There’s a saying that goes, “Dog is man’s best friend,” and it’s true, except if you’re a sailor. If you’re a saltwater fanatic, then a rigging knife might be the one true friend you need. Tying guided knots or cutting lines at the drop of a hat requires precision and urgency.
Sometimes there’s no time to think, you simply have to act, and so a reliable companion strapped to your waist might just save you some heartache. Rigging knives can be used in many other fields, like construction, stage rigging, and fishing, but for the most part, used by sailors. So we’ve found what we think might be the best rigging knives in the market right now; let’s have a look!
Top 7 Best Rigging Knife Reviews in 2023
When we decided which knives we thought were best, we used a couple of criteria covering all the essential factors that might make up a brilliant rigging knife. We dived into the materials that the knives were manufactured with, and we sorted through the many types of blades and handle variations.
The sharpness retention and anti-corrosion factors might have been the top points for deciding the best of the best. The multi-purpose kit had several different variations, and so we searched for which combination of tools would offer the most diverse range of functions possible. Here are our seven best rigging knives:
Davis Instruments Rigging Knife
This knife from Davis Instruments is stainless steel, affordable, and multi-tooled. It has a knife blade, marlin spike, shackle key, screwdriver, and a lanyard loop. The diverse operations of this knife are perfect for sailing expeditions. The stainless steel blade and housing make the knife highly resistant to rust and corrosion.
The blade should also be durable and practical for tightening shackles and fly screws, so you can put a lot of tension on the tools without the risk of them snapping. A lanyard loop is a great asset to have onboard a sea vessel, especially if you will be working over water. You can loop a small piece of rope through the loop and wrap it around your hand or upper arm so that if the knife slips out of your hand, you won’t lose it to the deep abyss below.
- The knife’s build looks tremendously sturdy and might not give you any trouble as far as durability goes.
- It doesn’t rust or corrode, thanks to the high-quality stainless steel.
- Tools open easily and freely, as long as it is well taken care of.
- It is very affordable, considering its multi-purpose efficiency.
- The blade doesn’t lock when open, although it has a strong spring holding it up.
- It is high maintenance, and cleaning can take a long time, especially if you get seawater on it.
Perkin Knives Handcrafted Rigging Knife
This knife has a lovely look to it, with a brown leather sheath and wooden handle. More importantly, it is one of the best-made rigging knives we’ve come across. When something is handcrafted, it tends to be made with extreme care and precision. In this case, the knife is of very high quality. It has a hardness rating of 56 – 58, meaning that it will be very durable and have decent edge retention.
The edge will stay sharp for a long time, but you might have to sharpen it a couple of times after vigorous use. This fixed blade is very simple to sharpen and clean and is made from stainless steel, making rust a problem of the past. The wooden handle adds weight to the knife and enhances its overall balance, making single-handed use easier, although your hand will most likely get tired quite quickly.
- It comes with a steel spike with a place on the sheath for ease of storage.
- The blade is very sharp and durable.
- It has a full tang handle, giving it extra strength.
- The knife is quite long, providing more leverage for heftier jobs.
- It has a fixed blade and thus has a limited number of uses for various rigging jobs.
- It is only double riveted, meaning that the handle might start to wiggle around after a while.
Myerchin Knives Captain Pro Rigging Knife
In our findings, this one stood out as one of the best sailing rigging knives we found. It is made from high-end materials as well as added protective finishes. The steel is stainless with an HRC hardness rating of 58, which gives this knife an incredible sharpness retention factor. However, it sacrifices slightly on durability.
This knife won’t have to be sharpened for a good while if appropriately used and taken care of well. The likelihood of rusting is slim, but you should just take the necessary precautions anyway. It has a partially serrated blade edge, giving it additional versatility where sawing is required. Having said that, sharpening this type of blade can be a nuisance.
It has a steel spike at the back end of the knife for rope work and is made from the same steel for increased strength. The handle is made from G10 composite synthetic material, which is extremely hard, so you probably won’t have to worry about the handle being the weak point.
- The steel is of very high quality, being made in Germany for a marine intended use.
- The knife is a partially automatic mechanism, making opening the blade very easy.
- It is small, easy to handle, and won’t get in the way.
- It comes with a gift box and additional nylon sheath for safety purposes.
- The blade is less durable than you might want for more stressful tasks.
- This rigging knife doesn’t fully embody the typical “Captain’s Knife” essence.
Myerchin Generation 2 Rigging Knife
All in all, this option is a great rigging tool to have out at sea. It is made with titanium and stainless steel, giving the overall build a solid finish. The blade and marlin spike is made from German marine steel, sitting around an HRC of 57, perfect for seafarers. It has good sharpness and edge retention, as well as decent durability.
The handle is made from titanium, which is impressively sturdy, so it’s pretty unlikely that you’ll be disappointed in that regard. The grip design has deep grooves to make a firm hand grip, although the titanium handle can be a little slippery.
The blade is partially serrated, giving it increased function with more stressful cutting jobs, and the marlinspike is easily accessible and very useful for untying knots, etc. The knife is nice and compact, making it easy to cart around, and it has a comfortable clip to fasten to your belt.
- It has a great frame lock design that keeps the tools from bending out backward during use; this increases the knife’s lifespan hugely.
- It has a very hardy marlin spike that is nice and smooth to avoid cutting rope fibers.
- The partially serrated edge adds some extra fuel to the knife’s cutting ability.
- There’s an extended warranty attached to a purchase.
- The blade touches one of the handle screws very slightly if nudged.
- Some of the internal parts of the knife are sharp and could be uncomfortable when using.
