I was about to buy a new knife, and I came across a little guy in the display case that ‘they’ called a Neck knife. I wondered to myself, what the heck is a neck knife and why in tarnation would I want one? I have lots of knives! Pocket knives, fixed blade knives, and machetes. Sounds kind of silly to me.
I bought it anyway
A neck knife very simply is just that. A knife you wear around your neck like a hemp rope necklace. The only difference is this piece of jewelry can cut stuff!
The neck knife is generally rather small and lightweight and hangs from a cord or a length of breakaway chain. A Breakaway chain for us newbies is simply a piece of chain that comes apart when pulled on hard. Think of the chain that comes with military dog tags or the chain you pull on to turn your ceiling fan on and off. Don’t feel bad if you didn’t know that. I didn’t know till I looked it up and then said to myself, ” Well, Let’s get to the good stuff”
Reasons to Buy it:
- They are small, light, and skinny. The sheath for the neck knife I bought also comes with a clip I can screw into the hard plastic case, which allows it to be carried on my belt. Neato!
- They work great if you don’t have pockets on your pants, the ladies know what I’m talking about, or if you just don’t want something in your pocket. I work construction, and so I have a tool belt strapped around my waist for ten or so hours out of the day. Even with a small pocket knife, it is challenging to get the knife out o my pocket without taking my toolbelt off.
- They are super easy to access. If you wear it over your shirt, the neck knife is the easiest and fastest way to draw your knife, second only to maybe having a fixed blade clipped on your belt.
- Generally, a neck knife is rather small (mine measures just over six inches in the sheath), so they are easy to stash just about anywhere.
- A fixed blade neck knife is much stronger than a pocket knife. Most pocket knives have a very strong locking mechanism, but they can still fail. A full tang fixed blade is the strongest.
- A neck knife saves your pants pockets from getting worn out by the clip. This doesn’t bother me much because jeans look better with frays, but if you carry a clipped pocket knife every day, you may not want frays on the pockets of your church pants! Just saying, but if you don’t mind, I don’t think He will either!
- It’s an extra body slot to carry another knife. Pocket, belt buckle, belt, boot, and neck.
- It’s concealed. If you wear it under your shirt, nobody will know you have it. This may be illegal in some states, so know your local laws and be careful! We don’t need any trouble with the law. Here is a link to check your local knife laws by state.
Reasons to Avoid it:
- They are small and skinny. If your doing more than cutting up an apple, opening a package, or gutting a fish, then the neck knife isn’t going to work unless you get a really big one, and then you may as well just buy a fixed blade for your belt.
- It takes two hands to re-sheath the knife. This can be inconvenient at times. It is also easy to jab your other hand if you’re not paying attention. I’ve done this several times already, and yes, it hurts. I even drew blood a few times. I am more careful now.
- It can be annoying having a weighted object dangling around your neck. My knife came with a soft cord and an easy-adjust tab on it, so it is pretty easy to tighten u if it is hanging too low. Not so easy if you have a breakaway chain or use a piece of leather for the lace.
- Many folks are uneasy having a razor-sharp piece of steel next to their heart and throat, even if it’s in a sheath. Not me. I live on the edge, man!
- There is a chance of strangling yourself. Although this is a valid con of the neck knife, just use your brains, people. I know you’ve got them! If you are climbing trees or scaling fences or something of a nature where you might catch your necklace around something and choke to death, then it may be wise to take your pocket knife with you that day and leave your neck knife at home. Now, if someone comes up behind you and tries to choke you out with your hemp rope necklace, just yank that baby out and jab it in their leg.
- If it is under your shirt and you hug someone, they will know something is under there, thus losing the concealment capabilities of the neck knife.
- Without a shirt on, it is obvious you are carrying a knife, and this might freak some people out. With a shirt on, it is not as easy to access the knife.
- If your chain or neck strap breaks for some reason, you may not notice, and depend on where you are, that knife may be lost forever!
Why carry a knife around your neck?
Why? As I have learned through my experience, it is convenient, easy, and quite comfortable. It keeps my pocket free for a bigger folding pocket knife when I feel I need two blades. I have my shirt off most of the time during the summer and a neck knife works well for me. Since most of my day is spent at work with a toolbelt on, this is the easiest way to access a knife for cutting plastic banding or an apple or poking grapes at lunch.
Is a neck knife practical?
In my opinion, a neck knife is very practical, and mine is quite comfortable to wear. You would have to experience yourself to know if a neck knife is right for you. If you wear necklaces and don’t care if something is hanging from your neck all day, then a neck knife may be an excellent option for you.
As I mentioned somewhere in the text above, neck knives are generally rather small. However, as with most things, there is a large selection of these types of knives to choose from. Super small with a total length of 3 inches or less( too small) to super big of 8 inches or longer! Again this is my opinion and what matters most is yours!
I highly recommend making certain that the neck knife has a high-quality sheath included with it (most do). The knife needs to clip securely into the sheath to prevent falling out, and the sheath needs to be durable enough that the tip of the knife doesn’t poke through and jab you. Unless you like that sort of pain, then go you!
There are many different carry options for neck knives available, from shoulder-type harnesses to ‘backpack’ strap type harnesses that will keep the knife close to your body to further conceal the knife and keep it from swinging loosely.
A neck knife is a great option for carrying another knife around. These knives are small and light for the most part and make accessing it easier if your wearing a toolbelt or a backpack with a hip strap on it or don’t have pockets. Both man and woman can wear a neck knife comfortably and will find it has many uses. A neck knife is a great option, from just having a knife on your person to open envelopes or using the knife for self-defense.
So get yourself a neck knife and give it a try! I have come to enjoy having mine!