What is the best fixed blade knife? Fixed blade knives are not generally most folks’ everyday carry knife, but rather are used by folks for outdoor activities or as a survival tool. A fixed blade knife is better suited to tasks such as skinning game, cutting wood or even when constructing a shelter. While you will get fixed blade knives that are designed to be used as a tactical weapons, fixed blade knives are generally more intended to serve as a tool than as a weapon. Before we jump into which knife we think is the best fixed blade knife, let us just have a look at some key things you need to keep in mind when choosing the best fixed blade knife for your own specific needs.
Some things we keep in mind when choosing a fixed blade knife
We all differ when it comes what we like and what our specific needs are for a fixed blade knife. But there are some key things we should think about when looking to acquire a new knife.
How Do You Plan To Use It?
Sure, a knife is basically a tool to cut things with. But what do you specifically want to do with your knife? Should it be a defensive weapon? Do you need to skin animals with it when you go hunting? Or do you perhaps want it as part of your survival kit? Knives are usually designed with a specific purpose in mind. So to be able to pick the right knife for your needs, be clear on what you want to do with it first.
How Big Should It Be?
The size of the knife is a “big” factor in how you plan to use your knife. If you want to have a knife to use in the woods chopping through wood and bushes, you would probably want a bigger knife with a bit more weight behind it. However if you want a knife that you can carry on you everyday, you would want to go for something smaller and lighter that is comfortable to carry.
Like we said earlier, knives are usually designed with a specific purpose in mind. And the blade is also shaped for that purpose. For example, you will notice skinning knives often have a gut hook, while self-defence knives might have Tanto blades. You can see the types of blade shapes you might expect to find in the image below.
Besides the shape of the blade, you also want to pay close attention to the material that the blade is made from. A lot of blades will be made from stainless steel, which does not rust easily (so perfect for fishing, etc), but might not be as strong and durable as some of the composite materials that are available today. Often the material that the blade is made from plays a big role in how expensive the knife will be.
A third factor to keep in mind is whether it is a Tang blade. A Tang blade extends all the way into the handle to make for a very strong and sturdy knife. Thus there is less chance of the blade snapping off if you have to apply a lot of pressure to the knife.
It might seem obvious, but the handle of the knife plays a big part in how you will be able to effectively use a knife. If you want a knife that you can grip firmly, you should probably go with a knife that has a textured grip. If you need to use a knife that might often get wet or soaked in blood when you go hunting, you probably want a knife handle that is made from material that does not absorb moisture and is easy to clean.
Our Top Fixed Blade Knife Picks
Below we list and discuss 5 fixed blade knives that we really like. There will definitely be some folks who believe there are better knives that should in fact be called the best fixed blade knife. And they will probably have a good point too! The fact is there are a lot of of excellent knives out there and we only looked at 5 in this article. So if you want to tell us about a knife that you think is really excellent and is the best fixed blade knife, please feel free to share your opinion with us in the comments section. We would love to hear from you.
When looking for the best fixed blade knife, the ability of its blade to cut is paramount, of course. But the knife is of little use if it can’t be gripped and wielded properly. To that end, this Morakniv product delivers superbly, with a patterned, high friction grip for easy gripping and holding. This knife’s 4″ blade is stainless steel, which combined with its “no slip grip” makes this a safe and reliable knife for working in wet brush and outdoor weather, and in cold outdoor temperatures. This knife retails at around fifteen dollars. This knife’s sheath is sturdy and stays firmly closed even if the sheath is worn upside down on a belt. Some users however, have reported issues with the sheath’s belt loop detaching from the belt. This issue might not make this Morakniv product the best fixed blade knife for users looking for a knife to use outside of camp because of the potential of losing it.
This MTech USA product fits the best fixed blade category largely for its blade sharpness, which allows it to cut through rope, small trees, and brush upon removal from its packaging, making this a good camp utility knife and survival tool. This is one of the larger knives in our best fixed blade knife comparison with a 7″ blade, and an overall 12″ length. This knife is heavy to handle and because of its blade’s thickness, not appropriate for fine cutting. The MT-086 retails for around sixteen dollars and comes with a stainless steel blade. This knife’s sheath is reliable for carrying, although not of the best quality. Because of this knife’s “non-ergonomic” grip, some users have experienced minor hand injuries when using it to perform certain tasks. Glove wearing is recommended when using this knife for extended periods.
Smith-Wesson-CKSUR1-Bullseye-Search And Rescue Fixed Blade Knife
This entry in our best fixed blade knife comparison is a product from one of America’s best gun makers, and like this company’s firearms, it’s a well made, no frills product, with a 5″ non-reflective stainless steel blade, and a rubberized handle. This product’s non-gloss blade finish protects it, and makes this product a good best fixed blade knife candidate in that it can do everything from cut tree limbs to dig holes. This knife also features a forward leaning metal cross guard. Some users have complained of wobbling in this area. This is one of the more expensive products reviewed here, retailing at around twenty-five dollars. It also features one of the nicer included knife sheaths seen here, with interior lining and metal reinforcements.
