How To Use a Bushcraft Knife

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Bushcraft is a skill that dates back to ancient times and involves knowledge and skills related to the use of natural resources and tools in order to survive in the wild.

They are typically made of stainless steel or carbon steel and have a variety of shapes and sizes. The most important aspect of a bushcraft knife is that it has a comfortable handle that allows for a secure grip when using the knife. Types of Bushcraft Knives Bushcraft knives come in a variety of shapes and sizes, including folding knives, fixed-blade knives, and utility knives.

Folding knives are typically smaller in size and are convenient for carrying in a pocket or a bag.

Fixed-blade knives are usually larger and more robust and great for more demanding tasks.

Utility knives are designed for specific tasks, such as skinning animals or cutting rope.

Choosing the right bushcraft knife when selecting a bushcraft knife, it is important to consider the size and weight of the knife, the type of steel used, and the type of handle. Consider the tasks you will be doing most often and select a knife that is the appropriate size and weight.

Also, consider the type of steel used as it will determine the durability and sharpness of the knife. Lastly, make sure the handle is comfortable and provides a secure grip.

In this article, we will discuss the basics of bushcraft knives, different types available, how to choose the right one, sharpening and maintaining it, proper storage methods, and how to use a bushcraft knife.

Bushcraft Knife Basics

Bushcraft knives are designed for outdoor use, making them ideal for camping, hunting, and hiking. They come in a variety of sizes, shapes, and materials, and are designed for specific tasks such as slicing, cutting, and carving.

Generally, bushcraft knives are made from stainless steel, though some are made from carbon steel, a material that is harder and more durable. The blade of a bushcraft knife is usually around 3-5 inches in length and has a curved handle to make it easy to grip.

Furthermore, the blade has a sharp point that helps you get into tight spaces and a wide flat edge for slicing and chopping. The handle of a bushcraft knife is often made from wood, rubber, or plastic, and is designed for comfort and grip.

Types of Bushcraft Knives

When it comes to choosing the right bushcraft knife, it’s important to understand the different types of blades available.

Here are some of the most popular types of bushcraft knives:

Fixed Blades – These are probably the most common type of bushcraft knife. A fixed blade knife is designed to be sturdy and durable, with a blade that cannot be folded. This type of knife is most often used for heavy-duty tasks such as splitting wood and batoning.

Folding Blades – A folding knife is designed to be portable and easy to carry. The blade is able to be folded away, making it a great tool for carrying around in your pocket or backpack. Folding blades are great for light tasks such as carving and food preparation.

Drop Point Blades – This type of blade is designed to be strong and durable, and is great for outdoor activities such as hunting and camping. The blade is curved slightly downwards, which makes it great for slicing and skinning.

Tanto Blades – This type of blade is designed for piercing and stabbing. The blade is sharp and pointed at the end, making it great for piercing thick materials such as leather or canvas.

Sheepsfoot Blades – Sheepsfoot blades are designed for precise cutting tasks. The blade is curved slightly at the end, making it great for slicing and cutting.

Spear Point Blades – This type of blade is designed for piercing and stabbing. The blade is sharp and pointed at the end, making it great for piercing tough materials.

Wharncliffe Blades – This type of blade is designed for precise cutting tasks. The blade is flat and slightly curved at the tip, making it great for slicing and cutting.

These are just some of the most popular types of bushcraft knives available. Depending on your needs, you may want to choose one that best suits your needs. The most important thing is to make sure that you’re comfortable with the blade and that it’s suitable for the task at hand.

Choosing the Right Bushcraft Knife

When it comes to choosing the right bushcraft knife, you want to ensure you’re getting the best tool for the job. If you’re looking for a knife to use for general bushcraft activities like carving, whittling and skinning, you want to find a knife with a full tang, meaning the blade and handle are constructed from a single piece of steel. This type of knife is much sturdier and more durable than a knife with a partial tang.

The handle material is also important when choosing a bushcraft knife. You want a handle that fits well in your hand, as bushcraft activities require a firm and secure grip. Handles made from hardwood, synthetic materials, and even bone are all acceptable options.

You’ll also want to look for a knife with a guard, which helps protect your hand from the blade. The blade size is another factor to consider when shopping for a bushcraft knife.

A blade that’s too big will be unwieldy, while a blade that’s too small won’t be able to handle the demands of the task. When choosing a blade size, make sure to select one that’s proportional to your hand size.

Finally, you’ll want to find a knife with a good quality steel blade. Carbon steel blades are preferred for bushcraft knives, as they’re more durable and hold an edge longer.

