Looking for the best bushcraft knife for your next adventure?
You’ve come to the right place.
I’ve put a lot of research and thought into making this guide.
The reason why?
If you can get a hold of the best bushcraft knife, you’ll find outdoor survival to be a whole lot easier.
Bushcraft, if you don’t know what it is, is basically the skill to live outdoors or in the woods. Learn more in this article I wrote here.
The best bushcraft knife is one that’s capable of completing several outdoor tasks such as: cutting branches, batoning, lighting a fire, processing meat and many more.
Just make sure it stays sharp!
Here are our top 3 bushcraft knife picks if you’re short on time:
- 1 Morakniv Bushcraft Survival Knife Carbon Steel with Fire Starter
- 2 Condor Bushlore Camp Knife
- 3 Morakniv Garberg Fixed Blade Knife Full Tang
- 4 Gerber StrongArm
- 5 Celtibero Coco Multipurpose Knife
- 6 TOPS O.B Bushcraft Survival Knife
- 7 TOPS Knives B.O.B. Knife w/Black Handle
- 8 Morakniv Bushcraft Carbon Fixed Blade Knife
- 9 Ontario Black Bird SK-5 Knife
- 10 CRKT Hunt’N Fisch Fixed Blade Knife
- 11 Bushcraft Knife Buying Guide
- 12 Conclusion
Here are the top 10 bushcraft knives that you can purchase today on Amazon:
Morakniv Bushcraft Survival Knife Carbon Steel with Fire Starter
First up on our list of the best bushcraft knives is the Bushcraft Survival Knife of Morakniv. With this kind of bushcraft tool, you already know that its blade’s quality must be top-notch. The main reason why we added this product to our list is because of the quality of its blade, which is impressive!
We’re not the biggest fan of carbon steel, but the Morakniv Bushcraft Survival Knife has a high-carbon steel blade. Of course, we’ve tested it out ourselves and it was extremely durable and sharp! It’s hardened to a 56-58 HRC level, so you can rely on it to withstand pressure and force. High-carbon steel is actually a material that’s preferred by professionals as it’s adaptable. It can even be used in tasks that need frequent regrinding.
Another thing we found to be a great feature of the product is the scandi grind. This allows you to enjoy a sure and firm grip of the tool, stopping the bushcraft knife from slipping off your hand as it doesn’t get stuck into surfaces.
The high friction rubber grip and ergonomic handle also lend this bushcraft tool a more comfortable and easier feel, which enhances its user’s gripping experience even more. The thin blade of the product makes it a great tool if you will be carving and batoning. Furthermore, we found that it’s worth mentioning the fact that it has a fire-starter feature added to its sheath so you can easily create sparks. As soon as you’ve created sparks, you’ll be able to light leaves, grass, or dry paper. It can even light up a barbecue grill. It works in any kind of weather, as well as at any altitude, making it a tool that’s handy during emergency situations.
- The blade is made of high-carbon steel with anti-rust coating
- Comes with an ergonomic handle that’s added with high-friction rubber grip
- Has a thin blade that’s great for carving and batoning
- The only issue we had with the bushcraft knife from Morakniv is the sheath which is made of plastic.
Condor Bushlore Camp Knife
It’s rare for anyone to find an actual bushcraft knife that can handle any task that’s thrown at it. Fortunately, we’ve come across the Bushlore Camp Knife of Condor. It’s, as we’ve tested, perfect! Even after months of heavy use, we can’t find any issue in its design or performance. It’s capable of holding a good edge, it doesn’t rust, and it retains its finish. On top of all that, it batons and performs tasks that you would think it can’t handle! For just under $50, you get a quality knife with a good blade.
This bushcraft knife has an overall length of 9.25 inches and a blade length of 4.25 inches. As for its handle, it’s made of hard walnut, so you can expect it to last years of abuse. Its spine is a flat 90 degrees, which makes it a tool that you can make sparks with.
It’s also worth noting that the knife is a product of Condor Knife & Tool. If you’re not familiar with the brand, they are established within the industry and they boast of a long history that goes all the way back to 1786.
