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Many people own a bowie knife, but they might not be well-versed on how to choose the best one. There are different factors you should consider when purchasing the best bowie knife for you.
Some of those factors include design and quality of the materials used, overall size and weight, durability, finish, value for money, blade style and material, friction, and retention system.
To choose the best bowie knife, you’ll need to consider your priorities and how they are reflected in the features of a knife. We have come up with the best bowie knife options to help you decide.
- What Is a Bowie Knife?
- Best Bowie Knives – My Picks
- Buying Guide: How to choose a Bowie Knife?
- Things To Consider When Purchasing A Bowie Knife
- Factors To Consider When Purchasing A Bowie Knife
- Benefits Of A Bowie Knife
- Final Verdict
What Is a Bowie Knife?
A bowie knife is a large, double-edged knife. It is commonly believed that Jim Bowie designed the knife for use during the Sandbar Fight, although this has been disputed.
A bowie knife has a long blade with a clip point on one side near the end of the blade and a false edge on the other side near the hilt. The blade’s length ranges from 8″ to 20″. Since the blade’s tip can be used for stabbing, it also has an upper guard to protect the user’s hand.
While typically associated with being used as a fighting or combat weapon, it also has uses as a hunting or survival tool. Blades have been made of steel, brass, copper, iron, lead, and wood.
The term Bowie knife is usually used to describe large knives, however, there are smaller versions (such as razors) called boot knives or belt knives that are more commonly called Bowie knives.
Best Bowie Knives – My Picks
Bowie knives have been used for various purposes for over 200 years. They can be used as hunting knives, kitchen knives, and even pocket knives. Here are my top picks for the best bowie knives.
The Timber Rattler bowie knife isn’t just a nifty-looking blade. It’s a useful tool that is up for any job. The 11″ stainless steel blade has a super sharp hollow-ground main edge, two razor-sharp saw cutting edges on the back, and an alloy aluminium guard and butt cap. The wood grain on the simulated stag handle matches the Timber Rattler’s skin pattern. A limited lifetime warranty protects this beauty.
This bowie knife is a functional and collectible work of art. The full tang, mirror polished 420 stainless steel blade has a false top edge. The wooden handle scales, held on with solid brass pins and fittings, are decorated with detailed work, and a tough leather lanyard is tied to the brass pommel. This bowie knife comes complete with a leather belt sheath to ensure safe and secure carry.
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The Timber Rattler Western Outlaw bowie knife comes from a company dedicated to making affordable, quality products with an emphasis on craftsmanship. This knife offers great performance and durability and is sure to become your go-to for camping, hunting, or simply keeping around the house.
A Robert Eggerling design, the Bradley Bowie is a bold Spyderco fixed blade knife that works well as a general utility tool. The handle is ergonomic and has plenty of jimping on the spine to provide a no-slip grip in any environment.
The black textured G-10 handle scales are mounted on full-length stainless steel liners. There is a generous lanyard hole, and stainless steel bolsters at the front and rear of the handle. In addition, there is also a black coated stainless steel knife sheath with a multi-position G-Clip attachment, which comes with this Spyderco knife.
This fixed-blade hunting knife is sleek and stylish. It has a wide flat ground CPM S30V stainless steel blade, which provides a razor-sharp edge. The blade can be effectively used for various outdoor activities, such as outdoor camping and hunting trips. This fixed blade knife features a full tapered tang for outstanding strength and balance. It has a black canvas micarta handle that offers you a comfortable, secure grip.
The Spyderco Bradley Bowie boasts a classic clip point 9.93″ blade for incredible strength and easily controlled cuts. This fixed blade knife has an exceptionally comfortable handle made of full tang CPM-S30V premium stainless steel, with a full flat grind for enhanced strength and durability. It comes with a genuine leather sheath.
The amazing Schempp Bowie from Spyderco’s ethnic series is one of a kind. This great knife is smooth, elegant, and versatile. It is based on the classic symmetrical bowie shape with a streamlined, full-flat-ground blade crafted from premium CPM S30V steel and titanium bolsters.
The blade opens manually with a Spyderco round hole and locks in place with a sturdy Reeve Integral Lock (RIL). The knife sports a polished titanium bolster that houses the Round Hole and adds the right touch of contrast to its natural wood scales.
