Getting the best tactical knife isn’t just for soldiers who see combat regularly, it’s also for those that want to be prepared if and when the time comes they need to act fast in an emergency situation. The best combat knife is a great tool to have if you find yourself in a sinking vehicle, out in nature on a hike deep in the woods and of course if you regularly find yourself fighting enemy forces on a regular basis. The first step in being prepared for any situation is to get yourself the best tactical knife in 2016.
A premium tactical knife is supposed to be made with combat in mind at its soul but work as a military-styled multi-tool allowing you to get out of just about any situation. To this end, below you’ll find a nice comparison chart that breaks down all the tactical knives in our review and we also break down the top 5 more in depth as well.
If you’re in a hurry and just want to see our top choice as the best combat knife of 2016 then just click here.
Ultimate Guide To The Best Tactical Knife of 2016
What Elements Make Up The Best Combat Knife?
Some of you are veterans to knives and know what makes a great knife but for those that are perhaps newer to knives or you just want to know more about what separates the best knives from the rest of the pack. We will go over a few things that go into making a great knife.
It goes without saying that the blade is the most important part of the knife, because without it you basically just have a stick. A few elements are important in the blade and those are the tang of the knife and the material the blade is made from.
You always want a knife that is full tang, which is when the whole knife is just one solid piece and the handle is securely fastened to it. A knife that is full tang is going to be more stable, reliable and will last much longer than other knives. A full tang knife also means there will be no play or wiggle in the knife because it’s just one solid piece.
The other important part of any knife is the material which the knife is made of. The most common material is going to be stainless steel as this material doesn’t corrode and is a strong metal, the only real drawback is that stainless steel blades do require sharpening more frequently as they can lose their edge more than say carbon fiber knives. The downside to carbon fiber knives is that they are susceptible to corrosion and in a combat/tactical knife you want a material that you don’t have to worry about corroding.
The handle of your knife is just as vital as the blade because if you can’t properly grip the knife then the quality of the blade doesn’t matter much because you won’t be able to execute any solid moves with the knife. All the knives in this review have good handles on them so that’s not anything you need to worry about with these knives, but if you are looking for a knife outside of this review then it’s something you may want to pay attention to. Many times people overlook the handle but there is nothing worse than finding a great blade that has a less than stellar knife.
Best Combat Knife On A Budget
Pro: Lower cost
Con: Locking mechanism is a little stiff
To kick off our best combat knife review of 2016 we decided to include a budget option as some may be looking for a great knife but limited to a budget. This knife fits that profile well as it’s a solid knife and wallet friendly.
Some of the knives in our review were made for things beyond just tactical or combat use, many are for that purpose but some are more in the self defense mold and some are also in the survival knife area. The Border Guard 2 is one of those knives that is made entirely for tactical purposes and nothing else really. The glass breaking feature at the bottom of the handle makes this knife great for emergency workers as the knife can be used in a multitude of ways to rescue people. The blade is stainless steel and is about 4.5 inches and is a combo blade with a straight edge that is very sharp and a serrated edge closer to the handle of the knife for cutting things a bit better. This is a great entry level knife for those that are just getting their feet wet in tactical knives and or if you’re on a budget. It is also a pretty good everyday carry knife as well.
Pro: Tough to cause unintentional injury
Con: Almost completely ineffective for fight
A Little Different: Spyderco is known to make knives that are designed to be used in a combat situation and/or a fight to the death. This blade is a little different from the rest in this review as it’s more of a true utility knife. This knife is a great choice for emergency responders, firefighters, EMT’s and basically anyone that needs a knife that works in tight areas and don’t have to worry about damaging things or people. It has a serrated edge so it’s great for sawing through a rope quickly and the way the handle is crafted it’s ideal for this sort of task. This knife has a unique feature of having an emergency whistle as well as a glass breaker which makes it a knife that perhaps helps saves lives and not as much of a combat knife. We included this knife in the review because some people are looking for a knife of this nature in this area and it’s the best of the rescue type knives out there.
Pro: Has a solid grip
Con: Can be rough on your pockets if you’re not careful
Great Value: This knife from Cold Steel makes a strong showing here in our combat knife review. This blade features a 4 inch blade that is made of stainless steel that has been treated with a black Teflon finish that helps it stay resistant to moisture damage and it also cuts down on reflection, which depending on what you need the knife for is a really nice feature to have. It also has a nice handle that is G10 scaled and this with the Triad locking system combine to create a knife that has a great grip when use easily in any condition. It’s also pretty light as it comes in weighing just above 5 ounces so it’s a knife you can wear on your belt with the belt clip without thinking much of it and it’s small enough to not intrude on your daily movements. We would advise being careful placing it in your pockets because this knife has been known to tear pockets up.
Pro: Integrated carbide based glass breaker
Con: Opening stud is inadequately designed
Great EDC Knife: Kershaw is a solid knife brand that has been around for more than 40 years and during that time they have made many of the best knives in the world. Kershaw knives show up all over the place in many of our best of reviews so it’s no surprise to find another one of their knives in our top 5. The nice feature of this knife is the glass breaker that is built into the knife and that’s just icing on the cake for this knife. It features a Sandvik crafted and semi serrated recurve blade that also features a aluminum (anodized) handle with Trac Tec grip so you know you won’t have to worry about losing your grip with this knife. The name “The Blur” comes from the SpeedSafe feature that assists in opening the knife that makes it super easy to deploy the blade, even with one hand and in a hurry as well. The whole knife weighs in at just 4 ounces and has a 3.37 inch blade so it’s also a solid EDC (every day carry) knife. Also you can’t go wrong with a Kershaw as it comes with their lifetime warranty so you know you’ve got a brand that stands behind their knives.
Pro: Extremely resistant to rust
Con: The blade tends to scratch pretty easily
True Warrior: This knife gets its name from the Navy Seals and for good reason. The Navy Seals are known as the most intense, vicious, tough and counted on special force that the might United States Military has to offer, so if a knife carries that name then you know it’s made to stand up to those same standards. This blade is a great choice for anyone and for just about any job out there you can demand of it. The blade is a straight edge blade, making it one of the only knives to not have a partially serrated edge but the it is sharp enough to saw through just about anything you would normally use a serrated blade for. The blade is crafted from AUS-8 steel and measures in a little less than 5 inches with a nice handle that is made of glass reinforced nylon. One of the tests this knife had to undergo to get the Navy Seals approval was a 2-week long test where the knife was immersed in salt water so you don’t have to worry about corrosion in wet conditions like some other knives. Some use this knife as a dive knife and it performs very well in that role as well.
Pro: Stays sharp for a very long time
Con: Can’t really find one
Best of the Best: Coming in as the best combat knife of 2016 is the Benchmade 810SBK. Frankly, you can’t get much better in terms of a knife brand that Benchmade, simply put they made great knives. This knife is a toss up with the Seal Pup as that knife is a fixed blade knife and this is a the best combat knife that is a folding knife, so depending on what type of knife you prefer you have some choice. This may be a folding knife but you won’t have to worry about it not performing in a tactical situation because when it’s deployed it performs like a fixed blade knife does. Their patented AXIS locking system will stand up to 800 pounds of pressure, without the knife failing in any capacity. This knife also features a carbide tip that will break glass with ease. The best thing about this knife is the blade as it has a hardness rating of 62-64 HRC as it’s made of CPM-M4 steel so you know it won’t get nicks or chips and it won’t go dull for a long time even with heavy use. It also features a great G10 textured handle that is designed to help deploy the blade clean and quick. With a Benchmade knife you know you’re getting the best of the best but that also means you’re going to be making an investment but one that you won’t regret.