In the field, the Bushlore Camp Knife did great; it slid through wood with speed and it didn’t get hung up or become unbalanced mid-way. We tried splitting wood with the knife and the blade didn’t sustain any damages. As a matter of fact, its edge appeared exactly like it’s brand-new. This one’s definitely a winner.
- Offers excellent performance and durability in the field
- The handle is made of walnut
- The sheath is made of 100% leather
- It’s a popular bushcraft knife, so it runs out of stock quickly.
Morakniv Garberg Fixed Blade Knife Full Tang
Morakniv, a brand that you know by now, is a manufacturer of high quality and low-cost knives. Apart from the first bushcraft knife we mentioned, the Bushcraft Survival Knife, the Garberg Bushcraft Knife has a full tang, which is the company’s first. This means the steel for the blade of the knife runs down to the bottom part of the handle. A full tang makes Garberg a lot stronger, but it also means it’s heavy, weighing 272 grams or 9.6 ounces.
Full tang fixed bushcraft knives are favorites within the industry as they’re more durable. But, that’s not the only reason why we love this knife. The area where this particular bushcraft tool shines is in batoning due to its 3.2 mm thick blade that’s 4.3 inches long. The knife will easily go through a bark like butter as its thick blade can act like a wedge, which forces wood fibers apart.
The heavier weight of Garberg makes it an excellent chopper. The knife also has a spine that’s flat, so you can use it with a firestarter. Priced under $100, this product is definitely a bomber knife if you’re looking into experimenting with some bushcraft skills to add to your camping and backpacking experience.
- Boasts of a stainless steel full tang construction
- Capable of retaining its sharpness for a long time
- Great choice for chopping and batoning
- Not a good choice for feather sticking from the blade’s width
If you want a knife that comes with a rugged look, then this might be the one for you. Aside from the aesthetics, the knife performs really well thanks to a few key features. The blade is engineered and manufactured by Gerber, a company that has been making survival knives since 1966.
The overall design of the knife is engineered in a way that it’s flexible. You can use it for outdoor, industrial, tactical, survival, hunting or military applications. The blade is crafted from carbon steel, which means it’s strong and durable.
Aside from the knife, the sheath is also a big part of the package. The sheath is just as versatile as the knife. Because of how it’s designed, the sheath gives you plenty of options of how you wish to carry the blade.
First, the sheath system comes with a snap-in MOLLE strap. This allows you to carry the knife vertically. You can also carry the knife horizontally while attached to your belt. This is an excellent option if you want to carry the knife with a low profile while it’s in your waistline. Of course, you can also carry the knife the traditional way. And, that’s allowing the knife to hang from the hip vertically.
The handle features glass-filled nylon which is then covered by a rubber over mold. The design makes it easier for the hand to grip the knife, which also means more control.
- Inexpensive and offers great value
- A revolutionary sheath is included in the package
- Versatile tool
- Some users prefer stainless steel instead of carbon steel for their bushcraft knives.
Celtibero Coco Multipurpose Knife
The Celtibero Coco is on the high-end side when compared to other bushcraft knives. However, everything in the set is superior quality from the blade to the leather sheath. This is mostly a handcrafted knife while using laser technology for the cutting of the blade. This means that the cut of the knife is very precise, which reduces the chances of factory defects and paves the way for more consistent performance.
Perhaps the most important thing that’s worth mentioning is the blade. It’s crafted from stainless steel with the molybdenum-vanadium formula. Keep in mind that stainless steel is far more superior in terms of overall durability when compared to carbon steel. Furthermore, the introduction of molybdenum allows the blade to be very corrosion resistant. The vanadium helps the knife to withstand high temperatures.
The knife is crafted from a single piece, and the handle is merely attached to it. This is important as it means that there are no weak points between the blade and the handle, which is something that’s very common in other knives.
The handle is crafted from Cocobolo wood, which gives the knife a vibe of being luxurious. Also, it’s one of the few bushcraft knives out there that are still incorporating wood into the design.
The set also includes a multifunctional sheath. The sheath is crafted from leather which is a great pair when compared to the overall design and the wooden handle of the knife. The sheath also houses a sharpener stone and a firesteel. Both are already included in the set.
