7 Best Bushcraft Knives – The Vital Wilderness Survival Tool

Best Bushcraft Knife

People who love to spend time in the wilderness generally vouch by one tool. The bushcraft knife. Despite looking like a regular knife, the bushcraft knife is more solidly built than the latter and can endure abuse better.

In essence, it is a simple device that consists of a blade affixed to a handle by pins or bolts. It might look simple, but it will come in handy more often than not. Indeed, the bushcraft knife is a vital survival tool in the wilderness.

The beauty of this survival tool is that it is versatile and can be used for a variety of tasks. From cutting branches, making a fire, to skinning an animal; this knife can do it all. If you are planning an outing in the wilderness, there is no excuse not to get a bushcraft knife.

Consequently, this article was made for anyone who has never bought a bushcraft knife before. Here you will learn the basics, as well as find recommendations on some of the best bushcraft knives on the market.

Stay tuned!

7 Best Bushcraft Knife Reviews

To cut straight to the chase, here is a list of 7 of the best bushcraft knives for the money:

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Product Name

Blade Material

Knife Length

Weight

Rating

Current Price

Benchmade - Bushcrafter 162 Knife

1. Benchmade - Bushcrafter 162 Knife

CPM-S30V stainless steel

9.2"

7.7 oz

4.7

Ontario Black Bird SK-5 Knife w/ Sheath

2. Ontario Black Bird SK-5 Knife w/ Sheath

154CM Stainless Steel

10"

8.4 oz

4.4

Morakniv Bushcraft Carbon Fixed Blade Knife with Carbon Steel Blade

3. Morakniv Bushcraft Carbon Fixed Blade Knife with Carbon Steel Blade

High-Carbon Steel

9.1"

5.7 oz

4.6

Tops Knives B.O.B. Brothers of Bushcraft Knife w/ Black Handle

4. Tops Knives B.O.B. Brothers of Bushcraft Knife w/ Black Handle

1095 High-Carbon Steel

10"

N/A

4.6

Schrade SCHF36 10.4in Stainless Steel Fixed Blade Knife

5. Schrade SCHF36 10.4in Stainless Steel Fixed Blade Knife

1095 powder coated high-carbon steel

10"

12.3 oz

4.4

Spyderco Bushcraft G-10 Plain Edge Knife with Leather Sheath

6. Spyderco Bushcraft G-10 Plain Edge Knife with Leather Sheath

O1 Japanese steel

8.75"

7.75 oz

4.3

Buck Knives 0863BRS SELKIRK Fixed Blade Survival Knife with Fire Striker and Sheath

7. Buck Knives 0863BRS SELKIRK Fixed Blade Survival Knife with Fire Striker and Sheath

420HC Stainless Steel

9.5"

7.6 oz

4.2

1. Benchmade - Bushcrafter 162 Knife

Editor's Rating: (4.7 / 5)

Benchmade - Bushcrafter 162 Knife
  • Knife Type: Full-Tang
  • Blade Material: CPM-S30V stainless steel
  • Blade Length: 4.43-inches
  • Knife Length: 9.2-inches
  • Handle Material: G10 Plastic
  • Weight: 7.7 ounces

The Benchmade Bushcrafter 162 has for years been a favorite amongst outdoor lovers. This little bushcraft knife seems to have a little something for everyone.

It looks modern and is very nice looking. You will definitely swing this knife with pride. It handles well and feels solid in the hand. It definitely feels like a premium bushcraft knife however you look at it.

This is a full-tang knife that sports a robust and quality blade made from CPM-S30V stainless steel. It will not bend or break under load and best, it is fully rust-resistant so it can be used under wet conditions.

Indeed, the generous thickness of the blade is what sets this model apart from the competition.

Even the handle is water resistant and has grooves that are anti-slip. This model is clearly a wilderness bushcraft knife that is very well adapted.

Moreover, the G10 handle is ergonomic and comfortable to hold, even for an extended use. It even comes with a D-ring for ease of storage.

Best of the best, this model is fully endorsed by the manufacturer and there is a lifetime warranty on this product. If it breaks at any time, send it for a repair or get a new knife back. Neat!

Pros:

  • Full lifetime warranty by the manufacturer
  • Hand groove in the handle for a comfortable hold
  • Long and solid blade made from S30V stainless steel
  • The blade is thick and will not bend under heavy-use
  • Delivered with a leather sheath and a D-ring
  • Can be used in wet conditions

Cons:

  • The price

2. Ontario Black Bird SK-5 Knife w/ Sheath

Editor's Rating: (4.4 / 5)

Ontario Black Bird SK-5 Knife w/ Sheath
  • Knife Type: Full-Tang
  • Blade Material: 154CM Stainless Steel
  • Blade Length: 5-inches
  • Knife Length: 10-inches
  • Handle Material: G10 Plastic
  • Weight: 8.4 ounces

The Ontario Black Bird SK-5 is a little more modest looking. But as with any bushcraft knife, looks can be deceiving. It is actually an excellent model for anyone of any experience level.

