Knives is one of man’s oldest weapon where it has definitely served man for a great amount of time. Boot knives were really popular in the past when every American had to defend themselves from aggressors constantly. At that point of time, firearms were less reliable because they were not that technologically developed yet. Hence, most people concealed ‘boot knife’ for safety.
However, coming back to contemporary times, boot knives are extremely useful not only for self-defense, but it is great for carrying out survival duties.
For better understanding, I have separated this article into 3 parts: (I) The importance of getting a boot knife; (II) Factors to consider while picking a boot knife and (III) Top 8 rated boot knives.
WHAT IS A BOOT KNIFE?
Boot knife is basically a small fixed-blade knife that is designed to be carried on a boot. It’s called a ‘boot knife’ because it is usually worn on a belt or close to your boots (or in your boots itself). Boot knife is also known as boot dagger. They generally range from 3 to 5 inches, which is 7.62cm to 12.7cm.
The aim of having a boot knife is to ensure your safety, but it’s extremely handy for other uses such as cutting firewood or slicing food up so that it’s easier to cook it. Boot knives are usually hidden from sight, to give you an edge when you are faced with threats. To better protect yourself from harm, it is wiser to get a boot knife with sheath too.
I would like to stress the importance of getting a suitable boot knife sheath because it’s necessary for your comfort and safety. With a proper tactical knife sheath, you can travel with ease.
(I) THE IMPORTANCE OF GETTING A BOOT KNIFE
Let me start with the obvious benefit, which is the benefit of better protecting yourself. Of course, to truly benefit from the knife for physical defense, you need to be able to use it with skill. Coupled with having the best knives for self-defense, you will have a high chance of staying safe.
For example, the blade-point design will determine how the blade should be used. If you have a sheepsfoot blade, it would be great for slicing things, but a needle-point blade would be advantageous for piercing objects. To effectively defend yourself against threats, there is a higher probability that ‘offence is the best defense’. This means that knowing how to use the knife to attack may be vital.
It would be ideal to learn self-defense skills from a professional, informing him that you are interested to learn self-defense with boot knife. You can try searching for online courses by a military personnel, they will teach you some basic steps for survival.
2. Getting Wood Sliced for Fire
Whether you are lost in the woods or not, a boot knife would always come in handy for slicing up huge pieces of wood into smaller pieces. When you ignite a kindling, you need to work your fire until it is huge enough to take-in larger pieces of wood.
A boot knife would be perfect for the job because it is highly portable, and most of them are sharp enough for you to slice up pencil-sized wood. If you are intending to slice larger wood, it would be better to get an axe or even a chainsaw.
3. Easily Cook Food
It is much harder to cook meat when they are in huge chunks, especially when you want to make sure that the meat is cooked even in the inside. The reason being that slicing meat would allow more surface area of the meat to be exposed to heat, causing it to cook faster.
You can use the knife to slice, chop and even mince the vegetable or meat you are cooking. Make them into smaller pieces so that you can cook them easily, ensuring that every bite of food that you eat is clear of germs and fully-cooked.
(II) FACTORS TO CONSIDER WHILE PICKING A BOOT KNIFE
These are general characteristics which you should look for when picking a boot knife. It actually boils down to how you would like to conceal your boot knife; what clothing are you wearing and what uses you would use them for.
Here are some attributes you can look at to select the best concealed carry knives.
1. Design of the Blade-Point
The well-known blade-point design is the clip-point design. The clip-point design derives its name from its appearance, where it looks like as if the top one-third of the blade is ‘clipped’ off. The ‘Clip’ would either be straight or concave.
The other popular blade-point designs include the spear-point and drop-point design. The spear-point blade is symmetrically pointed (the left and right side of the blade has equal width). The top ‘point’ would be in line with the center of the blade’s axis.
Drop point blade slopes from the spine of the blade from the handle to the tip of the blade. The point would be aligned with the center axis of the knife.
Sheepsfoot blade, as introduced above, is great for cutting objects while minimizing your chances of accidentally piercing yourself. It has a sharp bottom part but a smooth finish on the top.
Keep in mind that you need to have a clear goal concerning what you want to do with the knife before choosing what blade-point you want. For example, if you are looking for the best concealed knives for self-defense, you may want to get a spear-point blade or sheepsfoot blade. These blade points are great for stabbing or slicing.
2. Overall Length of the Blade
The blade would essentially be short, medium or large, serving their own purpose. Short blades are great if you want to conceal the boot knife in small compartments ensuring minimal visibility. Short blades are also highly portable since you can easily clip them on your boots or hide them underneath. You can get a boot knife clip in most e-commerce store.
