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HomeSHTF9 Greatest Bushcraft Knife Choices at Blade Present

9 Greatest Bushcraft Knife Choices at Blade Present


I’ve been on the hunt for the very best bushcraft knife for… an extended whereas. In case you’re new to knives and in search of the “finest” knife in a given class, you may rapidly turn into overwhelmed. There are such a lot of various kinds of metal, blades, grinds, sheaths, options, and so forth. There are virtually limitless knife choices on the market, which might result in evaluation paralysis.

My Buckmaster 184 is what I used as my survival knife. My Helle Temagami has been my go-to bushcraft knife. Each are nice knives. The Buckmaster is only a little bit of a monster knife, too heavy and hulking for on a regular basis functions, bugging out on foot, and so forth. The Helle knife is a good bushcraft knife, however I wished one thing extra… fashionable. The leather-based sheath and picket handles make for a phenomenal knife, however for sturdiness’s sake, I wished a stronger deal with and a tough plastic sheath. I wished a knife with firemaking options, an enormous a part of bushcraft and survival.

So, I took my seek for the very best bushchraft knife to the most important knife present on the planet – Blade Present.

What’s Blade Present?

Blade Present is the most important knife present on the planet, held each June in Atlanta. The corporate behind the present additionally hosts Blade Present West in Salt Lake Metropolis and Blade Present Texas. The Atlanta present usually has round 900 completely different exhibitors. In contrast to a commerce present, the occasion is open to anybody and attendees are in a position to buy knives.

Past exhibitors promoting their knives, Blade Present hosts Blade College, providing completely different knife courses from sharpening to writing for knife publications. The occasion additionally contains completely different competitions resembling Bali Championship (a balisong flipping competitors) and a chopping competitors. I filmed the Bali Championship. Comply with the hyperlink to observe it.

The Blade Present I attended was the Atlanta 2023 present.

9 Greatest Bushcraft Knife Choices

I spoke with eight completely different knife makers at Blade Present, and from these discussions, discovered 9 completely different survival/bushcraft knife choices. There have been different bushcraft knives on the present, after all, however I centered on asking a number of knife specialists what THEY thought was THEIR finest bushcraft knife and why. Their solutions, I figured, would assist me discover the knife I used to be in search of.

Spoiler alert: there is no such thing as a one “finest” knife. Knives are designed for various functions. Even while you get into a distinct segment like bushcraft knives, every knife can have completely different attributes. The “finest” bushcraft knife for fireplace making won’t be the “finest” bushcraft knife for batoning wooden, for instance. There’s give and take, so what I needed to – finally – was decide on probably the most well-rounded bushcraft knife – for me.

The “for me” is vital right here, as a result of what makes the very best bushcraft knife for me might not make the very best bushcraft knife for you. For instance, I reside in Maine. A stainless-steel blade might be going to make extra sense for my space of the nation as a result of it gives higher safety from the weather. This comes at the price of much less hardness than carbon metal. In case you reside within the Southwest, carbon metal might be a greater metal for you. Likewise, in case your funds is tight, carbon metal additionally prices much less.

So, you may kind by way of these knives to see what would possibly work finest for you. Evaluate and distinction. Watch my video and listen to from the knife designers and firm representatives themselves. You possibly can study quite a bit by listening to the specialists. I did.

Following are 9 bushcraft and/or survival knives that I dealt with and thought of in my quest for the one knife finest suited to my wants.

1 – ESEE Laser Strike

I went to the ESEE sales space seeking the ESEE 6, which is a very fashionable bushcraft knife. Shane, of ESEE Knives, as a substitute described his favourite bushcraft-style knife, the Laser Strike. He mentioned it goes below the radar as a result of it’s usually overshadowed by the opposite knives they carry. He made a compelling case for the Laser Strike.

esee laser strike bushcraft
The ESEE Laser Strike at Blade Present 2023.

