Top 10 Picks for the Best Backpacking Knife

Anyone who’s spent time backpacking knows how important knives are for food preparation, building shelter, self-defense and other tasks. If you’re not sure which one to buy, here’s a guide to the top 10 backpacking knives.

Best Backpacking Knife Reviews

1. Gerber Bear Grylls Ultimate Serrated Knife

Gerber Bear Grylls Ultimate Serrated Knife

The Grylls Knife is for the backpacker who wants an all-around utility tool. With its serrated blade, the knife can cut through many materials and objects with ease. It also has a lanyard whistle in case of an emergency. 

What we liked

  • The knife is versatile and can be used for camping, backpacking, hiking and other activities.
  • The Grylls Knife has a heavy-duty sheath so the knife does not damage any items in your backpack.
  • The serrated part of the blade is ideal for cutting rope and other materials.
  • Its sheath comes with a diamond sharpener and fire starter, enhancing the knife's versatility.
  • The knife handle is ergonomic so it is comfortable while being nonslip.

What we didn't like

  • The knife is somewhat heavy.

2. KA-BAR Full Size US Marine Corps Knife

KA-BAR Full Size US Marine Corps Knife

The KA-BAR Marine Corps Knife is not just for backpacking, but also for survival. Originally designed for use in World War II, this knife is built of 1095 Cro-van steel, and the nice thing about this blade is you can sharpen it quickly, and it’s durable too.

What we liked

  • The blade is the same quality as that used by the military.
  • The 7-inch blade is good for camping, hiking and backpacking.
  • Wiping the sheath in olive oil makes it waterproof.
  • The blade is constructed from Cro-van steel and is stronger than the average knife.
  • The knife has a comfortable ergonomic handle.

What we didn't like

  • The blade coating might wear out with extreme use.

3. SOG SEAL Pup Fixed Blade M37N-CP Knife

SOG SEAL Pup Fixed Blade M37N-CP Knife

The SOG SEAL Pup has a 4.75-inch, partially serrated blade that’s built specifically for camping and backpacking. The blade also has powder coating for extra toughness. With the knife built to military grade standards, the SOG SEAL Pup is built to last.

What we liked

  • The light weight makes it ideal for backpackers.
  • Its Zytel handle is nonslip, so your grip remains firm even if it gets wet.
  • Its sheath is made from heavy duty nylon and is MOLLE compatible, allowing you to attach the sheath to a pouch or backpack.
  • The blade has undergone cryogenic heat treatment, so it is more durable than the average hunting knife. 

What we didn't like

  • The blade’s serrated section is difficult to sharpen.

4. Buck 110 Famous Folding Hunter Knife

Buck 110 Famous Folding Hunter Knife

The Buck 110 possesses many of the fine qualities you’d expect from the brand, and its stainless steel is ideal for backpacking and camping. In addition, the Buck 110 is light enough to carry in your backpack.

What we liked

  • The stainless steel blade is good for heavy-duty camping and survival applications.
  • The tip has been reinforced so you can use it for detailed work and carving.
  • The knife’s folding mechanism has been enhanced, making it easy to open and close.
  • There is a safety lock built in that ensures the blade doesn’t suddenly close when you’re using it.
  • The handle’s easy grip design makes the knife comfortable to hold.

What we didn't like

  • The bolster handle adds to the knife’s weight.

5. Morakniv Companion MG Carbon Steel Fixed Blade Outdoor Knife

Morakniv Companion MG Carbon Steel Fixed Blade Outdoor Knife

The Morakniv Companion’s lightweight design lends itself to camping, and the textured grip allows for a more comfortable hold. Another benefit is the blade can be sharpened on any surface and is suited for various outdoor activities.

What we liked

  • The blade is constructed from 1095 carbon steel, giving it the strength necessary to for survival tasks.
  • The blade has been honed for extra sharpness, so it holds up to heavy cutting, shredding and piercing.
  • A genuine leather sheath is provided for safe storage.
  • The knife is lightweight.
  • The Morakniv Companion has a comfortable ergonomic handle.

What we didn't like

  • The edge isn’t as smooth as on other knives.

