10 Best Camping Knives of 2021

If you’ve ever been camping, you know that the rugged charm of the experience doesn’t mean that you don’t have to bring anything with you. Depending on your goals for the adventure, there’s a range of equipment, gear, and amenities that could prove necessary for ensuring your time in the outdoors is safe and enjoyable. 

For instance, you’ll probably need a tent and a sleeping bag. You might need a portable grill, a cast-iron skillet, and a cooler. Who knows—maybe you’ll even pack a book or a portable speaker. But one item that you should always take with you on these kinds of adventures is a camping knife. 

While there are other types of tools that could prove useful, nothing is more versatile for your outdoor needs than a camping knife. Whether you need to make a simple DIY fix, prep kindling and firewood, or defend yourself against wild animals, having a reliable camping knife is a nonnegotiable! And since not all knives are created equal, we’ve listed our ten favorites:

Kershaw Launch

1. Winkler Knives Woodsman

Daniel Winkler is a legendary knifemaker out of Boone, NC. His handmade knives are known for their top-notch quality and craftsmanship. The Woodsman was an easy first choice here because it’s one of the most versatile and all-around effective camping knives available today. Designed to perform a wide array of outdoor tasks, take this blade on your adventure and it will probably be the only one you need. 

The Woodsman comes with a drop point blade and jimped thumb ramp that provides enhanced grip and control while cutting. If you find yourself needing to tackle some light hammering tasks, the flat butt end will come in handy. Moreover, a thicker stock keeps the knife strong even though the skeletonized tang design trims down the overall weight. 

  • Blade: 4.25” 80CrV2 Drop Point
  • Finish: Black Oxide No-Glare  
  • Overall Length: 8.75” 
  • Sheath: Lined Boltaron with Leather Cover
  • Origin: USA
Kershaw Launch

2. Winkler Knives Survival Striker   

Another knife by Winkler, the Survival Striker, was designed with hammering capabilities as a top priority. Starting with a 0.36-inch-thick tang at the hammer end, the tang tapers all the way to the tip of the blade. You can remove the grip scales from the Striker’s skeletonized handle, which comes with a ferro rod and a bag of steel wool. These can be set up to store smaller goodies you might want to bring on your adventure.

The Striker is a versatile camping knife, and it excels at heavy-duty tasks and batoning thanks to the stout flat crowned blade. It also has a thumb wrap for extra grip and control. Furthermore, it comes with a Kydex sheath and a compact tool that you can use to open the handle compartment.

  • Blade: 5.25” 80CrV2 Drop Point
  • Finish: Black Oxide Tumbled  
  • Overall Length: 9.5” 
  • Sheath: Lined Boltaron with Micarta Welt
  • Origin: USA
Kershaw Launch

3. ESEE-4 

The ESEE-4 is another excellent camping knife. Manufactured in the USA, this model is placed between the ESEE-3 and ESEE-5 because it’s a more robust outdoors knife than the 3 but not quite as heavy-duty as the 5. In short, the ESEE-4 is a balanced, capable camping knife that will last.

You can do any number of tasks with this knife. Whether it’s cutting rope or branches, batoning wood, shaving tender, or dressing game. One of its most appealing qualities is the simplicity of the design. It’s a good size, user-friendly, and an all-around great sidekick for the wilderness.  

  • Blade: 4.5” 1095 Drop Point
  • Finish: Black Oxide No-Glare  
  • Overall Length: 9.0” 
  • Sheath: Molded with Clip Plate
  • Origin: USA
Kershaw Launch

4. ESEE Laser Strike  

If you’re okay with a little extra weight in your camping knife, the ESEE Laser Strike is hard to beat, especially for the money. As with ESEE-4, the Laser Strike offers a simple design. It’s essentially a single piece of steel with two handle scales. Many knife enthusiasts consider this model to be an ideal size at 10 inches long overall and a five-inch blade. While it’s still comfortable to carry, the length of the knife provides impressive cutting power. 

Concerning the weight, the Laser Strike isn’t a burden, but it will give you a more solid feel than many of its rivals. This knife also has some pretty innovative features worth mentioning. For instance, inside the handle compartment is a slim cutout that you can use for holding a flint and magnesium fire starter as well as some tender tabs. So, if you need to make a fire quickly, you can strike sparks on one of the tabs with the back of the blade. And in the cutout, there happens to be room for a fishhook (or two) and line. 

The Laser Strike is one of the most solid all-around camping knives you can find. It matches much bigger blades when it comes to slicing, dicing, and batoning. It pretty much does anything you could want from a survival knife, and it is comfortable to use.  

  • Blade: 4.75” 1095 Drop Point
  • Finish: Gray, Black, or Tan  
  • Overall Length: 10.00” 
  • Sheath: Kydex
  • Origin: USA
Kershaw Launch

5. KA-BAR Becker BK-2  

Durability is the name of the game when it comes to the KA-BAR Becker BK-2. In fact, it just might be the most durable camping knife on the market. It offers a comfortable and useful design, and it’s quite versatile. When it comes to survival knives, the job doesn’t have to look pretty. And that is one area in which the BK-2 excels. It’s a great tool for a wide variety of outdoor tasks and makes a respectable addition to any bushcraft collection. 

