Best Bushcraft Knives 2020: First, let’s get one thing clear: that bush craft is the skills set that you need for surviving outdoors during expeditions, hiking, adventures and camping. It’s not about the gear but there is no doubt that you do need a collection of the good tools for the job.
For example – building of an outdoor shelter is much easier once you’ve got an ax to cut and trim branches. Then, when out camping while fishing and hunting, a strong, sharp knife will always come in handy for batoning wood.
You need a fire too, and that requires flint and the exposed part of a bush craft knife. A bush craft knife is a highly useful, multipurpose tool and if you’re looking for a really good one for your next big adventure, then you’ve come to the right place.
A lot of work went into the making of this guide. The reason for that is when you finally find a quality knife that suits your needs and budget, then all of your outdoor survival trips will be much simpler!
Top 10 Best Bushcraft Knives of 2020 to Carry in the Wild
Listed below, are some of the more popular online choices for best bushcraft knives. All are suited for field crafts and a host of the other outdoor tasks.
The Full Tang Bushcraft Knife Review and Description: Those who enjoy the beauty and functionality of a hand carved knife will like this compact bush craft knife from Moorhaus. They’ve added this mosaic pin in the center of wooden handle, that’s secured onto the blade with using brass copper pins. It’s long enough for you to get a solid grip on it.
As for the blade, it’s been made out of D2 tools steel that’s also been hardened to a 60-62 HRC. The knife comes with a vertical leather sheath. Moorhaus guarantees full satisfaction or your money back.
Dimensions: 9.5″ Overall, 5.25″ Blade.
Verdict:This is an affordable option that’s easy to use and carry. We feel like its meant for those who want to have a small knife with them in case they need to cut something smaller. It’s priced at $40, but is a fairly good buy as it’s durable and deliver a sharp cut.
Walls Men’s Camo Insulated Coverall Review and Description: The Ontario Knife Company have handcrafted the 8696 to give its users the survival blade that can do it all. The blade is strong, being made out of 5160 steel with a high, off center point. Its even got a flat ground design for enhanced slicing and cutting; even for meat. The knife is very hardy and has an American walnut hardwood handle.
The sheath is made out of black nylon and is made by Desantis, the renowned holster manufacturer. It includes a small pocket that can fit a fire starter striker. Comes with an attachment loop that can be fixed onto belts, camping gear and rivets for hanging in your garage. Priced at $ 61.46, you get all the right features and even more functions.
Dimensions: 15 x 4 x 2 inches, overall length: 10.30″, 5″ blade with 0.125″ thickness.
Verdict: Users really feel like this knife has everything they need when outdoors hunting, fishing or even in forest areas. They’ve even been able to make hickory bows, prepared wood for campfires and struck it against ferro rods to start up fires. The sheath is functional and can survive dampness, rain and water unlike leather ones. The handle has a balanced grip, something that’s important when lighting up campfires and fulfills expectations in other areas like splitting kindling, fire board drilling etc.
The Sk-197 Damascus Steel Bushcraft knife Coverall: The name of the brand really does do justice to the Sk-197. It is a designer knife that can be gifted to those who you know love being outdoors a lot. Starting with the handle, which is handmade using walnut wood that’s been fixed on using brass pins and a colored wood spacer. This beautiful handle is fixed on the blade with a metal bit.
As for the blade, you have a very sharp edged one covered with a Damascus pattern on it but is tough with a HRC 57-60. You get an engraved leather sheath that covers the embossed knife blade.
Dimensions: All Length = 08.00 Inches, Handle Length = 04.00 Inches Blade Length = 04.00 inches
Verdict: The tang blade and is extremely thick for such a small knife. Its been used in all kinds of weather and shows no signs of rusting. One tiny issues is that the sheath you get might be too big for the knife, but won’t affect its performance. There is a strap that snaps shut so the knife can be held in securely.
The 02RE030 Bushcraft Knife from Boker Real Steel Review and Description: This 02RE030 Bushcraft Coyote G-10 knife from Boker Real Steel has the classic design. In terms of looks, you aren’t really getting much but it’s the functionality that counts. Blade has been sharpened using the scandi grind so you get durability and a cut that’s very sharp. Since its been made out of the D2 steel, you can re sharpen it according to your liking.
