The Best Bowie Knife: Reviews of Top Blades from Top Brands

Last Updated: by Aiden Williams

With the several knife brands in the market today, it’s almost impossible to imagine our world without knives. Maybe one of the reasons for this is because they have been around since 600-500BC.

The origin of some of the current knives, like the Bowie knife, dates back to the early nineteenth century.

Bowie knives are a collection of fixed blades that were created by James Black. James designed the knife for Jim Bowie, who had become quite famous for using a huge knife in the Sandbar Fight.

While this knife was first built in 1830, the bowie knives are still very popular with collectors and outdoorsmen. Great for hunting, camping, protecting yourself, and any other chore, bowie knife is a perfect survival knife.

But, I am sure you already know and love the quality of these knives!

What you don’t know are the best bowie knife brands in the market, and which knife is perfect for you. Let’s get to it.

The Ka-Bar US Marine Knife is the most loved knife from Ka-Bar and the best bowie knife for survival. This knife has everything a soldier needs to survive in the war. Therefore, it is perfect for all camping, fishing, and hiking trips.

The 9 Best Bowie Knives Are…

ProductDetails
1. Ka-Bar US Marine Corp (USMC) Knife

  • Brand: Ka-Bar Knives
  • Model: KBAR1217
  • Blade: 7 inches
  • Sheath: Leather
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2. Timber Rattler Western Outlaw

  • Blade: Stainless steel
  • Blade length: 11.375 inches
  • Sheath: Genuine leather
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3. SOG Super Bowie Knife

  • Brand: SOG
  • Model: SB1T-L
  • Blade: AUS-8 steel
  • Blade length: 7.5 inches
  • Sheath: Genuine leather
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4. Buck Knives 124 Frontiersman Knife

  • Brand: Buck Knives
  • Model: 0124BKSLE
  • Sheath: Leather
  • Weight: 1.4 pounds
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5. Ka-Bar 1278-KA Knife

  • Brand: Ka-Bar Knives
  • Model: 1278
  • Blade length: 6.75 inches
  • Weight: 1.05 pounds
  • Sheath: Cordura/leather
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6. Ka-Bar Becker BK9 Knife

  • Brand: Ka-Bar Knives
  • Blade length: 9 inches
  • Weight: 1.05 pounds
  • Model: BKR9-BRK
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7. Case XX WR Bowie Knife

  • Brand: Case
  • Weight: 1.25 pounds
  • Model: 02000
  • Blade length: 9.5 inches
  • Sheath: Genuine leather
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8. Buck Knife 120 Fixed Blade

  • Brand: Buck Knives
  • Model: 0120BRS
  • Blade: 420HC steel
  • Blade length: 7.375 inches
  • Sheath: Genuine leather
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9. ESEE Junglas Bowie Knife

  • Brand: ESEE
  • Blade: 1095 carbon steel
  • Blade length: 10.376 inches
  • Weight: 1.44 pounds
  • Model: ESJUNGKO
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1. Ka-Bar US Marine Corp (USMC) Knife — Overall Best Bowie Knife for Survival

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

The Ka-Bar USMC is the most popular Bowie knife from Ka-Bar. This legendary fighting knife was first produced for American troops during the Second World War.

So, if it has all the requirements a soldier needs to survive during a war, then it will be perfect for you.

Now over half a century later, Ka-Bar USMC still has the same quality that you can always depend on. It is still the first choice for most marines, who carry it for their personal use.

This Ka-Bar knife is designed as a full-sized unit that can be used as a survival tool and also for camping and hunting. Ka-Bar USMC comes with a perfect grip, so you will never have to worry about dropping the knife when using it.

For such a bulky knife, Ka-Bar USMC is interestingly light as it weighs about 0.70 pounds. However, its size is complemented by its durable 7 inches long blade that is manufactured from 1095 Cro-Van steel.

It also features 20-degree edge angles that make it quite easy to sharpen. This knife is durable, and it delivers a unique performance thanks to its sturdy, long blade, and leather handle. But, after a while, some of its screws can come loose, so be ready to tighten them up.

Specs

  • Brand: Ka-Bar Knives
  • Model: KBAR1217
  • Blade: 7 inches
  • Sheath: Leather

Pros

  • Built for heavy usage
  • Can withstand lateral stress
  • Its blade can be sharpened by most big rocks
  • Comfortable to use
  • Durable and versatile

Cons

  • Bulky
  • Quite costly

Overall rating – 4.8 out of 5

Conclusion: KA-BAR US Marine Corp Knife is a huge, durable, and reliable knife that can even outlive its owner.

