Bushcraft knives aren’t like any other knife.
The best bushcraft knives are designed for a very specific purpose, and it’s one for which there is no substitute.
The best bushcraft knife needs to be extremely durable with an especially precise tip. The blade needs to be easy to maintain, and it has to be well suited to fine-tuned detail work.
Quality bushcraft knives can be used to carve out things like forks and spoons out of wood with great precision, which isn’t something you can do with just any tool.
When looking for a bushcraft knife, it’s important that you don’t settle for less. This is a dedicated tool and nothing else will be able to take its place.
Before you make a purchase, it’s important to read bushcraft knife reviews and be sure that you understand what you’re looking for.
- How to Find the Best Bushcraft Knife?
- How Much Should You Spend on a Bushcraft Knife?
- TOP 12 Bushcraft Knives Reviewed 2019
- Morakniv Bushcraft Carbon Steel Survival Knife
- Condor CTK232-4.3HC Bushlore Knife
- Boker 02RE030 Real Steel Bushcraft Knife
- Benchmade Bushcrafter Knife
- Camillus BushCrafter Fixed Blade Knife
- Ontario Blackbird SK-5 Knife
- Spyderco Bushcraft G-10 PlainEdge Knife
- Schrade SCHF9 Stainless Steel Fixed Blade Knife
- Fallkniven F1 Knife
- Ka-Bar Becker BK2 Campanion Knife
- Morakniv Craftline Robust Trade Knife
- Spyderco Paramilitary 2 Knife
- Picking the Perfect Bushcraft Knife
How to Find the Best Bushcraft Knife?
The qualities that make a bushcraft knife great are very specific. You can’t use a machete or a tactical knife in place of a bushcraft knife, because they’re designed to complete very different tasks.
Just because a knife is great for one thing, that doesn’t necessarily mean it will work just as well for another.
There are some duties that nothing but the best bushcraft knives can fulfill, so it’s important to make sure you’ve done your research before you purchase one.
The handle of a bushcraft knife is one of the most important parts of its construction.
Since you need to be able to use the point for detail work, the handle needs to provide you with the right grip and balance in order to do that.
A straight handle will slide right out of your hand when you’re trying to carve, so you need to be sure you’re getting something with grooves.
These knives need to be durable, so you’ll want to be sure that the material the handle is made out of is rated for long term use.
Most of the time, wood and canvas handled bushcraft knives fit the bill quite well. You can occasionally find bushcraft knives with plastic handles that will hold up just as well.
Just make sure you read the bushcraft knife reviews to find out if the plastic handle is heavy duty.
The ideal blade material for the best bushcraft knives is high carbon steel. You’ll need to be able to sharpen your bushcraft knife to a razor sharp edge, and high carbon steel holds that edge better than any other material.
It won’t crack, it won’t chip, and you won’t wind up with jagged edges.
A bushcraft knife needs to come to a very fine point. You don’t want something that’s blunt on the end, otherwise you won’t be able to carve with it.
Most knives are made with specific uses in mind, just like dive knives are corrosion resistant due to spending many hours submerged in salt water,* Bushcraft knives are supposed to work for both campsites and delicate woodcarving projects.
Without that small refined point, there’s no reason to use a bushcraft knife.
A bushcraft knife needs to remain very sharp, and the sheath needs to be strong enough to protect such a sharp blade.
This means nylon sheaths are out of the question. Nylon sheaths are made of a bunch of woven fibers. Pulling a sharp knife with a fine point in and out of a nylon sheath will shred it up. You need something made of a more durable material.
Leather and plastic sheaths are essential for bushcraft knives. These are the only materials that will hold up to frequent use.
Since these knives can be dangerous to leave unsheathed when you’re not using them, you’ll need a sheath that can be used frequently without falling apart.
How Much Should You Spend on a Bushcraft Knife?
The top bushcraft knives don’t come cheap.
If you aren’t working with a large budget, it’s important to find the best bushcraft knife for the money.
A knife that’s too cheap should be a warning sign. The materials needed to create a great bushcraft knife are expensive all by themselves – and that doesn’t include labor or profits.
If you settle for a cheap knife, chances are that the knife won’t hold its value well. The blade will probably be brittle and hard to maintain.
If the point snaps off, the bushcraft knife is no longer of any use to you. This means you’ll need to buy another one.
Rather than settling on a cheap knife, it’s worth the money to spend a little more on a knife you know will last you for decades with proper care.
TOP 12 Bushcraft Knives Reviewed 2019
These bushcraft knife reviews encompass a large array of knives at different price points. If you’re looking for the best bushcraft knife, you’ll find one you’ll be thrilled to use.
Since a great bushcraft knife blade will generally be the same across the board, it’s the little details here that make all the difference.
Understanding these little details can help you narrow down your possible selections.
Morakniv Bushcraft Carbon Steel Survival Knife
Morakniv has a legendary reputation as a knife manufacturer. All of their tools are made in Sweden, crafted from some of the highest quality materials on the planet.
This is a bushcraft knife with a twist – it can be used for bushcraft, but the included accessories are what really make it something special.
