Best Bowie Knife: Reviews, Buying Guide, and FAQs 2021

by knifeideas

Bowie knives are known as hefty knives that often come with a leather sheath. Bowie knives were designed and named after a soldier, 19th-century pioneer, and slave trader, colonel James Matthew Bowie in the 19th century. James designed these Bowie knifes as an alternative option to the use of heavy knives at that time. His model was designed to be much heavier and longer than a basic dagger and shorter than a basic saber.

According to professionals, a knife can only be regarded as a bowie knife if it comes with enough width, which can double as a paddle, and sharp enough to be used in place of a razor, and is long enough to be used in place of a sword. With these features mentioned above, it is no longer a surprise why these bowie knives are popular among hunters as they use the thin, curved, and very sharp tip to skin carcasses precisely and faster.

Additionally, its flat portion can be used in chopping or slicing wood and meat. They are made using stainless steel blades with a length not greater than 6 inches. Thus, they can be used as a chopping knife or hatchet, allowing you to cut or chop down woods for campfire burning. With a Bowie knife, there is no need to carry too many tools.

This article will expose you to a well-detailed buying guide and the top best bowie knives in the market today. This will help you make the right decisions when purchasing yours. But first, let's take a look at what these bowie knives are used for, as well as their pros and cons.

What Are Bowie Knives Used For?

Below are some of the uses of the bowie knife.

What Are Bowie Knives Used For?
What Are Bowie Knives Used For?

1. Combat

The bowie knife comes with a blade much stronger than that of a conventional hunting knife. Over the years, it has proven to be a deadly weapon used during combat. With the help of bowie knives, people have defended themselves against gangers, among others. With its tang and large blades, the bowie knife has proven trustworthy and reliable for this purpose.

2. Hunting

Concerning the features mentioned above of the bowie knife, it has also proven to be a must-have tool for all adventure lovers and trackers. Bowie knives also come with a very sharp edge which provides an additional advantage to those who intend to use them for hunting purposes. These features give the knife an incredible cutting and snatching ability, as well as a handle that offers a desirable grip.

3. Survival

Considering the many great tasks and undertakings, you have to go through while in the wild, having a bowie knife is essential for survival. In most endurance circumstances, haven and nourishment are very significant. And with the help of a bowie knife blade, you are sure to easily chase for cleave and nourishment wood, as well as cut sticks, pie among others. In other words, the bowie knife comes in handy in survival mode as it helps in eating and assembling a safe house. It can also be utilized as a multi-work tool for getting by in nature.

Pros and Cons of Bowie Knives

Bowie knives come with a couple of advantages and disadvantages, and I believe it's important you note them. Below is a list of them.

Pros

1. Bowie knives can last for a lifetime if they are made with the right (high-quality) material.

2. Bowie knives are exceptionally versatile. In other words, this one weapon or tool can be used in place of so many other tools in your outdoor expedition.

3. Their visual intimidating or fierce nature makes them a remarkable defensive tool.

4. Bowie knives are often remarkably durable. This means that owners can use them anyhow they please while giving it the least maintenance.

Cons

1. Due to the high-quality materials used in constructing them and the size of the bowie knife, they are usually worth more than other knives.

2. These kinds of knives are always on the high side in terms of weight, thus, making them very difficult to conceal and use in serious knife tasks.

Product Review of The Best Bowie Knives

Top 8 Best Bowie Knife

Below is the list of the best bowie knives today. Alongside each review are their corresponding features, pros, and cons.

1. Buck Knives 124 Frontiersman Fixed Blade - Link

Buck Knives 124 Frontiersman Fixed Blade Knife with Leather Sheath
Buck Knives 124 Frontiersman Fixed Blade Knife with Leather Sheath

The Buck fixed blade knife is an all-American idol created by a family business with four generational leaders. Unlike the Buck 119 special, the Buck knife with 124 frontiersmen fixed blades comes with a longer blade, bringing it closer to the ancient design of the best knives.

