The Best Fixed Blade Knives for Exigent Exploration

You might wonder why someone would even think about carrying a fixed blade knife when a folding knife is way more convenient and doesn’t always have a sharp edge exposed. Well, for starters, a fixed blade is more sturdy and reliable than a folding knife, which means it can take harsher treatment. Also, there are no moving parts, which makes it less likely to break and easier to clean.

The thing is, most people can get away with just a simple pocket knife. There aren’t very many things a fixed blade can do that a folder can’t, so it mostly boils down to preference and whether you live a rugged life outdoors. If you want a tool that can handle virtually any task you ask of it and don’t want to worry about cleaning and oiling, then you might find a fixed blade of more use.

That said, there are a lot of knives out there and not all of them are exactly the put-in-your-pocket type (most of them aren’t), but there do exist some small but still useful fixed blades that you can count on. Here are some of the best fixed blades knives that don’t take up too much of the third dimension.

Boker Plus Rhino Knife

SIZE
WEIGHT

This knife almost looks like something you’d find in a kitchen; it has a black handle with a metal cross-section that’s flush with the blade. It’s also very small for a fixed blade, but it definitely won’t let you down.

The blade shape is a reverse-tanto sheepsfoot, which almost has the practicality of a drop-point (a typical pocket knife blade) with the precision of a normal sheepsfoot. You could say it’s two-in-one. As for the materials, there seems to be a bit of a disconnect between what people buy and what people get. For example, a 12C steel is listed, but many people ended up with 440C (which is also a good steel). But if you’re not super picky about what your knife is made of and just want something small, then the Boker Rhino will definitely serve you well.

Overall Length:
Blade Material:
Handle Material:
Weight:

6.1 inches
12C27 steel
Micarta
3.8 ounces

ESEE Izula Neck Knife

Size
WEIGHT

You really can’t get much more simple than this. It’s a single piece of metal with more open space in the handle than not, which makes it that much more lightweight. It’s also one of the most critically acclaimed fixed-blades for carrying around.

The name of the knife suggests that you’d wear it around your neck, but of course it can be carried in whatever way suits your fancy. It has a normal blade shape, which is strong and versatile and compliments the knife’s simplicity well. The ESEE Izula is definitely something to consider if you want to go completely bare-boned with your stabber.

Overall Length:
Blade Material:
Handle Material:
Weight:

6.2 inches
1095 steel
1095 steel
2.0 ounces

Benchmade Hidden Canyon Hunting Knife

Size
Weight

A bit rustic-looking, this fixed blade is designed by none other than the legendary Benchmade. It’s got a wooden handle, which not only looks cool, but is also good for extreme temperatures because it doesn’t conduct heat. (Imagine trying to grip a steel handle in sub-zero weather). 

The blade shape is a simple drop-point, ideal for general tasks, but also perfect for business in the field like cleaning game (it’s called a “hunter” for a reason). Also, being a Benchmade blade, it comes with a LifeSharp guarantee, meaning the company will service your knife for free if you send it in. If you’re willing to pay a little more than you would for an average knife and want something with a rugged personality, then the Hidden Canyon is right up your alley.

Overall Length:
Blade Material:
Handle Material:
Weight:

6.3 inches
CPM-S30V steel
stabilized wood
3.5 ounces

Ka-Bar BK11 Neck Knife

Size
Weight

This one is very similar to the previous ESEE knife, being a solid piece of metal that’s small and lightweight. It is a bit longer and heavier, but it also has a bottle opener at the end of the handle so I guess it all evens out. Not to mention this one is a little bit cheaper.

It’s made of Cro-Van steel, which is relatively easy to sharpen and does a good job of holding an edge. That combined with its drop-point blade shape makes this knife great for anybody new to the whole knife thing. So, if you want a cutting tool that doesn’t have more oomph than it needs to have (not counting the bottle opener), then put the BK11 on your list of things you just might have a use for.

