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You simply should not leave for a camping trip without keeping a camping knife or two, or else it will be very difficult to sustain yourself during the trip. Camping knives are needed to carry out various outdoor tasks ranging from food preparation to shelter, and defense.
If you are on the lookout for the best camping knife for your next camping trip, and cannot decide which would be the right one for you, all you have to do is go through this guide. It enlists some of the most versatile, and popular camping knives along with some helpful tips to choose the right camping knife.
Top 15 Best Camping Knives 2021
It is a compact but impactful knife that makes for a good safety tool to carry while traveling or going for adventurous activities like backpacking, camping, or hiking.
This lightweight, 2 x 2 x 2-inch knife is built to be used as a survival tool. You can use it to defend yourself and to carry out the usual activities that a camping knife is used for at the same time.
Its G10 handle is made from resin-soaked fiberglass, a robust material that is weather-proof and long-lasting. However, the ergonomics are a bit problematic on this knife. The handle is short and will not fit all hands perfectly. This can lead to improper balance and irregular cuts.
The drop-point shaped blade in itself enhances stability while in use. With a little longer handle, this would have been a good knife.
The blade is made out of American CPM-S30V stainless steel, which helps retain its edge and fights corrosion. It also comes with a sturdy leather sheath, complete with a belt loop and D-ring for accessibility.
It is guaranteed for life by the manufacturer, who also provides re-sharpening services. If you can work with a short-handled knife, this camping knife is the one for you.
This is a reliable EDC knife that can be operated single-handedly. It comes in a slick design, is extremely thin, weightless, and measures 6 x 1 x 1 inch. Since it is so small and handy, it can be carried easily in pockets or bags.
It doesn’t require a protective sheath because it can be tipped down into the case and carried conveniently and safely in the pocket. The foldable design of this knife further adds to the convenience of carrying it.
When it is tipped up, the knife blade is secured with a lock, which makes it safe for use. The blade is made using Sanvik stainless steel, which is known for its hardness and resistance. It is one of the best performing blades globally and can be relied on for durability.
It is further coated with diamond-like carbon (DLC) to make it water-resistant, and extra durable. This blade will withstand weather as well as impact gracefully.
The aluminum handle is lined with two steel plates on either side inside the handle that protects the blade and secures it at the right angle. It is also weather-resistant and is anodized for hardness and durability.
This knife has been crafted by experts to make it practical and safe for use in every way. It can be used to slice, pierce, and cut through objects. Its affordability also makes it one of the best camping knives on the market.
Featuring a 4.1 fixed Sandvik 12C27 stainless steel blade, this outdoor knife can be used for food preparation, carving, and defense. Since it is a multi-purpose knife, it is also ideal for use as a camping knife.
It is made with high-quality stainless steel from Sweden, and stays sharper for longer, as compared to usual carbon steel knives. It will not lose its edge and will not require any re-sharpening anytime soon.
The total blade length is 4.1 inches, and the overall knife is over 8 inches. It is easy to hold and has a patterned grip on the handle that helps with friction. The grip helps with the knife’s general handling, and that gives you precise cuts where you want them.
It comes with a protective sheath made of hard plastic along with a belt clip. Since the sheath is made from plastic, it is not so durable and can always break or get crushed.
The knife resists rust and is usable in moist and cold climates. It will not get corroded or discolored. Morakniv is a best-selling knife manufacturer, and this is the best camping knife in terms of its performance. It can cut anything from thick tree branches to fish and is perfect to keep in camping or survival kits.
This is a full-tang knife made with military-grade stainless steel and was included in Bear Grylls? pocket guide for survival. It comes with a nylon sheath that also consists of a pull-through sharpener. It is compact and very handy for camping purposes.
It has a long handle that fits comfortably in the hand. The length of the blade is 4.8 inches, and it is extremely pointy. The watertight sheath of this knife also acts as a fire starting rod, and the lanyard comes with a whistle. It is needless to say that this knife will support you during an outdoor emergency.
The blade of the knife retains its edge and is fit for use on hard surfaces. The full-tang build promises more power and overall stability while using the knife. This knife also comes with special features. It can be used as a hammer with its base and as a spear by attaching the knife onto a stick with the help of the two holes in the handle.
This is not the best camping knife, but a reliable product that you can consider investing in.
This all-black, military-grade, flat-edged knife is made in the USA, and its premium quality promises durability and efficient performance. The knife features a 1095 Cro-Van carbon steel blade that cuts with ease and precision and retains its edge. In short, this knife doesn’t compromise on the materials with which it is made. You can rely on its quality and expect the best from it.
It has an ergonomic grivory handle, built to minimize fatigue while usage, and is made of glass fiber filled nylon that makes it extra durable.
You will be able to handle the knife with ease because the handle is almost the perfect size. The knife comes with a heavy-duty, protective polyester sheath built to keep the blade safe.