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2. Timber Rattler Western Outlaw — Best Bowie Knife for Value

Timber Rattler Western Outlaw Full Tang Bowie Knife with Leather Sheath -Brass Plated Guard, Hardwood Handle - 11 3/8" Length

Timber Rattler is a popular bowie knife that is known for its large and heavy structure. The Timber Rattler is perfect for anyone who is looking for an affordable traditional bowie knife.

This huge Bowie knife comes with a classic 11.375 inches stainless steel blade. So, you will never have to worry about it rusting. Timber Rattler is a sharp and robust tool that can handle anything that can come up with ease.

Other than its unique design, this knife is brass-plated, and it comes with a leather sheath. It is a unique knife with a stable full-tang blade and classic hardwood handle.

Timber Rattler is on the heavier side as it weighs over 2 pounds. However, its weight makes chopping firewood quite easy.

It has sharp stainless steel that can handle anything, but you will have to sharpen it regularly. The stainless steel is not as tough as materials used to build the high-end Bowie knives.

Therefore, this is not the best knife for handling prolonged chores in your backyard. However, for its price, the Timber Rattler is an effective survival knife with a superior blade.

Specs

  • Blade: Stainless steel
  • Blade length: 11.375 inches
  • Sheath: Genuine leather

Pros

  • Its huge blade can handle a wide variety of chores
  • Affordable
  • Sharp edge
  • Rust-resistant

Cons

  • Not a durable knife
  • Too bulky

Overall rating – 4.4 out of 5

Conclusion: The Timber Rattler is an affordable and efficient knife that can handle most tasks in the outdoors.

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3. SOG Super Bowie Knife

SOG Super Bowie Fixed Blade SB1T-L - Black Tini 7.5" Aus-8 Blade, Leather Washer Handle, Leather Sheath

If you fancied the original SOG Brownie knife, then you will love the brand new and upgraded SOG Super Bowie. The SOG Super Bowie comes with a unique 7.5 inches blade that is approximately 0.25 inches thick.

This knife can handle any harsh task flawlessly, even in the most severe conditions. Its straight AUS-8metal blade comes with a unique black tin finish that is quite uncommon these days.

Its handle is built with some leather washers that give it a natural external look while giving you a perfect grip. Weighing about 1.09 pounds, the new SOG Super is very light. This SOG tool comes with a limited lifetime warranty.

This knife is quite costly. But, if you are looking to splash some cash on a huge knife, that can handle anything, then this if for you.

It comes with a leather sheath featuring a belt-loop attachment. Nevertheless, the sheath leaves some scratches on the blade, as you walk with it on your belt loop.

Specs

  • Brand: SOG
  • Model: SB1T-L
  • Blade: AUS-8 steel
  • Blade length: 7.5 inches
  • Sheath: Genuine leather

Pros

  • Light
  • Sharp blade
  • Durable
  • Can handle all kinds of chores
  • Easy to carry using its sheath, belt-loop attachment
  • Rust resistant

Cons

  • Expensive
  • The sheath tends to leave some scratches on the blade

Conclusion: the new SOG Super knife is a high-end Bowie knife that is comfortable to use. This tool can handle anything that can come up indoors and outdoors.

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4. Buck Knives 124 Frontiersman Knife

Buck Knives 124 Frontiersman Fixed Blade Knife with Leather Sheath

Backed by over a century of experience, Buck Knives introduces Buck Knife Frontiersman, a light, all-round hunting knife. The 124 Frontiersman tool features a 6.25 inches steel sharp blade that can do almost anything that can come up.

Its unique blade was made with 420HC Steel and a satin finish that prevents corrosion. For comfortable grips, its micarta handle has palm swells and curves. The aluminum guard on this knife provides an excellent combination of balance and beauty.

The 124 Frontiersman has a full tang blade with an integrated fingers guard. It comes with a superb leather snap with an integrated belt loop.

It’s full-tang construction with deep-choil, and an integrated finger-guard makes it a perfect knife for hunters.

However, its big blade is too narrow for big skinning tasks. Even with its unique handle, this knife can be slippery since it lacks a rubberized grip.

Specs

  • Brand: Buck Knives
  • Model: 0124BKSLE
  • Sheath: Leather
  • Weight: 1.4 pounds

Pros

  • Durable
  • Easy to sharpen
  • Razor-sharp blade that can handle heavy-duty chores
  • Corrosion resistant
  • Durable
  • Comes with a forever Buck Knives warranty

Cons

  • Not a great option for chopping tasks

Overall rating – 4.8 out of 5

Conclusion: Despite being sturdy and reliable, this American knife brand is not a perfect tool for chopping firewood.

