7 Best Neck Knives That Will Make You Prepped

Knives are one of the most hotly debated topics in the survival and outdoor community. Even though a knife is a simple and basic tool, its value and versatility cannot be underestimated. Given the importance of a good knife and the staggering models to choose from, you can begin to see why this piece of gear is such a popular topic.

I would venture a guess that most people are familiar with general knife categories. Categories like, pocket knives, outdoor knives, fixed blade knives, fishing knives, and hunting knives just to name a few.

But there is another category that you may not be as familiar with, neck knives. Neck knives are pretty much what you would expect from the name. It is a knife with a lanyard that one wears around their neck.

For me there are a few reasons for carrying a neck knife.

  1. It provides quick and easy access to a cutting tool.
  2. They can be worn discreetly.
  3. They are much lighter to carry than a full-size knife.
  4. It is another way in which carry a knife that is a backup to my primary blade. I have always gone by the mindset of “2 is 1, 1 is none.”
  5. Gives me another cutting tool should my primary blade become inaccessible. So, it provides me a knife that I can access with both hands.

My 7 Picks For The Best Neck Knives

1. Runner Up – CRKT Minimalist Wharncliffe Review

CRKT Minimalist Wharncliffe Neck Knife: Compact Fixed Blade Knife, Folts...

The Minimalist is a series of neck knives offered by Columbia River Knife and Tool (CRKT) and were created by Alan Folts, who specializes in fixed blade knives.

This series contains five different blade styles so that almost anyone can find a model that will suit their needs. The styles are a Plain edge, Cleaver, Tanto, Wharncliffe, and Bowie.

The Wharncliffe features a unique blade style that I have come to enjoy. Its straight cutting edge and curved spine evenly distributes power during a cutting task. I have used this model a ton and can attest to its durability and versatility.

Dimensions

The Wharncliffe blade measures in at 2 inches long with an overall length of 4.8 inches.

Weight

At 1.2 ounces, I can hardly tell that I am carrying this knife around my neck.

Material

The blade is made from 5Cr15MoV with a resin infused fiber for the handle

Pros

  • Comes with a glass-reinforced nylon sheath that securely holds the knife.
  • Paracord lanyard included for inverted carrying
  • Deep finger grooves prevent the knife from slipping during use
  • Very affordable
  • Lightweight and compact design allow for this knife to be carried comfortably and discreetly.
  • The cordage fob at the end of the handle provides for an extended grip
  • The straight cutting edge is extremely easy to sharpen
  • Can be used with a ferrocerium rod

Cons

  • The deep finger grooves may not be comfortable for everyone
  • For safety reasons I would recommend adding a break away clasp to the paracord lanyard.

Last update on 2020-07-06 at 11:58 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

2. Budget Buy – Morakniv Companion Review

Morakniv Companion Fixed Blade Outdoor Knife with Sandvik Stainless Steel...

In my opinion, the Companion by Morakniv has become a staple in the outdoor persons knife collection. This handy little knife is surprising in the variety of tasks that it can tackle and keep on going. Given the quality of Morakniv products and the insane pricing of this model, how could it not make the list? I also like that within the Companion series there are number of models you can choose from that differ in weight, size, blade material, color and serrations vs no serrations. My choice is the plain edge carbon blade but you really cannot go wrong with any of them.

The Companion might seem a bit out of place on this list because it is a larger knife. But if the situation dictated that my neck knife was going to be the primary blade in a survival situation, I would want the Companion.

Dimensions

The Companion blade length measures in at 4.1 inches with an overall length of 8.6 inches and a blade thickness of 2.0 mm.

Blade Material

Made from high carbon steel but other options are available.

Weight

Given the above dimensions of the knife and that it weighs in at only 3.9 ounces, you get the performance of a larger knife while still maintaining an easy to carry system.

Handle

The TPE rubberized handle provides a very secure grip, even in wet conditions.

