hunting knife

Outdoor knives: test & recommendations

Welcome to our large outdoor knife test 2020. Here we present all the outdoor knives we have tested in more detail. We have put together extensive background information for you and added a summary of customer reviews online.

We want to make your purchase decision easier and help you find the best outdoor knife for you.

You can also find answers to frequently asked questions in our guide. If available, we also offer you interesting test videos. Furthermore, you will find some important information on this page, which you should pay attention to if you want to buy an outdoor knife.

The essentials in brief

  • Outdoor knives are suitable for anyone who works in nature and can safely handle a knife.
  • The suitable properties of a knife always depend on the specific application.
  • You may not carry knives that are longer than 12 cm in public.

Outdoor knife test: the ranking

1st place:

This knife is a fixed outdoor knife with a blade length of 9.8 cm. The blade is made of Sandvik knife steel, which makes it very sharp and durable.

Buyers particularly emphasize the sturdy handle that lies well in the hand and the good regrinding ability of the knife.

With a total length of 23.1 cm, the knife can be easily transported and easily carried on a belt. In addition, the knife is described as a very good all-rounder, which is suitable for any work outdoors.

You can find this knife in our Shop

Place 2:

This is a folding knife with a total length of 23.0 cm. The knife looks very high quality due to the steel handle and the titanium finish of the blade.

It is also equipped with additional functions, such as a belt cutter and a glass breaker.

When used, the knife impresses above all with its excellent handling. It is easy to grind and has a built-in fuse.

You can find this knife in our Shop

Place 3:

This knife has a 9.8 cm long, fixed blade. Overall, it is 22 cm long and has a stainless steel blade.

A very secure grip with a hand guard on both sides makes it easier to work outdoors. The knife is also suitable for use by young people.

You can find this knife in our Shop

 

Guide: Questions to think about before you buy an outdoor knife

Who is an outdoor knife for?

Outdoor knives are basically suitable for anyone who spends a lot of time in nature. Their versatile uses make outdoor knives the most popular all-round knives among nature lovers and survival experts.

 

Since knives can always be a weapon in any shape, outdoor knives are only suitable for users who pay attention to conscious and safe handling.

Basically, the knives presented here are only suitable for adults. However, there are alternative offers for children that encourage safe use.

Depending on the shape, size and properties, previous knowledge of operation and maintenance may also be required.

These outdoor knives are characterized by a rounded and not quite as sharp blade, as well as an ergonomic handle for children’s hands.

 

What can outdoor knives do?

At this point you should keep in mind that no knife can do everything. Outdoor knives can basically be used for many different uses, but different blade and material properties result in different advantages and disadvantages.
On the whole, these all-round knives can be used in many outdoor areas. The possible uses range from survival and bushcraft to trekking and camping.

Outdoor knives can be used as cut and shaping tools in a variety of ways in nature.

They are used in hunting – for breaking up animals – as well as in the forest and outdoor area for carving and woodwork as well as storage and trap construction.

 

What does an outdoor knife cost?

The cost of outdoor knives varies greatly depending on the material and range of functions. A rough classification of the costs is possible in the comparison of fixed knives and folding knives.

fixed knife $ 50 – $ 200
Folding knife $ 30 – $ 60

 

However, you should always bear in mind that a higher price is often accompanied by better quality. When buying an outdoor knife, you must therefore note that the durability of the material often increases with the cost.

Still, the most expensive model isn’t the best. Simply compare the knives according to your individual application goal.

 

Where can I buy an outdoor knife?

You can buy outdoor knives wherever there is outdoor or camping equipment. They are often available in online mail order and local retail stores.

Of course we offer you a selection of tested knives in our shop. Take a look at all our knives in peace and then decide on your favorite.

 

What are the alternatives to an outdoor knife?

