Best Knives for Kayaking in 2022 [Reviews]

Kayaking may be a lot of fun, relaxing, and enjoyable. However, having the appropriate equipment is essential when stepping out into the waters as part of your kayaking trip preparations. A kayak knife can be a lifeline at times. Therefore you should never underestimate its usefulness. It can be helpful for various things, including cleaning fish, cutting ropes, and chopping wood.

Most water sports enthusiasts know the need to carry a personal floatation device (PFD) and have an emergency whistle on hand. A PFD knife, on the other hand, is frequently overlooked. Having one of these in a stream of water can save your life or someone else’s life.

You may believe that a sharp knife will be enough for your kayaking. While paddling, a kitchen knife is likely to appear odd or lengthy. You could use a camping knife, but it will not last long after being subjected to corrosive seawater.

However, not everyone has the exact expectations when buying a knife. As a result, kayak knives come in a wide range of styles. We put together a buyer’s guide to help you get the best kayaking knife for your needs.

Knife in a pool of water

Best Kayak Knife for your Kayaking Adventure

As a paddler, you already know that the ideal knives can survive saltwater and are convenient to carry on your body or in a bag attached to your kayak. It is critical to have an excellent knife to assist you on your journey. You’ll need a solid knife in your armory whether you’re cutting bait or rope. In this section, we will review the best kayak knives.

1. NRS Pilot Knife – Overall Best Kayak Knife

Because of its durability and versatility, the NRS Pilot Knife is an excellent utility knife to bring on paddling adventures. It has a 420 HC stainless steel knife with both plain and serrated edges, allowing you to cut various materials with ease. It comes with a  rope cutting hook.

The blade has a blunt end and is only sharpened on one edge for increased safety. The bottle opener and glass breaking point are included in the handle, which is made of glass-reinforced polypropylene.

The sheath is made of fiberglass reinforced nylon and locks into place to protect the blades and avoid injury. You can release this kayak knife quickly when you press or push down both sides of the knife handle. A clip on the sheath is useful as it can attach to your PFD.

Product Specification

  • Blade Shape: Clip Point
  • Color: Available in different colors (orange, black, camo, blue, and green)
  • Handle Material: Thermoplastic Elastomers, Polypropylene
  • Item Dimensions (LxWxH): 8 x 9 x 10 inches
  • Item Weight: 0.4 Pounds

What we like

  • Corrosion-resistant
  • Lightweight
  • Various safety features

What we don’t like

  • Rust easily
  • Short handle

2. Aqualung Squeeze Kayak Knife – Best Multipurpose Kayak Knife

This blade is ideal for kayaking, fishing, and scuba diving. It is built of high-quality materials that will last a long time. It’s corrosion-resistant and stands up well in saltwater.

Manufactured using stainless steel, it comes with many mounting alternatives, which is a nice feature. Because the sheath is composed of plastic, it may not be very robust, yet it has been said to withstand harsh conditions. Because the blade’s tip is blunt, it’ll still give additional protection. It performs decently given its size, though cutting larger ropes underwater may be challenging.

Product Specification

  • Brand Name: Aqua Lung
  • Color: Charcoal
  • Item Dimensions (LxWxH): ‎8 x 2.25 x 1.5 inches
  • Item Weight: ‎0.4 Pounds
  • Material: Stainless Steel

What we like

  • Made of durable stainless steel
  • It doesn’t rust when used in saltwater
  • Easy to store

What we don’t like

  • Difficulty cutting larger objects underwater
  • Short blade
  • Pricey for its features

3. Stohlquist Squeeze Lock Knife – Best Premium Knife

Despite all the different kayak knives you will find on Amazon, the Stohlquist Squeeze lock knife is unique with a unique locking mechanism. It has a nice handle and comes beefy when in your hand. The knife comes with an inbuilt hole around the handle, especially if you want to tie a lanyard.

Like other kayak knives, you won’t have issues because the locking mechanism is fool-proof. To pull the knife, you must depress it from both sides. It is easier to depress it from the red part of the knife handle. With this, the blade will slide easily from the sheath. However, it has only one drawback is that both edges are sharp.

