CAMPING & HIKING

Best Fixed Blade Knives: Staying Sharp in The Wilderness

Daniel Carraway
Written by Daniel Carraway

Are you the type of a person who is always prepared for anything? Do you carry a knife with you when you head out because you never know when you may need it? But, you don’t love having a less than an ideal knife while you’re doing it, right? Did you know that the best-fixed blade knives can help you with everything you could possibly need when you head out?

When you head out into the wilderness for that next adventure, you can make sure you have the right tools for everything, and a fixed blade knife is one of these tools. It is a knife that can be used for multiple purposes and makes all the outdoor jobs much easier. But, how do you make sure that you’re going to get the right one? You’ve probably taken a look online or in a store and seen all the options that are out there. They make everything so much more confusing, doesn’t it?

If it’s difficult for you to figure out what you want, you’re in luck. We’ve done the work for you. We’ve got a whole lot of factors for you that are important before you pick out your next fixed blade knife. Then, we’ve got reviews of some of the best options, so that you can be sure that you get a great blade, which will work for whatever you need. All you have to do is keep reading to find out more!

Our Top Picks

ProductBlade lengthTotal lengthBlade materialPrice
Morakniv Companion4 inches8.8 inchesCarbon steelCheck price on Amazon
Kershaw LoneRock3.75 inches8.25 inchesCarbo-nitrideCheck price on Amazon
Cold Steel Leatherneck6.75 inches11.75 inchesGerman stainless steelCheck price on Amazon
SOG Seal Pup Elite4.85 inches9.5 inchesAUS-8Check price on Amazon
Ka-Bar BK-22 Companion5.25 inches10.5 inches1095 Cro-Van steelCheck price on Amazon
Buck Knives 0119 Special6 inches10.5 inches420 HC steelCheck price on Amazon
Esee Knives 6P-B6.5 inches11.75 inches1095 steelCheck price on Amazon
Fallkniven A16.3 inches11 inchesVG10Check price on Amazon
Helle GT4.8 inches9.72 inchesStainless steelCheck price on Amazon
Benchmade Bushcrafter4.4 inches9.15 inchesS30V stainless steelCheck price on Amazon

Things to Consider Before Buying

When you’re picking out your next knife you want to look at each of these features to make sure that you have a great one. You’re going to be putting a lot of faith in that knife, after all, so make sure that it’s the right quality and has all of these features in just the way that you want.

Versatility

First of all, your knife should be a rugged utility tool that can be used for cutting, chopping and breaking things with its pommel. The more tasks your knife can accomplish, the better because that means you don’t need to carry as many tools with you when you travel again.

Fixed Blade Knife

With a knife that offers you everything, you need in one tool you’re also going to love carrying it. It should be moderate in size in order to accomplish this, but you’re going to find out more about the size of your fixed blade knife a little bit later.

Design

There are a number of factors that go into the design of your knife so you want to make sure that you’re looking at this design for your own personal preference. The handle design is going to be one part of this and so is the blade itself.

You’ll find some knives that have more decoration than others and you’ll definitely find some that look really unique. It’s definitely up to you what you want on your knife, though this is definitely not required. You can choose something decorative or something simply utilitarian.

Tang

The tang of your knife is going to be an extremely important piece as well because it’s the blade. The blade of your knife can be a full tang, half tang, push tang, rat tail tang or encapsulated tang.

Full Tang Knife

Each is going to provide different benefits or features.

  • Full tang -This means that the knife is one solid piece, with the blade running through the entire length of the handle. It’s considered to be the strongest.
  • Half Tang -The blade runs through the full length of the handle, but is only half the width.
  • Push Tang -A partial tang that has been inserted into the handle and is kept in place with epoxy or glue.
  • Rat Tail Tang -The tang narrows as it goes through the handle of the knife, and is threaded at the end or is welded to a piece of threaded rod.
  • Encapsulated Tang -This is smaller than the handle, so the handle has to be fitted or molded to the tang in order to secure the whole thing together.

