Best Budget Bushcraft Knives 2020 : Buying Guide & Reviews

Do you want to own a cutting edge knife that is the best for any survival situation, or that can perform many functions with ease? Even though they have been around a long time: bushcraft knives, also known as survival knives, have gained momentum in recent years. If you are someone who likes to indulge in outdoor activities like fishing, camping, hunting, or mountaineering often, you’ll be aware of the risks and dangers that come as part of the adventure package. There’s equal parts fun and danger – situations can turn hazardous at the drop of a hat. In such cases, the most probable thing that will help you out is a good heavy duty survival knife.

The best bushcraft or survival knife is an affordable one, with a razor sharp knife blade edge. They can be portable, and can quickly help you tackle any survival tasks. Be it chopping or kindling firewood, building a shelter, opening cans, breaking glass, cutting thick materials, or in cases of self-defense, a bushcraft knife could be your knight of shining steel. Having a knife for bushcraft tasks is much more critical than deliberating over the blade type or blade material itself. If you’re someone who is looking for an appropriate knife to use while outdoors, know that the best bushcraft knife you can have is one that is there to help you when you need it the most.

A bushcraft knife could prove to be challenging to find in this vast market where every knife company has their own design for survival gear. Searching for the best bushcraft knife that suits your needs and fits your pocket can be a time-consuming and frustrating task. This is because many retailers and manufacturers have saturated the market with a wide variety of choices, all at competitive prices.

Choosing the best budget bushcraft knife depends on many factors, such as size, type, budget, usage, purpose, and so on.

This guide will help you understand everything about bushcraft knives before you buy one. It will make your shopping decision more easy, simple, and fast, saving you lots of time to plan your next adventurous trip. Read on to find our insights on the best budget bushcraft knife.

Key Factors To Consider Before Buying The Best Budget Bushcraft Knife

A bushcraft knife is probably the most essential tool that you can have in your survival toolkit. Wherever you go, make sure you carry one bushcraft knife to keep yourself safe and avoid all the unforeseen situations that come your way with ease. Many backpackers have repeatedly said that in their experience, anything can be used as a weapon in times of danger, but if you had a problem in the woods, a bushcraft knife is the most appropriate choice. You can undoubtedly make situations turn in your favor with the perfect bushcraft knife and do almost everything to protect yourself from the elements and other people. As such, you must make your choice over purchasing a particular bushcraft knife wisely. Here is a list of factors you must take into consideration before you pick up the best budget bushcraft knife.

Tang

The tang construction of a knife is particularly the part/section/portion of the blade that extends down, right to the handle of the knife. The tang and the blade of a knife are mostly made up of a single solid piece i.e. a steel blade. The best bushcraft knives for survival purposes are the ones with a complete full tang blade i.e. a tang extending down to the base (bottom) of the handle of the knife. A full tang gives the bushcraft knife the stability, strength and power it needs to maximize its impact when used. Others, like in a cheap bushcraft knife, have the blade is merely joined to the handle’s peak, and the grip can wear off any moment with a little jerk. As such, when choosing the best budget bushcraft knife, you should buy one that isn’t the most economical – but something that can be the perfect survival tool can still come within an affordable range. Full tang blades may have a higher price tag, but are one of the best things for the best bushcraft knife to feature.

You’ll also need to consider this when buying any knife – if you’re unsure about the best bushcraft knife for you and want to see what other knives are available, check out our picks for the best cheap EDC knife.

Handle

The handle material of bushcraft knives has a broad variation in the market. Whilst a rubber handle is common, others contain polymer. This might sound good initially, but there are some reasons why knives with such handles are not preferred by survivalists. If you see a knife with a hollow handle attached, there is a very high probability that it will not bear a full tang along with it, which is a prerequisite for the best bushcraft knives, as mentioned above. If you have a habit of storing your lighter with your knife handle when you’re on the go, the damage it could do is higher.

Another thing that should be avoided is a compass in the handle. It sounds like a fantastic option for navigation and is considered a novelty by first-time travelers. However, keep in mind it will disturb your grip on the knife which isn’t a desirable situation. It doesn’t make sense to use a 25 cent compass, with questionable quality, attached to the handle. You run the chance that the addition of such a tool will make your task harder. Making proper use of knives in times of distress to prevent yourself from harm is the primary purpose of these tools. In any survival situation, having a hindrance isn’t wise.