The Buck 124 frontiersman fixed blade knife features a 6.25 inches 420HC steel blade. When the 420 HC is a knife steel entry-level for most companies, Buck is well-known or famous for its abilities to stiffen or solidify the 420HC. In the course of its use, the 420HC offered by Buck is sure to deliver on edge-retention, good strength, and corrosion resistance. It can also be effortlessly sharpened if the need arises.

Although most of the older versions of the Buck 124-frontiersman fixed blade come with partial tangs, the recent models feature a full tang component. This component, in turn, plays a significant role in the bowie knife's durability and functionality. It also comes with an integrated finger guard as well as a deep choil, which further improves the ergonomics of the knife.

The handle of this masterpiece is not left out. The handle is made of micarta which provides so much protection against moisture and chemicals. It also provides the user with an excellent grip. Although it's not a cheap option for people on a tight budget, the Buck 124 frontiersman fixed blade knife would for sure stay for so many generations if properly taken care of. There is also a lifetime warranty from the Buck company.

Key Features

i. Micarta handle.

ii. Comes with a leather sheath.

iii. Full tang configuration.

Pros

i. It features a sharp steel blade with 420 HC.

ii. Micarta handle provides excellent grip.

iii. Perfect for most outdoor tasks.

Cons

i. There is room to improve the leather sheath.

ii. The knife is most often a little too big for most users.

2. KA-BAR US Marine Corps Bowie Knife - Link

KA-BAR Full Size US Marine Corps Fighting Knife, Straight
KA-BAR Full Size US Marine Corps Fighting Knife, Straight

Next is the KA-BAR US Marine corps bowie knife. It is a fixed-blade combat knife that has accumulated a great reputation for itself among other combat knives. It features a straight-edged 7inches blade with a 20-degree angle. Due to its strong construction, the knife features incredible durability as well as an impressive performance.

The KA-BAR US Marine corps bowie knife features a leather sheath. This is also the presence of a gold-plated guard and pommel, making it one of the best gift ideas for a military anniversary or celebration of retirement. The said leather sheath is highly protective, and in combination with the rugged and robust nature of the knife, the KA-BAR US Marine corps bowie knife will always remain an icon in the presence of both family and friends.

Key features

i. Has a length of 11.875 inches

ii. It features a 1095 Cro-van blade steel.

iii. Presence of a 7 inches edge blade.

iv. There is an edge angle of 20 degrees.

Pros

i. Heavy-duty blade.

ii. Very comfortable to use.

iii. Durable and versatile.

Cons

i. The handle is slippery when sweaty.

3. Mossy Oak Survival Hunting Knife - Link

Mossy Oak Survival Hunting Knife with Sheath, 15-inch Fixed Blade Tactical Bowie Knife with Sharpener & Fire Starter for Camping, Outdoor, Bushcraft
Mossy Oak Survival Hunting Knife with Sheath, 15-inch Fixed Blade Tactical Bowie Knife with Sharpener & Fire Starter for Camping, Outdoor, Bushcraft

The Mossy survival hunting knife is yet another amazing bowie knife to consider. It features a 440C stainless steel blade which is resistant to rust.

The backside of the blade features a saw-like jimping, making it possible for the bowie to be used in sawing through hard objects. Although it's cool, I'm not okay with the design as it makes it even harder to baton the blade when used to split wood.

The blade further features a sharpener and a fire-starting ferrocerium stick, which I find mind-blowing.

The KA-BAR US Marine corps bowie knife is a perfect option for people with a tight budget. The handle is made of TPR rubber. Although it is soft, it tends to depreciate over time.

Key Features

i. It comes with a clip-point blade.

ii. It features a 440C stainless steel 10 inches blade.

iii. There is a nylon sheath.

iv. Handles are coated with TPR rubber.

v. A fire starter and sharpener are included in the package.

Pros

i. Features a fire starter.

ii. One of the best meanest bowie knives.

iii. Features a multipurpose and large blade.

Cons

i. The blade easily chips.

ii. Need often sharpening.

4. Timber Rattler Western Outlaw Bowie Knife - Link

Timber Rattler Western Outlaw Bowie Knife
Timber Rattler Western Outlaw Bowie Knife

The timber rattler western outlaw bowie knife is another amazing bowie knife to check out. In addition to its amazing looks, it also comes with so many incredible features.

