Best Combat Knife 2019 – the deadliest knife in the world

Best Fighting Knives 2019 – The deadliest knives in the world

And as a knife connoisseur, you certainly have this question already heard or even asked a thousand times!

Therefore, today it is about fighting knives, each offering the best for their area.

The best combat knives? Is there really this??

There are the classics that passed the decades without a trace and the futuristic tools of the big cutleries.

How do the blades differ and which details bring advantages and disadvantages in practice? Five portraits and a short guide provide the most important information.

If you are looking for a combat knife, be sure to read the guidebook at the end and familiarize yourself with my suggestions.

The best combat knives from around the world

1. Original KA-BAR USMC Knife

The mother of the combat and utility knife dates from 1897, in the original version produced by the “Union Cutlery Company”.

No combat knife list would be complete without this legend-prized splendor specimen.

Legend has it that at the time a trapper thanked the manufacturer in writing: The knife was his saved the life in the fight with a bear, because the rifle failed.

The letter was unfortunately quite illegible, so that hardly more than K A and BAR (kill a bear) was decipherable, which was reason enough, however, to rename the company without further ado into KA-BAR.

From 1942 it acquired the equipment of the USMC (United States Marine Corps) the Reputation of one of the best army knives ever, which is still used today (!) in the US Marines equipment!

And the list of uses of the knife is impressive:

  • Second World War
  • Korean war
  • Vietnam war
  • US invasion of Grenada
  • US invasion of Panama
  • Gulf war
  • War in Afghanistan
  • Iraq war

The blade

The black epoxy powder coating swallows all sunlight reflections in the field and the blade thus receives a certain protection against corrosion.

This one is too bitterly necessary.

Because the used 1095 steel is not stainless, but the steel can be well razor sharp with his 58 HRC.

To save weight, runs along the 18 cm long, 3.1 cm high and 4 mm thick Bowie blade on both sides of a groove.

The handle and the weight

Characteristic is the oval-bulbous handle of the USMC Allrounder made of pressed leather discs, which form with spacers five rings.

The natural material spares the hands during hard use against bubbles and it remains non-slip in any weather.

The transition to the blade forms a wide crossguard, which stops safely when slipping and batoning.

The long blade is ideal for batoning, the protruding end of the full-length forms a knob designed as a solid hammer surface.

300 g weight give the knife during brute work appropriate emphasis.

Due to the blade length of over 12cm, as well as the quillons, this knife is subject to the prohibition in Germany. That you can use it at home and on your property, but outside only in a closed container, say “not at hand” transport.


Just as solid and simple as the USMC is the durable stitched and riveted leather sheath.

Leather is not necessarily the best choice for outdoor use, though the value can not deny this vagina just.

The top with decorative embossing emphasizes the high-quality touch. The Sche >


Appropriate modifications first modified the original hunting knife into a military knife, today it is valued as a versatile survival knife.

The Ka-Bar USMC US Army knife stands out with its classic design and outstanding features from the mass of modern knives.

It splits firewood, cuts food and is still an irreplaceable hunting aid that easily puts the death knell between the cervical vertebrae.

Professionals, collectors and professionals around the world agree that a USMC knife is one of the best on the market.


+ versatile knife (fight, bushcrafting, survival)
+ high quality production
+ over 70 years on duty


– falls under § 42a
– not corrosion resistant

2. Gerber Silver Trident

very first glance at the Silver Trident makes it unmistakably clear that this is a Military Knife for the toughest uses These.

William Harsey Jr. and Chief James “Patches” Watson (Water-Land Elite Unit SEAL) are the designers of the “Trident”.

A legendary knife designer and a Navy SEAL heavyweight are design godfathers?

The two specialists have contributed their know-how to the design of this extraordinary knife, which is designed to provide the best possible handling in the field, as well as resistance to UV light, the effects of weather and chemicals.

The result is a serious Combat Knife, that makes no compromises.

The blade

The 17.5 cm long clip-point blade of the Silver Trident is made of heat-treated, 154CM stainless steel with a high degree of hardness of 59 – 61 HRC.

Such a dimensioned blade increases the distance to the opponent in combat, but is correspondingly powerful and should be well attached in peacetime, so as not to disturb the locomotion.

