There are hundreds of reasons not to buy knives from Amazon.
Not only is there a possibility you’d get a fake knife but it is also crippling small businesses like ours. (Oh, and Amazon also treat employees like crap.)
And now Amazon has started preventing law-abiding citizens from buying and shipping knives to certain states.
To be honest, I’m not entirely sure how long this has been going on or how widespread it is, but a customer brought it to our attention. Here’s the lowdown.
A customer tried to purchase a Kershaw Link from Amazon and have it shipped somewhere in Long Island, New York. However, upon checkout, they got a notice saying the item “can’t be shipped to your selected address.” So, he wisely bought the folder from Knife Depot instead.
New York & Massachusetts Restricted
After I did a little digging, I found one of the earliest incidence of a restricted knife purchase was in 2012 on a forum post at NY Firearms. That was chocked up to a possible error.
The issue didn’t seem to start gaining more attention until late 2017 when someone posted on Blade Forums about a knife purchase not going through. However, this one was from Massachusetts.
I did my own little experiment trying to buy and ship a Kershaw Cryo G-10 to an address in New York City.
This is what I got:
I thought it could just be because the address was in New York City so I picked an address in Central New York (Syracuse, to be exact). The same result.
Because I had heard the same thing about Massachusetts, I tried to buy and ship the Cryo G-10 to an address there. It was also a no-go.
I wanted to figure out how far this extended, so I did a few experiments in neighboring states. Connecticut and New Jersey were not restricted.
I didn’t do every single state in the country, but it seems like New York and Massachusetts are the only ones affected.
Assisted & Some Manual Openers Restricted
My next investigation was to find out which knives are affected. It was obvious that Amazon appeared to be targeting assisted-opening knives as evident by the restriction on the Link and Cryo. I tested the theory on some of the assisted openers from other brands like Gerber.
The Gerber Outrigger, which features an assisted-opening blade, was also restricted.
So I threw some softballs and went for the Fallkniven U4, which has a small lockback blade, and the Gerber LST. Both knives were OK to ship to New York and Massachusetts.
But when I tried to buy the Kershaw Skyline, a manual-opening knife with a flipper, it too was restricted.
Other Kershaw knives like the Pub and Shuffle were fine, however.
It seems like Amazon is specifically targeting assisted openers and some flippers because a Kershaw Emerson CQC-6K (a manual opener with a Wave feature) is A-OK but a Kershaw Chill (a manual opener with a flipper) is not.
Someone on Reddit asked Kershaw’s customer service if they were aware of this. Here is part of their reply:
Thank you for your email, we sincerely appreciate your interest in Kershaw knives! We apologize that you have had difficulties in completing recent purchases from Amazon for our products. We are aware of the issue and we are working with our vendor relations team at Amazon to have this corrected. In the meantime, we are asking our customers who reach out & are willing, to follow the attached instructions on filling a ‘customer service issue’ with Amazon. There have been no changes on our end, no new laws introduced, and we are just as concerned as our consumers with the restriction that Amazon has put in place regarding the State of NY.
We hope this information helps! Thank you again for reaching out to us, we are hopeful that if enough consumers voice their concerns it will lead to a positive outcome with Amazon! Have a great day!
So this raises the question: What the heck is going on?
Why is Amazon Doing This?
The fact that Amazon is restricting the shipment of both assisted openers and some manual openers is beyond bizarre.
Amazon has a policy on restricted items, which is kind of confusing. Under examples of permitted listings, it says “Spring-assisted or assisted-opening knives that do not automatically extend.” However, under examples of prohibited listings, it says “Spring-loaded knives.”
The assisted openers are clearly allowed under the rules but “spring-loaded knives” is kind of a strange term to use for prohibited knives, especially since there is already a line about automatic knives or switchblades.
As Kershaw noted, there have been no new laws in New York or Massachusetts that would lead to such a restriction.
New York City has had some troubles with classifying tons of legal knives as gravity knives under a vague and antiquated law. It’s possible Amazon didn’t want to get in trouble with the city so it restricts shipping similar knives to the entire state. However, that doesn’t explain the restriction on Massachusetts.
Neither state outright bans assisted openers but there is also no statewide preemption law so it’s possible some municipalities banned the knives.
