These neck knives have great sheaths with good retention and easy deployment.

A Neck Knife Can be Okay, but the Sheath Needs to Be Great

A neck knife is a great way to keep a blade close at hand that’s quick to deploy. The problem is that even when a neck knife is made well, they often come in a sheath that was a haphazard afterthought by the manufacturer. Either the retention is weak, or the construction as a whole is just too weak to rely on in extreme conditions.

So I did some digging for neck knives with good sheaths, using some of the knives I used personally as a basis for judgement. Here are the best neck knives with good sheaths for EDC, tactical or backpacking that I could find. Some of these are knives I’ve handled, and others I’m recommending after a lot of attention to their specs and what other people have said about them. Feel free to comment below with recommendations of something you’ve handled personally, though.

EDC

You don’t usually see people carrying a tiny fixed blade as an EDC but it’s not an unreasonable idea. It’s not a bad idea to have a blade hanging around your neck or sitting scout carry so you don’t have to worry about arranging a bunch of stuff in your pocket.

Schrade SCHCC1 Neck Knife w/ Money Clip

This compact neck knife is comfortable to carry and the money clip is a practical feature.

 

  • Overall Length: 3.5”
  • Blade Length: 2.0”
  • Steel: 8Cr13MoV
  • Blade Style: Drop point
  • Handle Length: 1.5”
  • Handle Material: Stainless steel
  • Grind: Hollow
  • Build: Full tang
  • Sheath: Polymer
  • Price Range: $10 – 20

While the knife design itself doesn’t seem very ergonomic, the overall usefulness and general neatness of the idea makes it a good option as an EDC. I really like the design of the blade for this weird little thing. Even if the handle for it is likely to be uncomfortable for long use. It’s a good edge to have handy for little things throughout the day, and the sheath itself serves enough of a function that this whole set up is a little bit like a multi-tool.

I’ve seen some complaints about the mechanism for getting the knife out. Since you have to push a button on the sheath to release the knife there’s some thought that this knife is too slow to deploy. That’s fair, except if you want a fast-deploy neck knife there are a dozen options. I enjoy the ingenuity put toward making this knife secure in its sheath. It’s not supposed to be tactical, just handy.

Check Price On Amazon

 

CRKT S.P.E.W.

This is one of the few neck knives I have that I actually consider for EDC

  • Overall Length: 6.25
  • Blade Length: 3.0
  • Steel: 5Cr15MoV
  • Blade Style: Wharncliffe
  • Handle Length: 3.25”
  • Handle Material: G-10
  • Grind: Hollow
  • Build: Full tang
  • Sheath: Kydex
  • Price Range: $20 – 30

This is a fishing knife if I ever saw one, but it’s also one of the few neck knives I have that I actually consider for EDC. That combination of a non threatening blade shape and a sheath that can go horizontal make it a pretty easy knife to carry around town. Plus that fine point is great for a lot of aggravating problems you run into throughout the day like knots and slivers and the occasional overbuilt plastic package.

One possible problem with the sheath is that the belt loop is pretty small, which is the other reason I label it as a simple EDC. Out of the package, this will only fit on a regular belt. It’s light enough to put on the odd strap, but generally speaking don’t expect to be able to strap this to a tactical belt.

Check Price On Amazon

 

Backpacking and Bushcraft Neck Knives

This really feels like the optimal way to use a neck knife. Backpacking is all about cutting weight and finding ergonomic ways to carry everything you need, and those are both areas in which neck knives excel. Here are some of the lightest neck knives I could find that seem to come with a trustworthy sheath.

Morakniv Eldris

The Eldris is a pretty fantastic neck knife for almost anything

 

  • Overall Length: 5.6”
  • Blade Length: 2.2”
  • Steel: 12C27
  • Blade Style: CLip point
  • Handle Length: 3.4”
  • Handle Material: Polypyrene
  • Grind: Scandi
  • Build: ¾ tang
  • Sheath: Polymer
  • Price Range: $25 (standard) / $50 (With neck kit)

This one takes a little assembly, but the Eldris is a pretty fantastic neck knife for almost anything if you get it with the neck kit. Without that, it’s basically just a tiny knife with a cheap plastic sheath that goes in your pocket. The neck kit lets you hang it around your neck, though, and adds a leather strap that snaps closed to keep the knife contained.

