While we find ourselves using a whole host of knives, each designed to perfect one particular chore or another, the Bowie knife is a different ball game altogether. The brainchild of and named after Col. Jim Bowie, the bowie has over the years come to own certain attributes and distinctive design traits which place it a notch above your average pocket knife or survival knife. Sporting its signature clip-point blade often with a cross-guard, the Bowie’s blade ranges from 6” to as much as 12” in length, making it a hand dagger of sorts, that is mounted atop an ergonomically designed handle making the bowie wieldy enough to be used either in combat or in extreme wilderness. A bowie’s razor sharp edge and firm balance has also made it a chef’s companion in many household kitchens. More recently, even art collectors have tapped into the Bowie pipeline to own one as a show-piece – such is its majesty! Below is our list of best bowie knife that we have come across with detailed reviews.
- 1) Cold Steel Natchez Bowie 01 Steel Knife
- 2) SOG SB1T-L Super Bowie Knife
- 3) Ontario Spec Plus Marine Raider Bowie
- 4) Ka-Bar Heavy Bowie Knife
- 5) The Puma Stag Bowie Knife
- 6) Buck Knives 124 Frontiersman Fixed Blade Knife
- 7) Gerber Winchester Large Bowie Knife
- 8) Wrapping Up!
Best Bowie Knife in 2021 With Reviews
|MODEL||BLADE MATERIAL||BLADE LENGTH||WEIGHT||PRICE||REVIEW STARS|
|Cold Steel Natchez Bowie Steel Knife||SK-5 High Carbon Steel||11.75 inches||24 ounces||$$$||4.1/5|
|Super SOG Bowie Fixed Blade||AUS-8 Metal||7.5 inches||17.6 ounces||$$$||4.4/5|
|Ontario Spec Plus Marine Raider Bowie(||1095 Carbon Steel||9.75 inches||22.4 ounces||$$||4.7/5|
|Ka-Bar Heavy Bowie Knife||1085 Carbon Steel||9 inches||15.2 ounces||4.4/5|
|The PUMA Stag Bowie Knife||1.4116 German Cutlery Steel||6.1 inches||6.7 ounces||$$||4.3/5|
|Buck Knives 124 Frontiersman Fixed Blade Bowie Knife||420 High Carbon Steel||6.25 inches||13.3 ounces||$$||4.7/5|
|Gerber Winchester Large Bowie Knife||420J2||8.75 inches||14.4||$||4.4/5|
BLADE MATERIAL: SK-5 High Carbon Steel
BLADE LENGTH: 11.75 inches
WEIGHT: 24 ounces
REVIEW STARS: 4.1/5
Cold Steel, a knife manufacturing giant, brings to all the martial arts aficionados and combat knives collectors what is now one of the most veneered knives in the industry – the Cold Steel Natchez Bowie 01 Steel Knife. Taking its pedigree from the riotous titular district of Natchez in Mississippi, this Natchez Bowie was line-bred for combat and is a nonpareil fighting knife.
A Cut Above The Rest
The One Of A Kind Blade
Invariably, the most stunningly eye-catching element to this Natchez Bowie is the blade itself which is strikingly long at 11.75”, has a full flat grind and is designed to give you reach and immense thrust over your assailant in close quarter combats. The blade surface has a beautiful satin finish and is built from SK-5 High Carbon, which has traditionally been the material of choice for Japanese swords and knives due to the extraordinary hardness it lends to the blade and its edge retention quality. The spine is remarkably thick at 8mm and extends all the way to the swaged tip thereby buttressing the blade itself, thus consequently enhancing the tip’s piercing capability. A testimony to the incredibly robust drop point is its capability to bore right through a silver dollar coin when rammed with force. Such a long blade demands a razor-sharp cutting edge which is just the case for the Natchez Bowie 01 that allows it to make long clean cuts while carving up meat, so much so that it puts even a butchering cleaver to shame with its chopping abilities.
