Ohio Knife Laws (Updated 2021)

The Buckeye state is home to beautiful scenery, picturesque waterfalls and 1,252 nature trails that will blow your mind! Furthermore, Ohio is considered amongst the best deer hunting sites across the whole United States. Knives have always been essential gear when exploring nature's backyard, however as times have changed, we tend to carry knives regardless of the environment we are in!

We need to learn, and be mindful of knife laws as each state presents different categorizations and the penalties can stem from hefty fines to criminal prosecutions.

Tactical knives have become a must-have accessory to carry as they are tough, reliable and easy to use, not to mention they can save your day when doom strikes.

Here at Tekto, we take great pleasure in staying up to date with the latest law and regulations to make sure we all play by the rules. By doing so, you can choose the best suitable knife without having to worry about the legality of it.

Carrying knives depend on a variety of factors:
     - Type of knife: Fixed blade, folding blade or multi-purpose tool.
     - Carry choice: Open or concealed carry.
     - Blade style: Tanto, Spear point, Drop point, etc.

These factors are very important as some knives are considered deadly weapons and having them on your person will be regarded as ”intent to cause bodily harm.”

Knives you can legally own in Ohio:
     - Switchblades, Gravity, OTF (Out-the-front)
     - Balison, Butterfly
     - Ballistic
     - Dirk, Dagger
     - Bowie
Carry restriction still apply to certain knives; please check below.               


Fixed blade knives are firm and sturdy as they contain no moveable parts. These knives usually come with a protective sheath that can be attached to our apparel. Fixed blades offer such hard cut robust features that they have become favored by the likes of hunters, military personnel and nature goers. It is legal to own, open carry and concealed carry these knives regardless of blade length or size.


Folding blade knives are very practical as they can be equipped with additional uses. The Carbonado (below) aside from it’s sharp aluminum blade boasts a seat belt cutter and glass breaker that make it a fan favorite with EMT and Fire services. It is legal to own, open carry, and concealed carry folding knives whether on your person or in your car!


Automatic knives are potentially the most practical type of knife given their speed and deliverance in emergency situations. With the blade contained within the handle, a spring mechanism shoots open the knife putting it to use in no time. Automatic knives are legal to own, open carry, and concealed carry.

Ohio law defines a 'deadly weapon' as: An instrument or object by which death can be caused.
The following constitutes a deadly weapon: 
     - If it is capable of inflicting death, and
     - It is designed or specially adapted for use as a weapon, or
     - It is possessed, carried, or used as a weapon.
There is no presumption that a knife is a "deadly weapon".

Here are a few more facts to keep you in safe hands from the law: 
     - All ballistic knives are illegal to own,
     - Schools are ‘weapon-free zones’,
     - Distinction of a “Deadly Weapon” lies entirely with law and judicial officers.

The fact remains that Ohio’s knife laws are scarce in properly defining the difference between a “deadly weapon” and a standard pocket knife (used for utility purposes).

Under Ohio law you may purchase and legally own any one of our army-grade combat knives, however, be very cautious if and when taking them outside as the above-mentioned carry laws can be the difference between being a law-abiding-citizen or getting arrested. Keep in mind that open carry or conceal carry of any knife other than ballistic is legal.

This information is presented as a brief synopsis of the law and not as legal advice. Tekto Knives is not, and cannot be, a legal service provider. Use of the site does not create a lawyer/client relationship. Laws are interpreted differently by enforcement officers, prosecuting attorneys, and judges. Tekto Knives suggests that you consult legal counsel for guidance.