Scuba dive knives: The best out there.

Humans are at quite a disadvantage in the water, and it is very easy to be caught in a life or death situation if one is not properly equipped for it. A dive knife is invaluable if you find yourself snared by a fishing net or rope, or if there are potential predators nearby. Knowing that your trusty knife is within arms reach and ready to be used will give divers of all levels some peace of mind. Today, I’m going to review the Best Dive Knives on the market to help you make the right choice. I recommend that you compare their features and choose the one that best fits your needs.

Lets take a look at 10 of the top scuba dive knives that we have identified for you:

  • 304 stainless steel blade
  • Stainless steel hammer on handle bottom
  • Quick release and adjustable straps and sheaths
4.5/5

Promate Barracuda Sharp Tip Scuba Diving Knife is made from high quality Grade 304 stainless steel and can be easily disassembled for cleaning and maintenance. It features stainless steel butt cap on handle bottom; The handle with lanyard hole; The sheath with quick release and adjustable straps.

  • 420 Stainless Steel, 2.3″ Blade
  • Total length: 7″
  • Moulded nylon grip for comfort
4.5/5

One of the best selling items in Scuba Choice. This item features everything you need to get started, regardless if you’re a beginner or expert.

  • 304 stainless steel blade
  • Single action button locking system sheath
  • Sharp at the point and one side of blade and serrated edge at another side.
4.5/5

 small serrated blade will work great as a tool and is easier to attach in a variety of places. The molded sheath with pre-installed clips are designed for easy mounting, and can be placed on most places by velcro closure straps of BC or nylon tight straps. With a small notch toward the handle to cut line safely.

  • One side of the stainless steel blade is straight-edged, the other one is serrated right along the blade
  • The handle has an ergonomic design to ensure a secure grip even wearing gloves. 
4.6/5

The Borg is a modern, large knife with a futuristic design and a strong, tempered blade made of 304 Japanese stainless steel. One side of the stainless steel blade is straight-edged, the other one is serrated right along the blade; they are both very sharp and effective for line cutting. The handle has an ergonomic design to ensure a secure grip even wearing gloves. It is separated from the blade by a small techno-polymer thumb tab. The knife comes with a sheath that features a locking mechanism to allow one-hand release. The sheath comes with two, standard issue straps to secure the knife to your leg. 

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5/5

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  • One side of the stainless steel blade is straight-edged, the other one is serrated right along the blade.
  • The knife comes with a sheath that features a locking mechanism to allow one-hand release. 
4.6/5

The Cressi Skorpion is a medium-sized knife made of Japanese 420 Stainless Steel with a strong, tempered blade. Great for scuba diving and ideal for spearfishing. One side is straight-edged, the other one is serrated right along the blade. The sheath offers an easy-release mechanism allowing for one-hand release. Remember that a knife can be essential to have in emergencies, such as you or your buddy becoming entangled in a rope, fishing line, or a net the knife is there to cut you free.

  • Titanium blade with Easy grip rubber molded handle with sheath and adjustable straps
  • Light weight, Titanium hammer on handle bottom
4.4/5

The Promate Titanium Blade Dive Knife is a full sized knife. The actual blade length is 4.45″ (11.3 cm) with an overall length of 9.45″ (24 cm). The Knife has a durable stain and corrosion resistant titanium straight edge full tang blade on one side and a partially serrated edge with a line cutter on the opposite side. The knife handle has an ergonomic and durable rubber grip with finger ridges and a titanium butt that can be used as a tank banger to signal underwater or for hammering. The knife blade comes with either a blunt or drop point tip design. Blunt design allows it to double as a screwdriver. Knife comes with an acrylonitrile butadiene styrene plastic sheath with double button push release for double secure lock and 2 durable corrosion proof rubber leg straps.

  • Smooth and serrated edges
  • Blunt safety tip
  • Squeeze on both sides to open
5/5

Both rescue professionals and recreational boaters love the features of the NRS Pilot Knife. Not only does its unique design attract attention, the sheath provides convenient access and release of the knife when you need it most. The comfortable rubberized grip wraps around the contoured handle, giving you maximum control of the blade. The sheath clip attaches firmly to a PFD lash tab. The handle has a built in glass breaking tip on the end. As another safety feature, the blade is only sharpened on the one edge. This, along with the blunt tip, helps prevent injury in a tight rescue situation.

  • Solid 420 Stainless Steel Blade
  • 8 5/8″ Overall Length, Sheath Is Included
5/5

Lightweight and durable, this knife actually comes out the box pretty sharp, the leg sheath is hard plastic and rubber, its good quality and actually stays where u put it, the straps are very adjustable. the blade is half serrated, so if u want it any sharper(which really isn’t needed) you’d need a blade sharpener capable of handling serrated edges. overall, a full tang steel blade with leg sheath at this price cant be beat.