Overall Length:
Blade Material:
Handle Material:
Weight:

6.7 inches
1095 Cro-Van steel
1095 Cro-Van steel
2.4 ounces

Spyderco Street Beat Knife

Size
Weight

The name for this one has an undeniable cadence to it that definitely doesn’t have any correlation to a certain Danish band. But we didn’t come here to talk about music. This knife behind the name is heralded for its simple design and lightweight but sturdy design. As for what key it’s in, I’d say it could pick most any lock with ease.

Being a Spyderco knife, the Street Beat is composed of only the highest-quality materials including a VG-10 steel blade and a fiberglass-reinforced handle. The blade shape is a variation of a normal blade that’s almost like a drawn-out spey blade. At any rate, it’s perfect for any basic cutting task and is definitely a knife to consider if you have bigger budget and don’t want to compromise on quality.

Overall Length:
Blade Material:
Handle Material:
Weight:

7.2 inches
VG-10 steel
fiberglass nylon
3.2 ounces

Buck 113 Hunting Knife

Size
Weight

Here’s another rustic knife with a wooden handle. The spine of the blade transitions seamlessly into the handle to create a nice curve on the back, which not only looks cool, but adds extra strength. This is a knife that will serve your hunting needs (or other cutting needs) very well and will do it with an added measure of style.

The size of the knife is at the point where it’s almost too small to be a regularly-sized knife, but big enough to act like one. And with 420HC steel, it’s definitely not messing around. The wood handle also means no cold fingers when your knife is exposed to low temperatures, which is ideal for outdoor use. If you’re looking for a mid-tier knife that isn’t too expensive, then this is the knife for you.

Overall Length:
Blade Material:
Handle Material:
Weight:

7.2 inches
420HC steel
stabilized wood
5.2 ounces

Morakniv Robust Knife

Size
Weight

This is what a knife looks like when it’s cheaper than a night out at your favorite restaurant. But despite the price and appearance, Morakniv somehow manages to make it exceptionally functional. Basically, it can do ten times more than what you’d expect.

The blade is made from basic carbon steel and is attached to a rubber handle, which makes it more grippy. It’s definitely on the bigger side, but it’s really hard to argue with the price. Give this blade a try if you want something that’s super cheap and still gets the job done.

Overall Length:
Blade Material:
Handle Material:
Weight:

8.2 inches
carbon steel
TPE rubber
4.9 ounces

Gerber StrongArm Knife

Size
Weight

We’re bordering sword territory with this one. It’s almost a foot long and is over half a pound, so you won’t have any problem opening a cardboard box with it (or at least a letter). The StrongArm is certainly a beast that you wouldn’t want around untamed.

The blade is a drop-point forged from 420HC steel and the handle is coated in rubber to ensure you don’t drop it on concrete (you might put a hole in the sidewalk). It has a striking pommel at the base of the handle in case you need to break glass and it also has a keychain hole in case you want to put it next to your car keys. The price is very reasonable for how big and tough this thing is, so if you’re looking for the most resolute fixed blade that still has some portability, then give the StrongArm a mighty stab.

Overall Length:
Blade Material:
Handle Material:
Weight:

9.8 inches
420HC steel
rubber-coated metal
7.2 ounces

Those have been some of the best fixed blade knives that one could realistically carry around on a daily basis. The wilderness will be no match for you with one of these nice, shiny daggers at your side. You’ll be chopping branches and ripping through foliage as if tomorrow was just a myth. Not to mention the uses a blade has wherever trees are not, such as stabbing fruit before you eat it or opening a cardboard box (because that’s the only thing a knife can do).

Hopefully you found this article helpful. If you have any questions or concerns (or just want to type something), then be sure to leave a comment below and I’ll be sure to get back to you as soon as possible.

16 thoughts on “The Best Fixed Blade Knives for Exigent Exploration

  1. Oh wow! This is in testing to see here. Initially I had thought a folding knife would be more preferable because of the possibilities of explanations should anyone discover and it nay be easier to carry around. However, this us another totally different ball game entirely and I like it. Thank you for sharing here. I feel like the ESEE Izula Neck Knife is looking great

    1. Hi Ella,

      Fixed blades are definitely a whole other world compared to folders and they are great for some things that folders are not so great at (like being thrown). I’m also sure most people would agree that the ESEE Izula knife is one the best fixed blades out there.

