10 Best Karambits of 2017 – Karambit Reviews

Best Karambits

Karambits are cool knives to have in your tool collection. These small knives have a unique appearance that will probably not look like anything else that you have in the tool rack. But, apart from the impressive and attention-grabbing look this knife is also very functional, and you can use it for a variety of applications at home and when hunting, fishing or camping.

What is Karambit?

A karambit is a small and portable utility knife that originates from Southeast Asia. This knife features a curved double edge blade with an ergonomic handle and one or two safety rings at the end of the handle. According to legends about its origins, the design of this knife gets inspiration from the claw of big cats like tigers.

Origins of the Karambit

Although there are different theories about the origins of the karambit knife, there is enough historical evidence to show that the modern one originates from Southeast Asia. This knife originated from Indonesia in the 11th century and the booming trade in that time meant that it spread to other Asian countries fast.

These knives have been around for many centuries, but they only found their way to the USA and many other western nations in the 20th century. Indonesian and Filipino martial arts practitioners are credited with their introduction to the mainstream culture in the USA. Modern variations and the traditional karambit knife designs are now found in all parts of the world.

Application of the Karambit

Application of the Karambit

Traditionally, the small karambit is an everyday carry knife, and most people would use it as a utility blade and also for self-defense. However, these knives are multifunctional, and their curved blade and safety rings allow them to work for a variety of applications. Depending on the particular karambit that you have, you can use it to skin an animal when hunting or even for gutting and cleaning fish.

Some modern types of the karambit will come with a saw edge and hence making them ideal for use when doing dome light pruning and also for cutting rope. The small profile of these knives and the fact that they always provide a firm grip (thanks to the safety rings and ergonomic handle) makes them a perfect choice for combative purposes and self-defense. But, just like with any other knife type the application will also vary from one user to the other.

Is Karambit Legal?

Yes, karambit knives are legal to own (at least in most states), but like any other knives, there are regulations that you have to adhere to if you own one. However, these laws will vary from one state to the other and so it is important to verify the legislations and regulations in your state at FindLaw.com or on the AKTI (American Knife and Tool Institute) website.

It is essential also to acknowledge that there are no federal laws for controlling karambit. Also, some states do not have any regulations for owning, carrying or using these knives while a few others forbid them. And so it is vital to check the laws in your area just to be sure.

10 Best Karambits - Reviews

10. Tactical Hawkbill Karambit by Vulcan Gear

Editor's Rating:  (4.3 / 5)

Tactical Hawkbill Karambit by Vulcan Gear Review

The Tactical Hawkbill Karambit is a 7.5-inch knife with a 4.5-inch stainless steel blade, and it is an excellent pick for defense or combative purposes. This knife has a single-sided blade that is quite sharp when you get it, and it connects to an ergonomic handle with a solid rubber construction to ensure that you always get a nonslip grip.

Like most other karambit knives it features a safety ring at the base of the handle that can also work as a glass breaker in emergency situations. Also, it comes with a sheath that slides over it effortlessly and a nylon cord that makes it possible to hang it around the neck for easy concealing.

Pros

  • 4-inch stainless steel blade.
  • Sheath and nylon cord attached.
  • Blade is sharp and ready for immediate use.
  • Firm and nonslip rubber handle.
  • Finger hole/safety ring can also act as glass breaker in emergency situations.
  • Fantastic blade geometry.

Cons

  • It is not a double sided blade.

Who Should Buy?

The handle on this karambit might be standard size, but it feels a little small, and so this knife will work best for people that do not have large hands since they can always get a fantastic grip. This knife will also work well for those looking for a simple combative karambit knife.

9. TAC Force Black Blade Tactical Knife

Editor's Rating:  (4.3 / 5)

TAC Force Black Blade Tactical Knife Review

The TAC Force tactical karambit knife features an exceptional craft that makes it look fantastic, but it is also very functional. This knife comes in a folding design and with a safety ring on the end. The blade is shorter than the handle, and so all of it is concealed when you fold it.

TAC Force makes this knife with a hard material for both the blade and handle to ensure maximum durability. Also, the blade is lubricated and sharp enough when you get the knife to make it ready to use. This knife has a small clip on the back that you can use to hook it to you and a release mechanism that is lightning fast.

Pros

  • Well balanced knife with an excellent feel.
  • Folding design for safety and easy concealing.
  • Includes a clip at the back.
  • Sharpened and lubricated blade is ready for use.
  • Fast lock release.
  • Hard blade and handle material for tactical advantage.

