Whether you’re a devout outdoor enthusiast or a weekend hiker, you know the value of having the best hiking knife by your side. Like life, the outdoors is extremely unpredictable – so you need a knife that’s reliable and ready-to-go at a moment’s notice.
Whether it’s peeling an orange, cutting through tough vines, or stripping a shirt for an emergency tourniquet, outdoor knives have quite a weight to carry on their shoulders. In a serious situation, a good knife could be the difference between life and death, or it could simply be what makes your trip memorable.
If you’ve ever used a poor-quality outdoor knife that can’t hold an edge for more than one trip, you’re familiar with how frustrating it is. The last thing you want is for a dull or faulty knife to get in the way and stopping you from having a good time.
By the end of this guide, you’ll know what kind of features, performance, and durability you can expect at different price points, what type of knife best suits your needs and experience, and where to get one. Let’s dive in!
Top 7 Best Hiking Knife Reviews in 2023
We’ve carefully selected 7 knives based on their price, features, performance, functionality, speed, usability, and reliability. Our goal is to help you find a knife that’s just right for you. We want to be as ready as possible for the unpredictable, and (hopefully not) the unfortunate.
The knives we’ve chosen all have their strong and weak points, and we’ve done our best to show these to you. You’ll discover what’s unique about each knife, why it’s worth paying attention to, what type of use it’s best for, and what we did and didn’t like about it.
You’ll have a clear idea of what features are non-negotiable for you and how you can get the best possible value for your money. If you’re serious about finding the right hiking knife, write down 3-5 hiking knife features you think best represent your style and needs.
Write down how you’ll be using the knife and the type of situations you’re most likely to find yourself in. Use that list, along with everything you learn here in this guide to make the best choice possible. You’ll be well on the path to getting the perfect hiking knife for you! Let’s get into our best hiking knife reviews.
Grand Way Hunting Folding Knife
Here’s a foldable pocket knife with a great clip point blade that’s much longer than the handle. So how do you fold this knife into the handle safely? This one is actually a semi-folding knife, employing an extension in the handle that you can use to tuck the blade into.
After you swing the blade open, the extension goes into the handle again, preventing the blade from folding in. It comes very sharp out of the box and uses good-quality 440 stainless steel. The cutting performance is excellent, though you might need to hone or strop the knife relatively frequently to keep it cutting like new.
The ergonomic handle is made from metal, framed on both sides with satin polished rosewood that gives the knife another layer of aesthetic appeal. With the slightly lower and exceptionally sharp tip, this knife has great cutting and piercing power. You’re getting a versatile knife for the outdoorsman and one of the best hiking knives at this price.
- Ergonomic and easy to hold the handle
- Excellent cutting and piercing power
- Coated for extra corrosion resistance
- Comes with a nylon sheath
- Edge retention isn’t fantastic
- Screws on the handle tend to dig into the palm
RNS STAR Paracord Bracelet Knife
If you like out-of-the-ordinary knives and something unique and functional, here’s a tempting option. This is a wrist knife that acts as a sort of bracelet that you can flip open and use. It’s easily removable and the opening action is safe and fast enough to be reliable.
We think it’s a fantastic secondary carry knife as you’re not even going to remember it’s there half the time. You’ll find it fits on different wrist sizes well and it secures itself to your arm easily, making it quite a good emergency knife. The rope that holds the knife can take up 500lbs of weight without breaking.
It’s also a great gift idea, especially for young enthusiasts who haven’t cemented their style and taste yet. While the design is fresh and unique, this knife would make a handy (pun intended) addition to your outdoor toolkit. The blade isn’t very long, but what it lacks in size it makes up for in sharpness.
It comes ready to go right out the box and the grind is easy to match when sharpening and honing. Edge retention is fair and the steel has decent corrosion and rust resistance. Make sure you keep it clean between uses and you’ll have nothing to worry about.