The primary serration slides much more efficiently and fluidly, resulting in less cutting force. Lower cutting ability, but higher durability distinguishes the coarser upper teeth.

I see, how hunters and Bushcrafter are wrinkling their noses.

Also on both sides?

Yes, even camping and hiking enthusiasts will have no pleasure with this double-sided sharpened knife, since it is subject anyway to the leadership ban.

The knife is forged as a full-tang, giving it the power and durability to withstand the toughest conditions without breaking.

The handle and the weight

At 493 g, the Silver Trident is not a lightweight knife, but it maneuvers very well and you can feel the power that is in it. This is due to the excellent grip that Gerber defines as “technically advanced”.

What you can imagine?

This refers to the different Hytrel materials, which are hard in the core and softer on the sheathing to provide optimum grip.

Resistant, but still comfortable in your hand.

Striking is the hand guard, which prevents slipping towards the blade – a hallmark of combat knives, the u.a. are intended for Zustechen.

The steel handle end is hammer surface and glass breaker in one.


The Silver Trident comes in a sturdy shell of ballistic nylon wearable on the belt or leg.


The Gerber Silver Trident a great Full-Tang Combat Knife of great stability and convinces with modern materials that allow good handling in extreme situations.

Apart from that, I agree with most connoisseurs that serration rather limits the use of the knife in the peaceful life of a soldier rather than supports it.

Take an additional Victorinox or another EDC.


+ well balanced
+ suitable for batoning
+ double-edged blade


– serrated edge for many a hindrance
– difficult to sharpen

3. Eickhorn SEK III combat knife

Sonderkommandos, rescue services, special units rely on tactical knives in their missions.

Combat knife only for knife fight? Not even close.

These so-called use knives must have as versatile as possible, because in a split second, the right reaction can decide about life and death, be it a hostage-taking or rampaging football fans.

The Solingen knife manufacturer Eickhorn and Dietmar Pohl, whose limited folder may not be missing in any collection, have developed the SEK III on request of authorities and military.

The focus is on maximum stability with the lowest possible weight and good handling properties even with gloves.

Of course, these features are also worth striving for outdoors, as the SEK III is an over-the-counter adult knife for civilian use.

That the SEK III combat knife is likely in theory be conducted in public.

My recommendation: do not do it.

Detail on the edge: By the way, SEK does not mean “Special Operations Command” but “Special Einsatz Kappmesser”.

The blade

With a 4.8 mm wide back, the smooth blade is tough, which means 12 cm in length and subsequent full-Erl optimal power transmission and leadership.

The used, relatively soft 1.4110 steel is of medium edge retention and can be easily sharpened for it.

Even without proper grinding tool.

This material is a variant of the 440A steel with about 56 Rockwell hardness, whose black coating enhances lubricity and avoids reflections.

The handle and the weight

The knife designer Dietmar Pohl has intentionally shaped the hand protection.

Does not every gram count??

In this case that is Additional weight vital for survival.

The right-angled sides protect, above all, the handle of the hammer, the 11.5 cm handle length and the non-rounded sides of the handle adapted for use with gloves.

Non-slip guiding is ensured by the rough-grip surfaces of the G-10 handles and the double-edged rim.

A safety cord can be pulled through the two openings on the handle end or on the hand guard.


The SEK III comes with a Molle-compatible, very lightweight Cordura sheath for the belt holder and a fishing line.

Optional accessories include a leg adapter and a shoulder carry system.


Users who want to be prepared for any situation are well equipped with the lightweight SEK III.

The easy-care features offer next to the tactical use also advantages as a travel knife, hunting knife or survival: The stainless steel is coated and easy to sharpen.

The attachment to the equipment with the Molle system is a plus point of military origin.

The SEK III is wrongly a little known knife, but a good buy decision>


+ optimized grip shape
+ low weight
+ Molle compatible


– expensive
– Model is running out (collector tip!)

4th Glock Austrian Surveyor 70102

The weapons manufacturer Glock has designed the cheap surveyor according to the interests of the Austrian Armed Forces.

The army knife with or without back saw is not suitable for recreational warriors on the outdoor trip due to the non-weapon law compliant blade length of 16.5cm.

The blade

Flexible spring steel of the lower hardness class 55 HRC has been deliberately selected to offer the optimum in all imaginable situations.

Also as a throwing knife or bayonet.

