Neck Knives

Mar 31, 2000
Posted this in your welcome, but didn't want it to get lostYou
are "THE MAN"when it comes to Neck Knives! So, who do you give top billing too? Also do you think they will continue to be popular or will this trend soon die out?
Sorry, Jim. Didn't see this before. However, I did reply to your question in the other thread.

To elaborate a little more, I guess it's really hard for me to nail down a particular maker or style as "best". As can be seen by the pix of my own neck knives, my taste is very eclectic.

On the one hand I have some pieces which can be considered tactical in nature such as those by Nealy, Polkowski, Perrin, Hayes, Martin et al.

Then there are others which combine beauty with function like Audra Draper and Murray Carter.

Still others are ideal for outdoor applications such as diving, hiking, backpacking etc like those by Rob Simonich and Ray Kirk, for example.

On any given day when I get ready for work I just let my mood, a particular application, or just the fact that I was thinking of that maker move me toward wearing that particular piece on that particular day.

As I mentioned in the other thread, I don't see this trend dying out for the simple reason that these knives are so practical. They can be used as neck knives, belt knives, IWB or in the pocket. And the size is just about perfect for most everyday encounters.

Blues, do you see any trends developing in neck knives at present? Ie., high performance steels with fancy handle materials for a knife that not only performs, but looks great.; tantos versus clip points versus daggers..

I'd be remiss if I did not thank Tsimi for presenting this opportunity.;):D

I smell a setup here by my HI brethren! ;)

Koz, I think there's been a lot of interest (re)kindled in the area of damascus or other high end blade materials and natural handles, especially of late. Several of the print magazines seem to have been harping on that of late.

For myself, I really love the marriage of natural handle materials (mastodon ivory, pearl, bone, oosic) with either damascus or high end stainless, stellite/talonite or (forged)carbon steel.

I might be less inclined to beat up such a knife compared to one handled with carbon fiber, g-10 or micarta, but there is definite pride of ownership there. (Much like with your higher end khukuris.)

As I mentioned above, I think the work exhibited by Audra Draper with damascus and buffalo horn, and the knife by Murray Carter with mastodon ivory and san mai damascus, really show the best of both worlds, performance and art. Murray's knives bring "sharp" to another level.

Tim Herman recently came out with a classy looking neck knife he dubbed the Wall Street Tactical. The pearl edition was especially attractive. Bub Worrell is another maker that has made some beautiful neck knives.

I hope a lot of makers will be willing to make both higher end as well as "utility" models in this arena. As you all know it's one I've come to appreciate a lot. Plus, you can get the work of master smiths at a very reasonable cost. Look at the EBK's by Ed Caffrey as an example of that.

I don't know about blade trends personally. I myself like the traditional tanto design versus the Americanized or geo-tanto. Recurves still seem to be doing strongly along with the drop and clip points. In a smaller knife like a neck knife, I think the drop, clip and traditional tanto styles work quite well.

Hopefully others will chime in with their experience, makers and collectors/users both.

My experience with neck knives is limited. I have the Brend set and a Falkinevin. The Brend knives and sheaths are too big neck carry. They are however much more comfortable to use than the smaller Falkinevin.

Neck carry when wearing heavy clothing, as it may be difficult to reach a sheath knife under a heavy coat. However I do not get along with them for everyday carry. They bounce about my chest and print. While no one has noticed me wearing a neck knife I can certainly see them printing. I am always fearful of something grabbing that cord around my neck (even with a breakaway link).

It is likely something I am doing wrong with them.

Most knives that are being called neck knives are really belt knives that have been put in a neck sheath. They are usually way too big to be worn comfortably around the neck. I wear a small Carson F4. To me, it is the perfect size for neck wear. The F4 comes with a great sheath and the grip is easy to acquire.


I wear 'em daily down here in the Florida heat day in and day out. And given that on any given day I may be making an arrest or two, I'm real cognizant of anyone deciding to grab on to the chain or cord. A breakaway chain in that regard is highly recommended.

I haven't had any problems with "printing" with most of my knives. They fit well between the pecs and if the knife/sheath combo isn't too much, will not be noticed.


I agree that the Carson F4 is a good one. Kit sent me a couple of the protos to review some time ago. I have one of the original (larger) versions in coated D2 in my collection. As you can see by my current avatar, I'm a fan of Kit's work. :)

I've worn one of mine for 18 months now, I love the idea. Fast to draw, always handy. It does "print", But no one ever notices.
As for carry, I go with 550 cord, on request I give "craft chain" - dog tag chain. I also put a boot clip on the sheath.
All in all, I wish neck knives would have been around 25 years ago.
Originally posted by samhell
Most knives that are being called neck knives are really belt knives that have been put in a neck sheath. They are usually way too big to be worn comfortably around the neck.

Man, do I agree with that. For me personally, I can't see the neck as being anything but a secondary location for a knife (i.e., a backup) for 99.93% of the days in a given year.

