Is a folding knife a bladed weapon and can you carry it with you?

What kind of knife can you carry with you? What knife is considered a bladed weapon? Folding knives

A knife has always been an attribute of a man and invariably accompanied him on any travel and in everyday life. Simply because it is an amazingly multifunctional tool that should always be at hand. However, many people firmly believe that any knife found in a pocket during a random search can cause serious problems. Let's find out if this is so, and at the same time find out which knife you can carry with you without running into trouble. But first, let’s decide why this is needed at all.

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Restrictions on edged weapons in Russia

A number of certain weapons that can cause injury or death to a victim are prohibited in our country. This means that even if you have permission to carry and purchase bladed weapons, you do not have the right to legally purchase these items, much less use them. These rules apply to both civilians and all government employees. Among those items that are not sold legally in Russia are:

  • Brass knuckles, shurikens, flails and boomerangs. These guns are considered more of a historical and social monument than a defense item. Their category also includes all other impact-crushing and throwing objects. The exception is the sports throwing ball.
  • It is prohibited to store and use knives, the blade of which is automatically removed from the handle, and its length exceeds 90 cm.

We also note that in Russia it is prohibited to send edged weapons by mail. It is not permitted to take such items with you to meetings, rallies, or demonstrations. Moreover, the rules apply exclusively to edged weapons, and not to all objects that may be similar to them.

Why carry a knife with you?

Most people automatically associate a knife with robbery, murder and other criminal acts. In fact, this is not so. Hundreds of thousands of our compatriots carry a knife every day to the store, to work, to pick up their children at school, and you don’t even know it. Why are they doing that? Not at all for attack, as it might seem. And in most cases, not even for self-defense (although in this case it may turn out to be a salvation).

It’s just that the functionality of the knife is truly unlimited. The most common knife allowed to be carried can be used as a dozen tools. They can be used to cut food and paper, sharpen pencils, and open bottles and cans (including canned food). It can also replace a screwdriver, if sharpened well, a razor, and in a critical situation it can cope with the tasks assigned to an emergency hammer in transport (the same one that is usually not on site).

Well, and, as a last resort, it is a tool that allows even a weak person to resist several opponents who are significantly superior to him in physical strength.

Is it possible to get into trouble with this?

Now let's figure out what kind of knife you can carry with you and how to do it correctly.

To begin with, it is worth saying that there are about 20 signs, each of which makes a knife a tourist, hunting, skinning or household knife. If you are wondering what kind of knife is considered a melee weapon, then only models that lack all two dozen features can be classified as such. It is prohibited to wear it without obtaining special documents. Hunting knives are required to be registered, fit into a hunting license and can only be carried if you have one.

It is not worth listing all 20 - to identify some of them, you need to carry out an examination using special equipment. The first thing you should pay attention to is the length of the blade, the presence and size of the limiter. We'll tell you about them a little later.

Well, when you come to a tourist or hunting store, you can see dozens of models that are completely legal to wear. The main thing when purchasing is to ask for an original or a copy of the information sheet (they are often called certificates). It says which category of knives a particular model belongs to, and why it is not a bladed weapon.

During the inspection, behave calmly, respect the law enforcement officers and immediately present the document along with the knife - in 99% of cases there are no problems. And the remaining 1% do not go as far as confiscation and drawing up a report - they just talk a little about the fact that a law-abiding person does not need a knife.

What knives are edged weapons?

Many potential buyers of knives, as well as owners of knives, are often concerned about the question of whether their knives are classified as bladed weapons, how to determine this, what liability comes with carrying bladed weapons and how to avoid it.

What is NOT a cold weapon in Russia?

Judging by the legislation in our country, it is easier to go the other way and determine what is not a bladed weapon. These are knives that meet the following characteristics:

  1. The length of the blade does not exceed 90 mm.
  2. Limiter for brushes less than 5 cm long.
  3. The blade thickness is more than 6 mm.
  4. A weapon with a sawed-off blade.
  5. Plastic knives, as well as other decorative items that imitate weapons.

Summarizing the above, we can say that edged weapons in general are not considered something with which it is impossible to deliver a targeted serious striking blow.

What do you need permission for?

If your weapon can hit a target with a piercing blow, then, as a rule, such items are classified as melee weapons. For example, these are brass knuckles, a dirk, a hunting knife, a saber. Only a special commission can accurately determine whether your particular knife is a bladed weapon.

Therefore, when purchasing a knife, ask the seller for an information sheet and a certificate (in fact, you don’t need to ask for anything from verified, bona fide sellers - usually everything is included in the kit). And in these documents everything will be indicated - what category the knife belongs to, and what rules and restrictions exist when wearing it.

What not to carry with you and what to do if you are caught

There are some types of knives that are prohibited by law from being carried - switchblade knives, throwing knives and butterfly knives. If such a knife is found on you, it will be confiscated, as well as a fine of no more than two thousand rubles. After confiscation, they may return a certain amount of money as compensation, but it is more symbolic.

However, there is a little trick to avoid negative consequences from the law when carrying such knives. The law prohibits the carrying of these knives for self-defense purposes, but does not prohibit the transportation of this item from one point to another. So you can always try to take advantage of these legislative opportunities to achieve your own goals.


In fact, there are no absolutely precise definitions of what is a melee weapon and what is not. And the person who purchased the knife is unlikely to be able to determine this himself. Therefore, you are better off relying on the certificate that comes with the knife upon purchase. And the most accurate determinant is a special commission of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, but it is better not to bring it to it. And the last thing: in cases of using a knife, it does not play a special role whether it belongs to a bladed weapon or not.