The spine is remarkably thick at 8mm and extends all the way to the swaged tip thereby buttressing the blade itself, thus consequently enhancing the tip’s piercing capability. A testimony to the incredibly robust drop point is its capability to bore right through a silver dollar coin when rammed with force. Such a long blade demands a razor-sharp cutting edge which is just the case for the Natchez Bowie 01 that allows it to make long clean cuts while carving up meat, so much so that it puts even a butchering cleaver to shame with its chopping abilities.
The Tailor-Made Handle
Despite the long blade adding to the heft significantly, the Natchez Bowie 01 is hardly unwieldy owing to its Micarta handle, meticulously fashioned out of glued multilayered fiberglass, which provides an impeccably balanced grip and essential leverage. Textured in a manner to be sweat-resistant, the Natchez Bowie 01 can be wielded with unmatched velocity and liveliness which when coupled with the razor sharp edge can hack and slice through any target – from bamboo to a 15 pound slab of beef – with utmost ease. The bottom of the handle sports a pommel that can act as a hammerhead for crushing nuts and grounding tree barks for tinder.
The Secure-Ex sheath
The Natchez Bowie 01 comes with a moisture-resistant Secure-Ex Sheath with a Velcro strap that has a snap and lock mechanism which holds the blade firmly in place. An appreciable feature of the sheath is the knife’s edge doesn’t press against the interior surface of the sheath, thereby preventing the edge from weathering after repeated unsheathing of the blade. Along the edges of the sheath on either side of the blade are six holes and four slots allowing the knife to be latched or for mounting additional gear onto it.
Aside from being designed as an art-piece, the Cold Steel Natchez Bowie 01 Steel Knife is also built to give you an unassailable edge in situations of combat. A nearly unbreakable beast of a bowie, the Natchez Bowie 01 with a single swing lays to waste its targets so they can rest in pieces!
BLADE MATERIAL: AUS-8 Metal
BLADE LENGTH: 7.5 inches
WEIGHT: 17.6 ounces
REVIEW STARS: 4.4/5
Spencer Frazer, the chief engineer and founder of SOG, in 1986 paid homage to the MAC (Military Assistance Command) Vietnam, which carried out highly classified and covert special operations in Vietnam in 1964, by designing SOG’s own rendition of the unique combat knife used by the Special Ops Unit and has since been readapted as the SOG SB1T-L Super Bowie Knife. The SOG SB1T-L features incredibly precise gridlines and is quite simply the ultimate heavy-duty fixed blade knife.
The Jack Of All Trades Classic!
The Robust Blade
The SOG SB1T-L’s straight edged blade, 7.5” in length, is constructed of AUS-8 stainless steel and is clip point shaped allowing it to make deeper and quicker puncture, to be whetted easily and to make light work of almost any task. The blade surface has a distinctive black hardcase TiNi coating that prevents the blade from rusting and crucially cuts down on the glare during the day which might otherwise give away a hunter’s hide to the targeted game in the wild.
The blade is full tang, a trademark attribute of any premium defense knife, with a thickness of about 0.25” which allows the knife to withstand enormous amount of punishment while being fairly sleek thus rendering it apt for chopping, dicing and cutting through even the toughest materials without showing so much as a hint of any possible breakage. To boot this, the blade features a razor sharp straight edge that is immaculately suited for skinning games in one attempt.
The Fastidiously Crafted Handle Accessorized By A Traditional Leather Sheath
Although at 1.1 pounds, the SOG SB1T-L is on the heftier side, that impediment is efficiently circumvented by complementing the razor sharp blade with a handle, just over 5” in length, that is fashioned out of leather washers as well as coated with a brown finish to give it a wood-like natural finish and topped off with ergonomic curves so as to provide a well-balanced grip and moderate leverage.
A traditional style black leather sheath comes included with this knife that features a snap closure to securely hold the knife in place and a belt loop attachment to allow it to be worn around the waist. The kit additionally includes a lanyard that goes in through the lanyard hole provided at the end of the handle. Finally, the sheath sports a nifty little pouch on the top to house an included whetting stone so you can sharpen the knife’s edge conveniently on the go.
