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Knife laws in Canada are somewhat ambiguous and depend on interpretation.

There is no specific length restriction on carrying knives within the Criminal Code of Canada. However, the code does prohibit carrying a knife if it’s considered a prohibited weapon, like automatic knives (switchblades), centrifugal knives (like butterfly knives), and gravity knives.


As for everyday carry (EDC) knives, it largely depends on the context in which it’s used or the intent of the carrier. If a knife is used for a lawful purpose such as a tool or for work, it’s typically legal. However, if you’re found carrying a knife and the authorities believe you intend to use it for harmful or illegal purposes, you could potentially be charged with a crime, regardless of the type of knife.

Here are some types of knives which are typically legal to carry in Canada:

The legality of carrying knives in Canada can be complex and is subject to both federal and provincial/territorial laws. Knife laws in Canada are primarily concerned with the intent and use of the knife rather than the specific type or size of the knife. However, there are some general guidelines that can help you understand what EDC (Everyday Carry) knives are more likely to be legal in Canada:

  1. Folding Knives: Generally, folding knives with blades that are less than 3 inches (7.62 cm) in length are often considered legal for everyday carry. These are often referred to as “pocket knives.”
  2. Non-threatening Blades: The key is to carry knives that are not intended for use as a weapon. Avoid carrying knives designed for self-defense or combat.
  3. Multitools: Multitools with small folding blades are often considered acceptable for everyday carry, as long as the blade is not the primary feature and is under 3 inches.
  4. Fixed Blade Knives: Carrying fixed blade knives in a concealed manner is typically not allowed unless you have a specific reason, such as for work-related purposes, hunting, or outdoor activities.
  5. Intent and Use: The legality of carrying any knife can depend on your intent and how you use it. Carrying a knife for utility purposes, such as opening packages or cutting rope, is generally more acceptable than carrying one for self-defense.
  6. Prohibited Knives: Certain types of knives, such as switchblades and automatic knives, are generally prohibited under Canadian law. Butterfly knives (balisongs) are also typically illegal to possess or carry.

It’s important to note that laws can vary by province or territory, and local bylaws may also apply. Additionally, the way you carry the knife (e.g., concealed or openly) can influence whether it’s considered legal. It’s always advisable to check the specific knife laws in your area or consult with local law enforcement to ensure compliance.

Keep in mind that while these guidelines provide a general overview of Canadian knife laws, they are not legal advice. The interpretation and application of these laws can vary, so it’s essential to research and consult with legal authorities for precise information on the regulations in your jurisdiction.


Last Updated on January 22, 2024