The 5 Best Police Knives on the Market – Reviews 2021

best police knife, tactical police knife

Photo by Mementosis / CC BY

There are preciously few tools a police officer carries that are used as or more often than a high quality police knife. With a knife, an officer has the ability to cut seat belts and rope, to open boxes, peel fruit for a snack, or to defend themselves as a back-up weapon if things become nasty and a bad guy is trying to grab their gun.

It is for these reasons that almost every police officer on duty carries a folding tactical knife of some kind. There’s still a lot you should know about knives if you are a new police officer looking for one, and there are also a few top models on the market that you should highly consider. Here, below, are the 5 best police knives that we recommend:

Columbia River Hissatsu Folding Knife

The Hissatsu is a compact blade that will fit very nicely in your pocket. As for the blade itself, it was designed with slashing and penetrating purposes in mind. If used correctly, the Hissatsu will outperform a knife with a longer blade being used in the same fashion. The blade can also be opened quickly and without much effort, thanks to the mechanism only required a thirty degree start. In other words, Hissatsu is comfortable to carry but also can be deployed in an instant, making it an excellent choice for police duty. This should be on anyone’s list of the best police knife.

TAC Force TF-525 Folding Knife

The TAC Force TF-525 Folding Knife’s distinctive feature is its blackened yet stainless steel half-serrated blade that has a closed length of four and a half inches. Opening the knife is spring assisted and can be quickly deployed with only the flick of a hand. The liner lock means that the blade will lock very firmly into place. The handle is made out of aluminum and even features both a seat belt cutter and a glass breaker on the other end; the latter is capable of punching out the window of a car should the need ever arise. Finally, the TF-525 can be carried safely thanks to its pocket clip. If you’d want a badass tactical police knife, this just might be it.

Smith & Wesson M&P Linerlock SWMP4LS Knife

Smith & Wesson is mostly known for its handguns and AR-15s. You might not have known that the Military & Police line also includes knives, and they are excellent police and tactical knives that will serve you well regardless if an M&P pistol is your duty weapon or not. The blade can be opened single handedly thanks to Smith & Wesson’s Magic Assisted Opening System. The stainless steel blade measures 3.6 inches and is locked into an aluminum handle. Special features of the knife include a safety lock, glass breaker, and liner lock. This Smith and Wesson police knife should carry you through a bunch of tough situations.

Benchmade Nimravus Tanto Knife

Being willing to spend some serious money indicates that one is on the market for a serious police knife. Fortunately, Benchmade produces some of the finest knives and cutting tool on the market and are worth every penny. There are few knife companies that can produce knives meeting the right combination of balance, sharpness, and durability.

The Nimravus Tanto knife is no exception to Benchmade’s well deserved reputation. The four and a half inch, stainless steel blade is corrosion resistant, serrated, and exceptionally sharp. The sheath is also fully compatible with MOLLE systems, increasing its versatility. Last but certainly not least, the large finger groove on the textured handle will give you a full, tight grip on the knife. The Nimravus Tanto knife from Benchmade is built to last you a lifetime, and you’ll only have to use it a lifetime to find out.

MTECH Tanto Knife

The MTECH Tanto Knife provides excellent value. Even though this knife is made for the budget-minded, the spring assist is very heavy duty and at the same level of quality for tactical and police knives that sell for five to ten times as much. Just like other police knives, the MTECH features a glass breaker, belt cutter that works seamlessly, and a clip for concealed carry. The blade itself is made out of a high carbon steel that is quite durable. This is among the best police knives for the money.

Qualities You’d Need in a Police Knife

When selecting a tactical knife for police/duty work, there are certain qualities that this knife must have. You can’t just choose any regular tactical knife and call it good to go.
One quality that you knife must have is a grip that fits firmly into your hand. Your knife needs to feel like an extension of your own arm, nothing more and nothing less. When selecting a knife, always grasp it firmly in your dominant hand and close your eyes. Then do the same thing while wearing gloves. If the handle feels even the slightest bit off for you, move on to the next model.

Different knives are made with different kinds of materials for the handle. Some are aluminum, plastic, polymer, titanium, or glass fiber. Any one of these options will work, but again, it’s about what feels best in your hand. Metal grips such aluminum or titanium will obviously be a little more durable, but if a polymer grip feels more natural in your hand, then that’s what you should go with. You have limitations in what you can choose for a good police knife, but personal preference still plays an important role.

Some tactical police knives have “teeth”—another term for serrated edges—while others do not like straight edges. Straight edged knives have advantages in that they are easier to sharpen. Nonetheless, a serrated edge is a better choice for police work because it can cut through rope, webbing, belts, and other fibrous materials much easier than straight edged blades can.

So a serrated edged blade is what most police officers would recommend for a duty knife. Next we come to the materials that blade is made out of. The quality of any knife blade is determined by its composition and its hardness. As far as composition is concerned, knives are made out of a variety of different materials like magnesium, carbon, cobalt, chromium, nickel, sulfur, silicone, and even tungsten. By all accounts, a blade that is high in carbon will hold a sharper edge and is more suitable for police work. That’s many of the best police knives have stainless steel blades.

Your blade also needs to be very tough and hardened. The hardness of a blade will be measured by a machine, so it’s not something that you will be able to test by yourself. On the Rockwell Hardness scale, a police blade must be between 55 to 60. In this range, they are capable of being sharpened while also durable enough to endure excessive use. If the blade becomes too hard, it will be too difficult to sharpen; too soft, and it won’t be suitable for the demands a police officer needs his or her knife for.

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