The 12 Best USA-Made Fixed Blade Knives

Aug 16, 2019

Category: Gear

Whether you’re a casual weekend camper, an off-roading maven, or you live completely off the grid all the time, a fixed blade knife might just be the most valuable piece of gear you can carry. And while there are a lot of excellent examples that hail from all around the globe, we can’t help but be partial to those that come from the great U.S. of A.

Throughout the years, American craftsmen have been building all manner of blades — and several legendary styles have emerged therein. Similarly, there is a bundle of new (by comparison) offerings that can stand shoulder to shoulder with some of the most legendary knives ever built. We’ve rounded up the best of the best for this collection of superb USA-made fixed blade knives.

OKC 499 Air Force Survival Knife

A legendary cutting tool in the world of knifemaking, the Ontario Knife Company’s 499 Air Force Survival Knife has been used by pilots and soldiers of both the Air Force and U.S. Army for literal generations. A utility and fighting knife of the highest caliber, this fixed blade boasts a sturdy and handsome leather-wrapped handle alongside a full-tang 1095 high-carbon steel clip point bowie-style blade — complete with spine jimping, an included leather sheath, and even a whetstone for sharpening. Like everything on this list, this knife is made in the USA by expert craftsmen, making it the best bang-for-your-buck offering here.

Blade Length: 5″
Blade Steel: 1095
Handle Material: Leather

Purchase: $40

Buck Knives 101 Fixed Hunter

The Buck Knives Hunder folding knife is about as iconic as pocket knives come. But, as it turns out, the American brand also makes a fixed blade version of that same knife for anyone who wants the same size and quality, but without the fuss of a pivot mechanism. What that means to the user is that this version is far better for hunting and outdoor purposes — but it still has a gorgeous ebony and brass handle, a 420HC clip point blade, and that same USA-made construction. And, as is the case with everything Buck makes, this one comes with a lifetime warranty.

Blade Length: 3.75″
Blade Steel: 420HC
Handle Material: Celica Ebony

Purchase: $75

KA-BAR Becker BK2 Campanion Fixed Blade

KA-BAR is responsible for making some of the most iconic and impactful fixed blades in the world — including their standard-issue U.S. Marines fighting knife. But we’re actually partial to one of their more modern offerings, the Becker BK2 Campanion fixed blade. Specifically made for camping, hunting, and fieldwork, this beefy blade is well-equipped to handle hard-use tasks like splitting wood, but also works great for more detail-oriented tasks — like skinning small game or dicing vegetables for a campfire meal. Complete with a Grivory handle, 1095 black-finished blade, and a MOLLE-compatible plastic sheath, the Becker BK2 is the kind of knife you only ever need to buy once — because, with the right care, it will serve you beautifully for your entire life.

Blade Length: 5.25″
Blade Steel: 1095
Handle Material: Grivory

Purchase: $75

ESEE Knives 4P Fixed Blade Knife

Designed by Jeff Randall and Mike Perrin to be an all-around superb blade for tactical and bushcraft purposes alike, the ESEE Knives 4P doesn’t have much in the way of flash but more than makes up for it with its superb construction materials and USA-made craftsmanship. With a simple, grippy, durable canvas Micarta handle scales and a no-nonsense 4.5″ 1095 steel drop point blade, the 4P’s performance, durability, and quality are nearly unmatched — especially in its size and price class. Furthermore, this 7.54-ounce cutting tool also comes with its own polymer MOLLE-ready sheath.

Blade Length: 4.5″
Blade Steel: 1095
Handle Material: Micarta

Purchase: $93+

TOPS Knives Fieldcraft 3.5 Fixed Blade

The TOPS Fieldcraft, designed by Brothers of Bushcraft, is an icon of outdoor cutting tools. If we had to gripe with it, however, we’d reluctantly admit that it’s a little bit on the bulky end of the spectrum. It seems that TOPS was keen on that, though, because they’ve also created a smaller version of that same knife for more compact, light-on-your-feet carry. Everything we loved about the original version is intact: an ergonomic Micarta handle, 1095 carbon steel blade, and an included Kydex sheath. This one is just a good deal smaller — measuring up at a grand total of 8.25″ with a stout 3.75″ blade (down from 10″ total and a 4.75″ blade). If size was the only thing holding you back from picking up this knife: problem solved.

Blade Length: 3.75″
Blade Steel: 1095
Handle Material: Micarta

Purchase: $115

Gerber Mark II Fixed Blade Knife

Originally introduced way back in 1966, Gerber’s legendary Mark II combat knife has been in the hands of some of the greatest soldiers ever to grace this planet. And if it’s good enough for the likes of Spec Ops, Navy SEALs, and their compatriots, you can definitely bet that it’s good enough to suit your needs as well. While we’d likely not suggest picking up this blade for violent usage, it’s definitely versatile enough to function as a solid outdoor blade or a survival knife. That’s aided by its 420HC stainless steel spear-style blade (with jimping on both edges), a die-cast aluminum handle, and an included ballistic nylon sheath. Obviously, this hyper-aggressive knife isn’t for everyone. But that’s probably only because not everyone could handle it.