5 signs of a bladed weapon.

Blade length

Now we move on to consider which knives can be carried without permission. First of all, these are models whose blade length is less than 90 millimeters. Yes, it is this number that the federal law “On Weapons” ties all knives to, and not at all to the width of the palm, as many believe.

If your knife is at least 89 millimeters long, it cannot automatically be considered a melee weapon, even if it fits perfectly in the hand, is suitable for cutting and piercing blows, and has a razor sharpening.

This number should be remembered forever if you want to develop a good habit of carrying a knife and not get into trouble with the law. Some will be outraged by this restriction. But truth be told, longer knives are almost always not very comfortable to use. Almost any work that may happen in everyday life outside the home is most conveniently performed with a short knife.

Cold steel: definition according to Russian law

The definition of what a cold weapon is, according to the law of the Russian Federation, is as follows:

“Melee weapons are weapons designed to hit a target using human muscle power in direct contact with the target;”

It is in Article 1 of legal document No. 150-FZ dated December 13, 1996, which is still valid in 2021. For more information about what types of knives fall into the category of edged weapons, there is information in GOST R 51500-99 and R 51548-2000.

GOST for manufacturing

GOST R 51500-99 prescribes what a hunting edged weapon should be. More precisely, in accordance with the document, the belonging of knives to this category is established by expert means. We are talking about the length of the blade, the sharpness of the blade, the ergonomics of the handle, that is, all the previously mentioned characteristics.

GOST R 51548-2000 regulates the design features of survival knives and applies not only to them, but also to homemade tools. It also indicates which of these types are not edged weapons (blade up to 9 cm inclusive, butt thickness up to 2.6 mm, steel hardness up to 42 units, etc.).

When determining whether a knife belongs to the category of edged weapons, the requirements of the standards and Federal Law No. 150 of 1996 are compared.

Watch the video about the signs of edged weapons:

Presence of a guard

Some readers who want to know what kind of knife they can carry with them will probably be indignant after reading the previous lines - after all, they have more than once seen tourist knives sold without permission that have a much longer blade.

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Yes, this is also possible. But here the next parameter comes into force - the presence of a limiter or guard. These are special protrusions at the border of the handle and blade, which prevent the palm from sliding onto the blade during a strong stabbing blow (aimed specifically at killing).

Most knives don't have them. And this is quite fair - in fact, when performing household work and even delivering cutting blows (which are usually used in self-defense - causing extreme pain, causing profuse bleeding, but almost always not fatal), the guard will only get in the way.

But it’s still important to know about it.

There can be one or two limiters. In the first case, its length should not exceed 4 millimeters. In the second, the total length of the two limiters should be less than 5 millimeters. That is, even if you have a reliable knife in your hands with two limiters of 2 mm each, from the point of view of the law and criminal examination it is not a weapon.

Folding or regular?

Another important question is whether to choose folding knives or regular ones. Preference should be given to the first. On the one hand, they are compact - if they are well designed, they will not open spontaneously and will not cause injuries. On the other hand, they can be carried in a pocket, while one fixed on a belt will attract unnecessary attention and take up too much space in the pocket. Finally, for some reason, law enforcement officers are much calmer about folding knives than simple ones.

At the same time, such a knife copes well with the main functions - you can’t cut up a pig with it, but you can cut sausage, open a can of stew, or sharpen a pencil with it.

How to choose a poke knife for self-defense

To choose a knife for your hand, you need to go through more than a dozen blades. The main task when choosing is to fit the handle in your hand. In this case, the knife should be part of the hand, the handle should not slip in the hand.

The edges of the blade must be processed so that when the blade hits a hard surface, the hand does not slip off the handle. The fingers adjacent to the blade must be securely fixed and rest against the unsharpened part of the blade or against the adapter neck.

The shape of the blade is of little importance to the owner; a wedge or teardrop-shaped blade inflicts equally terrible puncture wounds.

The material for the handle can be any material that is pleasant to the touch - leather, wood or fabric. The main thing is roughness, the handle should fit like a glove in your hand. Painting a knife in camouflage or parrot colors is nothing more than an entourage; the main thing in a knife is its placement in the brush and the ability to work with it.

When integrating into utilitarian objects, pay attention to the freedom when removing the knife from the latches and the strength of the latches themselves. When using a knife, do not forget that a knife in your hands is a terrible weapon, so you need to handle it with extreme caution.

Choosing a handle

There has been debate on this topic for a long time - every knife lover has his own idea about what kind of knife can and should be carried with you. Some people prefer a wooden handle. Others like birch bark or leather. Still others praise plastic. Still others believe that elastron is the best material.

Alas, it is impossible to give unambiguous advice - everyone chooses the option that they like for some reason. It is only worth noting that wood should be protected from prolonged contact with moisture. Birch bark and skin should not be wetted at all, much less allowed to come into contact with liquids that have an unpleasant odor - it will be difficult to get rid of it. It is advisable to protect elastron from too high temperatures and direct sunlight.

The best steel

Another difficult question. Some users vote for soft steel, which quickly dulls and is also easy to straighten on any block and even a plate or brick. Others believe that hard steel is the best choice - to dull it, you need to work with the knife for a long time and actively. True, it will be quite difficult to restore a cutting edge damaged during cutting, especially for a beginner. To do this, you may have to turn to a more experienced knifesmith who has special sharpening tools.

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