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You wouldn’t head out into a dark forest without a torch, would you? Yet many novice divers overlook the advantages of a good dive knife. In an emergency, having one available could be the difference between life or death. Other times having a good blade handy can allow you to free trapped animals or recover a tangled item.
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What Makes a Good Dive Knife?
The first point is obvious – it needs to be made from a material which can handle being underwater without suffering damage or rusting afterwards. They also usually come with a sheath so you can carry it easily, knowing it’s securely attached and won’t slip out of a pocket or poke a hole through your clothing/equipment.
Alternatively there are fold-out knives available, which save space and eliminate the need for a sheath. Whichever option you choose, always think about how you’re going to carry the knife – it’s pointless buying a nice knife that doesn’t fold away or have a sheath.
With either type of knife, you need solid build quality. Imagine using your knife in a tight spot and having it break on you – what a nightmare! Strong metals like titanium won’t snap or bend under pressure, making them reliable. Long-lasting items like this work out as good value for money too. The blade itself should be tough enough to survive a reasonable amount of use without being blunted or warped.
Being easy to hold and use is important too, and having an easy grip handle is expected. Smooth handled knives are easy to lose whilst underwater. Again the handle material will be waterproof, whether you have a standard knife or the folding type.
The sheath should also be waterproof and easy to open/close whilst underwater. Remember you might also be wearing gloves while using the knife. With a fold away knife there’s no sheath to mess with, but you want to make sure it’s easy to open/close underwater and also that you have an easy way to carry it if there isn’t any carrying attachment provided.
You already know to get a strong blade, but what type? Depending on your needs, you might be better served by a flat, sharp blade or a serrated version. Some dive knifes offer both, having a straight edge side and a serrated side as well.
The blade can also be tipped differently. Usually the point would be a sharp tip which is great for some uses. Often a sharp point isn’t really needed underwater though, and can instead increase the risk of accidental injury/cuts. A blunt tipped blade is flatter, so it gives the user a lot more safety and is good for digging/chiselling. There are tanto tips available too, these are quite pointed but with a flat, blunted part at the end of the tip.
We’ve already covered the points to consider for every knife but you might want other specific features too. Having a ‘stealth’ knife in all black is preferred by some, whilst others like to have a line cutting notch or a butt designed for hammering.
5 Best Dive Knifes.
There are lots of dive knifes could possibly choose from but we have done an expansive research to reduce the stress of choosing the best one available. We will be mentioning some of them in subsequent paragraphs.
Aqua Lung have been creating dive equipment since the 1940's and the Argonaut is their top dive knife. It has a double edged blade with a serrated area on one edge, and one totally flat edge so you have both available. The handle is wrapped with paracord so it’s easy to grip underwater.
The Argonauts blade is just under 5” and made from titanium, so it’s unlikely to break. Blunt and pointed tips are available, both in black for a stealthy knife that won’t reflect light or scare marine life. Handle finishes in a point, which is great for hammering, crushing or chipping.
The Ti6 is versatile, coming with a straight edge, a serrated one, and a line cutting notch. This blade is also made from titanium, tough and corrosion resistant. A sheath is included with a button release feature, so the knife doesn’t accidentally come loose. This knife is available with both blunt and sharp tips.
A bit thinner than some alternatives, this isn’t ideal for prying. The handle is ergonomically designed and rubber, with finger grooves built in. There’s even a lanyard hole to keep the knife attached and in reach.
If the look matters, this could be for you. It’s very aesthetic and you can choose black, red, blue or yellow handles. A button release sheath is included too, which matches the color scheme of the knife. This is so lightweight it’s easy to forget you’re carrying it, and also very simple to disassemble and clean.
The titanium blade has one serrated edge complete with line cutter on one side, and a flat blade on the other. With an ergonomic, rubber coated handle and great weight distribution creating excellent balance, this is a popular pick. The X-Pert 2 is also available in pointed or blunt tip versions.
Available in eye-catching yellow or stealthy black, the Atlantic Salt is a safe, high quality knife. The sheepsfoot blade shape is durable and reliable, whilst also reducing injury risk if the blade is dropped. The blade is H1 super stainless steel, making it extremely corrosion and rust resistant, and has a serrated edge designed to cut through even tough materials.
Spyderco’s Atlantic Salt is a fold-away knife. It has a large hole on the blade, making it easy to open with cold, wet or gloved hands. When folded it locks securely and can be carried by looping a lanyard through the carry-hole. This also has a textured, fiberglass reinforced grip which is easy to hold on to in wet conditions, and the sheepfoot shape makes it easy to use. With that said, this is better for wet conditions and occasional underwater use, rather than deepwater usage.
Aqua Lung make the list for a second time, with the Squeeze model. This stands out because it has a squeeze sheath mechanism, where you squeeze the tabs to free the knife, making it very unlikely this will ever accidentally come loose. The squeeze motion is also easier to use than even a push button. The handle is well designed and easy to grip, though the knife as a whole is quite compact – around 6.5”.
You can choose either a stainless steel or titanium blade, and there are blunt, sharp and tanto tips available. This is a lot of options, plus there are color options too. As with many dive knives, the blade has a line cutter, flat edge and a serrated side too.
Overall my pick would be the Tusa Imprex X-Pert 2. This starts off with the bonus of being the best looking knife and having enough color choice for yours to be a little more individual than other options. The ease with which this can be cleaned and the fact that it has a strong blade with either tip style also add to the value. It’s available at a fair price and has flat edge, serrated edge and a line cutter.
With a reliable titanium blade, good handle and an extremely good sheathing safety mechanism, the X-Pert 2 leads the pack.