Best Bowie Knife – Our Top Picks

BK9 Combat Bowie Fixed Blade Knife
  • Ka-Bar Becker BK9 Combat Bowie Fixed Blade Knife
  • Blade Length: 9 inches
  • Price: $
Bowie Fixed Blade Knife
  • Puma 116396 Bowie Fixed Blade Knife
  • Blade Length: 6 inches
  • Price: $$
Western Outlaw Bowie Knife
  • Timber Rattler Western Outlaw Bowie Knife
  • Blade Length: 11 3/8 inches
  • Price: $
Natchez Bowie 01 Steel Knife
  • Cold Steel Natchez Bowie 01 Steel Knife
  • Blade Length: 11-3/4 inches
  • Price: $$$
CD01-L Creed Knife
  • SOG Specialty Knives & Tools CD01-L Creed Knife
  • Blade Length: 7.5 inches
  • Price: $$

Task-specific knives make our lives easier by favoring certain actions we need to accomplish in our everyday lives. Bowie knife, a brainchild of Col. James Bowie, is a survival gear of a whole new dimension. An authentic Bowie knife has to be in the grey zone between a dagger and a sword, which means the size can’t be either too short or too long, rendering itself to be a handy tool for both combating enemies and household chores. A signature 6 inches long clip-point blade mounted atop is the key strength of the traditional knives, it is sturdier and sharper than ordinary pocket knives and survival knives.

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In this article, I have tried to throw light upon the aspects that demands special attention while shopping for that perfect Bowie knife. Let’s begin:

The Best Bowie Knife – Reviews

Knife Model:Blade Length: Blade Material:Price:Our Rating:
Ka-Bar Becker BK99 inches1095 Cro-Van Steel$$5
Puma 116396 Bowie6 inchesD1.4 German Stainless Steel$$$4.1
Timber Rattler Western Outlaw11 3/8 inchesStainless Steel$4.4
Cold Steel Natchez11 3/4 inchesSK-5 High Carbon Steel$$$$4.6
SOG CD01-L Creed7.5 inchesAUS-8 Steel$$$4.7

Read more about each of these bowie knife models below:

Ka-Bar Becker BK9

Talking about premium fighting knives without mentioning Ka-Bar Becker is sacrilegious. Ka-Bar’s super-tough, dynamic and cumbersome Bowie knife sports a 9 inches long blade that weighs around 1 pound. The overall construction of the knife is really beautiful. It’s not the easiest knife in the world to handle, but if you can manage it then the weighty feel is really nice. You know you’re holding a Bowie in your hand. You could just about chop firewood single-handed with this thing.  I would strictly advice amateurs to give this one a miss because it requires a lot of experience and power to handle this kind of heavy duty knives.

It’s incredibly sturdy, it doesn’t wiggle, the grip feels nice and tight in your palm. It’s not for everyone, but it’s just the thing for someone looking for a durable, sturdy, beautifully-crafted knife. If you spend a lot of time outdoors (or you have a gym membership) then the weight is just right.

The material chosen for crafting BK9 is a carbon steel blended with chromium and vanadium for extra strength and cutting precision. The addition of chromium helps in keeping away rust and vanadium ensures maximum edge-retention for ages. The U.S.A made razor-sharp blade has a full-tang construction. It is decked up over a solid Grivory handle. Since Grivory is a very light material. Be it for splitting woods, hunting food or making tent, BK9 is the ultimate accompaniment for an unforgettable outdoor trip.

The biggest downside has to be the slippery grip. Well constructed, but a bit smooth when you squeeze it. If you’re not careful, it may wind up sliding around in your hand. This might not be such a big deal when you’re using a Swiss army knife or something, but it can be very bad news when you’re dealing with a one-pound Bowie. Your best bet may be to pick up a replacement grip of wood, elk antler or one with a nice rubber surface for your hand to squeeze.Overall the BK9 is a really solid piece with a beautiful, sturdy construction, but it loses some points for the slip-and-slide grip.

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The PUMA Stag Bowie Knife

The PUMA stag Bowie knife is a work of art. PUMA has tapped into the business of creating specialty tools ages ago and has got raves by outdoorsmen for their razor-sharp, easy-to-handle combating tools all over the globe.

