Tactical knife in a tree stump

 

Best Tactical Knife for Bug Out Bag in 2021

The “Tactical Knife” is a recent description that is not so much a type of knife, but more of how a knife looks.  There is no standard blade length or style.  Tactical knives look like they would be used for military purposes and are generally high quality and expensive.  They usually have a blade that does not reflect light and a synthetic handle that provides good grip.

I looked at a lot of Tactical knives when I was purchasing a Combat knife for my Bug-Out bag and I only found three that I like.  They all happen to be made by Ka-Bar which doesn’t surprise me because the history of the company goes back to designing blades for U.S. troops during World War II.  The company continues its history of manufacturing high quality military knives and is one of the best in the business.

Ka-Bar knives are the only knives that I have in my go-bag because of their reliability and durability.

Top Pick

Ka-Bar BRK7 Combat Utility Knife

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After much consideration of which combat knife or tactical knife to put in my Bug-Out kit, I selected the Ka-Bar BRK7 Combat Utility Knife.  I made this selection largely because of the size.  I decided the blade length was long enough to use as a weapon but not so large that it is difficult to handle.

Features & Benefits

The Ka-Bar BK7 Combat Utility Knife is an all-purpose, fixed blade knife that is lightweight but durable.

The blade is made from a strong 1095 steel and features a 20 degree edge angle.  The 1095 steel is a durable, easy to sharpen material that retains its edge well.

The BK7 Combat Knife weighs in at 0.85 pounds with an overall length of 12 ¾ inches and a 7 inch blade length.

The handle is made of fiberglass to combine strength and a light weight.

This tactical knife features a plastic sheath that fits the blade perfectly and attaches to your belt.

What do owners say

Don’t just take my word for it.  I also scoured the Internet to find out what other owners had to say.  

Pros:  Many owners say this is the closest that anyone can get to a single knife that balances the needs of being in the wilderness with the effectiveness of a tactical weapon.

Cons:  Some owners do not like the sheath.

Click here to purchase the Ka-Bar Combat Utility Knife.

Runners-Up

Ka-Bar Full Size US Marine Corps Fighting Knife

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This is the knife that started the Ka-Bar legend and one of the world’s most famous knives.

Features & Benefits

The Marine Corps Fighting Knife blade is made from 1095 steel which provides for a good balance of strength, durability, and edge retention.  The blade will remain sharp for an extended period of time, but is also easy to sharpen.  The edge angle was ground to 20 degrees at the factory.

The blade length is 7 inches and an overall length of 11.9 inches from the handle pommel to the tip of the blade.

This combat knife weighs in at 0.7 pounds and is well balanced between the handle and the blade.

The handle is made of steel and wrapped in leather providing for a comfortable grip that does not slip.

The sheath is durable and made of leather.  It will protect the blade from damage in most environments, but this is a sheath you shouldn’t get wet.

What do owners say

Pros:  Most owners are impressed by how sharp the blade is out of the box.  They also love how beautiful the knife is.

Cons:  Some owners think this is more of a show knife and not something to be used on a daily basis because they find the handle to be a bit slippery.

Click here to purchase the Ka-Bar US Marine Corps Fighting Knife.

Ka-Bar Becker BK9 Combat Bowie Knife

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This knife is used by all branches of the United States military. It is an ideal knife for both combat and field chores.

Features & Benefits

The blade is made from 1095 steel which provides for a good balance of strength, durability, and edge retention.  The blade will remain sharp for an extended period of time, but is also easy to sharpen.  The edge angle was ground to 20 degrees at the factory.

The BK9 Combat knife weighs in at 1.05 pounds and has an overall length of 14 ¾ inches and the blade is 9 inches long.

The handle is made of durable fiberglass to help cut down on the overall weight of the knife.  The knife is well balanced between the handle and the blade.

The knife comes with a nylon sheath to protect the blade and includes a belt loop for easy portability.

What do owners say

Pros:  The knife comes from the factory nearly razor sharp.  

Cons:  The sheath is rather plain

Click here to purchase the Ka-Bar BK9 Combat Bowie Knife.

Conclusion

For my bug-out bag, I selected the Ka-Bar BRK7 Combat Utility Knife because it met all my needs as a tactical knife.  It is not too “showy” and is lightweight.  The length is perfect for my needs.  But I would be easily just as happy to have any of the other combat knives in my survival kit.  One word of warning about the Bowie Knife.  It only became legal in Texas to carry a Bowie Knife in 2017, so other states may still have laws outlawing people carrying a Bowie Knife.