6 Best NYC Legal Knives – Everyday Carry Within the City

In New York City, there are laws about what kind of knives you can have. You can’t just have any knife you like. But don’t worry, there are still plenty of great knives that you can legally own. We’ll help you find the best ones.

First off, you need to know what the laws are. You can’t just go out and buy any knife without knowing if it’s okay to have in NYC. That’s where we come in. I’ve done all the research for you so you don’t have to worry. I’ll tell you everything you need to know about what knives are legal in NY and what knives aren’t.

This guide helps you make a smart choice by showing you the best legal knives you can get in the city.

So, let’s check out some good knives that follow all the rules in NYC.

List of the 6 Best NYC Legal Knives in 2024

  1. CRKT Drifter EDC Folding Legal Knife
  2. BLUE RIDGE Knives Zancudo Black Legal Knife
  3. Sanrenmu 7010 Folding Legal Knife
  4. Buck Knives The 55 Folding Legal Knife
  5. Victorinox Classic SD 58mm Swiss Army Legal Knife
  6. Spyderco UK Penknife Leaf Lightweight Folding Utility Pocket Knife

1. CRKT Drifter EDC Folding Pocket Knife

CRKT Drifter EDC Folding Pocket Knife

  • Blade Length: 3 inches
  • Blade Material: 8Cr13MoV stainless steel with a black titanium nitride coating
  • Handle Material: G10
  • Weight: 3.3 ounces
  • Liner lock mechanism
  • Thumb stud opening
  • Pocket clip
  •  Legal in NYC: Yes, blade length under 4 inches 

Let’s start with my top pick: the CRKT Drifter. It shares the key traits I found in most of the knives I tested: a blade about 3 inches long and easy one-handed operation. While the Drifter may not seem extraordinary at first glance, it truly shines in the small details that make a knife great.

One thing that stands out is how smoothly the blade pivots. It moves effortlessly, rivaling even knives that cost much more. The handle of the Drifter is designed to fit comfortably in hands of all sizes, and it has a slight texture that makes it easier to hold onto. Plus, its overall construction is top-notch, with no cheap, plastic-like feel that you might expect from a knife in this price range.

At around $30, the Drifter is a real steal. It offers exceptional quality and performance for the price, making it a great choice for anyone in need of a reliable everyday knife. Whether you’re using it for simple tasks around the house or taking it on outdoor adventures, the Drifter is up to the challenge.

In addition to its practicality, the Drifter also has a sleek, modern design that sets it apart from other knives in its class. You’ll be proud to show off to your friends, whether you’re using it in the kitchen or out in the wilderness. It’s not wrong to say that the CRKT Drifter is a standout performer in its price range.

2. BLUE RIDGE Knives Zancudo Black

BLUE RIDGE Knives Zancudo Black

  • Blade Length: 2.9 inches
  • Blade Material: 440C stainless steel
  • Handle Material: G-10
  • Weight: 3.6 ounces
  • Frame lock mechanism
  • Thumb stud opening
  • Pocket clip
  •  Legal in NYC: Yes, blade length under 4 inches 

If you can’t find the Drifter or need a tough knife, check out the Blue Ridge Knives ESEE Zancudo. Compared to the Drifter, the Zancudo has a bigger handle, a stronger blade lock, and more metal in its body.

These things, along with its unique teardrop-shaped handle, make it great for hard jobs and tough cutting. But for normal everyday stuff, the Drifter is just fine. It’s strong enough, lighter, and smaller, which makes it better for most people.

Still, when I tested both knives, I found the Zancudo was better for harder tasks, like DIY projects.

So, if you’re planning something tough, I’d say go for the Zancudo.

3. Sanrenmu 7010 Folding Pocket Knife

Sanrenmu 7010 Folding Pocket Knife

  • Blade Length: 2.75 inches
  • Blade Material: 8Cr13MoV stainless steel
  • Handle Material: G10
  • Weight: 3 ounces
  • Liner lock mechanism
  • Flipper tab opening
  • Pocket clip
  •  Legal in NYC: Yes, blade length under 4 inches 

When I was picking the best knife that’s legal in NYC, I thought about adding one for beginners too. That’s why I included the Sanrenmu 710, also known as the 7010, on the list.

It’s great if you’re just starting with knives and don’t want to spend too much. It’s similar to other knives in size and how smoothly the blade moves, but its handle is made of metal, which might not be as comfortable and can get slippery if your hands are wet or sweaty.

The price surprised me! Yes! You can usually get it for about $20. That’s amazing because when I tried it, I found it was better quality than some knives that cost $30 to $50.

So, if you’re thinking about trying out carrying a knife but don’t want to spend a lot at first, the Sanrenmu 710 could be a good pick. It’s a way to test if you like it without spending too much money right from the start.

4. Buck Knives The 55 Folding Pocket Knife

Buck Knives The 55 Folding Pocket Knife

  • Blade Length: 3 inches
  • Blade Material: 420HC stainless steel
  • Handle Material: Zytel
  • Weight: 2.2 ounces
  • Back lock mechanism
  • Nail nick opening
  • Pocket clip
  •  Legal in NYC: Yes, blade length under 4 inches 

I tried out two old-fashioned knives,and if you’re into that old-school vibe, I’d recommend the Buck Knives 55. It definitely has that classic feel, but it’s missing some of the newer features like a pocket clip, the ability to open and close it with just one hand, and a textured handle for better grip.