Some of the best bushcraft knives feature a hand guard in their construction to protect you from the knife blades. Although a storage pouch could be used instead, for pocket knives it may be more comfortable. Pay attention to the hardness of handles too as bushcrafters need utility, but with good grips that won’t cause problems.

Metal

A bushcraft knife is typically available in two types of steel: stainless steel or carbon steel. Which one of these two is a better choice is a highly debatable matter, as the steel used will give their own unique characteristics. Instead of advising or telling you which one you should choose to suit your survival kit, it is better to point out the key differences and leave the doors open for you to choose from. A stainless steel bushcraft knife, as the name suggests, is solely made from stainless steel. It is practically indestructible; it has the power to handle wear & tear without losing its form and has an extended capacity to last a long time without undergoing any sort of rust or corrosion. But according to many, stainless blades have worse edge retention than a carbon steel bushcraft knife. A carbon steel bushcraft knife is known to hold a razor sharp edge longer than stainless steel, but it will rust faster with rough use in the elements as carbon steel has lower corrosion resistance.

Style/Design

Now, this is again a matter of discussions and disagreements as to which one is better in times of dire need: whether or not to have a serrated blade. A bushcraft knife with a straight blade might help you more whilst chopping wood. Sharpening such a knife is a simple and easy exercise. If you are can’t find a whetstone to give your straight blade sword a good sharpen, then you can use a smooth rock to sharpen a knife with a flat grind. On the other hand, this isn’t a similar case for a knife that has a serrated edge, as it almost always requires a particular sharpener i.e. a diamond sharpener would require more of your money.

Length

Several bushcraft knives fall in the category of knives having a blade length of 6 to 12 inches. If a bushcraft knife has a blade length smaller than this size, it may not be as feasible in helping you tackle tough situations easily, like batoning wood or bark. It would work better with a hatchet or a saw, but if you don’t have these tools at your disposal, then you will be left with nothing to rescue yourself. However, if you don’t deliberate much and go for a bushcraft knife that is massive and has a knife blade length sized above 9 to 10 inches, even though you might think it’s more useful, an overall length that is too big isn’t better. The size being bigger wouldn’t make it’s usage better. It will only make your job tougher. The bigger the overall length, the more difficult it is to carry (with a heavier weight), manage, and use it efficiently when the need arises. It may become more of a hindrance of a tool than a valuable resource when in dire need.

Thickness

Now, this is something more difficult to understand and interpret for those who are not as inclined to the world of survival knives. In simple words, understanding what blade thickness will make it more useful and convenient is something best known to an expert in the field. The most effective, best bushcraft knives have a blade thickness of 3/16 – 4/16 inches, to combat most situations with ease. A bushcraft knife with a proper thickness is generally assumed to be reliable, hard, and extremely solid. It will be able to tolerate the abuse of wood chopping and prying. This is surely preferred to a bushcraft knife that has a flexible and easily bendable blade.

Sheath

If you are not well acquainted with serious bushcraft knives, then the sheath of your bushcraft knife may seem to be of less relevant importance to you. However, the sheath of the knife will consistently affect two factors: how you carry your knife and how you draw it. You require three basic things for your sheath to make your bushcraft knife the ideal choice for your survival.

Lower Attachment

A kind of hole or an attachment piece at the top end of the sheath with a clip point that is primarily utilized for strapping the bushcraft knife to your leg when on the belt, or onto a backpack strap.

Belt and Lanyard Attachment

Does the sheath already possess a belt loop? Does the bushcraft knife handle have a lanyard hole? Factor these in. Even a spear attachment would be one thing to enhance the work you can do with the knife in your hand.

Strap

It is somewhat difficult to understand how the sheath closes around the knife. A crossover strap, right where the handle meets the sheath, has proven to be the best choice. A sheath with the strap at the base of the handle may allow the knife to slide out and thus is a less popular option. These are a few points that you need to consider when you go to buy your next bushcraft knife.

Each bushcraft knife possesses different qualities and features that help you tackle even the toughest of situations powerfully. So choose your knife wisely, as having a bushcraft knife during your outdoor camping or wilderness trips is not an option anymore, it is more of a necessity.

Top 10 Best Budget Bushcraft Knives 2020

Choosing the right bushcraft knife can be tedious, especially if you don’t know much about the market. It is not simply gear jewelry that you ought to carry; it should have all the essential qualities to protect you outside and help you during every unseen difficulty or task you may face in the wilderness. We have made your work easier by finding and listing our picks for the best budget bushcraft knife. Our experts have carefully analyzed and reviewed the best bushcraft knives for those on a budget in 2020 for you. Read on to know more about the best budget bushcraft knives that you can choose from.