The Laser Strike has a spear level blade and an ergonomic deal with. These had been promoting factors within the “effectively rounded” survival knife class as a result of they’re extra aligned with self-defense. If I wanted to bug out in a zombie apocalypse, this blade model could be higher for piercing than another bushcraft knives. The jimping on the again of the backbone additionally provides some gripping/piercing attributes.

What I preferred most about this knife was the “hidden” ferro rod and tinder. I preferred the thought of getting that backup ferro rod at all times current with out my having to consider it. If I carried a separate ferro rod, this hidden one would make for a “simply in case” spare, and in prepping, one is none and two is one. One contestant on a season of Alone truly needed to stop as a result of he misplaced his ferro rod. Possibly he ought to have introduced a Laser Strike.

The ESEE Laser Strike will be bought at: Blade HQ – Optics Planet – Amazon

Laser Strike Specs

  • Slicing Edge Size: 4.5″
  • Deal with Size: 5.25″
  • General Size: 10″
  • Metal: 1095 Carbon
  • Blade Grind: Flat
  • Blade Thickness: 0.19″
  • Blade Type: Spear Level
  • Deal with Materials: Micarta
  • Weight: 9.4oz
  • Detachable Handles with Ferro Rod, Tinder, and Bow Drill Divot
  • Kydex Sheath with Clip Plate
  • Lifetime Guarantee
  • Made within the USA

2 – White River Firecraft FC5

I wished this knife, designed by Jason Tietz. Frankly, it’s fairly. White River’s Firecraft collection is designed particularly for – you guessed it – firemaking. The blade was sufficiently big to lend itself to basic survival/camp use as effectively. The deep finger choil helps with shut, precision chopping and it gives finger safety in some makes use of. The highest of the blade features a notch for placing a ferro rod (included) and it was the one bushcraft knife I dealt with that included a chrome steel bow drill divot within the deal with. A number of knives had bow drill divots, however not chrome steel divots. Overkill? No such factor!

Firecraft FC5 knife
The Firecraft FC5 at Blade Present 2023.

There are completely different knives in White River’s Firecraft collection, however the FC5 was my favourite. This dimension was in keeping with most bushcraft knives and it was the overall dimension I used to be in search of, measuring 10″ total with a 5″ blade produced from CPM-S35VN chrome steel. I used to be leaning chrome steel as a result of I reside in Maine.

The vast blade and skinny deal with make it nice for a lot of out of doors/survival purposes. On the “survival” knife entrance, the holes within the handles have tube model pins that might permit you to lash the knife to a follow make a survival spear in case you must hunt wild hog like Rambo in First Blood.

The sheath was additionally manufactured from Kydex, which I wished over leather-based, and included a dangler loop with ferro rod.

The White River Firecraft FC5 will be bought at Blade HQ and Amazon

Firecraft FC5 Specs

  • Blade Size: 5″
  • General Size: 10″
  • Metal: CPM S35VN
  • Blade Thickness: 0.158″
  • Deal with Materials: Micarta with Stainless Metal Bow Drill Divot
  • Weight: 8oz
  • Kydex Sheath with Ferro Rod and Choices for Varied Carry Positions
  • Made within the USA

3 – Willumsen Copenhagen Wild1

I hadn’t heard of Willumsen Copenhagen earlier than attending Blade Present. Strolling by their sales space, the Wild1 caught my consideration. The design match the model I used to be in search of.

Willumsen Copenhagen Wild1 knife
The Willumsen Copenhagen Wild1 knife at Blade Present 2023.

The most important promoting level of the Wild1 is the price-to-quality ratio. It’s made in China, which is able to flip some folks off, however that additionally means decrease manufacturing prices, so the retail worth is decrease when in comparison with different bushcraft knives made within the USA.

The backbone of the blade incorporates a hardened space with a pointy 90-degree angle for scraping a ferro rod. The sheath is leather-based, not what I used to be in search of, however a leather-based sheath makes the retail worth much more spectacular. Then there may be the included ferro rod. The one characteristic that the Wild1 has that no different knife I dealt with has is the notch on the again of the knife for grabbing pots over a fireplace – an fascinating thought!

