If you want a handy and effective knife for your outdoor, camping, or tactical use then you’re in the right place. We’ll show you our 7 top picks for best neck knife for ultimate versatility and on-the-go protection.
Neck knives have the advantage of subtlety coupled with a lightweight and compact design. They’re great for EDC knives and won’t cause the kind of social commotion you’d come across when carrying a full-sized knife into a grocery store.
We look at some of the best neck knives on the market to get you well-informed and give you a solid baseline to know what to expect. You’ll be ready to make a smart buying choice and get a neck knife that gives you the peace of mind and utility you’re looking for. Let’s get into the guide!
Top 7 Best Neck Knife Reviews in 2023
Here is where we’ll take a deeper look into each of our handpicked neck knives. We’ll dissect their design, important features, and usability to give you a better idea of the kind of performance and durability you can expect.
You’ll learn about what makes each knife unique and what kind of person they best suit. We’ll finish up each section with what we liked and didn’t like about each of the knives. Remember to keep your needs and your budget in mind as we go over each of the best knives. Let’s take a look!
CRKT Minimalist Bowie Neck Knife
Here’s a high-quality knife that won’t break the bank. It’s very affordable considering the utility it offers you and the intelligence of the design (designed by Alan Folts). It has one of the most ergonomic grips of any best neck knife – even if you have very large hands. This, coupled with the flexible lanyard, make it an excellent knife for camping and general outdoor use.
The tip is set near the center line of the knife, meaning you can easily work with the tip and then quickly switch to cutting with the wider belly. It’s not much of a tactical knife and is geared more toward camping and outdoor use. It comes with a robust resin infused fiber sheath and paracord. You’ll be able to easily carry it around your neck or fasten it to your belt.
The CR15MOV steel is rugged and will take its fair share of damage without showing it too much. You’re getting an edge that holds acceptably well but will need to be touched up to keep it in tip-top shape. It’s a tempting pick for the best inexpensive neck knife.
- Excellent value for money when you consider the build quality and versatility
- The tip is lined up with the center of the knife for easier tip work
- Wide belly and short blade give you excellent control when cutting
- Ergonomic grip is one of the best at this price point
- Doesn’t do great for tactical use and the blade can be a little short at times
- Corrosion and rusting can be a bit of an issue over time
SOG Fixed Blade Full Tang Knife
Here’s a great tactical knife. The hardened steel and G10 textured handle give you all the control and robustness you’d expect from a light military best neck knife. It’s versatile enough to take with you on camping trips and to use it as an everyday carry.
There’s a ridged section on the backside of the blade to give your thumb better traction and ultimately finer control over the knife. There’s a clip point satin sheath that secures the knife in place, without obstructing quick access to it. It hangs comfortably around your neck and feels even more comfortable in your hands.
I liked the ergonomics of the handle as the finger ridges aren’t as steep as some other neck knives. This gives the handle a thicker feel to it and makes it a better choice if your hands are on the large side. You’re getting possibly the best survival neck knife at this price point.
- An excellent ergonomic grip that isn’t too pronounced
- High-quality hardened steel is perfect for tactical and versatile outdoor use
- Thumb ridges for finer control
- Very sharp tip and fantastic edge retention
- The clip in the sheath isn’t super-durable
- The belt clip is very tight and quite tough to easily clip it onto your jeans
CRKT S.P.E.W Fixed Blade Knife
Here’s another brilliant pick for best neck knife for the money. It’s slightly longer at 3” and has a thinner belly with an exquisitely sharp tip. The G10 handle gives you grip and control you need to wield this knife at its best. It’s an excellent tactical knife that can be set up on your belt in different directional configurations.
This lets you set it up for easy left or right-handed draws in emergencies. You’ll need to undo the screws to get these setups, but it is well worth the effort. In terms of the quality of the blade, it’s fantastically sharp. You’ll have no trouble using this for general use (though I don’t recommend that), but you’re still better suited to keeping this CRKT knife as a strictly tactical carry.
- Exquisitely sharp edge and even sharper tip
- Sheath can be set up for both right and left-handed access
- Lightweight and compact while still offering a 3” blade
- Very affordable and great for using as a practice knife
- As the blade is thinner toward the tip, it’s more prone to damage
- Handle is a little small if you have large hands
MTech USA Fixed Blade Neck Knife
This is a gorgeous outdoor survival and tactical knife. You’ll be able to take it with you when you go camping and it’s subtle enough to use as a daily carry. You’re getting a knife with a double-sided blade that’s perfect for quacking cutting and doubling as a hunting knife.
The ball chain is very strong and can handle tough use. It’s not the most flexible, but it’s enough for comfortable and consistent use. There’s a slightly higher price tag for this knife, and that partly due to the high-grade 440 stainless steel.
This is what you want on a knife that’s going to spending a lot of time outdoors and near your skin. You’ll get a high-quality sheath and a handle that’s easy to grip. It’s not going to slip, even after prolonged use and with sweaty hands. It’s a top pick for the best quality neck knife with this level of durability and versatility.
- Very versatile thanks to the double-sided blade and sharp point
- Easy to sharpen and holds its edge well
- Uses stainless steel – making it even better for the outdoors
- Fantastic grip material and ergonomic design
- Blade is a little on the thin side
- A paracord would have been better than the ball chain
Ka-Bar BK-11 Neck Knife
If you’re an avid collector or tactical enthusiast, here’s a knife that might catch your attention. The glass-injected nylon sheath fits beautifully and completes the dark design of the knife. It’s been designed to work with a TDI metal clip. This lets you quickly add to and remove the knife from your belt or vest. You’ll need a little practice to get the muscle memory, but once you do, it’s very fast.
