8 Best Folding Karambit Knives: Good for Self-defense?

As an avid knife collector, I know the value of a good knife. But quality isn’t the only thing I look for in a knife. It’s important, don’t get me wrong, but it’s just one aspect that I make sure to take a good look at. Style and utility are just as important to me when it comes to choosing a new knife to add to my collection.

My Top 3 Folding Karambit Knives

8 Best Folding Karambit Knives Reviewed

Take the folding Karambit for example. Originating in Indonesia, this lesser-known knife has recently caught the eye of many knife aficionados. And for good reason. A good Karambit is the perfect mix of style and function, especially the modern version of the blade which is made with high-quality materials and a strong finish.

The Best Folding Karambit Knives

I’ve been an avid collector of Karambit knives for a while now. As a result, I’ve created the following list of some of my favorites.

1. Andux Land Karambit Trainer

Andux Land Karambit Trainer

The design of this knife is really interesting. The blade has holes that give it a unique look. It also isn’t sharp so don’t expect to be able to use it in any real capacity. Which is fine as this is mostly a training knife.

When you combine the dull edge with the lightweight, you end up with a knife that is perfect for a class with real-life applications. You might want to round down the edges, however.


  • Great for training
  • Light-weight and easy-to-carry
  • Not sharp


  • Not great for actual use
  • Bends easily
$19.50 from Amazon

2. Fox 599 G10 Black Emerson

Fox 599 G10 Black Emerson

This knife is sharp.

Even right out of the box, this knife was able to cut through my pocket. A fact I was able to find out due to how easy it’s for this knife to get caught when pulling it out. Aside from that, this knife is great. The grind lines, alignment and even the finish are all high quality and what you would expect from a top knife.

Just an overall great knife.


  • Sharp out of the box
  • Great to hold
  • Small size


  • Easy to accidentally open
  • Clip is too tight
  • Not great for big hands
$139.98 from Amazon

3. S-TEC Karambit

S-TEC Karambit

Bad news first, this knife isn’t spring assisted.

The good news is that it really isn’t a problem. The sheath is designed in a way that you can reliably open it every time. It might take a few tries to get the motion right. As for the knife itself, it has an intimidating hawk-bill curve with a great piercing point. It’s bulky, however, so don’t expect to be able to conceal it easily.

When outside hiking, this knife makes for a great berry picker.


  • Great design
  • Reliably opens every time
  • Comfortable and sharp
  • Great for hiking


  • No spring assist
  • Hard to conceal
$22.35 from Amazon

4. Snake Eye Tactical

Snake Eye Tactical

Now, this is a great knife.

It’s spring-assisted and easy to open. At least when using the blade lever on the back of it. The design of the knife can make certain ways of opening it kinda awkward. Despite this, you can usually work around it by opening it a different way using the spring-assist.

Aside from that, this knife has a great weighty feel with a good balance.


  • Low price
  • Great for large hands
  • Great, weighty feel
  • The blade is long


  • Not sharp out of the box
$14.99 from Amazon

5. Schrade SCH110 High Carbon Stainless Steel

Schrade SCH110 High Carbon Stainless Steel Folding Karambit Knife

The Schrade was interesting but this knife is on another level.

It doesn’t have a traditional sheath. Instead, you slide the blade down to put it away. I really can’t overstate just how unique the design of this knife is. Still, it isn’t perfect. It takes a little force to get it open. The knife also didn’t come sharpened. Not too much of a problem as it’s pretty easy to sharpen but still.

All-in-all, this is a pretty great knife that is built with security in mind. Its liner lock and finger guard will give you the confidence that the blade will not easily slip out of your hand.


  • Easy to close
  • Interesting look
  • Made with stainless steel


  • Rough around edges
  • Needs sharpening
$19.67 from Amazon

6. Master Cutlery MX-A815BK

Master Cutlery MX-A815BK

This knife is big.

It’s not gigantic or anything, but it’s big enough to be comfortable for someone with large hands. Don’t expect it to be easy to conceal either. The belt clip is also in an awkward position. Don’t expect to be able to easily take it out for self-defense.

