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Best Karambit Knives Reviewed & Rated for Quality

last updated Feb 28, 2019

Karambits double up as great tactical knives and tools. They are a great option for an “everyday carry” and are quite handy in self-defense especially when in the right hands with the right skills. Whether you are looking into the Karambit brand for tactical reasons or to add it to your set of outdoor tools, choosing the right one is key. Since there are numerous varieties out there, we took the time to compile the best 10 for you.

In a Hurry? The test winner after 13 hrs of research

icon
Vulcan Gear Hawkbill
97.6/100 our score
Durability
98
Comfort
96
Materials
97
Brand
99
Size
98
Vulcan Gear Hawkbill
Why is it better?

Comes with a sheath and cord for better portability

Strong rust resistant blade

Comfortable and ergonomic grip

Sizeable blade

In a Hurry? Editors choice:
Vulcan Gear Hawkbill
Test Winner: Vulcan Gear Hawkbill
Researched Sources
15
Researched Sources
Total Readers
9k
Total Readers
Reviews Considered
11k
Reviews Considered
Hours Researching
13
Hours Researching
Products Evaluated
16
Products Evaluated
Sorting Options
Durability Comfort Materials Brand Size By Default
Rank
PictureProduct
Name
Rating
Shops
#1
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
97.6
Durability
98%
Comfort
96%
Materials
97%
Brand
99%
Size
98%
Price Comparison Last Updated (20.03.19)
$6.35
#2
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
96.4
Durability
98%
Comfort
96%
Materials
97%
Brand
96%
Size
95%
Price Comparison Last Updated (20.03.19)
$7.13
#3
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
94.6
Durability
95%
Comfort
94%
Materials
90%
Brand
96%
Size
98%
Price Comparison Last Updated (20.03.19)
$4.54
#4
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
94.4
Durability
98%
Comfort
94%
Materials
96%
Brand
92%
Size
92%
Price Comparison Last Updated (20.03.19)
$39.99
#5
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
93.8
Durability
96%
Comfort
92%
Materials
94%
Brand
93%
Size
94%
Price Comparison Last Updated (20.03.19)
$20.00
#6
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
93.2
Durability
93%
Comfort
95%
Materials
92%
Brand
93%
Size
93%
Price Comparison Last Updated (20.03.19)
$11.99
#7
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
91.4
Durability
92%
Comfort
90%
Materials
93%
Brand
91%
Size
91%
Price Comparison Last Updated (20.03.19)
$7.89
#8
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
89.4
Durability
87%
Comfort
90%
Materials
89%
Brand
90%
Size
91%
Price Comparison Last Updated (20.03.19)
$9.00
#9
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
88.8
Durability
90%
Comfort
88%
Materials
89%
Brand
87%
Size
90%
Price Comparison Last Updated (20.03.19)
$9.68
#10
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
87.8
-
Durability
90%
Comfort
86%
Materials
91%
Brand
87%
Size
85%
In Depth Review Top 10
  • Vulcan Gear Hawkbill
  • SE KFD359 Fixed-Blade
  • Blades USA E419-PP
  • MASALONG Double Edged
  • Schrade SCH112
  • HOSANA Sheath and Cord
  • Mtech MT670
  • Cold Steel 92R49Z
  • Tac Force Dual Blade
  • Cold Steel Tiger
Table of contents
  • Criteria Used for Evaluation
  • Other Factors to Consider
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Sources

10 Best Karambit Knives

1. Vulcan Gear Hawkbill

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
97.6
Vulcan Gear Hawkbill
Durability
98
Comfort
96
Materials
97
Brand
99
Size
98
best offer for today
$6.35
Pros:

Comes with a sheath and cord for better portability

Strong rust resistant blade

Comfortable and ergonomic grip

Sizeable blade

Cons:

Sheath is low quality

The blade can fall out of the sheath

If you prefer to have your Karambit knife look as mean as its reputation, this is a great choice for you. The knife puts out all the kinks and bells and buckles down on what matters to provide you with a tough and comfortable Karambit knife that is tailored for tactical use. The blade is made from stainless steel to make it easier to maintain while giving it the strength required for tactical use and also for use as a tool. The handle is ergonomic and fits comfortably in your hand making the knife easy and comfortable to use for anyone.

