Best Hiking Knife in 2018 – Selected by Expert Advice

Going for a hike? Planned everything, checked your list but got stuck in perhaps the most crucial gear for a trip.

Knives! Small but very efficient. I’m not crazy enough to say that there are only a couple of best hiking knives out there because it's a huge industry. There are a wide variety of knives, and each blade has its own purpose.

Best for hiking, backpacking or survival, if you’re gonna ask a hundred people you’re going to get hundred different answers. That’s the truth. There is no one knife.

People who claim to tell that this “xyz knife” is the best is probably their own personal favorite. But, I run a blog for knives and let me tell you, the answer isn’t that simple.

Best Hiking Knife

In tough situations, any knife would be handy. But, you are here reading this which means you plan ahead. Kudos to you.

I won’t recommend one particular knife, but I will sum up a list of top 10 best knives for hiking & camping just to make things simple. Whether it’s bushcraft, camping, backpacking or hiking, I’ve compiled this list for all possible scenarios.

If you are familiar with hiking knives or used them before but looking for a better alternative skip this section and scroll down to the top 10 list. The following part is for those who don’t know what a hiking knife is.

So, What Is A Hiking Knife?

Survival knives are meant for tough work. As the saying goes “there is a well-used knife behind every well-hiked mountain.” I just made that one up actually, but it isn’t far from the truth. Don’t think of it as an accessory instead think of it as a part of the pack.

These aren’t anything like your ordinary kitchen knives. Stronger blades, sharper, ergonomic and robust handles and thick looking. Some are foldable; some are fixed. Each with its own purpose. Depends on what chores you will be doing and how you will travel.

There are some best backpacking knives out there that are used by marine corps. If you want to know how you’ll be benefited, check out the top 5 uses below.

Why You Need Hiking Knife While Travelling?

In the wilderness, your knife is a very important tool. Knowing how to use it properly can save your life. You can use your knife to make a fire in the rain, build an emergency shelter, fix broken gear, whittle tools for survival or even protect yourself against wild animals.

Depending on their range in size, durability, cost and function and some honest opinions from users, I present you the only hiking knife list you’ll ever need.

Top 5 Uses Of Hiking Knife

  • Peeling & Chopping The most basic use of a knife that I could think of. Suppose you are going for a 5-day trip, you need to cook food, make campfire and peel onions and other stuff
  • Preparing Fires If your hiking spot is damp much of the year, you can use your knife to make feather sticks by shaving wood or other tinder to start a fire.
  • Working With Cord For any trip, you need several types of cords like paracord or jute. Occasionally a line will get jammed you need to cut them.
  • Bushcraft It’s the art of creating necessary stuff using whatever you can find in the backcountry like splitting wood, sharpening, making a campfire, etc. For this, you need a fixed blade.
  • Self Defense Last but not least, self-defense. Small pocket knives won’t do any good though. But a 4-6-inch blade will sure come in handy.

Top 5 Best Hiking Knives to Buy - Review & Buying Tips

1. Ka-Bar Becker BK2 Campanion Fixed Blade - Editor's Pick

Ka-Bar Becker BK2 Campanion Fixed Blade Knife

Just like any other knife enthusiasts, I know a good knife when I see one.I loved the Ka-Bar Becker BK2 from the first time I used it. There is a reason why the Ka-Bar Becker BK2 peaked my interest and why I consider it as my top choice for hiking knives. This is American craftsmanship at its finest. The Becker BK2 is a marine corp. knife made for battle. The heavy-duty fixed blade filed knife is ideal for camping chores.

This is a chunky knife with features of a great cutting tool. It is a tool to carry with you to the outdoors for protection and cutting activities. It is a decent knife for anyone who wants to cut or chop something fast. It is made from some of the best materials and can be used by any outdoor fanatic.

This lightweight and durable knife is your perfect companion for skinning game, splitting kindling or even chopping onions. It has just the perfect size and thickness to allow you to cut deeply into things. The drop point blade shape with its versatile 20-degree angle gives you the ultimate cutting experience. It has just the perfect size and thickness to allow you to cut deeply into things.