Pros

  • Full size knife in a lightweight package
  • Classic Scandi grind is a workhorse for a variety of tasks and it is incredibly easy to sharpen.
  • User friendly
  • Insanely affordable
  • Several models to choose from

Cons

  • Larger than your typical neck knife.
  • Not for discreet carry. So, it would be better to carry in an outdoor environment vs an urban environment.
Morakniv Companion Fixed Blade Outdoor Knife with Sandvik Stainless Steel...
  • Versatile fixed-blade outdoor knife with a 4. 1-inch hardened Sandvik 12C27 stainless steel blade is...
  • High-quality Swedish steel is razor sharp and exceptionally tough; stainless steel blade stays sharp...

Last update on 2020-07-06 at 11:38 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

3. Best Choice – CRKT Minimalist Bowie Review

CRKT Minimalist Bowie Neck Knife: Compact Fixed Blade Knife, Folts Utility...

With the addition of another Minimalist model from CRKT you can probably tell that I really enjoy this series. This knife offers similar characteristics as the Wharncliffe but with slightly bigger dimensions in the classic bowie style.

This little guy is a great overall knife. I have used it to process game, prepare food, start fires, make outdoor projects and opened more than a few letters and packages.

Dimensions

The bowie blade measures in at 2.125 inches long with an overall length of 6.750 inches.

Weight

At 1.6 ounces, it is slightly heavier than the Wharncliffe but still incredibly lightweight.

Material

The blade is made from 5Cr15MoV with a resin infused fiber for the handle

Pros

  • Comes with a glass-reinforced nylon sheath that securely holds the knife.
  • Paracord lanyard included for inverted carrying.Belt loop included for a secondary carrying option.
  • Deep finger grooves prevent the knife from slipping during use
  • Very affordable
  • Lightweight and compact design allow for this knife to be carried comfortably and discreetly.
  • The cordage fob at the end of the handle provides for an extended grip
  • Can be used for food preparation
  • The clip point style of the bowie is well suited for outdoor tasks such as skinning game and processing wood
  • High carbon stainless steel blade provides a level of corrosion resistance and can be used with a ferrocerium rod.

Cons

  • The deep finger grooves may not be comfortable for all users

Last update on 2020-07-06 at 11:58 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

4. Tactical Choice Wish List – Ka-Bar TDI Law Enforcement Knife Review

KA-BAR TDI Law Enforcement Knife Fixed Blade

Designed for law enforcement officers, the TDI offers the strength and reliability of the Ka-Bar brand in a discrete, easy to carry platform. Probably best suited for more tactical environments I can see this knife having some outdoor applications as well. This TDI knife was designed for a more traditional belt line carry but I think it could easily be transformed into one intimidating neck knife! This is one of the next tactical knives on my wish list to see how well it performs in an outdoor setting.

Dimensions

The TDI fixed blade measures in at 2 5/16 with an overall length of 5 5/8 inches.

Weight

Most Ka-Bar knives are quite beefy but this model weighs in at only 2.4 ounces.

Blade Material

This knife is made from AUS-8A stainless steel and is covered with a black coating.

Sheath

Comes with a black glass filled nylon sheath with a belt clip

Pros

  • Deep finger groove in the handle allows for a secure and safe grip
  • Textured spine towards the front of the handle gives a comfortable non-slip spot for thumb placement.
  • Affordable
  • Black coating offers a higher level of corrosion resistance
  • Drop point hollow ground cutting edge is efficient in cutting tasks and would be easy to sharpen

Cons

  • Does not come with a lanyard
  • Sheath is designed more for a belt line carry
  • Because of the black coating, I do not consider this knife food prep friendly
  • Keep in mind that this model is designed for tactical environments.
Sale
KA-BAR TDI Law Enforcement Knife Fixed Blade
  • Complete length- 5 5/8 inches, Blade length- 2 5/16 inches
  • Drop point edge

Last update on 2020-07-06 at 13:09 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

5. The Classic – Old Timer Sharpfinger Review

Old Timer 152OT Sharpfinger 7.1in Stainless Steel Full Tang Fixed Blade...

I know, I know, another larger knife that does not exactly fall in line with your typical neck knife. But this incredibly handy little tool has been one of my favorite small knives for many years and is still a classic small knife for many individuals. This four-inch clip point knife is best used as a skinner, but I have used it in so many more ways that I wanted to add it to the list.

Dimensions

The blade measures in at 4 inches with an overall length of 8.6 inches.