Blade Size

Blade size is another thing to note. What is too small or too big actually depends on the application. You will generally want a knife that is somewhere between 4 to 5 inches blade for easy to carry and conceal, and fine detail work purposes.

Knife and Sheath

A 6-inch blade or longer is a more extreme survival knife capable of tough utility, survival and bushcraft tasks like chopping. Think about the tasks that you’re expecting your blade to accomplish and you’ll definitely be able to figure out what size blade you really need, longer or shorter.

Handle Style

Handle style is also important because, in a survival situation or expedition, you may need to handle your knife for several hours at a time, so you need a knife that fits comfortably in your palms and has a sure grip in all weather conditions.

You can choose a handle that looks great too if you like, but this is going to be less important and more of a personal preference. Something that’s more ergonomic can definitely be a benefit and will save you a whole lot when it comes to the work you need to do or extended work.

Handle Material

The material of your knife handle is very important, as it needs to be comfortable to use, especially when you start getting into the most rigorous tasks. Knife handles come in a wide variety of materials, ranging from wood to hard plastic to even molded metal.

Knife Handle

The most common materials used in survival knives are:

G-10

This is a fiberglass-based laminate material that is very hard and strong, but also very lightweight. The texture is usually added to the surface to make it easier to grip.

Micarta

This is most commonly found as linen Micarta. It has a similar construction to G-10, producing a handle that is tough and lightweight. However, no texture is added so, the handle is very smooth. It isn’t scratch-proof, and because it can only be made by hand, knives with this kind of a handle, tend to be pricier.

Carbon Fiber

This is constructed by weaving together thin strands of carbon to create a handle that is considered to be the strongest material in the world. However, it is more costly to produce, so if you’re a budget shopper, you may want to seek an alternative.

Carbon Fiber Fixed Blade Knife Handle

Image credit: knifeart.com

Zytel

This is a thermoplastic, which is probably the cheapest to make in this list of handle materials. It’s great at resisting impacts and scratching, so your handle will definitely withstand the tests of time and hard labor.

Blade Material

The steel that makes up the blade is also very important to look at. If you have a knife with a blade made out of the wrong steel, you might just end up with scrap metal on your hands. With the right steel material, you can use your knife for a very long time without fail.

Knife in the Wood

Typically, there are two kinds of steel used in blade manufacturing: carbon steel or high carbon stainless steel. Each has its own tradeoffs. The carbon steel is a lot tougher compared to the stainless steel, but it is not as resistant to rust and corrosion as the stainless steel.

Best Products on Today’s Market

There are a number of different products that are going to provide you with some great features when it comes to choosing a knife. You definitely want something that’s high-quality and something that’s going to let you do as much as possible, which any of these 8 blades is definitely going to do.

Morakniv Companion Knife

Price: Approx. $25Morakniv Companion Knife

Blade length: 4 inches

Full length: 8.8 inches

Specific features: Extra-large ergonomic handle with high friction grip, color matching sheath with belt clip, high carbon steel for extra hardness and easy re-sharpening, easy to carry with you everywhere

Best use: Overall outdoor knife, variety of features

The Morakniv Companion Knife is a very suitable and handy companion for any bushcrafter, hunter, hiker or outdoor explorer. It is ergonomically designed to fit perfectly in your hands and offer you the best grip with its soft, high friction grip handle.

Suitable for batoning, carving, tinder and cutting wood, this knife is one of the most versatile kinds available. With its carbon steel blade and 27° edge angle, this knife is very suitable for high load capacity and has a very high sharpness resistance.

The carbon steel build of the blade makes it very hard so it doesn’t break easily and it sharpens very easily. Carbon steel is harder than other materials, thus allowing it to hold a sharper and more durably acute edge.

This knife is a product of a company at the forefront of manufacturing the highest quality knives and so many outdoor enthusiasts have come to trust this brand as their preferred choice. The overall feel of the knife is also good plus the price is also set at a good point.

