11 Best Neck Knives That Will Make You Sneaky Prepared

By Will Brendza | Last Updated: March 7, 2018

Neck KnifeA Guide To Finding The Best Neck Knife For You

Before sheaths and folding blades, our ancestors had to devise clever ways to carry a blade.

Back then, carrying a sharp blade without getting stabbed was a real trick.

One clever and timeless solution to this ancient problem was the neck knife.

By tying some cord around their blade’s handle, they could wear it around their necks.

A safe-bladed weapon close at hand.

It’s both simple and brilliant.

Few survival tools can double as functional tools and fashion accessories at once.

The neck knife is one of them.

But the variety of neck knives today is staggering and seemingly unending. Unfortunately, not all neck knives are created equal.

Some neck knives are great, while others suck.

Searching for the right neck knife can be a tedious and frustrating process.

How do you pick a great one from such a large number of options?

Well, that’s exactly why we wrote this guide. In this article, we’ll be covering the following topics:

**Note: If you want our top recommendations, feel free to SKIP AHEAD HERE.

As A Way To Introduce You To Skilled Survival, We're Giving Away Our #78 Item Complete Prepper Checklist. Click Here To Get Your FREE Copy Of It.

neck knife with chain

What Is A Neck Knife

Quite simply, any tactical knife you wear around your neck is technically a neck knife.

Since you carry a neck knife on your person, they also fall into the category of EDC knives. Neck knives are incredibly versatile in form, shape, and application.

Some are big, some are small, some are fixed-blade survival knives, and some are everyday folders. Heck, some are made more for fashion, while others are purely functional.

  • Curved Blades
  • Tanto Blades
  • Combat Knives
  • Multi-Tool Knives
  • Serrated Blades
  • Drop Point Blades
  • You Name It

There are also short blades, long blades, thick blades, thin blades, etc. But no matter, all neck knives have one thing in common, they’re hung from a cord or chain around your neck.

As A Way To Introduce You To Skilled Survival, We're Giving Away Our Ultimate Survival Gear Checklist. Click Here To Get Your FREE Copy Of It.

Brief Neck Knife History

So who exactly invented the neck knife? Sadly, that’s something we will never know. It’s one of those small historical facts lost forever.

Regardless, things have come a long way since those first primitive neck knives. But the technology and the idea behind it have not changed.

No matter how high-tech and fancy the blade gets, the basic idea of the neck knife remains the same.

Many people carry a knife to this day, some tens of thousands of years after the invention was conceived. Because anything that remains popular this long has got something going for it.

It’s an accessory that can save your life. And when it does, you’re going to thank the mystery caveman who invented it.

As A Way To Introduce You To Skilled Survival, We're Giving Away Our #78 Item Complete Prepper Checklist. Click Here To Get Your FREE Copy Of It.

tonife fixd blade neck knife

Reasons To Wear A Neck Knife

This could be a very long list – because when it comes to neck knives, there’s a lot to love. But, for brevity’s sake, I’ll limit this conversation to just the most significant advantages.

Always With You

This is the best reason to carry a neck knife.

No pockets, tactical backpacks, or belts are necessary because everyone’s got a neck. Just sling your knife around your head, and it will always be there, hanging right by your heart.

And likely the main reason our ancestors invented them in the first place.

Quick Easy Access

When it’s hanging around your neck, it is always within easy reach. You cannot lose it; you cannot leave it somewhere; you won’t accidentally drop it.

The neck knife is always within arm’s reach, ready to be slipped out of its sheath and used. Ready for survival, self-defense, or any purpose you run into.

Can Intimidate Threats

If a threat sees you’re carrying a blade around your neck, they know immediately you’re armed.

Most people are less likely to confront someone who’s visibly outfitted with a dangerous weapon.

Can Attract Attention

Neck knives are badass – plain and simple. No matter if you’re a woman or a man, if you are wearing a neck knife, it sends a clear message:

  • I am armed.
  • I am dangerous.
  • Ready to survive no matter what.

Wear your knife out and about if you want some added attention (good and bad).

Or keep it hidden if attention is not your thing.

As A Way To Introduce You To Skilled Survival, We're Giving Away Our Ultimate Survival Gear Checklist. Click Here To Get Your FREE Copy Of It.

Neck Knife In A Gloved Hand

Best Neck Knife Features

There are a few key characteristics of a good, functional neck knife. No matter how it’s shaped, how large it is, or who makes it, if it has the following qualities, it’ll serve you well.


Any neck knife that breaks as soon as you use it is not going to cut it for survival.

So choose one made from high-quality materials to resist wear and tear and handle lots of abuse.

There are a lot of cheapo-neck knives out there that are more of a necklace than a functional, usable knife.

So be wary when you’re buying – read reviews, and test the blade yourself, send it back if it doesn’t meet expectations.