On the downside, you may have to dig deep into your pocket for this one. It’s an expensive piece, but you’ll probably never regret it as everything about it exuberates luxury and quality.
- Extremely well made and sturdy knife
- It’s laser cut
- Has a beautiful wooden handle
- A bit expensive
TOPS O.B Bushcraft Survival Knife
This bushcraft knife is another product of Brothers of Bushcraft. Hence, you can expect this knife to perform exceptionally well. It’s not only the knife that is great, but it also comes with plenty of bonuses that will make your life easier.
For example, there’s the scandi grind that allows making thin wood shavings. The size is also perfect as larger knives tend to be weak at creating wood shavings. The thing convex, size and shape of the blade make whittling and carving easy. In other words, starting a fire with this knife is a breeze.
Along the back spine, the knife features a jimping design, and it’s on the aggressive side. Such designs allow for better traction. Together with the smooth edge of the blade, it makes cutting through various materials a lot easier. Creating tent pegs or carving a spoon won’t be so demanding with this tool.
The knife also fits in the palm very well. Hence, it features a very ergonomic design. Never overlook this feature as it has a direct impact on your physical performance. An uncomfortable knife means that you will get fatigued a lot faster.
The knife comes with a Kydex sheath. It’s beautifully designed, and it can house a Ferro rod.
As always, the article will cover a few possible downsides. While the knife excels exceptionally well for field crafting or bushcrafting, it’s not a jack-of-all-trades kind of knife. Hence, it may not work so well if you’re planning to use it for other purposes. Also, the knife is a bit on the high-end side, but definitely not the most expensive. Overall, it’s hard to make a mistake by getting this knife if you need a fieldcraft or bushcraft knife.
- Compact and very functional
- The scandi grind allows you to build a fire easily
- Very ergonomically designed
- Might be uncomfortable to handle without gloves
TOPS Knives B.O.B. Knife w/Black Handle
This bushcraft knife is rather on the high-end side. However, you will still be getting good value for your money as it’s a super high-quality piece.
Since the knife is designed by the Brothers of Bushcraft (B.O.B), it’s not only aesthetically pleasing, but it’s also very functional. The B.O.B is a coalition that focuses on wilderness living. Most of the members are from North America.
You can say that this knife piece is a culmination of the combined knowledge and experience of the B.O.B members. It’s a knife designed to help whether you’re in a humid rainforest or the scorching desert.
There are knives in the market that may have plenty of frills, but may be lacking when it comes to the real-world application. That will rarely happen with this knife as everything in the piece is critiqued by experienced wilderness enthusiast from the design, development to the production.
For example, the handle of the knife is very ergonomically designed. It fits comfortably in your hand while offering the most efficiency when transferring your energy to whatever you’re trying to do like slicing, skinning or carving. Also, you rarely get disappointed with the handle thanks to the canvas micarta.
The knife features a “thumb scallops” on the hilt area. The features allow more comfort and control when doing specialized grips. Another ingenious addition is the scraper on the exposed pommel. This addition allows for the easy striking of Ferro rods. In other words, the knife can help you start a fire effortlessly.
On the downside, the piece is expensive compared to other bushcraft knives. In most cases, it costs twice as much when compared to the average ones. However, the quality is good enough that it’s something that you can pass on to the next generation.
- A very high-quality knife
- It’s ergonomically designed
Morakniv Bushcraft Carbon Fixed Blade Knife
This bushcraft knife offers excellent value for the money. Also, since the blade is crafted from carbon steel, it’s both durable and inexpensive. The blade is 3.2mm thick, and it’s exceptionally sharp when it gets to you. Hence, be careful with it when it arrives. The blade is hardened to a rating of HRC 56-58. This allows the blade to withstand more stress when batoning. The blade is also protected with a black coating to prevent the early onset of corrosion. You can further protect the knife by applying oil after each use.
The spine of the knife blade has been designed to specifically have a grinder for a fire starter. It’s an excellent feature just in case you need to start a flame.
