It’s far from the easiest knife to hold. That’s it for our guide and review! Take your time and get a knife you’ll keep around for ages – good luck! We couldn’t find many drawbacks with the Delica 4. Beyond this, it’s up to your personal preference. There are some variations from the same company Readyman, particularly for lock picking, first aid, and fishing tools. The Spyderco Honeybee packs a lot of punch into a tiny package. The knife’s red plastic sides even fell off at some point. The Victorinox Swiss Army Pocket Knife is the right tool to get you set for anything in the jungle. Let’s jump into the guide! The Classic SD’s blade is razor sharp. One of the best foldable hunting knives, the Benchmade North Fork Knife features a 2.97’’ CPM-S30V stainless steel drop-point blade and weighs in … The Classic SD handled cutting thin cordage really well. You’ll need a strong tip for piercing and a sharp edge with decent edge retention for quick cutting and slicing. Feel free to go back over any of the knives that interested you. The ESEE Izula II won the day for heavy-duty and survival usage. If you want to be covered in almost any situation, this might be the perfect pocket knife for you. Here’s a must-have outdoor knife for backpackers to have. Perhaps our favorite feature of this knife is the intelligently designed pocket clip. MSRP: $17 MEASURED WEIGHT (OZ. It’s still an investment, but if you want to buy one backpacking knife that you can use on every adventure, the Delica 4 is it. The Classic SD could also be called a multi-tool. The lock was also surprisingly difficult and awkward to release. This, combined with how lightweight the knife is, makes it exceptionally effortless to handle and work with. It’s a capable tool, worthy of adding to your backpacking and camping arsenal. Picking the best knife for backpacking is a very personnel and subjective task. Reviewed By Jason Rhodes September 7, 2020. There’s an opening hole for your finger at the base of the blade to help you get a better grip for heavier duty cutting and slicing. Mini fixed blades, folding, serrated, plain, automatic, flipper, and ball-berring knives. Pros. Spyderco Delica Lightweight Folding Knife. Now let’s talk about a higher quality knife. We brought each knife with us on our camping and backpacking trips, and used them for daily activities for over a month. We’ll show what’s important in these knives and the kind of value you should expect. Best Backpacking Knife Buying Guide Shopping for the right backpacking knife can mean the difference between carrying multiple tools or one light-weight multi-purpose product. Kershaw brand is well-known for its quality. A sharp knife should be able to slice through a piece of standard printer paper cleanly with minimal effort. You’re getting 12C27 stainless steel and all its resistance to corrosion and rusting. You’ll need to take decent care of this knife and cleaning can be a nightmare without a good maintenance routine. Apart from this, the knife’s built-quality is superior and it’s available at a reasonable price. Liner Lock – Similar to a frame lock, here a small metal liner inside the frame holds the blade open. No other knife in our test felt as precise and solid in-hand as the Delica 4 (although the Izula II was close). Its 3.35″ blade was the second longest in our test and gave it a lot of cutting power. It’s technically a multi-tool and is of the lightest options available. It’s tip-locked when it’s closed and this stops accidental blade opening. A longer blade is best for hunting tasks, providing a longer knife stroke. You can clip the knife to almost anything and it slides onto a belt with no trouble. All that’s left is for you to make your choice. From chopping veggies to whittling wood, we used these knives throughout our backpacking trips and daily lives while performing a series of rigorous tests. The Opinel No8 is our best value pick, but it doesn’t feel or perform like a budget knife. When it came to anything beyond basic slicing, though, it just didn’t hold up. Also Read: Best Survival Knife – Top Review Guide for Outdoor. It’s no camp hatchet, but it’ll do in a pinch. Knife Features Locking Blade. Its compact size is an advantage, but for a budget backpacking knife, we’d choose the Opinel No8 over the Gerber Paraframe Mini. On top of that, they put a nice ergonomic bolster on it to separate the handle from the blade. The company's reputation is the reason that Benchmade knives are sold in stores worldwide. The Spyderco Delica 4 blew us away in nearly every aspect of our testing. Mini Review: The Classic SD is one of the most popular knives on the trail for good reason. 