Folding knives and fixed blade knives issued to the armed forces play a very important role. If a knife is used by our troops, then you know it's a solid and reliable blade. For this reason, people are attracted to U.S. military knives. While it is interesting to note the different knives carried by the various Special Forces, it is equally important to consider smaller companies with a proven track record of sales directly to to our military service members.
What Knives Are Issued to the U.S. Armed Forces?
If you take a look at a manufacturer’s website, it will seem as if every military group carries hundreds of different knives from their brand. Custom makers and knife producers send their products to all the Special Forces in the hope that they will choose their brand. While some are successful in their mission, others fail because their knives are not built with solid fit and finish. Soldiers in the armed forces are repeatedly thrust into difficult situations so they need a reliable and tough knife that will perform unfailingly in every scenario.
The following are some of the top knives that are issued to the U.S. forces and the alternative options:
1. Ontario 490 M9 Bayonet System
The U.S. Armed Forces officially used this fixed blade knife in 1984. This is a utility knife bayonet which can also act as a wire cutter. The knife blade is about 7 inches long and resembles its predecessor, Buck 184.
Best Alternative: Tracker-X2 Stonewash Fixed Blade Knife
The Tracker-X2 is a no-nonsense rough-use fixed blade knife used in the field by soldiers in the US Military who purchased directly from Off-Grid Knives. The Tracker-X2 is a mid-sized knife with a wide belly, full flat grind with tough Cryo D2 blade steel. We added grippy Micarta scales with an ergonomic handle that fits large hands with or without gloves. Included is a custom Kydex sheath with our OG Lo-Pro belt attachment made famous by the Alpha-Dog fixed blade knife.
2. Ontario MK 3 Navy Knife
The U.S. Navy Seals commonly deploy this knife. It features a stainless steel blade which is approximately 6 inches in length. The U.S. Navy Seals commonly deploy this knife. It features a stainless steel blade which is approximately 6 inches in length. The knife blade is about 7 inches long and resembles its predecessor, Buck 184.
Best Alternative: Backcountry Coyote V2 Fixed Blade Knife
The Backcountry design intention was to create a knife that could take a beating in the woods or for combat tactical use. We used Cryo D2 (HRC 61) full tang steel construction and lightly tumbled gray titanium nitride, this fixed blade is ready for work. The Backcountry crosses over to an excellent fighting & self defense knife as well. The ergonomic handle is made with grippy G10 scales with jimping on the top front and back, gloves or no gloves, this knife will not leave your hand.
3. Strider SMF
During the War on Terror in 2003, the Detachment One unit came together. Due to their special circumstances, they decided that they required a different kind of knife exclusive to their unit. Strider SMF was a good choice due to its compactness and reliability. Titanium is used in the production of these knives which makes these knives resistant to wear and tear and therefore, they have long useful lives.
Best Alternative: Stinger XL Spear Point Knife
The Stinger XL has a four inch Spear Point blade is made of 154CM steel with a HRC of 61. We coated the blade with tumbled black DLC and and a full blackout build. Off-Grid also offers the Stinger XL in Coyote Tan and Graywash blade. The handle is 5.25" with G10 scales, gorilla hands will comfortably fit this grip with ease. Like all Off-Grid knife designs, the Stinger XL is overbuilt and taylor made for the Military and Armed Forces.
The Ka-Bar encapsulates exactly what U.S. Special Forces seek in their knives. It is a classic weapon which was produced during World War 2 because none of the other weapons met the needs of these forces. The armed forces use their tools for a variety of purposes besides fighting. The Ka-Bar is an effective knife because not only does it lend itself well in combat situations but it can also be deployed as a crate opener or wire cutter. Due to its versatility, it is a popular choice among U.S. forces.
Best Alternative: Alpha-Dog Fixed Blade Knife
The Off-Grid Alpha-Dog eats Ka-Bar's for breakfast. Just under one pound, it's built like a tank made for all serious survival situations. With a bomb proof build and full tang, the wide radius blade will chop, skin, carve and cut whatever you throw at it. We used G10 scales for durability and strength with a thick and wide ergonomic handle that fits large to extra large hands with or without gloves. Included is a custom Kydex sheath with an easy thumb-push release and the Off-Grid OG Lo-Pro detachable Kydex, Nylon/Velcro button lock belt loop.
5. ASEK Survival Knife
This knife was introduced to the U.S. Army in 2003. However, other branches of the armed forces have also adopted this knife due to its light weight and practicality. It comes with a 5 inch blade and a sizeable handle. This means the user’s hand will not slip forward easily which can be useful in hazardous combat situations as it prevents unnecessary injuries.
Best Alternative: Ridgeback Fixed Blade Knife
The Ridgeback is Off-Grid's first true bushcraft knife and our first knife with a Scandi grind. Most bushcraft knives are on the smaller side, well, that's not our style. We went the other direction and made the Ridgeback a large fixed blade with chopping and batoning in mind. The five inch blade offers plenty of room to split wood with ease. The blade steel is Sandvik 14C28N which offers excellent hardness, corrosion resistance and edge retention. Call the Ridgeback a bushcraft knife, survival knife or a camp knife, no matter how you slice it, this is a true survival tool that's ready to throw down in any and all harsh environments.
It is obvious that the U.S. forces always buy the most high quality knives. On the other hand, there are alternatives such as Off-Grid Knives, as we put quality fit and finish first. Off-Grid also keeps our prices as low as possible. Either military personnel or civilians shold both consider their own personal needs as well when thinking of buying a miltary fixed blade knife or a hard-use folding knife. When you see an ad for U.S. military knives for sale, you know you will get a quality product.