• January 28, 2024 5 min read

    At a quick glance, one might assume that Karambit knives are designed specifically for self-defense. Their distinctive hooked blade, convenient ring for grip retention, and a look that seems straight out of a Bond villain's arsenal might suggest so. However, this is a misconception! Karambit knives are also excellent for everyday carry (EDC) purposes. 

    Don't take our word for it – give one a try and see for yourself!

    Below, we present our top five bestselling Karambits and some insights into what makes them stand out.

    What is a Karambit Knife?

    A Karambit knife is a type of knife with a distinct design, originating from Southeast Asia, particularly Indonesia, Malaysia, and the Philippines. Its most notable features include:

    1. Curved Blade: The blade of a Karambit is typically curved, resembling a claw or talon. This shape is inspired by the claws of big cats. The curve provides functionality for slicing or tearing motions, making it unique compared to straight-bladed knives.
    2. Safety Ring: There's often a safety ring at the end of the handle. This ring is where a finger (usually the index or pinky) is inserted to secure the knife in the hand. This feature provides a firm grip and allows for agile movements and manipulation of the blade without it slipping or being easily disarmed.
    3. Compact Size: Karambits are usually packed and easy to handle, which makes them suitable for close-quarter situations.
    4. Versatility: While historically used for agricultural purposes and later as a weapon, modern Karambits are designed for various uses, including self-defense, martial arts, and everyday utility tasks.
    5. Cultural Significance: In some Southeast Asian martial arts, like Silat and Kali, the Karambit is used for training and is deeply ingrained in the cultural heritage.
    6. Variety of Styles: Modern Karambits come in various styles, including folding versions more suitable for everyday carry (EDC).

    History and Origin of a Karambit Knife

    The Karambit knife originated in Southeast Asia, with roots in Indonesia, Malaysia, and the Philippines. It was initially used as an agricultural tool for planting rice and threshing. Inspired by a tiger's claw, the knife's unique curved blade made it practical for slicing and cutting. Over time, it was incorporated into local martial arts like Silat and Kali, where it gained prominence as a weapon. 

    The Karambit's design, including its distinctive safety ring, evolved to enhance grip and control. Its historical and cultural significance symbolized tradition and skill in Southeast Asian cultures.

    Why should you use Karambit knives?

    The use of a Karambit knife can be advantageous for several reasons, especially in specific contexts and applications:

    1. Ergonomic Design: The curved shape of the Karambit fits naturally in the hand, making it comfortable to hold and use. This ergonomic design can reduce hand fatigue, especially during extended use.
    2. Firm Grip: The safety ring at the handle's end provides a secure grip. This makes it difficult to drop or disarm the knife, an essential feature in self-defense situations or when using it in wet or slippery conditions.
    3. Versatile Cutting Motion: The curved blade is ideal for slicing and ripping cuts. This can be particularly useful in specific applications like cutting ropes, belts, or fabric and in martial arts or self-defense.
    4. Compact and Concealable: Many Karambits are small and easy to carry. Their compact size makes them convenient for an everyday carry (EDC) knife.
    5. Self-Defense Tool: The Karambit's design can be very effective in martial arts and self-defense. Its ability to inflict deep, slicing cuts and ease of handling make it a formidable defensive weapon in trained hands.

    Best five Karambit knives 2024

    Below are the top five Karambit knives of this year:

    1. CRKT- Provoke Karambit Folding Knife - $99

    CRKT- Provoke Karambit Folding Knife
    • The Provoke, designed by Joe Caswell, features a revolutionary "morphing" mechanism that sets it apart in the world of knives. 
    • Utilizing two swinging arms, this mechanism allows for effortless one-handed opening while ensuring a secure lockup. 
    • The cool factor of the Provoke is undeniable and contributes significantly to its status as our top-selling Karambit. 
    • It boasts a 2.41-inch D2 Hawkbill blade paired with a durable aluminum handle. 
    • Weighing in at 6.10 ounces, this remarkable knife is manufactured in Taiwan, combining innovation with quality craftsmanship.

    2. Boker Magnum Spike - $73

    Boker Magnum Spike
    • The Boker Magnum Spike Karambit stands out with its 8.25-inch full-size fixed blade, featuring a striking 4-inch talon-shaped, black-coated 440A stainless steel blade for corrosion resistance and stealth. 
    • A full-length swedge adds an aggressive touch. The tan G-10 handle ensures a non-slip grip, thanks to its 3D texturing and chamfered edges for comfort. 
    • It includes multiple finger grooves and a spine groove with traction notches for a secure, indexed grip. 
    • The finger ring incorporates a spike for blunt strikes or as a thumb rest in reverse grip. 
    • This Karambit has a molded Kydex sheath and belt adapter for convenient carrying.

    3. Cold Steel - Steel Tiger Karambit Knife - $119

    Cold Steel- Steel Tiger Karambit Knife
    • This oversized tactical Karambit is an ideal addition to any tactical belt or vest. 
    • Designed to handle various tasks, its 4.75-inch AUS-8A Hawkbill blade easily cuts through diverse materials, from packaging to vegetables. 
    • In tense situations, the textured polymer handle and the secure ring ensure the knife stays firmly in your grip. 
    • Weighing just 5.40 ounces, it's a perfect balance of functionality and ease of carry. 
    • What sets this knife apart is its value for money, offering exceptional quality for its price. 
    • Proudly made in Taiwan, this Karambit is a top choice for a tactical knife.

    4. Fox Karambit Knives 479 - $156

    Fox Karambit Knives 479
    • Returning to folding knives, Fox Knives presents the 479, a robust large flipper adept at handling various tasks. 
    • It features a durable 2.95-inch N690Co stainless steel blade with black Idroglider and a G-10 handle for a firm grip. 
    • The blade is heat-treated to 58-60 HRC, making it the toughest on our list. 
    • Fully extended, the knife measures 7.48 inches and weighs a comfortable 4.58 ounces. 
    • Its finger ring, crafted from aircraft aluminum, balances lightness and strength. 
    • Additionally, the 479 includes a reversible pocket clip, ensuring convenient carry for all users wherever they go.

    5. SOG Gambit Karambit Knife - $28

    SOG Gambit Karambit Knife
    • The Gambit stands out among Karambits with its straighter blade, offering a slim profile that enhances concealability. 
    • While the thin handle might initially challenge a firm grip, this is easily remedied by wrapping it with paracord for added comfort and control. 
    • This knife features a complete tang construction, ensuring durability and balance. 
    • Its blade measures 2.58 inches and is sharpened on one side, making it an ideal choice for everyday carry. 
    • The design of the Gambit cleverly combines the traditional aspects of a Karambit with modern needs for discreetness and everyday usability.

    Wrapping up

    The enduring legacy of the Karambit knife is undeniable, with its design thriving for centuries. Its value extends beyond self-defense; it's convenient for everyday tasks. We've found it an excellent tool for harvesting vegetables like asparagus and lettuce. The Karambit is worth exploring if you're considering a new self-defense knife. 

    There's a wide variety of impressive models available to suit different needs. And remember, if you're new to the Karambit, it's a good idea to pick up a training knife to practice safely.