CAMPING & HIKING

Best Bowie Knife: Cutting Every Task at Half

Best bowie knife
Dennis Owens
Written by Dennis Owens

Is your regular knife quite literally not “cutting” it anymore? Are you looking for something more durable and better than other types of knives? If yes, then the best bowie knife is what you should be focusing on.

Bowie knives are big blades designed specifically for outdoor activities. They are matchless when compared to other knives on the market, but since there are so many available, finding the perfect one can be a hassle, especially when you don’t know what to pay attention to. That is why we decided to jump in and help you out.

In this article, you will first start out with some important features of bowie knives that you should keep an eye on when shopping. Then, we will move on to the top 9 models you can find right now, as well as related products that will improve the overall experience. But, before we get there, let’s first take a look at the table, so that you can see which knives to expect and what they offer.

Our Top Picks

Product NameWeightBlade LengthBlade ThicknessPrice
Puma Bowie Knife7 oz.6.1 in0.16 inCheck price on Amazon
Ka-Bar Becker BK916 oz.9 in0.18 inCheck price on Amazon
Cold Steel Natchez20 oz.11.75 in0.31 inCheck price on Amazon
Buck Knives Frontiersman19.2 oz.6.25 in0.18 inCheck price on Amazon
SOG Super SB1T-L17.6 oz.7.5 in0.25 inCheck price on Amazon
Timber Rattler Western Outlaw14.5 oz.11.37 in0.25 inCheck price on Amazon
Ontario Spec Plus Marine Raider22.4 oz.9.75 in0.25 inCheck price on Amazon
Winchester Large Bowie14.4 oz.8.75 in0.25 inCheck price on Amazon
Muela Fixed Blade Magnum20 oz.10.2 in0.25 inCheck price on Amazon

Features to Consider Before Buying

Below are the important features you should look for in a bowie knife. Keep these in mind when you shop as it can help you get the most out of your knife!

Blade Profile

The most important consideration that you have to make when choosing a bowie knife is the blade profile. Choose a cutting edge with a resourceful and durable steel material. Steel alloys do differ in quality and performance.

Custom made bowie knife

Image credit: custommade.com

The best alloys are ones that are easy to re-sharpen, have good corrosion and wear resistance. Then check the blade thickness, length and blade point. You should go for a blade length that exceeds 6 inches. There are various blade points that you can choose from, such as: drop point, clip point, tanto point, and modified tanto point.

Handle Profile

Usually, most bowie knives have short handles. The short handle does normally provide the long blade with enough power for puncturing. Go for ergonomic and durable handle material, such as wood, Micarta, Kraton, G-10, Zytel, and carbon.

Consider handles that are fitted with finger guard and pommel. Most of these blades are not fitted with lanyard holes. The most recommended handle materials are G-10, Micarta, and Kraton.

Fighting bowie knife

Image credit: jeffquaiff.com

Apart from the blade and handle profile, you also have to choose a blade that comes with a well-handcrafted carry sheath. A sheath is important for concealing and carrying your knife, especially when it has a long blade. The most commended sheath material for Bowie blades is genuine leather.

Material

The material of the blade is highly important. Most of the time it will be made of some type of steel. For example, you can find that it is made with Cro-van steel, or stainless steel, or hot forged steel.

You will also notice the thickness of the blade, which will help when you are cutting up game or going through thick brush. Having a sharp knife that is made with durable steel and has an appropriate thickness will help you get the most of your knife.

Durability

Nobody wants a bowie knife that will fall apart. That is why you need to look at the construction of the knife itself.

Your knife’s handle should be securely placed, as well as the blade. Not only that, it should be easy to sharpen and use. If you are having any trouble, or noticing that your blade is not as sharp as it should be, you should contact the manufacturer.

Sheath

Most bowie knives, or any hunting knife for that matter, will come with a sheath. A sheath is the pouch that you put your knife into to store it when not in use.

A good sheath will be made out of some grain of leather, or even nylon. Those made of plastic can fall apart easily. You will want to be sure you get a good sheath with your knife or that you are willing to purchase a more durable one to store your knife.

Best Products on Today’s Market

We have now reached the part where we will show you 9 product reviews on bowie knives. Pay attention to the specific features of each knife so that you can choose the best one for you.