The edge angle of 20 degrees makes this knife suitable for cutting anything from wood logs to food. The overall length of the knife is 14 inches, and the blade length is 9 inches.
However, it doesn’t come with any additions like a pocket-clip or a lock to make it more accessible to the user.
Full tang knives are stronger than regular ones and offer greater stability. The blade of this Morakniv knife is made of premium-quality carbon steel that makes it impactful and tough. It will last long because it resists corrosion, and will not break because it is full-tang. It is, therefore, suitable to perform harsh tasks.
It comes with a sturdy, and attractive leather sheath that can be attached to the belt easily. It has a push-down button to keep the contents secure and accessible at the same time.
The carbon blade of the knife is razor-sharp and has a compound bevel edge. It can be used to strike, cut, or peel. The blade fits nicely on the durable polyamide handle that offers a good grip.
The knife is all-black and looks discrete in the black leather sheath. It can be comfortably carried in bags or pockets. However, this knife is a little overpriced, and you do not have to pay heaps of dollars just to get the best camp knife.
This knife’s overall length is 14 inches, making it really comfortable to hold and work with. It is very light-weight and is completely portable. It comes with a real leather sheath for protection which can be secured to a belt with its integrated belt loop.
With a classic full-tang wood handle made of rosewood, this knife will offer nothing but comfort when it is in your hands. It has got a brass pommel guard that will not slip and will remain stable in your hands even while working. The pointy 3CR13 blade retains its edge, resists corrosion, and can be used to cut and pierce through surfaces and objects.
This multi-purpose knife can be used as a survival or tactical knife and is best suited for outdoor uses. However, it cannot do chopping or batoning.
It is ergonomically designed and has finger grooves for added grip. This may be the best camping knife for you if you are looking for something basic and durable.
This is a heavy-duty knife that can be used for all purposes. Its the hard blade is made of laminated VG10 steel that can withstand rough use. The full-tang blade of this knife provides a steady grip that helps when it is in use. It can be used to perform daily cutting tasks, as well as emergency survival tactics.
The extremes of temperature will not affect the performance of this knife. It resists water, and will not rust or corrode. It is a highly reliable knife that is known for matching the international standards for quality and strength.
It comes with a dual-purpose Zytel sheath that protects the knife and works as an accessory to fasten the knife to your belt. It will keep the knife within an accessible range for you. The sheath protects the sharp convex edge of the knife and keeps it working like brand new.
This is a knife that stays balanced and gives the buyer a good value for their money. It is one of the best camping knives that are good in performance and cost-effective.
Nothing can be a better camping tool than a handy and versatile reversible pocket-clip knife. This Griptilian knife by Benchmade can be handled with a single hand and is ideal to use every day or for specific tactical uses, depending upon the situation. It can be opened or closed with a slight flick of the wrist, which can be a little dangerous because the blade is extremely sharp.
The handle of this knife is light in weight, making it easier to pick it up and use. However, it does not have a locking mechanism, and this makes it slightly dangerous to use, especially by amateurs. The durable handle is made with glass-filled nylon. The blade of the knife is high-quality and retains its edge.
The tip of the knife is unique, razor-sharp, strong, and will not lose its edge easily. The knife in itself is very durable, easy, and comfortable to use.
This is a compact 12 x 5 x 3 inches knife with its blade made of quality carbon steel, and the handle of hard plastic. The sharp, drop-point blade is shaped for practical use. It can cut, pierce through, and chop objects with precision. However, using this knife will require some strength, and effort because its handle is made of hard plastic, which can cause discomfort.
Its size is good, and the handle fits well in the hand but it is not reliable in terms of safety. The sheath comes with a belt-clip that fits close, and is removable. The sheath problem is that it is also made of molded plastic and is a bit stiff to use. You can go wrong trying to insert the knife in it, and hurt yourself accidentally.
It is suitable to carry on camping trips, but the blade’s overall length can disappoint while working with wood logs and other hard objects. Although its overall performance will not disappoint, it is a little pricey. The knife’s quality is also good, and it is built to last.
This drop-point knife is not only the best camping knife, but also a great survival tool for when you are out camping. Its 1095 powder-coated carbon steel blade that cuts sharp. It is very light in weight, measures 14 x 4 x 3 inches, and is very convenient to carry in a purse, or even in a pocket.
It has a textured thermoplastic elastomer handle that provides a firm, and stable grip over it. Being textured, there is no chance of slipping, even though the material is plastic. The knife comes with a quick-access polyester belt sheath that will always keep your knife within reach.
It also comes with a lanyard hole and finger choil. Overall, it is a very affordable, multi-purpose knife that can be used daily or tactical use. It also comes with a sharpening stone and a small ferro rod.
The blade doesn’t retain its edge very well but you can sharpen it at your own convenience. Other than that, the blade has excellent craftsmanship.
