Weapon-fanatics go on talking about this tiger claw-like, curved knives which, look quite unique and impressive. Being depicted as only a dangerous weapon, we prefer not to buy but the other side of the coin reads, these can be quite useful and a knife-collector would definitely want it in his showcase.
Versatile in usage, it can be used in a slashing and/or a hammering manner, giving a wide range of methods in self-defense. Moreover, the finger guard it occupies makes it quite difficult for the opponent to disarm you.
For a quick look, here are the top 5 Karambit knives you might prefer!
|Spyderco Karahawk Folding...||46 Reviews||Buy at Amazon|
|KA-BAR TDI Law Enforcement...||2,349 Reviews||$39.53||Buy at Amazon|
|FOX 479 G10 Black Emerson Wave...||162 Reviews||$134.99||Buy at Amazon|
|Boker 9001491 Magnum Spike...||50 Reviews||$54.95||Buy at Amazon|
|Steel Tiger||283 Reviews||$69.99||Buy at Amazon|
Why choose a Karambit over other knives?
Karambits have several advantages that a normal knife such as a bowie knife or a bayonet does not possess. First of all the main feature is the safety ring for your index finger, it helps you hold and manipulate the blade in a much easier fashion.
The blade itself in a Karambit is small as is the handle and this adds to its lightweight allowing easy carrying and concealment. These knives are versatile as they can be held in multiple ways, which allow more agility and multiple ways to land blows on your opponent.
If historically speaking, karambits were mostly used as utility blades during activities such as agricultural purposes. It would also be considered as an everyday carry (EDC) and a pocket knife. They are suitable for almost every task from self defense to utilitarian. Its fluidity of a single motion is enough to do the job.
As it can be held in different ways, it can be yielded in different ways to such as a slashing manner or/and a hammering manner. Karambits are battle-tested as there is no fear of losing the grip due to the finger hole (safety ring) at the butt of the handle and it’s one motion attack.
The safety ring most karambits have integrated into the handle gives multiple advantages. For instance, the location of the ring at the end of the handle gives a more firm grip for the user. It prevents a slide back of the knife and it makes difficult for the opponent to disarm the user. Some models may have a secondary ring on the shaft for a better grip.
The handling allows you to hold it in multiple ways such as a forward grip for a hammering action and a reverse grip for a slashing movement. May the user be holding the knife at any position, because of the safety ring it is always ready to be used.
Factors to consider when buying a Karambit
Purpose: For a huntsman, a blade 3’or less is advisable and a larger one for martial arts and combat purposes.
Material: The material of the handle and blade matters a lot according to the usage. For an everyday utilitarian purpose, a less sharp blade with a normal grip handle would suffice but for combat and martial arts, a strengthened blade and an endurable grip.
Size: The size of the blade and handle again depend on the usage and also on the size of the buyer’s hand. For hunting and everyday day need, a small Karambit would be suitable but for combat, a larger blade would be more effective with a smaller handle so that it highly recommended.
Design: The design would be something that is appealing to your eyes and that is suitable for use. E.g., an easy to close blade would be better for concealment and carry.
Safety: One of the major factors is of course, safety, especially, if the buyer needs to keep an eye on something while he is looking around. Handling a Karambit may be dangerous for some but owning one is harmless as it is merely a tool, but of course, not a toy.
Advantages of having a Karambit
There are various possible functions of a Karambit, hence owning one would have its advantages.
Its no-slip grip provides a safe usage in any sort of extreme condition. The safety ring ensures it cannot be used against you even if you fall.
The user can easily switch it between hands without the risk of injuries. It can be used for various things such as hunting, fishing, gardening, hiking, farming, and most importantly for self-defense as it has plenty of combat movements.
Overall, the possession of Karambits is legal but it may vary according to laws of each state. A blade with a length of 3’’ or less used for hunting and agricultural uses whereas larger blades are used for combat purposes.
Carrying it in a concealed manner has different laws across the states. There is a license one can get to carry a concealed Karambit. Federally, Karambits aren’t controlled by the US Government; they are managed at the state level. It is advisable to check your state’s laws.
Best Karambit Knives
Let’s break down each of these knives and find out exactly what is good, bad & ugly about them.
If you’re looking for something with a swift opening mechanism, then this Karambit for you. Originating from Japan, it’s curved Hawksbill blade is made up of VG-10 stainless steel with a 2.53in length and a 0.098in thickness.