PROS:

  • Carbon steel blade
  • Ergonomic style handle
  • Heavy duty for all purposes
  • Great budget knife
  • Holds edge well
 CONS:

  • Not ideal for striking Ferro-rod
  • Sheath not ideal
  • Can be small for some tasks

Related: This knife is great for use in a variety of different ways, including as a fire starter with the assistance of the Leichtes Feuer Fire Starter here. This fire starter is inexpensive and creates a great flame in no time at all.

Check the price on Amazon

Kershaw LoneRock Knife

Price: Approx. $10Kershaw LoneRock Knife

Blade length: 3.75 inches

Full length: 8.25 inches

Specific features: Nylon sheath, titanium carbo-nitride coating handle

Best use: Hunting, trapping, backpacking

The Kershaw LoneRock Knife is a medium-sized hunting knife designed to offer the user multiple grip options and firm control. Even in slippery conditions, this knife still gives you a very good grip because of the non-slip rubberized materials. With its design, you can easily choke up on the blade, or grip the full handle for more leverage.

This grip feature is in part as a result of the contoured handle and the K-texture material is textured and rubberized. The blade is fixed and full tang, plus it does not fold closed so it is stored in a nylon sheath or blade protector. This knife is one of the Kershaw series and they are all known for their toughness, durability and edge holding capabilities.

The carbo-nitride blade coating is part of what keeps it strong and durable, making sure that it lasts for a very long time. Great for heading out into the wilderness, this knife can take on just about any task you throw at it with no problems at all.

PROS:

  • Full tang
  • Very lightweight
  • Handle is very grippy
  • Extremely sharp out of the box
  • Holds an edge very well
 CONS:

  • Can be somewhat large
  • Sheath is not very good

Related: What you’re going to need is a tool that can keep your blade in great shape and the Lansky BladeMedic will do just that. It’s inexpensive and provides you with all the knife sharpening tools you could possibly need, for this or any other knife you carry with you.

Check the price on Amazon

Cold Steel Leatherneck Knife

Price: Approx. $90Cold Steel Leatherneck Knife

Blade length: 6.75 inches

Full length: 11.75 innches

Specific features: Griv-Ex and Kray-Ex handle, German stainless steel, saber ground clip point blade, steel guard to protect your fingers, double quillons for extra protection and minimal interference, razor-sharp blade

Best use: All-purpose knife with a few survival features

The Cold Steel Leatherneck Knife gets its leather name from the high leather collar design of marine gear in the history of the US Army. The high collar serves the purpose of protecting the soldier’s neck against sword and cutlass blows and also forced the soldier to keep his head straight.

In light of this structural design, this knife was modeled with similar guards in mind, but aimed towards protecting the fingers. The Leatherneck Semper Fi has a razor sharp clip point blade with a flat-ground from top to bottom, which keeps the fingers from sliding forward on its keen edge.

Ideal for cutting, slicing and searing through different kinds of materials, it is made with thick steel and double quillons to offer protection for you and a whole lot of strength and durability for anything that you want to do.

It’s built with a very good grip feature as the handle has been carefully designed with deeply checkered Kraton which totally encloses the knife’s extra wide full tang. With its machined steel butt cap, it is also equipped to deliver a powerful blow and also double as a hammer in emergency situations.

PROS:

  • Locking sheath
  • Sharp out of the box
  • Easy and comfortable handle
  • Handle is slip resistant
  • Good for most uses
 CONS:

  • Flattened logo sections of handle make it awkward to hold
  • Somewhat large for everyday carry
  • Not ideal for hacking

Related: The Smith’s Pocket Pal Sharpener is going to do everything you could possibly expect to keep your knife ready to go when you need it. This sharpener has three different ways to take care of different blades, hooks and a whole lot more.