Blade Length: 6.5″
Blade Steel: 420HC
Handle Material: Die Cast Aluminum

Purchase: $121

CRKT HCK1 Karen Wood Fixed Blade

Whereas most of these blades are made with broad-ranging purposes in mind, the CRK HCK1 (short for Hood Camp Knife One) by Karen Hood is a bit more focused. Sure, it still functions beautifully as a multi-purpose cutting tool, but its shape should remind discerning onlookers of its non-outdoor inspiration: chef’s knives. Perfect for prepping a campfire feast, this remarkable blade might just be the ultimate cooking tool for the outdoorsman. It’s built with a ceramic-coated high carbon steel blade that’s perfect for detailed slicing work but is also tough enough to stand up to tremendous punishment. It also features a multi-layer G-10 handle and comes with its own leather sheath.

Blade Length: 6.13″
Blade Steel: 1095
Handle Material: G-10

Purchase: $196

Bark River Ultra Lite Bushcrafter Knife

If Bark River’s Ultra Lite Bushcrafter looks like it’s lacking in flash, there’s a very good reason for that. You see, this blade wasn’t made to be showy; it was made to be an effective backcountry tool. And at that endeavor, it excels. Equipped with an extremely high-end Elmax steel blade — with a subtle, sloping drop point shape — and a sleek Micarta handle, this knife can handle just about any survival-focused task you can throw at it and it will keep coming back for more. It also has a handy lanyard hole at the butt for paracord attachment, but also comes with a leather sheath, if that’s more your speed.

Blade Length: 3.25″
Blade Steel: Elmax
Handle Material: Micarta

Purchase: $199

Benchmade Bushcrafter 162 Fixed Blade

If you’ve ever wondered if Benchmade’s urban styling pares well into the realm of the outdoors, wonder no more — the Bushcrafter 162 fixed blade proves definitively that, yes, it does. As stylish as it is robust and rugged, this USA-made fixed blade boasts an ergonomic handle crafted from colorful G-10 and boasts a beefy American-made CPM-S30V steel blade. Built strong enough to survive the apocalypse, this knife is a favorite amongst outdoorsman for some very good reasons. And you’d do well to stash it in your bug-out bag, tackle box, hiking backpack, or wherever else you might need it.

Blade Length: 4.4″
Blade Steel: S30V
Handle Material: G-10

Purchase: $200

Emerson HUCK Fixed Blade Knife

In case you’re unaware, Emerson Knives is a highly-respected legendary knifemaking brand. In fact, NASA contracted them for a folding knife to send into space with their astronauts. So calling them trustworthy when it comes to sturdy knives is maybe a bit of an understatement. Short for Hard Use Camp Knife, the Huck comes with your choice of a Richlite or G-10 handle scales alongside an S35VN stainless steel blade with a stonewashed finish. This beefy outdoor-focused cutting tool also comes with its own handsome leather sheath for easy carrying. It’s not cheap, but it’s built to last a lifetime or more.

Blade Length: 4.3″
Blade Steel: S35VN
Handle Material: Richlite or G-10

Purchase: $258+

The James Brand Hell Gap Fixed Blade

Having only emerged on the scene a few years ago, The James Brand has managed to establish themselves as one of the premier knife and tool-making brands on the market today. That was only bolstered by the announcement of their first-ever fixed blade, the Hell Gap. Named after the arrowhead found in Platte County, Wyoming, this USA-made knife was built to be a hardcore workhorse — boasting an S35VN steel blade and canvas Micarta handle. With an overall length of 7.8″ and a blade that’s less than half of that, this is a beautiful, manageable knife perfect for the outdoorsman that appreciates balance, both in the construction of his knife and its styling.

Blade Length: 3.8″
Blade Steel: S35VN
Handle Material: Micarta

Purchase: $299

Spyderco Respect Fixed Blade Knife

‘Intimidating’ might be the word that best describes Spyderco’s aptly-named Respect fixed blade knife. After all, you’d be hard-pressed not to show some fealty to anyone wielding this 13.15″ monstrosity. Size aside, however, this knife has an exceptional number of features that certainly earn it a spot on this list — like a sturdy G-10 handle, a CPM 154 blade (complete with the brand’s signature thumb hole), and a beautiful leather sheath. If you’re easily swooned by beefy bowie knives — the kind that makes you say things like “That’s not a knife” — then this monolithic USA-made fixed blade should be right up your alley.

Blade Length: 7.94″
Blade Steel: CPM 154
Handle Material: G-10

Purchase: $560

How To Sharpen Your Knife

Of all the different types of knife maintenance, there are, knowing how to keep your blade in cutting order is likely of the utmost importance. Learn everything you need to know on our how to sharpen your knife guide.

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