Best Concealed Carry Knives for Self Defense

  • Written By Dan Barns on January 20, 2021
    Last Updated: February 1, 2021

“The night is dark and full of terrors” – a TV/book quote that’s painfully accurate in life.

No matter how safe your area, there may always be someone lurking in a dark alley—whether they wish to harm you, or simply steal $20 for gas to get home. You need to know that when danger unmasks, you’re protected. That’s why a concealed carry knife is the perfect tool for day to day self-defense.

Our recommended blade is the Spyderco Matriarch 2. It’s a well-priced all-rounder that can really help you get out of a number of sticky situations.


Our Top Picks

In a hurry? Check out the table below to see a helpful overview of each of our favorite products. Keep scrolling down to see a more in-depth review of each item.

ImageProductFeaturesPrice
Best All-Rounder
Spyderco Matriarch 2
Spyderco Matriarch 2

Type: Folding

Blade Material: Alloy steel

Blade Length: 3.57 inches

Overall Length: 8.55 inches

Weight: 0.29 pounds

Check Latest Price
Best Fixed Blade
KA-BAR TDI
KA-BAR TDI

Type: Fixed

Blade Material: Stainless steel

Blade Length: 2.31 inches

Overall Length: 5.63 inches

Weight: 0.4 pounds

Check Latest Price
Best Value
Kershaw Clash
Kershaw Clash

Type: Folding

Blade Material: Stainless steel

Blade Length: 3.1 inches

Overall Length: 5.25 inches

Weight: 0.15 pounds

Check Latest Price
Most Reliable
Kershaw Blur
Kershaw Blur

Type: Folding

Blade Material: Stainless steel

Blade Length: 3.4 inches

Overall Length: 6 inches

Weight: 0.26 pounds

Check Latest Price
Best Small Blade
Spyderco Delica 4
Spyderco Delica 4

Type: Folding

Blade Material: Stainless steel

Blade Length: 2.9 inches

Overall Length: 7.15 inches

Weight: 0.07 grams

Check Latest Price
Best Premium Option
Zero Tolerance 0350
Zero Tolerance 0350

Type: Folding

Blade Material: Stainless steel

Blade Length: 3.25 inches

Overall Length: 9 inches

Weight: 0.4 pounds

Check Latest Price
Best for Pocket Use
Spyderco Ambitious
Spyderco Ambitious

Type: Folding

Blade Material: Stainless steel

Blade Length: 2.31 inches

Overall Length: 5.59 inches

Weight: 0.09 grams

Check Latest Price
Best Self Defense Knife
FOX 479 G10
FOX 479 G10

Type: Folding

Blade Material: Stainless steel

Blade Length: 3 inches

Overall Length: 7.5 inches

Weight: 0.03 pounds

Check Latest Price
Lifetime Warranty
Benchmade 943
Benchmade 943

Type: Folding

Blade Material: Stainless steel

Blade Length: 3.4 inches

Overall Length: 8 inches

Weight: 0.18 pounds

Check Latest Price
Biggest and Baddest
Cold Steel Espada XL
Cold Steel Espada XL

Type: Folding

Blade Material: Alloy steel

Blade Length: 7.5 inches

Overall Length: 16 inches

Weight: 1 pound

Check Latest Price

Spyderco Matriarch 2

Type: Folding | Blade Material: Alloy steel | Blade Length: 3.57 inches| Overall Length: 8.55 inches | Weight: 0.29 pounds

Best All-Rounder
Spyderco Matriarch 2

Spyderco Matriarch 2

This is the best all-rounder because you can easily overcome its minor flaws to use it in a range of situations. It features a bottle opener, slicing edge, hacking edge and sharp penetrative tip, for any need. 

The penetrative tip is curved, too, so it’s less lethal than a sharpened point. It’ll create a larger wound but less minor damage. Plus it protects the person penetrated from the effects of the ragged edge for hacking wood and other materials. A totally smart, well-rounded knife.

Our Score9.8 / 10

We’re starting off with the Spyderco Matriarch 2 – a sturdy alloy steel folding blade that works in a range of positions and can slice, hack and penetrate as needed.