Still, it has a great finish and the overall build quality is superb. It’s not a knife I would use for self-defense but it’s one I would use for utility tasks.


  • Great finish and build quality
  • Great spring-assist


  • Belt clip has an awkward position
$26.75 from Amazon

7. Mtech Karambit

Mtech Karambit

Most folding karambit knives lack the full curve of a traditional karambit.

Not this one. It has the full arc that you would expect from a karambit. On top of that, it’s solidly built with a real, solid feel to it. The spring-assist on it lets drawing have a swift and tight feel to it. It’s a knife that you can tell from a glance to be reliable and rock solid.

It’s fairly big, though. Those of you with small hands might find it uncomfortable to hold.


  • Full traditional arc
  • Bulky and nice to hold
  • Solidly built
  • Swift and tight spring-assist


  • Too big for small hands
$14.99 from Amazon

8. Spring Assisted Tactical Karambit

Spring Assisted Tactical Karambit

This is a knife that feels great to hold in your hand.

The handle is bulky with a nice stern feel. The design of the knife makes it easy to draw from your pocket. It’s really great for self-defense. The blade came out of the box just sharp enough to be usable.

There isn’t really too much to say about this knife. It’s just an overall great knife.


  • Bulky handle that’s great to grip
  • Supports pocket-deployment
  • Easy to conceal


  • Belt clip has an awkward position
  • Bulkiness makes it difficult to do non-standard martial art maneuvers
$14.50 from Amazon

The Intricacies Of A Karambit Knife

The Intricacies Of A Folding Karambit Knife

What Is A Karambit?

Originally an agricultural tool, the Karambit became a weapon beginning with the Minangkabau people of West Sumatra. As it evolved as a weapon, the blade increasingly became more curved to maximize its cutting potential. Through the Indonesian trade network, the use of the weapon spread throughout the neighboring regions.

Today, the Karambit acts entirely as a weapon with most agricultural features far removed.

Using A Karambit Knife

For most people, a Karambit is a great display piece. A unique design with rich history makes this knife a perfect fit for any knife collector. But it’s also a knife that has actual real-world use. Aside from being a great general utility knife, it makes for a great survival knife. In fact, hunters in Ethiopia use a similar weapon for protection against hyenas.

Is A Karambit Great For Self-defense?

What really makes the Karambit stand out is their practicality in self-defense.

Is A Karambit Great For Self-defense?

Due to the knives design, it ends up being difficult for an opponent to pry it away from you. Some may even have spikes or other protrusions on the handle. In a pinch, the handle design will usually allow you to pummel an attacker.

How Dangerous Is A Karambit?

Karambit is as dangerous as any other knife. Due to its unique shape, it may even be more dangerous in certain situations. Being a popular choice for self-defense, many Karambits are designed with that goal in mind. The result is many variants of this knife possess the capability to force an attacker to re-think their attack.

Things To Consider Before Buying A Karambit

Before buying a Karambit, however, you should take into account that not all knives are the same. Some – like the ones on this list – are built with high-quality materials.

Others are not.

Things To Consider Before Buying A Karambit


Many Karambits are made with stainless steel. As this comes in a variety of hardness, it’s important to keep a lookout for one with a strong scale reading.


Although a knife may look cool, it may also be impractical for everyday use. This makes it a perfect display piece but limits its use. Likewise, a knife that is good for self-defense or utility may not make the best display piece.


The knife size is a limiting factor when it comes to usability. Small knives are easy to conceal but may not be the best for self-defense for example.


It’s important to make sure that any knife that isn’t meant to be a display piece has a good grip on it. In self-defense, a good grip can be the deciding factor if an attacker tries to take it away from you.

A Karambit Is Worth The Price

Karambits have a rich history behind them. But they are more than just a display piece.

Powerful and intimidating, these knives have found a place in self-defense for good reason. The curvature combined with the power of the blade makes a highly practical weapon.

A Karambit Is Worth The Price

But these blades can also serve an everyday purpose. The design of the Karambit also serves to make a great tool for outdoor tasks like hunting. The versatility of these beautiful knives can’t be understated.

Truly, the Karambit is a knife that is worth experiencing first hand.

Last update on 2021-10-14 at 08:50 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

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