For medium-sized blades, they can measure from 2.7 inches to around 4 inches. This is the blade to choose if you would like to ensure that you have a long enough blade to cut things, but small enough for you to conceal with optimal comfort.
Large blades are those above 4 inches, and they are clearly harder the conceal. The only reason most people get boot knives with large blade would be extensive self-defense or serious wood-cutting. Large blades are often more suitable for a combat boot knife.
3. What the handle is made of
The purpose of a handle is to ensure that you have sufficient grip over your boot knife, and that you are sufficiently comfortable with holding the boot knife.
Usually, handles are made from Titanium or G-10 steel. Stainless steel handles are great because they are usually corrosion-resistant. However, they usually weigh more than other blades.
The best handles are made from G-10, as they are made with fiberglass which render them to be capable of resisting external elements.
(III) Top 8 Rated Boot Knives
Here are the 8 best boot knife I have identified. I would review what materials the blade is made of, what handle the blade is made of and whether it comes with a boot knife sheath.
Top 8 Rated Boot Knives Comparison Table
|Kershaw Secret |
|Check Latest Price||Reinforced synthetic polymer||4.4 Inch||3.9/5.0||Hard and Durable
knife that is made
|SOG Instinct Mini |
|Check Latest Price||Stainless Steel + G10||1.9 Inch||4.4/5.0||Stainless steel
full tang knife
that is small
enough to be
a neck blade
|Cold Steel 17T |
|Check Latest Price||Non-slip Kraton handle||5.5 Inch||4.4/5.0||5 inch high-
blade which is
made for heavy
Needle Boot Knife
|Check Latest Price||TPE Handle||7.6 Inch||4.1/5.0||High-carbon
blade that has
|Buck Knives OPS |
BOOT Tactical Knife
|Check Latest Price||Reinforced Nylon G10||3 Inch||4.4/5.0||Blade with
does not require
|Old Timer 162OT |
|Check Latest Price||Delrin handles||4.0 inch||4.2/5.0||High-carbon
which is great
|CRKT Shrill Fixed |
|Check Latest Price||Tough resin infused fiber||4.8 Inch||4.3/5.0||Double-edged
blade that holds
its edge really
|CRKT Sting Fixed |
|Check Latest Price||Hot Forged 1050 Carbon Steel||3.19 Inch||4.4/5.0||The blade has
coating that can
1. Kershaw Secret Agent (4007)
For a reasonable price, you get the Kershaw Secret Agent knife, which is excellent in many respects.
The blade is made from stainless steel, mixed with high carbon, to ensure that it’s hard and durable enough. This blade looks sleek, clearly intended by the manufacturer to be built for concealment. The blade is coated with black oxide, which makes it resistant to corrosion, and make it look good! Although it looks sleek from afar, the screws and manufacturing lines are pretty obvious.
The steel is really great because it is soft enough for you to sharpen quickly, but sturdy enough to handle heavyweight activities. However, this steel does not retain being sharp for a long period of time. However, since you are only using this for survival chores and not extremely heavy-duty chores, it should not be much of a problem.
The handle is made from reinforced synthetic polymer, which is covered by rubber to ensure that you get a good grip of the knife. The reinforcement is done to give an increased amount of stiffness, so that you can stab with strength and stability. The handle has a lanyard hole so that you have more options of carrying it, increasing its versatility.
The rubber-coated and wide grip will definitely prevent the knife from slipping, where the wide grip will fill the center of your hand. There is also a small hand-guard.
This boot knife comes with a sheath, which comes with clips for your belt. Also, there are slots for leg carry straps, to ensure that flexibility is provided, where it totally depends on the user’s preference on where he wants to conceal it. However, there is no blade wiggle in the sheathe.
Furthermore, it is difficult to mount different kinds of clips onto the sheath because there is no general idea for the hole spacing.
This boot knife is lightweight, making it great for carrying around. Despite it being lightweight, it can handle heavy duty work and you can be sure that it will not break although you put it under tough scenarios such as cutting huge logs. This makes it even better for personal protection while making it easier for you to complete other survival chores. This is a great knife to bring along for fishing, hunting or camping too!
The edges of this knife is razor-sharp, and you can sharpen it easily so that it is great for long-term usage. Do note that this boot knife is only single-edged, and not double as most people describe it to be. The knife is slightly asymmetrical, while the unsharpened side of the knife is squared off, similar to most knives.
If you would like to get a better picture of how this boot knife look and work, you can check out the video below.
2. SOG “Instinct Mini” Fixed Blade Knife
Let me get into the different aspects of the knife. Essentially, this is a stainless steel, full-tang knife. It can be used as a tactical knife, outdoor knife or neck knife.