The knife also features a scandi grind. Such feature prevents the knife from accidentally slipping off as it will give the knife more “biting” power. The convex of the blade also features a thin design. Together with the sharp edge, scandi grind, and the thin blade, it allows you to carve easily without getting it stuck.
The handle of the piece features an anti-slip design thanks to the over-molded rubberized grip. It also performs well whether it’s in cold or wet conditions. Since the handle is better at fitting comfortably in your hand, it’s safer, and you’ll have more control.
If there’s one possible downside with the knife, then it has to be the carbon steel. Such kind of steel is not as durable as the stainless counterpart. However, stainless steel blades are typically a lot more expensive.
- A good choice for batoning
- Offers good grip
- Makes use of carbon steel, which may not be the material of choice for some people.
Ontario Black Bird SK-5 Knife
The Ontario Black Bird SK-5 Knife may look simple, but don’t let that fool you. The knife is designed by Paul Scheiter. According to him, the more complicated the knife becomes, the more likely it is to fail. Hence, the Ontario Black Bird SK-5 Knife is specially engineered to offer maximum functionality while remaining as simple as possible.
The blade is crafted from 154 American steel, which is known for its superior corrosion resistance, edge-retaining ability, and toughness. The blade is around 0.13 inch thick and comes with a full-taper grind.
On the handle, the edges are rounded. Such feature paves the way for a comfortable grip. The handle is attached to the knife tang and secured with Allen screws. The screw is crafted from stainless steel so you don’t have to worry about rust in the screws which is a common flaw in other bushcraft knives.
The set also includes a sheath, which is MOLLE compatible. It features a belt loop so you can secure it to a belt. The loop has no buttons or locking mechanism. Instead, it’s one continuous piece. This may mean that it’s a bit of a hassle when you attach it to your belt, but once it’s in there you’ll know it will stay attached. The protective insert is rigid and not flimsy.
On the downside, the knife may be too simple for some users. However, this is more of a preference thing. If you just want a knife that gets the job done without the extra bells and whistles, then this may be the one for you.
- Simple but very functional
- Very durable steel
- A handle that’s comfortable for most hands
- Might be too simple for some
CRKT Hunt’N Fisch Fixed Blade Knife
This fixed blade bushcraft knife is very handy and portable. This is because it’s easy to conceal and it comes with a sheath that you can attach to your belt. It’s both a bushcraft and an everyday carry knife
Keep in mind that the knife is designed by Larry Fischer, an avid conservationist, outdoorsman, and bowhunter. The man has a lot of outdoor-related achievement under his belt. Hence, you’ll know that the goal of this knife is to perform whether you’re in the garage or outdoors.
One of the first things you will notice with the knife is the multiple grooves that are incorporated into the blade’s spine. The feature offers greater control and functionality. The design is also stylish, so it’s kind of cool to carry around.
The sheath is crafted from high-quality leather with an aesthetically appealing look. The loop is meant to sit comfortably in your waistband area. This allows you to quickly access the knife if you need it while keeping it out of the way when you don’t.
Another thing that’s worth mentioning is that the manufacturer firmly stands behind this product. With its limited lifetime warranty, any defects in the workmanship and materials get you a free repair or even a replacement. As long as you own the knife, you’ll have access to this warranty. However, if you sell the knife or give it to someone else, the warranty coverage will end. Also, any breakage due to misuse is not covered by the warranty.
On the downside, since this knife is more of a hybrid, it may be a bit smaller for demanding bushcraft tasks. Also, some of the bushcraft-related features that are common in other knives are not present. However, just as long as you have no plans for staying in the outdoors without any outside contact for weeks, then this knife should be able to help you.
- Can be used as an everyday carry knife
- Better coverage on the manufacturer’s guarantee
- Very stylish sheath
- Might be too small for you
Bushcraft Knife Buying Guide
If you spend lots of time outdoors, especially in the woods, you already know that a bushcraft knife is crucial for your survival. For those who are planning their first trip into the unspoiled and untamed wilderness, there are three basic things that need to be done:
- Teach yourself basic survival tips (Read about them here)
- Have a survival kit
- Make sure you don’t leave your home without a bushcraft knife.
