Best Camping Knife – Expert Review

Updated: February 12, 2024

"Rather have it and not need it, than need it and not have." This is a motto I live my life by and when it comes to a camping knife, you will be glad you have it.

If you are after the best choice possible for a real camp master, then the Gerber StrongArm Fixed Blade smashes it out the park. With a 5 inch high carbon steel fixed blade, this knife will get almost any task done.

I am a huge fan of flip knives for the ergonomics, comfort, size and lightweight. When it comes to flip knives, it's hard to compare anything to the Spyderco Tenacious .

Not everyone is a knife fan looking to invest big bucks to cut things in the camp site. In that case, the Opinel Carbon Steel is a quality, folding knife made from wood and hardened steel for less than $30.

Best Camping Knife (Top Picks)

Gerber Gear Strongarm - Fixed Blade Tactical Knife for Survival Gear - Black, Plain Edge

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Opinel No.08 Carbon Steel Folding Pocket Knife with Beechwood Handle, Brown (2540089)

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Best Lightweight

Spyderco Tenacious

Spyderco Tenacious Folding Utility Pocket Knife with 3.39' Black Stainless Steel Blade and Durable G-10 Handle - Everyday Carry - PlainEdge - C122GBBKP

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Top Knives For Camping Adventures

We reviewed over 16 camping knives for this article. Below are the best camping knives that made our short list.

  1. Gerber StrongArm Fixed Blade  - Best Overall
  2. Opinel Carbon Steel - Best Value
  3. Fallkniven A1 
  4. Spyderco Tenacious - Best Lightweight
  5. TOPS Knives Fieldcraft 3.5 Fixed Blade
  6. Buck Knives 192 Vanguard Fixed - Most Versatile
  7. Morakniv Companion Fixed Blade

Read our complete buyers guide for a camping knife.

Best Overall Camping Knife

Gerber Gear Strongarm - Fixed Blade Tactical Knife for Survival Gear - Black, Plain Edge

5/5 Overall Rating

The Gerber StrongArm Fixed Blade 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. 

Main Features
  • Ergonomically shaped rubber handle
  • Lightweight plastic sheath
  • Fine edge blade
  • Partially serrated 
  • Clip point blade
  • Full tang
  • Very compact with an overall length of 7.8’’
  • Has a lanyard hole
  • Thumb jimping
  • Comes with The Priorities of Survival pocket guide
What we like
  • Has a finger choil for better manoeuvrability 
  • Has a removable and adjustable sheath clip so you can attach it to your belt, pocket or backpack tip-up or tip-down
  • Sheath locks securely onto the finger choil
  • Full tang extends from the pommel for light hammering purposes
  • Very comfortable and lightweight to hold and carry
  • Fine edge and partially serrated blades allows for multiple different uses
What we dislike
  • Handle is quite narrow so people with bigger hands may not find it as comfortable
  • Some people found the sheath clip too loose
Opinel No.08 Carbon Steel Folding Pocket Knife with Beechwood Handle, Brown (2540089)

4.5/5 Overall Rating

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.

Main Features
  • Carbon steel blade
  • Durable Beechwood handle
  • Stainless Virobloc safety ring with two sections
  • Floats in water
  • Locks tight so that the blade doesn’t move when open or closed
What we like
  • Small, compact and classic design 
  • Lightweight
  • Very sharp, thin blade
  • Doesn’t need frequent sharpening
  • Comfortable, ergonomically designed handle
  • Safety ring ensures that the blade doesn’t close accidentally 
  • Perfect for camp kitchen use
What we dislike
  • Needs to be regularly greased
  • Wooden handle swells slightly with use
  • Rusts quickly if not oiled regularly
Fallkniven A1 Fine Edge Fixed Blade Knife, Black

4.5/5 Overall Rating

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.

Main Features
  • Laminate steel blade (VG-10 and 420 stainless steel)
  • Fixed blade
  • Drop point
  • 6.3” blade length
  • Kraton handle
  • Full tang
  • Comes with a Zytel sheath
  • Can cut, chop, hammer, slice and pry
  • Holds up in hot and cold weather
What we like
  • Very strong
  • Metal bottom for hammering
  • Comfortable, durable and flexible handle
  • The blade will never separate from the handle because it’s full tang
  • Takes longer to rust than other knives because of the type of steel used
  • Feels great in the hand and is well-balanced
  • The handle has great grip, even when wet
What we dislike
  • Some people find the circumference of the handle too small
  • Edge may roll under heavy pressure
Spyderco Tenacious Folding Utility Pocket Knife with 3.39' Black Stainless Steel Blade and Durable G-10 Handle - Everyday Carry - PlainEdge - C122GBBKP

5/5 Overall Rating

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.