The blade itself is 1/8th of an inch thick, coated in a black material that prevents corrosion and keeps the knife looking pristine for longer.
- Comes with a fire starter attached to the sheath that will work for up to 7,000 strikes. It produces 3,000 degree sparks even when it’s wet.
- The sheath has a diamond sharpener built right into it. While it won’t hone and refine the blade, it will allow you to touch up the sharpness while you’re out in the wilderness.
- Grip is ergonomically shaped and coated with a high friction rubber. This means it’s easy to hold onto the knife, and it won’t slip out of your hand if it gets wet.
- Though it is equipped with survival features, this knife shouldn’t be used in place of a hatchet or machete for complicated wood processing tasks.
Condor CTK232-4.3HC Bushlore Knife
This is a beautiful bushcraft knife that won’t break the bank. The handle is crafted from genuine walnut wood, so it will never crack or splinter.
The blade is a blasted satin finish that will hide slight scratches or imperfections that will naturally occur with frequent use.
Included sheath is made of 100% leather and built to last.
- Knife is full tang, and the tang flushes into the ergonomic curvature of the blade. Since the tang lays completely flat, it won’t affect your grip or get in your way.
- Blade features a classic Scandinavian style edge that you would find on similar blades, but it doesn’t cost nearly as much.
- Pronounced grind makes the edges easy to sharpen.
- Every knife is handmade, so they may be subject to slight variations in appearance or blade grind.
Boker 02RE030 Real Steel Bushcraft Knife
This is a modestly sized bushcraft knife, which is precisely what makes it the best choice for detail work. Fine carving tasks are where this blade truly excels.
If your main aim in buying a bushcraft knife is to use it for fine whittling or carving wooden tools, you couldn’t find a better knife for those purposes.
This blade is just as strong as it is beautiful.
- Blade itself is made of the most reliable D2 steel. With proper maintenance, this blade will last you decades. It’s easy to sharpen and easy to clean, and you won’t have to worry about tree sap stains as long as you thoroughly wash it between uses.
- Scandinavian style grind comes razor sharp right out of the box. You don’t need to prime this bushcraft knife before you use it.
- Comes with a reinforce Kydex sheath that can be clipped directly to your belt.
- Smaller size blade isn’t optimized for cutting larger pieces of wood. You still can, but it will take much longer than it would with a larger blade.
Benchmade Bushcrafter Knife
Benchmade is a premium quality brand. If you’re willing to pay the top price for the top quality blade, look no further than this one.
This particular knife is made to be virtually indestructible. The grind on the blade is very high, allowing you to shave wood into paper thin sheets just as easily as a knife would slide through butter.
The blade is nearly 4 and a half inches long, making it a perfect compromise between a small knife and a large knife.
- Knife is full tang, and the G10 handles are held together through the handle with a vulcanized space and three points of industrial grade titanium tubing.
- Included sheath is genuine leather. It features a loop to hold a flint rod and a retention strap that can be used for easy carry.
- Edge of the blade is ground down to a 90 degree angle, making it easy to sharpen in any standard sharpener.
- This is a very pricey knife. It’s worth its weight in gold, but it’s a large investment.
Camillus BushCrafter Fixed Blade Knife
This knife is designed to compete with more expensive models, and it’s one of the best bushcraft knives under 100 dollars.
It’s a great compromise for someone who wants an excellent Scandinavian style bushcraft knife who isn’t willing to shell out the full price tag for one.
This knife is pretty remarkable for the price, and anyone would be happy to work with it.
- Blade is crafted from high quality 1095 high carbon steel.
- The back of the blade can be used as a fire starter. When stricken, it will throw hot sparks.
- Handle is canvas micarta, which offers a superior grip.
- Lacing on the sheath is a little loose. You need to remember to tighten it manually.
Ontario Blackbird SK-5 Knife
The Ontario Blackbird is a very popular, USA made bushcraft knife.
The 5-inch stainless steel, full tang blade is a simple, spear point shape, designed with the belief that simple means efficient and effective.
It has a very thin (3.3mm) blade, but it is strong and holds its edge making it ideal for detailed bush-crafting.
The simple design also means that it is versatile and won’t hold you back from performing other tasks if you need.
- The handle is made of tough G10 plastic with a rough, grippy texture so your hand won’t be at risk of slipping.
- Comes with a nylon Molle Compatible sheath with 2 Molle webbing straps for attaching extra tools such as a fire rod.
- This knife is good value for money, sitting in the middle of the price range but being heavy duty in quality.
- Sheath is lower quality than the knife.
- Handle may result in some hot spots with extended use.
Spyderco Bushcraft G-10 PlainEdge Knife
The Spyderco Bushcraft G-10 is another highly popular bushcraft knife that makes all of the lists of good bushcraft knives.
It is a handsome full tang knife with a Scandinavian grind which comes with a trusty leather sheath.
The 4 inch Drop Point blade is made of 0-1 High Carbon Steel which maintains its razor sharp edge like no other material.
- G-10 Plastic handle is strong, grippy, the ideal shape for any kind of hand-hold and has a lanyard hole.
- The single bevel grind will handle twisting and grinding and be easy to sharpen.
