If you have your own set of scuba gear you’ll be able to dive more often. This is when it’s easier to get into more specialized diving and also when having some dive accessories might come in handy. If you plan to do some spearfishing or simply want to be covered for emergencies, a diving knife is a useful tool. But how do you know what’s the best dive knife for your needs?
Well, that’s why we’re here. In other articles we’ve explained what are the best dive computers, scuba bcds and dive regulators. This time, we’ll guide you to find the best dive knife on the market according to how you plan to use it.
We like keeping things simple. Think about what you’re going to use the knife for, how much you want to spend and what features you would like to have. Then check out the models that fit that criteria.
Remember, it’s about finding what you need rather than buying what others use or the one with the lowest price tag.
To help you out with the process we’ve put together these dive knife reviews so you can find exactly what’s the best diving knife for you.
THE BEST DIVE KNIFE – QUICK ANSWER
- Aqua Lung Argonaut
- Atomic Aquatics Ti6
- Mares Force Bat
- UK Blue Tang
- Cressi Alligator
- SEAC Sub Rip Tek
- Tusa FK-940TI
- Spyderco Atlantic
- Cressi Orca
- XS Scuba Fogcutter X
THE BEST DIVE KNIFE – A COMPARISON
SCUBA DIVING KNIVES 101
5. THINGS TO CONSIDER TO FIND THE BEST DIVING KNIFE
There are 2 different materials used to make a diving knives: titanium and steel.
The TITANIUM DIVE KNIVES are incredibly strong and very resistant to corrosion. They’re also maintenance free. However, they can be hard to sharpen.
The STEEL DIVE KNIVES are easy to sharpen, but they require more maintenance to prevent them from rusting. These knives usually come in two different alloys, 300 and 400. The 300 alloy is closer to a titanium knife, being harder to sharpen but requiring less maintenance. The 400 alloy on the other hand holds its edge well, but is more prone to rusting.
A bigger knife doesn’t necessarily means it’s a one. The size of your diving knife should be determined by how you plan to use it.
For recreational divers, a small dive knife with a 4 inch blade should be fine, as you’ll be using it just in case you get tangled but most of the time it will remain in its case.
If you plan to use your dive knife for spearfishing, kelp diving or cutting fouled lines underwater, you’ll need a different size depending on your specific situation.
3. TYPE OF BLADE
The best dive knives can have a fixed blade or a folding blade.
The KNIVES WITH A FIXED BLADE come with a sheath to store it safely. The advantage of this type of blade is you to take it out with one hand.
The KNIVES WITH A FOLDABLE BLADE are smaller and lighter, and most of them lock in the open position to prevent chopping your fingers off when using it. These models can be hard to open with one hand.
4. SHAPE OF BLADE
There are two main parts to look at when choosing the blade’s shape of your dive knife: the edge and the tip.
The EDGE OF THE BLADE can be straight or serrated. The straight blade is better to cut plastics or a nylon rope while a serrated blade will perform better to cut kelp and natural fibers. Don’t get caught up on this, just get a knife with a straight and a serrated part together.
The TIP OF THE BLADE can be blunt, sharp or tanto (half way between the other two). A blunt tip is great to prying, digging, hacking, and chiseling. A sharp tip is great to cut and puncture, which makes them the popular choice for spearfishing. However, these tips are more likely to cause accidents and are not recommended for recreational divers.
Where to attach your dive knife has been a hot topic among divers in the recent years.
Traditionally, the most used place has been to carry the DIVE KNIFE ON THE LOWER LEG (opposite to the dominant hand). The disadvantage of placing it on the leg is it can easily get entangled with things underwater while diving.
These days, more and more divers carry their DIVING KNIVES ON THEIR BCDS. This way you never forget it on the boat and it’s easier to reach in case you need it.