The blade is made from 1095 Cro-Van steel which has excellent edge retention and is resistant to rusting and corrosion. You’ll need to take good care of this blade (as with any good tactical knife). Oil it regularly, sharpen it often and keep it dry. It’s a top-quality best neck knife that looks great and performs just as well.
- Beautiful design and color scheme for collectors
- Versatile build with a narrow handle for easy control
- High-quality resistant steel that holds its edge very well
- Powdered coating makes the neck and knife handle resistant to rusting
- You’ll need to buy another sheath for this knife as the supplied sheath isn’t great
- Needs quite a bit of care of maintenance
Kershaw Dune Full Tang Neck Knife
Here’s a knife that’s all about value. It has a discreet profile and dark coloring. It’s suitable to use as an everyday carry and for keeping on you in public. It’s a foldable knife that houses a 3.8” stainless steel blade that holds its edge excellently. While not being as durable as fixed knives, it makes up for it with its compactness and incredible sharpness.
The sheath is very well designed and fits perfectly. You won’t struggle to pull the knife out, and it’s not loose at all. You’ll need to be careful while sharpening so that you don’t take off any of the carbon finish. This will show quite easily and can damage the integrity of the knife and its corrosive resistance.
- Full tang for enhanced durability, better balance, and improved handling
- Stainless steel with powdered coating for rust resistance and edge retention
- Compact when folded while still offering you a near 4” blade
- Very discreet profile and great for taking everywhere with you
- Foldable neck knives have more moving parts and are more prone to damage from wear and tear
- Not as sharp as many other Kershaw knives out the box
Survival Frog Neck Knife
At a total length of less than 6”, this knife is the perfect size for a tactical and survival knife. It’s small enough to clip onto a belt or boot and not have it weighing you down. The supplied sheath is brilliant and comes with a fitted compass and a signal mirror for emergencies. This is a pretty unique feature, especially at this price point.
This knife is fantastic for learning outdoor survival techniques and will serve you well. It handles more than just tactical needs and performs well when cutting rope and other general outdoor use. Overall, you’re getting a top-rated best neck knife that’s easy on your wallet and super-versatile for outdoor and tactical use.
- High-quality handle that’s anti-slip and easy to hold
- Compass and signal mirror fitted into the sheath
- Compact design is elegant and easy to carry
- Good value for money for a full tang knife this rugged
- Not easy to sharpen (but retains its edge well) due to very hard steel
- Doesn’t work great with a fire starter rod
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Q: What Is a Neck Knife?
A: A neck knife is a portable, lightweight, and sheathed knife worn around the neck and near the heart. As such, the user can instantly unsheathe the weapon when someone attacks them. Moreover, neck knives come in many forms, from small tanto knives to serrated blades. Ultimately, a neck knife is a practical way to protect yourself from danger.
Q: What to Look for in a Neck Knife?
A: First, a good knife has to be durable. It has to survive wear and tear and withstand abusive tasks to provide you with the ultimate protection. Secondly, it has to be lightweight. Since it is worn around the neck, the knife should be easy to carry; allowing the user to sheath and unsheath it with ease. Lastly, it has to have a tight and compact sheath so that it won’t slip.
Q: Which Is the Best Neck Knife on the Market?
A: If you are looking for the best neck knife on the market, the SOG Small Knives series may be worth considering. Even if it is a bit pricey, the neck knife’s material and specifications outweigh the cons. It is incredibly lightweight, weighing around 1.9 ounces and chances are you won’t feel it around your neck.
Moreover, it has an excellent sheath and is super comfortable to wear around the neck, and would blend in without any hassle. Overall, this sleek yet strong neck knife is the perfect weapon for self-defense. However, if you have a tight budget, the James Gibson Pinch Fixed Neck Knife would be ideal.
Q: Is It Illegal to Carry a Neck Knife?
A: Neck knives are legal in some places, and that’s why they have become quite trendy nowadays. However, neck knives essentially fall under the category of concealed carry, and if that’s illegal in your state, then you should consider neck knives illegal there.
Q: What Is the Difference Between an Outdoor Knife and a Tactical Knife?
A: Outdoor knives are designed to be better at tasks like cutting, shaving, and chopping. There is less emphasis on the tip of the blade as piercing power isn’t as important. They often have wider bellies and sometimes have a bump-like saw tooth section on the spine of the blade.
Tactical knives are designed to be more efficient as stabbing, piercing, cutting through materials and fibers, breaking glass, etc. These knives are made to be used in combat or tough survival situations.
Q: How Often Should I Sharpen a Draw Knife?
A: This depends on how hard the steel is and how often you use the knife. Once a month is enough – if you don’t use the knife frequently. You should sharpen it more often if it’s a general use or everyday carry knife.
Q: Should I Buy a Different Sheath or Use the One That Comes With the Knife?
A: I usually buy another sheath, but some higher-end knives come with excellent sheaths. You’ll have to test the sheath out for a week to decide.
Well done for putting time into educating yourself and getting the right knife. You should feel confident in choosing a knife that suits your needs and your budget. All that’s left is for you to take the plunge and get the best neck knife that grabs your attention. Once you have the best draw knife, you’ll feel safer and will be able to take action faster when the situation calls for it!