A hiking knife can be a useful tool in many situations, especially when camping in the great outdoors. You never know when you might need to use one. And if you are going to purchase one then an ordinary pocket knife won’t do. It will work in your favor to find a high-quality, durable, and sharp hiking knife. The list below is all about choosing the best hiking knife and includes details on each product.
Top 10 Best Hiking Knife List
1. ESEE 6P Black
Grey linen Micarta scales and a black polished blade with a plain cutting edge option in the ESEE-6P fixed blade knife. A brown-molded coyote sheath, clip pad, paracord, and cord lock are included. A fine balance and fit that is light for its scale are expressed by the ESEE-6 architecture. On your side, the Micarta handle feels at home and the rounded pommel creates a lanyard attachment hole. The ESEE-6 can function as a main desert survival knife or can be mounted in a tactical setting in your modular duty-carrying device.
- Overall Length: 11.75″
- Blade Length: 6.50″
- Blade Material: 1095 Steel
- Handle Material: Gray Micarta
- Sheath: Coyote Brown Molded Polymer
Sample Customer Review… ESEE knives have quickly become my favorite. I love the color schemes, durability, design, and quality. They can chop branches and stay pretty sharp…sharpenings aren’t required very often. The blade and handle on the 6P are slightly thinner than those of the ESEE 5, and the knife overall is not as hefty or meaty.
The knife is awesome, but the sheath… lacks the quality of those that came with the other ESEE’s I have (3, 5, Candiru). For a knife of its size (and price tag), the quality of the sheath should be that of the 5, and not the 3 or the Candiru Still, it’s a great knife.Read more at Amazon.com.
2. Spyderco Delica 4
With full-flat field blades, they are now available in a number of new handle shades. In new vivid tones, including blue, green, brown, gray, and purple, their FRN (fiberglass reinforced nylon) handles are available. Bi-Directional Texturing for slip-free tactile grip is molded on the handle’s back.
Dual skeletonized stainless steel liners are within the handle that stabilizes the knife without the extra weight and double as an anchor to connect external and internal components by producing more power and rigidity. The blades with a smaller, extremely refined cutting point and a wider 13 mm opening hole are full flat-ground VG-10. Slip-prone hopping is applied to the blade’s spine.
- VG-10 Stainless Steel Blade
- Sturdy Back Lock Mechanism
- 2.88″ Blade
- .51″ Round Hole
- 4.25″ Handle
- Multiple Variations Available
Sample Customer Review… I’m not a big knife collector, just have a few that caught my eye. That said, I have handled quite a lot of brands and styles lately. Spyderco is a brand that really caught my interest due to a large number of positive reviews. I tried a couple of other models that were either too big or I just didn’t like the look or feel. However, I was enamored by the spydie hole and just really wanted to find one I liked with this trademark feature.
The Delica was one of the last that I tried but it just fits perfectly in my hand and the blade rolls open with a very satisfying click. The price seems a bit high and their prices certainly have raised over the years but I feel the quality is worth it. Now that I have found one I really like, I get what all the excitement about Spyderco is about. It makes me smile each time I pick it up. Enjoy!Read more at Amazon.com.
3. Victorinox Swiss Army Classic SD Pocket Knife
Features include: 2.45-inch cutter, Phillips screwdriver, screwdriver bottle opener, pliers and a corkscrew-this multi-tool can be used if you’re out in the woods or doing housework. Stylish toughness is provided by Swiss Manufactured stainless steel construction encased in polished black ABS scales. Be prepared for whatever your travels carry — the SwissChamp pocket knife is like getting a toolbox in your pocket with a tool for almost any mission.
- Swiss-made 33-function pocket knife
- It contains pliers, scissors and a glass magnifier
- Height: 1.3 in
- Weight: 6.52 lb
- Length: 3.6 in
Sample Customer Review… I got a used Swiss Champ, saved about $15-$20, and you can’t even tell it’s used. Shipping was fast, and the knife is great! All the tools are in excellent shape and work as they should. I have many other SAK’s, but this one is by far the largest with the greatest assortment of tools. I love the magnifier and was blown away by how powerful and clear it was for being plastic.
