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The best camping knife is an important tool that should be with you on any camping expedition. Besides the fact that it will enhance your survival out in the wild, it will also come in handy when you’re trying to carry out simple tasks like opening a package, cutting brush, carving stakes, skinning small animals, or cutting a rope.
A good camping knife should be well-built, durable, and versatile. It should also be compact enough to carry around while still being strong enough to carry out the tasks listed above and more. In this review, we’ll be taking a look at ten of the best camping knives on the market. The knives in our review are bound to meet your outdoor expectations. We also have a guide embedded below to help you select only the best knife for your outdoor adventure.
10 Best Camping Knifes
Morakniv Companion Fixed Blade Outdoor Knife
The Morakniv Companion Fixed Blade Outdoor Knife is simply one of the best and cheapest outdoor knives around. It's quite popular on many platforms, including Amazon.com. Even with its small size, there's no denying the versatility and quality of this camping knife. With its four-inch hardened Sandvik 12C27 stainless steel blade and a high-function grip, you get a knife that can work efficiently in both wet and dry conditions. It is very comfortable to hold, providing users with enhanced performance while remaining easy to control.
The Morakniv Companion also features a plastic sheath that makes for better protection. Thanks to the fact that the sheath is plastic, there'll be no space for mold to grow and water won't be able to damage it either. The stainless steel blade is corrosion-resistant, incredibly tough, and features a high hardness rating. Unlike many high carbon steel blades, the blade on this knife is less prone to rust, plus it's bound to stay sharper than many carbon steel alternatives. Whether you want to cut wood, carve fresh tinder, skin animals, or prepare food, this is one camping knife you can always count on.
What We Like
- Small, sharp, and lightweight
- Comfortable handle
- High-quality Construction
- Versatile functionality
- The sheath looks cheap and the design looks very simple
Benchmade Bushcrafter Outdoor Survival Knife
Whether you're going on a backpacking or camping trip, the Benchmade Bushcrafter Outdoor Survival Knife is one you should take with you. Talk about high quality and you'll be talking about this knife. It features an innovative and rugged design that allows it to cut through any function easily. The handle is designed with a resin-soaked fiberglass material that is resistant to moisture while providing the knife with impeccable stability. This means that no matter what the weather may be, you'll always have a strong hold on your knife. Add that to the fact that it's a fixed knife and you'll get excellent strength for this construction.
The blade on the Benchmade Bushcrafter is crafted out of American-made CPM-S30V stainless steel. It features a precise drop point construction that provides it with incredible versatility and strength. The stainless steel blade is also corrosion-resistant and can be used in a variety of weather. You get a leather sheath designed with a D-ring and a belt loop for easy access and the handle features a slight curve at the top that prevents your hand from slipping towards the blade. Although it's an expensive piece of gear at over $200, there's no denying the fact that this fixed blade knife is one of the best camping knives on the market.
What We Like
- Water resistant
- High-quality handle
- Great leather sheath for safety and storage
- Innovative design
- Expensive and sharpening the blade isn't an easy task
SMITH & WESSON Extreme Ops S.S. Folding Knife
Not everyone likes the idea of carrying a fixed blade knife around. Sometimes, you just want to fold your knife and throw it in your pocket or backpack. If you're in this category, the Smith & Wesson Extreme Ops S.S. Folding Knife is one product you should check out. Not only is this knife small and easy to carry around, but it's also very functional, sharp, and easy to use. The blade is designed with 7Cr17MoV black oxide high-carbon steel. It is a serrated clip point blade and a razor sharp one at that.
The handle is made out of aluminum and textured material, which helps provide a great, comfortable, and secure grip. This blade can sit in your pocket all day without you knowing that it's there. It's also easy to open as it comes with thumb studs for one-hand opening and quick deployment. Other features you get to enjoy on the Smith & Wesson Extreme Ops includes a finger flipper, ambidextrous thumb knobs, jimping, and a liner lock. It's a good camping knife for clearing brush, whittling stakes, and cutting tinder. You're surely going to love everything about this knife, from the aggressive look to its impeccable design.
