10 Best Bowie Knives

Last Updated December 1, 2023
Top 3 Best Bowie Knives
Super SOG Bowie Fixed Blade
Super SOG Bowie Fixed Blade
  • High-Quality Material: The blade is made of AUS-8 stainless steel with a black TiNi finish for durability and corrosion resistance.
  • Full Tang Design: Provides enhanced balance and strength, crucial for demanding outdoor tasks.
  • Comfortable Grip: The leather-wrapped handle accommodates even larger hands, ensuring a secure and comfortable grip.
  • Versatile Usage: Effective in tasks like cutting through thick ropes or prepping firewood.
  • Reassuring Weight: Weighs 17.4 oz, which is substantial without being burdensome.
  • Included Accessories: Comes with a black leather sheath and a whetstone.
  • Brand Reliability: Reflects SOG’s reputation for quality.
SOG Tech Bowie Knife
SOG Tech Bowie Knife
  • Modern Reimagining: Maintains the classic form and function of the original Bowie knife but with high-tech materials and craftsmanship.
  • Compact Size: The overall length is 11 inches, with a 6.4-inch blade.
  • Material: The handle is made of black kraton with a TiNi coated stainless steel blade.
  • Sheath and Lanyard: Comes with a black kydex sheath and a nylon lanyard attached to the handle
Schrade SCHF45 Full Tang Bowie Blade
Schrade SCHF45 Full Tang Bowie Blade
  • Material: Features a 10.4-inch long blade made from 8Cr13MoV titanium-coated carbon steel, offering corrosion resistance and hardness.
  • Large Size: The total length of the knife is 16.4 inches, placing it at the upper limit of traditional Bowie knives.
  • Handle and Sheath: Both are made from black thermoplastic elastomer.
  • Practicality: Suitable for a variety of outdoor tasks due to its size and construction​.
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Everyone has heard of the Bowie Knife. It’s one of the most iconic tools of the rugged men and women who helped tame the American West. Large and capable hunting and utility knives, Bowie knives were as good in a fight as they were skinning a moose. Today we’ll cover 10 modern examples of this classic knife and help you find the best Bowie knife for your needs.

What is a Bowie Knife

The Bowie knife is one of the most famous examples of frontier Americana still in use. Originally made for the celebrated frontiersman and Texas patriot James “Jim” Bowie, the Bowie knife came to be a symbol of Old West machismo and rugged utility.

Physically a Bowie knife is a large fixed blade knife. Its design is reminiscent of a butcher’s knife but with a large cross guard and clip point profile. They were originally made from polished high-carbon steel and have large wooden or leather wrapped handles.

The design of the Bowie knife made it a good tool for various hunting, camping, and outdoor activity. It has recently been eclipsed in popularity by smaller and lighter weight knives but is still widely available from excellent manufacturers.

Best Bowie Knives Reviewed

Bowie knives are some of the largest knives you’ll find that aren’t actually machetes. In fact, many modern Bowie knives are actually marketed as brush clearing tools similar to machetes. The things that make such a large knife stand out are a lot different than the ones that affect a smaller blade.

These 10 knives represent a range of the Bowie knives on the market today. We tried to pull a few excellent examples from every type and price range you can find.

Super SOG Bowie Fixed Blade

Super SOG Bowie Fixed Blade
The Super SOG bowie knife product picture

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From the moment I unboxed the Super SOG Bowie, I knew I had a formidable piece of gear in my hands. The knife seemed to promise a blend of tradition and modernity, echoing the essence of the original SOG Bowie but with contemporary tweaks. Holding it, the 12.88 inches from tip to butt felt like a natural extension of my arm, and at 17.4 oz, it had a reassuring weight without being cumbersome.

The blade, a beautiful 7.5 inches of AUS-8 stainless steel, gleamed with a black TiNi finish, a testament to its corrosion resistance. Though I had read it wasn’t as hard as some other blade steels, its performance during my camping expeditions left no room for doubt – it was up to the task. I was particularly fond of its clip point profile, which added a touch of the traditional Bowie aesthetics.

The full tang design is something I always look for in a good outdoor knife, and the Super SOG didn’t disappoint. The leather-wrapped handle felt secure and comfortable, even in my fairly large hands. The lanyard hole at the base was a thoughtful addition, helping me keep the knife secure during more rigorous tasks around the campsite.