Definitely a contender for our “best fixed blade knife award”, the Buck 119BR is a beautifully designed, very versatile knife that is equally suitable for indoor and outdoor work. In addition to basic utility and camp use, this knife is suitable for carving and detailed work. Retailing at sixty five dollars, this 6″ blade Buck knife is not one of the cheaper knives described here, but in addition to the legendary Buck name, the purchaser gets a well balanced, comfortable to use full-tang knife, with a blade that is fastened with metal retainers at the pommel to prevent wobbling. This best fixed blade knife contender also comes with an attractive sheath made of genuine leather, that both protects and serves as a safe knife transport. Some users have reported receiving mail order knives that have blemished handles and grooves.
Another nominee for best fixed blade knife, this import is a sturdy, effective knife for performing basic camp tasks like cording, rope cutting, skinning and hair removal, and tree limb and brush cutting. Despite the knife’s heavy weight, its balance is very good. This knife has a 6.5″ blade and a harder Kraton handle, which allows for comfortable holding and positioning for different hand sizes. This is the only knife reviewed here that can be used by either right or left handed users. The knife retails at around thirty-eight dollars and comes with a inexpensive but effective nylon sheath. It should be noted that some who have purchased through electronic retailers have noticed problems with blade, beveling, and grind. However, this appear to be more of a “batch” issue than a problem with the quality of the knife in general.
Which Knife Is The Best Fixed Blade Knife?
When reviewing options for the best fixed blade knife, the purchaser should consider where and how the knife will be used. All of the knives reviewed here are good general “practical” knives (i.e., they can be used for cording, rope, branch, and brush cutting and some minor butchering). There are some larger differences affecting handling, and in most cases, that is affected by handle construction and materials used. While these products run the pricing gamut and offer some name brands, those factors don’t seem to play much of a part in determining the best fixed blade knife here. The Morakniv-Companion-Outdoor-Stainless-4-1-Inch is a inexpensive, “no-frills” fixed blade knife, but it is also a sturdy, reliable camp utility knife, with a no friction handle that allows for safer handling. This makes it an especially useful knife for camping in cold, wet weather. The largest complaint of users is this knife’s sheath, which “pops off” belts without warning, usually when the user is moving from a crouching or sitting to a standing position or vice versa. This issue seems to result in more lost knives than a safety issue, however.
The MTech USA-MT-086-Hunting-Straight-Overall fixed blade knife is roughly the same price as the above described Morakniv, and is useful for performing the same around camp functions. This is also a larger and heavier knife with a longer blade, and a number of users, especially those with smaller hands, find this knife harder to grip and use. Considering what a fixed blade knife is used for around camp, its 7″ blade may be more than is necessary, and the greatest use of this knife may be for defense or as a deterrent. Another drawback to using this knife as a utility tool is its handle grip. Users have reported having skin rubbed from the palms of their hands when attempting to use this knife for wood chopping, etc. While this knife can certainly be used for such tasks, glove wearing while doing so is recommended.
The Smith-Wesson-CKSUR1-Bullseye-Search And Rescue Fixed Blade Knife is an overall good utility knife with a protected, non-gloss blade that comes in handy for digging without blade damage among the other functions that it performs. It also offers the nicest non-leather knife sheath among the products here. Some users have reported minor use issues here with this knife’s forward leaning cross guard, which at least gives the sensation of being loose when used.
The most expensive knife reviewed here, the Buck-119BR-Special-Fixed-Blade is also the most versatile knife that we’ve looked at. This knife can be used effectively for close work, such as carving and whittling, and comes with a superior quality sheath. Some online purchasers have complained of blemishing on the blade and grooves. It should be noted that these blemishes have no effect on this knife’s quality or effectiveness. But if purchasers are buying it for a display, they may want to consider a retailer where it can be examined before purchase.
The Schrade-SCHF9-Extreme-Survival-Carbon fixed blade knife is a little pricy for a “no-frills” utility knife, but this import is well balanced, and has the best handle material of the lot. The Schrade’s Kraton covered handle allows for a safer and more comfortable grip, and can accommodate more hand positions in working with this knife. The sheath it comes with is an unimpressive and inexpensive nylon affair, but then again, the sheath is the least of your concerns in purchasing a knife. What is more of a concern with this brand are some complaints from purchasers who bought this particular model from major online retailers and claim that the knife arrived defective. Inconsistent blade thickness, beveling, and grooving were the issues found when the knife was removed from packaging. While these issues appear to be limited to a single lot, purchasers may want to limit online knife purchasing to large retailers to guarantee replacement or refund, especially with imported products.
So which knife would we choose?
If the knife purchaser is looking for a inexpensive but quality fixed blade for basic camping and survival use, than the Morakniv is a good choice. But among the contenders reviewed here, the best fixed blade knife in terms of safety, reliability, handling, and versatility, is the Buck 119BR. While this is the most expensive of the knifes examined here, it offers superior workmanship, stability in handling, a wide variety in use options, and a lifetime guarantee from one of the leading manufacturers in the industry. So while the purchaser must offer up more money for this product, given how important a good knife can be for backcountry camping and survivalist living, the “edge” it offers is an investment well worth making.
What Do You Think – What Is The Best Fixed Blade Knife?
Did we not list some knives that some folks could rightfully argue is the best fixed blade knife? Of course! We are only human and there are many great knives out there. Add to that that everyone is different and would have their own unique preferences and requirements, it makes it impossible to identify a fixed blade knife that you can say is without a doubt the best fixed blade knife out there! So if you have some thoughts on a knife that you believe is in fact the ultimate fixed blade knife, please share your thoughts with us in the comments section below. We would love to hear from you!