You may be wondering about the difference between the best bushcraft knife and other kinds of knives. The main difference is their blade design.
For bushcraft knives, the blade is a lot shorter, ranging from three to five inches. One that’s longer than 6 inches will fall into the category, machete, which is a lot more suitable for harder uses like chopping or clearing dense vegetation.
Because a bushcraft knife is small and compact, it’s much easier to pack inside a camping bag. It also gives the user more chopping and cutting control that may be needed for different tasks including the following:
- Igniting a Fire – You will be able to ignite a fire if you make a firestick. You can also rub your bushcraft knife’s spine against a firestarter in order to create a spark and burn paper, leaves or dry grass. (learn how to do this here)
- Carving – Carving a fishing spear using a branch or any piece of wood (learn how to cook fish you’ve caught here). You can also turn the bark into a cup or water container. A bushcraft knife can also come in handy when turning the limbs of a tree into a shelter.
- Batoning – Splitting or cutting wood into fire kindling by using baton-sized sticks in repeatedly striking the bushcraft knife’s spine, which will cut the wood into manageable pieces (learn how to do this here).
Factors to Consider When Buying a Bushcraft Knife
When searching for a bushcraft knife, you have lots of aspects to decide on. For instance, do you want one that can be folded or one that has a fixed blade? Maybe you want your knife’s blade to be made of carbon steel. If not, your other options would be stainless steel and chromium.
If you’re in the bush (outdoors), you need a bushcraft knife to survive; therefore, it’s crucial that you get the right type of tool. The online market has lots of varieties to offer, making it extremely difficult to know which one is the best.
Here are some points that you should consider in order to select the right one for your needs:
Fixed vs. Folding
Most outdoor enthusiasts recommend beginners to have fixed blade knives for lots of reasons. First of all, a fixed blade is a lot stronger compared to the blade of a folding knife. The reason for this is because it’s typically made of a single piece of solid steel. A stronger blade, of course, can do a lot more tasks. It can also make it easier for its user to maintain the knife’s sharpness even when in the woods.
The problem with fixed blade knives is they are harder to hide. They take a bigger footprint than folding knives which cut their size into half when closed. Folding knives are a lot smaller, so they are easier to transport. A folding knife’s blade, however, is not as strong or as durable as a fixed knife’s blade.
Like mentioned earlier, you also need to decide on the blade’s material. Do you want one that’s made of stainless steel? If so, then you have to know that it’s more appropriate for damp, humid, and wet climates. A blade with a stainless steel construction is capable of resisting corrosion for a long time, which makes it a better choice compared to carbon steel.
Carbon steel is not resistant to rust like stainless steel. However, it still has its own set of advantages. For one, it’s sharper compared to a stainless steel model. Moreover, it’s a lot easier to sharpen compared to stainless steel blades. Carbon steel blades, especially ones that are added to the best bushcraft knives, can come with a special coating that protects them from rust and corrosion.
Chromium is another option that makes the blade of a bushcraft knife soft. The good thing about this material is that it’s capable of resisting corrosion, so it will last longer.
If you don’t know what a grind is, it’s the shape of your blade’s cross-section. It’s also how a blade is thinned in order to reveal its cutting edge. The kind of grind that a bushcraft knife has can change the blade’s whole dynamic, so the blade grind has to be both versatile and strong. If the grind makes the cutting edge extremely thin, your blade’s strength is significantly reduced. Go for Scandi grind, chisel grind, flat grind, and convex grind but always avoid the hollow grind.
While selecting the grind, you need to ensure that you’re knowledgeable about the type of blade that’s easy to sharpen. If you want our recommendation, our personal choice is the scandi grind as it’s incredibly quick and easy to sharpen because of its large surface. A blade that can be sharpened easily will be a more useful tool when you’re in the wilderness.
A steeper angle can make a blade’s edge weak. A bigger angle, on the other hand, makes the edge stronger. However, you also need to know that a strong edge can make cutting difficult. A thin cutting edge is great with food preparation, but it’s also bad for splitting barks and other harder tasks. If you know the specific tasks that need to be carried out while you’re in the woods, then that can help you choose the right cutting edge for your blade.