  • Japanese 420-Stainless Steel Blade
  • Drop-Point Tip
  • 1-Side: Complete Straight-Edge Blade
5/5

Japanese 420-Stainless Steel Blade Drop-Point Tip 1-Side: Complete Straight-Edge Blade 1-Side: Partial Serrated Edge with Line Cutter Overall Length: 9.134″ (232 mm) Blade Length: 4.33″ (110 mm) Ergonomically Designed Techno-Polymer Handle Handle with Finger Grips and Thumb Tab Fits Comfortable in Hand Metal Butt, Double as a Hammer if Required Durable Impact Resistant Sheath One-Hand Release Locking Mechanism Adjustable Leg Straps New Skorpion is a modern, medium-sized knife with a futuristic design and a strong, tempered blade.

Buyers guide to choosing the best scuba dive knife for you

Choosing the best diving knife like most things is a series of trade offs and really comes down to what you will be using it for primarily and how often you dive. There is no prefect knife so if you need a knife for various functions then you really will need a get more than one knife.

Knife Blade Material

There are two main blade materials used to make a dive knife; stainless steel and titanium.

Titanium

A blade made of titanium is going to be VERY strong and almost completely corrosion resistant, meaning you just give it a quick rinse off and put it back in the sheath for storage. The downside is they are harder to sharpen and usually cannot be made as sharp as steel.

Stainless Steel

Most dive knives are actually made from stainless steel. This is due to the cost factor. Stainless steel is definitely sturdy, but there’s something to remember: it’s rust-resistant not rust-proof. As you’re going to be using the knife in and/or around water, this is crucial to keep in mind.

After repetitive exposure to the sea, they become susceptible to rusting. Obviously, you don’t want this to happen as it can break down and weaken the blade.

Higher-grade stainless (such as Japanese 420 stainless steel) still will, however, hold up notably better in water, so don’t completely rule this material out. If price isn’t of importance to you, there’s also H1 steel. This is a rather new type of blade material, but is also practically rust-proof.

The 305 variety of steel is a bit of a tradeoff, it can be made almost as sharp as 420 BUT is more corrosion resistant.

Rather than using carbon which most stainless steel uses, this is precipitation-hardened steel which uses 1% nitrogen. In addition, stainless steel knives are much easier/quicker to sharpen and hold an edge well.

Blade Size

Blade size is going to be a function of what you will mainly use it for. A blade of 4 – 5 inches is a good compromise in usability. It’s a good choice for the recreational diver, its ideal for getting untangled from fishing line, or cutting rope.

For the spear fisherman then a 5 inch or larger is a better choice. So the casual diver or diver who needs a backup knife, a blade size of 3 inches or so is best. The Cressi Lima a perfect choice.

Edge

There are three types of blade edge to consider: straight, serrated, or partially-serrated. Serrated blades are more effective at cutting tough material like seaweed or rope because their “teeth” can chew through them when used in a sawing motion. Straight blades are better for cutting lines and plastic. Get the best of both worlds with a partially-serrated edge.

Blade Design

Dive knives can have a sharp tip or blunt tip. Blunt tips are recommended for recreational diving because they are so versatile. You can ease them as screwdrivers or for prying things loose and never have to worry about stabbing yourself or poking your gear full of holes.

Sharp tips are the preferred choice for spear fishers and those who actually want to puncture something. Just be wary that you can accidentally injure yourself.

Knife Design

Folding

With a folding knife, the blade can be retracted into a groove in the handle. Folding knives are therefore compact and space efficient. When folded down, it can be easily kept in a BCD pocket, won’t snag on anything, and you don’t have to worry about accidentally cutting yourself when reaching for it. The downside to this type of design is that, in an emergency and especially if a diver is panicking or wearing gloves, they may struggle to open the knife.

Fixed

Fixed blade knives are what most people think of if you ask them to picture a knife in their head. They do not fold and are much more intuitive to use; just take it out of the sheathe and start cutting. They are kept in sheathes, and the sheathes are usually attached to one’s leg, deflator hose, or BCD pocket flap.

With that said, make sure that the knife you have in mind can be mounted the way you’d like because not every sheath provides every option. When diving with a fixed knife, try to find a sheath that has a quick release button so that the knife won’t unexpectedly unsheath, only when you want it to.

Length

The length of diving knife blades typically run between 3 to 6 inches. There are bigger knives but they are more uncomfortable to carry around and might get in the way. The reality is, a smaller dive knife is easier to carry and harness while diving. They can also cut just as well as larger dive knives and are generally more versatile.

With that said, larger knives can afford to have a more comfortable handle. If you are a big guy with large hands or intend on cutting hundreds of feet of line, then you’ll soon realize that a smaller knife with a smaller handle would have been hell to use for that purpose.

Conclusion

When making your final choice, it is important to remember that your knife is a tool and I would recommend that you opt for one that has both plain and serrated blades along with a line cutter. If you are looking for a blunt tip knife, our pick would be the Promate Barracuda Sharp Tip Titanium Diving Knife.

All three of these have secure fittings and a great handle grip. Rinse, dry and oil your knife after use and sharpen when needed. Hopefully, all you will ever need it for is to pry o-rings and cut cable ties, but it’s better to have one, be prepared, and not need it than the alternative.

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Scuba diving is always a great experience, being able to record or take photos of your encounters with turtles and various coral life… well that’s priceless!
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