On the handle, you’ll find a red spacer and extra large lanyard hole. Real Steel provides you with a Kydex sheath that has a removable belt loop. Although it’s been designed to be carried vertically, the belt loop lets you carry it horizontally. The knife itself has been made out of quality manufacturing standards and handcrafts each one for detail.
Dimensions: Blade length: 4-1/8 Inch. Overall length: 8-5/8 Inch and 3.5mm thick, Weight: 6.1 oz
Verdict:The 02RE030 Bushcraft Coyote G-10 is an expensive outdoor knife and does come with a very sharp blade. It’s really put together well and ideally sized for easy grip. D2 steel produces a very sharp edge each time its been sharpened and resistant to rusting and wearing away. It is configurable too, with the plastic belt loop that clips onto the taco type sheath for vertical and horizontal wear.
The Pathfinder Knife from Morakniv Bushcraft Review and Description: The Pathfinder from Morakniv is one of their largest, sturdier outdoor knife offerings. This one includes a very sharp and burly 1/8 inch high carbon steel blade. The blade will last for a long time even during use in all weather conditions as its been treated with a tungsten DLC anti corrosive coating. This is why the blade appears to have a black colour instead of bright shine of stainless steel.
This bush craft knife is the biggest variant in a series and as such suited for more intensive forest hikes, high seas fishing and survival uses like batoning. The spine doubles as a fire starter and for making tinder shavings.
Dimensions: Blade length: 6.75″ (171 mm); Blade thickness: 0.125″ (3.2 mm); Total length: 11.6″ (295mm); Weight: 8.8 oz. (249g)
Verdict: The knife blade is crafted out of high carbon steel which means exceptional hardness and sharpens easily. It won’t need regular regrinding, as this type of material is harder than steel and holds a sharper edge for longer. So durability and long term use is what you’ll get with this Mora knife.
The Nº31 Bush craft & Survival Hunting Knife Coverall Review and Description: The company, JEO-TEC, claims that their knife series are loved by hunters, explorers, hikers and fishermen, wildlife enthusiasts and campers alike. The Nº31 has been designed for hunting, bush craft and can withstand tough outdoor environments and weather conditions. If you love outdoor adventures and camping or any other activity that brings you closer to nature, then you have to include the Nº31 Bush craft knife in your camping gear.
Handcrafted in Spain, the blade has been laser cut out of stainless steel Molybdenum-Vanadium (MOVA) 58 with a toughness count of HRC 56-58. The handles come in to two variants, either Micarta or Cocobolo Exotic Wood. Every JEO-Tec knife comes with a movable leather sheath for vertical or horizontal carrying.
Dimensions: Blade Length: 115 mm / 4.52 inches; Overall Length: 24 cm / 9.44 inches; Blade Thickness: 5 mm / 0.20 inches
Verdict: Several issues about belt snap in holder, and other noticeable flaws on the knife immediately after it was delivered. Still, it does have top quality hardware and the construction is wonderful. The blade is lightweight and doesn’t require ongoing maintenance like carbon steel blades. That’s plus point for these on longer outdoor trips and don’t want a heavy knife on their side all the time.
Dickies Men’s Short-Sleeve Coverall Review and Description: Since it’s custom made, each piece produced by this London based artisan are unique and built really well. The full tang scandi blade is sharp and more or less can do most activities while hunting, camping, and even bush crafting. the walnut wood handle has a very good grip.
The sheath dangles on your belt and is very heavy duty. Note that each knife and sheath will look slightly different from the last one as both are made by hand. Yet, it will last you’re a very long time with the right care.
Dimensions: Overall length 8.25 inches. Blade 3mm thick.
Verdict:The knife is a good gift and can handle most bush crafting activities. It can be easily sharpened and is great for handling things around camps. Feels good to hold in your hand and can be used for daily work as well.
Field Craft Knife from the Brothers of Bushcraft Review and Description: The Brothers of Bushcraft is a group located in North America and are focused on sharing and promoting wilderness living skills, tracking, building. This Field Craft Knife is one of their product offerings and has been created keeping mind their experiences in humid rain forests, arid deserts, and the frigid areas that space the US.
Dimensions: Overall length 10”, Blade Length: 4 1/2”, weight: 1.28 ounces
Verdict: Fairly nice build but the knife will only be good for smaller, lighter jobs. There have been some issues about rusting, that stays even when the blade is wiped down. Definitely not much for the price tag of $139.