This is a good-quality folding knife with a drop-point blade made of 440C stainless steel. It will resist any corrosion or rust and will last for years. This is best suited for everyday use and makes for a reliable camping accessory too. The blade in this knife does not retain its edge but can be re-sharpened easily with a simple sharpening tool.
It can be opened with a single hand and remains stable due to its ergonomic wood handle. The handle is made of rosewood and black metal and is quite strong. It also comes with a pocket clip that can be used to keep it within easy reach. This knife can be stored in bags easily because of its small size. It can be used in a versatile manner for cutting, combat, as tactical gear, and as multi-tool knife.
You will not have to put in any extraordinary effort while using this knife. However, the only flaw with it seems to be the fact that it loses its edge rather easily. But it can be resharpened again. So, if you do not mind resharpening your camp knife again and again after certain durations, you can go ahead, and buy this knife.
This everyday carry knife can be used as a compact camping knife. Though it is small in size, its drop-point edge can be deadly in practical use. The 6-inch knife has a 2.7 inch sandblast tanto blade on a non-slip, ergonomic G10 handle. It fits comfortably in the hand and cuts sharp. The handle of the knife also has insulating properties and resists dirt.
With its sturdy fiberglass handle and strong blade, this knife is built to last. It can be used for outdoor activities, and for self-defense too. The flipper design makes it possible to operate this knife with just one hand, and this can be really helpful in times of an emergency. The ball-bearing pivot system in the knife makes it open, and close smoothly.
This knife is practically weightless and is easy to transport. It also comes with a pocket clip on the handle for easy accessibility.
It will not disappoint you with its performance as an EDC knife, but it could have been one of the best knives for camping if it were not so uselessly small. It is better to carry a knife with a longer blade than this mini-knife when you are outdoors.
You will immediately realize this multi-purpose knife’s superior quality only by holding it. It has a liner-lock that secures the multiple blades of this knife in place and allows you maximum control. The blades will not fall one over the other, and it is completely safe to use.
The blade of this knife is black-coated 440C stainless steel that doesn’t require sharpening at all. Its fine edge can cut with precision, and its aluminum handle offers impeccable balance and control despite its size. The total length of this knife is only slightly above 7 inches.
The handle features a pocket-clip that will help you keep it secure. It comes with thumb studs too for left or right-hand usage. The shape of the blade is drop-point, which means it is super pointy towards the end and perfect for piercing through tough objects. This knife will make for a fine camping accessory since it is reliable in performance and quality.
This is a compact and reliable camping knife, made with N690 steel blade, and an ergonomic G10 handle. This foldable knife is perfect for indoor, and outdoor tasks. It is light in weight and can be carried comfortably in pockets. It is made up of sturdy material and will last longer, and perform well.
Its blade has a satin finish to it, and its ergonomic handle offers a non-slip grip for precision cuts. The knife has got ceramic bearings inside for quick, and easy action. It is not only good in performance, but it looks too. Its overall length is 7.2 inches. It is compact in size but is highly efficient.
However, its size may not be suitable for performing outdoor activities like cutting a log, etc. Despite its superior quality and unfailing performance, it cannot be called the best knife for camping mainly because of its size.
Factors To Consider Before Buying The Best Camping Knives
The material with which the knife is made should be one of the first considerations before buying a camping knife. It will determine the durability and the overall performance of the knife.
Now, when you are going camping, you will possibly use the knife on a lot of hard surfaces, and any weak knife will not be able to deal with the impact of it.
Pay attention to the blade material, as well as the handle material when you are looking for camping knives. High carbon is a material known for its strength and durability when it comes to blades. As for the handle of the knife, steel, aluminum or even hard plastic will work.
Check whether the knife is full-tang or not. If it is not, drop it. Full-tang blades generally last long because they are obviously stronger than regular knives. It also makes the structure of the knife more stable and well-balanced.
The material should also be weatherproof and water-resistant, at least so that the knife won’t rust or corrode. If you really want the best camping knife for yourself, pay attention to the material of the knife.
2. Tang Of The Blade
When it comes to camping knives, the blade tang matters too. The blade of a camping knife can either be a fixed blade or a foldable blade.
A foldable blade is safer, convenient, and takes up less space than a fixed blade knife. A fixed blade knife is basically a full-tang knife that has just one piece of metal from the tip of the blade that goes into the handle.
A fixed blade knife requires a protective sheath to keep it safe, while a foldable knife is enough on its own. Another benefit that a foldable knife has over a fixed knife is that it can be operated with just one hand, making it more accessible.
It cannot be said that one of these two types of blades is better than the other. What determines what?s better is what works for you. If you are not comfortable with foldable knives, there is no point in buying them. Likewise, if you feel like you will not be able to safely use a full-tang knife, it is better to switch with a handy, foldable pocket-knife.
