Karambits, also known as kerambits, are powerful and adequate tools for self-defense, especially for those who prefer not to carry around a handgun. These knives originated from Southeast Asia, and their shape and application were inspired by a tiger claw that can cut, chop, hook, and tear large meat into small pieces.
In other words, Karambits are deadly weapons that shouldn’t be underestimated!
Today, countries like Indonesia still accept the use of this weapon. Karambits are also one of Indonesia’s most traditional tools, especially in the combat arts of Pencak Silat. In this guide, we’ll be breaking down a bunch of folding karambit knives that you can easily buy on the market today.
- Our Top Picks for the Best Folding Karambit Knives
- 1. Spyderco Karahawk Folder C170GP
- 2. MTech MT670 Hawk Corp Wrap Karambit Knife
- 3. TAC Force Dual Blade Karambit Tactical Folding Knife
- 4. TAC Force TF – 816 Series
- 5. BladesUSA E419 – PP Polypropylene Karambit Training Knife
- 6. Cold Steel 1108085 Tiger Fixed Blade
- 7. Ka-Bar TDI Law Enforcement Knife Fixed Blade
- 8. Fixed Blade Karambit Knife With Mikarata Handle
- The Benefits of Using Folding Karambit Knives
- Choosing the Best Affordable Karambit Knife
Our Top Picks for the Best Folding Karambit Knives
1. Spyderco Karahawk Folder C170GP
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- Overall length: 6.50 inches (165mm)
- Closed length: 4.50 inches (114mm)
- The length of the blade: 2.35 inches (60mm)
- The length of the edge: 2.05 inches (52mm)
- The thickness of the blade: 0.098 inches (2.5mm)
- The type of the blade: VG10
- The material of the handle: G10
- Total weight: 3.8 oz (108g)
If you want to know the best brand for karambits, Spyderco is the brand to beat. The Spyderco Karahawk Folder C170GP could be the best karambit in the market today. This remarkable tool has a VG10 stainless steel blade. VG10 steel is a material that’s strong and easy to rely on. You can also find the Spyderco logo on its blade as with other Spyderco knives.
Moreover, the handle has a fortified ring on the backend that allows hunters to control this tool completely. You can also place your index finger on the ring and spin the knife to deploy it or switch grip positions quickly. It also has a thin chamber in the ring’s internal corner to make it as comfortable as possible for anyone to handle.
With its premium price, it would be right to expect that this folding karambit knife will deliver a high-quality experience for anyone. This product will meet your requirements and more. It has a CQI certificate (Constant Quality Improvements), so rest assured that all materials used for this knife are built to last long.
This knife also has a built-in back lock system that can adapt to combat or martial arts usage. It also has a changeable reverse grip inside the body to help you deploy the knife quickly and smoothly.
2. MTech MT670 Hawk Corp Wrap Karambit Knife
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The MTech MT670 Hawk Corp Wrap Karambit Knife is made from a steel material that can withstand a ton of blows. However, you’ll need to sharpen the blade routinely if you want to maintain the highest level of sturdiness and sharpness.
This folding karambit knife comes with an extra belt sheath and has a ring size of about 1.5 to 2 inches. For other dimensions, the blade thickness is ¼ inches, and the length of the blade is 2.5 inches to the tip. These dimensions are suitable for versatile usage and as a self-defense weapon.
Like the Fixed Karambit Knife With Mikarata Handle, the blade of the MTech MT670 is made from stainless steel (440C) that can trim and slash exceptionally well in almost any situation. This will work great for martial arts, as an outdoor knife, and for hands-on use.
Several users love this karambit knife so much because it feels strong and solid, has an incredible grip, and can hold an edge well. For this reason, a lot of people rate it as one of the best karambits on the market. It won’t be a bad idea to keep this knife as an emergency weapon at home!
3. TAC Force Dual Blade Karambit Tactical Folding Knife
BEST DUAL BLADE KARAMBIT
This product is probably one of the cooler and more unique-looking karambit knife products you can find on the market. With the Dual Blade Karambit Spring Assisted knife, you’ll be able to save space in your pocket as if you were carrying around two knives.
You can easily switch to each side of the knife without getting injured while gripping it with your hands. The blades on this knife are unswerving, with one of the blades having jagged edges. Even though they tried to construct this knife to be as safe as possible from accidents, it would be best to learn how to use it to avoid potential injuries.
The blade is made from stainless steel, which has great corrosion resistance and durability. With both blades having a length of 2.5 inches, this would be enough to support you when confronting a target.
The handle is made of black aluminum which provides you with the much-needed grip and comfort to use this knife safely and effectively.
What’s more, you don’t have to worry about the knife suddenly sliding out of control because it has a locking system and belt ring to support you while using it.
For these unique features, the Dual Blade Karambit Spring Assisted knife deserves a spot as one of the best affordable karambit folder knives on the market. This is a knife that’s hard to pass up on.