I reached out to Amazon, but I only got a roundabout reply that did not directly address my question. I’ll update if I receive an actual response.
As of now it remains unclear why Amazon is doing what it’s doing or how wide the problem extends. However, let this be yet another gentle reminder to get your knives at a dedicated knife shop like Knife Depot.
April 3, 2018 at 9:56 am
Yep. I’ve recently had the same issue. It was a knife that you can’t get anywhere else. (A Tangram Progression) They told me that anything with a Flipper tab is illegal in NY state. It isn’t. I contacted them, I contacted Tangram who argued with them. End result was basically “We’re not going to change a thing.” I had it sent to a friend who is sending it to me.
April 3, 2018 at 10:50 am
Yes. I’ve had similar or worse restrictions/refusals from Knife Center and Blade HQ. So I may look, but I never/hardly ever purchase from them. If I can’t find the model I want anyplace else, I will have it mailed to me at a friend’s house in another state. The Amazon restriction enforcement is more recent, I think. The laws are often not clear in that you are permitted to own certain knives and use them at home, but you cannot carry them. It’s not a rational process.
April 3, 2018 at 4:09 pm
liberal pukes, always trying to “control” everyone else but themselves.
August 28, 2018 at 7:46 pm
Excuse me. What are you talking about? I’m a full out liberal… yet here I am in the same situation as all these people. Just trying to order my damn blades to Mass. Try not to categorize people kid.🖕
October 11, 2018 at 12:19 pm
Umm, it isn’t conservatives that are restricting your ability to buy knives. Robert is correct. I can’t wait until I can move out of this highly taxed and regulated liberal nanny state.
December 7, 2019 at 10:56 am
This is silly. This has nothing to do with “liberal” states. I live in Massachusetts and I’m dealing with this issue too – but in fact, this has nothing to do with Massachusetts law. These knives are all legal in Mass – the statutes are pretty clear. Basically, as long as a knife doesn’t open with “NO” effort (eg a true switchblade or gravity opener), it is legal. So this is about Amazon – not NY, MA, or other states.
May 20, 2021 at 6:37 am
Thank you…Like Michael said, this is not a liberal/conservative issue. This is a company over reacting trying to cover their backsides.
October 25, 2022 at 9:49 am
Amazon leans liberal look who they donate their money too. It’s about corporations getting so large that they can circumvent the law to fit their agenda.
January 29, 2023 at 9:38 am
Not true. I just looked up a multi tool my grandson got for his birthday. It happened to have a blade among the 20+ other tools offered.
The comments clearly state, not shippable to New York or New Jersey. And it wasn’t Amazon, but rather the manufacturer, Roku.
January 29, 2023 at 9:40 am
**correction. The site was, “Sierra”.
February 14, 2022 at 8:16 pm
Moooooooron. “Never shot nuttin in my whole darn life, but I’ll be damned if dem libs gonna tell me I can’t have a loaded weapon wit me when I gots to go to the grocery store!”
And for the record I’m a moderate who agrees that the whole ban on knife shipping to NY/MA is dumb, but also recognizes that far-right conservatives are generally ignorant when it comes to weapons regulations. They’re very quick to turn common sense safety matters (like, what possible need does the average redneck a-hole really have to own an automatic assault rifle) into sweeping generalizations about liberals taking away their rights. I care more about my kids not getting shot at school then I do about you and your irrational fear of gun regulation. So yeah, MORON.
June 9, 2022 at 6:22 pm
You’re supporting the wrong side then, closet conservative
January 15, 2023 at 4:10 am
Yikes dude, there’s a lot to unpack there. Remember not too long ago in Buffalo a deranged lunatic took a rifle to a grocery story to do harm, well he chose that spot intentionally because he knew with New York’s gun laws there wouldn’t be anyone with a gun to defend themselves. Its a bill of rights not a bill of needs and automatic rifles have been highly regulated since 1934 and no new ones sold to civilians after 1984 . Less than 500 children have been killed in all mass shootings at schools in the US and around 10x that number die yearly from car accidents. So if you’d like to talk about irrational fears maybe you should keep your kids out of cars because they are statistically much much more likely to be harmed on the road.