Main Features
  • 8Cr13MoV stainless steel blade
  • G-10 laminated handle
  • Folding blade
  • 4 way pocket clip
  • Plain edge/smooth blade
  • Full flat grind
  • Leaf point
  • Satin finish
  • Liner lock
  • Ambidextrous thumbhole 
What we like
  • Liner lock that keeps the blade solid when open
  • Signature Spyderco hole in the blade to make opening easy
  • Steel liner that keeps the blade in place when closed
  • Sleek black and steel design
  • Ergonomically designed to be comfortable in the hand
  • Compact and convenient to carry
  • Grooved thumb ramp
What we dislike
  • Needs frequent sharpening
TOPS Knives Fieldcraft 3.5 Fixed Blade Knife, 3.75in, 1095 RC 56-58 Steel Blade, Tan MBROS-01

5/5 Overall Rating

The TOPS Knives Fieldcraft 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. 

Main Features
  • CPM-S30V Steel blade
  • Precision drop point
  • Corrosion-resistant
  • Durable handle (G-10)
  • Leather sheath with belt loop included
  • Full tang
  • Wide bevel with a gentle taper
  • Sturdy, durable construction
  • Sharpened spine suitable for striking a firesteel
  • Lifetime warranty
What we like
  • LifeSharp service: Benchmade will clean, readjust, oil and sharpen your knife free of charge if you send it to them. 
  • Comfortable, ergonomically designed handle 
  • Sheath has an attached loop to hold a firesteel so that you can make a campfire anywhere
  • Can withstand heavy use without chipping
  • Doesn’t require frequent sharpening
What we dislike
  • Some people found the handle too short and sheath not as great
Buck Knives 192 Vanguard Fixed Blade Knife with Leather Sheath

5/5 Overall Rating

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. 

Main Features
  • 420HC Stainless Steel Blade
  • Dymalux Walnut handle
  • Polished brass pommel/guard
  • Comes with a leather sheath
  • Drop point blade for precision 
  • Advanced Edge2x blade technology for superior edge retention
  • Integrated finger guard
  • Deep recurved tip
  • Full tang
  • Lifetime warranty
What we like
  • Very stylish
  • Very comfortable grip 
  • Doesn’t need frequent sharpening
  • Full belly drop point blade makes slicing and skinning very easy
  • Strong enough to withstand heavy cutting and other tasks
What we dislike
  • Handle colours may differ slightly
  • Some complaints about sheath design 
Morakniv M-13216 Companion Fixed Blade Outdoor Knife with Sandvik Stainless Steel Blade, 4.1-Inch, Desert Tan

5/5 Overall Rating

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. 

Main Features
  • High quality Swedish steel blade
  • Scandi grind
  • Available in multiple colours
  • High friction grip
  • Comes with plastic sheath and belt clip
  • Sharpened spine suitable for striking a firesteel
  • Clip point blade
  • Lifetime warranty
What we like
  • Doesn’t require frequent sharpening
  • Very comfortable handle
  • Easy to grip in wet conditions
  • Lightweight
  • Very sharp straight out the box
  • No hot spots on the handle
What we dislike
  • Stick tang isn’t as sturdy as full tang
  • Sheath and handle show wear and tear quite quickly

Camping Knife - Buyer's Guide

What Makes a Good Camping Knife?

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.

What Type of Knife is Best for Camping?

Fixed Blade vs Multi-Tool

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. 

Blade Design

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.

Handle Design and Material

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.

Other Features of the Best Camping Knife


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.

Care & Maintenance

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. 

Ease of Use

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. 

What Makes A Good Camping Knife

About the author 

Mark Whitman

Mark has trekked extensively in Asia, Europe, South America and Africa. He founded Mountain IQ in 2014 with the sole aim to be the best online information portal to some of the most popular mountain destinations around the world. When not writing for Mountain IQ, Mark is out exploring the outdoors with his wife!

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