Image provided by Aqua Lung
DIVING KNIFE REVIEWS
THE TOP 10 BEST DIVE KNIVES
1. AQUA LUNG ARGONAUT TITANIUM
“HIGH QUALITY & BEST PERFORMANCE”
The Aqua Lung Argonaut Titanium is designed to be the best and the toughest of the Aqua Lung’s knives. The blade is cut into two styles (the Spartan and the Blunt) and the handles are wrapped from the hilt to provide a spot for the forefinger and extra grip for the sheath. A fantastic option if you are looking for the best dive knife available.
2. ATOMIC AQUATICS TITANIUM Ti6
“ALL AROUND SERVICE & HIGH QUALITY”
The Atomic Aquatics Titanium Ti6 is a full size dive knife that is robust, lightweight and works excellent in most of situations (except in heavy prying). It has a comfy handle, both serrated and smooth blades and a well designed sheath. An excellent choice if you want a knife that won’t corrode and is versatile.
3. MARES FORCE BAT TITANIUM
“VERY SHARP & FOLDABLE KNIFE”
The Mares Force Bat Titanium offers superior cutting sharpness in its custom-ground blade with special serrations, allowing you to cut through a variety of materials. The Force Bat can also easily be opened with one hand and is a great choice if you’re looking for a high quality foldable diving knife.
4. UK BLUE TANG TITANIUM
“AFFORDABLE TITANIUM KNIFE”
The UK Blue Tang Titanium is a good quality knife with an affordable price tag. The handle can be dismounted without tools and offers a good grip. The sheath can be tricky to unlock with thick gloves and you might need two passes to cut heavy plastic. Other than that, it’s a great choice if you’re looking for an affordable titanium knife.
5. CRESSI ALLIGATOR
“A COMPACT & MULTI-PURPOSE KNIFE”
The Cressi Alligator is a compact diving knife that can be use as knife as well as scissors. It’s small enough that it can be stored on your BCD (mounts are included). The handle is only 3 inches long but the rubber insets and the wide guards provide a firm grip. A great option if you want a compact, multi-purpose, high quality knife.
6. SEAC SUB RIP TEK
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“AFFORDABLE ENTRY LEVEL KNIFE”
The SEAC Sub Rip Tek is a 6.9 inches long dive knife built with a high performance stainless steel blade. This durable knife features excellent resistance to corrosion, wear, and a high hardness rating. It’s also good for penetration and control on hard materials. A good option if you want something reliable without breaking the bank.
7. TUSA X-Pert 2
“LIGHT & HANDY TITANIUM DIVING KNIFE”
The Tusa X-Pert 2 is a high quality titanium knife that can be easily disassembled for cleaning and maintenance. The X-Pert 2 has a serrated edge and a line cutter on one side with a full straight edge on the other side. Light and handy, this knife is a great choice if you want a high quality titanium knife.
8. SPYDERCO ATLANTIC
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“VERSATILE, COMPACT & AFFORDABLE”
The Spyderco Atlantic combines a high quality blade material with a sheep-foot folder design. This gives you a versatile mariner’s knife that can be used in a wide range of situations underwater. The Atlantic Salt’s sheep-foot blade allows safe and efficient cutting. Its large 14mm round hole makes one-handed opening easier with gloved or wet hands.
9. CRESSI ORCA
“THE BEST WORK TOOL”
The Cressi Orca has been designed to be used as a work tool. It’s relatively larger and heavier than the other models so you can do bigger jobs more comfortably. It also has loops to attach the knife to your leg or onto your belt and comes with two leg straps. It’s the best option if you’re looking for a knife to do some work underwater.
10. XS SCUBA FOGCUTTER X
“VERSATILE AND BUDGET FRIENDLY”
The XS Scuba Fogcutter X can do a lot of different jobs. When closed, it works as a normal dive knife and, when unlocked, as a pair of scissors. Being made with steel you will need to rinse and lubricate it after every use. A good option if you’re on a budget and are looking for a multi-purpose dive knife.