Knife Recommendations for Law Enforcement

Oct 29, 2000
Although I am sure this question has been asked many time before, I am new to the board and have missed reading the discussions. I apologize if this is a really worn-out subject.
I would like opinions on the best knife for a law enforcement officer to carry.
Specifically, since I'm asking only for myself, the knife is intended for utility use (I know some officers carry knives for self-defense, as backup weapons but that's not my bag) and should be durable and not too large. I'm interested in a knife that has a good grip so it won't slip in my hands during activities in damp or watery environments/weather.
Finally, I'm looking for a knife company with a good customer service reputation and a dependable warranty plan.
Any input, whether posted to the boards or emailed to me would be really appreciated.


If you are not a big spender and want a knife primarily for utility, I would recommend a some sort of Spyderco. A plain Delica or Native would be a good choice. If you wanted some versatility, I would recommend a Delica or Native and a Rescue jr. for cutting seat belts of any kind of work where you would not want a sharp point on your blade.
I would suggest the Rescue or Rescue Jr. also. It will see a lot more day to day use than many other blade designs. Also, no big deal if you loose it.

**Blazing Saddles**

I would also reccomend spyderco.
They are generally acknowledged as having some of the best customer service and quality control.
They offer a range of competitively priced knives- there should be something to suit you and if you loose it you won't be crying.
Spydercos can be opened and closed one-handed using the thumb hole. The thumb hole is also one of the quickest ways of manually opening a knife.
Spyderco uses good quality steels and their serrated models have the ability to cut through some really tough stuff. If you don't like serrations, that's OK too- just buy 1 of their plain edge models.
The range in size and blade/handle shape they offer is such that you can really tailor a choice to your individual needs. If you need something small but a super cutting performer, then you could might want to consider a native or delica. If you need something a bit larger, you might want to consider a delica, calypso or police.
There are other good knives on the market, especially if you want to spend a little bit more money. However, spyderco would probably most efficiently meet your needs.

I carry a Masters of Defense CQD. If it seems to big they are making a 3/4 size version. Before that it was a CRKT Crawford/Kasper
One LEO to another over the years I have carried a bunch of different knives for utility etc. I have gotten away from more expensive so called "tactical" knives bcause if you lose it your out $150 plus.
The ones I seem to carry most is a Spyderco Endura with a combo edge and a Spyderco Rescue. I like the Spydercos because the newer ones are ambidexterous and the are inexpensive but not cheap. Some other good choices would be Gerber EZ outs and Cold Steel Voyagers.
When I first started everyones was carrying Bucks in leather sheaths,then everyoe went to Spydercos. Pretty soon the tactical knife bug hit and everyone went and purchased them. Finally most people are back to the Spydercos. Hope I could help
What price range are you looking at? AS you get more expensive your choices really go up.

For around $50 I would recommend the Spyderco Endura or Goddard Lightweight.

For a little less than $100 I would recommend the Spyderco Wegner.

For between $100 and $150 I would recommend the Benchmade 710 (or any of the axis locks), Al Mar SERE 2000, Spyderco Military, Microtech LCC, or the Spyderco Starmate.

For $150 -$250 I would say the Microtech SOCOM Elite.

Anything above $300 I would say get a Sebenza or a custom knife from any number of reputable makers.

Dennis Bible
Welcome to the forums, Ed. It would help to know if you're looking for fixed blade or folder. IMHO, Microtech is the best production knife company on the planet, and their LCC model is a fantastic knife for the $$$.
Any of the Spyderco suggestions would work out for you.

Let me also suggest the Buck Crosslock. A more hand-filling handle to hold onto, and two one-hand opening blades - one knife blade and one seat belt cutter hook blade. I think they call this the "Deputy" model. You won't cry for losing it either (<$40).

Buck is among the most upstanding companies in the business, as is Spyderco.
Smoky Mountain Knife Works used to have the Buck on sale for $20. Since their website is horrendous, I'll look through old catalogues and see if I can get the part # and availability for you.

I did see at the SMKW site, they still have the old style (AUS-8 steel, integral plastic pocket clip) Spyderco Rescue for $24.99.

Part # is SP14SBP, SMKW number is 800-251-9306.

I find the blunt tip blade to be too limiting, since you can't puncture anything if you need to. But if you're leaning to this blade style, you can't beat that price.

Just do not, even though the names are well known, buy anything with the S&W, Colt, or Remington name. They are overpriced junk (the knives, that is).


Something with a fine tip if you will be working with drugs much.

-Marine, Peace Officer, Gunsite EW1 Graduate.
Interesting note, AR15. I think a Worker, Police, or Rookie would all fit that bill.
On second thought, given you want something 'grippy', I think the Worker & Police only come in smooth stainless, and the G10 Rookies are probably all gone too (got mine

Or... how bout the Benchmade Ascent series. Lockbacks, a hole with no oversized hump, and ATS-34 blades, and won't break the bank.
Check out the Spyderco line (particularly the Goddard which affords a better grip than most of the others), and the Benchmade line (AFCK, 710, 720, 750 all great).

Two of my LEO buddies have broken Benchmades in the past few months. One was prying open a door with a Nimravus (abuse), and the other broke the blade on a Mini Reflex. Benchmade replaced them both.
Hey All,
Thank you very much for the replies. I'm currently in the hiring phase for law enforcement...anyone out there remember those days?
I'm trying to get a jump on things, equipment-wise by looking around and learning now.
There seems to be a strong preference towards Spyderco in my area of the country among LE and emergency services personnel. Their reputation appears to be well earned in view of the replies to this post. Emerson and Gerber are also popular.
I am specifically looking for a folding blade knife that's not too expensive since most of my gear always seems to take a beating. Everyone's recommendations have given me a good starting point to work from.
Thanks again.


Ed Vincent
Without a doubt go with Spyderco.

I've carried Endura's and Delica's both on & off duty as a utility knife. If you want somthing a tad bigget than the Endura go with a Spyderco Military.

I've just picked up a Emerson CQC-7 as a weapon/utility knife and now carry both the Endura and CQC-7.

Spyderco's customer service can't be beat!!!

SAS RKBA freedom Scottsbluff Cowboy Shooters Cheyenne Regulators
Without a doubt, get a Cold Steel Gunsite II, or a Large (4 inch blade) CS Voyager.

Now do what I said, dammit!.

Dann Fassnacht
Aberdeen, WA
ICQ# 53675663

[This message has been edited by glockman99 (edited 11-05-2000).]
Ed Lovr,
I would suggest the Goddard Lwt, it is all around, great ergos, super for utitility, and if the occasion would call, would be sutible for defense. Good luck. Check out some internet knife shops, you can get one for a more than fair price.