Non-Metallic Knives: Stealthy Stash Blades

Non-Metallic Knives: Stealthy Stash Blades
Non-metallic blades, from left: VZ Grips Executive Gen 2, Kershaw Interval, Cold Steel FGX Ring Dagger, Cold Steel FGX Boot Dagger and Kershaw Arise.

Super affordable and lightweight, these stash knives are cool.

Since some knife fans long have been obsessed with what steel blades are made from, maybe it’s time to talk about blades that aren’t made of steel at all. I’m referring to the covert type built from materials designed to be less detectable, the kind you might want to keep as a backup.

There are knives made with just such materials. Five are the VZ Grips Executive Hydra Black Gray, Cold Steel FGX Ring Dagger and FGX Boot Blade, and the Kershaw Interval and Arise. The list is by no means exhaustive, though I am covering more knives than I usually do in my BLADE® stories. It also doesn’t include ceramic, obsidian, flint and other non-metal models. My goal was to test knives less likely to show up by scanning methods such as X-ray and metal detection.

According to Doug Ritter of Knife Rights, there are restrictions in some states concerning non-metallic knives. For the legal status of non-metallics in your state, visit for links to Knife Rights’ free Legal Blade knife law app for state-by-state information on laws concerning undetectable knives.

There is a move to ban knives of the non-metallic type. Knives are covered by the Second Amendment, so to keep legislatures from infringing on your rights, remain vigilant. To both stay informed and for how you can help protect your 2A rights, visit the respective sites of Knife Rights and the American Knife & Tool Institute.

Versatile: VZ Grips Executive Gen 2 Hydra

In all my years of collecting, I’d never held a knife with a G-10 blade—until the test model from VZ Grips. Such knives have been around a long time but until now I really hadn’t given them much thought. When I saw the VZ Grips Executive Gen 2 Hydra Black and Grey during a search for pistol grips, I made note of it for just such an occasion. Out of the knives reviewed, it has the most versatility in presentation options. As you can imagine, with pistol grips being VZ’s primary business, the variety of G-10 materials it offers is practically endless. The company has other non-metallic knives as well.

Non-Metallic Knife VZ Executive
The VZ Executive is a palm-style knife with an indentation in the handle just before the blade. Thin and sleek, it has a profile made for punching holes.

G-10 blades aren’t particularly useful for EDC work. You can do things like open some packages with them all right. They also make great letter openers. If you live in an area where you need a backup tool for self-protection and weight is a concern, these knives tuck away nicely. I carried the Executive inside my waistline at the 4 o’clock position for a few days. It comes with a sheath that has a belt loop, which tucked behind my belt. After a short while it didn’t feel as if I were carrying a knife at all.

It is in a sleek double-edge dagger style but because the edges aren’t sharp, it doesn’t count as a double-edged knife. It is a palm-held piece because it lacks a guard, and the tip is more than sharp enough for use. To enhance grip there’s a thumb depression where the handle meets the blade. Overall, it is a great little package and will find a place in my gear somewhere.

Budget Friendly: Cold Steel’s FGX Boot Blade And FGX Ring Dagger

Cold Steel non-metallic knife
Cold Steel uses a checkered-pattern Kray-Ex overmold rubber on the handle of the FGX Boot Dagger. The checkering isn’t very aggressive but still provides solid purchase.

At manufacturer’s suggested retail prices (MSRPs) of only $8.99 each, Cold Steel’s FGX Boot Blade and FGX Ring Dagger are the most economical of the test bunch. If this knife genre interests you, these two are but a smattering of Cold Steel’s non-metallic blade offerings. The company reproduces a number of its steel models in the non-metallic material Griv-Ex. I chose these two because they are among the styles that represent a traditional-looking boot dagger. Both knives come with a metal ring through the handle and no sheath. The Boot Blade has a Kray-Ex grip. Both have guards that encourage a hammer grip.

