The one thing knives will always have over guns is portability and storability (and infinite ammo, of course). While you can only safely and easily carry a gun in so many places, you can keep a knife pretty much anywhere on your body. That includes a folding pocket knife, a boot knife and even the best neck knife.
Yup, you can buy knives that were to some extent designed to hang around your neck (in a sheath, of course). While that does put some limitations on the size of the knife you can carry — sorry, you’ll have to leave the hunting knives and survival knives at home — you can still carry knives of sufficient size for basic cutting tasks or emergency self-defense. Not to mention, with a bit of practice, your best neck knife could become your go-to draw if you need a knife quickly. At least, it’s bound to be faster than your boot knife since you don’t have to crunch down to reach it.
And if you’re a real pro looking for a specific kind of blade or point or amount of tang, thankfully those kinds of features are not limited by the size of the blade, so you should still be able to find what you’re looking for.
In short, neck knives could be the everyday carry solution you need if you know you always want to have a knife on you while never having to think about where your knife is or how you would access it. That’s why we rounded up a few great neck knives for your perusal.
While we suspect they’re not for everyone, it’s hard to argue with the sheer utility of a knife always hanging securely from your neck.
1. CRKT Minimalist Bowie Neck Knife
For one contender for the best neck knife, check out the CRKT Minimalist Bowie Neck Knife. Overall, it’s compact enough to comfortably hang from your neck but big enough and sharp enough to actually be useful.
The 2.125-inch blade is made from high carbon stainless steel, so you can easily sharpen the edge for long-term durability. The blade is full tang too, so the knife has a decent weight for such a small knife and balance too.
With an overall length of 6.75 inches, there’s room for three-finger choils to ensure you can actually grip this knife, and the knife comes with a thermoplastic sheath to protect your neck. Carry this thing at home or while out camping and you’ll be good to go for most basic tasks.
2. Kershaw Dune Neck Knife
The Kershaw Dune Neck Knife is another solid pick for its self-defense qualities, such as its relatively long blade and sharp point in a neck-friendly package.
The 3.8-inch blade has a tanto point for smooth piercing and the full tang construction makes the knife stronger and more likely to last longer. The edge is pretty sharp but its users suggest it might need a touch-up if you intend on using the knife for cutting.
The included lanyard and sheath keep the knife secure and allow for a quick release if needed.
Overall, the Kershaw Dune Neck Knife can stab well, can cut well with decent edge management, hangs discreetly from your neck in a thin sheath and doesn’t cost a total bundle, all of which you’d want in the best neck knife.
3. Weyland Neck Knife
The Weyland Neck Knife might be a little guy, but it’s still plenty useful. The clip point pierces well, but the edge of the blade has serrations for sawing and cutting, making this knife surprisingly versatile for its 4.86-inch size. The stainless steel blade is 1.86 inches long with a full tang construction and comes with a Kydex sheath. Overall, this knife can do a lot of work for its compact size and will hang patiently and unobtrusively around your neck until you’re ready for it. Be warned, some users complained about the sheath not holding the blade securely, so we’d recommend being careful at first when walking around.
4. Master USA Tactical Neck Knife
If you’re here looking for the cheapest neck knife possible, you’re looking for the Master USA Tactical Neck Knife.
It’s 6.75 inches long and features a 3-inch stainless steel blade. The handle is wrapped in paracord for grip. The knife comes with a hard, seemingly plastic, sheath. You don’t get much, but then again, you don’t pay much and you don’t always need much more than a sharp knife that can safely dangle around your neck.
5. Kilimanjaro Stretta Tactical Neck Knife
It can be difficult to find a small knife that you could actually trust for self-defense in an emergency. The Kilimanjaro Stretta Tactical Neck Knife may be a small neck knife, but it’s designed to be used violently and safely.
The basics: The stainless steel blade has a full tang — more accurately, the entire knife is made from a single piece of metal — a rubberized overlay on the handle for better grip, a push button-release sheath with a carry chain. The knife has an overall length of 6.4 inches, a blade length of 3.2-inches and a weight that feels hefty for its size, 3 ounces.
But the feature that actually makes this neck knife useful for self-defense is the finger hole. As long as you slide a finger through the hole when using the knife, you’re a lot less likely to drop the knife or, even worse, accidentally slice yourself.
6. AJBLADES Tactical Black Neck Knife
Some neck knives are really versatile, some are meant more for self-defense than as a tool and some are meant for maximum compactness and portability. The AJBLADES Tactical Black Neck Knife falls in the latter category: This thing feels way smaller than it is. Depending on your needs (or hand size), it could be a huge pro to have such a small, discreet knife on hand for emergency defense. On the other hand, if you’re looking for something with more everyday utility and usability, the small size of the knife could turn out to be more frustrating than useful.
Overall, if you’re looking for a tiny, cheap neck knife to have for emergency situations, the AJBLADES neck knife is for you.
7. MTECH USA MT-673 Neck Knife
If discretion is your absolute top priority, the MTECH USA MT-673 Neck Knife will be perfect. It’s only 5 inches long overall, with a 2-inch stainless steel blade, and a G10 handle for grip. It snaps securely into the Kydex sheath and the included beaded chain is plenty long to keep the knife comfortably resting around your neck. The knife is so small and the chain is long enough that there’s a good chance nobody will even know you’ve got a knife on you, especially if you can wear it behind a shirt. And even then, people may not even recognize the knife as a knife at first glance.
Overall, this knife is discrete, cuts and pierces well and it’s cheap as hell too.