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Best Karambit Knives of 2024


I don’t think there is a more distinctive tactical knife than the mighty Karambit. It started its existence as an agricultural tool in Indonesia, where it served a similar purpose to the sickle. But practitioners of Silat martial arts helped this blade to strut. In the same way that its curved blade gathers and slices the long fibers of rice stems, it does a good job of gathering and slicing through the skin, muscles, and tendons of your enemies. This biomechanical advantage combined with the Karambit’s small, concealable size has made this blade stand the test of time. Today, martial artists, self-defense instructors, military and police personnel, and even everyday citizens appreciate the Karambit for its tactical utility. If you’re one of them, you’ve come to the right place. Here are the best Karambits of 2024! 

Best All-Around Karambit: LionSteel L.E.One


No matter what you carry a Karambit for, the LionSteel L.E.One will excel at the job. It was designed by tactical knifemaking legend Ernest Emerson and comes equipped with Emerson’s trademark Wave Opener. When you need your L.E.One, just hook the wave on your pocket and the knife will snap open as you draw it. LionSteel is known for its SOLID knives with integral handles, and the L.E.One stands as one of them. Its handle is milled from a solid block of aluminum with an added steel lockbar insert for lock stability. Its blade is made of ultramodern CPM MagnaCut, so you won’t have to worry about breaking or rusting. For an all-around Karambit, it’s hard to beat the L.E.One! 

Best Tactical Karambit: CRKT Provoke


If you’re a law enforcement officer or in the military, your knife isn’t just a tool, it’s one of your last lines of defense. These high-risk jobs require a knife built for them, and the Provoke is just that. Its blade rides on a unique kinematic opening mechanism designed by Joe Caswell. To open, just loop your finger through the ring, rest your thumb where it naturally wants to fall, push down on the jimping, and the knife snaps open and locks into place. In a sticky situation, the Provoke can go from sheathed to open and ready for combat in less than a second! 

Best Spring-Assisted Karambit: Kershaw Outlier


Some folks like the dependable opening action offered by an assisted opener, and Karambit fans are no exception. Kershaw made the Outlier for you – with its SpeedSafe assisted opener and liner lock. My favorite feature of this knife is its oversized thumb stud. If you draw the knife by looping your index finger through the ring, there’s no way to reach the flipper. But with some practice, you can flick the thumb stud open with your pinky! And for all you lefties or people who carry weak-side, both the pocket clip and thumb stud are reversible for left-side carry! 

Best Folding Karambit: Fox Knives Black Bird


Designed in collaboration with Bastinelli Knives, the Black Bird has all the fixings of self-defense masterpiece. Its short blade allows the entire package to be small and pocketable without sacrificing cutting power. With some training, the user can snag the hook of the blade on his or her pocket and launch the knife into action in a fraction of a second. That hook comes in handy in a scuffle, helping you move assailant’s limbs to your advantage. 

Best Concealed-Carry Karambit: Bastinelli PiKa


The PiKa is tiny. Its blade is only an inch long, and it weighs a downright silly 1.37 ounces, but it packs all the cutting power you need to get out of trouble. It was designed as a collaboration between Bastien Coves of Bastinelli knives and Doug Marcaida. These two edged weapons experts poured their years of experience into this blade, and you can feel it. Even though the knife is small, it nestles perfectly in the hand, and the hook of the blade may be small, but it cuts insanely deep. It’s incredible how such a small knife can do so much work! 

Most Unique Karambit: Reate EXO-K


My friend Tomas Alas of Tactical Tavern is famous for his ability to flip knives all over the place for fun and profit, but is knife flipping useful in a self-defense situation? I honestly don’t know, but there’s something to be said for a cool opening mechanism, and the EXO-K has a really cool one. To open it, you press the button, fan the knife open, and catch it as it comes together again. With some practice you can do it pretty quick, and when you do, it’s about the coolest thing you can do with a knife. Just check out Tomas doing it! It’s incredible! 

But before you run around flipping a live-edge Karambit like Tomas, get a trainer and get good with it. I decided to jump to a live-edge Karambit for flipping and earned myself four stitches and a scar on my pinky. Be safe!

Best EDC Karambit: WE Envisage


The distinctive hawkbill blade of the Karmabit isn’t always the convenient blade shape for everyday carry. Sometimes a bit of belly comes in handy, and inward curves are difficult to sharpen. That’s where the Envisage comes in. WE made this knife with the iconic Karambit ring, but a more conventional drop point blade shape. Other than that, it’s got all the luxury WE Knife Co. touches, like a milled titanium handle and a buttery-smooth ball bearing action. If you’re an EDC-er who wants to carry a Karambit, check out the Envisage! 

Best Budget Karambit: Schrade SCH111


When police respond to a self-defense situation, they tend to collect every bit of evidence they can, which often includes any weapons that were involved. I’ve never experienced this, but I imagine it’s heartbreaking to see some officers put your beloved knife in a plastic bag and drive away with it. And if they do, there’s a 90% chance you will never see it again, even if you were justified. So, if you carry a Karambit for self-defense, I’d recommend something affordable like the Schrade SCH111. It’s a capable last-ditch option, and if the cops take it from you, you’re only out $25. 

Best Fixed-Blade Karambit: Cold Steel Steel Tiger


Fixed blade knives are the fastest knives in existence, so a lot of people who work high-risk tactical jobs prefer them. If that describes you, the Steel Tiger is the knife for you. Its Secure-Ex sheath can be mounted to a pack, a vest, a belt, or a boot, and in a fraction of a second, a trained user can take this knife from sheathed to contact with an assailant. And you don’t have to worry if your hands get John Wick-style “wet,” in the scuffle. The rubberized handle on the Steel Tiger just gets grippier. If I were building out a tactical rig right now, the Steel Tiger is the knife I’d choose for it! 

Best Oversized Karambit: TOPS TAC-TOPS


With all this talk of self-defense, we often forget that Karambits are also extremely useful cutting tools. Whether you’re cutting grass in the field for a shelter build, slicing fruit, or chopping wood, that forward curve can be a welcome boon. However, when the cutting jobs get big, so does the knife. The TAC-TOPS will do all that work and more. As for its prowess on the battlefield, let’s just say I’d rather not meet someone wielding one! 

Why buy a Karambit?


Karambit knives are cool. They offer self-defense users a compact and concealable package they find intuitive to use, and its downright wicked point opens boxes like nothing else. Karambits may not be everyone’s jam, but if its features sound like it would make your life a little easier, then by all means pick one up. You can find all the Karambits listed here and many more at Blade HQ. If you’re ready to start your Karambit journey, head on over now!