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The 8 Best Fixed-Blade Knives Available

From cutting wood to skinning critters, these blades are tough enough to rough it.


On September 19, 1827, a fight broke out on a Mississippi River sandbar. What started as a formal duel between two notable Louisiana families ended in a skirmish in which Jim Bowie, originally just a supporter on the sidelines, was shot and stabbed before drawing out a large knife and killing a man named Norris Wright. Bowie survived his injuries, took up the knife as his trademark weapon and became an American folk hero.

The fixed-blade knife has been steeped in hyperbole ever since. Large blades loom massive in pop culture — Rambo’s massive serrated spine knife and Crocodile Dundee’s giant clip-point are two notable examples. Such slabs of steel present a satisfying flash in front of a camera lens but don’t offer more in the way of utility. In fact, their unwieldiness probably makes them less adept at performing the simple, everyday tasks that a fixed blade is most commonly used for.

When used to its best purpose, a knife is a multipurpose tool. (Who really wants to be in a knife fight anyway? Bowie barely survived his first one). A sharp blade is near limitless in its functions, from filleting a freshly caught fish to making an emergency repair on a ripped tent.

The James Brand Hell Gap

Best Fixed Blade for Camping

The Hell Gap isn’t only one of our top choices for a fixed-blade knife, it’s one of the 10 best outdoor products to come out in 2019. At 7.8 inches with a 3.8-inch drop-point, full-tang blade, it’s the perfect length, maintaining just the right amount of edge and belly for any campsite task, from cutting cord to slicing veggies. It’s neither tactical nor survival-oriented, but some combination of both (plus a dash of kitchen knife), and its Crucible S35VN steel blade can take a beating, use after use.

Note: The James Brand plans to restock the Hell Gap in May 2020.

Overall Length: 7.8 inches
Blade Length: 3.8 inches
Blade Material: Crucible S35VN steel
Blade Type: drop point
Handle Material: micarta
Weight: 3.1 ounces

BUY NOW: $299

Morakniv Companion

Best Budget Fixed Blade

Typically, a price tag as low as $20 is a red flag and a marker of equally low quality. But somehow Morakniv manages to eke by with a budget blade that holds its own. The Companion is as basic as a fixed-blade knife gets, but for many, that’s wholly adequate. It has a 12C27 stainless steel blade that’s highly resistant to corrosion and wear, which is ideal for new knife users who don’t want to fuss over maintenance. Quality is hard to come by at this price, which is why the Companion also cracked our list of the best bushcraft knives.

Overall Length: 8.75 inches
Blade Length: 4.1 inches
Blade Material: 12C27 stainless steel
Blade Type: drop point
Handle Material: rubber
Weight: 4.1 ounces

BUY NOW: $16

Bubba Multi-Flex Interchangeable Set

Best Fixed Blade for Fishing

The Bubba version of preparedness on the water is a knife that comes with four blades instead of one. The interchangeable system includes seven-, eight- and nine-inch blades that offer a variety of stiffnesses, shapes and edge types. All of them are full-tang and lock securely into the handle with an easy-to-use system that’s bolstered by a magnetic insert. The handle becomes the core of this knife and provides plenty of utility with its grippy construction and a shape that includes oversized guards and a trigger-style finger hold.

Overall Length: 13-15 inches
Blade Length: 7-9 inches
Blade Material:
Blade Type: fillet
Handle Material:
Weight: XXX ounces

BUY NOW: $126

Grovemade Task Knife

Best Fixed Blade for the Office

The Task Knife’s most apparent differentiator is that it’s a solid hunk of metal. That’s what makes it perfect for the desk — its form is tasteful instead of tactical (and it comes with an optional accompanying wooden tray). The sharpened portion of the Task Knife is only 1.44 inches, but that’s plenty for routine office jobs like opening packages and letters. The knife is available in black, polished stainless steel and brass.

Overall Length: 4.75 inches
Blade Length: 1.44 inches
Blade Material: steel or brass
Blade Type: modified sheepsfoot
Handle Material: steel or brass
Weight: 2.7 ounces

BUY NOW: $70+

Benchmade Hidden Canyon

Best Small Fixed Blade

With a construction that emphasizes strength over pocketability, fixed-blade knives tend to be on the larger side of the spectrum. But you can still find models that strike that optimal balance between utility and portability, like Benchmade’s Hidden Canyon. The knife is 6.3 inches long with a 2.67-inch blade and weighs just over three ounces, but it’s still large enough to be comfy in hand during use, thanks to an oversized guard that blends into the grip. What’s more, the Hidden Canyon uses premium-grade materials, including CPM-S30V stainless steel and either a G10 or Dymondwood handle.

Overall Length: 6.32 inches
Blade Length: 2.67 inches
Blade Material: CPM-S30V steel
Blade Type: drop point
Handle Material: G10 or Dymondwood
Weight: 3.53 ounces (G10), 3.19 ounces (Dymondwood)

BUY NOW: $119+

Ka-Bar Becker BK2 Companion

Best Bushcraft Fixed Blade

Ka-Bar’s Becker BK2 Companion tops our list of the best bushcraft blades through strength. It’s a workhorse of a knife, with a blade large and strong enough to take care of firewood processing and shelter construction. Its steel is 1095 Cro-Van, a carbon variant infused with chrome and vanadium carbides that help bolster its resistance to inevitable wear and tear. This knife isn’t all brawn though; its drop-point blade shape can take on tasks that require more finesse too.

Overall Length: 10.5 inches
Blade Length: 5.25 inches
Blade Material: 1095 Cro-Van steel
Blade Type: drop point
Handle Material: Grivory
Weight: 16 ounces

BUY NOW: $78

Freeman Outdoor Gear 451 Neck Knife

Best Neck Knife

Neck knives are, as their name implies, knives that you wear around your neck with a piece of cord or chain. The benefits of doing so are quick access and discretion, among many others. Neck knives are almost always fixed blades and are typically very minimal, as is Freeman Outdoor Gear’s 451. It’s a skeletonized piece of high-quality CPM S35VN steel with a ceramic coating that, along with its Kydex sheath and chain, weighs four ounces (for a neck knife, the lighter, the better). While some swear by neck knives for everyday carry, their practicality for camping and backpacking is undeniable.

Overall Length: 6.1 inches
Blade Length: 2.6 inches
Blade Material: CPM S35VN steel
Blade Type: drop point
Handle Material: CPM S35VN steel
Weight: 4 ounces

BUY NOW: $125

Helle Utvær

Best Wood Handle Fixed Blade

Norwegian brothers Steinar and Sigmund Helle founded their forge on a straightforward yet oft-ignored concept in the age of large-scale production: “Quality craftsmanship is best preserved by quality craftsmen.” That idea holds for Helle to this day and is displayed in the four-inch Utvær. The company named the knife after the group of islands where Norway meets the North Sea and constructed it with a Sandvik 12C27 stainless steel blade and a gorgeous curly-birch handle.

Overall Length: 8.25 inches
Blade Length: 4 inches
Blade Material: Sandvik 12C27 stainless steel
Blade Type: drop point
Handle Material: curly birch
Weight: 5.64 ounces

BUY NOW: $224

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