1. Morakniv Bushcraft Carbon

Morakniv Bushcraft Carbon Steel Survival Knife with Fire Starter and Sheath

This is one of the easiest and the most powerful bushcraft knives available in the market. To start a campfire, all you need to do is grab this fire starter, hit, and pull the spine of the knife. The fire sparks will start acting out. Light the fuel, and you’re good to go. You can cook meals, light a fire for yourself, and many more. You can use this tool for many useful purposes when you’re along the campsite.

One more remarkable feature about this bushcraft knife is its anti-corrosive black coating on the blade. The carbon steel used in the knife is strong, but it is more prone to oxidation, thus it reduces the knife’s efficiency and effectiveness in the long run. This black coating will avoid oxidation, and this makes the Morakniv Bushcraft an apt survival knife.

Having a 9 inch blade length is ideal, to deal with the entire difficult situation tactfully. You can use this knife for two main purposes – as a hand tool to cook food and build a tent or as a weapon for self defense against the wild.

Why we like it:

Its made with top-quality materials and comes in at a fantastic price making it our #1-rated budget bushcraft knife of 2020.

Pros
  • It has an anti-corrosive coating on the carbon steel blade
  • A nine-inch blade type that is ideal for difficult situations
  • It can be used in the kitchen and as a self-defense weapon
  • It is light, and you can easily use it
Cons
  • There are slightly cheaper models, but they can’t compare in terms of performance

2. Condor Tool & Knife Condor Tool and Knife

Condor Tool & Knife Condor Tool and Knife CTK232-4.3HC Bushslore Survival Knife

The Bushlore Survival Knife from Condor Tool and Knife is a complete tool with a blasted satin finish that is precisely achieved by sand or bead-blasting the exposed metal portion of the blade. The hardwood handle material gives a royal look to the knife. Additionally, the handle scales are held tight together safely by two brass rivets. It includes a leather sheath that comes as part of the tool. This bushcraft knife is an imported product and has a 100% leather finish. The Bushlore Survival Knife will shine best when used as a survival tool. Its specific design will help you in surviving through extreme conditions.

Why we like it:

This Bushlore Survival Knife is comfortable, and easy-to-use. Ultimately, its a great choice for those looking for value.

Pros
  • The hardwood handle is comfortable to use
  • It has a classic-looking finish
  • Can be used in extreme conditions
  • It is durable
  • The blade is built-to-last
Cons
  • It could be a bit heavier, but it still does an excellent job

 

3. Buck Knives 863 Selkirk Buck Knives 863 Selkirk Fixed Blade Knife with Fire Striker and Nylon Sheath

This knife is named after the rugged Selkirk Mountain Range. It is a midsized knife with excellent features to help maximize survival in rugged and tough situations. The Selkirk knife carries a 420HC steel blade with the added features of a Micarta handle with steel bolsters. It also has a heavy-duty belt sheath that can be configured for horizontal or vertical carry, as per your needs. The sheath is attached to a fire starter or a safety whistle. The Selkirk knife is waterproof, scratch-resistant, and has low friction.

It will keep to its shape even in extreme conditions and thus makes a great alternative to other knives. The handle made with Micarta: this is a compressed, layered composite thatis sealed within a thermosetting plastic to create a robust, appealing material that remains resistant to water. It consists of a 2.25″ Ferrocerium Striker with whistle integrated at the grip of the knife. The rear bolster can be used as an improvised hammer.

Why we like it:

This Buck Knives 863 Selkirk offers you a comfortable waterproof grip and a solid Ferrocerium Striker that can be used as a hammer.

