10 Best Tactical Knife Brands in 2024

Whether you’re in the military, camping, or hunting, a good tactical knife is essential. When you make a purchase, you want it to be the right one for your needs. A quality knife ensures the safety of the user and those around them, the effectiveness of the blade, and longevity of use. The following brands produce the best tactical knives. While you’re out looking for the right knife for you, keep these brands in mind.

What Are the Best Tactical Knife Brands in the World?

  1. SOG
  2. CRKT
  3. Gerber
  4. Cold Steel
  5. Zero Tolerance
  6. Spyderco
  7. Benchmade
  8. Smith & Wesson
  9. Kershaw
  10. Ka-Bar

SOG Knives


Geared towards first responders, SOG Knives was inspired by a knife used by a special ops unit. Designer Spencer Frazer founded the company in 1986, producing a knife meant to replicate the one used in the field. His knives went on to be approved by the U.S special forces and granted the title of Navy SEAL knife of choice.

They are manufactured in multiple places, like Taiwan, pricer folding knives in Japan, but mostly in the U.S..

SOG knives are slick and strong, great for military use as well as for everyday carry. They are very durable, most notably the Trident AT which is cryogenically heat-treated, providing you longer use which is good for first responders because it will last through rough activity. Their higher price range reflects the quality of the knives, because it is made of good materials and thoroughly quality checked. SOG is high-quality and great for every utilitarian.

Columbia River Knife and Tool (CRKT)

The Columbia River Knife and Tool is a great brand for those coming into the community or looking for a solid knife to do the job. CRKT was founded in 1994 by Paul Gillespie and Rod Bremer. They pride themselves on putting innovation and integrity first, as they care about the quality of tools that they produce. They care about the community, donating a portion of their profits to a veterans charity of choice through their Forged By War program. Majority of their factories are located in the U.S., in Oregon, proud of being an American brand. CRKT’s design work is well-crafted and durable. They hold true to being innovative, creating their ‘Field Strip’ selling point and Kinematic technology, which is amazing for hunters. You’re out in the field and need to clean your knife? They’ve made it easier to take apart and assemble with Field Strip. Their Kinematic Technology makes it easier to deploy the blade with one hand, great for those who need efficiency.


Founded in 1939, Gerber Legendary Blades was founded after the company originally sold kitchenware before shifting to tactical knives. They are popular amongst everyday users, hunters, survivalists, and soldiers. The business continues to produce quality knives and gained a great rapport with those in the community, most notably, the survivalist television personality Bear Grylls. He collaborated with Gerber to create a line of survival tools that are iconic for the brand. The company started in Portland, but in 1966 relocated to Tigard, Oregon. Gerber offers longevity throughout their price range and customers can expect a knife that will last. They are very reliable, geared towards those who use knives casually in their day-to-day activities and camping, guaranteed to get the job done for an affordable price. On the higher end, the quality is even better. Gerber is prepared to take a beating and withstand hard work.

Cold Steel

Established in 1980 by company president Lynn C. Thompson, Cold Steel, Inc. is committed to crafting the most robust and sharpest knives globally. Throughout the past three decades, Cold Steel has consistently led the way in numerous innovations that have shaped and characterized the entire knife industry. Cold Steel originated in Ventura, California and remained there for 40 years where its headquarters and manufacturers resided until late 2020, moving to Irving, Texas. Cold Steel prides itself in its “Anytime, Anywhere” motto, providing peak quality in its knives at all times. The company guarantees all testing surrounding steel, heat treatment, thickness, and edge geometry, are all taken into account to create the perfect blend of knives. The AD-10 is a great example of Cold Steel’s knives with the combination of the best qualities, ergonomic handle, strong blade, and quality materials. Above everything, Cold Steel thoroughly ensures its products meet the high-performance standards expected by its vast consumers.

Zero Tolerance

Zero Tolerance

Proudly over-built, Zero Tolerance made its way into the market in 2006, producing hard-use knives built initially with first-responders and the military in mind. They continued to open up for the broader market for their knives. ZT keeps professional and casual wielders in mind, creating sturdy products with high quality materials but small enough to fit in a pocket comfortably. ZT is a brand of Kai USA Ltd. located in Oregon, where their headquarters and manufacturing is located These knives are built to survive harsh conditions; one of the more premium lines from Kai is made with carbon fiber, super steel, and titanium. Collaborations with high-end designers keep their knives of great quality and very practical. Their best attributes include an extra-safe lock and assisted opening. This is a perfect brand for users who work in harsh conditions and doing heavy work, such as hunters or first responders.


