20 Knives of Russian Military and Law Enforcement

In this article, we’ll take a look at some of the relatively rare or new knives, bayonets and multi-tools of Russian armed forces and special police units. Some of these edged weapons are adopted in small quantities by special forces, others are newly adopted and are being widely supplied to Russian armed forces. I’ll skip the well known and old ones like AK-47 and AK-74 bayonets, about which there is a plenty of information available. Also, this post doesn’t include machetes and axes. So, without further ado, let՛s get started (in no particular order):

1) OBS-3 (ОБС-3)

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This is a recently designed survival knife, which will be adopted by an unknown Russian special forces unit. It is based on Oboroten (Оборотень – Shapeshifter) hunting/survival knife. OBS-3 has a pretty unique butterfly design. It has a normal knife blade on one side and a saw/multi-tool on the other side. The butterfly design exposes or hides in the handle one end at a time. The multi-tool side has a wood saw, metal saw, nail puller, can opener and a screwdriver on the same blade. The handle also has a built-in wire cutter. The knife has an overall length of 9.65″ (245mm).

2) NS-2 (НС-2)

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NS-2 is a new multi-tool adopted by the Russian military. It will be issued to sappers and demolition specialists. It is made by a Russian company called KAMPO (КАМПО). The multitool weighs 10.6oz (300 grams), has a special anti-corrosive coating and is issued with a MOLLE compatible sheath.

3) KAMPO Bayonet 6×9-1


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This bayonet is included into Russian equipment and arms upgrade kit called “Ratnik”. It is an AK-compatible bayonet designed by KAMPO, too. It is reportedly a very high-quality bayonet made of high strength steel with a titanium based coating. The wire cutting function is completely transferred to the sheath, which is a polymer made one. The sheath also stores a sharpener for the blade. The overall length of the Kampo bayonet is 11.4″ (290mm) with a blade length of 6.4″ (162mm).

4) Shmel bayonet (Шмель – bumblebee)

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This bayonet is also included in the Ratnik program. It is made by a Russian company SARO (САРО). It was initially designed for AK-12 and reportedly is adopted along the previous bayonet.

5) Ratnik Multi-tool 6E6 (6Э6)

Мултитул ратник - 4

Мултитул ратник - 3

This multi-tool is also made by SARO and adopted by Russian military with the Ratnik program. It includes a knife, pliers, metal and wood saws, a screwdriver and an awl.

6) Rys (Рысь – Lynx)

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This knife is issued to Moscow SOBR (СОБР), which is a special police force similar to SWAT. It is issued to all SOBR officers. The knife is made of stainless steel and has a lynx head (logo of SOBR) engraved both on the blade and butt.

7) DV-1 and DV-2 (ДВ-1, ДВ-2)

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These combat knives are made upon request of Far East region Spetsnaz. The handle is made of walnut or leather. All metal parts have a matte finish and they are issued with a black leather sheath. The distinctive feature of the knives is the hemispherical cutout right where the blade starts. It is a finger cut to allow a firm grip when pulling out the stuck knife.

8) Karatel (Каратель – punisher, chastener)

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Karatel is a series of knives adopted by FSB (Federal Security Service – the successor of Soviet KGB). The knives have several versions featuring various sheaths, handle materials and slightly different blade shapes.

9) Vityaz (Витязь – epic Russian warrior)

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Vityaz is another Spetsnaz adopted knife. It has a relatively narrow, but long and heavy blade. The officer version of the knife has a bit different handle shape.

10) Antiterror

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This knife is also made for FSB special forces. It comes with a leather sheath and has a reputation of a very strong, reliable and ergonomic knife.

11) Katran (Катран – mud shark)

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These are also series of knives with different shapes and materials. Katran knives are adopted by a number of special forces units, including paratroopers and divers. There is also a civilian version of the knife.

