Best Knives for Self Defense
Picture this: you're standing in the middle of a dark alley, a sudden chill down your spine, and your heart doing a marathon (yup it’s your favorite movie scene). That's when you reach for your trusty blade. But wait, is it the best for your current scenario, or are you carrying that old beaten down blade that won’t do you any good right now? Don’t worry, we've got you covered with our recommendations for the best knives for self defense.
Toor Knives, specializes in tactical, outdoor, and folding blades – so you know we take our cutting business seriously. Below we go over our best knives for self defense and share some insight where you can better learn to train and defend yourself, so you can be better prepared if shit hits the fan.
BEST OVERALL: Darter
BEST FOLDING KNIFE: XT1
BEST FOR BUDGET: Jank Shank
HONORABLE MENTION: Serpent
What to consider when it comes to the best knives for self defense.
When it comes to selecting the best knives for self defense, there are several critical factors to keep in mind. First and foremost, consider the knife's design and purpose. Is it a tactical knife designed for quick deployment and precision, a folding knife for discreet carry, or an outdoor blade versatile for various situations? Your intended use should dictate the type of knife you need. Next, think about the blade material and its sharpness. A high-quality, razor-sharp edge is essential for effective self-defense. Additionally, the knife's size and weight matter, as they can impact your ability to carry and maneuver it efficiently. Legal considerations are vital as well, as knife laws can vary from state to state. Always ensure you're complying with local regulations. Lastly, your level of comfort and familiarity with the chosen knife is paramount. Your confidence in handling it under stress can be the decisive factor in a self-defense situation. So, before you make your choice, take all these elements into account to find the perfect knife that suits your self-defense needs.
Best Overall: Darter
This remarkable creation is the result of combining Travis Haley at Haley Strategic Partners' wealth of tactical expertise with Toor's exceptional bladesmithing skills. The Darter boasts a distinctive feature – reverse serrations along the spine. These serrations provide a sharp and effective means of utilizing the back of the blade in combat and self defense situations, all while sidestepping the limitations of a double-edged design.
Crafted from the robust CPM S35VN steel and heat-treated to a hardness of approximately 60 Rockwell, the Darter is more than capable of handling a wide range of tasks. The latest iteration of this knife comes equipped with a Black G10 handle and striking Red liners, featuring a texture reminiscent of the Darter Dragonfly's wing pattern. This not only adds a unique touch but also ensures a reliable grip, even in wet conditions.
Thanks to its midsize design, the Darter can be easily secured to your gear without consuming too much space. Each blade includes a Black Toor Knives FlexTech KYDEX® sheath with a retention adjustability screw and friction offset, minimizing any blade rattle within the sheath. The package also includes mounting hardware and an UltiClip Slim 3.3 mount. To complete the Darter package, a laser-cut loop is included, thoughtfully designed to securely integrate your sheath with your gear.
In addition to these features, the Darter boasts a retention lanyard hole, thumb jimping along the spine and butt end of the blade, stainless steel torx handle screws, and a sleek Black KG Gunkote spray finish. Not to be forgotten, both companies' logos are laser-engraved onto the blade. Each Darter is uniquely marked with an individual serial number, making it a genuine piece of history from this iconic partnership.
These knives are not just tools for warriors; they are also works of art and highly sought-after collectibles.
Best Folding Knife: XT1
The XT1 is a full-size frame lock folding knife designed to meet the demands of tactical and self defense scenarios. To achieve this, both the blade and handle had to break away from conventional standards in the market. They needed to be larger and more robust, especially to handle heavy-duty tasks like chopping and prying.
To address these challenges, the team incorporated a hardened steel lockbar insert with an overtravel stop in the XT1. This innovative feature minimizes wear and tear on the blade lock interface, ensuring the longevity of the lock and providing a significantly larger surface area for engagement. The result is a sturdy lockup that minimizes any unwanted blade movement.
The handle of the XT1 has additional mass to accommodate a titanium billet milled clip, which sits in a precisely machined recess. This not only enhances the knife's durability but also ensures the secure retention of the pocket clip.
Furthermore, a full titanium backspacer has been integrated to enhance the overall rigidity of the frame body screws while reducing the stress on traditional threaded standoffs. The Titanium backspacer includes a generously sized loop with jimping, making it perfect for attaching safety cords and lanyards.
However, the standout feature of the XT1 is its full-size 0.157" (5/32) thick recurve blade. The bevel is approximately 1.0" tall and is meticulously hand-ground to its final dimensions by our skilled Toor Knives Grinders. The initial edge is intentionally left slightly thicker before sharpening, resulting in a more substantial final edge. This design not only extends the edge's lifespan but also makes it more user-friendly for field sharpening.
The XT1 is adorned with all-titanium hardware, an individual serial number, and a steel type engraving on each blade, highlighting its exclusivity in every limited batch we produce.
What makes the XT1 truly special is that it is proudly handcrafted by the Toor Knives team right here in San Diego, CA.
Best for Budget: Jank Shank
The Jank Shank frame is designed to perfectly complement the latest textured scale while retaining its 0.1875" steel width. This advancement, while adding a bit of weight compared to the previous skeletonized version (from 2.4 oz to 3.6 oz), is a game-changer for those who demand peak performance in challenging situations. The new patterned scales offer an enhanced grip, making the Jank Shank your go-to EDC knife for self defense and many other use cases..
This American-made marvel is not just any knife; it's an improved masterpiece crafted for versatility and durability. Whether you're in the great outdoors or facing urban challenges, the Enhanced Jank Shank is up to the task.
Every Enhanced Jank Shank comes with a low-profile FlexTech KYDEX® sheath, expertly designed to accommodate any of our five mounts. It's the perfect companion for your adventures, ensuring you have a reliable tool by your side, no matter where your journey takes you.
Honorable Mention: Serpent
For those seeking a compact and efficient blade that won't hog precious space in your gear or your belt line, the Serpent is the knife you've been waiting for. With its slimline FlexTech sheath, it minimizes the footprint in your loadout, ensuring you're always ready for action. The Serpent boasts a user-friendly 1.125" ring for quick, hassle-free draws, whether you're gloved up or not.
What sets this blade apart is its Tanto grind, featuring two razor-sharp straight edges. At a thickness of 0.1875", it strikes the perfect balance between being a reliable prying tool and a versatile slicer, making it an invaluable asset for any mission.
The Serpent's handle is where form meets function. Our signature Diamondback textured grip ensures a secure hold, even in wet conditions, without compromising on comfort. Its sleek contours provide maximum concealment against the body, ensuring a low profile when you need it most.
Crafted from CPM3V steel with a durable Black Oxide finish, the Serpent is built to withstand the harshest elements, with minimal risk of corrosion. You can choose between a textured G10 or Ebony handle, tailored to your preferences and mission requirements.
Every Serpent is proudly made in the USA, embodying the quality and craftsmanship you can rely on. It comes complete with a FlexTech KYDEX® sheath, offering easy retention adjustability and multiple friction offsets to eliminate any blade rattle. When you carry the Serpent, you're equipped with a tool that's as dependable as it is versatile.