Grivory handle with its ergonomic shape provides balanced grip for any outdoor chore. A knife isn’t complete without its sheath. Glass filled nylon sheath keeps your blade safe and sharp. The BK2 is truly one of the greatest survivals knives out there.

You can use it to split wood and even prepare a stack for some bonfires. With such amazing strength, it is the perfect knife for tough cutting tasks.

It is easy to store safely and to carry around to wherever you want to go with it, thanks to the hard shell black nylon sheath that it comes with. Nothing can come to your way that deserves to be cut that this knife cannot cut. Its cutting edge stays sharp for longer, and that is contributed to by its durability.

Pros

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    Features a hard shell nylon sheath
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    Made from high-quality material
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    Heavy duty knife
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    Strong and sturdy
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    Elegant design

Cons

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    No color variety

2. Fallkniven A1 Survival Knife Fixed Blade Knife

Fallkniven A1 Survival Knife Fixed Blade Knife

It takes an experience to realize what could have made the adventure better if it was included. Let's just face it. The Fallkniven A1 Survival Knife is the typical Swedish survival knife designed with various admirable qualities.

This is the kind of knife that you can use hard and constantly without losing its strength and quality.It has a simple and charming design that will make you look cooler in the outdoors. People love stylish but highly performing knives because they make you confident in your endeavors.

You can carry it with you to a campsite or take it along on hikes or even excursions. It can also stay with you at home for protection and survival in case you need to defend yourself. It has a modified drop point with a generous sweeping belly.

The swedge provide improved tip strength and penetrating capability. It amazes me how it can take devastating chunks out of anything that you put it to. It pounds through wood with ease and will stop at nothing.

Pros

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    Powerful cutting performance
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    High-quality material
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    Perfect grip
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    Strong blade
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    Sleek look

Cons

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    Not foldable

3. Schrade SCHF2 Extreme Survival One-Piece

Schrade SCHF2 Extreme Survival One-Piece

This knife has a design that any knife fanatic will love. It comes with a unique design, and which makes it an excellent cutting tool. It has a beautiful blade that makes it look like a small classy sword. With its waterproof hollow handle, this knife can be used in many places, both in the indoors and the outdoors. 

I find good for chopping and cutting tough items such as logs. You will be impressed by the quality of the handle too. It stays on your hand steadfastly so that you can cut everything with the required precision.

I've used to cut almost anything, including logs, ropes, brunches, and it is a real convenience for people who like to go camping, hiking, or to any other outdoor activities. Even if you were to protect yourself from dangerous animals in the wild where you are camping, this knife will be a great weapon.

It can cut a crawling snake into two like a joke. So, when you have this knife, you are safer that when you don't have it. It serves several purposes perfectly. It's like a small samurai sword that is designed with new technology.

Pros

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    Multiple carry positions
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    Strong blade and handle
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    Perfect length and size
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    Ballistic belt sheath
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    High carbon steel

Cons

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    Bulky when storing

4. ESEE 6P Black Fixed Blade Knife

ESEE 6P Black Fixed Blade Knife

I know a good knife when I look at it pretty closely. There is every reason to love the ESEE 6P Black Fixed Blade Knife if you know how to tell a good knife. It is innovatively designed to give you more than you can ever imagine in cutting. This knife is strong and elegant so that it makes you proud to carry it around.

And let other people see how classy and choosy you are when it comes to hiking gear and protection tools. This knife is made from 1095 steel, which is one of the best materials for making a strong and durable knife.

You will have to keep its blade properly lubricated if you want to enjoy its efficiency and dependability. This a true knife for the outdoors, but it is still fit for the indoors. It provides with a sharp, long-lasting edge that will require just a little maintenance to stay sharp and elegant and ready for any serious cutting task.

Pros

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    Made from the best materials
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    Perfect for hard use
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    Sharp, long-lasting edge
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    Light survival kit
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    Black powder coating finish

Cons

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    Rusts and stains if not well cared for

5. Coleman Folding Knife

Coleman Folding Knife

This knife is designed for the outdoors. It is a great tool for different types of outdoor cutting tasks. If you have this in your hiking gear collection, you can be sure that your hiking will be enjoyable and complete.

It is made from 3CR13 Stainless steel, which is why the blade is so strong and classy.

