Possibly the most essential piece of equipment a bushcrafter will own is their knife.
A great bushcraft knife can serve many roles, replacing the need for the added weight of extra equipment.
There isn’t a perfect knife, however the right blade, while not always perfect will fill the role of several other tools and carrying a great one can make life easier and possibly be a life saver when you are found in a dire situation.
Bushcraft Knife Comparison Table
We review each knife in our roundup of the top bushcraft knives below, but for those of you in a hurry here is a quick reference table of the blades we examined:
Features Of A Good Bushcraft Knife
The right knife to carry depends on many factors like the environment, conditions and the likely tasks you will need to accomplish. Below is a list of things to consider:
- Length – The length of the knife should be long enough to handle cutting through brush but not so big it can’t be used for more intricate tasks. Generally, a blade in the 4-6″ range is just right. It should have a long flat cutting edge that curves up to meet the tip. It also should have a flat, convex or Scandinavian grind. The wrong grind can cause the knife to break. A prime example would be how a hollow grind is excellent for skinning but is probably too weak and thin to handle chopping, batoning or carving.
- Cutting edge – The cutting edge is important because a broader edge means the blade is tougher but duller while the opposite is true for a thinner knife. If it has a single bevel it is easier to sharpen in the field since you can just lay it flat and rub while a knife with a secondary bevel needs to be held at the proper angle to be sharpened.
- Material – The blade can be either stainless steel or carbon steel but remember that a stainless-steel knife is softer but won’t corrode and pit like a carbon steel blade will. The right type of steel is a personal preference based on experience and knowing the environment you will be in. The ideal knife should have a tang that runs from the tip to the pommel.
- Handle – Lastly there is the handle to consider. The best types are made of wood or a synthetic material like Micarta or G10. Again, this is a personal preference but remember that wood will be affected by moisture and won’t hold up as long as a synthetic handle. The best way to choose the right knife is to know how and where it will be used and then using personal experience to pick the knife that feels right for you.
The following bushcraft knives we’re reviewing are among the best on the market.
This knife, although one of the pricier options, gives you the superior quality you would expect from one of the most trusted names for cutlery.
The Spyderco G-10 was designed in a joint effort between bushcraft expert, Chris Claycombe, the popular bushcraft website BushcraftUK and Spyderco’s in house designers.
This knife was specifically designed with slicing, chopping and processing game in mind.
It definitely is a knife that you will keep around for a long time.
Spyderco Bushcraft G-10 Features
- Fully tanged, Scandinavian ground 4-inch blade without a hand guard
- O-1 tool steel. The high carbon content holds a sharp edge over time and heavy use
- 8.75-inch overall length; 4-inch O-1 steel blade with 3.9 inch cutting edge; 0.14-inch-thick blade with a 0.23 thick blade hole
- 7.75-ounce weight
- Contoured G10 handle for added durability
- Black leather sheath
- Limited manufacturer’s warranty included with details included with purchase
If money isn’t an issue this is a great choice but there are perhaps better options for people on a budget.
- Made using the highest quality materials
- Tested for quality and durability
- The most trusted name in you cutlery needs
- Bushcraft knife designed by tactical bushcraft expert Chris Claycombe, popular bushcraft website BushcraftUK.com, and Spyderco designers
- Fully-tanged, four-inch blade has no hand guard, and features Scandinavian grind
The sharp and lightweight blade is great for making feather sticks so that you can get damp wood to light but the spine is specially ground to create a spark when used with a fire-starter tool. With a synthetic handle and a blade that is coated to protect against corrosion this knife is great for damp climates and should last you for years to come.
Morakniv Bushcraft Features
- Razor sharp 1/8-inch-thick fixed carbon steel blade with tungsten DLC anti-corrosive black coating
- Spine specially ground for use with fire-starter tool (not included)
- 4.3-inch blade length; 0.125 blade thickness; 9.1 inch total length
- Black plastic sheath with belt loop is included to keep knife secure by your side
- 5.7oz combined weight with sheath
- Ergonomic handle with high friction black rubberized grip making the blade feel like an extension of your arm
- 1-year manufacturer’s warranty
The one possible flaw is that the blade may corrode by the handle where the coating ends, but its price makes replacing it not a big financial burden. It is the best choice for the cost conscious bushcrafter.
