To thrive in the wilderness it is very crucial to know and master the skill of bushcraft. With that being said, it is an absolute need for an explorer or bushcrafter to have a good bushcraft knife.
The plus point of having a good quality bushcraft knife is that it makes your adventure in the wild easier and it is always the best substitute to many other bulky and heavier gears. It can also be a life saver in a dreadful situation.
There are several features you need to consider when purchasing your bushcraft cutting tool such as, the blade size, design and shape, the material that is used to construct the knives, the cutting edge, and few other important factors.
Hence, read through my guide and review on a few of the best bushcraft knives to assist you making your pick.
Top 5 Best Bushcraft Knives
|NAME OF PRODUCT||BLADE MATERIAL||HANDLE MATERIAL||BLADE DESIGN||WEIGHT (OZ)||PRICE|
|Spyderco Bushcraft G-10 PlainEdge Knife with Leather Sheath||Stainless Steel||G-10||Drop Point||7.5||$$$|
|Benchmade Bushcrafter Knife||Stainless Steel||G-10||Drop Point||7.2||$$$|
|Top Knives Brothers of Bushcraft||Carbon Steel||Micarta||Drop Point||9.6||$$|
|Ontario Bushcraft Field Knife||Carbon Steel||Walnut Wood||Drop Point||13||$|
|Morakniv Bushcraft Carbon Steel Knife||Carbon Steel||Rubber||Drop Point||5.4||$|
There are two important elements on any cutting tool, the blade, and the handle. When you’re looking for a knife it is always best to do a proper research on the product material that would suit your environment in the wild and the most likely tasks that you’re required to use it.
If your activity is close to the beach or involves salt water, requires you to clean saltwater fish, you would need a stainless steel blade with lower HRC hardness, as the salty environment would easily corrode and damage a carbon steel blade. It is best to pick a brittle steel blade for your activities by the beach. It is great for the mild task, such as slicing meat, and fishes but the edges would likely chip off if used for the harder task.
In contrast for the wilderness explorers, if you spend more of your time in the woods it is best for you to have a hard carbon steel knife. The hard carbon steel is more durable and meant for rougher tasks in the wild. It is great to be used for splitting hardwood, batoning, carving, or making feather sticks as a fire starting tool. As the atmosphere in the jungle would not be as corrosive as the sea water, you do not need a stainless steel product but always look for high carbon content or high HRC hardness.
Nevertheless, steel doesn’t mean just stainless steel or carbon steel. There are various options, metal combinations and the different measure of heat treatment that can give the blade different characteristics. Stainless steel is less corrosive due to the high levels of chromium, which would make the steel softer. Meanwhile, the carbon steels do not contain chromium making it harder and tougher. Unfortunately, without any chromium elements, the carbon steel is more likely to rust and stain.
For a better knowledge of the steel elements, you can refer here.
In the past, the traditional material used for knife handles are things like animal bone or horn. However, these material are not durable and would crack easily. Now, with all the modern technologies there are various kinds of material readily available. One of the most common material used is wood, however, the drawback of using a wooden handle is with moisture (like sweaty palms) you will not be able to hold it long in your hand. The cutting tool would slip from your grip.
Besides wood, another material that is used is Micarta or super fiberglass. Micarta is silicon or melamine resin that is reinforced by high heat and pressure with cotton, cork or paper resulting into industrial laminated plastic. The super fiber glass is also known as G10 and it is also a very durable material.
So when you are picking your knife, you would need to observe the handle design and material too. You need to ensure that you’re picking a knife with the toughest handle feature that will not rot or simply crack under extreme condition and tasks.
The blade design is an important feature on a top rated bushcraft knife, it would also determine how robust your blade is. The trick here is, always look for a flat cutting edge and a flat grind. The combination of these two characteristics on the blade would make the blade tough and this would allow you to do a lot of task with it.
Imagine in a survival situation, having a durable blade would allow you to do multiple tasks with it such as cutting wood to make a shelter or to start a fire, marking your trail on trees. And when you have a blade that could handle all the extreme task, it would definitely make your survival in the wild much easier.
There are numerous blade designs available in the market – needlepoint, spear point, trailing point, gut hook, drop point and many other. Every design suits a different kind of task. For bushcraft knives, the two best designs are the spear point and the drop point.
Spear point blade is a pointed blade with a point in the centerline of the blade’s axis. This design can be single or double edged. Its appearance is quite similar to the needle point blades, however, spear point is a longer design and the axis is puffed while the needle point blade is just flat.
Drop point blades are the known design for hunters and military personnel. As this design is great for all purpose and it makes the blade very durable. It has a large surface area great for slicing too but this blade design is not suitable for piercing through things.
To learn more on blade design you can read it here.
Well, what’s the point of having a blunt cutter? Sharpness is an important feature for a blade. A bigger edge bushcraft blade will allow your product to last longer, however, it would be quite blunt and will not perform to your expectation.
It is best if you do some research and master blade grinding skills. Occasionally you can simply sharpen your cutting tool by grinding it against hard or rough surfaces, stone or sand paper.
Spyderco knives are one of the best, as they are a very well-known brand for the past four decades. What makes it really special is, it is designed by survival bushcraft expert Chris Claycombe. If you’re a real outdoor enthusiast this name is no stranger to you.
This is indeed a high-end knife that is constructed using the best material, therefore making this knife really solid, durable and quite light weight. The blade has a thick design made using O-1 high carbon resulting in an outstanding sharp blade.
You can easily use this product to complete any kind of extreme task, chopping, slicing or even cutting thick ropes and it would still stay in shape. The blade’s edge holds extremely well and it doesn’t simply chip off. The O-1 high carbon blade is definitely easy to sharpen without causing any issues or damage to the blade.
