Best Bushcraft Knife

best bushcraft knife Bushcraft is about getting into nature, really into it, and figuring out how to work in it, work with it and, ultimately, survive. In order to get the work done, and done well, you need the right tools. One of the main tools a bushcrafter needs is the best bushcraft knife. A bushcraft knife isn’t just your average pocket knife. It, like you, is going to be put to the test against hard labor and the elements and it needs to not only survive but also continue to serve its functions.

In bushcraft, one of the main things your knife will have to endure repeatedly is woodwork. Working with wood to build shelter, traps, and other tools should be easy with the right bushcraft knife and shouldn’t rapidly degrade it, either. In addition to woodwork, the knife will help you in hunting and preparing food and building a fire (a different type of woodwork). You need a sturdy, durable knife that you can work comfortably and efficiently with over extended periods of time.

We’ve combined our years of experience as survivalists and knife-owners to compile a list of what we consider the best bushcraft knives out there. When investing in this type of tool, you ultimately must choose the knife that’s right for you. We hope to offer educated guidance so that you can find not only the tool you like best but also one that will guarantee your survival and success during your bushcrafting endeavors.

What to Look For in a Bushcraft Knife

There are many things to look for in a quality bushcraft knife, some are majorly agreed upon in the bushcraft community, some come down a little more to personal preference. If you’re serious about bushcraft, however, you do want to be sure your knife has some basic and vital features, otherwise you could fail before you even get started. This is a short list of some of the features we focus on when shopping bush knives. Our reviews will go into more detail about other qualities that can make a good bushcraft knife so that you can make the best decision possible based on general bushcrafting needs and your own personal expectations and preferences.

Handle

We mentioned that one of the main things you’ll be using your bushcraft knife for is woodwork of various kinds. Because of this, having the right handle on your knife is of vital importance. The work you do while bushcrafting is prolific and without an ergonomic handle you’ll experience cramping, fatigue and possibly harm yourself after repetitive use. A bushcraft knife shouldn’t be flat or fully straight otherwise it’ll prove uncomfortable and inefficient after extended periods of work. The type of curvature you look for in your bushcraft knife can, again, be a personal preference. We have selected our best bushcraft knives with handle ergonomics in mind.

Tang

It is generally agreed in the bushcraft community that the best knife for bushcrafting is a fixed-blade product; we agree. Having a fixed blade is not enough, however; we look for full-tang blades, where the part of the blade that is concealed by the handle encasing is equal in width to the blade itself. Partial-tang blades prove less durable, they can loosen or wear out after repeated use. A full-tang also allows for more leverage, for example when breaking down wood; a partial-tang can and will provide less resistance as well as potentially building, loosening or degrading from the effort. A full-tang blade is sturdier and more long-lasting and we don’t really trust a bushcraft knife without one.

Blade

Your bushcraft knife isn’t going to be limited to working with wood, of course; it also needs to be designed for working with food. This means various things. The blade needs to be large enough to defend yourself against predators, hunt and clean different size game, and prepare other foods efficiently. A non-serrated blade is best because it is easiest to clean; you don’t risk food particles getting stuck in hidden grooves, for example. You want a blade that is thin enough to slice vegetables but it can’t be too thin that it can’t withstand the hardcore woodworking you’ll also be doing. You also want to make sure the blade is a good size, long enough to fillet a fish while not being so long that it’s cumbersome to transport.

We’ve researched the bushcraft knives available on the market and compared all their qualities, the ones listed above and others, to determine what we think are the best options available to you. We’re looking for a reliable, durable knife at various price listings because you should be able to bushcraft no matter what your budget!

Bushcraft Knife Reviews

Morakniv Bushcraft Knife

Morakniv Bushcraft Knife
1,390 Reviews
When it comes to bushcraft knives, the Morakniv Carbon Steel Survival Knife is our top choice. First, the sheath comes equipped with a fire-starter. We always appreciate when a knife product goes beyond the basics of a knife to include a feature or features that will further optimize your chances of survival. Aesthetically this knife and sheath tell the world that you are a no-nonsense bushcrafter; it is sleek, tough and modern-looking which are all just bonuses to the impeccable overall design of the knife.