Cons

  • Reversed clip means that it takes longer to pull the knife from concealment.
  • Lock and blade take two hands to reset.

Who Should Buy?

This karambit is for an individual looking for a tactical knife that is easy to conceal. It also comes in a nice size which is not too weighty or light.

8. SE KFD359 Karambit/Hawkbill

Editor's Rating:  (4.4 / 5)

SE KFD359 Karambit/Hawkbill

The SE KFD359 is the cheapest item on our list but still one of the best karambit that you can get. It features a durable 440 stainless steel blade that can slash through various things. The knife has an ABS plastic handle that also includes some grooves for the fingers to maximize comfort.

This knife comes with a handy necklace sheath for easy storage, and also makes it easy to access when you need to use it. Also, it has a steel loop pommel at the end of the handle for retention and flailing.

Pros

  • Durable 440 stainless steel construction.
  • Sturdy finger loop for retention and flailing.
  • Comfortable ABS plastic handle that also includes finger grooves.
  • Handy necklace sheath provides easy access.

Cons

  • Sheath quality is not very good

Who Should Buy?

Although you can still use this knife for many other things the design, blade material and length makes it a perfect choice for martial arts training. The affordable price tag also makes it ideal for someone shopping for a cheap karambit knife.

7. MTech USA MX-8140BT

Editor's Rating:  (4.5 / 5)

MTech USA MX-8140BT

MX-8140BT by MTech USA is the best fixed blade karambit on our list thanks to its thick and high-quality blade and sturdy handle. The knife comes with a 4-inch blade that is 5 mm thick and a 5.25-inch handle that is 6 mm thick. This brown blade combines with the black and gray handle to give the karambit knife a total length of 9.25 inches which makes it the longest on our karambit knife reviews.

Like most other karambit knives it also features a large finger hole for safety and better control, and it comes with a nylon sheath for easy storage and carrying.

Pros

  • Brown blade coating for more aesthetic appeal.
  • Sturdy black and gray 6 mm thick handle.
  • Large finger hole for added control.
  • Black nylon sheath for easy storage and transportation

Cons

  • Blade is not very sharp when you get it.
  • Low-quality sheath and not suitable for quick knife deployment.

Who Should Buy?

This fix blade knife performs very well when cutting a variety of material and for defense. The MTech karambit is a perfect choice for a survivalist or someone that likes to hunts and spends lots of time experiencing the wilderness.

6. Mtech MT670 Hawk Cord Wrap Karambit Knife

Editor's Rating:  (4.4 / 5)

Mtech MT670 Hawk Cord Wrap Karambit Knife

The MT670 is the best cheap karambit knife on our list. Although it is not the cheapest, it is still very affordable, and it has some nice features. The company makes it with one solid piece of high-quality steel, and so there are no connections hence making it very sturdy, and this means that it will never bend when cutting.

For the handle, MTech wraps it with a paracord to ensure that you always get a firm and very comfortable grip. This blade is very sharp when you get it and ready for use and the company also provides a convenient storage sheath.

Pros

  • Incredibly sharp and ready for immediate use.
  • High-quality and durable steel blade.
  • Comfortable para cord-wrapped handle.
  • Convenient storage sheath.

Cons

  • Paracord hanging off the end can get in your way.

Who Should Buy?

MTech makes this karambit knife for someone that wants an affordable self-defense knife that is also sharp enough and with a stylish overall appearance.

5. BladesUSA E419-PP Karambit Training Knife

Editor's Rating:  (4.5 / 5)

BladesUSA E419-PP Karambit Training Knife

If you are training in martial arts and are not ready to invest in the more expensive karambit knife the E419-PP by BladeUSA will work well for you. This knife features a safe and durable polypropylene construction and the black blade also has a rounded tip.

The curved handle on this training knife also includes a finger ring for better control. Although this knife has a very lightweight construction, it still feels well-balanced.

Pros

  • Durable and safe polypropylene construction.
  • Black blade with a rounded tip.
  • Curved handle includes finger ring for better control.
  • Light but a well-balanced knife.

Cons

  • Curvature is steeper than what you get in a traditional karambit.

Who Should Buy?

This fixed blade karambit is an excellent knife for martial arts, but it will also work well for anybody else doing tactical training or wants to learn how to handle a karambit before buying one.