A surveyor must literally be able to reground easily in the field with the given abrasives and must not break when digging or levering

It must therefore be flexible, because with a bent knife you can do a lot more than with a broken piece of metal.

In addition, the blade needs care, because the alloy can rust: Wipe off immediately and spread some ballistol on the metal, is fast becoming routine.

Better resistance to weathering provides the phosphated surface.

The handle and the weight

Resistant hard plastic, which Glock uses with other weapons as well, was chosen as grip material.

The bulbous shape of the handle is reminiscent of the Kabar USMC and is sufficiently secure in the hand.

In the middle of the handle is a small round opening, which is closed by a plug. So far, the ¾ Tang, which is protected by a few drops of gun oil from rust, is enough.

It was also thought of a lanyard hole and the hand guard also gives a proven bottle opener.

Only 200 grams brings the almost 30 cm large surveyor on the scales. A small gap between blade and handle is production-related and has no negative impact.


The scope of delivery includes a lightweight plastic sheath, which secures the knife with a click fastener.


The Austrian Surveyor gets dull, like a spoon delivered, so I had to allow some time for grinding before the first use. Otherwise, there are few criticisms of this robust part.

The blade requires minimal care with oil, but it is extremely resilient.

Another convincing reason to own this knife is the very attractive price-performance ratio.


+ Austrian army knife
+ high quality and cheap
+ stable plastic sheath


– delivered blunt
– rust faster than you would like

5. Extrema Ratio Shrapnel OG

If the main knife is just not tangible or lost, the OG Shrapnel comes into play.

Second choice, then?

The designation “back-up” intended for him does not have the connotation of second-rate, but comes with striking qualities for intuitive and lightning fast application with the “plan B” to the course.

The blade

The beefy blade is made of a stainless cobalt steel alloy with enormous edge retention.

58 Rockwell hardness, flat ground and 6.3 mm thick backs are designed for heavy loads.

On the other hand, in everyday tasks, whether cutting off just a piece of bread or fishing the peanut butter out of the glass, it quickly hits its limits due to the small length of 11 cm.

And the 6.3mm blade thickness!


Try cutting vegetables with a hatchet.

The drop point tip turns out pretty fine. It could be damaged when hacking, but when carving (wood, not vegetables), the OG shows its merits.

The handle and the weight

The somewhat idiosyncratic handle made of Forprene plastic is non-slip and ergonomic.

The material was developed in collaboration with the University of Perugia, Italy. It is resistant to heat, cold, chemicals, as well as oil and gasoline.

If you do not like the grip, you can order other colors at extrema ratio and replace by simply screwing on.

The weight is only for the knife at 268 g, with bracket come together around 368 g, which is due to the massive and mandatory full-size construction.

On the knob the Erl looks out, thus fulfilling two functions as a lanyard and glass breaker.


The improved Kydex sheath no longer contains glass fibers that preclude unintentional blunting of the blade and scratching of the black MIL-C-13924 coating when it is pulled out.

The Tek-Lok mounting system allows any wearing option, only the belt holder meets with less pleasure for users.


Made in Italy always promises special sophistication and elegance, in shoes as well as knives (see Lionsteel knife).

The shrapnel, on the other hand, is not a nice knife.

I would even say that, it is an ugly knife.

It is exemplary for functionality with that certain extra. This EDC-Fixed can be worn discreetly, making it suitable for military and police use.

Apart from the short blade and the unattractive design, I find also for the outdoor use only positive, be it the good resharpenable steel, the handle or the carrying system.


+ very stable
+ Arms Act Compliant
+ improved Tek-Lok scabbard

– chunky belt holder
– ugly

Differentiation to survival knives and tactical knives

1. The Survival Knife

The greatest versatility must be a survival knife, an all-round tool that can do a wide variety of things:

  • chop wood,
  • dissect a killed animal
  • and maybe make a fire.

Above all, the blade must be sharpened well for longer tours, so flat grinding is recommended.

A shining example of a survival knife is the Bear Grylls Ultimate Pro.

Survival knives must defy all weathers and be easy to clean, including holsters, which is why high-quality plastics are used.

And since all the equipment itself is worn, the weight should not be too heavy despite Batoningpotenzials.

Bright red or orange handles, a wrapped lanyard or emergency equipment in the secret compartment make some makes almost a tool case for all cases.