Weight

Weighing in at 6 ounces, this is the heaviest model on the list.

Blade Material

The blade is made from 7Cr17MoV high carbon stainless steel.

Handle Material

Sawcut Delrin slabs give a textured grip to the straight handle and features a lanyard hole.

Pros

  • High carbon stainless steel provides a level of corrosion resistance and can be used with a ferrocerium rod for starting fires.
  • The uncoated blade is good to use for food preparation
  • Curved portion on the spine provides a comfortable and secure thumb grip
  • Easy to sharpen
  • Full tang blade
  • Blade style can be used in a variety of tasks
  • Comes with a leather sheath
  • Comfortable smooth handle allows for quick transitions between hand holds.

Cons

  • Heavier and larger than a typical neck knife
  • Sheath is not designed to be carried as a neck knife so a lanyard will have to be made for it.
  • Not for discreet carry

Last update on 2020-07-06 at 11:58 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

6. On My Wishlist – Morakniv Eldris Fixed Blade Review

Morakniv Eldris Fixed-Blade Pocket-Sized Knife with Sandvik Stainless Steel...

The Eldris is a robust looking little knife that has caught my eye for quite a while now. It takes everything I love from the larger knives by Morakniv and shrinks it down into a compact pocket-sized knife. Just by looking at it, it is no wonder that the Eldris won the 2016 Scandinavian Outdoor Award.

Dimensions

The blade measures in at 2.2 inches long, 2mm thick and an overall length of 5.6 inches.

Weight

The Eldris weighs in at 2.8 ounces

Blade material

Made from Sandvik 12C27 stainless steel.

Sheath

Comes with a hard-plastic sheath with a built-in click lock that securely holds the knife in place when carrying inverted.

Pros

  • Comes in a variety of colors
  • The flat unpolished spine is designed for optimal performance with a ferrocerium rod.
  • Lanyard hole in the handle
  • A Scandi grind on the backend and a flatter grind on the front end gives more cutting options
  • Affordable
  • Can be carried discreetly

Cons

  • Does not come with a lanyard. One will have to be created by using the lanyard hole in the handle or the drainage holes in the bottom of the sheath.
  • No belt loops or other clips for different carrying options
Morakniv Eldris Fixed-Blade Pocket-Sized Knife with Sandvik Stainless Steel...
  • Winner of 2016 Scandinavian Outdoor Award based on functionality, quality, innovation, design, and...
  • Sandvik 12C27 stainless steel blade is razor sharp and features high hardness, exceptional toughness...

Last update on 2020-07-06 at 11:58 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

7. Tough As Nails – CRKT Sting Review

CRKT Sting Fixed Blade Knife with Sheath: Everyday Carry Boot Knife, Double...

The Sting is one of the most interesting knives I have owned. It is a tactical fixed blade knife that has two cutting edges. The entire knife including the handle is a single piece of hot forged 1050 carbon steel. The knife and the sheath were designed as a boot knife but by removing the Velcro straps, I quickly turned this into one of my favorite tactical neck knives. After just a few minutes of holding this I could tell that it would be tough as nails and after much use, I was correct.

Dimensions

The knife measures in at 3.2 inches, with an overall length of 6.85 inches and a blade thickness of 0.14 inches.

Blade Material

The Sting is made from one-piece of 1050 carbon steel. The blade is finished with a black-powder coat.

Handle

Hot forged 1050 carbon steel

Weight

Weighing in at 3.9 ounces this tough knife is incredibly light to carry yet at the same time it feels like a heavy-duty knife.

Sheath

The accompanying sheath is made from nylon with a glass-reinforced nylon insert. The sheath weighs in at 2.4 ounces but that can be reduced by removing the Velcro straps.

Pros

  • Black powder coating provides corrosion resistance
  • Is incredibly durable
  • Two cutting edges and dagger point give this knife excellent penetration ability
  • Well balanced
  • Affordable
  • Can be carried as a boot knife, on the beltline or as a neck knife

Cons

  • Requires more time and attention when sharpening
  • Lanyard must be created for it to be carried as a neck knife
CRKT Sting Fixed Blade Knife with Sheath: Everyday Carry Boot Knife, Double...
  • Black Corrosion Resistant Coating
  • Dual Edge 1050 Hot Forged Carbon Steel

Last update on 2020-06-30 at 08:59 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API


Neck Knives Comparison Table

Below is a table that I put together so that you could quickly see all seven picks and what they have to offer.