The original PUMA Bowie used to be made from D1.4 stainless steel, the current version utilizes a 440A steel which is 6.1 inches in length. A 440 stainless steel is great at warding off rust, the material used by PUMA has to survive in a stringent quality test in the factory before reaching the market. The drop-point construction adds massive strength to the blade to bear strenuous tasks in the forest. The knife comes with a stylish custom-made nylon sheath featuring convenient straps for easy hanging to your leg or on your belt. The latest model I’m talking about has two brass rivets instead of 3 and weighs not more than 8 ounces, rendering itself to be a handy option for intricate tasks like cleaning the bush, nailing, batoning, skinning animals and many more.

If you have to pick something not to like about the knife, the nylon sheath feels a bit like using a garbage bag to store a Picasso. It’s a nitpick, but this thing really demands a nice leather home to lay on your hip while you’re out in the field. Pick yourself up a nice leather sheath or dig around in the garage for one you haven’t been using and see if it fits.

Function has to come first, but there’s something to be said for a great-looking knife. PUMA’s stag Bowie understands that about as well as any other piece on the market today.

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Timber Rattler Western Outlaw Bowie Knife

Folks who are not willing to shell out much for a survival tool will be delighted to come across Timber’s newest kid on the block. It is unarguably a big knife with a whopping 11-2/3 inches overall length. Though the size may apparently seem like a trade-off for the newbies, Timber Rattler received accolades from many professional survivalists for its unflinching, uncompromising performance and the ability to stand strong in the most daunting scenarios. Isn’t that a nice enough surprise for a knife under $30? Despite of the heaviness and big size of the blade, the knife offers a decent stability and incredible sharpness for days. To protect your hands from accidental nicks and cuts, there is a plated brass guard placed on the handle. The stainless steel material is easy to maintain and the grey hardwood handle allows a firm grip on the knife.

If you’re a part-time outdoors man, a beginner, or looking for a nice starter knife to gift someone you’re hoping to bring out on your next trip, you can’t ask for better. It’ll fool even some experienced hunters, with the look and feel of a knife three times its price. The heavy blade seems dangerous for a new outdoorsman, but the brass guard helps in that regard.

The knife doesn’t always hold an edge as well as the pricier blades. You’ll definitely want to bring a whet stone out into the field with you. But if you’re willing to put in the time to keep it sharp, it can heft through wood and skin a buck and hack through the brush about as well as many knives that cost considerably more.

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Cold Steel Natchez Bowie 01 Steel Knife

Cold Steel is another giant knife manufacturing firm, originating in the US. The root of the Natchez Bowie is the titular region in the country where these knives are made. Cold steel Natchez Bowie enjoys a worldwide popularity among trained outdoorsmen and survivalists. There are several versions available in the market among which my personal favourite is the Micarta handle version. With a jaw-dropping overall length of 17 inches, this is the biggest Bowie knife I’m aware of so far. The blade is made from a unique VG-1 San Mai III steel which is a common material used in traditional Japanese knives.

The material has a venerable sharpness and edge retention quality. The Micarta handle is a combination of glued layers of fiberglass. It is extremely convenient to grip and absorbs the sweat in your palms quickly. The product comes packed in a beautiful sweat-absorbent leather sheath.

The sweat-absorbing grip has to be the best feature of this knife. When you’re working out in the sun or you’ve been at a project for awhile, be it carving, chopping or skinning, even the best no-slip handles do tend to, well, slip. The sweat in your palms is like a lubricant that gets your knife sliding all over the place, and no matter how experienced you may be, you’re going to have a hard time keeping your tool steady once this happens. The sweat-absorbing Micarta handle is really something. Every grip ought to be made like this. If you’re in the market for something a little bigger than average, the Micarta handle really makes that seventeen inch length manageable, it’s just not the best all-around knife to keep on hand.