It cuts difficult items with precision. You can cut glass or rope when you need to. You can use it right out of the box because it comes sharp and ready to cut right from the box. I like how it is has a hollow design on the black G10 handle stone, which is unique.

Its high-quality stainless steel blade enables it to resist any hard corrosion. If you want a knife that you can use for outdoor camping and mission trip, disaster preparedness, or self-defense just in case, the CM1013 is the knife you need.

It is a spring assisted, an open folding knife that locks securely into place with the use of liner lock. The back of its handle has a stainless steel clip that you can use to attach it to your belt or bag easily.

Pros

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    Folds nicely for easy storage
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    Great for multitasking
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    Unique, elegant design
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    Good for camping
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    Labor-saving

Cons

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    Don't last

How to Choose the Right Survival Knife: 6 Things to Consider

Before you get into the wonderful world of knives, gallivanting in it while trying to find the best hiking knife, there are things you need to keep in mind. While there isn't a single knife that can fit the bill for everyone, there are traits that you should look for in a knife.

Functionality

Light backpackers prefer to use as less gear as possible. Take less do more. That’s the theme here right? If so, go for more functionality. If you want to do more than just cutting and splitting, go for something like the swiss army knife. Again, it all depends on how you want to travel. The best backpacking knife will be the one that meets your needs. You can also opt for the foldable ones as they tend to small and weighs less.

Handle

I know many of you don’t even care about the handle. It may turn out to be a costly mistake in the long. I can’t stress enough the importance of a handle. How you wield your blade, how it will feel, the grip, etc. are just a few important factors out of many. The handle is half of the whole knife. Its actual importance is also the same as the blade itself. Next time you pick a camping knife, make sure to pay extra attention to the handle.

Straight Edge Blades

One of the perks of having straight edge blades is that they are great for splitting wood and carvings. It comes in handy when you want to create a bonfire and split wood into pieces that make a good fire.

Straight edge is more versatile compared to serrated edge knife. They make better and more precise cuts through materials like metal and rope. Serrated knives have their perks too. But not as much as straight edge ones.

Knife Size

For comfort and safety, choosing the proper blade and knife size is important. We all have different hand sizes, and what I feel comfortable with might feel good to someone else. A handle should fit perfectly into your hands for the right leverage.

If the blade is excessively big, it becomes difficult to wield it properly. If it is too small, you risk hurting yourself. A good survival knife is about 10 inches when it is in a functioning position.

Sharp Pointed Blade

Sharp pointed blade provides the best stabbing potential. It is great for you if you like going on hikes and hunt on a regular basis. Its sharp point makes stabbing quick and easy. If you only use a blade for simple activities, then its point doesn't have to be the sharpest, but you still need to maintain the blade and point, so it becomes sharp when you need it.

Blade Material

Stainless steel or carbon blades are the most reliable. Carbon steel is much easier to sharpen and is known to be much stronger than stainless steel. Stainless steel is more rust resistant than anything else, which makes it the perfect choice for using in water or around humid climates.

Final Verdict

With so many of these knives out there, it’s not possible for me to test them all. However, after carefully sorting through some popular choices and actual usage, I was able to select only a few.

Again, it’s up to you to decide. Just make sure you’ve researched well enough to make your buying decision. I hope this helps. Make sure to check back for more knife related buying guides. 

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Brian M. Casey

Product reviewer & passionate blogger. Beside writing for this blog, I spend my time crafting research based contents for HuffingtonPost, Lifehacker & Forbes!

2 thoughts on “Best Hiking Knife in 2018 – Selected by Expert Advice

  1. First of all thank you for sharing this article, it was the moment because I had a hike for tomorrow and I really learned a lot, I had no idea that there were such models, personally I will opt for ” Coleman Folding Knife ” because it’s comfortable, Ideal for multitasking, for defense and also it has unique design. I am a big fan of such knives. Thanks for your suggestion I will create a good collection these days though.

  2. Having the best hiking knife will give one a great experience of a life time,i think i will rather go for a foldable one which sounds easy to carry about while camping. This is a great article, very informative , it has made me become more aware and knowledge about the different types of hiking knives and also about their durability. I will definitely recommend to my friends who lookes to go camping.

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