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5. Ka-Bar 1278-KA Knife

Ka-Bar 1278 KA bar, Heavy-Duty Warthog W/Sheath

The KB1278 is another unique bowie knife from Ka-Bar that is designed for everyday outdoor use. It features a unique blade fashioned from carbon-steel metal and a durable handle.

For excellent control, the KB 1278’s comes with an oval-shaped Kraton-G thermoplastic handle. And to avoid back slippage when using it, Ka-Bar added rear slippage guard on the knife. This knife has 6.75 inches long ground-sharpened blade with a non-reflective all-black finish.

Ka-Bar 1278-KA’s sheath is not reliable. In fact, many people have complained that the stitching is too weak.

Weighing about 1.05 pounds, Ka-Bar 1278-KA is a little bit heavy for some people. But its weight is nothing compared to all the benefits it will bring into your outdoor life.

Specs

  • Brand: Ka-Bar Knives
  • Model: 1278
  • Blade length: 6.75 inches
  • Weight: 1.05 pounds
  • Sheath: Cordura/leather

Pros

  • Razor-sharp blade
  • Durable
  • Rust-resistant
  • Comfortable to use
  • Can handle a wide variety of outdoors chores

Cons

  • The sheath could use some improvements

Overall rating – 4.5 out of 5

Conclusion: Ka-Bar 1278 knife is a perfect survival knife that can handle everything, including heavy cutting.

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6. Ka-Bar Becker BK9 Knife

Ka-Bar Becker BK9 Combat Bowie Fixed Blade Knife

Becker BK9 is a top-notch combat tool that is used by all the branches of the United States military. It is an excellent knife for collectors as well as outdoor enthusiasts.

This American-made Bowie knife comes with a 9 inches blade that is made out of 1095 Cro-Van Steel.

The BK9 is a great and durable option for chopping. If you need a unique blade that can help you with pruning and chopping firewood, then you should get BK9.

It comes with an ergonomic handle that feels great and firm in hand. Its handle has a smooth and attractive matte-black exterior finish. The KB9 is on the lighter side as it weighs about 1.05 pounds.

Even though it can handle almost anything that can come up, this tool needs frequent sharpening. However, the BK9 is very easy to sharpen. Its ergonomic handle can be slippery, so you have to be careful when chopping logs.

Specs

  • Brand: Ka-Bar Knives
  • Blade length: 9 inches
  • Weight: 1.05 pounds
  • Model: BKR9-BRK

Pros

  • A heavy-duty and sharp blade
  • Durable and versatile
  • Easy to use
  • Rust resistant
  • Comfortable handle scales

Cons

  • Quite costly
  • The sheath could be improved
  • Must be sharpened frequently
  • The handle can slip when wet
  • Screws can come loose

Overall rating – 4.8 out of 5

Conclusion: This Ka-Bar brand is a durable and reliable knife that can handle several types of cutting chores.

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7. Case XX WR Bowie Knife

CASE XX WR Pocket Knife Bowie Black Synthetic Handle Item #286 - (Black Bowie) - Length: 14 1/4 Inches

Case Bowie knife is a beautifully designed tool that can handle several activities, including camping. It is a perfect everyday pocket knife. This American brand features a taper-ground stainless steel blade that is rust-resistant.

And for maximum grip, it comes with a white synthetic handle. The blade fits perfectly in its beautiful sheath that is made from pure leather.

For extra protection, it comes with a brass finger guard. Its handle also features a back guard to prevent it from slipping off your hands when working.

Case Bowie Knife is on the lighter side as it weighs about 1.25 pounds. However, its blade is too thin for some tasks. This knife’s blade can be too big for some people.

Longer than an ordinary knife, this knife offers corrosion resistance and excellent blade strength. It comes with a perfectly fitting and beautiful sheath that can keep your knife safe. But, the sheath is poorly made.

Specs

  • Brand: Case
  • Weight: 1.25 pounds
  • Model: 02000
  • Blade length: 9.5 inches
  • Sheath: Genuine leather

Pros

  • Beautifully designed
  • Durable and versatile
  • High-quality steel

Cons

  • The sheath can be improved
  • The blade is too thin

Overall rating – 4.6 out of 5

Conclusion: Other than its beautiful design, this is a fabulous and sharp knife that can be a perfect addition to anyone’s survival kit.