Its handle is as sturdy as the blade, made of nylon covered fiberglass with an ergonomic, grippy shape that’d be hard to drop. Size-wise it’s the perfect medium to compliment the brand’s larger and smaller handle types, so it should work for most hand sizes.

However, it’s not impossible to drop—that’s the fault of the blade and people who aren’t used to the shape. Beginners find that the blade catches a bit as they try to unfold it. 

Unleashing the blade is especially tricky given how lightweight this knife is—there’s not much weight in the handle to keep it anchored in your hand.

Besides that flaw, the only other complaint customers have is the clumsy pocket clip, which snaps off easily. It’s best to keep this knife unclipped when stowing it away.

Once you figure out where to conceal it and get used to flicking it open swiftly, there’s really no way you can go wrong. There’s a small edge you can seize that makes deploying the knife a breeze. It works in all combat situations, wilderness emergencies and it even works as a beer bottle opener. Not bad for a small blade like this.


KA-BAR TDI

Type:  Fixed | Blade Material: Stainless steel | Blade Length: 2.31 inches| Overall Length: 5.63 inches | Weight: 0.4 pounds

Best Fixed Blade
KA-BAR TDI

KA-BAR TDI

This is the best fixed blade thanks to the angle that makes it easy to use. Since there are no complaints about the blade or handle, you really can’t find a better fixed blade on this list—it’s far from our only option, but it’s definitely the top contender of its type.

Our Score9.7 / 10

If you want something you can use as soon as you draw it, consider the KA-BAR TDI. This blade even comes with a place to conceal it, a little pocket or belt sheath you can easily cover with a jacket or long shirt.

The sheath ensures that though the blade is fixed, there’s little to no chance you’ll injure yourself when carrying the knife.

Once out, the blade is short but may be deadly if you target the wrong area on an attacker. It’s sharp and wide, letting you cut or penetrate shallow, but terrifyingly well. It’s also a decent blade for slicing and chopping, but isn’t the easiest to work in that manner.

The reason for its suitability to jabbing is the fantastic handle. People untrained with knives may not have the best technique when holding their weapon; you have to twist your elbow and wrist uncomfortably, hold the blade high or penetrate slightly downwards depending on your hold.

Making penetration simple, this ergonomic handle slopes down a little so you can hold the knife with your hand in a neutral fist position. The blade protrudes right out from your fist, like a far deadlier punch.

This angle makes it an appropriate knife for cutting food as well as defending yourself, by the way.

It’s truly a blade you can’t find flaws in—the issues come with the sheath. Yes, the sheath is handy and ultra-safe, but it’s also a nightmare. Customers find that it doesn’t clip to your pocket or belt well. So, when it’s time to deploy the knife, the sheath comes with it.

Consider looking into an alternate sheath if you want this knife.

Pros
  • Handle angled for easy penetration.
  • Comes with a sheath for added safety.
  • Ergonomic handle that fits well in most palms.
  • Short blade that won’t be lethal if you target a fatty area.
Cons
  • Sheath won’t clip well and draws with the knife.

Kershaw Clash

Type: Folding | Blade Material: Stainless steel | Blade Length: 3.1 inches | Overall Length: 5.25 inches | Weight: 0.15 pounds

Best Value
Kershaw Clash

Kershaw Clash

If you want a knife that looks like it has fewer features than it does and packs a ton of value into a low price tag, this is the one to beat. It’s far from the best at its respective tasks, but it does a pretty good job with each of them for what it is.

This is a wonderful knife, either for self defense or day to day use.

Our Score9.6 / 10

This is by no means a budget pick, but it’s far from one that’ll break the bank. This is more like your classic pocket knife, and does the job like one albeit packing a bigger punch.

It works for almost everything. There’s a pointed tip for piercing and penetrating, but a sharp edge to slice. Alongside that, there’s a ragged portion close to the handle that’s great for hacking through wood and thick rope. It’s a knife that packs a lot into a small and basic shape.

When not deployed, it slots nicely into a glass-filled nylon handle, a tough element with a decent grip too. There’s a nice slant to slot your fingers into, and decent grip on the handle to keep it grounded.