Check the price on Amazon

SOG Seal Pup Elite Knife

Price: Approx. $70SOG Seal Pup Elite Knife

Blade length: 4.85 inches

Full length: 9.5 inches

Specific features: Glass-reinforced nylon with grip lines, soft nylon carry sheath, longer ergonomic, handle with deeper finger grooves, blade spine rasp for notching, filing and thumb placement, AUS-8 steel blade with clip point and black TiNi finish, belt loop attachment

Best use: Survivalist, outdoor enthusiast

The SOG Seal Pup Elite Knife gives you more than most of the known knives out there today. With its very high-performance steel and supercharged performance, this knife means business and it is a preferred choice for the world’s elite military forces.

With its ergonomic handle design, including deep finger grooves, a blade with a longer cutting edge with an added blade spine rasp for notching, filing and thumb placement, this knife is a very good fit in the hands of its wielder. It’s also great for most uses you could have because of the great fit and overall comfort.

This knife has been put to the test and carefully evaluated by the US government where it has come out on top when compared to other knives in its category. Tests included tip breaking stress tests, water immersion tests, handle twist off force, penetration tests and a host of others.

PROS:

  • Limited lifetime warranty
  • AUS-8 steel blade
  • Black TiNi coating for scratch resistance
  • Super sharp out of the box
  • Grippy, ergonomic handle
 CONS:

  • Grip is not comfortable
  • Not ideal for prying or chopping
  • Sheath is not ideal

Related: A high-quality sheath is always going to be important and this SOG Kydex Sheath is going to be a great option for you. It’s specially designed for this knife and attaches solidly and firmly to protect against anything.

Check the price on Amazon

Ka-Bar BK-22 Companion Knife

Price: Approx. $80Ka-Bar BK-22 Companion Knife

Blade length: 5.25 inches

Full length: 10.5 inches

Specific features: 100 percent synthetic, flat ground 1095 Cro-Van Steel, heavy duty sheath with polyester, drop point blade etched, grivory blade thickness, features extended pummel which can be used for pounding

Best use: Camping and hunting

The KA-BAR BK-22 Companion Knife is another companion knife that was designed to be carried along with you for your camping, hunting and field trips. The knife features a very long straight edge blade made out of 1095 Cro-Van Steel. Its flat ground provides a sharper edge and better edge retention.

The blade is 56-58 HRC rated and it is suitable for prying, splitting and slicing. With its drop point blade, you can also use it when field dressing or skinning wild game. Designed for comfort and control, this knife is used by military personnel and more because of its high-quality.

The full tang blade increases durability and stability while the handle makes for an easy grip. You can even attach a lanyard to the end to make it easier to carry with you and to have it always right within the arm’s reach.

PROS:

  • Ambidextrous pocket sheath
  • Great for most survival tasks
  • A knife made in the USA
  • Cost-effective
  • Heavy duty and durable
 CONS:

  • A little shorter for larger users
  • Sheath is not ideal
  • Not ideal for woodworking

Related: If you’re looking for a unique and stylish handle you may want to go with the Ka-Bar Handles here, which are inexpensive and look great. Easy to install with the screws already on your blade, this handle is comfortable and a whole lot more.

Check the price on Amazon

Buck Knives 0119 Special Knife

Price: Approx. $50Buck Knives 0119 Special Knife

Blade length: 6 inches

Full length: 10.5 inches

Specific features: Genuine leather fitted sheath for easy carry, cocobolo dymondwood handle with brass pommel, detail work and cutting, 420HC steel for great edge retention and corrosion resistance

Best use: Elegant, general purposes

The Buck Knives 0119 Special Knife is a top choice for the outdoor person who values the solid feel of a fixed blade. This blade is ideal for field and work as well as a whole lot more.

With two different handle options including a black handle and a wooden version, you can get what you prefer with no problem. This is an elegant and stylish knife that comes with a 6 in clip point blade made of steel for durability. This material also resists rust and corrosion and keeps a strong edge at the same time.

With all the improvements and refinements that this knife has undergone through the years in terms of its design, it can withstand the rigors of everyday use with ease. It includes a leather sheath with a snap closure to keep it secure, no matter what you’re doing. It’s also made in the USA and has a ‘forever’ warranty to go along with it.

