Carrying the best bushcraft knives can significantly enhance your outdoor experience and prove invaluable in emergency situations. Whether you’re preparing firewood, cutting through dense foliage, building a shelter, crafting traps for small game, or even using it as a last-resort weapon, a high-quality bushcraft knife is an essential tool.
With a multitude of outdoor knives on the market, it’s important to consider factors such as the environment you’ll be exploring, prevailing conditions, and the tasks you’re likely to encounter. Your choice of a bushcraft knife should meet the specific demands of your adventure.
If you’re on the hunt for the best bushcraft knife for your upcoming adventure, you’ve come to the right spot. After conducting extensive research over several days, we’ve narrowed down the top 10 bushcraft knives that are definitely worth considering. Additionally, we’ve provided a comprehensive buying guide packed with valuable information to assist you in making the optimal purchase.
Best Bushcraft Knives in 2024
If we had to choose only one model among our favorites, it would be the Morakniv Kansbol: it is made of high-quality stainless steel blade which guarantees clean cuts. On the other hand, if you’re looking for an affordable solution the Morakniv Companion is the best option available to you. Thanks to its ergonomic high-friction handle, it adapts to all kinds of activities and tasks and benefits from a comfortable grip.
Now take a look at the top 10 best bushcraft knives of 2024:
|Morakniv Outdoor 2000
|KA-BAR Becker BK2
|Perkin Custom Made
|Gerber Gear 30-001655
|Cold Steel SRK Rescue
- High quality stainless steel blade
- Very good corrosion resistance
- Easy to maintain and keep clean
- Durable polyamide handle with exceptional grip
- Very practical case
- A little expensive, but the price is amply justified
Morakniv’s reputation is well established, and if our top 10 opens on one of its products, it is certainly not due to chance. For the design of the blade of this knife, the brand used high-quality stainless steel. This is what sets it apart and makes it a noteworthy choice.
The knife is not only resistant to corrosion but also effective for many tasks. Also, you wouldn’t have to invest a lot of time in maintaining it and keeping the blade clean. The versatility of the Morakniv Kansbol is one of the reasons we recommend it. From carving to food processing, anything is possible.
If you’re concerned about the physical characteristics of its blade, rest assured that every detail has been carefully crafted to ensure you can easily tackle a variety of tasks with the confidence of achieving clean, precise cuts. With a size of 109mm, the blade has a thickness that allows it to lend itself to tasks like peeling the skin, etc.
Whether as a simple garden knife or for hiking, the Morakniv Kansbol will be a reliable companion. Furthermore, it is highly praised for its durable polyamide handle, designed with a pattern to ensure an impeccable grip. Finally, this bushcraft knife comes with a very practical multi-mount tactical case. It is also lightweight, making transporting it very easy.
- Easy to clean
- Corrosion resistant
- Perfect and comfortable grip
- Ergonomic handle with high friction
- Good blade size and thickness
- Easy to carry with included case and belt clip
- Carbon steel does not necessarily retain its sharp edge for extended periods, and this knife is no exception.
The second-best bushcraft knife and our personal favorite is the Morakniv Companion. This esteemed Swedish brand is a prominent figure in the survival knife market. Therefore, it’s no surprise to find several models from this brand in our top 10 list of the best bushcraft knives.
This model is well known for its wide variety of carving, crafting, construction, and fishing knives. The Morakniv Companion that we recommend here has multiple exceptional features, including the fire starter built into the handle. First and foremost, its blade size of 104 mm and thickness of 2.5 mm provide ample capability for a wide range of activities and tasks. The blade is made of stainless steel and is therefore resistant to corrosion.
Whether you are an adventurer or a professional (hunter, forester, fisherman…), the Morakniv Companion will correctly meet all your needs. Its lightweight nature ensures that adding it to your bag won’t significantly increase its overall weight. It is easy to maintain, making it a practical choice for outdoor enthusiasts.
The polymer sheath, coupled with the belt equipped with a button system, makes it effortlessly portable, enabling you to take it anywhere you go. Moreover, if this bushcraft knife is in our top 10, it is also because of the characteristics of the ergonomic handle with high friction, which offers a perfect and comfortable grip.