The heavy-duty handle will withstand a drop and a bang here and there, but it also keeps the blade far away from you so you can store this little knife anywhere.

You deploy the knife with a small flipper that protects left and right handed users alike. The knife locks into place as soon as it reaches its extended position, ensuring your blade won’t collapse in use.

Once you stow it away again, the reversible pocket clip lets you store the knife with the blade facing up or down. Unlike the previous two knives, the clip is far from loose; some customers find it too tight, especially when used on belts.

Instead, it’s the screws on the clip that are loose, but you can easily fix that with a tiny screwdriver.

Speaking of—this, unfortunately, isn’t the best knife for dealing with screws. The blade is sharp but it’s not that strong near the tip. With too sharp a turn, the blade snaps clean off.

Pros
  • Easy to deploy.
  • Inexpensive.
  • Has a ragged portion of blade for hacking away at wood.
  • Short blade won’t do too much damage to an attacker.
Cons
  • Tip of the blade is a little flimsy.
  • The pocket clip may be too tight.

Kershaw Blur

Type: Folding | Blade Material: Stainless steel | Blade Length: 3.4 inches | Overall Length: 6 inches | Weight: 0.26 pounds

Most Reliable
Kershaw Blur

Kershaw Blur

If you want a knife with a manufacturer focused on longevity as well as performance, consider this blade. The hard, well-crafted blade and handle could last you the better part of a decade if you’re careful and clean the knife well.

Our Score9 / 10

If you’re looking for a knife that’ll withstand years of use, the Kershaw Blur was made with longevity in mind. Its construction features only top-notch materials and it has a fine edge that’ll stay sharp and strong for years to come.

The handle is also one of the sturdier ones out there, finished with anodized aluminum that’s tough and rough—aka, it’ll withstand a few dings but there should be enough friction in your grip to avoid dropping it.

With that said, it’s not the most ergonomic handle you’ll find, and some people find the handle too rough to touch. There’s also no large groove to rest most of your fingers in, but it’s not a solid, straight edge that’ll be a nightmare to hold—it’s slanted, with a small dip you can rest your index finger in to stabilize your grip.

The dip would also make a great place to rest your thumb when using the knife for less defensive activities like skinning game, opening letters and cutting rope. 

Its blade is also optimal for all of these—sharp, but with a curve that can slice through soft and hard objects alike with a smooth, clean cut. It’s even gently curved so you can get a nice groove going.

However, there’s a slight downside to the knife overall. It’s rugged and bulky, more so than the ones above. It’s still small enough to be discrete when carried in a pocket, but it’s not something you can wear on a chain or a wrist sheath without attracting some suspicion.

It has a pocket clip too, which still doesn’t make it discreet, but it would work well as a belt clip under a loose shirt. You can flip the clip and position the knife any way you want, but it damages the finish when you do and it’s an awkward maneuver considering the bulk of the build.

The rugged construction adds to its longevity though, so we feel it’s a small price to pay for a knife that lasts.

Pros
  • Well-constructed.
  • Index or thumb rest on the handle.
  • Blade shaped for cutting and penetration
Cons
  • Pocket clip damages the finish.
  • Rough to the touch, customers compared the feel to sandpaper.

Spyderco Delica 4

Type: Folding | Blade Material: Stainless steel | Blade Length: 2.9 inches | Overall Length: 7.15 inches | Weight: 0.07 grams

Best Small Blade
Spyderco Delica 4

Spyderco Delica 4

For a small and non-lethal penetrating blade, this one’s close to the best you can get. An ergonomic handle, smooth blade deployment and a sturdy pocket clip come together to make a functional knife with few problems.

Our Score8.7 / 10

Cutting rope and wood isn’t a concern for you? Then consider this knife. The Delicia 4’s short blade is the perfect blade for small cutting tasks and penetrating jabs.

There’s not so much blade that it’d keep sinking into your opponent forever, so if you target a flabby area they get nothing but a deep flesh wound that needs stitches. It’s excellent to deploy in defensive combat.

