Karatel Knives: Everything You Need to Know


Russia is a country that values history and authenticity more than most other countries out there; the concept of originality is held sacred to them. Similarly, the techs and weapons they design are top-notch and unlike any other. The knife we’re going to talk about in this post, the Karatel knife, is one such creation of the Russians.

Like Kizlyar, Finka, Zlatoust, Izhmash, etc., Karatel knives are used by the Russian soldiers for tactical defense purposes. In the Federal Security Service’s (FSB) list of adopted weapons, Karatel Knife was one of the most notable ones. Because of its low-key look and out-of-the-world agility, special units of the FSB are assigned with Karatel knives.

Karatel translates to Punisher in English; the name already hints at how deadly the knife is. Unique design paired with skill and practice can prove to be tide-changing in combat. That’s one of the reasons Karatel knives are also sought out by people outside Russia.

If you too, are fascinated by the Karatel knives and want to learn more, you’re in the right place. So, let’s dive into the adventurous world of Karatel knife!


Overview of Karatel Knives

Karatel knives, the combat knife used by the special ops unit of Russian FSB, Spetsnaz, etc., have been made available to the public. Because of its broad and versatile application, it quickly became a demanding piece that all collectors and buyers want the same, to own one.


Karatel knife goes by many names in the market, каратель, Punisher, Antiterror, Maestro, Wave, etc. are some of them. Russian knives have always been on the top of the market demand chain. Karatel knives are mostly sought out by the security service agencies, soldiers, and first responders can also take advantage of this knife. The knife comes in many versions; they differ based on the materials used on the knife, and the design of the blade. Some of these versions are available in the market for reproductions, and the rest are not.


Karatel knives first came to be in the market by the Nox Company. Their design was significantly inspired by the style of the phenomenal knife manufacturing enterprise in Russia, The Melita-K knives. The original Karatel knives are produced by the very enterprise.


This high-end gear uses durable steel that is cold compressed for enhanced hardness and strength. Then the edges are formed with a laser cutter which later becomes the surgical sharp blade that a Karatel knife is known for. The hardness score of the blade ranges between 52-58. In order to ensure optimum balance, the blade features a crescent-shaped crater on the body that also reduces unnecessary weight and makes the blade lighter and more agile as a result. The said feature also helps to shovel away soil and dirt. The blade’s finish differs based on different versions of the blade. It can be black, or silver finished but with an anti-reflective coating, so it doesn’t give your position away under the sun. The single-piece build ensures excellent balance that helps to land lethal wounds.


Types of Karatel Knives

Based on the availability of designs, you can find two types of Karatel knives in the market. The original Melita-k Karatel Knife and its high-quality replica. The factor of serrated and non-serrated blades exists, but the serrated ones are hard to come by, so there’s not much of a debate there.

The original Melita-K Karatel fighting combat knife is heavier than the replica, packs the show-stopping sharpness, and is functional to use in versatile fields. The materials used to construct the knife are of premium quality and are made in Russia exclusively.

The replica, on the other hand, copies the look completely. The material used is high-quality and resistant to impact, so unlikely to damage itself or anyone else for that matter. So it is perfectly safe to use for anyone and is mainly used for training. Just like the original, the replica also comes with a sheath to load the blade.


Characteristics of a Karatel Knife

Size & Weight: The overall size of a Karatel knife is roughly 11.5-inches in length. It features a fixed blade design that accents a full-tang construction. Including the sheath, it adds a few more centimeters to the overall measurement. The weight may differ slightly based on the materials used.

Blade Material & Length: The blade takes the larger chunk of the comprehensive length, measuring 6.29-inches. The blade is dual-edged, which may feature tiny serrations on one side for better reach at versatility in some models. The knife uses Russian 70X16 MFS steel, which shows a great hardness score of HRC 56. This superior steel resists water, stain, and rusting to an optimal degree.

The super sharp blade retains the edge longer, so it doesn’t dull easily and rids you from the frequent hassle of resharpening. The blade of the replica version is made from impact-resistant soft polymer. The design of the edge may differ based on the version; one is partially serrated at the bottom, another version features top serration, while the other comes without any serration at all. The blade is coated with an anti-glare coating to reduce reflections.

Handle: The ergonomic handle that completes the Karatel knife measures 5.11-inches. Because of its generous circumference and handy contours, it’s comfortable to wield even for a longer period. The handle material of a Karatel knife varies from design to design, there’s the Kraton handle, which is textured, water-resistant, light, and grippy. The handle with pressed leather typesetting gives a premium look to the knife and a comfy handling experience.

Extra Features: The pommel of the handle is made of solid metal that works as a functional hammerhead. The finger guard associated with the handle protects your hand from accidentally slipping and cutting yourself with the sharp blade. The sheath which is included in the package is made from durable genuine leather with plastic linings and studs.



Q: Is it legal to own a Karatel knife?

A: No law shuns it specifically, So it is perfectly legal to own one. But to be on the safe side, check with your state’s knife laws beforehand. There’s a bar on the blade’s length you can carry while traveling inside and outside the state. Carrying a knife concealed is also considered a felony in most states.

Q: Where can I buy a Karatel knife from?

A: An original Karatel knife made from Russia won’t come cheap. You can contact platforms that ship the genuine ones. Both online and physical stores sell original Melita-k knives. There are also high-quality replicas of Karatel knives available in the market that you can easily buy from Amazon, eBay, etc.


Advantages of Using Karatel Knives

Karatel knives are generally designed for Russian special ops units to use in operations. Its unusual blade shape and compact design allow it to be magnificently functional in versatile ways. Although, it was designed by Russian engineers to provide a tactical advantage in the field.

The blade sports sharp edges on both sides, and in some models, one of those is serrated. Which makes cutting through ropes, wires, thick packages, and fabrics much easier. The sharp point makes one helluva puncture wound that could present a way for escape or win a fight given the circumstances. The leather sheath that comes with the knife features a belt loop. So you can equip it around your waist, hip, or on the calf with a belt; whichever is convenient for you to reach and carry while venturing outside. The weight is just right; that it is neither insignificant nor too heavy to carry with. Because of its well-thought design and balance, it’s optimal to draw and wield the blade in a matter of seconds; and despite its size, it can do some significant damage.

Apart from combat and defending, a Karatel knife can do all the things that a hunting knife can. You can use a Karatel knife to set up tents during camping by cropping ropes and wires, digging small holes in the ground, cutting small branches of trees to clear up the landscape, etc. Not only that, because of its design and tip, it can be used to gut and size small game animals and filet fish before cooking or freezing. Karatel knives are also efficient while going bushcraft and hunting in the wilderness as they hold expertise in a myriad of tasks, thanks to their ultra-sharp cutting edge.



Karatel Knives are designed as one of the primary weapons for FSB’s exclusive units. But its unique yet functional design is highly effective for tactical, hunting, camping, etc. Thus, making it popular among the civilians also. So whether you are researching this knife out of curiosity, or for the sake of knowledge, this article can guide you in the right direction. Karatel knives also make a great present to give your knife enthusiast friends, and it would also be a phenomenal addition to anyone’s collection. The premium look and vibe a karatel knife exhibits are hardly replaceable.


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