These days, an increasing number of knife users are switching to fixed-blade knives. This is because 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. The latter is the biggest benefit you get over the 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 the small size, they simply 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.
2020’s Best Small Fixed Blade Knives Reviewed
ESEE Knives Izula Fixed Blade Knife w/Survival Kit, Sheath & Clip Plate
Signifying the nastiest Peruvian ant, the term Izula speaks a lot of this small workhorse. It is an extremely versatile knife to cut almost anything with ease. It is light but a tough tool featuring a strong fixed blade and durable construction.
The 2.63-inch blade is made up of 1095 stainless steel, a material that 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 up 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. For safe survival, this knife comes with a cord lock, fire flint, split ring, whistle, snap, and paracord.
- Easy to resharpen
- Ambidextrous sheath
- Cheap sheath
- A bit costly
Benchmade Hidden Canyon Hunter Compact Fixed Hunting Knife
The full-tang blade being 2.67-inches long ensures great stability. It is made up of CPM-S30V stainless steel that is resistant to wear and corrosion. The handle is made up 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 Kydex sheath with a belt loop and a lanyard hole to enjoy more than one carry option.
- Flimsy sheath
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 a variety of 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 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
CRKT SPEW. EDC Fixed Blade Knife with 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 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 that is known for its high resistance to corrosion and reliable edge retention.
The G10 handle is ergonomic. It has an excellent shape as well as sufficient size and surface area to ensure you sustained control while using the knife. The surface ensures 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 Money Clip w/ Built-in 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
- Highly affordable
- Too short for a few 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 such as those for survival, tactical uses, camping, and Everyday Carry (EDC). Due to diverse collections, you may be confused as to which knife will be the best one for you.
Well, for this, you need to identify the purpose of buying such a knife. Just 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 to consider the size as the fixed-blade knife under consideration is going to be small. Well, the fact is that these knives are 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, the 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. You just cannot choose any weight, as it may not necessarily be the ideal weight for you.
An ideal weight is the one that makes your hands feel comfortable at the time of carrying it. A too heavy knife, although small, can make you feel unpleasant instantly. 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 on 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 the kitchen knives and is admired for its ability to perform a task quite 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 steels. 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, do focus on your budget. This is because the budget plays a big role in making you choose this material. Two steel types are commonly used, which are 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.
A bit better option is 1095 steel, which can be either carbon or stainless steel. 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, which is ideal 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 level of comfort. If the handle is not comfortable, 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 will ensure a safe grip. Comfort also comes from the handle material.
Different handle materials are ranging 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 comes with 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 completely 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 exactly where the faults occur due to poor construction or cheap materials.
A small fixed-blade knife can be carried by putting it on the belt, in the pocket, and around the neck via a lanyard or a chain. Due to carry media, you need to take care that neither the blade hurts you, nor does it get lost. This is why you need a sheath.
Acting as a protective cover, a sheath safeguards the blade and makes it highly convenient as well as comfortable for you to carry it. Just as a blade and a handle, there are different materials in use for making 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 a bit 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 makes it a bit 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 in the right way 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. To prevent this and consequently corrosion, a coating is usually added to the knife. To check this coating, you can read the product description. 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.