Bushcraft II knife from Real Steel Review and Description: This 8 1/2″ knife is big enough for medium level bush crafting and with a sharp, satin finish D2 tool steel drop point blade complete with Scandi grind and a thumb ridge. All steel components have been hardened to an HRC of 58-60. As for the handle, it’s contoured, smooth G-10 with red G-10 underlays and finished with the essential lanyard hole. There is a Kydex molded sheath with clip and mounting hardware.
Dimensions: Blade: D2 (58-60HRC), Blade Length: 105mm / 4.13″, Blade Thickness: 3.5mm / 0.138″, Total Length: 219mm / 8.62″, Weight: 172g / 6.07oz
Verdict: Best for those who want a modest, quality option without the heavy investments! The blade is tough and should last if used appropriately. Most have been pleased with the features to price balance when it comes to this knife and its even got a great, ergonomic handle too. The sheath could be better though but given this price, it’ seems ok.
Morakniv Bushcraft Knife Review and Description: Morakniv built this robust knife where the back the blade doubles as a fire starter. It comes in a peggable orange package where the sheath has two interchangeable clips. One that’s an open end clip type and the other is the closed loop that you normally put a belt through.
Dimensions: Blade Thickness: 0.126″ (3.2 mm), Blade Length: 4.3″ (109 mm), Total Length: 9.1″ (232mm), Net Weight: 5.4 oz. (154g)
Verdict: The bright orange colour of the knife is unbelievable and you’re definitely never going to lose this while out in the woods. The handle feels great too, with a matt and rough finish so it nerves slips. Very good steel and the spine works well with a ferro rod.
Best Bushcraft Knives 2020 Buying Guide (Things to Consider)
Bush craft knives range from your every day daily basic knives that are affordable. Then you have the bigger, powerful knives that are more expensive. The advantage of the bushcraft knife is that it can easily be maneuvered as opposed to the bigger blades. It’s even effective for skinning game and for other bush crafting tasks.
1. Blades: So the right knife should be one that’s got a full tang blade and fixed in one position. This makes sense when you think about the kind of work these knives have been designed for. When out shopping for one online, remember to keep an eye out for a drop point blade with a flat grind. This is the only feature that bush craft knives have in common with survival knives.
2. Handle: Another critical similarity is the handles that varies in the materials they’ve been made of, like dense rubber micarta, various forms of wood. Some have a smooth, polished finish that looks luxurious but you’ll notice that it’s the matt, rugged surfaces that give you the best grip.
Also note that while they seem adequate for cutting fresh catch, it’s suggested that you use a fileting knife for that. When selecting one of these knives, try to avoid a blade that’s bigger than 6 inches. Chopping can only be resolved with a hatchet or a machete.
3. Steel: More on the blades that you determine by the quality and type of steel used for making them. The primary choice that suits most manufacturers are the stainless steel and carbon steel.
Carbon or high carbon steel will have that sharp edge for a longer period of time but are prone to rusting. The material is much softer and therefore easier to sharpen. There’s a little basic care that goes into taking care of the blade, where you’ll need to lightly oil it to keep it free from rust and if you live in a humid climate.
The recommended grades for carbon steel are 1000 Series (1045, 1095, etc.), 5160, O1, O6, W2.
Stainless steel is the other option, that will not rust but does require frequent sharpening. The only problem is that this type of steel is harder, so you’ll need a stronger grindstone or an automated one. In other words, it gets blunt faster but doesn’t require too much maintenance.
The recommended grades for stainless steel are 400 Series (420, 440A/B/C), AUS Series (AUS-6/8/10), BG42, Bohler, S30V, VG10.
Types of Buscraft Knives (A Guide)
Steel: Every knife shown here is capable of all forms of the outdoor activities, give or take a few hits or misses. Now that you’ve gone through all of the reviews and details on each one of them, lets see what makes a bush craft knife different from your regular survival or pocket knife. These knives meant only for use outdoors and in heavily forested areas and are divided based on their application.
There are the survival knives that are characterized by fixed blade and are good for just about anything cutting, slicing or paring need. Like the ‘jack of all trades’ that they are, they can even be sued for breaking glass, prying open crates, boxes and doors. They should be able to cut into thick materials as well.