Better than most glass ones I own. Also, the pliers have a great wire cutter that cut a pretty thick piece of wire (considering the size of the cutter) with no problem at all. Very clean and neat cut.Read more at Amazon.com.
4. Opinel No8 Stainless Steel Blade Folding Knife
The Opinel No8 pocket knife, quick and elegant, sharp and strong, is an international bestseller. For a picnic, you can tuck it into your bag, hold it in your workday lunch desk, carve it into charcuterie, cheese, or a crisp apple, or white a campfire s’mores stick.
With the Virobloc safety rings, locking the blade when opened or closed is easy. Two pieces of rings, one set, and one sliding allow you to protect the blade by twisting the outer ring. You will ensure your knife lasts for years to come by following a few basic guidelines.
After each use, you can hand-wash or clean your sword, wipe the blade dry, store it in a dry position, and keep it out of damp conditions. Expect the wooden handle to swell or slightly contract with use; wood is a living medium that can be influenced by temperature and temperatures in the environment.
You can use the “Opinel knock” to release the blade somewhat if the blade feels trapped. On a regular basis, you can grease the metal pieces, including the Virobloc locking mechanism.
- Length: 7.59”
- Weight: 1.6 oz
- Material : Stainless Steel
- Blade Length: 3.28”
Sample Customer Review… Lightweight, sturdy, extremely sharp out of the box, and comfortable handle. This is my first Opinel knife but can honestly say no further need to explore others. I first saw this knife in a Bespoke Post Box but, found it cheaper here. Glad I did. I carry it on my belt every day. I use it for cooking in the kitchen, carving sticks, cutting rope and cords, nylon straps.
I use it every day for anything and everything. And, no. need to sharpen it after one month of daily use. I suggest buying the item with a sheath so you can quickly attach it to your belt. And the price is awesome.Read more at Amazon.com.
5. Benchmade 353 Bugout
The Bugout was intended for the new outdoor explorer, combining in an incredibly slim and ergonomic kit the lightest, highest-performing fabrics.
- Mechanism: AXIS
- Action: Manual-opening
- Blade Steel: CPMS30V (58-60 HRC)
- Blade Length: 3.24” (8.23cm)
- Blade Thickness: 0.090” (2.29mm)
- Open Length: 7.46” (18.95cm)
- Closed Length: 4.22” (10.72cm)
- Handle Thickness: 0.42” (10.54mm)
- Weight: 1.85oz. (52.45g)
Sample Customer Review… I am a collector of knives and other EDC items. I have to say this has taken the place of my Spyderco paramilitary 2.. don’t get me wrong, I still swap out all my EDC stuff but this knife just fits the bill perfectly for EDC. Very lightweight. Sits as low as possible in the pocket. The point is perfectly center when closed. “bugout” would not be the word I would use to describe this knife. A bugout knife IMO would be a strong fixed blade. But the name aside. This is a perfect everyday carry small task folder. Quality is top-notch. Not to mention, it’s from their “built-in USA line.” I love it. BUY IT.Read more at Amazon.com.
6. Spyderco Dragonfly 2 – ZDP-189
An H-1 blade option named the Dragonfly 2 Salt, the Spyderco Dragonfly 2 is now offered. The mid-size blade, ergonomic handle with a front-finger option, and spine cusp make the Dragonfly a best-seller. A grasping hand fills the blade-to-handle geometry and tension points, making you feel like you’re chopping with a much bigger knife.
Its Fiberglass reinforced nylon handle has a Bi-Directional Texturing’ grip pattern. The exact placement with the widened Spyderco Round Opening Hole pivot makes the opening/closing smooth. The blade comes in a PlainEdge or SpyderEdge configuration and is hollow-ground for high cutting efficiency.
- Length: 4 inches
- Weight: 1.12 Oz
- Blade Material: Allot Steel
- Blade Shape: Clip PointBlade Edge: Flat
Sample Customer Review… Great little knife. I purchased this for the purpose to carry in areas that had blade length restrictions (museums, ballparks, etc. ). The knife was very sharp out of the package, it opened a sealed envelope as if it weren’t sealed at all. I could see how this knife could meet the needs of an everyday carry for some. Personally, I find the Delica model to be more on the line of EDC length for me.