Puma Knives Puma Bowie KnifePuma 116396 Bowie Fixed Blade Knife

Price: Approx. $140

Weight: 7 oz.

Blade length: 6.1 in

Specific features: Hot drop forged 440°C stainless blade steel, 57-60 Rockwell hardness, naturally dropped stag scales, 11.4-inch overall length, 0.16-inch blade thickness, limited warranty, custom proofed Rockwell hardness, handmade, and leather sheath

Best use: Camping, hunting, skinning game

Description: The Puma Plain Stag Bowie Knife has a blade length of 6.1 inches, making it an ideal Bowie knife for the money. The quality and performance of this blade are astounding. This piece is taken through twenty five different hand production stages to give it its high quality performance.

The blade is made of drop-forged 440°C stainless steel. This is a high carbon martensitic steel, which has good wear resistance & hardness, moderate corrosion resistance, and high strength. The knife has a full tang structure accompanied by naturally-dropped stag holder scales.

The scales are riveted into position by hand. There is a beautifully drilled lanyard hole situated between the second and third rivet. The lanyard hole can fit a 550 Paracord. It is a custom-made piece with a 6.1-inch clip point. It is a fairly large knife for skinning and butchering big game.

It has a good reputation for retaining the edge after a long period of use. The amazing blade and handle designs are accompanied by a well-built leather sheath.

The sheath is waterproof; therefore, you shouldn’t be worried about it getting damaged in the rain. This is an excellent Bowie blade that offers a guaranteed quality routine.

PROS:

  • Hollow ground Bowie-style blade
  • Handmade with naturally dropped stag anglers
  • Comes with sheath

CONS:

  • Hard to sharpen
  • Poor workmanship but good quality
  • Not very polished

Related: If you are camping outdoors, why not hang a hammock to relax after a long, active day? The Wise Owl Outfitters Camping Hammock is affordable, comfortable and easy to pack away.

Check the price on Amazon

Ka-Bar Becker BK9 Combat Bowie KnifeKa-Bar Becker BK9 Combat Bowie Fixed Blade Knife

Price: Approx. $100

Weight: 16 oz.

Blade length: 9 in

Specific features: Ka-Bar Becker stamp, 1095 Cro-Van steel blade material, 20-degree edge angle, clip point ship, 3/16-inch blade thickness, Grivory handle material, epoxy powder coat blade coating, full tang construction, and black nylon w/ kydex insert sheath

Best use: Combat, camping, hunting

Description: The Ka-Bar Becker BK9 Combat Bowie Knife has a 9-inch blade made of 1095 Cro-Van tool steel. This steel material is easy to sharpen when compared to other tool steels. In fact, Ka-Bar is well-known for using 1095 Cro-van steel in the construction of its knives.

This piece is incorporated with a long clip point, which is specifically designed for some serious cutting. The cutting edge has a thickness of 3/16 inches. The edge is black powder coated and has a high flat grind.

This grind offers a blade that tapers from the sharply pointed projection to the cutting edge from both sides. The manufacturer has not sacrificed blade sturdiness in favor of sharpness.

Instead, the flat grind is high to ensure there is a desired sharpness and the appropriate edge durability. The Grivory handle is made of glass-fiber nylon that offers additional strength.

The handle shape fits perfectly into your hand, providing you with a strong grip for combat and field chores, which minimizes fatigue. There is a lanyard hole situated above the third rivet at the far end of the handle.

There is also a pommel just beyond the lanyard hole, which you can use for hammering and batoning. You should not, for a second, doubt this knife because it is tested for quality and durability.

PROS:

  • Used by military and service members
  • Ergonomic handle
  • Light and durable

CONS:

  • Slippery handle
  • Can break
  • Chips

Related: The Red Rock Large Assault Pack is great for outdoor use. Pack all of your gear and go. It is affordable, and you can choose your color, and it has many snaps and zippers!

Check the price on Amazon

Cold Steel Natchez Bowie KnifeCold Steel 16ABSJ Natchez Bowie

Price: Approx. $145

Weight: 20 oz.

Blade length: 11.75 in

Specific features: VG-1 San Mai III steel blade material, 17.13 inches overall length, 5 3/8-inch long handle, black linen Micarta handle material, 8 mm blade thickness, plain blade detail, and leather carry sheath

Best use: Hunting and field chores

Description: The Cold Steel Natchez Bowie is a long knife with a blade that measures 11.75 inches. This piece offers you unmatched velocity and liveliness when cutting because its length and design provide reach & leverage, strength, and flawless balance.

