Knife Laws In Oregon

Knife laws in Oregon are quite unique compared to the other 49 states.

Instead of a statutory, set law that is clear and applicable to all knives, Oregon’s knife laws are defined via precedent of previous cases.

Thus, it’s quite hard to tell what the exact blade length is for legal concealed carry.

However, there is no explicit ban on any particular type of knife, besides stringent restrictions on felons. Furthermore, many local city governments have their own laws which are more strict and override the state knife laws.

Knife Laws in Oregon



Essentially, all knives are legal in Oregon in terms of ownership and possession, unless you are a felon. Convicted felons can only own dirks, daggers, switchblades, automatic knives, or stilettos. Otherwise, non-felons can own, give, receive, buy, sell, or manufacture any type of knife. This includes, but is not limited to disguised knives such as lipstick dirks, balisong knives, KA-BAR knives, machetes, swords, gravity knives, ballistic knives, Bowie knives, survival knives, and single-edged and double-edged fixed blade knives.

Furthermore, open carry of these knives is permitted anywhere but in schools, prisons, courthouses, and some government buildings.


There are no illegal knives according to state law in Oregon, besides those for felons. The 1984 Oregon supreme court case State v Delgado established that any ban on a certain type of knife is unconstitutional. The court ruled that that restricting the mere ownership and open carry of knives for non-felons is a violation of the 2nd amendment, which protects the right to bear arms.

Length Limit

The length limit of knives is where Oregon knife laws become murky. There is no specific statutory law stating what is legal and what is not, but previous court cases have ruled that knives as long as 4.75 inches long are legal while knives as short as 6 inches are illegal. The exact limit on knife length isn’t specifically defined but lies somewhere between 4.75 and 6 inches. It’s safest to have knives 4.75 inches or shorter to avoid any confusion with authorities over the interpretation of state laws, due the clear precedence of a court case proving the legality of a 4.75 inch blade. Law enforcement decides if a length is legal according to each situation by deciding if the knife will be used in an illegal manner.

Concealed Carry

Concealed carry laws, as opposed to most of Oregon’s other knife laws, are quite strict. A statutory law in 2013 defined that it’s illegal to carry knives whose blades deploy with a spring, dirks, daggers, and ice picks concealed. Previous court cases have also ruled that it’s illegal for concealed carry of any knife besides a pocketknife. However, the state also defined a switchblade to be a pocketknife, so these two types of knives are both acceptable for concealed carry. Generally, the legal length for concealed carry is between 4.75 and 6 inches.

Other Knife Laws in Oregon

Overall, the Beaver State has quite lax ownership and open carry knife laws, but very strict concealed carry laws. Besides the statewide regulations, local knife laws in Oregon must also be taken into consideration. Cities like Troutdale and Lebanon have declared the concealed carry of 3.5 inch or longer knives to be illegal. Local ordinances always overrule state laws, due to the absence of a statewide preemption.