The Willumsen Copenhagen Wild1 will be bought at Willumsen (European web site) and at Amazon.

Wild1 Specs

  • Blade Size: 4.5″
  • General Size: 9.25″
  • Metal: Sandvik14c
  • Blade Thickness: 0.157″
  • Blade Type: Drop Level
  • Deal with Materials: Pakka Wooden
  • Leather-based Sheath with Ferro Rod and Dangler
  • Weight: 6.8oz
  • Made in China

4 – Ka-Bar BK11

Also called the Becker Necker, the BK11 is a knife that basically wasn’t on my radar as a “survival knife” per se, however after talking straight with the legendary Ethan Becker, the knife designer of the BK collection, I turned satisfied that – whereas not the “finest bushcraft knife” on the market – it’s actually a survival knife.

BK11 neck knife
The BK11… survival knife?

The BK11 is among the hottest neck knives in the marketplace, therefore the Becker Necker identify. Being small and light-weight, it makes around-the-neck carry straightforward and handy. This straightforward carry model of this knife might imply you’re extra more likely to put on it, which in a survival state of affairs, might enhance the chances you even have a knife on you while you least count on the necessity for one. It might serve fairly simply as a survival EDC knife.

It’s a really helpful knife, excellent for nearly all on a regular basis knife wants. You may use it to pores and skin animals, whittle wooden, or for meals prep. They Kydex sheath permits for upright or carry or the wrong way up carry. It has a locking mechanism across the knife for added safety when carrying the wrong way up. There’s a notch in the back of the deal with that can be utilized as a wire breaker and/or a bottle opener.

Becker (within the video posted) describes the customized survival package he wrapped round this knife. He minimize a bit of internal tube and wrapped it across the sheath. Then he added a ferro rod, small compass, flashlight, and so forth. Artistic! Sensible!

One factor to notice – the BK11 isn’t nice at throwing sparks off a ferro rod.

Whereas the BK11 wasn’t the one all-purpose bushcraft knife I used to be in search of, Becker made a convincing argument for proudly owning one. As a prepper, I felt a bit embarrassed for not already proudly owning a BK11. I purchased one on the present!

The Ka-Bar BK11 will be bought at Blade HQ and Optics Planet and Amazon.

BK11 Specs

  • Blade Size: 3.25″
  • General Size: 6.75″
  • Blade Thickness: 0.17″
  • Blade Grind: Flat
  • Metal: 1095 Cro-Van
  • Blade Type: Drop Level
  • Deal with Materials: Metal
  • Sheath: Polymer
  • Weight: 3.2oz
  • Made within the USA

5 – Ka-Bar BK2

Also called the Becker Companion, the BK2 was a knife I went in search of at Blade Present. Many individuals have bought this knife through the years and put it by way of very laborious use. The knife is constructed for abuse. As Becker mentioned, if you must discipline gown a Buick, this knife will do it.

BK2 knife
BK2 knife, a.ok.a. “The Tank.”

Just like the BK11, the BK2 is manufactured from hardened 1095 Cro-Van metal with a black end. Given its dimension and width, it’s nice for duties like batoning wooden and whacking at branches. It’s the heaviest responsibility knife I dealt with.

One factor to know concerning the BK2, just like the BK11, it’s not nice at throwing sparks off a ferro rod.

Whereas not the one all-purpose bushcraft knife I used to be in search of, I used to be satisfied sufficient to purchase one! This knife has turn into my truck knife. As a result of everybody wants a truck knife. Am I proper?

The Ka-Bar BK2 is out there at Blade HQ and Amazon.

BK2 Specs

  • Blade Size: 5.25″
  • General Size: 10.75″
  • Blade Thickness: 0.25″
  • Blade Grind: Flat
  • Metal: 1095 Cro-Van with Cerakote End
  • Blade Type: Drop Level
  • Deal with Materials:
  • Sheath: Polymer
  • Weight: 15.9oz
  • Made within the USA

6 – Zero Tolerance 0006

On the lookout for one of many highest finish bushcraft knives on the market? Zero Tolerance has a popularity for utilizing the very best supplies obtainable. Extra of a military-style knife than a bushcraft knife, the 0006 may very well be the appropriate alternative for the one who primarily desires combating knife options over bushcraft options. Because of this, the 0006 wasn’t the selection for me, but it surely’s nonetheless a really spectacular blade.