First, it features a stainless stain which provides the knife with enough strength to carry out its functions. The blade comes with a full tang and safety guard for its users. The safety guard is constructed with high-quality metal.

The bowie knife also features a beautifully made robust sheath and an outstanding dark handle made from hardwood. If you are searching for a traditional bowie knife by any chance, I believe that the timber rattler western outlaw bowie knife is the best option you've got.

It is a heavy-duty tool. Thus, it can be used to take care of your various tasks in the wild with comfort and ease.

From experience, the timber rattler western outlaw bowie knife is one of its kind and is worth the price. It is very easy to use and handle, even as a beginner. It is comfortable yet solid.

Furthermore, the blade's thickness is perfectly balanced with the other part of the bowie knife. Thus, making it chores fast and easy. In other words, regardless of the knife's large size, it is perfect for use in various homes.

Key Features

i. It comes with a full tang.

ii. Wooden handle.

iii. The blade is made from robust stainless steel.

Pros

i. Durable.

ii. Easy to use.

iii. Perfect for chopping logs

iv. Reliable.

v. Made from high-quality materials.

vi. Reputable manufacturer.

vii. Comes with a leather sheath covering.

Cons

i. The sheath is likely to expire after a short while.

5. Mossy Oak 14 Inches Bowie Knife - Link

Mossy Oak 14-inch Bowie Knife, Full-Tang Fixed Blade Wood Handle Knife with Leather Sheath
Mossy Oak 14-inch Bowie Knife, Full-Tang Fixed Blade Wood Handle Knife with Leather Sheath

The Mossy Oak 14-inches bowie knife is another cool option. It's perfect for people with a tight budget. Although it is more on the cheaper end, it is made from high-quality materials.

The Mossy Oak 14-inches bowie knife is a beauty to behold, with its rosewood handle and brass guard and pommel, giving it a charming look you will love. Towards the middle of the handle is a full tang blade, showing how strong the knife is.

The blade of the Mossy Oak 14-inches bowie knife features a 3CR13 steel, which possesses great wear resistance and corrosion.

The Mossy Oak 14-inches bowie knife also features a genuine leather sheath. The sheath, in turn, comes with an incorporated belt loop and hook fastener, which keeps the knife safe. I'd pay full price to have access to this knife just because of the sheath.

Key Features

i. Full tang handles made of wood.

ii. 3CR13 steel blade measuring 8.5 inches.

iii. Genuine leather sheath.

iv. Clip-point blade.

Pros

i. High-quality leather sheath.

ii. Classic historical look.

iii. Solid full-tang blade.

Cons

i. It would be better if a stronger blade were used.

6. Cold Steel 39LSWB Marauder Bowie Knife - Link

Cold Steel 39LSWB Marauder Knife
Cold Steel 39LSWB Marauder Knife

This is yet another amazing bowie knife to check out. The incredible bowie knife features a high-quality curved stainless-steel Japanese AUS8A blade. The blade is fixed onto a Kray-Ex handle which feels so relaxed when used. The handle is also waterproof to most elements.

At a peek, you are sure to notice the small finger guard protruding from the knife's handle. Also, you would be surprised to notice its lightweight regardless of its large size.

For survival situations and military combat, I highly recommend the Cold Steel 39LSWB marauder bowie knife. Although its blade is razor-sharp at first, it's easy to sharpen.

It can also fasten the Cold Steel 39LSWB marauder bowie knife to a belt or backpack.

Key Features

i. Comes with a plastic sheath.

ii. Kray-Ex handle.

Pros

i. Durable handle.

ii. Strong Japanese blade.

iii. It can be fastened to a backpack or belt for easy carriage.

Cons

i. Manufactured in china.

ii. It features a knife guard made of plastic.

iii. The included sheath doesn't fit.