6. BlizeTec Survival Knife With LED Light

BlizeTec Survival Knife With LED Light

The BlizeTec Survival Knife is designed as an all-around tool, suitable for cutting ropes, breaking glass and chopping seat belts. This isn’t just a backpacker’s knife, but is also made for survival in the woods and wilderness.

What we liked

  • The knife has a LED light built in for nighttime backpacking, and it includes a fire starter as well.
  • Its stainless steel blade has been fortified so it can withstand extensive use when backpacking.
  • A seatbelt cutter and glass breaker are included, highlighting its readiness for survival.
  • The straight part of the blade can be used for slicing, cutting twigs and shaving, while the serrated part is for sawing and rope cutting.

What we didn't like

  • The serrated blade makes it ineffective as a wood baton.

7. Gerber Paraframe Stainless Steel Mini Knife

 Gerber Paraframe Stainless Steel Mini Knife

The Gerber Paraframe has been specially designed for survival, backpacking and hiking. The stainless steel blade is sharp and has good edge retention, plus it is one of the lightest knives we have come across.

What we liked

  • The knife is just 6 inches long and the blade is 2.22 inches, making it one of the most compact knives available.
  • The knife has a lightweight, comfortable, nonslip handle.
  • The stainless steel blade retains its edge even with extended use, making it practical for backpacking.
  • The Gerber Paraframe is built for backpacking and hiking, but it is easy enough to be used at home.
  • The knife is very lightweight. 

What we didn't like

  • The closing and opening mechanism could be easier.

8. Buck 119 Special Fixed Blade Knife

Buck 119 Special Fixed Blade Knife

Buck is known for their high quality knives, and the 119 is no exception. This knife is designed to fit in your backpack, and with its 6-inch fixed blade, it can be used to cut, chop, create shelter and perform other tasks.

What we liked

  • The sheath is made of genuine leather and fits the knife snugly.
  • The Buck 119 has a lifetime warranty, a testament to its quality.
  • The blade is made of 420 HC steel, which provides edge retention and extra strength.
  • The Buck 119 blade has been specially treated so it’s able to cut with power.
  • The handle is constructed of Cocobolo Dymond wood, adding to its durability.
  • Its brass pommel is useful for crushing objects. 

What we didn't like

  • The handle feels somewhat bulky.

9. KA-BAR Becker BK7 Combat Utility Fixed Blade Knife

KA-BAR Becker BK7 Combat Utility Fixed Blade Knife

The BK7 is built mainly for fighting and self-defense, but it is also a capable backpacking knife. The sharp, durable blade is suitable for outdoor and wilderness activities. We also like its comfortable ergonomic handle.

What we liked

  • At 12.75 inches, the BK7 is small enough to fit in any backpack without consuming a lot of space.
  • The sharp blade is good for slicing meat, splitting wood and cutting branches.
  • The BK7 is lightweight , so you’ll be able to carry it easily.
  • The BK7 knife has a nonslip handle so you’re always in control of the blade.
  • The sharp edge and tip makes the knife ideal for fighting. 

What we didn't like

  • The knife is a bit heavier than others in its class.

10. TAC Force TF-705 Series Assisted Opening Tactical Folding Knife

TAC Force TF-705 Series Assisted Opening Tactical Folding Knife

The TF-705 is a good example of an all-around knife, good for combat, hiking and survival in the woods. The TF-705 is pre-sharpened so it is ready for cutting branches, log splitting, chopping trees and sawing wood.

What we liked

  • A pocket clip is included on the handle so it is easier to carry.
  • The TF-705 can be used to open bottles, making it a good companion while you’re camping.
  • The ergonomic handle is comfortable to hold and won’t wear you out.
  • The sharp blade is suited for food preparation and even sawing bones. 

What we didn't like

  • The switch mechanism is not as robust as on other backpacking knives.

Final Verdict 

Even if you are new to backpacking or have been hiking for years, the need for a quality knife cannot be stressed enough. The good news is you don’t have to put up with an inferior product, as all the products above deserve to be called the best backpacking knife. 

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