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These days, an increasing number of knife users are switching to fixed-blade knives. These knives are stronger, more dependable, and more durable than the folding-blade versions. Further, a horde of new designs and sizes indicates the availability of light and compact models.
Small fixed blade knives are typically light, portable, and compact enough to be concealed. These are the biggest benefits you get over knives with long, fixed blades. Above all, a small version may be the only legal option for carrying in restricted regions.
Unlike longer fixed-blade knives, the smaller ones do not make you feel tiresome while carrying them and are reliable for working in tighter areas. Due to their small size, they do not catch hold of anybody’s attention.
They are versatile enough to perform most farming and camping tasks, easy to clean without disassembling, and are relatively safer than the folding-blade models due to no moving parts. So, how about investing in the best small fixed-blade knife? This post aims to make this an easy task for you.
In a hurry? See our top picks…
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|ESEE Knives Izula||Check Price on Amazon|
|CRKT Minimalist Bowie||Check Price on Amazon|
|Gerber Gear 31-002521N||Check Price on Amazon|
Best Small Fixed Blade Knives in 2023
ESEE Knives Izula – Value for money small fixed blade knife
Signifying the nastiest Peruvian ant, the term Izula speaks a lot about this small workhorse. It is a highly versatile knife to cut almost anything with ease. It is a light but tough tool featuring a strong fixed blade and durable construction.
The 2.63-inch blade is made up of 1095 stainless steel, which professionals prefer for hard use. It is coated with textured power, which does not come out easily. The small, ergonomic handle ensures a secure grip.
The slim sheath made of molded plastic allows you to carry the knife in your pocket or around the neck. You also get a detachable clip plate that both left- and right-handed people can use. In addition, this knife comes with a cord lock, fire flint, split ring, whistle, snap, and paracord.
- Easy to resharpen
- Ambidextrous sheath
- Cheap sheath
Benchmade Hidden Canyon Hunter – High end small fixed blade knife
This compact, horizontal-carry, versatile EDC knife is a great hunting knife. With its lean profile and light design, the Hidden Canyon knife can act as survival and tactical tool.
The full-tang blade being 2.79-inches long ensures excellent stability. It is made up of CPM-S90V stainless steel that is resistant to wear and corrosion. The handle is made of G10, a tough plastic laminate known for its durability, potency, and ability to resist water impact.
The material is composite and is filled with resin, due to which the handle is stronger than any wooden handle. Thus, it can endure several harsh outdoor elements.
You also get a Boltaron sheath with a belt loop and a lanyard hole to enjoy more than one carry option.
- Very expensive
CRKT Minimalist Bowie Neck Knife
This knife is the brainchild of Alan Folts, a famous knife producer in North Carolina. It is light and small but ensures surprising control and comfort. The credit goes to the distinct blade geometry, full-tang design, thumb-friendly friction grooves, three-finger choils on the handle, and Micarta scales contoured to hands.
This neck knife can perform various cutting chores while cooking and camping. Thanks to the deep-bellied 2.16-inch long blade with bowie, clip point style, straight edge, hollow grind, bead blast finish, and strong stainless-steel build.
The comfort is at its peak when the first two fingers grasp the handle made up of resin-infused fiber, and the last two fingers wrap the cord for additional grip. You also get a Zytel sheath and neck paracord for comfortable inverted carry.
- Ideal size
- Minimalist design but feature-filled
- Available in different point styles
- Versatile use and carry
- Ergonomic handle
- Not that strong sheath
Made by Florida’s experienced knife designer, this Small Pocket Everyday Wharncliffe (SPEW) is a compact neck that packs powerful features. With a strong G10 handle and a Wharncliffe-style 3-inch blade, you can rely on it both indoors and outdoors.
The blade’s plain edge performs a myriad of cutting tasks better than a lot of knives of the same size. The point is very sharp and pierces almost anything with ease. The blade is made up of 5Cr15MoV steel known for its high resistance to corrosion and reliable edge retention.
The G10 handle is ergonomic. It has an excellent shape and sufficient size and surface area to ensure sustained control while using the knife. In addition, the surface provides proper grip. The thumb serrations at the blade’s bottom also contribute to this grip.
- Good sheath quality
- Super affordable
- A bit fragile tip
Gerber GDC – Cheapest small fixed blade knife
This knife reflects the versatility of the latest technology, as it also acts as a portable wallet. It allows storing five bills and three cards despite being slim and compact. The blade is quite short, with a length of 1.75 inches, and comes with a fine edge.
It is composed of stainless steel coated with titanium to resist rust and ensure extra sturdiness and durability. You also get a G10 handle known for its ergonomic design, a broad engravable surface, and a finger slot encompassing toothed thumb rest for an excellent grip.
- Versatile enough to hold bills and cards
- Superb grip
- Very cheap
- Too short for large hands
How to Choose the Best Small Fixed Blade Knife
While searching on Google for a while, you will come across different types of fixed-blade knives for survival, tactical uses, camping, and Everyday Carry (EDC). Due to diverse collections, you may be confused about which knife will be the best one for you.
For this, you need to identify the purpose of buying such a knife. Then, identify the tasks and places where you will be using this fixed-blade knife. This would unveil the features that you would need in your knife.
Well, these features are your buying factors, as they tend to affect your buying decision. So, let’s check out these features now!
You would think why consider the size as the fixed-blade knife under consideration will be small. Well, the fact is that these knives are still available in different sizes, with the blade length ranging from 1 to 3 inches.