Schempp Bowie’s handle also utilizes two small steel plates inlaid at the front scale for added protection against wear and tear. This one-of-a-kind folder comes complete with a reversible deep-pocket wire clip for left or right-side tip-up carry and features weight-reducing cutouts that make it amazingly light and perfectly balanced in hand.
The Schempp Bowie features a 3.893″ blade made of CPM-S90V stainless steel, .100″ thick, with a Rockwell hardness of 60-62. The blade of this Spyderco knife has a full flat grind and an oxidized finish, a notched thumb ramp for secure grip, and the Spyderco hole for ambidextrous one-hand opening.
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The handle is 6.125″ long and is made out of titanium with hard anodized brown scales for strength and durability. A titanium pocket clip is included that allows the folding knife to be comfortably clipped on a pocket or pack for easy access. The Schempp Bowie Ethnic Series, Folding Knife from Spyderco, has an overall open length of 9.88″, weighing 4 oz.
The Schempp Bowie folding knife is a superbly designed bowie knife that offers impressive strength, extreme cutting performance, and refined style. A trailblazing concept from renowned knifemaker Ed Schempp features a state-of-the-art CPM S30V stainless steel blade with an elegant Bowie shape and a fully accessible Trademark Round Hole for quick one-handed deployment.
With a massive, razor-sharp blade designed to slash through bone, thick gristle, and flesh, the Honshu Conqueror Bowie Knife is built for soldiers, scouts, and others who go deep into enemy territory. The full-tang black finish design continues to a handguard that protects against slippage while stabbing or slashing.
The Kraton handle provides a comfortable yet secure grip in any condition – wet or dry. It includes a tough nylon sheath to hold the full-size knife securely at the hip and a 10 1/4″ blade.
The Honshu Conqueror Bowie Knife is a force to be reckoned with. Its 3CR13 stainless steel blade is razor-sharp, allowing you to easily slice and dice through the competition. The comfortable, ergonomic handle features a highly detailed design with a sturdy pommel at the bottom, providing an excellent grip every time. The entire set comes with a sheath that can be hung on your belt or attached to your boot with the included straps.
The Honshu Conqueror 10″ bowie is ready for battle! With its tactical black drop point blade built from 5Cr13MoV steel, this fierce sword has a stainless steel guard and pommel to maintain balance during those heated moments. The ancient yet modern-looking black cord-wrapped handle offers an excellent grip and comes with a high-quality nylon sheath for convenient carriage and storage.
This Rambo first blood bowie knife is made by Gil Hibben and has a length of 14″. The blade is partially serrated. This limited edition bowie knife comes in a black leather sheath. This Rambo Licensed Rambo Last Blood Bowie is an officially licensed replica of the knife used in the Rambo movie and is a must for every serious collector.
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The knife features an 8″ black stainless steel blade that has been heat-treated and hand-finished. A perfect fit and finish ensure this knife will function and feel like an extension of your arm, accurately reflecting Sylvester’s world-famous wielding style. Completing the look, the officially licensed handle is constructed of textured cord-wrapped ABS with a brass guard and accents, as well as a huge diamond-shaped guard designed to protect your hand underneath intense conditions.
The sheath mirrors the look of Sylvester’s saddle holster in the film and is crafted from top-grain leather with rivet accents. A four inch pouch on the front flap offers additional storage, while an integrated belt loop system ensures you will never be without your trusted companion.
This 14″ Rambo Last Blood bowie knife features an 8″ full-tang stainless steel blade with a notched spine that is sharp and ready for action. The black cord-wrapped handle offers a secure grip, even when wet. Thanks to the built-in belt loop and adjustable shoulder strap, the included sheath is fashionably crafted from rich leather with multiple ways to wear it – a great gift for movie buffs or knife enthusiasts.
This large and wickedly curved fixed blade bowie knife is the perfect addition to any collection. The 12.5″ stainless steel blade features a menacing sawback spine for increased cutting potential and strike capability.
The impressive handle features a heavy-duty black finger grooved handle insert with silver liner and antique brass double guard that provide excellent grip and looks along the way. The aggressive bowie blade has been sharpened for a razor-sharp edge. This striking weapon includes a durable black nylon sheath that keeps it protected on the go.
