Portugal Knife Laws

Portugal Knife Laws : Every Ins And Out

Portugal is a country where owning a knife is not a problem but carrying one is. The Portugal knife laws have given special attention to the length a civilian is allowed to carry.

Additionally, a list of illegal knives is also provided to us where the length doesn’t play any significance but is straight-up illegal.

A knife is a general utility tool to own and you certainly don’t want to go to jail for that. Thus, whether it be a citizen or a tourist, knowing the knife laws is everyone’s right.

So here we are covering everything you need to know about legal and illegal knives in Portugal. Moreover, the penalties, knives in airport security, what size knife is legal to carry in Portugal and much more information will be covered here.

Thus, tighten your seatbelt and get ready to know every ins and out of the knife laws here.


Here are the highlights of the entire article. However, don’t leave after the highlights as knowing the laws, in short, isn’t always sufficient.

  • There are 6 illegal knives including automatic knives and disguised knives.
  • You are allowed to carry a knife with you as long as it’s not a dangerous knife from the list.
  • It’s better to carry a knife closed and not visible to people.
  • You can bring a knife to Portugal from another country but make sure it’s in the luggage and well covered.
  • Try to avoid carrying a knife in sensitive areas like schools and government buildings.
  • The legal length limit for a fixed blade is 4 inches
  • The legal length limit for a folding blade is 3 inches
  • Penalty can go up to 4 years of imprisonment and 480 days of your income as a fine.
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Illegal Knives In Portugal

There are forbidden knives in Portugal that you don’t want with you, import or sell to someone. However, you can certainly add them to your collection where it just sits in a box.

As mentioned before, it’s not a crime to own any type of knife. So what are the ones that are considered dangerous and illegal here?

They are;

  • Throwing knives
  • Butterfly knives
  • Fixed knives with a parry bar
  • Automatic knives
  • Semi-automatic knives
  • Disguised knives

These are the six knives that the cops don’t want you carrying. They are prohibited and you shouldn’t risk them.

However, it’s better if you know what each of these knives looks like so that you can easily identify them. So let’s have a look.

Table: Definition Of The Listed Illegal Knives

Here’s a table of what each of the illegal knives is defined as;

Type of KnifeDefinition
Throwing KnivesA throwing knife is a knife that has been specifically crafted and weighed to enable effective throwing. They belong to a different category than regular knives
Butterfly KnivesThey have a blade with two handles that, when closed, wrap around the blade and revolve around a pivot
Fixed Knives with a parry barThis is quite self-explanatory. They are knives that have a fixed blade attached to a parry bar
Automatic KnivesAny knife that uses a spring mechanism to open the blade up. It can be a push mechanism
Semi-Automatic KnivesSimilar to a manually retractable knife, the semi-retractable knife features a spring that retracts the blade when it reaches the end of the material being cut. Yet, it also contains a slider that the operator can move
Disguised KnivesA knife that may be hidden in many commonplace everyday items, such as a functional pen or a comb that can also be used to style hair

Carrying A Knife In Portugal

As mentioned before, if the knife you are willing to carry isn’t on the dangerous knives list then you are good to go. You are free to carry utility knives such as pocket knives or swiss army for your own needs. No one will charge you for that according to the knife laws in Portugal.

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However, make sure that you don’t scare anyone off with your knife. It’s better if you keep the knife closed and not visible to the public. A fine example would be to carry a knife in car in Portugal.

Even though you are allowed to carry knives, there’s a certain limit on the size which we will discuss in the next section.

What Size Of A Knife Can I Carry In Portugal?

Most countries have their limitation on knife size and Portugal isn’t any different. When it comes to folding knives, the maximum limit is 3 inches or 7.62 cm. On the other hand, if it’s a knife that has a fixed blade, the limitation is 4 inches or 10.16.

So from where is the measurement of the legal knife length taken? Well, it is measured from the butt of the knife to the tip of it.

Restricted Areas

Even though there aren’t any listed restricted areas in the law, we would like to recommend you some. Sensitive areas like schools, government buildings, restaurants, or museums are the places you want to avoid.

The list isn’t limited to these 4 only. Use your sense and ask whether it’s normal to carry a knife there.

Can I Carry A Knife In the Airport?

If you are willing to take your collection to Portugal, it shouldn’t be a problem as long as it’s not a dangerous one. However, make sure that each of them is covered and packed in the luggage and not your handbag.

Punishment For Carrying Illegal Knives

Even though the laws are comparatively loose when it comes to knife laws, the penalties certainly aren’t.  Any dangerous knives that you carry in places that are capable of harming others will be penalized. The penalties can go up to imprisonment of 4 years or a fine of your income in 480 days.

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The penalty depends on the crime. If you are just carrying it then it might not be a 4 years imprisonment. However, if you do try to harm someone with it then certainly it will.

List Of Legal Knives

Apart from the list of dangerous knives, most knives are legal as long as they are within the legal length limitation. However, we thought giving some examples would clarify more of your doubts.

  • Pockets knives
  • Swiss Army knives
  • Any utility knives
  • Hunting knives
  • Gimlet Knife
  • Knuckle knives
  • Jackknife

Crime Rate-Related To Knife In Portugal

As per World Population Review; Portugal has estimated deaths of about 34 related to knives in the year 2023.

Additionally, 0.32 per 100k population dies of something related to knives.  Compared to third-world countries, the crime rate related to knives may be low. But overall, isn’t.

To sum up, these crime rates are the reason why they have come across the list of dangerous knives. Those knives are capable of stabbing and are easily accessible to anyone.


Overall, Portugal knife laws are quite fascinating. They have managed to ban dangerous knives while keeping the spot for regular people to carry utility knives. Additionally, discourages open carry as people might get frightened by seeing a knife.

On the other hand, the best thing you can do to avoid any problem is to use your sense. Ask yourself every time whether carrying a knife is necessary, is carrying it there look reasonable?

Most importantly, don’t forget to stay within the legal limit of the knife’s length.

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