Laws, Guides & Info
Everything on our website has been carefully and comprehensively checked by our team and we believe every single product on this website is legal to buy and own in the UK.
We cannot be held responsible for subsequent actions taken by the police and others. It is your responsibility to ensure that you keep within the law. Below we set out some general guidance which will usually be of general application in the UK. We are not lawyers and we cannot give legal advice. If you have any doubts about what you can do with any of our products please seek advice form a qualified lawyer or the police.
By law you must be 18 or over to purchase a knife/sword. We take your placing of an order of confirmation that you are over 18, and we also age verify all orders.
Please note that just because an item is legal, and you are allowed to own it, that does NOT mean you are allowed to carry it in a public place. Some items can be carried in a public place, some cannot, and some can under certain circumstances but not in others. Please do your own research based on the item you want to carry, and where you want to carry it, before determining if that would be legal or not. You will often need a ‘Good reason’ or a ‘Reasonable Excuse’ to have an item which could be considered a ‘sharp article’ or an ‘offensive weapon’ in a public place.
Where we say an item is illegal this will usually include the manufacture, import, sale or hire, or offer of sale or hire, or lending or giving to any other person of the item in question.
This guidance only applies to the UK. If you intend on importing our goods to a foreign country you should make yourself fully aware of the laws of that country before attempting to do so.
In April 2008 every curved sword with a blade in excess of 50cm was made illegal. This was called the ‘Samurai Ban’ or the ‘Katana Ban’. This covers such things as cutlasses and cavalry sabre’s which are also illegal. In August 2008 an amendment was passed which excluded swords that are handmade using traditional production techniques or those made prior to 1954. Therefore old and handmade swords with curved blades are still permitted.
The basic effect of this was to remove the cheap curved katana from the market. All of the curved blade swords on our website with a blade in excess of 50cm are handmade using traditional production techniques.
Knife laws can seem incredibly complex so we have attempted to layout for you our understanding of the law in order to assist you in deciding what to purchase and what not to purchase. The following items are illegal in the UK.
Fully Automatic Knives
Common Use Names:
Flick Knife, Switchblade, Automatic Knife
The Restriction of Offensive Weapons Act (1959) banned the sales of these knives: ‘Any knife which has a blade which opens automatically by hand pressure applied to a button, spring or other device in or attached to the handle of the knife’.
The 1959 Act also prohibits Gravity knives.
Spring assisted knives
These open when a small amount of pressure is applied, usually to a ‘flipper’ on the blade. These are now illegal due to the Offensive Weapons Act 2019. This changed the definition flick knife in the earlier Act to include any type of knife which opens automatically, not just with a button in the handle.
These should not be confused with Assisted Opening Knives where it can be opened using your thumb to move a button on the blade. The distinction is that with this type you have to move the blade the whole way manually.
Summary of knives which are not allowed in UK
The following items are banned from sale or possession within the UK... Switchblades, automatics or 'flick-knives', gravity knives, balisongs or 'butterfly knives', push daggers, belt buckle knives, sword canes, disguised knives, or knuckle-duster knives.
It used to be OK to possess these types of knives at home, but it is now unlawful to possess any item listed in the Offensive Weapons Order 1988, as amended even in private. See the full list here.
Late on in 2004, an amendment to the law was introduced which restricts the sale of any knife which is not readily detectable by the normal methods of detection, ie: either x-ray or metal detection, unless it can be proven that the knife's sole purpose is for the preparation of food. These knives are correctly referred to as Airport Knives, but in English law are commonly referred to as Stealth Knives.
In 2006, so-called Disguised Knives were prohibited. You may not buy any knife designed to look like something else, for instance a knife which appears to be a pen, (and it doesn't matter whether the pen works or not, it's still prohibited here).
Carrying knives in public
The Criminal Justice Act (1988) says that you may carry a knife with a blade length of 3.0" or less so long as it is capable of folding. That means no fixed blade knives. But use your loaf - a knife has no place at a football match, in a pub, nightclub or school and becomes an offensive weapon in these circumstances in just the same way as a screwdriver, or any other inanimate tool.
If you wish to carry a larger knife then you must have 'reasonable cause'. That means that you must be able to prove that you had a genuine reason for carrying the knife.
You may carry a larger cutting tool if it is associated with your work (for instance a chef may carry a 9.0" butchers knife roll to and from work), or if it is associated with your sport, (for instance a fisherman may carry a 6.0" fillet knife, a hunter may carry a 12.0" fixed blade hunting knife, a camper may carry a 10" camping knife).
Don't forget it's there though. If the knife is still in your possession when you move onto a completely different task you may have difficulty explaining that.
Sale of Knives
There are rules relating to the sale of knives in the Knives Act (1997). They are not to be sold to under 18’s and sales cannot suggest that any knife is ‘suitable for combat’. This relates to what is said about the knife in any marketing material, in a shop or on the internet.