10 Best Multi Tools (Review) in 2020. Frame Lock – A piece of the frame will slide over behind the blade to hold it open. This knife combines a light weight of only 2.5 oz with a razor sharp blade and a remarkably comfortable, solid grip. Read on for our full reviews and tips on how to choose the right backpacking knife for your needs. It was also the least comfortable knife to hold. A good knife is one of the most essential backcountry tools you can carry. While it did show some wear and weaknesses, it was more capable than we expected. By the end of the reviews, you’ll have a clear picture of what you need and where to find it. It’s a very simple and minimalistic knife with a lanyard hole for fixing it to a belt or bag. Let’s get into the best backpacking knife reviews! Kershaw Leek Pocket Knife; Gerber Paraframe Mini Knife; Spyderco Delica Lightweight Folding Knife; Opinel Folding Knife; ESEE Knives Izula-II Fixed Knife; Spyderco HoneyBee Folding Knife; Victorinox Swiss Army Multi-Tool; Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) Q: What Should I Look for in a Best Backpacking Knife? Of course, it is a good choice for backpacking and camping. While it’s not a cheap backpacking knife considering its size, it’s money well-spent. It’s incredibly easy to clean the knife with a minimalistic and rugged profile. It’s a fantastic all-rounder knife for adventurers and travelers. Overall, this is a great pocket knife with an extremely sharp blade. It impressed us with how durable it actually was, though. A longer blade length is anything from around 5 inches, with a blade length of 2 or 3 inches. So don’t ever rush into purchasing a knife without first considering all the variables. It is released by pressing on the back of the handle. The knife is a solid option for ultralight backpackers with minimal needs, he says. The handle is crafted from durable and robust Beechwood and shaped in a very ergonomic and intuitive way. We did really love the large carabiner hole for clipping the knife to our packs for quick access. Fits comfortably in your pocket, purse, or as an easy-access addition to keys. Some people like small folders, some like tradition Swiss Army Knives while other will only take a fixed blade knife. 99Boulders LLC further disclaims any responsibility for injuries or death incurred by any person engaging in these activities. With folding knives, we prefer knives that can easily strike a spark from their spine while closed for safety reasons. Despite its tiny size, it made short work of 2 feet of cardboard in our testing. You’re getting a refined and reliable pick for the best backpacking knife. This gives you additional piercing power and makes it an excellent choice for outdoor utility. Thick cardboard is a challenge for knives due to its abrasive and inconsistent surface. Buy on Amazon Gerber Obsidian Pocket Knife. There is no wrong answer as to what works best in the backcountry. It excelled at slicing through…well, pretty much anything. It even held up to some mild batoning (splitting wood) without chipping or wearing the coating. Fixed Blade – Although heavier, quality fixed-blade knives can be stronger and more durable than folding knives. There’s a finger ring at the bottom of the handle that lets you slip your pinky or pointer finger into depending on the way you grip the knife. Opinel is a French knife that’s become iconic. You’re getting an incredibly lightweight and versatile pick for the best backpacking knife in this price range. The more snagging and catching, the duller the knife. The tip lock that holds the knife closed is a nice added safety feature. It has qualities of cutting ropes and some forms of glass. You’ll find you can get excellent grip strength and control over the knife without straining your hands and wrists. Finally, the Deejo Wood 37g won an honorable mention for its beautiful design and high-quality blade. It’s an exceptionally durable knife with the functionality and versatility of a whole set of knives. Our experts test each knife while exploring backcountry terrain throughout the United States, preparing food, camping, mountain climbing, and more. Being able to complete basic tasks like bushcraft and camp chores (or just cooking) to defending myself if needed is an absolute must. Before anything else, we tested each knife’s sharpness right out of the box. Check Price on Amazon. 