I believe we have been savvy enough to properly research gun laws for when we carry across state lines, but I will confess I keep forgetting about carrying knives and that is a field not as “even” (if there is such thing) as  concealed carry.

I have been spoiled by Florida’s Concealed Weapons License as it gives you a wide latitude when it comes to knives. And although many states are very knife friendly, there might be certain restrictions regarding some silly characteristic of the knife and some states actually frown upon anything that is not an “ordinary knife.”

IANAL Warning: I have no idea what legally defines an ordinary knife. I would have to look up the local jurisprudence and State Attorney interpretations, but I believe that something as well known as the Swiss Army Knife would be hard pressed to be considered anything but an ordinary knife.

I have told here many times I have not been without a Swiss Army knife since I was gifted one in my early teens. As great as they are, they are not “tactical” enough for some folks because the main blade does not lock open and that can be an issue when the doodoo hits the wind turbine.  But, there is one exception to the rule and that would be the Victorinox Swiss Army One-Hand Trekker.

This is one of my EDC knives and has to be because those are the house keys attached to it.  And although it is not in the official Swiss Army red, the shield and the cross are universally knows to be Swiss Army Knife.

It is one hand operated with the use of the thumb and quite comfortably to boot. But caveat: The main blade is the only one that locks, anything else is standard.  The other quirk is that the lock tab needs to be pushed to the right to unlock the blade rather than the traditional push to the left which should endear it with the Southpaws.

And I know the fans of Case knives will rightfully point out that the company does have several offerings with locking blades and what can be more “ordinary knife” than a Case?

And you are welcome to share your solutions in the comments.


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By Miguel.GFZ

Semi-retired like Vito Corleone before the heart attack. Consiglieri to J.Kb and AWA. I lived in a Gun Control Paradise: It sucked and got people killed. I do believe that Freedom scares the political elites.

16 thoughts on “The concealed carrying of an “ordinary knife.””
  1. I carry 2 knives daily. A Buck “Prince” https://smile.amazon.com/Buck-Knives-Prince-Folding-Pocket/dp/B000EI0W06/ref=sr_1_2?dchild=1&keywords=prince+buck+knife&qid=1624394104&sr=8-2

    That one gets buried in my pocket.

    the 2nd I clip to my pocket, a CRKT M16-01s


    I see they’ve gone up in price, I bought mine for $20.
    Best $20 knife I’ve ever bought.

  2. Once decades ago I came through a knife store in a mall that had a pile of Victorinox knives. Most were red; one was blue and had a Star of David on it instead of the Swiss cross logo. Neat.

    I have a Victorinox version of the Leatherman tool. In that one, all the blades lock (but it doesn’t offer one-handed operation).

    I’ve long been tempted to get a HideAway Knife. Just now I noticed its homepage lands me on an “Account suspended” page. Bummer. Apparently that happened very recently; the Wayback Machine shows their real home page from just 2 weeks ago: https://web.archive.org/web/20210610065827/http://hideawayknife.com/main.php Perhaps I’ll try to make my own; as far as I know they were never patented, strangely enough.

  3. Alabama officially bans “Bowie Knives” buy everything else is legit. Automatics? Yup. Big folders? Sure.

    I’m not looking forward to North Carolina laws for the same “ordinary knives” laws but I’m suspicious that they would stand up to challenge.

  4. Here in Tennessee, since 2014, concealed and open carry of any sized blade has been legal.

  5. I should add thar for the most part being gainfully employed in an office setting the knives I tend to carry are the ones I carry everyday to work too, and those are generally “workplace polite” so less than three inches and not overly tactical.

    My Kershaw Leek and Spyderco Cat get the most use and my Spyderco Delica on weekends, paired with a Victorinox Super Tinker.

    I’ve never had a problem with those in any Southern or Midwestern state I’ve lived in.

  6. Well here’s a helpful tool from Knife Rights on what the knife laws are for the US.

    The Legal Blade Knife Law App


    I also suggest that you donate to them during their current annual campaign.

    You help the small organization that is focused on knives that actually wins cases and gets laws passed. Also you get a chance at some cool stuff and depending how much you donate a nice knife if you do it soon enough.

  7. I carry a CRKT neck knife, 2 inch fixed blade bought it at Lowes and a Gerber folder with a thumb button. Dont know model number/names. Both get used every day

  8. Speaking of knife laws, I’m always puzzled by laws (such as NH has, or had at one time) that outlaw things like “dirks”. The problem I see is that it doesn’t define what a dirk is, and it isn’t exactly a well known word with a well known precise meaning.

    1. A dirk is a long, double edge, knife, like a big dagger, used by the Navy and pirates for CQB while boarding ships. Like many Navy weapons, its size was limited due to the close confines of a ship. The closest cousin to the dirk is the Arkansas Toothpick, although those tend to have wider blades at the hilt.

      I guess New Hampshire doesn’t want hand to hand boarding parties fighting at the Yacht Clubs.

    2. Such laws puzzle me too. I couldn’t even find a codified definition of loaded in the CT statutes; I had to refer back to the supplementary documentation for all the laws that make reference to carrying a loaded firearm. The best I could find was loaded means capable of being fired…. not exactly clear, an unloaded gun is technically capable of being fired….

      CT makes similar bones about daggers, dirks, automatic knives, etc.

      It also never made much sense to me that you can carry a gun as licensed and approved by the state, but not brass knuckles, a knife of a certain types or lengths, or an electronic defense weapon… Doesn’t make much sense that you can’t carry a theoretically less lethal device or weapon under a pistol permit or CCW.

  9. An oho trekker is one of the edc knives I switch between. It is a wonderfule knife. I have added a pocket clip to mine and ground the thumb loop into a finger to give it an Emerson bottle opener.

    I’m going to trying to remove the saw soon to make it thinner, that is my only complaint.

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