- Mixed grind (Scandinavian and flat) for great versatility
- Handles very well when cutting
- Very good value for the money
- Lifetime warranty
- Rounded back: not good for starting a fire
- Not designed for heavy duty
Our third favorite is designed for hunters and anglers. This model features a corrosion-resistant stainless steel blade, making it well-suited for use in damp conditions. Coupled with its contoured rubberized handle, it provides a reliable bushcraft knife option even in wet environments.
Returning to the blade, it measures 109 mm and features a mixed grind: Scandinavian for slicing and flat towards the tip for finer, more delicate tasks. You’ll be pleasantly surprised at how effective this bushcraft knife is at cutting, especially considering its price point.
The Morakniv 2000 handles push cuts very well and moves effortlessly through the wood. Even with harder materials, the sharpness and ease of cutting are remarkable. This means that this bushcraft knife is clearly not designed for heavy-duty work.
Whether you are right-handed or left-handed, its grip is very comfortable. The plastic handle offers good ergonomics and can lend itself to long sessions of use. As for the included polymer case, it is very sturdy and equipped with a leather loop for attaching to the belt.
- Designed with ergonomic rubber and non-slip grip
- High carbon steel blade
- Very durable and easy to sharpen
- Very affordable price
- May rust, but the special DLC coating delays this
Here is a knife to be considered one of the best bushcraft knives on the market. Designed with craftsmen in mind, the Morakniv Craftline knife comes complete with its sheath, offering remarkable versatility. It’s also easy to re-sharpen which guarantees reliable performance over extended periods of use.
This knife covers most outdoor enthusiasts’ needs with its Scandinavian grind blade made of highly durable carbon steel. This model has been hardened to handle most of the toughest jobs in the woods. The Craftline model is specially designed to withstand massive force and pressure.
Even though carbon steel does not have non-corrosive properties, this survival knife can count on a special DLC coating to prevent it from rusting. The blade is fully coated, including the edges. This means you can use it confidently in any weather condition without worrying about damage or corrosion.
Another feature that we like is its rubber handle with a very ergonomic design that offers high friction and comfortable usage. It also has additional features such as a fire starter, which can be very practical whatever the outdoor condition. You can indeed create sparks even when soaked.
- Ideal handle for men and women
- Lightweight and easy to carry
- Thick blade ensures good durability
- Comes with a hard shell nylon sheath
- Top heavy when inside the sheath
If you’re on a tight budget, the KA-BAR Becker BK2 is an option you should seriously consider. This Bushcraft knife features a carbon steel blade. It’s a full tang heavy-duty field knife ideal for various camping chores.
Thanks to its lightweight design, it’s easy to carry around. It’s also a versatile knife that can be used for everyday tasks. While its blade is somewhat thick, it may not be the optimal choice for chopping or slicing, which are tasks better suited for thinner blades. However, this does not prevent it from managing it quite well.
If the design of the blade implies a compromise on versatility, the knife makes up for it with its easy grip. It is equipped with a rubberized handle which adheres very well and guarantees the precision of a good invoice. However, the standard sheath may not securely hold the knife in place if the secondary snap around the handle isn’t utilized.
The design of the KA-BAR Becker BK2 is both eye-catching and straightforward. Its robust construction also adds to its ease of use. However, the grinds on the blade are different in width on the left and right sides, which means that the blade is not symmetrical on the left and right sides.
- Solid and durable construction
- Thick handle for a comfortable grip
- Black coating that protects against corrosion
- Rope cutting serration on the blade
- Plastic sheath
If you’re seeking a high-quality camping knife where the price won’t give you pause about using it for rigorous tasks, this knife is an excellent choice. It is equipped with a 3.2 mm thick blade. With a size of 109 mm length, the blade is made of stainless steel and has a DLC anti-corrosion treatment ensuring great durability.
The factory edge on this knife is exceptionally impressive, surpassing even what I’ve seen from Cold Steel. The main highlight of the blade is that it is half-serrated which makes it perfect for cutting rope and fiber.
Another notable feature is the black rubber grip, which is durable and water-resistant unlike Micarta or other popular grip materials. As well as being great in the hand, the Morakniv Bushcraft SRT inspires confidence with its quality. It is a very versatile option for moderate tasks in the field.
The back of the blade has also been specially ground for use with a fire starter (not included). For carving, scraping, food preparation and fire, it’s a lovingly designed and beautifully functional tool.
