What Is a Good Bushcraft Knife?

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When you are practicing bushcraft and survival a knife is your best friend and one of the most important tools in your inventory. Whether you are heading out for a long-term bushcraft trip or a short-term wild camp, if you do not have a good knife in your outfit you will struggle to live efficiently in the wild. A good bushcraft knife should be durable and serve multiple purposes, however, having a knife that does one or two jobs well can sometimes be better than a knife that does multiple jobs averagely.

A multi-use bushcraft knife should be able to process meat, prepare food, split kindling for fires, have the ability to carve hunting tools, and aid in the construction of shelters. Having a small multi-use bushcraft knife is always extremely useful to have at hand while in the wild either strapped to a belt or in a quickly accessible pocket.

 As well as having a good multi-use knife, you should consider having a heavy bushcraft knife for processing game animals and large pieces of wood, and a light knife for more intricate carving and food preparation. These two types of knives can be kept tucked away in a rucksack and unpacked for use when you make camp for the night. Although they are not necessary, they can make your time in the wilderness much easier and much more enjoyable.

In this article, we will be going over the features of a good bushcraft knife and reviewing two of the best multi-use knives, one heavy bushcraft knife, and one light knife.

What Features Does a Good Bushcraft Knife Have?

A good bushcraft knife should be made from high-quality steel that is resistant to rust and hard enough to hold a sharp edge during the strenuous use that bushcraft and survival brings. A knife for this purpose should be durable and versatile enough to serve multiple uses, even if it is better suited for one job to another. Most bushcraft knives will have quite a thick spine so they hold up well to high pressure when carving, chopping, and sectioning game meat but they should have a thin enough sharp edge so they can make delicate cuts as well.

As mentioned earlier, there is no single bushcraft knife that will serve every job perfectly however a good multi-use knife should hold up well for all your bushcraft needs. Having a good multi-use bushcraft knife will eliminate the need for carrying multiple tools out into the wilderness which is especially useful if you are packing light and space and weight is a concern.

If you are not concerned about space and weight saving and you are planning on staying out in the wilderness for a longer period, then having a heavy knife and a light one for processing wood and preparing food will make life easier. A good Light bushcraft knife should still have enough “backbone” to hold up well in the wild, but it should have a delicate edge for easy, neat, and effective food preparation. A heavy bushcraft knife should have a hard solid backbone that can take a beating when battening timber for the fire or chopping through bone when sectioning game.

No matter the type of bushcraft knife it should always have an ergonomic grip that provides a firm hold and excellent stability when in your hand. This will make day to day survival life a lot easier and most importantly, much safer. The grip and the knife overall should be highly functional and durable enough to hold up to the wear and tear of outdoor life, after all, your bushcraft knife will likely be taken into harsh environments and used in all weathers.

The Best Bushcraft Knives

In this section, we have 4 of the best bushcraft knives, two multi-use knives (one for the budget bushcrafter and one for the keen survivalist), one light bushcraft knife for delicate work, and one heavy knife for more strenuous use. All of these knives are from reputable brands and are made from top-quality stainless steel that holds an edge extremely well and is highly resistant to rust.

The Best Multi-Use Bushcraft Knife on a Budget: Morakniv Carbon Steel 4.3-Inch Bushcraft Knife

Pros
  • Excellent value for money
  • Made from high-quality Swedish steel
  • Comes with a 7000-strike firesteel
  • Ergonomic all-weather handle
Cons
  • Will need sharpening before use however it does come with a diamond-coated field sharpener

Overview

This Multi-use bushcraft knife provides the best value for money for under 60 dollars. It is constructed using Swedish carbon steel and synthetic all-weather plastics for the handle and sheath. You will find a diamond-coated field sharpener integrated on the sheath that allows you to keep your knife sharp while out in the wilderness. You will also find an integrated firesteel that is easily accessible from a sliding clip on the sheath that provides over 7,000 strikes for quick and easy fire building outdoors.

Bottom Line

Overall, the Morakniv Carbon Steel 4.3-inch Bushcraft knife is a high-quality knife that is produced by a famous and reputable brand that boasts functionality, durability, and longevity. If you are looking for an excellent balance between value and quality, then this knife from Morakniv is the best place to look.

