Having a reliable camping knife on your outdoor adventures is highly important. It is one of the most essential items to pack!
Your outdoor adventure style can determine what type of knife you will choose. If you are simply going on a family camping adventure then you will need something handy for food prep and odd jobs around the camp site. If you are a serious outdoors enthusiasts, you may be looking for something a little more robust.
Whether you’re trekking, backpacking or camping, this guide to the best camping knives should help you choose the right one for your adventure.
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We reviewed over 16 camping knives for this article. Below are the best camping knives that made our short list.
Read our complete buyers guide for a camping knife.
The features of the Fallkniven A1 excel in almost all the categories that you would look at for in a camping knife. It is a high-quality, all-purpose knife with a strong fixed blade made from high-end stainless steel.
The shape of the blade makes it easy to chop and carve, while its drop point creates a very sharp and precise tip.
The A1 knife has a modern, high-quality look and feel in addition to its strength and durability. All of these qualities are what make it the best overall camping knife.
The Spyderco Tenacious folding knife is a great everyday knife that can easily be used as a camping knife. The handle is comfortable with a decent amount of grip and its open back design makes the knife very easy to clean.
The blade fits neatly into the handle, which features a steel lining to ensure the blade stays in place and balances the knife nicely.
Overall, this knife is a well-made folding knife and although the steel of the blade is not the best in the knife market, it will still get the job done well.
The Benchmade Bushcrafter 162 is more of a luxury camping knife and is intended for more experienced campers who are willing to pay more for a superior knife.
Benchmade prides itself on producing higher-quality, flawless knives so if you do happen to get a defective one, they have a lifetime warranty to ensure you get the premium knife that you paid for.
The Bushcrafter 162 is a fixed, drop point camping knife that is made from high-end stainless steel and durable fiberglass. The blade is corrosion-resistant and full tang with two layers of padding between the steel and the handle to increase its stability.
This knife is well-suited for serious campers and hikers, as it will last for ages and perform well on any camping or survival tasks it’s used for.
The Buck Knives 192 Vanguard Fixed is a fixed blade camping knife with a drop point and is made from 420HC stainless steel which is corrosion resistant and boasts excellent edge retention.
The 192 Vanguard is made from high-quality, durable materials, so that it is comfortable, easy to use and will last you a long time. It is full tang and has a beautiful lacquered wooden handle that is contoured to fit nicely in your hand.
This knife is not only sharp, comfortable and nice to look at, but it comes at quite a reasonable price tag. It is great for general camping use and is great value for money considering the quality of the knife you’re getting.
The Gerber Bear Grylls Compact fixed blade knife is a great option if you don’t want to lug a big, bulky camping knife around with you but need a small, compact knife that can still get the job done while backpacking or hiking.
The knife was designed as a survival tool and features a comfortable rubber handle with good grip. It also has a finger choil and thumb jimping, so that it’s easy to hold and manoeuvre.
The Bear Grylls Compact knife has a fine edge blade and a clip point that is perfect for cutting, slicing, gouging and even batoning.
If you’re looking for a smaller, more compact fixed-blade camping knife at a decent price, then this is the one for you.
Morakniv is a well-established brand that has been making knives for over 100 years, which is why the Morakniv Companion Fixed Blade knife is one of the most popular camping knives on the market.
Its high-quality steel is corrosion resistant, less prone to rust and tough enough for almost all of your camping needs, including carving through tinder, cutting wood, preparing food and chopping small branches.
The knife has a fixed blade and a comfortable, patterned grip and partial stick grind. It’s a great all-in-one camping knife at a very affordable price.
The Opinel Carbon Steel folding pocket knife has a very simple yet effective design that has not changed since 1890. This little robust knife is very sharp and perfect for general camping use.
It features a simple beechwood handle that is surprisingly comfortable in your hand and has a Virobloc safety ring to ensure the blade stays in place when in use.
While the knife may not hold up to the standards of the more heavy-duty camping knives, it is a well-made, decent-quality tool for general cutting purposes.