The blade is made from stainless steel, which is 4.8 inches in length. The steel is only moderate quality, so you may want to sharpen the blade often (such as once every 3 to 4 weeks) to make sure that it performs at its peak.
For the handle, it has a G10 handle. It has finger grooves and jimping (a keychain-sized tool). This tactical knife would give you a great grip, ensuring that the knife will not slip when you use it. Do take note that there are two types of handle you can choose from, where it offers multiple carry options. The finger grooves will give you a comfortable grip, especially for a relatively small knife.
It should be able to fit your grip well, reducing the chances of slipping no matter how you use it. You can carry out heavy weight activities with comfort using this knife.
You can wear it around your neck, clip it to your belt, or wear it on your boots. The multi-angle adjustable clip will help ensure that the knife would be secured on your boot, vest or even bag. It allows you to alter the orientation of the belt clip to any direction. You can be sure that you will feel comfortable carrying this knife around. This makes it easy for carrying if you do search and rescue operations too.
For the hard-moulded nylon sheath, it makes it suitable to be for camping, hiking or even survival situations. There is a clip that goes with the knife sheath, or you can secure your knife with the knife sheath chain. To rotate the sheath clip, you will need a small allen wrench to turn the screws because that would hold the clip in place.
The knife fits into the sheath really well, holding it in place. It will not fall out unless you intentionally pull it out.
One more plus-point is that it is small enough to be legal in most states which you go, making it useful throughout.
This is also a suitable neck blade because it is sufficiently small. However, it may be ineffective for causing severe damage. You need to be well-trained with handling knives in self-defense situations to really cause substantial damage with this boot knife because it has a small blade.
The knife is also lightweight, making it suitable to be a everyday-carry gear. If you are looking for a really portable everyday carry knife which is reasonably priced, which can help with your daily errands and it’s convenient for keeping you safe, you can choose this boot knife. Essentially, you can say that this is a affordable day-to-day tool, providing you with convenience.
3. Cold Steel Kobun Fixed Blade
To give you a mental picture, the overall length of the knife is 9 7/8 inches. It is a small knife which is great for concealment.
The blade is 5 ½ inches, which is made of high-quality AUS8 stainless steel. The blade is really sharp, and you do not need to really sharpen it. Once you get it out of the box, it would be sharp enough to help you shave. Do not worry about using it for heavy duty tasks, because the tip is sufficiently strong and the steel is clearly reinforced. It is excellent for piercing objects, while the curve of the knife can help you to effectively slice things.
The handle is around 4 3/8 inches. The overall size of the knife is slim enough for you to carry in a boot, and not make it feel too uncomfortable for you. It is made with a satin-finish, which may make you leave finger prints easily. The handle is comfortable to hold, but it is slim at the same time. Since it’s made of Kraton rubber, it gives you an excellent grip.
The Sheath is named the secure-ex sheath, which is small in size too. The blade would fit into the sheath well, you can be sure that the blade wouldn’t slip out unnecessarily. Although it is described as ‘small’, it is still the perfect size for you to conceal it effectively.
The sheath is generally strong and thin, and it has 10 eyelets for you to attach or lash onto your bag or belt. The sheath will make sure that your knife is securely fastened because it has a strong click when you put the knife into the sheath. Even if there is a lot of movement, it will not easily come out.
However, the clip that comes with it will not be enough to hold the sheath in place. The clip is not strong enough to keep the sheath to stay with the knife when you draw the knife. Basically, you will draw a sheathed knife if the clip can’t make it stay put. So, you may need to get another clip. To change the clips, you need to remove 2 screws. The clip can be changed in a matter of minutes and it wouldn’t be much of a big deal.
You can call this boot knife a ‘larger-sized’ everyday carry gear, which helps you finish your survival chores effectively, but it may be a bit of a hassle to carry around. Excellent gear for self-defense, considering the fact that the blade is really sharp, and it is medium-sized.
4. Schrade SCHF44LS Needle Boot Knife
The manufacturer is Taylor Brands, LLC. They are known for producing Schrade, Old timer and Uncle Henry, which means that there is high reliability.
The blade is made from black high-carbon stainless steel. The blade is double-edged and there are serrated spear points with blood grooves. The blade is generally 7.62 inches (19.35cm) in length, which can be considered medium-sized. The design of the knife looks awesome too! The blade is well-balanced and it will be sharp when you get it out of the box. But do take note that the 2 inches space between the cross guard and the serrations is un-sharpened.
