Knives are a standard tool for many people, and in most cases, we use knives responsibly. However, some knives have been banned in the UK because they can be lethal weapons. Many knives with cutting edges longer than three inches or have a concealed blade have been deemed illegal.
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What are the illegal knives in the UK?
It is essential to know what knives are illegal in the UK as this could lead to arrest and imprisonment if you carry one of these knives without a good reason. It is illegal to bring these 18 knives to the UK and is unlawful to buy, sell, or lend these knives to anyone in the UK.
A long-handled dagger called the ‘Assassin’s dagger’ is banned in the UK. The Assassin’s Dagger has a long thin blade designed to pierce through leather clothing and cause deep cuts to vital organs. The Assassin’s dagger is also banned because it is easy to hide and can be used with one hand.
The Bolo knife has a long, heavy blade that curves at the end, making this type of knife one of the most illegal knives in the UK. Any blade curvature or blade length longer than three inches is deemed a deadly weapon in the UK and forbidden to carry.
Bolo knives are native to the Philippines and look similar to a machete. Bolo knives are dangerous because they are heavy and can cause serious injury.
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A Bowie knife is a fixed blade fighting knife typically used in knife fighting in the nineteenth century. These knives have been classified as deadly weapons and cannot be carried on the street in the UK. The Bowie knife has a long, thick blade longer than three inches, and though it is foldable, it is still not allowed in the country.
Another knife on the list of illegal knives in the UK are Push knives. They feature a handle that sits and the base of your fingers and a curved blade that sticks forward between two of your fingers. All types of push knives are banned because of the curvature blades.
Push knives in the UK have not been proven suitable for opening packages or being used for commercial reasons. They are thought of primarily as weapons, making them dangerous and illegal in the UK.
AvSabre knife is a type of backsword that has a long curved blade. These knives have been banned in the UK because of their unique curvature and length. In addition, blades on most Sabre knives are double-sided, another reason they are on the list of illegal knives in the UK.
Pugio knives are banned as knives because of their double-sided curvature. They have been used for years by the Romans as sidearms and can be very dangerous even in neutral settings. Pugios are often longer than the three-inch acceptable length of a knife; thus, they are not allowed in the country.
Butterfly knives, also known as “balisongs” contain a blade that is hidden inside a split handle.Butterfly knives are illegal in the UK because they can be used as a weapon to hurt or even kill someone. The hidden blade is the main characteristic of Butterfly knives that make them one of the illegal knives in the UK.
Disguised knives are any knives that have blades hidden inside everyday objects like tubes of lipstick or pens. Knives of this type serve no other purpose than being a potential weapon. Disguised knives are one of the illegal knives in the UK, just as all other concealed or hidden knives.
Throwing knives are knives that are intended for throwing at targets and usually have blade-shaped handles. Though throwing knives don’t exceed the length requirements in the UK, they are not foldable and have exposed blades. In addition, these knives don’t typically possess a handguard and can be used as a weapon that will inflict injury or death.
Switchblade knives (also known as flick knives) is considered in this list of illegal knives in the UK due to the following reason: It has a blade hidden inside a handle that jets out at the press of a button. Flick knives are banned in the UK and are seen as only weapons. Gravity knives are another type of banned switchblade knife that operates without the push of a button and instead comes out with the force of gravity.
Zombie knives are long slender knives with one serrated and one normal edge. The serration of a knife’s cutting edge is another reason it would be banned in the UK. The Zombie knife’s name alone is a suggestion that serves no purpose other than being a weapon.
Swords are not allowed in the UK because of their long, curved blade, typically over 50cm. Some antique swords made in the 1950s are somewhat shorter than average swords but are still banned.
Sword-sticks have also been banned because they are hollow walking sticks or canes with concealed swords inside, which is considered a concealed knife.
Sickle knives are long knives with curved blades, generally used for harvesting crops in agricultural situations. These knives are not typically carried other than how they are used in agriculture. Sickle knives are banned because they could be considered dangerous weapons if they were on the street.