April 4, 2023 at 4:30 pm
Automatic rifles are illegal in the U.S, unless one is willing to pay additional heavy taxes in order to own one. There is no such thing as an ‘assault weapon,’ a term made up by liberal propagandists to rile up liberal morons (like you).
June 21, 2022 at 7:05 pm
kinda think he is talking about the JACKASS LIBERAL, BATSHIT CRAZY SOCIALIST politicians in NY, MASSACHUSETTS, PA, NJ ETC. not the everyday democrat, liberal MOSTLY NORMAL AMERICANS, reason I say MOSTLY….Ya’All voted for these jackasses 🤣🤣🤣 sorry just keeping it REAL🤣🤣🤣
October 25, 2022 at 9:44 am
Well maybe you should realize that your party has been infiltrated and no longer serves traditional liberal ideals. I considered myself a centrist and leaned left socially my whole life, only to find that my party have left me behind. They no longer serve the best interest of working Americans, no longer fight for free speech and no longer fight against large corporate interests.
March 14, 2023 at 8:20 pm
Hey kiddo what he said is spot on truth if your a libtard then you support this bullshit plain and simple “kid” you want to start demeaning people and talking down to them change your stupid low IQ political party cause you’re a moron for being a liberal all your bullshit agendas are tyrranical and obnoxious “kid”
February 14, 2022 at 7:57 pm
Moron. Are you actually Rob Reiner?
November 10, 2022 at 8:55 am
I’m a liberal in FL trying to buy a knife that Amazon won’t ship – makes me mad too!
April 3, 2018 at 10:29 pm
Part of the problem is that most people are not aware of the different types of knives and most ignorantly think back to the switchblade. Anything that “pops open” to them is like a switchblade and thus they apply the negative connotations of switchblades as being illegal knives used by assassins, mobsters or gang members and low life thugs.
I agree that the laws are confusing and should be clear and in my opinion should be the same for all the states. There really isn’t any logical reason for blade length restrictions and open carry of larger blades makes sense. Realistically, why carry or wear a machete if the owner was up to no good? Open carry means being honest and not having anything to hide.
And with respect to folding knives it’s a practical matter to carry them in a pocket. I feel that we have certain rights and privacy is one of them. I don’t regard a knife in a pocket or bag as concealed. It’s also prudent and our right to be low key. I don’t have to tell everyone I have cash on me do I? What one carries is nobody else’s business. And if a cop asks, the owner of a knife can just tell them they have one. The assumption is that a knife is a weapon, but not always so. Many of us use them as tools and not for self defense. There should be a distinction, ah but of course common sense is not always prevalent or a consideration of the anti-gun, liberal left.
Short fixed blades worn around the neck or on a belt are out in the open, although some people like to cover them up with a coat or jacket, or it’s not even done on purpose-people just like to stay warm. I feel that being low key is being respectful and not sneaky, but a belt knife can be seen as open carry, brandishing or concealed if a jacket is worn. It should all be clear.
June 21, 2022 at 7:15 pm
Well FEDERAL STATE and LOCAL governments want to control all….It’s their power trip and before someone gets the panties in a BUNCH…it’s BOTH RIGHT AND LEFT political parties….Think about it the onlybreason the government hasn’t taken 100% control of All Americans is most Republicans, Democrats libertarians and independents are armed and will stand up and fight for our country, besides it’s estimated and has been war gamed that roughly 80% of the armed forces will not take up arms against fellow citizens and possibly even relatives.
April 4, 2018 at 5:27 am
I had the same problem with them a week or so ago. I saw a good write-up on the CRKT Fossil. They happened to have them on sale. I figured “Why not?” So I tried to order a couple. ( I collect knives) I get the same message. I don’t believe in the inevitability of the “Race War”or “Civil War” like those dummies in Minnesota just spoke about. [The way I look at it. People like that shouldn’t have access to weapons. The Constitution says “A WELL REGULATED MILITIA” They need to look up what a “REGULATOR” is. Basically someone who sees that chosen PATRIOTS are well trained; clear thinking; physically and mentally fit individuals who will uphold the laws of whatever colony they may be in. (While protecting law-abiding citizens IF NECESSARY. Not,”I want this! So I’ll kill you.”) But I digress.]
