(This site is reader-supported and we earn commissions if you purchase products from retailers after clicking on a link from our site.)
Have you thought of enjoying a fishing adventure, camping, or a long hiking trip? One of the highly essential things to you is the best backpacking knife. However, most of the backpackers forget to take their knives while packing their bags. Backpacking knives are much useful during various situations.
Why buy backpacking knives?
The knives, intended for ordinary purposes, meet the backpackers’ basic needs. However, you can find specialized knives with high stability and strength, and they help you to do some special tasks. For instance, the backpacking knives are the best choices for splitting firewood at the outdoor site. You cannot cut these woods with the thin blade, made of inferior quality materials.
6 Best backpacking knives of 2021 Reviews
We have reviewed 6 backpacking knives from. Have a look at all the features of these knives to choose the right one.
Opinel Stainless Steel Everyday Carry Locking Knife – Best cheap backpacking knife
Opinel has offered one of the reliable and sturdy backpacking knives for you. Its unmatched design has made it attractive to the users. As one of the regular backpackers, you may invest in this knife. However, you can use it in your garden, on your table, and at any other site.
Opinel has used stainless steel for the blade of a knife. The special Sandvik 12C27 modified steel has provided a durable design to the knife. The presence of chromium has made it anti-corrosive. The design constitutes the carbon content of a minimum of 0.40%. In every blade, you can find the stamp of Crowned Hand.
Stainless steel is common to all the knife blades of Opinel. However, there is a variation of color in the handles. You can find Olive, Bubinga, Beech, Engraved Boar Beech, Oak, and African Chaperon handles. The color of the handles ranges from pink to yellow. But the overall look of the knives is homogeneous and uniform.
Materials for handle
For most of the knife handles, Opinel has used beech wood. It is a durable wood that makes your knife long-lasting. The manufacturer has taken most of the woods from sustainable French forests.
Virobloc Safety Ring
It remains tightly fitted to the knives, and it has two parts- sliding and stable. It helps you in locking the blade in a closed position.
- No maintenance needed
- Blades with high strength
- Stylish handle
- The lock system is slightly stiff
Our reader George pointed out that “Opinel wooden handles are prone to swelling when wet, making the blades almost impossible to open — this can be reduced by applying petroleum jelly around the pivot. Opinel also sells a plastic handled model (with a built-in whistle), which will not have this problem”
He also added that “Opinel makes the same knife in multiple sizes with the No. 8 being the most common, but Nos. 6 through 10 are good alternatives, depending on the user’s hand size.”
Victorinox Huntsman – Best Multi-Tool Backpacking Knife
It comes with several other small tools that an avid outdoorsman or a daily user requires. It comes outfitted with scissors, blades, wood saw, corkscrew, reamer, toothpick, can opener, cap lifter, wire stripper, key ring, multi-purpose hook, and tweezers.
This Huntsman knife is a full-fledged, versatile pocket multi-tool featuring a compact design ideal for hiking, trekking, camping, and beyond. It is also a treat to carry it as a daily companion in urban areas. It is neither too small nor too thick; it has the right size.
With it, you stay prepared for almost any occasion. There are two blades in it; one for simple and sterile tasks and the second for general and heavy-duty works. The larger of the two is ideal for culinary use.
The included saw blade is perfect for bushcraft projects. Do not misguide yourself by looking at its small size, as it is truly a giant in terms of performance! The saw is impressive and durable. At home, the saw is useful for different tasks such as cutting the lumber and pipes.
The added pair of scissors makes it easy to trim through blister parcels, cut loose threads, and add on to personal grooming. Then comes the handy multipurpose hook that helps with pulling oven racks or moving hot pots away.
It is also useful for hauling heavy objects with small handles. Your imagination is the only limit here. Regardless of the issue, chances are that this huntsman makes you face it with its 15 integrated functions.
This is the reason why this Victorinox Huntsman can go wherever you go, provided the law allows you to do so. The knife is made using high-quality 420 stainless steel and has a chic ABS fiberglass housing in which the handle resides. You also get a lifetime warranty apart from unsurpassed functionality.
Alternatively, you could also try Fieldmaster, Hiker, Camper, Farmer, Pioneer, One-Handed Trekker from Victorinox, which are also excellent backpacking knives as suggested rightly by our reader George in the comment section.
Morakniv Companion Fixed Blade Outdoor Knife – Cheap fixed blade backpacking knife
For any type of outdoor trip, you may take this knife with you. You will surely find its use in different situations.
The knife is available with a handle of various colors, including black, cyan, desert tan, gray, green, magenta, military green, navy blue, and orange.
Blade of the knife
Sandvik 12C27 stainless steel is applied to the design of the blade. This hardened blade is useful for food preparation, carving, and different other purposes. The use of Swedish steel has made this blade sharp. It is a better material than carbon steel. You will have no rusk issue in the future.
