Give me advice for a UK legal folder!

Oct 20, 1998
I am probably going to UK for 3 months to do some practicing at some computer related company.
They have a 3" or 7.6 cm limit on the bladelength of folders and fixed blades are not allowed in Great Britain.
As they have severe punishments for breaking the knife laws there and I am not willing to try my luck I need a new good folder. I use my knives primarily for utilitarian purposes.
I have some favourites:
BM 612 Leopard Cub, Kershaw Ken Onion, BM Mini stryker. MOD Hornet is also a possible choice, but I have seen some dealer claiming it has a blade length of 3.1", which makes me unsure.

Tea drinker and hellraiser from Northern Sweden, above the arctic circle.

Cousin, if I were you I'd err on the side of caution and make sure the entire blade (just not the cutting edge) is under 3". You might want to consider a Spyderco Delica. It is definitely under the limit, 2 7/8", very functional and best of all - not very expensive if it happens to get confiscated or lost.
You might want to so a BladeForums site search for "UK" or "laws" or "UK Laws". Also, check the rec.knives newsgroup. It's easier with Dejanews, and run a "power search" there. It's my understanding that they also frown on locking blades there. Then of course, every now and then you hear about the 20 year prison term for a SAK. The whole subject is rather subjective based on who you talk to. Get as much info as you can, and maybe err on the side of caution.

Don LeHue

The pen is mightier than the sword...outside of arm's reach. Modify radius accordingly for rifle.

If ya can, get ahold of "Bagman". He probably knows better then anyone else. He had a slight problem with one of his knives while there(if I remember correctly).


[This message has been edited by Blades (edited 07 May 1999).]
As I recall, locking folders are a problem even if they're sub-3".

If I ever have to deal with knife laws that nutso and want a defensive blade, I'd consider the Kershaw vice-grips type multitool. It's got a thumbstud linerlock of just under 3" that opens without opening the tool; the Kershaw has the advantage of having very long and solid plier jaws that would make awesome "pommel-strikes" - and basic Kubaton moves would work due to the extra length versus a Leatherman Wave, the other decent choice.

These might still be technically illegal but the "it's just a tool, officer" argument is a LOT easier to pull off with these.

Jim March
Cousin Cinnamon

As the written law stands "I think" you are allowed to carry a "small folding pocket knife with either a blade lenght of 3" or less OR with a cutting edge of less than 76mm.

I have seen offical paperwork saying both.

There has been talk to locking bladed knives not being allowed, however I have not had any deffinate feedback on this.

I continue to carry a locking sub 3" blade and will do so until I hear otherwise (or get nicked

The local police in the town where I work (Reading in Berkshire) will confiscate any bladed item they find (including multi tools etc.) in a search and you have to go to the satation to pick it up. Now as far as I am concerned they have no legal basis for that.

If you have a "good reason" then you can have bigger blades or fixed deoending on what you are doing. ie. when in Uniform (TA) I carry whatever I want
and figure I can argue the toss with police if ever stopped, but even when away with the Army my fellow part time squadies take the p**s about my knives but then who do they turn to when they need someting cutting etc.

You can get away with even a fixed blade in public if it is part of your national dress

ie. Scots wearing a kilt and all the gubbins that go with it are allowed their Skein (I think that is how you spell it) in their sock. These are quite often double edged daggers which in any other circumstance would be a prohibited weapon.

I like Jim's idea of the Kershaw Multitool for strikes but it so flippen huge on your belt.

I always carry a 4 D Cell Maglite in the car for any unpleasentness that might occur when I am on the road.

Mail me on

if I can give you any more info or be of any help when you are over.

Harvey Wareham

Live Long & Prosper, so you can buy more knives :)

OBTW, I think the Delica 98 blade is 3 1/16" now. Better check. On the other hand, I carried an BM 830 Ascent (actually, it is an Eclipse) while I was over there, IWB, in downtown London. I had something else for utilitarian uses, a Buck 705 three-bladed pocketknife. I made it back alive and un-harassed. YMMV, but it worked for me.


Live fast, die young, and leave a good looking corpse, it's the only way to win.

Thank you all for the info!

But...As things turned out different than I expected, I am not going to UK, but to Padova, Italy the 14th of July!

Any Italians here?

Tea drinker and hellraiser from Northern Sweden, above the arctic circle.