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Portable
Even though these are highly portable by nature because of their small size, this one goes over and beyond and it comes with a sheath that has a nylon cord that you can easily carry around your neck. It makes it much easier to bring the tool with you wherever you are.

Stainless steel blade
With Karambit knives, the blade needs to be strong and resist rust and stand up to the aspects of weather. The Vulcan Gear Karambit knife has a blade made from stainless steel. This not only makes the blade strong but also allows it to stand up to the aspects of weather and resist rusting. As a result, you have a strong, durable and easy to clean knife.

Cost and Value
This is a great entry-level Karambit knife that is budget friendly. It has just the right amount of features for first time and average users and provides a fine blend of quality and affordability. If you’re buying your first Karambit and you don’t have a flexible budget to work with, you should consider this option.

2. SE KFD359 Fixed-Blade

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
96.4
SE KFD359 Fixed-Blade
Durability
98
Comfort
96
Materials
97
Brand
96
Size
95
best offer for today
$7.13
Pros:

Strong, durable full-tang and weather resistant blade

Comes with a sheath and cord

Impressive finish

Ergonomic handle

Cons:

The sheath is poorly made

The sheath has no clip to hold the blade

The SE Karambit knife offers a little more flair in its design compared to the Vulcan Gear. It packs a decent amount of features and it is also quite the looker for users who prefer to stand out even with their gear. The SE KFD359 has a variety of features which include a 4” full-tang, curved blade made from 440 Stainless steel a steel finger loop pommel and it also comes with a sheath and cord to make it much easier for you to enjoy the benefits of your new Karambit knife at any time and at any place.

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The Blade
As with any Karambit, the blade is the central focus of the knife. The SE KFD359 has a blade made out of 440C Stainless steel that gives it a variety of admirable characters. These include incredible strength and a high resistance to wear and tear, resistance to corrosion and rusting and it is very hardy.

The Finish
Karambits come in different finishes depending on the preference of the user. If you prefer to have shiny equipment, this one will fit right in. It has a unique silver rustic finish that gives it an appealing yet deadly look. The sheath and cord also have a matching finish for a dashing and stand out look.

Cost and Value
You will have to dig a little deeper into your pockets to land this Karambit. However, it can also be classified as an entry-level and perfect for people working with a tight budget. For the extra bucks, you get a better quality blade that is harder and more resilient.

3. Blades USA E419-PP

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
94.6
Blades USA E419-PP
Durability
95
Comfort
94
Materials
90
Brand
96
Size
98
best offer for today
$4.54
Pros:

Perfect for training

Made from durable, yet lightweight materials for easier learning

Include the finger loop for maximum control

Properly weighted

Cons:

Not an actual Karambit

Does not come with a clip or sheath

It is always a good idea to consider getting trained on how to use a Karambit knife, especially for tactical applications. Like any other knife, handling the knife requires knowledge and expertise. If you decide to get trained first, for the sake of safety, you should consider going for a Karambit training knife. It helps you learn the ropes faster and if you make any mistakes, you won’t pay for them.

The Blades USA Karambit training knife is built to look and feel like the actual deal and has most of the same features including the finger loop. For the sake of safety, the knife is made from high-quality Polypropylene and has a rounded tip to keep you safe at all times.

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Rounded Tip
During training, mistakes can happen. With a sharp pointed tip, you can easily injure yourself. The rounded tip of this Karambit training knife allows you to learn and master all the tricks in the book without any concerns about accidental injuries.

Polypropylene Build
When making a karambit training knife, there is a lot that has to be considered. The knife even though not a real knife, it should be strong enough to stand up to the demands of training and should resemble the actual Karambit knife. In this case, Polypropylene has been used. It is sturdy, strong and safe for the user.

Cost and Value
It is important to remember that this is a training tool and not an actual Karambit knife. However, the price is quite reasonable even though for a few more dollars, you could easily land a decent option like the Karambit from Vulcan Gear. Nonetheless, it is an ideal option for those that want to take their love for Karambits to the next level.

