Best Neck Knife: Everything You Need to Know | Survival-Mastery

military neck knife on survival-mastery

A neck knife is essential for many people, and choosing the best neck knife can involve hours of browsing the hundreds of choices available.

Other than a gun, some think a neck knife is one of the most important weapons you can carry. You can grab it FAST and it is a very effective and versatile tool and weapon.

In this article, I’ll discuss the benefits and uses of a neck knife, how to choose a neck knife, and some of the best options currently available.

Benefits of a Neck Knife

No matter where I am or what I’m doing – backpacking, hiking, hunting, working, etc., you can be sure I have a knife somewhere on me. They are great tools around the house and at camp and quick and lethal for self-defense.

THERE IS ALWAYS A KNIFE ON ME SOMEWHERE when I’m out in the wilderness or just walking out back to the tool shed. You never know if you need to open something or fight off that rabid raccoon!

I once watched a raccoon leap onto the back of a woman eating lunch at a picnic table. Nobody in the immediate area had a weapon other than a stick, which did not prove very effective.

I was young when that happened, and I have ALWAYS carried a knife from that day on.

There are multiple reasons a neck knife is a good knife to carry.

  1. Easy to Access – You can easily grab it around your neck and be ready to fight with your hands and eyes up. A knife on your belt requires potentially looking down and fumbling with other things on your belt.
  2. Easy to Carry – Many neck knives are light-weight and can be carried on a cord or chain around your neck. I know people that never take them off. They eat, sleep and wash in them.
  3. Concealment – You can wear it under your shirt, tie or jacket and keep it hidden until you need it.
  4. Fixed Blade – There are folding and fixed blade neck knives, and I’m in the fixed blade camp. A fixed blade knife is faster, stronger, and easier to maintain in my opinion.
  5. Quick to Wear – You can put on a neck knife much more quickly other knives.

How are Neck Knives Used?

Black tactical neck knife and nylon sheath

A neck knife has no lack of uses. This is one of the best things about these rigid little knives!

  1. Self-Defense
  2. Hunting & Fishing
  3. Camping and Hiking
  4. Everyday Use


Self-defense is an obvious use of a neck knife. Are you walking to your car late at night? Putting out the trash? Leaving the Mall? Live in a sketchy neighborhood? Fixing a flat tire?

This fast, lightweight knife is what you need in a tight situation that requires you to react quickly and efficiently!

Hunting and Fishing

Black neck knife in bin of sunflower seeds.

If you spend a lot of time outdoors, an easy-to-access knife can be invaluable. There are numerous uses.

  • Skinning Game
  • Scaling fish
  • Cutting line
  • Using around camp – cutting cord, opening packaging, cutting fabric, wood, etc.

Camping and Hiking

I don’t even go on day hikes without a knife, much less backpacking trips.

  • First Aid
  • Opening packaging
  • Building shelters
  • Preparing food
  • Animal Defense

Everyday Use

There is no time at work or play that I don’t need a knife for simple tasks, and I have never wished I did not have a knife.

  • Cutting a slice of apple
  • Opening containers
  • Trimming my boot laces

Folding or Fixed Blades?

Karambit is a small curved knife found in the Phillipines

My neck knives are fixed blades for the reasons I mentioned above. I think they are more robust and easier to maintain.

I also want my neck knife to be fast and not spend the time needed to unfold it and then get a good grasp.

Bead Chain or Cord?

You can use either a bead chain or cord to hold your neck knife, but in my opinion, you should use a bead chain or some cord that has a quick break release.

If the knife gets caught while climbing or working, it needs to be able to break away.

You also don’t want a combatant to be able to grab a cord and choke you while you are fighting.

Everyone has their preference, but my choice is the bead chain.

What are the Best Products on the Market?

There are a LOT of choices when choosing neck knives. Their popularity exploded a few years ago, but below is a quick list of the knives I like.

Read further, and I’ll provide more detail on each one, along with the positives and negatives.

Morakniv Eldris Fixed-BladeShop Here
CRKT Compact Fixed Blade KnifeShop Here
ESEE Izula Fixed Blade KnifeShop Here
Ka-Bar BK11 Becker Necker Neck KnifeShop Here
SOG Instinct Mini Small Fixed Blade KnifeShop Here

Best Neck Knives – Details

All of the knives below are very good, but there are a few differences.