I’ve always enjoyed the SOG brand, having previously owned their Tec Bowie and Seal Pup. Their products never skimp on quality, and this Bowie was no exception. Its high-end price tag matches its high-end performance. The black leather sheath and included whetstone were cherries on top, showcasing SOG’s consideration for a holistic knife ownership experience.

On various hikes through dense woodlands and during RVing stops, this knife proved its mettle. Whether it was cutting through thickets or preparing firewood, the Super SOG was up to the task. I remember the ease with which it sliced through ropes, and the comfortable heft it had when I needed to hammer down tent pegs with the butt of its handle.

One night, as I took a solitary stroll with only the stars for company, I felt a sense of reassurance with the Super SOG at my side. It’s not just a tool, but a companion for those who venture into the wild. The bayou’s unpredictable terrain and sometimes unwelcome wildlife were less intimidating with the Super SOG on my belt.

During a recent weekend excursion into the mountains, the Super SOG Bowie was put to the ultimate test. As a lover of the great outdoors, I had planned a two-day hiking and camping trip to escape the city’s hustle. The weather was unpredictable, with the skies opening up now and then. Amid a downpour, I found myself in need of quickly securing my tarp. The Super SOG was at my side, and with a swift, clean cut, it made short work of the thick ropes. As night descended, I needed to prep firewood to keep warm.

The knife’s blade effortlessly bit into the wood, making the task seem almost trivial. But it wasn’t just about the practicalities; there was an intangible comfort in having it by my side. As I sat by the fire, the Super SOG Bowie resting beside me, I felt a bond had been forged through the day’s adversities. The knife wasn’t just a tool; it had become a part of my wilderness narrative. Each carve, each cut told a story of reliance and rugged beauty. In the silent companionship of the stars and the sturdy Super SOG Bowie, I found a serene satisfaction that only a true outdoor enthusiast can understand.

In comparison to other knives on the market that parade as survival tools but fall short, the Super SOG stands tall. It’s a knife that doesn’t just perform, but excels in the great outdoors, making it a staple in my outdoor gear. The Super SOG Bowie is more than just a knife; it’s a reliable companion for the seasoned outdoorsman.


  • High-Quality Material: The AUS-8 stainless steel blade with a black TiNi finish ensures durability and corrosion resistance.
  • Full Tang Design: Offers enhanced balance and strength, crucial for demanding outdoor tasks.
  • Comfortable Grip: The leather-wrapped handle accommodates even larger hands, ensuring a secure and comfortable grip.
  • Versatile Usage: Whether it’s cutting through thick ropes or prepping firewood, the Super SOG Bowie is up to the task.
  • Reassuring Weight: At 17.4 oz, it’s heavy enough to feel substantial without being burdensome.
  • Included Accessories: Comes with a black leather sheath and a whetstone, enhancing the overall value.
  • Brand Reliability: SOG’s reputation for quality is well-reflected in this Bowie knife.


  • Price: The high-end price tag might be a deterrent for some, especially those new to outdoor adventures.
  • Blade Hardness: Although satisfactory for many tasks, the blade’s hardness may not match up to some other steel types.
  • Sheath Quality: While functional, the sheath might not meet everyone’s expectations compared to the quality of the knife.
  • Size: Its substantial size may not be suitable for those looking for a more compact everyday carry.

SOG Tech Bowie Knife

SOG Tech Bowie Knife
The SOG Tech bowie knife product picture

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The SOG Tech Bowie knife is a modern reimagining of what the Bowie knife can be. It keeps the classic form and function of the original but spices it up with high tech materials and excellent workmanship.

The first thing you’ll notice about the SOG Tech is its smaller size. From tip to butt it’s just 11 inches long. The blade itself is a mere 6.4 inches. It’s easy to see where SOG chose to make changes with this Bowie knife.

The handle is made from blacked out kraton rather than leather or wood. The blade itself has a slightly adjusted angle and is made from TiNi coated stainless steel. It comes in a black kydex sheath with a nylon lanyard attached to the handle. Like its larger cousin the Super SOG the SOG Tech is a high dollar product.