Also, if you want a neck knife for survival, look for one with a thicker blade so you can use it for abusive tasks such as batoning.


Because neck knives come in different shapes, sizes, and styles, some end up being unwieldy.

A neck knife that’s a full tang oversized ka-bar hunting blade is going to be both bulky and heavy. You can count on that getting in your way more than it helps you out.

Fortunately, most knife designs have taken this into account. Most neck knives are lightweight and do not burden the wearer.

That’s the neck knife you want. One that’s so lightweight and compact you hardly notice it’s there, but it IS there, ready and waiting.

Compact Tight Sheath

The sheath is as important as the knife itself. 

You want a knife sheath that keeps the knife safely tucked away and secure in the sheath. You want the knife to fit snug but not too snug.

If it’s too loose the knife could slip out of the sheath all on its own – not good. But if it’s too tight, then it may become difficult to pull it free.

You also want the sheath to leave a minimum imprint. That way, you can wear it under your shirt and keep it hidden out of view.

The bottom line is a neck knife is only as good as the sheath it comes with.

Looks Good

Durability and functionality are first, but after that, you want one that looks cool, right?

These things are basically necklaces. Yeah, that’s not their primary function, but it plays a role in your purchase decision.

This means you need to like how you looks when wearing it. Thankfully, there are a lot of really badass-looking neck knives.

As A Way To Introduce You To Skilled Survival, We're Giving Away Our Ultimate Survival Gear Checklist. Click Here To Get Your FREE Copy Of It.

11 Best Neck Knives On The Market Today

1. Survival Neck Knife

Survival Neck KnifeIf you’re going to trust your life to a knife, it has to be strong enough for the job.

That’s why the full tang fixed blade survival neck knife is ideal for survival…

This Survival Knife doesn’t have any structural weak points. It’s made from one single, solid piece of cold-forged steel. This full tang runs from tip to tail and will not break.

However, it’s still light and compact, meaning it’s much easier to carry and easier to conceal.

The Survival Knife Has A Damn-Tough Blade

Compare the Survival Neck Knife blade to a standard pocket knife blade, and you’ll notice a major difference.

The Survival Neck Knife’s blade is much thicker.

On average, the Survival Neck Knife’s blade is 3-4x thicker than a standard pocket knife.

Fortunately, at 4mm thick, the Survival Neck Knife’s blade is thick enough for abusive survival skills, such as:

  • batoning wood
  • skinning large game
  • use as a pry bar

Not to mention the Survival Knife blade is made from one of the best metals around. The all 404c steel blade is as strong, so it’ll stand up to years.

Plus, its sheath is a survival tool in its own right.

It comes with the following:

  • Built-in compass and a signaling mirror
  • Complete with a knife-sharpening stone
  • A Ferro rod for creating a shower of sparks

The Survival Neck Knife is badass, the one I purchase and the one I wear daily.

2. Columbia Survival Sherpa Neck Knife

This super-lightweight (1.75 oz) minimalist knife comes with a finely honed stainless steel blade.

The handle also functions as both a slotted screwdriver and a mini-crowbar.

It comes with a breakable neck chain, and it snaps securely into its black nylon sheath.

3. CRKT Minimalist Bowie Neck Knife

This deep-bellied clip point bowie style blade is just 2.125” long, but it looks sort of like the classic Bowie hunting knives made famous in the American West.

It comes with a custom glass-filled nylon sheath with a positive detent to lock the blade in place.

That way, you’ll be confident it won’t slip out.

CRKT includes a paracord loop for wearing this knife around your neck.

4. MTech USA MT-20-14 Series Fixed Blade Neck Knife

This is a full tang; fixed blade survival neck knife is made of 440 stainless steel, matte black, and double-edged.

It comes with a grippy nylon-filled injection mold handle which makes it easy to keep ahold of during use.

The knife is 6.5 inches in length (the blade by itself is 2.75 inches) and comes with a nylon sheath and a breakable neck chain.

5. MTech USA Mt-665Bk Neck Knife

This wicked-looking blade is ideal for combat purposes.

In fact, it’s difficult to find uses for a karambit blade like this one besides inflicting wounds.

This style of blade originated in Indonesia centuries ago. Today it is one of the most deadly (and frightening-looking) blades legally available to carry.

This one is 7.5 inches long overall and comes with a sheath and a length of neck cord to secure it around your neck.

6. Spartan Enyo Fixed Blade Fighting Knife Kydex Sheath

Designed for survival, this single-sided blade is versatile and lightweight.

Supplied with a neck lanyard and a self-locking Zytel sheath.

This knife is 5.25 inches in length (with a 2.5-inch blade) and comes with a lifetime warranty against defects or damage.

7. Off-Grid Knives, Hawkeye Knife

One of the smallest, lightest-weight options, this compact blade is only 5.75 inches long (with a 2-inch blade).

