A dog tag knife is a compact, versatile knife that is always easy to carry, including as a necklace or attached to your belt loop. Modeled after a military-style dog tag, this easily concealed, Every Day Carry (EDC) knife features a short blade that can come in both folder and fixed-blade designs.

There are many uses for a dog tag knife. There’s the security of having a blade that is convenient to carry anywhere and can be used in self-defense. The small knife can also work in a razor-like fashion, opening boxes or scraping off tape, for example.

Here’s a look at the history and uses of a dog tag knife, as well as an example of the type you can buy.

The Origins of the Dog Tag Knife

The term dog tag comes from the small, corrosion-resistant metal identification tags worn by military personnel. They include basic information such as name, blood type, and religion.

Dog tag knifes got the name because of their size, typically two inches long, and the ability for users to wear them around their neck.

The origin of the knife remains somewhat obscure. What’s certain is that by the 1990s, dog tag knifes started becoming increasingly popular. The popularity comes from its EDC nature, as well as the convenience of having a blade on your person that can easily go undetected.

Uses of the Dog Tag Knife

Dog tag knives come in a variety of shapes and sizes, manufactured by dozens of knife makers around the world, including Louis Krudo (who has his own unique take on the dog tag knife, see below).

There’s no one definition of how a dog tag knife can be used. A look through the available dog tag knives on places such as Amazon and eBay reveal how widespread they have become in a relatively short amount of time.

There are dog tag knives marketed as camping tools or self-defense tools. They can include a mini-compass, mirrors and folding blades that lock with a button. The Knife Center calls a dog tag a “multi-functional tool perfect for the outdoor enthusiast.”

In all cases, the advantage of a dog tag knife is that it’s compact, easily concealed and allows you to handle cutting tasks without having to carry around cumbersome tools. The blades are typically less than two inches, shorter than what is banned by many state and local laws.

And you can literally have all those advantages dangling from around your neck or attached to your belt loop.


As noted above, Louis Krudo has created his own version of the dog tag knife. As with many of his creations, it’s unique, sleek and both aesthetically pleasing and practical.

The FLEA DT is a compact dog tag knife that becomes available this month. Its features include:

  • A total length of 2.73 inches
  • A 1.425-inch fixed blade
  • A weight of just four ounces
  • A full stainless steel, one-sided hollow grind
  • A paracord lanyard for the backend that allows for a better grip
  • Kydex sheath
  • Two ball chains – a 24-inch chain for wearing around the neck and a four-inch chain for wearing on a belt loop

As noted by Krudo, the FLEA DT is perfect “for those needing to carry something that is less than 2 inches of blade.”  Suggested uses include EDC cutwork, slicing open boxes, scraping tape from surfaces or nicking off a thread.

The dog tag knife continues to grow in popularity because of its small size and versatility. It’s a blade worthy of consideration for those who want the convenience of always having a blade on hand that is easy to conceal.