There is no denying the convenience and simplicity of a neck knife. Not only an indispensable survival tool, but invaluable for self-defense, camping, hunting, and hiking as well.
You will not be short of choice when it comes to buying a neck knife on Amazon or anywhere else. So before you stare blankly at all those product pages let us take you through the pros and cons of our favorites in our best neck knives guide.
We’ll start off by answering a few of the internet’s most asked questions on neck knives. If you are eager to hit that buy button? Skip to our full best neck knife review.
If you are after a purely tactical knife head on over to our Best Tactical Knife roundup.
What is the purpose of a neck knife?
There are a lot of reasons to wear a neck knife. Whether you are a keen hunter or someone who is interested in self-defense, you won’t struggle to find an excuse to add one to your kit. Firstly, with a knife like this, you don’t need to worry about carrying a backpack or attaching a knife to your belt. All you need to do is hang the knife around your neck and go about your day. It’s also a convenient way to ensure you have a knife close by, ready for whenever you need it.
- A convenient way to have a knife with you at all times.
- Quick and easy access.
- Always ready for action.
- Neck knives are versatile and have a range of uses.
Secondly, you can use a neck knife in a multitude of ways, which is why it is such a popular piece of equipment. They are frequently used by hunters, campers, hikers, and those spending time in the great outdoors. However, they are just as well-liked by individuals wanting to protect and defend themselves in dangerous situations. This both due to their concealed nature, and ease of use. You don’t need to worry about wasting time looking for a neck knife at the bottom of a bag.
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What are the most common uses of a neck knife?
If you are thinking about buying a neck knife, you probably have a good idea of how and when you would use it. However, a lot of people underestimate just how useful a neck knife can be. You may have a rough idea of when you would use a neck knife, but have you considered all the different ways you can use it?
- Self-Defense – a number of people buy a neck knife to use in self-defense, and we can see why. Simply, a neck knife is a convenient tool to have if you find yourself under attack. Within a matter of seconds, you can grab your knife and be ready to protect yourself. Instead of opting for a heavy, bulky weapon, you can use a small, concealable knife.
- Carving and Crafting – a neck knife can be used to carve and whittle something out of wood, a characteristic that is extremely useful if you spend a lot of time in the great outdoors. Whenever you need to craft or carve something, you can grab your neck knife and get started. Neck knives are lightweight enough to carry on long hikes and walks without becoming an annoyance.
- Hunting Tool – neck knives are commonly used as a hunting tool due to their durability and versatility. They can be used to hunt, prepare food and as a carving tool. Being lightweight makes them ideal for carrying around when you are out and about hunting. As long as you have a neck knife with you, you will be able to handle whatever hunting throws at you. You can even use a neck knife for fishing. Though there are better fishing tools out there, a neck knife does the job when there are no alternatives to hand.
How to choose one?
There is no shortage of neck knives available, which can make the process of choosing one somewhat daunting. You will notice that they come in a variety of shapes and sizes, so knowing what characteristics to look out for is important. After all, you don’t want to spend money on a knife only to later realize you made the wrong choice. Below, we have listed some of the key qualities we thinking you should pay attention to when buying one.
- Weight – the weight of a neck knife will depend on the size, shape, and material it is made from. The majority of neck knives are lightweight and compact, and the fact that you will be wearing it around your neck has been taken into account. You may find one or two knives that are bulkier and heavier than you would like, and these should be avoided. A neck knife should be lightweight; you don’t want it to cause any discomfort.
- Durability – when you spend money on a neck knife, you want to do so knowing that it is strong and durable. Otherwise, you run the risk of it breaking as soon as you use it and having to buy another one. Look out for knives that are made from high-quality material as these will be able to withstand a fair amount of use. You are likely to find that cheaper knives are not as durable and tend to break easily. Therefore, it is sometimes better to spend a little more and know you are getting a hard-wearing product.
- Sheath – don’t make the mistake of forgetting to consider the sheath when you are buying a neck knife. The sheath is hugely important as this is what keeps the knife safe and secure when you are not using it. If the sheath is too loose, it could slip off and expose the blade without you noticing. If the sheath is too tight, you could struggle to remove it in a hurry. Plus, the sheath should be discreet and easy to conceal. Different sheaths are made from different materials so consider the look and feel of yours.
