10 Best Bowie Knife Reviews – The Most Versatile Knives

Best Bowie Knife

The bowie knife has been around since the early 19th century and it gets its name from Jim Bowie who it is believed was the first person to use one in a fight.

Although no one knows with certainty how the original bowie knife looked like, historians and knife enthusiasts seem to agree that a bowie knife is typically a large fighting knife that can be anywhere between 12 and 20 inches long.

A lot of time has passed since the first bowie knife was created. And so it has undergone many design changes as knife enthusiasts try to improve the appearance and performance.

Although originally designed for self-defense and combat, the bowie knife is now a versatile tool for everything from hunting, butchering to wilderness survival.

There are now countless Bowie knives on the market and so you can be sure that you will have more than enough options.

And with our reviews of some of the best Bowie knives in the market and guide below to help you out, it should be easy to pick one that suits your needs.

You may also like to read other product reviews such as self defense knife, hunting knife, survival knife, neck knife, butterfly knife, boot knife, otf knife

10 Best Bowie Knives – Reviews

Whether you are buying a bowie knife for your outdoor adventures, for combat and defense or just for collection, you will want to get the best. Below we compare 10 of the best Bowie knives out there using factors like the blade and handle length and material and tang to help make it easier for you to choose one.

Product Name

Overall Length

Weight

Blade Material

Sheath

Rating

Current Price

Buck Knives 124 Frontiersman Bowie Knife

11-3/4"

0.83 lbs

420 high carbon steel

Leather

4.6

Timber Rattler Western Outlaw Bowie Knife

16-1/2"

2 lbs

Stainless steel

Leather

4.1

Nescole Bowie Knife

8.0"

0.75 lbs

Damascus carbon steel

Leather

4.3

Ka-Bar Becker BK9 Combat Bowie Knife

14-3/4"

1.05 lbs

1095 Cro-Van steel

Nylon

4.7

Ontario Knife 8684 SP-10 Bowie Plainedge

15-1/4"

1.5 lbs

1095 high carbon steel

Nylon

4.5

SOG SB1T-L Fixed Blade Bowie Knife

12.88"

1.1 lbs

AUS-8 steel

Leather

4.2

Uncle Henry 181UH Bowie Fixed Blade

15.37"

1.06 lbs

High carbon
stainless steel

Polyester

4.3

Mossy Oak Bowie Knife Wood Handle

14"

0.88 lbs

Stainless steel

Leather

4.5

Case Bowie Fixed Knives

14.25"

1.25 lbs

Surgical stainless steel

Leather

4.5

Puma 116396 Bowie Fixed Blade Knife

11"

0.44 lbs

440c stainless
steel

Leather

4.0

#1. Buck Knives 124 Frontiersman Fixed Blade Bowie Knife

Editor's Rating: (4.6 / 5)

Buck Knives 124 Frontiersman Fixed Blade Bowie Knife
  • Overall Length: 11.75 inches
  • Weight: 0.83 lbs
  • Blade Material: 420 High Carbon Steel
  • Sheath: Leather

Buck Knives is one of the best bowie knife brands and so even before you use this particular one you can be confident it is high-quality, high performing and durable.

Although it is one of the priciest on our list, it will be worth every coin you spend on it. The blade is a razor sharp 420 high carbon steel that is 6-1/4-inch long and with excellent edge retention and resistance to corrosion.

Also, the handle on this full tang bowie knife is equally high-quality and it is a black micarta that guarantees that you always get a safe and secure grip. And there is also an integrated finger guard and aluminum pommel that enhances both the aesthetics and balance.

Carrying this knife is also easy as it comes with a genuine leather sheath with snap fastener and an integrated belt loop. Hence everything about this bowie knife is as perfect as it can get.