If you’re looking for a reimagined edition of the classic Bowie knife in all modern materials the SOG Tech is an excellent option.

Schrade SCHF45 Full Tang Bowie Blade

Schrade SCHF45 Full Tang Bowie Blade
The Schrade SCHF45 bowie knife product picture

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The Schrade SCHF45 is a full tang Bowie knife made from high carbon steel. It has a 10.4 inch long blade in a total body length of 16.4 inches. This puts the SCHF45 right at the upper limit of traditional Bowie knives.

The blade is made from 8Cr13MoV titanium coated carbon steel. This gives it excellent corrosion resistant properties while still maintaining high levels of hardness. The handle and sheath are both made from black thermoplastic elastomer.

The Schrade SCHF45 is a large and reasonably priced Bowie inspired knife made from the lastest materials. It’s large enough to be useful for just about any outdoor task.

Buck Knives 120 General Fixed Blade Bowie Knife

Buck Knives General Fixed Blade Bowie Knife
The Buck Knives 120 bowie knife product picture

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The General is one of the most iconic knives Buck has ever produced. A 12 inch long Bowie style knife, its size and blade angle were designed with gutting and cleaning game in mind.

It’s made from 420HC stainless steel. This gives its 7 ⅜ inch blade excellent hardness and corrosion resistance. The handle is made from either Dymalux or a composite material. The Dymalux creates a beautiful dyed birch appearance that’s smooth to the touch but grips your hand well. It also looks really sharp.

The General comes with a genuine black leather sheath and can be personalized through engraving.

The Buck 120 General is a classic Bowie style hunting knife. It’s made from quality materials by a trusted manufacturer and provides good value for your money.

KA-BAR Bowie Knives Straight and Serrated Blade

KA-BAR Bowie Knives Straight and Serrated Blade
The KA-BAR bowie knife product picture

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The KA-BAR Marine fighting knife is one of the most iconic knives in world history. It was first issued in the opening days of WWII to American Marines fighting in the Pacific and has since been used all over the world.

It was inspired by the original Bowie knife with a few modifications. Nowadays it’s available in either straight or half serrated blade styles. The KA-BAR Fighting Knife is just under 12 inches in total length with a blade length of 7 inches. It’s made from 1095 Cro-Van steel. This gives it a good mix of corrosion resistance and hardness.

The KA-BAR is a full tang knife with a handle made from compressed leather washers. This gives it a great combination of durability and slip resistance.

The KA-BAR Marine fighting knife is legendary for a reason. It’s a large and highly capable knife that works just as well as a utility knife as it does as a self defense tool.

Ontario Spec Plus Marine Raider Bowie

Ontario Spec Plus Marine Raider Bowie
The Ontario Spec Plus bowie knife product picture

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The Ontario Spec Plus Marine Raider Bowie is a military inspired bowie knife made from modern materials. It’s just over 15 inches long with a 9.8 inch blade.

It has a full tang design and is made from 1095 carbon steel. If you look at the blade itself you’ll immediately notice its extraordinarily deep belly. This makes it perfect for chopping through brush and other utility tasks around camp.

The handle is made from black kraton. This gives it excellent gripping properties and makes it quite durable under hard use. The sheath is made from black nylon and is fully MOLLE compatible.

The Marine Raider Bowie is more suited for wilderness exploration than many of the smaller knives on this list. It’s right in the middle of the pack price wise and is made from high quality materials.

Cold Steel Marauder Knife

Cold Steel Marauder Knife
The Cold Steel bowie knife product picture

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The Cold Steel Marauder Bowie is an all modern recreation of the classic Bowie knife. It has the classic deep bellied clip point blade of a traditional Bowie knife but uses updated steel and handle materials.

It’s just over 14 inches long with a 9 inch blade made from AUS 8A stainless steel. This Japanese steel has excellent corrosion resistance and blade hardness. The handle is made from blacked out Kray-Ex for maximum strength and grip retention.

One thing we really liked was the included ring grip. It slips over your index finger as you hold the blade and was a common feature of traditional Bowie knives.

It comes standard with a Secure-Ex sheath that can be attached to a backpack, bag, or slipped onto your belt. Cold steel is known for their quality products and excellent reproductions of classic knives and tools.

