What is a Bushcraft Knife?
Updated: Sep 30
A Bushcraft knife is a tool that enables you to make or help repair kit whilst in the wilderness. Be that the woods or forests, jungle or grassland this knife should be able to help you successfully survive in any situation.
The blade should be easy to maintain and sharpen, and should excel at carving and wood work. You should be able to make tent pegs with ease, carve a spoon for eating your dinner and split down wood and make feather sticks for a fire.
It is a blade you need confidence in, as one moment you might be using it to cut string or paracord, and then next battening through wood to get a fire going after you have fallen into the water and are desperate to warm up.
The back edge of the knife should be sharp on the 90 degree angles. This isn't for cutting, but for scraping. It should throw sparks from your fire steel with minimal effort, but should also be able to rough up the bark of silver birch to catch those sparks, and take wispy thin shavings from your fatwood.
The handle should be not only comfortable, but also secure in both forwards and reverse grips. This is a knife that needs to be usable in any manor that you wish to make cuts. From straight forward cutting away from you to sharpen a stick, to the chest lever grip to make power cuts.
The sheath needs to securely hold your knife. A leather sheath should be deep enough to hold the knife without risk of it falling out as you clamber through dense woodland, and a kydex sheath should have good retention that needs a little effort to release the blade from the grip of the sheath.
Bushcraft knives have been made famous by the likes of Ray Mears, Lofty Wiseman, Lars Falt, Bear Grills, Ed Stafford and Ben Fogle who have all influenced the world of Bushcraft.