Pros:

  • Razor sharp blade
  • Solid full tang construction
  • Integrated finger guard
  • Safe and secure grip
  • Genuine leather sheath

Cons:

  • Handle may feel a little too chunky

#2. Timber Rattler Western Outlaw Bowie Knife

Editor's Rating: (4.1 / 5)

Timber Rattler Western Outlaw Bowie Knife
  • Overall Length: 16.5 inches
  • Weight: 2 lbs
  • Blade Material: Stainless Steel
  • Sheath: Leather

If you are a bowie knife collector looking for an aesthetically appealing and inexpensive one, here is a great option for you. And despite being one of the cheapest on our list it is still quite a high-quality bowie knife.

This fantastic knife features an 11-3/8 stainless steel blade that is one of the longest on of bowie knife reviews, and it will offer a lot of cutting power.

It is a full tang blade knife that also comes with a very attractive gray hardwood handle and brass-plated guard that combine to give it a very appealing overall appearance.

This knife also comes with a genuine leather sheath for convenient storage.

Pros:

  • Relatively affordable
  • Tough and stable full tang
  • Genuine leather sheath
  • Lovely hardwood handle
  • Attractive brass-plated guard

Cons:

  • Not a very sharp blade

#3. Nescole Bowie Knife

Editor's Rating: (4.3 / 5)

Nescole Bowie Knife
  • Overall Length: 8 inches
  • Weight: 0.75 lbs
  • Blade Material: Dasmacus Carbon Steel
  • Sheath: Leather

The Nescole bowie knife is another great product for collectors as it has an impressive overall appearance. It is also a great choice for those that prefer a small knife that is easy to carry or conceal.

The premium steel blade is just 3.9 inches long and although it might not be very versatile it will offer more precision than most of the regular long blade bowie knives.

Also, it has a unique and very adorable handle that is hand carved wood with a piece of camel bone. And it has a comfortable and ergonomic design for an easy grip. This small bowie knife also comes with a genuine leather sheath.

Pros:

  • Hand carved wood and bone handle
  • Ergonomic and easy grip design
  • Tough premium steel blade
  • Genuine leather sheath

Cons:

  • Blade is too small and not very functional

#4. Ka-Bar Becker BK9 Combat Bowie Fixed Blade Knife

Editor's Rating: (4.7 / 5)

Ka-Bar Becker BK9 Combat Bowie Fixed Blade Knife
  • Overall Length: 14.75 inches
  • Weight: 1.05 lbs
  • Blade Material: 1095 Cro-Van Steel
  • Sheath: Nylon

Ka-Bar Becker BK9 is a great purchase if you are shopping for your first combat knife. It is also a great quality product for a mid-price range knife.

The relatively lightweight knife is easy to handle and it feels well-balanced on the hand. This full tang bowie knife has a tough and easy to sharpen 1095 Cro-Van steel blade and ergonomic Grivory handle with a lanyard hole to give you more carrying options.

The 9-inch blade comes pre-sharpened and so this knife will be ready for use straight from the box. And there is also a nylon sheath with a belt loop for convenient storage and carrying.

Pros:

  • Relatively lightweight knife
  • Perfect edge angle
  • Sharp enough from the box
  • Ergonomic Grivory handle

Cons:

  • Less durable nylon sheath

#5. Ontario Knife 8684 SP-10 Raider Bowie Plainedge

Editor's Rating: (4.5 / 5)

Ontario Knife 8684 SP-10 Raider Bowie Plainedge
  • Overall Length: 15.25 inches
  • Weight: 1.5 lbs
  • Blade Material: 1095 High Carbon Steel
  • Sheath: Nylon

Although the mid-price range Ontario Knife 8684 SP-10 will not cost as much as other top bowie knives, it is still good enough and with a relatively longer blade for more versatility and power.

The tough 9.75-inch carbon steel blade will come in handy for various outdoor activities whether you are out camping or hunting. And it combines with the comfortable Kraton handle to make this a fantastic bowie knife.

This full tang knife also comes with a tactical nylon sheath that will make carrying and transporting it more convenient. But, the nylon sheath is not as durable as the leather ones that come with many bowie knives on our list.

