Task-specific knives make our lives easier by favoring certain actions we need to accomplish in our everyday lives. Bowie knife, a brainchild of Col. James Bowie, is a survival gear of a whole new dimension. An authentic Bowie knife has to be in the greyzone between a dagger and a sword, which means the size can’t be either too short or too long, rendering itself to be a handy tool for both combating enemies and household chores. A signature 6 inches long clip-point blade mounted atop is the key strength of the traditional knives, it is sturdier and sharper than ordinary pocket knives and survival knives.
Reviews of the Best Bowie Knives
1. Ka-Bar Becker BK9
Talking about premium fighting knives without mentioning Ka-Bar Becker is sacrilegious. Ka-Bar’s super-tough, dynamic and cumbersome Bowie knife sports a 9 inches long blade that weighs around 1 pound. I would strictly advice amateurs to give this one a miss because it requires a lot of experience and power to handle this kind of heavy duty knives. The material chosen for crafting BK9 is a carbon steel blended with chromium and vanadium for extra strength and cutting precision.
The addition of chromium helps in keeping away rust and vanadium ensures maximum edge-retention for ages. The U.S.A made razor-sharp blade has a full-tang construction. It is decked up over a solid Grivory handle. Since Grivory is a very light material, some users find it to be slipper. The good thing is you can also buy it along with a non-slip Micarta handle if desired. Be it for splitting woods, hunting food or making tent, BK9 is the ultimate accompaniment for an unforgettable outdoor trip.
2. The PUMA Stag Bowie Knife
PUMA has tapped into the business of creating specialty tools ages ago and has got raves by outdoorsmen for their razor-sharp, easy-to-handle combating tools all over the globe. The original PUMA Bowie used to be made from D1.4 stainless steel, the current version utilizes a 440A steel which is 6.1 inches in length. A 440 stainless steel is great at warding off rust, the material used by PUMA has to survive in a stringent quality test in the factory before reaching the market.
The drop-point construction adds massive strength to the blade to bear strenuous tasks in the forest. The knife comes with a stylish custom-made nylon sheath featuring convenient straps for easy hanging to your leg or on your belt. The latest model I’m talking about has two brass rivets instead of 3 and weighs not more than 8 ounces, rendering itself to be a handy option for intricate tasks like cleaning the bush, nailing, batoning, skinning animals and many more.
3. Timber Rattler Western Outlaw Bowie Knife
Folks who are not willing to shell out much for a survival tool will be delighted to come across Timber’s newest kid on the block. It is unarguably a big knife with a whopping 11-2/3 inches overall length. Though the size may apparently seem like a trade-off for the newbies, Timber Rattler received accolades from many professional survivalists for its unflinching, uncompromising performance and the ability to stand strong in the most daunting scenarios.
Isn’t that a nice enough surprise for a knife under $30? Despite of the heaviness and big size of the blade, the knife offers a decent stability and incredible sharpness for days. To protect your hands from accidental nicks and cuts, there is a plated brass guard placed on the handle. The stainless steel material is easy to maintain and the grey hardwood handle allows a firm grip on the knife.
4. Cold Steel Natchez Bowie 01 Steel Knife
Cold Steel is another giant knife manufacturing firm, originating in the US. The root of the Natchez Bowie is the titular region in the country where these knives are made. Cold steel Natchez Bowie enjoys a worldwide popularity among trained outdoorsmen and survivalists. There are several versions available in the market among which my personal favourite is the Micarta handle version. With a jaw-dropping overall length of 17 inches, this is the biggest Bowie knife I’m aware of so far.
The blade is made from a unique VG-1 San Mai III steel which is a common material used in traditional Japanese knives. The material has a venerable sharpness and edge retention quality. The Micarta handle is a combination of glued layers of fiberglass. It is extremely convenient to grip and absorbs the sweat in your palms quickly. The product comes packed in a beautiful sweat-absorbent leather sheath.
5. SOG CD01 – Creed Knife
Looking for an indestructible defense knife to accompany you in your never-ending adventure trips? SOG has a pleasant surprise for you.When you are battling against the ruthless nature in a deserted island or dense forest, your ability to operate a knife decides your future. The SOG creed is a beast, sporting a heavy-duty 7.5 inches stainless steel blade fitted on top a skillfully contoured Kraton handle. The stainless steel blade is resistant to rust and the vagaries of weather, and also sharp enough to severe animal skin in one attempt. For the ease of portability, it is delivered to you in a solid black leather sheath.
Tips to Choose the Best Bowie Knife
The level of sharpness of a blade is the heart and soul of any knife. When it comes to a survival knife, you have to be very picky about the blade material to ensure to get out of an extreme situation alive. The clip-pint design in traditional Bowie knives is engineered for forceful stabbing and fine cutting of carcass. The quality of the material used in the construction of the blade determines the durability and other vital properties of the knife. Most Bowie knives, made as per the traditional fashion, are sculpted from carbon steel blade. Carbon steel reserves a stellar edge-retentive property, plus it is very fuss free to touch up and maintain. In recent times, in an effort to boost the strength and toughness of the blade, alloyed stainless steel is replacing carbon steel rapidly. Many top-notch manufacturers have chosen alloyed steel variant like 440 steel over the traditional carbon steel and the outcome has been quite positive so far.
Tang and Weight
Traditional Bowie knives are necessarily full-tang. Since these tactical knives have a considerable amount of weight, it is very important for the blade to be full-tang in order to prevent breakage under stress. While checking the quality and design of the blade, also focus on the weight of the Bowie. Excessive load will hamper the mobility of the knife, on the other a lightweight Bowie doesn’t qualify as a lethal weapon. Therefore, the best tactical knife is easy to carry around yet slashes enemies like a sword.
In the earlier versions of Bowie knives, the overall length of a tool remained around 9.5 inches. The tradition of creating large knives isn’t out of fashion till date, in fact, many collectors peep into various shops in the market in search of such antique knives. The original Bowie knives are meant to be at least 5 icnhes, longer than standard pocket knives for maximum strength and durability. Long, thick blades doesn’t help much during general chores, it is mainly designed to tolerate tremendous abuse and stress under grueling conditions in the wild.
The most preferable size of the blade in a Bowie knife is 6 inches. Although longer knives are also available in many designs, you have to be in possession of immense power and skill to maneuver a long knife to avoid slips. Moreover, with long blades, performing delicate tasks like field dressing animal, filleting, chopping woods and EDC chores is problematic. My advice would be opting for a size suitable for the tasks you intend to do with the knife. Whereas large, meaty knives grant force, small knives are good for precision works. Play safe by considering a medium sized blade to reap the benefits of both.
Finally, while searching for the best bowie knife for your purpose, your quest should end with checking out the quality of the sheath. A quality sheath not provides tight protection against weather elements but also makes it easy to relocate from one place to another. A weather-proof leather material, polycarbonate or any sturdy synthetic material makes up for a long-lasting knife sheath.
The Bowie knives are exclusively designed to assist the lovers of the wild like me. The pitch-perfect combination of clip-point blade design and 6 inches size allow it to be applied on various utilitarian purposes in the jungle or in camping sites. Bowie knives are also about muscles and brawn, when you have to deal with the fierce animals or hostile opponent in a survival situation, having a weapon as mighty as a Bowie peps up your confidence automatically. After going through the detailed reviews and a comprehensive guide to choose the best bowie knife written above, I can assume that the next time you browse the internet or visit a store, you won’t find yourself deep-neck in confusion.