The best camping knife is the one tool that should never lack in your backpacking backpack, your survival kit or camping backpack. It serves many purposes, such as cutting things like ropes, strings, peeling fruit, cutting fishing lines and even cooking fish and rabbit over a fire. Ah, the tasks that you can put a camping knife to.
Just as a marine is always going to have a tactical knife on his person, so should you too, but since you are not a marine, you just need something tamer, like a camping knife. And the market will spoil you for choice because there are so many knives for camping to consider. However, unless you are a one-time camper, you are going to need a knife that can last a jolly long time.
Well, your search is over… here, I bring you reviews of the best knives for camping that you can buy without fear. Good thing is that you can buy these knives for all manner of outdoor activities and better yet, you can even use them at home.
Best Camping Knife Reviews
SOG FK1001-CP Fixed Blade – Camping Knife
SOG is one of the well-known knife brands in the market and looking at the features of their knives, you can see just why. The Fixed blade FK1001-CP SOG knife has been designed by mountain men and outdoorsmen and it has the best characteristics of an outdoors knife. You can use this knife as a camping knife as well as a backpacking or hiking knife.
There is everything to love about this knife, from the soft plastic blade that is not only ergonomic in design, but is also anti-slip. If you have sweaty hands and are always anxious about a knife slipping from your hand and hurting you, this knife is made for people just like you. You will love it!
The blade is 4 inches long. That is good enough to cut through many things. In addition, this is made of stainless steel, which renders this knife for camping as anti-corrosive, and easy to clean as well. One other feature that you will be glad has been included is the notch for cutting fishing lines and paracord, without having to pull the knife out of the sheath.
Talking about a sheath… yes, there is one. It is a GRN sheath with a belt clip for easy carrying.
- Lifetime warranty
- Easy to maintain
- Lasts a long time
- Has sheath and belt clip
- Nice handle on the palms of your hands
- Comes sharp
- Blade could be a bit longer
Morakniv Bushcraft Pathfinder Knife – Best Camping Knife
With a blade that is almost 7 inches, this is the longest outdoor knife ever made by Morakniv. This knife is made in Sweden, yeah, like the Volvo. It is made of carbon steel that has been coated with anti-corrosive black coating. Although it is a thick bladed knife, it weighs little, about 249g. This may be more than other knives weigh, but when you are cutting or sawing through something, the weight works to your benefit.
The handle is ergonomic, meaning that it has been designed to comfortably and snugly fit your palm so that you can use it for a long time without feeling any stress on your fingers or your wrist. Sold razor sharp, this knife comes ready to use. You can use it to cut food, make tinder for your camping fire, especially when you have brought a long a camping wood stove.
For safety and carrying, the Morakniv Bushcraft Pathfinder comes with a high quality nylon sheath. The sheath is designed to be snap-closed, which also means it is easy to pack or reach the knife when you need to use it.
For people with bigger hands or if you are just looking for a bigger knife for camping, they do not come any better than this one. The overall length (blade and handle combined) is 11.6 inches. Finally, did you know that carbon steel is better and stronger than stainless steel? This knife will last a long time.
- Limited lifetime warranty
- Big in size
- Thick bladed for extra cutting power
- Nice ergonomically shaped rubber grip
- Build to last a long time
- A bit pricey, but worth every dime
- All black, can be lost easily in low lighting
ESEE 6P-B Plain Edge – Fixed Blade Survival Knife
The ESEE 6 survival knife can also be used as a camping knife. It is an exquisite specimen with Grey Micarta Handle with a hardy blade and it can be used for different adventures like hunting, camping, forestry work and the best thing yet is that it lasts a jolly long time
The blade is 4mm thick, not too thick but again not too thing. When you put it to slicing meat, you will find that it cuts through like a hot knife going through butter. It is made of carbon steel, which, if you have done your research well, you will know that it is much stronger than stainless steel.
