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A Guide to the Best Camping Knife You Can Buy Today

The best camping knife should be rigid, strong, and sturdy for a wide range of outdoor tasks—from cooking meals to clearing campsites. These tasks also range from small chores, such as skinning animals and preparing food, to large tasks like cutting wood and bone, and even defending yourself from animal attacks. Your choice in a camping knife can make the difference between enjoying the outdoors experience and experiencing near-death in the wild.

Camping knives are considered as the middle ground between survival knives and tactical knives although many of them have similar qualities and features. These are also well-balanced from their blades to their handles so they can be used for cutting a wide range of materials from wood to bone, and even for digging the soil.

Finding the best camping knife for your needs is about finding the right balance between its weight, size, and blade type. If you’re backpacking on your own, a pocket camping knife is a great choice because of its compact size and light weight. If you’re with a group, a larger full-tang blade with a straight edge might be a better choice. No matter your choice, keep in mind that your camping knife should be at the center of your camping tools set.

10 Best Camping Knife Comparisons

Image

Product Name

Primary Material

Blade Length

Price

Opinel Carbon Blade

Carbon Steel

3.25"

Morakniv Companion

Carbon Steel

4.1"

Kershaw Ken Onion

Steel: Sandvik 14C28N

3.4"

Gerber LMF II

Stainless Steel

4.7"

Benchmade Bushcrafter 162

STEEL: CPM-S30V

4.40"

Best Camping Knife in 2017 - Reviews

1. Opinel Carbon Blade No. 8 Folding Knife

Opinel Carbon Blade No. 8 Folding Knife

Opinel knives, which have been manufactured in France since 1890, are the classic French picnic knives known for their durable build, versatile uses, and beautiful designs. They are also safe and easy to use due to their multiple components, from the carbon steel blade to the hardwood handle, and the stainless steel locking collar which prevents it fromaccidental closing and opening.

One of the best models is the Opinel Carbon Blade No. 8 folding knife, a five-part knife with each part being integral to its exceptional functionality. These parts are the blade, the wooden handle, the Virobloc locking ring, the steel collar surrounding the pivot, and the pin that keeps the collar in place. The locking ring is a must considering the knife’s large blade. 

What we liked

  • The 3.25” carbon steel blade,which is made from XC90 steel, has a full flat grind, sweeping clip point, and couronnée logo. Ithasthe perfect length foroutdoors food preparation, wood whittling, and many medium-duty everyday tasks. The blade sharpens within 10 minutes on sharpening stones, and recovers from constant use due to its tendency to roll instead of chipping.
  • The wooden handle provides decent traction even without gimping due partly to its gentle curve and round shape. Since it’s designed to be a grip-neutral knife, it can be used in all grips. You can put your thumb on the blade’s spine for added control or place it on the knife’s butt-end for a more comfortable reverse grip.
  • The knife smoothly opens, even though two hands are required to open it; the blade is buried deep into its handle. Since there’s no spring tension on its blade, it can be opened by pinching and pulling on it, and the nail mark is also useful for this purpose.
  • The Virobloclocking ring keeps the knife open or closed depending on its position around the pivot collar. 

What we didn't like

  • The carbon steel blade can easily rust without proper care. But since it responds to stones with exceptional plasticity, rust can be easily removed and its sharpness can be restored.
  • There’s no clip.

2. Morakniv Companion Heavy Duty Bushcraft Knife

Morakniv Companion Heavy Duty Bushcraft Knife

The Morakniv Companion knife is popular among hunters, bushcrafters, and outdoor enthusiasts due to its tough construction. The manufacturer, with its headquarters in Sweden, has been in the business since 1891. Morakniv knives are known for their high-quality steel blades, ergonomic handles, and rugged design. 

The Companion knife has a fixed 1/8” carbon steel blade that can withstand the rigors of camping, too, even as a survival knife. The blade is also easy to re-sharpen, usually within 10 minutes. The knife measures 8.8” when open,and its blade is 4.1” long. 

What we liked

  • The carbon steel blade is a harder material than stainless steel so it’s sharper out of the box and holds its sharpness well. The knife then cuts so well on both soft and hard surfaces in an outdoors setting, although it can also be used as an EDC knife. The frequent regrinding to maintain its sharpness will not affect its overall cutting performance either.
  • The handle may be large for a few people, but since it is ergonomically designedwitha soft, patterned high-friction grip, this should be a minor issue. The grip pattern means it can be used with both wet and dry hands, although different grip styles may be necessary.
  • This knife can be used for several outdoors activities. We tested it for batoning where it performed well due to its robust edge and sharp blade, as well as for carving tinder and chopping small tree limbs.
  • The knife comes with a durable plastic sheath and a belt clip, which has a drain hole. 

