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Top 5 Military Knives of 2016

Updated on January 30, 2016
Justin Breeze profile image

Justin is a combat veteran & writer who served the Marines for 13 years. Justin received a BSBA in 2015 and MBA (marketing focus) in 2017.

The Sharpest Tools in the Shed

A Cut Above the Rest

Pocket knives. For some, they are disregarded as an unnecessary toy only used by Boy Scouts and outdoors-men. For others, they are seen as an essential tool, carried and utilized every day to accomplish everything from opening boxes to checking the temperature of a steak. Perhaps the subculture most familiar with the versatility and need for a daily blade is our U.S. military. In the military, knives have to serve two major purposes, utility and self defense. With such a large demographic of individuals constantly in search of the right blade, many companies have made it their business to push out products in search of a profit. But how can the average "Joe" determine true, proven quality with so many substandard products in the market? To "trim the fat" and provide understanding of what true quality knives are, we've lined up a list of the most credible (and therefor popular) brands in the U.S. military.

SOG Specialty Knives

Named after a U.S. Special Operations Group that was composed during Vietnam, "SOG" was short for the original designation "Military Assistance Command, Vietnam - Studies and Observations Group" (MACV-SOG) This was also a play on words, as "SOG" was actually a covert name for "Special Operations Group." During this time, the secret group, which was responsible for conducting secret operations, carried a unique bowie knife that inspired the chief founder of SOG knives, Spencer Frazer.

Now considered one of our top 3, SOG Specialty Knives is a highly respected brand in the military and law enforcement community. According to their mission, "SOG strives to be the creators of the most distinctive gear- gear made especially for adventurous people who like to "live on the edge. SOG's mission is to design and create gear of the highest quality, distinction and value that delivers what consumers need- and in order to do so, always defining the leading edge of technology."

If you're looking for a knife used and respected by the Special Operations community, your search is over.


Originally introduced over 30 years ago under the name "Bali-Song," the history of these high quality knives has had its share of "ups and downs." Now, with a perfected craft and precision process, Benchmade has taken its extensive experience in knife making to develop some of the most elite weapons available.

Respected as one the most quality blades on the market (and one of our top 3 picks), Benchmade knives are prized by knife enthusiast around the world, a tool to be envied. Benchmade says it best - "For over twenty-five years, Benchmade has been designing and manufacturing world-class products for world-class customers. When Benchmade was founded, the mission was to create something better; something exceptional. Today, we continue to innovate with the goal of taking performance and reliability to the next level. To exceed what is expected."

Columbia River Knife & Tool (CRKT)

Established in 1994 by founder Rod Bremer, Columbia River Knife and Tool has demonstrated their ability to produce uniquely designed, high quality knives for over 20 years. Partnered with some of the world's leading designers, CRKT has developed and implemented technological advances to modern knives regularly. Now one of the top selling knives on military bases worldwide, CRKT is regarded as a top-quality blade, at a mid-quality price. If you're looking for something truly reliable without breaking the bank, CRKT may be the knife for you.

"Whether for everyday use or tactical and survival situations, CRKT® knives, tools, and lifestyle accessories are purpose-built to instill confidence in those who proudly carry them. Every day they are put to the test on the job, in the woods, on the mountain, and even on the battlefield by people who value preparedness and demand performance. If it's not up to their standards, then it's not up to ours."

Columbia River Knife & Tool


Kershaw was developed over 40 years ago in Portland, Oregon by founder Pete Kershaw. Now partnered with Kai International, Kershaw's brand provides 3 distinct lines of knife products: Kershaw Sporting Knives, Shun Cutlery (Japanese Kitchen Knives) and Zero Tolerance premium and professional knives.

Another of our "Top 3 picks," Kershaw knives are the envy of all U.S. forces. Kershaw pioneered the use of many of the technologies and advanced materials that are today standard in the knife industry. From award-winning technologies and advanced materials to the solid sound of the blade lockup, when you’re carrying a Kershaw, you know you’re carrying the real thing. "There's nothing like a Kershaw."

Kershaw Quality


Considered one of the most commonly carried knives by the U.S. military, Gerber has provided reliable products since 1939. Additionally, Gerber has provided the knowledge and experience of their craft to many other knife manufacturers around the world (to include the founder of Kershaw). Perhaps one of the most affordable on our list, Gerber has an extremely wide variety of blades available for every purpose. If you're looking for a reliable blade at a mid-range price point, Gerber may just be the blade for you.

"Quality, reliability, innovation. For over 70 years this is what our customers have expected from us. And whether our products are used to save time, save the day, or save a life, Gerber always delivers."


Which Blade Would You Choose?

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