What We Like
- Small and lightweight
- Features an inner lock on the handle for enhanced safety
- Ambidextrous thumb knobs
- Both edges are serrated
- Looks and feels cheap
Kershaw Blur, Olive/Black Pocket Knife
The Kershaw Blur Olive/Black Knife is one of the best pocket camping knives. It features a 3.4-inch stainless steel blade sitting in a traditional-style folding design. The handle is designed to provide you with a great grip as it comes with an anti-slip design to prevent your hands from slipping even in wet conditions. You get a reversible pocket clip that's perfect for holding and securing your knife in your pocket. With this clip, you can choose to either store your knife with its tip up or down, depending on your preference and how much or fast you use your knife.
You can easily open the Kershaw Blur with one hand thanks to its assisted opening mechanism. Additionally, this knife comes with a secure mechanism that helps keep it open while using it or closed when not in use. It's totally safe and allows for fast deployment. For just a little above $60, you can get one of the best camping pocket knives on the market.
What We Like
- Antislip grip and high-quality handle
- Secure, foldable design
- Reversible pocket clip makes for enhanced portability and comfort
- Very sharp out of the box
- Quite expensive
Opinel Carbon Steel Folding Pocket Knife
The Opinel Carbon Steel Folding Pocket Knife is one that has been around since the 1800s. So it's no wonder why it's on this list of best folding knife. While it wouldn't do much as a survival knife, it can still help out with a lot of camping activities. The blade is made out of high carbon steel and offers great toughness and durability. As for the handle, you get beechwood material which makes for great ergonomics and excellent stability. Thanks to the toughness and hardness of the blade, you'll be able to cut through almost anything.
This Opinel knife also comes with a stainless Virobloc safety ring with two sections. While one section is fixed, the other slides, thereby allowing you to enjoy nothing but the best safety. You can lock the blade in place while in use or when it's closed off. It is also inexpensive as it costs about $17, unlike the Kershaw Blur that sits in the $60 price range. If you're keen on getting a knife that's capable of cutting rope, clearing bush, whittling stakes, and helping out on other camping or even home activities, this is one of the best camping knives you can work with.
What We Like
- Easy to sharpen
- Great cutting quality
- Good wear resistance
- Safe and easy to use
- It doesn't have a belt loop which means you can't carry it on your belt
Victorinox Swiss Army SwissChamp Pocket Knife
Victorinox is a brand that's known to produce some of the finest and best survival, pocket knives around. The SwissChamp is a knife that fits this category quite well. Not only does it offer great versatility, but this knife also features one of the best and highest build quality a knife can possess. Sitting in the $60 price point, this knife comes with almost all the essential tools you'll need during your camping trip. With over 33 different functions, including a Philips screwdriver, corkscrew, pliers, wire cutter, bottle opener, nail cutter, and more, you can't go wrong with this camping knife.
On the construction front, you're getting a stainless steel blade and a high-quality ABS handle. This knife is very portable and quite easy to lug around. The brand also offers a lifetime warranty that covers defects and workmanship errors on this camping knife. Whether you're deep in the wilderness, hiking, or camping, this is one of the best tools to have with you. Not only will you be able to cut through ropes, bushes, etc, you'll also have multiple tools at your disposal.
What We Like
- Comes with up to 33 different functions
- Durable construction from a reputable brand
- Compact and portable
- Lifetime warranty
- The knife is difficult to sharpen
Light My Fire Swedish Fire Knife
Welcome back to the world of fixed blade knives. Camping is an activity that requires only the best and most comfortable tools. The Light My Fire Swedish Fire Knife is one that meets these requirements. This camping knife features a Sandvik 12C27 stainless steel blade made by Sweden's Morakniv. It is a knife with a rubber, antislip handle that protects your hand from accidental slips while offering an excellent grip.
The selling point of this stainless steel knife is its fire starter capability. Made with magnesium alloy, which produces up to 3000˚F spark, you can start a campfire with this knife. For enhanced performance, the spine is ground so you can achieve optimal results. The fire starter locks into the handle and this knife even comes with a color matching sheath. It's available in 5 colors and comes with a year's warranty.