The BK-2 isn’t the best knife for detail work, and it’s quite heavy at a full pound. But if you’re looking for a good first camping knife at a great value, this model should be on your shortlist. It comes with a thick, good-quality steel, and it’s scrappy. If you get caught in a tough situation, the BK-2 will probably come through for you; its brawn and versatility will provide you with reassurance when you are braving the wilderness. 


  • Blade: 5.25” 1095 Cro-Van Drop Point
  • Finish: Black  
  • Overall Length: 10.75” 
  • Sheath: Molded with Nylon Belt Loop
  • Origin: USA
Kershaw Launch

6. Benchmade 162 Bushcrafter 

Benchmade is one of the most successful knife makers in the world for a reason—it produces some of the highest quality blades, and it offers many different types. Its bushcraft knives are no exception. The 162 Bushcrafter is perhaps Benchmade’s best all-around knife for camping uses. It’s well-sized for a variety of outdoor tasks, and it comes with a lifetime warranty. The S30V steel blade comes sharp out of the box and strikes the perfect balance between hardness, toughness, and edge retention. You can plan on using this blade for intense cutting, carving, and chopping tasks for months on end without worrying about it losing its edge.

The 162 also fits really well in the hand; the ergonomic handle feels sturdy without being too large to carry. With every Benchmark purchase comes Lifesharp, which will allow you to keep the blade sharpened, oiled, and adjusted for free. 

  • Blade: 4.43” CPM-S30V (58-60 HRC) Drop Point
  • Finish: Satin  
  • Overall Length: 9.2” 
  • Sheath: Leather with Belt Loop
  • Origin: USA
Kershaw Launch

7. Morakniv Companion Spark 

Morakniv is no stranger to producing multi-purpose knives. But the Companion Spark might be its most impressive yet. It is most certainly the most useful camping knife from the manufacturer, and it comes in at the $30 range. 

The Companion Spark is one of the easiest knives to carry on this list. As it is just 3.2 ounces and 9.375 inches long. The 4.1-inch clip point blade is made of 12C27 stainless steel, which is an upgrade from previous Companion models. What sets this model apart from its rivals, however, is that it provides a fire starter that is super easy to access. Simply slide the fire starter out of the slot in the knife handle and slide it back in when you are finished using it. That way, your fire rod and knife will always be in the same place. 

  • Blade: 4.1” Swedish Stainless Steel Drop Point
  • Finish: Satin  
  • Overall Length: 9.4” 
  • Sheath: Plastic with Belt Loop
  • Origin: USA
Kershaw Launch

8. TOPS Knives BOB Fieldcraft 

If you are a knife enthusiast, you probably know about the Brothers of Bushcraft (B.O.B.), which is a coalition of men across North America that shares wilderness living skills in a variety of categories and situations. B.O.B. combined their knowledge and experiences to design the Fieldcraft knife. And it holds up to its name. 

The TOPS Fieldcraft knife can withstand long-term, heavy-duty abuse, and there’s nearly no limit to the variety of survival tasks that it can perform. Need to carve netting needles or trap triggers? No problem. What about carving or chopping through branches? It will do that too. In a word, the Fieldcraft is “serviceable” for the woods. And it also comes with perhaps the most ergonomic handle on the market. Unlike countless other knives that have lots of frills, it’s clear that this model was designed for simplicity and function every step of the way with expert knowledge and critique.

  • Blade: 4.375” 1095 Drop Point
  • Finish: Gray or Black  
  • Overall Length: 9.875” 
  • Sheath: Leather with Belt Loop
  • Origin: USA
Kershaw Launch

9. Gerber StrongArm  

The Gerber StrongArm is one of the most-reviewed fixed blade knives on YouTube and other outlets. And for good reason—it might just be the best cheap fixed blade ever made. This thing can take a beating like few other knives on the market. When it comes to choosing a camping knife, it’s hard to argue with the StrongArm. After all, it simply won’t quit, and that is a welcome quality when you’re spending time in the wilderness. 

The StrongArm likely offers everything you need in terms of camping chores, and it will even perform well on heavy-duty tasks. Put the budget-friendly price aside. This knife offers exceptional build quality, and it’s comfortable to hold and use. 

  • Blade: 4.875” 420HC Drop Point
  • Finish: Black  
  • Overall Length: 9.75” 
  • Sheath: Modular Polymer with MOLLE
  • Origin: USA
Kershaw Launch

10. DPx HEST  

HEST stands for Hostile Environment Survival Tool, and this knife lives up to its name. In terms of all-around function and reliability, the DPx HEST will rival any camping knife out there when it comes to roughing it in the woods. 

If you need to cut, pry, or slice, this knife will get the job done. It also comes with DPx’s iconic bottle opener, which means you have one less thing to think about when you’re packing equipment and gear for your outdoor adventure. This is one of the best concealable and useful knives out there.

  • Blade: 3.13” 1095 Drop Point
  • Finish: Black  
  • Overall Length: 7.63” 
  • Sheath: Kydex with Belt Clip
  • Origin: USA

The Sum-Up 

Camping is supposed to be fun. It’s supposed to give you an escape from a tech-obsessed world and help you maintain a healthy perspective on life. But if you don’t take what you need on your adventure, you can end up wishing you never went!

Moral of the story: Make sure you don’t go to the wilderness without a great camping knife. Your knife should be versatile, durable, and comfortable to hold. Every knife on this list can provide that for you. Just think about what you want, and compare blades until you find the perfect model. And as always, feel free to contact Ridgerunner Blades with any questions you have!

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