Looking for the Best Bushcraft Knife? We’ve Got You Covered.

Bushcraft is a term that represents wilderness skills and it is used mostly in the United States, Canada, Australia, and the United Kingdom (UK), basically in all Anglo-Saxon countries. The term was coined by “the Bush Tucker Man” Les Hiddins and Mors Kochanski, both survivalists and nature lovers and more recently by Ray Mears via television programs in the UK.

Bushcraft is all about living in a natural environment and also learning the skills and knowledge for you to get around. For example, you must learn fire-craft, tracking, hunting, fishing, building yourself a shelter, not to mention using tools like knives and axes.

Obviously, choosing the best bushcraft knife is an important step for any outdoorsmen, because the knife is an essential tool in any bushcraft situation.

For starters, let me enlighten you about the common mistakes one can make when choosing the best bushcraft knife:

  1. People love cool looking knives and the most common mistake for choosing a bushcraft knife is the Rambo knife. Usually, those “Rambo” knives you can find at your local 7/11 or Walmart are made of low quality steel, they are cheap and they will probably fail after a week in a real life buschraft scenario. That doesn’t mean there aren’t good “Rambo” knives on the market, but as a rule of thumb, that’s not the knife you’re looking for.

  2. DO NOT buy a folding bushcraft knife. The folders are nice for carrying around in an urban environment or as a secondary “tactical” weapon, they are not made to endure the harsh environments; a folder is much weaker, by design, than a full tang knife.

Must Have’s in the Best Bushcraft Knife

Now, let’s see what a REAL bushcraft knife is all about, here are the “must have’s” :

  1. The best bushcraft knife must be built like a tank and it must be capable of hard work without breaking.

  2. The steel in the blade must be of high quality.

  3. You must go for the best bang for the buck, the bushcraft knife is a tool, not a collector’s item.

  4. You MUST choose a fixed blade or a full tang design.

Next, let me explain you what a good blade is all about. First, the length of the blade in a good bushcraft knife must be at least four inches. Since you will use the knife for hard outdoor tasks, like skinning game, cutting rope, whittling wood, chopping tree branches, etc., the longer the blade, the lesser the effort , so you must choose carefully.

As I told you before, a full tang blade is essential when choosing the best bushcraft knife. This type of blade which runs the entire width and length of the knife is what makes it strong and almost impossible to break. Partial tang designs are much cheaper but are to be avoided like the plague, they can fail you when you need them the most.

Now, let’s talk about the steel quality. You have basically two choices here : carbon steel and stainless steel. Carbon steel is much stronger and the blade holds its edge way better, but this type of steel is prone to rusting so it requires maintenance.

A better choice for a bushcraft knife, especially when used in a moist environment, is stainless steel and especially high-carbon stainless steel, which is found in high-end knives. If you can afford a high-carbon stainless steel knife, go for it.

[#Z]The most popular types of carbon steel for a high end bushcraft knife are A2 and VG-10 while 440C/AUS8 are the best stainless steels.

Now, the edge in the best bushcraft knife comes in two flavors : serrated or straight. The full serrated blades are rare and I don’t recommend them, because they are pretty hard to resharpen. There are many knives that offer a small part of the blade that is serrated, while the rest of the blade is straight. It comes down to your personal preference, keep in mind that sharpening a serrated blade is tricky.

The quality of the handle is very important when choosing the best bushcraft knife. You must go for a rugged yet comfortable, easy to grip in any weather conditions handle. Some of the popular handles are leather made, but they don’t resist very well in a rainy climate. The best materials for a bushcraft knife handle are Zytel or G10. You should stay away from hollow handles, with those screw-off butt caps, they are less durable than a solid handle and I don’t recommend them.

You must understand that the best bushcraft knife is actually a tool, essential in an outdoors/survival scenario and you should choose the best bang for the buck for one simple reason: if you don’t spend a fortune on the knife, you will use it and abuse it over and over, and that’s its main purpose. Also, don’t forget that the best bushcraft knife is the one you’ve got with you, not the one pinned on your trophy wall.

The Best Bushcraft Knife

Let’s have a look at some of the best bushcraft knives available on the market, from different price brackets:

Morakniv Bushcraft Carbon Fixed Blade Knife

Mora is one of the knife brands that were recognized over and over again as having the best blades in this price category. They are manufacturing some of the best bushcraft knives out there which perform remarkable for their price tag.

One of the best bushcraft knife makers is Fallkniven, they are specialized in high-end, tough and versatile knives, which come with a hefty price tag, but one of these babies will last you for one or two lifetimes. The materials and workmanship in these survival tools are simply the best.

Now, my personal favorite, the Tom Brown’s Tracker Knives. These rugged looking bushcraft knives are available in three models and they are arguably the best bushcraft knives out there. They have a very interesting design which allows them to be used for basically any task: chopping, cutting, digging, you name it. They have only one downside, the price tag, but if you can afford one of these babies, go for it. Now, it’s your turn. Which knife do you consider the best bushcraft knife?

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