The Cold Steel Marauder is a value priced modern Bowie that gives you a lot of value for your money.

Condor Undertaker Bowie Knife

Condor Undertaker Bowie Knife
The Condor Undertaker bowie knife product picture

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The Condor Undertaker is a classic Bowie knife made from natural materials. It’s 15.5 inches long from tip to butt and has just over a 10 inch blade.

The blade is made from 1075 high carbon steel. This gives it one of the hardest and sharpest blades of any Bowie knife on this list but does require careful maintenance and cleaning. The handle is made from beautiful burnished walnut for a classic grip.

It comes with a black welted leather sheath. We’ll be honest, the Undertaker looks really nice. It’s a great option for reenactors and others looking for a true period Bowie knife from a modern manufacturer.

Tops Prather War Bowie

Tops Prather War Bowie
The Tops Prather War bowie knife product picture

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The Tops Prather War Bowie is a modern redesign of the classic Bowie fighting knife for the 21st century. It’s just over 12.5 inches long and has a 7 ¼ inch long blade made from coated high carbon steel.

The blade is coated with a traction and corrosion resistant treatment. The handle is a really cool part of this knife. It’s made from black linen micarta and uses a highly textured pattern called Rocky Mountain tread. It was designed by celebrated bladesmith Jeff Prather.

The Tops Prather War Bowie is a medium sized Bowie knife made from all modern materials. It’s beautiful in the way a spider is beautiful, sleek and deadly. It’s certainly not the cheapest knife on our list but it is well made, highly capable, and seriously nice to look at.

Spyderco Bradley Bowie Knife

Spyderco Bradley Bowie Knife
The Spyderco Bradley bowie knife product picture

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The Spyderco Bradley Bowie knife was built to encapsulate the spirit of a Bowie knife in the body of a modern fixed blade utility knife. It’s just under 10 inches long with a 5.13 inch long blade.

The blade is made from PSF27, a high carbon stainless steel that’s easy to sharpen but still holds a nice edge. The handle is made from G-10 laminate for high strength and excellent grip characteristics.

The handle is made from custom molded Boltaron and gives you a variety of carry options. This is a high end knife at an equally high end price. If you’re looking for an excellent backwoods knife that’s smaller and lighter than similar Bowie knives this is a great option.

Buyer’s Guide for Buying the Best Bowie Knife

Bowie knives aren’t like other knives. They have a very specific set of characteristics that make them the knife they are. In today’s world there’s less demand for a practical gutting tool that doubles as a quality fighting knife.

Your needs if looking for a knife to carry will be different than if looking for a collectible or classic piece. To help you out we’ve put together a list of the things that really make a Bowie knife tick.


We aren’t going to lie to you, Bowie knives are expensive. To get one worth a darn in the field you’re going to spend well over $50. For a top of the line model you can easily spend $200+.

The biggest reason for this is their large size. They’re basically high quality knives built at the size of machetes. That’s a lot of quality blade steel.


Bowie knives have a very distinctive design. They use a clip point blade profile on a very large blade. The classic design includes a prominent cross guard and large squared handle with decorative touches.

New materials and styles have been introduced over the years, with many tactical bowie knives now being offered. Think corrosion coated carbon steel, polymer handles, and nylon sheaths.


Given the size of a Bowie knife full tang is the only way to go. This gives you maximum strength in the handle and blade. It also allows you to use the knife for heavy tasks without fear of damage or breaking the blade.


If you want a traditional Bowie knife expect it to be made from carbon or stainless steel with a wooden handle and steel crossguard. Nowadays the old school blacksmith steel is usually replaced by corrosion resistant blade steel.

It will most likely come with a leather sheath that is highly decorated. Common touches include silver fittings on the handle and decorative patterns either inscribed or embedded in the grip.

Blade Size

Bowie knives were conceived of as large fighting knives. Most are between 12 and 18 inches long from tip to butt. This gives them the reach for use as light machetes, gutting knives, carving tools, or batoning wood.

These are large and capable knives built to a classic design.

Blade Length

The blade on a Bowie knife was quite large. It’s at least 2 inches wide and generally between 6 to 12 inches long. Most traditional examples were at least 8 inches in total length.