2. The Opinel Carbon Steel Folding Pocket Knife provides an excellent cutting edge which stays dangerously sharp for a good long time. If you won’t be doing heavy cutting, like trimming branches or dressing game, you can look for the best inexpensive knife that will suit your simple needs. The Leatherman Juice B2 gives you 2 good blade options, straight and serrated, for getting any cutting job done right. This lightweight, military-grade sheath is mildew resistant and allows you to carry the knife either horizontally or vertically. The beachwood handle looks simplistic but is surprisingly effective from an ergonomic standpoint. (Coincidentally, some hardcore ultralight backpackers intentionally remove the plastic sides to shave a little weight.). While a shorter blade is ideal for tasks such as opening packets, cutting cord and nylon, and chipping wood. Folding – Most backpacking knives are folding knives. She has taught English in Taiwan; backpacked through Asia, Europe, and South America; worked as a North American tour guide; mentored at-risk teenagers in Utah’s wilderness; and worked as an outdoor educator for elementary school students. BEST BUDGET POCKET KNIFE. The stainless steel construction is resistant to corrosion and fantastically well-suited to expensive outdoor use. It features an excellent fixed Bowie blade made of the finest 5Cr15Mov steel. It’s naturally non-slip and the broader base of the handle gives you even better control of the blade. If you want to learn what to look for in the best backpacking knife… These allow for one-handed closing of the knife. Back Lock – A piece of metal along the back of the handle holds the knife open. We put 9 of the best backpacking knives to the test. In our cardboard cutting test, we were basically ripping the cardboard rather than cutting it. Using a knife with no lock requires extra care, and these knives generally won’t feel as stable. You’ll find out what’s unique about each knife and why it’s worth your time. The sharp edges on its spine struck a spark with little effort and left no wear to the knife itself. From sharp cutting edges and saws to field scissors and screwdrivers, this knife has pretty much everything a backpacker needs. Our guide takes you through what to look for and gives you a clear path to getting the best backpacking knife for your needs. 7 / VICTORINOX CLASSIC SD / KERSHAW LEEK / BENCHMADE 585 MINI-BARRAGE On multi-day backpacking adventures a knife can be useful for cooking, the odd repair job, or small cutting tasks around camp. Our goal is to get you ready and prepared to make an informed buying decision to get the best possible value for your money – and a knife that gets you where you want to go. Paper, cardboard, vegetables, cordage, the Deejo made quick work of it all. WARNING! The blade still sliced easily through 2 feet of cardboard. We pushed this little knife into much more heavy-duty use than it was intended for. The Opinel uses the unique “Virobloc” safety lock, where a metal ring twists to lock the blade either open or shut. We’ve carefully selected 7 knives we feel to address a broad enough set of needs and possible uses. It is pushed to the side to release the blade. Benchmade Mini Griptilian This company makes some of the best pocket knives around. Q: What Should I Look for in a Best Backpacking Knife? If you like having different colors to choose from, here’s a great selection. It didn’t handle whittling or fire starting as well as most of the other knives we tested, nor was it the sharpest or quickest at cutting. It’s better to bring a knife than to not bring a knife, and if you’ve got the space available, a fixed blade will typically be able to take more abuse than a folding knife. Seeking the best pocket knife? This EDC has a thickness of 3" 3 mm steel blade. But it was nothing that had us concerned. A lock that holds the blade in the open position adds stability to the knife and prevents it from slipping closed onto your fingers. You should now have a good idea of what you’re looking for the performance and quality you can expect at the different price points. MINI VERSION: No. Alex’s well-worn Classic SD has a permanent spot on his keychain. The best pocket knife for the money will vary from person to person with myriad factors coming into play as we have discussed above. They are compact and don’t require the added weight of a sheath. Also Read: Best Camping Knives – Reviewed and Complete Buyer’s Guide. The Honeybee was capable of whittling wood, although it was awkward and hazardous due to the lack of a locking mechanism. If you’re in the market for a fixed-blade knife that’s light enough for backpacking, capable in survival situations, and fun to own, this is your knife. For weight-conscious backpackers who recognize that a knife is still an essential part of their kit, or for anyone who