The serrated edges cuts well too, and it does not get hung up like other cheap serrated blades in the market. However, the knife is not that strong, which means that you cannot use this for heavy-duty work. The tip of the knife easily bends as compared to other knives in the market. Most of the bend is because of the length of the blade, especially the joint near the handle.
As for the handle, it has a black texture. It is wrapped with TPE (Thermoplastic Elastomer), which is a composite of different polymers, particularly plastic and rubber. They have deep grooves to ensure that it is slip-resistant, and that you can handle it well even with wet hands. The handle is about 5.04 inches (12.80cm), which is large enough for you to get a good grip.
There is a lanyard hole on the handle to let you strap around your waist for convenience sake.
The knife comes with a black leather sheath, that comes with a boot or belt clip. The sheath comes with a back clip rather than a suspended belt loop. So, it would be great for carrying it in your boot but not on your belt. However, due to the length of the knife, you may want to consider carrying it on the belt by using other means.
The clip placement for the belt may be a bit uncomfortable too. Also, it is difficult to draw the knife quickly, and the long handle may press against your body.
With the overall length of 12.66 inches (32.16cm), it is generally harder to conceal it. The knife is light and thin, so you can still work it out.
Due to the knife being not too strong, it would not be wise to use it for defense against wildlife, which means it’s not excellent for hunting or hiking in general. However, it is still excellent for everyday use which is okay for most situation. Considering the low price, the quality is justifiably good.
Bear in mind that double-edged blades are illegal in some states, so do check out the laws in your state before purchasing this item.
5. OPS BOOT Tactical Knife
The blade is razor-sharp, and it is 3 inches long. There is excellent edge retention too, so you do not need to sharpen it often. The blade is corrosion-resistant and is really suitable for heavy-weight activities. The blade is sharp out of the box, ready for use. It is CMP154 steel, sold at a reasonable price.
The overall length of the knife is 6 ¼ inches, which is small. It’s really great for concealment, and you can easily bring it around. The knife is sturdy and lightweight. It is made of full-tang construction, and it’s really strong where it is designed for heavy-duty work.
You can pierce, scrape or pry touch materials with this knife. Definitely a high-performer, especially for heavy-duty survival chores.
Concerning the grip, it has a contoured grip with a deep finger groove. It is made from injection-molded reinforced nylon. You can be sure that it’s comfortable to hold and it will be secured in your palms. Although the grip will not fill your palm, you will still have a stable grip.
For the sheath, it is made from black polypropylene and leather. You can be sure that the knife would snap securely into the sheath. The knife ‘locks’ itself with the sheath when you fully place it inside. This means that you need not worry while carrying it around your boot, your neck or your belt. Although it locks it well, it is still easily removeable. The fine leather wrap will make it comfortable for you to bring it around.
You have the versatility to choose which place you want to put it, helps you prioritize quick and easy access. The sheath is really great, and it gives you several options on how you want to configure it. Since it can be adjusted, you can wear it the way you like.
As for the clip, it employs the rope method to hold the top of the knife to the sheath.
Since this knife is small, it would be perfect as an everyday carry knife. The overall quality of this knife makes it an excellent candidate to be a everyday carry knife. The size of the knife makes it perfect for fitting it under your boot too.
Generally, it is perfect as a compact, back-up knife which you can bring around. It is effective for being a last-resort knife because it is not easily noticeable.
This knife is made in the United States and you will have a life-time warranty. You can be sure that you will be pleasantly surprised at the quality and versatility of his knife.
6. Old Timer 162OT Boot Knife
The blade is made from high-carbon stainless steel (7Cr17 Steel). It is a spear-point blade, excellent for stabbing. The length is 3.8 inches (9.6cm). It is flat (not too thick), suitable for being a boot knife. The blade would be reasonably sharp, but you need to sharpen it if you want it to be razor-sharp. The blade is also easily sharpened.
The spear-point and flat grind can help you finish most of your survival tasks well.
The handle is the Old Timer Sawcut Handle Slabs, with a touch of elegance with the Nickel Silver Bolster. The handle is 4.0 inches (10.2 cm), while the overall length is 7.8 inches (19.8cm) which is generally long for a boot knife. The handle slabs blends nicely with the tang and guards, leaving no gaps. It is well-balanced and definitely will help you have a great feel on your hands.
The sheath is basically a brown leather belt sheath. The sheath is made from rather low-quality leather. There are slotted cut outs for a retention belt instead of having loops. It may easily wear out in a matter of months. If the knife is really sharp, the knife may cut through the sheath.
