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The Best Neck Knives for 2017 – Top Models Compared

First, let’s be clear: neck knives are not specifically designed self-defense knives meant to use against your enemy’s neck. Instead, they’re simply small and compact knives designed to be worn on a cord or chain around your neck. Of course, nothing is going to stop you from actually using this knife for self-defense to target a bad guy’s neck when he’s trying to kill you. But these special knives can be used for a much wider range of tasks than just protecting yourself.

While neck knives tend to come in various styles and designs, they do have a few features in common. Most importantly, they’re all compact and lightweight. Obviously, you don’t want a machete hanging on your neck.

Another benefit of neck knives is that they are much easier to bring out to use than pocket knives. You don’t have to root around your tight jeans pocket to get them out, and you don’t have to unfold the blade of a neck knife either. To emphasize the quick readiness of these knives, they often come with fixed blades. You can just pull them out of their sheath and they’re ready to rock. However, some manufacturers do offer foldable neck knives to make sure you get a small knife.

Besides, there are times when you may not have a belt or a pocket at all. If you’re wearing swim trunks and you’re paddling around on a kayak, going fishing with pockets full of lures, or biking with Lycra shorts on, the neck knife is the way to go.

9 Best Neck Knives - Comparisons

 Best Neck Knives for 2017 - Reviews

Take a look at our recommendations and see for yourself just how you can benefit from a nice neck knife in your outdoor adventures and everyday life.

1. MTech USA MT-20-30 Series Fixed Blade Neck Knife

MTech USA MT-20-30 Series Fixed Blade Neck Knife

Let’s start with something simple and extremely affordable. If you’re new to knives in general or just to neck knives in particular, it’s usually a sensible choice to try out something that won’t bust your budget. You can then see how it goes, and you can find out which features you want to change in it so that you can get a much better upgrade later on.

However, you may not want to change at all from this one. Despite its low price, the quality of this knife is definitely not cheap at all. It’s a very compact model even though it has a fixed blade. Its overall length is just 4.75 inches, with the blade coming in at 2 inches in length and 2.8 mm in thickness.

The small size denotes that it’s meant for small jobs around the house and in the workplace, but it’s also great for tasks that you usually do with larger knives. It’s very well-constructed, with the drop-point blade showing a nice stonewashed finish. It’s also quite tough and durable. It comes with a full-tang design, and with the nicely molded G-10 handle it’s very easy to hold and control.

This knife comes with a nice Kydex sheath along with a ball chain. It’s ready to go when you get it, as the blade edge is sharp out of the box. 

What we liked

  • It’s extremely inexpensive, but looks impressive nonetheless.
  • Great for everyday tasks.
  • It’s easy to carry.
  • You can use this safely and comfortably.

What we didn't like

  • The sheath can be a bit too tight at first—you may need to loosen it up by pulling the knife from the sheath a couple of dozen times before you can pull it smoothly.

2. Boker Magnum Lil Friend Micro

Boker Magnum Lil Friend Micro

Say hello to your Lil Friend from Boker. It’s also among the more affordable knives in the neck knife sector, yet you do get your money’s worth and more. This one is very compact with an overall length of only 3⅜ inches, and the blade is positively cute at only 1⅜ inches. Its weight is a measly 1.3 ounces.

The miniscule size is crucial for a neck knife, as it’s designed so that you can forget and disregard the knife hanging around your neck. But don’t let the size of the BokerMagnum fool you. You can use this versatile knife for many kinds of tasks around the house, such as cutting cords and opening packages.

What will really impress you is that despite the low price and the small size, its quality is undeniably high. The blade is made from 440 stainless steel. It offers acceptable resistance to corrosion and wear, and it’s extremely easy to sharpen.

This little guy also features a tan G-10 handle. It’s shaped nicely to fit your fingers, and it has a textured surface for a more secure grip. The quality of the blade is impeccable and it’s designed to last a long time. The package also includes a Kydex sheath and a chain, and it even comes with limited lifetime warranty. 

What we liked

  • This knife is very compact, so it’s not noticeable at all beneath your shirt.
  • The weight is so light that you may even forget that you’re wearing a knife around your neck.
  • The blade comes sharp, and you can easily keep it sharp with a knife sharpener.
  • It’s ideal for household and utility cutting tasks.
  • Works as a great starter neck knife, as it’s very affordable. 
  • It’s designed to last.

What we didn't like

  • Doesn’t hold its sharp edge as well as more expensive knives.

3. Columbia River Knife and Tool Minimalist

Columbia River Knife and Tool Minimalist

For a bit more money, you can try this nifty neck knife from CRKT. The blade is made from 5Cr15MoV steel, which is a low-end type of steel that you may find in premium scissors. The blade is 2 inches long, and it’s good enough to cut through anything you may encounter in your day-to-day activities.