- Weighing in at 7.75 oz. this knife is relatively lightweight, well balanced and very comfortable to use.
- It’s very hard to find fault with this knife, the only cons may be if the sheath doesn’t meet your personal preferences. But alternative sheaths are easy to find.
- It is one of the more expensive knives on the market.
Schrade SCHF9 Stainless Steel Fixed Blade Knife
The Schrade SCHF9 fixed blade survival knife is another great bushcraft choice at the lower end of the price spectrum.
It’s hard to find a good cheap bushcraft knife, as price does generally reflect quality, but the Schrade is definitely good value for money.
It’s a full tang knife with a 6.4inch blade that is made of high carbon stainless steel in a drop point style.
It’s a rather heavy duty knife, and one of the largest bushcraft knives so not ideal for fine and detailed work, but plenty strong enough to handle just about anything else.
- Ring textured TPE handle is easy to hold and slants slightly downward for easy exertion of force.
- The handle is also shaped to be very comfortable in your hand with finger grooves and a lanyard hole.
- Comes with nylon ballistic belt sheath with removable storage pouch.
- This is one large, strong knife that will easily handle tasks such as splitting logs.
- May be a little too heavy duty for fine bushwork use.
Fallkniven F1 Knife
A tactical survival knife that was designed for the Swedish Army, the Fallkniven F1 is a top of line bushcraft knife.
Lightweight, easy and safe to use, this knife has a truly excellent blade, with an excellent length to width ratio that is very tough to compete against.
The 3.75-inch drop point blade is made from Laminated VG-10 Stainless Steel which is another form of stainless steel with a high carbon content.
This makes it extremely strong, resistant to rust and likely to hold its edge for a long time.
- Thermorun elastomer handle is ergonomically shaped to be comfortable and provides a good, secure grip, even in wet conditions.
- The light weight (6.4 oz.) makes this knife easy to carry and not tiring to use for extended periods of time. This also makes it well suited to fine, detailed work.
- This is an extremely tough, impossible to break knife, that despite its light weight, will stand up to almost anything making it extremely durable.
- Too light for any kind of chopping or knife work that would benefit from having a bit of weight behind it.
- Like most knives, the sheath that comes with it isn’t necessarily the sheath you’ll want to keep.
Ka-Bar Becker BK2 Campanion Knife
The BK3 Campanion Bushcraft Knife is a full tang, drop point blade that will cope with any task you throw at it.
Weighing in around a pound, this is one heavy knife. However, the extra weight may be handy if you’re looking for a knife for more heavy duty tasks.
It is designed to cope with any tasks that might be called for on a hunting or camping trip, including splitting kindling, skinning game and chopping onions.
- Comes with Molle compatible hard plastic sheath where the knife clicks into place for security, requiring pressure at a designated point to release it.
- The Grivory thermo plastic handle is comfortable and comes with both front and back guards for safety.
- The Cro-Van carbon steel is extra strong and durable with a versatile 20 degree blade angle.
- Not suited for any fine and detailed carving.
- Not as razor-sharp out of the box as some of the more top of the line knives.
Morakniv Craftline Robust Trade Knife
Another reliable option from Morakniv, the Craftline is ideal for knife work in a variety of bushcraft situations while also being pretty strong.
It’s one of the more affordable knives on the list and is also lightweight for a mid-sized knife.
The 3.6-inch blade is made of carbon steel and though the knife isn’t full tang, ¾ tang seems to be extremely strong.
- 2mm wide blade is fine and well suited to detailed work.
- Carbon steel blade is extremely strong and durable with a long lasting edge.
- Egonomic TPE rubber handle is comfortable, very grippy and has a finger guard for extra safety.
- The spine of the knife can be filed to add any fire making capabilities that you might require.
- This is a very good value knife, being made of top quality materials and from a top brand but charging a fraction of some of the other knives on this list.
- Not full tang, but provided you don’t try and chop down a tree, this shouldn’t stop you from having a great relationship with this knife.
Spyderco Paramilitary 2 Knife
Folding knives won’t usually appear on a list of the top bushcraft knives as they are inherently weaker than fixed blade knives. But if you have to choose one, the Spyderco ParaMilitary2 is a good option.
It has a well-designed handle which is comfortable and has a great grip. The top of the line blade is sharp and strong.
- G-10 handle is ergonomically designed including a narrower heel for a comfortable hold with fantastic grip.
- 4-inch full flat-ground blade is made of CPM S30V Stainless Steel which is sharp, strong and resistant to rust.
- Under no circumstances should you attempt to baton with a folding knife unless you want to risk losing a finger as the lock will almost always disengage. Folding knives should only be used for carving type crafts.
- A little pricey.
Picking the Perfect Bushcraft Knife
What is the best bushcraft knife?
It all depends on how much money you have to spend and the kind of handle you would prefer to work with.
Since a bushcraft knife is a high quality expensive tool, it’s worth taking a close look at all of the best models on the market.
In an ideal world, you’ll be able to use one bushcraft knife for everything. It’s worth taking your time and being positive that you’ve purchased the perfect knife.