  2. I’ve had a pocket knife in my possession and I take it to nearly everywhere I go. However, it’s a folding knife. I must say that I didn’t know fixed blade knives could be this elegant until I read this post. The Ka-Bar BK11 Neck Knife looks quite sturdy and portable. I’ll look to get one for myself. 

    1. Folding knives are probably better for most casual cases, but a fixed-blade can be a nice alternative if you want to shake it up or go for some style points. Their also tougher, and that’s always a plus.

  3. My husband has a Victorinox Swiss Army folding knife. But I have heard him complain about it not being sturdy because it’s old. I initially thought of replacing it with a similar Victorinox folding knife but now that I have researched a bit, I think a fixed blade is a better option right now.

    Thanks for all these options.

    1. Hi Ann,

      A Swiss Army knife is good for casual activities, but a fixed blade knife is more for dedicated knife users. If a sturdy, reliable blade is the goal, then a fixed-blade is definitely going to be a good candidate. If your husband doesn’t like unstable blades, then I can see how a Swiss Army knife wouldn’t be the best option.

  4. My dad owns a Ka-Bar neck knife but he only carries it in his emergency bag so he doesn’t use it that much. Though, he’s had that knife for a while now and he absolutely loves the quality and how easy it is to clean. He mostly carries a pocket knife with him but I will be showing him all of your recommendations just in case he wants to do a little upgrade. 

    1. Hi Stephanie,

      A fixed-blade knife is great for an emergency bag because you don’t need to worry about keeping it in your pocket. The Ka-Bar would definitely be easier to clean than other knives because it’s just one piece of metal. 

  5. Hello Isaac! I find your reviews of pocket knives very interesting as it exposes me to new things about it every moment I get to read your article.

    Before now, I had been rating folding knife over fixed blades, I guess maybe because I’ve not used one bfore now. Thanks for sharing this with me, it’s educative!

    1. Hi Chimmhogevagreenesnr,

      I wouldn’t say fixed-blade knives are necessarily better than folders, but they are better for certain purposes like outdoor survival. Most people will find pocket knives easier to carry, but other will prefer the reliability of fixed blades. Anyways, I’m glad you found this article educational!

  6. Knives are of varying categories and proportion, and here we would be looking at the fixed blade knives. Unlike the folder knives, the fix blade knives gives you better useage and uese cos of its straight nature and it’s usually more durable but as you know it also has its cons such that its not easily carried around unlike the folder knives.
    The fixed blade knives has its remarkable pros but There aren’t very many things a fixed blade can do that a folder can’t, so it mostly boils down to preference and whether you live a rugged life outdoors where you need to be on guard and prepared for the worst at all time.
    Presented are various degree of the best fixed blades that will give you the best uses

    1. Hi Evans,

      Fixed-blade knives are definitely more reliable than folders, but they aren’t necessarily better. If you live a rugged life outdoors like you said, then a fixed-blade knife will definitely pay off. However, if your life is mostly sedentary, then it might not be worth lugging around a dagger.

  7. I started to read that first paragraph and Straight away I was like nope I dont want no folding knife, more to go wrong, it could spring back and cut me if I slip when opening and what’s the point having a knife with an engineered weak point in the middle so I’m definitely one for a fixed blade. I’ve got a fixed blade Jack Pyke knife that I’ve had for absolutely years. Never let me down I always keep it sharp. 

    1. Hi Kyle,

      If fast and reliable is what someone is going for, then a fixed-blade is definitely better than a folding. However, a folding knife is probably better for casual knife users because it’s easy to keep on one’s person. But it sounds like you’ve got a good deal going on with your own blade. Always good to have a trusty tool with you.

  8. Finding an article liek this does not come easily. if you want a knife that is best suited for skinning, then i will say that a sheepsfoot is a great way to go. The spine of this knife curves down to the belly, so there is not a defined point at the tip. i woill like to share this article with my friends

    1. Hi Smoochi,

      When it comes to hunting and outdoor exploring, a fixed-blade knife is invaluable. I can see how a sheepsfoot blade would be helpful when skinning because it allows for more cutting control.

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