This Swedish blade comes sharp as you need it but the sheath also includes an integrated diamond sharpener so you don’t have to worry about losing that vital sharpness. The blade is thin without being too thin, perfect for precision food-carving as well as hard-core wood-carving. The handle fits in the hand like a dream and makes hours of intense work as comfortable as possible.

This tough, well-designed tool has been thought out in every way. It offers you not only an optimal tool for bushcrafting work it also provides you with bonus features that only serve to increase your chances of survival and success. This is, in our opinion, the best bushcraft knife. Period.

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Bushmaster Bushcraft Explorer

Bushmaster Bushcraft Explorer
50 Reviews
The Bushmaster Bushcraft Explorer is also one of the best bushcraft knives available. Most of us found the zebra wood handle, though pleasingly rustic, wasn’t quite as ergonomic as the Morakniv. That is, of course, a subjective finding and not to say this tool wouldn’t be comfortable to use over an extended period of time; it wouldn’t be on this list if that were the case. The metal in the blade is good quality and while it isn’t as thin as the Morakniv it is still a good blade for slicing produce and definitely sturdy enough for woodworking. This knife in particular may appeal to you more on aesthetic purposes; in addition to the zebra wood handle, the product comes with a leather sheath that gives a certain old-fashioned outdoors vibe that many bushcrafters crave. This is an excellent bushcraft knife option!

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Buck Knives Selkirk

Buck Knives Selkirk
554 Reviews
The Buck Knives Selkirk Fixed Blade Knife is the best bushcraft knife we’ve found at the most affordable price. Bushcraft should be a hobby that’s accessible to anyone regardless of financial situation, and this product gives you a great bushcraft tool that won’t break your budget. This product also comes equipped with a fire-starter, which is another reason it’s one of our top picks. The handle is fairly ergonomic and the pommel is sturdy, great for hammering needs. The blade is just the right thickness for slicing as well as withstanding the most intense woodwork. The sheath can be attached to your belt in either a horizontal or vertical carrying position, giving you optimal quick draw capabilities and minimizing the cumbersomeness of transportation. For the affordability of the price this is a surprisingly high quality tool and it would make an excellent investment for any bushcrafter.

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Condor Tool & Knife

Condor Tool & Knife
1,261 Reviews
The hardwood handle on this bushcraft knife once again offers more in the way of aesthetics than actual comfort. Its curved design does offer some ergonomics, but not to the degree of the first three products in this list. Additionally, a fully wooden handle and pommel tend to degrade more rapidly, especially if you’re using your pommel as a hammer as most bushcrafters do. That being said, this product is a solid bushcraft knife. The sleek leather sheath fits well on your belt loop and allows for a fair quickdraw. The blade seemed to require more sharpening than other bushcraft models, but every knife is going to need to be sharpened eventually. It has a good blade for your woodworking and food preparations and with a full tang it will certainly withstand the rigors of bushcrafting. Overall, while this isn’t our favorite, it is a solid bushcraft knife option.

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CELTIBEROCOCO Tactical Knife

CELTIBEROCOCO Tactical Knife
325 Reviews
The CELTIBEROCOCO Tactical Knife offers a fairly ergonomic handle with solid pommel for hammering and a steel bolster for a firmer grip. It comes equipped with a sharpening stone and firestarter, which are both important tools for bushcrafters to have on hand. The blade is solid and sturdy and we found that it worked well with wood and food alike. The blade arrived not consistently sharpened, with one or two dull spots that needed sharpening. It also seemed to require more sharpening than other bushcraft knives we tested, which isn’t a dealbreaker, merely a consideration for time and efficiency. This is another example where aesthetic may rule out. It is a solid tool and though it is perhaps not the best one available, the Cocobolo handle and leather sheath will appeal to some buyers. Even though it isn’t one of our top picks for a bushcrafting knife, it would definitely serve the purpose well!