To make the knife anti-corrosive, it has been coated with powder so that you can use it in moist conditions without any worry nagging the back of your mind. At the same time, you will also be happy to know that this knife takes a lot of abuse without showing any undue strain. You can have it for the longest time possible.
It will not break. Can you believe that? Because it is resistant to breakages, this knife is one of the longest-lasting knives in the market. It is shock resistant as well.
This knife weighs about 320g, which may sound heavy to some people, but considering the size, it is not too heavy. It comes with its sheath with a belt clip so that you can carry it on your person easily, and safely.
Finally, you will love that the knife has a wrist strap which you can use to secure it to your person or tie it to your bag. That way, you will be sure that it will not get lost as you go about your backpacking adventure.
This is an expensive knife but as you have seen here, it packs a good number of features and it is built to last a lifetime, that is why it has a lifetime warranty. I always say that it is better to pay more for a product and get more features than pay less for fewer and less effective features.
- Lifetime warranty
- Handle can withstand a lot of abuse
- It is big, good for heavier duties
- Survival knife, good for defense
- High quality blade material
- Comes in three colors only
Spyderco Tenacious Folding Knife – Best Pocket Knife
You will know that this one is an excellent cutting knife when you see its leaf shaped flattened blade that has almost the same edge thickness from cutting edge to the other end. Spyderco is a well known name for its awesome diving knives, but it also seems they have a knife for just about any outdoor adventure, including camping.
This knife is made to give you stress-free cutting power, an easy to hold knife and one that folds right into itself to make it safe to toss in your jacket pocket and take along with you. It is small but as its name Tenacious suggests, this incredible knife can hold its own against the big boys very well.
The handle is ergonomically designed and by this, I mean it is going to fit your hand like a glove. That firm and consistent hold on the knife gives you more cutting power and you will love everything about it. It is going to hold its own for cutting twigs, sharpening stakes for cooking meat over an open fire and for cutting cord and rope. This is a plain blade, works like a miracle.
- Very affordable
- Great style and design
- Blade comes super-sharp
- Strong, ergonomic laminate handle
- Blade made of stainless steel
- Minimal weight
- Blade might not be centered but that is easy to fix
- Feels a bit heavy on the hand
Compadre Camp Knife – Best Buck Knife
This knife has some history behind it, considering that it has been manufactured by Buck, which has been manufacturing knives in the USA for more than 100 years. What a legacy!
Compadre is a Spanish name for companion and the Buck Compadre Camp Knife will be your closest buddy offering you the assurance that should you be attacked on your outdoor rendezvous, you have a means to defend yourself.
This knife is quite an eye-catcher thanks to its red colored powder coated blade. Its handle is made of walnut wood, and for durability, this is a full tang knife. Full tang construction means that the blade is made in one piece and then the handle pieces are joined to the blade.
The wood handle is weather so that it can withstand a lot of abuse and pressure. The blade is shatter-resist meaning that even if it drops on a hard surface, it is not going to shatter into pieces. Use this knife for different outdoor rendezvous like bushcraft, camping, hiking and backpacking.
With a lifetime warranty, this knife is most likely going to outlive you. It is one of the best knives for backpacking and camping. The 5160 steel blade will last the longest time, is made to withstand shocks and the best thing about it yet is that the red powder coating does not fade or peel with time. Once you sharpen the knife, you will find that the edge retains its sharpness for a long time.
This knife is sold with a leather sheath for your safety and protection as you carry it along. Because of the belt loop, you can carry the knife on your person easily and have it in a place where you can readily access it in case you become entangled in undergrowth.
- Lifetime warranty
- Has a thick point for different uses
- Colored red, hard to miss
- High quality leather sheath
- Anti-corrosion and rust resistance
- Withstands outdoor abuses
- What is not to like about this knife?
Buck Knives 0192BRS VANGUARD – 420HC Steel Knife
420HC Steel is one of the best steels that are used for making knives. The VANGUARD is one of the knife styles from Buck, a renowned USA company that has been making knives for more than a century. While the Compadre camp knife from the same company is long, the VANGUARD is smaller, but packs many features as well. Frankly, if you should buy any of these two knives, you will not have lost at all because they are both incredible.