Bund TSR Rostfrei Sailor Rigging Knife
This rigging knife review is of a German-made spike locking design. The marlinspike locks into place, giving it superior strength to most other types of spikes. It is made from German marine steel, which is very resistant to rust and seawater decay and has an HRC of 56.
This means the blade would be very durable and have good edge retention, but be mindful that you might have to sharpen it once in a while if you want it to cut efficiently for long. It has a thick blade offering you maximum strength under force, and the thick handle design is excellent for grip and leverage.
The handle is made from black Delrin, which has some weight to it but is perfect for durability. Additionally, the grip design is simple to avoid any uncomfortable situations while using. The opening mechanism is manual, not automatic, so ensure that you regularly clean the knife’s moving parts. Otherwise, it might start to jam up.
- The marlinspike locks when opened.
- A Spike lock on the underside of the knife can irritate when using the primary blade.
- The lanyard loop folds away nicely and is in a very convenient place keeping out of the way.
- It is heavy, which gives the knife more balance.
- The blade does not lock when open.
- There is no serrated part on the blade, only a straight edge which can make cutting some types of rope difficult.
Myerchin Crew Rigging Knife
This crew knife is one of the best multi-tool type rigging knives that we looked at in our research; many Navies and Coast guards use these knives. They are extensively known for their durability and functionality when it counts, and many high-quality manufacturers seek inspiration from their design.
The blade and spike are made from German marine steel, having an HRC of about 58, giving it excellent edge retention and sharpness, which is often needed onboard fast-paced vessels. The handle is made from wood which undergoes a resin treatment to make the wood highly water-resistant, making the handle very hardy.
Each tool is made of stainless steel and is very resistant to saltwater corrosion and rust. The screws that hold the knife together are also made from the same material. It has a simple design that is very easy to handle with one hand for effective and efficient use and is also small and compact to make it effortless to carry around on your person 24/7.
- It is precision made in Germany, with high-quality steel.
- It has tremendous edge sharpness retention
- The wooden handle provides a strong frame for the main tools.
- It has a three-quarter partially serrated edge, making cutting efficient.
- The small wire bale is flimsy and can get uncomfortable if used for long periods.
- The locking mechanism for the blade tends to wear out quite quickly.
Five Oceans Multi-Tool Rigging Knife
If you’re looking for something more on the budget side of things, here’s the best cheap rigging knife on our list. This knife comes in two styles: serrated or straight edge. The serrated type is more expensive and tends to be more helpful, but the straight edge should be able to do the basics as well.
The knife is made entirely from steel, and it looks to be unpolished, giving it a nice rough finish and more grip. The tools include a sharp blade, spike, shackle key, bottle opener, and lanyard loop. These tools are all made with stainless steel and are slightly thicker than usual to boost stability.
The knife is quite long, which gives it more room to maneuver your hand around obstacles. This feature also makes it more balanced. The tools do not lock into place, but they are tensioned with a spring to hold them in place. This knife is manufactured in China and from Chinese steel.
- The knife has four different tools, which make it very useful on a boat or outdoors.
- It is very affordable
- The tools open and close smoothly without movement restriction.
- It is effortless to maintain and has bigger slots that are simple to reach when cleaning.
- The unpolished steel can sometimes rust, even though it is supposedly stainless steel.
- The blade is quite dull and needs to be sharpened regularly.
Which Knife Is Best for You
We’ve looked at what the best-rated rigging knives are, what details make up their value, and how they all differ from each other. Now let’s go through a few tips or pointers to help you with that final decision. Decision time might not be the best place to be in sometimes, but we’ve made it easier; read on.
The blade makes up the most significant tool section of a knife, so it might be a good idea to double-check that the steel it is made out of is high quality and stain-free. This key factor and the HRC(Hardness Rating) will determine how sharp the blade is, how well the edge will keep its sharpness and how prone it is to damage.
A well-built, solid handle goes a long way with knives because this part houses the tools and takes the brunt of most of the forces applied to the blade. So if you have a weak handle, then the knife might not last long. So it might be best to go with something like Carbon fiber, or synthetic polymer like G10 or otherwise wood is a good option.
Be sure to check the grip’s shape to see if it’ll be comfortable for your intended use. There’s not much worse than a horrible handle that causes you pain.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Q: Is a Fixed or Folding Rigging Knife Better?
A: A fixed blade will give you peace of mind regarding durability and sturdiness, but a folding blade can house multiple tools and has an increased variety of uses.
Q: How Do I Sharpen a Partially Serrated Blade Edge?
A: To sharpen a serrated edge, you need a specialized sharpener to sharpen each serration individually; this process can be rather tedious.
Q: Can I Use Any Steel Point in Place of a Marlinspike?
A: As long as the spike isn’t sharp or edgy, it’ll work. But if it has any sharp points and isn’t completely smooth, it will most likely cut fibers in the rope that wasn’t supposed to be cut.
We’ve done what we can, so it’s up to you now. Hopefully, you are now well versed in the details of rigging knives, and maybe soon, you’ll be an expert rigger. Get what’s best for your needs individually; if you can go more expensive, that’s great. But even if you can’t spend a lot, it’s ok; there are great knives for cheap. After you’ve done the hard work of finding what’s best for you, all that’s left is to get out there and test it out.
Put it to use and if it doesn’t work like we said it might, then let us know. Suitable quality materials and manufacturing are lovely, but they only go so far, so take good care of your equipment. Put into use good storage, cleaning, and maintenance practices, and these knives might just last forever. So what is the best rigging knife? You decide!