Finding the best pocket knife for self-defense can leave you changing knives frequently as you strive to find the right one. You need something that’s lightweight, easy to open, and has great edge retention so it won’t fail you when you need it most.

To help you narrow your search, we’ve assembled some of the best pocket knives for self-defense. These are a mix of fixed-blade knives and folding knives to give you a better idea of what you may need in a good knife and what is available. Our choice for the best of the best is the TDI Law Enforcement Knife by Ka-Bar, which we’ll explain right away.

Of course, it’s important to familiarize yourself with the everyday carry laws for your state to ensure that your self-defense pocket knife complies with everyday carry laws. Every state lists its state statutes online, so a quick search should prove fruitful.​

Our Pick: TDI Law Enforcement Knife by Ka-Bar

The fixed blade TDI Law Enforcement knife is great for self-defense due to its unique design. The blade is a drop point but has a very steeply angled spine and handle. This provides a lot of benefits for self-defense as pocket knives with this distinctly curved shape are much more difficult to have forced out of your hand. That simple fact, that you can more easily hold onto your weapon, affords you a more effective weapon than say a larger knife that can be loosed from your grip.

It’s also an ambidextrous knife and can be worn on either side of the body. As it is a fixed blade, you can also deploy this knife faster than you could a folding knife. These traits combine to provide you with a knife that easily warrants choice as the best pocket knife for self-defense.

The blade is powder-coated in black, making it non-reflective and more resistant to corrosion. This greatly increases the life expectancy of the blade. The handle features a large forefinger groove that positions your finger directly behind the blade, giving you a secure grip. This knife weighs just 0.6 ounces. It measures 1.5 inches high 4.25 inches wide by 8.38 inches deep. Included is a TDI clip sheath that can be worn comfortably inside your waistband.

Best Folding Knife: 5-in-1 Camping Folding Knife by BlizeTec

The 5 in 1 Ultimate Firefighter & Military Training Knife is one of the best folding pocket knives for self-defense due to its solid construction and the fact that it is jam-packed with features. It has an open length of 8 inches, a closed length of 4.5 inches, and a blade length of 3.5 inches.

The blade is made of 420 J2 stainless steel. This is a fairly common steel for pocket knives as it has a good balance among edge retention, corrosion resistance, and ease of sharpening. It has a swaged drop point and the blade edge has a good belly on it. This means this knife can easily function as your everyday carry as it is a good pocket knife for self-defense and even for hunting or handling odd tasks that require a knife. A black oxidized coating to the blade provides greater corrosion resistance and makes for easier maintenance of this folding pocket knife.

Black, dual thumb studs, pocket clip, 5 in 1 Ultimate Firefighter & Military Training
BlizeTec Folding Knife

The handle is made of anodized aluminum, contributing to this knife’s light weight of 4.86 ounces. The handle features a built-in clip that allows you to wear this knife on either side. Now, about all those extra features!

This pocket knife has dual thumb studs at the base of the blade that allow you to easily open this knife with your thumb or index finger. It is non-spring assisted and locks firmly into place once opened. To close, just apply pressure to the liner lock that is in the forefinger groove and folds the blade down.

The heel of the handle features a seat belt cutter along the top. At the very end of the handle is a glass breaker that can be used to break vehicle or building glass. These simple features don’t impact the functionality of the knife but lend greater preparedness in an emergency situation.

Runner Up: Z Hunter Tactical Neck Knife by Karambit Knives

This fixed blade self-defense pocket knife is designed to be worn either about the neck via the nylon cording attached to the end of the sheath or attached to your belt or pocket with the clip on the sheath. It measures 7 inches total, with a 3 inches long blade and 4 inches long handle. The blade has a drop point and a slightly convex edge. It is a full tang blade with an ABS handle and a finger hole where the blade and handle meet. The handle is lightly textured to provide a secure grip.

Although the handle on this knife is bright lime green, fitting with its name of Z Hunter, it’s actually a knife that you can easily conceal thanks to the design. It fits snugly within the sheath so that even if worn on the neck you don’t have to worry about it falling out. It’s rather thin, even in the sheath, so could be fairly well hidden beneath a sweater or layered shirts. Plus, with the clip and the cording, you could easily secure it inside a bag (or purse) for easy access should you need it.

This is a fun knife with a great price and would make a great choice for a son or daughter who you want to have better prepared for any situation. After all, with a name like Z Hunter, if this pocket knife can handle a zombie it can handle anything.

Also Great: Tactical Folding Knife by Tac Force

If you’re looking for the best self-defense pocket knives for the money then look no further! This folding knife has many of the features of the BlizeTec knife we looked at, yet costs a fraction of the price.

It measures 5.75 inches opened, with a close length of 4.5 inches, and a blade length of 3.25 inches. The blade is 3mm thick and has a swaged drop point. The edge is serrated for half the length, giving this pocket knife for self-defense a ferocious look while also increasing its functionality.

The Tactical Folding Knife has a spring-assisted opening for quick deployment and locks firmly into place when open. The handle is made of aluminum and is contoured to fit the natural shape of your hand. There is a bottle opener in the handle along the bottom. Unfortunately, the blade must be open in order to use the bottle opener and that can make for a complicated situation as the number of empty bottles at your side grows larger. There is also a glass breaker at the end of the handle that can be used to effectively smash through a car window -a feat that should best be saved for emergencies and not after a night of using the bottle opener.

This folding pocket knife for self-defense is also available in 9 different styles, ranging from a cool grey to pink camouflage. It also has a belt clip so you can attach this to your waistband or inside your pocket. For the price and with such a solid construction, there really isn’t much argument against picking up one or two of these knives.

Color Variants of Tac Force Tactical Folding Knife

A smaller image of Tac Force Tactical in Black Color
A smaller image of Tac Force Tactical in Black Silver Color
A smaller image of Fall camo Color
Fall Camo
A smaller image of Tac Force Tactical in Grey color
A smaller image of Tac Force Tactical in Grey Camo Color
Grey Camo
A smaller image of Tac Force Tactical in Orange Color
A smaller image of Tac Force Tactical in Pink Color
A smaller image of Tac Force Tactical in Pink camo Color
Pink Camo
A smaller image of Tac Force Tactical in Rainbow Color
A smaller image of Tac Force Tactical in Red Color

Final Thoughts on Best Pocket Knives for Self Defense Review

Finding a good pocket knife for self-defense is less tricky than it may seem at first. Virtually any knife with a good sharp blade that will hold an edge and ​that you can easily carry on yourself will do the job. The above pocket knives are particularly good for self-defense as they are each lightweight, quick to deploy, easy to conceal, and should comply with your local everyday carry laws.​

Our top pick for the best pocke​t knife for self-defense is the TDI Law Enforcement Knife by Ka-Bar. It has a unique design that allows you to easily conceal it and makes it nearly impossible for it to be removed from your grip. That design also makes it more effective in close combat as it can do a lot of damage in short order. You really can’t ask for too much more in a self-defense pocket knife.

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