The blade retains its edge for a long time. You can go through camping experiences without having to sharpen this knife. The tip has been designed to help you avoid accidents when using it in the field.
You can use this knife for heavy cutting tasks thanks to its design. The blade is wider, therefore you can apply more pressure as you cut. Honestly, this knife is going to slice through raw or cooked meat like a hot knife slices through butter. Whatever moderate cutting task you may have for it in your camping vacation, it will do it.
Like its sister the Compadre, this one also has a walnut wood handle. It has been treated to withstand any abuse and pressure that you may throw at it. Cut small to balance with the small 4 inch blade, this handle has been contoured to make your grip surer and more stable.
For safety and carrying, it is sold with a high quality leather sheath with a snap-on fastener. At the same time, the sheath has a belt loop so that you can fasten it to your belt. That way, it will always be accessible whenever you need it.
- Lifetime warranty
- Long lasting
- High quality leather sheath
- Beautiful style
- Retains edge for a long time
- Comes super-sharp and ready to use
- A bit small
Benchmade Mini Griptilian 555HG – Pocket Knife
On their marketing slogan, Benchmade say that the Mini Griptilian 555HG is made for rescue, tactical, survival, hunting and outdoors. It is small, but it is versatile meaning that it can be put to many uses. When you open the box it is shipped with, you will be amazed at how sharp it is, comes ready to use right out of the box.
You will also find this knife very safe, thanks to the axis lock. This feature helps you keep your fingers out of the way and at the same time, you can use the knife with one hand. Among some of the things that you can use this knife on include whittling wood, thanks to the powerful 154CM steel that has been used to make the blade. You can also use it to sharpen wood pegs, cut or saw through rope and much more.
The handle is made of glass-filled nylon. Basically, we can say that the handle is plastic or at least it looks like plastic. However, do not let this cheap look dissuade you from buying this knife because it will last a long time, and that is why Benchmade sells this knife with a lifetime warranty. The handle grip is not that big considering the small size of this knife, but at the same time, it allows you to grip it with four fingers.
For camping, you can use this small knife for slicing through all types of food, from apples, pears to meat, it will do a perfect job of that. Probably, you may want a bigger bladed knife, but when you try this small knife, you will see the kind of power that it packs.
- Lifetime warranty
- Small and minimal weight
- Durable handle
- Comes razor-sharp
- Axis lock for extra safety
- It is expensive
Gerber Bear Grylls Ultimate – Pocket Knife
Backed by an experience that is older than 70 years, this Gerber Bear Grylls Ultimate Knife comes with awesome features that make it the handiest tool for your outdoor adventures. Just like its name, this tenacious and resilient knife will serve you very well for a long time. Any task that you can put to the knife, it will do it. With features like fire starter, a sheath that has a sharpener and a whistle attached to it, this knife is as self-contained as they come with the most basic prerequisites that you may need for your camping and other outdoor adventures.
The handling of this knife is superb, what with the ergonomic handle that is so comfortable on the hands such that it fits like a glove. Then there is the nylon sheath that will last a long time and helps keep the knife safe, and protects you as well .
This is a folding knife, thus making a very good pocket knife for your adventure. It folds into a small size of 12.4 cm and while opened up, it measures 21.6 cm. when you close it, you can attach a strap to the hole on the handle and secure the knife to your bag or your wrist to prevent it from getting lost.
The handle is made of nylon. It is ergonomic in design, meaning that it fits nicely and snugly into your palm. This makes it easy to work with without getting tired. Whether you are whittling wood for tinder when camping, cutting and fixing lines when fishing or using it for other purposes, you will love using it for a long time.