PROS:

  • Excellent balance
  • Forever warranty
  • Made in the USA
  • Full tang
  • Sharp right out of the box
 CONS:

  • Rivets wear down handle finish
  • Sheath is not ideal
  • Can be a bit large

Related: If you’d like something unique and stylish, this Custom Leather Cross Sheath is a great choice. It’s made with buffalo leather specifically for this knife, to provide protection and a great look at the same time.

Check the price on Amazon

Esee Knives 6P-B Knife

Price: Approx. $120Esee Knives 6P-B Knife

Blade length: 6.5 inches

Full length: 11.75 inches

Specific features: 1095 steel blade, gray Micarta scale handle, molded polymer sheath, rounded pommel, durable polymer sheath with removable clip, black powder coated flat ground

Best use: General outdoor activities, survivalist

The Esee Knives 6P-B Knife is made from high carbon steel with a black powder coated flat ground blade. The blade has a better thumb grip with its jimping on the blade spine and this makes it convenient to grip and use.

Comfortable to hold is not the only thing about this blade. You also get a full tang that ensures quality and durability. There’s no reason that you should have to sacrifice, after all, and that carries over to everything with this knife.

Made in the USA, this knife is high-quality as well as working with a high-quality sheath. That means you’ll have a way to protect your blade and yourself while you’re carrying it. It holds the blade right where you want it without having to worry about shifting.

You can do just about anything with this type of knife and you won’t have to worry about the capabilities. The blade is sharp enough to cut, chop and a whole lot more.

PROS:

  • Sheath holds the knife securely
  • Full tang blade
  • Made in the USA
  • Very sharp right out of the box
  • Works well for most outdoor tasks
 CONS:

  • Sheath is not ideal for knife quality
  • Somewhat heavy for some tasks
  • A little long for some tasks

Related: This Esee Molle Sheath is designed for this knife and makes sure that you have exactly what you’re looking for in your favorite color and style. It’s inexpensive and high-quality so you’re definitely prepared for whatever you might need.

Check the price on Amazon

Fallkniven A1 Knife

Price: Approx. $200Fallkniven A1 Knife

Blade length: 6.3 inches

Full length: 11 inches

Specific features: VG 10 blade, Kraton handle, excellent holster locks the knife in place, black coating finish, thin, non-intrusive sheath

Best use: Backpacking, hunting, outdoor activities

The Fallkniven A1 Knife is another great knife to own and it is very well equipped to chop branches and shave off bark all day without losing its edge. Of course, that’s not all you’re going to get done with this knife because it’s built for just about anything, including protection.

With its black coating, excellent holster and overall neat finish, the knife spots a very good look on its wielder. If you want to baton wood, cut rope and bushwack a small area, this knife is for you. Plus, the coating makes sure to keep it looking even better even as you continue to use it.

The perfect size for most tasks, this knife is easy to hold with the textured handle surface and provides a lanyard hole at the base so that you can easily carry it however you want. The Zytel sheath that’s included will help you keep it protected and ready to go at a moment’s notice and the lightweight blade itself ensures it’s ready for anything.

PROS:

  • Holds a sharp edge
  • Coating keeps glare down
  • Very well balanced
  • High-quality steel
  • Full tang blade
 CONS:

  • Coating wears off quickly
  • Sheath not as good as it could be
  • Not super sharp out of the box

Related: As with any blade you need to make sure that it’s sharpened at all times so it’s ready to go when you are. The Fallkniven Knives Sharpening Stone is a great way to do just that with a perfect surface for sharpening these knives. It’s also moderately priced and comes with its own case to make carrying even easier.