Also, the sheath fits the knife in a rather loose way. There are also 2 separate steel rivets which grinds against the knife’s silver guards when you are carrying the knife in the sheath. You may want to get another sheath if you want to buy this knife. However, the sheath is not bad overall. It’s just that the hefty leather, made to hold your blade loosely. If you are stuffing it in your pocket, it should be fine.
The general look is that it is not too flashy, which is a pluspoint for concealment. It looks really attractive as a boot knife too! It’s great for backpacking as well.
You will be surprise that the knife is surprisingly good, in light of its price. Most knives at this price range would not be so well-designed or have such good quality. It is definitely useful when you are out fishing or camping. The knife has great utility too! Highly recommended for a reasonably priced, easily concealed tactical knife that you can carry around.
7. CRKT Shrill Fixed Blade Knife
The blade is double-edged, and it is made with titanium nitride. The blade is 4.8 inches long, and it can clearly pierce most tough materials. The knife is razor-sharped when you get it out of the box and be careful with the point because it’s really sharp. The knife also holds its edge well. This is evidence that it’s made for self-defense.
For the handle, it is made with polished resin while it has infused fiber for the overlays. Since it is made from tough resin, this boot knife would be able to withstand harsh treatment.
The handle and blade look great overall. Since the handle is thin, it does not take up too much space in your boot.
For the sheath, it is made from high-quality leather that comes with a boot clip. It’s really great for concealment. Also, you can move around with the knife and sheath, and feel comfortable with it. The sheath is sufficiently small as well, allowing you to easily keep it in your boots.
The sheath would fit into your belt or jeans too! It is a great option for easy-access.
However, although it is made from decent leather, the blade can still cut through the sheath slowly especially if you place it back into the sheath. Therefore, you have to be cautious while wearing it in your boot, making sure that it does not hurt you.
My suggestion is to get a sheath made from metal or heard plastic to prevent your blade from cutting through the sheath. If you want a slimmer sheath, you can choose one made of kydex.
This is an excellent knife for protection and self-defense. It would be one of the top knives here to keep you and your loved ones safe.
There is a limited lifetime warranty which covers most defects in the knife material itself or the workmanship. If one of the knives from CRKT breaks or fails because of the material or defects in the manufacturing process, the manufacturer will get it repaired or replaced. The warranty will run as long as you are the owner of the knife.
This knife is a winner if you want a really sharp knife! It’s made for self-defense and survival situations.
8. CRKT Sting Fixed Blade Knife
The blade has corrosion resistant coating, meaning it can withstand most survival situations. It is double-edged, made from 1050 carbon steel. It is hot forged into its current shape. If you just got it out of the box, the blade should be oiled and sharp. Do bear in mind that since it’s a double-edged blade, it is meant for puncturing things, and not slicing them.
The blade is sharp, but it is not totally immune to rust. Remember to constantly keep it oiled to ensure that there would be no rust on your blade.
The handle is perfectly contoured to fit your grip too! The landyard hold that comes with it can be used as a wrist lanyard, or you can carry it as a neck knife. There is a part of the plastic that extends up with the divot, is meant for your thumb when you are using the knife. However, the overall handle and blade can be said to be a solid piece of steel.
Since the handle is not covered with any materials, it may be a bit small for your grip. However, it is still generally a good fit. Since the handle is made out of steel in general, you cannot use it under extreme temperature conditions.
The sheath is made from glass-reinforced nylon. It has a strapping option so that you can be versatile in attaching your gear. Also, it comes with a clip so that you can attach it to your belt, backpack or even boots. The sheath can securely fit the knife too. You can use 3 different ways to attach things with the sheath.
The blade also has a bit of weight on it, which some people may prefer.
There are straps that come with it, which gives you options on how you want to carry it. The only downside is the straps are a bit stiff. You can use the straps to wear it as a boot knife too. If you remove the straps, you can carry it near your waist.
There is a limited lifetime warranty which covers defects in any faulty materials or workmanship too! The packaging of this knife is good quality too, so you can be sure that your knife will be shipped to your safely.
This blade is meant for you to place it in your boot and walk around with it. Ideally, it is clipped to your boot.
This is an excellent knife for self-defense too. This knife is lightweight and it’s hard to notice, which is two sought-after qualities of a boot knife.
This article has sufficiently covered the importance of a boot knife, the general things you need to look at before you pick a boot knife and we went through the 8 best knives in the market.
Since a boot knife is significantly cheaper than a firearm, you can say that it’s really cheap and effective for self-defense. Most boot knives are also used for everyday chores such as cutting ropes or cooking. Be sure to learn up some skills on self-defense too, on skills you can adopt when using a boot knife. Bear in mind that the type of edge the knife has would affect how you use it.
If you have any comments you want to share, feel free to comment below!