In 1976, Sal and Gail Glesser created Spyderco. They defined the modern pocket knife by designing a hole in the blade to open the knife with one hand and a clip on the handle. Spyderco prides itself on its high quality, as they’ve said themselves “Our success rests on the simple theory that consumers will always gravitate towards the better performing product”. The brand originated in Redding, California, but transferred locations in 1978 to the outskirts of Golden, Colorado. These knives stand out because of Spyderco’s innovative design, quality, and excellent reputation with customers. They have a wide catalog, having something for nearly every price range. Their knives are created with efficiency and ergonomics in mind. Most of their blades have a negative blade angle, giving a more powerful angle for cutting and preventing the wrist from turning in uncomfortable ways.


Starting off as Bali-Song in 1975, Pacific Cutlery Corporation in the early 80’s, and finally Benchmade in 1988, they have created a solid name for themselves with their sturdy knives. Benchmade was the only brand at the time to have new and modern equipment for manufacturing in house, such as lasers, using non-traditional materials and methods to pioneer better knives. They were previously located in Clackamas, Oregon in 1990, but moved to Oregon City in 1996 where they manufacture all of their knives by hand on American soil. “It’s Not a Knife. It’s a Benchmade” is their accurate slogan, as they make great knives that stand out from the rest. Their knives have reliable, patented locking mechanisms, high-quality blade steels, long-lasting handle materials, and are made with precise modern machinery. Every knife is made with care, heavily quality-controlled to ensure that the product they are providing are of high value.

Smith & Wesson

A classic brand originating in 1852, Smith & Wesson is a company that focuses primarily on firearms, but also creates a line of great tactical knives. They are well respected within the community for their seniority and quality. During World War 2, their products were highly revered, approached by the British Commonwealth to produce weapons for them. S&W has recently relocated from Massachusetts to Tennessee because of the less strict gun control in that state. So why should you buy knives from a brand that doesn’t specialize in them? Their experience shows in the durability and quality of their knives; they’ve been doing this for a long time. Their prices are extremely affordable for a great product. Their blades are made from high-carbon steel that’s perfect for heavy usage, made to last through harsh conditions. S&W has a well earned legacy of top notch products that are well worth your money.


Founder Pete Kershaw originated at Gerber Legendary Blades, but left in order to pursue his own knife designs. He created the brand Kershaw in 1974, partnering with the company Kai, related to Zero Tolerance, to produce his product at a higher quality. Kershaw is located in Lake Oswego, Oregon, but most of their products are manufactured with Kai in Japan. It is a budget-friendly and affordable brand that is great for everyday carry. They put a lot of effort into their designs. Their SpeedSafe assisted opening system that debuted in the 90’s is an example of their careful consideration of functionality in their design. Kershaw also cares greatly about quality control; it’s extremely unlikely to receive a flawed knife from them. Altogether, Kershaw is a great pick for those who are intending to use their knife for everyday carry.


A veteran brand started in 1898 by brothers Wallace and Emerson Brown, KA-Bar knives were used throughout World War 2, and became general issue knives to the United States Marine Corps. The KA-Bar name was not used until an Alaskan hunter attacked a Kodiak bear using only a Union Cutlery Company knife in 1920. This incident led to the birth of the company’s name, influenced by the Alaskan’s thick accent when saying “Kild-a-bar”. Naming the knives this was a way to represent the similarities between the bear and the knives: the best and strongest of its kind. Originating in Little Valley, New York, as an out-of-home mail order business, the city of Olean, NY approached the brothers in 1910, convincing them to relocate, offering land and a building, and that is where the headquarters remain to this day. As per their name, KA-Bar knives are manufactured with rigorous testing to ensure corrosion resistance, sharpness, and strength. They are crafted for top-notch military, hunting, sporting, outdoor survival, and all utility purposes.

In Conclusion

While narrowing down your options, consider the quality of these brands’ offers that are right for you. In particular, Zero-Tolerance, Ka-Bar, and Cold Steel offer amazing durability and heaviness for users who are doing hard work. Smith & Wesson has great quality knives for those who value longevity. Benchmade, Kershaw, and CRKT are brands that are perfect for those who use knives for everyday carry. SOG and Ka-Bar are perfect for those who need a knife for military use, or in a similar field of work. Gerber is a good idea for those who are on a budget, without settling for a poor knife. Finally, Spyderco is a leader in innovation, a great choice for all. Whether you’re looking for a beefy knife for wear and tear, or a sleeker and smaller knife to comfortably fit in your pocket, this handful of brands have the best quality and durability of knives for whatever job you need.

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