UPDATED FOR 2023
Whether it be a post-apocalyptic event, survival situation or just a regular day; a neck knife could be the most important item you carry. They double as a workhorse tool and can be used for self-defense if needed. However, a knife is only useful to you in a self-defense situation if you can get your hands on it quickly! That’s one thing I love about neck knives; you can reach and grab them quickly, without having to worry about reaching into your pocket.
Necklace knives or neck knives are not a new trend, nor is it something that is going away anytime soon. Blades have always been important to human survival, and thus, have been carried around the neck since the beginning. And for good reason, it’s much easier to grab something around your neck and lash out, rather than dig in your pocket and unlock a folding knife. Necklace knives are ready for action when you need them and make great hunting knives.
Necklace Knives are Functional
Growing up in a rural area, I’ve had the pleasure of using blades on a daily basis. From cutting strings from bales of hay, to witling sharp points into spears while sitting in front of a warm campfire; I’ve carried one clipped onto my pocket for as long as I can remember.
I’ve had more than one occasion where I’ve had to pull one in order to protect myself. Not just with people, but animals I’ve encountered while hiking trails. Obviously, a firearm would be a more efficient deterrent to prevent attacks from both the human and animal variety, but not everyone has access to firearms and a knife is also a tool that can be used in an infinite number of situations.
You Can Wear a Necklace Knife Anywhere
The great thing about necklace knives is the fact that you can always have it with you. Just throw it around your neck and go about your day. You can wear them on your commute to work or around the campsite when you need to cut materials or make a small fire.
What is an EDC Neck Knife?
A neck knife is any tactical knife that you can wear around your neck could be considered a neck knife. EDC stands for Every Day Carry and is basically the tools and gear that you carry on a daily basis. Personally, I think it’s easier to grab something dangling from your neck than your pocket, but that’s just my opinion. Plus, by reaching towards your chest, you have the potential to block oncoming attacks since your hands are up instead of fumbling around your pocket or trying to move your shirt and your phone to reach the knife clipped onto your pants pocket.
Many people consider a neck knife to be their second most important piece of EDC or everyday carry. A firearm may be the only thing that outranks a good knife. I don’t lock and load every time I step outside, but you can guarantee I have a blade on me even if I’m walking to the mail box. That’s not being paranoid. You never know when you will need to cut something to free yourself or someone else. Heck, you could even get mauled by a dog the second you walk outside your home; you never know!
Neck Knife Bushcraft
Neck knives make great bushcraft tools. They’re easy to use and small enough for intricate work. A neck knife is a great secondary knife to your larger knife that you would use for skinning, splitting wood or other heavy-duty tasks. We like neck knives for bushcraft because they’re minimalist and super sharp. It’s also easy to remember to bring your neck knife because it goes around your neck and is always available.
The Best Neck Knives
So what makes a good neck knife? One thing I’ve encountered with a lot of these is they can be made cheap. What I mean by that is if you don’t purchase a quality brand, they can be prone to breaking. There are a lot of cheapo neck knives out there that companies try to sell you on or even give away for free in exchange for your email address, but many of them are worthless.
A knife worth carrying should be one that is up to any task you may encounter. Obviously, you won’t be using this to split wood or anything of that nature, but it needs to cut and slice just like any other knife. Some of these would even fall under the survival knife category if you do a little research with your purchase. For example, if you plan on using your neck knife for survival situations such as batoning; you will want a heavy duty blade that won’t break under pressure.
This article won’t delve too far into the many uses for neck knives, but will give you a few options that we like and others in the community have shared their experience with us.
When choosing a neck knife, you have a few considerations:
- Carry Options
You want to make sure it fits your hand and stays in the sheath. A neck knife isn’t necessarily to be used as your workhorse knife, although it can be. The one I carry around my neck is on a “need” basis and I use my pocket knife for everything else.
There are people that wear neck knives all day long. They shower with them and even sleep with them around their neck. They train themselves to know where it is at all times. If you sleep with yours or shower with it, make sure it fits snug in the sheath.
Once you get used to them and realize they won’t slip out of the sheath, you actually forget the knife is even there until you need it. It gives me peace of mind to know I can grab it in less than a second and be prepared for a fight. (I keep mine under my shirt) to keep anyone from grabbing at it.
Necklace Knives Amazon
You may have a hard time finding necklace knives in most stores. You would probably have to go to a specialty knife store if you could even find one. Thankfully, you can find a huge amount of necklace knives on Amazon. They have vendors selling every type of necklace knife you can imaging.