wants an ultralight backup knife, the Honeybee is a sweet little piece of gear at a great price. Right out of the box, the blade was by far the dullest. Stephanie grew up in Pennsylvania and is a life-long adventurer. The Opinel No 8 Folding Knife made it to the top of our best backpacking knives list, because we consider it being the best value for your money. We did manage to get a fire started. Those are minor shortcomings for a knife that is lightweight, compact, functional, and beautifully designed. It didn’t play well with a ferro rod, taking 10 strikes even on the blade to light our tinder. This best backpacking knife are compact, versatile, and an overall fantastic choice if you’re on a tight budget and still want decent performance and durability. If you carry a fire starter (aka ferrocerium rod) backpacking, the ability to strike a spark with your knife will be crucial. On everyday hikes, it can open food packets, cut twine, and shave kindling; in a survival situation, it can help you do everything from build a shelter to catch fish. If you already have (or plan to buy) the Spatha for your climbing gear, it can capably double as a backpacking knife. Overall, you’re getting a knife with premium performance, utility, and versatility. It’s a handy feature that lets this knife double as a tactical carry. It has excellent edge retention and can be sharpened to a razor’s edge without too much difficulty. But it’s incapable of any heavy duty cutting work. The sturdy steel will give you a durable blade that will last for long. It’s beyond the scope of this article to describe all the varieties, but it’s worth taking a minute to research a steel type to see if its qualities suit your needs and usage. For backpacking, though, we found that its tools weren’t super useful, and we preferred a larger, more capable blade. The blade’s tip is lowered slightly to bring it closer to the centerline of the knife. A simple paracord wrap made it even better. If you continue to use this site we will assume that you are happy with it. Although it wasn’t super sharp right out of the box, it held up to all of our cutting tests surprisingly well. The blade wasn’t as stable as the Delica 4 during tasks like whittling wood or boring holes, and we could feel a small amount of give in the handle. A good full-tang knife (where the steel of the blade extends all the way to the end of the handle) is a simple, virtually indestructible tool, ideal for heavy duty or survival usage. Note: If you’re looking for knives you can use while camping and aren’t as concerned about weight, check out our guide to the best camping knives. Compared to the other knives in our test, it’s just…decent. A lighter, more practical handle for the Izula II. Over the last seven years, we've purchased and tested 37+ unique folding knives side by side, with 18 knives in our 2020 review line-up. He also takes it with him on short backpacking trips as an ultralight backpacking knife. The 2.9” blade is legal in many places as an EDC knife. In my opinion, this is the best backpacking knife under $100. Q: How to Sharpen the Serrated Edge of a Blade? KnifeSharpenerGuy.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com, Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.ca, Top 7 Best Backpacking Knife Reviews in 2020. Use the information contained in this website at your own risk, and do not depend on the information contained in this website for personal safety or for determining whether to attempt any activity described herein. The Petzl Spatha is our top pick in our guide to the best climbing knives, so we wanted to see how this lightweight, affordable knife held up to backpacking tests. Its low price point and light weight made it seem like a shoe-in for our best value pick. We measured the number of strikes it took on a ferrocerium rod to get a ball of dryer lint to ignite. Most people overlook ergonomics when buying a knife. For travelers and backpackers, this is a complete set of tools that will come in … From her current base camp in Salt Lake City, Utah, Stephanie spends most of her free time backpacking, hiking, climbing, and exploring the mountains and deserts of the American West. We were stoked to test the Gerber Paraframe Mini. With a little experience and practice, you’ll learn how to care and handle this knife at its best. The blade shape is a drop point design with piercing in mind. Most knives are made from steel, but there are hundreds of varieties out there, each with its own unique characteristics. Considering what you’re getting for the money, this knife is hard to simply pass over. Just so you know, this