best tactical knives

Updated by Blade HQ Staff Writer Logan Rainey on 10/16/2019

Best Tactical Knives

Whether you’re the person who beats the crap out of their gear, an active duty combat operator or a local LEO, tactical knives provide the beef and substance you need to get stuff done no matter the circumstance. When it comes to tactical situations the right gear can make all the difference. This list covers seven of the best tactical knives from brands like Spyderco, Protech, Benchmade and more! Keep in mind "automatic knife" and "switchblade" are interchangeable in this context.

Find a review from one of our beloved customers at the end of each breakdown.

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1. Benchmade Autocrat

Benchmade Autocrat

New for 2019, the Autocrat builds on the success of other Benchmade OTFs with its snappy action and great in-hand feel. The Autocrat features a spine-fire release making fully ambidextrous and easy to use with or without gloves on. A milled composite G-10 handle gives this knife great looks and an amazing feel. CPM-S30V blade steel provides excellent strength and edge retention.

  • 3.71" CPM-S30V Dagger Blade
  • G-10 Handle
  • 3.93 oz. weight
  • Made in USA
Benchmade Autocraft Average Star Review

Perry S. says…

"Went in big for my first OTF, and I gotta say that I'm super pleased with it. I got this guy back in December so I've had some time with it to give my opinion on it. Benchmade really hit it out of the park with this knife. I love the contoured G10 in my hand and the smooth surface is easy on pant pockets. The double-edged blade isn't the most EDC friendly, but man does it slice well. All-around great looks and it's built well!"

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2. Boker Plus Strike

Boker Strike Drop Point

The Boker Plus Strike automatic knife is a solid, well-built folder with its aluminum handle scales and beefy drop point blade. Put this knife to work and will not let you down. The Boker Strike represents an amazing value, as you get an awesome automatic knife with a safety slide lock and a copper finish.

  • 3.25" AUS-8 Drop Point Blade
  • Aluminum Handle
  • 4.79 oz. Weight
  • Made in Taiwan
Boker Strike Average Star Review

Clayton A. says…

“I like the way these knives spring open with authority!! The one thing I have done with them is to change the pocket clip around so it's more manageable for me. They are reversible!!”

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3. Spyderco Yojimbo 2

Spyderco Yojimbo 2

The Yojimbo 2 was designed by Michael Janich to be the perfect tactical combat knife. This knife delivers maximum power from heel to tip during cutting. The blade comes to an aggressive point that is ideal for stabbing strikes. The ergonomic handle suits a variety of tactical grip options.

  • 3.125" CPM-S30V Wharncliffe Blade
  • G-10 Handle
  • 4.00 oz. weight
  • Made in USA
Yojimbo 2 Average Star Review

Jake W. says…

"I thought the Yo2 would make a cool conversation piece, and that I’d carry it every now and then to change it up. Turns out, it makes it into my pocket several times a week, often beating out much more popular and expensive options. The ergos are awesome for my hands, and the compression lock operates like a dream. It carries very well thanks to the tapered handle shape, and I’ve found the blade shape to be incredibly useful for EDC tasks. If you want to look cool on Instagram while carrying a knife that is actually easy to love in real life, I recommend the Yojimbo 2.”

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4. CRKT Provoke "Earth"

CRKT Provoke

If you haven’t yet seen the CRKT Provoke, you really need to check it out. This unique tactical Karambit features the first ever Kinematic, forward-opening knife blade. Its dynamic design allows for fast one-handed opening. This knife features a durable D2 knife blade, aluminum handle and a low-profile pocket clip that sits flush with the handle for better ergonomics.

  • 2.41" D2 Hawkbill Blade
  • Aluminum Handle
  • 6.10 oz. weight
  • Made in Taiwan
CRKT Provoke Average Star Review

Sullivan V. says…

"I love the way this knife looks and operates. It is a little big for my pockets, so I don't edc it. I still think it is an awesome design and I hope CRKT comes out with more knives similar to this.”

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5. Gerber StrongArm

Gerber StrongArm

Designed around the fundamentals of military training, the Gerber StrongArm is a beefy tactical fixed blade that has all the right features and no BS. Its full tang 420HC blade may not be the most glamorous when it comes to blade steels, but it gets the job done. The blade is easy to sharpen and maintain, holds a decent edge and can really take a beating. The StrongArm also features a durable rubberized handle and comes standard with a MOLLE compatible polymer sheath.

  • 4.875" 420 Drop Point Blade
  • Rubber Handle
  • 7.10 oz. weight
  • Made in USA
Gerber StrongArm Average Star Review

Tyler K. says…

“This knife is great for prying, chopping, batoning and stabbing. I would carry this knife or the prodigy tanto (Gerber) if I needed something strong. What really sets this knife above others is the sheath. SOLID lock in and there’s SO many different options for carry. As far as being sharp and staying sharp it’s not amazing, but this is definitely a good all-around tool.”

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6. Hogue Sig Sauer X5

Hogue Sig Sauer X5

Hogue has long been a fixture in the gun scene as manufacturers of some of the most revered grips in the industry. Coupling 50 years of experience in manufacturing with the brilliant designs of Allen Elishewitz was a brilliant move. The X5 model is outfitted with CPM-154 steel for a durable cutting edge. The highly responsive flipper also sports a plunge safety lock.

  • 3.50" CPM-154 Spear Point Blade
  • 6061-T6 Aluminum Handle
  • 4.54 oz. weight
  • Made in USA
Hogue Sig Sauer X5 Average Star Review

Richard K. says…

“This is a big knife. Well made like all Hogue knives. Scales are very grippy. Knife is very sharp with a mirror polish on the edge. Only complaint I can report is the clip makes it difficult to pocket this knife.”

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7. Protech TR-5 Tactical Knife

Protech TR-5 Knife

Protech has long been a favorite brand of the employees at Blade HQ, and recently it seems like they’ve taken their game to new heights with breathtaking material combinations and collaborations with some of the finest knife designers the world has ever seen. The Protech TR-5 (Tactical Response 5) is lightweight, ergonomic, and ready to rock and roll. This switchblade knife might just blend tactical functionality with EDC-ability better than any other knife on this list.

  • 3.25" CPM-S35VN Drop Point Blade
  • Aluminum Handle
  • 3.50 oz. weight
  • Made in USA
Protech TR-5 Average Star Review

Tyler W. says…

“Very nice auto knife by protech. Good edc blade length with a premium steel. Love the fishscale pattern on the handles! Adds traction without being overly rough or aggressive. The recessed screws on the deep carry pocket clip and integrated glass breaker in the backspacer are nice touches as well. Buy this knife!"

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Tactical Knives Overview

Tactical knife overview

What are the ideal characteristics for a tactical knife? Tactical knives should be tough and durable, quick to deploy, and grippy. The parts should be tumbled or coated to minimize light reflection and they should be capable of both stabbing strikes and slicing.

It can be difficult to find a knife that checks every box, but you can’t go wrong with any of our top recommendations on this list. Don’t miss out on owning your tactical knife of choice. We’ve got all the best tactical knives ready to ship at the best prices, right here at Blade HQ. Give us a follow on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter for updates and exclusive drops!

Learn More

There are a lot of tactical knives out there. Check out this video highlighting more of our favorites. If you need a cool accessory to go with your new knife, take a look at our recent Best Tactical Pens article.

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Other Best Knife Guides

Still in that information gathering phase? We've got a whole bunch more lists of all the Best Knives! Happy hunting and may you find that one special knife of your dreams!

*Customer reviews may be condensed for clarity and edited for grammatical errors. You know we have to make our high school English teacher proud. Check product listings for current pricing.

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