7. Mossy Oak 2-Pieces Bowie Knife with Fixed Blade - Link

MOSSY OAK 2-piece Bowie Knife, Fixed Blade Hunting Knife with Leather Handle, Sheath Included
MOSSY OAK 2-piece Bowie Knife, Fixed Blade Hunting Knife with Leather Handle, Sheath Included

This bowie knife package from Mossy Oak comes with a large and small knife. The large knife has a blade length of 6 inches, an overall length of 10.5 inches, and a thickness of 0.15 mm. It weighs 0.4Ibs. On the other hand, the small knife has an overall length of 7.5 inches, a 4-inches blade, and a thickness of 0.1 mm. it weighs 0.18Ibs.

The blades are gotten from a 3Cr13 stainless stain providing the knife with outstanding strength, balance, and performance.

The knives also feature a non-slip and ergonomic leather handle which further enhances your experience. The handle also has a laser-engraved pattern, which adds to its appearance.

Matching the handle is an oxford sheath. Like some bowie knife sheaths, the sheath features a pocket clip and belt to help keep the knife safe and readily accessible.

The Mossy Oak 2-pieces Bowie knife is perfect for camping, survival, tactical, industrial, hunting, among other uses. It is also an incredible gift idea for loved ones.

Key Features

i. 3Cr13 stainless steel blade.

ii. The package comes with 2-pieces of bowie knives (a large and small size).

iii. It features a non-slip ergonomic leather handle.

Pros

i. It features very sharp blades, which help get the job done in no time.

ii. It is multipurpose.

iii. It comes with a small and large knife.

Cons

i. Requires extensive care.

8. Bear and Son Cutlery CB00 Cocobolo Gold Rush Bowie Knife - Link

Bear & Son Cutlery CB00 Cocobola Gold Rush Bowie with Leather Sheath Knife, 14 3/4
Bear & Son Cutlery CB00 Cocobola Gold Rush Bowie with Leather Sheath Knife, 14 3/4

The Bear and Son Cutlery CB00 bowie knife is the last but not the least of the best bowie knives in the market today on our list. Manufactured in the United States of America, the gold rush bowie knife is one of the toughest bowie knives.

It has an overall height of 14.50 inches, and the blade comprises 8.75 inches of carbon steel.

The handle is made from cocobolo wood alongside a brass guard. There is also a full tang and a leather belt sheath.

Key Features

i. Strong stainless-steel blades.

ii. Handle made from cocobolo.

Pros

i. It comes with a leather belt sheath.

ii. The blade is strong and can handle the difficult task with ease.

Cons

i. Requires extensive care.

Buying Guide for The Best Bowie Knife

Just as it is with other gear or tools, one must consider a couple of factors before purchasing a Bowie knife. You probably don't need one with a long blade for those looking forward to purchasing a bushcraft knife or hunting knife. However, if you prefer one with a longer, say 6-inch blade, there are so many great options for you in the market.

Below, I have made a list of the most factors to consider when purchasing a Bowie knife. Make sure to follow them judiciously, as they will help you make the right choice.

1. Bowie Design and Ergonomics

From my in-depth review of Bowie knives, I discovered that the best of them makes for so much handiness.

Bowie knives with great designs make it's very easy to swing, hold, grip and maintain. Users get the perfect grip with a covering material (natural rubber) and an overall ergonomic handle design. Thus, making it impossible to drop the knife when still in use. Also, you should note that handles that come with some kind of contours (frame of shapes) offer more guaranteed gripping.

2. Construction Material

First, when purchasing a bowie knife, you have to make sure it comes with a full tang. I choose to believe that the blade is the most important part of a bowie knife. This is because the blade will only work on whatever it can dictate, no matter why you purchase it. Think of it in the aspect of sharpness and durability.

Weak and sloppy materials mean that the bowie knife won't make it after two days of extensive use. Striking a wood with it just a couple of times will break and kill the spine.

Some of the quality construction materials you should look out for in the bowie knife include high carbon steel (often labeled as HC) and stainless steel. These materials allow the blade to retain its sharp edge for a long period and withstand a couple of hard knocks during its rugged life.

3. Sheath

The sheath is a genuine portability and safety tool for equipment for all bowie knives. Thus, it's very important to consider this factor if you intend to get the best bowie knife for yourself. With the bowie knife in its sheath, one is assured or convinced that nobody will be hurt. Most bowie knife sheaths come with a buckle strap, providing attachment to the user's belt or pants.

