The Ultimate Guide to Choosing the Best Bushcraft Knife
Bushcrafting is the ultimate skill of surviving in the wild. Of course you can carry a hefty, overweight tool to perform demanding tasks like batoning, preparing the firewood or combating but it limits the capacity to efficiently get over more subtle tasks like making the trap for the prey, building a shelter and cutting through the dense bushes of the forest. The best bushcraft knives are able to essay the role of multiple utility knives while fitting comfortably in your pocket. To an uninitiated, it might be a gruesome task to find out the right bushcraft knife in an ocean of lucrative options. All you need is a little guidance.
Spyderco is a pioneering in making enviable military and EDC knives. Their collection of survival knives targets niche customers. The design of Spyderco bush craft knives was chalked out by bushcraft expert Chris Claycombe in association with a famous bushcraft website BushcraftUK.com. The unbeatable combination of high functionality and amazing strength is the cornerstone of Spyderco knives. The high carbon steel used in building the blade holds the edge exceptionally well. The full-tang construction paired with Spyderco’s signature thumbhole provides extra stability and finesse while performing intricate tasks like fish filleting.
The grind manoeuvred in this product is of Scandinavian type which makes an impeccable choice for tough jobs like whittling, batoning, splitting the woods and many more. Versatility is the USP of this knife. I have used this knife for as long as 7 years without facing any major issue. It’s super easy to touch up and the minimal 7.75 oz. weight enhances the portability. The relatively high price tag might raise the eyebrows of budget-customers which is the only drawback of this otherwise stunning bushcraft knife.
All Morakniv’s products are endowed with state-of-the-art quality, impeccable resilience and a razor sharp blade that can write a history (and tear it apart after that in minutes). Morakniv bushcraft knives have achieved a cult status over the time, but surprisingly, despite of its never-diminishing demand, the manufacturer has never bothered to hike the price of it. The 3.3 mm thick high carbon steel made blade is a beast. From precisely cutting meat to shaving arm hair, from fine chopping the thickest lumbers to carving subtle patterns on wood, there’s hardly a task it cannot perform.
The blade with tungsten DLC corrosion resistant coating has a flat grind and straight point. The backside of the tool is purposely ground to be used a firestarter. The package also includes a diamond sharpener which is decent, the sheath however is not at par with the standard of a brand like this. Minor downsides aside, Morakniv bushcraft knife is a complete survival kit. Plus it is easily affordable and stands strong for years if maintained carefully.
This one is unarguably one of the best bargains for money in this highly competitive market. To certify the authenticity of this comment, let’s have a quick glance over the smacking cool features it offers. The product has been tried and tested under severe live field conditions before reaching the final stage of manufacturing. The bombproof strength stems from the laminated VG-10 steel blade along with a robust black Thermomum. Did you know that F1 is the official survival tool for Swedish Air Force Pilots? Now that you know, do you need more proof about its quality or something? A meaty bushcraft tool like F1 helps you come out safe and alive from the most physically challenging surviving conditions.
Ka-Bar Becker BK2 is a brainchild of master survival knife maker Ethan Becker. Ka-Bar has a bulky construction and is essentially made for seasoned survivalists who struggle every moment and fight hard against the mighty nature. Due to the huge size, it is not an easy stuff to maneuver and carry along. For the newbies, a hefty knife like this would be an overkill.
Cut to the product specs, it integrates a chrome and vanadium carbide infused 1095 blade mounted atop a removable Grivory handle. While sharp point of the blade an effortlessly pierce the tangled bushes as well as animal skin. The handle is strong as metal and can be used for batoning and hammering nails for building tent. Beside a bundle of attractive features, BK2 has an appealing black design to grab eyeballs. Folks who love to fight big and live big are sure to find a soul companion in BK2.
Designed by Survivoman’s Les Stroud, Hell Temagami is one hell of looker besides being one of the most merciless cutters of its time. The ergonomics can take serious abuses without developing a crack or getting dull any soon. The best part is that each knife under this label has been hand crafted and hand honed for incomparable sharpness and durability. A textured birch handle oiled with linseed is a class of its won. Talking about the blade quality and material, Helle Temagami uses a triple layered laminated stainless steel blade with a flat grind and plain edge to cover almost any task you come across in the wild. The smattering price of the products lands in on the upper side of the cost spectrum.
The blade size of a knife can actually make or break a deal. Carrying a really long and bulky knife may sound cool but trust me, it hardly is. The extra size of the blade undoubtedly makes it capable of dealing with heavy-duty tasks but at the cost of mobility. On the other hand, small blades are indeed good for intricate works, but it is fragile and might not stand the rough and tough condition of the wood for long. Play safe by opting for a medium size, ranging between 3.5”-6” for optimal flexibility and practical application.
The cutting edge of a knife originates from its primary bevel. The finer the cutting edge, the more is its capacity to neatly slice meat and skin games. The downside is its fragility. You can’t expect it to stand through the relentless abuse like a large cutting edge will do. However, broader edged knives lack the tremendous sharpness of its thinner counterpart. Also note that a knife with only a primary bevel is a much easier to touch up than sharpening a knife with secondary bevel. To re-sharpen a knife with secondary bevel, you need to be experienced enough to maintain the right angle while sharpening.
The ideal design for the bushcraft knives consists of a long flat cutting edge with a drop point and flat grind for great versatility. A bushcraft knife shaped in this way allows you to perform a wide variety of tasks, from batoning, chopping, fire-making and building shelter with utmost efficiency in a forest. Moreover, field dressing the kill or slicing the meat becomes less of a chore, thanks to the location of the centre point of the knife in the grip. For the very same reason, you can also use your tool for drilling, carving, whittling, butchering or hollowing things. Coming to the shape of the blade, it should be broad enough to take load and razor sharp to get you through the most challenging bushcrafting tasks easily.
The term blade grind or primary bevel refers to how the blade has been designed above the cutting edge. The kind of grind the bushcraft has defines its ability to handle specific tasks. For example, hollow grind makes for an excellent bushcraft knife for skinning, a chisel grind is best suited for strenuous tasks like cutting the lumber, chopping, batoning, drilling etc. Convex grind, flat grind, Scandinavian are among the other popular grinds for bushcraft knives.
Failing to determine a right handle material can put your entire effort into soup. Wood is a pretty common choice in traditionally made bushcraft knives. It’s tough and has a nice appearance but when it comes to absorbing moisture, wood fails miserably. Synthetic materials like plastic, rubber are far more competent in terms for providing both firm grip and durability. The high-end bushcraft knives from some of the premium brands in the world also use premium material like Micarta, G-10 which are not subject to crack or rusting even under the most grueling conditions. However, you might need to shell out a couple of extra dollars to get a knife with a decent handle.
There is no well-documented definition of the best bushcraft knife. Deciding which product will give you the best bang for buck entirely depends upon your environmental condition and requirements. To be more specific, a knife that will serve you right in a deserted sea beach isn’t an ideal choice for survival in a rainy forest. Therefore, before jumping to any conclusion, you have to know where and how you are going to apply the tool for. The rest should be a fuss-free as I have already done the hard yard for you. Make a bucket list and compare a few products side by side, select the one closest to match all the qualities of a perfect bushcraft knife.