Product Specification

  • Blade material: Stainless Steel
  • Brand Stohlquist WaterWare
  • Color: Red
  • Special feature: Locking Blades

What we like

  • Manufactured with a quality material
  • Comes with a locking mechanism

What we don’t like

  • Too expensive
  • Both edges are shape

4. Promate Point Tip Scuba Dive BC Knife – Best Affordable Kayak Knife

This saltwater-friendly knife is a good option if you’re on a budget but want a knife for kayaking and safety on your personal flotation device. With its extra layer of anti-corrosion protection, this small knife is worth using when kayaking, as you can see by its rust-free edge even after a few weeks of use.

On one side of the 3-inch blade is a smooth edge, and on the other is a serrated edge. It’s composed of 304 stainless steel that resists rust and maintains its edge for an extended period. There is also a line cutter on the smooth edge side that comes in handy in any emergency.

Because the tip isn’t particularly dull, it can be difficult to use if you get trapped in raging seas. On the plus side, the point assists you in defending yourself against a marine crawler or invaders. The non-textured fiberglass-nylon handle is robust and gripping.

The four-color, easy-release, molded sheath appears to be made of plastic. On the other hand, the knife is black, independent of the sheath color. Its single-button lock system is its best feature. For easy mounting, there are pre-installed clamps.

Product Specification

  • Color: Green
  • Dimensions (L x W x H): ‎7.28 x 2.28 x 1.02 inches
  • Material: ‎Stainless steel, plastic
  • Package Weight: ‎0.15 Kilograms

What we like

  • Affordable
  • Because of the bright sheath, it has a lot of visibility.
  • In the sheath, there is an easy and rapid locking system.
  • Lightweight and compact
  • The edge is smooth and serrated.

What we don’t like

  • Not suitable for use underwater after 10 hours

5. Spyderco Salt 2 Lightweight Knife – Best Lightweight Kayak Knife

Although the Spyderco Salt knife is pricey, you receive a tool that will endure for years despite being used in saltwater and remain sharp in your pocket for a month. It’s a folding knife with a back lock and a 3-inch blade made of Japanese H-1 stainless steel. H1 is a super stainless steel that utilizes nitrogen rather than carbon. It is non-magnetic and very resistant to corrosion.

Regardless of its quality or nickel content, stainless steel will rust with time. Despite being submerged in many sorts of water, this knife doesn’t rust or corrode. The grind is hollow, implying that the bevel is ground with a flat radius. The spherical hole is also present on the blade.

The blade has no serrations and has a plain edge. The blade is accompanied by a textured handle made of fiberglass-reinforced solid nylon that guarantees a stable grip. The rest of the hardware is comprised of non-rusting metals. Although this knife doesn’t fit into PFD, its 4.25 inches length will fit nicely in your pocket.

Product specification

  • Blade Length: 3 Inches
  • Blade Material: Stainless Steel
  • Color: Yellow
  • Handle Material: Fiberglass Reinforced Nylon

What we like

  • Sharp edge retention
  • Excellent ergonomics
  • Completely rust-resistant
  • Lightweight
  • Superior thumb lock and role

What we don’t like

  • Expensive

6. Schrade WR3 Water Rat Stainless Steel Serrated Knife – Best Low-Budget knife

You know it’s built to withstand submersion whenever a kayaking knife is labeled as a water rat. And that is what this Stainless Steel Serrated Knife delivers. The dependable rafting knife is made of high-carbon stainless steel, making it exceptionally durable.

Furthermore, it is scratch, abrasion, and crack resistant. Furthermore, its handle is made of thermoplastic rubber and has a highly noticeable greenish luminescent shade that can be seen almost anywhere.

That’s not all, though. The knife boasts a full-tang construction and a cable hole for added convenience. Furthermore, the front quillon maintains it secure while transported from one location to another. Finally, the PP jacket and leg strap make it even easier to carry this knife.

