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  • Writer's pictureBrad Keating

What Size Knife Is Legal To Carry In Ohio?

Updated: Aug 3, 2021

The Ohio deadly weapons laws in the Buckeye state are lacking in clear language and proper definitions. This article serves as a forum to gain knowledge and understanding while giving the code more clarity.


Legal Knife Sizes in Ohio

What Knives Are Illegal To Own In Ohio?

There are no knives that are illegal to own in the Buckeye state. Although people are allowed to own them, it's illegal to carry specific knives.


What Knives Can You Carry Legally?

  Whether a knife is legally allowed to be carried is dependent on these factors:

  • Blade Style: Drop point, Tanto, or Spearpoint

  • Carrying choice: Concealed or open carry

  • The type of knife: Multi-purpose tool, fixed blade, or folding blade


Does Ohio Law Allow A Person Of Age To Carry A Knife?

Yes, they can carry a knife under this Ohio law. There are no restrictions for concealed carry of any specific knife. However, the law does have an exception and this is for what is called a "dangerous ordnance." Included in this is ballistic knives. Due to the concealed carry statute, it makes it illegal to conceal carry a deadly weapon. To convict a defendant of carrying a hidden deadly weapon, the state must prove that it's designed for, or additions have been made, for use as a weapon, and has the ability to inflict death. Some knives that are illegal to conceal carry are:

  •  Stilettos

  • Switchblades      

  • Butterfly knives or balisong

  • Gravity knives       

  • Daggers, dirks, or other stabbing knives


These knives are seen as deadly weapons by the state.


Ohio knife laws state that both open and concealed carry of any dangerous weapon is prohibited in a courthouse or a school zone. However, persons of age are able to open carry any type of knife either in their car or on their person.


What Size Knife Is Considered A Concealed Weapon?

It is generally accepted that a blade 2.5 inches or smaller can be considered a work tool, and therefore can be hidden. With that being said, anything larger can be classified as a concealed weapon. However, there aren't any specific laws in this state that highlight the specific length of blades.


What Is The Legal Age That A Person Can Carry A Knife In Ohio?

In most cases, the person needs to be 21 years of age to keep a knife. However, there are some cases where this doesn't apply.


The laws around knives are still very vague, especially in the Buckeye state. However, as a general rule, if a blade is 4 inches or smaller, it isn't classified as a weapon. Thereby, making it legal for anyone to have it, even a minor. For example, it's legal for a minor to carry and make use of a basic pocket knife.


Nonetheless, a 2-inch blade comes with two caveats. If a blade is fixed (meaning not lockable), or is double-edged, it's deemed as a deadly weapon and thereby, can't open carry it in certain public places if they're a minor.


What Does the Term Mean?

The Supreme Court of this particular state saw that concealed meant that the weapon was conveniently placed within immediate reach. However, later, the court explained the term a being situated in a way that the deadly weapon isn't seen by ordinary observers. Moreover, it's added that ordinary observation doesn't extend to a detailed and thorough search.


Wrap Up

The Buckeye state makes it illegal to conceal anything that can be considered a deadly weapon. However, the state of Ohio law is vague as to what knives qualify as a deadly weapon, other than a ballistic knife. The test can be defined as whether the object is deadly, or is modified or made to make use of a deadly weapon.



Ask the Keating Firm if you are wondering what rifles are legal to hunt with In Ohio. Their trusted attorneys will help you find all the information you need.




Disclaimer: The details included in this blog is offered for educational purposes only, and should not be taken as lawful guidance in any way. No recipients of material from this blog, clients or otherwise, should or should not act on the basis of any material consisted in the blog without seeking the appropriate legal or other professional guidance on the particular facts and situations at issue from an attorney accredited in the recipient's state.

4 comentarios


loyed neuer
loyed neuer
17 abr

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Keith Plays
Keith Plays
23 dic 2021

Almost everything in this article is now incorrect. As of April 12th, 2021 Ohio passed a new law that has freed up open and concealed carry of bladed and non-bladed weapons (including clubs and brass knuckles).

Still the exception to the rules, ballistic knives are still not legal to carry concealed.

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Scott Pifer
Scott Pifer
12 mar 2023
Contestando a

Is an 8 inch survival knife legal to carry? I'd like to keep 1 in each of my cars.

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Drema Sacco
Drema Sacco
12 jul 2021

If I am 20 years old, what type of knife could I carry legally? I also am from Ohio and usually prefer the knifes that fold back together.

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