2. The tactical knife

Wherever you look, it seems like every brand is making tactical knives and everyone wants to have such a thing.

Some vendors comment on this fad: “There is no difference between a “normal” deployment knife and a “tactical” deployment knife. “

Or are there about “combat pistols” and “normal” pistols?

It has a blade, a handle and it cuts. But there are differences for the trained or experienced.

The tactical knife is primarily a tool and only then a weapon.

Camouflage from the enemy has the highest priority here

Standard are dark-coated blades on relatively short, black handles or at most those with camouflage patterns, which are led out of the wrist.

Set aside shiny surfaces or bright handle colors.

As a handle material plastic is used, which is also intended to electrically isolate the blade.

Then it depends on the design of the knife. A blade thickness of 5 mm, for example, to dig quickly, is essential in the field.

The knife must always be on the man, so that in ground-level locomotion in the field attachment to the thigh is a sensible option.

And then the purpose still determines the appropriate tactical knife. More on that later.

Depending on the job requirements, you may need two or even three knives – not to carry them, but as part of the equipment you need for specific operations:

  • Is the knife a weapon or a tool??
  • Is it an emergency rescue device or an entry-level tool?

8 requirements for a good combat knife

These knives are actually in use by the military or government task forces. In addition to the tactical properties, they are primarily intended to cause fatal injuries in the opponent.

In contrast to “Poser Knives”, the five presenters are tested in the field – and so many fancy blades, which are marketed as fighter knives, are nothing more than a blooming fantasy of the designer, let alone practical, when it matters.

Yes, Dark Ops knife, I mean you!

First, you should make sure that your wish knife meets the standards of your equipment.

It would be annoying to buy a belt knife that your supervisor does not allow.

Here is the Guidebook for a good combat knife in the abstract:

  1. design – purpose and use specific, a diver needs another knife, like a paratrooper
  2. ergonomics – secure grip, suitable for hands and gloves
  3. format – again purpose-specific, see below!
  4. steel – Renowned (better still: specialized) knife company is more important than any super steel
  5. Handle – non-absorbent, better synthetic or metal
  6. blade shape – robust tip, 3 mm to 4.5 mm blade thickness
  7. Folding knife vs. fixed – again decides the purpose, in case of doubt, you can do more with a fixed
  8. carrying systems – well-processed vagina; Place of support according to preference, the main thing immediately at hand

1. The design

When the land forces need a knife, they talk to weaponsmiths with a list of possible bets. Then a very specified knife model is made.

If the Navy asks for a rescue knife for their speedboats, the list of requirements looks very different.

Another area of ​​use, in turn, is when a helicopter crash occurs over the sea, during which the Coast Guard equipped with “normal” knives can not free the trapped pilots in time.

The basic equipment of the German Navy therefore includes diving knives and sailor knives with hinged spine to splice rope.

2. The ergonomics

Without too much drifting into the technical, a knife must be well under stress and without gloves in the hand. It must not have pinch points and sharp corners (SEK 3 is borderline here).

Good guidance with front handle (the blade shows from the closed hand upwards), the lapel handle (blade shows from the fist down).

When designing the handle, there must be no disturbing profiles or beads. Watch for exaggerated finger hollows that force your hand into an unnatural position.

The knife should fit the shape and weight of the hand, so there are certain knife models in different sizes.

3. The format

The design must be purposeful and the knife size should reflect the intended task. However, some knife manufacturers do what they consider themselves the ultimate police knife.

Then comes a 38 cm long Bowie knife out with a huge leather sheath, fits into the whole of Berlin and the surrounding area.

Together, everything weighs at least two pounds, because “it has a steel knob for hammering”.

A beautiful knife that will probably just lie in the locker.

Probably no official feels comfortable with such an elephant slayer. On patrol a folder with a blade up to 10 cm and a total length of up to 20 cm is more realistic.

4. The steel

A cutting edge made of good steel is recommended.

Every, I repeat, every reputable knife company works for high quality steels for competitive reasons.

Therefore, the question of the right steel is out of place.

Just avoid all cheap knives from the Far East, no matter what their name.

The term “Superstahl” is more or less a marketing tool to slow down the competition. The best knife steel is the good old tool steel as it is used in industry and can cut other steels. Disadvantage is only the susceptibility to rust.