As I said in another neck knives post, neck as primary carry ... maybe at at nudist colony or otherwise sitting around in "Porky Pig" mode (no pants). Canoe trip or kayaking maybe...swim trunks and retrieving would be harder, or buried in the kayak.

I even struggle to understand why an LEO would wear around neck as primary carry... I know they carry a lot of gear, but it just seems that a pocket folder or small belt knife would be a primary location, with neck secondary/backup. Maybe Blues can clue me in here on what an LEO faces WRT equipment carry.
I don't remember the topic of neck knife as primary knife being discussed here.

Though I always have a neck knife, I also carry a folder clipped to my pocket and a Micra in the watch pocket of my jeans.

A photon or two for lighting purposes.

My keys are clipped to a kubaton.

Oh yeah, I always have a gun too. (I don't depend on my knives to effect arrests. ;))

Bottom line is that it comes down to what your comfortable with and your personal preferences. Since I work in plain clothes, these are the things I normally carry.

I tend to prefer a fixed blade to folder most times but the neck knife just doesn't do it for me. If worn outside the clothing, it's handy but people look at you funny and it still takes 2 hands to re-sheath. For me, a sturdy folder comes out and goes back easier, as does a belt sheath/fixed blade.
I have a small custom neck knife and I wear it hiking sometimes if wearing light shorts without a belt but even then I'm more likely to drop it in my pocket.
If y'all like to wear 'em around your necks, that's fine with me. I just haven't found any advantage in it for me.
Newt Livesay showed me one of his neck knives with the Kydex sheath in 1992 and I was smitten with the neck knife bug. I have worn one since and it has never been thought of as a weapon. As I have gotten larger (fat), it is a lot handier to pull with one hand and return with one hand to the sheath, than to lean over and dig in my pocket for the folder. A pocket clip would probably eliminate some of that but I like the neck carry. If you wear a tie, put the knife on first and reach between buttons to withdraw the knife. I am not talking about be able to move with the speed of light and it has never been needed that quick. If I had to walk down the proverbial "dark alley", the blade would probably already be in hand.
I had heard of the Native Americans using the neck carry for the small knives they used, such as a possibles bag for the mountain man. I will probably be wearing one for a long time because "I like it".
2 ounces of blade is not considered a "mill stone" and I can carry that all day. The small Bub Worell "peanut would be sufficient to do most of the cutting chores needed for the neck knife.
I think I too was taken by this Neck trend...and it was blues who helped me do my first steps in this field...

Been carrying a secondary (or actually a forth or so..) knife on my neck ever since...
Neck knives are SO subjective! Some people like them, some people don't. I'm with Blues in that I generally wear one in conjuction with a folder. They are so handy though when I want to go somewhere wearing just shorts and a t-shirt and don't want to lug a folder around.

I agree with JW in that sometimes they can be a hassle but as a backup, "last ditch", or just a handy utility blade, they shine.

I know Blues prefers and doesn't mind wearing a somewhat larger necker but I prefer a small, thin one which to me is an important criteria in choosing one.

I completely agree with James on the choice of the small Carson Family F4 and a "tip of the hat" to Blues for bringing it to my attention! It's a wonderful choice!
I had a funny/well funny now, experience with wearing a neck knife. I was returning from CT where I met up with RJ Martin and getting a Kosuka #4 with the nice sheath that he does, which has those powerful magnets to hold the knife secure.
Well I was at a gas station along the Mass Turnpike and luckily locked my keys in the car....going good already! Saw a State Trooper pulled over so I walked over to see if he could help. It was raining out.....luck still holding out!....he reluctantly rolled down his window to hear my penitent request and as I leaned down to talk to him through his window the neck knife I was wearing swung foward and the magnets sort of got attracted to the patrol car door with a thump....the next thump was my heart beating wildly!! How was I going to explain why I was wearing a neck knife? I tried to nonchalantly lean back trying to pull the sheath/knife clear of the door, which I did. Luckily for me the officer was n't too interested in my request and really didn't pay much attention to me at all. He called in for help and a truck came out to rescue me but I was very glad just to walk away from his car with the knife still around my neck.....I don't wear one any more.
Nice little knife, A.T. as are all of your knives.

(As a gentle reminder, however, please do not furnish pricing or sale information with pictures or descriptions in this forum so that we may keep it free of commercial interests and yet have it remain open to the discussion of our interest and passion for custom knives.)

Absolutely great, FUNNY story Gary! I think I'll still wear my neckers, I'll just leave the magnets at home!:)
I only own one neck knife,but I am more than
pleased with it.It looks as if it were designed from the ground up to be specifically for neck carry.The Greg Lightfoot Neck Razor is as functional as it
is attractive.Full tang Rose pattern Damasteel with carbon fiber overlays.As I
am not partial to Kydex I sent the knife to
Kenny Rowe in Hope,Ark.and he made a black
leather sheath with a alligator insert and
matching black rawhide thong,(if ayone grabs
it color me dead).The Neck Razor is on pg.67
in Knives 2000.I don't have the capability to
scan a photo to you.Do not use as a daily
carry,usually a Sebie or my Terzuola MK-1
does the trick.