If you’re an outdoors enthusiast, then you know how important it is to have the best bushcraft knife you can find. Whether you’re an angler, a camper, or even a daytime hiker, a good knife can come in handy. Survivalists never leave home without packing the best bushcraft knife in their kit. But you don’t have to be extreme to carry a knife with you.
A good bushcraft knife is useful for splitting small pieces of wood, lighting a fire, cutting rope and fishing line, and for opening cans. You can poke things with it to see if they’re dead or alive. Also, you can pry rocks out of the dirt and dig around in your garden with a bushcraft knife. If you suffer a significant injury, you can cauterize your wound by heating the knife’s tip over a fire. This works for mosquito bites, too! Just kidding, don’t do that.
As you can see, a good bushcraft knife is a versatile tool. The best bushcraft knife is a versatile tool that does all of those things.
Best Bushcraft Knife FAQ
When you’re searching for the best bushcraft knife for you, there are a few things you need to consider. What will you use it for? For instance, are you planning on gutting a fish and maybe stringing up a hammock? Or is hand-to-hand combat with a giant grizzly bear in your future?
Also, how much money are you able to spend? If you’re looking for something cheap, there are lots of decent knives from which you can choose. However, if you’re a big spender and want to show off a glamorous new bushcraft knife next to your iPhone while lounging in your yurt, then be prepared to spend big.
We’ve helped take the guesswork out of choosing the best bushcraft knife for you.
What is a bushcraft knife?
At its core, a bushcraft knife is a light yet sturdy knife that gets used for outdoors purposes. There are hundreds of uses for a bushcraft knife. Some fold up, others are straight. Also, some have serrated edges while others have straight edges. Some have a compass in the handle. Most do not. So long as the knife is rugged, sturdy, light enough to carry comfortably, and can be a utility tool in the outdoors, it is a bushcraft knife.
What makes a bushcraft knife the best bushcraft knife?
To determine what makes a knife the best bushcraft knife, we compared different knives to basic criteria. For starters, is the knife well-built? This means it won’t break under stress and won’t rust in the rain and snow. Next, is it easy to use and comfortable to hold? There’s no point working with a knife if it slips out of your hand constantly or folds up too easily. Also, can it accomplish most bushcraft tasks? This includes digging, sawing wood, hacking branches off trees, cutting rope, sparking flint, and gutting dead things.
Why can’t I just use a household knife?
One thing we always suggest to people is that they leave their kitchen knives at home. Whether you’re camping or setting up an outdoor birthday party, your household knives are not designed to withstand the kind of stresses that outdoor use will put on them. The blades and tangs can snap, causing injury to you or others. You could ruin the knife’s edge forever, and also void any warranty it has. With rain, and mud, and sweat, you risk losing your grip on the handle. Instead, get yourself the best bushcraft knife for your purposes.
How much do bushcraft knives cost?
Prices for bushcraft knives vary wildly. You can buy one for between $10 and $10,000. Of course, those are extreme figures, and we certainly don’t recommend buying any knife priced at either of those points. The best bushcraft knife for you will cost between $50 and $250. This will ensure you’re getting both quality and practical value.
Are they legal?
Bushcraft knives are perfectly legal to own in almost every western democratic jurisdiction on earth. Laws vary from place to place. For instance, in many jurisdictions, you can’t just carry a big bushcraft knife around with you in shopping malls and on the bus. However, if you can justify that you’re heading to your campgrounds, or you’re a power line worker, then you can carry it. Check local laws first before strapping a bushcraft knife on.
How We Reviewed
To find the best bushcraft knife of 2018, we looked at the features of dozens of different bushcraft knives. We narrowed down our list to the knives that met our basic criteria. They had to be built well, easy to hold, and able to perform multiple outdoor tasks. Then we read through customer reviews of each knife on Amazon. This gave us a good idea of how the knives hold up in the real world.
Once we had done this, we had ten amazing knives. We reviewed each of them and were able to determine which one is the best bushcraft knife of 2018.
The 10 Best Bushcraft Knives of 2018
When you compare bushcraft knives, remember that you want to choose the one that suits your use case the best. That being said, we wanted to know which knife was the best bushcraft knife, so we eventually chose a winner. This doesn’t mean the other knives on this list are bad. In fact, we consider every one of these knives to be the best you can buy. They are not in any particular order
4.4 out of 5
Also, customers on Amazon rated this knife 4.4 out of 5 stars. Customers loved the workmanship and the high-quality carbon blade, but didn't like how easily the blade rusts.