Named for its hawk beak-shaped blade. This deadly little knife is useful for self-defense, outdoor, and survival situations.

It has an ergonomically designed handle to fit in your hand, and at only 2.8 ounces you’ll hardly notice holding it.

The blade may be small, but it has both a serrated edge and a curved hawkbit straight edge.

8. Tonife Fixed Blade Neck Knife Full Tang

This blade is professionally heat treated which involves heating, freezing, and reheating, making the blade extremely tough with excellent edge retention.

The Tonife Squirrel features a G10 (lightweight, tough, corruption, and extreme temperature resistant material) handle over its full steel tang.

It also comes with a Kydex Sheath that comes with a tough ball and chain for wearing around your neck.

9. Gerber Ghoststrike Fixed Blade Knife

The Gerber Ghoststrike has a compact, skeletal 420HC steel frame, and blade.

It comes with a black ceramic coating for minimal reflection + corrosion resistance.

The handle is a diamond texture rubber which provides a superior grip.

Includes a modular sheath system that can be worn horizontally or vertically making it a great knife (or even a boot knife or belt knife).

10. Ka-Bar BK11 Becker Necker Knife

Anyone who’s a survival knife enthusiast knows the name Ka-Bar. Their knives are used throughout the military and services sectors!

This Ka-Bar Becker Necker is updated with 1095 CroVan steel.

It includes a black plastic injection molded glass-filled nylon sheath. And comes with some high-quality 550 paracord.

Also, note the sheath for the Necker was designed to work with the TDI Metal Belt Clip – this allows for easy on-and-off mounting to a belt, in a boot, or on a tactical vest.

11. ESEE Black Izula w/ Micarta Handles

The locals in Peru call the meanest, nastiest ant of the jungle by the name “Isula”. That’s why this small, mighty, badass knife was named after this infamous ant.

The name is fitting for this 1065 carbon steel knife with an overall length of  6.25 inches and a blade length of 2.875 inches and a thickness of .156 inches.

Plus, its overall weight comes in at a mere 3.0 ounces (without the sheath).

The sheath is a black injection-molded polymer belt clip that keeps the blade safely tucked away when hanging from your neck.

And last but not least they have a No Questions Asked Warranty on all of ESEE 1095 carbon steel knives. If you break it, send it back and they’ll replace it.

As A Way To Introduce You To Skilled Survival, We're Giving Away Our Ultimate Survival Gear Checklist. Click Here To Get Your FREE Copy Of It.

Best Neck Knife Uses (for survival and self defense)

If you are thinking about buying a neck knife, this is a perfectly understandable question to ask. When would this knife actually become useful?

Well, there are a lot of answers to that question, and each one depends heavily on the circumstances. But we will go over a few of the important ones (and maybe a few of the more obscure uses).


Naturally, it can come in handy if someone tries to attack you. A typical response for anyone wearing a neck knife would be to whip that bad boy out and stab.

Self-defense is the main reason many people carry neck knives. They offer a fast, easy, small, stealthy, incognito weapon at hand.

This is a big reason why neck knives are excellent accessories for females traveling or walking solo late at night.


When you’re in the wild hunting animals (or even just hanging out) having a knife at the ready is handy.

Whether you’re field dressing a kill, preparing food, or carving tools, neck knives are at the ready.

Apocalyptic Weapon

When shit hits the fan, you’re going to want to be as armed as possible. Carrying a blade around your neck is one more place to keep a weapon at the ready.

You never know if or when we’ll all be caught off guard in an end-of-the-world scenario. So wearing a neck knife makes sure you’re never unarmed when that happens.


When out on the water, casting flies and catching fish, you’ll want something to gut or fillet your catch.

Yes, a good fillet knife is better, but when you’re camping or surviving, you might not have one of those with you. So in that case, good thing you have that trusty knife around your neck.

Being Crafty

Maybe you need to carve an arrow shaft or whittle a makeshift survival whistle out of wood.

Whatever crafty purpose you need a knife for, your trusty neck knife is going to be there to help you achieve it.

Final Thoughts

Most people get so hung up on keeping pocket knives in their pockets. Carrying a fixed blade knife on their belts, or dirks in their boots. But they overlook the advantages of carrying a knife around their neck.

It’s one of the handiest places you can keep a small badass survival knife.

And with modern knife technology, there are tons of options for any survivalist.

Once you start wearing a neck knife, you’ll never stop. The benefits are too great and significant.

Add one to your collection of survival gear, and it may quickly become your new everyday carry knife.

Will Brendza

P.s. Are you ready for the tough times ahead?

Find out now by taking my short Readiness Score Quiz - it’s absolutely free. Once complete, you’ll know exactly where you stand on the “fragile” vs.” resilient” spectrum.

Get My 10 Steps To Basic Preparedness Video For FREE.
Plus daily survival tips (unsubscribe anytime).