4. MASALONG Double Edged

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
94.4
MASALONG Double Edged
Durability
98
Comfort
94
Materials
96
Brand
92
Size
92
best offer for today
$39.99
Pros:

Strong, highly durable blade made from D2 steel

Comes with a long lasting sheath

Double-edged blade for multi-purpose use

Comfortable handle

Cons:

The knife is on the heavier side

The price is a little steep.

If you are looking for a serious Karambit and you have the budget to spare, this is a great option for you. It is a multi-purpose option with a doubled edged blade to make it even more useful. It is incredibly strong and built to battle and win in the great outdoors. Its range of features includes a 3.1-inch length blade made from D2 Steel to guarantee quality and exceptional hardiness. The design of the handle is a beauty and comfortable to your hand and the knife also comes with a high-quality sheath made out of leather with a clip to help you safely tag your knife everywhere you go.

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The Blade
This product takes the forging of the blade to the next level. Unlike the previous versions that we have reviewed that are made from stainless steel, the blade of the MASALONG is made from D2 steel. It is harder, offers better longevity while offering resistance to corrosion and protecting against rust.

Leather Sheath
While a lot of effort goes into producing the Karambit, not much of it goes to the sheath. In this case, there is a decent amount of effort that has gone into the sheath. You can choose to either have your sheath made out of leather or have a Kydex sheath. Both are hardy and safely hold the knife in place.

Cost and Value
From the variety of features, it is easy to tell this is designed for the more serious users. The price is higher compared to the previously reviewed options but it is for a good cause. The blade is tougher and sharper and the make and feel of the knife are of greater quality.

5. Schrade SCH112

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
93.8
Schrade SCH112
Durability
96
Comfort
92
Materials
94
Brand
93
Size
94
best offer for today
$20.00
Pros:

Durable full-tang Karambit knife

Made from high quality materials

Dual edged blade

Comes with a thermoplastic sheath

Cons:

The slots on the sheath are very small and cannot fit in most belts

It cannot be worn around the neck

This product is the best option to get you noticed. It focuses mainly on features. The design is simple yet aggressive and is definitely going to make quite the statement to any person who understands what Karambits are about. The knife measures 8.4 inches while the blade is 5.2 inches long just to make sure it is multi-purpose. It measures 8.2 ounces and matches up to the needs of every serious Karambit user. Whether for tactical or as an EDC, this is the perfect tool for you to have.

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Full Tang Blade
To keep the knife strong and durable, it is made from one piece of high carbon steel that makes it extra sharp and gives it a high resilience to corrosion and rusting. The design also has a thumb hole that provides you with the utmost grip on the blade and ensures it does not fall down.

Sheath
The knife comes with a durable thermoplastic sheath to make it easier for you to bring your Karambit on every journey you’re on. The sheath provides for a safe and convenient way to carry the knife around without any risks.

Cost and Value
Considering the build quality and the materials used in the making of this Karambit, you should expect to dig a little deeper into your pocket. But, it is for a good cause. The price is quite reasonable given the overall quality of the blade.

6. HOSANA Sheath and Cord

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
93.2
HOSANA Sheath and Cord
Durability
93
Comfort
95
Materials
92
Brand
93
Size
93
best offer for today
$11.99
Pros:

Good quality stainless steel blade

Comes with a sheath and cord for easy storage and portability

Comfortable and ergonomic handle

Affordable and reasonable pricing

Cons:

The handle and the sheath are made from plastic

The tip bends a little easily

If you prefer to have a light, professional and small Karambit for all your outdoor fun, this one fits the bill perfectly. It only measures 3.8 ounces and is very easy to carry. It has a total length of 7.4 inches and the blade is just 3.3 inches long. It is the perfect option for users who prefer more maneuverability and efficiency. It has a comfortable and ergonomic design and it fits perfectly in your hand and the blade is razor sharp. This Karambit has been designed for all kinds of outdoor activities and you can use it for fishing, hunting, and even camping. It is also extremely handy in self-defense and its lightweight nature allows you to explore quick maneuvers and tricks.

