The Best Bushcraft Knives By:

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If you dig around long enough in the great outdoors, you’ll eventually find your way into bushcraft. I took the gun owner to knife guy to the bushcraft route myself. I suck at it, but it’s an outdoor hobby I can practice for basically no money. Well, I had to buy one thing to start, one tool to keep me learning new skills and how to survive. That tool is a knife, and just any knife, but a bushcraft knife. 

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A good bushcraft knife is different than other knives. It’s a knife designed to interact with the great outdoors. With a bushcraft knife, you can accomplish a wide variety of tasks. It can help you make a fire, clean ame, help you make traps, and more. A lot of knives can accomplish these tasks, but a bushcraft knife can make it easy and even comfortable to accomplish. 

In a pinch, anything with a sharp blade can be a bushcraft knife. However, a purpose-built option is the best if you can preplan. A bushcraft knife is different from a standard survival knife and a lot different from something like a fighting knife. It tends to have a simplistic appearance and design. 

These are working knives with a focus on safe use. Bushcraft knives are versatile. They tend to focus on having a comfortable grip for long-term work. While they’re grippy and won’t slip and slide, they are also comfortable without a super-aggressive grip texture that could cause hot spots and blisters. The grip should lack crazy finger grooves and fighting-style handguards. 

The knife should have a good, strong tang. It doesn’t even have to be a full tang and designs like a rat tail tang can be functional choices. It should be a one-piece design through and through. A good tang ensures durability and strength when used roughly.

The blade should be made from solid steel. There are many different steel options, and most purpose-built bushcraft knives use good steel. Good steel is nice, but a suitable heat treatment takes a knife to the next level. The blade should also be free of crazy curves or waves. Also, ditch serrations altogether. 

That blade should be between four to five inches in length. A little longer or a little shorter isn’t a big deal. The drop point is one of the preferred tip types for its versatility. A nice 90-degree spine makes striking ferro rods easier, but it isn’t a necessity. There isn’t one layout for a bushcraft knife, but they tend to follow the above closely. 

Regardless of the design, a bushcraft knife has to be versatile enough to be both a chopper and a good precision-oriented knife. For example, when it comes to making a fire, you should be able to baton wood into tiny pieces and also do the precision work to make a feather stick. Both are applicable skills that are on opposite sides of the brutality/finesse scale. 

Your knife should be apt at precision cutting and carving so you can create traps, build shelters, and even sharpen sticks into pointy sticks. If you happen to catch something in your trap and build a fire, you’ll need to be able to clean that animal with the very same knife. 

A bushcraft knife should be extremely capable and very versatile. With that in mind, we have seven options for the enterprising bushcrafter. 

Best Bushcraft Knives 

1.KA-BAR TDI
KA BAR TDI Feature Image

KA-BAR TDI

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L.T. Wright Bushcrafter

L.T. Wright Bushcrafter Specs

  • Blade Length 3 ⅝ inches
  • Overall Length 8 1/4 inches
  • Weight 6.9 ounces
  • Blade Style Drop Point

The KA-BAR TDI is designed for police officers, duty belts, and weapon retention, while the SOCP might dominate for plate carrier use. The oddly shaped handle makes the knife easy and efficient to thrust, slash, and protect yourself with. While it’s designed for police use, it’s also a capable defensive concealed carry knife that’s budget-friendly. John Brenner of the Tactical Defensive Institute designed the knife as a last-ditch defensive weapon. 

The KA-BAR TDI is shaped somewhat like a gun. This shape makes it easy to stab with a punching motion. It’s simple, effective, and fairly easy to use in a pinch. They make the blade from AUS 8A steel, and it’s both rugged and extremely sharp. Someone can effectively use it with ease as a weapon and, overall, is not terrible for EDC purposes. The blade is 2.313 inches long and wide at 1.25 inches. 

They make the grip from a polymer called Zytel and is long enough to fill the hand. It’s easy to draw from the polymer sheath. The big metal clip secures it well over your belt and makes it easy to conceal. It’s also easy to attach to a duty belt and doesn’t take up much room. While unconventional in design, it’s a rugged and strong option for bladed self-defense and weapon retention. 

L.T. Wright Bushcrafter Pros and Cons

Cut and Jive

Bushcraft can be a fascinating hobby to get into. Building shelters, making fires from primitive means, and trying to carve a spoon is a gun way to explore the great outdoors. It all starts with a knife, and we’ve given you a deluge of options. Which one is for you? Let us know below!