Fixed blade knives may not be easy to conceal, unlike folding knives, but there are plenty of benefits of using one. One advantage is that a fixed blade knife is strong and big enough to cut through most materials. As such, you can use it for cutting, digging, hunting, and splitting. You can also use it for food preparation.
Fixed blade knives are also more likely to last for years. There are no moving parts, after all, unlike in a folding knife. Moreover, maintenance is easy and simple.
If you’re partial to products made in the United States, you’ll be happy to note that there is no shortage of excellent fixed-blade knives designed and produced on this side of the planet. Below are 15 of the best fixed-blade knives made in the United States.
The Ontario Knife Company (OKC) has been operating since 1889. It was originally based in Naples, New York before being relocated to Frankville, New York. It is best known for supplying military knives.
The OKC 499 is a legendary cutting tool that has been used by pilots and soldiers for many years now. This fixed knife was designed according to the specifications of the US government. Used by the American Army to carry out different tasks, it is made from the widely popular 1095 steel known for its ability to be sharpened in the field. It comes with a sharpening stone that you can use in sharpening the blade wherever and whenever you need.
The handle, meanwhile, is made from genuine leather. While the manufacturer chose not to add a finish to the handle, think of it this way: this allows you to opt for a finish. This is one of the best fixed-blade knives you can get today.
Similar to OKC, Buck Knives is an American brand with more than a century of tradition. Founded in California but now headquartered in Port Falls, Idaho, Buck Knives specializes in sport and field knives. It is also noted for being the company behind folding hunting knives. In fact, the brand name has become synonymous with folding hunting knives.
The blade of the Buck Knives 101 is made of 420HC steel. It is not a premium grade steel by any standard, but it is affordable enough to lower the cost of the 101. It also gets good reviews for corrosion resistance and edge retention.
The handle, meanwhile, is made of a combination of stabilized wood called Dymondwood and brass. It is durable and attractive. It has a curve that goes up to the bottom side, giving you a better and a more comfortable grip. It also gives the Buck Knives 101 a traditional style.
For more handy blades like this, check out our selection of the best automatic knives.
Ka-Bar started in 1898 in Olean, New York. Owned by Cutco Corporation, it has a long and storied history. The company is behind many sporting, hunting, and all-purpose knives. But they are perhaps best known for their military-grade knives. Their first combat knife was adopted by the US Marine Corps in 1942 and later on, by the US Navy.
The BK-2 is a survival/camp knife that was designed by Ethan Becker, one of the most popular knife designers ever. It measures about 10.5 inches with the blade running at 5.25 inches long. It weighs just 16 ounces. The blade is made of 1095 high carbon steel, which is tough and relatively inexpensive. This helps bring down the cost of the BK-2.
The knife may be small and lightweight, but you should not underestimate its cutting power. It can accomplish many tasks despite its small footprint. You can use it for splitting logs and carving stakes for cooking. It can also serve as a self-defense knife.
Compared to the other companies or brands on this list, ESEE is a relatively new firm having been set up in 1997 by adventurists Jeff Randall and Mike Perrin. The name of the firm is an acronym for “Escuela De Supervivencia En La Selva” or School of Jungle Survival of the Peruvian Airforce, with which the duo had their first contract to design and produce high-quality survival knives.
The 4P is an all-around survival and tactical knife that is unmatched when it comes to durability, performance, and quality. It measures just 9 inches long with the blade measuring 4.5 inches in length. The blade, which is .19-inches thick, is made of 1095 carbon steel. You will love the blade of this knife because it is razor-sharp.
However, you should also know that the blade is prone to corrosion and staining, especially if it is not well taken care of. You should keep the blade dry all the time to prevent this from happening.
Tops is a 20-year old company that specializes in military and survival knives. Its knives are manufactured and hand-finished at its factory in the Rocky Mountains.
This knife was designed by the Brothers of Bushcraft, a group of skilled and experienced survivalists who know what a good survival knife should be like. It is also a miniature version of the widely popular B.O.B Fieldcraft. which is one of the best-selling models of Tops.
