The Best Camping Knife for Wild Adventures

If you’re in a rush and want to find out what the best camping knife is, we recommend the Benchmade Mini Osborne knife.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Heading into the wild, the crackle of the campfire, the rustle of leaves underfoot—there’s nothing quite like the thrill of camping. But before you set off on your next outdoor adventure, there’s one trusty companion you simply can’t afford to leave behind: the best camping knife.

Whether you’re a seasoned explorer or a first-time camper, having the right blade by your side can make all the difference. From carving kindling to preparing meals, and even providing a sense of security, a top-notch camping knife is the ultimate tool that effortlessly blends utility and rugged durability. So, get ready to slice through the clutter as we uncover the finest contenders in the realm of outdoor blades.

Camping Knives At A Glance

If you’re in a hurry, check out this quick list of our favorite camping knives – otherwise, keep on scrolling to get to the full reviews!

Top Camping Knives – Reviewed

Benchmade 560BK-1 Freek G10 Knife

Blade Type: Straight Edge

Locking Blade: Yes

Blade Length: 3.6 Inches

Handle: G10

Blade: Stainless Steel

Weight: 4.3 Ounces

Despite being one of the most expensive knives in our review, the Benchmade Freek is hardly overpriced. It’s one of the most solid folding knives that you’ll find, and it’s a joy to use at home and at the campsite, regardless of the task at hand.

It’s a relatively large knife (perhaps too large for EDC), but small enough to easily shove in your pocket when folded. I like the G10 material on the handle, as it provides enough comfort and grip to help you through long periods of food prep. The M4 blade has a nice slicing ability, and works well on cardboard, food, and some light wood processing. It’s not a mini machete by any means, but it’s great for most tasks that the average camper will find themselves completing.

The blade is incredibly sharp, and the M4 maintains an edge very well. While I do wish that it didn’t require as much pressure to flip open, it’s certainly not very difficult to do so, and a slight loosening of the pivot screw can provide some flexibility here. Benchmade also provides free sharpenings, in addition to replacement blades for cheap, so you can go hard on your knife without worrying about what comes next.

Reasons For

Large and comfortable handle

Nice edge retention

Sharp blade

Good size

Solid and durable

Reasons Against

Pricy

Gerber StrongArm Serrated Fixed Blade Knife

Blade Type: Partially Serrated

Locking Blade: N/A

Blade Length: 4.8 Inches

Handle: Nylon/Rubber

Blade: 420HC Steel

Weight: 10.9 Ounces

A large knife for a reasonable price, the Gerber StrongArm certainly isn’t the most impressive blade in our review, but it’s quite the bargain when you consider the price point. The only fixed blade that you’ll find in this article, the StrongArm sports a full tang and a solid edge, making it your best option for hardcore jobs. On top of that, the blade itself is nearly 5 inches long, giving you a lot of edge to work with.

Half of it is serrated, while the other half has a straight edge. I’ve never been a fan of this design, simply because I find it to be a little hard to use, but I know that many of you will find value in it. The handle is also quite grippy, and still feels good in the hand after an extended amount of time processing wood.

The sheath is a little tricky to work with, and you’ll start to notice some cosmetic issues after awhile, but it’s solidly built overall. It’s a nice option for backpackers in particular, as the sheath can easily be attached to any molle that you might have on your backpack. The partial serration is also handy when it comes to versatility, as backpackers may find themselves needing to cut rope in addition to prepping food and processing wood. The StrongArm can do it all, and considering it’s made in America and sports a price tag under $100, it’s an impressive fixed blade that won’t break the bank.

Reasons For

Affordable

Fixed blade

Durable

Versatile edge

Comfortable handle

Reasons Against

Sheath is a little tricky to work with

Petzl Spatha Knife

Blade Type: Partially Serrated

Locking Blade: Yes

Blade Length: 3.5 Inches

Handle: Nylon

Blade: Stainless Steel

Weight: 1.5 Ounces

Though it’s technically a rock climbing knife, I still find the Petzl Spatha to be an adequate camping knife as well. Specifically designed to cut through cordage and rope, it won’t be hard to find a use for the Spatha at the campground. And since it sports a partially serrated blade, you can also use it for food prep as well.

The Spatha’s biggest flaw is its lack of durability, but it never was meant to be used for heavy-duty tasks. It’s a lightweight powerhouse that’s better suited for minor cutting jobs, as opposed to cutting through wood or any other solid material like it. The 1.5 ounce weight makes it easy to take the Spatha anywhere, especially since you can just slide a carabiner through the included hole.