This knife, although small, has a nice handle that provides a firm grip, and the curved area of the blade, right behind the signature Spyderco hole, provides more handling security by placing your thumb there. I have two Enduras (one stainless), a Manix Lightweight, an Endura, and this Dragonfly. They are all great knives and I would purchase this again if necessary.Read more at Amazon.com.
7. Spyderco Native 5 FRN in LC200N
For savvy tactical knife consumers, Spyderco’s Native Lightweight has long been the go-to cutting instrument. Combining an ultra-lightweight fiberglass-reinforced-nylon (FRN) handle, a low-profile black finish, and an intense SpyderEdge cutting edge with the innovative engineering of the Native 5 model, the fifth-generation Native 5 edition of this design lifts the bar even higher.
The full-flat-ground blade of this knife is machined from stainless steel CPM S30V powder metallurgy and has a durable Diamond-Like Carbon (DLC) non-reflective coating. Its SpyderEdge cutting edge, especially on fibrous materials, provides intense cutting strength. It also provides an index-finger option for a forward-positioned grip that enables increased power during thorough cutting activities.
- Full Flat Grind
- 0.50″ Round Hole Diameter
- 2.95″ Blade
- 6.95″ Overall Length
- Back Lock
- Various Serrations and Handle Colors
Sample Customer Review… It is the best pocket knife I have ever owned and I’ve owned a lot.
The last best knife was also a Spyderco native, older version
This one has a better combo blade, better clip, better handle, but still has that awesome spot on the blade for the index finger to have great control for carving.
Super lightweight / Super sharp / Holds and edge / Hardly ever do I lose it / Super reliable knifeRead more at Amazon.com.
8. ESEE Candiru
The Candiru is an ugly little parasitic fish native to the River Amazon. Much like the knife, it is named after, the fish is small, but both are tough as nails. Skeleton frame structure, of carbon steel covered with 1095 paint. This knife is built to be the ideal package or hidden carrying knife for lightweight survival. It contains a sheath of molded polymer.
- Cutting Edge Length: 2.0”
- Handle Length: 3.125”
- Blade Style: Drop Point
- Weight: 1.7 oz
- Max Thickness: .125”
- Overall Length: 5.13”
- 1905 Carbon Steel
- Removable Handles
Sample Customer Review… This is by far the smallest knife I own. Small, but very sharp and durable. I don’t have large hands and I can only get three fingers on the handle, but this is still a fantastic little knife. It stays snug within the polymer sheath (which is a bit wide) and removing the knife takes a hard pull. A good, firm push keeps it in place with very little jiggling or movement. I own two ESEE knives and they make an excellent product. They’re expensive but worth it.Read more at Amazon.com.
9. Gerber Paraframe Mini
The Mini is the smallest of the eight Paraframe series knives and is based on the same frame-lock concept. It’s a wonderfully simple open frame knife with a lightweight, quick-to-clean, fine-edge blade that opens easily. The Paraframe Mini is what a tiny regular carrying folder should be, made with a sleek stainless steel handle and a clip for safe travel.
- Overall Length: 5.25″
- Blade Length: 2.22″
- Closed Length: 3.07″
- Weight: 1.4 oz
- Lock Type: Frame lock
- Blade Style: Clip point
- Blade Material: High carbon stainless
- Handle Material: Stainless steel
Sample Customer Review… Love this little knife. It’s so sharp I have a nice new scar on my thumb from it lol just be careful as always. My favorite thing about this knife is it’s so small I can put it in my pocket and pretty much forget about it. It doesn’t jab your leg when you sit down and doesn’t get in the way when you stick your hand in your pocket. It’s also very easy to use which is good.Read more at Amazon.com.
10. Fallkniven u2
This is the world’s first folding knife with a laminate powder steel tip, Super Gold Powder Steel, SGPS, the industry breakthrough. Powder steel, in tandem with professional knifemakers, is highly expensive and difficult to deal with, and requires sophisticated equipment.
