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Our Recommended Best Bushcraft Knife Is The Benchmade Bushcrafter 162!
Bushcraft has become more and more popular in the UK in more recent years.
Whether you want to get into camping and survival or hunting, a proper bushcraft knife is imperative.
A good knife will allow you to do different tasks all with the same tool. Whether you are preparing food outdoors or carving wood, the right bushcraft knife will serve you well.
What should you look for when buying the perfect bushcraft knife for you and your needs? If you go with any of the options on our list, you will surely not be disappointed.
Best Bushcraft Knife
Benchmade Bushcrafter 162 (Editor’s Choice)
The 162 model is Benchmade’s first professional bushcrafting knife. This particular model is a fixed blade knife that is durable and well designed.
The handle of a bushcraft knife is just as important as as the blade. If the handle is not comfortable, your hands will definitely pay the price.
The handle feels quite nice in your hand and is definitely an improvement on the traditional bushcraft handle. You will not have to worry about hotspots on your hands while handling this knife.
The handle scales are moulded G-10 and they are held in place with strong titanium tubing. The hollow tubes in the knife handle serve as lashing points which can allow you to turn the Bushcrafting 162 into a spear or machete.
The blade on the Bushcrafter 162 is a high ground drop point blade. This design increases the edge strength of the knife.
The blade itself is constructed with strong S30V steel, which gives it a clean grind and makes it super sharp.
The S30V steel has great edge holding properties and it incredibly durable. This does make it a bit challenging to sharpen, but this knife will last you for quite a long time.
Purchase of the Bushcrafter 162 comes with a buckskin leather sheath. This seems to be about the only complaint customers have regarding the Bushcrafter 162.
The sheath has a plastic insert that forces the blade into the leather, which eventually damages the sheath. You can always purchase a different sheath to house this knife once you purchase it.
- This model is quite affordable for a bushcraft knife of its quality
- This knife is incredibly sharp and durable
- This particular model is resistant to corrosion
- The sheath that comes with the Bushcrafter 162 is quite disappointing and not well made.
Overall, the Bushcrafter 162 is not just a fantastic bushcrafter knife, but it is a solid all-purpose knife as well. This particular model is suitable for hunting, utility use, and even survival.
Damascus Folding Knife
If you are looking for a folding knife, look no further than this Damascus folding knife from Perkin.
It is crafted from quality Damascus steel and the handle is a carved stag antler. It is ideal for both bushcraft and camping.
This is the perfect small knife as the blade is right under three inches in length.
Purchase of this particular knife also comes with a quality leather carrying pouch which is great for housing your knife on the go.
- This knife is incredibly sharp straight from the box
- The leather carrying pouch is quite attractive and protects the knife from scrapes and scratches as well.
- This knife fits comfortably in your hand
- This knife is not large enough for proper bushcraft or survival tasks
- Some customers have complained that this knife is quite difficult to sharpen
All in all, this Damascus steel knife from Perkin is a great everyday knife. It is small enough to comfortably carry in a pocket.
While it is not a superb bushcraft knife, it is a decent penknife for light use.
All Damascus Koobi Pocket Knife
If you are looking for a smaller pocket knife, then this custom Damascus steel knife from Koobi is a great option.
This particular pocket knife is quite an attractive model that will make you the envy of all other knife lovers.
The best selling point of this particular knife is its price. This knife is incredibly affordable, and it makes a great purchase for those who are new to owning knives.
This pocket knife is heavy, well made, and very sharp. It is quite surprising how well made this knife is for the cheap price.
- This knife is incredibly affordable and quite well made for the price.
- There is no wobble where the blade meets the knife handle
- This knife is quite attractive and would make an incredible gift
- This is more of a pen knife than a heavy duty bushcraft knife
- This knife is quite heavy which could be a good or a bad quality depending on what you intend to use the knife for
This Kooby Damascus pocket knife is an affordable blade for those who are new to owning knives. It is a handy little pocket knife that is perfect for every day use.
Ontario Knife Company Bushcraft Blade
If you are looking for a fixed handle bushcraft knife, look no further than the Ontario Knife Company Bushcraft Blade.
This knife is constructed with a finely crafted walnut wood handle and a satin finished 5160 steel blade.
This particular blade is rugged, dependable, and simple. It is perfect for hunting, bushcraft, and wildnerness survival activities.
The blade on this knife is tapered with a spine edge which makes it a perfect companion for your ferro rod fire starter.
Purchase of this particular model comes with a smart nylon sheath.
