Fishing Knife Test: Finding The Best Fishing Knife

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Fishing knife test 2020

Every angler will quickly find out that a suitable fishing knife must not be missing in the tackle box. Such a knife is usually used for all kinds of purposes. The knife is used to cut the fishing line, kill the fish properly and also for smaller outdoor jobs. Accordingly, there is no way around a good fishing knife.

Anyone who thinks that any ordinary pocket knife is sufficient for these purposes is mistaken. Anglers place very special demands on their knives. You don’t need a knife with unnecessarily many tools, but there are still very specific requirements for an ideal fishing knife. We have compiled a list for you here of exactly what you need to consider when buying a fishing knife.

Popular fishing knives on Amazon

Tested fishing knives at a glance

Morakniv fishing knife

8.5/10 pointsNote: GoodThe Morakniv fishing knife is a very solid and good fishing knife. The rubberised handle makes it easy to hold in the hand. Thanks to the included sheath, it can be stowed away comfortably and safely and attached to a belt if necessary. The workmanship is good, but could be a little ticking better. The blade was already very sharp when delivered and did not need to be sharpened. All in all the knife is a good recommendation if you are looking for a very robust fishing knife that fits snugly in your hand.

Fiskars K40 Utility knife

7/10 pointsNote: goodThe Fiskars K40 Utility knife is a universal outdoor knife. The handle is completely made of plastic and has no rubberised surface. The generous finger guard ensures that the knife sits well in the hand and effectively protects against injuries caused by slipping. The knife can also be stored safely with the supplied sheath. A small minus point is the belt holder, which is a bit more complicated and cannot be attached as well as in the case of the Morakniv fishing knife.

Morakniv Fishing knife Fishing Comfort

Test winner10/10 points Grade: Very goodThe Morakniv Fishing Comfort fishing knife is the top model among fishing knives. Apart from its perfect workmanship it convinces with its narrow but very sharp blade. A fish scaler on the upper side of the blade allows you to quickly and comfortably scale fish. The included sheath also ensures that you can transport the knife safely.

Bergkvist k9 Outdoor Pocket Knife

6.5/10 PointsNote: SatisfactoryThe Bergkvist k9 Outdoor Knife is, like the Fiskars K40 Utility Knife, an all-round knife. It should be suitable for most jobs without any problems. Its sharp blade cuts effortlessly through most materials and allows clean cuts, but the rather high blade means that precise cuts such as a heart attack are only possible to a limited extent. Due to the folding mechanism the knife can be stored well, but is also more susceptible to dirt.

Victorinox pocket knife Huntsman

7.5/10 PointsNote: GoodThe Victorinox pocket knife proves that it does not always have to be a special tool. It can be used in many different ways and has a sharp blade as well as other functions such as the built-in scissors. The disadvantage here is that the blade length is rather short compared to other fishing knives and therefore might not be sufficient to cut the gills of larger fish.

Demands on a good fishing knife

An ideal fishing knife is characterized by some basic characteristics. First of all, it should be foldable, so that it can be carried comfortably in trousers or jacket pocket and takes up little space. In the best case the knife can be opened with one hand, because both hands are not always free to fold out the knife blade with difficulty.

Even though some anglers swear by non-folding fishing knives, it should not be forgotten that these knives simply take up a lot of space in your luggage and are rather difficult to carry on your body. On the other hand, folding knives are much more susceptible to stubborn dirt that is difficult to remove. So if you decide to buy a fixed fishing knife out of conviction, you should always make sure you have an appropriate sheath.

Ideally a fishing knife should have a thumb guard. This is advisable, because a lot of force is needed to kill fish in the right way. A slipping of the hand with subsequent injury can thus be prevented. Knives that have a fish killer and a fish scaler integrated can also score points. As a special highlight some relevant companies also offer floating fishing knives. With such knives, you can safely handle the water without worrying about losing them.

In summary, the following things are important for a fishing knife:

  • Sharp blade
  • Pointed knife tip
  • Good workmanship
  • Handle enables secure hold
  • Safe folding mechanism if available
  • Sheath for fixed knives
  • Knife floats in the water on the surface (optional)
  • Integrated fish scaler/fish killer

Only a sharp fishing knife is a good fishing knife

Anyone who has ever cut braided line with a knife knows exactly why a fishing knife must be extremely sharp. This is the only way to avoid frayed cuts and dangerous feats of strength.

Both the blade shape and the steel should be easy to sharpen. After regular use, every knife becomes dull and must therefore be resharpened.

A narrow tip is law

On the one hand, a fishing knife should have a blade that is robust and with which simple outdoor work can be carried out in an emergency. This requires a blade thickness of 3 mm upwards. On the other hand, the blade must be sufficiently thin to be able to do slitting work on fish. This is normally ensured by a narrow tip.

Clip Point tips have always proved to be ideal here. This type of point – also known as pike point – is created by a concave blade back, which makes the knife particularly easy to control in the guide. In this way it is possible to carefully pierce into the fish and to avoid serious damage. Last but not least, it makes it much easier to drill holes in wood or open cans.

Material and construction

One of the most important criteria when choosing the ideal fishing knife is the blade. Ideally, this is made of stainless, high-quality steel with good hardening. It should not be forgotten that a fishing knife is constantly in contact with water.

