Special Forces Knives

Phillip Mitchell
10 min readMar 24, 2024


When it comes to knives, the special forces know what they’re doing. These professionals require reliable, versatile, and durable tools that can hold up in the most challenging environments. Let’s take a closer look at some of the top special forces knives on the market, as we explore their unique features and capabilities that make them the go-to choice for those in the field.

The Top 5 Best Special Forces Knives

  1. Double Agent II Knife — Lightweight and Durable Concealed Carrier — Cold Steel 39FN Double Agent II: A lightweight, highly concealable knife with dual-ring handle for maximum grip and control for adventurous users.
  2. Cold Steel Recon Tanto SK-5 Fixed Blade Knife — Experience the superiority of the American tanto with Cold Steel Recon Tanto SK-5 — a combat-ready, high-performance fixed blade perfect for special military units, SWAT teams, and knife enthusiasts who demand the best.
  3. Swiss+Tech Stahlern Budget Pocket Knife with Ferro Rod — The Swiss+Tech Full Tang Fixed Blade Knife with Sheath and Rod Steel Blade Olive is the ultimate budget pocket knife, boasting a robust design, durable materials, and versatile carrying options for all your outdoor adventures.
  4. High-Quality Tactical Knife with Partial Serrations — American Made — Black Fighter, Straight Edge: a versatile 1.5" wide blade for heavy-duty tasks, with a partially serrated edge and 1095 Carbon steel body, backed by a tang stamp of USA-made quality and a leather/Cordura sheath.
  5. United States Air Force Special Forces Trapper Knife — This rugged Trapper knife, crafted by W.R. Case & Sons Cutlery Co., proudly bears the U.S. Air Force insignia and is built to last with its Tru-Sharp Surgical Stainless Steel blade and durable Navy Blue Synthetic Handle.

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Double Agent II Knife — Lightweight and Durable Concealed Carrier


I’ve been using the Cold Steel 39fn Double Agent II as my go-to knife lately, and I must say, it’s quite a different beast from your typical pocket knife. The Karambit or Clip Point blade style gives it a distinctive look and feel, and the double ring handle design allows for a firm and comfortable grip. One thing I’ve noticed is the ease of holding the knife for various purposes, making it a versatile option for my daily tasks.

One feature I particularly appreciate is the Japanese Aus 8A Stainless steel, which is not just strong but also lightweight. It’s perfect for everyday use as it doesn’t weigh you down. And the Secure-Ex Neck Sheath that comes with it is a thoughtful addition, ensuring the knife stays safely tucked away when not in use.

However, there are a couple of cons to balance out the pros. The blade’s thin flat design might not be the best choice for heavy-duty tasks, and it’s a bit more expensive than some other options on the market. Nevertheless, for its unique design and functionality, the Double Agent II has quickly become one of my favorite knives to use.

Cold Steel Recon Tanto SK-5 Fixed Blade Knife


Cold Steel Recon Tanto SK-5: Experience the Extraordinary”

I recently got my hands on the Cold Steel Recon Tanto SK-5, and after giving it a proper test drive, I can tell you it doesn’t leave much to desire. The first thing that caught my eye was its sleek design combined with excellent craftsmanship. The skull-crushing point is as intimidating as it sounds, making this a perfect tool for camping or self-defense.

The SK-5 carbon stainless steel provides an excellent balance between strength and rust resistance, holding up quite well even in damp or humid conditions. The Kraton handle provides a comfortable grip, perfect for long hours of use without causing strain on your hand. Its secure-x sheath deserves a special mention; it’s designed with a unique friction-locking mechanism that ensures the blade stays in place until you need it.

While the blade is super sharp right out of the box, one tiny con would be its slightly aggressive edge. It’s crucial to handle it with care initially to avoid unwanted nicks or cuts. However, once you get the hang of it, this becomes a non-issue.

In terms of usability, the Cold Steel Recon Tanto SK-5 has proven itself worthy in various scenarios. From trimming bushes during landscaping to whittling sticks by the campsite, this multi-purpose tool never fails to impress.

Overall, the Cold Steel Recon Tanto SK-5 is a reliable companion for anyone looking for durability, sharpness, and versatility in a knife. Its price point makes it a worthwhile investment, especially given its performance in real-world situations. Whether you’re a survivalist, camper, or just someone who appreciates quality tools, the Cold Steel Recon Tanto SK-5 won’t disappoint.

Swiss+Tech Stahlern Budget Pocket Knife with Ferro Rod


I recently came across the Stahlern by Swiss Tech, and I must say, it’s been a delightful addition to my outdoor adventures. This 8.75-inch Full Tang Fixed Blade knife features an impressive 4.5-inch AUS-8 titanium coated, stainless steel blade that effortlessly slices through various materials with ease. The sturdy 4.25-inch Canvas Micarta handle provides a comfortable grip, even in wet conditions.

But what really sets this knife apart is its built-in ferro rod, which enables me to effortlessly start fires when camping or hiking in the wilderness. The sheath, made from fiberglass-infused nylon, ensures the Stahlern stays secure and safe when not in use.

Its swiveling belt clip allows me to carry the knife in a variety of positions, from horizontal to vertical, perfect for different scenarios. The reflective fleck lanyard cord further adds a touch of style and convenience to the overall design.

High-Quality Tactical Knife with Partial Serrations — American Made


I recently had the chance to test out the Black Fighter, Straight Edge knife, and I must say it checked all the boxes for me. The blade’s 1.5-inch width gives it extra strength, making it perfect for those heavy-duty tasks.

And the partially serrated edge made cutting through materials like butter — it’s a game-changer! . I loved the balance in this knife; it felt nimble in my hand yet robust enough for the job at hand.