Length of the handle is 4.5in G-10 scale with a ring at the butt. The overall length measures up to 6.50in, 4.50in when closed. It’s coated with non-reflective titanium with a reversible hourglass clip to give a tip-up and a reverse grip on the body. It embraces a bar-lock mechanism and weighs 3.8oz. Furthermore, the edges are radius and polished and the lock is a back lock type.
- Thin and inconspicuous
- Good EDC Karambit
- High Speed Deployment
- Back lock difficult for one hand
- Not American Made
KA-BAR TDI Law Enforcement
A knife with a history, it was used by the US Marine Corps in the WWII!
Looking for something that can be carried almost anywhere? This is your knife. It has an AUS-8A stainless steel blade with a length of 2.31in, overall length measuring to 5.62in. The curved nature of the blade allows it to stay hidden. Moreover, it comes in two categories, serrated and plain.
A serrated blade has more effectiveness during combat but it would be difficult to sharpen it. The handle is glass reinforced nylon with a pebbled texture for a firmer grip. In addition to that, the handle embraces a groove for the index finger for better maneuvering method. Comes in two colors; coyote brown and black. Weighing 3.2oz, it’s not heavy at all.
- Light Weight
- Easy to Sharpen
- Very Affordable
- AUS-8A is budget steel
- Handle is slick when wet
- Blade coat peels
Fox Emerson Wave 479 G10 Karambit
This Karambit is a go-to for all the hardcore knife lovers out there. It is extremely effective in self-defense situations with high utilization. Furthermore, it has been tested in extreme climates and is corrosion resistant. The built allows it to be concealable with the Emerson wave allowing it to deploy smoothly with one hand.
The safety ring at the butt of its handle gives a secure grip. It has a tiger claw-shaped blade of NC690Co Stainless steel, coated with Teflon, has a plain grind. The length measures up to 3.00in and a thickness of 0.11in.
The handle is lined by G-10 scale giving a strong and a durable grip. The overall length is 7.60in and weighs up to 4.60oz. The pocket clip is a tip-up, allowing both forward and reverse grip. Last but not least, it is a product of Italy with a liner lock.
- Corrosion resistant steel
- Easy to conceal
- High quality materials
- Expensive price tag
- Larger than expected
- Can be stiff to open, needs to break in
Boker Magnum Spike Karambit
Looking for a tactical application, Boker Karambit is a product of the USA, which determines its top-notch quality. Being on the affordable side and with a high utilization, it would be a good knife.
It’s an everyday carry knife with no unnecessary frills. Having a Hawksbill fixed blade made up of 440A stainless steel, it measures up to a 3.75in length and 0.19in thickness.
The grind is plain and the handle is a G-10 scale, khaki colored, with a 5.50in length. Having a hole at its butt, it gives you an easier grip and harder to disarm. It has three grooves for your middle, ring and smallest finger giving a more comfortable grip. The overall length measures up to 8.50in and weighs 7.34oz.
- Affordable knife
- Tactical style
- Very comfortable grip
- On the heavy side
- Legal issues in some states
- Could be too large
Cold Steel Tiger Claw
For a more unique and an elegant look and a tactical purpose, this would be a good choice. Taiwan-made, its blade is made of AUS-8A stainless steel with a taper ground. It is vacuum heat-treated and sub-zero for maximum endurability.
A satin and stone-washed finish give an elegant look. The blade is a Hawksbill, plain grind and measuring up to 4.75in in length and 0.20in in thickness.
The cutting-edge measures up to 3.75in. The handle core is made up of Givory which is a thermoplastic resin for lightweight and Kraton which gives a flexible, non-slip and a durable grip. It’s length s 5in.
The handle, of course, has an index finger hole at the butt and three chic grooves for your middle, ring and smallest finger. The overall length is 9.00in and weighs 5.4oz. It comes with a secure sheath made up of kydex.
- Comfortable grip, easy to carry
- Could be too big for EDC
- Blade didn’t come very sharp
- Fits loose in sheath
Best Karambit Knife – Final Thoughts
Looking at everything mentioned above, there are definitely more pros than cons for these unique knives. Keeping in mind the law, having a Karambit could make your life easier. While considering the differences of each knife type, the Fox 479 G10 Emerson Wave Karambit would be the best option. Yes, it may be on the pricey end but the investment would be worth it.
Its capable of performing both utilitarian and combat functions and because of the Emerson wave, it gives an easy deployment when taken out. Ending it by saying that Karambits are in fact multi-tasking knives and can also be used for the sake of ornamenting your collection.