Knives from established suppliers are recommended, as they ensure that no rust forms on the blade. With cheap knives you run the risk of being quickly confronted with a rusty blade, even if the knife was sold under the label “stainless”.

The ideal blade

Knives that have a narrow but robust blade usually perform better in practical tests. A blade that is too wide is more of a hindrance, especially for fine work. The thickness of the blade should also not be excessive.

Most fishing knives offer a blade length of 8.5 to 15 cm. Longer blades usually do not offer the desired stability and fall rather under the category of filleting knives. Shorter blades, on the other hand, are no longer suitable for heart stings and are therefore not included.

Material

As fishing is always done close to or even in the water, a stainless steel material is essential for fishing knives. In order to be absolutely corrosion resistant, it is ideally coated. But be careful: even rusting knives will start to rust. It simply takes longer until the day X comes. Even knives made of stainless steel should therefore be cared for accordingly.

Grinding

It is recommended that every angler’s knife has a so-called smooth flat grinding. Such a simple flat grinding provides the best all-round properties. The cross section of the blade runs at an even angle from the back to the cutting edge. It is only when the material to be cut is too thin that a flat cut can cause some problems.

A combi-blade, on the other hand, is advantageous for flaking and tearing work. Other types of grinding, such as scandi or hollow grinding are also used for hunting and outdoor knives. They are less suitable for cutting through brittle material, but they are better for cutting thin material.

You should avoid knives with a serrated edge when fishing. Although they are suitable for cutting fibrous materials, they are more likely to cause problems for the petrifactionist.

There is no way around a non-slip handle

A fishing knife must feel good in the palm of the hand to ensure a secure grip. If you need to look for the knife in bushes or meadows, a striking colour of the handle is very helpful. While camouflage colours are absolutely essential on hunting trips, a neon colour is always helpful when fishing.

Since fishing is often a slippery business anyway, the handle of a fishing knife must be designed to be as non-slip as possible. Ideally, it should be made of extra non-slip rubber and fitted with a finger guard.

The handle is usually made of plastic, rubber, metal or wood. Although wooden handles are visually very attractive, they are very sensitive to moisture and therefore rather unsuitable for fishing knives. If the desired fishing knife already has a wooden handle, it should be sealed.

The material should also be as resistant as possible. Wetness and dirt will otherwise quickly turn your beloved fishing knife into a problem.

Size and weight

A compact folding knife takes up little space in your baggage, but is also more easily lost in the heat of battle. The most popular sizes of fishing knife range from 23 to 27 centimetres in length.

Short fishing knives are particularly suitable for work that needs to be done. They can be used to cut short line ends as well as to gut fish. If you want to fillet your fish with the knife, you need either a long blade or a special filleting knife.

Besides the size of the knife, the weight is also decisive. The knife should present itself as handy as possible and also not be too heavy. After all, the angler always carries the good piece with him and should not be unnecessarily burdened by it.

The difference between a fishing knife and a filleting knife

Again and again we come across anglers who use a so-called filleting knife for their purposes. However, these are only conditionally suitable for killing a fish or cutting the fishing line. It should not be forgotten that filleting knives are intended for the kitchen and bring along correspondingly long, flexible blades. Only too quickly injuries occur if they are used for other purposes.

Alternatives to a fishing knife

A good fishing knife does not necessarily have to be declared as such in the trade. Good outdoor and survival knives are also suitable for fishing. A multifunctional hunting knife can also be a good tool for fishing, and some Swiss Army knives are also good fishing knives. Victorinox, for example, offers a special angler’s model, which has been inflated with unnecessary gimmicks, so the question arises as to whether a hook release or a descaler is absolutely necessary together with the knife. In most cases this will probably not be the case. However, if you are on a hiking tour, have little room for luggage and want to keep everything as compact as possible, such a knife with various functions can make sense.

How to take good care of a fishing knife

If you clean and dry your fishing knife regularly, you will enjoy it for a long time, even with a non stainless steel knife. Simply clean the knife after each use with warm water and a sponge. Coarser dirt can be removed with a little washing-up liquid.

You should not put fishing knives in the dishwasher. High temperatures and salts would damage the knife permanently.

Folding fishing knives must also be oiled from time to time. To do this, it is normally sufficient to use a drop of non-restoring oil and to ensure that the oil is evenly distributed by repeatedly opening and closing the knife.

Sharpening fishing knives correctly

Sooner or later there comes a time when the fishing line can no longer be easily cut with the knife. Sharpening is the order of the day. For this purpose, specialist shops offer various sharpeners for fishing knives. Both grinding rods and knife sharpeners are suitable.

Legal regulations for carrying knives

When purchasing a fishing knife, please note that one-handed knives and fixed knives with a blade length of more than 12 cm are covered by the Weapons Act and may not be carried in public access. This means that such knives may not be carried in a trouser pocket, for example. However, if such a fishing knife is stowed in the fishing suitcase, this falls under the heading of “legitimate interest in sport” and does not pose a problem.

Knives which have a double-edged blade, do not have a blade that can be locked with one hand and have a blade length of more than 12 cm are covered by the Weapons Act. The possession of knives with a double-edged blade is generally prohibited.

Our conclusion

When choosing the ideal fishing knife it is better to avoid unnecessary frills. Materials and quality, as well as the shape and manageability of the knife should be in the foreground. If you do not make any mistakes here, you will enjoy your fishing knife for a long time.

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