Then you have the pocket knives and named as such because they can fold easily and fit into your pocket. Given their compact fit and generally smaller size, a pocket knife can be carried with you daily and is suited for smaller tasks around the house, occasional picnic or your backyard.
Bush craft knives are primarily meant for cutting wood, twigs and can create notches, points, feathering on wooden surfaces. In terms of looks, it doesn’t resemble a tactical knife and is usually fitted with blades between three to six inches wide.
What's the Need for Best Bushcraft Knives in 2020
The Bush craft knife is an essential part of your outdoor gear. It is meant for those who enjoy camping out, fishing, hunting and is even useful for picnics too. When it comes to what type of knife is best for you, we’ll let you decide. So if you say you’re a collector and already have plenty of knives then you can settle with knives made out of either steel type as mentioned earlier.
If you are planning on keeping just one knife, then the stainless steel one will give your versatility without the maintenance. Sure, it might not remain sharp for too long, but will withstand rough use. The carbon knives are better for everything but loads of care is needed.
Most experts and those that go on frequent outdoor adventures, usually take a multi knife approach as they feel that no ‘one’ knife fits all purposes that they could come across. And they’re right too, as you need one kind blade for clearing brush, another for bush crafting, one more in case of survival. This is why they normally have 2 or 3 bigger, carbon knives.
Who Should Use Bushcraft Knives in 2020:
A bush craft knife the most important necessity for all bush crafters, regardless of their proficiency levels! This one tool often replaces a lot of other bulky, cutting gear and in that sense, can help you to travel lightly. For instance, just one solid club and one of these sturdy knives is all you’ll need to the baton you’re way through a mid sized tree and its limbs, without really diving in for a machete, axe and saw. We’ll admit that these last three tools might do the whole lot faster, but can you imagine lugging them around?
If it’s not the right tools for the job, it’s not realistic. And in survival scenarios, it’s impossible to be prepared with every tool. But the right knife could make all the difference, and although not perfect, it can do the job of many tools, proving to be a life saver in most cases.
Bushcraft Knife FAQs
As a beginner, you can start learning to craft basic survival tools using a bushcraft knife. Craving is one of the basic and important skills for which a bushcraft knife is used for. From a piece of wood, you can craft spoons and bowls by craving with just the knife. Other than that, it can be used for starting a fire, crafting hooks for fishing, spears for hunting. Chopping food to setting traps bushcraft knife can be the way of life if you are living outdoor.
What is the difference between bushcraft and survival?
There is a fine line between bushcraft and survival knife. Bushcraft knife is the answer to more complex questions of surviving outdoor. In contrast, a survival knife can be used for very basic survival activities. Here’s an example to understand the difference between a bushcraft and survival knife; survival knives can be used to hunt small animals. Meanwhile, bushcraft knives are mainly used for skinning, cleaning, and chopping your hunts.
What makes a good bushcraft knife?
It really depends on the situation and the task you are willing to fulfill with bushcraft knives. If it is for skinning your hunt or fish, a knife with softer steel would be ideal. For crafting, like craving dry woods to make spoons or bowl, harder steel would suffice.
What is the ideal size of a Bushcraft Knife?
The ideal length of a bushcraft knife should be between 89mm to 152mm.
Ultimately, the best bushcraft knife that’s right for you will depend on the likely tasks, conditions and environment you intend on using it in. Camping out on beaches will need a stainless steel blade with a lower HRC count. This is because the swimming, salty air, cleaning salty fish and lack of fresh water could cause carbon steel blades to rush faster.
Then consider tougher, but softer steel for an environment that’s rocky, filled with coarse sand as a hard blade will prove to be brittle and will chip if used to carve or cut hard surfaces. Softer edges that have gradually rolled down will be easier to fix as opposed to chipped hard edges.
The same camper might have to switch the hard carbon steel knives when out in a dry, wooded area. Since the steel is harder, it will be able to handle carving or even splitting dry, hard wood much better. In this situation, you don’t have anything that contributes to rusting and therefore no rusting. So you won’t need the non corrosive properties that a stainless knife has.
But these are just general ideas, as various grades and forms of carbon and stainless steels, with each one form responding differently to heat and anti corrosion treatments.