Zero Tolerance 0006 knife

The 0006 displays its 6″ blade. It’s manufactured from rugged CPM-3V metal. The excessive carbon metal makes for a robust blade, but it surely lacks the corrosion resistance of stainless. Zero Tolerance mitigates that by giving all the blade a Cerakote coating for higher sturdiness and life.

I nonetheless need it, however my pockets was restricted. I couldn’t purchase each knife… sadly.

The Zero Tolerance 0006 will be bought at Blade HQ.

0006 Specs

  • Blade Size: 6″
  • General Size: 10.62″
  • Blade Thickness: 0.189″
  • Blade Grind:
  • Metal: CPM 3V
  • Blade Type: Clip Level
  • Deal with Materials: Kydex
  • Sheath: G10
  • Weight:
  • Made within the USA

7 – Demko Knives FreeReign

In case you watch my YouTube video of this finest bushcraft knife search, you’ll see Andrew Demko describe the MagnaCut model of the FreeReign, which is the model made within the USA. Sadly, I can’t discover the MagnaCut model on the market on-line, so what I describe right here is decrease value, made in Taiwan, chrome steel model.

Demko Knives FreeReign magnacut version
Demko Knives FreeReign knife (MagnaCut model) at Blade Present 2023.

Andrew Demko initially got here to my consideration as he’s the designer of the Ocaso Solstice gentleman’s knife. He’s a well known designer within the knife neighborhood. Just like the Willumsen Wild1, the FreeReign blends high quality with affordability.

The blade has jimping on the backbone for precision dealing with and is constructed from AUS-10 metal, a good all-around metal. The drop level blade is sort of a spear level, so it’s going to supply higher piercing attributes than a few of the different knives examined right here. Regardless of that, the thick blade and full tang permits for bushcraft duties resembling batoning wooden and whacking sticks.

The simplicity of this knife’s design might be its finest promoting level – that and the cheap retail worth.

The Demko FreeReign will be bought at Blade HQ and Amazon.

FreeReign Specs

  • Blade Size: 5″
  • General Size: 9.875″
  • Blade Thickness: 0.187″
  • Blade Grind: Flat
  • Blade Type: Drop Level
  • Blade Metal: Japanese AUS-10A Stainless Metal
  • Deal with Materials: Injection Molded Rubber
  • Sheath Materials: Molded Plastic
  • Weight: 7.2oz
  • Made in Taiwan

8 – Lion Metal T6

Overcoming the Italian accent when interviewing a Lion Metal consultant was a little bit of a problem, however high quality speaks for itself. The Lion Metal T6 displays the 6″ blade (a typical dimension within the knives I surveyed). The T6 is produced from the sturdy CPM-3V metal. It’s a beast of a knife!

Lion Steel T6 knives
Two variations of the Lion Metal T6 knife at Blade Present 2023.

Designed by Molletta, the T6 is aggressive and good for tactical makes use of. Actually, it’s extra tactical than bushcraft. The Kydex sheath a with MOLLE system is in keeping with that tactical model. The T6 is out there with satin-finished or black handled blade.

It wasn’t the bushcraft knife I used to be in search of, and the retail worth was larger than what I wished, but when I wished tactical first and bushcraft second, the T6 might have been my alternative.

The Lion Metal T6 will be bought at Blade HQ and Amazon.