Design and Thickness of the Blade
A bushcraft knife has to have a cutting edge that’s long and flat. A thick blade is recommended as it’s often strong enough to last years. The tip of bushcraft knives is often mistreated, possibly the part that’s mistreated the most, which means you need to make sure it’s sturdy and strong to be functional.
The most effective bushcraft knives have blades that are 3/16 to 4/16 inches thick. Such blades are great at combating myriads of situations with ease. The best bushcraft knife has a good thickness that makes it hard, strong, and extremely solid. It’ll tolerate abuses from prying and chopping of wood. We strongly advise against knives that are sold as bushcraft tools but are flexible and bendable.
One of the most important factors to be keen about when getting a new bushcraft knife is its durability. You need to get one that’s going to offer you the best bang for your buck. After all, regardless of how sharp your knife’s blade is, it’s useless if it gets broken or damaged after only a couple of uses.
The best bushcraft knife will help you during emergencies and it’s sharp enough even when it has seen years in the field. As for the performance of your bushcraft knife, it will just be a matter of preference as there are those who like sharp blades. Of course, the sharpest blade will make a difference during use, but it’s often not a big deal for beginners. If you don’t prioritize the sharpness of the blade, then maybe you’re like others who value the fit of the bushcraft knives in their hands more.
Either way, make sure you choose a bushcraft knife that comes pre-sharpened, one that can be used right away.
Features to Look for
You should also familiarize yourself with the features of the best bushcraft knives before you shop for one.
The handle of a knife is where you grip the tool and it will allow you to manipulate its blade. We suggest you choose a bushcraft knife that offers a good grip no matter what the weather conditions are. A popular choice is a Micarta handle as it boasts of a resin layer fabric. Another option is stacked leather, but it isn’t best for rainy climates. You’ll find lots of bushcraft knives with wooden handles and they’re commonly used for their durability. The problem with wood for a knife’s handle is it can be uncomfortable when you hold it.
A bushcraft knife’s blade is as important as its handle. Shorter blades that are less than 4 inches each are best for finer tasks like processing or carving small wood. Longer blades are more ideal for dealing with larger wood.
A blade’s protective covering, which is called a sheath, is tasked to protect your investment. A sheath can be made of Kydex plastic, nylon, or leather. A leather sheath is what we recommend as it’s durable and it looks better with age. Kydex is weatherproof, and it boasts of incredible knife retention. As for nylon, it’s not the best and it’s often added to a cheap bushcraft knife. If you’re on a tight budget, we would suggest you choose a nylon sheath rather than nothing at all. Knives are dangerous when left unsheathed.
If you have a few bucks to spare, we suggest you get a plastic or leather sheath as both materials can hold up to abuses and frequent usage.
A bushcraft knife’s tang is the section or part of its blade that extends right to the knife’s handle. The blade and the tang are essentially made of a single piece of metal. The best bushcraft knife is one that has a full or complete tang. It would be a good idea if you get a knife with a complete tang as it gives the tool power and strength when it’s in use.
A cheap knife will only have a blade that’s joined to the handle’s peak or topmost portion. The grip will wear off and you won’t have a knife anymore as it’s broken by a little jerk. This is one of the reasons why it’s important that you only get the best bushcraft knife. There are economical yet reliable models sold online, but not all the cheap ones make for perfect survival tools.
Accessories for bushcraft knives are optional, but they can come in handy like a whetstone for blade sharpening. You can also have a knife that has a ferro rod which can be used to start a fire. Having one or two extra accessories can have an impact on your buying decision, most especially if you find it hard to choose between two bushcraft knives.
It can be difficult to find the best bushcraft knives as different people have different preferences for field knives. It’s not as straightforward and simple as getting a new survival knife as a bushcraft knife has to address every single task that’s needed to be carried out in the woods.
All of the bushcraft knives that we featured above won’t disappoint on your next excursion as they’re complete systems. Let us know what you’ve chosen and drop us a comment below!