First up is the Condor CTK232 from El Salvador. This knife has high-grade 1075 carbon steel which was satin blasted. The blade is sturdy and rust-free. There is a hardwood handle with brass rivets. This gives the knife a classic, rugged look. It comes with a real leather sheath.
Morakniv Bushcraft Carbon Steel Knife
- Fixed-blade knife with a razor sharp 1/8 inch (3.2 mm) thick carbon steel blade with tungsten DLC anti-corrosive black...
- Blade length: 4.3 inches (109 mm); Blade thickness: 0.125 inch (3.2 mm); Total length: 9.1 inches (232 mm); Weight...
- Spine of the blade is ground especially for use with a fire starter (not included)
4.7 out of 5
Next is the Morakniv Bushcraft Carbon Steel Survival Knife. This Swedish brand is one of the oldest knife-makers in Europe, giving us blades since 1891. Because the company is in Mora, and they make knives, they are named Morakniv (translated to “Mora knife”). This Bushcraft carbon steel knife is a nine-inch fixed blade made of carbon steel. Also, the blade has an anti-corrosive coating to keep it from rusting.
Amazon customers gave it 4.7 out of 5 stars. They praised the balance and overall build of this knife. People noticed that the blade gets a little loose in the handle after a bit of use.
Moorhaus Full Tang Bush Knife
Moorhaus Full Tang Bush Knife
- Moorhaus genuine D2 Tool Steel handmade bushcraft EDC Knife.
- This knife is made from tough as nails D2 Tool Steel.
- You will receive a handmade genuine vertical leather sheath.
4.2 out of 5
If you want a vintage look, then the Moorhaus Bush Knife is for you. Moorhaus is a Turkish company which sells its products mainly through Amazon. The blade on this knife is super-tough D2 steel. That's the same metal used to make wrenches and hammers. As the name suggests, this has a full tang inside the wooden handle. The handle itself is hand-carved.
Customers rated it 4.2 out of 5 stars on Amazon. Most of them were wowed by the elegance and workmanship of this knife. It is nice and heavy. However, people didn't like the small handle and found it slippery to grip when wet.
4.3 out of 5
For big spenders, there’s the Spyderco G-10. Spyderco is a Colorado company that pioneered serrated edges on outdoor knives back in 1976. Since then the knife manufacturer has become a trusted brand in the world of utility knives. The G-10 is a smaller four-inch blade made out of O-1 carbon steel. It keeps its edge over time. This has a full tang and no handguard, making it a look like a mean little piece of hardware.
Amazon customers gave it 4.3 out of 5 stars. One reviewer called this knife "as close to perfect as you can get." People were wowed by how sharp the blade is out of the box. On the other hand, a few customers had problems with the ease of scratching the metal on the blade. After a few uses, it starts to look banged up.
JEO-TEC Nº31 Bushcraft Survival Knife
- Explorers, hunters, fishermen and military live exciting experiences with our knives every day around the world. These...
- Blade Length: 115 mm / 4,52 inches; Overall Length: 24 cm / 9,44 inches; Blade Thickness: 5 mm / 0,20 inches
- Stainless Steel Molybdenum-Vanadium 58 (MOVA-58) / HRC 56-58. Blade cut by laser
3.9 out of 5
Next, we have the JEO-TEC Nº31 Bushcraft Survival Knife. JEO-TEC, from upper New York state, has a huge line of knives and tools. The number 31 is custom-made for survivalists and campers. The blade is five inches long, and the fine-grain wooden handle is another five inches. It’s a laser-cut MOVA-58 stainless steel. Also, every JEO-TEC knife goes through various tests before being sold.
You can buy this knife for between $100 and $140. Meanwhile, customers on Amazon gave it 3.9 out of 5 stars. People loved the look and feel of this knife, and everyone talked about the genuine leather sheath that comes with it. It holds its edge very well. Several people complained about how hard the knife is to sharpen.
CDS Survival Bushcraft Knife
- Stainless Steel Molybdenum-Vanadium 58 (MOVA-58) / HRC 56-59
- Made in Spain. Handmade knife with blade cut by laser
- Blade Length: 145 mm / 5,70 inches; Overall Length: 275 mm / 10,82 inches; Blade Thickness: 4-3/4"
CDS Survival Bushcraft Knife
4.4 out of 5
Then there’s the bushcraft knife from CDS Survival. These are Spanish knives from the blade-producing town of Albacete. They’ve furnished swords and knives from Spanish steel for centuries. This knife has a cocobolo wood handle carved by hand, and a MOVA-58 stainless steel blade cut by laser. At nearly 11-inches long, with a 6-inch blade, this is a big knife.
