The World of Knife Laws: A Guide to Possession, Carrying, and Use Regulations by Country

Posted by Steven Tuckey on

Knives are a versatile and essential tool for various activities, from traveling and hiking to camping, fishing, and hunting. They can be used for cutting, trimming, slicing, and more. However, only some agree on the safety of carrying knives, leading to different laws and regulations in different countries.

In most cases, there are restrictions on the length of blades and a requirement for a legitimate reason to carry one. To avoid legal issues while traveling, one must be aware of these laws and regulations. Learn more about how knife laws vary in different countries below.

Different Types of Knives, Different Laws to Consider

When it comes to knife laws, there are a few key concepts to be aware of, such as carry laws, ownership laws, fixed-blade knives, folding knives, and switchblades.

  • Carry laws dictate what types of knives you can carry outside your home.
  • On the other hand, ownership laws determine what types of knives you are allowed to own.
  • Fixed-blade knives are knives without folding mechanisms, folding knives have blades that fold into the handle, and switchblades have edges that can slide out of the handle.
  • Switchblades are defined as any knife having a blade which opens automatically - by hand pressure applied to a button or other device in the handle of the knife, or by operation of inertia, gravity, or both.


In Australia, knife laws vary by state and territory. In general, it is legal to own a knife, but there are restrictions on carrying knives in public places and the type of knife. It is illegal to take a knife to commit a crime and also unlawful to carry a prohibited knife, such as a butterfly knife or a push dagger. Penalties for breaking knife laws can include fines and imprisonment.


The possession and carrying of knives are regulated by the country's firearms and weapons laws. According to the law, it is legal to carry a folding knife with a blade length of less than 8.5 centimeters (3.35 inches) in public as long as it is not intended for use as a weapon.

In public, carrying a knife with a blade length greater than 8.5 centimeters, or a fixed-blade knife, is prohibited unless the individual can prove that they have a legitimate reason for doing so, such as for work or sporting purposes.

Additionally, it is illegal to sell knives to minors under 18. Selling, importing, or manufacturing any blade that can be classified as a weapon is also prohibited.


Knife laws vary by province and territory. Carrying a concealed weapon, including a knife, is illegal without a valid reason. It is also unlawful to have specific knives, such as switchblades and butterfly knives. It is illegal to use a knife to threaten or intimidate someone.

It is vital to be familiar with the specific laws in your province or territory regarding the possession, carrying, and use of knives.


Knives are considered weapons and are subject to strict regulations. Possession of a knife with a blade longer than 15 centimeters is illegal and punishable by law. Carrying knives in public places is also prohibited. Exceptions are made for knives used for work or recreation, such as hunting, fishing, and cooking.


In Denmark, fixed-blade or folding knives are legal to own as long as the blade length does not exceed 4.7 inches (12 cm). Longer blades can only be legally owned for legitimate purposes such as cooking, crafting, hunting, fishing, sailing, and hiking. However, carrying knives in public is forbidden.

The possession, sale, and carrying of knives is also restricted to individuals with a criminal record or considered a danger to society.


In Ireland, carrying a knife in a public place is illegal without a valid reason. Possession of a knife can be considered an illegal weapon if brought with the intent to cause harm. The maximum blade length for a knife considered legal to carry is 3 inches (7.62 cm). The sale, import, and manufacture of flick knives, gravity knives, and certain types of butterfly knives are prohibited. It is also illegal to carry a knife on school premises.


It is legal to own and carry a folding knife with a blade length of up to 12 cm (4.72 inches) in public. Likewise, it is illegal to have any knife that can be locked in an open position, including switchblades and gravity knives. Carrying a knife in public with the intent to use it as a weapon is also prohibited. Additionally, it is illegal to sell knives to minors.


In Spain, owning and carrying a knife with a blade length of less than 11.5 cm is legal. Having a knife in public with a blade length exceeding this limit is illegal. It is also unlawful to carry a knife in certain areas, such as schools, government buildings, and public transportation. Knives considered weapons, such as switchblades and automatic knives, are prohibited.

United States

In the United States, knife laws vary by state. Some states, such as Georgia, require a permit for carrying a concealed knife over a certain length, while others, like Kentucky, have no specific knife laws. Certain types of knives, such as switchblades and throwing knives, are also prohibited in states like Illinois.

Additionally, it is illegal to own, manufacture, transport, sell, or possess a switchblade knife in the USA under the Federal Switchblade Act of 1958. However, some states have more lenient laws, such as Texas, where there are no restrictions on the possession or carrying of knives.


In conclusion, knife laws vary by country and can include restrictions on the type, size, and carrying of knives in public. To avoid any legal issues, it is important to be aware of the specific laws in your country or state regarding the possession, carrying, and use of knives.

Knife legislation has a historical background that has changed over time, and It's important to stay up-to-date with the current legislation and regulations in your area to ensure compliance.

← Older Post