page contains affiliate links. The flat-ground edge is extremely sharp and easy to maintain. However, cutting or carving wood, chopping veggies, and most other camp tasks were awkward at best. The best knife for backpacking should be comfortable for use, with a handle that allows for a safe and firm grip. You’ve got a smooth straight edge with razor sharpness and awesome cutting power. On backcountry trips he mostly uses the blade for opening food packages and the scissors for cutting his nails. Our all-around top pick is the Spyderco Delica 4 for its perfect balance of compact design and durability. All in all, we were impressed. In other words, this knife is legit. Some knives are much better at it than others, and some require using the blade which can eventually damage it. After our tests, we couldn’t detect any noticeable change in the sharpness of its blade. This set offers a plethora of functions, all bundled in two compact bundles. At 2.63” long, the blade is legal to carry as an EDC knife in many states and countries. It’s rugged steel that’s pretty easy to maintain and keep sharp. Other – Some manufacturers have unique methods of locking a blade open or closed. Best Knife For Backpacking – The Top 10 Best Options Available. If you’re buying a knife specifically for backpacking, we recommend the Opinel or Deejo, which are a similar weight and price point, over the Spatha. This also helps to keep down the overall weight – leaving you with a high-performing knife that won’t hurt your wallet. This means if you make a purchase after clicking through one, at no extra cost to you we may earn a commission. While we loved its performance and solid feel, it would be hard for us to justify dedicating 3 oz in our pack for it. Still, it can get the job done if you really need it to. It sliced through a sheet of paper like nobody’s business and excelled at food prep. The activities described on 99boulders.com carry a significant risk of personal injury or death. Overall, this is the best backpacking knife and possibly inexpensive backpacking knife with this kind of performance and ruggedness. It’s ultra-lightweight and one of the easiest knives to take on a backpacking trip. Benchmade Griptilian 551. The Best Knife for Backpacking and Hiking Fallkniven U2: $90 With laminated steel, a dead simple design, and Grilon handles, the U2 is an excellent … You’re getting all the corrosion and rust resistance you’d need in a robust outdoor knife. This would make an excellent gift for both kids and adults who are interested in the outdoors or are passionate about backpacking. The Opinel No8 Stainless Steel Blade Folding Knife. We made sure to spend time whittling wood, cutting cordage, and chopping food with each knife. It’s resistant to rusting and doesn’t chip or break easily. Best of all it is one of the lightest options on our list. Some Benchmade products need a little sharpening right out of the box, so just keep that in mind. It has a frame locked design to keep the blade safely in place and is super-secure. Not to be confused with an assisted opening pocket knife, switchblades/automatic knives have an automatic opener that allows for a quick release of a knife’s blade. Here’s a fantastic value-for-money knife if you want something sleek and compact. We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. They make truly classic and premium pocket knives – and this model lives up to those standards. Kershaw Blur Folding Knife is one of the best pocket knives available in the market. It needs to be able to cut through ropes and possibly have a wire-cutter and a serrated portion on the blade. This is a knife that can endure some pretty rough treatment and harsh elements. This Swiss Army pocket knife is constructed with stainless steel and encased in polished ABS scales that provide ultimate durability in a sleek and vibrant yellow finish. We’ve had our share of cheap knock-off “Swiss Army Knives,” so when we opened up the real deal, we were absolutely amazed at the quality. We loved its simplicity. This pocket clip has just the right balance between being functional and sturdy. The seven functions include: blade, scissors, nail file, screwdriver (2.5 mm), key ring, toothpick, and tweezers. This knife is super-easy to carry around and is hardly noticeable in its folded position. Though it can hold its own in most backpacking tasks. If versatility and functionality are important to you, here’s a king in the field. It’s designed for wilderness and survival usage and made by Randall’s Adventure and Training, which started as a jungle survival school in the Peruvian Amazon. If you