Bowie knives are big knives that are typically carried in a leather sheath. The knives were formerly a must-have survival tool in the American West. Still, they've fallen out of favor with most modern hunters and outdoor enthusiasts. Instead, modern hunting knives have smaller blades made of high-tech steel, and bushcraft knives frequently have a distinctive blade form.
Hunting knife bowie continues to command a cult-like following among knife and outdoor enthusiasts worldwide despite being considered a bygone era. How about you? Does the hefty clip-point blade with an exaggerated belly profile still appeal to you in this period of high carbon steel pocket knives? Let's jog up that answer by reading up on this comprehensive Bowie knife selection.
A Glimpse Into The History of the Bowie Knife
Historians can't seem to agree on the specifics of its origins since it's difficult to discern reality from fantasy several decades later. But we do know this: the knife became legendary because James Bowie wielded it in the historic Sandbar Fight that ensued following a family gun battle.
According to folklore, even after being shot and stabbed multiple times, Bowie used the knife to defeat his enemies. However, experts and knife lovers disagree on what constitutes a Bowie knife. Indeed, several variants have emerged through the years. It's usually a big knife with a fixed blade about 12 inches long that goes into a sheath and is used for nearly everything, including self-defense, tree chopping, hunting, fishing, and even gardening.
What Sets the Large Bowie Hunting Knife Apart?
Material of the Blade
Carbon steel was traditionally the most chosen material for the blade, but the current Bowie knives employ sophisticated stainless steel alloys that are just as excellent, if not better. Both alternatives are tough and will withstand any damage you can dish them without breaking down. They are also easy to sharpen and hold their sharpness for a longer period.
Size of the Blade
Bowie knife blades range from 5 inches to 15 inches in length, depending on the kind. A big bowie knife has a sharper edge and is better suited to heavy-duty tasks like cutting wood or hunting. Meanwhile, the small blades are ideal for jobs that require a high level of precision, such as skinning.
In addition, the weight of the knife is affected by the size of the blade. For example, if you desire a self-defense tool, a bigger blade will always be more intimidating, while a lightweight, medium-length blade will give you far better control for when push comes to shove.
The Material of the Handle
A handle composed of low-quality materials will deteriorate over time. Therefore, when comparing handles, choose one made of a sturdy substance and has a pleasant grip. Bone, wood, and antler are all visually appealing and pleasant materials. Synthetic mixes such as micarta, Kraton polymer, and rubber, on the other hand, are more durable and give a firmer grip.
The Handle Design
Aside from the materials, the design of the handle has an impact on the usage of a knife. A handle that is ergonomically constructed is easy to hold and gives a solid grip for greater control. Some Bowie knives are designed with a curved handle for better grip and easy handling, while others feature a hook at the end of the handle. You may also add a covering material to the handle, such as natural rubber, to make it more comfortable to hold.
Moreover, the shank that links the blade to the handle is referred to as the Tang Tang. The advantage of a full-tang blade is that it does not break even under heavy use. On the other hand, a half tang is prone to breaking when used with a hefty blade.
The Classic Sheath
A sheath is an excellent complement to your Bowie knife. The plastic liner not only protects you and others from injuries but also helps to keep the blade sharper for a longer period. The strap allows you to clip the sheath to your jeans or belt for safe carrying and convenient access. However, not all sheaths are created equal. A leather sheath will protect your knife for a long time because it is more durable than a nylon sheath which may not last as long.
From felling trees to make a campfire, stripping barks for survival knives to fishing and scaling, hunting and skinning, and even gardening, what's the best of the best? Let's find out by reading the in-depth review below!
The Best Hunting Knife: Bowie Edition
1. Fixed Blade Ka-Bar Becker BK9 Combat Bowie Knife
Going with a Ka-bar Bowie is your best bet if you want something that can go toe to toe with a Buck knife. The BK9 (and the entire BK series, actually) is a lovely extension of the Bowie style, and it's pretty commonly used in practical sectors, albeit you have to squint to notice the Bowie part of it. Next to 1096 on the steel, you'll notice "Cro-Van" engraved. If you're not familiar with Ka-Bar jargon, that means 1095 with a bit of chromium and vanadium thrown in. This steel is a bit tougher, a little bit more rust-resistant, and can take a sharper edge.
In terms of function, the BK9 Bowie is a member of the "chopper" category. This is what you bring to the jungle to remove kilometers of unwary bush and vine. It's designed to be comfortable, though it's more so for larger-handed individuals and tall people because it's about 15 inches long and not designed for horizontal carry.
- Excellent quality
- The blade is composed of high carbon steel, which is a very robust material
- Scales with a comfortable grip
- A poorly constructed sheath may require improvement
- Requires regular sharpening
2. The Ka-Bar Bowie Knife Marine Corps
The knife was initially employed by the US Marine Corps during WWII and is still a popular option among both current and retired Marines 50 years later. This cutting tool was designed in the United States and has a 1095 carbon steel blade that has been coated with epoxy powder for enhanced strength and lifespan.