What we didn't like

  • Its slightly heavier weight can be an issue for backpackers.

3. Kershaw Blur Folding Knife

Kershaw Blur Folding Knife

The Blur is an original Kershaw knife, which are known for their slightly recurved blade. This is one of your best choices as a multi-tasking camping knife since the blade has exceptional slicing and piercing qualities. We love that its stainless steel blade is both hard and resistant to corrosion, and it’s beautiful to look at, too.

What we liked

  • The Sandvik 14C28N partially-serrated blade can easily cut through fibrous materials like cord, rope and vines, as well as through various types of food. You can use its extra-pointy tip for opening cans, if needed, and the blade doesn’t wiggle when it’s fully deployed because the blade and handle are a single unit.
  • The black handles feel solid in the hands, thanks to the Trac-Tep grip-tape, while still being lightweight. Since it’s ambidextrous, you can use it on your left or right hand with whatever grip is comfortable. You can also change the tip position, either tip-down or tip-up carry, due to the pre-drilled holes in it. You can adjust the clip to fit any of your pockets, too.
  • The SpeedSafe assisted opening feature allows for one-handed opening of the blade. Just push on the thumb stud so that the blade moves out of its handle easily and quickly. 

What we didn't like

  • The thumb stud can be difficult to press on because of its small size.

4. Gerber LMF II Black Infantry Knife

Gerber LMF II Black InfantryKnife

The U.S.-made LMF II is the quintessential survival knife because of its tough materials and build. In fact, it was originally designed for use in the aircraft industry as a knife for freeing the crew in case of a crash. It can even be used for basic hammering jobs without breaking due to the break between the butt cap and the tang.

When open, it measures 10.59” from the blade tip to the handle butt. The blade itself measures 4.84” long. Without its sheath, the knife weighs a relatively hefty 11.67oz.

What we liked

  • The 420HC stainless steel drop-point blade is characterized by its convex curve. You can use it for virtually any bushcrafting task because it’s extremely durable in its entire length, and its large flat surface on the spine allows for mallet-assisted hammering.
  • The blade is also wear- and corrosion-resistant,and hasits own integrated sharpener in the sheath. You can rely on the blade’s fine-to-serrated design from the tip to the handle, which makes this knife more of amulti-purpose tool.
  • The stainless steel pointed buttcap can even pierce glass, so you can use it to to bail out of a vehicle if you need to.
  • The handle, which is made from glass-filled nylon, is wider and flatter than mostcamping knives, but it also increases the grip surface. You will like the way that it feels in your hand, whether you’re digging or slicing with it, especially with its rubberized grip. You won’thave to worry about losing your grip when handling it wet because of good drainage in its handle. The lashing holes on the handle extend the knife’s versatility, such as a spear.
  • The knife can be carried either on the thigh or calf with the leg straps. It is also MOLLE compatible. 

What we didn't like

  • Its rugged design may be overkill for amateur campers, but not for true bushwhackers.

5. Benchmade - Bushcrafter 162

Benchmade - Bushcrafter 162

The Bushcrafter 162 was designed by Shane Sibert as a survival knife, but it has become a favorite among campers, too. Even the military has seen its value in bomb-related work, while campers just love it for its excellent overall performance in the field.

This knife as a fixed blade design suitable for various outdoor purposes. The blade measures 4.4”, while its overall length stretches to 9.15”, and the knife itself weighs 7.72oz. 

What we liked

  • The S30V stainless steel blade is the perfect choice for this knife. It is extremely durable, as well as holds its edge and sharpness.This blade is also easy to sharpen and resists the abuse and elements. The drop-point design mixes the best of edge and point so it’s suitable for many bushcrafting activities.
  • The handle, including its grip thickness and finger depression, is just right for large hands. You will love the secure hold you have on this handle, which also has three holes to transform the knife into a spear.
  • The D-ring makes it easy to wear the knife, such as attached to a pack. There’s even an accessory pocket tube in the sheath for a fire steel, such as a tinder capsule. 

What we didn't like

  • The sheath isn’t as reliable as the knife because of its retaining screws, which kept coming loose.

Final Verdict

There’s something good to be said about buying the best camping knife for your next outdoors adventure. You will have a reliable tool that can see you through plenty of challenges while living without the comforts of modern conveniences.

David Valle
 

I started this blog to provide advanced material, guiding you towards a better and more comfortable fishing experience. I deliver more than fishing gear guides, and motivate people to hit the water!

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