Scuba diving is more than a hobby, it’s an adventure! However, you need the right tools to fully enjoy diving. This includes tools such as the best dive knife you can find. Dive knives are versatile tools that many divers consider essential for a dive. Most divers carry a dive knife and many consider it dangerous to not have one on every dive.
Dive knives are considered emergency tools and a safety precaution in case you get tangled or need to free yourself from various lines, kelp or need to free marine life. They also make great “tank knockers” that are perfect for getting a dive partner’s attention.
Knife for Diving
You may think a scuba diving knife is primarily used for self-defense, but that would be a rare event and not a dive knife’s primary use. Some diver’s are against carrying a dive knife and prefer to bring a line cutter, but we think it’s good to err on the side of caution when it comes to scuba diving knives. It’s always better to have a good cutting tool on you at all times – both in and out of the water.
Here are the best dive knives for your next underwater outing.
The Atomic Aquatics Titanium Ti6 is a full-tang diving knife that has tons of features that make it a great choice for your next underwater adventure. The 4” blade is curved and is corrosion-resistant, which is exactly what you want for underwater use. It has a serrated section that’s perfect for cutting and sawing and the smooth edge is great for other cutting tasks. The sheath is made from lightweight materials and has a push-button release.
The sheath straps can be adjusted quickly and are comfortable enough for a long dive. You can get this dive knife with either a sharp pointed tip or blunt tip. You will always have issues with dive knives and corrosion, but the Atomic Aquatics dive knife is Titanium. While this dive knife may be more on the expensive side, it’s worth it for a quality blade.
Tusa makes great scuba gear and their dive knives are high-quality and rugged. You have a few choices when it comes to configuration of your dive knife. The FK-910 is designed with a drop point blade made from 420 stainless steel. It’s sharp and has great cutting surfaces. The FK-920 is designed with a blunt tip blade. There are pros and cons to each design depending on what your views are on carrying a sharp tip while scuba diving. Either way, it’s good to have a choice.
The grip on these dive knives are great and they have counterweight to make using them underwater easier. The serrated edge is a great feature to have, especially for sawing or cutting. It also features a line cutter that comes in handy and the single button sheath lock release makes grabbing your knife quick and easy. This dive knife measures 10” total with a 4-½” blade.
This dive knife is also great for scuba class from beginner to expert. We like this dive knife because it has the features you need and gives you the option for a drop point blade or blunt tip blade.
The Skorpion is a good dive knife for those who want up-to-date features without spending a fortune. You need a high-quality knife when diving and the Skorpion gives you everything you need to get started. Choose from two different blade types: pointed tip and blunt tip depending on which you prefer. The blade itself is tempered AISI 304 steel and pairs a serrated edge with a smooth edge to give you plenty of cutting options. You get more than a few serrated teeth as the Skorpion gives you an entire side of a serrated blade. It also has a wire cutter incorporated into the knife that can get you out of tight spots.
The sheath features a locking mechanism so you can deploy your blade with one hand. This is handy because you never know when you’ll need both hands to use other tools. This dive knife measures 9-⅛” long with a blade length of 4-⅜” and incredibly sharp. You can strap this knife to your leg with two standard issue straps so that it’s always within reach.
The Cressi Skorpion is one of the best dive knives under $50.
This is a great scuba diving knife that doesn’t cost a ton of money. If you’ve used expensive dive knives in the past, you may be leery about a cheaper knife. However, the Promate dive knife is high-quality and is one of the best dive knives for under $100 that we’ve reviewed. It comes with a sharp blade that’s ready to cut and you can take the knife apart to clean. That’s two things you will appreciate when choosing the best diving knives.
The stainless steel butt cap on the handle can be used as an extra tool such as a hammer. The handle also has a lanyard hole so you can attach it numerous ways and the sheath features quick release so you can get to your knife quickly.
This is a large dive knife that measures a full 10.5” and sports a 5” blade. It’s hefty and can be used for numerous cutting tasks both underwater and on land.