Just The Right Knife For Almost Anything
Whether you’re defending yourself, guiding a job to completion, leading an epic expedition, tackling one of life’s everyday challenges or sticking it out in extremely adverse environments, no matter what the task or wherever you go, the SOG SB1T-L is hardly ever going to leave you disappointed.
BLADE MATERIAL: 1095 Carbon Steel
BLADE LENGTH: 9.75 inches
WEIGHT: 22.4 ounces
REVIEW STARS: 4.7/5
One of the major suppliers to the US military, the Ontario Knife Company has divulged its market to grow as one of the leading names in the cutlery industry with a dynamic product line. One of its Spec Plus Next Generation Series, the Ontario Spec Plus Marine Raider Bowie is one of the favorites among survival enthusiasts, hikers and adventurers alike.
Blade Of The Chopper
The Ontario Spec Plus’ long 9.75” epoxy textured blade is constructed of 1095 carbon steel with its surface coated in black powder to cut off glare and prevent the steel from rusting. True to a typical bowie, the blade is clip-point shaped with a razor sharp straight edge that can be efficiently used for slicing fruits, splitting kindling and skinning small animals like rabbits.
Besides the strikingly long blade, the spine itself is extraordinarily thick at almost 0.25” extending all the way to the clip point – making the Spec Plus rather blade heavy which is what makes this knife a visceral chopper in its league. Such is its chopping power that it can hack off bamboo with a single swing of the blade and sever tree barks like an axe would. To boot its unmatched chopping abilities, the blade on the Ontario Spec Plus is full tang thus allowing you to harness maximum thrust while putting the knife through a plethora of abuse out in the wild without ever having to worry about any possible breakage.
Handle And Accessories
The handle is fashioned out of Kraton and has ergonomically textured finger grooves to give you vital slip-resistant leverage – an indispensable quality considering the knife’s heft which stands at 22.4 ounces. At the end of the handle is a lanyard hole for convenient portability options.
The Spec Plus comes with a leather sheath, composing ballistic nylon on the front for abrasion resistance and general toughness. The sheath has a simple strap mechanism to hold the knife in place and is strongly riveted along the meticulous waxed stitching running along its edges.
In conclusion, as an extremely aesthetically pleasing knife that is more than proficient at handling your regular camping chores other than being an excellent chopper, it’s hard to beat the Ontario Spec Plus Marine Raider Bowie while choosing a bowie for outdoor adventures.
BLADE MATERIAL: 1085 Carbon Steel
BLADE LENGTH: 9 inches
WEIGHT: 15.2 ounces
REVIEW STARS: 4.4/5
In the fraternity of avid campers, outdoorsmen and adventurers, there is nothing quite as dear as a reliable heavy duty survival knife that would withstand the test of regular abrasive usage over substantial lengths of time without degrading noticeably on performance – precisely why Ka-Bar’s line of survival knives rank so high in the opinions of most fervent explorers. The Ka-Bar Heavy Bowie Knife is right out of Ka-Bar’s top drawer and here’s why:
The Incontestable Signature Ka-Bar Bowie Blade
The Ka-Bar Heavy Bowie flaunts a 9” clip point bowie style straight edged blade forged out of 1085 Carbon Stainless Steel which is about 0.25” thick at the spine and runs full tang – a full tang blade with a hefty spine enables the bowie to take on extreme heavy-duty workload. The blade surface has a matte black epoxy powder coating for rust and glare resistance. The clipped swage grind emanating from the strong spine and an out-of-the-box razor sharp cutting edge with an ideal 20° angle translates to the blade effortlessly excelling at fine cutting, hacking, slicing and skinning with high precision.