Hook knives are generally smaller knives with handles and blades that curve sharply at the end. They are intended to be swung and become embedded in the target because of their sharp hook. These knives are banned for use, buy or sale in the UK because of their dangerous shape.
Katar knives have a single, outward-curving blade and handguard These knives were standard in southeast Asia for close-quarters combat.
Katar knives or daggers have no purpose for food-grade usage, something that constitutes an allowed knife in the UK. Katar knives are illegal to carry in the UK because of the length and curvature of their blades.
This is one of my favourite illegal knives in the UK Knife. Trench knives have a long, one or double-sided blade with a ‘brass knuckles’ type handle. These knives were designed for attack and trench warfare during the First World War. Trench knives are banned in the UK and are a crime to carry, buy, or sell.
Hollow Kubotans are self-defense weapons. These weapons are cylindrical and are typically used as a keychain. Hollow Kubotans hold spikes within the cylinder and are banned, as they are considered concealed or disguised knives.
Knuckle Dusters, also known as brass knuckles, is a weapon that has been banned in the UK because it can be outfitted with a blade. While Knuckle Dusters are not typically a knife, they can be equipped with a long blade, like the Trench knife or small blades on each finger that are designed to inflict more damage when used to punch.Making them a good reason to be on the list of illegal knives in the UK.
Many different blades are considered among the illegal knives in the UK, including flick knives or disguised weapons like swordsticks. All eighteen knives on this list possess one or more qualities that can be considered lethal weapons.
Only foldable knives with blade lengths shorter than three inches are approved to be carried in the UK. Blade length, curvature, or serration are causes for a knife being banned in the country.
In some cases, a knife can be both an instrument for food preparation and a lethal weapon depending on how it’s used. Be sure not to carry around any type of blade necessary for your work if law enforcement officials consider them dangerous.
Which knives are illegal in the UK? ›
A truncheon that extends automatically by pressing a button, a spring or other device that's in or attached to the handle. A knife with a cutting edge, a serrated edge and images or words suggesting it is used for violence. You should contact your local police to check if a knife or weapon is illegal.What happens if you get caught with a knife under 18 UK? ›
if you're under 18, it's illegal to buy most types of knives. anyone over 10 can be charged and taken to court if they're caught with an illegal knife – even if it's the first time they've been stopped by the police. if you're caught carrying a knife, you could receive a community sentence, a fine or imprisoned.Are certain knives illegal in the UK? ›
The current UK law states: 'It is illegal carry any knife in public without good reason, unless it has a manual folding blade less than 3 inches long. ' Knives with a folding blade are called EDC, or Every Day Carry.What weapons are illegal to own in the UK? ›
It was already illegal to possess a knife or offensive weapon in public, but the Offensive Weapons Act makes it unlawful to possess certain rapid firing rifles, specific types of knives and other offensive weapons in private. Some weapons covered in the ban include knuckledusters, zombie knives and death star knives.What is the most illegal knife? ›
Ballistic knives are the most banned knives in the country, and the fed says there are good reasons behind the restraint order.What size knife is illegal in UK? ›
carry a knife in public without good reason - unless it's a knife with a folding blade 3 inches long (7.62 cm) or less, e.g. a Swiss Army knife (a "lock knife" does not come into the category of "folding pocket knife" because it is not immediately foldable at all times)How long is a sentence for carrying a knife? ›
The maximum sentence for illegally carrying a knife is 4 years in prison and an unlimited fine. The penalties are higher if you injure someone or use a knife to commit a crime.What is the minimum sentence for knife crime? ›
The minimum custodial sentence is at least six months' imprisonment for an offender aged 18 or over when convicted of the index offence (in a young offender institution for those aged under 21), and at least a four month detention and training order for 16 and 17 year olds.What is a sentence for knife? ›
Use “knife” in a sentence
The man attacked him with a knife. This knife has no sharp edge. We usually eat with a knife, fork and spoon. I injured myself with a sharp knife.