(I also don’t think I’m a “BIG BAD MOFO” that’s ready to “engage”or”do combat” as I walk through the horrible streets of “my city”. Clubs, blades, bullets and bombs hurt, maim and kill. Again I digress.)
I also tried to order a COLD STEEL”TRIPLE ACTION “that was to be sold used. They didn’t let me have it. (I would have EDC’d that one.) I’m thinking municipalities are just tired of trying to figure out the good from the bad. They would rather just get rid of the guns and all the other weapons and just have an easy job. Then there wouldn’t be random shootings at school; movie theater; church; or unarmed people being killed and the rain of bullets on hundreds of concert goers. Maybe then people will really hide what they have until they really need it. Or:they can stop the stupid out bursts of rage related to nothing and show that having potential peace instead of anticipation of violence with glee because: “I’m trained to kill!” isn’t relevant.
How about this. Any anything placed on the ground and left there can only trip you up if you don’t notice it and fall because of it. So like you say “GUNS DON’T KILL PEOPLE!” But if somebody aims and pulls the trigger. That’s the problem. But I digress. Take care MF’s.
April 16, 2018 at 3:43 am
The folding knife is extremely useful item in our diurnal life. So, it should be handy, relaxed to carry and easily accessible when to work in need.
April 25, 2018 at 3:56 pm
August 28, 2018 at 7:47 pm
April 25, 2018 at 3:56 pm
September 28, 2018 at 5:22 pm
I ran into the same problem today with a Kershaw Cryo. I live in Massachusetts. When I spoke with an Amazon rep about the order problem (not specifically about the knife aspect of the order), she instructed me to use the Amazon Locker option. I found a couple relatively close. When I try and send the purchase to one of the lockers, the routine doesn’t allow me to advance past the address selection page. No big red warning banner like when I pick my home address, but still cannot complete the check out process. Disgusting service by Amazon.
September 30, 2018 at 1:41 pm
I know knives can be cheaper on Amazon, but I’d avoid it at all costs. I’m working on another post about more shady practices from Amazon concerning counterfeits.
January 27, 2019 at 1:47 pm
I got this error trying to ship two palette knives to NH. PALETTE KNIVES. I assume the order must have been blocked because the item has knife in the title but its still confusing to me because they don’t have to be flipped open or anything. They’re just regular palette knives.
April 4, 2019 at 5:23 pm
Just had this problem when trying to buy 2 assisted open knives..
This is Bullshit!!
April 4, 2019 at 9:37 pm
Sorry to hear that. Your best bet is to buy from somewhere else.
June 2, 2019 at 7:34 pm
But they sell OTF knives… I don’t get it🙄 I just want a Kershaw launch with free shipping🙂
September 28, 2019 at 5:13 am
I am a New York City native and I also tried to order a spring assisted karambit from Amazon and no go! But eBay and Wish will send spring assisted blades. I got a beautiful karambit and a Stiletto, via eBay!
November 27, 2020 at 8:49 pm
Assisted knives are not legal in NYC. I’ve spoken to several law enforcement friends of mine and a lawyer. They are considered spring loaded and thus considered a dangerous weapon. Do not carry them. Other than than that any folding knife that is manual, under 4″, single bladed, and locking is legal carry inside your pocket. They even did away with the “wrist flick” gravity test on knives.
January 30, 2020 at 11:25 am
I just tried to buy a bubba blade fishing knife and have it shipped to Massachusetts
June 30, 2020 at 7:06 pm
I live in Springfield Mass. and have had the same problem with legal knives that will not ship to Mass. I called customer service many times about this and never get an answer. Its very strange and I don’t get it, because I tell them about all the money that they are losing in sales and still get no answer.
July 6, 2020 at 10:28 am
Amazon made $10,000 per second earlier this year. It’s not about money for them. They don’t really care.
July 23, 2020 at 8:44 pm
Why should they care about this? The total profit they would make from all declined knife sales to MA and NY for a decade would be consumed fighting with those states within a week or two. It is simply good business for them to move on and let you find another vendor.
February 15, 2021 at 7:54 pm
I get assisted knives not being for sale in NYC because spring assisted knives are illegal, but manual flippers? There is nothing in the NYC administrative code that prohibits the carry and sale of manual flippers as long as it is under 4″ and has a single sided blade.
