Best Dive Knife Reviews – Our Top Picks

Diving is fun - just make sure you have all the right gear.

Diving is fun – just make sure you have all the right gear.

In this article, we’re on a mission to find the best dive knives available in 2016. A dive knife is an essential tool for any frequent scuba diver. It’s one of those tools that you may not realize you need until it’s too late. And if it’s too late when scuba diving, it might cost you your life.

A dive knife is often used to cut a fishing line that has entangled a diver. It can also be used to tap a fellow divers tank to get their attention. One thing is certain though, they should never be used for harming underwater wildlife, except in self-defense.

To make things easier for divers, most knives include a sheath and retainer to mount it to equipment, like the BCD (Buoyancy Control Device) or the back of the gauge console. You can also strap it to your leg or arm like a boot knife. The sheath should hold your knife firmly, while being accessible. And the blades should be very sharp for cutting, which you’ll really appreciate if caught in netting.

One problem with dive knives is that there are so many on the market. If you decide to go for a cheaper option, you may find yourself in need of a quality knife in the water, only to find that what you have purchased is not up to scratch. This article will highlight how to make the right purchase to make sure you’re getting the right knife for your specific needs.

Considerations

You should start out by considering if you need a dive knife or tool. This will ultimately dictate what kind of size you require. If you travel a lot, perhaps a small knife or shears is best suited to your needs. If you’re settled, you can opt for a variety of bigger knives, depending on the tasks you will encounter.

Once you know your placement and size range (as well as whether you want a tool or a knife), you should go to a PADI Dive Center to evaluate your options. You need to look at the grips and get a feel for one that suits you. If you regularly wear gloves while diving, make sure you test the knife with gloves on. This will give you a more realistic idea of the feel for the knife. It may feel fine without gloves, but when you try it out in the water, it may feel like a totally different knife. So make sure to try all options.

Having a dive knife may just save your life.

Having a dive knife may just save your life.

Test it out with the sheath. Pull it out and put it back several times to make sure you are going to be comfortable in the water, and that you won’t find yourself struggling to release it when you need it most. It would be a frustrating and potentially frightening situation, which may cause a panic in newer divers. Panicking in the water can be very dangerous, so it’s best to avert the situation at all costs.

Choosing a knife is a really subjective experience, so you should make sure you choose the knife that is most suited to you, your grip, and your needs. This mainly comes down to the handle and your own grip. It is unlikely that you will need a grip that is really comfortable, unlike a knife for outdoor excursions on land. What is important here is that you have a grip that allows you to pull the knife from the sheath with ease.

You should consider getting two tools. A knife and a pair of shears. Both have specific functions that you may need. This is particularly potent advice if you dive in an area where there are a lot of abandoned fishing lines. A knife is useful if you are caught in a single line or weed. But shears are better for disentangling yourself from abandoned netting or multiple lines.

At any rate, you will want a knife that is sharp, strong and reliable. You will also want to make sure it is resistant to rusting, as salt water can deteriorate your knife. Any decent dive knife will be rust resistant, but there are poor quality, cheap dive knives out there that will ultimately let you down in the water. So don’t be afraid to spend that bit extra.

A standard, quality dive knife will have a sheath and retainer. It will be made from titanium or stainless steel, which is corrosion resistant and light. It should have a metal handle butt. On larger knives, the metal butt can double up as a hammer or a solid surface to tap a pals tank to get their attention.

Benefits of Owning a Dive Knife

The benefits of owning a dive knife really only apply to divers. First and foremost, it could save you or a friend’s life. Being caught in netting is a terrifying experience. Untangling yourself is near impossible underwater, especially if you have gloves on. With a dive knife, you can remain calm and gently cut yourself free from the entanglement.

Another use is getting a friend’s attention. As you know, sound does not travel too well for human ears under water. At least the human voice doesn’t anyway. Currents make it hard to give them a tap on the tank as well. They simply might not realize you’re touching them. Having a dive knife allows you to loudly tap on their tank with a piece of metal, alerting them to you from behind. This is a useful thing to have under the water, where communication is minimal and infrequent.

Top 5 Rated Products

Promate Serrate Scuba Dive BC Knifepromate-serrate-scuba-dive-bc-knife

This is one of the most reliable dive knives out there, which is exactly what you’ll want when the time comes. If you’re caught in a thick line of trawler’s rope, you’ll really be glad of this serrated blade, which will cut you loose in no time. It has a sharp, durable 420 stainless steel blade and comes with a really good sheath, making for easy access when you need it. The sheath has a single button release system, which means that when the knife is in the sheath, it’s totally secure.