The benefit of this steel lies in its excellent preservation of the edge: today there is absolutely nothing to compare. The slender handle is made of sturdy composite material, making it light and comfortable to hold the knife.
The knife is fully symmetrical with blade grooves on each side and is as easy to use for right-handers as for left-handers. No unexpected surprises are provided by the conventional Lockback feature, but it locks the blade with a separate secure click in its open position.
- Blade Length: 64 mm
- Overall Length: 86 mm
- Blade Material: SGPS
- Handle Material: Zytel
- Item Weight: 1.28 oz
Sample Customer Review… I carry the U2 in my pocket every day. I use it for cutting fruits, plastic, cardboard, and foam. The U2 slices through them all like butter. The SGPS laminated steel is light and yet so strong. I usually put my thumb on the top of the blade when I use it and can feel its sturdiness. There is a modernist look about it.
The black handle is plastic and light, thus greatly reducing weight (vital if it’s for everyday use). It oozes class and chic. And if feels so good to hold, as though it was molded for your hand. I have the Fallkniven F1 too and I strongly recommend the product.Review from KnifeCenter.com.
Buying Guide: What to look for when choosing the best hiking knife
Hiking is the perfect activity for those who are adventurous. However, outdoors including dangers and one should carry a hiking knife at all times. Choosing the best knife for you depends on a variety of specifications and must be done with a lot of consideration because your life may depend on it.
Folding vs Fixed
While Folding blades are more compact and more convenient to use, fixed blades are the better option due to a variety of reasons. They have longer durability, are quickly accessible, and overall more reliable.
The type of materials used is also a very important factor in choosing the best knife for you. Carbon will increase the blade’s hardness. Nickel will improve corrosion resistance, toughness, and hardness. Chromium will improve wear resistance. Molybdenum will improve hardness, corrosion resistance, and tensile strength. Vanadium will improve wear resistance and hardness.
The Blade Edge
The blade edge should be sharpened easily and stay sharpened for long periods of time. There are three types of blade edges: plain, serrated, or combo.
Plain/Flat Edge: The flat edge is the most common type used for hiking. It proves to be the most versatile type. It does not maintain its sharpness as well as a serrated knife but it is easy to sharpen yourself.
Partially Serrated/Combo: The serrated edge is best for cutting durable things such as firewood or rope. However, sharpening must be done by a professional to cut it back to factory state sharpness.
Blade Tip and Shape for Hiking
- Drop-Point: This is a multipurpose shape for efficiency. The only drawback is its lack of a sharp point.
- Clip-Point: One edge is plain and slightly curved at the tip while the other edge is usually serrated. It is excellent for piercing and hunting but the point is thin and fragile.
- Spear-Point: A double-edged symmetric blade with spear-like properties hence a great knife for stabbing. The tip is strong but you will not have the slicing properties of the other two knives.
The handle of your knife is very important as it is what you are in contact with yourself. Feeling comfortable with the handle could be the difference between life and death. Some common materials used for handles are;
- Wood: Strong and aesthetic but easily worn out by water.
- Metal: The main metals used are Aluminum, titanium, and stainless steel.
- Plastic: It has a natural grip and is popular for hiking knives. It is affordable but may be susceptible to slipping.
- Glass-Reinforced Nylon: It is a cheap, durable material that comes in different textures. It can be very durable so little maintenance is required.
The weight of a knife is important depending on what you need. The recommended interval is 23g to 660g. If you are looking to do activities that require a heavier knife, such as firewood cutting, get a heavier knife. For daily activities, a 2oz knife should do the job.
The sheath will affect how you handle the knife as well as how functional it is. There are a variety of different sheaths depending on where you want them on your body. You can have it on your waist, leg, or even connected to your belt.
Your Perfect Knife
Now that you know all the information on these knives, it’s time to pick out the perfect knife for you! The best hiking knife will be the one that fits your needs the most and what you make it out to be. Good luck finding the perfect match — we know it will be very useful during your camping trips!
Written by Brittany Beh; Contributors: Tammy, Ciaran Carbery-Shaha, Katherine Roberts, Anthony Hylton, Michele Wilson