High carbon stainless steel is also a good option, though it won’t hold an edge as well as carbon steel. Once you’ve chosen the right bushcraft knife, you’ll want to make sure it’s properly sharpened and maintained. This will ensure it’s ready for any bushcraft task you face.

Sharpening a Bushcraft Knife

Sharpening a Bushcraft knife is a very important part of maintaining it. Over time, the edge of the bushcraft knife can become worn down or even damaged, making it less effective when used.

To sharpen a bushcraft knife, you will need a whetstone. A whetstone is a flat, rectangular shaped stone that is used to grind and hone the metal blade of a knife. It is important to choose the right size whetstone for your bushcraft knife. If you have a smaller knife, you will need a finer grit whetstone.

For larger knives, a coarse grit is generally enough. Once you have the right size whetstone, you can begin sharpening your bushcraft knife. Start by soaking the whetstone in water for about 10 minutes. This will help to keep the stone from overheating as you sharpen your knife.

Then, hold your knife at a 15-20 degree angle and gently run the blade along the whetstone in a sweeping motion.

Make sure to keep the angle consistent as you move the blade along the stone. This will help you to create a sharp edge on your blade.

After you have finished sharpening your bushcraft knife, it is important to clean the blade thoroughly. This will help to ensure that no metal particles or other debris remain on the blade, which could cause damage if it is left on the knife.

You should also oil the blade to protect it from rust and keep it in the best condition possible. With a few simple steps, your bushcraft knife will be sharp and ready to use.

How To Use a Bushcraft Knife

Maintaining a Bushcraft Knife

The best way to keep your bushcraft knife in great condition is to take care of it. After each use, make sure to clean the blade of dirt and debris that can accumulate over time.

A soft cloth and warm soapy water should do the trick. Additionally, lubricate the knife with oil to prevent it from rusting. Periodically check the knife for sharpness and if needed, sharpen the blade using a sharpening stone.

If you find yourself in the wilderness, you can sharpen the knife using rocks or even sandpaper. It’s also important to store the knife in a safe place where it won’t be damaged or cause any harm.

Storing a Bushcraft Knife

Storing a bushcraft knife properly will help ensure it is in good condition when you need it. For the safest storage, it is best to keep the knife in a sheath or a pouch. This will protect the blade from damage and keep it dry.

If you have multiple knives, it is best to keep them in separate sheaths or pouches. It is also important to keep the knife out of the reach of children. Keeping it in a drawer or a cabinet is a great way to make sure it is not accessible to children. Additionally, you should make sure that the blade is kept dry and free from rust.

Using a Bushcraft Knife

Now that you have a good understanding of the basics of bushcraft knives, you can start to use it. When using a bushcraft knife, it’s important to use proper technique. This will help you get the job done safely and efficiently. Before you begin, it’s important to make sure that the knife is sharp and well-maintained.

A dull knife will not only be more difficult to use, but it can also be dangerous. Take the time to sharpen your blade and make sure it’s in good working order before you start. Once the knife is sharp and ready to use, you can begin.

Start by holding the knife in your dominant hand and the material to be cut in your other hand. You should always cut away from your body, rather than towards it. This will help ensure that you don’t accidentally cut yourself. When using a bushcraft knife, you should keep your cutting strokes short and controlled. This will help you maintain control of the blade and prevent it from slipping.

Make sure to use a sawing motion when cutting thicker materials, rather than a single downward motion. This will make it easier to cut through the material without damaging the knife. It’s also important to keep your knife in a good position when cutting. The blade should be at a slight angle, rather than perpendicular to the material. This will help you keep control of the blade and prevent it slipping.

Once you have finished using the bushcraft knife, make sure to clean it properly. This will help keep the blade in good condition and prevent rust. It’s also important to dry the blade after cleaning it, as water can cause rusting if it’s left on the blade for too long.

By following these tips, you can use your bushcraft knife safely and efficiently. With the right technique, a good quality bushcraft knife can last for many years and become an invaluable part of your outdoor toolkit.


Bushcraft knives are essential tools to have when you’re out in the wild. Whether you’re a seasoned outdoorsman or a beginner, these knives can be used for a variety of activities.

When shopping for a bushcraft knife, be sure to consider the kind of steel, blade length, and handle style that best fits your needs. Once you have your bushcraft knife, be sure to keep it sharp, maintain it often, and store it properly.

With the proper care, your bushcraft knife will be your loyal companion for years to come.

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