- Lightweight, compact, and easy to use
- The very safe and secure blade housing
- Sharp cutting edge with excellent piercing power
- Unique design and effortless to carry
- The blade is a little small to use as a primary knife
- The rope is very hard to keep clean
Snake Eye Tactical Folding Knife
At 3.25” long, you’re getting the perfect amount of blade for a pocket utility outdoor knife. It’s coated for corrosion resistance and has a smooth dark appearance with a silver cutting edge. This helps you tell when your edge is getting duller and helps you to find the right grind when sharpening.
This is a very natural-looking knife with wooden inlays on the handle. The dark wood is treated to make sure it’s moisture resistant and keeps looking good as it ages. While this isn’t a spring-assisted knife, the opening action is fluid and snappy once you’ve got it into muscle memory.
You can whip the flipper with either hand, making this an excellent knife for when you’re hiking or on the go. There’s a reversible pocket clip that gives you plenty of mounting options. It’s has a decent balance between being tight and functional. You’ll also notice rough texturing on the pocket clip to help give it better traction.
You get an easily concealed knife and a fantastic compact choice for hiking and outdoor utility. It’s one of the best hiking knife options you’ll find on the market around this price. You’ll find it reliable and easy to get used to.
- Compact and lightweight
- Attractive handle and profile
- Easy to sharpen and maintain
- Durable and responsive opening and closing action
- Doesn’t come with a pouch
- Doesn’t come very sharp out the box
WEYLAND Outdoor Survival Knife
With its full-tang construction and durable handle, this knife immediately stands out as a durable and robust outdoor carry. A compact folding knife with this level of durability is worth considering if you’re an avid hiker or outdoorsman. Our favorite feature – and on that makes this knife especially well-suited to the outdoors – is the tanto-style tip.
It’s strong and gives the knife plenty of piercing power. Tanto-point blades can take quite a bit of direct pressure without buckling or bending. You’ve also got a serrated portion near the base of the blade. It’s exceptionally sharp and effective for rougher cutting such as rope, small branches, leather, and other tough material.
The blade’s spine also features a functional gut hook. It’s effective and easy to use thanks to the slightly curved handle. Flipping the blade over and using it with a different grip is quick and easy. You’re getting a top-rated best hiking knife that’s worth every penny.
- Full-tang while still being lightweight and compact
- Excellent value for money
- Has a gut-hook and a glass-breaker
- Great edge retention
- Not the greatest quality sheath
- The serrated portion is difficult to sharpen
Grand Way 10623 Hiking Knife
If an inexpensive hiking knife is what you’re looking for, then the Grand Way 10623 will serve you just fine. This spring assisted folding knife is very affordable, and for this price point, it performs quite admirably. The blade of this knife is 5cr15mov Stainless Steel. While it’s not premium steel, it’s still rust-resistant and moderately durable.
The v-grind on the edge provides excellent sharpness right out of the box, and the stonewash surface is very subtle and rugged. The handle on this blade is a lightweight G-10 over two metal liners. The liner lock is relatively smooth, as the users confirmed. With the ambidextrous thumb studs on the blade spine, you can open it up quickly.
While it’s a very straightforward knife, it’s going to serve you well on a hiking trip. The blade is sharp enough to handle light to medium cutting, and the handle’s ergonomic design provides enough leverage to work even when your palm is sweaty or wet.
- Quite a subtle and rugged-looking folding knife
- Wicked sharp v grind blade
- Lightweight G-10 handle
- Simple and reliable liner lock
- Equipped with a thumb stud for ambidextrous use
- Quite affordable
- The steel isn’t anything special, but that’s to be expected at this price point
Grand Way Fixed Blade Camping Knife
This is the first fixed blade knife we’ve looked at in this review. It’s crafted from durable and high-quality stainless steel, meaning it holds an excellent edge and adds essential corrosion resistance. You’re getting a treated and darkened stunning Pakkawood handle that’s bound down with steel rings for added robustness.
There’s a handguard at the butt of the handle and a finger guard where it meets the blade too – meaning you don’t need to worry about the blade slipping. We also loved the slight ergonomic slope on the blade’s spine near where it meets the handle. It has teeth for your thumb to grip for more aggressive and accurate cutting.
