The 11 Best Bushcraft Knives

Bushcraft generally refers to wilderness survival skills, and was initially used to describe the survival skills needed in the Australian bush country or outback.

The isolated outback territory meant whatever you took with you when choosing to go on “walkabout” was pretty much all you had. You lived off what you had until you returned home or reached your destination.

three custom-made knives
Three bespoke custom-made knives.

Buschcraft has now become pretty much synonymous with wilderness survival regardless of your location.

And whether by choice or circumstance, if you rely on only your supplies and skills to live off the land for an extended amount of time, a good bushcraft knife becomes an essential tool.

You can’t just bring along any old knife and expect it to hold up to the repetitive, rugged tasks you need to perform to survive in the wild.

A bushcraft knife also called a wilderness knife, is a popular style knife because it can repeatedly perform multiple tasks like dressing game, cutting tree limbs, rope, and fishing line or even some carving.

Knife blades should be 3 ½ to 6 inches in length, longer blades are not recommended. The blade is one piece, solid, straight and does not fold up like a pocket knife.

Bushcraft Essentials | Choosing a Bushcraft Knife

An ideal bushcraft knife will be durable and flexible enough to handle take on a variety of tasks , such as cutting limbs, drilling a hole in a fireboard, or dressing game, and still maintain its sharp edge when used day after day.

Selecting a bushcraft knife can be overwhelming with the knife choices on the market today.

It functions as an extension of yourself while you are in the wilderness and needs to be able to function for any kind of hunting, food prep or even self-defense task that is needed. Invest the time in making an informed choice to select the knife to meet your needs.

knife anatomy
knife anatomy

Knife Anatomy

While most people are aware a knife is comprised of a blade and a handle there is a bit more to understand if you are going to buy yourself a quality bushcraft knife.

Knowing the basic parts of the knife will help to understand the differences between knives and help you select the right knife for you.

The Blade of a knife is typically steel and includes the Bevel which is the cutting edge and the section you sharpen.

The Spine or the part of the blade opposite the cutting edge. Where the spine drops down to meet the bevel is called the Drop Point. The Tang of a knife generally refers to how and to what extent the blade extends into the handle.

The handle can be made of different materials and is the part of the knife that you hold in your hand, the Choil is the small flat piece of the blade where it meets the handle, and its Butt or Pomell is at the end.

Best Bushcraft Knife Materials

Your first consideration in selecting a bushcraft knife is the type of steel, or iron and carbon alloy, used in the blade. While there are numerous combinations of steel available, the most popular bushcraft knives are made of stainless steel, laminate steel, or carbon steel.

Stainless Steel

  • Early manufactured metal quality was poor as it was too soft and quick to dull
  • Higher chromium means increased resistance to stains but softer steel
  • Be wary of poor quality knives still around like the softer 420 series
  • Look for higher quality Sandvik steel like 12C27 (Swedish made) and 154CM
  • High-end steels are Aus8 or the 440C series
  • CPM 3v, CPM S30V, and CPM S35VN by Crucible Industries will suit most uses
  • Low likelihood of corrosion, high rust resistance if properly cared for
  • Better for wetter climates like rainforests or areas where humidity is high
  • Great for scaling saltwater fish, ocean swimming, and salty air of coastal regions
  • Most Mora brand knives are stainless steel

Carbon Steel

  • Good for use in dry climates and wooded areas
  • Harder steel that is stronger than stainless steel
  • Maintains a sharper edge with repeated use and typically easier to sharpen (dependent on heat treatment used in production)
  • High-end carbon choices are A2 and VG-10 (manufactured in Japan)
  • Little to no chromium added means harder steel but more prone to staining
  • Low resistance to corrosion so is more likely to pit and rust unless continually oiled
  • Custom knives most often made of carbon steel
  • 5160, 1080 and 1095 are common carbon steel types
  • Can double as flint striker when making fire
  • Corrosion can occur quickly in wet weather, weaken the steel, and making breakage more likely
  • Is available with a protective black coating through manufacturers like Cold Steel

Laminate Steel

Laminate Steel knives are usually created by layering carbon steel between stainless steel layers. You get the benefits from both steels with this collaboration of layers. Pricing will reflect this as the laminate steel knives are typically in the higher price range.

There are also some super steels new on the market and more advanced that will claim harder steel, better use and corrosion resistance but they aren’t necessarily tougher.