However, the handle is pretty long, so it’s not a tricky knife to handle. It also has some gentle grooves in it for you to hold it easily, and is roughed up so it stays in your hand.

The rough handle contrasts the smooth blade, which the manufacturers ensure deploys as easily as possible.

Unfortunately, it’s not as easy to deploy as some of the blades above. You have to manually pull out the blade by gripping the little gap, rather than flicking it open with the touch of a button.

The clean blade should make this simple and with practice you can make it a one hand maneuver, but for a novice in combat it won’t be a fun task. Practice with the blade for a while once you get it, ensuring you’re prepared for all future needs.

Its circular gap also makes this a decent contender for wearing around your neck, if the overall length doesn’t put you off. It’s long but light, so should remain unnoticed under a loose shirt.

The pocket clip may provide a better storage option though, if you don’t like the idea of something so large hanging around your neck.

Having it in your pocket is also a smarter idea if you’re worried about sharp edges and rough handles. Some customers complain that the hole lacks smooth edges, and the handle is pretty gritty and poorly finished. This makes for an uncomfortable sensation against your skin.

Theoretically, you could sand the handle down yourself, but you shouldn’t have to for a blade of this price. Still, a small sacrifice for a small blade that works.

Pros
  • Short blade, great for non-lethal penetration.
  • Pocket clip and a hole for neck chain wear.
  • Smooth blade for easy deployment.
  • Great grippy handle.
Cons
  • Rough edges you’ll need to sand down.
  • You’ll need to practice deploying it before use in combat.

Zero Tolerance 0350

Type: Folding | Blade Material: Stainless steel | Blade Length: 3.25 inches | Overall Length: 9 inches | Weight: 0.4 pounds

Best Premium Option
Zero Tolerance 0350

Zero Tolerance 0350

The Zero Tolerance knife’s fiberglass handle and carbon-finished coating ensure it’ll last well beyond its worth. It’s a true premium all-purpose knife that’ll serve you for years, if you’re careful.

Our Score8.5 / 10

If you want something dark, destructive and pure premium, consider the Zero Tolerance knife. Alas, the quality comes at a price, figuratively and literally. It’s a pricey blade but it’s also larger than many on this list, so it’ll be harder to conceal.

With deep pockets, hiding it should be no issue. It has a sturdy clip to help you there, or help you conceal it on a belt. If the clip ever comes loose, the screws are visible so you can adjust as needed.

The clip is situated on a textured fiberglass handle, that’s ergonomically designed to fit in your hand. There’s also a deep groove in the handle for your index finger or thumb to sit, depending on your usage.

There’s a lip above this groove to stop the blade slipping and hitting you while in use, an excellent inclusion that’s far too subtle on many other knives.

On top of these signs of a premium knife, the blade is constructed from a quality, anti-corrosion and wear resistant stainless steel. It’s light and thin making it an agile blade that’ll pack a punch in any fight.

The blade is finished off with a diamond-like carbon coating that adds strength and ensures it’s non-reflective if you want to surprise an individual in a dark alley.

Due to its size and width, the blade may be deadly if you aim wrong, so wield this knife with care against an attacker.

For everyday use, it’s safer. You can use it on envelopes, for precision cutting and for camping and fishing needs. Though be warned, it won’t work wonders with thick branches as the blade has an entirely smooth edge. It’ll be hard to get a groove or grip going with something too thick. 

With the knife’s true purpose, cutting, you won’t find one as long-lasting as this. Though make sure you have a knife sharpener, because customers state the edge doesn’t last.

Pros
  • Strong finish.
  • Non-reflective.
  • Obvious lip that stops you cutting yourself.
Cons
  • Won’t work well cutting thick or rough objects.
  • You’ll need to sharpen the blade frequently.

Spyderco Ambitious

Type: Folding | Blade Material: Stainless steel | Blade Length: 2.31 inches | Overall Length: 4 inches | Weight: 0.09 grams

Best for Pocket Use
Spyderco Ambitious

Spyderco Ambitious

This is a tiny knife, functional for all manner of everyday tasks and simple self defense. It’s a true pocket knife in every sense of the word, so small you can hide it in any pocket and or palm. It’s one you could easily leave in your favorite jacket to whip out at any time.