The Fieldcraft 3.5 was designed and released in response to the clamor for a small and light knife. The original Fieldcraft, while highly durable and sharp, was a bit heavy for many campers. The 3.5 weighs just 5.5 ounces, down from the 9.5 of its predecessor. Its blade measures 3.625 inches long.
Speaking of the blade, it is still made of 1095 steel such as its older brother. But it is slimmer at 0.16 inches. It also retains the ergonomic handle that the original Fieldcraft had. Overall, this knife measures 8.25 inches.
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Gerber Gear is based in Portland, Oregon. Founded in 1939, it specializes in a wide range of products from fishing supplements to knives. Its Mark II fixed blade was introduced during the Vietnam War and quickly became one of the best-selling knives ever because of its durability and toughness. And while it has become known as a military knife, the Mark II can also serve you well when you are outdoors.
Its blade is made from 420HC steel and measures 6.5 inches. It has a black oxide coating for increased corrosion resistance. It also has serrations on the sides while its die-cast aluminum handle enhances its durability. Moreover, the handle is very comfortable in hand.
The Mark II is a bit long, though, with its length at 12.75 inches. Despite its length, this could still prove useful as a tactical or survival knife.
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Columbia River Knife & Tool is based in Tualatin, Oregon. Founded in 1994, it designs and manufactures various types of knives from pocket, fishing, hunting, survival, and tactical.
The CRKT HCK1 Karen Wood Fixed Blade measures 11.31 inches and weighs 8.2 ounces. The blade is about 6.13 inches long and 0.13 inches thick. It is made of 1095 high carbon steel with a sandblast and cerakote finish. It comes in a nice leather sheath with a vegetable oil tan to prevent it from rusting the blade.
While it is primarily a versatile, multi-purpose knife, it is best used outdoors. The blade is sharp and durable enough for prepping a campfire feast.
If you are looking for some affordable options, don’t forget to check out our guide on the best-selling EDC knives under $100.
Bark River is a Michigan-based business that has been operating since 2001. Its knives are known for their classic designs yet contemporary feel. The Ultra-lite Bushcrafter Knife is a good example.
The Ultra-lite Bushcrafter also has a bigger brother, the Bark River Bushcrafter. But as expected, it is a thinner and smaller version of the original. It weighs a mere 2.7 ounces and measures 7.5 inches long.
Despite its weight and small frame, this knife is tough and durable. Its blade is made of CPM 3V steel made through Crucible Particle Metallurgy process. This process produces premium-grade steel that offers superior impact resistance.
With its size, this knife is a good tool to have when camping or outdoors. It is tough enough to take on heavy-duty tasks like batoning or cutting or splitting wood. It can also be used for food preparation. This is also one of the most affordable fixed-blade knives made in the USA.
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Benchmade is an Oregon-based knife manufacturer. It sells knives that are widely used in law enforcement. It also has a good range of knives for outdoor and survival use, like the Bushcrafter 162. This knife is robust and rugged, making it an ideal tool to have when you are camping. It is made of high-grade CMP-S30V steel, known for its corrosion resistance. This is a true workhorse you will love to have in your collection.
This knife is about 9.15 inches long, with the blade measuring 4.4 inches. The blade is also about .16 inches thick. Overall, it weighs around 7.72 ounces.
Clearly, the main selling point of this knife is its blade that’s very rugged and durable. The material, stainless S30V, is known for its superior strength. In fact, you can spend your whole day cutting wood with this knife and not worry about breaking its blade. That’s how strong this knife is.
You will also love the curved handle of the Bushcrafter 162, with its very comfortable grip. Benchmade backs up the quality of this knife with a lifetime warranty.
For more reliable blades, be sure to browse our list of top-quality throwing knives.
If you haven’t heard of Emerson before, then you should know that this is a respected knifemaking brand. The man behind the brand, Ernest Emerson, began producing custom knives in 1979. He quickly became popular for his eye for design and expertise as a craftsman. He also happens to be one of the best hand-to-hand combat instructors in the world, so you can be assured that his products are well-designed to complement its intended uses.
