When it comes to the types of military knives available to the public, there are two major things to consider: do you want something government-issued or soldier-approved?
If you are a veteran, you already know that Vets tend to buy knives that suit their specific purposes as much as they use their own government-issued (GI) gear. If you are a civilian looking for military knives for sale online, this short post will walk you through some of the basic things you should know and point you to the diverse types available.
Government-issued Military Knives
Soldiers need to be able to accomplish a wide variety of tasks, and they need tough tools to accomplish their missions.
GI knives are provided through specific government contracts. However, this does not mean you can’t purchase them.
Here"s a quick list of the GI knives currently in active service by the US Army (USA), Marine Corps (USMC), Navy (USN), and Air Force (USAF):
- M7 bayonet
- M9 bayonet
- OKC-3S bayonet
- Gerber Mark II
- Mk 3 knife
- MPK Knife
- SEAL knife 2000
- Strider SMF
The ASEK, or the Aircrew Survival Egress Knife, is used by USA and USMC aircraft crewmembers. This fixed-blade knife features survival components like a window breaker.
Some other great military knives include:
- The M7 bayonet which attaches to an M16 or M4 rifle and is used by USA combat troops.
- The M9 bayonet, compatible with the M16 and features utility tools like a wire-cutting sheath.
- The OKC-3S bayonet for the USMC features greater durability than M7; it can be used as a fighting knife.
- The KA-BAR, used by the USMC, is a large combat knife that has been in service since 1942.
- The Gerber Mark II is a combat knife popularly during the Vietnam War.
- The Mk 3, MPK, and SEAL knife are combat knives issued to USN service members.
- The Strider SMF is a folding knife for troops of the USMC.
You could look at military surplus stores for used equipment or buy similar knives from the makers themselves.
Soldier-Approved: Flipper knives
The most popular style of knives used by former members of the military includes rapid-deployment knives, aka Flipper knives, for quick slicing and multi-tools that can be quickly accessed to deal with emergency situations.
Flipper knives are a favorite for Soldiers because they fit easily in uniform pockets, include a clip to keep them from getting lost in the sauce, and feature an easy-to-access button for one-handed use.
While military knives need to work as defense tools, they are more often used for common tasks like slicing 550-cord, duct tape, and MRE pouches. For soldiers, utility tends to be one of the essential functions.
Soldiers like multi-tools because time and space matter. More options in a single tool streamline work processes, which military personnel appreciate. Working quickly matters. In combat, there is no pause button and every second counts.
The best multi-tool weapons make escaping from a rolled vehicle easy. When you are loaded down with gear, removing your seat belt, and opening a heavy bullet-proof door while hanging upside down is no simple task. Members of the military appreciate features like seatbelt cutters and window breakers because it makes quick work of a tricky situation.