It costs between $160 and $200, and customers on Amazon gave it 4.4 out 5 stars. They called it "heavy duty" and "able to handle anything." Everyone loved the handle, which is comfortable and durable. Unfortunately, there were a lot of complaints of rusting and the blade gets dull fast.
Ka-Bar USMC Knife
4.8 out of 5
Next on our quest to find the best bushcraft knife of 2018 is the Ka-Bar Becker BK2. You may recognize Ka-Bar as the trusted knife of the US military since 1942. That’s when Ka-Bar submitted their idea for a knife to the Marine Corps. The Ka-Bar USMC Knife entered service and soon joined all the branches of the military. It is still the main utility knife of the military today, its design unchanged since World War II! With a black carbon steel blade measuring seven inches, and a leather-wrapped easy-grip handle, it looks serious. You can buy this for between $65 and $90. Customers on Amazon gave it 4.8 out of 5 stars. One man shaved his face with it and said it was the best shave of his life. Everyone loved the grip, which is made for holding in all weather conditions. The knife never seems to dull or rust. The only complaints were about the sheath, which isn't military-grade. You need to buy that separately if you want a good one.
Ontario Knife Company Woodsman Knife
3.0 out of 5
If you want a knife with a legacy harking back to the days of the early settlers, look no further than the Ontario Knife Company woodsman knife. This New York manufacturer has a history shrouded in mystery, but they’ve produced knives since the early 19th Century. The woodsman knife is their classic staple. It has an alloy steel blade and a wooden handle. The knife is made for hacking and slashing and slicing. One look and you can see that.
It costs between $70 and $100 and was rated 3.0 out of 5 stars by customers. Most of them enjoyed the large blade, and it balances with a forward lean so it's easy to chop things. However, the grip is undersized and uncomfortable to hold, and people complained about this a lot.
TOPS Knives Brothers of Bushcraft (B.O.B.) Knife
- Overall Length: 10"; Blade Length: 4 1/2"
- Blade Material: 1095 High Carbon Steel, 56-58 HRC; Blade Thickness: 3/16"
- Blade Type: Plain Edge Drop Point; Blade Finish: Coyote Tan
4.6 out of 5
Another of the contenders for best bushcraft knife of 2018 is the Brothers of Bushcraft Knife from TOPS Knives. Unlike many of the manufacturers on this list, TOPS Knives is a fairly new company. They started operations in Idaho in 1998. The B.O.B knife is a fantastic-looking ten-inch high-carbon steel piece of hardware. It has a black wood and canvas handle to add to its meanness rating.
You can buy it for between $130 and $155. Customers on Amazon rated it 4.6 out of 5 stars. They loved the thickness of the blade. It is strong and sturdy and can whack through thick brush and branches. However, many people complained about the sheath it ships with.
Grand Way Tactical Fixed-Blade Knife
Grand Way Tactical Fixed-Blade Knife
4.1 out of 5
Lastly, but certainly not least, is the Grand Way Tactical Fixed-Blade Knife. Grand Way is a Ukrainian knife company from Kharkov. They also try to pretend that they’re British. The tactical fixed-blade knife comes from matte 440C stainless steel, and this thing is razor-sharp out of the box. It has a full tang which extends into the micarta plastic handle.
Amazingly, this beast only costs between $30 and $50. Customers on Amazon gave it 4.1 out of 5 stars. They said it was extremely sharp out of the box. Like the Ka-Bar, one guy shaved with this knife. Unfortunately, it seems that the blade chips and even bends with heavy use. It seems more ornamental than utilitarian.
What Is The Best Bushcraft Knife of 2018?
After reviewing the top ten best bushcraft knives on the market today, we were hard-pressed to choose just one that we liked. All of these knives are works of art in their own right, but more importantly, each knife is high-quality and useful. Although we didn’t consider price as a factor in our decision, the fact is that almost all of these knives were in the same price range.
That being said, we were able to eliminate the Ontario Knife Company woodsman knife. Also, the JEO-TEC knife. They had lower customer reviews and plenty of complaints. Also, while the Spyderco G-10 is a stunning little knife, its price doesn’t justify its utility value. Unless you want to stab a bunny, there’s not much else this tiny knife can do that other, cheaper knives can’t do better.
Which leaves us with seven knives from which to choose. All in all, we picked the classic Ka-Bar USMC knife as the best bushcraft knife of 2018. Ka-Bar has rocked this design for over 75 years, and if it’s good enough for the Marines, it is more than good enough for everyone else. Best of all, it comes with a reasonable price tag.
What do you think? Of these ten knives, which do you consider the best bushcraft knife of 2019? Let us know in the comments.