Once you have that figured out, this is a neat little blade for sparking on a ferrot rod or doing a little carving. A blade this short might not be good for everything, but usually the only limit to what you can do with any Mora knife is your imagination.

Check Price On Amazon

 

Boker Magnum Li’l Friend

The Boker Magnum Little Friend is tough and takes a sharp edge

  • Overall Length: 3.375”
  • Blade Length: 1.375”
  • Steel: 440
  • Blade Style: Drop point
  • Handle Length: 2.0”
  • Handle Material: G-10
  • Grind: Hollow
  • Build: Full tang
  • Sheath: Kydex
  • Price Range: $20 – 30

This might be the best knife in the whole Boker Magnum line, but that’s not saying a whole lot. Magnum is Boker’s budget line, and they pump out a ton of designs that are hit or miss. The Li’l Friend is one of their miraculous ingenuities, and that’s mostly because they were clever enough to go small and rustic. As a result, this thing is really tough and takes a sharp edge.

It’s overbuilt a little to take abuse so it’s bulkier than most neck knives. Eventually that will bring out one of its possible flaw: the scales have a habit of coming loose over time. So keep an on eye on that and have a torx screwdriver ready, or just redo the screws with some lock-tite and you’ll have a larger issue on an otherwise great knife all fixed up.

Check Price On Amazon

 

Hunting Neck Knives

Depending on what kind of hunting you’re doing, a smaller knife that rides easy is almost essential. There are a lot of designs for bowhunters who run after game a lot, but if you’re also one to sit up in trees or other tight spaces while you wait for your shot, these knives should come in pretty handy.

Schrade Mini Drop Point Neck Knife

The Schrade Mini Drop Point is a tough little bushcraft blade to pack around

  • Overall Length: 4.75”
  • Blade Length: 2.0”
  • Steel: 8Cr13MoV
  • Blade Style: Drop point
  • Handle Length: 2.75”
  • Handle Material: G-10
  • Grind: Hollow
  • Build: Full tang
  • Sheath: Kydex
  • Price Range: $16 – 20

This is a tough little bushcraft blade to pack around. It doesn’t usually come with a perfect grind, but for the price it’s a great beater to have in the woods and around the yard. It falls into that category that Schrade tends to do best in. It’s not spectacular, there’s not a lot of ingenuity to the design, but it’s sturdy and works for pretty much everything.

This is a true neck knife. The sheath doesn’t come with any kind of belt loop. It’s a chain for your neck which I would recommend replacing with a leather strap or paracord. But the retention on the sheath is great, so you can hike around with this thing with a fair amount of security.

Check Price On Amazon

 

Condor Pangui

This neck knife knife comes in 1095 carbon steel with a wood handle, and a massively wide blade.

  • Overall Length: 6.25”
  • Blade Length: 3.25”
  • Steel: 1095
  • Blade Style: Drop point
  • Handle Length: 3.0”
  • Handle Material: Walnut
  • Grind: Scandi
  • Build: Full tang
  • Sheath: Leather
  • Price Range: $60

This is probably the nicest looking knife on the list (for now), but Condor has a knack for making really good knives with a rustic look. This particular knife comes in 1095 carbon steel with a wood handle, and a massively wide blade that covers a good range of uses that other neck knives might not be able to manage.

The sheath might not be ideal for everyone. Leather isn’t great for taking into extreme weather, but it is sturdy, and the snap-on strap is a pretty good way to keep a larger blade like this in place when you’re wearing this thing around your neck.

Click here to check the price on the Condor Pangui at KnifeCenter.

Tactical Neck Knives

If you’re searching for neck knives, you’ve probably already come across 30 blogs listing the best neck knives for tactical use. I don’t get the obsession. A neck knife is the last thing I’d reach for in for tactical purposes, but here we are, recommending tactical neck knives like a bunch of crazies. I hope you’re happy with yourself.

Ka Bar TDI

Ka Bar made something pretty ingenious when they put the curve on the spine of this knife.

