A dive knife is the one piece of scuba gear you should have on every dive. While a scuba knife may only get used on rare occasions for most, it is the one time you need it that may save your life in an emergency situation. Aside from emergencies, dive knives can come in handy for many other situations, whether it be using it knock on your tank to alert a buddy, or using a blunt tip diving knife to dig a stuck treasure out of the sediment.
If you plan on venturing into technical diving you may need a large titanium scuba diving knife as well as a small backup diving knife attached to your BCD. Only into recreational diving, you may only need a good small dive knife or dive shears just for an emergency. There are many styles of scuba knives and you may not know what you need, but just as I have done with other key scuba gear like dive masks and scuba fins, I put together a quick guide to help you.
When searching for a good dive knife just take into account what type of diving you do the most, scuba gear you already own, how it will fit in with your current gear, and how you might use the scuba diving knife. Just remember, the best dive knife for spearfishing may not be the best dive knife for treasure hunters as each usually needs a different style of knife tip. Also, a cheap scuba diving knife may not be the best option for a frequent salt water diver who uses the knife on every dive as it likely will not be as durable.
Let’s jump right into our list of best knives and quick guide to find right scuba knife for you!
How To Choose The Best Dive Knife – Quick Guide
If you have been searching for scuba diving knife, you have probably realized that there are not as many options of dive knives like there are with dive lights, but just about every scuba gear manufacturer has a couple of models to choose from. Finding out which of the bunch has the best scuba diving knife can definitely take some work but luckily the work is already done.
Like most dive equipment, think of how you might use the scuba knife and types of diving you do. This short dive knife guide will help you narrow down the list to the scuba diving knife that is best for you. You will learn all of the different styles and features of popular knives, and then you can use the handy table to sort the list on features that are important to your needs. Below the table, you will find a short review of the best dive knives and their features.
WHEN DO YOU NEED A DIVE KNIFE?
The quick and easy answer is ALWAYS! You never know when you may encounter an emergency which is why it is best to a carry scuba diving knife with you on every dive. It also doesn’t have to be a traditional scuba knife as you can also choose to carry dive shears as well which can be used to cut free of entanglement as well.
TYPES OF DIVE KNIVES
The FIXED BLADE DIVE KNIFE is the most common style divers choose to carry. The advantage of a fixed blade is ease of use and attaching the dive knife sheath to an easily accessible part of the body with the dive knife straps and equip the knife with one hand.
The FOLDING DIVE KNIFE is more compact, lightweight, and can be stored in BDC pocket very easily. They are great as a backup scuba diving knife but can take longer to equip and unfolding them will usually take two hands.
DIVE SHEARS are another tool divers can use with one hand to cut their way out of danger or assist another diver or trapped sea animal. A quality pair of dive shears can take on anything from mono-filament to steel leaders.
There are a few different materials scuba diving knives are made of which are titanium, steel, and less commonly, ceramic.
TITANIUM DIVE KNIVES are the favorite among regular divers and tech divers due to the incredible strength and durability as well as being very resistant to corrosion and rust. Titanium is difficult to sharpen due to its hardness but it also means it can maintain its edge longer and is typically maintenance free.
STEEL DIVE KNIVES are cheaper and easier to sharpen but they require more maintenance. You will have to be sure to rinse the knife after each saltwater dive and coat it with oil or silicone paste to further protect it from corrosion. It is true that not all steel will corrode as easily, the 400 alloy is most susceptible and the 300 alloys being closer to a titanium knife. Spyderco uses yet another process that will substitute carbon with nitrogen making it nearly rust proof yet it is easily sharpened.
The CERAMIC DIVE KNIFE is not the best material for a dive knife that will be used a lot as it is a brittle material. The benefits of ceramic blades are the sharpness you can achieve which can be great if you only plan to cut things but not great as a tool to pry or dig.
BLADE EDGE AND TIP
When choosing a scuba diving knife you will need to consider its primary use and whether you will find a blunt or pointed tip more useful. Also, consider the edge and whether you will benefit more from a serrated edge diving knife or a straight edge.
The TIP OF A DIVE KNIFE can be pointed, blunt, or tanto (combination blunt/pointed) tipped. The drop point is what you typically think of a blade point and is great for cutting and puncturing and will usually be sharp up to the point on one side and dull on the other. The blunt tip dive knife is great for digging, prying, and chiseling. The tanto tip fits somewhere in between the two in regards to its utility, its slanted tip features both a blunt and pointed aspect to it.
The BLADE EDGE can be serrated or straight and most scuba diving knives will have a straight edge on one side and a serrated edge on the other. The best dive knife for spearfishing will have two straight edges and a very sharp point to easily pierce the fish but they should be handled carefully when not protected in the dive knife sheath. Another useful addition to some knives is a line cutter notch to easily cut small lines.
CARRYING YOUR DIVE KNIFE
Where and how you carry your scuba diving knife is really a matter of preference but there are a few things to keep in mind when choosing a location. A common place to attach the dive knife sheath has been the lower leg or thigh using dive knife straps. This works very well for both large and small scuba knives but it can get in the way in confined diving conditions.
Many divers are choosing to attach their scuba diving knives to their BCD so it is never forgotten on the dive boat and it is always accessible. Wherever you choose to strap or attach your scuba diving knife, attach it opposite your dominant hand as you will have a better ability to access it.
Now that you have all of the information you need to choose the best scuba diving knife for your needs you can take a look at the table and sort on the options to compare the best scuba diving knives!
