Survival and bushcraft are synonymous with one another. The one cannot be complete without the other if you are a true outdoor lover. When you go into bushcraft, you will learn some of the basic skills it takes to survive in the wild. However, finding the best bushcraft knife can be quite a daunting prospect for many beginners.
I love the outdoors so much, I occasionally isolate myself to test my skill against all that nature has to offer. Backpacking can be fun, but surviving with virtually nothing g puts you firmly in the shoes of what someone like Bear Grylls tries to portray. These trips have given me the opportunity to test many knives and see how they work. In this article, we take a look at many of the best knives to see if they will work for you and help you choose the ideal option to meet all your needs.
Top Pick: Benchmade Bushcrafter 162 Knife
The Benchmade Bushcrafter 162 Knife is a fairly expensive knife, but it will meet all of your needs. It has many intricate features and some of them will help you survive in virtually any situation. If you are looking for the top overall pick to get you started, consider choosing this knife as your first choice. However, you can continue reading to find one much more suited to your budget and needs.
Best Bushcraft Knife Rated And Reviewed
I hope that we are on the same page when it comes to bushcraft and how it works. The knives we have selected have been thoroughly checked to see if they meet the requirements you will need in the field. Some of these knives might be a little expensive, but they will also offer you great value for your money. Here are the current top picks on the market today:
Made from a high-quality CPM-S30V stainless steel blade, the Benchmade Bushcrafter 162 Knife definitely stands out as one of the top options on the market today. This one features a small, but sturdy 4.4-inch blade and since the handle is designed to fit snug in your hands, you should not need to have any real worries about comfort.
At 11-ounces, I found the blade to be really easy and comfortable to handle. The G10 handle is designed to promote optimal grip and also ensure that you can use it in all conditions. Additionally, the ergonomic design makes for a great cutting tool to rest firmly in your hands. As for the type, I love the fixed design, which means you have much more power and stability to use.
A leather sheath has been included and it can easily be strapped to your body when you are on the go. This makes for a spectacular look, whilst placing the blade in an area where it is really simple to reach as well. It might not be the most attractive design, but I find the drop point to be functional for carving out small holes and even building new objects.
The biggest downside is the price. Yes, this knife is one of the most expensive options on the market today, but the quality is definitely worth it. Additionally, you will receive a limited lifetime warranty, showing a lot of confidence from the manufacturer. I personally have one of these knives and I would highly recommend it for the value it offers.
The CDS-Survival MOVA-58 Stainless Steel Knife is not only designed for survival, but it can be used for a wide variety of different outdoor activities. With a solid stainless steel blade, the full tang design should offer you excellent durability, while the fixed blade will remain in place without any weaknesses when you are gutting or skinning.
I like the fact that the knife has been handmade. It comes from the Spanish countryside and has been rigorously tested to see how it will work in nature as well as for everyday use. Cocobolo wood is used for the handle and this is a softer wood, but since it is treated, it will be hard and also offer you decent grip. However, you might want to keep the wood treated every so often.
The blade is 4.75-inches in total, making it one of the longer options we have seen so far. A premium leather sheath has also been included, giving you full protection from many of the elements when the blade is not in use. My biggest complaint is that the sheath is mostly designed for right-handers, making it something lefties need to look out for.
As for the price, it is not in the same price range as the previous knife, but still fairly expensive. Since it has been handcrafted, your blade will be one of a kind as well. It comes with a limited lifetime warranty and should last you many years. I personally recommend this as one of the best versatile knives on the market today. It is ideal for hunters and outdoor aficionados.
Best Underrated: Nazarov Knives Survival Knife
Damascus steel is something we rarely see in commercially produced knives. It is mostly reserved for those making their own. However, the Nazarov Knives Survival knife is one of those that does include it. While the knife is well known, I got my hands on it and I believe it is one of the toughest knives you can find today.
At almost 6-inches in total, this is one of the knives with the longest blades. It makes survival much easier and using it with a rock to cut through some of your tough woods pieces will be easy. The Hornbeam handle is something you also rarely see, making this an extremely unique knife with excellent survival features for anyone to get started.
The knife might be a little too heavy if you are not used to carrying around such a knife. It is also quite hard to conceal and this removes the ability for urban carry. However, if you are an avid outdoorsman, this will be an excellent option to keep you going. It is mostly designed for bushcraft and collection purposes.
Many might say that the knife is a little too expensive. However, I believe that the quality is worth the price and would consider it to be reasonably priced. It includes a limited lifetime warranty that will keep you protected as well. I personally recommend this knife only to the avid outdoorsmen who will be using it quite often.
I am an avid Kershaw fan and the Kershaw Link Gray Aluminum Blackwash Drop-Point Knife is definitely something you should consider looking at when you want to buy a new knife. It is fairly small with a blade that is just over 3-inches. However, the combination of carbon and chromium used in the steel will set it apart from the competition and make the knife really durable.
Whilst made as part of the Kershaw collectible knives, it does serve a purpose when used outdoors or in survival situations. For this reason, I have bought myself one and now it is constantly carried around my neck for everyday use as well. It is also really lightweight and the speed-assisted opening will ensure the blade is quickly ready for use, whilst keeping you safe.
I have had a couple of problems when using the knife for bushcraft. It is fairly small and this means you cannot really cut a large quantity at once. However, when used with the right skills, you will be able to make the knife work. The liner lock also means the knife will never jump open in a situation when it can harm anyone or yourself when not in use.