Whether you’re an experienced or occasional camper, a camping knife can be a valuable tool to have around the campsite.
If you’re a more hardcore camper who frequently ventures into the wild outdoors, a more heavy duty camping knife would be better suited to you. The Fallkniven A1, Benchmade Bushcrafter 162 and the Buck Knives 192 Vanguard are all great options for all-purpose camping and survival needs as they are sturdy, durable and strong.
However, some people found that the handles of the Fallkniven A1 and the Bushcrafter 162 too small for their hands, so if you have large hands, the Buck Knives 192 Vanguard camping knife might be the better option for you.
If you’re looking for something a bit smaller and more compact for just general everyday campsite use, the Spyderco Tenacious, Gerber Bear Grylls Compact and the Opinel N8 knives are more suitable for you.
The Spyderco Tenacious and the Opinel N8 are both folding knives so they might eventually break if put under intense pressure. So if you’re looking for something small but powerful, the Bear Grylls Compact is the way to go.
There are multiple features you should consider before buying a camping knife and some are far more important than others. One of the most important factors to consider is the durability of a camping knife as you’ll want something that will be reliable and be useful for a long time.
A knife’s durability heavily depends on the materials it’s made from: the type of steel and the handle material. So naturally, this should also be at the top of things to consider before making your final decision. Blade design is also crucial to consider as it determines the knife’s use and performance during various tasks.
The design and material of the handle are also very important if you’re going to be using your camping knife for long periods of time, since a poorly-designed handle will get hot spots and may cause blisters.
Other features are more up to your personal preference. So you need to decide what you need from a camping knife and how much care and maintenance you can deal with.
Most camping knives are designed with a fixed or folding blade. Avoid multi-tool camping knives because they are not as high-quality as single purpose camping knives due to all the gadgets and tools crammed into one single device.
Most heavy-duty camping knives will be able to cut, slice, carve, chop, baton and more. Full tang knives will often feature the end of the steel protruding from the pommel for hammering purposes.
Drop point blades are designed with a convex curve sloping up to the tip of the blade. This is a very common design feature in camping knives as it is useful for general, everyday camping chores.
A clip point blade curves up slightly at the tip, making it the best design for piercing, picking and slicing.
The handle of a knife must be comfortable enough to hold in your hand for long periods of time. Many manufacturers try to design their handles so that there are no hot spots that may cause blisters or discomfort.
Handles can be made from a variety of materials including plastic, rubber, fibreglass, wood and steel, all of which have their own advantages and disadvantages.
Wooden and steel handles are very durable but neither do well when wet. Plastic handles are more affordable but also have terrible grip when wet. Rubber handles have excellent grip but are not as durable as other materials.
Most experienced hikers would not choose a serrated knife because it’s not as versatile as a fine edged knife. Serrations are great for sawing wood and cutting ropes, but a fine edged knife would also be able to get those tasks done while also being able to slice and carve smoothly.
Some knives will have a smooth edge with a smaller serrated section so that you get the best of both.
The care and maintenance of a knife will depend on the materials it’s made out of and whether it’s prone to rust or water damage.
To make sure your camping knife stays in top condition, always clean and dry it after use. You should also hone the blade regularly to keep it nice and sharp.
If you have a folding knife, you need to regularly grease all of its moving parts, as well as the blade, so that it folds in and out smoothly.
Most camping knives are very easy to use as they are designed to fit nicely in your hand. Many knives will include a finger choil and thumb jimping to help it fit more comfortably in different hand sizes.
Camping knives can range from very lightweight to quite heavy and bulky. More compact, folding knives are often much lighter than the bigger, fixed blade knives, but aren’t always as strong, so what you prefer or need is completely up to you.
High carbon steel knives tend to remain sharper for longer but they also rust easily. While the rust won’t affect its cutting ability, you’ll still need to oil the blade regularly to decrease the rusting.
Stainless steel knives do not rust as easily as they are more resistant to corrosion. However, they aren’t as strong as high carbon steel blades.
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