A Handle That Sets The Bar For Ka-Bar & A Traditional Sheath
The equally tough 5.25” handle is constructed of black Kraton with a textured surface and ergonomic groves that provides for a strong sweat resistant clasp. At the end of the handle is a lanyard hole for attaching, well, a lanyard for convenient portability. Designed on the butt end is a guard that keeps the knife from flying off your grip after your hand is fatigued after repetitive chopping or hacking. The pommeled guard also serves as a thumb rest during outdoor chores which involve forceful thrusts such as digging and piercing.
The Ka-Bar heavy Bowie comes with a simple and traditional sheath fashioned primarily out of leather, with nylon on the top face, that has a snap and lock mechanism for securing the knife firmly in place. The snaps and belt clips are designed from leather as well. At the tip end of the sheath is a slot for latching the piece to a leg strap or your backpack.
To conclude with, for a heavy duty Bowie survival knife, the Ka-Bar Heavy Bowie knife hardly leaves a box unticked and is built like a tank that chops like an axe, digs like a hatchet and slashes like a razor! This is the best bowie knife that you will come across today.
BLADE MATERIAL: 1.4116 German Cutlery Steel
BLADE LENGTH: 6.1 inches
WEIGHT: 6.7 ounces
REVIEW STARS: 4.3/5
PUMA, the German knives and survival tools manufacturing giant, is known the world over amongst outdoorsmen for churning out traditional style Bowie knives, which are extremely wieldy owing to their light weight while not compromising on durability – just as an apt survival knife needs to be. The PUMA Stag Bowie Hunting Knife pretty much epitomizes all that PUMA stands for and represents.
The Classic Bowie Blade
Handmade by consummate German craftsmen, the PUMA Stag Bowie features an orthodox 6.1” Bowie style clip-point straight edged blade constructed from 440A Stainless Steel, which makes it to the market only after surviving rigorous quality and hardness testing conducted post manufacturing in Germany. The 440A Stainless Steel has the additional quality of being rust resistant, thereby lending the blade surface some protection in wet conditions.
Sporting a full tang blade of about 55-57 Rockwell hardness with a 4mm thick spine and the customary sturdy drop-point you’d associate with most quality Bowie, the PUMA Stag Bowie is exceptionally robust and cruises through all the strenuous chores in the most adverse of environments. Considering that this knife is primarily designed for hunting, the clip-point swage and the razor sharp angled edge coupled with a strong tip makes the PUMA Bowie ideal for batoning, slicing, piercing and skinning games while its light weight of only about 6.7 ounces makes it wieldy enough for the Bowie to excel at batoning, clearing bush and repetitive hacking without inducing any considerable fatigue.
The Stag-Gering Handle And Traditional Sheath
The PUMA Stag Bowie boasts of a meticulously crafted handle carved out of genuine Stag horn that lends the handle a naturally textured surface thereby making it slip-resistant. The handle is bolstered on the full tang blade with brass rivets. Furthermore, the handle features a brass finger guard for providing a firm and balanced grip and a brass lanyard hole for attaching a lanyard.
The PUMA Stag Bowie comes with a stylish and traditional top-grain leather sheath with a rich, aniline brown finish and has two convenient nylon straps, one for holding the knife securely in place inside the sheath and the other for latching the knife onto your belt or leg strap for easy portability.
BLADE MATERIAL: 420 High Carbon Steel
BLADE LENGTH: 6.25 inches
WEIGHT: 13.3 ounces
REVIEW STARS: 4.7/5
With a legacy spanning over 110 years of experienced craftsmanship, Buck is one of the most revered names in the fraternity of outdoorsmen and, in particular, hunters. As a case in point, the Buck Knives 124 Frontiersman Fixed Blade Knife from their Heritage Series bears testimony to their uncompromising quality.