12) Shaitan (Шайтан – Satan (Arabic))

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Shaitan is designed based on the specifications of Russian Ministry of Internal Affairs (Police). They issue it to special police units. The knife has two modifications: the usual one with leather handle and Shaitan-M with skeletonized handle. Both versions are designed so that they can be used as throwing knives.

13) Akela (Акела)


Akela is a double edged knife issued to SOBR units. It is a relatively small knife and is used in urban, undercover operations. Small sizes allow to conceal it better. The handle is made of rubber.

14) Smersh-5 (Смерш-5)

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This one is a classic Russian combat knife. It is based on an older knife (NR-43) used in WW2. “Smersh” is an acronym meaning “death to spies”, which was the name of a WW2 Soviet counter-intelligence agency.

15) Gyurza (Гюрза – Viper)

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This one is also adopted by FSB forces and has two versions with minor differences in appearance.

16) Cobra (Кобра)

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Yet another knife adopted by SOBR. It is also used in urban operations. According to SOBR officers, its blade and handle design allow them to do a number of different drills with the knife.

17) Vzryvotekhnik (Взрывотехник – demolition specialist)


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This is a massive knife with 7.1″ (180mm) blade length. It is issued to sapper units of FSB. The knife is designed to be used in multiple roles: sapper, survival and combat. It features a leaf blade, wooden handle and a hardened steel butt. The latter is used as a blunt weapon or hammer.

18) OTs-4 (ОЦ-4)

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OTs-4 is designed by a Russian company called TsKIB SOO for special police units. It is a big and heavy knife. The handle is made of polymer and has a distinctive “grenade” texture. The sheath is a metal made one and retains the knife by a built-in leaf spring.

19) Elf (Эльф)


Elf is adopted by small intelligence units. It is known to be a very reliable and effective knife.

20) Basurmanin (Басурманин)

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This is a typical survival knife. The handle is made of metal and has a compartment inside it housing a number of small survival tools. The sheath also has several functions including wire cutter, screwdriver, wrench etc.


I tried to include as many knives as I could find information about and hope you enjoyed this brief review of Russian knives.


www.militaryarms.ru ; www.rusila.su ; www.topwar.ru ; www.zonwar.ru

Hrachya H

Being a lifelong firearms enthusiast, Hrachya always enjoys studying design, technology and history of guns and ammunition. His knowledge of Russian allows him to translate and make Russian/Soviet/Combloc small arms related information available for the English speaking audience.
Should you need to contact him, feel free to shoot him a message at Hrachya@staff.thefirearmblog.com


  • Giolli Joker

    Interesting post.
    A lot of designs that I didn’t know.
    I like the lines of DV-1 and DV-2 (ДВ-1, ДВ-2).

    • VanDiemensLand

      Yeah they look like versatile knives!

      • VanDiemensLand

        You can get the DV-2 on ebay btw

  • William Nelson

    Thank you! Always love to see the arms and equipment of other countries and find out a little something to boot.

  • Jack Burton

    Most of those things remind me of the knife catalogs I used to flip through lustfully as a kid. I don’t know how practical or necessary some of them are, but it’s interesting to think they’re actual issue items of a modern police or military force nevertheless. Cool post!

  • nannan

    17 is basically pugio

    • RavishedBoy

      18 is Glock

      • Nicks87

        Me thinks not!

  • MR

    I’m having difficulty believing that all these knives were officially adopted by the Russiann MO, MVD and FSB. Bought with own money and carried by the individual agents, officers, operators? Sure. Officially “взяты на вооружение”? Let me see some proofs.

    • Most are semi-oficially adoped by one unit or another.

  • john huscio

    No kizlyar?

    • Andrew

      DV-2 is made by Kizlyar

  • Nicks87

    It’s funny that the Russians promote the carrying/use of knives in the military and police whereas in the US it’s kind of frowned upon. On my last deployment we weren’t allowed to bring knives at all (not even an issued bayonet) and in my current job as a police officer it’s not allowed as well (for officer safety reasons, they say). I was even criticized once for the leatherman that I carry on my duty belt!

