Bushcrafting is a skill that every adventurer needs to master to survive and thrive in the natural world. During adventures, bushcraft knives are required for various purposes like carving the wood, starting a fire, sheltering, making spears, and several other tasks in the woods.
Using a bushcraft knife requires specific techniques to ensure the safety of the user. Thus, camping lovers learn different approaches to using a bushcraft knife. It is also necessary for them to buy the best bushcraft knives to carry out simple and complex tasks efficiently.
However, choosing a bushcraft knife that is an all-rounder and works best in all kinds of situations can be difficult. This is primarily because of the variety of options you will find, with each one of them claiming to be perfect.
But don’t you worry! We have created a roundup of the best bushcraft knives according to their sturdiness, durability, and sharpness, so you can choose the one that meets all of your requirements.
6 Best Bushcraft Knives
Here is our final list of the six best bushcraft knives that will help you on your camping trip:
- Morakniv Companion Fixed Blade Outdoor Knife
- Morakniv Craftline Basic 511 High Carbon Steel Fixed Blade Utility Knife
- Gerber StrongArm Fixed Blade Knife with Fine Edge
- KA-BAR Becker BK2 Campanion Fixed
- Condor Tool & Knife, Bushlore Camp Knife
- Benchmade Bushcrafter 162 Fixed Outdoor Knife
1. Morakniv Companion Fixed Blade Outdoor Knife
Pros: The blade is made of stainless steel, which is less prone to rust, High-quality plastic handle, Sharp edges make wood carving easier, Affordable price.
Cons: The knife needs proper cleaning and regular maintenance to prevent corrosion, It cannot be used as a self-defense tool.
The Companion Fixed Blade Outdoor Knife by Morakniv is one of its kind. Morakniv is a Swedish brand of high-quality knives trusted by professionals all over the world. The company has done a brilliant job making this versatile bushcraft knife.
With a 4.1-inch sharp blade, this knife provides an efficient high edge performance. The blade is made up of stainless steel and stays sharp for a long time.
The handle of the knife is a strong plastic that is curved to make the grip stronger. The ergonomic grip also allows you to perform all the tasks you need safely. It comes in a standard plastic sheath which is lightweight and durable. The plastic used in making this knife is of excellent quality and enhances the sturdiness of the blade.
Moreover, the knife is great for carving fresh tinder for fire, chopping off small limbs of trees, and helps in camp food preparations. This small knife is a complete package that delivers even more than it promises.
Since it has so many unique qualities, this knife has easily qualified as our top pick for the best bushcraft knife.
2. Morakniv Craftline Basic 511 High Carbon Steel Fixed Blade Utility Knife
Pros: It is easy to re-sharpen the blade, It is lightweight and affordable, The handle is comfortable and provides excellent control, Small enough to fit in your pocket.
Cons: It is prone to corrosion, In some cases, the sheath might not fit perfectly with the knife.
The Morakniv Basic 511 knife with a 3.6-inch fixed blade is a compact and valuable addition to any adventure lover’s knife collection. Manufacturers use the highest quality carbon steel in it, which is a more rigid material than stainless steel.
Although the blade comes pre-sharpened and ready to use, it can be re-sharpened easily and frequently to get better results. Since the edge is so sharp, you need to be extra careful while using it.
It comes with a rubber handle which makes its grip stronger and more comfortable. The finger guard on the handle ensures maximum safety during any task. With the knife, you also get a high-quality plastic sheath that features a quick connection to a second knife. It also serves to hold the blade firmly in its place.
This outstanding tool is super lightweight, which is why it is perfect for various tasks during camping. The size is pretty small, so it can easily fit in your pocket as well.
However, not to forget, it is a carbon steel knife that is more prone to rust. So, if you want to prevent corrosion, you will have to take extra care of the blade by keeping it clean at all times. Most professional users suggest that applying patina (putting it in vinegar) helps prevent rust.
Being reasonably priced, this Morakniv product is a steal for your regular bushcraft needs.
3. Gerber StrongArm Fixed Blade Knife with Fine Edge
Pros: Less prone to rust due to 420 HC steel, The multi-mount sheath adds much value to the knife, It is a high-quality knife that is durable, Excellent in terms of form factor and weight.
Cons: The blade is difficult to re-sharpen, The grind is rough and uneven.