His HUCK model (which is short for Hard Use Camp Knife) is a good illustration of how great a designer Emerson is. Sure, this is one of the most expensive fixed blade knives on the list, but you are getting your money’s worth with the Emerson HUCK.
This knife is 8.6 inches long with its blade about 4.3 inches in length. The blade is made of S35-VN steel and has a stonewashed finish.
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Like the knife preceding it, The James Brand Hell Gap Fixed Blade is not a cheap knife by any definition. This is not really surprising since the James Brand is known as one of the premier knife brands on the market today. The company is relatively new, having been established in 2012 by a crew of adventurers and designers. Its stock has risen with its EDC knives made from high-grade materials and featuring minimalistic designs.
The James Brand Hell Gap Fixed Blade is a 7.8-inch knife with a blade made from crucible S35VN stainless steel. It weighs 3 ounces.
The handle of this knife feels rugged. Made from Micarta, it is not too thick or beefy. It is also smooth to touch and hold. The textured grip, meanwhile, can prevent the handle from sliding, especially when you are exposed to rain.
The blade is 3.5 inches long. It is strong enough for heavy-duty tasks like cutting wood, gutting fish, and slicing up roots. The curved design at its bottom is intended for users to rest their index finger when cutting up a piece of rope. However, the material is easily corroded and discolored, so take good care of this knife.
Spyderco is a cutlery company that is based in Golden, Colorado. While it specializes in folding knives, it also has a good range of fixed blade knives like the Respect Fixed Blade Knife. This is another high-priced blade that could prove to be a worthy addition to your collection.
This is one of the longest fixed blade knives in the list, coming in at 13.15 inches. The blade alone is almost 8 inches long. It weighs 11 ounces.
At the heart of this knife is the blade made from CPM 154 stainless steel. This satin-finished blade is also 1.5 inches wide. This blade offers superior corrosion resistance and edge retention. In fact, one can argue that this blade alone justifies the high price tag of the Respect.
Meanwhile, the G-10 handle of the knife has a contoured shape for a comfortable grip. It also includes a handcrafted leather sheath.
FOr the fans of minimalist culture, we have prepared the guide to the most popular minimalist knives for everyday carry.
OKC gets another item on this list with this tough, reliable, and compact pocket knife for everyday carry. This knife was designed by the Marine Corps EOD and Justin Gingrich, a US Special Operations veteran who was behind the successful Ranger knife series of OKC.
The design of the Kerambit is interesting, having be en based on a blade design prevalent in 13th century Southeast Asia. The name Kerambit means “claw of the tiger.”
This knife is 7.5 inches long, with its blade measuring 3 inches. The blade is made from 5160 carbon alloy steel and powder coated to protect it from various elements. It also comes with a durable micarta handle.
You don’t have to belong to the military to appreciate the Extreme Fighting Knife from Ka-Bar. This is not only a fighting knife but also an excellent survival knife. It has a great pattern and shape that gives it plenty of advantage over other fighting knives.
The blade of this knife is made from D2 steel, stainless steel that is excellent at corrosion resistance. It is razor-sharp, and durable. It also retains its edge well, meaning it will take a long time before it becomes dull. The blade is about 7 inches long, making up more than half of the 12-inches length of the knife itself.
The handle, meanwhile, is made of Kraton G material. It has an all-black appearance, which gives it a very simplistic look. It also has finger grooves for improved grip and increased friction, which comes in handy when you use the knife outdoors.
Rounding out our list is the 6P Plain Edge from ESEE. This is a long knife, measuring about 11.75 inches, with the blade accounting for 6.5 inches. The blade is made of 1095 steel. It is razor-sharp and holds the edge well. However, it is prone to rust, so you have to lubricate it from time to time.
The handle of the knife is made of linen Micarta, a durable material that offers increased grip when it is wet. There is also a lanyard hole in the rounded pommel aside from a belt clip, giving you the option to wear it on your belt buckle.