December 26, 2021 at 4:01 pm
Update to this i live in California and I dont think I can buy any kind of knife. Like I have tried kitchen knives folding knives hunting butterfly everything and it all says that it can’t be shipped to my area.
February 9, 2022 at 4:40 am
You cannot get any kind of blade at all shipped to alaska.
Batteries, most chemicals (like Lye for pretzels and soapmaking) and a whole assemblage of other random stuff they just wont ship up here.
Im guessing that for some reason they count alaska as international shipping, and so wont ship anything that could possibly look terrorist-y.
April 1, 2022 at 3:03 am
Never buy from Amazon they send any quality knife not inspected and because they move to fast on shipping line to inspect and lots of places won’t ship because they don’t care to decipher laws so some items never ship to many places period easier that way for shipping for an y company
June 15, 2022 at 6:08 pm
What I don’t understand is for instance, if you live in Niagara Falls ny and look up the listing for Spiderco para 2 signature series folder from some sellers on Amazon it will not Allow you to complete the purchase. Read something like cannot ship to your area, now if you look at another seller for the pair of two like for instance the lightweight and there’s also the regular pair or two from certain sellers and they ship it from Amazon. Other example : I’m getting a para 3 signature series shipped to my address in Niagara Falls NY tomorrow, I see another listing from some other seller for the Para 3 with camouflage scales that will nit ship? They are the same knife and they are both being sold by Amazon. That what I don’t understand, now I know any button lock knifes for some reason will not ship to my address from Amazon even though they are legal to buy and carry in Niagara County. Go to any other seller other the Amazon and you can rightfully have them ship.
But in this case I’m talking about 2 of the same or extremely similar knifes You can get from one place on Amazon but not another?
So when I look at this listing for this knife on Amazon it comes up restricted in my area(Niagara falls ny):
Spyderco Para 3 Camo Signature Folding Utility Pocket Knife with 2.95″ Black CPM S45VN Blade and G-10 Handle – Everyday Carry – PlainEdge – C223GPCMOBK
Yet this is the para 3 that I ordered from Amazon and is coming from tomorrow:
Spyderco Para 3 Lightweight Signature Folding Utility Pocket Knife with 2.92″ CPM SPY27 Stainless Steel Blade and Blue FRN Handle – Everyday Carry – PlainEdge – C223PCBL
You can find other examples like the ones above. Practically the same knife, one ships one won’t. Both are legal to own and carry in New York State. Like I said I understand that certain knifes for whatever reason just aren’t shipped to my area that are legal to own in Carrie. But two different knifes that are practically the same from different sellers from Amazon ship and others don’t? And it’s not even that the sellers themselves won’t ship them it’s Amazon . I could get them from the sellers if I go to their website directly. It doesn’t make any sense.
July 29, 2022 at 1:21 pm
me and a coworker ordered a rajah2 from cold steel off amazon both orders canceled. i thought it was because it was a large knife. amazon is canceling anything in question when it comes to New York State. we both live outside albany area. they are using the New York city rule and Applying it to the rest of the state. it is nonsense. and the rules in New York City have changed they are no longer banning grabbing knives. and it is legal now to carry tasers and pepper spray as of 2019.
November 5, 2022 at 12:30 pm
I had the same result shipping to Rochester, NY from Amazon. I tried shipping to my one son in NC & my other son in GA; same result. I even tried to buy the same knife from Walmart and they wouldn’t do it. I f it’s a State restriction, why can I buy the same knife from a knife dealer with no problem?
January 17, 2023 at 4:34 am
I can understand Amazon trying to cover their backs as I live in New York City and crime is getting out of hand. I can see a victim suing Amazon for the knife used in the crime or this might be the case already and we don’t know about it. what pisses me off is that there is no laws in New York restricting the sale of most of the knives that Amazon wont ship, but that doesn’t stop them from sending me email notifications of “you might be interested in” then when you follow the link they wont ship it to you! well i buy my Knives from the manufacture or reputable vendors FU Amazon
April 4, 2023 at 6:00 pm
I bet that if Amazon knew the exact amount of Money they have lost by denying shipments to Mass. they would give it another think !! Mass. bigwigs should be easy to convince as we do pay taxes on our purchases.