While checking out the sheath, I will highly recommend you for the ones with a plastic lining. This is important because of the extra protection it provides to the blade by keeping its edges sharp and prepared for fierce or difficult tasks or assignments.

Yes, a genuine and profound leather sheath will cost more than the average one. However, you should note that it sure will outlast the less genuine one.

4. Tang

A bowie knife with a full tang is essential to get the best from your purchase. A full tang provides additional protection for the bowie knife blade, preventing it from cracking or breaking. On the other hand, a half tang won't get you past hard tasks or duties. Its spine could all of a sudden break-off, hitting you in the face.

Thus, if you wish to avoid any unexpected disappointments, I highly recommend you go for a bowie knife with a full tang. Under serious stress conditions, a full tang is sure to stand, while a half tang will certainly disappoint, leaving you with no other option than to purchase a new bowie knife.

5. Blade and Its Length

This is yet another very important factor to consider when purchasing a bowie knife. "If you break the laws of physics, they will break you," they say. The fixed blade's length is the sole determinant of the balance of the bowie knife while in use. Thus, feeling the bowie knife in your hand would let you know if it empowers you with the ideal or exact balanced needed to carry out powerful strikes.

If you are going to be doing more stripping, a short bowie knife will probably be short on delivery. Also, it's necessary to check out the bowie knife's weight factor. This is because the longer the blade is, the heavier it is when felt by the user.

For combat bowie knives, I recommend you go for a medium-length and lightweight option. From experience, this will ensure that you excellently and effectively control the blade and shift energy towards the blade.

Also, note that as long as the weight is concerned, a too-light blade will trudge and struggle through pruning trees and slashing sticks, just like a moderately heavier knife.

6. Grip

The grip is another important factor to consider when purchasing a good bowie knife. You should note that your grip comfort is solely dependent on the kind of material used in the handle of the bowie knife. A bowie knife with a good handle will enhance the safety of the bowie knife by maintaining the user's hand in place even when their hands are wet. For this, I will recommend you go with the G-10 handles and micarta. This is because of the good friction and durability they come with.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About Bowie Knives

What Do You Mean by A Bowie Knife?

A bowie knife is a huge knife that comes with a long blade. The blade length is often ranging from 5 to 24 inches and is also double-edged at the point. The bowie knife was first created in the 19th century by James Black.

Although there is no valid or authentic historical data in regards to when it was made, reliable sources have it that the first-ever custom-made bowie knife was made for James Bowie. James Bowie was known to be a famous sandbar fighter, popular for his knife-fighting skills. Then, most of the bowie knives had clip blades, with some curved towards the tip. Unlike the Bowie knives of today, the actual Bowie knives were made to be completely straight. Also, the earlier Bowie knives had stag handles, or horn handles, unlike today, which feature a more polished and refined handle, designed for a more comfortable gripping.

How Do I Sharpen A Bowie Knife?

This is quite an easy task to get done. Sharpening a Bowie knife is more like sharpening any other knife. However, before sharpening a Bowie knife, there are a couple of criteria to follow. First, one must determine the sharpening strategy or procedure to use.

Sharpening a Bowie knife is a long process, and if asked for my opinion, I would say you should hire a professional to get it done. However, if you still want to get it done yourself, you should watch a YouTube video on it. I believe there are so many tutorials that will get you to step by step on how to go about it.

Sharpening or filing a Bowie knife is not a stressful task, but you must be very careful while doing so.

What Are Bowie Knives Used For?

Bowie knives are delicate tools for tactical purposes, for campers, and as well hunters. Most people settle for Bowie knives because of their usefulness, and of course, they are so cool.

For hunting purposes, the long length of Bowie knives provides users with the exact needed cutting power for skinning and cleaning. The flat and sharp blade can also be used in cutting wood, chopping meat, and cutting cords.

The handles of these bowie knives are excellent for piercing with force as well as attacking prey.

For combat, the Bowie has also proven to be the best. To date, the Bowie knives were designed for fighting and are widely used for combat in the military. The swerve size of the Bowie knife will deliver chill down the backbone of your enemy. I mean, who would love to get jabbed with a long Bowie knife blade.