I’m a little disappointed by how cheap the handle feels, but it’s still comfortable to hold and easy to use. Since it is a climbing knife, the Spatha was designed to be opened using one hand, even if you’re wearing thicker gloves. It certainly takes a little practice to accomplish this quickly and easily, but it’s a useful feature at the crag and at the campground.

Reasons For

Lightweight

Versatile

Easy to use with one hand

Carabiner hole

Partially serrated edge

Very affordable

Reasons Against

A little flimsy

Opinel No. 8 Beechwood Handle Knife

Blade Type: Straight Edge

Locking Blade: Yes

Blade Length: 3.25 Inches

Handle: Beechwood

Blade: Stainless Steel

Weight: 1.5 Ounces

With a beautiful beechwood handle, the Opinel No. 8 knife is one of my favorites from an aesthetic perspective. And to sweeten the deal, it’s the cheapest knife in this review…by a long shot. In fact, it’s so cheap that my natural skepticism told me that it’s too good to be true, and that there must be something horribly wrong with the knife for it to be such a bargain.

To a certain extent, my concern is well-founded. The knife, while sharp and effective, is fairly limited in its use. It’s the sort of blade that only works for slicing, and has no business chopping anything that will provide even a modicum of resistance. The edge is far too delicate to tackle any heavy-duty jobs, so make sure you take care of it. That being said, it’s great for what it was designed for, which is food prep, cord cutting, and other light tasks.

The blade is incredibly sharp – perhaps the sharpest out of any edge mentioned in this review. At the same time, the knife weighs a meager 1.5 ounces, allowing car campers and backpackers alike to use it with ease. The back side of the blade is pretty sharp as well, so I’d recommend using two hands to open it. To be frank, this is pretty much the only way you can open this knife, but I don’t necessarily find that to be a problem.

Reasons For

Lightweight

Attractive design

Very affordable

Sharp edge

Packs down small

Reasons Against

Not meant for chopping

Benchmade 533 Mini Bugout Fine-Edge Knife

Blade Type: Straight Edge

Locking Blade: Yes

Blade Length: 2.8 Inches

Handle: Grivory

Blade: CPM-S30V Steel

Weight: 1.5 Ounces

Like the Opinel No. 8 mentioned above, the Benchmade Mini Bugout is a lightweight knife, coming in at 1.5 ounces. That being the case, it’s a great pocketknife to keep on hand for EDC use or for random jobs at the campsite.

The blade itself is incredibly sharp, though like the Opinel (again), it’s not really something I would use for chopping. While it’s a durable product, it’s not something that was designed to process wood or hack through any other tough material. Considering how slim it is, some of you may even feel that it’s too small for your needs, as it feels rather unsubstantial in one’s hand. It’s definitely best for delicate jobs, so if that’s all you intend to use it for, you’ll probably like it.

The grip feels nice, and it won’t slip out of your hand easily. It’s not the same quality that you’ll get out of G10 scales, but it’s suitable for the nature of the blade, and helps to keep the weight down. If the Grivory isn’t something that you can get over, the Bugout series is great because it offers a good deal of flexibility. It’s not too hard to slap on a different set of scales, giving you the ability to adjust the grip to something a bit more tolerable.

Reasons For

Lightweight

Slim

Good sharpness

Works with modifications

Durable

Reasons Against

The handle feels a bit cheap

Swiss Army Swiss Champ Knife

Blade Type: Straight Edge

Locking Blade: No

Blade Length: 2.5 Inches

Handle: Plastic/Aluminum

Blade: Stainless Steel

Weight: 6.5 Ounces

A Swiss Army knife in a review about the best camping knives? I know I’m going to get some negative comments on this one, but before that, just hear me out…

Despite having a blade that’s horribly inferior to any other knife in this review, the Swiss Army Champ shines because of how versatile it is. In fact, I think the only reason any of us have ever owned and carried a Swiss Army knife is because of the wide array of tools built into the knife. Has a tree fallen across your path? You can certainly step over it, but the effort is inconvenient, especially if you walk that trail often. Assuming the tree isn’t too wide, just pull out the saw on your knife and start grinding. A few minutes later, you’ll be able to drag the smaller segments of tree out of the way, clearing the trail.

You could think of any number of scenarios where the other built-in tools would come in handy. At a campsite, sometimes you’ll encounter a problem that can’t be solved by a normal blade alone, and you’ll be glad you had one of the 33 tools found in the Champ.