The patterned grip gives you very high friction, and you can hold it comfortably in your hand. You will have better control over the use of a knife. In the cold and wet conditions, you can easily use this knife.
The overall length of the knife is 8.6 inches, and the size of the blade is 4.1 inches. The thickness of this blade is 0.1 inches.
The colorful sheath includes a belt clip, and this sheath keeps your knife secure. The presence of the sheath also makes it safe for you to carry the knife.
- A longer and sharper blade
- High quality, attractive sheath
- Limited lifetime warranty
- Comfortable grip and better performance
- Corrosion resistant
- The level of sharpness has to be higher
Morakniv Companion is available in a Heavy Duty (HD) version with a thicker blade and larger handle swell, that some may find less comfortable as pointed out by George in the comment section.
Spyderco HoneyBee SS PlainEdge Knife
We have chosen it as one of the best backpacking knife models. This tested knife will surely serve the purpose of most of the backpackers.
Material for blade
The manufacturer has used the high quality, resilient materials for designing the blade. It has 3Cr stainless steel to make every blade. Thus, you may include this knife in your cutlery set.
The overall length of the knife in an open position is 3.625 inches. In the closed position, its length is 2.063 inches. The thickness of the blade is 0.078 inches, and the diameter of the hole is 0.234 inches
Handle and overall design
The handle of the knife is also made of stainless steel like that of the blades. There is a Slip Joint lock, integrated with this handle. Spyderco has introduced a product series, known as Slipit. For safety and comfort. The manufacturer has created this design, and you can open the knife using a hand.
The knife is clip-less and includes a lanyard hole. On the handle, you can find the Spyderco bug logo, applied with the laser engraved technique.
- Micro-sized Slipits
- Sophisticated and reliable
- Flat-ground blade
- Very sharp blade
- The hole helps in accommodating key-chain or necklace-chain
- Too much small
Kershaw Leek Pocket Knife
As one of the pocketknives, this model works best for the backpackers. This stylish and classy looking silver, colored knife adds value to your investment. With a weight of 3 oz., this knife is highly portable. Let us have a look at its other features.
Material and size
Kershaw has offered you a versatile knife, having a blade of 3.5 inches. The manufacturer has used 14C28N Sandvik Steel for this knife. The edge retention capacity, corrosion-resistant feature, and durability have made this knife unique.
Glassbreaker tip and pocket clip
These are two useful features of the knife. You have various options for carrying the knife. There is a reversible pocket clip, helping you in carrying the knife with tip-down or tip-up position. You may also carry the knife on your side.
Kershaw has applied a unique bead-blasted coating to retain the aesthetics of your knife. Due to this special coating, you can find a very smooth matte surface. There is a blend of aluminum oxide and glass, and it results in the variation of color. The knife looks stunning, and it performs best for all purposes.
SpeedSafe Assisted Opening
You can find the torsion bar for taking the blade out of this knife’s handle. The specialized opening system helps you in faster, safer, and smoother deployment. With a slight push of your thumb, you can overcome torsion bar resistance. After opening the blades smoothly, you can lock it into its place confidently.
- High-performing backpacking knife
- High-quality finish
- Easy and secure opening and closing system
- One-handed flipper
- Finger protection.
- Slippery handle
Benchmade – Mini Barrage 585 Knife
Benchmade has presented you with a uniquely designed backpacking knife. With high functionality, this knife has become a very popular product to the users.
Best quality knife
The blade, made of 154CM stainless steel, is very tough. The knife is integrated with Valox handle, having high stability and strength. Thus, for your everyday use, you can choose this knife. There is no risk of rust on the design of the knife.
This is a mini-sized Barrage 585 knife, and you can open it very fast with one of your hands. The black-colored handle looks much stylish.
It is comfortable to use the knife for any type of task. You can find a lightweight, smaller knife from Benchmade. You can hold the handle of this knife and do your work very efficiently. As there is a reversible pocket clip, you will find very high accessibility. The design also includes a lanyard hole.
The thickness of the blade is 0.100″, and for the handle, it is 0.57″. The length of the blade is 2.91″.
- Includes Lifetime Warranty
- Drop-point blade
- The best tool for your outdoor trip
- One-handed opening
- Standard type clip
- Slight heavy knife for EDC usage
How To Choose Best Backpacking Knife
Lots of brands have introduced their backpacking knives with different sizes and designs. Let us guide you on how to buy the best quality backpacking knives.
To purchase the right backpacking knife, you have to focus on the following factors.
Blades of the knife
The material, applied for the blade, is a vital factor to the buyers. The manufacturers use various materials for blades.
Stainless steel can be the best choice due to the low maintenance needs. In most of the steel blades, you can find carbon content. However, the percentage of carbon is different in every product. The high-quality stainless steel does not have rust issues.
One of the interesting facts is that the softer steels quickly become sharper. However, they are not much resilient. The harder steels have high durability, and you may not be able to sharpen them without effort.