This knife is a great camping knife due to the curved cutting edge and sharp tip. It has excellent piercing power and good enough edge retention to last a couple of outings without needing to be honed or sharpened. The 420 stainless steel gives you respectable corrosion resistance and long-term durability. It’s not hard so you don’t need to worry about chipping the cutting edge.
You’ll get a free sheath with the knife – through it’s nothing special. The fit is decent and it does a good job of protecting the knife from external damage and offering you a couple of different mounting options. This is one of our top picks for the best hiking knife for the money. It’s versatile, reliable, and durable enough to earn its place in your outdoor kit!
- Easy to use and well-balanced
- Very durable
- Excellent curved cutting edge with plenty of cutting power
- Comfortable and ergonomic handle
- Quite heavy and bulky
- The sheath isn’t fantastic quality
Off-Grid Knives Outdoor Cleaver Knife
Veering slightly away from standard outdoor knives, here’s something that might catch your attention. It’s an outdoor cleaver with a paracord-wrapped handle. It’s a fixed blade knife with a lightweight and compact enough to carry around without a fuss. The slightly curved cutting edge and ridged spine give you plenty of gripping options and cutting power.
There’s also a sheath to protect the knife between uses and make it easier to port around on your hiking trips. With durable and resistant steel, this is a knife that can handle anything from cutting up a fish to stripping bark off a tree. It’s surprisingly versatile and worth considering if you’re okay with this design.
- Excellent value for money
- Lightweight and easy to use
- Paracord handle is easy to grip
- Long and sharp cutting edge
- Not everyone is a fan of paracord wrapped handles
- Sheath only protects the cutting edge
Finding the Best Hiking Knife for Your Expeditions
With the various knives available on the market, each of them is designed for specific functions. When you are going hiking, one of the tools you need to include in your camping gear is the best hiking knife. When it comes to these ideal tools, there are many factors you need to put in place before spending money on getting one. Here are some factors you need to check before getting the best hiking knife
Almost any material can be used to design a knife handle. And these days, synthetic handles are becoming increasingly popular, so natural handles have become scarce. One of the reasons why there is a demand surge for synthetic handles is because they have a non-slip grip, and they look stylish and tactical. Eventually, the handle material boils down to what you prefer.
Hiking knives’ materials come in different varieties. Some are made with high-grade steel, and some are used with metal coatings to boost durability. Another material commonly used is Titanium, and it is used as a coating to impact the base metal with strength and prevent rust.
Some manufacturers use ceramic or carbon coatings to prevent cracks in the metal. Hiking knives coated in steel would be more expensive than their counterparts, but you are assured of their durability.
Fixed blades are ideal for heavy-duty tasks like felling wood, deboning fish, and skinning animals. One advantage fixed blades give is their durability and practical structural design. Several good fixed blades are made from steel, which means the handle covers the lower part of the knife. This feature makes it impossible for the blade to snap out of the handle when you are working.
The most familiar blade shape for a hiking knife is the drop-point type. This blade shape allows for smooth piercing and slicing without affecting the blade’s quality. There are various designs of blade shapes, and depending on your need, you can get the fitting ones.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Q: How Vital Is a Knife in Hiking?
A: While hiking or backpacking a knife comes in quite handy. A hiking knife can act as an outdoor tool to start fires, work with wood, processing food, cutting a cord, etc. Anything can happen in the wilderness, so you’d be glad to have a knife by your side during an emergency.
Q: Is It Legal to Carry a Knife While Hiking?
A: It mainly depends on the laws of the specific state you’re living in. In most places, it is legal to carry a knife with a 3 to 4-inch blade. You need to look up the details regarding age restriction, concealed carry, and the type of knife you can carry.
Well done for taking the time to get informed. Get the list you made earlier out again, go back over any knives that caught your attention, and see what meets your needs. Hiking is a phenomenal and raw experience, so having the best hiking knife will go a long way to ensure you have an incredible experience – knowing that you’re covered by a reliable and consistent knife! Good luck and enjoy your next trip!