 

  • Overall Length: 5.6”
  • Blade Length: 2.31”
  • Steel: Aus-8
  • Blade Style: Drop point
  • Handle Length: 3.32”
  • Handle Material: Zytel
  • Grind: Hollow
  • Sheath: Polymer
  • Price Range: $30 – 60

There are very few conversations about neck knives that the Ka Bar TDI doesn’t belong in. Ka Bar made something pretty ingenious when they put the curve on the spine of this knife. Even more so when they made the sheath with a big wide clip. I’ve heard the favored method of wearing this knife is actually inside the line of the pants, but it’ll sit comfortably almost anywhere you clip it.

Favored by (and apparently designed by) law enforcemtn officers, this thing is design for close quarters combat. Anything this sharp and pointy has about a million uses though, and they put a pretty extreme hollow grind on the blade that would be nice for breaking down cardboard.

Check Price On Amazon

 

Spyderco Shirly-Owens ARK Neck Knife

I don’t like the design for tactical purposes, but there’s something to be said for the slashing ability from the dramatic curve of the edge.

 

  • Overall Length: 5.0”
  • Blade Length: 2.6”
  • Steel: H1
  • Blade Style: Clip point
  • Handle Length: 2.33”
  • Handle Material: FRN
  • Grind: Hollow
  • Build: 3.4 tang
  • Sheath: Polymer
  • Price Range: $68 – 70

The ad copy for this knife usually says the ARK was made to be a self defense tool, but I’ve seen a lot of knives made for skinning boar that have a very similar blade shape. I’ll defer to what the designers supposedly intended. Personally I don’t like the design for tactical purposes, but there’s something to be said for the slashing ability from the dramatic curve of the edge. Don’t let the advertising make you pigeonhole this knife, though. This seems like a great blade to have on a hunt.

Check Price On Amazon

 

Cold Steel Mini Tac

This neck knife is surprisingly comfy for the size, feels light around the neck, and the sheath has a pretty balance of retention strength and deployability.

  • Overall Length: 6.75”
  • Blade Length: 3.75”
  • Steel: Aus-8
  • Blade Style: Tanto
  • Handle Length: 3.0”
  • Handle Material: G-10
  • Grind: Hollow
  • Build: Full tang
  • Sheath: Polymer
  • Price Range: $25 – 30

This was one of the first neck knives we reviewed on this site, and it still holds up pretty well. It’s surprisingly comfy for the size, feels light around the neck, and the sheath has a pretty good balance of retention strength and deploy-ability.

The Cold Steel Mini Tac Neck knife is easy to deploy, but has good retention.

I really like thick tanto blades on smaller knives like this. You’re not supposed to use knives as pry bars, but I do anyway, and this type of knife, with a stout tip and a thick spine, is a great emergency pry bar. The jimping is also nice and makes the Mini Tac a good candidate for push cuts as well if you want to use a knife the way it was intended.

If you’d like to know our full opinion of it, read our review of the Cold Steel Mini Tac  here.

Check Price On Amazon

 

Gerber Ghostrike

The Gerber Ghostrike has one of the best sheaths of any neck knife on the market.

  • Overall Length: 6.75”
  • Blade Length: 3.12”
  • Steel: 420HC
  • Blade Style: Drop point
  • Handle Length: 3.63”
  • Handle Material: Stainless steel w/ rubber grip
  • Grind: Hollow
  • Build: Full tang
  • Sheath: Modular GFN
  • Price Range: $35 – 50

I like the Ghostrike in spite of its overtly brutal design. I don’t exactly enjoy using it, but there’s no denying it has one of the best sheaths on this list. It’s tough and lightweight, and it comes with two removable belt loops that you can screw in at pretty much every direction. You can carry the Ghostrike vertically and horizontally and even adjust the length and height of how it sits in both directions.

The Gerber Ghostrike neck knife is versatile and practical.

The knife itself is okay. I went to some lengths in my review to explain that it’s a great back up knife for most any job, but it’s not actually good at any of those jobs. Still worth packing around if for no other reason than that once it’s strapped to you, it basically becomes just another part of your pack or pants.

For a little more detail, here’s my full review.

Check Price On Amazon