What We Like
- Features a fire starter
- Drop point design
- Comes with a sheath that features a belt clip
- Can be resharpened easily
- Limited stability as it features a short alder
Spyderco Tenacious Value Folding Knife
The Spyderco Tenacious Value Knife is another great camping knife you should have in your arsenal. Designed with an 8Cr13MoV stainless steel blade, this camping knife offers a good balance as well as enhanced versatility. With a 3.39 inches blade, you'll be able to carve, whittle, and clear anything around your campsite. It is also designed to be ground flat from the spine straight to the cutting edge so you'd be able to cut for a long time.
The handle offers some sleekness to the design while providing you with a secure and comfortable grip. Whether you want to cut steaks or sticks, the G-10 laminate handle ensures that you neither lose your grip nor stress your hand. There are steel liners inside this folding camping knife to help keep it secure while in use and when it's not in use. This knife also comes with a texture spine jimping as well as a large hole that allows for one-handed use. And its 4-way pocket clip allows you to carry it in multiple positions including tip down, up, left, and right.
What We Like
- Comes with a four-way pocket clip
- Pocket friendly and offers a secure grip
- Available in multiple colors and serrations
- Tough and well-balanced
- Deployment is as smooth as advertised
Ka-Bar Becker BK9 Combat Bowie Fixed Blade Knife
Outdoor adventurers, as well as the military, have trusted Ka-Bar for years in the camping knife department. The brand is one that's known to make high-quality knives that are immensely robust, durable, come with long-lasting sharpness, and great toughness. The BK9 Fixed-Blade Combat Bowie Fixed Blade Knife isn't different. It's one of the best camping knives any adventurer can rely on. This knife serves many functions include combat and field-craft chores.
It features a long 9-inch stainless steel blade, which makes it one of the largest camping knives on the market. Thanks to its length, you can easily resharpen the blade with no stress. Its length also makes maintenance a breeze. A nylon sheath helps you secure and protect the knife when it's not in use. The sheath can be easily attached to your pocket or backpack with no issues. As for the handle, it offers a great grip without stressing your hand even if you use it regularly. However, it's important to note that its large size makes it unfit for smaller knifework.
What We Like
- Can be easily maintained and sharpened
- Large blade
- Offers great grip
- Comes with a nylon sheath for safety and protection
- Not great for cutting smaller items
Schrade SCHF36 Frontier Blade Knife
Schrade is a brand that's known all over the world for its high-quality knives. The SCHF36 Frontier Blade Knife portrays this quality in an excellent way. This knife comes with a texture, curved thermoplastic handle that provides you with immense grip even in wet conditions. It also features rigged edges along the top and bottom of the gripping area, thereby providing you with enhanced hand traction.
The blade of this camping knife is made from powder-coated, strong, high carbon steel which allows it to provide you with great blade strength. Even in heavy-usage conditions, you still enjoy unlimited strength from this full tang, fixed blade camping knife. Schrade really did a good job by combining a top-tier handle with an excellent high carbon blade. This combination makes it one of the best camping knives around.
What We Like
- Great, durable, and sturdy design
- High-quality build
- Curved and rigged handle for better grip
- Comes with a ferro rod and sharpening stone
- The coating on the blade is too thick thereby making it blunt
Camping Knife Buyer’s Guide
The ideal camping knives can make a huge difference in the way you experience the great outdoors. Although they are usually identified as heavy duty knives and may overlap with other knife categories in the outdoor scene, camping knives are usually full tang knives that are under 5-inches. Even with their small blade, these knives can be used to baton firewood, clear brush, whittle tent stakes, and cut ropes and cords. While most of them come in fixed blade style, there are others -like some of the ones in our review- that are foldable.
In this guide, we’ll be taking a look at how to select the perfect camping knife. You’ll see and know what makes a good knife. If you’re keen on getting the ultimate and most unique knives on the market, our review includes ten of the best products around. Not only will they provide you with great stability, razor sharpness, and great grip, but you’ll also be able to move around your camp knowing you have upped your safety a bit.
Type of Knives
There are many different types of camping knives, ranging from rigid and straightforward fixed blade knives to small and compact pocket knives. Many people carry multiple knives with them as one knife isn’t enough to suit all situations. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t choose an ideal knife to handle your camping tasks. With careful consideration, you can easily pick a knife that will be helpful in most conditions.
Fixed Blade Knives
These knives offer great strength than their pocket alternatives. They also come with more ergonomics and heft than their folding counterparts. Fixed blades are also easier to clean although they hold more weight, require a sheath for safe carriage, and also take up more space.
