I'm wondering, what are the laws on knives in Europe. I know some of them but not all and so far I haven't found them all in one place. So I'd like to try and get them all on one page here. It's about what's legal for anyone above 18 to EDC without a permit or anything.
Things to consider: Locking Fixed Maximum length Number of edges Serration Automatic/assisted opening Types of knives not allowed Other characteristics that are illegal Anything else you can think of
I want to update the first post in this topic with anything that you guys tell me.
Locking: Allowed, maximum 28cm opened Fixed: Legal Maximum length: 28 cm Number of edges: One, multiple edges is illegal Serration: Allowed Automatic/assisted opening: Automatic knives are legal if the blade is under 7 cm, smaller than 14mm wide, has only one edged side and has no penetrating power. Types of knives not allowed: Balisongs (above blade length 7 cm and below 14 mm wide) Other characteristics that are illegal: Hand guards Anything else: EDC-ing in The Netherlands is all about discretion. If the knife does not fit the situation/environment you might get in trouble. It's not illegal to have a knife, but it's highly uncommon to actually see someone using a knife in public.
Locking: not allowed Fixed: not allowed Maximum length: length is not a factor Number of edges: not allowed Serration: are not a factor Automatic/assisted opening: not allowed Types of knives not allowed: any blade that is fixed or can be locked Other characteristics that are illegal: no special caracteristics AFAIK for France the law says that one cannot carry any blade (except legitimate use - defense not being a legitimate use). But case-law is a very little more tolerant. The following criterias concern case-law (don't hesitate to correct me if necessary)
The only factor is the locking system. Slip joint and friction folder are normally allowed to be carry. But the law officer don't know the law and they can be not very nice with somebody carrying a knife. But i have example of people controlled with bud nealy specialist in the back whose haven't got any problem. That is function of the situation and the law officer.
Locking: legal Fixed: legal Maximum length: n/a Number of edges: as many as you like Serration: legal Automatic/assisted opening: legal Types of knives not allowed: none Other characteristics that are illegal: a gun/knife combo would require a gun permit/licence
it's legal to buy and own any kind of blade, but it's illegal to carry them in public, unless you have a professional need or other valid reason (e.g. a carpenter or a handyman is allowed to carry a work knife). "In public" basically means around the town, or in other populated areas. It's legal to carry a knife out in the woods or when camping etc.
(In addition to knives, it's also illegal to carry saps, batons, knucks, nunchakus and such in public. And technically also SAKs and multitools, if they have blades.)
The UK UK (England and Wales for definite, im 90% sure Scotland is the same and Northern Ireland i would assume was the same but would check with both)
For EDC: LockingNone locking (slipjoint, friction etc) only Fixed illegal Maximum length 3 inch maximum length Number of edges I have no reason to think this is relevent, however without checking id only recommend a single edge Serration Serration is not a legal issue Automatic/assisted opening Automatic/assisted opening - autos are definetly not allowed ever, assisted openers are a grey area (you can buy them here online easily for instance) but if you were found with one you will probably be the first to go through the courts with it and you will almost certainly lose dont be a test case unless you can afford to be the test case. Types of knives not allowed as well as autos, balisongs are illegal. Other characteristics that are illegal if it is marketed as a weapon id steer clear this is why i wouldnt recommend a double edged blade (even though im 99% sure they are legal) because it will be viewed as a weapon first and tool second a lot more than a single edge will you can EDC a knife but if it is carried as a weapon it is illegal. It is up to the courts to prove you are carrying it as a weapon.
Anything else you can think of
Provided you are not carrying a banned knife (auto, balisong) and provided you are not carrying it as a weapon (ie dont tell someone you will stab someone if they mug you etc) there isnt really any limit on what you can carry with a justifiable reason. So if you are camping carrying a machete or large bowie is fine, if you use a locking knife for your job then its fine to have it when at the job or going to or from it and if you need one for a hobby like if you have an allotment and are taking a large pruning knife to it to tend to your tomatoes you are fine.
Its common sense what a reasonable excuse is (on your part and the police officers part) but if in doubt then stick with the EDC rules above (3" cutting edge or less, none locking).
Edit, reminded thanks to the Aussie laws, no stealth knives allowed (cane swords, blades in pens etc).
The UK list of banned items which contains loads of "ninja weapons" does not include nunchaku for quite an amusing reason. The law was written when someone in power saw a magazine advert for a shop selling such things, and copied his stock list directly into the banned items list. Nunchaku are not banned simply because the guy didn't have any in stock when the ad was published.
Locking Illegal Fixed Illegal, unless you are carrying it to/from place of work (with legitimate need) or to/from fishing/hunting expedition - in a direct path (ie you can't stop at the supermarket and do your shopping if you're carrying the knife on your person or have it in your car) Maximum length Blade 7 cm (= 2 3/4") Number of edges Not regulated Serration Not regulated Automatic/assisted opening Illegal. Only folding knives which require both hands to open are permitted. Types of knives not allowed For EDC, everything that is not a folding knife with blade less than 7 cm.