So, while I fully acknowledge that the knife itself isn’t the sharp or useful, and that the unit as a whole lacks a certain amount of durability, I do believe that the Champ has a place at the campground.

Reasons For

Highly versatile

Decent price

Comes with almost three dozen tools to pick from

Durability is sufficient

Good weight

Reasons Against

Jack of all trades, master of none

Benchmade 945BK-1 Mini Osborne G10 Knife

Blade Type: Straight Edge

Locking Blade: Yes

Blade Length: 2.92 Inches

Handle: G10

Blade: CPM-S30V Steel

Weight: 2.19 Ounces

In case you haven’t guessed by now, we’re big fans of Benchmade…and for good reason. They’re one of the few knife brands where I can confidently recommend almost any one of their products, and you’re to fall in love with it the first time it fits into your hand.

The Mini Osborne is no different, offering 3 inches of razor-sharp cutting power in the form of a sleek, black blade. As always, I’m a fan of the G10 scales, as they’re comfortable to grip and don’t slide around in one’s hand very easily. The edge is sharp, though it does feel like it’s lacking in some of the durability that you usually find in a Benchmade. Still, it’s very effective for light-duty tasks, and you could probably get away with batoning smaller pieces of wood as well.

Is the Osborne expensive? Definitely. Do I think it’s overpriced? Maybe a little bit, but not by much. It’s a knife that feels good in the hand and in the pocket, providing a comfortable fit and a convenient clip to secure it to your pants. On top of that, I find that the opening mechanism performs smoothly, allowing you to flip it open without tearing off your fingernail in the process.

Reasons For

Nice size

Comfortable handle

Sharp edge

Feels good in the pocket

Smooth opening mechanism

Reasons Against

A bit pricy

Spyderco Delica 4 Folding Knife

Blade Type: Straight Edge

Locking Blade: Yes

Blade Length: 2.9 Inches

Handle: Nylon

Blade: Stainless Steel

Weight: 1.6 Ounces

If you consider yourself a knife connoisseur, I guarantee you’re familiar with Spyderco. These knives are some of the best on the market, and they follow my golden rule for high-quality products: “If it’s not made in America, it better be made in Japan.” What can I say – I drive a Mazda, when I’m not driving a Dodge Ram.

Cars and countries aside, though, the Spyderco Delica is a solid blade with a few nifty features that make it stand out from the crowd. To start, I really like how simplistic the opening mechanism is. With a quick flip of your thumb, the blade is ready to go without needing any springs or fancy levers to get the job done. The edge is sharp and requires very little maintenance to keep it that way, even if you’re the type of person who likes to go hard on their tools.

Overall, I find it to be the perfect “mid-size” blade: small enough to store in your pocket, but large enough where it doesn’t feel like you’ll nick the blade when you grab the handle. And when you consider the price on the Delica, I don’t think anything more needs to be said. Spyderco could easily charge double the price, like you’d find in a Benchmade, but they opted to make it budget friendly instead. All that being the case, it’s not hard to see why we determined the Delica to be the best camping knife on the market at this time.

Reasons For

Affordable

Very sharp

Keeps an edge

Easy to open and close

Great size

Comfortable

Reasons Against

A bit of a learning curve with the Emerson opener

Camping Knife Comparison Table

Knife Comparison
KnivesWeight (oz)BladeHandleLength (inches)
Benchmade 560BK-1 Freek G10 Knife4.3CPM-M4 Stainless SteelG103.6
Gerber StrongArm Serrated Fixed Blade Knife10.9420HC SteelRubberized Diamond Texture4.8
Petzl Spatha Knife1.5Stainless SteelFiberglass-reinforced Nylon3.5
Opinel No. 8 Beechwood Handle Knife1.512C27 Sandvik Stainless SteelBeechwood3.3
Benchmade 533 Mini Bugout Fine-Edge Knife1.5CPM-S30V SteelGrivory2.82
Swiss Army Swiss Champ Knife6.5Stainless SteelCellidor2.5
Benchmade 945BK-1 Mini Osborne G10 Knife2.19CPM-S30V Stainless SteelG102.92
Spyderco Delica 4 Folding Knife1.6Stainless SteelNylon2.88

Important Features

Looking for the best camping knife? Out of all the camping tools in the world, you’ll find some of the greatest variety when it comes to knives. To give you an edge in your pursuit of the best blade (pun intended), here’s a brief buyer’s guide covering the basics of knife features.

