Survival knives come in all shapes and sizes, and can be carried almost anywhere on the body. Neck knives make great survival knives because they are easy to put on and use, and are difficult to lose. They are a good way to carry a backup blade just in case your EDC survival knife gets lost or misplaced.
Some of us that are focused on survival like to carry 5-6 knives on us at all times. When you carry that many knives some of them need to be small and concealable. Neck knives fit the bill very nicely.
Neck Knives Defined
Neck knives are short little fixed blade knives that are worn around the neck…most often suspended in a sheath hanging with the handle pointing down. They are usually suspended by a paracord or a beaded ball chain such as those that are used with dog tags.
With Neck Knives, Thin Is Definitely In
Neck knives are usually very thin, usually made out of a single piece of steel or titanium, and most are very easy to conceal. Some come with handles while others are naked, skeletonized knives – without any kind of handle material. The knives that have a naked handle are that way because they are less bulky, and therefore are easier to conceal. If you get one of those skinny, skelotonized knives, you can always have the grip improved by paracord wrapping the naked handle.
The neck knives that are the smallest are of course the easiest to conceal. You could try to conceal a large tactical knife around your neck, but the bulge might give it away – unless you have on a coat or something similar that will help conceal it. Needles to say, you only need to worry about concealment if you are interested in stealth.
Most neck knife blades are under four inches, with many in the three inch and under category. Any neck knife that has a blade longer than three inches can be considered a large neck knife. An example of a large neck knife is the Wilson Tactical Neck Knife; with an overall length of 7 3/8” inches and a blade length of 3 7/8”inches
Knives that are designed to be worn around the neck are usually quite thin so that they are easier to conceal. If you decide you want to carry a large neck knife then what you gain in a better grip and durability you give up in ease of concealment.
Some excellent neck knife choices are:
- Columbia River Knife And Tool’s Folts Minimalist Bowie
- Spyderco Swick – Discontinued. These little naked knives are great. They can still be found on ebay sometimes.
- Emerson La Griffe
- Microtech Manus are getting difficult to find but are worth the search!
- Mayo Kaala
- Becker Necker
- CRKT Dogfish
Watch this short video highlighting a few good neck knives:
The Legality Of Carrying Neck Knives
Some state and local ordinances are clearly against their citizens carrying concealed knives or at the very least are not friendly to those that do carry them. A few state and local knife laws in the United States date back to the days of the wild west when many men carried bowie knives and pocket dirks. For instance Texas, the state that is most associated with the Bowie knife, has statutes explicitly forbidding them.
Many states have laws against the concealed carry of certain knives. For instance, Ga has laws against carrying any offensive/defensive weapon in a concealed manner.
If you are unsure about your state knife laws check out knife-expert.com.
Other knife law resources include:
If you don’t live in the USA and you are unsure about the knife laws where you live then please check your Countries laws. Some countries such as New Zealand forbid all knives from being carried, concealed or not!
Neck knives are a good choice for anyone interested in carrying a survival knife. They are easy to access, easy to conceal, and easy to wear. They can conceivably function as your main survival knife, but are better suited to being a back-up knife. If you haven’t tried neck knives yet why not give them a try? You just might find yourself with a new love that will help keep you alive if you ever find yourself in a survival situation.
Image of paracord wrapped neck knife courtesy of: Pig Monkey