It is illegal to carry a knife, even if it belongs to somebody else and if you are caught you will be arrested. Anyone who is carrying a knife and is intending to use it as a weapon – even in self-defence - can be arrested, go to court and receive a police record or even a prison sentence of up to 4 years.
What knives can you have at home UK? ›
Knives and the law in the UK
It isn't illegal in the UK to own a knife in private, like the bread knife in your kitchen. However, if any knife is used in a threatening way, in a private environment, like your house, it becomes an offensive weapon.
Is it illegal to carry a knife? It is illegal to carry any sharply pointed or bladed article in a public place (with the exception of a folding pocket knife, which has a blade that is less than 7.62cm or 3 inches).Can you carry self defense weapons in UK? ›
Are self defence weapons legal in the UK? In the UK, it's illegal for any member of the public to carry a lethal or non-lethal self defence weapon. The maximum sentence for possessing a weapon in the UK is 6 years in prison, whilst possessing firearms is 10 years.What offensive weapons are banned in the UK? ›
Section 141A of the Criminal Justice Act 1988 prohibits the sale of the following bladed articles to under 18s: any knife, knife blade or razor blade (other than a razor blade permanently enclosed in a cartridge or housing where less than 2mm is exposed) any axe.Is carrying scissors illegal in UK? ›
Section 139 of the Criminal Justice Act 1988 makes it an offence to have "any article which has a blade or is sharply pointed" in a public place.What is the most illegal knife in the USA? ›
A ballistic knife is essentially a blade attached to a hollow handle that fits inside of another outer hollow handle, which contains a coil spring.What is the deadliest knife in the world? ›
The trench knife is often referred to as the deadliest weapon ever built. Its history traces back to the First World War when US soldiers used it to battle in the trenches. It has since remained one of the best weapons for close-quarter combat because of the knuckles it features.
Reports on the effectiveness of the new knife in jungle combat justified the Marine Corps' decision to designate the KA-BAR as the USMC's fighting knife for individual Marines. The U.S. Army adopted the M3 Trench Knife in 1943 as its standard combat knife.What can I carry for self defense UK? ›
What self-defence weapons are legal to carry in the UK? In general, carrying weapons in the UK is illegal. You are permitted to carry a knife with a non locking blade of less than three inches, but using it or threatening to use it as a weapon would still be illegal.What are the new knife laws UK? ›
As of last year, 2021, the updated Offensive Weapons Act was brought in, making it an offence to possess specific items, including 'knuckledusters', 'throwing stars' and 'zombie knives', even in private. There are also more stringent measures in place for online purchases.
Is Swiss Army Knife legal in UK? ›
What is Legal: Knives with non-locking blades that can fold into the handle (e.g. Swiss Army Knife) are not illegal to carry in public as long as the blade is shorter than three inches. However, if one of these knives is used in a threatening way; it will be regarded as an "offensive weapon."How long is a life sentence UK? ›
They do not need to have committed another offence in order to be recalled. There is one exception, which is when a judge passes a 'whole life order'. This sentence means that the offender must spend the rest of their life in prison. A life sentence always lasts for life, whatever the length of the minimum term.What is the maximum length of a knife you can carry? ›
In the State of California, there is no maximum length for knives in general. However, the maximum legal length for a switchblade knife is 2 inches. Additionally, it is illegal to carry daggers or dirks concealed, and also illegal to carry many types of knives which are designed for concealment.What happens if someone threatens you with a knife? ›
If you are convicted of misdemeanor criminal threats, you face up to one year in county jail. If you get a felony conviction, you face up to four years in the California state prison. Using a dangerous or deadly weapon increases your sentence by one year.Do First time offenders go to jail UK? ›
Non-custodial sentences are far more likely to be imposed than prison unless the offence is serious or the defendant has already committed a substantial number of previous offences. It is especially rare for the Magistrates' Courts to impose a custodial sentence on first-time offenders.How long can police keep you? ›
The police can keep you in custody for up to 24 hours. After 24 hours, they must charge you and/or release you. In certain cases a further extension of detention in custody can be sought. For the most serious crimes such as murder, the police can apply to hold you for up to 36 or 96 hours.What is the punishment for threatening someone with a knife UK? ›
For the possession of a weapon, the maximum sentence is four years in custody. Threatening another person with a weapon will land the guilty offender in custody for a minimum of six months, or a maximum of four years.What do prisoners call a knife? ›
A shiv is a slang term for a knife, especially a switchblade. It is most often used to refer to improvised blades made in prison and the act of stabbing (shivving) fellow inmates or guards with them.What is a good sentence for punishment? ›
I took away my daughter's car keys as a punishment for her bad behavior. The punishments that the government has inflicted on the protesters are severe and unjust. The punishment for murder is life imprisonment.
