Bushcraft is one of those timeless skills that as long as we have woods to play in will seem almost magical to those who do not possess the same skills.
The art of manipulating trees, rocks, water and animals into useful resources for survival should be honored. What’s even more exciting is the idea that it is a field that cannot be conquered by technology.
With all of our advances it still takes a man to track prey, build shelters and seek out wild food. These skills come only through practice. The nuisance is just too great.
If nothing else the seasoned bushcrafter will take a strong and reliable knife. Above all else he will take this knife. You may offer him the best, easiest to tent to set on the market you could even throw in the softest sleeping bag.
The true woodsman is going to take that strong, straight, fixed blade knife because he knows he can create anything if he has the right skill set.
There are many things you will want in a Bushcraft Knife. I want to first explore some of the things your knife must have if you are going to have success. When choosing the knives, we are going to profile I kept these characteristics in mind.
- 1 Bushcraft Knife Reviews
- 2 Key Features of Bushcraft Knives
- 3 Final Verdict
Bushcraft Knife Reviews
Gerber StrongArm Fixed Blade Knife
Though Gerber products come with a steep price tag I find that some of their products are flawlessly designed. I am not a part of the strange cartel out there that holds some strange grudge against Gerber.
Perhaps it’s part of their support of the Grylls character. I don’t know and we are in the business of effective unbiased reviews. I would be remise not to include the StrongArm in this review.
We are dealing with a full tang 420 steel knife that is has the power to get the job done. The blade is protected with a ceramic coating.
This knife also features a rubberized and diamond texture knife grip to ensure your stability with the blade. This knife carries that same flat back and thick blade that we mentioned were of such importance.
The pommel on the StrongArm is design to be effective. It’s actually designed to shatter materials like glass but it will work as a driving tool as well. It also includes a smooth, modular sheath system.
This allows you to strap this thing in various locations throughout your body. Coupled with a tactical vest you will find the ultimate carrying freedom with this sheath.
Priced just under $60 dollars this knife comes from a company that has been creating weapons for the U.S military since 1968.
There is inherent quality that must be understood when you are a company of such accolades.
Reviewers have enjoyed their StrongArms. They touted its ability to sharpen easily and hold a great edge. They are also very happy with the variety of uses this Bushcraft knife offers up.
- Top name in survival
- Durable blade
- Modular sheath system
Gerber StrongArm Summary:
- Full tang 420 steel knife
- Ceramic coated blade
- Modular sheath system
- Priced under $60
BC- T- 015 Damascus Steel Knife
This knife has that great Bushcraft feel to it. It offers an astounding level of craftsmanship from a lesser known company in the business of making these types of knives.
BC- T- 015 Damascus Steel Knife has a great look and powerful pommel along with a basic leather sheath that can be affixed to your belt.
This knife is not manufactured here in the USA but it still offers some great quality materials in its makeup.
The durable steel blade is hand forged to achieve the beautiful pattern you see on display. This knife also offers up that great pointed tip we talked about as well.
The knife had very few reviews. In fact, I think it was only reviewed six times. This could be based on it being a newer product.
Most people were happy with this knife though one reviewer did receive a damaged blade in the mail. They did not go into return policy or how the customer service experience was. As with any blade inspect it thoroughly before using it.
This knife prices nearly identical to the Gerber. I think they are very different blades with unique benefits but that is a decision you must make as a buyer.
- Full tang steel blade
- Solid spine
- Decent hammering pommel
BC- T- 015 Damascus Summary:
- Durable steel blade
- Strong spine
- Powerful pommel
- High quality craftsmanship
ESEE 6P-OD Black Fixed Blade Knife
This knife caught my eye not based on color or name brand but on the very simple blade design. You see, when it comes to a Bushcraft knife you are really looking for an easy and highly effective piece of equipment.
Often, people get wrapped up with wild blade shapes, hooks and other features built into your knife.
Understand that you could be sharpening that knife on a rock one day! You want the blade to be as straight and clean as possible. This will make sharpening easy.
ESEE has a great knife here. It’s just under a food long in total length which makes it a big guy in terms of size.
This could offer some benefits in using it for leverage as well. Though I like a long cutting blade. I think that also helps in sharpening.
The blade is made of 1095 steel and runs through a grey micarta handle.
This is an expensive knife and will be the most expensive model on the list. It comes in at over $120.
There aren’t many reviews on the knife either. The only issue I noticed is that the pommel is designed for looping cord through a hole in it. It takes away from its hammering capability.
One reviewer did mention this model will require care to the blade as it could be affected by weather over time. Obviously, we should be caring for our blades anyway but if we are in a situation where survival is our priority we may not can care for the knife properly.