What sets this 5-inch long knife apart is the unusual design of its handle. It’s made of Micarta, and it offers 3 finger choils that make it resemble some sort of batarang that Batman might use. It certainly looks unique, and it’s actually quite easy to handle and comfortable to hold.
This comes with a Zytel sheath that’s been custom-fitted for the blade, and it has a braided fob as well as a neck paracord. With a total weight of just 1.6 ounces (which includes the weight of the sheath), this knife is designed for carrying all day. 

What we liked

  • The steel for the blade makes this knife useful for cutting many different types of stuff around the house with no problem. It’s also quite easy to sharpen. 
  • The handle is easy to control and use. 
  • It’s extremely lightweight, so you don’t feel like you’re carrying anything much around your neck. 
  • The sheath holds on to the knife securely, but a good tug will pull it out. 

What we didn't like

  • The “paracord” it comes with isn’t really paracord at all. You may want to replace it, especially when you find the cord can be a bit itchy.

4. Cold Steel Secret Edge Knife

Cold Steel Secret Edge Knife

If you’re a big guy and you want something a bit more substantial, then this may suffice. The handle is 3 inches long, and unlike the earlier knives mentioned on this list, the blade on this one is even longer at 3.5 inches. At its widest point, it’s about 1⅛ inches. Yet it’s still lightweight, as it comes in at just 3.2 ounces including the weight of the sheath.

The full-tang blade is made from Japanese AUS 8A stainless steel and features a spear point design.The handle is made from textured G-10 and has 3 holes in it. It’s quite thin and flat. Finally, you also get a Secure-Ex sheath. 

What we liked

  • The blade is great for day-to-day cutting tasks, with a sharp point for piercing and a wide base for leverage in cutting. It’s also easy to put a razor sharp edge on this blade. 
  • The handle is excellent, as it’s big enough to handle effortlessly. It offers a secure grip, and it doesn’t mind getting wet. 
  • While this knife may seem a bit large, it’s only 2.5 mm thick so very few people will notice it beneath your shirt.
  • It’s also lightweight, so you’ll barely notice it too. 
  • The sheath and knife combo offers secure retention, while it’s no trouble to pull the blade out of the sheath. The sheath is sweat-proof too. 

What we didn't like

  • This comes with a factory chain that you should consider replacing as soon as you get the knife. The knife and the sheath are both great, but the chain is laughably bad.

5. KA-BAR TDI Law Enforcement Coyote Brown

KA-BAR TDI Law Enforcement Coyote Brown

Do you want a neck knife that’s good enough for cops to trust? If that’s the case, then this curved KA-BAR knife might be the one you want hanging around your neck. Sure, it’s among the more expensive knives on this list, but then the prices of our recommendations are much lower than premium regular knives anyway. Besides, why quibble over a knife that may someday save your life?

Designed for law enforcement officers, this one is a serious knife. After all, it was developed by John Benner, who founded and owns the Tactical Defense Institute. It’s really meant as a last resort for cops who can’t access their firearms. It’s just 5.63 inches long overall, while the blade is less than 3 inches long. It only weighs 3.2 ounces. 

This uses AUS 8A stainless steel for the blade, and it comes with a half-serrated edge, making it an efficient cutter for various types of cords. That’s especially true with the curved design that offers you the cutting leverage you need. The handle is nicely ergonomic, and it provides a secure grip that won’t slip in your hand. 

What we liked

  • This knife can do many types of daily tasks, along with camping cutting chores and even with self-defense. 
  • The handle offers a comfortable and secure grip. 
  • It’s lightweight and compact. 
  • This knife is very discreet, and it even comes with a non-reflective blade. 

What we didn't like

  • The thing is that this one isn’t marketed as a neck knife, even though its features make it a superb neck knife for EDC or camping. So you will have to get an aftermarket sheath to accommodate your need to carry this around your neck.

6. ESEE Candiru with Molded Sheath

ESEE Candiru with Molded Sheath

This knife comes in black and dark earth black colors and with the skull logo on the blade it may come off as somewhat intimidating. However, if you’re a girl (or are secure in your masculinity), you can even get it in an eye-catching purple. In fact, it even comes in pink, and in this color it’s a sight to behold. It’s a bit on the pricey side comparatively speaking, and the pink is actually the most expensive one among the models.

Despite its fun color options, this is a serious knife nonetheless. It has the smallest blade among the ESEE lineup, but that’s what makes it suitable as a neck carry knife. The blade is made from premium 1096 carbon steel with 55-57 Rockwell hardness, and its cutting edge is about 2 inches long. The handle is skeletonized, and the whole thing has a textured powder coat finish. 

What we liked

  • This knife can be used for all types of cutting tasks around the house. 
  • The blade arrives at your doorstep razor sharp, and it remains sharp for quite a while. 
  • It has a unique design. 
  • It’s lightweight and compact for easy neck carry. 

What we didn't like

  • Already a bit pricey, and you’ll still need to spend some more to get some Micarta scale handles for the knife. With the Micarta handle, it becomes extremely easy to use and handle. As is, it doesn’t feel substantial enough to control, and you’ll keep worrying whether it will slip in your hand.