- This knife is quite affordable and nice to look at it thanks to its incredible walnut handle
- This knife is quite compatable with a ferro fire starting rod
- The blade of this knife is very durable and easy to sharpen
- This particular knife has screws in the handle instead of stronger rivets
- Some customers have complained about the quality of the leather sheath that comes with the purchase of this knife
If you are looking for a proper fixed handle bushcraft knife, this Ontario Knife Company model is the one for you. Not only is it affordable, but it is quite easy to use as well.
What to Look for in a Bushcraft Knife
When it comes to a tool as important and as dangerous as a knife, it is paramount that you now what you are looking for. The market today is quite saturated, so it sometimes can be difficult to choose the right knife for you and your activities.
Before you pull the trigger and buy a bushcraft knife, there are several factors to consider first.
First, consider what you will be using your new knife for. If you will be using your knife for everyday, non-wilderness activities like opening boxes and cutting up fruit, you could opt for a less expensive non-locking pocket knife.
If you plan to use your knife for more heavy duty activities like splitting wood and preparing game, you may want to go with a fixed blade bushcraft knife instead.
These knives will be more expensive than your average pocket knife, but if you choose a well made one, you can expect to use your whole knife for life.
The next important aspect to consider when purchasing a bushcraft knife is how much money you are willing to spend. It is recommended that you spend a bit more money than you may like to on a bushcraft knife so you will not have to replace a cheaply made knife sooner than you would like.
Perhaps the most important aspect of any bushcraft knife is the blade. You must consider blade length, thickness, bevel, and tang before you purchase a knife.
The length, thickness, and tang style will affect the knife’s overall weight. Shorter blades allow you to have more control over a knife; longer blades are often quite unnecessary.
A thick blade is often times quite durable and robust, however it will struggle with finer tasks.
Most blades will function best with a Scandinavian grind bevel. This kind of bevel allows for a broad flat surface which can easily be sharpened. This kind of bevel is perfect for an all purpose knife.
Different kinds of blades are suited to different tasks. A flat blade is quite versatile as it can do things like chopping, batoning, and even push cuts. A flat blade is also great for slicing or slashing.
Because the tip of a bushcraft knife is going to be used quite a lot, it has to be strong and functional. It needs to be both broad and strong but also thin and sharp enough to be useful.
All in all, the best blades for bushcraft knives are spear point and drop point blades.
The blade geometry refers to the blade’s grind and primary bevel. Not every knife has a secondary bevel.
The geometry of your bushcraft knife again depends on what kinds of activities you want to do with it.
The primary bevel or the blade grind shows how the blade has been shaped above the cutting edge.
The primary grind thins down the blade from the spine to the cutting edge. The best kinds of grinds for bushcraft knives are very strong and very versatile.
The best grinds for bushcraft knives are convex grinds, Scandi grinds, flat grinds, and chisel grinds.
Other types of grinds are not completely suited to bushcraft. For example, a hollow grind knife may be good for skinning game, but it is usually too weak for chopping, carving, or batoning.
When looking for a bushcraft knife, you will probably need to choose between carbon steel and stainless steel.
Carbon steel is generally more high maintenance than stainless steel because it is susceptible to rust and corrosion. Carbon steel is more easily sharpened and better for carving projects than stainless stell is.
Stainless steel needs less maintenance and can take more wear and tear than carbon steel can. Stainless steel is more difficult to sharpen; just keep that in mind.
If you are anticipating on prepping a lot of game with your new knife, invest in stainless steel because it will not develop a patina or harbour any bacteria like carbon steel blades can.
The best way to assess the handle of a knife before you buy it is to try it. If a knife is not comfortable in your hand, you should not buy it.
If a knife does not fit comfortably in your hand, this can limit what you can do with it. In the best cases, a knife will be so comfortable to use that it will just feel like another part of your hand.
Oval shaped handles are what the majority of people go with when it comes to bushcraft knives. Oval handles are usually more comfortable to handle than squared handles are.
There are several different materials that knife handles can be made from.
Wood is a common handle material as it has good traction and lasts a long while. The downside with wood handles is that they are subject to moisture and will not hold up for as long as some synthetic materials do.
Another natural handle material can be bone, horn, or antler. These materials are pricier but lend themselves to a beautiful looking knife.
Some synthetic handle materials have grown in popularity in recent years.
Micarta is gaining popularity as a handle material, for example; this material is a phenolic resin paper or cotton fabric that is layered and then cured under high heat and pressure.