Pros
  • Keeps its shape even after extreme conditions
  • The handle is resistant to water
  • It is mid-sized which makes it easy to handle
  • It has 420hc steel blade that is strong and allows it to be used in extreme conditions
  • It has a heavy-duty sheath that can be either be carried vertically or horizontally
  • It is waterproof
  • It is scratch-resistant and rarely experiences friction which makes it durable
Cons
  • Its slightly heavy, but that makes the blade and handle better, so its a non-issue

 

4. Morakniv Companion

Morakniv Companion Fixed Blade Outdoor Knife with Sandvik Stainless Steel Blade, 4.1-Inch

The Morakniv Companion Fixed Blade Outdoor Knife paints the perfect picture of what the best bushcraft knife should be – able to tackle tough and extreme situations. It is a completely reliable hunting companion that keeps you safe and secure from the elements and other hazards. As survival knives go, it is a sturdy and lightweight, specifically designed for outdoor activity. The blade of the bushcraft knife is crafted from high-quality Swedish Sandvik 12C27 steel, making it one of the strongest and sturdiest materials. It provides unparalleled toughness, only found in a few premium brands. This heavy duty companion has a deep bellied handle with a comfortable, rubber handle, giving you a firm and tight grip – regardless of whether your hands are wet or not. Unlike others, its sheath is made from rigid, friction fit plastic material. It sports a decent and strong blade length of 4.1 inches and a blade thickness of 2.5 mm. All in all, it is a lightweight weapon, enhanced by the plastic sheath that can take any form of abuse, without being damaged.

Why we like it:

This Morakniv Companion Fixed Blade Outdoor Knife is very lightweight and offers solid reliable performance.

Pros
  • Can tackle harsh and extreme conditions
  • It is very sturdy
  • It is a lightweight knife that is suitable for outdoor activities
  • The blade is strong, and it is made from Swedish Sandvik 12C27 steel
  • It has a handle that allows for a tight grip
  • Its sheath is made of plastic that is friction fit
  • Has a long, strong blade with measurements of 4.1 inches and 2.5mmm in thickness
Cons
  • Available in limited markets

 

5. Ka-Bar Becker BK2

Ka-Bar Becker BK2 Campanion Fixed Blade Knife

The Ka-Bar Becker BK2 Campanion knife has a full tang blade length as a fixed survival knife. This is a high-quality knife that performs great in multiple roles and is extremely durable and reliable. It is affordable and just the perfect choice for anything you need during your free tours. It consists of a 1/4 inch blade thickness which is nearly indestructible. The drop point blade shape and has a good overall length of 5.5 inches. The blade is coated with a thick black layer to protect it from rusting and oxidation; it will not wear off with use. The handle of this knife is made up of ivory material and is extremely comfortable to grip even for those with small hands. It is crafted in such a way that you can hold it way down when chopping, giving you an extra edge to feel secure. The perfectly molded Kydex sheath is sturdier compared to most leather ones, and it also contains many useful additions along the edge.

Why we like it:

The Ka-Bar Becker BK2 earns its spot on our list for its sturdy blade, combined with its relatively lightweight design.

Pros
  • It is of full length and has a well-fixed blade
  • It is durable and reliable
  • It is affordable
  • Indestructible blade
  • The blade is covered with a protective layer that prevents it from rusting
  • The handle is comfortable to grip
Cons
  • Its relatively more expensive, but worth it, given its premium features

6. Gerber StrongArm Fixed Blade Knife

Gerber StrongArm Fixed Blade Knife, Fine Edge, Coyote [30-001058] 

The Gerber StrongArm Fixed Blade Knife maybe the best budget bushcraft knife with a sheath that can be molded in several ways. Though the strong-arm was specifically designed to meet military survival needs, this knife offers reliable use on-duty or off duty. It features a fine edge, full tang 420HC blade type with black ceramic coating. One can get a solid firm grip on the knife in all situations with its diamond-texture rubberized handle. The striking pommel crafted at the butt end of the handle functions helps to break through hard surfaces for effective rescue operations. It also has a ceramic powder coating on the blade that offers subtle use through a low visual profile and additionally prevents corrosion for a long-lasting blade life. The Gerber Strong Arm has a modular sheath system that holds snap-together components, allowing anyone to mount the knife vertically on MOLLE, horizontally on a standard 1.75″ tactical belt, or in a traditional drop-leg belt mount manner.

Why we like it:

The Gerber StrongArm offers a reliable grip for those with sweaty hands, with its diamond-texture rubberized handle.

