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Types of Knives

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Fixed-Blade Knives

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Folding Knives

Top Picks

How we choose: The best knives highlighted here were selected based on 362 reviews of 218 products. Our top picks are those that are readily-available in the United States and have received the highest overall ratings from reviewers.

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Top Folding Knife

Opinel No. 8 Folding Knife

user rating: 5 of 5 (5 reviews)

In the 1980s, Opinel folding knives were a camping store fad in North America, and I fell for them hook line and sinker. Since then, I've always had at least one. While Opinel's U.S. distribution has been spotty through the years, Coghlan's, the Canadian supplier of small camping gear has offered them, blister packed on their familiar green cardboard. Opinels, whether sold by Opinel or Coghlan's, are inexpensive workhorses and because they don't cost a mint, if your knife gets lost or beat up, it's not the end of the world.

Read more: Opinel No. 8 Folding Knife reviews (5)

Top Fixed-Blade Knife

Benchmade Bushcrafter Family

user rating: 5 of 5 (3 reviews)

Fantastic knife with excellent ergonomics and a simple, stout, and sharp blade.

Reasons to Buy

  • Quality design
  • High quality steel
  • Excellent balance and ergonomics
  • Lifetime FREE sharpening
  • Made in the USA

Reasons to Avoid

  • Sheath seems to be basic, and falls a little short of being up to par with the knife it is designed to house and protect

With all the buzz around the word “Bushcraft“ in the past 5-10 years, it has almost become like “tactical“ (aka “tacticool”) with regard to items being marketed towards the Urban Lumberjack crowd that spends more bank on products for their beards per month than most families spend on groceries. I’m not sure which direction things like that are heading. Quite frankly, I don’t care. I needed a knife that would be used in the woods, not one that would sit on a shelf to be admired.

Read more: Benchmade Bushcrafter Family reviews (3)

Folding Knife

Benchmade Mini Griptilian Family

user rating: 5 of 5 (6 reviews)

Custom Mini-Griptilian (S30V): Well constructed, factory sharp knife. Handle gives good grip, and the opening hole (Pardue) is more comfortable than any other design.

Reasons to Buy

  • Light
  • Sharp
  • Good design

Reasons to Avoid

  • Handle looks a bit cheap

Purchased this through Benchmade's "custom" ordering process. The order was easy to specify precisely what blade, steel, and grips I wanted. Overall, the knife is light but well put together. It's sharp and the S30V steel will keep its edge longer over other steels. My only complaint is that the handle is not "open" to allow dust and lint to fall through. I think this would have been an easy design change. 

Read more: Benchmade Mini Griptilian Family reviews (6)

Fixed-Blade Knife

Morakniv Companion Heavy Duty

user rating: 5 of 5 (4 reviews)

Best camping knife I have ever owned.

Reasons to Buy

  • Lightweight
  • Sturdy construction
  • Holds an edge well
  • Easy-to-grip rubberized handle
  • Hard plastic sheath can be worn on belt

Reasons to Avoid

  • No finger-guard
  • Doesn't work well with firesteel

I was given this knife about two years ago as a groomsman's gift.  It quickly replaced my old Gerber fixed blade as my favorite hiking knife. CONSTRUCTION The construction of this knife is fantastic. It has taken a serious beating from me and still looks and feels good-as-new. The blade itself holds a razor edge easily while I'm out in the woods (I usually realign it once every few months with a carbide sharpener).   While the knife does not use a full tang, the tang is well attached to the handle.

Read more: Morakniv Companion Heavy Duty reviews (4)

Fixed-Blade Knife

Morakniv Companion

user rating: 4.5 of 5 (9 reviews)

Can’t beat the price for what you get! Very sharp right from the start, it’s a great multi-purpose carbon steel knife, very functional drop point blade. From prepping camp food to cutting rope, I’d recommend for anyone’s pack.

Reasons to Buy

  • Inexpensive
  • Sharp, very sharp!
  • Sheath secures knife tightly
  • Multi-functional
  • Handle grips well when wet

Reasons to Avoid

  • Carbon steel prone to rust/tarnish

I've had this knife for a little over three months and it has become my go-to knife both on and off the trail. From opening and breaking down cardboard boxes, to cutting lengths of rope, and even cutting some pepperoni while car camping it has performed awesome! Costing just a little over $13 from Amazon the following is what is included and its attributes: Carbon steel knife (see "Maintenance") - Made in Sweden Rubberized handle Plastic sheath 8.5 inches from handle end to blade tip Knife is 4 ounces (I do not have a digital scale, unconfirmed) You can see the comparison of its total 8.5" length and the blade height when next to a steak knife.

Read more: Morakniv Companion reviews (9)

Folding Knife

Opinel No. 6 Folding Knife

user rating: 4.5 of 5 (4 reviews)

Light, small, tough, and available. The blade you may find you need, at a price you definitely can afford.

