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When you go out into the wilds, one piece of bushcraft gear that you should always have is a trusted bushcraft knife. These are some of the knives that we prefer for camping and hiking. And really…can you have too many knives?
These are our recommendations for the best factory bushcraft knives to check out when you are on a budget. They won’t break the bank but they are still quality knives.
Fixed Blade Knives
This section of bushcraft knives is all about fixed blades (knives that don’t fold or contract). These are just a few of our favorites. Feel free to comment below with your top choices.
The K-Bar Ek45 (Model 5)
This knife is fairly large in size, but is an all around great knife. The steel is very durable and sharpens very well, this knife is made from 1095 carbon steel. The handle on this knife is polymer, but is secured very well. The grip also features groove-like lines that give a good grip when the knife is wet or slippery.
- Blade length: 6.875
- Blade steel: 1095 cro-van
- Ka-bar/ek commando knife company stamp
- Handle material: Glass-filled Nylon
- 12Ga commercial grade steel butt cap
This knife’s overall length is almost 13”. This might be a little long for just a day camp, it just depends on how you plan to use it. One complaint about this knife is the guard. The guard on this knife loosens easily when you chop or hack away at different objects, but it does not, however, affect its performance.
The Cold Steel Master Hunter
The Cold steel master hunter is a small, yet durable knife. This knife is perfect for all-around situations. Gutting fish, deer, or elk, it’ll do anything you need.
The grip is rubberized, which works well when the knife is wet or slippery. This knife is made from CPM 3-V High Carbon steel, this means it is durable, and not only easy to sharpen but it will hold its edge well depending on the conditions you put it through. The overall length of this knife is 9 ¼”.
The Le Duck (Outdoor Edge)
The Le Duck is a small, yet useful knife. I personally use this knife when I go fishing because it is small and sharp, making it easy to gut fish. This knife comes with a case making it easy to wear on the hip, or as a neck knife.
The grip on this blade is rubberized making it easy to handle when your hands are wet or slimy from holding a fish. This knife is useful in many other ways and is all around a good blade. It’s made from 8Cr14Mov stainless-steel. The overall length of this knife is 6 ¼”.
Folding Knives for Bushcraft
The Opinel is an all-around great folder. The wooden handle is sturdy and is well attached to the blade. This knife comes with a special locking system, there is a ring around the neck of the handle. When you twist it you can either lock the blade in the closed position or lock it in the open position.
The overall length of an “Opinel No. 07,” is 7”. The steel used to make this knife is XC90 Carbon Steel, making the blade very durable and easy to sharpen. One con about this knife is the handle, it can be slippery, so if it is wet it makes it hard to use.
The CRKT M16-01 KZ Spear point
As a bushcraft knife, this is a good slide in your pocket, everyday knife. It’s a perfect size, and the blade is very sharp.
This knife comes with a special locking feature as well. There is a lever on the back of the knife near the blade when this lever is depressed this allows the liner lock to move freely to fold the knife in.
Although this may sound complicated, all of those steps can be done with one hand easily. The overall length of this blade is 7.13” making it an ideal length so it’s easy to wield. The handle on the M16 is metal with small holes in it to save weight. The handle is narrow but it makes it very easy to get a good grasp on the blade.
The Gerber Vital Game Folder
This knife is small and portable, but still durable. The Vital game folder is perfect for
Exactly that, this knife is a great skinner. The interchangeable blades means this knife is always sharp. A fancy feature about this blade is the process of exchanging blades, instead of needing a tool to take out the blade, you just click a button and slide the blade out.
The handle is made of rubber making it easy to keep hold of even if your hands are bloody. The overall length of this knife is 11”. The steel that makes these replaceable blades is 420 J2 Stainless steel.
This steel makes the blade very sharp and durable, and it holds its edge well.
Another handy thing about this blade is you can sharpen the blade with a ceramic knife sharpener a few times before having to replace the blades. It’s handy to carry blades while you’re out hiking or hunting, blades are fairly inexpensive for the quantity you get.
Great Bush Knives Overall
Kukri’s are great knives. They originally made for trench warfare in 1814 against
Gorkha army. This blade has a notch just above the handle so that blood or sap will not run down the handle. This knife is also designed with a curve in the blade, which makes it easy for cutting branches with one thrust.
- Full Tang Kukri Inspired Recurve Blade
- 65 Mn Carbon Steel with Black Powder Coat Finish
- Double Injection Molded Handle w/Textured Grip
The steel used to make the blade of this knife is typically 5160. 5160 is used to make spring suspension for larger vehicles. This knife is tough, durable, and easy to use.
A great use for this knife is cutting branches in the way of your path, such as in a rainforest. Overall this knife is a great bushcraft knife, that I recommend when you need something larger, and heavier. Overall this knife is 16-18”.
Condor Primitive Bush Knife
Condor designed this knife specifically for bushcraft. You might think this knife is heavy, yet well balanced making it perfect for chopping and cutting.
This knife features a hole in the blade that is also used for draining liquid so that it doesn’t reach the handle. Another handy feature about this knife is that condor sharpened the top part of the tip on the blade making it easy to gut fish or smaller game with the top part of the blade.
The handle is made out of wood but it is fairly decent for grip. I think this blade is perfect for bushcraft because it’s a well-made knife but yet it’s not overly expensive.
The overall length of this blade is 13 ½”. The steel used to make this knife is 420 high carbon stainless steel.
This knife is an amazing jungle knife. It has a polymer handle making the grip amazing and very easy to grip. The belly of this blade makes it a great chopper, and it is great for clearing brush in the way.
Growing up as a kid, I always saw my dad’s Ka-Bar cutlass, and I knew when I was older I’d want one exactly like it because it was just so cool. It has a nice black finish, and it’s very easy to sharpen.
The steel used to make this knife is 1085 carbon steel, making it very strong and slightly flexible. The overall length of this knife is 16 ½”.
Choosing the Knife for the Job
Choosing the best bushcraft knives for your style is like anything else. What are you going to be cutting? Can you find a knife that works for multiple tasks?
Maybe you need to carry two knives (one larger and one smaller). It is all about personal preference and comfort. You might have to try out a few of the best bushcraft knives to find which one is truly best for you.
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