Still, the Buck Knives 55 is solid and well-made, especially the way the lock snaps into place.

The main downside is that you have to use both hands to work it, but if that’s not a big deal for you, then the Buck Knives 55 is still a solid pick. It’s a sturdy knife with a timeless design that’ll serve you well in the long run.

So, if you’re all about that classic style, give the Buck Knives 55 a try!

5. Victorinox Classic SD 58mm Swiss Army Knife

Victorinox Classic SD 58mm Swiss Army Knife

  • Blade Length: 1.75 inches
  • Blade Material: Stainless steel
  • Handle Material: ABS
  • Weight: 0.7 ounces
  • Slip joint mechanism
  • No opening mechanism (nail nick can be used)
  • Key ring loop
  •  Legal in NYC: Yes, blade length under 4 inches 

The Victorinox Classic SD is a small but powerful tool that’s been around for over 100 years. With seven handy functions packed into its sleek design, it’s perfect for any situation. Made from strong stainless steel, it can handle whatever challenges come your way.

From opening boxes to fixing loose threads, the Classic SD has you covered. It even has a nail file with a screwdriver, a toothpick, and tweezers – it’s like having a whole toolbox in your pocket!

Victorinox is known for making quality products, and the Classic SD is guaranteed for life. It’s not just a knife; it’s a reliable companion that will always be by your side.

You can also get the Classic SD with a colorful shield design. While the design might change, the knife’s quality stays the same.

So whether you go for the classic red or something more colorful, you’re getting a great tool that will always be there when you need it.

6. Spyderco UK Penknife Leaf Lightweight Folding Utility Pocket Knife

Spyderco UK Penknife Leaf Lightweight Folding Utility Pocket Knife

  • Blade Length: 2.93 inches
  • Blade Material: CTS BD1 stainless steel
  • Handle Material: FRN (Fiberglass Reinforced Nylon)
  • Weight: 1.7 ounces
  • SlipIt non-locking system
  • Spyderco Round Hole
  • Pocket Clip: Tip-carry position
  •  Legal in NYC: Yes, blade length under 4 inches (When Closed) 

The Spyderco UK Penknife Leaf Lightweight might seem like a good choice, but let’s take a closer look to see if it’s right for you. This knife is designed to be legal to carry in places like the UK, where you can’t have locking blades. Instead of a lock, it has a special joint mechanism. This means the blade can open smoothly when you need it, but it might close by accident if you’re not careful.

The blade is made from strong steel that should stay sharp, and the handle is sturdy without being heavy. Because it’s lightweight, it’s easy to carry around every day. Plus, it has a clip so you can attach it to your pocket for easy access.

So, if you live in a place where locking blades are allowed, there might be other knives that are better for you. Locking blades can give you more security and peace of mind. But if following the rules is important to you, the Spyderco UK Penknife is a great option. It’s legal, well-made, and convenient for everyday use.

How to Choose the Best Legal Knife in NYC?

Before you go out to get yourself a knife that’s legal to carry in NYC, there are some things you should think about. Here’s what you need to consider:

1. Blade Length

First up, is the length of the blade. NYC rules say that you can’t carry a knife with a blade longer than 4 inches. So, when you’re picking out a knife, make sure the blade fits within this limit.

2. Blade Type

Next, think about what you’re going to use the knife for. If it’s for everyday stuff, like opening packages or cutting rope, you might want a folding knife. But if you’re planning on using it for outdoor activities, like camping or hunting, a fixed blade might be better.

3. Locking Mechanism

Another important thing to look at is the locking mechanism. Some types of locks aren’t allowed in NYC, so make sure you choose one that’s legal.

4. Handle Material

The handle of the knife is also crucial. You want something that feels good in your hand and won’t slip. Look for materials that are both comfy and tough.

5. Purpose

Decide what you’ll mainly use the knife for—like cutting things at home, keeping safe, or outdoor adventures.

5. Brand and Quality

Pick a knife from a brand known for making good ones, so you know it’ll last.

6. Legal Rules

Of course, you need to know the law. Make sure you’re familiar with NYC’s knife regulations so you don’t get in trouble.

7. Budget

Lastly, think about your budget. Knives come in all price ranges, so figure out how much you’re willing to spend before you start shopping.


Is it legal to carry a fixed-blade knife in New York?

In New York City, it’s not allowed to carry a knife with a blade that’s longer than 4 inches in public, even if you can’t see the blade.

Are folding knives legal in NYC?

If your knife has a fixed blade that’s shorter than four inches, it’s okay to carry it in New York. But folding knives, balisongs or “butterfly knives,” gravity knives, or any type of pilum ballistic knives are not allowed.

What kinds of knives can you carry legally in NYC?

You can only carry folding knives with a blade that’s less than 4 inches long in NYC.

Who makes the best pocket knives in the world?

Brands like Spyderco, Benchmade, and Victorinox are famous for making really good pocket knives.

Why are gravity knives not allowed?

Gravity knives are seen as dangerous because they open quickly, so they’re banned in many places to stop them from being misused.

Final Verdict

The CRKT Drifter is my top pick among these 6 best NYC legal knives. Its smooth action, comfy grip, and great value make it perfect for everyday use. Plus, it’s totally okay to carry because its blade is under 4 inches. But if you’re looking for something different, you’ve got options. Every knife in this guide is allowed in NYC, so you can carry it without worry. Just pick the one that suits you best!

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