- Fixed-blade knife with a razor sharp 1/8 inch (3.2 mm) thick carbon steel blade with tungsten DLC anti-corrosive black coating
- Blade length: 4.3 inches (109 mm); Blade thickness: 0.125 inch (3.2 mm); Total length: 9.1 inches (232 mm); Weight w/sheath: 5.7 oz. (162 g)
- Spine of the blade is ground especially for use with a fire starter (not included)
- Ergonomic handle with high-friction rubber grip gives the feeling of control, making work easier, as if the knife were an extension of your hand
- Black plastic sheath with belt loop keeps knife securely at your side; 1-year manufacturer's warranty
What it lacks in subtlety it makes up for in brute force. It is a great all-around tool for all camping chores from cutting wood, skinning game to chopping up food for dinner. This knife is heavy enough for any batoning, chopping or brush clearing needed. It also has a sheath designed to keep the blade sharp after every use. This also locks the knife in place after being used and is able to be removed by pressing on the sheath. This really is the ideal bush knife for situations where a big sturdy blade is what is needed.
Ka-Bar Becker BK2 Campanion Features
- 5.5-inch flat blade with an overall length of 10.5 inches
- Durable 1095 cro-van steel blade
- Glass filled nylon sheath keeps blade sharp and safe
- Comfortable handle made from Grivory
- Heavy duty full tang ideal for all camping chores
- Designed by Ethan Becker
While not be the most elegant option it fills so many roles that you won’t care. It is the best choice for all around usage.
- Full tang heavy duty field knife suited for camping chores.
- Made in Olean New York, U.S.A
- Designed by Ethan Becker
- Manufactured by KA-BAR Knives Inc.
- Comes with a hard shell black nylon sheath.
The Fallkniven F1 is great for jobs that require a more lightweight blade like skinning and general cutting. It also has a smaller handle making it a great option for people who may have a smaller grip. The Thermorun elastomer handle offers a great grip especially in colder climates.
The sheath is similar to a traditional dive knife sheath and it will sit snuggly on your hip.
Fallkniven F1 Features
- 3.75-inch laminate satin-finish VG-10 drop point stainless blade
- 8.25-inch total length
- Thermorun black-checkered elastomer handle featuring a lanyard hole and tang end
- Zytel sheath
- Manufactured in Sweden
This is the choice for people who care about the quality of the blade itself. You really can’t praise this blade enough.
- 8 1/4" overall.
- 3 3/4" laminate VG-10 stainless drop point blade with satin finish.
- Black checkered Thermorun elastomer handle with visible tang end and lanyard hole.
- Country of Origin: Sweden
- Includes Black Zytel sheath.
Not only is this made to handle anything thrown at it, but it is also elegant to look at with a full grain brown leather sheath and a green G10 synthetic handle. It also comes with Benchmade’s LifeSharp service which will keep the blade sharp and in the best possible condition.
Benchmade Bushcrafter 162 Features
- 4.40-inch-long and 0.164-inch thick CPM-S30V steel fixed blade
- 9.15-inch total length
- 10.42oz total weight (7.72 oz blade and 2.7oz sheath)
- Fully tanged for exceptional balance also providing greater strength and versatility than folding knives
- Drop point, utility style blade ideally suited for outdoor use, survival situations and some tactical needs
- Comes with Benchmade’s limited LIfetime Warranty and LifeSharp service ensuring the knife stays in the sharpest and best condition
The best choice for people willing to pay for the best. It fills most every need while looking good doing it.
- HIGH-QUALITY: The CPM-S30V stainless steel blade is extremely well-balanced, offering superb edge qualities and rust resistance. The G10 handle is durable, impervious to moisture, and stable under extreme temperatures, making it ideal for outdoors.
- WELL-DESIGNED: The Bushcrafter 162 is a fixed blade, full tang knife, providing greater strength and reliability than a folding knife. The simplicity of the knife also makes it easy to clean.
- ALWAYS READY: The 162 is modern, good-looking, and easy to hold. The leather sheath is durable and features a belt loop and D-ring for ultimate accessibility.
- VERSATILE: The Bushcrafter 162's drop-point, utility blade style and all-around functionality make it ideal for outdoor activities, survival use, and even tactical applications.
- GUARANTEED FOR LIFE: Benchmade's limited Lifetime Warranty and LifeSharp Service keep your knife in the best condition. If your knife needs repair or sharpening, Benchmade will take care of it. Available for knives purchased from an authorized dealer.
Bushcraft Knife Video
If you are new to bushcraft knives, here is a very informative YouTube video that explains the basics:
While there will always be some debate among serious bushcrafters about what knife is the best to have it really boils down to personal opinion. By determining the environment, you plan to enter and the tasks you need to be able to handle you should be able to find the right knife for the job among the 5 listed above.
Incorporating previous experiences with your expectations of what you will need will help you find the fight knife for whatever your bushcrafting needs may be.