These can be a pain to sharpen on the trail without the use of diamond stones. The hardness of the steel also tends to make for brittle blades with tips and edge that break or chip frequently.

Rockwell Hardness Scale

One thing to be aware of is the Rockwell Hardness Scale, invented by Stanley P. Rockwell. Hardness is rated using a special device which is designed to measure the indentations that can be made in the material.

The Rockwell Hardness Scale rating is typically included by manufacturers in the technical specs of the knife.

Look for RC or HRC which is followed by a number from 56 to 64. The lower the number, the softer the metal. Harder metals are higher rated. Lower rated blades mean harder metal but more frequent sharpening and maybe even trouble honing to a sharp edge.

A higher RC or HRC rating means it will keep a sharp edge longer but may chip more easily due to it being less flexible and more brittle.

Every steel has its flaws. To strike a balance between toughness and ability to hold a sharp edge look for a knife rated between HRC 57 to HRC 60. It’s important to do your research and comparison shop and then test different blades until you find the one that suits your specific needs.

Features and Uses of a Bushcraft Knife

Remember that it is difficult for one knife to be the end all be all of tools. In most cases, you will use your bushcraft knife in conjunction with other knives and tools.

A multi-tool is better for tasks that involve screwing, drilling, or twisting. A machete or ax is more appropriate for chopping wood and limbs. The right bushcraft knife though can get you through in a pinch.


  • Reliable grip in any weather condition is important
  • Popular grip choices include Micarta (a type of resin layered fabric or paper), stacked leather (not for rainy climates), and stag bone
  • Solid handles have better durability than hollowed out handles with storage compartments
  • A handle with a wider butt is useful if you are missing your hammer or need to drill holes because the impact is distributed in a balanced way.
  • Finger guards are generally unnecessary for bushcraft knives as they are not designed for a sawing motion.
  • Length of the handle should be about 4 to 5 inches in length which makes it easily held for most people and balances well for a 4 to 6-inch blade length.

Synthetic Handles

  • Typically made of rubber, G10 (fiberglass), Micarta, plastic, Kraton, plastic, and nylon.
  • Most durable are G10, Kraton, and Micarta but you sacrifice in grip comfort and slippage in wet conditions.
  • Waterprooft and good in prolonged wet weather as they will not warp or rot.
  • Except Micarta, most are more prone to melt when exposed to high heat
  • Micarta handles commonly have a concave bow drill handhold built-in.
  • Paracord wrapped handles can be more comfortable but this is negatively offset because it makes it hard to clean off accumulated food particles, dirt, blood, and sweat.

Natural Handles

  • Moose antler, wood, bone, leather, and ivory are most common
  • Wood was most common during 20th century, still preferred for comfort and durability.
  • Leather handles, especially in older knives, are typically leather sections slid onto a stick tang and glued and capped with a pommel.
  • Sammi knives are similar to stacked leather handles but using stacked bone, wood, ivory or antler instead.
  • Wood handled knives typically have narrowing or stick tangs, bolted on the knife butt.
  • Antler, wood, and ivory can be bolted in place and used as scales on full tang knives.
  • Wood and leather handles need oiling or beeswax to protect and preserve from dampness.
  • Horn, antler, and bone are prone to cracking easily

Blade Style, Edge, and Shape


Your bushcraft knife will be called upon to drill holes in your fireboard when making fire, for carving, for planning or splitting smaller wood pieces for firewood, and possibly even for stabbing either pieces of meat or in self-defense.

For these purposes, you want a centered drop or spear point though straight back, clip or trailing point knives will work well also.

Spear point, straight back, drop point, trailing point or clip point are better for drilling holes and stabbing when needed.

Splitting or planning of wood is easier using the straight area close to the handle. The curving edge at the tip allows more precision and control for carving.


The method of design for a blade’s bevel or cutting edge influences the knife’s effectiveness for cutting.

As with other features, one grind may lend itself to certain tasks better than others. Sharpening is less difficult with some grinds than others. The four best styles for bushcraft knives are Scandi, convex, chisel grind, and flat grind.