Kershaw is a world-renowned brand and this blade is one of the best-rated options on the market today. I personally recommend it if you need something small and portable. Additionally, it is fairly priced and most people should have the budget to buy it. The limited lifetime warranty that has been included should give you some decent peace of mind as well.
If you are looking for something a little more basic with some simplicity, the Ontario Black Bird SK-5 Knife will be one of your best options. The knife is fairly basic and made from 154 CM stainless steel, something I have seen to give a decent durability. The knife-edge is easy to use and the point is not really too sharp for your own protection.
The G10 handle material has been crafted with excellent precision and it features small knobs that make the blade comfortable and it will fit in your hands with real ease. I personally like the grip, but the lack of finger protection was worrisome if the blade should slip. However, I have never had an issue of the knife slipping out of my hands when used.
One of the downsides is the quality of the sheath. I found the sheath to actually disintegrate over time when it is exposed to the elements. However, it will keep the blade protected and the 5-inches will be fully covered as well. You might need to consider choosing a better leather sheath later on if needed or if the knife is used very often.
In terms of the price, it is around the same price you would expect many of the top knives to be. The knife is state of the art and includes a limited lifetime warranty as well. Beginners should enjoy the basic features when taking their first survival test. However, you might need something better when you go out into nature as often as I do.
Now that you have seen one of the cheaper options, w decided to entertain the high-end survivalists. The Benchmade Saibu 486 Knife is one of the very best options out there and it is made with a CPM-20CV stainless steel blade. This has been heat-treated, making it one of the most durable options currently available on the market today.
I personally fell in love with Benchmade and all of their knives are extremely durable. The handles have been handcrafted, making each knife unique, also adding a little bit of character to the knife before it is released. The knife can also be folded quite easily and this means you can carry it around for everyday use as well. However, don’t enter anywhere if it can be confiscated.
Ultimately, the blade length once again will pose quite a problem and this means you might need to consider upgrading your bushcraft skills first. It is only measured at just under 3-inches, but an expert user will still be able to use it with the utmost of comfort. I find that it works best for every day use and proved to be really instrumental in completing smaller and unplanned for tasks.
Benchmade is one of the most expensive brands on the market today. However, this should not dissuade you from trying it. I personally recommend making the investment, not only for bushcraft but for everyday use as well. Once again, you will be kept safe with the limited lifetime warranty that has been included.
Now that you have had the opportunity to see some of the top bushcraft knives, you might also be wondering how we came about choosing them. Fortunately, we have constructed a decent buyers guide that should enable you to see all the features. If you are looking for a best bushcraft knife, these are the features you need to keep in mind when doing so:
Knives are generally split up into two different types and they both will complete the task that you require. However, the fixed blade can be a somewhat better option for the bushcraft enthusiast to complete many of their tasks in the wild. Here is a small breakdown of each that you should keep in mind before buying:
- Fixed: The fixed knife does not fold and this gives it some additional stability when it comes to completing tasks. However, it is heavier and often also more expensive. The longer blades will help you cut larger pieces, but they can add some additional weight to your overall collection of gear.
- Folding: I like the folding knife for the ability to be concealed. However, the smaller blade can be a problem when faced with large challenges. If you do like carrying a folding knife, you should consider improving some of your skills. It can be a great way to drop some weight on your next survival expedition.
Both types perform fairly well when used correctly. This means you can consider having one of each knife to ensure a better quality of work. I personally prefer both of them for their respective purposes, but if you are only making one, you should make the decision.
The blade is the pivotal part of the knife and you will be using this quite often. As you might have noticed, we have not included any serrated edges, as they are quite tough to work with. When looking at the overall blade length, it is really important that you choose one of around 4-inches for the best use. You should also not choose any weaker steel than stainless steel for your endeavors.
Often times, we find people overlooking the handle, but this is one of the crucial parts when it comes to your overall control. The handle should be ergonomic and fit perfectly in your hands. It should be made with a pattern, which offers you additional grip and ensures that the blade does not really slip out of your hands either. I personally like the G10 handles, but a good wooden handle should also do the trick.
I prefer choosing the top quality brands. The top brands will give you better quality blades and handles. Yes, they might be a little more expensive, but you won’t need to replace the knife frequently. All of the brands we have selected do have great reputations and we believe they will offer you excellent benefits when you are taking on the world outdoors in your survival endeavors.
With the prices of the top quality knives sharply increasing (pun intended), I found out just how important a good warranty is. For this reason,. All of the knives we have selected come with limited lifetime warranties. This not only shows confidence from the manufacturer, but it allows you to work vigorously with the knife when needed.
We recommend looking at the warranty that has been given. This also ties back to the reputable brand section and you will notice that choosing a reputable brand will ensure that you do have a better warranty to keep you fully protected at all times. One of the best ways to get great value for your money in the long run.
Are You Ready To Buy The Best Bushcraft Knives?
Getting back to the point, all of these knives are designed to offer some value for your money. They have been carefully selected and I had the opportunity of testing many of them out in the field. Benchmade features 2 knives in this list and this has propelled them to be the top-rated brand we have selected. My personal favorite remains to be the Benchmade Bushcrafter 162 Knife for the value it offers and the top quality features on display.
We would like to thank you for reading this article and we would love to know which of these knives you have set your heart on. If you have ever used any of the knives, let us know in the comment section how they worked for you. Additionally, if you have any other great knives that you believe we should have included, we would be happy to read your comments and even review them if they are really as great as you describe. Keep surviving and brush up those bushcraft skills.