Shopping for the best UK legal knives can be daunting. With so many laws around the type of blades you can and cannot own, it’s essential to understand the legalities to know you’re choosing the right knife for your needs. Whether you’re looking for a pocket knife, a tactical knife, or a hunting knife, there are a few tips you should keep in mind to ensure you get the best legal knife. From understanding the legal blade length to checking what materials the knife is made from, you should consider a few things when shopping for the best UK legal knives.
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Check the Knife Handle
A knife’s handle is where you’ll be holding the knife, so it’s essential to ensure the grip is comfortable. You’ll likely be using the knife for hours at a time, so it’s best to avoid having a handle that causes blisters or a handle that you have to grip too tightly. The best handle material is durable, such as wood, leather, or rubber. Avoid handles made of a rigid material, as they can be too slippery and make them less comfortable to use. If the handle is made of a soft material, consider purchasing a protective sheath to prevent the handle from getting too worn down.
Check the Blade Length
While it’s true that the length of the blade on a knife is not the only factor that makes a knife legal, it is the most obvious factor that could get you into trouble. While there are no specific blade length laws in the UK, some are more suitable for everyday use than others. The most common blade length for a legal UK knife is 6 inches. Any shorter than this, the knife could be considered a “flick knife,” which is illegal in the UK. Some common uses for knives with a 6-inch blade length include chopping vegetables, slicing meat, and opening boxes.
Check the Material the Knife Is Made From
Knife laws in the UK are mostly focused on blade length, but you also want to ensure the knife is made from a safe material. While a knife made from high-quality steel is more expensive, it will also last longer than a cheap one. Some common materials used to make the best legal UK knives include:
- Carbon Steel – A great, all-around material for knives, carbon steel is known for its durability, strength, and sharpness. However, carbon steel is not the most accessible material to sharpen, so you’ll have to replace your knives more often than if you had knives made from other materials.
- High-Carbon Stainless Steel – Just like carbon steel, high-carbon stainless steel is a great all-around material for making a knife. Stainless steel is known for being scratch- and corrosion-resistant, which means your knife will last much longer than a knife made from a cheaper metal.
- Stainless Steel – Stainless steel is cheaper than carbon steel, but it’s still an excellent option for a knife. Stainless steel can resist rust but does not have the same sharpness or longevity as a high-carbon steel blade.
Check the Knife’s Locking Mechanism
A knife’s lock mechanism keeps the blade from opening accidentally and causing injury. The two most common lock mechanisms for the best UK legal knives are the frame lock and the joint slip lock.
The frame lock is the most common lock mechanism for the best legal UK knives, making it a great choice if you’re looking for a knife that has a secure lock mechanism. The frame lock works by holding the blade within the knife frame, providing a sturdy lock that won’t accidentally open while using the knife.
The joint slip lock is less common than the frame lock, but it is an excellent choice if you’re looking for a knife that has a secure lock mechanism. The joint slip lock works when a set of springs holds the blade open when it is extended.