Our Score8.2 / 10

Although many of these knives have been pocket knives with the clips to prove it, this one is a true pocket knife. It’s beyond a small blade, more like a tiny one, definitely useful for a quick jab and a run away. It’s highly unlikely to deliver a lethal blow if you’re careful to avoid obvious dangerous areas to attack.

Due to its size and simplicity, this is an excellent knife for beginners not just to self defense, but knife owning in general. Use the metal clip so you know where it is in your pocket, and whip it out whenever you need to cut something. To get used to the feel of knife-use, consider using it in place of scissors, for peeling apples and for anything generic during the day.

Despite its small stature, it’s still one sharp blade though. It’s ground flat along its edge for a non-stop cutting experience regardless of what you use it for. You can cut and saw away for an age with this, without it ruining the blade.

The handle also helps you prolong your use. It’s ergonomically designed to reduce fatigue, and the textured handle may be grippy but it’s not sharp. It won’t hurt your hand, or rip threads out of your pocket.

Its smooth feel makes it a sleek knife to draw and conceal in your palm. This is something you may need to do when in uncertain situations—keep the knife close, but not yet ready to weild.

You’ll need it out in advance in emergencies to ensure a swift deployment, too. It’s a little stiff to unleash the blade, but customers say it loosens up after a while.

Practice deploying the blade for a while first to get used to the feel. It’s also a good idea to practice cleaning and drying the blade thoroughly as water ruins it in just one session—salt water especially.

Pros
  • Easy to conceal.
  • Lightweight.
  • Designed to reduce fatigue in use.
Cons
  • Stiff.
  • Rusts easily when wet.

FOX 479 G10

Type: Folding | Blade Material: Stainless steel | Blade Length: 3 inches | Overall Length: 7.5 inches | Weight: 0.03 pounds

Best Self Defense Knife
FOX 479 G10

FOX 479 G10

This blade is perfectly shaped to ensure non-lethal blows and has the safest, easiest to hold handle out of all the blades so far. It’s not one for everyday tasks, and is a total self defense knife.

Our Score8 / 10

So far all of these knives have been great for self defense and other activities. The FOX is made for self defense, and that’s it. It fulfills that purpose wonderfully.

First of all, anyone who’s ever been in a scuffle knows how easy it is to drop something with a smooth or gently curved edge. FOX knows too, so there are three grooves to rest your main fingers in with this knife.

Better yet, the hoop at the end is for your pinky so if you drop the knife, a quick finger flick and it’s still dangling in your hand.

It’s easy to deploy in emergencies, another quick flick and it’s up. The curved blade extends fast and it’s not too large so it won’t do deadly penetrative damage to an attacker, but it’s functional for a quick cut. Aim for a hand that’s securing you, or perhaps the leg so it hurts to run, but avoid veins—it shouldn’t cut too deep thanks to its shape.

The blade forms a hook. So, while if you jab hard enough you will penetrate, though you should avoid that if you can too.

If you do need to do more lethal damage, you jab down if you want the tip to enter the skin. You probably won’t hit any vital organs this way, instead doing damage to flesh and muscle.

The blade should last for a few fights as the sturdy stainless steel resists corrosion and holds its fine, smooth edge well. Avoid chopping or hacking at wood or rope unless it’s an emergency to make sure you keep the blade in top condition.

It could work, loop it under the rope and you’ve got a built in groove to slice with, but not the best edge for it. However, you’ll likely need to sharpen the blade afterwards.

Pros
  • Non-lethal when wielded carefully.
  • Safety hook for your pinky.
  • Multiple finger grooves.
Cons
  • Doesn’t work fantastically for other survival needs.
  • A little bulky for concealing it perfectly.

Benchmade 943

Type: Folding | Blade Material: Stainless steel | Blade Length: 3.4 inches | Overall Length: 8 inches | Weight: 0.18 pounds

Lifetime Warranty
Benchmade 943

Benchmade 943

Many knives come with limited warranties or a total lack of one. This knife has you covered for life.