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8. Buck Knife 120 Fixed Blade

Buck Knives 0120BRS GENERAL Cocobola Dymondwood Fixed Blade Knife with Genuine Leather Sheath

At first glance, this bowie knife has a unique minimal, and modern appearance. However, that doesn’t take anything away from its quality.

Its razor-sharp 7.375 inches blade has corrosion resistance, edge retention, and excellent strength. Its nicely built handle with a deep choil and finger guard makes it a perfect option for hunters.

Buck 120’s full tang construction and huge blade, makes it an ideal outdoorsmen survival kit. Therefore, you will never have to worry about the knife slipping from your hand.

For comfortable and sure grips, its hardwood handle comes with palm swells and curves. For convenient carry, it comes with a high-quality leather sheath that comes with a snap fastener.

Buck knife 120 can be very intimidating for individuals who are not used to big knives and beginners. This tool has some imperfections on its blood grooves.

A blood groove is a lined bridge between the edge of the blade and the back. The Buck 120’s blood grooves can make corrosion easier if you don’t take good care of your tool.

Therefore make sure you pay extra attention to its grooves when lubricating it.

Specs

  • Brand: Buck Knives
  • Model: 0120BRS
  • Blade: 420HC steel
  • Blade length: 7.375 inches
  • Sheath: Genuine leather

Pros

  • Light
  • Blade is corrosion resistant
  • The stem and edge are symmetrically aligned with its handle
  • Durable
  • Can handle a wide variety of tasks

Cons

  • Size too big for some individuals particularly its handle
  • Blood grooves increase the chance of corrosion

Overall rating – 4.8 out of 5

Conclusion: For such a big knife, you will be surprised by its weight. Plus, its handle makes it perfect for swinging around without worrying about dropping it.

It’s an excellent tool that can serve as a precautionary weapon in case of an incident in the wildlife.

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9. ESEE Junglas Bowie Knife

Tops Knives ATRD01 Armegeddon Fixed Blade Bowie Knife with Black Linen Micarta Handles & Black Ballistic Nylon Sheath with Kydex Liner

ESEE Junglas is one of the best Bowie knives with a powerful chop. Its 10.375 inches 1095 carbon steel blade makes it an ideal replacement of a machete.

Its blade has a unique black powder coating that doesn’t peel off even after performing a heavy task. Its full-tang blade has the necessary strength to replace a machete.

ESEE Junglas’ huge and thick (about 0.19 inches thick) blade makes it the best tool for several heavy-duty tasks. ESEE Junglas handle is built with a Gray Micarta, which is a soft material that reduces fatigue.

Esee Junglas has a pointed blade that is perfectly sized for chopping thick woods. However, it’s not an excellent option for chopping, peeling, or carving small-to-regular sized woods.

This tool is rust-resistant, however, the brand’s logo has a high probability of rusting even if you take good care of it. The tool’s blade is made from carbon steel, which is quite simple to sharpen. ESEE Junglas is on the larger side as it weighs about 1.44 pounds.

Specs

  • Brand: ESEE
  • Blade: 1095 carbon steel
  • Blade length: 10.376 inches
  • Weight: 1.44 pounds
  • Model: ESJUNGKO

Pros

  • Durable and Heavy-duty blade
  • Can handle larger chopping chores
  • Grip is designed to allow several positioning, and it protects your hand from siding to the blade
  • Can replace several camping tools like a machete

Cons

  • Rust on the logo is common
  • Too large for some people
  • Heavy

Overall rating – 4.1 out of 5

Conclusion: it is an ideal survival tool for anyone who is going for a camping or a camping trip. However, it’s not ideal for combat due to its weight

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Buying Guide: Things To Consider When Choosing The Best Bowie Knife

When it comes to selecting a bowie knife, there are several factors you must consider before you finally buying one. Some of these factors include your needs, budget, and use, among others.

However, your needs will determine the type of knife that you finally select. Remember, there is a bowie knife for everyone.

A great tool should incorporate numerous crucial features. So, here are some factors to consider before making a purchase:

Materials Used To Make The Knife

The value of a well-built bowie knife can be determined by analyzing the materials used to manufacture it. Originally, the most trusted material for making these knives was carbon steel.

Carbon steel helped maintain the blade’s sharpness. But, as technology advanced, most manufacturers turned to other stainless steel alloys. These alloys are stronger than carbon steel and more corrosion resistant.

These knives are used for hunting and display purposes. Plus, both the old and new materials are still being used by different manufacturers.