And, for your peace of mind, its high-quality craftsmanship is covered by a lifetime warranty. It also comes with a 100% Mexican leather handcrafted sheath that protects you and others from injuries while preventing the 7-inch blade from dulling faster. The most intriguing aspect of the KA-Bar U.S. Marine Corps Bowie Knife is the stacked leather handle, which provides a more rigid and more comfortable grip.
- Simple to operate
- Blade with a high wear resistance
- Versatile and long-lasting
- Screws can come undone
- When wet, the handle might become slick
3. Mossy Oak 14-inch Bowie Knife
Consider the Mossy Oak 14-Inch Bowie Knife as an example of a Bowie knife that is as attractive to the eye as it is to the hand. The wood handle of this knife gives it a stylish and exquisite appearance. This robust Bowie knife is 14 inches long overall, with an 8.5-inch blade and a 5.5-inch grip.
The blade, which is the main feature, is razor sharp and has a clip point design. It will provide a mixture of strength and edge retention, retaining its cutting strength even after repeated usage. The blade is also resistant to rust. The handle is constructed of rosewood and is fashioned specifically for comfort and a pleasant, well-weighted balance in your hand. It has a full-tang wood handle that forges the blade and handles together, with a brass pommel in between.
- Classic, vintage appearance
- Sheath made of high-quality leather
- Full-tang blade with a strong blade
- Better steel should have been used
4. Schrade Leroy Fixed Blade Bowie Knife
Schrade, a Taylors brand, is recognized for producing large blades with tremendous cutting force. The SCHF45 Leroy Fixed Blade Bowie Knife, measuring more than 16 inches long, is a full-tang, robust knife with a sharp edge that can tackle any cutting job you might encounter in one of your expeditions.
Despite its massive size, the knife's shape is well-balanced and has a pleasant feel in the hands, making it an ideal cutting instrument for hunting, camping, and other outdoor activities. Furthermore, this knife has a stunning style that is highly appealing. Schrade spares no resources in making the SCHF45 Leroy Fixed Blade Bowie Knife a fantastic camper's knife with excellent functional and aesthetic features, as it does with its other items.
A 10.35-inch titanium-coated 8Cr13MoV high-carbon stainless steel blade is featured on the SCHF45 Leroy Fixed Blade Bowie Knife. The blade has a clip point and a lovely swedge down the spine, comparable to classic Bowie blade designs. In addition, the blade features a wide design, which enhances the surface area and, as a result, cutting power.
- Materials of superior grade
- Sharp, strong, and long-lasting
- Simple to operate
- Mismatched tang and handle scales
- Very heavy
5. Buck Knives 124 Frontiersman Bowie Knife
The Buck 124 Frontiersman is a famous hunter's knife. Buck has been one of the world's premier knife manufacturers for almost 110 years. The 124 Frontiersman Knife by Buck Knives is a compact, multipurpose hunting knife with an attractive design. This knife has a gorgeous and ergonomically practical grip design, as well as a sharp blade that can cut and puncture most anything you'll come across in the woods.
A good quality knife useful for any cutting activity in the woods is one of the most crucial instruments in a hunter's or trapper's kit. The Buck 124 provides everything you need in terms of blade quality, quality materials, practicality, and design, to name a few features. The Buck 124 is a full-tang, straight-back Bowie with a 6.25-inch blade, black aluminum pommel, and an aluminum guard Micarta grip enclosed in a leather sheath.
Because of its full tang construction, the Buck 124 provides remarkable strength and blade quality. Furthermore, the blade is highly resistant to wear and corrosion. Thus it is easy to sharpen and maintain. In addition, buck provides a Buck Forever Warranty, a definite sign that their knives are worth every money.
- Micarta Handle
- A razor-sharp 420HC steel blade.
- Excellent for all outdoor jobs.
- Some people may find it a little too large.
- The leather sheath might be better.
All in all, a Bowie knife is a highly versatile tool. You can achieve a variety of tasks when you choose one of these long and imposing-looking knives. Moreover, adaptability isn't the only benefit of one of these knives. Many folks choose a Bowie knife because they want a fearsome instrument in their collection. Others are drawn to these blades because they are visually appealing, and they have a history of being involved in past knife wars.
A Bowie knife is excellent for slicing, chopping, stabbing, and piercing. In addition, they make excellent survival tools since you can use your Bowie knife in a variety of situations. Our top recommendation in this list is the Ka-bar Becker BK9, which fits all the pegs for the perfect Bowie knife with its 9-inch blade and its versatility for any situation, from hunting to fighting.