Handle and Grip

Traditional Bowie knives had wooden or leather wrapped grips with a square profile. The handle itself was large enough to hold with both hands for heavy chopping but still comfortable with single hand use.

Modern versions often use high tech materials like kraton, glass filled nylon, or other polymers. The grip is generally highly textured or treated to aid in knife retention


If you want the full package with a classic bowie knife you should get a sheath made from leather or buckskin. These exemplify the materials used by the American trappers, frontiersman, and Indian fighters who were contemporary with the Bowie knife.

If you just want a Bowie knife for the practical purposes you can choose from modern materials like nylon, kydex, or other polymers.

Top Bowie Knives Video

FAQ – Best Bowie Knives

Choosing the best Bowie knife for your camping adventures can be an exciting but sometimes daunting task. We understand that you may have a few questions before making your decision. In this section, we’ve compiled some of the most commonly asked questions about Bowie knives to help you make an informed choice. From understanding the features that make a Bowie knife ideal for camping to addressing concerns about legality and maintenance, we’ve got you covered. Read on to find the answers to your burning questions and gain a deeper understanding of these versatile blades.

If you don’t see your question listed here, feel free to reach out to us, and we’ll be happy to assist you. Now, let’s dive into the frequently asked questions about the best Bowie knives for camping!

What is a Bowie knife?

A Bowie knife is a type of fixed-blade knife with a distinct design that originated in the early 19th century. It is characterized by a long, clip-point blade and a crossguard that extends below the handle. Bowie knives are versatile tools used for various outdoor activities, including camping, hunting, and survival.

What makes a Bowie knife ideal for camping?

Bowie knives are popular among campers due to their durability, versatility, and reliability. They are well-suited for tasks such as chopping firewood, preparing meals, cutting rope, and even self-defense if necessary. Their robust construction and sharp blades make them reliable tools for a range of camping needs.

What features should I consider when buying a Bowie knife for camping?

When choosing a Bowie knife for camping, consider factors such as blade material (preferably high-carbon stainless steel), blade length (typically 6-12 inches), tang construction (full tang is recommended for added strength), handle material (comfortable and durable), and sheath quality (secure and easy to carry).

Are Bowie knives legal to carry while camping?

The legality of carrying a Bowie knife while camping depends on the jurisdiction and specific local regulations. It is essential to research and familiarize yourself with the laws of the area where you plan to camp. Some areas may have restrictions on blade length, concealed carry, or other factors, so it’s important to comply with the local laws.

Can I use a Bowie knife for survival purposes?

Yes, Bowie knives are often recommended for survival situations due to their versatility and durability. They can be used for tasks such as building shelters, preparing food, hunting, self-defense, and even starting fires (if the blade has a sharpened spine). However, it is always advisable to carry additional survival tools and have proper training in using a knife effectively in survival situations.

How should I care for my Bowie knife?

To ensure the longevity of your Bowie knife, it is crucial to maintain proper care. After use, clean the blade with mild soap and water, and dry it thoroughly to prevent rusting. Apply a light coat of oil to protect the blade and store the knife in a dry place. Regularly sharpen the blade and check the handle for any signs of wear or damage.

Can I use a Bowie knife for hunting?

Yes, many hunters find Bowie knives to be excellent tools for hunting. The sharp, sturdy blade is suitable for skinning, gutting, and quartering game animals. However, it’s important to follow local hunting regulations and ensure that the blade length is within the legal limits for hunting in your area.

Are Bowie knives suitable for beginners?

Bowie knives can be used by beginners; however, they do require some skill and experience to handle safely and effectively. It’s important to practice proper knife handling techniques, such as maintaining a secure grip and using controlled movements. Beginners should also consider starting with a smaller Bowie knife or seek guidance from experienced campers or outdoorsmen.

Best Bowie Knives Recapped

Final Thoughts

A Bowie knife is a piece of American history you can hold in your hand and use every day. It’s also one of the largest fixed blade knives you’re ever likely to come across.

Make sure you know what you’re looking for before starting your search for a Bowie knife. If you want a practical tool you’ll have significantly different needs than someone looking for a collectors version.

1 thought on “10 Best Bowie Knives”

  1. Great article! I never knew there were so many variations of Bowie knives. The SOG Tech Bowie’s modern design really caught my eye.


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