Each of these lengths has a specific use. For example, for self-defense, a blade under 5 inches is perfect. Such blades also do not come under any legal restrictions. In short, the right size depends on the purpose for which you will be using the knife.
Smaller knives are ideal for survival and tactical purposes, and they can remain hidden too. However, they may not be suitable for bushcrafting or crafting.
No matter how small the fixed-blade knives are, they all are likely to differ in weight. Thus, these tools are sold in different weights.
An ideal weight is the one that makes your hands feel comfortable at the time of carrying it. On the other hand, although small, a too heavy knife can instantly make your experience unpleasant. The best model is the one that ensures a perfect balance between the weight contributors and weight.
Blade Tip Design
The blade tip design, although overlooked, is a crucial feature to consider. Depending on it, you can decide which tasks this knife is better than the remaining ones. These tip designs are as follows:
- Straight Back: It is common across different cutlery items. It is reliable for most outdoor tasks.
- Drop: This is the most popular and widely used tip due to its versatility. Herein, the drop at the knife’s rear renders a sharper point than usual. Thus, it is capable of slicing and piercing quite efficiently. Such a tip also provides more control than other designs at the time of cutting.
- Clip: Features a concave drop to render a lighter tip. It is commonly seen on kitchen knives and is admired for its ability to perform a task precisely.
Of all these designs, the straight and drop designs are the most preferred ones due to their versatile power.
Edge is an essential part of blade design, as it is going to cut and slice. There are two edge types to know and select: straight and serrated. The former is the most common type.
A straight edge is likely to be the sharpest of all types. It is also the simplest one to sharpen. On the other hand, a serrated edge is tough to sharpen. However, it is ideal for cutting hard items such as softwood.
If you want both edges in one knife, look for hybrid blades featuring partial serration. These tools have the serrated portion close to the handle, while the straight edge is close to the tip.
The fixed blades are made up of steel. There are different varieties of steel. Not all these steels are identical. A few steel types are sturdier than the rest.
While selecting the blade material of a small fixed-blade knife, focus on your budget. This is because the budget plays a big role in choosing this material. Two steel types are commonly used: stainless steel and carbon steel.
420HC stainless steel is popular with its high-tensile strength and acceptable edge retention. It is also quite affordable as compared to several other options. Consider this steel material if you are on a tight budget.
The carbon steel is relatively more durable but is not flexible at all. While stainless steel is economical and sturdy, carbon steel is ideal for tactical tasks.
Different types of grinds are available as per the maker’s design. Of all, the flat grind and saber grind is quite famous. The flat grind is ideal for cutting, chopping, and slicing. On the other hand, the saber grind features a thick edge similar to an ax, suitable for splitting and chopping.
If comfort is what you want along with a sharp blade, you cannot ignore assessing the handle. This is because the handle is the source of your desired comfort level. If the handle is uncomfortable, it makes no sense to have a great blade.
A comfortable handle has an ergonomic design. This means it will fit in your hands nicely and ensure a safe grip. Comfort also comes from the handle material.
Different handle materials range right from wood to metals and plastics. However, modern handles are mostly made using glass-filled nylon. It is light, economical, resistant to moisture absorption, and studs to ensure a good grip.
Another reliable material is the rubberized one. It can have studs to ensure a better grip and keep the slippery feel at bay.
The tang is a section that goes into the handle. This paves for two tang designs, namely, full and partial. Of the two, a full tang is the preferable one. The full-tang design makes a knife a single solid piece. The handle and blade are just one instead of being separate. Typically, two layers of wood or rubber shield the handle.
Such a tang is usually sturdier than a partial tang. On the other hand, a partial tang is where the blade does not extend entirely to the handle. Such knives have handles mostly of wood. The blade part that extends tapers into a point where the blade part culminates. This is precisely where the faults occur due to poor construction or cheap materials.
You can carry a small fixed-blade knife by putting it on the belt, in the pocket, and around the neck via a lanyard or a chain. You need to take care that neither the blade hurts you nor gets lost. This is why you need a sheath.
Acting as a protective cover, a sheath safeguards the blade and makes it highly convenient and comfortable for you to carry. Like a blade and a handle, many materials can be used to make a sheath.
Of all the materials in use, nylon is perhaps the most popular. It is highly durable and a bit flexible. Even polyester protects the blade but is not durable, although it is more affordable. Another option is leather, which is the most durable material. However, it is not the choice of animal lovers.
Finally, there are sheaths of military-style that are rarely found. They are usually made using Kydex materials. Kydex is a polymer that is a bit bulky and pricey. While it keeps the knife in place, it is tough to access the knife frequently.
How to sharpen a fixed blade?
Using a sharpening stone is one of the ideal ways of sharpening a blade. It is recommended to sharpen after using the blade and before using it later to get the best outcome. Sharpening should be done correctly by choosing the right sharpening angle. For several western knives, a sharpening angle of 20 degrees is ideal. However, it is wise to ask a professional to get full assistance.
Will a fixed-blade knife corrode?
Although made up of stainless steel, a small fixed-blade knife may hold some water if you use it frequently and in various weather conditions. Consequently, a coating is usually added to the knife to prevent this and corrosion. Overall, the quality models will be resistant to corrosion.
The best small fixed blade knives can protect you and fulfill your survival needs in the wild. They will also last long. To get one such knife, you need to compare and choose as per your requirements.
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.