18 illegal Knives In The UK (With Pictures)

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. 

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.

Assassin’s Dagger

Illegal Knives 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.

Bolo Knife

the Anatomy of a Bolo Knife

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.

Bowie knives

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.

Push Knives

Push Knife

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.

Sabre Knives

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 Knife

Pugio Knife

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

Butterfly Knives

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

Disguised Knives

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 

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

Switchblade Knives

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

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 

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 

Gut Hook Knife

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

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. 

Trench Knives

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 

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 

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.

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