If you love the traditional knife, then you should get models with carbon steel. A carbon steel blade can be a perfect addition for any collector.

However, if you need a strong and more rust-resistant tool, you should opt for the modern ones.

The Size Of The Blade

These knives have long blades, particularly since they were initially designed for combat. While you may want a long blade to remain authentic to bowie knives, it might not be practical.

Remember, even shorter bowie knives are just as sharp as the long ones and portable. The size is crucial when it comes to preserving authenticity, which is perfect for collectors. If you need a serious tool that can handle both outdoor and indoor tasks, please reconsider.

The whole idea behind these knives is to have a big blade to deal with intensive chores. But anything less than 6 inches is perfect for skinning.

A true bowie knife must have an over 6 inches long blade. Classic ones are even longer and threatening; however, anything between 7 to 11 inches is perfect.

Anything over 11 inches is too long and can be almost impossible to use, thus defeating the purpose of these knives.

The Design Of The Knife

All authentic bowie knives have a heavy-weight feel, fixed construction, and long blades.

Therefore, get a tool that is perfectly carved to remain true to the integrity of bowie knives, but, at the same time fulfilling your need for a knife.

However, if it’s merely for displaying in your man cave, then get one with a beautiful design.

Knife’s Tang

Tang is the bridge linking the handle to the blade. The tang makes your blade sturdy making sure that it doesn’t split when being used. Bowie knives are huge, so all buyers must confirm the tang’s strength before making a purchase.

Since they will be handling tough jobs, these knives need to be balanced, durable, and strong. And the best way to get this is by purchasing a knife with a full tang.

Full tang means that the tool has a long piece of metal from the end of the handle to the tip of the blade. A full tang isn’t a common feature, but it does determine the durability of a tool.

A knife with a partial or half tang is top-heavy and unbalanced. Knives with partial tangs are weak, and they can break easily when used to chop a hard object.

Durability

The main concern, all buyers are encouraged to focus on is durability. How long will the knife last before it breaks? The best place to get more information on the lifespan of any tool is from the existing users.

You can search online for existing customer reviews and always keep yourself updated. Knowing the lifespan of your tool will play a key role in your decision.

Grip

A knife with a slippery handle can be a very dangerous tool. Therefore, look at the materials used to build the knife’s handle before making a purchase.

The material used will determine how comfortable using it will be and also determine the grip. Look at the scale and palm swells on every knife and test them to see what fits your hand perfectly.

You should also consider all the other safety factors included by the manufacturer, like the deep choil and finger guard. The finger guard will protect your fingers from sliding to the blade when chopping.

A perfect bowie knife must have these two safety features. Remember, you can use a large finger guard as a forward finger grip.

Sheath

Most of the time, sheaths are either a miss or hit! A huge percentage of the bowie knife sheaths are made using standard cowhides that are advertised as genuine leather.

These refined leathers become brittle and wear out faster, even when the conditions are not humid.

Consequently, most sheaths are very small, with some barely holding the blade without it being forced in. Therefore, look at the design, size, and material used to make the sheath.

Price

It is not always true that costly knives are of high quality. Some expensive knives can disappoint you. Therefore, don’t go directly to the shop and splash your cash for the most costly tool.

Instead, let the use, quality, design, and durability determine the price of the best bowie knife for you.

However, some reputable bowie knife brands are known for producing high-quality tools. Therefore, focus on these brands first. Remember, a good knife must come with a lifetime warranty.

Use

The type of knife you choose will depend on what you plan to do with it. There are different bowie knives in the market for specific functions.

If you want one for chopping thick woods, you should look for a knife with a bigger and durable blade like the ESEE Junglas Bowie Knife.

If you need something that can handle both outdoor and indoor tasks, get a blade with a medium-sized blade. Remember, knives with huge blades cannot be used to peel fruits when camping.

Final Thoughts

Bowie knives come in a wide variety of designs, shapes, and sizes. These knives can and have been used to deal with a wide variety of tasks, both indoors and outdoors.

Therefore, having a bowie knife every time you go camping or hiking can be a good thing. It can make a significant difference in your camping trip. A sturdy knife with a huge blade can chop, saw, carve, and skin, among other functions.

Nevertheless, many people have a tough time when selecting a perfect bowie knife that suits their needs. That is because there are several bowie knife models to choose from.

Therefore, we have researched for you and created the above list of bowie knives.

We have concluded from our research that the KA-BAR US Marine Corp Knife is the best bowie knife. It is a full-sized tool that can function as a survival tool, with a strong, sharp blade and comfortable grip.

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