Check the price on Amazon

Helle GT Knife

Price: Approx. $150Helle GT Knife

Blade length: 4.8 inches

Full length: 9.72 inches

Specific features: Handmade using Curly Birch black leather and finger grind, full grain leather sheath, drop point blade, lightweight and high shine finish

Best use: Hunting, camping, woodworking

The Helle GT Knife is one of the sharpest knives you’re going to find anywhere. Not only that, but it definitely looks sleek at the same time. In fact, this is a knife that many like to add to their collections for that reason alone.

Of course, there’s more to this knife than just looks. It’s super sharp and manages to hold an edge extremely well. The triple layer stainless steel blade is laminated to provide a sturdy, thick, heavy-duty surface that is capable of accomplishing any task you throw at it and a whole lot more.

The handle is made with curly birch and black leather with an aluminum finger guard that helps to protect you from the sharp edge while you work but also adds a distinguishing feature to the knife itself. The drop point blade and full grain leather sheath complete the look and ensure you have everything you need to get your activities done right.

PROS:

  • High-quality
  • Moderate weight
  • Well designed and comfortable handle
  • Excellent blade out of the box
  • Heavy duty, quality blade
 CONS:

  • Low-quality sheath
  • Blade is a little heavy
  • Not ideal for striking steel

Related: A really nice, custom made sheath can definitely make a difference with your blade and the CFK Cutlery Company Sheath is a great one. This is moderately priced and has a unique style that you’ll love carrying along with you.

Check the price on Amazon

Benchmade Bushcrafter Knife

Price: Approx. $200Benchmade  Bushcrafter Knife

Blade length: 4.4 inches

Full length: 9.15 inches

Specific features: S30V stainless steel, sheath weight: 2.7 oz, fixed blade, 4.4 in drop point, pressed titanium handle tubing, hand blended and contoured handle, black molded Kydex sheath with a reversible belt loop

Best use: General use, outdoor activities

The Benchmade Bushcrafter Knife was originally built to be a survival knife, but it was then modified over the years to suit other needs such as cutting through plastic explosives and similar applications.

Made with American made steel, this drop point blade is moderate weight and made with high-quality materials all the way through. The handle is made with G10 to increase durability and to make sure you have exactly what you’re looking for in comfort. It’s also designed to work well even when wet or in different temperatures.

Designed to resist corrosion and hold a strong edge, you can use this highly balance knife to cut just about anything while you’re out in the wilderness. You can choose between two different color styles and this full tang knife will give you everything you’re looking for. Complete with a sheath ready to hold your knife and your fire starter, you’re going to be prepared right from the start.

PROS:

  • Moderate weight
  • Made in the USA
  • Excellent for most tasks
  • Thick and heavy duty blade
  • Sheath holds a knife and fire starter
 CONS:

  • Sheath does not have secure strap
  • Handle can be a bit bulky
  • Creates hot spots

Related: When you’re talking about the uses for your knife you will definitely want a fire starter to get you there as well. The Uberleben Zunden Fire Starter is inexpensive and it fits easily into the sheath for this knife. Not only that, but it comes with some other tools as well, so you’ll always be prepared.

Check the price on Amazon

Wrap Up

With the Benchmade Bushcrafter knife, we have reached the end of our article. Now that you are much more familiar with the features you should keep an eye on when looking for a new knife, finding the one that completely suits you is going to be much easier, right?

Fixed Blade Knife

Each of the knives we’ve mentioned is going to provide you with some of the top features you need when it comes to heading out into the wilderness for yourself. Just take a few minutes to look through each of these and see which one offers the best features you want.

Are you looking at some of these features and thinking they’re the most important? Are you thinking about any of these knives as your best possible option? We definitely want to know what you like best, and what you think about each of these features and knives. Let us know by leaving a comment in the comments section below.

Thanks for reading and feel free to share this article with your friends on social media.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Daniel Carraway

Daniel Carraway

Daniel Carraway joined our team last year. He is a gear freak when it comes to hiking, climbing and camping. He went to REI Outdoor School to meet new people and learn best practices. Don’t even try to argue with him about the latest backpack or ice axe, he tried most of them. Daniel’s dream is to climb Mount Everest.