  1. Scandi – gets its name due to popularity in Scandinavian countries due to influence of the Sami people indigenous to that area. Scandi is used in many bushcraft knives and in a good percentage of Mora knives. With just one bevel, the Scandi grind is easy to sharpen.
  2. Convex – this continually rounded blade ends in a sharp tip. Very good for splitting and chopping wood and most commonly used for kukris, axes, and tomahawks, it is used for bush crafting knives like the Fallkniven. The stronger bevel is a result of more metal behind the edge. Sharpening a convex grind is more difficult and more closely resembles the method used for sharpening an axe.
  3. Flat – needs more attention to angle for correct sharpening.
  4. Chisel – easier to sharpen in field situations, edge may be stronger but a bit duller than knives with a secondary bevel.

Things to Avoid

Serration is not generally useful for a bushcraft knife; uneven cuts make the smooth finish desired for carving difficult.

Avoid double edge knives or daggers with no resting place for your thumb when carving. Saw teeth on the knife spine are okay but restrict use for batoning as well as carving and are better suited for cutting aluminum than wood.

Stay away from blades longer than 6-inches for bush crafting. If you must do heavy wood chopping, look for a separate ax or machete to supplement your bushcraft knife. Avoid the eye catching but heavy and impractical fantasy-style knives with deep curving blades.


Although there is some debate about exact definition, there are five primary tang categories for knives: Full, Partial, Skeletonized, Rat tail or stick, and Tapering or Narrow tang. For a bushcraft knife, look for full, partial, tapering, or stick tangs.

Full Tang is a must for any respectable prepper, especially if he’ll be doing repetitive batoning, cutting small trees, branches, and wood splitting.

They are strong because the tang extends fully from the blade through the entire handle. Full tang blades can break, typically if used for prying or twisting.

Skeletonized Tang-this is the next best thing to having a full tang blade. The tang runs the complete length of the handle but sections are cut out primarily to reduce knife weight.

Several knives on the market use these cutouts in the skeletonized tang for dual purpose by wrapping the handle with emergency paracord.

Stick or rat-tail tangs, also called a hidden tang were first used by soldiers in WW2 and were very common to 1970’s utility knives.

It is essentially a full tang blade but the section that runs through the handle is thinner steel and is bolted or pinned into the handle. I rate it 3rd best for bushcraft use. You will find stick tangs still today in kukris made in Nepal, in the line of utility/fighting knives made by Ka-bar, and some knives by Mora that sport birch handles.

Partial tang blades, like those made by Mora, have a tang that narrows as it goes down the length of the handle.

These are relatively inexpensive yet sturdy enough for most bushcraft skills, even light batoning of wood pieces. Pair the lighter Mora knife with a heavier tomahawk or axe for wood chopping for best results.

Narrowing tang-the blade gets increasingly slimmer as it extends toward the end of the handle. It’s still wider along the entire length than a rat tail or stick tang. Narrowing tang is often seen in Leuko knives popular with Sami and those in North Scandinavia.

Our Top Picks

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1. The Condor Warlock Machete Knife


  • ✅ Excellent chopper.
  • ✅ 1075 steel is reliable with good all-around performance at price point.
  • ✅ Included leather sheath is adaptable and well made.


  • ❌ Not a great choice for detail work and carving.
  • ❌ This is quite a large knife as far as utility choices go.
  • ❌ Curvature of handle combined with micarta grips can easily create hotspots during long sessions of use.

Obviously taking most of its design cues from the traditional parang, condors warlock machete is an excellent choice for anyone who is anticipating dealing with heavy duty chopping or clearing a path through heavy brush.

Shorter than most machetes, it offers a great compromise of performance and carriability, and even includes a swivel on the sheath that will make it easier to manage when you are sitting or squatting.

Unlike many modern knives in this category, the handle is all traditional, featuring tough micarta scales fixed to a full Tang by way of brass rivets.

More than adequate for keeping the knife locked securely in your hand even when wet, sweating or bloody, it is something that might come back to bite you, literally, since it has a propensity to cause hot spots on the hand during prolonged use.

This is not truly an all-purpose bushcraft or survival knife, but one that is ideal if you will be dealing with lots of hardwoods and softwoods alike out in the wilderness.

Although it’s a combination between a knife and a machete, you cannot go wrong with this beast in the wilderness. Made to help you in even the most difficult situations, this high carbon steel knife is worth every penny.

2. Morakniv Bushcraft Knife


  • ✅ Excellent performance for price point.
  • ✅ Light as a feather.
  • ✅ Handy and easy to carry.
  • ✅ Suitable for a variety of tasks in the wild.


