Carrying A Neck Knife

The Pros And Cons Of Carrying A Neck Knife

Over recent years there has been an explosion in the availability of ‘neck knives’ – small, light edged tools that are designed to be worn around the neck on a chain or cord. Virtually every knife manufacturer has one or two variations on the market. Some of them work better than others, but the whole idea of carrying a neck knife should be critically considered before you buy one. Should you choose to carry a knife, neck carry has both advantages and drawbacks. Evaluating the pros and cons of carrying a neck knife will enable you to decide on whether neck carry is suitable for you.

Let’s take a hard look at some of the benefits and drawbacks of neck carry.

The Pros of Carrying A Neck Knife

bead chain neck knife

A Talon knife with bead chain used for neck carry.

There are a few advantages to carrying a knife around the neck on a bead chain or cord as opposed to other styles:

•  Neck carry is simple and easy. There’s no messing with sheath positioning or belt attachments. You just throw the thing over your head and get on with your day. If you find yourself leaving your knife at home and then later regretting it when you need one, neck carry is probably a good option to consider.

•  Easy to access when seated. Tools that are attached to the waistline or clipped into pants pockets can often be more difficult to get to when in the seated position particularly when seated in a vehicle and constrained by a seatbelt. A neck knife that can be accessed through shirt buttons or by simply reaching under a shirt is often quicker and easier to deploy.

•  Unobtrusive … sometimes. Under slightly heavier clothing or a jacket neck carry is inconspicuous. There’s no clip visible in the top of your pants pocket or sheath on your belt.

The Cons of Carrying A Neck Knife

• Difficult to access when in motion. If you are walking or especially running a neck knife will bounce all over the place under your clothing. You might need both hands to deploy it. Talon knives are much easier to access and deploy when carried around the neck because of the large finger capsule. Just a quick swipe with your fingers will usually produce the knife in hand.

• Difficult to access when lying down. Moving your body in the prone position tends to make a neck knife slip into one of your armpits or elsewhere. A neck knife just doesn’t ‘stay’ where it is supposed to when you lie down.

• Difficult to access in case of accident. Where will your neck knife be if you find yourself hanging upside down in your car after an unexpected accident? Who the heck knows.

• Visible under light clothing. Wear a tight white t-shirt while wearing a neck knife and you might as well be advertising to the world.

• Comfort. Some people just find they can’t stand hanging something around their necks. Other people have necklace collections. Know thyself.

A Few Thoughts On Bead Chain Or Cord

What you choose to use to attach to the sheath when carrying a neck knife boils down to personal preference. The humble bead chain offers a few advantages.

Bead chain is easily adjustable for size. Talon knives come with an extra long, heavy duty black coated bead chain that can easily be trimmed down for length using a pair of scissors. Some people prefer the standard military style silver dog tag chains. Either one will work.

Bead chains are often known as ‘breakaway chains’ because if they get hung up on something they will break. This can be an extremely important consideration when carrying a neck knife while working around machinery, rock climbing or hiking. Should you fall and start sliding down a hillside, the last thing you want is to have a heavy duty cord around your neck that can get caught up on a branch. Soldiers and security personell often wear clip on ties for the similar reasons. In a struggle, having a pre-made noose around one’s neck can be a liability.

Some people find bead chains uncomfortable and say they pull or pinch hairs around the neck.

If you choose to use a piece of paracord as a lanyard for carrying your neck knife consider incorporating some sort of breakaway mechanism.