The Gerber strongarm fixed blade knife is made in the US. It is a mind-blowing piece that fulfills nearly all of your bushcraft needs. It is a lightweight and well-balanced tool that is relatively comfortable to hold.
The 4.8-inch blade is made with 420 HC steel and a black ceramic coating. The 420 HC steel allows it to be more resistant to rust as compared to other bushcraft knives. Moreover, it has a refined and strong edge that holds its shape for a long time.
The rubber handle has diamond textures all over it that make the grip easier and non-slippery. As a result, you can perform all your tasks comfortably without worrying about losing the knife. The handle also has a decent size that fits nicely in your palm and does not make you feel awkward.
The most important feature of this knife is its multi-mount sheath system that you can do in various ways. You can mount it vertically on the chest, carry it horizontally with the belt along the waistline, or traditionally on the back. The sheath has a versatile design made of hard plastic to hold the knife in its place.
Overall, it is a durable knife and does not come with a huge price tag, making it an even better deal. We highly recommend this functional knife since it is worth keeping around.
4. KA-BAR Becker BK2 Campanion Fixed
Pros: Durable and long-lasting, Made of high-quality chrome and steel, The sheath keeps the knife intact, A thick blade allows you to perform several distinct tasks.
Cons: The belt does not hold the weight of the knife well, The coating is a bit too thick and restricts some functionality.
This incredible Ka-Bar knife is all you need to perform every sort of function. It is a solid knife that offers excellent durability. The five and a half inches drop point-shaped blade of this knife has a quarter-inch thickness. Due to this thickness, it is a sturdy and unbreakable knife.
Furthermore, the knife features 1095 chrome and steel, which is pretty hard and keeps the edge well. However, you might still want to re-sharpen the edge sometimes.
It comes with a glass-filled nylon sheath to keep the blade secure. The sheath holds the knife firmly to prevent it from falling off. There is also a point in the sheath you have to press to remove the blade, adding to its safety features. This is the perfect knife for chopping small trees and branches, cooking in the woods, and lighting a fire while camping.
All things considered, this knife is worth every penny since it is a genuinely indestructible tool that can last a long time. This Ka-Bar knife is an excellent choice for anyone who loves camping and living in the woods. Having this knife alone will be enough for thriving in nature.
5. Condor Tool & Knife, Bushlore Camp Knife
Pros: Made with high-quality carbon that increases its durability, The leather sheath makes it easy to carry, The hardwood handle makes the grip strong.
Cons: It is not a stainless knife, The micro bevel on edge isn’t sharp enough for some tasks.
Crafted with the highest quality materials, this full tang knife is a great pick as a bushcraft knife. Made with 1075 carbon, this knife is not stainless and prone to corrosion. But if you keep the blade oiled all the time, you can successfully prevent rust.
The thickness of the blade is excellent so that you won’t break it anytime soon. The blade is sharp enough and holds the edge well. Fortunately, it does not need re-sharpening too often, although you might have to do it from time to time.
The handle of the knife is wooden, which is a pleasant change as compared to other knives. The handle provides a firm grip so that the knife does not slip from your hand. The sheath features heavy leather laminated with plastic. It will last as long as the blade lasts, so it is a steal deal to get a free sheath with it.
Keeping the price in view, this knife has all the features anyone would want for their bushcraft experience.
6. Benchmade Bushcrafter 162 Fixed Outdoor Knife
Pros: Excellent quality steel blade, The handle has an impressive grip, The knife is highly durable and perfect for long time usage.
Cons: The sheath needs improvement as it gets torn after some time, The sheath sometimes slides up and leaves the knife exposed.
Another addition to the bushcraft knives collection from Benchmade has made the competition even more brutal. This knife has a super-strong blade made of S30V steel that holds the edge for a long time.
The material of the blade is highly durable and does not need too much maintenance. The thick G-10 handle is perfect for grasping the knife securely.
Moreover, the bilateral thumb depression at the front end allows for a firm grip of the knife.
The knife also comes with a beautiful suede leather sheath lined with plastic from the inside to protect the sheath from the blade. There is also a useful metal D-ring with the sheath, which you can use to attach the knife with your belt.
Overall, it is a great knife considering its durability and functionality. You can surely buy it to take it along while camping.
Buying Guide – Choosing The Best Bushcraft Knife
- The Shape of the Blade
The shape of the blade is one of the most critical factors you should consider when buying a bushcraft knife. That is because the shape determines the comfort level and versatility of usage of the blade.