  • ❌ Sheath is functional, but somewhat clunky.
  • ❌ Not a great choice for the most heavy duty tasks.

Morakniv hardly needs an introduction for most of our readers.

Their bushcraft knife is only a subtle revision of the traditional Scandinavian field knife that has come down through the ages and remains a viable choice today. For the money, you can hardly do better than this knife.

The Morakniv Bushcraft knife is 4.3 inches of Sandvik 12c27 Swedish carbon steel with arm hair shaving sharpness and a corrosion resistant black coating.

Made with a rubberized, ergonomic handle that has a pronounced finger choil and half guard, this knife is more than up to the task of taking care of most field chores you could come up with.

For skinning, shaving, splitting and notching, you can depend on the bushcraft knife to take care of business. And it does it all weighing only a feathery 5 1/2 ounces.

But, no matter how good the knife is at this price point some allowances must be made, and the sheath, though entirely practical and usable, is clunky and while it is easy to hang or clip on your belt or any other convenient strap that is where its better attributes end.

I would consider a sheath upgrade a good choice if you wanted to maximize this blade.

Nonetheless, if you are on a strict budget or just want a great backup knife, you can reach for this one…

Its strong distinctive tip serves bushcrafters well whether opening cans, drilling a fireboard hole, or striking a fire.

3. Condor Tool & Knife Bushlore


  • ✅ Traditional design is light and nimble in the hand.
  • ✅ Straight, narrow spine is suitable for light batoning.
  • ✅ Excellent performance for cost.


  • ❌ Shallow finger grooves and minimal guard don’t inspire confidence during heavy use with wet hands.
  • ❌ Uncoated 1075 carbon steel offers great performance for money, but requires a lot of care.

The Condor Tool and Knife Bushlore has raised the standards bar for bushcrafting knives…

The second entry from Condor on our list is highly attractive and highly functional and equal measure:

It’s a ridiculously strong 1075 high-carbon steel blade with green toned micarta wraparound scales beautifully compliment a bead blasted carbon steel blade.

It has the looks department covered, and the performance is similarly impressive.

A traditionally styled and arranged bushcraft knife in all regards, you can make this knife a constant companion on your outings.

For all of your usual camp chores along with a fair amount of chopping and notching, the Bushlore can handle everything you can throw at it. The knife even comes with one of the condors at stereotypically nice leather sheaths.

If I had to take points away from this knife, it would be in the ergonomics and the configuration of the leading finger groove and guard.

The micarta handles offer a secure grip, no doubt, but if I am doing some seriously heavy duty work leading with the point, I’m always a little nervous that my hand might slip forward and onto the blade.

Probably not a concern for most people in most circumstances, even in an emergency, but the criticism remains.

4. Helle Temagami


  • ✅ A beautiful, traditional knife.
  • ✅ High performance steel.
  • ✅ Ridiculously sharp out of the box, great for detail or subtle tasks.


  • ❌ Handle is slippery.
  • ❌ High carbon content of steel necessitates constant care.
  • ❌ Sheath covers most of handle, makes establishing grip in a hurry challenging.

If you’re looking for a beauty pageant appeal in your bushcraft knife or one for the wife, the Helle Temagami, designed by Les Stroud of Survivorman fame, should top your list.

Another traditionally Scandinavian style knife, the Temagami CA Mary’s a detailed driven design and manufacturing philosophy to old world high performance.

This is one of the very sharpest knives out of the box on this list, and for skinning, shaving or other extremely delicate tasks you will hardly do better than this one.

This knife isn’t just about good looks, either. The full, partially enclosed tang and high performance laminated carbon steel blade can stand up to tremendous punishment if you can bring yourself to use it hard. 

My only nitpicks on this marvelous knife is that that same high performance carbon steel requires a considerable amount of care, and the magnificent, curly birch scales all right smooth and slippery as a bar of soap.

The knife handles wonderfully when your hands are dry, but as soon as you add a little perspiration, blood or water to the mix you’ll notice it skidding around a little bit no matter how hard you grip it.

The Helle Temagami knife is every Buschcrafter’s dream knife…

5. Fallkniven F1


  • ✅ Absolutely rugged and dependable.
  • ✅ Prominent half guard provides extra assurance during hardcore cutting tasks.
  • ✅ Cuts wonderfully.