T6 Specs

  • Blade Size: 6.03″
  • General Size: 11.5″
  • Blade Thickness: 0.22″
  • Metal: CPM-3V Device Metal
  • Blade Type: Drop Level
  • Blade Grind: Flat
  • Deal with Materials: Micarta
  • Sheath Materials: Kydex
  • Weight: 13.66oz
  • Made in Italy

9 – TOPS Brothers of Bushcraft Fieldcraft

TOPS might be the only largest knife maker of bushcraft-style knives. They make many knives and lots of of these incorporate out of doors, camp, and survival options. Actually, they’ve a complete collection of Brothers of Bushcraft knives, described by TOPS as “a coalition of males throughout North America specializing in sharing wilderness residing expertise of all classes. From monitoring to constructing shelters, the Brothers of Bushcraft make it a degree to indicate the abilities to all folks, of all ages, from throughout.”

TOPS knife representative describing the BOB Fieldcraft knife
Listening to Dylan’s description of the TOPS BOB Fieldcraft bushcraft knife at Blade Present 2023.

TOPS was on my listing to go to even earlier than Melissa Backwoods steered them. The Fieldcraft knife particularly was on my listing. This knife, as TOPS described it, is the end result of the Brothers of Bushcraft’s information, “combining experiences from the broad and humid rain forests, the arid and scorpion-littered deserts, and the frigid northern lands that span the Americas.” That’s a really broad vary of environments, way more than the distinctive environments I face within the Northeast, however that broad vary additionally speaks to the knife’s well-rounded, all-purpose options. On the plus aspect, you may select between excessive carbon or chrome steel blades.

I just like the Scandinavian grind discovered on my Helle bushcraft knife, and the Fieldcraft incorporates that very same grind. The grind is nice for carving, skinning, and basic wooden work. It takes a thick, rugged blade and provides it a tighter chopping profile. The blade is 4.75″, smaller than the 6″ blade on a few of the different bushcraft knives, however that additionally makes it lighter and simpler to hold.

The deal with can also be ergonomic, becoming the hand a lot better than a few of the tubular formed handles. That deal with additionally contains two bow drill divots, one on both sides, and you’ll entry these whereas the knife is in its sheath, providing higher blade security when within the discipline. The rear finish of the deal with, the again finish of the total tang blade, features a “scraper” for placing a ferro rod.

The sheath is manufactured from sturdy Kydex, like most of those knives, and features a metal belt clip and ferro rod. Sadly, it doesn’t embody a dangler loop.

The TOPS Brothers of Bushcraft Fieldcraft will be bought at Blade HQ and Optics Planet and Amazon.

BOB Fieldcraft Specs

  • Blade Size: 4.75″
  • General Size: 10″
  • Blade Thickness: 0.19″
  • Metal: 154CM Stainless Metal OR 1095 Carbon
  • Blade Type: Drop Level
  • Blade Grind: Scandi
  • Deal with Materials: G10
  • Sheath Materials: Kydex with Ferro Rod
  • Weight: 9.6oz
  • Made within the USA

My Greatest Bushcraft Knife Selection

I selected the TOPS Fieldcraft knife. Whereas not excellent (no knife is), it had the very best mix of options I used to be in search of – Made within the USA, Kydex sheath, vast blade, and chrome steel. Importantly, just like the BK2 and in contrast to MagnaCut, the Fieldcraft has stood the check of time. There have been many Fieldcraft knives made and bought. There are virtually numerous evaluations of this knife, and TOPS is a stable firm with a robust popularity.

my TOPS Fieldcraft knife
I took the TOPS Brothers of Bushcraft Fieldcraft knife residence!

I actually preferred the ferro rod “notch” in the back of the deal with, however – up to now – I’m not discovering it throws as many sparks because the again of a 90-degree blade, like on my Helle.

I’m proud of my Fieldcraft alternative at this level. I plan to make use of it within the discipline and check it myself, nonetheless. That’s the one option to know for certain – self testing. In fact, like Shane mentioned in my video, the device is only one side of the job. Ability is the opposite. Whereas I’m in no way a bushcraft skilled, use and testing of the Fieldcraft can have the additional advantage of enhancing my expertise alongside the best way.

Let me know within the feedback which knife you want the very best, or is there one other bushcraft knife that you just suppose is the very best.

If you wish to see different, fascinating knives, see my video from SHOT Present 2023:

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