The Bahia diving knife is a great deal and is used by divers all over the world. You basically get 3 blades in one: serrated, straight and a line cutter. You never know what you will encounter on a dive, so it’s best to be fully prepared. The sheath is quick release and the straps are adjustable so you can get a comfortable fit. The blade itself is made from 420 high-carbon stainless steel and can be used in both saltwater and freshwater, just be sure to clean it after every use.
The sheath and knife are brightly colored so you can always find it. Dive knives are easy to lose, but this bright green color is easy to see. The 5” blade is plenty for what you’ll be using this knife for and the handle is made with a slip-resistant rubber grip so you can always grip it.
The ScubaPro Mako is one of the best small diving knives on the market. The blade measures 3.5” and it’s incredibly easy to use. The blade is hard-tempered and stainless steel and it features a serrated blade that is great for sawing and cutting through rope. The straight edge is better at making clean cuts. The line-cutting notch and bottle opener can really come in handy during day-to-day use.
The locking mechanism on this small dive knife sheath allows you to quickly access your blade with one hand. The large handle is great for grip and makes using your knife more efficient. We like this dive knife for those who are looking for a smaller knife that’s easy to carry while diving. You can mount it onto a BCD with the included mounting kit.
How to Choose a Dive Knife
It can be overwhelming choosing the best dive knife out of the hundreds there are on the market. A quick Google search for the “Best dive knives” will likely show you similar companies over and over. These are likely the most sold dive knives that also have high user ratings. You want to purchase a dive knife brand that’s been used by divers in real-world situations and has great ratings.
There are a few things to consider when choosing a dive knife such as: blade size, blade material, type of blade, handle comfort, type of tip and how the knife attaches to you.
You don’t always need a big dive knife as some intricate cutting tasks can be accomplished easier with a small blade. The majority of dive knives have a blade size that ranges from 3” to 6.5” in length. You want to choose a blade size that’s easy to maneuver in tight spots and won’t take up too much space. It should be somewhat compact and lightweight. Most divers opt to use a dive knife around 4 to 5 inches.
Dive knives must be able to handle the ocean. Corrosion is your biggest enemy, but dive knives are made from materials that are resistant to ocean environments. You will want to purchase a dive knife made from titanium or stainless steel. Titanium dive knives are usually more expensive, but they’re usually worth the extra money.
You will notice there are two types of blades: serrated and straight. Most dive knives have both types and are great for cutting different types of materials. Many dive knives have an entire side for a serrated edge, while others simply have a short amount on one side. Most knives also have a line notch that helps you cut through fishing line.
Your dive knife handle needs to be comfortable, especially if you use it often. It should also have a good grip so you can hang onto it while working underwater. The best dive knives will feature a high-quality handle that’s both comfortable and provides expert grip.
Type of Tip
You have two choices for dive knife tips: sharp or blunt. Many divers don’t want a sharp tip and opt for a blunt tip dive knife. You can use a blunt tip as a tool for prying or as a makeshift screwdriver. There are benefits to a sharp tip as well.
Many dive knives feature a quick release sheath that allows you to grab your knife quickly with one hand. You can push a button and have your dive knife ready. It’s helpful to be able to access your knife with one hand.
How to Care for a Dive Knife
Dive knives are an important part of your scuba diving gear. They help you out of entanglements and allow you to cut while underwater. They can be an emergency tool, so you have to make sure your knife stays ready for action.
It’s important to know how to care for your dive knives to make them last longer. Many people use and abuse their dive knives and don’t take proper care of them. This leads to issues down the road that could have been avoided.
Dive knives are expensive, so you will want to take a few extra steps to ensure they last as long as possible. Post-diving care is crucial if you want the most out of your diving knife. Here are a few steps to take after every dive:
- Rinse your dive knife in freshwater. This includes the sheath as well. You will want to remove the knife from the sheath and move any parts back and forth to get in every crevice. You may unknowingly have sand or other particles hidden that you need to clean out.
- Take your knife apart (if possible). Most dive knives are able to be taken apart for cleaning. You will want to run fresh water over every single part of the knife until it’s clean. It’s a constant battle to keep your dive knives from corroding. Be sure to clean the handle.
- Dry each individual piece of your dive knife.
Jerome is an avid outdoorsman who moonlights as an attorney when he’s not creating the world’s greatest online content.