4. TAC Force TF – 816 Series
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- The closed length: 6 inches
- The length of the blade: 4 – ½ inches
- The thickness of the blade: 3mm
- The material of the blade: the black stainless steel hawksbill
- The material of the handle: the aluminum with the skull camo pattern
Hunters agree that the TAC Force TF – 816 Series knife is one of the best karambits on the market today. TAC Force is an excellent knife brand, and you can use this knife as a self–defense tool, an EDC knife, and for other purposes. On top of that, this is a relatively affordable knife for everyone, which is great!
This knife also has a speedy spring deployment system that can be crucial in urgent situations. With a size that can fit in most pockets, bags, and other compartments, this weapon is comfortable to use and bring around for anyone.
Though it is not technically a karambit knife, you can still use it the same way. You can bring it around for everyday use for self-defense purposes.
5. BladesUSA E419 – PP Polypropylene Karambit Training Knife
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- The dimensions: 6.7 x 1.8 x 0.6 inches
- The material of the knife: lead and phthalate
- The material of the blade: polypropylene
The BladesUSA E419 – PP is not the best for self–defense purposes, but it’s perfect for getting in some knife training. Several people agree that this is the best training knife that’s also a folding karambit knife.
The material of the blade is made of polypropylene, a sturdy and solid plastic. Furthermore, this knife comes with a high-quality polypropylene sheath too. You might be wondering, plastic for a knife? Like we just said, this knife isn’t made for actual self-defense situations. It’s perfect for training purposes and for beginners who are new to handling these kinds of knives.
This knife has a solid build and doesn’t actually fold into a smaller size. Despite this, it’s still small enough to fit inside almost any pocket or compartment. You can’t use this knife for actual slashing, but you can hold it similarly to a brass knuckle weapon and punch with it.
We recommend getting this knife for training purposes ONLY or if you’re a beginner. It’s fairly cheap, so it wouldn’t hurt to pick up this knife if you want to train safely.
6. Cold Steel 1108085 Tiger Fixed Blade
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- The material of the blade: the fixed cold steel
- The length of the blade: 8-3/4 inches
The Cold Steel Tiger 1108085 knife is made by Andrew Demko, a former electrician and engineer. He wanted to create a folding knife that’s great for a lot of different purposes. If you’re looking for a great karambit knife, this product can be a great self-defense tool for your next hunting season.
The blade has a length of 3 inches and is made of XHP steel. Furthermore, the handle is made from G10 stainless steel, which is a durable and sturdy material that won’t disappoint. Generally, is produced from high–quality materials, so you’ll surely get a great experience using this knife.
Moreover, the manufacturers also put a Demko thumb plate which can help you quickly open the knife from your pocket or when you handle it with both hands. You can easily pull out this knife swiftly and easily.
This is also a great EDC blade that has a Tri-Ad locking system that can come in handy in different situations. As a result, this is an exceptional EDC fixed blade knife that is also great for self-defense.
7. Ka-Bar TDI Law Enforcement Knife Fixed Blade
- The dimensions: 8.4 x 4.2 x 1.5 inches
- The weight: 6.4 ounces
- The overall length: 5.0 inches
- The length of the blade: 2.5 inches
- The material of the blade: AUS-8A stainless steel
- The hardness of the steel: 57-59 HRC
The Ka-Bar TDI is made by the founder of the Tactical Defense Institute, John Benner. It is also one of the best folding karambit knives you can find on the market. Some law enforcement officers love this tool because it can be deployed and concealed quickly, which can come in handy in a lot of situations.
Although it’s small, it can still be a great alternative self-defense weapon if you don’t have a handgun with you. This knife is one of the quickest folding knives out there, so this is perfect for emergency close-combat situations. Despite its small blade, it will still fit securely and safely inside its casing.
The older version of this knife had a subpar sheath, but the manufacturers already upgraded this downside and improved the material of the casing, making it more durable. With the reliability of the Tactical Defense Institute and the inspiration from the Ka-Bar enterprise, this knife is a great pickup for anyone looking for something reliable, quick, and straight to the point.
8. Fixed Blade Karambit Knife With Mikarata Handle
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The Fixed Blade Karambit Knife With Mikarata Handle has a lavish design made from polymer film and other strong materials. These materials are the same structure as its laminate coverings too. Additionally, the handle is much more comfortable when gripping because the pad is smooth and warm to the touch.
Thanks to the finger ring on the handle, you can use and reverse the grip without much hassle as the ring is wide enough to control a knife even when wearing gloves. With this knife, you can completely stash it in any compartment easily.
For any karambit knife, you should always take note of its blade material. The blade of this knife is made from stainless steel (440C) that can cut, trim, and slash through all kinds of situations. Furthermore, this knife has great corrosion resistance too. You can also use this knife for a long time without having to sharpen it to maintain its quality and effectiveness, which can be convenient for a lot of people.