The Kraton G handle material was a great touch, providing a comfortable grip that I could rely on. Plus, the flat grind and clip shape added to its overall versatility.

Although this knife has a sharp edge, it comes with a leather/Cordura sheath to ensure safe storage. Overall, it’s an excellent investment for anyone who appreciates a good-quality tactical knife.

United States Air Force Special Forces Trapper Knife


I recently got my hands on the Case 32400 U. S. Air Force Trapper, and let me tell you, it’s a real beauty. This pocket knife is not just a tool, but a symbol of pride and craftsmanship. Made in the United States, it boasts a Navy Blue Synthetic Handle that adds a touch of elegance, and the Tru-Sharp Surgical Stainless Steel ensures a high-quality cutting experience.

Using this knife in my daily tasks has been a delight. Its manual-open design might require a little extra effort, but the satisfaction of the first cut is all worth it. The knife feels solid in my hand, making me confident in my cuts. The United States Air Force emblem on the handle is a wonderful touch that adds an element of personality to the tool.

Of course, like any product, it doesn’t come without its minor flaws. The manual-open design can be a bit tricky to get used to, especially in a rush. However, once you get the hang of it, it’s a breeze. The knife is also quite a statement piece, which might not be everyone’s cup of tea, but it’s a unique feature I appreciate.

Overall, I am quite satisfied with the Case 32400 U. S. Air Force Trapper. Despite its minor flaws, the product brings a certain level of satisfaction in terms of quality and craftsmanship. It’s a perfect addition to any adventurer’s arsenal or for those seeking a symbol of pride and patriotism in their daily toolkit.

Buyer’s Guide

Welcome to our buyer’s guide on special forces knives! This guide will help you understand the most important features, considerations, and advice for purchasing a high-quality special forces knife. We will cover the necessary details without mentioning any specific products or external resources.

1. Knife Material


One of the most important aspects of a special forces knife is the material it is made from. High-quality special forces knives are typically made from stainless steel, such as S30V, VG-10, or 154CM. These materials offer excellent corrosion resistance, durability, and edge retention. Some knives may also feature a coating for added protection and camouflage. It is essential to consider the blade material when choosing a special forces knife, as it will directly impact its performance.

2. Blade Shape and Size

Special forces knives come in a variety of shapes and sizes, each designed for different tasks and situations. Common blade shapes include a clip point, Spear point, drop point, and recurved blade. The size of the blade can range from small to large, so consider the intended use for the knife when deciding on the appropriate size. A larger blade is suitable for heavy-duty tasks, while a smaller blade is more versatile and easier to carry.

3. Handle Material and Design

The handle of a special forces knife is just as crucial as the rest of the knife’s components. A well-designed handle should provide a comfortable grip, even in wet or slippery conditions. Materials for the handle typically include G10, Micarta, or even wooden scales. The handle may also come with a lanyard or attachment points for added versatility. It is essential to choose a handle that suits your hand size and preferences for optimal performance.


4. Locking Mechanism

If you choose a folding special forces knife, consider the locking mechanism. A knife with a secure lock will prevent accidental opening or closing during use. Popular locking mechanisms include liner locks, lockback, and slip joint designs. Make sure the knife you select features a reliable and user-friendly locking mechanism.

5. Maintenance and Care

A special forces knife is a valuable investment, and proper care is essential to ensure it remains in top condition. Regular cleaning and oiling will help maintain the blade’s edge and prevent corrosion. Store the knife in a dry and secure location when not in use. Paying attention to the knife’s maintenance will help extend its lifespan and maintain its performance over time.

6. Budget Considerations


Lastly, consider your budget when selecting a special forces knife. High-quality knives come at a higher price point, but they often offer superior performance and durability. If you’re new to the world of special forces knives, you may want to start with a mid-range option that still offers excellent performance and features. As your experience and preferences evolve, you can invest in a higher-end knife that suits your needs.

Congratulations on taking your first step towards choosing the right special forces knife! This buyer’s guide should provide you with a solid foundation for understanding the essential features and considerations when purchasing a knife designed for specialized operations. Remember to always prioritize quality, durability, and performance, and never hesitate to invest in the right knife for your needs.


What are Special Forces knives?

Special Forces knives are designed to be used by military personnel who require a reliable, versatile, and durable cutting tool for various tasks in the field. They are typically more robust than standard knives due to their high-quality materials and construction.


What materials are used to make Special Forces knives?

Special Forces knives are usually made from materials like durable stainless steel, high-carbon steel, or a combination of both. Some knives also feature a ceramic coating for added protection and durability.

What are some common features of Special Forces knives?

  • Serrated edges for cutting ropes, wires, and other materials
  • A strong and sharp blade
  • A sturdy handle, often made of durable materials like G10 or metal
  • A secure locking mechanism for the blade
  • A lightweight and compact design for easy carrying

What kind of sheaths are used for Special Forces knives?


Special Forces knives often come with durable and versatile sheaths that allow for different carrying options, such as on the waist, neck, or belt. The sheaths may also have additional features like a lanyard hole, retention strap, or molle mounts for added convenience.

What are some popular brands for Special Forces knives?

  • Benchmade
  • Kershaw
  • Gerber
  • Boker Plus
  • Spyderco
  • Cranford Cutlery

What should I consider when choosing a Special Forces knife?

When selecting a Special Forces knife, consider factors such as the blade length, material, and purpose for which it will be used. Additionally, think about the knife’s locking mechanism, handle design, and the type of sheath it comes with. It’s also essential to read customer reviews and seek recommendations from experienced users.