In addition to universal outdoor knives, there is also a range of special knives that are designed for very specific uses.

outdoor knifes

You can see an exemplary overview of alternatives here:

  • Bush knives are also known as machetes. Your blade is longer and larger than that of a normal knife (approx. 30 – 50 cm). This knife is mainly used in agriculture and in tropical regions to hit plants.
  • Hunting knives, as the name suggests, are best suited for hunting. With a blade length of 10 – 30 cm, they are relatively large. Hunting knives are mainly used for gutting and skinning game.
  • Children’s knives are characterized by a rounded blade, which is usually no longer than 10 cm. In addition, they have a strong hand protection. Children’s knives are suitable for lighter outdoor applications, such as carving or light warehouse construction.
  • Rescue knives are special knives that can be used to rescue and rescue victims. These are mostly multitools that combine different functions. Areas of application include breaking windows and cutting belts.
  • Pocket knives normally have a comparatively small blade. However, these are multitools that often have 10 to 20 different functions. The use of pocket knives is suitable for daily use, as well as for camping and trekking trips. These knives can make everyday work easier.

You can also select a specific knife according to your application goal. But as soon as you plan several applications, as is the case with numerous outdoor activities, an outdoor knife is always best.

 

Decision: What types of outdoor knives are there and which one is right for me?

If you want to buy an outdoor knife, there are two alternatives you can choose between:

  • Outdoor knife with a fixed blade
  • Outdoor knife with foldable blade

With both types of knives you have a large selection of different materials and shapes. It depends on your intended use which model is best for you.

hunting knife outdoor camping

The handling, maintenance and use of the two different outdoor knives each have advantages and disadvantages.

Depending on what you prefer and what you want to use the outdoor knife for, a different type is suitable for you. In the following section we would like to make your decision easier.

 

What distinguishes a fixed outdoor knife and what are its advantages and disadvantages?

A fixed blade basically has many advantages because it has a high degree of stability. Furthermore, fixed outdoor knives often have blade protection that can reduce the risk of injury.

Thanks to their stability and blade protection, these knives are easier to clean than other models.

Another advantage of a knife with a fixed blade is the handle. It is ergonomic and is comfortable to hold, even during longer and more strenuous work.

In addition, there is usually a blade guard at the bottom of the blade that can help protect your fingers.

 

Advantages

  • stability
  • Easy to clean
  • Ergonomic handle
  • Possibly. Blade
  • protection

Disadvantage

  • Higher weight
  • size
  • Noticeable when worn
  • Risk of injury

 

What is particularly negative about this knife is the weight and size. This can make transportation difficult and the knife is immediately noticeable when you carry it.

The weight can also be an advantage for heavy work, since it can support your own strength when cutting.

Of course, the often very long and robust blade increases the risk of injury, since the blade, unless it is secured in a case, is always open.

What distinguishes a folding outdoor knife and what are its advantages and disadvantages?

Folding knives have the advantage that they are smaller and lighter than fixed models. In addition, when folded, they offer no risk of injury and are easy to wear on your belt.

Advantages

  • size
  • Weight
  • low risk of injury when folded
  • Can be worn with ease

Disadvantage

  • Locking mechanism is not always reliable
  • Not suitable for longer work
  • Difficult to clean
  • No blade protection

 

The locking mechanism of a folding knife can prove to be disadvantageous, which often causes problems and can become a security risk.

Furthermore, the handle is not suitable for long work and the handle is not separated from the blade by a blade guard.

Furthermore, the foldable blade is relatively difficult to clean and therefore less suitable for outdoor cooking.

 

Purchase criteria: You can use these factors to compare and evaluate outdoor knives

In the following we would like to show you which factors you can use to compare and evaluate outdoor knives. This will make it easier for you to decide whether a particular outdoor knife is suitable for you or not.

In summary, these are:

  • Blade length / blade thickness
  • Blade shape
  • Blade material
  • ,Bevel
  • Knife shape

 

Blade length / blade thickness

The blade length is important for certain uses, such as hunting. Blades shorter than 12 cm are sufficient for average outdoor and survival use.