shop around, you can likely find it for less than its retail price. COMPACT CARRY. You’re getting a subtle and natural-looking knife with a non-slip textured Micarta handle. While it’s quite heavy for a pocket knife, you’re getting all the class-leading design, craftsmanship, and professionalism that Victorinox is known for. You’ll love the sleek profile of the knife and how light it feels in your hands. The Delica 4 opens and closes smoothly, and its thumb hole makes for easy one-handed opening. If you are having trouble choosing between a fixed-blade and pocket knife, a knife with a locking blade is your best … Best Pocket Knives of 2020. We could cut through a length of cardboard much faster than with some of the sharper knives. It’s friction-held and gives you all the protection you’d need for using this knife outdoors. You don’t have to deal with “iffy” linear locks and back-locks that accidentally release half-way through cutting. The handle is slick, and combined with the minuscule size, it requires a careful grip. This knife was designed to cut through the body of an aircraft, and still be tough enough to handle other tasks after. Opinel is a French knife making company that really outdid themselves in the last couple of years. This knife is made to contain a flip out can opener. You can pop open wine bottles just as easily as you can cut a wire caught in your motorbike wheel. In our paper test, it was one of the sharpest knives we tested. While it’s an assisted opening, the action is very smooth and consistent. He’s long since lost the tweezers and toothpick, which he says is easy to do. In general, softer steels will shape easily into a razor sharp edge and will be easier to sharpen, but they tend to be less durable and lose their edge quicker. One of the rings is fixed and the other slides into place to securely lock the blade into place. 99BOULDERS LLC MAKES NO WARRANTIES, EXPRESSED OR IMPLIED, OF ANY KIND REGARDING THE CONTENTS OF THIS WEBSITE, AND EXPRESSLY DISCLAIMS ANY WARRANTY REGARDING THE ACCURACY OR RELIABILITY OF INFORMATION CONTAINED HEREIN. This type of lock can be very stable, but it requires two hands to close the knife. Victorinox Swiss Army Classic SD. ), Backpacking Gear List Spreadsheet (w/ Weight Calculator). Pros. Related Reads # Tools. We loved the handle’s non-slip textured surface and its ergonomic profile. It tended to move back and forth against the lock slightly, though not enough to bother us. Even without the full handle, the Izula was comfortable to hold. If you are hoping to find the ideal knife for any backpacking situation, there are some things you are going to want to consider when reviewing your options. It was able to strike a spark on a ferro rod, though not easily and with noticeable wear to the back of its blade. Striking the blade itself gave us sparks, but we stopped pretty quickly to prevent damage to the thin blade. Also Read: Best Pocket Knife Under $50 – Excellent for the Outdoors. Folding backpacking knives can be compact and lightweight. Its assisted open is sharp and snappy, and the frame lock felt solid and reliable. The Deejo Wood 37g is a sleek, lightweight, and well-designed knife with an amazing blade. This frame lock is pressed to the side with the thumb to release the blade. The open frame helps to keep the knife as light and functional as possible – without losing any grip strength or durability. They’re all incredibly well-suited to the outdoors and give a backpacking adventure on-the-go utility and functionality. No Lock – Many small knives don’t have room for a locking mechanism. We timed how long it took to cut through a 2-foot section of cardboard with each knife. The blade is secured by a Virobloc safety ring which hasn’t been changed in over 100 years. The Tactical Knife & Pocket Knife Sharpener Set is an amazingly affordable choice in Best Backpacking Knife options. 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Classic SD is one of the sharpest right out of the box, the Leek better suited everyday... This site we will assume that you are happy with it worth your time control... Multi-Tool pocket knife review video: 1 a solid locking mechanism strong and sturdy to light our tinder loved and... Else, we used the blade shape is a durable blade that will last for long extremely and. Are happy with it s unique and you ’ ve seen this knife if you really it! Cutting test, it ’ s far from the easiest knives to take a... Was intended for, combined with the handle holds the knife itself are more durable but to! With minimal effort knives available in the outdoors or are passionate about backpacking them.