Best Dive Knives
Newer divers may be surprised when they are told that one of the pieces of equipment they need to consider when diving is a dive knife. From a novice’s point of view, they may not understand why a knife would be useful or necessary while diving. Underwater, it is not going to necessarily be used as an all-purpose tool and is more of a precaution, yet it can be useful in instances where you need to cut fishing line or other surrounding obstacles. Of course, it should not be used to harm marine life and should not be considered a weapon unless a disaster strikes. Simply, just think of a diving knife as a tool you would rather have and not use than one you need and do not have. Check out our top picks below.
In a Hurry? The test winner after 12 hrs of research
A tactical tool is featured at the butt of the handle
The blade is fashioned from one piece of 4mm-thick titanium
You can choose from a Spartan or Blunt tip
Top 10 Picks
1. Aqua Lung Argonaut
A tactical tool is featured at the butt of the handle
The blade is fashioned from one piece of 4mm-thick titanium
You can choose from a Spartan or Blunt tip
One user pointed out that the blade needed sharpened
If you have spent extensive amounts of time researching scuba gear equipment, then it should not come as much of a surprise to you that Aqua Lung is the cream of the crop here. Their Argonaut Dive Knife sports one of the toughest blades out there, period.Read more
Possibly the main reason this knife is at the top of the heap is that of its blade. Not only is it constructed with a one-piece 4mm-thick titanium, it has also been coated in black EDP, laser etched, and sharpened.
To deliver an extra grip for the sheath and a spot for your forefinger, the handle is wrapped from the hilt. Also, it is wrapped twice with 5mm paracord for enhanced grip and feel.
All in all, the Argonaut dive knife is almost 10 inches in total length. Both the blade and the handle measure 4-7/8-inches so if you are looking for a smaller knife, this is probably not it.
Aqua Lung includes a sheath with their knife and they heated 2mm thick Kydex plastic around the knife to create it. In addition to this, two rubber leg straps come included.
There are actually two different styles available and they work in different ways. The first is the Spartan tip which features one side with rounded die-cut serrations that will all-but eliminate snagging rope. Then, there is the Blunt tip which has the same feature but has a chisel-like tip.
It really is tough to beat Aqua Lung’s Argonaut dive knife when you get into the discussion of the best dive knives on the planet. The option to select which tip you want is just the icing on the proverbial cake.
2. Spyderco Atlantic
Designed with a fiberglass-reinforced-nylon handle
A 14mm round hole assists in easy one-hand opening
All steel components have been treated to withstand rust
A few users have felt the blade is almost too easy to open
Consider this and the previous dive knife a toss-up for the best in the world. What makes this blade so special is it has been crafted with extraordinary Japanese steel that allows it to get tougher and harder with use.Read more
The aforementioned Japanese steel blade actually uses nitrogen instead of carbon. This tiny switch actually results in a blade that gets harder and tougher as you use it and one that is all-but rustproof.
Possibly more impressive than the blade is the exceptional handle design. First off, it is made of fiberglass-reinforced-nylon with Volcano Grip texturing which results in a slip-free grip. Also, there is a lock mechanism on the back that provides a secure lock for the blade.
While the blade is actually only 3.5 inches in length, the handle is 4.5 inches in length bringing the total length to eight inches.
Due to the reversible black titanium pocket clip, you can carry this knife left or right-side tip-up. But, there have been a few users who have actually felt the knife is too easy to open up.
There are two different seller options available and they each have their own handle. While the difference is only merely in their color, one is yellow which is optimal for high visibility.
If you are one of the people who refuse to own a non-titanium blade, your point-of-view may be altered if you ever pick this knife up. Some stripes do not change colors but if you give this one a chance, you may fall in love.
3. Atomic Aquatics TI6
Features both a serrated and a straight edge
The blade is made of titanium and is full-tang
Designed with a lanyard hole
One consumer felt the straps were just a bit too short
Next up, we have the Ti6 Titanium Dive Knife from world-renowned manufacturer Atomic Aquatics. With a blade that features both a serrated and a straight edge, in addition to a line cutter, this is a highly versatile tool.Read more
Besides the fact that this blade is made of titanium, which is has a great resistance to corrosion and a lighter weight than steel, it is a honed full tang blade. Plus, it has both a serrated edge and straight edge.
The handle has been molded with plastic and there are finger grooves integrated to improve the overall grip. As a bonus, the handle is also removable which makes the cleaning process much easier.
With a four-inch blade, which is going to be great for most people, you should have no problem cutting kelp, fishing line, and other materials that resemble them.
Being made of durable molded plastic, the included sheath is both built-to-last and light in weight. Additionally, there is a push button release that allows you to remove the knife with only two fingers.
Depending on your personal preference, you can either choose to go with a blunt tip or a drop point tip design.