    • VanDiemensLand

      That is just odd, especially he leatherman thing. Where I am ( Aus) all the LEO’s and Paramedics carry multitools.

    • gwee

      Russians still have intact penises, americans do not so knife would remind them of this sad fact.

  • DaveP

    Are there any sources for these in the States?

  • Darhar M.

    I would like to buy No. 12 with black grips.
    Where do I send a check……

  • Edeco

    Ah, ew. Too much near-symmetry. Drives me bonkers.

  • iksnilol

    You could use that to stab something. Neat.

    I really do want that Shaitan to be honest.

  • No NRS/NRS-2 and NR? What a shame 😉

    • Rusty S.

      Also, no “Pilum”…

    • Darren Hruska

      I was almost certain those would have made the list.

  • VanDiemensLand

    That Ratnik multitool looks like awful quality, maybe just the pics, but the fit and finish looks cheap as.

  • Bill

    If I make a knife it will be named the Elf Mud Shark Chastener.

    • Madcap_Magician

      I’m hoping something was lost in translation for some of those…

      • Джон Доу

        The translation is precise. #20 is missed, its name is an old style word meaning “muslim” (no joke), more often used as a name for non-christian enemy.

  • Ben Loong

    I really like the concept of a multi-tool butterfly knife like the OBS-3. Although it does seem to sacrifice the compact carry advantage of traditional butterfly knife/balisong designs.

  • Al Wise

    Interesting to see the rare OTs-4. It was a favorite for pilots and special ops during the Soviet-Afghan war with it’s metal sheath straped to the leg. I’ve had one since the 80’s and not seen another in the US.

  • RICH


    • Hrachya H

      You are welcome and thank you for reading the TFB !

  • Darren Hruska

    I always found the Taiga to be a bit fascinating. I love how your character jams it into an enemy’s chest cavity as if it were made of pudding in Battlefield 4. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/99302f90acffd9f55e64cd585ad32c8dee3916bb06db956e84cf3729b46dc7d3.jpg

  • This was fantastic I hope to see more com block content

  • Sgt. Stedenko

    Very cool
    Thanks for sharing

  • Samuel Phillips

    The Russians do make very good knives. I can’t figure out how the different kinds of
    Russian steel compare to the North American kinds.

  • Pistolero

    “7) DV-1 and DV-2 (ДВ-1, ДВ-2)

    These combat knives are made upon request of Far East region
    Spetsnaz. The handle is made of walnut or leather. All metal parts have
    a matte finish and they are issued with a black leather sheath. The
    distinctive feature of the knives is the hemispherical cutout right
    where the blade starts. It is a finger cut to allow a firm grip when
    pulling out the stuck knife.”

    Not to be critical, but that “hemispherical cutout” is called a choil. I doubt that it is for getting a better grip to pull out a stuck blade. Its primary purpose is to allow you to “choke up” on the blade for finer work.
    I would love to know the closest American steel equivalents to what these are all made of.
    Thanks for the article.

  • maodeedee

    Exellent article. Best researched article I’ve ever seen on TFB. I am a lifetime knife nut with a special interest in military knives such as the Fairbairn–Sykes fighting knife and the V-42 stiletto.

    The Fairbairn–Sykes is still being produced and it’s possible to obtain them new and unissued. I have one and the polishing and the bluing and the workmanship is incredible on them. I also have a large Nepalese Kukri that was made in 1848. For years I searched for what I thought was the best representation of a Bowie knife and decided on a large Bowie made by Bear and Sons. I also like the Sheffield style Bowies.

    Of these I think I like number 12) Shaitan (Шайтан – Satan (Arabic) the best, but the smaller one on top, not the other one with the checkered handle, which has the name Шайтан etched on it.

  • disqus_XlYouOiadt

    Great article! Thank you for posting it.