This knife type can be carried around easily. They are small, compact, and can fit into your pocket or backpack for everyday carry. Unlike fixed blades that require a sheath, these knives come with an opening in their handle where you can store the sharp edge. However, they don’t offer the kind of stability and ergonomics offered by fixed blades. Additionally, pocket knives with no locking mechanism can accidentally fall on your hand during use, which can cause a great deal of damage.
This feature is one you should look out for in folding knives. The one-handed opening allows you to unleash your knife faster and safely. It usually entails a smooth folding mechanism with a cutout, notch, or stud on the blade that allows you to easily open your camping knife with your thumb. There are also knives considered to be ambidextrous and they can be easily opened with both hands.
In a knife with assisted opening, there’s a mechanism that helps you fully spring the blade out once you start opening it. These knives come with a locking mechanism inside the handle that helps keep the blade down when it’s not in use. This ensures that the blade doesn’t spring out when it’s in your pocket, backpack, or when not in use.
A locking blade is another important feature you want to look out for in a folding camping knife. It allows the knife to have the stability of fixed blades while featuring the convenience that comes with folding knives. Locking blades fold into their handles, making them compact and safe to carry around. But once you unsheath them, a locking mechanism keeps the blade in place so it doesn’t fold while you’re using it.
Tang is a term you’re most likely going to come across during your search for a fixed-blade knife. A tang simply refers to the length of steel embedded in the knife’s handle in one solid piece. Tang is divided into two:
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Quarter and Half Tang Knives
These are okay for camping tasks, and if they are properly made, they can provide users with great stability.
Full Tang Knives
A full tang knife type provides users with better durability and stability for heavy duty tasks. You may also see stick tang or rattail tang; this simply means that the blade’s steel narrows down to about a centimeter in width and also extends to the length of the handle.
Outdoor knives come with different blade shapes. Below are some of the common ones you might have seen or you’ll find on a camping knife:
Drop point blades are strong and versatile. They usually come with a thick point that’s ideal for a wide variety of everyday tasks as well as heavy duty tasks. In a drop point blade, the spine of the blade drops towards the tip, thereby creating a shape that minimizes accidental puncturing.
This is another common shape you’re bound to find on a camping knife. Tanto blades are usually heavy-duty and they feature a strong point and an angular tip, both of which come together to offer extra strength for piercing, scraping, and prying through tough materials.
A camping knife with a clip point blade is usually used for puncturing and fine-tuning detailed craftwork. However, they lack the strength that comes with the broader drop point shape. Clip point blades are identified by the crescent drop featured on the top of the blade. This design creates a thin, sharp point that makes them ideal for puncturing.
Spear Point and Needle Point
A camping knife with either of these blade shapes is ideal for survival. They are primarily designed for throwing and puncturing. Their blades feature symmetrical points and double edges.
An ideal camping knife’s blade should be corrosion and rust resistant while retaining a sharp edge through consistent use. Sharpening them should also be a breeze. However, there are some pros and cons to consider: While a hard steel blade is less resistant to rust and more difficult to sharpen, it comes with a better edge and retains sharpness for long periods. Soft blades, on the other hand, can be sharpened easily but are more prone to rust and corrosion, and they also lose their edge easily.
Most camping knives feature stainless steel blades. This is because stainless steel is an alloy with the capability to resist corrosion and rust.
Some knives feature high-carbon steel blades. Blades made with this material are endowed with enhanced edge retention and great hardness. However, they are more prone to corrosion and rust.
A camping knife is an essential tool to have in your pocket or backpack. Whether it’s a sturdy one-blade knife like the Morakniv Companion or a multi-tool like the Victorinox Swisschamp in our review, a good knife is sure to come in handy. A camping knife can be used in a lot of ways including fashioning a roasting stick, to cut cords, make repairs, help prepare food, or even save your life in an emergency.
Your search for the right camping knife is over as we have reviews of ten of the best knives above. They come in different budget ranges, designs, and blade types. You can simply choose the knife that matches your preference and be guaranteed to have nothing but the best experience with it. And if you’d like to know more about what makes a good knife, our guide above can help you out.