The nylon sheath is a marvel of design and styling. The sheath comes with a diamond sharpener and a fire starter ferrocerium rod that you can use to light a fire. You can make this fire by scraping the rod on the striker notch that is found on the back of the knife. Other features on this knife include hammer pommel for beating tent pegs into the ground, a rubberized handle and a full tang design for the blade.
- Comes with fire starter and whistle
- Limited lifetime warranty
- Military style nylon sheath
- Good for a survival knife
- Comes in serrated and non-serrated version
- Holds edge for a long time
- Knife comes sharp
- Has colors that glow in the dark – hard to get lost
- Whistle is not very loud
Ka-Bar Becker BK2 Campanion – Best Fixed Blade Camping Knife
There is no knife like the Campanion to make your perfect companion when you are in the outdoors having your adventure of a lifetime. This knife is going to do many camping tasks that you put it to. You may also use it as a hunting knife if you so choose. It is a heavy knife at 450g and a length of 27cm. Thus, when you put it to any cutting task, you will enjoy the kind of work that it can do. However note that this weight can tamper with precision, so you do not want to use it for tasks that require you to be accurate.
For your protection, it comes with a Kydex case that is made of tough nylon and inside this case, you will secure the knife using a safety catch, and then you can attach the case to your backpack in different ways.
When it comes to handling, the handle is a marvel of design. It is made of Grivory and the design is ergonomic. This means that no matter how long you use it, you will not feel any strain on your hands and the best thing yet is that this knife is hard to lose since it has a hole through which you can tie a strap to secure the knife to your wrist or to your pack. In addition, it also comes with extra space to keep your sharpener and fire starter.
Coated with carbon oxide for protection against rust and corrosion, this carbon steel knife should last you a long time if you take good care of it. You will also love the fact that the blade is very easy to sharpen and anyway, it does not require to be sharpened that often. Since you might want to use it as a hunting knife, you will be glad that the blade does not reflect light. The steel pommel can help in hammering things.
- Stays sharp for a long time
- Strong blade material
- Nice case with compartment for fire starter and sharpener
- Blade is dull in color to avoid reflection
- Long lasting handle
- It is pricey
CDS-Survival MOVA-58 – Best Hunting Knife In The World
This stainless steel knife has been designed to weather the conditions of the outdoors. It can be used for various activities like camping, fishing, hunting and others.
This is a costly knife but as you will see in its features, it is not for nothing because it has some good features. One of them is the high quality leather sheath which also has a firesteel and sharpening stone attached to it. Made of high quality molybdenum-Vanadium stainless steel, it is anti-corrosive, rust resistant and it will last a long time.
The handle of the knife is ergonomic and it is larger than you will find on other knives. The main reason why it is bigger is so that large palms cam handle it nicely. It is made of wood, and when you hold it in your hand, you will feel the balance and sturdiness of this knife. In addition, the handle will not be affected by chemicals, extreme temperatures or shock.
For safety, there is the leather sheath, not forgetting the hole in the handle where you can attach a strap so that the knife is not lost as you hike along. Please note that this knife is pretty strong and it will do most of the hard cutting jobs at the camp.
On one edge of the blade it is plain and on the other edge, it is serrated. Either way you look at it, this knife is great for many tasks. Made in Spain, every feature of the knife, including the handle and the blade are made to last for a long time. Overall, the knife size is 45 cm.
- High quality, genuine leather sheath
- Heavy for bigger tasks
- Serrated edge for sawing and cutting edge
- High quality stainless steel blade
Cold Steel SRK – Best Survival Knife
This knife is made to execute various outdoor tasks like skinning, slashing and cutting perfectly. It is a very pricey knife but then, if you will get all of the money’s worth, then it must be a good knife. It has many features, including a safety feature like the finger guard, which keeps your hand from sliding over and getting hurt. It also comes with a serrated surface handle, which is excellent for holding in sweaty hands without slipping out.
The blade is long enough for people that love working with a big knife since it measures 6 inches. That is good enough for many cutting, slashing and skinning tasks that you may put this knife to when you are camping, hunting or just using it as a survival knife.