A shiv, also chiv, schiv, shivvie, or shank, is a handcrafted bladed-weapon resembling a knife that is commonly associated with prison inmates.
Can I take a knife camping in the UK? ›
There is no reasonable justification for carrying a combat knife while camping in the UK. The law does not permit carrying any offensive weapon, even for self-defence. It means that you won't be able to defend yourself in a court of law if caught with a combat knife on your person.What is the best self-defence spray UK? ›
For Over 20 Years. With millions sold globally, Farbgel is the bestselling 100% legal self-defence spray in the UK. It doesn't contain any harmful chemicals and sprays up to 4 metres away.What is a locking knife? ›
A lock knife has blades that can be locked and refolded only by pressing a button. A lock knife has a mechanism which locks the blade in position when fully extended, the blade cannot be closed without that mechanism being released.What happens if you carry a knife in the UK? ›
UK knife law allows you to carry non-locking pocket knives with a blade length up to 3 inches (7.62 cm) without any need for a valid reason. You are allowed to carry a knife which exceeds these guidelines in public, but please remember: you then do need a good reason to carry it.Are blunt swords legal UK? ›
Offensive weapons which are designed to kill or inflict serious injury and do not have a legitimate use are banned or restricted from being imported into the UK. It is an offence to import certain specified weapons including knives, swords and other blades.Can you carry a knife in Scotland? ›
It is ILLEGAL to have any sharply pointed or bladed instrument in your possession, in a public place without good reason or lawful authority. (See below RE: folding pocket knives) This fact sheet covers the laws of England, Scotland and Wales.Can I carry a Leatherman in the UK? ›
These are great tools to have around the house or garden shed, but many of tools available from Leatherman have locking blades making them illegal to carry in public in the UK. Exceptions include the smaller bladed Micra, Style, Squirt and Juice ranges, plus the EDC Rebar, which doesn't possess a locking knife blade.What can a woman carry for protection UK? ›
The only fully legal self-defence product at the moment is a rape alarm. These are not expensive and can be bought from most local police stations or supermarkets.Could you ever carry a gun in the UK? ›
Members of the public may own sporting rifles and shotguns, subject to licensing. However, handguns have been banned in Great Britain since the Dunblane school massacre in 1996.Can you own a Taser in UK? ›
Stun guns are prohibited weapons and it is an offence to possess them. A stun gun is a weapon that discharges a large voltage of electricity into its target, rendering them incapable of movement for a short time and are very dangerous. It is illegal to import or mail them into this country and the penalties will apply.
