How much of a bad-ass do you have to be to have an entire category of knives named after you?

The Bowie knife was originally named by its creator, James Black for Colonel Jim Bowie of the Texas Volunteer army. The knife gained popularity as Jim whipped it during a dual of what would later be remembered as Sandbar Fight (1827.)

As you’ll notice there can be different variations of what is considered a Bowie Knife, but the main constants have typically defined bowie knives as a fixed blade knife that is at least 9.25” long. Manufacturers have had over 175 years to improve upon the original, and below are what we feel are the best bowie knives on the market. Whether you’re wanting the knife for a hunting tool, or wanting to keep it with you for self-defense, every knife on this list is an excellent choice.

The Best Bowie Knives


Best Bowie Knife - BK9

Ka-Bar Becker BK9

  Editors Choice  


This nine-inch beauty of a knife will meet any requirement you put in front of it. It is constructed from durable 1095 Cro-Van steel and features a full tang. The tang allows you to use the knife to smash or otherwise break glass. The steel is made with chromium to inhibit rust and vanadium to help the knife retain a sharp edge. The knife’s thin edge and deep mid-section allow for a high degree of precision and control in its use. The BK9 weighs in at about a pound, which puts it in the mid-range of comparable knives. Some people find the Grivory handle to be a bit slippery, but if that is the case you can easily replace it with a Micarta handle.

*$72.61 on Amazon
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(*as of 2018-12-15 at 19:07 – Details)

Best Bowie Knife - Rattler

Timber Rattler

  Best for the Money  


If you are strapped for cash but still want to purchase a serviceable Bowie knife, check out the Timber Rattler Western Outlaw. We love this knife because it’s made of excellent quality, but won’t dig too deep into your pocketbook. You will get a large stainless steel blade at over 11 inches long, a bladed brass guard, and a grey hardwood wooden handle. The blade has a full tang for rugged, durable performance. A leather case does come with purchase. While it might not be as easy to sharpen as other knives, and the handle might be a bit large for those with small hands, the Western Outlaw will be a solid performer for you in many outdoor tasks.

*$19.99 on Amazon
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(*as of 2018-12-15 at 19:07 – Details)

Best Bowie Knife - Cold Steel

Cold Steel Natchez


This knife has one of the longer blades on the market at 11.75 inches, but still only weighs 1.4 pounds. Combine that with a handle almost 6 inches long, and you have one very big knife! You can chop, stab and spear with this Bowie knife. The Natchez is made of high quality steel and will keep its sharp edge. The Micarta handle grips your palm well, and absorbs sweat quickly. The Natchez also looks sharp, with a leather sheath, stainless steel pommel, and a double guillon. One possible negative about the Natchez does not have a full tang, which may affect its strength. Instead it has a partial cable tang to insure that the knife does not break.

*$359.48 on Amazon
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(*as of 2018-12-15 at 19:07 – Details)

Best Bowie Knife - SOG

SOG CD-01-L


This is a very well-balanced knife. The blade is 7.5 inches long and ¼ of an inch thick. The length is not overwhelming but gives you sufficient length to accomplish most tasks. The blade itself looks elegant, but it is tough and dependable. You can use it for cutting rope and firewood and for personal defense. It is made of AUS 8 stainless steel, and incorporates features from both a Bowie knife and a machete. The handle is made of Kraton rubber and provides a good grip. At 12.8 ounces, the Creed is a very lightweight knife with good balance. This knife has a full tang, cross guard, and a strong stainless steel pommel. It comes with a stitched and riveted leather case.

*$214.42 on Amazon
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(*as of 2018-12-15 at 20:30 – Details)

Best Bowie Knife - PUMA

Puma 116396


If weight is your top concern when purchasing a knife, check out the Puma Bowie. This knife weighs only 7 ounces! It’s simple, finely balanced design does not overwhelm you with extra features, instead focusing on basic functions. You can cut brush, skin animals, and chop up firewood all day without getting tired. You get a 6.1 inch hollow ground drop blade made out of 440C steel, which is a great material for resisting rust. The handle is constructed from naturally dropped stag antler and features a lanyard hole. You get a leather sheath along with your purchase.

*$249.99 on Amazon
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(*as of 2018-12-15 at 14:32 – Details)

Best Bowie Knife - KA-BAR

KA-BAR Fighting Knife


This knife made its name with the Marines in World War II, and is still issued today. Sometimes you need a knife for personal defense, and this meets the bill. The blade is seven inches of 1095 Cro-Van steel, and will keep its sharpness. You can hone it in the field if need be. The handle is a bit shorter than other knives and covered with leather, which gives it great balance and grip. It is not too heavy at .7 pounds, either. While this knife made its name with the US Marines, you can also use it while hiking or camping as well. Some have said the sheath does not match the quality of the knife, but this is still a must-have product for the knife collector.

*$69.95 on Amazon
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(*as of 2018-12-15 at 20:30 – Details)

Best Bowie Knife - Ontario

Marine Raider Bowie


This is a meat cleaver of a knife. 9.75 inches of 1095 carbon steel and a full tang will cut through wood, rope, weeds, animal skin, and most anything else you might think of. It is a quarter of an inch thick which aids in heavy chopping tasks. The handle is made of Kraton and grips well-which you want with a big knife like this. The edge is plenty sharp enough for you. It is a heavy knife, coming in at 22.4 ounces, so if you are worried about swinging a blade all day this knife might not be for you. But if you are looking for a powerful blade check out the Spec Plus.

*$54.95 on Amazon
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(*as of 2018-12-15 at 20:30 – Details)

Best Bowie Knife - Winchester

Gerber Winchester


The Gerber Winchester is an inexpensive knife with some good features for the money. The Winchester’s blade is made of 420J2 stainless steel, which has good corrosion resistance unless you are near the ocean. The blade is a full tang, and is 8.75 inches long. You get a nylon case, which some users have found to be cheap and not as durable as they would like. All in all, it is a fine choice for those outdoor enthusiasts on a budget.

*$34.56 on Amazon
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(*as of 2018-12-15 at 19:07 – Details)

Muela Magnum


This knife is gorgeous to look at-but is also fully functional. Coming from Spain, you get a crown stag handle with a brass guard leading into an elegant blade made of 440 chrome-vanadium-molybdenum steel. That means the blade is rugged, durable, and corrosion resistant. You also get an impressive 10.75 inches of blade length and a full tang. While this blade is beautiful to look at, you can see that it is more than just a knife you hang on your wall! Carry your Muela in the accompanying handcrafted leather sheath! The knife does weigh 25 ounces, so it is not the lightest knife out there if weight is an important concern for you.

*$328.26 on Amazon
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(*as of 2018-12-15 at 20:30 – Details)

Best Bowie Knife - Buck Knives

Buck Knives 0120


This knife is a lightweight but heavy-duty instrument. You get a 7 3/8 inch blade made from 420C steel, which combines strength with corrosion resistance. The blade is easy to sharpen when you need to. The 0120 has a crescent clip, which makes it a good knife for detail work such as de-boning fish and cutting in tight places. The handle is Dymondwood, and you get a brass handle. Dymondwood is a impregnated, hardwood composite which is practically waterproof while giving you a wood look. At only 8.3 ounces, you will hardly know you are using this knife at all! Some have complained that there is a gap between the guard and the blade which could get things stuck in it

*from $71.99 on Amazon
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(*as of 2018-12-15 at 19:07 – Details)

Last update on 2018-12-15 at 20:30 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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