Pros:

  • Tough carbon steel blade
  • Full tang construction
  • Longer blade length
  • Comfortable Kraton handle

Cons:

  • Low-quality nylon sheath

#6. SOG SB1T-L Fixed Blade Bowie Knife

Editor's Rating: (4.2 / 5)

SOG SB1T-L Fixed Blade Bowie Knife​
  • Overall Length: 12.88 inches
  • Weight: 1.1 lbs
  • Blade Material: AUS-8 Steel
  • Sheath: Leather

For the bowie knife enthusiasts that do not mind spending some extra cash to get a top-notch quality knife, this SOG one is a good choice.

It is the priciest product on our list but the tough blade and handle, and the sturdy overall construction makes it worth the extra cost. This knife comes with a 7.5-inch blade with a clip point shape for quicker and deeper puncturing.

The ergonomically designed and well-balanced handle makes the knife easy and comfortable to use. And it is also easy to carry and store as it has a lanyard hole, leather lanyard, and black leather sheath.

Pros:

  • Clip point shape blade
  • Ergonomic and well-balanced handle
  • Lanyard hole and leather lanyard
  • Black leather sheath
  • Comes with sharpening stone

Cons:

  • Relatively pricey knife

#7. Uncle Henry 181UH Bowie Full Tang Fixed Blade

Editor's Rating: (4.3 / 5)

Uncle Henry 181UH Bowie Full Tang Fixed Blade​
  • Overall Length: 15.37 inches
  • Weight: 1.06 lbs
  • Blade Material: High Carbon Stainless Steel
  • Sheath: Polyester

It is hard to imagine that such an amazing bowie knife costs very little. The Uncle Henry 181UH is the cheapest bowie knife on our list but it is still a decent quality knife.

This high carbon stainless steel blade is 10-inches long which will be ideal for various applications. And the full tang blade combines with the sleek Staglon handle to create fantastic and highly affordable bowie knife.

There is also an equally attractive nickel silver guard on this knife and it will come with a convenient polyester belt sheath.

Pros:

  • High carbon stainless steel blade
  • Nickel silver guard
  • Long enough blade
  • Sleek Staglon handle

Cons:

  • Cheap plastic handles

#8. Mossy Oak 14-inch Bowie Knife Wood Handle

Editor's Rating: (4.5 / 5)

Mossy Oak 14-inch Bowie Knife Wood Handle​
  • Overall Length: 14 inches
  • Weight: 0.88 lbs
  • Blade Material: Stainless Steel
  • Sheath: Leather

Here is another highly affordable bowie knife that will also be a great choice for anyone shopping for something high-quality on a tight budget.

The 14-inch long knife comes with a sturdy and razor sharp blade that is ready to use straight from the box. And for the handle, you get a classic design made from genuine rosewood that provides a comfortable and non-slip grip.

It is also quite a versatile knife that will be great for everything from hunting, survival and tactical application hence making it the best bowie knife for the money.

When you buy this affordable bowie knife you will also get a genuine leather sheath with a belt loop for easy and safe carry.

Pros:

  • Lovely rosewood handle
  • Razor sharp blade
  • Clip point blade shape
  • Highly versatile bowie knife
  • Genuine leather sheath

Cons:

  • Not the best finishing on the bronze sections

#9. Case Bowie Fixed Knives

Editor's Rating: (4.5 / 5)

Case Bowie Fixed Knives
  • Overall Length: 14.25 inches
  • Weight: 1.25 lbs
  • Blade Material: Surgical Stainless Steel
  • Sheath: Leather

You can tell that this is a sturdy and high-quality survival bowie knife just by looking at it. Everything on the 14.25-inch long knife looks well made and it will be a very handy tool.

The blade in this bowie knife is 9.5 inches which makes it great for everything from hunting or hiking to most other outdoor and survival activities. And the blade is mirror polished and with a lovely brass guard to give the knife an appealing overall look.

This bowie knife is available in both black and white handle options and it will come with a genuine leather sheath.