What knives are banned in UK? ›
A truncheon that extends automatically by pressing a button, a spring or other device that's in or attached to the handle. A knife with a cutting edge, a serrated edge and images or words suggesting it is used for violence. You should contact your local police to check if a knife or weapon is illegal.What weapons can you use in the UK? ›
What kind of guns are legal? Rifles, shotguns, muzzle-loading pistols and handguns are all allowed in the UK - and all need a licence. Shotguns and rifles are the most common licences given as they are used for clay pigeon shooting, game shooting and deer stalking.What are the three types of offensive weapons UK? ›
Introduction. Legislation provides offences to respond to the sale, possession and use of weapons to tackle serious crime. Knives, blades and corrosive substances may be treated as offensive weapons or dealt with under specific provisions.Can you carry a blunt knife in the UK? ›
The current UK law states: 'It is illegal carry any knife in public without good reason, unless it has a manual folding blade less than 3 inches long.Do police in England carry guns? ›
In the United Kingdom police firearm policy varies by constituent countries. In Northern Ireland, all police officers carry firearms whereas in the rest of the United Kingdom, firearms are carried only by specially-trained firearms officers. The arming of police in Great Britain is a much debated topic.Is carrying a screwdriver illegal UK? ›
Is it illegal to carry a screwdriver in public? Screwdrivers are not considered bladed articles under UK law, however, like many items – and for the reasons outlined above – a number of factors such as intent and purpose could see it classified as an offensive weapon.Are Leatherman knives legal in the UK? ›
These are great tools to have around the house or garden shed, but many of tools available from Leatherman have locking blades making them illegal to carry in public in the UK. Exceptions include the smaller bladed Micra, Style, Squirt and Juice ranges, plus the EDC Rebar, which doesn't possess a locking knife blade.Are fixed blade knives legal in UK? ›
Locking folding knives, fixed blade knives and knives longer than 3inches/7.62cm are all illegal for carry in a public place without a further defence. It is the duty of the person carrying the knife to know and understand the law – ignorance is not a defence.Are switchblades illegal in the UK? ›
Possession: With limited exceptions, it is illegal to carry any sharp or bladed instrument in a public place. - Examples: flick knives, switchblades, gravity knives, butterfly knives, etc. - Exceptions: You may carry a knife in public if there is legal authority or good reason.Can you defend yourself with a knife in your own home UK? ›
You can use reasonable force to protect yourself or others if a crime is taking place inside your home. This means you can: protect yourself 'in the heat of the moment' - this includes using an object as a weapon.
Can you legally carry a 3 inch knife UK? ›
Is it illegal to carry a knife? It is illegal to carry any sharply pointed or bladed article in a public place (with the exception of a folding pocket knife, which has a blade that is less than 7.62cm or 3 inches).Can you buy knives from USA to UK? ›
Offensive weapons which are designed to kill or inflict serious injury and do not have a legitimate use are banned or restricted from being imported into the UK. It is an offence to import certain specified weapons including knives, swords and other blades.Which Spyderco knives are UK legal? ›
The Spyderco UK Penknife is a classic folding knife developed by Spyderco to be legal to use in the UK. Spyderco refined the classic slip-joint pocket mechanism with a notched joint and added two Spyderco features that define the modern folding knife.Can you carry a knife in the woods UK? ›
Carrying a knife or multitool when hiking is just common sense, and it's here that UK law really comes to bite us. So, the law (Criminal Justice Act 1988) says that it is an offence to carry any sharply pointed or bladed item in public, except a folding pocketknife. Yep.What is the legal carry of a bushcraft knife in the UK? ›
UK Knife law states that you are allowed to carry a non-locking pocket knife with a blade length of up to 3 inches (7.62) without any need for a valid reason. This means that you are allowed to carry a knife in public that exceeds these guidelines.Are blunt butterfly knives illegal in UK? ›
In the United Kingdom, the balisong has been legally classified as an offensive weapon since January 1989. Carrying one in public is an offence under the Prevention of Crime Act 1953. Sale, lending, hiring, giving or importing is prohibited by the Criminal Justice Act 1988, as amended by the Offensive Weapons Act 1996.Is Swiss knife legal in UK? ›
Are there any legal provisions regarding Swiss Army Knives? Please note that it is an offence under the Criminal Justice Act 1988 to carry a knife with a blade of more than 3 inches/7.62 cm long in public and can lead to a fine and/or imprisonment unless there is a lawful reason for doing so.