What is the Best Camping Knife?

Whether you are camping steps away from your car or miles into the woods the selection of tools and accessories you bring will define your experience.

Careful selection and understanding of what it is you pack is crucial as well. When it comes to something like knives there are many answers to when considering the best camping knife. To achieve a fair and careful review of some of the best camping knives on the market I think it’s important that we look at several different types of knives used throughout a camping adventure.

In other words, this will not be a review on fixed blade, full tang knives only. As the reader, you will walk away with a deep understanding of the various types of knives and quality brands that can benefit your next camping adventure. To truly enjoy the outdoors come prepared.

Come with a variety of blades that can clear brush, trim wood, skin game and whatever else you might need them to do. The blades in this review will fill all your camping needs outside of a powerful camping axe. Enjoy what a good blade offers but also remember to enjoy the design and the craftsmanship of that blade as well.

Name
Top Pick
ESEE Knives Camp Lore RB3 Knife With Leather Sheath
Runner Up
Buck Knives 0104WAS COMPADRE CAMP Fixed Blade Knife with Genuine Leather Sheath
Kershaw Camp 10 (1077), Fixed Blade Camp Knife, 10-inch 65Mn Carbon Tool Steel, Basic Black Powdercoat, Full Tang Handle With Rubber Overmold, Dual Lanyard Holds, Includes Molded Sheath, 1LB. 3OZ.
Kershaw Taskmaster Folding Saw (2555X); for Camping and Hunting with Serrated High Performance 7 in. Steel Blade, Lock Button Release and Glass-Filled Nylon Handle with Rubber Overlay
Budget Choice
Ka-bar Stainless Steel Original Hobo All-Purpose Knife
Image
ESEE Knives Camp Lore RB3 Knife With Leather Sheath
Buck Knives 0104WAS COMPADRE CAMP Fixed Blade Knife with Genuine Leather Sheath
Kershaw Camp 10 (1077), Fixed Blade Camp Knife, 10-inch 65Mn Carbon Tool Steel, Basic Black Powdercoat, Full Tang Handle With Rubber Overmold, Dual Lanyard Holds, Includes Molded Sheath, 1LB. 3OZ.
Kershaw Taskmaster Folding Saw (2555X); for Camping and Hunting with Serrated High Performance 7 in. Steel Blade, Lock Button Release and Glass-Filled Nylon Handle with Rubber Overlay
Ka-bar Stainless Steel Original Hobo All-Purpose Knife
Design
Heavy Duty Construction
Unique Design
Long Powerful Blade
Push Button Locking System
3 1/2-inch Blade
Feature
Ultra Sharp Blade
Red Coated Walnut Handle
Rubber Overmold Handle​
Rubber Overmold Grip​
Multi-tool Style Knife
Material
1095 Carbon Steel Material
5106 Spring Steel Blade
Full Tang Powder Coated Steel
Carbon Steel Construction
420J2 Stainless Steel Blade
Editor's Rating
(5 / 5)
(4.8 / 5)
(4.6 / 5)
(4.5 / 5)
(4.3 / 5)
Top Pick
Name
ESEE Knives Camp Lore RB3 Knife With Leather Sheath
Image
ESEE Knives Camp Lore RB3 Knife With Leather Sheath
Design
Heavy Duty Construction
Feature
Ultra Sharp Blade
Material
1095 Carbon Steel Material
Editor's Rating
(5 / 5)
Price
Runner Up
Name
Buck Knives 0104WAS COMPADRE CAMP Fixed Blade Knife with Genuine Leather Sheath
Image
Buck Knives 0104WAS COMPADRE CAMP Fixed Blade Knife with Genuine Leather Sheath
Design
Unique Design
Feature
Red Coated Walnut Handle
Material
5106 Spring Steel Blade
Editor's Rating
(4.8 / 5)
Price
Name
Kershaw Camp 10 (1077), Fixed Blade Camp Knife, 10-inch 65Mn Carbon Tool Steel, Basic Black Powdercoat, Full Tang Handle With Rubber Overmold, Dual Lanyard Holds, Includes Molded Sheath, 1LB. 3OZ.
Image
Kershaw Camp 10 (1077), Fixed Blade Camp Knife, 10-inch 65Mn Carbon Tool Steel, Basic Black Powdercoat, Full Tang Handle With Rubber Overmold, Dual Lanyard Holds, Includes Molded Sheath, 1LB. 3OZ.
Design
Long Powerful Blade
Feature
Rubber Overmold Handle​
Material
Full Tang Powder Coated Steel
Editor's Rating
(4.6 / 5)
Price
Name
Kershaw Taskmaster Folding Saw (2555X); for Camping and Hunting with Serrated High Performance 7 in. Steel Blade, Lock Button Release and Glass-Filled Nylon Handle with Rubber Overlay
Image
Kershaw Taskmaster Folding Saw (2555X); for Camping and Hunting with Serrated High Performance 7 in. Steel Blade, Lock Button Release and Glass-Filled Nylon Handle with Rubber Overlay
Design
Push Button Locking System
Feature
Rubber Overmold Grip​
Material
Carbon Steel Construction
Editor's Rating
(4.5 / 5)
Price
Budget Choice
Name
Ka-bar Stainless Steel Original Hobo All-Purpose Knife
Image
Ka-bar Stainless Steel Original Hobo All-Purpose Knife
Design
3 1/2-inch Blade
Feature
Multi-tool Style Knife
Material
420J2 Stainless Steel Blade
Editor's Rating
(4.3 / 5)
Price

Camping Knife Reviews

Ka-bar Stainless Steel Original Hobo All-Purpose Knife

From a great American knife brand, you get a few things that are incredibly essential to a great camping trip.

