OD green.

The overall length of the knife is 8.25” long and weighs only 4.57 oz to provide you a lightweight blade that is durable and easily concealed.

If you wear tactical gloves often, the Krait Knife Spear is a must.

It is available from First Tactical. Here’s where to buy it: www.FirstTactical.com

#6. Smith & Wesson HRT9B HRT Boot Fixed Blade Knife

smith and wesson hrt9b hrt boot fixed blade knife
Image: KnifeCountryUSA.com
  • Blade Size: 88”
  • Blade Type: Double-Edged
  • Materials: 7Cr17MoV High Carbon Stainless Steel, Rubber
  • Color(s): Black
  • Price: $19.46

The Smith & Wesson HRT9B HRT Boot Fixed Blade Knife is one of the more unique blades on this list.

The tactical blade is a one-piece blade constructed out of 7Cr17MoV high carbon stainless steel and a rubber wrapped handle.

With an overall length of 9”, this knife is not as concealable as the other knives on this list, but it does offer solid construction and is perfect for defending yourself against an attacker.

Since the blade does not fold like many other tactical knives, the blade comes with a leather sheath that can easily be attached to your belt or boot.

Unlike other knives on this list, the HRT9B comes with a hand guard to protect your hands during combat.

The rubberized handle offers superior grip and control.

A downside to this self defense knife is that it does not fold for easy storage and concealment.

If you are looking for a double-edged self defense knife, Smith & Wesson’s HRT9B HRT Boot Fixed Blade Knife is an excellent choice for you.

It is available from Knife Country USA. Here’s where to buy it: www.KnifeCountryUSA.com

#7. Scorpion Knife Tanto

scorpion knife tanto is one of the best self defense knives for concealed carry
Image: FirstTactical.com
  • Blade Size: 92” Overall
  • Blade Type: Modified tanto
  • Materials: 440A Steel
  • Color(s): Black, Coyote
  • Price: $39.99

The main feature of the Scorpion Knife Tanto from First Tactical is its lightweight and reliable design.

This blade would be an excellent auxiliary knife in a tight situation due to its size and mounting options.

The overall length of the Scorpion Knife Tanto is 4.92” long, and it only weighs 1.6 oz without the sheath.

One of the cooler options of this blade is that the sheath can easily be attached to a boot for a concealed carry backup to a full-sized knife or sidearm.

First Tactical takes safety seriously, and the Scorpion Knife comes with a level I/II lock to keep your blade in place until you need it.

The blade is designed with an index finger pull locator for easy deployment.

This might not be the best option for a primary self defense knife, but it is an excellent secondary knife if your main weapon is not available.

It is available from First Tactical. Here’s where to buy it: www.FirstTactical.com

#8. Kershaw 1605CKTST Clash

kershaw 1605cktst
Image: KnifeCountryUSA.com
  • Blade Size: 1”
  • Blade Type: Drop Point Partially Serrated
  • Materials: 8Cr13MoV Stainless Steel, Glass Reinforced Nylon
  • Color(s): Black
  • Price: $42.58

Kershaw’s 1605CKTST Clash offers many of the same features as the 1990 Brawler, but it includes a partially serrated drop point blade instead of a tanto blade.

The 3.1” blade is treated to provide maximum hardness and edge protection.

The blade is designed to protect against adhesive and abrasive damage to provide better durability.

With a Bead-Blasting finish, the blade is coated with a mixture of glass and aluminum oxide to provide a matte black finish that is non-reflective.

Like the 1990 Brawler, the Clash comes with a SpeedSafe Assisted Opening system that allows you to easily open the self defense knife with one hand with the torsion bar.

Once the blade is locked in place, you can rest assured that the blade will stay in place with the double steel plate liners and secure locking system.

The handle is designed to be comfortable with a contoured grip and durable with a glass and nylon synthetic polymer material.

The polymer is designed to withstand heat and provides extra protection against wear.

With the included extended tang pocket clip, you can easily secure the knife in your pocket or attach it to your gear.

It is available from Knife Country USA. Here’s where to buy it:  www.KnifeCountryUSA.com

#9. Viper Knife Spear

viper knife spear is also one of the best knives for self defense
Image: FirstTactical.com
  • Blade Size: 56”
  • Blade Type: Modified Spear
  • Materials: AUS8 Steel
  • Color(s): Black
  • Price: $24.49

The Viper Knife Spear by First Tactical is equipped with a 2.56” modified spear blade on a full-sized handed to provide excellent control and stability.

Designed with an enhanced pull grip, you get a textured handle to provide you a no-slip grip.

With Thumb Bridge Technology built into the knife, it gives you the ability to deploy the blade while having gloves on with ease.

The Thumb Bridge also allows you to choke up on the grip for even more control.

The Viper Knife also comes in a Tanto style for the same price.

Both knives come with a turned pocket clip design to easily secure your weapon without the traditional stress that is placed on the clip screw, which enhances the overall life span of the clip.

Either option is great and gives you the utility of a small blade while giving you the grip you need for superior control while defending yourself.

It is available from First Tactical. Here’s where to buy it: www.FirstTactical.com

#10. CRKT Caligo Linerlock

crkt caligo linerlock
Image: Blade-City.com
  • Blade Size: 185″
  • Blade Type: Drop Point
  • Materials: 8Cr13MoV Stainless Steel, 6061-T6 Aluminum
  • Color(s): Black
  • Price: $49.99

CRKT’s Caligo Linerlock is a sleek looking self defense knife that has several excellent features.

The 3.185” drop point blade is constructed out of 8Cr13MoV stainless steel, which has a black oxide finish.

The black oxide finish prevents light reflection, adds durability, and gives it a sleek black look.

Designed with a black anodized 6061-T6 aluminum handle includes a liner locking mechanism to provide extra safety.

A unique feature of the Caligo Linerlock is the IKBS Ball Bearing Pivot System that allows you to deploy your self defense knife quickly and smoothly.

With a low-profile flipper opening, you will have access to your blade when you need it.

It is available from Blade City. Here’s where to buy it: www.Blade-City.com

See Also

10 Best Tactical Gloves

10 Best Tactical Vests

10 Best Tactical Seat Covers For Cars, Trucks, & Jeeps

References / Resources

State Knife Laws

How To Choose Your Self Defense Knife

How To Care For And Maintain Your Knives

Best Self Defense Knife

Best Self Defense Knife

4.9 out of 5 (65 Ratings)

Check out OMK's list of the 10 best self defense knives, used for everyday concealed carry, as well as general usage. If you're looking for the best knife for self defense, you need to see this list.
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