What is a Wrist Blade?

Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon

A wrist blade is a knife which is designed to be worn on the wrist. Such blades are popular features in video games, and are less commonly seen as practical weapons, although some companies do manufacture wrist blades. Enthusiasts have also constructed their own, working with designs developed by others or creating a wrist blade from scratch.

Woman holding a book
Woman holding a book

A typical wrist blade is designed to fit into a housing worn on the wrist. The blade is usually retractable, concealed in the housing when it is not needed. In some cases, blade and housing are a unit mounted in a wrist strap, while in other cases, the blade is integrated directly into the strap worn on the wrist. The strap must be broad, to keep the knife stable while in use and to accommodate the housing of the blade.

The nature of a wrist blade classifies it as a concealed weapon. As a result, in some regions, wearing such a blade may be illegal. In other regions, a concealed weapon may be legal, but there may be limitations on blade length which are designed to protect the safety of members of the public. Some enthusiasts may get around the law by wearing unsharpened or play knives instead of real knives, although this practice is not always advised, as law enforcement may not realize that the knife is not dangerous.

Learning to use a wrist blade takes skill and training. Placement of a blade on the wrist is not entirely ideal, in terms of fighting technique. Some blades worn on the wrists are intended to pop off when deployed, providing the wearer with quick access to a hand weapon. Others must be long, to extend well past the hand, and the housing needs to be carefully designed so that the wearer does not incur injury while wearing or using the knife. Housing may include a hand shield which prevents cuts when the knife is in use.

As with any type of blade, the quality of a wrist blade can vary dramatically. The metal used in the blade has a profound impact, with cheap metals being more prone to dulling and fracturing in use. The materials used in the retractable housing are also critical. Cheap materials may snag or break, rendering the knife inaccessible or leaving it in a partially extended position. The wrist strap and protective guards must also be carefully designed to allow full range of motion while providing protection to the wearer.

Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a wiseGEEK researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

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Discussion Comments


One thing I would like to know about wrist blades is how legal are they? Do people have to obtain special permits to own them as collectibles, like say with historical types of weapons, or do they have to specially register it as a weapon to own it?

I would find registering it as a weapon very hard to believe considering it is a form of a knife, however, it is such a different type of weapon and revolves around the point of secretly attacking and assassinating someone that I could see this being put in some category where you have to specially register it to own it.

I have no idea how this works with weapons other than guns so I am just wondering if anyone would have any idea on this odd but cool weapon.


@matthewc23 - I think that the toy wrist blade falls into a different category than other toy like weapons. A wrist blade is something that people do not commonly see or associate it right away as being a common form of a weapon. I think that this would stick in people's minds and make the think "what in the world is that?" before they react to it as an actual weapon.

I can see if someone was being stupid and actually tried to act like their toy wrist blade was a weapon. A tragedy could occur because of this and does happen. However, I doubt that mistakes concerning toy wrist blades occur that often and the ones that do are very few and far between.


@jmc88 - You are absolutely correct in regards to the dangers that a hidden wrist blade poses.

Suppose someone is just playing around with a fake wrist blade and this is not known to the cop. This brings about the entire issue of marketing toys that can be mistaken for real weapons.

At least with toy guns almost every state requires that orange caps be put on the ends to indicate them as being a toy. However, how can you do this with a wrist blade, when the whole purpose of the real weapon is to quickly slash your attacker with a hidden weapon?

I find toys like these to be very dangerous and that there is little that can be done besides simply not selling them to make sure that people do not get mistaken for attackers and a tragedy occurs.


I have always thought that wrist blades were a really cool type of weapon and I even wanted to find some fake plastic ones to wear when I was a kid. When I became older I went to various places to try and find a wrist blade just so I could own one, because I collect pocket knives.

I have learned as an adult that a wrist blade is a very dangerous type of weapon and could almost be used by an assassin who is looking to not shoot someone.

This weapon can slash as fast as one's hands can move and is so inconspicuous that someone probably would not notice it. It is probably a good thing that it is very hard to buy these things and that there are restrictions on owning them. I still would like to own one simply as a curiosity piece.

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