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Ergonomic Handle
The handle of the Karambit knife is often underrated. Having a comfortable and ergonomic handle makes it easier to use the knife for longer periods and you can complete harder tasks without worrying about your knife being short handed or developing blisters because of a bad grip. This tactical knife has a carefully crafted handle with grooves for your fingers to provide a comfortable and perfect fit for your hands when using the knife.

Stainless Steel Blade
The advantage of having a stainless steel blade is that they are low maintenance and they can last for a long time. Stainless steel has an impeccable ability to stand up to corrosion and rusting ensuring that you can use the knife longer and under different circumstances without much worry.

Cost and Value
For its quality, the price of this Karambit knife is quite the bargain. For a quite an impressive price, you get a great looking and highly functional knife that can tear into almost anything and it is easy to maintain.

7. Mtech MT670

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
91.4
Mtech MT670
Durability
92
Comfort
90
Materials
93
Brand
91
Size
91
best offer for today
$7.89
Pros:

Simple, rugged design perfect for the outdoors

Stonewashed blade that is easier to maintain

Comes with a sheath for easier storage and portability

Camo cord provides better grip even in wet applications

Cons:

The quality of the sheath is not the best

The sheath can only be used from the left. No option for right-handed use

For lovers of the great outdoors, it does not hurt to have a Karambit that looks the part. Sometimes, focusing too much on the design and finishing can make the knife look and feel soft while all you want is brute force and functionality. This is what the Mtech Knife is all about. It doesn’t have all the shiny finishes but packs quite the punch in functionality. It is a full-tang Karambit with a cord that you wrap around the handle for comfort. The blade is stonewashed finished and the knife even comes with the finger ring for improved control. The steel blade is 3.3 inches long which is just enough to multiple functions and not too long that portability is compromised.

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Camo Cord Wrapped Handle
Most Karambit knives come with a plastic handle. While this is comfortable, it does not last and in applications like fishing, it easily gets wet and slippery. The use of camo cord wrapped around the handle ensures you have a steady grip on the knife at all times. It also provides a more comfortable feel for the hand.

Stone Washed Blade
The stonewashed finish on the blade gives it better resistance to rust and it also hides the scratches that might appear on the blade over time. Stonewashing also reduces the amount of maintenance required for the blade while ensuring it keeps its original look longer.

Cost and Value
Having a stripped down Karambit knife comes with its benefits. One of them is that the price is friendly and you still get a high-quality Karambit that is up to the task. The price of the this is budget-friendly and you get value for your money.

8. Cold Steel 92R49Z

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
89.4
Cold Steel 92R49Z
Durability
87
Comfort
90
Materials
89
Brand
90
Size
91
best offer for today
$9.00
Pros:

Perfect for training

Rounded tip for improved safety

Realistic and detail oriented design

Made from quality materials

Cons:

It is only a training Karambit knife. Cannot be used in actual situations

The price is steep

To make the most out of your Karambit, you need to take some lessons. This might be difficult when using an actual Karambit since you could easily hurt yourself. That is why there are training Karambits as well. This product is one of them. It is built to look and feel like an actual Karambit complete with a finger ring but, it is safe for training. The knife is made from Santoprene which is a strong and sturdy material and the handle is comfortable for you to use. However, the total length is slightly over nine inches and the blade is 4 inches long. This has been designed and made to meet all the requirements and criteria of an actual Karambit.

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Design
If it were not for the feel, this looks and feels quite real. It has a mean and aggressive look to it and the details have been carefully put together to make sure you have the actual experience of handling a Karambit knife even in training, demos or when conducting drills.

Safety
To prevent danger and injury, this is made from materials that will not harm or injure you in any way. While the material is sturdy, it is not strong enough to puncture your skin. However, an additional safety feature is the use of a rounded tip at the end.

Cost and Value
The price for this training Karambit is a little steep. Considering there are other varieties of actual Karambit options that have the same or even lower pricing, it is safe to say the price is on the higher end. However, the quality and attention to detail on this is commendable.