Carrying longer blades is also not permitted without good reason according to the German Weapons Act.

Longer blades only make sense for warehouse construction, but this can also be easily carried out with smaller knives using certain techniques.

If you plan to work a lot with coarse wood, you should think about an ax.


The blade thickness depends on the application you are planning. A blade thickness of over 3 mm is basically only suitable for woodwork, such as chopping wood.

If you want to use the knife more when camping, thinner blades are enough. These are ideal for cutting, carving and for smaller handicrafts.

Blade material

Knife blades can consist of different types of steel. Most of them are useful and differ mainly in their corrosion resistance and their sharpenability.

Carbon steel is particularly suitable for more experienced users, as it is particularly hard and cut-resistant. In addition, the steel is very easy to grind, which can be an advantage in nature.

Bevel

The three standard grindings for outdoor knives are as follows:

  • Flat grinding
  • spherical grind
  • Scandinavian cut

The thinner and finer the blade is sharpened, the sharper the blade. This sharpness can only be achieved at the expense of stability under load.

Finer work, such as carving, can be carried out well with the flat grinding. The flat grinding and the Scandinavian grinding are also perfect for beginners because they are easy to regrind.

 

knife

Knife shape

The knife shape has a big influence on the handling of a knife. This means that the weight distribution of an outdoor knife changes depending on the material distribution.

Different knife shapes are for example:

Knife shape

Full Tang: The knife is made in one piece from the tip to the end of the handle.

Hidden Full Tang: The knife extends from the tip to the end of the handle, but is narrower in the handle than the handle.

Tapered Tang: The knife extends from the tip to the end of the handle, but decreases in width in the handle.

Partial Tang: the knife does not reach the end of the handle. It has the shape of the handle.

It is best to try out many knives to test which shape suits you best and is ideal for your application.

 

Trivia: Facts worth knowing about outdoor knives
What are the rules for carrying and owning knives?

There are a large number of knives that are generally prohibited. The following applies in many countries:

Butterfly knife
Drop knife
Fist knife (exception: hunter)
Jumping knife (certain versions are allowed – pocket knife privilege!)


The following knives are also prohibited from carrying:

Folding knife with lock and one-handed blade
Knife with a fixed blade that is over 12 cm long
Cutting and stabbing weapons (e.g. daggers and jumping knives)
In order to avoid nasty surprises, please always inform yourself about the legal provisions that affect your knife before buying.

 

How do you properly care for an outdoor knife?

With the right care, knives last a lifetime. Basically, you either have the option of using home remedies or using some special remedies.

Rapeseed and sunflower oil are particularly suitable as home remedies for cleaning the blade and handle. The blade can also be refreshed with scouring milk.

There is a wide range of care oils and cleaning pastes for special care. In addition, there are rust removal and rust prevention agents.

We have our recommendation for you here, you can buy it in our shop:

You can find this amazing tool in our Shop!

This is the more traditional way to sharpen your knife. It takes a little longer, but it is cheaper. We have this product in our Shop.

Anti Rust Knife Oil

We have this product in our Shop.

 

How do you sharpen an outdoor knife?

Depending on the material your outdoor knife is made of and how you use it, you will have to sharpen the knife sooner or later to keep it fully functional.

You should note that with increasing sharpness, the blade becomes thinner and the load capacity decreases accordingly. So only sharpen the knife as far as you really need it.

There are three ways to sharpen your outdoor knife:

Grindstones: Grindstones have different grits. You have to sharpen the knife on several stones, since the grind becomes finer with a higher grit. There are also combination stones that have two grits.

Peel leather: Peel leather works similarly to grindstones, but can sharpen the knife with a razor.

Grinding system: Grinding systems contain various, combinable elements for grinding knives. Grinding systems make work easier because they automatically maintain the correct angle.

 

In this case too, you simply have to try out which solution you can work with.

 

Thank you for reading our article. We hope you can choose such a good knife for you. Please write in the comments which knife you chose and why!

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