4. Cold Steel FGX Karambit

Editor's Rating:  (4 / 5)

Cold Steel FGX Karambit

The Cold Steel FGX comes with the thickest blade on our list (7.5mm). The handle is 4.5 inches long, and the blade is 4-inch long, but it still has an excellent weight distribution. This storable and lightweight knife features a plastic construction but with a fiberglass reinforcement to make it sturdy and more durable.

Cold Steel gives this knife a deeply checkered handle that ensures that users always get a superior and slightly tacky grip for comfortable use. This knife is both heat and UV-stabilized for durability, and it can withstand heat, cold and extreme weather.

Pros

  • Excellent weight distribution.
  • Stowable and can withstand heat, cold and extreme weather.
  • Fiberglass reinforced plastic with UV treatment for an extended life.
  • Deeply checkered handle for superior and slightly tacky grip.

Cons

  • The plastic material is not suitable for cutting

Who Should Buy?

This unit is the best karambit knife for self-defense in our list. And so if you are looking for something for deterring possible attackers it is a perfect choice.

3. Vulcan Gear Karambit Hawkbill Knife

Editor's Rating:  (4.3 / 5)

Vulcan Gear Karambit Hawkbill Knife

Vulcan Gear makes this knife for tactical training, but the size and design also make it ideal for multipurpose use as a utility knife. The price is also fantastic, and if you combine this with its quality construction, you will have the best fold karambit for tactical applications. It has an overall length of 6.5 inches and a blade length of 2.5 inches to give you a decent cutting area.

The hilt (handle) of this knife has a fantastic shape, and the company makes it with a durable plastic material, and it is also very comfortable. The scabbard is also very durable but what many users will love most is the perfect weight and balance.

Pros

  • Razor sharp blade with stainless steel construction.
  • Hilt has an excellent shape.
  • Perfect weight and balance.
  • Scabbard will hold up very well.
  • Durable and very comfortable plastic handle.

Cons

  • Protrusion ring can affect flipping.

Who Should Buy?

This knife is ideal for tactical training, but it will still work well as a utility knife once you do some sharpening.

2. FadeCase Karambit

Editor's Rating:  (4.4 / 5)

FadeCase Karambit Elite Series Skins

This FadeCase product is the best karambit knife for a collector on our list. It is also the priciest unit, but the appearance and features make it worth it. This knife features an ABS and Fiberglass construction for the handle that makes it very comfortable in your hand. Also, it has a sturdy and durable 420 stainless steel blade that is quite sharp when you get the knife.

With this karambit, you get a beautiful collector's box, a sheath, and lanyard. Also, each knife features a diamond engraved logo and serial number that helps to make it unique. And there are a variety of blade colors available.

Pros

  • Sturdy and durable 420 stainless steel blade.
  • High-quality ABS and fiberglass handle.
  • Diamond engraved logo and serial number to make each knife unique.
  • Beautiful collector’s box, sheath, and lanyard.
  • Multiple blade and finger ring options.

Cons

  • Handle is a little small for the average adult hand size.

Who Should Buy?

If you are serious about getting a high quality and beautiful karambit knife that is also collectible and are willing to spend some extra cash this is the product for you.

1. Magnolia Gear CS GO Karambit Knife

Editor's Rating:  (4.3 / 5)

Magnolia Gear CS GO Karambit Knife

Magnolia Gear makes this blade with a stainless steel blade and with a titanium gold coating for extra strength. The knife also features a molded ABS handle with a mental finger hole at the end for better control.

This karambit knife has an overall length of 7.5 inches, and the blade is 4 inches long. But, what makes it unique is that it also comes with a sharpener that helps to keep the blade sharp. Also, this knife will come with a lanyard and sheath for easy storage and carry.

Pros

  • Stainless steel tip to end construction.
  • Titanium gold blade coating for extra strength.
  • Perfect length and well-balanced on the hand.
  • Blade sharpener included in the package.
  • Comes with both lanyard and sheath

Cons

  • It feels a little light.

Who Should Buy?

This blade is for self-defense and tactical use, but it is best suited for a person that already knows how to handle a karambit knife. Also, this knife is ideal for fishing and hunting.

Conclusion

The karambit is a beautiful knife that also looks unique. But apart from the attractive overall appearance, it is also a handy tool that you can use for a variety of applications from self-defense to gutting fish and skinning animals when hunting.applications.

Our top pick or the best karambit for the money is the Xtreme MX-8140BT by MTech USA. While it is not the cheapest item on the list, it comes from one of the most reputable knife manufacturers. The relatively small blade and handle make it easy to conceal, but it still performs very well for a variety of applications from self-defense to hunting, and it will also be handy for a survivalist.