Use

a black knife peeling a stick

Knives come in all shapes and sizes. Some fold while others have a fixed blade (which we’ll talk about shortly), others have a serrated edge, a few come in the form of a multitool, and still others have a blade shorter than your pinky finger.

If you want to pick the proper camping knife, you need to have solid understanding of how you intend to use it. Will your knife be getting wet on a regular basis? In that case, a blade made from rust resistant materials is a must. Will you be processing wood or tackling other aggressive tasks? A heavy-duty knife will be the way to go, probably in the form of a fixed blade with a full tang. Or are you only planning on using your knife as a kitchen accessory, or as a general-purpose tool?

Most of the blades in this review are pretty versatile, able to accomplish your pressing tasks with ease. For average camping purposes, you can use any of the items listed above. However, for more specialized use, you’ll have to be a little pickier, especially when it comes to the durability and design of the blade.

Comfort

a blue, black, and yellow knife on a tree stump

Regardless of the knife style that you choose, there’s a high probability that it will sit in your hand for long periods of time. Over the years, I’ve owned a number of knives that fit my hand like a glove, don’t chafe after extended use with sweaty hands, and are made from a relatively comfortable material. Conversely, I’ve also owned a blade or two that represented the complete opposite end of the spectrum.

Aside from the performance of the blade itself, few things are more important than how it feels in your hand. In fact, I may even argue that this is the most important aspect, because without it, you’re not going to want to use the knife, regardless of how well it performs. An ergonomic grip is a must, and a comfortable material certainly helps, like you might find in the Opinel No. 8 knife, which is made from beechwood.

Sometimes a rubber grip is nice to have as well, especially when performing a more laborious task. It allows you to maintain your grip on the blade after your hand has gotten sweaty, so it doesn’t run the risk of flying out of your hand on a downswing.

Fixed or Folding

blue handled knife in a tree stump at sunset

Fixed blades have a sheath to cover the edge, but aside from that, there aren’t any moving pieces to it. It’s just one, solid piece of metal with a handle wrapped around the tang, making it the sturdiest variety of camping knife. The durability and lack of moving pieces makes it ideal for wood processing and other heavy-duty tasks, though this style does tend to be heavier and harder to pack away.

Folding knives are lighter and easier to shove in a back pocket, though they lack some of the durability that you’ll find in a fixed blade. However, if your primary purpose is cooking, cutting rope, or a bit of whittling, a folding knife is all you really need.

Serration or Straight Edge

knife with yellow grip in a tree stump

While I do have a couple of serrated knives, I have a preference for straight edged blades. I find them to be more suitable for cooking, which is the primary way that I use my knives, whereas a serrated blade really shines while cutting through thick rope and cord. At the end of the day, it really just comes down to your personal needs and preferences.

Why Trust US

We get it – picking the right camping knife can be a lot harder than you’d think. That’s why we spent hours digging into the nitty-gritty of camping knives, cutting through the confusion so you can make a proper decision.

Our team is a mix of outdoor enthusiasts, survivalists, and practical folks who understand the real needs of campers. We don’t just glance at product specs; we put these knives through the paces, slicing, dicing, and surviving the elements to bring you the no-nonsense truth about which camping knives are worth your hard-earned cash. Trust us—we’ve cut through the noise to give you the clearest path to the best camping knife for your adventures.

FAQ

What are the Essential Features of a Good Camping Knife?

A good camping knife should have a strong and durable blade made from high-quality steel, a comfortable and slip-resistant handle, and a sheath to protect the blade when not in use (assuming it’s a fixed blade). It should also be lightweight and easy to carry.

What Type of Blade Should I Look for in a Camping Knife?

How Long Should a Camping Knife Be?

Final Thoughts

When looking for the best camping knife, there are a few key features to consider for optimal performance in the wild. You’ll want a tough and rust-resistant blade made of stainless or carbon steel. Consider getting a blade length that’s versatile yet easy to carry, and never underestimate the importance of a sturdy handle that feels good in your hand.

The best camping knife that ticks all these boxes is the Benchmade Mini Osborne. Its high-quality stainless steel blade is tough and won’t rust easily. The medium-sized blade is just right for a variety of tasks, while still being compact for on-the-go adventures. Plus, the Osborne’s handle is designed for a comfy grip, so you can use it all day without discomfort.

Meet the Author!

By the age of 20, Spencer had already tackled some of the most famed mountain ranges in Europe, Asia, and North America. His mission is to help others accomplish their own outdoor-related goals, even within the time constraints of a 9-5 job and a busy life schedule.

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