You can have the big scary knife for protection and when you are out in the wild a nice sturdy survival knife would be a great addition. The Hobo knife is great because it offers up 4 critical items.

The Hobo is a stainless steel multi tool style knife that features a 3 1/2-inch blade. It also comes with a very sturdy fork and spoon.

There is no spork to contend with which is a rough tool to really get the best out of. The fork and spoon are stainless steel as well. On the side of the fork there is also a bottle opener.

When opened, this knife is 7 inches long which also gives you a nice healthy handle to enjoy eating.

The knife on the Hobo is very capable. I was happy to find it reviewed well. The knife is sharp and comes in at 420J2 stainless steel. There were some comments about the separating the three unique utensils.

Rather than having access to one of these at a time this utensil actually breaks down into three separate tools. One reviewer lamented that pulling these three tools apart from one another can be difficult.

This knife and utensil comes in just under $20 which is a great deal for a simple knife with great utensils. Small things like this make the camping experience a much better one.

Pros

  • American made
  • Multiple use
  • Three tools in one

Cons

  • No instructions to disassemble or assemble

Ka-bar Stainless Steel Original Hobo Summary:

  • 420J2 stainless steel blade
  • Multi-tool style knife
  • Priced under $20​
  • Made in the USA

Kershaw Camp Knife

There are two great tools that come from Kershaw that I find indispensable in the camping game. Both of which are knives but they are night and day in style.

The camp knife by Kershaw is a weapon of sheer size and power. This is one of those weapons that you will lean on for solutions.

There are knives that you bring for specific tasks and then there are knives like the camp knife by Kershaw. It’s a monster with power behind it.

This Kershaw is full tang with 65mn, powder coated steel. The blade is 10 inches long and has the ability to take care of several camp related tasks.

It’s the closest thing to a machete while still being very safe. At full length, this knife is 16 inches in total. The great thing about the Camp knife is that for all its size it’s just over 1lb.

The handle is a rubber overmold which improves your grip and absorbs the shock of laying down the boom with this big knife. If you take some thick bush to task or use this knife to cut small branches it won’t rattle your whole body just using the knife.

The Kershaw Camp Knife had an incredible amount of positive views. This bolo style blade resonated with other campers who often took this thing into the woods. The reviewers did some serious side by side work with the Kershaw and found it was a legitimate weapon for various outdoor tasks.

The only concern about this knife is gathered about this weapon was its anodized coating seemed to wear out quickly and this is a serious level of protection for your knife and blade.

For such a quality knife, it prices incredibly well at just over $30.

Pros

  • Long powerful blade
  • Full Tang
  • Bolo style blade

Kershaw Summary:

  • Full tang powder coated steel
  • 10 inches long blade
  • Rubber overmold handle​
  • Priced over $30

Kershaw Taskmaster Saw

When you are packing up for a camp there just isn’t one knife that can cover the breadth of tasks necessary to meet all your needs.

Therefore, we are three knives in to this review and we have three tools that could not be more different. I think that speaks to what camping and camping tools are all about.

The Taskmaster is a serrated blade that is ideal for sawing through wood. You will find this knife of much use when doing things like gathering kindling or building shelter.

It's made of high carbon steel with a simple powder coat. The knife features a manual opener for quick and easy access and the whole thing closes to 9 inches when it is closed.

The serrated blade is 7 inches long and will tackle surprisingly large pieces of wood.

One of the often-overlooked features in camping gear are those that promote safety. The Taskmaster is 7 inches of serrated steel that could easily result in tremendous injury.

Kershaw outfitted this tool with a push button locking system. This means it won’t just open on its own and little hands will have a tougher time getting it opened. When you are out camping safety must be a huge consideration.

The grip on the Taskmaster is made of the same rubber overmold as the Camp Knife by Kershaw. Great for comfort and grip strength. Sawing is no picnic even with this powerful blade so a strong grip is critical.

In the customer reviews the Taskmaster did just what it’s promised to do. It offered a saw type blade that is easily accessible in a pinch and very effective.

One person was use the knife while rappelling down cliff sides to remove brush growing out of the rock face. He was amazed at how easily it opened with one hand when he needed it.

One of the best parts about the Taskmaster is that it comes in under $20! That is an amazing price for an amazing blade that will go very far in the wilderness.

Pros

  • Great tool for firewood processing
  • 7 inch serrated blade
  • Safety lock

The serrated blade is 7 inches long and will tackle surprisingly large pieces of wood.

One of the often-overlooked features in camping gear are those that promote safety. The Taskmaster is 7 inches of serrated steel that could easily result in tremendous injury.