- Handle designed to ensure a firm hold
- Excellent build quality
- Easy to sharpen and hold
- Full tang design
- The medium-quality leather case
Our next model with this superb handmade bushcraft knife offers everything you would expect from a model in its category and much more. Everything about the Perkin Knives Damas exudes quality: from the steel blade to the beautifully finished handle. The price is also accessible to all people.
We take our hats off to the brand for the attention to detail with which this knife is designed, which almost makes you forget that it is a handcrafted model. The Perkin Damascus bushcraft knife features a 90-degree edge on the spine which is great for rubbing a fire flint into to start emergency fires.
Compared to our other favorites, you may need some time to get used to the shape of the Knives Damas, but in the end, its many great possibilities will help you to make your outdoor adventures enjoyable. air.
After taking it out of the box, you’ll immediately notice its remarkable robustness. This bushcraft knife seems to be made to last over time, and the many positive opinions going in this direction confirm it. Its handle also offers excellent blade and tip control. You can therefore be sure to carry out various tasks with perfect mastery: sculpture, digging, starting a fire, etc.
- Carving prowess
- Handle comfort
- Excellent Reputation
- Great price
- Harder to sharpen
- Mediocre scabbard
For years, the Fallkniven F1 has been considered one of the best choices among bushcraft knives. Although the price of some handmade blades has gone up, the efficiency of the Fallkniven factory today makes the F1 something of a bargain. And if you’re looking for a bushcraft knife for lifetime use, you should consider this model.
The black Thermorun handle swells to fit the palm of the hand, and the Zytel scabbard is serviceable if a bit basic. But the F1’s selling point has always been its magnificent blade.
Convex grinding is also a special feature to provide a different experience from your typical Scandi or saber. Its bevel curves down towards the edge (almost like an axe). This generally results in long edge retention and more overall efficiency than a standard angular sharpening.
Sharpening this knife can be a bit of a different experience, but the performance boost is undeniable. Also, if you’re looking for something with the pedigree of a Morakniv but with an upgrade in materials, construction and price, you’ll be highly impressed with Fallkniven.
- A multitude of transportation options
- Small and lightweight
- Ergonomic design
- Versatile blade
- Small for extended use
If you’re in search of a modern, minimalist interpretation of the classic bushcraft knife, the Gerber Principle is a fantastic choice. With its scaled-down design, it has a 101.6mm blade sharpened to what the manufacturer describes as “Scandinavian zero-degree sharpness”.
The 420HC steel blade is covered with two over-molded rubber grips with three evenly spaced holes along the handle. They are emphasized as anchors, but we see them as a smart way to cut weight. The total weight of just 100g makes it one of the lightest bushcraft knives on this list.
However, the standout feature of the Principle lies in its wide array of transportation options. Its triple-mount holdall can be used in multiple carry configurations. So it will fit almost any belt and bag in your collection. The shape of the blade is also versatile. The flat-to-tummy balance of the Gerber Principle makes it well-suited for a range of camp tasks, from food preparation to woodworking.
However, there are a few issues. While the Principle is eminently portable, it’s also relatively small. Users with large hands need to try it before buying. And if you’re looking for a tool to use for hours on end, a slightly larger tool would be ideal. But as a medium-duty or backup knife, this knife is perfectly at home in the woods.
- Handle comfort
- Includes knife sheath
- Very sharp
- Looks very nice
- Hand wash only
Our top 10 closes with this superb handmade bushcraft knife which offers everything you need for a bushcraft experience. If you’re looking for a versatile knife for survival applications, the Cold Steel 49LCK Srk is hard to beat. The knife itself comes with a premium Secure-Ex. You can also purchase a fire starter and sharpening stone separately.
The Cold Steel 49LCK Srk has long been considered the paragon of the Cold Steel line. The 96mm SK-5 steel blade is ideal for most types of outdoor activities. The black anti-corrosion coating helps prevent it from rusting. It also has a nice finish with no dings or tool marks.
The Survival’s high-friction rubber is closer to what’s found on the brand’s Companion line, which is more comfy couch and less waiting room chair for your fingers. If you can stomach the black-on-black aesthetic, this is a great deal for a complete bushcraft knife.
However, there is no clip on the back of the sheath. You will find a snap on the backside of the belt loop, which allows you to put the sheath on and remove it from your belt without removing your belt.
