Boot Knife Laws
Before you purchase any boot knife, it’s imperative that you are familiar with your local city and state laws.
A simple search in Google of the following should yield you plenty of results:
- Boot knife laws for [INSERT STATE]
- Knife length laws for [INSERT STATE]
- [INSERT CITY] knife laws
While we don’t want to waste your time talking about every single state’s laws across the country, we outlined a few larger states (California, New York, and Texas) and their laws regarding boot knives:
Boot Knife Laws For The State Of Texas
From our research, we found that boot knives are considered legal in Texas, with an exception.
Any boot knife you decide to purchase must be dull on one side like the Gerber Ghoststrike Fixed Blade Boot Knife.
Knives like the Schrade Needle Boot Knife are illegal in Texas, here’s why:
It’s Not Legally Considered A Boot Knife
Even though the Schrade is sold as a boot knife, according to Texas law this knife is actually considered to be a dagger as the blade has been sharpened on both sides of the knife.
According to Texas laws, all boot knives must have a length that is shorter than 5.5”.
Boot Knife Laws For The State of New York
New York is a peculiar state regarding boot knife laws. The most important law that you should be aware of is both the gravity knife and blade length laws when selecting a boot knife.
What Is A Gravity Knife?
A gravity knife is one that relies on gravity to open the blade. Therefore, if you can simply press a button and use the flick of your wrist to set the blade – it’s a gravity knife. Here is a great video that further demonstrates a gravity knife:
None of the boot knives featured in this article are considered gravity knives.
Blade Length Laws In New York & New York City
Within the state of New York, there is no limitation on blade length when purchasing a knife.
However, within New York City it is illegal to own a knife that is greater than 4.0”.
Source: New York Laws On Knives
Boot Knife Laws For The State Of California
Lastly, California has perhaps some of the most restrictive laws when it comes to knife ownership and they focus on blade length, type, and concealment.
Blade Length Laws In California
Within California, if you have a folding knife, then there is no limit regarding the length of the blade. However, for fixed blade knives, Los Angeles County prohibits knives greater than 3.0”.
Secondly, all fixed blade knives must be stored in plain sight. Therefore, if you plan on wearing a boot knife in California, it should be worn on the outside of your clothing and/or boot in order to be considered legal.
Source: California Laws On Knives
Federal Transportation Security Administration (TSA) Rules
Knives are prohibited on both domestic and international flights. If you must travel with your boot knife, it will need to be checked and securely sheathed.
Disclaimer: We are not lawyers and therefore the above laws are subject to interpretation. For legal reasons, please read applicable laws prior to purchasing a boot knife.
Single Edge vs. Double Edge Boot Knives
When it comes to deciding between a single or double edge boot knife (assuming these are legal in your state), it really comes down to personal preference.
With a single edge boot knife, should you ever want to perform a slicing motion, the utility of a dull side on the blade will give you the opportunity to exert pressure to the blade in a downward motion with your thumb or other hand.
However, with a double edge boot knife, you have a much more lethal self-defense weapon at your disposal at all times.
Should You Get A Boot Knife With A Serrated Edge?
You may notice during your research that some boot knives, such as the Schrade Needle Boot Knife, actually have a serrated edge along the side.
So, is this really important when selecting a boot knife?
In short, not necessarily.
Whether it’s a piece of steak, fabric, or rope, the serrated edge will allow the knife to get a grip on the object while moving in a slicing motion.
For many men out there, this feature on the knife likely won’t be necessary.
However, it’s worth considering, depending on the end use application that you are looking to achieve with your boot knife.
What’s Your Preferred Blade Length & Weight For A Boot Knife?
When most men are choosing a boot knife to best suit their needs, size and length of the blade itself are key.
Too heavy of a boot knife and it may cause fatigue on your feet or simply feel too heavy in your pocket causing your pants to sag.
If the boot knife is a secondary self-defense tool for you and shouldn’t see much use, then a smaller and lighter blade such as the Rothco Raider II Boot Knife or Tactical Warrior Tanto Full Tang Boot Knife will make a fine choice.
As we eluded too in the legality of boot knives, a smaller knife will likely adhere to many of the local laws across the country, ultimately allowing you to carry it with a greater peace of mind.
Best Hidden (Small) Boot Knife
Not only are these the best boot knives that can be hidden on the market, but they are incredibly well built as well.
And the general consensus among men who wear these boot knives tend to agree.
The Gerber Ghoststrike not only has a small form factor that can be easily hidden from plain sight, but it also includes an ankle strap when you make your purchase (many boot knives don’t include the strap – only the sheath).
Therefore, you know that the ankle strap will be compatible with the knife, ensuring a much more comfortable and discrete storage option than any other boot knife featured on this list.
How To Carry A Boot Knife
Depending on the type of boot knife you purchase, some may include a strap that is to be worn around your boot while others may only include a sheath.
If you are looking to strap your boot knife to your ankle, the general consensus among most men is that the inside left ankle tends to be the most comfortable.
To further ensure comfort while your boot knife is fastened, you should wear a pair of boots that extend up your ankle (i.e. Wolverines) as they will help keep the boot knife secure while mitigating any rubbing that could cause discomfort.
For those who decide to purchase a boot knife sans strap, typically the best location to store your knife for easy access will be your back pocket or along your waist (center back area).
Here is a great video we found on fastening a boot knife that you should check out:
What Is A Tang, And Why You Should Care
I must be honest, when I first heard the term tang in my early years to describe a part of a knife, I was thoroughly confused.
Tang from my recollection, was the stuff Astronauts drank while orbiting Earth (source)!
But alas – it’s a very key component on how quality knives are manufactured:
Check this out:
You will find that many of the manufactures will proudly state that their knife is full tang, but what does this mean?
Full tang simply refers to the construction of the knife. A full tang knife will have a blade that extends into the handle of the knife.
The handle is then affixed to the single piece of metal with two pins.
When researching boot knives, its fairly easy to just take a look at the handle of the knife to determine whether or not it has a full tang by simply looking for the metal extending through the handle grip.
Here’s why you should care about full tang:
With a full tang knife, there is very little chance of it breaking mid-use.
With half tang knives (where the blade doesn’t fully extend through the handle), should you ever hit the blade against a hard object, it is very possible that it might completely snap away from the handle.
So, whether you are using your boot knife for self-defense or utility, you don’t want a knife breaking mid-use.