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The best folding knives, pocket knives and out-the-front knives are great for everyday carry, but if you’re looking to do some serious work, go hunting or prepare for survival in the wilderness, you’ll probably be better off with the best fixed-blade knife.
The best fixed-blade knives tend to be stronger than their folding counterparts because they don’t have a folding mechanism. That means the knife only requires one piece of high-quality steel that can run deep in the handle, giving you added strength and stability. And when you’re cleaning game on a hunting trip, doing tasks around the campsite or, heaven forbid, fighting off an attacker, strength and stability are the order of the day over convenience.
That’s why we rounded up a few great fixed-blade knives for your consideration. Though we certainly don’t discourage you from holding on to your everyday carry for simpler tasks, the best fixed-blade knife will make many larger tasks a heck of a lot easier.
1. Gerber StrongArm Fixed-Blade Knife
Gerber is one of the top knife makers around the Gerber StrongArm Fixed-Blade Knife is a perfect example of the brand’s knife quality work. You won’t find bells and whistles here and that’s a good thing. You get a 4.875-inch full-tang plain-edge drop point blade, made from 420 high carbon stainless steel with a black ceramic coating, and a rubberized diamond texture grip. That well-done simplicity makes this a highly versatile knife, useful for campground and survival activities, self-defense or heftier chores.
2. Mossy Oak Survival Hunting Knife
BEST FIXED-BLADE SURVIVAL KNIFE
Don’t let the low price tag on the Mossy Oak Survival Hunting Knife fool you. This is a fantastic (and huge) fixed-blade knife for its basement-level price and it’s perfect for survival mode. The 10-inch stainless steel blade has a clip point for effortless stabbing, a sharp plain edge for most slicing jobs and a serrated top edge for sawing. Toss in a non-slip rubber handle, nylon sheath, knife sharpener and fire starter, and you’ve got the best fixed-blade knife for almost any survival situation you might encounter. Rambo would be proud.
3. Ka-Bar Leather Handled Big Brother Knife
ALSO CONSIDER SURVIVAL KNIFE
If you’ve got any doubts about the Mossy Oak knife (not that you should), consider the Ka-Bar Leather Handled Big Brother Knife. Like the Mossy Oak knife, the Ka-Bar knife is sizable, with a 9.37-inch clip point blade and a plain edge and a serrated edge. Made from a 1095 Cro-Van steel, it’s also very hard and retains its edge really well, so whether you’re slicing, stabbing or sawing, the knife will be up for the task. Just make sure not to leave this blade in the rain as it will rust over time due to the steel’s low chromium content.
4. Ka-Bar TDI Investigator Law Enforcement Fixed-Blade Knife
BEST TACTICAL FIXED-BLADE KNIFE
Tactical blades are designed with law enforcement and up-close applications in mind. The Ka-Bar TDI Investigator Law Enforcement Fixed-Blade Knife is absolutely the fixed-blade knife you want to have in close combat. It may be small, with a 2.375-inch high chromium stainless steel blade and overall 5-inch length, but it is mighty. Just strap it to your waist with the included black metal belt clip for a discreet sharp knife ready to go at the drop of a hat.
5. Schrade SCHF50 Mini Push Dagger
ALSO CONSIDER TACTICAL KNIFE
Push knives may be the ultimate concealed knives for their small size and rapid deployment ability. The Schrade SCHF50 Mini Push Dagger is the definition of a discreet tactical fixed-blade knife for self-defense. With a double-edged stainless steel blade, plain edge on one side and serrated on the other, this sharp dagger will have no difficulty harming an assailant. Use the included ABS neck sheath with a chain to wear it around your neck or hang it off your belt or pocket with the included carabiner clip for easy access and the sense of security that can only come with having a ready-to-hand knife available.
6. Spyderco Moran Drop Point Fixed-Blade Knife
BEST FIXED-BLADE HUNTING KNIFE
If you’re taking a hunting trip, you’re going to want the Spyderco Moran Drop Point Fixed-Blade Knife. With great weight and design, this sturdy plain-edge drop-point stainless steel knife will be the perfect tool for cutting and cleaning game. The drop point is a lot less likely than other knife points to accidentally puncture anything inside the animal. Plus, it’s well balanced and has an ergonomic non-slip grip for optimal cutting and comfort as well as minimum fatigue.
7. Smith & Wesson SWHRT9B Fixed-Blade Knife
BUDGET FIXED-BLADE KNIFE
Simply put, you’re just never going to go wrong with a Smith & Wesson knife. The Smith & Wesson SWHRT9B Fixed-Blade Knife not only won’t let you down, but it’s also crazy affordable too. Easily accessible via the belt or boot attachable sheath, this fixed-blade knife boasts a 9-inch high carbon stainless steel blade, two sharpened plain edges for cutting, a spear point for straightforward stabbing and a rubber handle for added grip. Treat it not like crap and you’ll get years of quality work out of this knife without breaking the bank.
Smith & Wesson knives were also featured in our guide to the best self-defense weapons.
8. Kershaw Secret Agent Boot Knife
BEST SMALL FIXED-BLADE KNIFE
Though the best tactical fixed-blade knife is smaller than this Kershaw Secret Agent Boot Knife, we appreciate that this 4.4-inch stainless steel blade is more traditional, with a spear point and sharpened plain edges. So if you need a more concealable straightforward fixed-blade to strap to a boot or fix to a belt, the Kershaw Secret Agent knife will be just what the doctor ordered.
9. Cold Steel 49LCK SRK SK-5 Knife
NAVY SEAL-APPROVED FIXED-BLADE
It’s never a bad idea to take cues from what the military uses. The standard-issue knife for Navy Seals underwater demolition training, the Cold Steel 49LCK SRK SK-5 Knife was designed to endure the most extreme conditions. Made from a Japanese high carbon stainless steel, this 5-inch blade holds a great edge, retains its shape well and is highly abrasion-resistant. Add in a patterned Kray-Ex grip for excellent hold in any condition and you can see why this is standard issue for Navy Seals for land or water.