  • ❌ Expensive overall for size.
  • ❌ Cheaper versions of this knife have a plastic handles that tend to be slippery.

One of the most respected and popular survival knives in the world, the F1 is a hardcore but no nonsense knife that is completely invested in reliable performance.

If they are designed to get down to aviators out of a bad situation, you know you can depend on it to do the same for you whatever kind of jam you happen to be in.

This tenacious 3.8-inch VG10 stainless steel knife, with its plain edge, flat grind, and drop point, comes complete with out-of-the-box razor sharpness.

Weighing in at 6 ounces, it’ll handle shaving to log splitting and is priced right for the value.

Perfectly sized, the F1 is small enough to go with you literally everywhere at all times, but it cuts like a blade several times its size.

Thanks to a combination of excellent human engineering and smart material decisions for the handle, the F1 will stay locked in your hand while the blade sails through any task you can set it to.

If Swedish military pilots count on the Fallkniven F1 for isolated crash landings, you can bet your life on it too.

It should be noted, however, that the lower end versions of this legendary knife feature zytel or other plastic type materials they can be quite slippery when wet.

If you want to take maximum advantage of what this knife has to offer, you should prepare to shell out for the mid to high grade versions.

6. Esee 3


  • ✅ This is a bomb proof knife.
  • ✅ Powder coated for corrosion resistance.
  • ✅ Compact, but handles like larger knife.


  • ❌ Scales could stand a little more radiusing, pronounced edges can easily cause blisters.

Another company that needs very little in the way of introduction, ESEE, formerly RAT Knives, has enjoyed a long and distinguished history as a maker of premium cutlery specifically for military and law enforcement use, though you’ll find plenty of civilians that covet these blades.

The Esee 3 was designed with feedback from military personnel and our men-in-blue as a fixed-blade knife for tactical use originally.

The ESEE-3 is actually the knife that started it all for them those many years ago, and featuring an ideal combination of compact size, supreme cutting performance and bomb proof toughness this is one knife that is guaranteed to go the distance when you are going into harm’s way.

In fact, the company guarantees it, and if your knife should ever break, anywhere, for any reason they will replace it.

With a strong thick blade of 1095 carbon steel, just under 4-inches in length, and a Micarta handle, it soon made its mark as a bushcraft favorite.

1095 carbon steel is a common choice for blade material in this category, but one that usually requires quite a bit of maintenance.

ESEE here has intelligently chosen to coat the entirety of the steel except the edge with a tough, abrasion resistant black powder coating.

This can definitely save you time in the field since you won’t be worried about babysitting your knife. Instead, it will be in your hand and doing its job when you need it.

7. Ka-Bar Becker BK2 Campanion


  • Super secure thanks to pronounced guards at front and rear of handle.
  • Blade is powder coated for corrosion resistance
  • Thick and stout enough to be used for prying and heavy batoning.


  • Scale material is slippery when wet.
  • Not very sharp out of the box

The heavy weight of the group is the Ka-Becker BK2 Campanion, which weighs in at a full one pound. The 5 1/4-inch 1095 Cro-Van carbon steel blade gains added strength and durability from a chromium/vanadium carbide infusion.

A best seller in its category, anyone who has ever used the BK2 will be happy to tell you why.

Offering a nearly unbeatable combination of durability, size, performance and adaptability the BK2 is equally at home in a fight as it is lashed to a sturdy branch for hunting or just preparing fruits, vegetables and meat around the campfire for dinner.

Wonderfully equipped for its price, this knife benefits greatly from the addition of chromium and vanadium to the now standard 1095 steel.

You are getting just enough corrosion resistance in conjunction with the flat black coating to make worry about rusting virtually a thing of the past.

If you make it a point to doctor the edge of the knife occasionally you can rely on it to stay sharp and rust free easily.

Whether you need to split, chop, carve, pound, pry or scrape, reach for the wrecking bar that is the Becker BK2 if you need a bushcraft knife that can withstand all the abuse you can muster.

8. Morakniv Classic Original 1


  • ✅ A beautiful classic
  • ✅ Practical and easily carried for light duty.
  • ✅ Sharpens quickly and easily.


  • ❌ Blade requires a lot of care.
  • ❌ Dulls quickly in heavy use.
  • ❌ Flexible blade not ideal for chopping or batoning.

The one that started it all for Morakniv. A design well over a century old at this point, the Classic Original No.1 is a knife that is so beautiful it is almost artistic. This is a bushcraft knife that is his elemental as It gets.

