What is the Legal Size of a Knife to Carry?

(Last Updated On: July 18, 2023)

Know the knife size laws before carrying one. To avoid legal issues, you must know your jurisdiction’s knife carry size. In this detailed guide, we will answer frequently asked questions and provide helpful insights on knife carry size.

Knowing the law will help you stay inside it when using a knife for camping, self-defense, or daily duties. Let’s clarify the legal knife carrying size.

What Defines the Legal Size of a Knife?

The legal size of a knife is the maximum blade or overall length allowed in a given jurisdiction. It’s crucial to know the local restrictions for this measurement.

Knife laws protect public safety, prevent violence, and regulate dangerous weapons. Knowing the legal knife size helps you avoid legal issues.

What is Knife Laws in Different Jurisdictions

Explore knife regulations in different places to understand the legal size of a knife to carry. Knife laws differ even within the US, Europe, Canada, and Australia, where we shall focus. To get the latest local information, consult local laws or legal authorities.

The Legal Size of a Knife in the United States


It’s important to know your state’s knife laws if you live or want to visit the US. Let’s examine some major states’ knife size laws:

California: Folding knives can only be 2.5 inches or less in California. The legal limit for fixed-blade knives is 2 inches.

Texas: Knives with 5.5-inch blades are legal in Texas. Schools and government buildings have harsher rules.

New York: The permissible size of a knife depends on its nature and purpose. Switchblades and gravity knives are banned, however pocket knives can have a 4-inch blade.

Florida: Knives with 4-inch blades are legal in Florida. Schools and prisons may have extra restrictions.

Knife Size Restrictions in European Countries


Knife laws vary across Europe. European knife size restrictions:

UK: Folding knives with blades of 3 inches or less are permitted to carry in public in the UK.

Germany: Germany allows knives with blades up to 12 cm (4.7 inches). One-handed and butterfly knives have limits.

France: Folding knives up to 7 cm (2.8 inches) long can be carried in France without limitations. Unless necessary, public knife carry is discouraged.

Canadian Knife Length Limits


Canadian knife laws are federal. Canada’s allowed knife size varies on its purpose and kind. Important points:

Folding Knives: Blades under 3 inches are legal to carry. A locking folding knife may be a restricted weapon.

Fixed Blade Knives: Fixed blade knives cannot exceed 4 inches in length.

Restricted Knives: Canada bans automatic knives, switchblades, balisongs, and push daggers.

Determining the Legal Knife Size in Australia


Australian knife laws vary by state or territory. Australia’s knife laws:

New South Wales: Folding knives with blades under 5.5 cm (2.2 inches) are permitted in New South Wales. Fixed-blade knives under 15 cm (5.9 inches) are allowed.

Queensland: Folding knives under 10 cm (3.9 inches) are legal in Queensland. Fixed-blade knives under 15 cm (5.9 inches) are allowed.

Victoria: Folding knives with blades under 9 cm (3.5 inches) are permitted in Victoria. Fixed-blade knives under 15 cm (5.9 inches) are allowed.

Knife Regulations in Other Parts of the World


Other countries have different knife rules and carry sizes. Some examples:

Japan: Certain knives are tightly controlled in Japan. Folding knives under 6 cm (2.4 inches) are allowed for daily usage.

South Africa: Without justification, South Africa bans knives with blades longer than 10 cm (3.9 inches). Hunting and outdoor hobbies are exceptions.

India: State-by-state knife laws in India are complicated. Some states ban knives longer than 9 cm (3.5 inches), while others allow them.

Knife Regulations in Other Parts of the World


Several factors determine the legal knife size. These factors may affect regulations:

Intent and Purpose: Some jurisdictions distinguish between carrying knives for utility and self-defense or offence. Knife use determines legal size.

Location Restrictions: Schools, government facilities, airports, and public events may ban knives of any size.

Blade Type: Folding knives, fixed blade knives, and certain blade designs (e.g., switchblades) may have size restrictions or be banned in some countries.

Concealed carry: Some areas require knives to be visible and limit blade lengths.
To avoid legal issues, you must understand these criteria and how they affect the permissible knife size.

Common Questions

What’s California’s knife carry limit?

California law limits folding knives to 2.5 inches or less. The legal limit for fixed-blade knives is 2 inches.

Can I carry a pocket knife with a blade longer than the self-defense limit?

Your local regulations determine whether carrying a pocket knife with a longer blade for self-defense is permissible. Local laws and legal authorities should be consulted for limits and allowances.

Are there permissible knife size exceptions?

Some jurisdictions allow larger knives. Law enforcement, military, and some tradespeople can carry blades larger than the standard size. Research and understand your jurisdiction’s exceptions.

Can I carry a folding knife with a blade longer than the legal limit?

Folding knives with longer blades are illegal in several places. However, local laws differ, so it’s important to know them.

Which knives have size restrictions?

Certain knives have size restrictions. Switchblades, balisongs, and other knives with unusual mechanics may have size limits or be banned in some countries.

What happens if I carry a large knife?

The penalties for carrying a knife larger than the legal size vary by jurisdiction and scenario. The seriousness of the offence and local regulations may result in fines, knife confiscation, or criminal charges.v


Knife users must know the permitted carry size. It’s crucial to research and follow your local knife size requirements.

By following the law, you may stay safe, avoid trouble, and enjoy the practical benefits of carrying a knife.

I love knives and love reviewing them. Knives have been a part of our lives for as long as we can remember. We grew up using knives in the kitchen and in outdoors.