57 – 59 Rockwell are sufficient, as 61 HRC is much too hard and brittle.

Your knives need to work, and you want to sharpen them without an exotic diamond grinder. In the terrain you can even sanding soft steel with a stone.

At 57-59 Rockwell, the blade still has some flexibility.

After all, a dull knife is still a knife, a broken knife is lost money.

5. The handle

The materials range from plastic to G-10, titanium to stainless steel.

It should be something stable that does not absorb moisture. Stable means that it does not shrink, does not deform and is unbreakable.

Stabilized materials are generally waterproof and do not absorb sweat, water, gas or oil.

This eliminates all natural substances such as wood, bone and leather. Yes, the USMC Ka-Bar is not ideal in this regard either.

Also avoid Kraton, the soft rubber-like material. It eventually goes away or worsens – the beautiful feel is not permanent.

Everything that modern technology offers in polymers and composites is used by renowned manufacturers on their branded products.

Metal handles will probably last forever. Some are slightly heavier or smoother than non-metallic handles.

Decide for yourself what feels best in your hand. A profiled or roughened surface offers more grip, especially in damp conditions.

Not the materials make a good combat knife, but the design. A bad fighting knife made of good materials is still a bad knife.

6. The blade shape

The blade can have a single sided or double cutting edge and a sturdy tip.

If you have to prick or dig an opening, a knife tip that is too fine, such as a Bowie knife, could be damaged or broken off.

A few centimeters of cutting edge are sufficient, with the curved ground tips very efficiently cut webbing or fabric.

A blade should be at least 3 mm to 4.5 mm thick, otherwise it will be too heavy and bulky.

Consider serrated blades, because they always cut, even if they are dull, for example by safety belts.

7. Fixed knife or pocket knife?

Some people use folding knives, other fixed blades. A fixed knife is stronger because it has no moving parts.

It comes once again on the purpose of use, which does not mean that all fixed blades must be huge hair knifes.

In combat use much smaller versions are carried. These knives, the size of an open pocket knife, are easy to carry as EDCs.

Who before the election “Fixed blade vs folding knife” should be the purpose of the application necessarily on the personal preference.

I can say less about interlocking systems as every company wants to improve its sales. A folding knife is collapsible, but this has nothing to do with the locking system.

Lock-Back, Liner-Lock, Axis-Lock are good, but not infallible. Good manufacturers use good systems.

I do not trust any knife from the Far East under 10 euros, my finger is worth more.

8. Carrying systems

Just like the main weapon or the second knife, the knife demands one fixed place, where it is always worn. Let the handle of your knife enter into your muscle memory.

Leather, nylon or Kydex sheaths are all fine as long as they are well made. Again, I would prefer synthetic fabrics.

Most modern “tactical” knives use a spring metal clip mounted directly on the handle. They can be mounted either forwards or backwards, so that they can be attached to the trouser pocket.

Some comrades carry the knife on the passive hand as a security weapon against a pistol gripper.

Whether you wear the knife “tip-up” or “tip-down” is up to you – the main thing is that it can be reached immediately. The glove box or the trunk is probably the worse alternative.

What is a combat knife usually needed for?

Today, soldiers carry a lot of equipment on the body, which also protect against knife attacks.

However, the most common activities for a combat knife are breaking into doors, opening small locks, cutting cables, or performing repairs.

In a peaceful maneuver for training purposes, the combat knife is of course also used as a kitchen helper to open EPAs, cans or bottles.

At the knife fight

Nobody should be fooled that a combat knife was completely displaced by modern technology or tactics.

Fighting and killing man goes against man, physical confrontation is an integral part of the war scenario.

There is no “sparring mentality” in war.

The best reality-based “Bad Ass” knife combat technique is no use, because you alone decide with your own Choice to action about the outcome of the conflict, not some trained fighting style.

Therefore, knife fighting usually takes only seconds.


When it’s time to go, the decision for a knife has to be made.

My first thought goes to the USMC Ka-Bar, which has been successful in the field for three generations. It also has a high value as a collector’s item.

As a modern alternative I like the Eickhorn SEK III and the Gerber Silver Trident very well.

As a combat knife is not so convincing in my opinion, the Shrapnel OG of Extrema ratio, since his blade is too short and too thick.


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Christina Cherry
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