(This site is reader-supported. When you buy something using retail links on our articles, we may earn a small commission.)
Choosing the best hawkbill knife could be tricky if you are not familiar with the blade. Not only is this knife often mistaken for a karambit knife, but it also comes with a few characteristics that stand out in the crowd. Moreover, this type of knife has specific uses only. They are quite diversified, but you should still know what to expect before spending your money.
The hawkbill knife has a specific blade – this is actually what defines the knife. This blade comes with a concave cutting edge. Just like you might have guessed already, it is shaped like a claw, hence the name of the knife.
There are a few general characteristics associated with this knife too. For example, the tip might look well defined, but it is not super sharp. In other words, this is not the ideal knife for piercing. Instead, it is mostly used for carving and cutting.
The hawkbill neck knife is extremely useful when it comes to long cuts. You can use it when you install linoleum or a carpet, for example. The shape and design of the blade will allow grabbing materials very easily, without the risk of damaging them. At the same time, the risk to injure yourself is relatively low too.
The history of this knife underlines other uses too. In Eastern cultures, the hawkbill knife was common as a slashing weapon. Some of these uses are still common these days – for instance, you can use the knife to a defensive tool or a tactical knife.
Hawkbill Knives Vs. Karambit Knives
You can find hawkbill knives sold as karambit knives and vice versa. If you look at them, they look quite similar, but there are a few differences.
Generally speaking, the main difference is in the handle. The hawkbill neck knife has a relatively straight handle. On the other hand, the karambit knife comes with a very curved handle. There are a few middle variations that fall in both categories.
Other than that, the karambit knife has a well-tapered spine, which means the blade profile is relatively narrow close to the tip. The hawkbill knife comes with an arched spine, so the blade is thicker, more durable, and powerful.
The hawkbill knife has been used both as a working knife and a weapon. The karambit knife has a fighting history, so it was not that common in everyday working tasks. Backgrounds are different then, despite similar shapes.
2021’s 5 Best Hawkbill Knives
Spyderco C08S – Best hawkbill knife
Versatile design – This is Spyderco’s best hawkbill knife, as well as the brand’s first knife to bring in the hawkbill profile. It comes with a few improvements from the classic design of this knife. For example, it is also a folding knife. On the same note, it comes with a fully serrated blade, which means it is suitable for a wide plethora of applications and uses. Some bells and whistles also enhance the knife.
Quality blade – The blade is made of hollow-ground VG 10 stainless steel. It can resist corrosion and rust with no problems at all. The hawkbill neck knife features a 2.75-inch long blade. It has a large hole for various applications, as well as a super sharp tip. It is razor sharp out of the box, so you do not need to sharpen it before your first uses.
Stainless steel handle – The handle is not to be overlooked either. It is also made of solid stainless steel. It feels strong and durable. It is great for engraving, as well as various tactical uses. The handle composition has 12.5% chromium for better resistance to corrosion. The handle is 3.88 inches in length. When open, the knife measures 6.63 inches altogether.
Superior blade design – Bevels are ground with a concave radius. They will extend over the entire width of the blade. The pattern is quite interesting – two small serrations and a large one. This type of pattern improves the cutting edge surface by about 24%. In terms of bells and whistles, you also have a metallic pocket clip. The opening mechanism is manual to prevent accidents.
- Durable, rust and corrosion-resistant materials in the composition
- Interesting serration pattern for a larger edge surface
- Razor-sharp out of the box
- Easy to open and close
- Comes with a metallic pocket clip
- The manual opening mechanism might be a put off for some people
Uncle Henry 16UH
Durable design – Uncle Henry is a name with tradition. It is not one of the biggest brands in the world, but you know that you can get a personalized experience, a high level of customer service, and great quality. Uncle Henry’s best hawkbill knife will not disappoint you. It is designed by the classic rules associated with these knives and features excellent materials for durability and harsh uses.
Edge retention – The blade is often what makes the difference when you consider a hawkbill neck knife. The blade measures three inches in length. It is made of 7Cr17 high carbon stainless steel. This type of steel is extremely good against corrosion and rust. It will also retain edge sharpness over time – it is worth mentioning the blade is razor sharp out of the box. It is slightly curved and features no serrations at all.
Durable handle – The handle is worth a bit of attention too. It is made of staglon. It is durable, solid, and hard. It looks traditional and features a country appearance, so it will stand out in the crowd. The handle measures four inches. Overall, the knife is designed as a folding knife, so it measures seven inches when fully open. Opening and closing it is a matter of a second.
Lightweight profile – There are not too many features in terms of bells and whistles, so the knife comes with the basics only. It has excellent value for money. Small details are just as important though. You get nickel silver bolsters and brass pins. The back springs are heat-treated for durability. Overall, the knife weighs just under 3.5 ounces, so it is lightweight and comfortable to use.
- No fancy bells and whistles to add to the price
- High-quality blade material to face corrosion and rust
- Staglon handle for durability and country looks
- Easy to open and close without too much hassle
- Lightweight and comfortable to use over long periods
- The blade does not lock
Klein Tools 44005C
Basic pocket knife – Klein Tools does not fool around when it comes to quality knives. It brings in just what you need – quality materials, functionality, good value for money, and no bells and whistles that only increase the price. Its best hawkbill knife also works like a pocket knife. It folds, so it is safe and convenient to store or carry around without risking to injure yourself.
