A belt buckle knife is a type of edged instrument that is placed inside of or concealed as part of a belt. Belt buckle knives are popular with outdoorsmen, self-defense enthusiasts, and members of groups that have a knife culture. The knives are illegal in many countries and specific regions of the United States of America.
A belt buckle knife can come in many different styles, but there are two primary types: folding knives and push daggers. The folding knife style of belt buckle knife looks like a smaller version of a traditional folding knife (folding blade knife) where the blade folds into the handle. With a folding knife style of belt buckle knife, the blade is folded and then attached by a small hook or latch to the front of a specially designed belt buckle. The knife may be prominently displayed on the buckle or concealed into a larger design. In either case, the knife can be easily drawn and quickly opened when needed.
The push dagger version of the belt buckle knife differs significantly from the folding blade version. A push dagger is a small edged weapon roughly shaped like a T - the blade sticking out between the fingers when properly held. The belt buckle knife version has a grip that looks like part of a belt buckle or that actually functions as one. The blade is tucked into a small pocket built into one end of the belt, and is sometimes even secured by snaps or other means. The grip looks like a belt buckle, and may even be one depending on the model. When needed, the blade is pulled free of the pocket and used as a punching weapon.
Belt buckle knives can be highly decorated, just like traditional belt buckles. Types with a favored slogan or symbol emblazoned on them are common, and can identify the wearer as a member of a specific group. Other belt buckle knives just have an interesting pattern that allows the weapon to be more easily concealed. A few belt buckles actually feature the knife, displaying it in a way that makes it stands out against the rest of the buckle.
There are a couple of different reasons why someone would wear a belt buckle knife. The first is to be able to carry a concealed weapon, whether for self-defense purposes or for attack. Another is so that a person can show off their affection for knives by incorporating them into their attire. Still, some people wear them simply to have a useful tool within easy reach, especially since a belt buckle knife takes up a similar amount of space as a traditional large belt buckle.