- Appearance – there are a number of fantastic neck knives out there so choose one that looks great, too. After all, it will hang around your neck on show for all to see. When you browse the range of neck knife options, you will quickly see that they can look very different from one another. They come in an array of colors, styles, and shapes. Though for us, appearance is not as important as weight and durability, it is still an important characteristic to consider. You will want to choose a knife you are proud to wear.
Our Recommended Neck Knives
There are a variety of neck knives to choose from and though they may seem similar, there are key differences to bear in mind. To help you find your perfect knife, we have taken a look at some of the best neck knives on the market. We considered a variety of brands and budgets, ensuring we have included something for everyone. In fact, we are confident you can choose any of these knives without being disappointed.
Spyderco ARK Neck Knife
The Spyderco ‘Always Ready Knife’ boasts everything you could want from a neck knife. At almost 5” in length, it is an impressive piece of equipment and one that is commonly used for self-defense. Personally, I would say this knife ticks a lot of boxes if your focus is personal safety.
- The Spyderco ARK neck knife is small, lightweight and compact. It’s a knife that can be worn discreetly and comfortably for long periods of time, without a second thought.
- Spyderco have purposely selected H1 stainless steel for the ARK, something that more neck knife producers should do, if you ask us. H1 stainless steel is a nitrogen-based alloy that is immune to rust and therefore this neck knife is 100% rustproof.
- The Spyderco ARK design provides a secure grip, more so than many other neck knives on the market. This makes it a good choice for beginners. The grip on this knife is so good that even wet hands have a sturdy grip on it.
- The ARK has been designed with self-defense in mind and it’s not as versatile as some of the other neck knives we have looked at.
|Blade Style:||Clip point|
|Blade Material:||H1 stainless steel|
|Handle Material:||FRN (fiberglass reinforced nylon)|
Morakniv Eldris Pocket-Size Neck Knife
The Morakniv Eldris pocket-size is a great choice if you are looking for an affordable, precise, and versatile knife. Personally, I think this knife is an excellent option for a first neck knife. It’s cheap and offers an insight into what neck knives are really capable of.
- The Morakniv Eldris pocket-size has a compact design, making it an extremely convenient tool to carry around with you. Though smaller than a lot of other neck knives, this does not impact its versatility or effectiveness in any way.
- This knife is made from high-quality stainless steel, which makes it strong, durable, and suitable for a range of tasks. It’s a knife that will see you through camping trip after camping trip, hunt after hunt. You don’t need to worry about it breaking easily.
- It doesn’t matter how experienced you are, the Morakniv Eldris pocket-size is simple and easy-to-use. It has a click-lock, which secures the knife in the sheath, something we wish more knives had. You can wear it around your neck without worrying about it falling out.
- The handle of this knife is made using a rubbery polymer called TPE, which provides a firm and secure grip. The handle is also completely symmetrical and can fit into the sheath both ways. Some other knives lack this flexibility and are more difficult to place back inside the sheath.
- The blade has a semi-matte finish and though this is well-liked by us, it is not to everyone’s liking.
|Blade Material:||Stainless steel|
ESEE Knives IZULA-GY Neck Knife
ESEE Knives is well-known for designing compact sheath knives that perform well. This is why ESEE Knives is the first choice company for State and Federal Law enforcement officers. However, I believe the IZULA-GY neck knife falls short in one key way. It is made from a material that rusts and stains if it’s not taken care of.
- The IZULA-GY is lightweight and easy to conceal. It’s anything but bulky, making it ideal for keeping out of sight and being discreet. Both of which are key characteristics for a self-defense knife.
- This knife is made from 1095 carbon steel, the same material that is often used for professional cutlery due to its durability and strength. However, it is prone to rust and staining if it’s not properly cared for.