Another popular handle material is G10; G10 is a super fibreglass that is durable because of its construction with continuous filament glass cloth and epoxy resin binder.
Perhaps the most overlooked aspect of any bushcraft knife is the sheath. The sheath is important because it is where you will stow away your blade when it is not in use.
Unless you decide to go with a pocket knife, you will absolutely need a sheath for your bushcraft knife. Most sheaths that come with a bushcraft knife are either plastic or grain leather.
Leather sheaths require more maintenance than plastic ones do, but they are typically more attractive looking.
If you need to hold your fire steel in your sheath as well, of course this has to then be taken into consideration.
If your sheath is getting scuffed, simply use a bit of shoe polish that matches its colour.
When it comes to bushcraft knives, the most important thing to keep in mind is that if you look after it, it will look after you. If you purchase a good quality knife, you will not have to service it too often.
With proper use and care, a good bushcraft knife can last you and your family for generations.
Know Your Knife Anatomy
Before you purchase a bushcraft knife, make sure you are up to scruff on all the terms that come with buying a knife.
- Blade: The blade of the knife is of course the metal bit that does the cutting
- Bevel: The bevel of a knife is the section of the blade that is shaped to form the cutting edge; this is the part of the blade that is sharpened with your sharpening stone
- Handle: The handle of a knife is the part that you hold
- Tang: The tang refers to the continuation of the blade through to the handle; there are many different kinds of tangs for different kinds of bushcraft knives
- Choil: The choil is a short flat section of the blade between where the blade joins to the handle
- Fuller or Canellure: The fuller or the canellure is the shallow groove that runs along the side of the blade; this feature can be used to lighten the blade or to add to its aesthetics
- Pommel or Butt: The pommel or the butt of the knife refers to the end of the handle; if you need to punch a hole with a knife, you should use the pommel
- Spine: The spine of the knife is the thickest part of the blade
- Drop Point: The drop point of a blade refers to where the spine curves down to form the back of where the knife meets the cutting edge
Bushcraft Knife Care
A huge part of owning a bushcraft knife is knowing how to properly care for it and service it. A well made knife may seem indestructible, but that is not true.
Remember that a knife is a cutting tool and is not a pry bar, axe, saw, hammer, or spade. While your new knife will be able to accomplish a lot of different tasks, it is also important to realise the limitations of a new knife.
Battening refers to the practise of placing the blade of your knife along the top of a piece of wood and striking the spine with another piece of wood to split the piece of timber. While this activity can be done with most quality knives, it should not be done on a very consistent basis.
Bushcraft knives are typically suited to splitting smaller pieces of wood for kindling for fire lighting, but splitting larger pieces of wood with your knife should be avoided. Splitting large pieces of timber with your bushcraft knife could irreparably damage it.
Remember, a knife is a cutting tool, not a chopping tool.
Using your bushcrafting knife with a ferro rod to light a fire is one activity that everyone can do with their knife.
Fire striking should always be done with the spine of your knife and never with the blade itself. Doing this will damage the blade, which should be avoided at all costs.
Digging with your bushcraft knife should be avoided whenever possible. Digging with your knife can cause it to inadvertently strike a rock underground, which can damage your blade.
Once you know what kind of steel you knife is made from, you will be able to properly service your knife.
When it comes to stainless steel, you will not have to do much maintenance; it is important, however, to do your best to keep your stainless steel blade clean and sharp.
If your blade is made of carbon steel, you will need to clean and oil it whenever you can. Carbon steel will tarnish a bit over time, so keep that in mind.
Keep your knife from going blunt by sharpening your knife quite regularly. Remember, it is harden to sharpen a knife the more dull it is.
Preform regular maintenance on your blade to keep it in tip top shape.
In addition to taking care of the knife itself, you will also need to service its sheath on a semi regular basis.
If you have a leather sheath, if it gets wet it will dry out naturally. A lot of care it not really needed.
A good quality leather balm can be expensive, but any saddle oil or leather nourishment balm will do well to protect your knife sheath.
The Final Verdict: Benchmade Bushcrafter 162
Our pick for the best bushcrafter knife is the Benchmade Bushcrafter 162. This model is well suited to many different outdoor tasks and fits well and comfortably into the user’s hand.
This particular knife is reinforced with titanium rivets. The strong, durable blade is perfect for chopping, cutting, and game preparation.
This particular model comes with a buckskin sheath to house the blade when it is not in use. While the sheath leaves many customers unimpressed, it is by far the least important aspect of any knife as an additional sheath can be purchased if need be.
- 1 Best Bushcraft Knife