Our Score8 / 10

Do you mistrust the quality of knives and would rather you get one with a warranty? This one’s got one for life.

It’s a little on the heavier side, but once you get past that, you’ve got a well-designed and high-quality knife that you shouldn’t need the warranty on.

The handle is crafted from lightweight aluminium, so the blade is where most of the weight lies. It’s tough, premium steel that’s a little chunkier than some of the earlier blades. 

Being chunky, you can rest assured it can cut through thick and thin materials. It’d work wonderfully on rope or tree branches, and can easily tackle everyday tasks from letter opening, to cutting a steak at a restaurant with terrible steak knives.

When it comes to self defense, this is a deadlier blade though. It’s sharp and straight with a plain edge, and being slightly longer it could do some deep damage and perhaps puncture an organ. Be cautious when using this against an attacker.

It’s also quite long, so you won’t be able to conceal it easily in an attack, or on the average belt. This knife belongs hidden in deep pockets.

That’s the knife’s main shortcoming, but the other is that customers state that when the knife arrives, the pivot screw is too tight, making deployment difficult. You can easily fix this yourself, but it’s an unfortunate flaw of the model.

Pros
  • Pro 1
  • Lifetime warranty.
  • Simple, sharp edge that works for most tasks.
  • Sturdy handle.
Cons
  • Con 1
  • Tight pivot screw upon arrival.
  • Long; difficult to conceal.

Cold Steel Espada XL

Type: Folding | Blade Material: Alloy steel | Blade Length: 7.5 inches | Overall Length: 16 inches | Weight: 1 pound

Biggest and Baddest
Cold Steel Espada XL

Cold Steel Espada XL

This is the clear giant of the group and is ready to tackle monumental struggles, branches and game. The large blade is perfect for swift and efficient game skinning, and is sturdy enough to sink into some wood to help you climb from a threat lurking below.

Our Score7.5 / 10

If the threat is really large—or on a lighter note, you’re an avid camper and hunter—then you need a big enough knife to tackle the job. Here’s a giant that’s far from gentle and that may be just the knife you need.

The long, curved blade gets the job done no matter what the situation. It’s far from a knife for self defense against an attacker; it’ll be lethal no matter where on the body you target. Instead, it’s the perfect knife for hacking branches out of your way, hunting and skinning game, or cutting through thick rope.

Its super fine cutting edge should last for a decent chunk of time, letting you use the knife on long trips, and survive potential mishaps for an extended period too. 

The blade is locked in place but has a shock-resistant mechanism that endures 600 pounds of pressure, according to tests. If you ever have to climb a tree out in the wild, this is an excellent knife to help you with the task.

Its handle is equally helpful—it’s long so should work with even the largest of hands, and it’s particularly ergonomic. The long curve at the bottom stops you dropping it, the groove for your index finger provides stability and for the rest of your fingers it adds comfort.

Turn the knife upside down when climbing for some added safety.

It’s a good knife for anyone who likes to embrace nature but needs help dealing with its thorny embrace. Yet still, it remains small enough to easily fit in your pocket.

Pros
  • Fine edge that holds.
  • Compact enough to fit in your pocket, despite its enormity.
  • Great for helping you climb and hunt.
Cons
  • Too large and heavy for everyday use.
  • Lethal, so can’t be used safely against human attackers.

BOKER Plus 01BO010

Type: Credit card knife | Blade Material: Stainless steel | Blade Length: 2.25 inches | Overall Length: 6 inches | Weight: 0.07 pounds

Best Credit Card Knife
BOKER Plus 01BO010

BOKER Plus 01BO010

This blade’s size and shape makes it an excellent credit card knife no matter where you store it. Admittedly it’s not the most inconspicuous on the market once you get a closer look. But it’s good enough to fool someone momentarily, especially in a dark alley or from under an eye-covering mesh mask.

Our Score6 / 10

Here’s a blade perfect for muggings. This ultra-thin 3-millimeter thick blade can easily fit in any wallet and at first glance resembles a shiny, platinum credit card.