It has also been useful in the aspect of survival. Hunting has been made very easy with the help of Bowie knives. You can use them to cut firewood, peel skin, and prepare them, making shelter, among others.

Come to think of it; there are countless uses of the Bowie knife. It all depends on what you intend to do with it.

What Steel Is Best for A Bowie Knife?

Since the Bowie knife will be involved in a couple of hard tasks, it is only right that it's made up of the best steel material to maintain its sturdy nature. In this case, it's going to be the traditional carbon steel. Most are also made with better versions of stainless steel.

Which Is the Best Option, A Large or Small Bowie Knife?

It's difficult to place these two options against each other, but the truth remains that if you search for an ideal "a-z" tool, you should consider going for the two options.

The large bowie knives do have this particular grandeur which often turns the head around. They are much useful when used for survival purposes. With a large bowie knife, cutting down trees and branches and brushing them for the sake of creating shelter is very easy. In addition, they are also very useful for killing and hunting purposes and protecting wildlife. They are also very useful in cutting off bulks of meats and breaking a bone if the needs arise. They equally make good digging appliances, used mainly to dig up tubers from the soil.

However, while large bowie knives are strong chopping and cutting tools, small bowie knives, on the other hand, are perfect for skinning, gutting as well as cleaning up small fish and games. They are also useful in crafting traps and utensils from wood. Finally, they are much lighter in nature, thus making them very easy to conceal and carry. This is very convenient if you wish to optimize mobility.

What and What Make Up A Good Bowie Knife?

There are a couple of qualities a proper Bowie knife should possess. They include:

i. A full tang structure. From the way they are built and used, any knife with less tang other than a full one isn't to be called a Bowie knife.

ii. A prominent and large clip point blade with partial serration on edge or preferably separation along its spine.

iii. A finger guard. This will provide almost protection to the user's hand while carrying out tasks actively.

iv. Also, most people think that it is vital that a Bowie knife is made of a wooden handle. Well, the truth is, a wooden handle is uncertain. More durable and comfortable materials are being used to bring about Bowie knife handles that are far better than the wooden ones.

Between A Folding Blade Bowie Knife and A Fixed Blade Bowie Knife, Which Is Preferable?

Everything zeros down to what your preferences are. For example, what do you intend to use the bowie for, then can you know which option to go for.

You should note that both options are beneficial; thus, if you find it difficult to make a decision, it's not a bad idea to go for both.

1. Folding bowie knives:

Although most people think a folding blade is less strong, it is just as durable as a fixed blade, as long as it is made with high-quality material.

Its biggest draw lies in its easy-to-transport and store characteristics. A folding blade bowie knife can precisely fit into the user's pocket, thus, making it very easy to conceal or hide, if need be. Thus, if space and convenience are paramount, then you should go for the folding bowie knife.

2. Fixed blade bowie knife

The fixed blade bowie knife comes with a more extensive list of advantages compared to the folding; however, as earlier stated, it's all about what works for you.

The fixed blade bowie knives feature longer blades than the folding counterpart, making them more significant weapons or tools. Also, they do not feature moving parts, making them easy to clean, maintain, and most importantly, less likely to crack.

Finally, the fixed blade bowie knives have a tactical superiority. This means that it is easier and faster to draw out the fixed blade in any situation than the folding blade.

In the end, the question of which is better is solely dependent on the environment it is supposed to be used in. While those in an urban environment will go for the folding blade bowie knife, outdoorsman tends to go for the fixed blade bowie knife.

Conclusion

There is no greater joy than purchasing a product that delivers even more than your expectations. I mean, you wouldn't want to have that feeling of frustration that follows loading your hard-earned money after purchasing a product that cannot be used even for a short period.

Hopefully, with the top product reviews and the well-detailed buying guide, I have been able to feed your Bowie knife inquisitiveness. I also believe that you can confidently purchase a perfect Bowie knife for yourself based on your preferences.

Feel free to share this with your family and friends. Don't forget to drop your comments in the comment section.

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