Another material used in the blades is titanium, which does not have any corrosion issue. However, the best option for you is stainless steel.
Design of the blades
Backpacking knives come with blades of various designs and shapes. There are fully straight-edged knives. However, in a few cases, the knives have serrated blades. The knives, having the straight edges, are very easy to sharpen.
While buying the best backpacking knife, you may choose one that has the drop point blade. This blade remains in a downward direction from the knife’s handle. The top section is slightly wider. Another type of knife blade is the clip point blade. At its tip, you may find a slight curve. That is why the tip remains sharper and narrower.
The length of the blade
It is another factor, on which you have to focus on buying the backpacking knives. The longer blades are practical options for the hunters. You may apply a longer stroke with your knife. The smaller blades are the right choice for cutting the thin objects. The size of the longer ones maybe 5 inches. However, the smaller ones have a length, ranging from 2 inches to 3 inches.
Size of knife- Closed and open position
To choose the knife size, you have to think of how and where to store the item. The blade sheath knife is easy and safe to carry. You may also buy the smaller knife that is foldable. Most of the brands mention the knife size in the closed and open positions. You have to check out these details to pick the right product.
Handle of the knife
The size of the handle and grip style- these are the two most relevant factors to you. You have to test out these features for choosing the knife. The manufacturers use the wood or steel for these handles. In the case of the wooden handles, you may find a variation in colors. The handles are made of oak, beech, and various other types of wood.
It is one of the standard features of a backpacking knife to retain the position of the blade and to keep up its stability. The locks of the knife can be of different types.
- Liner Lock –You can find small metal-made liner in the frame, holding the knife blade in an opened position. You have to push it to a side for releasing the blade.
- Frame Lock –A small frame can slide behind your blade. Use your thumb for pressing the lock and for releasing the blade. You can close the knife with one of your hands.
- Back Lock –There is a metal, present at the handle’s backside for holding the knife in an open position. This lock remains much stable. However, you have to use both of your hands to close the knife.
- No Lock –Tiny backpacking knives have no space to include the locking system. You have to use this knife rightly to avoid any risk.
FAQ on Backpacking Knives
What are the uses of your backpacking knife?
You may use this knife to open the food packet, cut the cord, slice the wood or fire sticks, cut moleskin, and clean nails.
What are the various types and styles of the backpacking knife?
The backpacking knives are of different designs, intended for various users-
The knives, having this type of blade, are much heavier. However, their blades are of high quality. You can choose them for more durable and stronger blades. In most cases, the manufacturers include sheath with this knife. You cannot rotate, fold or switch the blade of this knife. The length of the blade steel reaches up to the ending part of the handle. This knife may have a clip point or drop point blade.
Most of the backpacking knives have a folding design. While you are looking for a small and compact product, you may invest in it. However, you may find their difference in grinds, thickness levels, and blade lengths. Some of these foldable knives have larger blades. You can easily open their blades using the thumbhole or protruding tab.
Although your pocket may accommodate the folding knives, there are special pocketknives. These are smaller than your folding knives. They can come with a number of blades.
When should you use the backpacking knife?
Lots of camping enthusiasts buy the best backpacking knife to use it for any outdoor purpose. You can cut the rope, cord, or the wood pieces for fire. For the food preparation also, this knife is much useful. You can buy the knife to cut cloth for creating bandages.
During your camping adventure, you may not always need to travel on foot. In that case, you can look for a heavy knife, having a longer blade. However, some campers purchase the lightweight knife to avoid taking the load.
The hunters also look for the durable knife, having a safe and comfortable grip. The blade of this knife must be strong. For skinning the animals, the hunters may buy these backpacking knives. For protection and safety measures, this hunting knife is much useful.
Functionality versus weight – Which is more important?
The knife buyers focus on the weight of the products. You can find knives, designed for some heavy-duty tasks, including hunting. A safe and firm grip is a must for this knife. Heaviness also indicates the durability of the metal, the thickness of the blade, and its size. The heavier knives that have balanced weight are best for, the tougher tasks.
However, the lightweight knife is useful for camping and hiking. For lightness and user-friendliness, lots of buyers look for pocket knives. You may apply them to cut cord and food and to open packets.
We have reviewed different backpacking knives for you. We favor Opinel Stainless Steel Everyday Caring Locking knife as the best backpacking knife, and we rate it 4.8 out of 5 stars. As you use the backpacking knife for outdoor activity, this knife can withstand the harsh conditions and is priced cheap as well. Check out the technical details of your chosen backpacking knife. Most of the backpackers take multiple knives with them for various tasks.
Hi, I am Jay. I am the creator of Knife Guides, your one-stop site for everything related to knives. I am a computer engineer by profession, knife aficionado by passion. Here I work with a group of people who’ve always had a passion for knives and blades. Over the years we’ve kind of become experts and decided to share our knowledge and ideas. I am also an avid hiker and enjoy offshore gamefishing.