The cutting edge is engineered from heat-treated VG-1 San Mai III steel material. This is a high performing steel material that does not only offers strength and durability, but also eases sharpening and excellent edge retention.

The blade is well-tapered from the spine to the tip, offering a highly resourceful piercing tool. The handle profile is highly user-friendly. It is made of black linen Micarta for a strong grip when handling field chores.

It is also fitted with a good-looking 300 series stainless steel pommel that you can use for hammering, along with a double quillon guard bolster for added firmness when holding the blade. The bolster does allow you to hold the handle with different grips for very formidable impacts. The dagger comes with a heavy duty leather sheath that is uniquely made.

The sheath locks the whole blade, leaving only the pommel and small part of the handle exposed, but secured. Generally, 16ABSJ Natchez Bowie construction involves the very best in workmanship and materials, hence the guaranteed performance.

PROS:

  • Made of high quality materials
  • Easy to hold, nice grip
  • Long blade

CONS:

  • Quite pricey
  • Can scratch and dent
  • Poor sheath

Related: If you will be camping outdoors for several nights, then you will need a cookware set to make food with. The Gold Armour 17pc Camping Cookware Set comes in 4 colors, comes with a pot, pan, bowls, silverware and more.

Check the price on Amazon

Buck Knives Frontiersman Bowie KnifeBuck Knives 124 Frontiersman

Price: Approx. $110

Weight: 19.2 oz.

Blade length: 6.25 in

Specific features: Made in the USA, 420 HC steel blade material, fixed blade, Micarta blade material; full tang blade; non-serrated, drop point blade shape, satin blade finish, 0.178-inch blade thickness, and genuine leather sheath

Best use: Hunting

Description: The Buck Knives Frontiersman Knife is a straight-back dagger that is particularly made for hunting. It is a classic cutting tool that delivers without any complaints.

The blade is engineered from 420 HC steel, which is a standard material for Buck’s products. This alloy has high wear resistance, and unbelievably reliable corrosion resistance.

This steel material has undergone a special heat treatment process, providing you with the comprehensible amalgamation of grander corrosion resistance with outstanding strength for durability. In addition, 420 HC steel offers you a blade that is easy to sharpen and has a great edge retention.

Apart from the resourceful blade material, this unique hunting knife has a well-defined blade profile. It has a drop point shape; hence it has a more curved profile, providing it with a fuller edge. The blade measures 6.25 inches long and it has a thickness of 0.178 inches.

This piece is fitted with an ergonomic Micarta handle, which offers a strong grip for outdoor activities. The handle features a well-designed finger guard and an aluminum pommel. It also comes with a well-made leather sheath for securing and carrying the knife from one location to another.

With that said, Buck Knives Frontiersman is what you need for any outdoor activity that requires strength and tenacity.

PROS:

  • Razor sharp blade
  • Great build and design
  • Secure grip, safe to use

CONS:

  • Poor sheath
  • Bevel is uneven
  • Grind is uneven, leaves marks

Related: The Goyiki Balaclava Ski Mask is a great thing to have when you are in the cold while hunting. This tactical balaclava is great for camping, hiking, riding and more. It wicks moisture and is quite affordable.

Check the price on Amazon

SOG Super SOG SB1T-L Bowie KnifeSOG Super SOG Bowie Fixed Blade SB1T-L

Price: Approx. $180

Weight: 17.6 oz.

Blade length: 7.5 in

Specific features: Fixed blade design, AUS 8 stainless steel, epoxied leather handle material, hardcased black TiNi blade finish, straight edge, 0.25-inch blade thickness, and genuine leather sheath

Best use: Outdoor and tactical activities

Description: The SOG Super SB1T-L Bowie Knife is a new product by SOG. This is a newfangled adaptation of the innovative SOG Bowie with extraordinarily precise gridlines. To begin with, it is made of AUS 8 stainless steel material, which is Japanese steel with good edge retention capabilities and superb toughness.