9. Tac Force Dual Blade

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
88.8
Tac Force Dual Blade
Durability
90
Comfort
88
Materials
89
Brand
87
Size
90
best offer for today
$9.68
Pros:

Dual blades for different applications

Made from stainless steel and aluminum

Easy to carry around with the belt clip

Liner locking system makes it safer to carry the Karambit

Cons:

Does not have a finger or thumb ring

Does not come with a sheath

Fitted with dual blades which can be opened and closed independently, this Karambit is a great addition to users who do not mind losing the finger ring and in its place will get an extra blade and a neat and foldable tool that is much easier to carry. This Karambit has black stainless steel blades. One of the blades is serrated and the other is straight. The handle is made from aluminum to create a quality yet lightweight feel. To make it easier to bring the knife on your escapades, it comes with a liner locking system, a belt clip and a ring.

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Dual Blades
In the great outdoors, you can never be too sure on what kind of blade you will need. With this product, you have an extra type of blade that you can rely on despite the type of application at hand.

Liner Locking System
To keep the blades safely tucked away when you do not need them, the Karambit is fitted with a liner locking system. It is an additional safety feature that could save you a lot of trouble and prevent unnecessary injury.

Cost and Value
For the design, features, and quality of this, the price is well thought out and it is budget friendly. Even though the materials are not the best, they are of good quality and the knife will be able to serve you for a decent amount of time.

10. Cold Steel Tiger

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
87.8
Cold Steel Tiger
Durability
90
Comfort
86
Materials
91
Brand
87
Size
85
Pros:

Impressive design and finish

The blade is made from the best processes

Reasonable pricing

Non-slip grip handle

Cons:

Does not come with a sheath

It is not budget friendly

The Cold Steel Steel Tiger Karambit knife is a one of kind blade that is designed to meet the needs of avid users of such blades. The design of the blade is a result of some of the most renowned experts in Karambit circles like Steven Likarich. The is designed to be a modern day tool for optimal performance.

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The Blade
The Blade of the Steel Tiger Karambit is vacuum treated, sub-zero quenched, taper ground and has a stonewash finish to improve strength durability and resilience to corrosion and rusting and ensure the product offers the best performance for various applications.

The Handle
The handle of this Karambit is equally impressive. It is injected with premium Kray-ex for a non-slip grip that is ideal for all kinds of applications. The handled is carefully designed for an ergonomic and comfortable grip when using the knife.

Cost and Value
The Steel Tiger Karambit is a premium product that has undergone extensive manufacturing processes to guarantee the best performance in all kinds of applications. As such, you should not expect anything less than a premium price for this kind of knife. The price is not exorbitant but it is reasonable.

Criteria Used for Evaluation

Durability

Whether your Karambit will be for self-defense or for other outdoor activities, it needs to be reliable. You need to be sure that when the occasion calls for it, it will be up to the task. That is why durability is the first thing you should look at.

The Karambit should have a high-quality blade, a comfortable and strong handle, and a thumb or finger ring. The overall feel should be strong and sturdy and it should properly be built. With a durable Karambit, you are assured of long-term service no matter the use.

Comfort

You need to be able to comfortably use the Karambit. Some of the applications that require the use of this kind of knife require brute force and a lot of energy. If it is not easy to work with and comfortable, you can easily end up with blisters and the constantly slipping handle can make it hard for you to use the knife.

For comfort, consider going for Karambit knives with non-slip handles. It might also be a good idea to go for knives that have a molded handle or one with grooves for your fingers. It makes it easier for your hand to find and provide you with enough grip to use the knife comfortably.

Materials

There are numerous materials that are used in the making of Karambit knives. From stainless steel, refined carbon steel, and high-grade iron. The quality of the material used in making the product says a lot about the quality.

Go for options that are made from high-grade materials. This is not only for the blade but also for the sheath if there is one and also the handle. You might have to pay more to acquire such knives but you will also get more out of the knives and have comfort knowing you have a premium tool in your arsenal.