Morakniv Eldris Fixed Blade

Morakive for neck on survival-mastery

This is a Mora, and you get the quality you expect. The stainless steel blade is razor-sharp out of the box, and the easy-to-grasp, balanced grip makes this knife great to have in any situation.

Review Ranking: 4.8/5


  • Good, comfortable grip
  • High quality construction & razor sharp
  • Good fire starter


  • No breakaway cord for neck
  • Does not hold Fero Rod

CRKT Compact Fixed Blade Knife

CRKT Compact Fixed Blade Neck Knife on Survival-Mastery

The CRKT is a great, lightweight minimalist knife. A firm, tight grip makes this a comfortable knife that you hardly even notice you are carrying.

Review Ranking: 4.8/5


  • Very good grip
  • Quality construction & razor sharp out of the box
  • Light weight neck knife


  • Plastic holder could be a little tighter
  • Metal soft so sharpen regularly
  • No belt clip

ESEE Izula Fixed Blade Knife

ESEE Izula Fixed Blade Neck Knife on Survival-Mastery

This Izula is tough as nails and an excellent knife for concealment. The carbon steel is extremely sharp out of the box, so be careful when removing it from its sheath.

Review Ranking: 4.8/5


  • Lifetime Warranty
  • Extremely sharp out of the box
  • Quality Carbon Steel


  • Sheath too tight
  • Need to coat carbon steel
  • No belt clip

Ka-Bar BK11 Becker Necker Neck Knife

Ka Bar Bk11 Neck Knife on Survival-Mastery

The BK11 is one of the most durable knives in this group with its Cro-Van Carbon Steel. The solid blade balances well in your hand but will require a handle or paracord for those with larger hands.

Review Ranking: 4.7/5


  • Good looking, well-made knife
  • Tough carbon steel blade
  • good value for quality


  • Large, lose sheath
  • Handle slightly small for large hands
  • Sheath dulls blade over time

SOG Instinct Mini Small Fixed Blade Knife

SOG Instinct Mini Small Fixed Blade Knife on Survival-Mastery

This small, light-weight SOG is the perfect neck knife size and weight. The small, easily concealed knife is suitable for self-defense and simple tools around the house or campsite.

Review Ranking: 4.6/5


  • Perfect size for a neck knife
  • Easy to conceal and good for self-defense
  • Good quality construction


  • Not sharp out of the box so need to sharpen
  • Friction fit might losen sheath over time
  • Sheath dulls blade over time

Best Neck Knife – Final Thoughts

Different knives are used for other purposes, but the neck knife can be used in many situations.

They are not for everyone, though. Some people don’t like the weight hanging around their neck. I don’t mind, though, as long as the knife is pretty lightweight and flat.

The knives above are quality blades at reasonable prices, and they are all versatile and durable enough to be used in any situation.

Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. This means that if you click on one of these links and make a purchase, I earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. Also, as an Amazon Affiliate, I earn from qualifying purchases. If the information in this post has been helpful, please consider purchasing through one of the links in this article. Thank you.

About the author

Andrew McKay

Andrew McKay is a seasoned hunter and fisherman from Anchorage, Alaska. Andrew thinks that he is the luckiest person in the world, as he lives in the most gorgeous place in United States and does what he loves to do. As a member of Alaska Professional Hunters Association and International Hunter Education Association, he is always looking for the ways to improve his skills and to teach people around him.


  • The Ka-Bar BK11 is a perfect size for EDC and I wear it around my neck. I’m comfortable wearing it in public because it’s not noticeable or alarm people around me. The 1095 CroVan steel blade is a good quality material, which retains an edge very well. The grip is comfortable, and I like the bottle opener and wire breaker features.

  • MTech USA MT-20-14 Series is a good knife for the price. It’s the right size for concealed neck carry protection and defense. It’s also a good utility knife with a serviceable edge that can be easily sharpened up more. This knife is also well-balanced between blade and handle. Therefore, it can be a good throw knife.

  • A good quality neck knife is one that allows you to carry out different Bushcraft tasks at ease, and the MTech USA MT-20-14 Series is the perfect choice. Check out the other models from the list of product reviews.

  • If you are after a lightweight, great craftsmanship, durable neck/bushcraft knife, then Ka-Bar BK11 is one of the best. This unique blade is worth your money.

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