Once unleashed, it becomes obvious pretty quickly that it’s a blade so act fast. 

This one is also inconspicuous enough to wear around your neck even while wearing the lightest of clothing. If the shape shows up under your shirt, nobody’s the wiser.

Besides looks, performance wise its skinny nature won’t let it down. The blade is still stainless steel, sturdy and unwavering no matter how thin it is. However, it’s a little wiggly back and forth, so aim well and try not to jostle it in case it comes loose.

Luckily the build quality is solid, but still, be cautious. This wiggle room also lets the blade slip a little when dangling, so be wary with the accompanying neck chain. Consider having a handyman take a look and tighten it.

While you’re there, consider getting the edges blunted, too. The handle edges are sharp, which doesn’t bode well for safety when handling it or brushing past it in a wallet or pocket.

On the other hand, it’s easy enough to grip despite the unorthodox blade shape. Loop your index finger through the hole and you’ve got a solid hold.

All in all it’s not a bad knife, but it has some safety issues.

Pros
  • Easily concealable anywhere on your body.
  • Fits in your wallet or phone case.
  • Decently easy to grip.
Cons
  • Blade wiggles and slips.
  • Handle edges are sharp and dangerous.

Reasons for Carrying a Concealed Knife

Besides the obvious “in case I get mugged” reasoning, there are five reasons you should carry a concealed knife at all times.

#1 Self Defense

A concealed carry knife for self defense isn’t the most powerful tool you can carry, but it’s the most easily concealed and by far the most legal. If you live in an area where carrying weapons is illegal, if the blade is small enough it counts as a tool and not a weapon.

Your trusty knife may not rid you of approaching bad guys, but it can certainly buy you time in a life or death situation. Experts say that kidnappers and thieves are less likely to attack if you fight back or run. So, a quick jab to the thigh, then run for your life.

It’s vital that you refrain from inflicting serious damage unless your life is on the line. So, learn where it’s safe to target your opponent in these situations, but avoid actually penetrating the flesh as long as you can help it.

#2 Survival

Nature can be as much of a danger as humans with ill-intent. If you end up in a natural or manmade disaster or lost in the woods, a knife can be the deciding factor in your survival.

A knife in a disaster can:

  • Cut through cloth to make bandages.
  • Slice through a seatbelt holding you in a burning vehicle.
  • Cut down branches to use as a cane if you’re injured.
  • Break a window if you’re locked in a room.
  • Help you kill and catch wild animals (like squirrels and rabbits) if lost in the wilderness for days at a time.
  • Cauterize a wound once heated.

That’s just a handful of examples—a knife is truly a versatile tool that’s useful to have on you in all emergencies.

#3 Food Emergencies

Your knife isn’t just a handy food-catcher-prepper if lost in the wilderness. It can help you in everyday situations, too.

It’s an excellent tool to take if you go on a walk or hike and come across some wild apples—slice it, core it or peel it. If your hike accompanies a camping trip, you’ll need something to open cans and remove beer caps.

#4 Start a Fire

Whether you’re camping or lost in the woods, you need a fire sometimes. Your knife can cut down branches for the fuel, and create sparks on stones to get the fire started.

#5 Casual Use

Did you receive a package or struggle to remove the scratchy tag off your new shirt? Can’t find your scissors? A pocket knife works in those situations and more. 

Vital Features to Consider When Buying a Concealed Knife

Once you’ve established your need for the knife, what should you take into consideration? There’s plenty of variability in a tool of this type.

Fixed vs Folding Knife

First: Do you want a fixed or folding blade?

A fixed blade will be faster to get into action, but more dangerous to store. If it’s in your pocket, one wrong move and it could pierce through your clothing or even your skin. 

For storage, a folding knife is a far safer option—although it’ll be slower. You may have to pull the knife out and in the time that takes, an opponent may already be on you.

With folding knives, consider a switchblade. You push or flick the blade into place instead, which you can do the instant it’s out of your pocket.

Size

How large do you want your blade? The smaller it is, the easier to conceal, although the larger it is the more lethal. 