Brand

When it comes to the Karambit, checking the brand can save you a lot of trouble. Some brands are synonymous with quality and have invested time and money in making the best Karambit knives.

Some of the best brands that we featured in our reviews include Cold Steel and also Masalong. Other noteworthy brands include Schrade and Spyderco. If you’re not sure about the quality of the Karambit, considering the brand can take care of most of your problems and ensure you get a good quality option without as much experience.

Size

Even though most Karambits are small in size, the length of the knife and blade differ. Depending on the application and preference, size might be an issue. Even though the size is not a significant factor, it is worth considering especially if you want to carry the Karambit around your neck.

The length of the blade and body affects a variety of other factors like the weight of the product and also the efficiency with which you are able to use it. These are some of the reasons why considering the size is important before making the purchase.

Expert Interviews & Opinions

Most Important Criteria (According to our experts opinion)
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#5
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Karambit Rings

One of the most distinctive features of Karambit knives is the ring. It is meant to improve and secure the grip on the knife. However, there are other Karambit knives in the market that do not have the ring. It is not compulsory to have a ring on your Karambit but it is advisable.

A History Lesson

The Karambit was first created in the West Sumatra region of Indonesia. It was originally used as a farming tool but as the use of the Karambit spread to other parts of Asia, it became clear quite quickly that not everyone was using it as it was originally intended. It didn't take long for the Karambit to go from being used in crops to being used as a weapon in wars. Folklore says that the curved blade was modeled after the claws of tigers.

Other Factors to Consider

Use

Your preferred Karambit knife can change depending on the use. In most cases, Karambits are used for camping, fishing, hunting, EDC and self defence. When fishing, the knife can act as a paring knife.

For hunting, folding Karambit knives are a better choice and for self-defense, smaller yet efficient Karambit knives are preferred. It is vital that you consider the use of the Karambit so you buy the right one.

Style

Karambit knives come in different styles depending on what you prefer or what you would like to use the knife for. There are fixed blade Karambit knives that don’t fold and are best for defense. These style of knives are not preferred by hunters and fishers.

Other types include the manual folding Karambit knife which is a favorite for defense. However, they are less efficient when used for martial arts. Finally, there are the butterfly Karambits which have a switchblade. They are easier to carry and perfect for hunters, campers and for fishing.

Versatility

When buying your Karambit, you might have self-defense or martial arts in mind. But, in process, you might want to use it as a tool. That is why you should always consider how versatile the knife is when making the purchase.

Even though you have a primary function for the knife, it should not be too short handed that it is not able to complete other tasks.

Weather Resistance

You will use your Karambit knife almost exclusively outdoors. The knife is constantly exposed to the aspects of weather and rough conditions. Being able to stand up to corrosion and rusting is critical for the knife.

To gauge the ability of the knife to stand up to the weather you should check the material that has been used to make the blade. Materials like stainless steel and a variety of metals that have chromium all stand up quite well to rusting and corrosion.

Accessories

Most of the accessories that come with Karambit knives are tools to make it easy to carry the knife around.

These include belt clips, sheaths and cords that allow to explore safe methods that you can use to carry the knife around. It is important to make sure the accessories are also built to last since in some cases, they might be poorly built.

Frequently Asked Questions

q: Are Karambits legal to own?
a:

Karambits are regulated at a state level. Even though most knives with a blade length of 3 inches or less are fair game, it is important to check with the local legislation to make sure you are within your rights when buying a Karambit knife for yourself or as a gift. It is better to be safe.

q: Do I need to buy a separate Karambit for tactical purposes and another as an ECD?
a:

Karambits can be used for either function. But, if you prefer to have two separate knives for each function, it is perfectly fine. Alternatively, you could invest in one high quality blade that can serve both purposes equally well.

q: How do I carry my Karambit knife?
a:

There are several ways you can carry a Karambit knife. You can wear it around your neck if it comes with a sheath and a cord. You can also carry the knife on the hip or have it in your pocket. You can also tie a cord on the loop or carry the knife on the belt if it comes with a sheath that has a belt clip. Therefore, making this one of the easiest knives to carry.