The Different Types of Bushcraft Knives
Various types of bushcraft knives are designed for different uses. Therefore, it’s crucial to hone in on specific design factors that align with your needs and requirements. This ensures that the knife you choose will be best suited for its intended purpose.
Also called “woodcraft”, these knives are useful for woodworking for the manufacture of a shelter or tools (for example, the manufacture of a trap). To choose a knife suitable for woodworking, we will favor knives with a solid blade, but above all with an ergonomic handle (handle with many curves). You have to take special care of this because a flat and high handle can become irritating if you use it for a long time.
When deciding on a bushcraft knife suitable for survival tasks, the most important thing is to choose a knife whose blade extends all the way through the knife (otherwise called a “full-tang” blade). This architecture allows a sufficiently solid construction of the knife to be used in the context of stirring.
Food Preparation and Collection
When you want to acquire a knife intended for the collection and preparation of food, you will prefer a knife with a thin blade which will make it easier to slice fruit and other foods. For enhanced versatility, opting for a knife with a long blade is a wise choice. This design is particularly well-suited for tasks like lifting fish fillets. It’s also essential to select a knife that is easy to clean, and free from any crevices or slots where food particles could become lodged. This ensures convenient maintenance and hygiene in the field.
Make a Fire
During your adventures in the woods, you will necessarily need to make a fire. In this context, your bushcraft knife must have a protruding back of the blade to rub a fire stone on it. Its construction should also be strong enough to stick kindling.
Best Bushcraft Knife Buyer’s Guide
After determining the environment and the tasks in which the bushcraft knife will be used, other important criteria are to be taken into consideration.
Carrying a bushcraft knife with an oversized blade will be impractical. A very long knife will not be suitable for detailed tasks because of its bulkiness. In a survival situation, an ax or machete will be a good complement to a bushcraft knife.
If you go hiking or classic trekking, a versatile bushcraft knife will be the ideal ally for all situations. A bushcraft knife with a blade size between 89mm and 152mm will be sufficient for most tasks.
Shape and Design of the Blades
A good bushcraft knife should have a long and flat blade that curves to a point at its end (centered about the middle of the width of its handle). To guarantee good versatility, the end must neither be excessively pointed nor excessively rounded. Thanks to this type of design, the bushcraft knife can lend itself to meticulous tasks but also be used to drill surfaces or dig them more easily.
Since the point of a knife is very stressed, it will be necessary to choose a knife with a solid design: it must be strong enough to be used in all circumstances. At the same time, its blade must be thin and sharp to be useful and effective.
Different Types of Blade Grind
Several types of grinds exist for the blades. The grind refers to both the part of the blade that tapers to form the edge of the blade (its cutting edge) as well as the way the blade tapers in general. This parameter determines the fineness of the blade just behind its edge. You will be able to deduce the quality of the edge of your knife and the harshness of the tasks it is capable of performing.
This is the traditional blade type of bushcraft knife. The blade extends in all its thickness to the cutting edge without deviation or change of angle. This type of blade grind has the advantage of being easy to sharpen and adapts very well to woodworking and carving. On the other hand, the edge of the blade can be weak due to its relatively small bevel angle.
The flat grind is more prevalent compared to the Scandinavian grind, which maintains a consistent thickness down to the edge of the knife. It provides a fine cutting edge, rendering the knife highly agile and easy to maneuver. This makes it a popular choice for a wide range of tasks in bushcraft and outdoor activities. On the other hand, its thinness makes it more fragile to lateral forces and breakage. It is also more difficult to sharpen. Because its thinness makes it difficult to hold flat and at the right angle on the whetstone.
The Convex or Domed Grind (Convex Grind)
It is a very solid grind that does not compromise on the edge. Its transition from wire to blade itself results in less friction and makes it a good tool for slicing and chopping. On the other hand, it is difficult to sharpen and its cutting capacity is a little weak because the edge of the blade is not flat, but curved. This grind is rather used for blades with high mechanical stress.
This grind goes further than the flat grind by maximizing agility and its ability to slice. In order to obtain a finer edge than that of a flat grind, the sides of the hollow blade are dug. This design allows it to be an amazing tool for slicing. It is highly recommended for skinning and cutting meat. On the other hand, it is not very suitable for shelter because of its extremely fine cutting edge. This grind is rather used for blades with little mechanical stress but requires cutting quality and precision.