A barrel shaped, birch handle crowned by laminated carbon steel blade with a subtle clip point. Though it is completely devoid of all the modern accoutrement and design, that is a selling point for a knife like this rather than a flaw.

This small-handled knife is a rock hard 61 on the Rockwell hardness scale. The oiled birch wood handle holds a laminated steel blade that is high carbon steel sandwiched by an exterior alloy. The Morakniv Classic Original 1 keeps it simple.

The knife cuts wonderfully and is easy to sharpen, and the blade even has a little bit of flex to it that can withstand rough handling and more serious cutting chores.

However, it dulls relatively quickly though it is quite easy to re-sharpen. whether or not this is a perk or a flaw is up to you and is dependent upon your skills and expectations.

When you want to get back to basics or just prefer a simple, elegant knife for light duty tasks, go back to where it all began with the Classic Original No.1…

9. The Condor Kumunga


  • Perfectly sized between a very large knife and a small machete.
  • Very capable chopper and still suitable for some detail tasks.


  • Polypropylene handle leaves something to be desired concerning traction and durability.
  • Edge grind is uneven throughout length of blade.

The last Condor knife on our list, but not the least, the Kumunga camp knife is another big, burly blade that blurs the line between a small machete and an extra large knife.

If you wanted something even smaller than a parang that was still capable of chopping and bushwhacking but is a little better when it comes time to perform detail or other traditional knife chores, then this 10-in behemoth might well be perfect.

The carbon steel blade is mostly protected by black powder coating that will help to keep the worst of corrosion at bay while the straight spine and handle leverages capability for batoning and heavy chopping.

Compared to a curved handle, I quite prefer this style for bushwhacking, but the polypropylene on this knife seems cheap and I have serious concerns about its long-term durability.

Nonetheless, it is a very capable option in its category, especially for the price, and I appreciate a no-nonsense design that is devoid of any zombie survival or fantasy nonsense.

10. Schrade SCHF9


  • ✅ Excellent ergonomics.
  • ✅ Very capable fighting knife in a pinch.
  • ✅ Thick and heavy, capable of serious heavy duty usage.


  • ❌ Not very sharp out of the box.
  • ❌ Handle texture is a bit too grippy.

The Schrade SCHF9 is one of the biggest knives for bushcrafting on the market. Weighing in at just under 16 ounces total, it’s tough and maintains sharpness well. It can double as a machete if needed in thick brush or dense forests.

The 1095 carbon steel blade, favored by knife lovers, is 6.4 inches long and a full 1/4-inch thick, it will hold up to twisting and turning.

The SCHF9 is marketed as a survival knife, but it wears its fighting knife influences on its sleeve.

A highly ergonomic handle, deep finger choils and a pronounced guard show that this is a knife that will stay put in your hand no matter what sort of extreme situation you find yourself in.

The drop point blade has a pronounced belly to give it an extra boost when chopping although it is just as capable of stabbing, notching and carving when required.

Thoughtfully, the blade is designed to allow you to choke up a little bit on it was a single finger past the guard for detailed shaving or extra control whenever it is required.

That being said, there is no doubt whatsoever that this knife is designed for hardcore use considering how thick and heavy it is.

It’s an insane value.

11. Benchmade 162 Bushcrafter


  • ✅ Superb all around.
  • ✅ Freaky sharp out of the box.
  • ✅ Thoughtful ergonomics.


  • ❌ Like all Benchmades, spendy.

Our top 10 list just isn’t complete without the Benchmade 162 Bushcrafter. This top of the line knife weighs in at 7.72 ounces. The S30V stainless steel blade is 4.43 inches with a drop point, and harder steel than the 400 series.

This is a full tang blade, with more strength than a Scandi grind but it still maintains its edge well. A G10 handle in a great shade of blue with red highlights is eye catching.

The use of flared titanium tubing to secure molded scales in the handle, results in greater stability and strength.

Complete with top and bottom finger guards and dual hollow tubes to serve as lash points so it can be used as a spear or even to cut or prune out of reach branches, this workhorse knife is sure to please.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best blade length for bushcraft usage?

This is a perennial question among those who are searching out the very best knife for bushcrafting purposes. The answer, like always, is that it depends. If I had to pick just one, I would go with a four to five inch blade.