Compare the Top 10 Best Dive Knives
|Image||Dive Light||Material||Edge||Tip||Blade Length||Price Range|
|Aqua Lung Squeeze Lock||Stainless||Dual/Serrated||Tanto||3"||$$|
|Atomic Aquatics Titanium Ti6||Titanium||Dual/Serrated||Blunt/Point||4"|
|Tusa FK-940ti X-Pert II||Titanium||Dual/Serrated||Point||4.5"||$$|
|XS Scuba Beta||Titanium||Dual/Serrated||All||5"|
|XS Scuba FogCutter Recon||Stainless||Dual/Serrated||Point||6"||$$|
|Underwater Kinetics Blue Tang||Titanium||Dual/Serrated||Blunt/Point||5"||$$|
|Spyderco Atlantic Salt||H-1 Steel||Serrated||Blunt||3.2"||$$|
|Bonus Pick: PROMATE Diving Knife||Titanium||Dual/Serrated||Blunt/Point||4.4"||$|
|Bonus Pick: Cressi Orca||Stainless||Dual/Serrated||Point||7"||$|
The Best Dive Knives- Top 10 List Reviews
This compact dive knife has an outstanding dive knife sheath mechanism. With a quick squeeze of the handle the knife will be ready for action. The 3″ stainless blade features a line cutter as well as a dual straight/serrated blade making it a very versatile dive knife. The blunt tip will also make this knife a very useful tool underwater. The Squeezelock is very affordable yet useful stainless steel dive knife that is also available in a titanium version as well.
If you are looking for a high end dive knife at an affordable price, the Barracuda is just that. It has all of the features more expensive full size knives but at reasonable price for a titanium dive knife. You can find the Barracuda in either 5″ pointed or blunt tip option that includes a dive knife sheath and straps. The ergonomic handle is very comfortable while gripping and using the straight or serrated edge. The Barracuda is the best titanium dive knife under $100 on the market offering all of the popular features of a good dive knife.
The Ti6 is another great full featured dive knife that has a really great sheaf design. The titanium blade is virtually maintenance free and at only 4″ is a great choice if you don’t want a compact dive knife but also don’t want something as large as a typical full size dive knife. The Atomic Aquatics Ti6 will cost you a bit more but it is very high quality dive knife and should last forever.
If you are looking for the best the Argonaut is certainly one of them. The simple construction of one solid piece of titanium wrapped in 7′ of para-cord provide excellent grip underwater with a place for your forefinger for added grip control. The Argonaut’s Spartan option has a serrated section near the handle with a sharp straight edge on both sides meeting at the point. The Spartan configuration is the best spearfishing knife of the list for those wondering. If you need a bit more utility you can always get the Argonaut with a blunt tip and have confidence you are equipped with one of the best dive knives on the market.
The Xpert II is a great all around dive knife with a very comfortable rubber grip. You can also fully disassemble the grip for cleaning if needed. With a 4.5″ pointed tip blade and priced right in the middle of all the other scuba knives, it rounds out the list offering something just a bit different from the others. The Xpert also comes with a great dive knife sheath as well that will give access the the securely held knife with the press of a button.
Th XS Scuba Beta is a great comfortable scuba diving knife that is available in all styles of knife points. The utility of this knife is great and the titanium blade will not corrode and has exceptional hardness from the custom alloy XS Scuba used for this dive knife. The sheath is very secure and will require deliberate action to remove the knife which is great for to ease any worry of losing the knife by accident. A good quality dive knife that will serve its purpose for many years.
An incredibly versatile dive tool, the FogCutter is a fixed blade, line cutter, and dive shears in one convenient package. At 6 inches, the blade has both straight and serrated edges and a nice guard on the handle to keep from slipping onto the blade. The stainless steel blade is also treated with chromate to enhance the rust prevention. I have heard diver’s comment on the sheath lock not securing the knife as well as others but other than that it is a great dive knife.
UK’s Blue Tang is a great all around scuba diving knife that is very affordable. The rubber ergonomic grip is also very comfortable in the hand at only 7 ounce the knife is easy to work with. The quick release sheath lock allows for easy access and secures the knife really well when not in use. Easy disassembly allows for thorough cleaning. The only thing this knife is missing is a lanyard hole at the end, otherwise this is really great dive knife.
The best folding dive knife and only one worthy of making the list, Spyderco’s Atlantic Salt has an outstanding blade. Don’t let the steel blade deter you for fear of rust as Spyderco uses a special steel alloy that replaces the carbon with nitrogen in the steel giving it superior corrosion resistance while maintaining the durability of regular 400 stainless. The full length serrated edge blade is a cutting machine and will make quick work of anything needing to be cut and is proof by how many commercial divers carry it. I keep this dive knife on a retractable lanyard attached to my BCD and gets used as often as my fixed blade dive knife.
Whether you choose the stainless steel blade or the titanium blade, the best affordable dive knife under $50 is the Cressi Lima. I own this dive knife as well with a titanium blade and it just works! It is small, light weight, and can be attached pretty much anywhere, including hoses in you so dare. The locking mechanism is easy to use while wearing dive gloves and holds the knife securely. Whether you are looking for a backup dive knife or something for the sake of security, this is one of best dive knives for the price.
The Promate Titanium knife earns a bonus pick spot as it is the best full size dive knife under $50. It has all the features of the pricier options but is much more affordable.
The Orca has been around for decades and it is a classic. If you want a great stainless steel dive knife, the Orca is a great knife with a lot of nostalgia for those that have been diving a while. Sharp and heavy, if you want to be able to feel your dive knife pick this one up.
Thank you for checking out The Leisure Pro’s list of best scuba diving knives! Be sure to let us know if you have a favorite scuba knife in the comments. Remember to dive safely and take extra precautions when wielding your knife under water!