The blade is made of stainless steel and it is designed to withstand extreme elements without suffering any form of damage. You will also love the balance that this knife comes with, thus making it good for doing precision tasks.
Cold Steel Srk 38Ck blade has the right thickness and hardness and therefore it will be easy to sharpen. However, also note that this knife does not require to be sharpened that often. It can retain its edge for a long time.
The design is full tang for the blade meaning that the blade extends all the way to the end and then the Krayton handle pieces are attached to it. Old guards in the outdoors industry say that full tang is best all the time.
- Good for precision tasks
- Good for heavy tasks like slashing, cutting and skinning
- Made to last a long time
- Great handle
- Has a secure-ex sheath
- Money back guarantee of 30 days
- It is a pricey knife
How to buy an excellent camping knife
Buying an excellent knife for camping requires some knowledge on your part. The more information you have the best the choice that you will make. When you start looking for a knife, you will find that there are so many of them in the market. Choosing your very first one can be perplexing.
But, after giving you reviews of the top outdoor knives, here are a few guidelines to help you buy a knife that will give you great value for your money. Remember, a knife and a bright flashlight are some of the very first items that you should toss in your camping backpack or backpacking pack.
Types of steel
Most of the camping knives are made of steel. There are different types of steel for making knife blades as you will see below. However, also note that steel is a mixture of carbon and iron. Too much carbon is good, but the blade becomes easy to shatter, so there has to be a balance. Consider the facts below:
Stainless steel knives
These are very easy to maintain since they are anti-corrosive and rust resistant. However, note that there are low carbon blades that will be too soft and therefore look for a knife that has more carbon.
Best steel – powdered steel
Steel knives made of this material are hard, last a long time, are rust-resistant, anti-corrosive and they get a great edge that retains sharpness for a long time. There is no doubt that such knives are the best in the market.
Non-stainless steel knives
These knives will attract rust, but then you should take good care of them and they will last a long time. The benefit with these knives is that they retain their edge for a long time.
Go for a knife that has a flat ground blade which is stronger and can handle the tougher camping tasks. It can also make deeper and heavier cuts as well as find its way around bones, sinew and slice harder foods when you are camping.
The hollow ground blades are not too bad either. You will know them as they look concave in shape, which also means they are lighter at the edge and therefore easier to sharpen. However, such knives are only good for soft cuts, field dressing and simple tasks at the camp like chopping vegetables.
The blade point
This is one of the important consideration but you will not have to look far for it because different knives are made with different points for their purpose. For example, the clip point is made for finer chores like cooking in the kitchen. For camping and the outdoors, or for hunting, choose the knife with a drop point which is the best for skinning and dressing game. It is also a great knife for doing camping tasks without posing any risk to yourself.
Folding knife vs. Fixed blade
Without argument, the folding knives are best for lighter tasks. They are also easier to carry around and safer. Fixed blade knives are for tougher tasks, bit for safety, they come with a sheath. Many outdoor enthusiasts prefer fixed blade knives for chopping wood, pummeling stakes and many heavier tasks. However, you should not write off the folding blade knives yet because today, they come in many incredible designs.
The cost of a knife
As you have definitely seen in the reviews that I have brought you here, a camping knife will cost anything from a few dollars, sometimes even less than $10 to more than $300. Now, you may wonder why certain knives are extravagantly priced and others so affordable. If you look through the user reviews, you will see that most people do not consider the cost of a product. They consider the value that they will derive from that item. The more expensive knives pack more features while the cheaper ones pack fewer features.
If you are an outdoor freak and enthusiast who loves to engage in many fun things whenever you can get out, you know that having a good knife in your camping gear is very wise. Thus, choose a knife that can serve you for a long time. Choose a knife that comes with its own sharpener, a fire starter rod and many more features. The more the better.
There, I hope these few tips will help you choose the best camping knife easily and that you will get great value for your money. Enjoy your camping vacation and take care.