Top Five Concealable Blades

There’s a point at which a blade is too small for its own good, and a few of these blades come close to crossing that line. But I find a tiny blade to be a super useful tool in a variety of circumstances, including self-defense.

“Tiny” is a relative term, and these blades have varying roles and functions. They can be carried and hidden in many places on one’s person. After you read through these, let us know in the comments which you carry (or which you would carry) and any other thoughts. With that, here are my top five concealable blades.

Read Mark’s previous articles in this “Top Five” series:

1. Spyderco Dog Tag Folder


Retailing for $84.95, the Spyderco Dog Tag Folder features a G-10 laminated titanium handle. It measures 3.23 inches when open. When closed, it is about the same size as a military ID tag. It’s drilled to accept a neck chain too, and it carries nicely around the neck. The 1.23-inch blade is made of CPM S30V steel and sports a chisel-ground, stonewashed flat bevel. With a blade thickness of 0.188 inches and an overall weight of 0.9 ounces, the idea here is light and small.

With a little practice, you can open and the close the knife using your thumb in the classic Spyderco thumb hole. The blade will click in place in either position. However, it does not lock in the open position, and frankly, you should not be doing any cutting that even gets close to heavy-duty. This is a light-duty tool that is easy to hide and carry.

For more information visit

2. Kershaw Ember


Retailing for $34.99, the Kershaw Ember sports a 2-inch blade and measures 2.8 inches long when closed. An integrated flipper, which works in conjunction with Kershaw’s SpeedSafe technology, deploys the blade in an easy, one-fingered snap. Once open, the blade stays in place thanks to a frame lock. Part of the handle snaps in behind the blade which keeps the blade open.

Although it features a tiny blade, the knife is versatile and allows for either tip-up or tip-down carry. You can also just drop it into your pocket and not use the clip. The blade is made of 8Cr13MoV steel, and the handle is 410 stainless with a titanium carbo-nitride coating. Overall weight is 2.2 ounces. While this is a more heavy-duty cutting tool than the Spyderco, it is still light-duty knife overall.

For more information visit

3. Gerber Ghostrike Fixed Blade Deluxe Kit


Retailing for $72, the Gerber Ghostrike Fixed Blade Deluxe Kit provides you with both a capable blade and an ankle holster. Ghostrike’s blade is made of 420HC steel, and the handle is overmolded in rubber for maximum purchase. The blade is 3.3 inches long, and the knife is 6.9 inches long overall. The knife and ankle carrier together weigh only 6 ounces.

This is a very comfortable rig to carry, and you can wear it so that the knife is on the inside or outside of your right or left leg. The Ghostrike is an even more heavy-duty cutting tool than the Kershaw Ember, but it is still a light-duty knife overall. Meant mostly as a last-ditch self-defense weapon, the Ghostrike rides concealed under a pant leg until it is needed.

For more information visit

4. Emerson La Griffe


La Griffe means “claw” — and you can probably see why. The Emerson La Griffe retails for $110.95. At the time this article was written, it was out of stock on the Emerson website. The La Griffe is carried in a plastic sheath and hangs from a chain around the neck. To use it, grasp it and give it a tug downward. Doing so frees the knife from its sheath, but please do so carefully.

With its chisel grind, the 1.75-inch 154 CM blade is ready to cut through just about anything when exposed. This knife is one of the toughest in this lineup and, while meant for self-defense, proves eminently useful in a variety of situations and tasks. The overall length of the La Griffe is 4.9 inches, and the blade width is 0.125 inches. Hardness is 57-59RC, and overall weight is 1.5 ounces. The design allows you to get a lot of leverage for efficient cutting, and the stonewashed finish is tough as nails.

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5. Bear Cutlery Boot Knife



Retailing for $79.99, the Bear Cutlery Boot Knife (Model 789) is a modern take on a classic design. The largest knife of this lot, the Model 789 measures approximates 7.88 inches overall. Its double-edged blade is made of 1095 carbon steel and measures 3.25 inches long. At 4.8 ounces, this knife is the heaviest the bunch, but it is still lightweight by most measures.

The G10 handles provide plenty of purchase, but this knife also needs to be considered a light-duty tool. The black epoxy powder on the blade keeps things subtle and matches well the Kydex boot sheath. The clip on the sheath lets you wear it clipped to your boot, or you can latch the sheath to you. I find that this knife carries well inside the waistband on the weak side opposite the handgun.

For more information visit


To round this up, these highly concealable blades are generally lightweight, small and thin. Their size and weight prove helpful for concealment but limit their cutting ability. This is an exercise in compromise to be sure. Reducing the cutting power of the knife increases its concealability (and vice versa). We’ve got two neck knives, one pocket folder, one ankle rig and one boot knife. Which would you carry and why?


About the Author: Mark Kakkuri is a nationally published freelance writer who covers guns and gear, 2nd Amendment issues and the outdoors. His writing and photography have appeared in many firearms-related publications, including the USCCA’s Concealed Carry Magazine. You can follow him on Twitter @markkakkuri.

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About the author: Mark Kakkuri is a nationally published freelance writer who covers guns and gear, 2nd Amendment issues and the outdoors. His writing and photography have appeared in many firearms-related publications, including the USCCA’s Concealed Carry Magazine. You can follow him on Twitter @markkakkuri.

{ 8 comments… add one }
  • Dave June 27, 2018, 12:19 pm

    I carry a Gerber Guardian boot knife and a SOG Switch II folding pocket with clip. Both made in the USA, both very reasonably priced. The Gerber Guardian very much resembles the Bear Cutlery knife here but can be had for less money, much less if you shop around. Same with the SOG. I came across that at Lowes of all places, for about 2/3 of the suggested retail, plus my 10% military discount. Both knives have kept a very keen edge and I have been very happy with them.

  • Pantexan June 25, 2018, 11:08 am

    What makes these top five choices. There are so many similar knives out there with widely varying prices. Maybe narrow the field a bit by standardizing the type of knife fixed or folding, auto, assisted, or manual, to be used for self protection or utility. Too many categories with what you have presented.

  • Cecil Sairpont June 23, 2018, 5:15 pm

    Where’s the HAK — Hide Away Knife?

  • Dean June 23, 2018, 8:52 am

    $85 for Spyderco dogtag? Insanely overpriced, just like everything they make. This should cost $30 tops. Sorry fanboys but if you pay $85 for this you have more money than good sense.

  • Pseudo June 22, 2018, 6:30 pm

    I would check the legality of carrying item 5. I believe in many states this is considered an illegal item. It resembles a dagger more than a knife.

  • Pseudo June 22, 2018, 5:00 pm

    I believe that number five could get one into a bit of trouble in a number of states. It appears it to be a dagger and is illegal in some states to even carry, let alone concealed.

  • Mike June 22, 2018, 2:13 pm

    Before you get a little carry knife, take a look at the ‘Seecamp’ carry pistol.
    You may have never seen a pistol this small. 32 cal & 380 available
    A high quality pistol and pretty expensive. You don’t even need a holster.
    Just put it in your pocket.

  • Ryan June 22, 2018, 10:03 am

    Sog snarl, and crkt minimalist. My 2 favorites.

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