The Perkins bowie is an excellent knife for tactical and military use. Crafted from a solid piece of steel, it offers a sharp, durable blade and solid handle. This bowie is ideal for camping, hunting, and outdoor activities.
The Kratos ZF9 bowie hunting knife is among the best in its field. The blade is constructed of 440c stainless steel and is incredibly sharp. The skinner teeth on the back of the 7.25″ blade are smaller than others I have seen but serve their purpose well.
They are good for taking off a pelt without damaging it but still sharp enough to skin any game animal you may run across. The handle of this knife feels very sturdy in hand, and although I usually prefer bone handles on my knives, I feel that this plastic one fits better into this particular knife’s overall design.
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The spring-loaded release was slightly stiff at first but loosened up after some use. A quick soak in WD-40 fixed this issue entirely. Overall I am extremely happy with this purchase and recommend it to anyone looking for a large hunting style fixed blade knife.
This knife also comes with a sharp-looking sheath complemented by the dark polished steel blade and metal handle. It seems to be a fairly durable knife, yet when probing into the stiffness of this knife, I found it to be on the soft side.
The Kratos ZF9 bowie hunting knife is a serious collectors knife. It consists of a 7.25″ zirconium oxide high-tech ceramic blade and with high-tech, resistant to scratches and rust properties. It features a hollow ground-fixed blade and a nylon glass fiber-filled handle. The overall length makes it an excellent knife for campers, hunters, and survivalists alike.
Buying Guide: How to choose a Bowie Knife?
When buying a bowie knife, there are many factors to consider. The first thing is functionality. Each Bowie knife has a different purpose and use. For example, the standard Bowie has a 10″ or less blade and fits in most cases. It is also very affordable, making it good for everyday use.
On the other hand, the hollow-ground bowie has a longer blade of 12″ or more with intricate designs on the blade, giving it a unique and attractive look. You can also consider the blade steel of the bowie knife before purchasing. The best type of steel would be high carbon steel because it can withstand rust, which is common in knives that are not properly maintained.
If you are buying your first bowie knife, choosing an affordable one can be a good idea because you can start to learn how to handle the weapon properly before putting your money into something expensive and rare. You may also want to consider getting a customized bowie knife if you have extra cash to spare because this type of knife would normally have original designs and details that will set it apart from other knives.
Things To Consider When Purchasing A Bowie Knife
The first thing to consider when buying a Bowie knife is the size of the blade. Generally, the blade can range anywhere from 6″ to 18″ in length and will be an integral part of the overall quality of the knife. The longer the blade, the more flexibility is available to you when undertaking your project. However, shorter blades are typically easier to handle and are mostly preferred by those looking for an elegant display piece instead of a full-fledged workhorse.
A second consideration is the material makeup of both the blade and the handle. Bowie knives are typically either made of carbon steel or stainless steel. Carbon steel knives are a bit more flexible than stainless steel models, but they tend to rust easier and require more maintenance. Stainless steel knives have been known to last for generations with minimal upkeep, although they can never achieve as fine a finish as their carbon steel counterparts.
The quality of handle materials and blade design varies greatly depending upon who makes it and what line it is from. The highest-quality bowie knives are typically made with laminated steel that combines different metals for optimal flexibility and strength. The handle materials themselves often include things like staghorn, bone, or even mother-of-pearl. These materials create a very attractive finish.
Factors To Consider When Purchasing A Bowie Knife
When looking to purchase a Bowie knife, it’s important to consider the following:
1. What You’ll Use The Bowie Knife For
A bowie knife can be used for hunting,skinning, fishing, or as a combat weapon. The first use was as a hunting knife due to its curved shape. However, the blade came in handy for skinning and fileting animals as well. It also serves as a combat weapon because it is designed to be handled and concealed easily.
2. The Quality Of The Materials Used In The Knife
There are many Bowie knives, and each type is made from different materials. The shape and design of the blade and the materials used in the handle vary from knife to knife.
The bowie knife has a fixed blade with a clip point and a crossguard. The blade can be straight or curved. It usually has a sharpened clip point that can extend back to the blade’s spine, which makes it good for stabbing. The sharpened edge extends back to meet the spine of the unsharpened portion of the blade.