- Powerful carbon steel blade
- Long straight blade for easy sharpening
- Expensive knife at over $100 (you are going to abuse your bushcraft knife)
ESEE 6P-OD Summary:
- 1095 steel blade
- Grey micarta handle
- Easy sharpening design
- Looping cord hole
Ka-Bar Becker BK2 Campanion Fixed Blade Knife
This Ka-Bar is a real beauty. It offers the type of blade you want to see for easy sharpening and durability. That straight shot with a moderate curve is what makes a great Bushcraft knife.
We are looking for a knife whose shape and size can do as much as possible effectively. With this knife, you could prepare food, skin game and split small pieces of wood. That’s the versatility you need.
Ka-Bar is an important brand because their products are made right here in the USA. This guy is of the quality you would expect.
The 1095 cro van steel blade with its 20-degree angle offers stout cutting power. The blade is full tang and settles into a comfortably textured grip.
This weapon comes in under $100 dollars and is worth the money. This knife rivals any other in terms of durability and its effectiveness in the field.
That’s saying nothing about the comfort grip and added benefit of supporting an American company who pays American workers.
This bushcraft knife is sitting in households all over the country. This is no new blade or new company.
The Becker was reviewed over 1000 times and maintains a 4-and-a-half-star rating within all those reviews. This is because the resounding sentiment is that the knife is worth the money and stands up to the abuse.
- USA made
- Cutting Power
- Over 1000 positive customer reviews
Ka-Bar Becker BK2 Campanion Summary:
- Easy sharpening design
- Made in the USA
- 1095 steel blade
- Comfortably textured grip
Condor CTK232-4.3HC Walnut Handle Bushlore Knife
We have reviewed a lot of knives that were of impeccable quality like Condor CTK232-4.3HC, but also came with a staggering price tag. I thought it important to seek out a verifiable Bushcraft knife that was much more affordable.
It doesn’t take a hundred dollars to pour and work a decent full tang blade with a nice solid spine. So, it shouldn’t require your entire bank account to get your hands on one.
The Condor is 200 year old company based out of Germany and though their product doesn’t come with a massive price tag they are not neophytes in the knife game.
The Condor is made from 1075 steel and the blade itself runs about 4.5 inches long. The blade offers that gradual bend that works well on many things including skinning game.
There have been over 700 reviews on this knife and I also read up the knife at a survival site as well.
Although the knife doesn’t look as sleek as the Gerber or maintain the black matte finish of so many other weapons these days it performs. The Condor comes in at just under $40 dollars.
- Reputable company
- Great price
- Stiff and powerful blade
Condor CTK232-4.3HC Summary:
- 1075 Steel blade
- Easy to sharpen design
- High-quality wood handle
- Priced under $40
Key Features of Bushcraft Knives
Fixed BladeThere is no room for a folding knife in bushcraft. You will be beating and stressing this knife in the name of survival and essentially woodsman manufacturing. You will be using this as a tool and as a weapon. If it folds on your or the screws give out your finished.
Full TangThis describes a knife where both the blade and the handle are one full piece of steel. You must be operating with a full tang blade. If your handle cracks or breaks you can modify the grip using paracord but if the blade pops out of a rubber handle there is little you can do in the wild to make that knife effective again.
Flat EdgeIn a bushcraft knife the flat edge is nearly as important as the sharpened edge. You never want a double sided, dagger style knife. The flat edge has tons of uses in the wild.
Solid PommelThe pommel or the butt end of the knife can be used as a driving tool or a hammering tool. If you have the right knife this will come almost naturally. Keep that in mind as well.
Pointed TipYour knife is only some paracord and sturdy branch away from being a spear. If you have a great point on your knife you will have the option of creating a stabbing spear either for self defense or hunting. These are all necessary qualities in a great Bushcraft knife and I looked for models that offered these same qualities.
The great equalizing skill of bushcraft will always require a great blade. To achieve the versatility that these bushcraft knives are shooting for great quality is first. The forged steel and full tang design must be part of any bushcraft knife.
When you choose the right knife, it will become a piece of you. It will follow you through the woods and get you out of jams. In fact, it may be tough to retire a good knife when the time comes.
We reviewed five impressive models from various manufacturers. Some of these knives had issues but they all would make great companions if you are looking to do some backcountry camping or just practice bushcraft in your backyard.
The Gerber stands out for its price and beautiful design. I can’t help my amazement at the American made Ka-Bar with over 1000 reviews along with its serious design.
I hope this review opened your eyes to the limitations of that folding blade you carry. Though it may be a great EDC option it simply doesn’t have the power or the spine to battle through wood, fire and the elements the way any of these titans above will.