Razor-sharp – The blade is made of classic AUS8 stainless steel. It is a traditional hawkbill blade. The material resists rust and corrosion. It also has a sharp edge out of the box, so be careful when you unpack it. The material tends to retain its sharpness over time. Plus, since the blade is straight and there are no serrations, sharpening it is a matter of minutes if you have to do it.
Impact-resistant handle – The handle is based on nylon resin. It is impact resistant. You can drop the knife or give it some abuse and the handle will not give up on you. It also features rubber inserts for flexibility and durability. The handle has a few bolsters and a textured surface, so it is less likely to slip out of your hands if they get sweaty. The handle measures 4.2 inches – the size when the knife is closed too.
Easy opening – The blade measures 2.6 inches in length. Other than that, the handle features a reversible thumb stud. You can open the knife with one hand only. You also have a pocket or belt clip that will never go loose. Simply put, you have the convenience and features you need for small jobs around your house, utility jobs, and even mild hunting adventures.
- A convenient size for a plethora of applications
- Razor-sharp out of the box and great edge retention
- Durable and nonslip handle
- Convenient pocket or belt clip
- Easy to open with one hand
- There are no replacement blades for this knife
Case XX WR 00249 61011 SS
Versatile – This Case hawkbill knife is less likely to disappoint you. While the hawkbill neck knife has specific uses, this one is a bit more versatile. In other words, it is great for all kinds of small projects around your household, outdoor and camping applications, and even hunting adventures – it is mostly suitable for skinning game. It provides good value for money and is built like a pocket knife.
More options – The handle is available in two different options if you care about the design. The amber bone design is the more popular one, but you can also find this knife in an olive green bone style. Other varieties include synthetic materials too, but those are less popular due to their durability. The classic bone handle brings in beautiful honey and amber tones. It comes from Zebu cattle and it is extremely tough and durable.
Super sharp blade – The blade is what makes or breaks a knife. This Case hawkbill knife comes with a stainless steel blade, which is super sharp and can retain its sharpness in the long run. It is rust and corrosion-resistant. It is designed for a pulling cut, meaning you can use this knife for cutting carpet, stripping wires, and pruning. The blade features a nail spike for easy opening. It is not an automated or spring-assisted process, so it is less likely to accidentally open inside your pocket.
Spring-assisted mechanism – The handle measures 4.1 inches. The blade is 3 inches in length. It is mirror polished. You do not have a belt or pocket clip, but since the unit is not spring-assisted, it can be safely stored into your pocket. You can, however, purchase a sheath for it – made by the same brand and specifically for this knife, but it is not necessarily useful.
- Durable blade and even more durable handle
- Easy to open and close, with no risks at all
- Suitable for pruning, cutting carpets and stripping wires
- Feels well balanced and stable when in use
- Excellent value for money
- The sheath must be purchased separately, yet you do not really need it, as it is a folding knife
Vulcan Gear Hawkbill Knife – Cheap hawkbill knife
Unique design – Vulcan Gear has designed a perfect mix between two similar knives. It is a mix between the hawkbill knife and the karambit knife. Practically, it has a bit of everything. The handle is only slightly curved, while the blade is quite sharp – rather than wide – towards the tip. The knife brings in good value for money and can be purchased in two different blade colors – silver and black.
Sharp blade and tip – Vulcan Gear’s hawkbill knife comes with a solid and razor-sharp blade. It has a sharp piercing point, as well as impressive edge retention. The blade measures four inches in length. It is made of stainless steel, so it can resist rust and corrosion. It is arched and great for multiple applications – cuts, trims and even skinning experiences while you hunt.
Solid grip – The handle measures four inches in length. Regardless of the blade color, the handle is black. The hawkbill neck knife has a hard plastic handle. It is shaped for your fingers to grab it properly. Moreover, it is textured. Even if your hands are wet or sweaty, it will never slip out. The ending has a large hole for even more stability.
Sheath included – The fixed blade knife is relatively lightweight and features its sheath. The sheath fits like a glove. It is particularly designed for it – after all, you may already know how difficult it is to find a matching sheath for a hawkbill knife. The sheath has a nylon cord attached to it for multiple carrying options.
- Comes with sheath and a nylon cord
- Incredibly sharp
- Good for a wide variety of applications
- Good looking design
- Comfortable and ergonomic handle with a nonslip surface
- It might fall out of the sheath if you are too energetic or hold it upside down
Frequently Asked Questions
What is a hawkbill knife used for?
The name is self-explanatory when it comes to hawkbill knives. It is often referred to as a pruner knife. It is used for pruning, but it is just as handy to cut linoleum, wires, strings, paper, or carpets. Some extras might make it suitable for other operations too. For example, you might be able to use your knife to skin game during a hunting adventure as well.
Can you still cut with a dull hawkbill knife?
This is one of the major advantages of hawkbill knives. The edge comes extremely sharp, but it may go dull after too many uses. Luckily, the piercing point is super sharp as well. The point is likely to maintain its sharpness. Even if your knife is dull, you can pierce the material. Sometimes, this is more than enough to finish the cut, even with a problematic edge.
Why is the hawkbill knife so efficient?
There are more reasons wherefore hawkbill knives are so popular and appreciated, but one of them stands out in the crowd. The shape allows using the entire length of the blade for your cuts. In other words, you do not have to apply lots of pressure while cutting. This is great for all kinds of everyday applications, such as splicing tape, stripping wires, or even cutting boxes open.
Deciding on the best hawkbill knife is a matter of personal preferences, as well as what you need it for. Any of the above-mentioned products could make the difference in your applications, yet each of them comes with a few particularities that make them unique. Your personal needs should always come first.
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.