Here are 4 reasons why you need a neck knife:
- You always have a knife within reach
- You won’t forget your knife if it’s around your neck
- Neck knives make great secondary knives
- They are perfect for self-defense
SpyderCo makes some of the best knives on the market. ARK stands for Always Ready Knife and that’s exactly what this little beast is: Always Ready for whatever comes your way! I like the grip on this bad boy. The CRKT Folts Minimalist is one of my favorite handle due to the deep grooves for your fingers, but this one comes in right behind it. It even has a good grip when submerged underwater, you know, just in case you find yourself in an underwater situation or have to cross a body of water. Hey, it happens! This neck knife is a favorite among survivalist and preppers alike. The Ark fixed blade knife comes with a 2.50” plain blade and has an overall length of nearly five inches. Easy to conceal and the handle makes for an easy ‘quick-grab’ if you find yourself in an intense situation.
CRKT makes great knives that don’t cost a fortune and the S.P.E.W. Is a great choice for a neck knife. It’s dependable, well-made and has a large enough blade to get the job done. The handle is large enough to grip and the blade holds an edge well. Made from high carbon stainless steel; the blade is the right size and shape for most daily tasks.
Neck knives make great secondary knives and are always there when you need them. The CRKT S.P.E.W. Is gear compatible and the thermoplastic sheath has multiple mounting options. This is one of the best neck knives for hiking and camping because it’s big enough to cut, yet small enough to carry around your neck and out of the way.
We like the CRKT S.P.E.W. due to it being compact, lightweight and the right configuration for most cutting jobs.
Neck Knife SOG SNARL
The SOG Snarl neck knife is small, but deadly. It has a simple design that can be used for basic knife stuff like cutting and stabbing, opening things and self defense. It’s barely over 4 inches, which is just enough blade to immobilize an attacker or to be used as an everyday knife, but also easy to conceal, making it one of our top picks for neck knives. I personally like to different ways you can hold this little SOG Snarl, it has multiple hand positions; one finger in the loop for maximum control or using the handle for quick grab. The sheath is hard molded nylon which gives you multiple carry options, but I prefer to dangle them around my neck for easy and quick access. SOG makes great knives and the SOG Snarl is probably the best small neck knife you can find at this size. This is one of our top picks for the best EDC necklace. Many people buy this as a self-defense necklace knife because it’s easy to access and the handle is perfect for tactical applications.
Read more about the SOG Snarl Fixed Blade Neck Knife
CRKT Minimalist Neck Knife
This is a badass neck knife! Excuse my language, but I love the CRKT Folts Minimalist Black Drop Point Neck Knife! The handle is one of the best we’ve tested due to the deep grooves. Your fingers should fit nicely, which is important with a small knife such as this. It’s lightweight and you won’t even notice it around your neck. It doesn’t come equipped with the best sheath, but that’s an easy fix. It also comes at a great price and is one of the best for the price that we’ve seen here at Apocalypse Guys.com!
The CRKT Folts Minimalist has a durable blade finish, touch handle, 3 finger grooves that makes manipulating the knife easier and it comes with a sheath. This neck knife has a lifetime warranty through the company, although I’ve never had to return a knife, you never know. This is one of the best neck knives you can find and will give you years of utility. This neck knife also comes with various tips and handle finishes, so be sure to choose the one you want when you check out. If you’re looking for the best small neck knife for every day use – the CRKT Minimalist Neck Knife is a top contender.
Related: CRKT Minimalist Neck Knife
This list of EDC neck knives wouldn’t be complete without the Esee Candiru. This is a drop point blade style made of high carbon 1095 steel with a cutting edge length of 2 inches. It weighs in at 1.7 ounces which makes it easy to conceal, yet has just enough cutting edge to make it an effective little neck knife! This thing comes razor sharp straight out of the packaging and is ready to cut. Perfect for an EDC knife to be worn around your neck.
The MTech is a pretty decent neck knife for everyday use and it costs less than $10. I picked this handy little neck knife up for $5 on sale and have been extremely pleased with it. It has a tanto style blade that’s small, but can cut, pierce and puncture good enough for daily use.
While you may not want to depend on this knife for self defense, it’s actually easy to grab and does provide a sharp blade. The stainless steel blade is good quality and measures 2” and arrives sharp. The Kydex sheath has great retention and gives you multiple options to carry, but it works great as a neck knife. You can sling it around your neck for an extra blade.
Neck knives are perfect for long road trips and camping because you always need a handy blade and don’t always want to reach into your pocket, especially when sitting down. There’s really nothing to complain about with this cheap neck knife as it does what it’s intended to do and it doesn’t cost much at all.