Kershaw outfitted this tool with a push button locking system. This means it won’t just open on its own and little hands will have a tougher time getting it opened. When you are out camping safety must be a huge consideration.

The grip on the Taskmaster is made of the same rubber overmold as the Camp Knife by Kershaw. Great for comfort and grip strength. Sawing is no picnic even with this powerful blade so a strong grip is critical.

In the customer reviews the Taskmaster did just what it’s promised to do. It offered a saw type blade that is easily accessible in a pinch and very effective.

One person was use the knife while rappelling down cliff sides to remove brush growing out of the rock face. He was amazed at how easily it opened with one hand when he needed it.

One of the best parts about the Taskmaster is that it comes in under $20! That is an amazing price for an amazing blade that will go very far in the wilderness.

Pros

  • Great tool for firewood processing
  • 7 inch serrated blade
  • Safety lock

Kershaw Taskmaster Saw Summary:

  • Carbon steel construction
  • Push button locking system
  • Rubber overmold grip​
  • Priced under $20

Buck Knives 104WAS Compadre Camp Fixed Blade Knife

A name as synonymous with the outdoors as Buck had to make it onto this list. We have yet to explore a very true fixed blade knife in the traditional sense.

Having access to a traditional straight blade with this beautiful handle adds a bit more nostalgia to the whole adventure.

The other great thing about Buck Knives 104WAS Compadre is that the knives blades are powder coated in red. This is not only unique but it also lends itself to being found on the forest floor.

An American made blade that is comprised of 5106 spring steel. It features a drop point blade with that unique 4 1/2-inch red powder coated finish.

This is a beautiful blade that fits the bill of most Buck knives. The overall length of this weapon is 9 1/2 inches. This is a powerful knife that is stout.

The grip is a thing of beauty and I realize, in that, there is a lot of aesthetic pleasure that comes along with this Compadre.

There is an entire line of these red coated walnut handled compadres that offer themselves up in various designs. For the modest in the crowd there is nothing wrong with carrying a knife that looks damn good as well! Back to the grip.

It’s a gorgeous heritage walnut dymondwood handle with a small lanyard hole. The contrast of the red blade and the comfortable walnut handle is a testament to the American craftsmanship.

Also included is a genuine leather sheath and just as with all Buck knives you get the Buck Lifetime Warranty.

The reviewers enjoyed this knife for its balance and the blade condition upon arrival. Priced just over $50 this knife is a steal for anyone looking for a true companion or compadre.

Pros

  • Unique design
  • 5106 spring steel blade
  • Walnut grip

Cons

  • Sheath is easily damaged

Buck Knives 104WAS Compadre Camp Summary:

  • Powder coated blade
  • Red coated walnut handle
  • True American craftsmanship
  • Priced over $50

ESEE RB3 Camp-Lore Fixed Blade Bushcraft Knife

This great little trail knife is perfect for small pack hiking from your base camp. I don’t know about you but when I am camping I want to spend some time in the woods that surround me.

I like to disappear at the woods edge with very little on my back. ESEE RB3 Camp-Lore is a great knife that carries light at a mere .6oz and works perfectly for such a trip.

Now it’s not the thickest or most powerful blade but it will spark a ferro rod and it will bring you all the materials needed to build a reasonable shelter.

The blade itself is only 3 1/2 inches in total length. It doesn't seem like much but in a light hike situation this knife will help you in a survival situation. It features a drop point that is worked out of 1095 uncoated carbon steel.

This is truly what this knife is all about. It’s not the knife that stays at basecamp to handle the workload but it’s another option to use on the go.

ESEE has created a blade for finesse and ease in carry with the Camp-Lore. It’s a blade the reviewers loved and spoke volumes of how sharp it came and how sharp they could keep it.

Many remarked that it was such a thin knife that they would reserve it for the right jobs like carving, skinning and food prep.

This knife is an investment at just over $100. I wish it cost a little less because this is a tool for finesse work and will still require the purchase of something a little more heavy duty.

Pros

  • Super sharp
  • Easily honed

Cons

  • Delicate edge not made for heavy jobs
  • Pricey

ESEE RB3 Camp-Lore Summary:

  • Heavy duty construction
  • Ultra sharp blade
  • 1095 carbon steel material
  • Priced over $100

Final Verdict

In this review, we have looked at various types of knives. We have looked at knives that offer much more than just a sharp blade. Then we looked at knives that pride themselves on being just a sharp blade.

The Buck Compadre is just that, a knife in its purest form. Some will argue the validity of the Taskmaster as it is a little more than a knife. With its serrated edge and folding design I am not sure what else I would call it. What I would certainly call it is essential.  

I hope this review has opened your eyes to the fact that the market is offering much more than simple fixed blade knives to the modern-day adventurer.

Of course, it’s impressive to be a master woodsman and handle all your needs with one knife. However, if you are not practiced or well trained on how to do that don’t make it your only option.

To me camping is the great equalizer to the onslaught of technology. We are so oppressed by our technology and I think it will only get worse.

This means you have a duty to get out and experience the world as often as you can. Take what you have learned from this review and fill your pack with all the tools of a great adventure.