The Best Multi-Use Bushcraft Knife for the Keen Survivalist: JEO-Tec No18 4.5-inch Bushcraft Knife

Pros
  • Options for two high-quality handles (black mikarta or cocobolo exotic wood)
  • Made from high-quality materials
  • Constructed to a high standard
  • Comes with a 100% natural leather sheath
  • 100% money-back guarantee if you are not completely satisfied
Cons
  • The Cocobolo exotic wood handle can be prone to shrinkage so be sure to check the knife upon delivery (a full refund or replacement will be provided if this is the case)

Overview

The JEO-Tec No18 is a 4.5-inch survival and hunting knife that is a great allrounder for the bushcrafter that needs a knife for all types of uses. This strong versatile knife has no problem when battening wood, sectioning rabbits, and building shelters but it is also delicate enough to finely chop vegetables and prepare meat for cooking. As far as versatility goes, you can’t get much better than this, it is handcrafted in Spain and it looks absolutely stunning too!

The No18 comes in two variants, one with a cocobolo exotic wood handle and tanned leather sheath and one with a black mikarta handle and black leather sheath. Both variants come with a firesteel that is secured neatly and safely on the side of the sheath which gives you quick access when starting a fire is of top priority. Each knife from JEO-Tec has been vigorously tested so when it gets to you, you can be sure that you are receiving a high-quality item. If you are not 100% satisfied, they also offer a 100% money-back guarantee as well!

Bottom Line

If you are looking for a high-quality handcrafted bushcraft knife that is versatile, durable and is guaranteed to last a lifetime then the No18 by JEO-Tec is the best choice for you. Its stunning looks, quality materials, and durable design make this the perfect companion to have close at hand when venturing into the wilderness.

The Best Light Bushcraft Knife for Food Prep: Morakniv Kansbol 4.3-Inch Bushcraft Knife

Pros
  • Excellent value for money (the cheapest knife on our list)
  • Made from high-quality Swedish stainless steel
  • All-weather handle and synthetic sheath
  • Stays sharp throughout strenuous heavy usage
  • Comes with a lifetime warranty from Morakniv
Cons
  • The tip of this knife is thin so can bend if used for heavier tasks (make sure this one is kept solely for food prep)

Overview

The Morakniv Kansbol is a versatile fixed blade bushcraft knife that is constructed from high grade 12C27 Stainless Steel. This is the best bushcraft knife if you are looking for a durable knife mainly for food prep and light carving. The thin tip on the blade makes it possible to carve delicate feather sticks and slice meat and vegetables thinly for cooking and eating. Although this is a lightweight bushcraft knife you will find quite a hefty square spine on it that is heavy enough to use with a firesteel and hard enough to use for battening wood (with the body of the blade, not the thin tip).

The Kansbol comes with a synthetic anti-slip handle that is perfect for all-weather use all year round and a rugged all-weather sheath that easily clips on to a waistline or belt. If you are in need of a light knife for delicate bushcraft work, then the Kansbol by Morakniv is the best option for you.

Bottom Line

The Morakniv Kansbol bushcraft knife is built for the outdoors and is guaranteed to last a lifetime. This Swedish knife is perfect for delicate carving and food prep so if you are looking for a rugged knife to prepare 5-star meals in the wilderness, then look no further.

The Best Heavy Bushcraft Knife for Game and Wood Prep: Morakniv Garberg Full Tang 4.3-Inch Full Tang Bushcraft Knife

Pros
  • Full tang Swedish carbon steel that can deal with harsher bushcraft needs
  • Three sheath options: Leather, Multi-mount, and polyester
  • Square-edge spine that can be used with a firesteel
  • Highly corrosion-resistant which makes it perfect for extended use outdoors
Cons
  • The leather sheath has a bit of wiggle room so the knife can slip out. We recommend the polyester or multi-mount sheath variants.

Overview

The Morakniv Garberg is a full tang bushcraft knife that is made from high-quality Swedish carbon steel. This knife is more than heavy enough to powerfully chop through wood when battening timber for fires but also sharp and delicate enough on the cutting edge to create feather sticks and rustically prepare food for cooking. The steel used in the construction of this blade is top grade, super hard, holds a razor-sharp edge over extended use, and is corrosion-resistant. The handle is made from an impact-resistant polyamide that is tough and durable enough for non-slip use in all weathers and the sheath (when synthetic variants are selected) is weather resistant and tough enough to handle harsh environments.

Although this knife does not come with a firesteel included, it has been designed with fire-craft in mind and is more than tough enough to use in conjunction with a firesteel. Being made from high-quality Swedish carbon steel means this knife is extremely easy to sharpen and maintain in the field, even for a beginner. This heavy-duty knife is ideal for bushcrafters of all skill levels and is durable enough to use year-round in many different environments.

Bottom Line

Overall, the Garberg By Morakniv is the best knife for your heavier bushcrafting needs. It is a high-quality durable full tang knife that is guaranteed to last a lifetime and the price is very sensible too. If you are into bushcraft and need something with a bit more backbone and strength to tackle those harder tasks, then the Garberg is the knife for you.

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