This is large enough to handle nearly any task, including splitting thicker wood, but not so large that I will have a hard time carrying it or feel the urge to leave it behind or pack it away.

What is the best blade style or point for a bushcraft knife?

Generally, the point is not so important when it comes to bushcrafting. If in doubt, a drop point blade or spear point knife can work fine since they are durable and adaptable.

I wouldn’t choose any point that is so fine it will facilitate breaking. I actually like a traditional clip point as a compromise between control and performance when skinning or carving while still being reasonably strong.

Are there any accessories considered mandatory for a bushcraft knife?

No, though you can make your life a little easier if you can stow a ferro rod and small sharpening stone either on the sheath or beneath the handle scales. Keep in mind, if you are going the ladder route you must have whatever tool is necessary to remove the scales to access that compartment!

And you don’t absolutely have to carry these things either on the sheath or on the knife as a unit so long as you have them on or about your person as part of your usual kit, and don’t lose them!

What’s the difference between a survival knife and a bushcraft knife?

Sometimes the terms are used interchangeably, but broadly speaking a survival knife tends to be larger and will often feature integrated tools or additional capability in the form of storage within the handle or on the sheath, and a compliment of additional gear like a compass, cordage and so forth.

But make no mistake: most bushcraft knives are more than capable as survival knives and vice versa.

Have You Decided on One?

Overall when making a decision about your next bushcraft knife, make sure you consider all the factors. Look at the type of steel, the blade and handle style as well as how it fits your own personal bushcrafting preferences.

Check out the company behind the blade, make sure it’s reputable and then find the best value. Do you have a favorite bushcraft knife? We’d like to hear about it below.

13 thoughts on “The 11 Best Bushcraft Knives”

  1. Nice Job! money does not make a knife better. You might want to take a look at kizlyar also, they are well priced d2 steel and sprayed with Titanium, I can say they don’t come sharp for the reason, being is so you can sharpen the blade the way you hold and cut with the knife. A+ stuff “ALSO” You can get a D2 steel and – titanium coated “not on the blade” for under 100… Nice stuff, There is also Broker well priced and Schrade that you mentioned good knifes…. Thanks If anyone has any good suggestions for a folding/ bush-craft knife everyday carry, let me know you can email me. I do have some pricey knifes but one of my favorte knifes out of the box is my Gerber. Let me know about a folding knife kapsol102@yahoo Mike PS: I don’t want to spend 300 on a knife I am going to be using it after all…

  2. Excellent article. I own a Schrade SCHF9 and it is a beast of a knife. I changed out the hilt and made it a paracord wrap. 1095HC steel, at one time, set the bench-mark for knives with carbon steel blades. Even though you have to care for a carbon steel blade a little more, to me it’s well worth it. Another nice thing is you can, if you want, anneal the blade, re-profile it to exactly what you want and then heat treat and temper it. Personally, I think Schrade makes some excellent knives, but they tend to get overlooked because many are carbon steel and are very reasonable in price…and many think that the price is a reflection of the total quality. Don’t get me wrong…some of the higher priced knives are fantastic, but if you want a simple, solid well built knife that will do what you want and hold up to some punishment…take a look at a few of the Schrade carbon steel fixed blade knives. (Make sure it’s 1095HC, though)

  3. The article states that a bushcraft knife should be 6 inches or less, and then lists the Kumunga (10 inch) and the Warlock Machete (12.5 inches).

  4. the article was extremely informative in knife construction and material. But again for a first time bush knife buyer ( other than folding knifes for fishing) it was quit confusing on what too buy for my first knife. and preferable U.S. made. as a fairly new prepper what is the one good starting knife with a midrange price?

  5. Great article…I’d like to add petro jelly, mated to a shredded tampon, one of best fire starters…
    Keep up the great work…

  6. How about the Terava Jaakaaripuukko? $60 with a slightly better steel than 1095, tough and a great sheath.

  7. I own a number of Moras and they are great general knives. When it comes to bushcraft, I desire something meaty enough to split wood and be a general workhorse. Though I have Moras in all my packs, my Becker BKs are my bushcraft knives.

    1. stainless steel has chromium added to carbon steel’s basic iron-and-carbon mix

      12C27 steel toughness is among the best in stainless steel blades. Its toughness is highly comparable but slightly lower to AEB-L steel, 14C28N steel, and 420HC stainless steel

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