Military Knives: Past and Present

Jul 7th 2018

Military Knives .jpg

Knives are arguably the first real weapon used in warfare. Every army since the beginning of recorded history has included some form of knife as either the primary or backup weapon in a soldier’s kit.

The characteristics of good military knives, past and the present, have the same basic makeup: a good blade, a way to grasp the blade without cutting yourself, and a sharp edge.

There are many different types of  military knives for sale online that reproduce a tried and true blade used by soldiers in the past.

Today, as in the past, modern armies have certain style knives that are considered standard for that country’s military. However, many units often allow their members to carry whatever sort of edged blade the soldier prefers.

Here are a few of the types of blades, past and present, that are still available and in use today.

Traditional Military Knives


Daggers have been in use for centuries. Their blades have a very sharp point and two sharp edges. Daggers typically are used for thrusting or stabbing and were originally designed to exploit weaknesses in the armor worn by Roman Legionnaires, Medieval Knights, and others.

Most daggers have a cross-guard to prevent your hand from slipping down the blade when thrusting.


Bayonets are French in origin and were first made in the 1600s.

A bayonet attaches to a rifle barrel and is used for cutting and thrusting. The blade is manufactured in a way so that it can also be used without attaching it to a rifle.

Trench Knives

Trench knives, or knuckle knives, were devised by a Frenchman during World War I. They rapidly gained popularity among the Germans and Allied forces as an excellent weapon for close combat in the trenches.

The knife remained popular and was carried by soldiers on both sides during World War II.

The traditional trench knife had a knuckle guard to protect the fingers and allow the user to maintain a firm grip.

Bowie Knives

The famous Bowie Knife, named after the frontiersman and one of the defenders at the Alamo Jim Bowie, has a heavy, long blade that is much larger than a traditional knife.

Variations of the original Bowie Knife have been used in combat since the Civil War.

Military Knives Today


A Karambit is either a fixed blade or folding knife with a signature curved blade. Most Karambits have several holes in the blade to insert your fingers into for optimal grip.

The Off-Grid  Hawkeye Karambit Neck Knife, made of lightweight but durable quality steel, can be worn around the neck and is popular as an everyday carry blade. The Ka-Bar developed originally as a form of cutlery in the 1800s, officially became the standard issue military knife for the United States Marine Corps during World War II. The Marines still use it today.his iconic knife, with its large, fixed blade and leather handle, is considered by many the ultimate military blade. If you’re interested in buying a military-inspired knife, Off Grid Knives has lots of options to choose from.