Product Specification

  • Color: Multi
  • Dimensions (L x W x H       ‎): 11.3 x 3.7 x 1.8 inches
  • Item Weight: ‎0.85 Pounds
  • Material: ‎Synthetic

What we like

  • Easily accessible
  • Durable and lightweight
  • Features a sharp saw blade

What we don’t like

  • Prone to corrosion
  • Bad sheath

7. GEAR AID Paddle Kayak Knife – Best Multifunctional kayak knife

This flexible knife is a great option if you’re paddling on open water. It’s small and light and can be safely attached to your PFD. The knife comes with a waist attachment that can be quickly removed and offers a variety of mounting options.

It comes with a serrated blade that makes cutting simple. A sturdy tip and handle make it convenient for shattering glass and similar materials.

A leg strap, which is sadly not included with the product, can also be used to fasten this knife as part of your scuba diving gear. On the other hand, the sheath comes with sturdy webbing mounts that will be more than adequate for exploring mounting options. This item is both inexpensive and well-maintained, making it an excellent pick for your trips.

Product Specification

  • Color: Green
  • Dimensions (LxWxH): ‎5.75 x 1.25 x 9.5 inches
  • Item Weight: 0.43 Pounds
  • Material: ‎Blend
  • Warranty: 2 Year

What we like

  • Cost-efficient
  • Durable and lightweight
  • It offers several mounting options

What we don’t like

  • It lacks a leg strap

8. MOSSY OAK 2-piece Bowie Knife – Best ergonomic kayak knife

With a larger sharp blade that is corrosion-resistant and sturdy, the Mossy Oak knife is ideal for any kayaker. This knife is indeed a top-notch choice for precision cutting, but it’s also great for hunting, industrial, and fishing. The knife also has an ergonomic grip that is comfortable to hold and prevents slippage.

It’s powerful enough to cut thru rope if necessary and a safety guard that keeps things safe. The smooth grip is the only drawback; while the ergonomics are good, maintaining your hold isn’t easier by its textured surface. This multipurpose knife is available at an affordable price and provides exceptional value for your money.

Product Specification

  • Blade Length: 6 Inches
  • Blade Material: Stainless Steel
  • Color: Black
  • Handle Material: Stacked leather
  • Included Components: Sheath and Blade
  • Special Feature: Full Tang
  • Style: Bowie Knife Set with Leather Handle

What we like

  • Wide grip edges
  • Durable stainless steel
  • Nylon sheath included
  • Full-tang blade

What we don’t like

  • It doesn’t have serrations

Buying Guide: Factors to Consider When Buying a Kayak Knife

After looking through the best kayak knives, it is crucial to consider factors when buying a kayak knife. What kind of knife do you want to purchase? Knives are necessary for hunting, kayak camping, and fishing activities. However, you may want to think about the ideal knife for each planned activity. Every knife has its usage for a particular situation or condition. Let’s consider a few factors to consider when buying a kayak knife.

Folding or Fixed kayak knife

You can select between fixed and folding knives for kayaking knives. While some kayakers recommend carrying a fixed-blade knife, others may recommend a folding knife.

Fixed blades, as opposed to sleek folding knives, are tougher and always ready to use — simply pull the knife from the sheath and begin cutting. If you’re using a folding knife, you’ll need to locate, unbuckle, and open it before using it to cut whatever you want to cut.

Steel type

Knowing what type of steel the knife is constructed is very important. You can choose between stainless steel and a carbon steel knife. Stainless steels are rust-resistant and require little maintenance. However, carbon steel knives are more durable and can be polished with little effort.

A carbon steel knife might fit your needs if you’re going into the woods for a camping trip or bush crafting since they are tougher and easier to sharpen. IF you find yourself drifting in the water, your best bet is stainless steel because you won’t have to wipe the rust off the blade constantly. Even though you have a huge selection of different steel to choose from, you should invest in high-quality ones to get the most return on investment.

Kayak Knife Handle Type

Another critical aspect is the sort of handle you desire for your personal floatation device (PFD) knife. Many individuals advise choosing handles made of wood or leather. These, however, are not viable options. When exposed to saltwater regularly, leather rots and becomes soft while wood swells. As a result, steer clear of handles made of leather or wood.

Instead, consider synthetic handles, which are readily available and ideal for various applications. You can choose from various materials for synthetic handles, including plastic, synthetic cork, G10, Nylon, Micarta, and Zytel.

