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In the last issue we focused on the micro folding knife — a blade that’s 2 inches or shorter — as a backup to your larger edged tool. In this edition of “Pocket Preps,” we’re gonna take a look at its cousin: the neck knife.
During an outdoor adventure or in a survival situation, your primary edged tool should be a large bushcraft blade that can perform a wide range of tasks. But a neck knife can be a reliable backup if you lose or damage your main knife.
This small tool is quicker to deploy than a micro pocket knife, because it’s ready to go once yanked from around your neck. Most have no opening mechanism to fumble with. Also, with a simple design and few moving parts, it’s less likely to break. And because it’s hanging from your neck, it’s accessible with both hands. Added bonus: Some of these models can be setup as boot knives, too.
Read on to see if there’s a lethal necklace that’s right for your survival needs.
OAL: 4.4 inches
Blade Material: N690Co stainless steel
Weight: 1.4 ounces
What the BB Drago lacks in length it makes up for in girth. It has a broad modified Wharncliffe blade that’s great for piercing, draw cuts, and widowing. This beautiful and lightweight model comes with a Kydex sheath with a ball chain. Manufactured in Italy by Fox Knives.
OAL: 5 inches
Blade Material: 80CrV2 high-carbon steel
Weight: 1.2 ounces
Iconic knife-maker Daniel Winkler designed this as an everyday-carry tool that could be carried even in areas with restrictive size limits. Not a neck knife per se, this high-quality fixed blade comes with a double-gated carabiner attached to its sheath, allowing it to accept a cord or chain necklace. Made in the USA.
OAL: 5.06 inches
Blade Material: Acuto 440 stainless steel
Weight: 0.8 ounce
This was designed by U.S.-based knife-maker Dirk Pinkerton for Tangram, a Chinese firm that makes entry-level knives and markets them to the West. If we didn’t know better, we would never have guessed it was made in China. Solid craftsmanship for an affordable price.
OAL: 5.22 inches
Blade Material: 5Cr15Mov stainless steel
Weight: 1.7 ounces
This popular model is comfy in the hand and versatile for both the great outdoors and urban environments. The Minimalist comes with a glass-reinforced nylon sheath and is also available with a Bowie, tanto, or Wharncliffe blade profile. Form, function, and affordability earns it this column’s Best Value Neck Knife Award.
OAL: 5.5 inches
Blade Material: 440C stainless steel
Weight: 1.1 ounces
The sole oddity in this buyer’s guide, the Slyde-R isn’t a fixed blade, but rather features a push-button opening mechanism that lets you slide the blade in and out of the handle, similar to a boxcutter. While not a bushcraft-worthy blade, it certainly is the most fun neck knife to fidget with. Comes with a ball chain.
OAL: 6 inches
Blade Material: Terravantium Dendritic Cobalt
Weight: 4.2 ounces
The $195 price tag is not a typo. But considering it’s guaranteed by Terrain 365 to never corrode “in all of earth’s natural environments,” it’s worth considering. Made of proprietary Terravantium alloy, the Element is rustproof, durable, and made in the USA. It easily earns this column’s Top Pick Award.
OAL: 6.9 inches
Blade Material: 420HC stainless steel
Weight: 1.7 ounces
Designed as a belt-carry knife that can also be worn on a pack, in a boot, or as a neck knife, the Ghostrike is a skinny blade that’s meant to be carried discreetly for self-defense purposes. It comes with a textured rubber grip on the handle and an equally slim polymer sheath. Made in the USA.
OAL: 7.7 inches
Blade Material: 3Cr13 stainless steel
Weight: 2.2 ounces
Part sci-fi, part ancient ninja, the Dune is what Kershaw calls a “neck sword.” At 7.7 inches in length, it’s longer than most neck knives and features an angular tanto blade profile. It has textured, glass-filled nylon scales and comes with a molded polymer sheath and a cord. Made in China.