When it comes to the camping knives, they come with a great history starting from the Stone Age. Back in history, these knives were out of sharpened stones or obsidian. Though the purpose and functioning of these knives remain the same, the emerging technology has changed a lot about the structure of these knives.
You might be wondering why it is so vital for you to carry a camping knife. Well, according to the U.S. Forest Service, there are a lot of hidden benefits in carrying it. For example, you can prepare food slices, cut and trim firewood, make roasting sticks, clear trails, repair camping sites, and protect yourself from unwanted animals.
So, finding out the best camping knife is crucial if you are planning to make your next camping trip. Without getting stuck into the best camping knife reviews, we have done the hard part for you and come up with a complete guide. Let’s see these useful insights which will enable you to make the best decision with confidence.
Buyer’s Guide for the Best Camping Knife
Before you make any final decision, have a look at some crucial things to consider before buying the best companion knife.
How Can We Evaluate a Good Camping Knife?
There are a lot of manufacturers claiming their products as one of the best ones, but how you can actually know which one is good revolves around certain aspects. There are some properties to look at while determining the best camp knife for your adventurous trip. Let’s have a look at these.
A camping knife should not get rusted or corroded because you rely on it during your camping times. The steel used in a blade should be corrosion resistant. To have more exposure, let’s have a look at these steel types:
When it comes to hardness and edge retention, carbon steel proves to be the best. However, rust and corrosion can easily get into the way of carbon steel because it is prone to them.
This is the best steel type that also resists rust and corrosion. Usually, these types of stainless steel exist in camping knives:
- 420HC: This type is known for its decent corrosion resistance and edge retention capabilities. It’s cheaper than other types but smooth and easy to sharpen as well. However, it cannot resist dings or dents.
- 154CM: The camping knives made with this type comes with a sharp edge and a solid hardness structure due to its high degree of carbon usage.
- S30V: It comes with one of the most expensive knives because of its high-quality and capability to resist rust and corrosion greatly.
Shape Variations of the Blade
There are a few variations in the shape of commonly used blades as follows:
- Drop-Point: One of the best camping knife 2020 blades having strong and versatile capabilities. It has a thick point, which makes it perfect for heavy-duty tasks. The spine of the blade drops towards the tip of it, which reduces the accidental puncturing.
- Clip-Point: It comes with a thin and sharp point due to a crescent type drop on the top of the blade. Although it doesn’t have that much strength that the drop-point provides, clip-point offers more capability of puncturing, exacting, and detailed work.
- Tanto: It proves to be an extra sturdy blade that can easily be used to pry, scrap, and even pierce sturdy materials due to its angular tip and a strong point.
- Needle-Point/Spear-Point: It comes with symmetrical points as well as double edges, which makes it more reliable for puncturing and throwing. In general, it is one of the best blades for survival situations.
- Sheepsfoot and Santuko: Rather than having a curved cutting edge from the handle to the point, it comes with a straight one with a steep spine that rounds off to the point. This is an ideal blade for food preparation, cutting, chopping, and slicing.
Design and Materials of the Blade
A camping knife set is usually out of the stainless steel or carbon steel. Each type comes with its specific benefits that evaluate their appropriate usage.
- Stainless Steel: If you are an occasional or even a regular camper, the stainless steel knife will prove to be quite efficient and reliable for you. These blades are durable, easy to sharpen as well as will not likely corrode because of their structure. The knives made through stainless steel are one of the best beginner ones with fewer chances of being dull.
- Carbon Steel: When it comes to carbon steel, you can even cut down a small tree through it as it is much tougher and stronger than the stainless steel. Most of the survival TV shows also use this sort of blade cutters. According to the National Park Service, you can also make tools and even a shelter using a camping knife made of carbon steel.
The Aspect of Blade Coating
A tempered substance within the blade’s steel is called the blade coating. It is usually for maximizing the durability, protection, and visual appeal of knives.
However, you cannot use the backbone of a blade coated knife as a fire starter. It makes the knife difficult to wash as well as chip and grind while sharpening it.
Design and Materials of the Handle
If you are looking for the best knife for camping and hiking, you should consider the materials used in its handle as well as the entire design. As you might have to hold these knives for an extended time, the material used in its handle must be comfortable.
Handles are usually made from the following materials:
- Plastic: These handles might become slippery but are quite affordable and water-resistant.
- Rubber: Rubber handles are not much durable but offer a good grip as well as the capability of water resistance.
- Wood: Although wooden handles don’t provide water resistance, they provide an admirable grip and a great look.
- Stainless Steel: These handles might become slippery or cold, but these are more durable when compared to others.
Variations of Tang
The amount of the knife’s steel expanded to its handle is usually called as the tang of a fixed-blade knife. You will see quarter-tang, half-tang, and even full-tang knives on the market often. For camping purposes, quarter and half-tang prove to be the sufficient ones.
If your goal is to do heavy-duty tasks, then full-tang knives will be more appropriate because they provide more durability and stability than the others. You might also see rattail or stick-tangs, which simply means that the steel extends to the period of the entire grip.
A camping knife can come with the straight blade or a serrated one, but are these serrated camping knives really valuable? Although they look quite cool, the reality is these knives are most probably useless. For the purposes of cutting ropes or sawing wood, serrations seem to be great but it’s not what you usually do while camping.
A fine-edged knife proves to be more versatile and efficient when it comes to the usual camping. It is quite challenging to slice food or carve smoothly through them. Even they become dull very quickly as well as make it difficult to sharpen the blades when compared to the straight blades.
The Length of a Knife
When choosing the best camping knife for your needs, you should also address the issue of whether your knife should be small or a large one. Usually, a good knife comes with a blade length of around 8 to 10 inches. However, you should always look for your needs and make a decision according to them: for example, bushcraft knives usually have 3 to 5 inches blades, and it is enough for chopping wood or cleaning fish.
The Capability of Starting Fire
Striking a spark is always a great feature that comes with almost all the camping knives. As finding insufficient information from other camping knife reviews, we have come up with a complete one for you. According to the Star, A ferrocerium rod can spark the flame, but you might get stuck while starting a fire if you have a coated blade.
Camping Knife Types
A foldable camping pocket knife can be a good option for everyday use because it didn’t take too much space due to its folding properties. However, these knives can lack the stability and strength required to do some heavy cutting tasks.
A fixed-blade camping survival knife proves to be more durable and quality-rich because it is usually easy to clean, heavy-duty, and powerful. However, it requires a sheath to carry and can be dangerous in the event of a fall.
How to Take Care of a Camping Knife?
Regardless of the brand or rating of your blade, there are always some tips to make sure that you are taking care of it properly. These are as follows:
The usefulness of a knife usually depends upon the sharpness it has. Knife sharpeners come with a very affordable price and assure the durability and reliability of your tool if used properly. It is one of the most crucial tools while maintaining your knife.
Proper storage can make these knives more usable because it protects them from getting damaged from the various environmental conditions such as dirt or water. A sheath should always protect your valuable tool.
There are a lot of knives, but you should always look for the best camping knife 2020. We have summed up every valuable information to help you find out the top-rated and cheap knife according to your requirements. You will definitely get satisfied after purchasing the admirable one.