When wet, the synthetic-based grips will not soften or become slippery. As a result, most kayak, boating, and diving knives have handles made of these materials.

Blade Design

You must also choose the type of blade when purchasing a kayaking knife. Knives have two types of edges: serrated (saw blade) or plain edges. Serrated knives are broader and sharper, and they can easily rip ropes, but sharpening each individual groove takes more labor. Compared to serrated knives, plain-edged blades don’t cut ropes as smoothly, but they are sharper and more versatile.

You can achieve a lot with plain-edged blades. As a result, many kayakers keep small serrated-edged blades on their PFDs and a multipurpose plain-edged knife in their packs.

More importantly, you must choose whether your knives have blunt or sharpened blades. Sharpened blades are more helpful when fishing or hunting because they have the power to stab anything, but they are harmful in rescue situations. Knives with a blunt blade are less useful yet safer.

Why Use a Kayak Knife When Rafting or Kayaking

Knife used for boating dropped in water


Kayaking and rafting can be dangerous, especially if you’re paddling in an environment where you’re more likely to capsize, such as the sea or a rapid river.

You can become stranded for several reasons, including getting tangled in your paddle rope or a rescue line. You may be able to break free yourself if you can swiftly pull your kayak knife from your personal flotation device.

It is easier and better to keep the knife in your PFD, especially in an emergency. Some PFD knives come with extra capabilities like a glass breaker that can be used to get out of a car or other vessel.


When kayak fishing, a knife may be a valuable tool, and having one linked to your PFD can make it much more useful since you have easy access to it. Knives can be used to cut fishing lines and perform other everyday fishing activities. However, even if you’re kayak fishing, your kayak knife can come in handy to rescue yourself from accidents.


Some kayak knives can be used for several purposes and are useful when kayak camping. A PFD knife may include additional characteristics such as a bottle opener or a smooth edge that is useful for cutting or scooping food. They may also come in helpful if you need to repair something, such as tightening a screw.

Kayak Knife Type – Purpose

  • Rescue: Compared to a utility knife, a rescue knife may typically have fewer features. It is typically constructed with safety and rescue in mind. Therefore it will generally provide fast cutting with features that improve blade control or grip.
  • Utility: A utility knife would generally have more functionality than a rescue knife, allowing it to be used in more scenarios, including opening a bottle. This knife can be utilized in a rescue emergency, but it’s also suitable for camping, trekking, and fishing.


What are the finest materials for kayaking knives?

You have several options to choose from. Titanium, carbon steel, and  Stainless steel are the most popular options available. All of these possibilities give you precise and compact solutions during your water activities.

Is it true that fixed knives are superior to folding knives?

It is based on your preferences. Knives with fixed blades offer additional stability and strength. Because they have broader and exposed blades, sheathing is required. On the other hand, the folding version folds into the handle and is compact, although it lacks the robustness of the fixed form.

How do I keep a kayaking knife sharp?

The maintenance process is straightforward. After each usage, rinse the knives with water and dry them using a clean cloth. You can also use various oils to help preserve the blade’s quality and extend its life.

What are the most crucial safety features for kayaking knives?

This component is very dependent on the sort of service you require. Rounded or blunt ends are one of the most crucial safety features. Most unexpected accidents that may occur during your kayaking experiences will be avoided due to this. You can also choose folding knives with safety locks to prevent the knife from accidentally opening and injuring you.

What kind of kayak knife should I get?

You can choose from a variety of products. All of the knives we’ve listed here are high-quality and will most likely meet your needs.


It can be challenging to pick the proper kayak knife for your kayaking adventures. Shopping for a knife can be extremely tricky, especially for newbies. However, we have compiled a list of the best kayak knife available online.

Considering all of the advantages and disadvantages, we’ve provided the knife that best suits your needs because a good knife is essential for any expedition you may embark on. In addition, if you didn’t see any prominent knives on our list, you can provide information about them, and we will review them.

Vanessa Hopkins

Hi, I'm Vanessa. Long-time kayaker who's proud to be part of this community. I strive to provide our visitors with insightful guides with the aim to improve their kayaking experience. I've been working with SunshineKayaking for over 5 years, providing world-class services.

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