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SOG CD01 – Creed Knife

Looking for an indestructible defense knife to accompany you in your never-ending adventure trips? SOG has a pleasant surprise for you. When you are battling against the ruthless nature in a deserted island or dense forest, your ability to operate a knife decides your future. The SOG creed is a beast, sporting a heavy-duty 7.5 inches stainless steel blade fitted on top a skillfully contoured Kraton handle. The stainless steel blade is resistant to rust and the vagaries of weather, and also sharp enough to severe animal skin in one attempt.  The smaller size makes it incredibly easy to manage with minimal effort, especially with the contoured handle, fitting snug into your palm. For the ease of portability, it is delivered to you in a solid black leather sheath. This is a knife to trust with your life.

That said, it does come up wanting for some of the more demanding tasks you’ll want a Bowie for. Chopping wood is an all-day thing with the smaller, lighter blade of the Creed, and it’s not the best knife for cutting through brush. Paired with a good machete you’ll have all your bases covered, but it’s not quite the all-in-one camping tool you might want from a Bowie.

But it IS just about the best Bowie knife around for when a bear eats all your food, your cell phone dies and you find yourself in a real survival scenario.

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Tips to Choose the Best Bowie Knife

Blade Material

The level of sharpness of a blade is the heart and soul of any knife. When it comes to a survival knife, you have to be very picky about the blade material to ensure to get out of an extreme situation alive. The clip-pint design in traditional Bowie knives is engineered for forceful stabbing and fine cutting of carcass. The quality of the material used in the construction of the blade determines the durability and other vital properties of the knife. Most Bowie knives, made as per the traditional fashion, are sculpted from carbon steel blade. Carbon steel reserves a stellar edge-retentive property, plus it is very fuss free to touch up and maintain. In recent times, in an effort to boost the strength and toughness of the blade, alloyed stainless steel is replacing carbon steel rapidly. Many top-notch manufacturers have chosen alloyed steel variant like 440 steel over the traditional carbon steel and the outcome has been quite positive so far.

Tang and Weight

Traditional Bowie knives are necessarily full-tang. Since these tactical knives have a considerable amount of weight, it is very important for the blade to be full-tang in order to prevent breakage under stress. While checking the quality and design of the blade, also focus on the weight of the Bowie. Excessive load will hamper the mobility of the knife, on the other a lightweight Bowie doesn’t qualify as a lethal weapon. Therefore, the best tactical knife is easy to carry around yet slashes enemies like a sword.

Knife Length

In the earlier versions of Bowie knives, the overall length of a tool remained around 9.5 inches. The tradition of creating large knives isn’t out of fashion till date, in fact, many collectors peep into various shops in the market in search of such antique knives. The original Bowie knives are meant to be at least 5 icnhes, longer than standard pocket knives for maximum strength and durability. Long, thick blades doesn’t help much during general chores, it is mainly designed to tolerate tremendous abuse and stress under grueling conditions in the wild.

Blade Size

The most preferable size of the blade in a Bowie knife is 6 inches. Although longer knives are also available in many designs, you have to be in possession of immense power and skill to maneuver a long knife to avoid slips. Moreover, with long blades, performing delicate tasks like field dressing animal, filleting, chopping woods and EDC chores is problematic. My advice would be opting for a size suitable for the tasks you intend to do with the knife. Whereas large, meaty knives grant force, small knives are good for precision works. Play safe by considering a medium sized blade to reap the benefits of both.


Finally, while searching for the best bowie knife for your purpose, your quest should end with checking out the quality of the sheath. A quality sheath not provides tight protection against weather elements but also makes it easy to relocate from one place to another. A weather-proof leather material, poly carbonate or any sturdy synthetic material makes up for a long-lasting knife sheath.


The Bowie knives are exclusively designed to assist the lovers of the wild like me. The pitch-perfect combination of clip-point blade design and 6 inches size allow it to be applied on various utilitarian purposes in the jungle or in camping sites. Bowie knives are also about muscles and brawn, when you have to deal with the fierce animals or hostile opponent in a survival situation, having a weapon as mighty as a Bowie peps up your confidence automatically. After going through the detailed reviews and a comprehensive guide to choose the best bowie knife written above, I can assume that the next time you browse the internet or visit a store, you won’t find yourself deep-neck in confusion.

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