This material is objectively easy to re-sharpen and has great corrosion resistance capabilities. The blade’s hardcased, black TiNi finish offers the cutting edge an added advantage as far as corrosion and wear resistance is concerned. The edge is straight and has a clip point, making the blade fuller and tougher for quicker as well as deeper puncturing.

The handle is made of genuine leather washers, providing you with a standard appearance and it fits firmly and comfortably in your hand. The highly user-friendly, balanced and contoured handle has a brown finish that offers the handgrip its colorful appearance.

It has a well-structured finger guard that offers additional support to the grip, and a standard black pommel. The pommel is fitted with a sizeable lanyard hole that comfortably fits a 550 Paracord. It comes with a black leather carry sheath along with a belt loop attachment.

This is a SOG product; therefore, it has a guaranteed warranty on flaws in materials as well as workmanship. However, the warranty does not apply when the product is subjected to alterations, poor maintenance, misuse, and abuse.

PROS:

  • Updated straight edge fixed blade
  • Limited lifetime warranty
  • Handle is comfortable, made of leather washers

CONS:

  • Quite expensive
  • Poor sheath
  • Can have a dull finish

Related: The Reebow Gear Emergency Survival Sleeping Bag is great to have in an emergency. Affordable, this allows you to survive if you were in a freezing situation. It is light, tear resistant, waterproof and windproof.

Check the price on Amazon

Timber Rattler Western Outlaw Bowie KnifeTimber Rattler Western Outlaw Bowie Knife

Price: Approx. $30

Weight: 14.5 oz.

Blade length: 11.375 in

Specific features: TR65 steel blade material, hardwood handle material, full tang blade, 11.375-inch blade length, brilliant brass-plated guard, and genuine leather sheath

Best use: Camping, hunting

Description: The Timber Rattler Western Outlaw Bowie Knife is an excellent outdoorsman knife. This is the tool to buy when you are after quality and superior performance. It is one of the best long knives for outdoor activities and hunting.

It has a blade that is 11.375 inches long, which is convenient for skinning and butchering game. The cutting edge is made of TR65 stainless steel, which is a unique alloy with great wear and corrosion resistance capabilities.

In fact, the edge is easy to re-sharpen and it has good edge retention capabilities. The handle is made of classic gray hardwood material and it is smaller in size to offer the extended blade enough power.

The handgrip is fitted with brilliant brass-plated guard, which provides additional support to the already strong and tough grip. The handle is also incorporated with a brass-plated pommel. Apart from having a full tang for strength and durability, the knife comes with a genuine leather sheath for storage and easy drawing.

PROS:

  • Affordable
  • Brass plated guard
  • Full tang, stable and durable

CONS:

  • Tip can break
  • Can get dull easily
  • Scratches easily

Related: The Jiusy Tactical Gloves are great tactical gloves you can use for hunting or motorcycle riding. Affordable, you can choose from 3 colors, and they have great grip.

Check the price on Amazon

Ontario Spec Plus Marine Raider KnifeOntario Spec Plus Marine Raider Bowie

Price: Approx. $90

Weight: 22.4 oz.

Blade length: 9.75 in

Specific features: 1095 carbon steel material, 3-inch closed length, 15-inch open length, 0.250-inch blade thickness, Kraton handle material, black powder color on blade, and leather Cordura sheath

Best use: Military, sporting and rescue

Description: Measuring 15.125 inches and weighing 22.4 ounces, the Ontario Spec Plus Marine Raider Knife is the best long blade knife for the money. This piece is designed for rescue, sporting, and military use. The blade is made of 1095 carbon steel.

This is usually a simple carbon steel with moderate edge retention capability and corrosion resistance. The best and most convenient feature of 1095 carbon steel is that it is easy to sharpen. The handle is made of Kraton, which provides you with comfort & excellent grip, flexibility, and memory elasticity.

As far as this piece is concerned, its quality exceeds the price. Generally, it has a tremendously tough cutting edge, which will handle any kind of outdoor activity.

Made of outstanding quality materials, this knife is fairly affordable and will get the job done. This is one knife you will definitely want to use in the field, no matter the activity.

PROS:

  • Full tang, durable
  • Limited lifetime warranty, made in USA
  • Secure grip, comfortable to use

CONS:

  • Too thick of a coating on the blade
  • Handle is not tempered, can bend
  • Blade can scratch

Related: The CQR Men’s Tactical Cargo Pants are great tactical pants that you can use in the field. They are cargo style and come in a huge variety of colors. Affordable, you will want these while you are outdoors.

