Hi Ferfal, You seem to like folding knives. I live in Germany where it is illegal to carry a folding knive. It is only allowed to carry non-foldable knives with a blade that is less than 12 cm long. I’m looking for an all-purpose knive that I can legally carry. What knive(s) do recommend for Germany?
Hello Karl, thanks for your message and sorry for the long wait.
Yes, I can recommend you a knife and will do so in a minute but before we go there I’d like to talk a bit about having the right mindset. This goes for my friends here in Europe and the ones in US that have to deal with restrictions just as bad or worse depending on where they are living.
Those of us that are law abiding citizens always look to understand the local laws and regulations and stay on their right side. The problem I see is that many times, like-minded honest citizens try to go an extra step away from that line, just to play it safe. This is how I often come across people that truly believe guns are illegal when they are not, or knives or other defensive tools. I had a friend in Argentina that was surprised to know that guns were legal to own in the country. She was in her early twenties, we were in college and she wasn’t a dumb person. It’s just human nature to assume that anything potentially dangerous gives you power, and these days people are brainwashed to believe that power should not be in the hands of common people.
The same happens with guns, ammunition, and knives. Recently I had to explain a gun store owner that buckshot is perfectly legal. He was under the impression that it was banned so he hadn’t been ordering it for years “just in case”.
Now, the thing that sets me apart from most other people is that I know for a fact what happens when SHTF. I know that if someone attacks you on the street or breaks into your house to hurt you and your family, they (its usually more than one) won’t care what you thought or wrongfully assumed. It will just be too damn late and what happens is cold harsh reality. An undeniable fact that can’t be changed and isn’t open to debate. (Yes, people there are no “alternative facts”). If you get killed in your home, or your loved ones hurt. If you’re left on a wheelchair for the rest of your life or your daughter is raped that cannot be changed. It simply is what it is and you can’t go back in time to change it.
So… you may read here and there to just play it safe and go with a Swiss army knife, or maybe a non-locking Opinel. True, it will handle 90% of the cutting tasks you may come across on your day to day routine and even help in some emergencies. But my advice is to plan for the worst and keep that worst case scenario in mind. Don’t take five steps away from the legal limits. Know them and within that limit we law abiding people always respect, carry the best most capable tool you can.
In your case, it seems that you can’t carry a folder that locks and can be opened single handed. You may be able to do so with a lawful use (say you go fishing, hunting or hiking) but it seems that you can carry a fixed blade as long as its under 12 cm (4 3/4inch). That’s actually pretty good and opens up a few interesting options.
SOG Seal Pup
SOG SEAL Pup Fixed Blade M37N-CP $30.74
A great option. I believe the blade is exactly within your limit. This would be one of my first choices. If the blade happens to be a couple mm too long, I wouldn’t hesitate to cut the tip down a bit and regrind it. If you’ve done this before you can do it yourself, or find someone more experienced if not. Just be careful not to overheat the thin tip and dip it in water constantly when working on it with a grinder.
ESEE -3 Plain Edge $98.99
This is another solid choice. Definitely within your legal limit yet a super capable little knife. The sheath is pretty much ideal since you can carry it as a neck knife or on your belt. It doesn’t look aggressive or tactical, at least not much, so it may work better if ever stopped by cops and such.
Cudeman MT-5 Survival fixed blade knife
Survival fixed blade knife Cudeman MT-5 120-X $79.99
This is a actually a great brand, makes excellent knives in quality BÖHLER N-695 stainless steel, similar to 44C . If you’re in an area that is damp or wet often, this is a great way to go at exactly 11 cm.
If you ever need that knife, and you happen to need it in a life or death situation where a Vicotrinox or other pen knife simply wouldn’t have been enough, you’ll be glad you went with the most capable tool you could lawfully carry.
Fernando “FerFAL” Aguirre is the author of “The Modern Survival Manual: Surviving the Economic Collapse” and “Bugging Out and Relocating: When Staying is not an Option”.