A small stab to the leg may not slow an aggressor down as much as a large one. Plus, a small blade may not tackle branches large enough to use as a cane, or a stick for a tourniquet in survival situations.

On the other hand, small blades may not stab deep but they slice well, and are effective on an opponent’s palm or ankle in a fight.

Consider your circumstance: are you a hiker? Go big. Is it for pure self defense? Don’t go too large, but too small can also be a mistake. Consider the size of your average pockets and see what’ll fit inside most subtly.

Weight

Like size, weight will depend on your pockets, but also your abilities.

A heavy knife in a light pocket? It’ll be obvious something’s weighing it down. Go lightweight; it can be just as lethal or lifesaving.

Onca again, if you’ll be in wilderness situations, consider something heavier for the power behind the cut.

Your size and abilities come into it, too. If you don’t feel you’d be up to jabbing strongly, go heavy. It’ll do much of the work for you. But if you’re strong enough on your own, the lightest knife will work.

Feel

How does the blade feel to wield? If it’s uncomfortable or bulky in your hand, it might impact your performance with it.

Look for something ergonomic that feels good to hold. Try them in the store and when shopping online, consider purchasing several and returning ones you dislike the feel of.

If you’re clumsy, consider a knife with finger grooves to guide you into place.

Blade Length

Blade length can be the deciding factor between life and death. If you’re not so up to date on where a stab is lethal, go for a short blade. It won’t penetrate deep enough to hit a vital organ or artery in most cases.

Short blades are best for quick jabs and cutting, so are great if you run fast. 

On the other hand, if you’re not a fast runner and need to stop someone fast, go long. Learn those non-vital organs and artery-free patches, and shove your blade deep. It’ll slow your opponent down, letting you yank the blade out and run as fast as you’re able.

Long blades are also best in the wild so you can cut through thicker branches and skin fish and small animals more efficiently for food.

Durability

There’s no circumstance that needs durability more. Your knife should be strong enough to withstand it all. Dropping on hard ground, hacking through hard wood, striking metal locks in some cases if you’re locked in a room and need to escape.

Okay, maybe someone who won’t be using the knife on wood or metal can go for something slightly less hardcore. But what good is the knife if it doesn’t last long?

Material

A blade will almost always be stainless steel, anything lesser and you may want to consider a different knife. However, take the handle material into consideration too.

If you go with a metal like aluminum, the blade may be slippery. Some kinds of composite like micarta may be better, or even rubber; they tend to be grippier, and pretty light.

For something sturdier, consider a fiberglass reinforced handle with a grippy outside. Fiberglass reinforced nylon is always a top choice.

Build Quality

Your knife could have the best material in the world and feel extremely durable, but if the build quality is no good what’s the point?

How does the blade feel in your hand? When you extend the blade, is it too easy or loose? If so, consider looking elsewhere for your blade as the one you have may break apart in the future. It’s easy enough to reattach the blade to the handle if you have some know-how, but you shouldn’t have to. Besides, what if it happens in a critical situation?

Where Are the Best Places to Conceal a Knife?

Concealing a knife is something that requires careful consideration. An outline in the pocket of tight jeans is an obvious target for an attacker to block off.

Here are some smart places you could hide your knife:

  • Baggy pocket.
  • Down the side of your shoe.
  • In a sheath around your neck.
  • Arm wrap up your sleeve.
  • Belt sheath hidden by a long shirt.
  • On a chain around your neck, under your shirt.
  • In your wallet—perfect to unveil in a mugging scenario.

The Sharpest Defender

The best concealed carry knife for self defense has to be the Spyderco Matriarch 2 as you just can’t beat an all-rounder.

Realistically, it’s not just defending yourself from an attacker you need to worry about. Natural disasters happen all the time, and getting lost in the woods is a huge concern for campers and backpackers. That’s why you need a knife fit for any situation, that ticks all the right boxes with few flaws.

Though for those of you who prefer a fixed blade, the KA-BAR TDI is the best knife for the job. It’s small, non-lethal and perfect for jabbing at an opponent thanks to the clever handle. It’s a great knife for beginners thanks to its simple design, too.

Leave a Comment