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Damascus Steel Knife

Damascus Steel Knife
60 Reviews
The Damascus Steel Knife with birch bark handle is another selection that isn’t our favorite but would serve well enough as a bushcrafting knife. The birchbark handle is well-made and ergonomic, though slightly heavier than we tend to look for in a bushcrafting knife. That’s another characteristic that is subjective, however, as some survivalists prefer heavy-handled knives; despite this the knife is overall fairly lightweight. The steel bolster on the handle gives you a firmer, more comfortable grip especially when utilizing the pommel for hammering or the knife for prying. This product comes with a high-quality leather sheath that has a more minimalistic design than other leather sheaths on this list. Just remember: the right knife for you might not be the right knife for another bushcrafter.

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JEO-TEC Bushcraft Survival Hunting Knife

JEO-TEC Bushcraft Survival Hunting Knife
88 Reviews
This is another Cocobolo wood handled knife with a leather sheath equipped with a firestarter. The handle on this knife is less ergonomic than others on our list, the handle is not as wide as others which can be particularly cumbersome for larger-handed users, and it is generally not as comfortable to use over an extended period of time. This isn’t one of our top picks for various reasons, many of them subjective, which is why we’ve still included it on our list. It is a sturdy and reliable bushcraft knife. The blade arrived less finished than we expected, though it is easy enough to sharpen a blade it is nice to have a product arrived more than ready to work. Additionally, the sheath is slightly more cumbersome than others, slowing down your quickdraw capabilities. At the end of the day, it is a high quality bushcrafting knife that may very well be just the right choice for you.

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Best Bushcraft Knife Conclusions

Choosing any knife is ultimately a personal decision. You have to know what type of handle is comfortable in your hand, what type of additional features you may prioritize, and even the aesthetic you most prefer. We’ve done the work of putting all of these bushcraft knives to the test and determined that anyone of them would certainly suffice. We have our favorites of course but that doesn’t mean they have to be your favorite.

The Morakniv Bushcraft Knife is our favorite among the bushcraft knives out there. We love the sleek, modern design of both the knife and its sheath. We love that the sheath comes equipped with both a firestarter and a diamond sharpener, making this the ultimate survival multi-tool. The handle is the most ergonomic we’ve found, while also being strong and durable. The blade is also durable as well as sharp and the perfect thickness for the wide range of tasks required of a bushcrafting knife.

The Bushmaster Bushcraft Explorer offers a different aesthetic to the Morakniv. While most of our team found the handle less ergonomic than the Morakniv, it was ultimately a comfortable tool to use for bushcraft work. It’s a sturdy knife crafted with zebra wood and accompanied by a rustic leather sheath, that offers a fair quickdraw capability and easy transport. This would be an excellent choice for anyone’s bushcrafting work.

Finally, our value pick. The Buck Knives Selkirk is an excellent bushcraft knife for a surprisingly affordable price. This tool also comes with a firestarter and ergonomic leather sheath. The all wood handle is sturdy, with a solid pommel, but with no metal reinforcements it may not last quite as long under the duress of hammering and other such bushcrafting activities. That being said, for the price you’re paying, this would be a great investment as a bushcrafting tool.

At the end of the day, the right knife for you won’t be the right knife for someone else. We’ve gathered our years of knowledge to suggest the best knives we’ve found and give you a sense as to why we chose the ones we did. Our top picks are the bushcrafting knives we would choose for ourselves and our loved ones. Every knife on this list, however, would make an excellent choice.

Jerry Peterson, Editor In Chief
Jerry Peterson

Jerry is a 34 year old blogger. He has a degree in Electrical Engineering and is currently working for a communications company in New York. In his spare time he likes to program computers, go hiking and make knives. Read more about him.

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