This model sports a long 5-inches blade made from 154 CM Stainless Steel. It will not rust and resist the elements really well. Moreover, the blade thickness of 0.351 cm makes it super easy to work with.

It is too thin to be used to cut thick and dense materials but for general purpose survival usage, it works just fine. Additionally, the handle is made from G10 plastic and has tiny grooves and patterns on it. This promotes handling and prevents the user’s hand from slipping away and potentially causing an injury.

Despite a thin blade, this is a big knife. It measures 10-inches overall, which is big and looks intimidating. The blade is full-tang and will fit comfortably in the nylon sheath included with the purchase.

All in all, this is a good bushcraft knife for cutting relatively soft material like raw branches or skinning animals. You get a lot for your money. It is big, rust-resistance and has good handling.

We think that you will not be disappointed with this knife if you are looking for an all-around survival knife.

Pros:

  • Excellent and comfortable handling
  • The blade is made from 154CM stainless steel. Will not rust.
  • The long blade of 5-inches can cut more material
  • Big and intimidating knife.

Cons:

  • Thin blade for such a long knife
  • Plain edge. Best suited for cutting fairly soft materials

3. Morakniv Bushcraft Carbon Fixed Blade Knife with Carbon Steel Blade

Editor's Rating: (4.6 / 5)

Morakniv Bushcraft Carbon Fixed Blade Knife with Carbon Steel Blade
  • Knife Type: Full-Tang
  • Blade Material: High-Carbon Steel
  • Blade Length: 4.3-inches
  • Knife Length: 9.1-inches
  • Handle Material: Rubber
  • Weight: 5.7 ounces

The Morakniv is a gorgeous looking bushcraft knife with a carbon steel blade coated with Tungsten DLC.

Further, the blade is 0.32cm thick, and a blade length of 4.3-inches. This dimension is pretty much the industry standard. It isn’t the biggest bushcraft knife, but it is not small. Not by any means!

On closer look, we see that the blade is hardened to HRC 56-58, which makes it stronger and able to withstand standard practices like batoning for splinter wood. This also makes it stronger and able to bend more easily without snapping

Therefore, despite having a blade made from a weaker high-carbon steel, the tungsten DLC coating gives it a lot more solidity of what it would originally have had.

Another noteworthy point is that the blade has a scandi grind. This means that it is slanted in a way that will make it penetrate deeper and deeper into the material instead of just slipping away.

The Morakniv is a gorgeous looking bushcraft knife with a carbon steel blade coated with Tungsten DLC.

Further, the blade is 0.32cm thick, and a blade length of 4.3-inches. This dimension is pretty much the industry standard. It isn’t the biggest bushcraft knife, but it is not small. Not by any means!

On closer look, we see that the blade is hardened to HRC 56-58, which makes it stronger and able to withstand standard practices like batoning for splinter wood. This also makes it stronger and able to bend more easily without snapping

Therefore, despite having a blade made from a weaker high-carbon steel, the tungsten DLC coating gives it a lot more solidity of what it would originally have had.

Another noteworthy point is that the blade has a scandi grind. This means that it is slanted in a way that will make it penetrate deeper and deeper into the material instead of just slipping away.

Bottom line, cutting wood with this survival knife is easier and safer. It is definitely one of the best knives for bushcraft considering its ease of use and solidity.

The handle is made from an over-molded rubber material that espouses the hands really well and prevents slipping. The ergonomic shape also means that you can use this knife for heavy-duty cutting and it will not give you hand pains.

Lastly, the back of the handle, called the spine, has been made especially as a fire-starter. Just rub a regular fire starter against the spine and it will create generous sparks that are enough to ignite a fire from dry grass and leaves.

Pros:

  • High-quality carbon-steel blade coated with Tungsten DLC
  • Easy to sharpen
  • Scandi grind allows it to cut material more easily
  • Soft and comfortable rubber handle
  • The spine can be used as a fire-starter

Cons:

  • Blade thickness is thin and not ideal for cutting tough materials

4. Tops Knives B.O.B. Brothers of Bushcraft Knife w/ Black Handle

Editor's Rating: (4.6 / 5)

Tops Knives B.O.B. Brothers of Bushcraft Knife w/ Black Handle
  • Knife Type: Full-Tang
  • Blade Material: 1095 High-Carbon Steel
  • Blade Length: 4.5-inches
  • Knife Length: 10-inches
  • Handle Material: Canvas Micarta
  • Weight: N/A

What sets the B.O.B bushcraft knife from the competition is definitely its handle. It sports a black canvas Micarta Handle that is absolutely gorgeous to look at. It is also soft and very comfortable to hold. Moreover, the ergonomic shape is not everything.