- The ESEE Knives IZULA-GUY neck knife has been designed as the perfect survival tool. However, this does mean it is not as versatile as some other neck knives
- As stated in the pro section, 1095 carbon steel is prone to rust, so make sure you wipe this one down before you sheat it.
|Blade Style:||Drop point|
|Blade Material:||1095 carbon steel|
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Ka-Bar BK11 Becker Necker Neck Knife
If you have done any research into neck knives, you will probably have come across the company Ka-Bar. Used throughout the military sector, Ka-Bar are well-known for producing high quality knives. If you ask me, I would say the NK11 Becker Necker is an option worth considering. It’s affordable, without being cheaply made.
- LisThe Ka-Bar BK11 Becker Necker is made using high quality materials and can definitely take a beating. It’s certainly not a neck knife that is going to damage easily.t1
- Though it’s not the cheapest on the market, it’s one of the better budget-friendly options. All things considered, the BK11 Becker Necker offers a lot at this price point.
- The sheath has been designed for use with the TDI Metal Belt Clip. This gives you a nice alternative way to carry the BK11 Becker Necker.
- This neck knife has an unusual handle design and though this makes it stand out, it will not be to everyone’s taste.
|Blade Material:||High carbon steel|
Gerber Ghoststrike Fixed Blade Knife
The Gerber Ghoststrike Fixed Blade knife has a lot going for it. This is why we had to include it in the list even though it’s not marketed as a neck knife specifically. However, it can certainly function as one. The fact that this knife can be worn horizontally and vertically means it appeals to a broader range of people, including those who want a belt knife.
- The Gerber Ghoststrike Fixed Blade knife comes with a unique black ceramic coating. This is corrosion-resistant and ensures there is minimal reflection. It really creates a high-quality and stylish design, something that is often missing from neck knives.
- The handle is made from rubber and has a diamond texture, which provides an incredibly secure grip. This is a knife that is easy to grab, use and handle. You don’t need to worry about it slipping out of your wet hands.
- It’s always good to find a neck knife with a unique feature and the Gerber Ghoststrike Fixed Blade knife has just that. Thanks to a distinctive modular sheath system, this knife can easily be worn as a neck knife or as a belt knife without buying any extra accessories.
- Though the Gerber Ghoststrike can be used as a neck knife, it is not specifically designed to do so.
|Blade Style:||Drop point|
|Blade Material:||420HC steel|
|Sheath:||Modular sheath system|
HUNTEX Hand-Forged Damascus Steel 9 Inch
Those who prefer a more ornate look should consider the Huntex hand-forged Damascus Steel blade. We did not have a lot of testing time with this one, but I was surprised at the lightness of it and how solid it felt. I’m also personally a fan of the raindrop pattern on the blade, and the hand-made feel of it. Again, not an obvious choice for a neck knife, but worthy of a closer look.
- This is made with an ultra-sharp hand-forged Damascus steel cutting core at HRC58-60 hardness.
- Relatively lightweight
- Manufacturer claims “military grade strength” for the handle. We say we are not really sure what that means, but it does feel like a solid and durable handle.
- Nicest-looking handle in our lineup.
- Steel is nitrogen cooled for the ultimate hardness of the edge. In our (limited) use it stood up well.
- Damascus steel has a high carbon content and is therefore prone to rusting (as are other types of carbon steel). Do wipe it down before you sheath it.
- No easy way to wear it as a neck knife
- Not heavy, but still heavier than others in our test
|Blade Material:||58-60 HRC Damascus Steel|
The Best Neck Knives – Our Verdict
As you can see, in this range of neck knives all offer something slightly different. Some are small and compact; others are larger and more durable. The knife you choose will depend on what you are looking for. Do you want it easily concealed under clothing, or you may be you are looking for a knife to wear openly and proudly? Thankfully, there really is something for everyone.
Of the six neck knives we have looked at above, we are inclined to say that the Ka-Bar BK11 Becker Necker neck knife is the best. Though they are all fantastic knives, the Ka-Bar BK11 Becker Necker stands out as the top choice. It is made from high-quality materials and won’t damage, or need replacing any time soon. Plus, it’s very affordable and a great addition to your kit.
Nothing really not to like when it’s of such a high quality and easy-to-use, without breaking the bank. We are sure it will be a neck knife you won’t regret buying.
We hope you found this article useful and would love to hear your comments below!