7. Gerber Bear Grylls Ultra Compact Fixed-Blade Knife

Gerber Bear Grylls Ultra Compact Fixed-Blade Knife

This one is marketed as a hunting knife, and why not? This knife has been designed by Bear Grylls, and when your knife is designed by a famous wilderness expert you can certainly expect it to work well when you’re out hunting or camping. 

But who says you can’t carry this knife on your neck? It’s just 6.25 inches, and the blade comes in at 3.25 inches long. Its weight is only 4.5 ounces, just heavy enough to remind you that you have a knife to use without being uncomfortable. That’s why it comes with a paracord lanyard.

Out in the field, its small size is no impediment. With its full-tang construction and overall dimensions, this knife is quite useful. The fine edge blade is certainly long enough, and it’s also stout enough that you can use it to cut into a carcass if you’re a hunter.
The handle is equally good, with a molded-rubber ergonomic design that’s easy to control and comfortable to hold. The feel of the knife is quite balanced, with a bolster and textured thumb rise on the spine for added grip security. 

What we liked

  • Even though it’s a hunting knife, it’s compact and lightweight.
  • It offers a very secure grip that’s also easy to control. 
  • The knife is durable and tough enough for wilderness tasks. 

What we didn't like

  • While this knife can be carried with a lanyard your neck, the sheath it comes with isn’t really designed for such a mode of carry. It’s too bulky for that.

8. SOG Snarl Fixed Blade Satin Polished 2.3” Blade

SOG Snarl Fixed Blade Satin Polished 2.3” Blade

At first, the minimalist design and compact dimensions of this knife may lull you into thinking that this is a rather simple knife with limited use. That’s not exactly the case. It’s actually versatile in many different ways.

Yes, it can be carried around the neck, which is why it’s part of this list. After all, the blade is only 2.2 inches long and the whole knife measures just 4.3 inches. With a weight of 1.9 ounces, you won’t exactly notice it a lot around your neck. However, the design and the sheath allow for reversible belt carry, or even for placement in your boot.

The skeletonized handle with the large holes allow you to hold this knife in a variety of hand positions. You can grasp the handle with your hand wholly around it, or you can poke your finger right through the hole.
The blade is made from 9Cr18MoV steel, while the handle uses stainless steel. The sheath is made from hard molded nylon. Taken together, it’s a heck of an EDC knife you can carry all day around your neck. 

What we liked

  • It’s useful for many types of tasks, including self-defense. 
  • The blade is quite sharp and the handle is easy to control. 
  • The short blade length makes it legal to carry concealed in many jurisdictions. 
  • Its sheath is terrific and holds the knife securely.
  • The whole knife is durable. 

What we didn't like

  • The main issue if you’re going to use this knife for self-defense is that it takes an extra beat to get a secure hold around the handle. This means that it’s not exactly a “quick draw” knife.

9. Buck Knives CSAR-T LIASON Tactical Knife

Buck Knives CSAR-T LIASON Tactical Knife

This is a great knife for soldiers or law enforcement officers. After all, it’s labeled as a tactical knife, and even the Kydex sheath is compatible with Modular Lightweight Load-carrying Equipment.

But for those of us who want a convenient outdoors knife that we can carry around the neck, this one will do just fine. It features a 3-inch modified Tanto blade, and it even comes with a non-reflective Zirblast finish. It uses 420HC stainless steel and has a nice balance of toughness, resistance to rust, and edge retention. It’s also extremely easy to sharpen.

The handle is skeletonized, and it comes with built-in grip points. It measures 6.75 inches overall, and the weight is extremely low at just 1.7 ounces. 

What we liked

  • This is a great knife to use around the house or for outdoor adventures—after all, soldiers trust it with their lives. 
  • As for sharpening the blade, it’s super-easy. The steel used for the blade is among the easiest to sharpen. 
  • The measurements, especially its light weight, make it eminently suitable for neck carry. 
  • This is an extremely sturdy knife, and you won’t have to worry about wear and tear aside from keeping the blade sharp. It also comes with a lifetime warranty. 
  • The design of the handle makes it easy to get a good grip that won’t slip. 
  • The sheath holds the knife really well when you’re carrying it around your neck. It will stay in place even if you’re running and jumping all over the place. 

What we didn't like

  • The knife is excellent, but the sheath isn’t quite geared for discreet carryas it’stoo bulky. Now if you’re going to use this just for hunting and camping, that’s not a problem. But for EDC purposes, it may alarm some people when they realize you have a soldier’s knife around your neck!

Final Verdict

So which neck knife you are you going to get? That’s entirely up to you. It depends on your needs as well as your preferences. However, we did compile this handy list of the best neck knives to help you make your final choice. All of these recommendations are excellent, and we’ve carefully chosen a wide variety of designs and price ranges. Whether you want a knife for EDC, camping, hunting, or self-defense, you can find the best neck knives on this list! 

David Valle
 

I started this blog to provide advanced material, guiding you towards a better and more comfortable fishing experience. I deliver more than fishing gear guides, and motivate people to hit the water!

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