Pros
  • It is affordable
  • It has a strong arm
  • It has a ceramic coating that prevents the knife from rusting
  • It has a rubberized handle that gives it an excellent grip
  • The sheath has snap-together components that allow you to mount the knife horizontally or vertically
Cons
  • Some people prefer a smoother grip but it just depends on your preference

7. Schrade SCHF36 10.4in

Schrade SCHF36 10.4in Stainless Steel Fixed Blade Knife 

A person who travels outdoors frequently will require a trustworthy and reliable best budget bushcraft knife. The Schrade SCHFC36 is a 10.4-Inch Hunting Knife that is a perfect companion for every hunting enthusiast. Survival knives should be perfectly crafted for outdoor as well as indoor survival, as this one is. It comes with a polyester sheath that is worth looking out for. This outdoor knife is designed to give you easy and quick access in cases for emergencies. This ideal knife measures an overall length of 10.4 inches and weighs 12.3 ounces. It has a blade that is coated with carbon stainless steel – the mark of its durability. It is dependable, secure, and always ready for outdoor use. Summing up, it is comfortable to hold, strong, reliable, and easy to carry.

Why we like it:

This Schrade bushcraft knife is lightweight and perfect for being on-the-go. Of course, it also provides amazing value.

Pros
  • Coated with stainless steel materials
  • Strong and durable
  • It is comfortable to hold
  • Easy to handle
  • It is easy to carry and manage
  • It is easy to clean
Cons
  • A little heavier than other options

 

8. CDS-Survival MOVA-58 Stainless Steel

CDS-Survival MOVA-58 Stainless Steel Outdoor, Survival, Hunting Knife with Leather Multi-positioned Sheath, Sharpener Stone & Fire steel 

The CDS- Fixed Blade Survival Knife comes with a multi-positioned sheath that makes it easy for users to hide the knife even in the pocket of their trousers. The sheath is designed from 100% genuine leather, making it a long-lasting weapon, while keeping the edge of the blade free from materials that cause wear and tear. The knife provides a firm and tight grip to the operator, making their tasks in the wild easier. The knife comes with a 5.70-inch blade that’s not too big or too small, providing the same benefits of a medium-sized knife. Additionally, it comes with a stainless steel blade that is corrosion resistant.

Why we like it:

If you’re looking for a great-looking leather sheath, and a quality bushkraft knife to go with it, this CDS Fixed Blade model is a great option. 

Pros
  • It is easy to conceal in your clothing
  • It has a leather sheath that makes it durable
  • The handle offers affirm and tight grip
  • It has a 5.7 inch blade that is easy to handle
  • It is a stainless steel blade that cannot rust
Cons
  • Its use is limited to outdoor activities

 

9. Bushcraft Survival Hunting Knife

Bushcraft Survival Hunting Knife, Stainless Steel MOVA-58, Genuine Leather Horizontal-Vertical Belt Sheath + Firesteel, Handmade

The Bushcraft Survival Hunting Knife has fantastic blade thickness, making it tougher, stronger, and more reliable than a vast majority available in the market. It has been made with the finest knife blade material and has survived many shock tests. The grip has a shape that fits and keeps your hand in place. The high-friction pattern reduces the chances of dropping the tool and lessens hand fatigue. It comes with a high resistant Micarta weight handle and is made of genuine leather with multi-position that can be molded horizontally and vertically. The belt sheath comes along with fire steel. It is a must-have bushcraft knife for your survival and camping gear.

Why we like it:

This is another model where the handle fits just right. If you’re looking for an extra-comfortable budget bushcraft knife, this model fits the bill.

Pros
  • Has a thick blade that makes it strong and tough
  • Made with materials that have survived shock tests
  • It has a handle that allows for a strong grip
  • It is effective for outdoor activities
  • The handle is made of leather that can be molded horizontally and vertically
Cons
  • Relatively more expensive than other similar products

10. Perkin Handmade

Perkin Handmade Bushcraft & Hunting Knife - 01 Carbon Steel

This budget bushcraft knife sizes up as self-defense, utility, free tool for the ardent hunter. The Perkin bushcraft knife is a fixed blade hunting knife. It comes with a handmade leather sheath, making it a sturdy and durable tool to have. It is a full tang knife with a walnut wood handle base. The handle precludes any form of finger crowding, and this lightweight yet a comfortable knife makes it a bargain for its price.

Why we like it:

If you prefer a more simple bushcraft knife, that just gets the job done, this Perkin model is a great option.

Pros
  • It is affordable
  • It is sturdy and durable
  • It is very comfortable
  • It is affordable
Cons
  • It lacks performance that other similar priced knives on this list will provide

 Conclusion

We hope this guide helped you to get insights from the world of bushcraft knives and will help you choose the best budget bushcraft knife that fits your needs and keeps you secure in all situations. Remember, safety cannot be compromised for anything.

Jeff Day
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