KA-BAR BECKER NECKER NECK KNIFE
I’m sure most of our readers are familiar with Ka-Bar fighting knives. They’ve been proven over and over and have stood the test of time. This little neck knife may not be near the same size as one of the classic fighting knives, but it is a great companion knife. This neck knife has a 3.25 inch blade made from 1095 Cro-Van steel. The overall length is 6.75 inches. Big enough for most jobs and easy to conceal, especially if you wear it around your neck. This knife is larger than most on this list with more cutting surface. There’s not much more to be said about Ka-Bar as their reputation for making quality blades precedes them. If you’re building an EDC necklace, the Ka-Bar Becker Necker Neck Knife is a great addition. This Ka-Bar can also double as a boot dagger as an optional way to carry.
SOG INSTINCT MINI NECK KNIFE
This is a popular neck knife from SOG and there’s good reason. SOG is known for making quality blades that are field proven and at a reasonable price. The SOG Instinct has a 1.9 inch blade with a clip point shape and a satin polish finish. It comes with a hard molded nylon sheath with 360 degree mounting options that gives you a few different ways to carry it on your belt, boot or around your neck. One of the main issues with neck knives are the handles. Due to their size, some people may have a difficult time with grip. There is a good chance you will be grabbing these things without looking, it’s important that the handle is a good fit for you. The SOG Instinct Mini has room to get at least three fingers on it by using the grooves. The top groove for your pointer (control) finger has extra grip so it won’t slip when wet. If you’re looking for a neck knife for self defense – the SOG Instinct should be on your list. A lot of people refer to this as the SOG Instinct Boot Knife because you can use it as a neck knife or a boot knife.
A knife necklace can be one of the best everyday carry tools you have on you. They’re easy to carry and always within reach under your shirt or jacket. We recommend any knife necklace on this list as they can be used around the house, campsite, work and even for self-defense situations where you need quick access to a knife. You may want to read the measurements of each knife necklace to make sure it’s large or small enough for what you need.
Self Defense Hidden Knife Necklace
One of the main reasons people initially look for a knife necklace is for self-defense. This is because you can keep it within reach at all times. Many people carry a pocket knife as well as a self-defense hidden knife necklace as a backup. It can be hard to reach into your pocket if you get into a tussle with someone, but you can always reach your neck to grab your knife necklace.
What is the Best Neck Knife You Can Buy?
There are multiple brands that make high-quality neck knives. You have to take into account the style you are looking for as well as size of blade and other factors that will impact your decision. Neck knives come in all sizes from tiny to fairly large. You may not want a huge knife dangling from your neck as a neck knife is often seen as a backup knife or a backup to your backup. On the other end of the spectrum, a tiny knife that you can barely fit two fingers on may not be able to handle your daily essential cutting tasks. Them you have price to consider. We suggest reading reviews of all the top neck knives and take notes to see which neck knife is the best fit for you. Keep in mind, most neck knives can be used as boot knives as well.
Which Neck Knife is Best for Self Defense?
Any neck knife will work for self-defense purposes. The great thing about neck knives is they are always within reach. Keep in mind the size of the blade as many neck knives are quite small. However, you can defend yourself with even the smallest blade if you know what you’re doing. Plus, the element of surprise can work in your favor as your attacker may not expect you to have access to a neck knife.
What is an EDC Neck Knife?
EDC stands for everyday carry and simply means the tools and gear that you carry with you on a daily basis. An EDC neck knife is a knife that is always on your person and within reach. It’s good practice to have a few blades that you always carry. The great thing about neck knives is you don’t even have to have a belt or pockets to carry it. You can carry them in the shower if you need to and will never be without a weapon to defend yourself.
What is the Best Survival Necklace?
It depends. You have to take into account what you want in a survival necklace and what you are already carrying. Some people wear survival necklaces that have fire starters, while others have whetstones to keep a razor-sharp blade on their knives. Neck knives make great survival necklaces because you can always use a good knife.
Custom Neck Knife
Some companies make custom neck knives based on your specifications. While you may end up spending more on a custom neck knife, you can get exactly what you want. You can tell a custom neck knife maker the exact blade length and size that you want.
We would like to hear your thoughts and experiences about neck knives? Do you wear them? What do you think about them in a survival situation? Do you wear them 24/7 and never take them off or just put them on when you leave your house? Also, have you used a neck knife that’s not on the list?
Leave us a comment and tell us what you think!
Jerome is an avid outdoorsman who moonlights as an attorney when he’s not creating the world’s greatest online content.