Two interesting features on the Ring Dagger are a reinforced tip and serrated edges. During the penetration tests when I stabbed a bunch of cardboard, the reinforced tip helped the Ring Dagger a lot. As for the serrated edge it did well cutting several things, though of course not as well as a steel edge. I put it up against cardboard, plastic packaging and packing bands. The edge will help in a pinch but I would not count on it as an everyday user.

Cold Steel Ring Dagger
The combination of the Cold Steel Ring Dagger’s reinforced tip and dual serrated edge make it a very aggressive blade for soft materials.

For the money the knives are an outstanding deal. Without sheaths, though, just finding a way to carry them might end up costing you more than the knives themselves. The tips are sharp enough to pierce some clothes, so stashing them in a bag might be problematic.

Concealable: Kershaw Interval And Arise

At press time, the Interval and Arise were Kershaw’s lone offerings in the genre. As you may or may not know, I like to comment on knife names. In this case and with the cutlery market so flooded these days, it seems Kershaw might have just opened a dictionary and pointed. Conversely, names have little to do with quality.

Kershaw Interval
Kershaw’s Interval is so slim it tucks in perfectly into the tight spaces in your EDC gear and clothing.

Both knives are made from a PA-66 glass fiber. A traditional dagger design bests describes the Arise. For whatever reason Kershaw decided to install four Torx® screws in the handle. The presence of screws obviously makes the knife detectable by metal detectors. As a traditional dagger design it has a guard to prevent your hand from slipping forward. As with the VZ knife the edges aren’t sharp so it should be legal in states that restrict double-edge knives. The blade shape is somewhat difficult to describe since Kershaw takes an angular approach. For sturdiness the blade has a fuller. A simple ribbed design provides handle texture.

The Interval is a palm-style knife with no guard. It’s very lightweight and for whatever reason there’s a metal insert on the inside of the diamond-shaped lanyard hole, which makes the knife detectable by a metal detector as well. A geometric-style surface design provides handle texture. I like the knife very much. It is the easiest to stash of the review pieces so I can see getting more examples as backups and putting them in my kit. The tip is sharp but the main edge isn’t.

Kershaw torex screw
Steel Torx® bolts in the handle make the Kershaw Arise detectable by metal scanners. If you want, you can remove the bolts.

Both knives come without a sheath but due to the sharp tips I would still prefer a sheath for carry. Given the knives’ size (7.4-inch overall lengths) sheaths would be nothing to make. You want to keep stash blades tucked away and undetectable. As one who has dug through many EDC bags looking for stuff stowed properly, one of these knives would be hard to find for a person who didn’t know it was there, say at the bottom of a pocket or in a small fold. My only beef is the inclusion of the metal lanyard ring/insert or these knives would be practically invisible. Both models did well in cutting tests and would make good stash blades.

VZ Executive Gen 2

Non-Metallic Knife VZ

Blade Material: G-10
Overall Length: 7.75″
Blade Length: 3.25″
Metal Parts: None
MSRP: $79.99
Country of Origin: USA

Kershaw Interval

Non-Metallic Knife Kershaw Interval

Blade Material: PA-66 glass fiber
Overall Length: 7.4″
Blade Length: 3.5″
Metal Parts: Yes
MSRP: $11.99
Country of Origin: China

Cold Steel FGX Ring Dagger

Non-Metallic Knife FGX

Blade Material: Griv-Ex/Kray-Ex
Overall Length: 9.1875″
Blade Length: 3.5″
Metal Parts: Yes
MSRP: $8.99
Country of Origin: Offshore

Cold Steel FGX Boot Blade

Non-Metallic Knife Cold Steel

Blade Material: Griv-Ex/Kray-Ex
Overall Length: 9.5″
Blade Length: 4.875″
Metal Parts: Yes
MSRP: $8.99
Country of Origin: Offshore

Kershaw Arise

Non-Metallic Knife Kershaw Arise

Blade Material: PA-66 glass fiber
Overall Length: 8.4″
Blade Length: 4.2″
Metal Parts: Yes
MSRP: $14.39
Country of Origin: China

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