Blade LengthTotal LengthWeightBlade Material
CRKT Wharncliffe2”4.8”1.2 oz5Cr15MoV
Morakniv Companion4.1”8.6”3.9 ozHigh Carbon Steel
CRKT Bowie2.125”6.75”1.6 oz5Cr15MoV
Ka-Bar TDI2.312”5.625”2.4 ozAUS-8A
Old Timer Sharpfinger4”8.6”6 oz7Cr17MoV
Morakniv Eldris2.2”5.6”2.8 ozScandvic 12C27
CRKT Sting3.2”6.85”3.9 oz1050 carbon steel

What To Look For In A Neck Knife

There are a few essential things I think one needs to think about when it comes to buying a neck knife.

Uses: This is number one on my list because, with all tools, form fits function. The way a knife blade is designed is going to dictate what it is best used for. So, you need to ask yourself a few questions.

What am I using the knife for? (opening boxes and packages, outdoor tasks, self-defense,etc.)

And how often am I going to use this knife?

Primary or backup? For me a neck knife is almost always a backup blade, but I can see certain situations where some would carry it as their primary knife. Depending on whether this is a primary blade, or a backup, asking yourself this question will help determine what characteristics the knife will need.

Weight and Size: Most neck knives nowadays are quite small and lightweight, making them amazingly comfortable to discreetly carry. That is what makes them so appealing. Although some people (including myself) do carry full sized knives in this manner.Most neck knives I have carried in the past are of the small variety. However, there are two larger knives that I do like to carry in this manner.

Carrying Option: This tends to deal more with the sheath that comes with the knife. Depending on the design of the sheath the knife can be carried with the handle pointing upward or downward. When the handle is pointed upward it requires two hands to remove the knife. When the handle is pointed downward, it generally only requires one hand to remove the knife.

Lanyard. Since this item is worn around the neck there is the possibility of a strangulation hazard. This is not an aspect of neck knives that is talked about much, but I believe it is important to mention. What the lanyard is made from and how it is made is an important safety tip that should not be overlooked. The following two criteria for lanyards are solely my opinion.

Material: The lanyard itself should not be made from a material that is incredibly strong. Instead it should be made from something like a beaded chain. If I need to break the lanyard this will allow me to do so without a lot of difficulties.

Break Away Clasp: If the lanyard is made from a strong material, such as paracord, then there needs to be an easy means of releasing the lanyard. Something like a breakaway clasp should be installed.

Local Laws: Just as with other knives that are carried, be sure to read up on your local laws. You want to make sure that you stay in compliance with the size of the knife and how it can be carried.


Questions I get Asked About Neck Knives

Q: Can neck knives be used for outdoor survival tasks?

A: Absolutely. The neck knives I have worn can certainly tackle many outdoor activities and some are specifically designed for this purpose. If outdoor survival is your primary concern, make sure that the style and material of the blade suits the tasks you will be using them for.

Q: Are neck knives uncomfortable to wear?

A: This all depends on the weight of the knife, the material of the lanyard and how you wear it. I find the most comfortable setup to be a lightweight knife with a beaded chain lanyard. I then wear this around the collar of a shirt.

Q: Are neck knives really that useful?

A:For me they are. When I first stared wearing a neck knife, I was surprised by how much I could get done with a smaller blade. I would venture a guess that most people could get by with a small blade for daily cutting tasks, such as opening food packages, cutting cordage, straps, boxes, etc.


Verdict

Finally, it has come down to my top pick, which is always hard because I like all of them. Given its affordability, versatility, ability to be carried discreetly, and extreme compact size, my choice is the CRKT Minimalist Wharncliffe. There you have it. My thoughts, opinions and choices for neck knives that have kept me prepped and few that I cannot wait to get my hands on. Stay sharp!



