Whilst the words “Best Neck Knife” are very subjective, we can show you some great small blades that will fit your dress style, skill set, and budget.
One on our list was even designed to be taken into the showers, so you can literally take them anywhere at any time.
In fact, these kinds of “last resort knives” have many advantages for self-defense, and we list ten below.
Remember, using an illegal knife even for the purpose of self-defense is a bad idea. Legally, it could completely invalidate a case for self-defense.
Please be sure to check the relevant city and municipal knife statutes before purchasing any knife. Stay smart & stay safe!
The Best Neck Knives of 2020
|The Spyderco Ark||2.5" Blade|
|Read Our Review!|
|Fred Perrin Neck Knife FPG||Total = 5"|
Blade = 1-5/8"
Steel = 12C27 Stainless
|Read Our Review!|
|Ka-Bar BK14||Total = 7"|
Blade = 3-1/4"
Steel = 1095
|Read Our Review!|
|Buck 680 CSAR-T||Total = 6.75"|
Blade = 3"
Steel = 420 HC
|Read Our Review!|
|SOG Instinct Mini||Total = 4.8" |
Blade = 1.9"
Steel = 5Cr15MoV
Weight - 1.4 oz
|Read Our Review!|
|CRK&T Folts Bowie 2387||Total = 5.13"|
Blade = 2.125"
Steel = 5Cr15Mov
|Read Our Review!|
Neck Knife Reviews
Here are five of the best neck knives available in 2021.
Spyderco Ark Defensive Review
The Spyderco Ark is small, light and scalpel-sharp, making it a perfect “Last Resort” weapon.
The Ark – which stands for “Always Ready Knife” was designed by U.S Army veteran John Shirley. After being deployed to Afghanistan he learned that a number of U.S personnel were being sexually assaulted in the showers. (And the numbers for total sexual assaults make grim reading.)
So using his combat experience and knowledge of Japanese Martial Arts, he created a self-defense knife that can be taken anywhere.
The total length of the Ark is just 5” and at only 1.8 ounces it’s one of the lightest knives on the market. In practice, this means you can wear the Spyderco Ark all day, every day without discomfort.
It’s 2.5” blade comes razor sharp out of the box. Made of hard H1 steel, this nitrogen-based alloy means it is 100% rust proof. You can use it in a kitchen, diving or even in the water without worrying about corrosion.
The handle is made of fiberglass reinforced nylon. It is both textured and contoured, giving excellent grip.
Uniquely, the handle is directly molded onto the tang itself, not slid or adhered on later. This makes the Ark exceptionally strong and rigid. – but not exactly a “Full tang”.
Another nice feature is the breakaway chain that allows the sheath to be carried around the neck. Some knives have paracord lanyards. This is tactically unsound, as the cord can be turned into a choke or garrote by a resourceful attacker.
Unfortunately, the sheath is designed in such a way that both holstering and drawing the Ark can scratch the blade. While this would be a larger concern on a 1095 or other steel blades, with H1 steel it’s not a huge concern.
What is slightly concerning is repeated drawing will dull the blade. This is not really a problem is you have a sharpening stone kit. You can put a razor-sharp edge back on in a couple of minutes.
Spyderco always offers amazing customer service. If you find problems with the sheath (such as rattling or poor retention) you can always send their products back to them and they’ll fix it for free!
- Designed to be carried anywhere
- Light and concealable
- H1 steel, rustproof
- Full Tang
- Fiberglass reinforced nylon handle
- Breakaway neck sheath
- The sheath may scratch the blade
Fred Perrin Le Griffe FPG Review
It has a 1.6” blade and weighs in at just 5.6 ounces. This makes it a fantastic everyday carry knife.
While the blade is too short for effective stabbing, the hard Sandvik 12c27 steel blade will slice through any material.
Swedish Sandvik 12c27 is an excellent steel for tactical knives. It’s got a great hardness, is corrosion resistant and easy to take and hold a razor-sharp edge.
Another unique feature that makes this an effective self defense weapon is the finger ring. This allows you to use the Le Griffe almost like a karambit.
It also makes it really hard to drop the knife or be disarmed. Since a defensive knife is mainly used for slashing, it provides an almost unbreakable grip, even in wet conditions.
The FPG comes with a Kydex sheath, which you’d expect as the Fred Perrin La Griffe is pretty expensive for a knife of this size.
But most people won’t regret paying that little bit extra for its great design, steel, and sheath.
- 1.6” blade
- Light, just 5.6 ounces
- Finger hole grip
- Strong Sandvik 12C27 steel
- Kydex sheath
- Great for slashing
Ka-Bar BK14 Review
It’s astonishing that Ka-Bar could keep a knife with a 3.25” blade and 7” total length to just 2.4 ounces in weight.
If you’re looking for something that packs a punch but is ultra-light the BK14 is for you! You quite literally won’t know you’re carrying it.
The blade is large enough to handle most survival tasks yet still small enough to be legal almost anywhere.
The BK14 is forged from hardy 1095 Cro-Van steel. This steel keeps its edge and can also be sharpened to a razor-like hone.
Ka-bar have a lot of experience with these steel and use it on their USMC Fighting Knives – which will probably outlive us all!
For a skeletonized handle, the grip is amazingly good, even without scales. This is attributable to the contoured outline and large finger choil.
The BK14 also comes with a hard plastic sheath. You can attach a breakaway chain or low test cord for neck carry.