Check the price on Amazon

Winchester Large Bowie KnifeWinchester 22-41206 Large Bowie Knife

Price: Approx. $30

Weight: 14.4 oz.

Blade length: 8.75 in

Specific features: 420J2-surgical stainless steel blade material, fixed blade, clip point, plain blade edge, silver blade color, brown handle color, wood handle, and nylon sheath

Best use: Outdoor activities

Description: Measuring 14.25 inches and weighing 14.4 ounces, the Winchester Large Bowie Knife is one of the best Bowie knives for a serious outdoorsman. It is a multi-functional cutting tool with a unique power.

This clip point dagger features a heavy duty blade made of 420J2-surgical steel, stainless steel material, which has good edge retention capability and it is easy to re-sharpen.

It is fitted with a wooden handle, which is well-grooved, providing you with a strong grip for tougher chores. It also comes with a well-built sheath that does effectively conceal the knife when not in use.

When you take it out of the package, it is ready to use. It will slice through anything cleanly and quickly as it is highly sharp and does its job. The handle has finger grips so you can hold on to the knife properly and the sheath is on that actually holds up well.

In the end, you can’t really go wrong with this knife, so you might give it a try!

PROS:

  • Super sharp
  • Great design, easy to use
  • Strong grip

CONS:

  • Handle is too light
  • Blade can split
  • Blade and handle can come apart

Related: The Hangsung LED Camping Lantern is a great product that comes in a 2 or 4 pack. You can take it camping, fishing or hiking with ease. Simply use the carabiner to hang it anywhere from a tree limb to inside of your tent!

Check the price on Amazon

Muela Fixed Blade Magnum KnifeMuela Magnum Fixed Blade Knife

Price: Approx. $350

Weight: 20 oz.

Blade length: 10.2 in

Specific features: Fixed blade, 440 chrome vanadium molybdenum alloy blade material, 54-58 degrees harness, crown stag handle, and a handcrafted full grain leather sheath

Best use: Outdoor activities

Description: Measuring 14.06 inches and weighing approximately 20 ounces, the Muela Fixed Blade Magnum Knife is a special fixed Bowie knife for the money. The blade is made of 440 chrome vanadium molybdenum steel. This steel material has high strength and hardness, and it’s highly resistant to wear and corrosion.

The handle is made of crown stag handle, which is uniquely curved with a short grip. The handle is also fixed with a pommel cap and solid brass guard. The piece comes with a well-handcrafted full grain leather sheath, which secure concealment of the blade. It also comes with a lifetime warranty.

No one knife is ever going to be perfect. However, we love this knife because of how hard it works when we need it to. Its unique and durable design draws us in, and the action of using it, will keep you coming back to it. Definitely give this knife some thought before you buy one.

PROS:

  • Lifetime warranty
  • Crown deer horn handle
  • Fixed blade great for hunting

CONS:

  • Highly priced
  • Sheath isn’t the best
  • Grip can be too short

Related: The Red Rock Outdoor Gear Rover Sling Pack is a great pack to take with you anywhere, and it’s affordable. You can choose your own color and feel safe that it is made with high quality materials like polyester. There are 4 compartments and a snap closure on the pocket.

Check the price on Amazon

Wrap Up

Not all knives you find in the market are Bowie, but a few that are specified by the manufacturer. One of the most notable features of a Bowie is the blade length. Always choose a piece that has a classy and lightweight design along with a flawless finish.

The blade point, length, and thickness should match your cutting chores. Make sure your choice is perfect to use for different outdoor applications. The blade should be made of heavy-duty steel material that is easy to sharpen and has good wear and corrosion resistance capabilities.

Moreover, choose an ergonomic handle that will offer you the required grip. Now that you are aware of what a bowie knife can do for you and what is on the market, which one will you choose for your next outdoor adventure? Do you think we have missed any important products? If so, please inform us in comments.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Dennis Owens

Dennis Owens

Dennis Owens is a graduate of National Camping School and REI Outdoor School. He knows everything about what gear to take with you, how to plan your trip to stay safe and what to do if you get lost in the mountains. We are lucky to have Dennis with us as he is a ‘walking encyclopedia’ when it comes to the wilderness.