3. Size And Weight
Deciding the appropriate size of a camping knife may seem easy but it is certainly not. While a small pocket knife will be more convenient to transport, it will be easy to lose too. Moreover, it will only be able to perform limited functions.
The best camping knife should neither be too small nor too big. A blade of about 5 inches or more will be enough. The blade should be long enough to cut through objects perfectly.
Then, the size of the handle should also fit your hand perfectly. If your grip on the handle is not firm, you can meet with accidents. There should always be a good proportion between the size of the blade and the handle.
Similarly, the weight of the knife matters too. You cannot expect to take a heavy knife and work with it comfortably. Especially if it is a compact knife, it should be lightweight, or else working with it can be extremely difficult. Keep these simple things about the knife’s size and weight in mind before settling for just anything because these factors affect its performance too.
A camping knife doesn’t have to be just a camping knife. You can invest in multi-tool knives, and use them when you go camping. Some of the regular camping knives come with extra features such as working as a fire starter, hammer, etc. that can come really handy at times.
A multi-purpose camp knife will also save you space in your backpack for other things. It can make your camping journey more convenient.
However, these extra features may come at a higher price. Nevertheless, a multi-purpose knife makes for a good investment, especially if you are a regular camper, and have a few extra dollars to spare. Keep your eyes out for extra things, and you never know what feature surprises you and comes useful when you go out camping.
How To Maintain Camping Knives
If you do not look after your camping knife, it can get eaten by rust, corrosion, or just time. There goes a lot in maintaining a camping knife. From the sharpness of its edge to the sturdiness of the handle, you should not compromise on knife maintenance if you want to derive the best out of it.
Here are some maintenance tips for keeping your camping knives in their best condition:
Storage is the primary factor that will determine the condition of your camping knife months after you buy it. You should always ideally store your knife at a place where it doesn’t come in contact with any moisture if it is not water-resistant.
Knives should also be stored carefully because if not, they can cause accidents. Nobody would accidentally want to get cut by a camping knife after all.
If it is a fixed blade knife, store it in a protective sheath. You can choose from leather sheaths to plastic sheaths, as per your preference. Also, it is a point to remember that knives are not to be stored in sheaths for too long. Especially if it is a leather sheath, it can absorb moisture, and lead to rusting of the knife.
Make sure that you keep your camping knife nice and clean all the time. Just follow the basic rules of hygiene. After every use, wash or wipe the knife thoroughly with some running water, or just with a wet wipe. Cleaning the knife doesn’t mean only cleaning the blade. While cleaning, remember to dust off, and wipe down the handle of the knife too.
If you have a foldable knife, pay attention to the blade’s pivots and joints while cleaning. A foldable knife can also collect grease in its corners.
This can result in blocked pivots and joints. Make sure you pay special attention to this, and if you do find any grease, use a little oil to clear it up. You can then wipe it up with a cloth, and it will be better than ever before.
3. Dealing With The Rust
If your knife catches rust by any chance, do not leave it unattended or it will simply eat up your knife. A rusting knife means that it is going through the process of oxidation.
It is important to get rid of it before using the same knife again. If you continue to use a rusted blade and cut your food with it, it can contaminate your food too.
The simplest way of eliminating rust is by abrasion and using some oil. If you do not know how to deal with a rusting camp knife, just take it to a professional, and they will deal with it for you.
However, if rust has eaten up a major part of your knife, letting it be and not using it is the better decision than trying to restore it. This is because rust will make the material of the blade weak and it can break when you try to cut with it.
4. Sharpening The Knife
This is another important aspect when it comes to the maintenance of camping knives. A blunt knife is as good as no knife at all, and so, your camping knife should be sharp at all times.
Re-sharpening a knife may sound like some complicated process, but it is not so in reality. You can simply invest in sharpening steel or stone and use it to re-sharpen your knife every time it loses its edge. Ideally, consider investing in a knife that retains its edge so that you won’t have to resharpen it on your own at all.
Best Camping Knives – Conclusion
Knives are essential camping gear. What knife to take camping can be a confusing decision, but we hope this guide has simplified it for you. With the right camping knife with you, you will not only be prepared to meet any difficulties in your way but will feel more confident too.
The above-mentioned knives have their pros and their cons. However, remember that your final decision should be based on what you need, rather than what features the product has to offer.
Take your time to list out your requirements and expectations from an ideal camping knife, and browse through the given products to see if it matches with any knife here. With all these helpful tips in mind, you should be able to pick the best camping knife for yourself.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q1. What Makes A Good Camping Knife?
Q2. What Is A Camping Knife Used For?
Q3. What Is The Best Camping Survival Knife?
Carrying a multi-purpose knife while camping will be a good decision as it will keep you prepared for any possible situation. It is the wisest thing to buy before you go camping.