The 4 Best Boot Knives on the Market – Reviews 2023

Best Boot Knife

Photo by James Case/ CC BY

A boot knife, also called a gambler’s dagger, is a usually small and fixed double edged blade knife that is designed to be carried either inside or on a boot.  Either way, boot knives are almost always concealed by the pant leg.  Like any other knife, boot knives are kept inside a sheath.  In this case, the sheath will have a clip to latch onto the boot.  Boot knives typically have a total blade length of three to five inches.

We go into more detail as to what characteristics to look for when selecting a boot knife toward the end of the article, but since time is valuable, we know you’d want to see our recommendations first.  So . . . here are the 4 best boot knives on the market:

Smith & Wesson SWHRT9B HRT Boot Knife

As with all other Smith & Wesson Products, the HRT Boot Knife has been tested for its overall durability and quality.  Smith & Wesson makes premium products and their knives are no exception.  The handle is constructed out of black aluminum vs. the rubber that comes on many cheap boot knife models.  The double edged blade is 4.7 inches long and made out of 440c stainless steel that has been coated in black.  The quality leather sheath will be secured to your boot by means of a clip.  Finally, overall weight of the knife is just 7.7 ounces, so you can forget about it once you get used to wearing it.

Smith & Wesson HRT boot knife review - Tactical dagger

MTech USA Xtreme MX-8059 Fixed Blade Knife

Unlike the blade of our last Smith & Wesson example, the blade of the MTech USA Xtreme is serrated.  Whether or not you want your tactical knife’s blade to be serrated is entirely up to you, but there’s no denying it can inflict more damage when used for cutting.  The blade is made out of 440c stainless steel but is a two-tone silver and black in its color.  The G10 handle features a lanyard hole on the end and is designed to give the user a secure grip even in wet and humid conditions.  Finally, the leather sheath permits the knife to be carried easily and safely.  Overall length of the knife is nine inches.  This should be on anyone’s list of the best boot knives.

Mtech USA Xtreme MX 8059 Series Fixed Blade Tactical Knife

Kershaw 4007 Secret Agent Boot Knife

With the Kershaw 4007 Secret Agent we’re going back to a non-serrated blade.  Like the Smith & Wesson, Kershaw has constructed their blade for the 4007 Secret Agent out of stainless steel while coating in black oxide.  The blade’s length is 4.4 inches.  The handle is constructed out of rubber; some users don’t like rubberized handles for their boot knives as they can rub against the skin, but at the same time they are definitely tough.

One option that the molded sheath of the Kershaw 4007 Secret Agent has that the sheathes of our other boot knives don’t have is the holes along the sides that allow you to run leg straps for in addition to the belt clip that are more common.  In other words, the sheath is designed to be wrapped around your lower leg in addition to being clipped to your belt for more retention than other sheaths have.  All together, total length of the blade is 8.7 inches.

Kershaw 4007 - Secret Agent

Schrade SCHF21 Extreme Survival Boot Knife

Our final boot knife is a bit expensive but also unique because the entire knife (handle and blade together) is constructed out of one piece of solid carbon steel.  As a result, this is a knife (see full specs) designed to withstand tough abuse and where the chances of your grip somehow coming loose of the overall knife are practical non-existent.  The sheath is made out of a fiber filled nylon that is not only comfortable to wear, but contains the knife securely as well.  This is easily among the best boot knives for the money.

Schrade SCHF21 One-Piece Drop Forged Boot Knife

What Makes a Trustworthy Boot Knife?

A boot knife is an excellent tool to have with you for performing utility work regardless of whether you are a police officer, in the military, or just an ordinary citizen hunting, camping, or wanting a means to defend him or herself.  Boot knives are easily concealable, which makes them a good back-up or concealed weapon option so long as you are wearing a boot.

But what truly makes a good boot knife for these purposes?  First of all, your boot knife must be small.  A five inch blade length should be the maximum that you shoot for and three inches should be the least.  The blade doesn’t have to be double edges but it should always have a sharp  tip that will penetrate through things with relative ease.  Properly containing your weapon is also important, which is why a high quality and secure sheath is also important.

The material that the knife’s blade and handle are also something to take into consideration.  Some boot knives will have a flimsy or dull blade (or at least one that comes to be so after use) and a poor quality rubber handle.  While almost all boot knives make use of a stainless steel blade, the quality of that stainless steel can vary significantly between makes and models.  The sharp edge can fader quicker on a poor quality model that will make your knife practical useless.  That’s why we’ve included more reputable brands in our list of the best boot knives since they make use of higher quality metal.

Rubber can be durable, but it also isn’t the best type of handle to have for a boot knife because it is uncomfortable when riding against your skin.  However higher quality rubber will always be more durable and usually more ergonomic as well.  Aluminum is another good handle material as well.

Just because a boot knife is cheap doesn’t necessarily mean that it is poorly made.  For example, the Smith & Wesson boot knife in our example is very inexpensive and yet is a very good knife, having found favor with large numbers of people.  Pay close attention to the overall quality of the knife in the form of its blade and handle material vs. just looking at the price, and you’ll end up with a boot knife that serves you well. Good luck!

  • Owner of, Boyd Smith is a major handgun enthusiast, and although he owns Glocks, he prefers the revolving wheel type. His go-to guns are a Smith & Wesson 642 Performance Center for carry and a Ruger GP100 in the nightstand biometric safe (he has kids). He loads both revolvers with old-school 148-grain Federal Gold Medal .38 wadcutters. It’s OK if you think he’s a wimp. Email him.

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