A Tank Of A Blade
The Buck 124 sports a 6.25” long straight-spine Bowie blade that is constructed of 420 High Carbon Stainless Steel with a satin finish. The 420HC Stainless steel combines the corrosion resistant property of chromium stainless steel with near High Carbon alloy class wear resistance – thereby making the blade ‘shock-proof’ from the inside, with an excellent hardness rating of 58 Rockwell, enabling it to withstand relentless abuse out in the wild. The blade’s razor sharp edge is accentuated by the Buck’s unique heat-treating or tempering process followed when the blade is forged which lends the blade superior edge retention quality and makes it easier to be whetted and honed. To boot the knife’s endurance further, the blade is full tang – resulting in a corrosion resistant hunting Bowie with incredible durability built to weather heavy-duty workload and a long lasting razor sharp cutting edge with a 4mm spine leading to a strong tip that makes the knife befitting for batoning, piercing, chopping and skinning game.
A Worthy Handle And A Sheath To Match
The textured Micarta handle is 5.5” in length and is held together on the full tang with twin nickel rivets. As almost any survivalist would tell you, Micarta handles are nonpareil when it comes to buttressing the overall build of the knife and are featured only in the most premium of knives. Besides the material, the design of the handle itself is an exponent of meticulous attention to detail – nice ergonomic contoured finger grooves for a firm grip with a typical Bowie style cross guard to curb any chances of injury. On the end of the handle, the aluminum butt functions both as a pounding pommel for crushing hazelnuts and bark for tinder and as a finger rest for when the Buck 124 is used for thrusting and stabbing purposes.
The sheath is of premium quality genuine leather that is quite robust allowing it to withstand a bit of wear and tear from repetitive withdrawals of the blade. The blade itself is secured in place with a snapping loop that is fashioned out of leather as well.
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BLADE MATERIAL: 420J2
BLADE LENGTH: 8.75 inches
WEIGHT: 14.4 ounces
REVIEW STARS: 4.4/5
Gerber, a long-time survival knives manufacturing firm, has sought to find the middle ground between an ordinary kitchen knife and a heavy-duty survival knife specifically for purposes that need a more potent cutting solution than a regular kitchen knife without needing the extraordinary strength-durability combination of a premium heavy duty survival Bowie knife. To that end, their Gerber Winchester Large Bowie Knife has done appreciable justice.
The Impressive Bowie Blade
The Winchester Bowie sports a strikingly long surgical stainless steel straight edged blade that stands at about 8.75” and has a plain flat grind with a typical Bowie style clip-point tip. The knife is about 0.125” thick at the spine with a full tang construction that runs all the way through the handle to buttress the knife’s strength. Being blade heavy, the Winchester Bowie’s balance is a tad off as compared to a heavy-duty Ka-Bar Bowie, but then you’d do well to remember that this was on purpose designed to be an optimal cutting solution for basic woodworking and survival chores.
Having established the class of activities the Winchester Bowie was aimed at acing, it is only apt to point out whether or not it excels at what it is built to do – the answer to that would be a resounding yes! True to a traditional Bowie, its razor sharp cutting edge and its hefty long and strong blade allows you to cut through a variety of moderately tough materials such as thick cloth, thin wood logs and rope. The keen edge also comes to the fore during skinning and processing small game. At the base of the blade, just above the cross-guard, is a nifty inclusion – a choil, which acts as a fire-steel integrated fire starter.
The Aesthetically Delightful Handle And A Simple Sheath
The handle is crafted out of polished woodgrain material with an aniline brown natural wood finish that looks positively gorgeous right out-of-the-box. It is held together on the full tang by twin rivets that provides enough reinforcement for regular kitchen and moderately abrasive hunting and camping chores – just as long as it is not used as a proxy for an axe or a cleaver. The handle also features a brass finger guard for an ergonomically firm grip.
The Winchester Bowie comes with a simple ballistic nylon sheath that features a belt loop and employs a double snap lock mechanism to hold the knife securely in place while latched to the belt or a leg strap.
Whew! Finally I have come to the end of this long review of the best bowie knives. The bottomline is there are lots of good bowie knives out there and it boils down to your requirement and preferences. I hope you liked this article. If you have anything more to add, please do express your views in the comments below. Thanks!