This knife is truly a worthy karambit knife for practical uses like outdoor activities and survival. It’s rated as one of the best karambit options on the market, and we’re sure that this will not disappoint.
The Benefits of Using Folding Karambit Knives
As a hunter, you absolutely want to have the best karambit folder in your hunting journeys. Even though you are not a hunter, it would still be best to purchase a capable self-defense tool for home purposes too.
Karambit knives have a very aggressive design and shape. This can be more threatening to attackers, therefore being more able to help you protect yourself in times of danger.
Comfort and Ease of Use
You should be able to deploy karambit knives in a matter of seconds. You do not need to be an expert to use them, but you should put in the work in order to know how to comfortably handle it when the time comes.
With its size, shape, and folding features, folding karambits usually fit inside pockets and other compartments easily, which is why they’re great as an everyday tool to bring around for self-defense. This is what makes karambit knives more comfortable and easier to use for a lot of people.
Beautiful Model Designs
At first glance, it’s easy to see that a karambit knife has a unique shape. With tons of karambit knife options out there, you’ll also come across tons of different styles and designs that are unique.
With this, it can be fun to track down the perfect karambit knife design for you, and you can even collect a bunch of them and have a karambit knife collection.
Choosing the Best Affordable Karambit Knife
Blade Length and Type
The dimensions of a blade can affect how a knife fits comfortably inside your pocket when it’s buried inside. This is the first point you need to consider when you want to carry around a discrete weapon. You don’t want to make it obvious that you have a knife inside your pocket. Furthermore, you should also consider how easy it will be to take out your knife and deploy the blade.
In emergencies, each second will be very precious. With a fixed blade, you’ll usually get a stronger and sturdier blade compared to a folding blade. However, you might have to take up more time trying to pull it safely out of your pocket. With a folding knife, you can easily bring it out with no worries and just deploy it as quickly as you can.
And how about a double-edged karambit knife? Most experienced hunters say that these blades do not really give additional benefits whatsoever. They could be risky tools to the users too if they’re not skillful or experienced enough to handle it. We recommend sticking to standard karambits especially if you’re not a professional.
Someone will forget and ignore this point in their scanning of Karambit’s best folding, but we hope that you do not do the same thing as them. Normally, the handles are taken from the G10 stainless steel or other similar kinds of steel. The key point is you should discover the type of these steels before playing another game – consider one Karambit knife. The handle also involves your controlling of one Karambit item.
Some of you might brush this factor aside, but this is still something you should think about before making a purchase. Normally, handles are made of G10 stainless steel or any other steel material. You should familiarize yourself with the feel and grip of these different materials to figure out which will be most comfortable for you.
A good grip means you’ll be able to handle these knives as best as you can, it’s not something you should take lightly. The best way to figure out which handle material will be best for you is to buy a bunch of knives and compare them side by side.
However, this is a costly method that a lot of people prefer to avoid. Instead, you can try to look for people who own any of these knives and ask if you can test them out for yourself.
Quality of the Karambit
It is extremely crucial to check the material quality of any knife. When you see an expensive item, it does not necessarily mean it’s the best of the best. On the one hand, cheaper knives can actually be just as durable as expensive ones. Although the price is an important factor to consider, it doesn’t tell the whole picture when it comes to the quality of a knife.
You need to keenly observe the blades and handles of these knives. The blade should not rust break off easily. Additionally, the handles should be as comfortable as possible when you are holding it in your hands. Some karambits also have a finger ring on the backend of the knife to give extra grip and maneuverability. Keep note of these product descriptions before buying.
Before making a purchase, you should also check the karambit knife features as a whole. Inspect its outside mechanism structure, if it has springs, etc. These kinds of features can end up saving your life when the time comes, so they should be fully functional by the time you first open them.
After checking for their functions, you can then judge if the style and size work well for you. Some models are built to be more practical, while some are more stylish and great for collecting. Keep these in mind before buying them.
In the past, most conventional karambit knives did not have these rings, especially knives from the Philippines and Indonesia. Nowadays, almost all karambit knives have a safety ring. It’ll be hard to find a karambit knife without a safety ring unless they’re ancient or heavily outdated models.
These rings aren’t just for show, because they can actually help users control the blade much better. You just have to insert your index finger through the hole, and you securely handle this knife when you’re holding it in a reverse position. These rings can help pull you out of danger or help you avoid being disarmed by attackers since it’s wrapped around your finger and gives you a better grip.
Overall, karambit knives are excellent tools for self-defense and aggressive fighting. It’s important to consider different factors like blade length, blade type, design, and ease of use before making a purchase.
After narrowing down your personal needs, preferences, and budget, it should be easier for you to select any of the exceptional karambit knives we listed above.
CHANGELOG: October 4, 2021 - Added new product link options September 17, 2021 - Marked 1 product as discontinued/unavailable September 10, 2021 - Reviewed and updated article links, updated article title