The entire knife is coated in black, non-reflective powder for a tactical look. A minor complaint is that the powder can begin to wear off with heavy use, especially around the blade edges. This can be problematic because 1095 rusts and stainless steel obviously doesn’t.
However, as long you keep the blade sheathed and don’t leave it out in the elements, rust formation shouldn’t be a problem.
The BK14 is a really great EDC knife that looks great and performs even better. You can find the latest price here.
- 3.25” blade, 7” total length
- 1095 Cro-Van steel
- Contoured handle
- Ultra-light, 2.4 ounces
- Low reflectivity powder coat
- Hard plastic sheath
- Coating can wear over time
Buck Knives 680 CSAR-T Review
The 680 CSART-T is an easily concealable second-line defense weapon. The thin Kydex sheath lets you carry it as a neck knife, inside a boot or on a belt.
The thin Kydex sheath lets you carry it as a neck knife, inside a boot or on a belt. It’s ultra lightweight so you won’t even notice you’re wearing it.
The blade itself is a 3” Tanto blade with a sharp taper and a pointed end. This provides options for both slashing (used primarily in self defense knife techniques) and also stabbing for extra stopping power.
The handle is all forged from the same piece of 420 HC steel. There are four areas of jimping and a groove for the index finger. Even with sweaty palms, the Buck 680 won’t slip out of your hand.
As extra proof of how durable the 680 is, Buck Knives has backed it by their “Forever Warranty”. It’s also relatively easy to sharpen and once sharp will maintain its edge despite intense usage.
Like all Buck knives, it’s 100% American made.
The only complaint with this knife is it’s not available in a black, non-reflective finish as most “Tactical Knives” are.
If you’re looking for a smaller American-Made blade with decent steel and a tanto point – the Buck 680 CSAR-T is it.
You can find the latest price here.
- Skeletal handle with hex hole
- 3-inch 420HC steel blade
- Ultra lightweight
- M.O.L.L.E compatible
- Wearable around neck or in boot
- Extremely durable
- Now available in a non-reflective finish
CRKT Folts Minimalist Bowie Review
The CRKT Folts Minimalist Bowie is an incredibly light, neck knife. It’s practical for everyday tasks despite its small size.
The blade is forged from 5cr15mov, which you do need to know is stainless steel from China. However, unlike similar blades at this low price point, the handle is full tang for maximum durability.
The textured Micarta handle is also quite unique for such a small knife. It features three large finger choils, creating a superb grip.
There is also a notably textured thumb rest. The CRKT Folts won’t slip out of your hand and that makes it great for everyday tasks as well as self-defense.
The CRKT Folts comes with a Zytel sheath which completely covers the blade. And maybe the most amazing thing about the Minimalist Bowie is the entire thing, sheath included, weighs just 2 ounces! You can really carry this thing all day every day under a t-shirt without the slightest discomfort.
If you’re looking for something that looks scary and intimidating – this ain’t it. However, if you’re looking for something that is ultra-light and easily concealable the CRKT Folts could well be the best neck knife for the money.
- Bowie style blade
- Contoured Micarta handle
- Zytel sheath
- Full Tang
- Just 2 ounces including sheath
- Great Price
- Chinese Steel
Ten Advantages of A Neck Knife
- It’s easily concealable
- Accessible to either hand
- You can wear it 24/7 (even when sleeping)
- Can wear with any style of dress – even formal
- Will always be in the same place regardless of clothes
- Can be concealed under a tie
- Doesn’t need to be flipped open
- You don’t need to readjust your grip once you’ve grabbed it
- Won’t attract pocket lint
- Versatile. Many neck knives can be used as a boot knife, ankle knife, or tied to a pack.
Make a Break from Paracord
I know. Paracord does look cool. However, the oft-cited drawback with neck knives is that an assailant can choke you with the chain.
A break-away chain solves this problem and also helps you deploy the blade quicker. Always check the type of sheath and chain/cord that is supplied with your knife.
Another good thing to check is user reviews for how well the sheath retains the knife.
I know a lot of people like to wear a small blade when they’re out jogging so it needs to fit snug. Also, the best defense is not being there. The last thing you want to do is run and drop a knife at the feet of the person chasing you…..
A Last Resort Knife
Many people refer to these kinds of blades as a “Last Resort Knife”, but I don’t look at it this way. I’d plan on making it the “Last Resort” for whoever’s made me pull it.
Sure, these knives won’t get things done like a machete, but consider this. Many vital arteries are less than 2” under the skin. The Carotid Artery, for example, is just 1.5” under the skin. Vital muscles, tendons, and soft-tissue are also viable targets with a small knife.
Of course, those looking to improve their efficiency with a knife should definitely seek out some form of knife training.
… and finally, The Dmax Karambit
Before I conclude I would like to give an honorable mention to Doug Marcaida and his Dmax Karambit.
Mr. Marcaida is an expert in Filipino Martial Arts and using the Karambit. Type his name into youtube and you’ll see why he’s held in such high esteem. He has designed the Dmax as a self defense neck knife.
Not only is it a well designed, practical knife but it also comes with a free trainer. This is essential if you are purchasing a knife for self-defense reasons. Check out the video for more information:
You can buy the Dmax karambit for $169 (including sheath and trainer) from their website here. I am not affiliated with the websites or even Mr. Marcaida. As a fellow practitioner of Filipino Martial arts, I would like to tell more people about this instructor and this great product.
Hmmm…maybe I should be on commission! Anyway, take a look at the youtube vids and as always “Do your own research!”
Have we missed your favorite neck knife? Do you have any on the list? Please add to the comments section below.