Pros:

  • Sturdy and very tough blade
  • Fantastic brass guard
  • Mirror polished blade
  • Available in both black and white handle options
  • Genuine leather sheath

Cons:

  • No indication of the tang type

#10. Puma 116396 Bowie Fixed Blade Knife

Editor's Rating: (4 / 5)

Puma 116396 Bowie Fixed Blade Knife
  • Overall Length: 11 inches
  • Weight: 0.44 lbs
  • Blade Material: 440c Stainless Steel
  • Sheath: Leather

Puma 116396 is one of the lightest bowie knives on our list but it feels well-balanced and it should be easy to use even for inexperienced individuals.

It is a handmade knife with a 6.1-inch stainless steel blade and 4.9-inch genuine stag horn. And besides from being a top quality tactical bowie knife, it also looks good enough.

This knife does not come with a sharp enough edge but it is easy to sharpen and it will retain the edge for long enough. And it will come with a leather sheath and lanyard to make it easy to store and carry.

Pros:

  • Highly lightweight and easy to handle
  • Genuine stag horn handle
  • Easy sharpening
  • Handmade bowie knife
  • Leather sheath and lanyard included

Cons:

  • Awful factory edge

How to Buy the Best Bowie Knife

How to Buy the Best Bowie Knife

The bowie knife has been around for more than a century now, and there are now more variations than at any other time. Various knife companies now produce them.

What this means is that you will have plenty of options to choose from,but to make sure you get the best you should always consider the following vital factors.

1. Handle

The handle is an important part of any knife, and so it is one of the most important factors to consider when buying a bowie knife.

And when it comes to the knife handle you will need to consider the design, material, and the length.

For the length, the simple rule is to go for something long enough to fit your hand but not too long that it adds unnecessary weight to the knife. On average, the handles will be between 4 and 6 inches.

The handle material will vary from one manufacturer to the other, and there are plenty of options available. The most common ones are wood, metal, rubber, and plastic. But, you can also get knives with bone handles which are great for collectors.

Wood and metal handles are great when you want something decorative while most rubber and plastic ones tend to be ultra-durable.

For the handle design, you should go for something ergonomic that gives you excellent control over both the tip and edge of the knife. Also, the handle design should make it possible to retain the knife in your hand when cutting and also when it is wet.

2. Blade

Since the blade is what makes the cut, it the most important factor to consider when choosing your bowie knife. And like with the handle, you need to consider the length, design, and material.

Although bowie knives will come with different blade lengths, those that are between 6 and 9 inches are the most popular as they offer more versatility.

However, as you choose the ideal blade length it is important to note that small blades will give you more precision and the longer ones tend to be more powerful.

For the blade material, carbon steel is the traditional bowie knife material. But, there are still a few other blade material options like stainless steel and laminated steel.

Carbon steel blades are significantly tougher than the other types, they are easier to sharpen and it is easy to hone them to a fine edge.

And when it comes to the blade design, most bowie knives will come will have a straight edge that extends from the handle to the belly and this design is often the best for general purpose use.

While the straight edge is ideal for both carving and slicing it is not the best for chopping. And so some bowie knives will have a recurved edge design to make them great for chopping.

3. Tang

The bowie is quite a heavy knife and so it is important for it to have a full tang to ensure that it does not crack or snap in half after a few uses.

However, non-full tang bowie knives can still work for those that want something inexpensive for occasional use or for collectors that want them for display and wall hangers.

4. Sheath

When buying any knife the sheath is probably the last thing that you think about, but it is important to note that it is almost as important as the knife itself.

And besides from just going for a bowie that comes with a sheath, it is also important to look at the quality of the sheath.

Since the sheath houses and protects the knife from the elements, you need to make sure that it is the best quality. Leather and synthetic sheath are the best as they last the longest. But also make sure that the sheath will not wear out the knife’s edge when in storage.

Conclusion

A bowie knife is a versatile knife that will be ideal for everything from hunting and camping to combat, defense and survival. But, it will only serve any of these purposes if you choose the best bowie knife from the many options out there.

By considering factors like the blade and handle material, length, and design, tang and sheath you should have an easier time getting a quality bowie knife.

And regardless of how you intend to use the knife, it is also important to keep it clean and sharp so that it serves you well for long.

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