8 tactical knives for police officers

Tactical knives are practical and versatile tools to have in the field. Here are eight highly-rated options, with product descriptions.


By PoliceOne Staff

Every police officer knows that the tools they carry on the job can drastically change the outcome of a situation. A quality tactical knife is one example of an important and versatile tool. 

Tactical knife brands engineer knives for heavy duty use in a variety of conditions. You’ll find that many offer, for example, combination smooth and serrated blades, textured grips, and additional protection against wet conditions. 

These combinations of different features can make it difficult to choose which tactical knife is best for you. Here’s our round-up of tactical knives for police officers. 

1. GERBER 06 AUTO KNIFE

Price: Around $100

Gerber 06 Auto Knife
Gerber 06 Auto Knife

The Gerber 06 Auto Knife is a fully automatic knife, ready to deploy in an instant. This particular Gerber pocket knife is crafted with premium stainless steel, S30V. This knife also has some unique and useful features, like its over-sized release button which for the times you wear gloves while working. Its aluminum-handle has comfortable contours for a reliable grip, and a convenient lanyard hold. 

Only available (through the Gerber site) to military and law enforcement members. 

2. SPYDERCO TENACIOUS G-10 BLACK

Price: $69.95

SPYDERCO Tenacious G-10 Black
SPYDERCO Tenacious G-10 Black

Spyderco named the Tenacious G-10 for its “tough and tireless” features. Steel liners strengthen the laminate handle while keeping the knife light and convenient. The handle itself comfortably follows the natural contours of the hand to reduce grip fatigue. There are several edge options to choose from (plain, combination, and SpyderEdge), so you can choose the blade that best suits your field requirements.

3. 5.11 TANTO SURGE

Price: $89.99

5.11 Tanto Surge
5.11 Tanto Surge

The 5.11 Tanto Surge tactical knife’s claim to fame is its designer, blade expert Mike Vellekamp. This is a full-sized blade (4.25”) suitable for both defensive and tactical use. Its black oxide finish is ideal for environments where minimizing visibility is important. It comes with a custom polymer sheath, and can also be used with the 5.11 ThumbDrive Thigh Rig. 

4. COLUMBIA RIVER HISSATSU FOLDER

Price: $99.99

Columbia River Hissatsu Folder
Columbia River Hissatsu Folder

The Columbia River Hissatsu Folder’s spring-assisted opening is one of its key selling points—that, and the Hissatsu name. Special Forces and other service professionals around the world choose Hissatsu knives for their versatility and durability and the Folder is no exception. James Williams, the series’ designer, engineers his blades for safety as well as performance, which is why the Folder features automated liner safety and glass reinforced nylon handles. 

5. SMITH AND WESSON BLACK SWAT KNIFE (SMOOTH DROP POINT BLACK BLADE)

Price: $57.95

Smith and Wesson Black Swat Knife
Smith and Wesson Black Swat Knife

Smith and Wesson takes as much pride in designing its tactical knives as it does its legendary guns, and it shows in the Black SWAT knife. Many professionals consider this one of the best spring knives at its price point. Slip-resistant grip tape, a safety lock, liner lock, and thumb grip make this a very solid choice as a police tactical knife. 

6. BENCHMADE NIMRAVUS 

Price: $190.00

Benchmade Nimravus
Benchmade Nimravus

The Nimravus family represents some of the Benchmade brand’s best fixed-blade tactical combat knives. Officers looking for an exceptionally high quality fixed blade knife can fully customize the blade style (tanto or drop point), edge (plain or serrated) and handle color (black or sand). Benchmade will even add custom laser marking, making this knife a wonderful gift option. Precision balance and a well-engineered grip ensure this American-made knife feels good in the hand.  

7. KA-BAR ORIGINAL TDI

Price: $55.24

KA-BAR TDI
KA-BAR TDI

KA-BAR designed the Original TDI as an unambiguous defensive knife. A weapon of last resort, this small, matte black blade disappears against a black utility belt in its custom sheath. Its unique short-blade, razor-sharp, design makes it very difficult for a suspect to disarm the officer. It’s exceptionally light as well, ideal for daily carry. The Original TDI is without a doubt one of the premier defensive knives in this price range and a welcome addition to any officer’s toolkit. 

8. Zero Tolerance 0562

Price: $250.00

ZT 0562
ZT 0562

The ZT 0562 is one of the most popular tactical knives by Zero Tolerance.The blade is known for its fast open, and quality steel. The ELMAX® blade is flat-ground so it excels in slicing with efficiency while maintaining a tough point.

You can find more tactical knife options at our tactical knife page. If you’re having a hard time determining which features are most important for your next knife, you also might want to take a look at our article, 4 helpful tips on choosing the right knife

What is your go-to tactical knife? Comment below. 

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