This handle also does an excellent job preventing hand and muscle pains when used in the long run. Did we mention that it is also anti-slip and offers a superb grip?

As for the blades, they are 4.5-inches and the whole knife is a whopping 10-inches. Indeed, this is a big knife and not intended for small hands. At the heart of it lies a blade made of 1095 High-Carbon steel. Hardened to RC 56-58 standard.

Those are very good specs that show that the Tops B.O.B has many versatile uses. It can even be used for batoning, carving and feather sticks, all of which are popular survivalist activities.

It even has thumb grooves. The thumb grooves at the top of the blade allow your thumb to add an additional force to the knife making cutting through material easier.

Lastly, this unit comes with a cool Black Kydex sheath that you can use to store your knife. All in all, this is a versatile and solid knife that is in our opinion one of the top bushcraft knives on the market right now.

Pros:

  • Big knife for big applications
  • Thumb grooves for easy cutting
  • Versatile with many uses
  • Canvas Micarta handle is a pleasure to hold
  • Kydex sheath is premium and protects the knife well

Cons:

  • N/A

5. Schrade SCHF36 10.4in Stainless Steel Fixed Blade Knife

Editor's Rating: (4.4 / 5)

Schrade SCHF36 10.4in Stainless Steel Fixed Blade Knife
  • Knife Type: Full-Tang
  • Blade Material: 1095 powder coated high-carbon steel
  • Blade Length: 5-inches
  • Knife Length: 10-inches
  • Handle Material: TPE
  • Weight: 12.3 ounces

Despite being a very affordable bushcraft knife, the Schrade SCHF36 is still a beautiful work of art. It looks amazing. This knife sports a decent 5-inches blade and measures 10-inches in length. This is a big knife that is definitely not a toy.

The blade is solid and made of 1095 powder coated high-carbon. This gives it strength and guarantees that it will not dull easily.

One of the aspects we like the most about this knife is its artistic handle. It is a ring textured TPE handle that offers excellent grip. The back of the handle even has a lanyard hole for easy storage.

Additionally, the Schrade SCHF36 has a finger choil that allows the user to tuck their finger underneath for more control and force when cutting. This is a strong performer in many wilderness scenarios like hiking, camping, and hunting.

For an affordable knife, we have to say that this is one of the best knives for bushcraft on the market. We recommend it to price-conscious survivalists!

Pros:

  • Very affordable. Value for money
  • Finger choil gives the user more leverage when cutting
  • A long knife with a good reach when cutting thick stuff
  • Solid blade made from 095 powder coated high-carbon steel
  • TPE handle with good grip

Cons:

  • Heavy at 12.3 ounces
  • The handle may not be the most comfortable for extended use

6. Spyderco Bushcraft G-10 Plain Edge Knife with Leather Sheath

Editor's Rating: (4.3 / 5)

Spyderco Bushcraft G-10 Plain Edge Knife with Leather Sheath
  • Knife Type: Full-Tang
  • Blade Material: O1 Japanese steel
  • Blade Length: 3.9-inches
  • Knife Length: 8.75-inches
  • Handle Material: G10 Plastic
  • Weight: 7.75 ounces

The Spyderco looks like a typical bushcraft knife but it is so much more. This is a rare bushcraft knife that sports an O1 Japanese steel blade and has a perfect size to weight ratio. This unit has been designed by expert survivalist Chris Claycombe and is consistently rated by experts and consumers as being one of the top bushcraft knives on the market.

The blade has a scandi grind to ensure optimal cutting through any material. This knife can cut through flesh and wood with equal ease and will resist heavy-duty hacking, slashing and twisting.

It is also quite lightweight at 7.75 ounces so it is highly portable in a sheath hung to the waist.

The handle is made from G10 plastic and contoured to take the shape of the hand. You can cut for hours with this bushcraft knife without feeling fatigue.

If you are looking for a high-quality survival knife that is indestructible, this model from Spyderco is worth the consideration.

Pros:

  • Classical design and comes with a leather sheath
  • A solid blade that can resist heavy twisting and cutting
  • Optimized shape for cutting in great comfort
  • G10 handle is anti-slip and comfortable to the hand
  • Lightweight and portable

Cons:

  • No extra features like thumb groove
  • The choil offers no separation to the blade

7. Buck Knives 0863BRS SELKIRK Fixed Blade Survival Knife with Fire Striker and Sheath

Editor's Rating: (4.2 / 5)

Buck Knives 0863BRS SELKIRK Fixed Blade Survival Knife with Fire Striker and Sheath
  • Knife Type: Full-Tang
  • Blade Material: 420HC Stainless Steel
  • Blade Length: 4-5/8-inches
  • Knife Length: 9.5-inches
  • Handle Material: Micarta
  • Weight: 7.6 ounces

The Buck 0863BRS SELKIRK sits between quality and affordability. It isn’t as expensive as other models but offers just as much usability. This model has a 4-5/8 -inches blade made from 420HC stainless steel.

