Are you looking for the best knife for a specific activity? In this article, we are going to go through all of the best ones for any application and show you why they are so great.
Here's the deal:
The best way to think about knives is to think about them like tools. For any type of task or job, there are certain ways of manipulating things in your environment that are the most efficient way of completing the work.
Building on that point...
That is where the right type of tools come into play to help maximize your ability to do that specific type of activity.
Knives have been around in our history since mankind first started sharpening rocks.
With today's technology, you can get excellent knives for all sorts of specific tasks at fantastic prices and amazing quality.
The knives you can buy these days can last you a lifetime, and even be passed down to future generations.
When choosing the right knife to buy, there are many things to consider. We are going to go over the criteria that you should look at so that you are fully informed.
But that's not all...
We are also going to show you the best of the best in each activity type that you might find yourself in so that you know which knives you should get for your situation.
First, let's look at our summary table that gives us a big picture view of the winners. Next, we'll jump into the criteria, and then we will go into detail of why each knife won for its activity type.
Disclosure: Some of the links in this article are affiliate links, where I make a small commission at no extra cost to you.
Best Knife Summary Table
Different Types of Knives
There are many different types of knives in the world. Different blade designs, different handles, and different materials all combine to create an extremely large amount to choose from.
Let's look at a quick list of the different types so that we can get a big picture understanding.
Folding knives, also known as folders, are what most people are familiar with.
These kind of knives are very portable and usually fit well inside someone's pocket. They are great for general use type work, and come in varying sizes.
Fixed blade knives are also very common. You run into these often in the kitchen.
People that do more processing type of work outdoors also need fixed knives to do things from carving up wood to skinning an animal and processing meat.
Specialty is a good category for most other knives out there. They are usually designed for specific types of tasks to make those jobs much more efficient. A great example of a specialty knife is a knife for filleting fish.
There are many knife manufacturers in the world. Some brands are great while others are not. Many people become brand loyal in their life after experiences with several different knives.
Some of those experiences are good while other experiences can be bad. A person will remember which brands gave them which kinds of experiences.
Brand loyalty also runs in many families across generations. Many brands that have been around for a long time, even some more than a century, have developed outstanding quality in their design and manufacturing. This creates many loyal customers based on trust.
Let's look at a few of the more popular brands that you may of already heard about.
Buck has been around for quite a while and started out as a great family business. They make high quality knives that are known for their characteristic classic look including a brown wood and brass handle mix.
Ka-Bar has been making knives for over 100 years. Their most famous design is the United States Marine Corps (USMC) fighting knife that has been in service since World War II. They make many great knives and are most known for their tactical blades.
Morakniv is a Swedish company that is well known worldwide. They have been making high quality knives for a long time. Their well thought out knife designs are manufactured with efficient processes, driving down the cost of their products.
Founded in 1974, Kershaw makes many knives that are superior quality. They are best known for their great selection of pocket knives, which last a long time and perform well.
Best Knives For Each Activity
If you find yourself in a survival situation, it means that something has happened and now you need to do what you can to live through your current situation in the wilderness.
Your intent is to make it out of nature alive. Therefore, your knife will need to be able to cover a wide variety of tasks to serve you well.
Serving as many tools wrapped up into one knife is challenging, which is why there is such a big debate on the best one.
You need a knife that can process wood, whether it be splitting, cutting, carving, or creating tinder. The knife must also be able to process animals. Not only that, but it must also serve you well for many other possibilities, including self defense.
For these reason, the Ka-Bar Becker BK2 is your best choice.
Check out this video review of the Becker BK2.
The purpose of a tactical knife is either self defense or combat. Both of these activities have similar requirements.
You need a strong blade that is the right size in length, width, and thickness.
You also need a proper handle, as well as a hand guard to protect your hand and also keep it from sliding off the handle onto the blade.
The Buck Knives 119 Special is the knife that meets these requirements well. It has been around for many wars over the decades, and is a favorite of veterans and current soldiers alike. The 6 inch full tang blade, great handle, and guard combine to create a very nice knife.
The Buck 119 Special is a great knife for self defense. Check out the video review below.
When it comes to hunting, the typical activities include regular duty camp work for processing wood for a fire.
