Are you looking for the best camping knife under $500? If so, we can help!
There is a very good reason why you will be given a knife on even the most hard core survival course. The kind where you set off with little more than the clothes you are wearing. It’s the ultimate survival tool and so valuable that many people will not leave the house without one.
Contrary to popular belief though, you don’t have to break the bank to find a good quality knife that will last many years, whether you’re camping or otherwise.
Today, we aren’t going to look at combat or survival knives (you might get some strange looks if you fish one out of your pocket while searching for a couple of dollars to buy a bag of trail mix). Our focus will be on everyday, all-rounder knives that you can keep in your pocket, or on your belt, for under $50.
Why Do I Need One?
The reasons for having a knife are just too many to list. But consider this, when was the last time you used a sharp knife? Exactly. A better question to ask is, which type of camping knife is best? Do you go with multifunction so you won’t get caught out without a wine opener?
Do you want something with a sturdy blade that will fit better in your pocket? Or do you plan on building a shelter by cutting and stripping down branches in order to do so? At under $50 you could of course get both (or with a little extra splurge all three) so let’s look at a variety of quality camping knives in that price range.
Camping Knives Under $500
Victorinox Swiss Army Knife
There is probably only one place to start and that is with the one name that everyone knows. The world famous Victorinox Swiss Army Knife. These can start at a lot less than fifty dollars and go up to a lot more as they have so many versions, styles and combinations.
It has enough tools to deal with most situations without having so many that the knife becomes too bulky and heavy to sit comfortably in your pocket. This version of the classic features 14 different implements including two blades, a saw, scissors, and a bottle, can and wine opener.
The Champion Plus boasts more than double the implements and you will still have change to buy a belt pouch with your fifty. It really depends on whether you want a camping knife with extra features, or you want a true multifunctional tool that also has a knife. Check them both out and you can make the call.
Morakniv Companion Heavy Duty Knife
At the other end of the spectrum is the beautifully simple, yet extremely versatile, Morakniv Companion Heavy Duty Knife. It is a fixed knife, which means it doesn’t fold away, but it comes with its own plastic sheath and a belt clip so you don’t have to keep it in your pocket. The advantage of a fixed blade is the strength. Simply put there is no folding knife at this price range that will come close. The ⅛” thick carbon blade coupled with the molded plastic grip will allow you to do things that you cannot with a Swiss Army style blade.
This is definitely a type of knife suited for the camper or survivalist. From stripping down branches for the campfire, to whittling a wooden spoon in the evening while sitting around the fire, this knife is one that will last for a very long time indeed. It is also ideal for food prep, from skinning rabbits to dicing vegetables, and at under $20 there are few knives around that can compete in this price range.
Opinel NO8 Carbon Pocket Knife
If you are looking for something a little more subtle, and dare I say fashionable, the Opinel NO8 Carbon Pocket Knife looks as good as it performs. This knife is undeniably pretty with its beech wood finish and 3 ¼” carbon steel blade. It is the sort of knife people will comment upon and ask to see. But don’t be fooled by its appearance, this is a serious camping knife.
The locking system keeps the blade in place for safety, whether open or closed, but the whole knife has only five parts so there is very little to go wrong. The blade is beautiful and can be sharpened to a level where you may start checking to see if you can shave with it. This is a blade that does need a little looking after, as it could be vulnerable to rust if not properly dried after it gets wet. However, it is also the type of knife you will no doubt be sharpening and oiling regularly, as it may not leave your pocket.
A camping knife, whether it be a pocket knife, a multifunction, a locking or a straight blade, is something that everyone should have in their house. They are certainly indispensable when going on a camping trip. This end of the market is extremely competitive and as buyers we are the winners. There are some great knives out there but in my opinion this selection delivers some of the best value for money.
Check them out and upgrade the old one that has been sitting in that drawer for way too long.
Image credit via Flickr Creative Commons: Zachary C