Reasons to Buy

  • Excellent carbon steel
  • Solid lock up
  • Reliably tough.
  • Tactile and ergonomic
  • Feather light
  • Dirt cheap
  • Lifetime warranty (materials and manufacturing defects)

Reasons to Avoid

  • Needs a lock ring: the UK legal versions are useless
  • Carbon steel and wood, require basic maintenance

A simple design—one sharp, thin (1mm), pointy blade, which folds into a thinly finished beech handle. A chromed, spring steel lock ring, at the riveted pivot point, is a wonderful low-tech way to keep the knife open-or closed—until you change your mind. Available in many lengths; the seven centimetre blade works, for me. It weighs a negligible 27 grammes . If your daily life involves building wilderness shelters, batoning firewood, or rope access, at industrial sites, you'll need a different product.

Read more: Opinel No. 6 Folding Knife reviews (4)

Folding Knife

Kershaw Leek

user rating: 4.5 of 5 (6 reviews)

I've owned and used this knife as an EDC for nearly four years. It's been used camping, backpacking, and everything else I needed a knife for. I even abuse it by cutting cardboard once in a while.

I also have three Benchmade knives, a Gerber fixed blade, and a Boker knife. This Kershaw doesn't hold an edge as well as the Benchmade knives, but it's fairly easy to sharpen. The blade appears to be pretty strong. Even though the tip is pretty fine, I've never had a problem with breakage, but I wouldn't try prying with it (and you shouldn't—with any knife). The mechanisms still work well after probably thousands of actuations (it's a fun knife to just flick open—sort of addictive), and there doesn't appear to be any wear.

Read more: Kershaw Leek reviews (6)

Folding Knife

Buck 110 Folding Hunter

user rating: 4.5 of 5 (6 reviews)

This folding knife has been around for a long time. Not to many have lasted as long as this one.  This knife has a classic shape and classic looks. The brass and wood make for a lot of eye appeal. Folded up it comes in around 4 inches. The blade has a nice point to it, it goes by different names, clip, pointer, drop point, etc.  The blade is stainless, which seems to be the standard for store bought knives now.   The wood handle feels good in your hand when it is cold out. Unlike a plastic or metal handles.

Read more: Buck 110 Folding Hunter reviews (6)

Fixed-Blade Knife

ESEE Knives Junglas

user rating: 4.5 of 5 (3 reviews)

The flagship of all Esee knives. The only knife you really need to do everything in the outdoors. This knife will do big and small knife tasks equally well.

Reasons to Buy

  • Great steel
  • Well balanced
  • Comfortable in the hands
  • Great at both large and small knife tasks

Reasons to Avoid

  • I'm not a huge fan of any Esee handle scale; The G3 scales at knife connection just feel and work better for me
  • Sheath is not really useful for belt carry.

If you're interested in an Esee product, this is the one you want first. I've worked this knife hard for about 6-7 years now. It is a do-it-all knife sized machete. You can chop with it, cook with it, carve with it, cut rope, clean fish, baton, scrape bark you name it and the Junglas can do it. It's got a very interesting high saber grind that provides both strength, rigidity, and flexibility. You could literally take this as your only tool and live in the wild for months. People complain a lot about rust but I found it a nonissue for all my Esee knives as long as I spray the knives off with g10 or wd40 periodically.

Read more: ESEE Knives Junglas reviews (3)

Folding Knife

Benchmade 940/943 Osborne Family

user rating: 4 of 5 (2 reviews)

The 940BK is my EDC and is one of the finest blades I have ever seen or used. I have the blade sharpened to 25° and it's only needed to be sharpened once in all the time I have owned it.

Reasons to Buy

  • CPM-S30V steel holds a wicked edge
  • BK1 black finish provides ultimate protection to the blade
  • Very lightweight for the size: 2.87 ounces
  • 3.4" blade is big enough to get most jobs done

Reasons to Avoid

  • Expensive — this is no $5 knife. Then again, this is no $5 knife. :-)

The first Osborn I owned was the 943SBK.  It was an outstanding knife that I used every day for about 7 or 8 years. I was so bummed when I lost it at a football game... really, really bummed.  But there were two things about the blade that I didn't like, so I fixed it when I bought this 940BK. The 943 blade is more of a very cool looking stiletto style.  While the steel is crazy strong, the thin steel at the tip of the blade creates a weak point that I was constantly being careful of (though it never did break).

Read more: Benchmade 940/943 Osborne Family reviews (2)

More Knives

Trailspace reviewers have shared 362 reviews of 218 different knives. Narrow your search and view more specific knife recommendations in these categories:

Fixed-Blade Knives

Folding Knives

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Other Types of Knives and Tools

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