It will not rust and not dull easily. Surprisingly, it comes with a Micarta handle that offers an excellent anti-slip grip. The back of the handle has a steel bolster that can act as a hammer. Very versatile.

To top it off, this bushcraft knife has both a 2-1/4-inches fire striker and a whistle in the handle. Very handy in emergency situations.

Best of all, despite the relatively affordable price, Buck offers a lifetime warranty on the knife.

Pros:

  • Robust 4-5/8 -inches blade that will not rust or dull easily
  • Lifetime warranty
  • High-quality Micarta handle. Excellent grip.
  • Firestarter and whistle integrated into the handle

Cons:

  • Some people had the handle come loose after sometime

Bushcraft Knife vs. Survival Knife

Most “experts” on the subject generally agree that there is little to no difference between a bushcraft knife and a survival knife. Many manufacturers usually use the terms interchangeably and make no distinction between them.

However, there is another old school of thought that thinks the difference is noteworthy enough to separate those two terms. Here is basically where they say those differences lie:

#1. Blade: The blade of the survival knife is usually thicker and longer than a bushcraft. The bushcraft usually has a blade of no more than 5-inches in length while the survival knife can be much longer than that.

#2. Thickness: Moreover, the blade thickness of the survival knife is larger. This allows the survival knife to perform more heavy-duty work without snapping than the bushcraft. Even if both types of knives are full-tang, the extra-thickness of the survival knife will make it strong enough to fell a small tree with ease, if needed.

#3. Serration: The survival knife sometimes has a serrated blade while the bushcraft is linear and single-piece. The serration adds more versatility to the survival knife. The bushcraft is, therefore, less versatile than the survival knife. Additionally, since some survival knives are serrated, they can be more difficult to sharpen.

Bottomline, the bushcraft knife is generally reserved exclusively for woodcutting and finer work than the survival knife even if It can still be used as a survival knife.

How to Buy a Bushcraft Knife

How to Buy a Bushcraft Knife

Before buying a bushcraft knife, there are some factors to take into account:

#1. Blade Steel

There are 2 main types of steel used in a bushcraft knife.

Stainless steel

Stainless steel is a very tough metal that is unfortunately not easy to sharpen. It has a distinctive reflective finish with excellent rust resistance.

The problem was stainless steel is that it does not remain sharp for long and can be difficult to sharpen.

However, it is a very durable and long-lasting material that will remain in perfect condition for decades if maintained properly. Popular choices of stainless steel in a bushcraft knife are 440C or AUS8.

High carbon steel

A high carbon steel blade is easy to spot as it is usually black in color. This black collar is a black oxide layer that prevents it from getting direct contact with the environment.

High carbon is usually less strong than stainless steel but due to their weaker strength but are much easier to sharpen. It is recommended to use an oil when sharpening a high carbon blade with a bushcraft knife.

#2. Blade Length

The longer the blade length the more heavy-duty the knife would be. If you regularly need to fell small trees or cut large pieces of log in the wilderness then it is a good idea to choose a bushcraft knife with a longer blade.

However, a long blade will make it heavier. It will be less portable and less convenient to carry around. Choose the right balance between what you will use the bushcraft knife for and the length of the blade.

#3. Blade Thickness

The thicker the blade, the easier it will be able to cut through material. However, note that there is a direct correlation between a thick blade and price. The thicker the blade, the more expensive the bushcraft knife will be.

#4. The Handle

Everyone knows that a bushcraft knife with a poorly built handle is not a good knife. The handle is the ultimate resting point for the hand and it needs to be very comfortable.

The handle must be large enough for your hand. Additionally, it needs to have an anti-slip coating for your own security.

#5. Finger Groove vs Blade Guard

Most of the time, a bushcraft knife either comes with a finger groove or a blade guard. A finger groove gives you more maneuverability since your hand can be brought closer to the blade hence more force can be applied to the blade.

On the other hand, a blade guard protects your hand from the sharp edges of the blade.

You will need to choose a model depending on your usage. If this is the first time you use a bush graph knife then it is safer to go with a model that comes with a blade guard as it is much safer.

People with experience in the wilderness can safely use models with a finger groove.

#6. Thumb Grooves

Similar to finger grooves, a bushcraft knife with thumb grooves will promote usability by allowing you to press on the topside of the blade with your thumb. This will create more force and cut through material more easily.

Conclusion

Clearly, there are many outstanding models of bushcraft knives on the market. Each one of those models has their own pros and cons, but they will all help you spend a safer time in the wilderness.

After all, no one should be out in the wild without a bushcraft knife. Remember, this tool should never be underestimated, as many times they can really save your life.

We recommend you choose a model above based on your need and budget. They will serve you well for years!