Customers who bought this knife were really impressed by the durability and effectiveness of the blade. One problem we found was that unless the sheath is totally clear, the knife may slip out. This can be avoided by ensuring you have no loose strings in the sheath. Otherwise, it’s an almost perfect dive knife at a good price.

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Dragon Squama Dive Knifedragon-squama-dive-knife

This is another trustworthy dive knife that is suited to any diver, whether a novice or a seasoned pro. It has a really sturdy blade that will last, and its sharpness is something to admire. It’s made from 440C steel, and measures 3.74 inches, with the knife’s overall length being 8.26 inches. The black stainless steel will never rust, which is an absolute necessity for dive knives.

The knife comes with an impact-resistant ABS sheath. It’s sturdy and won’t break under pressure, which would result in losing your knife in the deep blue sea. The sheath also has a convenient water drain hole handle design with a nylon string for extra security. The sheath ties neatly to the leg, arm or BCD.

What customers most liked about this product was the brilliant sheath. They were really satisfied at the sturdiness of it and and how it can be attached pretty much anywhere. One complaint was that the Tanto portion of the blade must face the left side of the sheath. This frustrated one customer who was unaware of this. Though once familiarized with this characteristic, they admitted that it’s a brilliant knife.

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Cressi Lima Dive Knifecressi-lima-dive-knife

This is a good value for money dive knife from Cressi. It has a very strong 304 stainless steel blade. The blade is perhaps the best feature of this knife. It has a line-cutting notch for smaller ropes and lines, while the serrated back edge offers a heavy duty blade for thicker, tougher ropes. This means you’ll never be at a loss, no matter what you find yourself tangled in. The blade is a convenient 2.95 inches long, with the knife’s overall length measuring 6.30 inches. The handle is a high visibility green, which is really useful for when you find yourself in murky waters. The sheath has a locking mechanism to ensure you don’t lose your knife, with a one-hand easy release mechanism to avoid struggling in the water.

Customers who bought this knife really liked the blade and its versatility. Not many knives have the same potentially life saving features as this blade. The only complaint we found was that the sheath’s locking mechanism faltered after a while, resulting in a lost knife after being attacked by a barracuda. However, there is an additional rope on the sheath to tie it securely in case of such matters.

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Cressi Skorpion Dive Knifecressi-skorpion-dive-knife

The Skorpion is another great knife from Cressi. It’s made from the same durable 304 stainless steel as its counterpart, with a blade that measures just over 4 inches. The overall length reaches just over 9 inches. The sheath is attached to two standard issue straps to attach it to your leg, and it has the same locking mechanism as the Lima, with an easy one-handed release system. The blade is versatile, with one side straight edged and the other side serrated, which includes a little line-cutting notch.

Customers were really pleased with the blade of this knife, mainly for its ability to cut through any kind of line, thick or thin. The line-cutting notch is also a really useful feature for getting a quick release from a snag. Like the Lima, one or two customers were annoyed to find their knife had slipped from the sheath. However, the small line hole at the knife’s base will secure it well enough with a little bit of rope through it.

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Promate Scuba Dive Snorkel Titanium Knifepromate-scuba-dive-snorkel-titanium-knife

Last on the list but by no means least, we have the Promate Scuba Knife. As the longer name above would suggest, it has a titanium blade, making it strong and durable. It’s also rust proof, so it will really last. The blade is attached to an easy grip rubber molded handle, and sits into a sheath with adjustable straps to fit any leg size.

This knife requires little to no maintenance whatsoever. You simply won’t need to sharpen this blade. It’s a really light piece of equipment, due to the titanium blade, so you won’t be weighed down when you’re swimming after high floating fish. And unlike other knives on this list, it has a titanium hammer on the base on the handle for getting your dive buddy’s attention.

Customers really liked this all-action dive knife. The quality blade, attached to the easy grip handle with titanium hammer base means it is suited to any kind of diver. The only complaint we found was that the rubber might not last more than a couple of years. However, after a couple of years, if the rubber does wear off, it is easily replaceable at any dive store. Overall, the Promate Scuba Knife is a great product at a great price.

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Conclusion

Follow these guidelines when considering your dive knife and you won’t be disappointed. This is a concise list of truly trustworthy knives that won’t let you down in the water, and may even save your or a friend’s life.

A dive knife is an essential tool for any serious diver. In groups, at least one person should have a dive knife on them for safety reasons. As already mentioned, it may be something you didn’t know you needed until it’s too late.

The best knife on this list is the Cressi Lima. The versatile blade will cut you out of any number of lines or nets you get caught in. It has a really sharp, strong blade that will not rust and it will last you a lifetime, so long as you don’t lose it in the water. Having said that, you’d be able to find it easily enough thanks to the high visibility green handle.

Image credit via Flickr Creative Commons: U.S. Naval and Neville W

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