The blade should neither be too thin to break while cutting heavy objects nor too thick to make it less sharp. The point bodies and spear shape are the best shapes for the blade in bushcraft activities, although they both have distinct tasks to perform.
If you need to stab something or pierce through hard surfaces, a spear point will help you with it. The blade’s sharp point provides durability, strength, and long-lasting use. For tasks like chopping woods, drop point blades are ideal. They are thicker due to a slope on the spine which makes the edge extra strong.
- Size of the Blade
Most people think that the bigger the blade, the better the knife would be. This fact may be correct to some extent, but it couldn’t be more wrong in the case of bushcraft knives.
When you are out on a bushcraft adventure, you expect your knife to be speedy and effective. Both of these factors can be achieved if your knife is ideal in size. Shorter blades give better control, easy maneuvering, faster cutting, and portability.
A size between 3.5 inches to 6 inches is best for a bushcraft knife. A knife with a shorter blade is easy to carry and offers impeccable control during any delicate task.
- Material of the Blade
Steel is considered to be the best material for a blade. It is one of the most rigid materials used in industries due to its toughness, tensile strength, and malleability properties. The resilience and durability of steel blades are further enhanced by forging carbon in conjunction with steel.
Manufacturers use many different types of steels in knife manufacturing. There are four main categories of plain carbon steel, alloy steel, tool steel, and stainless steel.
Among all these blades, stainless steel knives are the toughest as they can serve you for years without getting rusty and dull. Most professionals go for knives with stainless steel blades and remain unperturbed due to their highest level of durability.
- Material of the Handle
While buying a bushcraft knife, its handle plays a vital role. Knife brands use many types of material for handles of the knives like wood, plastic, bone, horn, antlers, micarta, and G10. Every material has its pros and sometimes cons as well. One must make sure that the grip of the handle is comfortable and robust.
It can never be specified which material is perfect for the handle. However, wood, G10, or non-slippery plastic are better than most of the others. The material of the handle should be sturdy and last as long as the blade does.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
- What is the difference between a bushcraft knife and a survival knife?
Bushcraft knives are a class of survival knives, but they are usually light-duty and smaller in size. People in the woods use them for delicate tasks like lighting the fire, chopping small trees, and wood carving. The length of the blade of a bushcraft knife ranges from 3.5 inches to 6 inches.
On the other hand, survival knives have long and heavy blades that you can use for saving one’s life from human beings, animals, or even zombies. They are used for tasks like chopping, digging, etc. Despite their rugged nature, you can still use survival knives for normal daily activities apart from ‘survival’ tasks.
- Which is better, a folding or fixed bushcraft knife?
Though folding knives are much easier to carry, they are less durable, and the blade may separate from the grip due to rough handling.
On the other hand, fixed knives are a little hard to carry, but they are exceptionally durable. There is no chance that the grip separates itself from the blade.
- How can I save my knife from corrosion?
Having a steel or carbon blade, your knives are genuinely prone to corrosion. Some knives are more prone than others, but it is an inevitable problem.
However, to protect your knife, you should apply oil after every use and put it in the sheath. This is a gold tip, and if you follow it religiously, you will never have to deal with rust on your knife.
Also, remember that your knife should have minimum contact with open-air if it is not in use.
- What should be the length of the bushcraft knife?
The recommended length of the blade of a bushcraft knife is 3.5 to 6 inches. The edge of a bushcraft knife should not exceed 6 inches in length.
Because it is more compact and small-sized, a knife with a blade length that is too lengthy will not be called a bushcraft knife. Furthermore, the blade should be between 4.5 and 5 inches in length.
- How often should I sharpen my knife?
You should try to find a knife that holds its edge for a long time and needs less re-sharpening since the process is often a hassle.
But if you feel your knife needs sharpening, then you can do it as frequently as you like. If you have a good quality bushcraft knife, then sharpening would not harm the tool.
Bushcraft knives are a great tool that makes camping life a lot easier. They are widely used around the world in the wilderness while camping. These knives come in various sizes, materials, and shapes.
So, even if you are not a camping lover, you can still have a bushcraft knife for merely cutting tree branches in your backyard.
Selecting the best bushcraft knife is a difficult task. But we have tried to enlist the best products available in the market according to their size, durability, and utility. We hope it helps your process of finding the best bushcraft knife for yourself.