Chisel or Asymmetrical Grind (Chisel Grind)
This type of grind is only applied to one side of the blade making it not only very easy to sharpen but also very strong. The chisel grind is well suited to cutting branches. On the other hand, it is not very versatile and many users are confused by its handling because of its unusual angle (on only one side of the blade). Moreover, this grind exists for right-handers and left-handers.
The blade material is the most critical point of any bushcraft knife. If the blade material is weak or of poor quality, you should expect regular disappointments.
On the market, there are blades made of stainless steel, but also of steel-carbon alloy. The main advantage of stainless steel blades is their ability to not rust: they are therefore ideal for use in a humid environment. On the other hand, the more the steel of a blade is stainless, the more it will be flexible and fragile.
Carbon steel does not have this problem of brittleness as it does not contain chromium, which however makes it vulnerable to rust. When the blade is made of this material, it lends itself to heavy-duty tasks and has excellent sharp edges. Plus, the carbon steel blades are easy to sharpen.
As for the chrome blades, they are reasonably soft compared to their carbon steel and stainless steel counterparts. Bushcraft knives that have them are suitable for non-demanding outdoor tasks and tend to last longer due to the chrome’s ability to resist corrosion.
Shaft and Handle Materials
Several materials are used for the handle design of bushcraft knives and each type of handle has its pros and cons. So among other options, you can choose wood, which is the material traditionally used. Its durability is very good, but it is susceptible to mold and won’t last as long as composite materials.
Besides this, we note micarta (a resin impregnated with cotton or paper) and G10 (super fiberglass) which are generally used for the manufacture of the handle of bushcraft knives. Rubber and firm plastic are other known alternatives to provide a firm grip and better grip. For the rest, avoid materials such as bone or horn, which are prone to breakage or cracks.
Folding or One-Piece Bushcraft Knife
The choice between these two options can depend on several factors. One-piece (full-tang, non-folding) bushcraft knives are stronger because the force applied to the blade is distributed along the entire length of the knife. On the other hand, depending on the length of the knife itself, it may be less practical to carry.
If you don’t want people to notice that you’re carrying a knife around your waist, consider folding knives: they’re more convenient to carry but less sturdy in design. That said, it will be necessary to be vigilant about the hinge mechanism which is its weak point. If it breaks, the knife will be unusable.
What is the best material for a knife?
Traditionally, bush knives are made from carbon steel. Although it can rust if not properly maintained, carbon steel is relatively strong and easy to resharpen with the simplest of tools. Modern stainless steels have gained traction and several companies make excellent bushcraft knives with increased rust resistance.
Whether carbon or stainless, the best knife for bushcraft tends to be slightly softer versions. They retain their sharpness for a reasonable length of time when used with natural materials such as wood. When they start to dull, the sharpness can be restored using a leather belt, whetstone, or even a flat stone.
Softer steels are less likely to break. You can resharpen a chipped or rolled edge, but not a broken edge.
What are the easiest bushcraft knives to sharpen?
Bushcraft knives with a Scandi grind are among the easiest to sharpen. They feature a single bevel that extends from the spine to the edge, allowing for straightforward maintenance.
Additionally, knives with a flat grind, known for their uncomplicated edge geometry, are relatively easy to sharpen. Convex grind knives, although slightly more intricate, are still considered reasonably straightforward to maintain. Furthermore, bushcraft knives made from high carbon steel are generally easier to sharpen compared to their stainless steel counterparts.
What is the ideal blade length for versatility in the tasks to be performed?
For versatility in bushcraft tasks, an ideal blade length typically falls between 4 to 6 inches (10 to 15 centimeters). This range provides a balanced combination of capabilities. A shorter blade, around 4 inches, offers precision for detailed work like carving and crafting. Meanwhile, a slightly longer blade, around 6 inches, provides more leverage and chopping power for tasks like splitting wood or processing larger games.
Can a bushcraft knife also serve as a hunting tool?
Yes, it can. While a dedicated hunting knife may have specific features for skinning and processing games, many bushcraft knives can be used effectively for these tasks as well.
Can I use a bushcraft knife for self-defense in an emergency situation?
Although a bushcraft knife can be used defensively in a dire situation, it’s important to remember that it should not be relied upon as a primary self-defense tool. Dedicated self-defense items are more effective and safer.
These guides might interest you…