The main feature distinguishing a bowie knife from other knives is its crossguard. This piece of metal is fixed across the base of the blade and prevents you from slipping your hand onto the blade when using it. The crossguard also protects your hand if an enemy were to reach through to grab you by your wrist or forearm while you are gripping your knife.
A bowie knife can be made out of several different materials, including steel, carbon fiber, titanium, and ceramic. Different manufacturers will offer different materials for their products, however, there is no requirement that all knives meet certain standards or requirements in terms of their material or construction process.
3. The Length Of The Blade And How It May Affect Your Day-To-Day Activities
Bowie knives can come in many different sizes, but they don’t always have to be large. They need to be made with the same characteristic blade style. The blade is usually about 6″ long, with a slightly curved shape and a prominent point at the end. The blade should also taper from the front to the back.
4. How Well The Sheath Is Made And How Durable It Is
The Bowie knife is known for its durability and strength. Several features make the them an excellent survival tool:
- It has a slightly curved edge, giving the user more control when chopping and slicing.
- It’s serrated on both sides, so it can be used to saw through wood.
- The metal is strong enough to withstand being pounded with a mallet or blunt object.
- It has a long handle, so the user can use both hands to wield the knife powerfully.
Benefits Of A Bowie Knife
Some of the benefits of a good quality Bowie knife include:
1. Aesthetic Appeal
Some people see bowie knives as a piece of art rather than just a tool. Since they are handcrafted, they are usually made with the finest materials available to create a masterpiece that will last generations.
Bowie knives can be used for many different tasks. They can be used as an everyday carry or worn on the belt during outdoor activities like camping and fishing trips.
A good quality Bowie knife is made out of high-quality steel that will not rust or corrode over time, with proper care and maintenance practices being followed closely by you.
If you’re looking for a knife that’s going to last and can handle a variety of situations, you’ll want to invest in one of the best Bowie knives on the market. A bowie knife is known for its long and fixed blade, making it an excellent tool for hunting, camping, and more.
However, just because it’s a great knife doesn’t mean that every bowie knife is made equally. It’s important to do your research before making your purchase to ensure that you get the best knife possible.
Hollywood has popularized a bowie knife, and it’s now used in a variety of ways, including sports, hunting, and self-defense.
The knife is used for many applications, including hunting, camping, fishing, hiking, and combat. It can be used as a weapon in hand-to-hand combat or as a tool when camping or fishing. While the knife is not typically considered a fighting knife today due to its weight and length, some law enforcement agencies still use it for backup weapons.
The Texas Rangers favored the knife because it had an easily recognizable shape that allowed for easy identification of friendlies.
Bowie knives have a long, storied history. They are known to be sharp, simple, and easy to use. But there are many different Bowie knives, each with its history and value.
Some Bowie knives were designed for military use, some for hunting and fishing, some for self-defense, and some for fighting. The history of Bowie knives is rich, varied, and fascinating.
As a result of so many different kinds of bowie knives created over the centuries, the worth of a knife depends on who made it and when. Some can be worth hundreds or thousands of dollars if they are rare or handmade antiques.
A good-quality bowie knife can make all the difference in an intense situation. As with any blade, a high-quality one will be well built, reliable, and cut like a dream. I have found that the Timber Rattler Western Outlaw Bowie Knife is the most outstanding Bowie knife on the market today.
It is easy to use, versatile and beautiful to look at. This rare and unique bowie is a must-have for any collection or hunting trip. The solid wood handle makes this a durable, reliable, and tasteful choice in a bowie knife. The full tang blade construction with its solid brass fittings will give many years of service and an incredible look.
This brilliant Bowie Knife is designed for the toughest outdoor conditions. Made from high-quality stainless steel, this knife is strong and sturdy enough to take on any challenge. It has a double-sided blade with a clip point and sawtooth spine and a firm grip that makes it easy to control.
The handle features some impressive details, including an eagle’s head at the top, a pommel that looks like a braided rope, and a genuine leather sheath that will protect the blade when it’s not in use. You can also use the genuine leather sheath as part of your costume — slide it into your belt.
Corporal Dalton is a former Infantry Rifleman who served with 3rd Battalion 1st Marines. After leaving the Marine Corps, he started an online business where he focuses on teaching self-defense tactics. His two major passions are hiking and shooting guns. He has been a member of the NRA since he was 6 years old and is a strong supporter of the second amendment.