Not only that, the fact that sets this particular product apart from all the other Spyderco knives is, this is their first non-stainless steel cutter and the blade is a full tang design. Most Spyderco knives do not own these features.
Furthermore, the handle is very comfortable and it is also ambidextrous. You can simply switch the knife between your right and left hand while performing a task and you will not have any issues with the grip.
Lastly, not forgetting some details of the sheath, it isn’t like any typical knife sheath. It could be unattractive to some, at times it is quite difficult to remove the product from the sheath with your gloves on. However, these are just some minor issues that would not take away the fact that, this is one useful, sleek and deadly knife.
If money is not a concern and you’re looking for a serious long lasting outdoor everyday cutting tool, look no further, the Benchmade Bushcrafter Knife is the best match for your search. This knife is known as the ultimate bushcraft knife.
The material used to construct this knife, the blade is made of the tough S30V stainless steel metal with a little combination of 1.45 percent of carbon, which makes this knife the finest bushcraft knife available. The advantage of this kind of a metal combination is that it resists corrosion and pitting. It does not require much care or maintenance.
The blade design is thick and sturdy, it is perfect for any task in the wild. Unlike other carbon steel blades, there is no glaze on this blade, the blade is smoothly polished and glides easily through any cuts hence making this weapon safer while performing any task.
Furthermore, it works well for all size of hands as the handle design of this product has a palm swell that gives a comfortable grip. The color of the handle is not the usual brown but green, a little different from most of the other bushcraft knives. The handle is made of G10 material making it as sturdy as the blade. The only minus point about the handle is, it is a non-removable handle.
The price tag also includes a very high-quality leather sheath. Unlike other material such as polymers, the leather sheath would never scratch or wear out.
There is no major disadvantage to discuss about this knife. With that being said, overall this is a great cutter and definitely value for the price.
This knife is quite a contender to the Benchmade. But it does not cost a fortune as the Benchmade. But if you are willing to spend, this knife should be on your list too.
If we were to compare this product to any other bushcraft knives, it is slightly heavier. But the extra weight could be an advantage as it would be able to perform chopping task with no struggles of you hitting on your subject multiple times.
One special feature on the Top BOB, the handle is specifically designed with a bow drill divot to be used as fire starters. Well, how often to you hear a bushcraft knife with a fire starter kit? This feature certainly puts the Top BOB above all the other bushcraft knives.
The blade material is carbon steel, hence there are no worries about the sturdiness of this knife. However, carbon steel blades require attentive care and maintenance. With constant cleaning and oiling it, you can resist the blade to corrode.
Nevertheless, if you are willing to spend for your hobby, you need to ensure to keep your equipment’s well with good maintenance.
The handle on this knife has a nice ergonomic design with a strong grip. Executing task with it should be smooth like a butter. Overall this in indeed an amazing tool and a great choice for an outdoor camper with the fire starter feature on it.
The Ontario Bushcraft Field Knife has a more traditional appearance but the ability of this product is no less than any other modern design bushcraft knives.
This product was awarded as the best of the best knife by the Field and Stream in the year of 2014. Though this is an award winning knife but its price is deemed very reasonable. It will not cost an arm and a leg. This knife would make an excellent choice for if you’re looking for a sturdy and long lasting knife.
This knife overall length is longer than most bushcraft knives, which is great for outdoor use. It will deliver an outstanding performance for some serious heavy duty task like clearing bushes, chopping tree branches, or even farming chores. Basically, this product is a great companion extreme outdoor dude.
The blade is made of carbon steel, completed with a full tang design and a sleek brushed satin finish. Making the blade looks appropriate for heavy duty task. The handle is walnut handle and it is well fitted with the blade and it doesn’t over hang. There is also a paracord wristlet attached at the end of handle.
However, the sheath design is poor. As you would need a lot of practice to insert the blade back into the sheath without a brawl. The snap that secures the knife on the sheath is a little tight causing the sheath to stretch.
Not forgetting there is a fire starter kit that comes with the sheath. Which is a plus point here, you would not need a fire starter kit if you’re spending your night the wild.
Nevertheless, this is a very good tool that would balance well upon performing a task. It is definitely a knife that will worth every penny you paid for.
Morakniv is a popular name in the knife market. They are known for their best quality knives and their modest pricing. And now we are going to share with you one of the most amazing knives out of their numerous production. This model, in particular, is known as the toughest Morekniv.
The blade has an incredibly thick spine (3.2mm) design, allowing it to perform well while executing high duty tasks. The blade is forged using thick carbon steel layered with a smooth black anti-corrosive coat. Carbon steel is the best material to construct the blade, as to perform heavy duty task the blade is demanded to durable.
Batoning, carving, slicing through thick meats or any rough task you name it this blade will be able to cut it all. And it will not have any sign of worn out. Perfect for any of your favorite activities like camping, hunting or even fishing. But bear in mind, carbon steel materials would need a proper care to avoid the blade from pitting.
The handle is made out of molded plastic, covered with a tough rubber makes it very comfortable to use the knife for hours. With the rubber cover, your hands will stay in place and you will never slip your grip on it. It is designed to fit all sizes of palms.
Finally, this tactical cutting tool comes with a plastic sheath attached with two buckle options, closed or open buckle. Both options has its own pros and cons. Close buckle will protect your blade from humidity and resist corrosion. With the open buckle, you will be able to clip your knife in on garment.
At this price and with the capabilities of this knife, it’s a bargain
Well, which knife is your pick? I think that is not an easy decision. But to find a product that is best for you, you would require a checklist of the features you need on your very own cutting tool. Which blade design, handle design or knife length will best suit your needs and capabilities? Go out and practice with few knife designs and make comparison. Once you have found your match, your buy will definitely worth your money.