Bryan Lynch
Written by Bryan Lynch

Bryan grew up in the Midwest and spent every waking moment outdoors. Learning how to hunt, fish, read the land and be self-reliant was part of everyday life. Eventually he combined his passions for the outdoors, emergency preparedness, and writing. His goal was to spread positive information about this field. Recently, Bryan authored the book Swiss Army Knife Camping and Outdoor Survival Guide. Read more of Bryan's articles.

10 thoughts on “7 Best Neck Knives That Will Make You Prepped”

  1. neck knives are great but in an ever anal society anything you cannot take into a airport or a courtroom will be suspect.
    I have chosen to carry stick ink pens in case I have to enter a place that refuses to honor any portion of the constitution.
    If I am going to carry a blade it is going to be one as long as legally allowed I do see decent length neck knifes 3 or more inches I was considering a Cold Steel Brave heart

    Reply
  2. I hear you JCMS. My point is to apply the neck knife where you need a blade carry option that meets a specific need. The neck blade just another tool in the shed. As knife manufactures embrace the neck carry, more options will appear, but for now the many divergent designs and feature-sets are enough to get most folks on their way.

    I use different neck knives to support particular activities. Some based on sweat levels, some based on anticipated emergency use, and some based on little more than convenience. My suggestion is to start with a basic neck knife and see what happens. I often have more than one knife, but select the neck one out of convenience. Once you get into the practice, using a neck knife is as routine as any other blade deployment. Where it really matters is when you cannot deploy your other carries.

    Reply
    • Doc_Montana I hear ya but I am starting to look like some weird eastern shaman or native head hunter with all the talismans around my neck.

      The little tray your handed on a national flight would probably runneth over if I were not to divest myself as it is I do not go in or travel certain routs ( will leave that to the readers imagination)

      I like most all of them and I have to watch myself or I will be in a dimly lit room saying, "Hi my name is JCMS and I have a blade / widget addiction".

      I hope I did not seem like I was not on board your idea has a lot of merit, but a quick look at "prohibited premises"
      for any state and easily find if it is sharp you cannot carry it just anywhere and once your desensitized you forget wearing STUFF entering the wrong area you will loose all your rights—–

      Reply
  3. My favorite neck knife is the Coldsteel Bird and Trout knife, the ring at the bottom end gives good control for such a minimal design. Does anyone make a neck-knife style Kydex sheath for those small folding razor-blade knives, they would be very handy for work, cutting tape, boxes, etc.

    Reply
    • Dogman8 sorry I do not know of any but you can buy kydex off Ebay and using a
      heat gun (hair dryer won't work )
      gloves (it gets hot)
      hand drill
      4 inch grinder different wheels to cut and smooth you can do it by hand with a set of metal snips and a sanding block just harder.
      a eyelet rivet set with tool
      you can make your own single fold over pattern or 2 piece.

      there are youtube videos that can show you many tricks and advice.
      Half the fun of all this is finding hobbies in it passing them on or making for others

      Reply
  4. Anyone attached this to the inside of vest or jacket as a ccw item? i thought it looked attractive that way over the around the neck b/c someone could easily just reach up and snatch it right out of sheath.

    Reply
  5. Acacia wood flooring might be 55% more demanding than Eu white pine, 90% more demanding than flooring crafted from carbonized bamboo sheets, and 23% more demanding than hickory. This helps it to be one of the many sturdiest not to mention durable hardwoods available to buy. It lasts a time.Hardwood Contractor Jax

    Reply
  6. Neck knives are nice but they always seem to be in the way when I am bending over. Also something to think about is fire starting. A carbon steel blade will strike sparks off of flint and other stones. Will Stainless steel also do this?

    Reply
  7. I myself like a neck knife while camping for food prep and other light tasks around camp. My favorite is an Opinel no#9 with Kydex sheath and a Buck Hartsook for minimalist and edc use. I just picked up a Mora Eldris but haven’t had the chance to use it yet.

    Reply
  8. I myself like a neck knife while camping for food prep and other light tasks around camp. My favorite is an Opinel no#9 with Kydex sheath and a Buck Hartsook for minimalist and edc use. I just picked up a Mora Eldris but haven’t had the chance to try it out yet.

    Reply

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