There is also food processing tasks that include regular food prep, but also may include skinning and dressing animals.
A superb all around knife for these type of jobs is the Buck 110 Folding Hunter. It has been a favorite of hunters for a very long time, and continues to be a top choice.
It is a folding knife that has a 3.75 inch long blade and can handle almost anything in a hunting scenario.
The Buck 110 Folding Hunter is an awesome choice for many things including hunting and camping. Below is a video review of it.
For skinning, there are many factors that come into play including the size of the animal, the skinners skill level, technique, and experience.
Many people go for a more specifically designed knife for this task to make the work more efficient and effective.
The Schrade Sharpfinger is a great winner here.
It has a 3.5 inch curved blade perfectly designed for skinning. It has a great handle and is designed for precision work.
The Sharpfinger has been around for a while, so it has many fans in the skinning community. Here is a video review of it below.
Filleting is a different type of task that requires specialized tools.
To clean a fish means that you need a longer blade with a slight curve to help do the job cleanly and efficiently.
The Rada Cutlery R200 is up for the work and does it well. It has a 7.125 inch long blade that is perfectly suited.
Its rubber handle has a great and comfortable grip that won't let your hand slip. Made from the best materials, many people love this knife.
A pocket knife is a general use tool that excels at basic tasks like opening boxes, cutting, and removing splinters.
A big requirement is that the size is not too big so that it fits well in the pocket.
There are many brands out there for pocket knives to choose from.
This knife also has a built in bottle opener and glass breaker in case those features are also important to you.
It comes in many color options and has an unbeatable price.
An electric knife is a great addition to any kitchen.
Whether you need to carve up a turkey or process a lot of meat, an electric knife can help do a lot of the job for you and save you time, energy, and work.
The Cuisinart CEK-40 Electric excels here as one of the best. With its two 7.75 inch blades for meat and bread, it makes quick work of your cutting tasks.
The blades are also stainless steel to help last a long time.
For camping, the typical tasks are wood processing like batoning, cutting, carving, and tinder creation.
Food preparation is also popular. For some people, the activity might also include skinning and dressing animals.
The Morakniv Companion Heavy Duty is the best choice here. It is strong enough to baton wood as well as other wood processing, but also great at food preparation.
It has a 4.1 inch blade and a great handle, where both are very high quality. The price is extremely affordable, making this a great buy for everyone.
For taking the meat off of bones, you need a longer blade that has some flexibility to it to help assist the process better.
Having the right knife here designed for this activity will save you a lot of time, as well as yield much more meat.
The Victorinox 6-Inch Flex Boning is a fine option. It has a 6 inch long blade that is made out of stainless steel.
The handle is well designed to give you many great experiences in the kitchen for years to come.
Buying Guide Tips
When choosing the right knife for you, remember to think through exactly what you need the knife to do. There are many different types of activities, and depending on which one you plan on doing, can determine what type of knife that you need.
Some key things to look for is the blade length, shape, and material.
You want a high quality blade that is designed for the job and that will also last you a long time and hold up to the work you will be doing with it.
Another factor is the handle. Something that really ruins a good knife experience is hand, wrist, and arm fatigue. That is why the handle design is critical.
You also want a knife that won't slip out of your hand if things get messy so that you can keep safety as your top priority.
If you plan on traveling with your knife on your person, then look to see that the knife has a good sheath. If you want to carry it on your hip, make sure it has a good belt clip.
There are also many aftermarket sheaths that companies sell if you need one that is more heavy duty or better fits your style.
Remember to always research your state, county, and local knife laws to make sure you can carry a specific knife on you or in your vehicle.
In conclusion, there are many amazing options out there to choose from when selecting the right knife. It is easy to get overwhelmed quick, but just remember the different things we covered in this article and you will be fine.
The most important thing to consider is the type of activity you need the knife for and that will help determine the knife that you get.
In this article, we covered the different criteria to consider in buying a knife. We also looked at the top knives for many different types of activities.
Another thing to consider is the steel that the knife is made from which is a big factor in the performance of the knife.
These top knives were carefully chosen out of many that were considered based on their performance, quality, price, and customer satisfaction. I did all of the research so that you don't have to, and I hope that saves you a lot of time.
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