Atomic Aquatics is no slouch when it comes to designing top-of-the-line scuba gear and their Ti6 Dive Knife is a strong example of why. The blade is absolutely tremendous and the ergonomic handle sure helps.
4. Cressi Skorpion
- Made of Japanese 420 stainless steel
- Designed with an anatomical, non-slip handle
- Ideal for scuba divers and fishermen
- For its size, it is a bit bulky and heavy
Even though it was mentioned earlier that dive knives are not necessarily all-purpose tools, the Skorpion proves that they can still be versatile. Due to its overall design, this is a knife that will work equally as efficient for both scuba divers and spear fishermen.Read more
This is another top blade that is designed of Japanese 420 stainless steel. Besides being a tempered blade, it also is designed with a straight-edge on one side and a serrated edge on the other.
It is clear that Cressi optimized the handle on their Skorpion to be as comfortable as possible as it is engineered with a soft grip, non-slip material. Also, it comes with anatomical molding for your fingers.
For its size, which is around 9.4 inches in total length with a blade of around 4.5 inches, one user noted how this knife did feel quite bulky and heavy.
Cressi includes a sheath with their dive knife and it is designed with an easy-release mechanism that allows you to release the knife with one hand. In addition, it comes with leg or arm straps.
There are two different tip designs that you can choose from. The first is a sharp drop tip and the other is a blunt tip.
Even though this is not the largest dive knives in the world, it is not the lightest version available. Still, despite this, one can’t ignore how well-designed the blade, handle, and sheath are for the Skorpion.
5. Aqua Lung Squeeze
- It is a slim and easy-to-handle knife
- You can choose from a blunt tip, pointed tip or tanto tip
- Features the tried and tested Squeeze lock design
- It may be a bit larger than you imagine
This is one of the more unique dive knives on this list and it is thanks to the patented Squeeze lock design. Essentially, this allows you an easier release when pulling the knife out of the sheath as you merely squeeze the handle.Read more
While there are other options for the tip design, you can settle for the standard blunt tip. Either way, the blade is engineered with a serrated edge and is made up of 304 series stainless steel.
As one reviewer noted, this is not the largest handle out there and it may be too small for some people’s hands. The handle’s Squeeze lock design, which will be explained in a second, is worth mentioning, though.
One user pointed out that this blade was larger than they had envisioned but just know, the blade measures around three inches and the overall length is about 6.5 inches.
The patented Squeeze lock design comes into play with the sheath. It not only allows it to be securely placed in the sheath but merely squeezing the handle allows for a quick release.
Outside of the fact that there are a few different color options available, you also have the choice for either a pointed tip, a tanto tip, or the standard blunt tip.
Truth be told, it is difficult to find many issues to gripe about when analyzing this knife from Aqua Lung. That, of course, is a really good sign and possibly the only reason you would not want this is because the blade is not titanium.
6. Tusa Imprex X-Pert II
- Made with a newly designed ergonomic grip
- Designed with a titanium drop point blade
- Both color options for the handle are striking
The instructions on dissembling the knife are awful
You would be hard-pressed to find a top 10 list of dive knives and not see a mention of this next knife. It truly is one of the all-around greatest dive knives of its kind and its ergonomic design and titanium blade are a few reasons why.Read more
On one side of the blade there is a serrated edge and a line cutter and on the other side, there is a straight edge. But, the entire blade is made of corrosion-resistant titanium.
Besides the grip that has been ergonomically designed with durable rubber and plastic, what is nice about this handle is it integrates an eyelet which allows for additional attachments.
As a whole, this measures 10 inches in length which is very large. The blade, though, accounts for only 4.5 inches which means the handle is around 5.5 inches in length.
The sheath itself is well-designed with adjustable buckles and straps to ensure a comfortable fit. It also sports a single button lock mechanism for security. Yet, as one user pointed out, actually inserting the knife inside of it can be a bit specific.
No matter which color option you choose, which is the extent of the seller options, they are both visually striking in your own way. The choice is yours from either sleek red or metallic silver.
Now you can see why this is one of the most acclaimed diving knives on the market. It is not a flawless design but all things considered, it sports enough of the goods to be recommended to anyone.
7. ScubaPro Mako
- The blade is almost impervious to rust
- Comes with a durable plastic sheath with a locking mechanism
- A convenient bottle opener is integrated
- One user griped about how short the handle is
Thanks to the corrosion-resistant performance of titanium, very little maintenance is needed if you invest in the Mako Dive Knife from Scubapro. After a long diving trip, it also sports a convenient bottle opener so you can open up a cold one.Read more
Being made of hardened titanium, you can rest assured that this blade is ready to perform up to your standards. However, its tanto tip and versatility with both a serrated and straight edge are also worthy of high praise.
For those with larger hands, per the review of one user, this handle may simply be too small for you. Yet, if it not, you will appreciate the durable over-molded plastic and extended thumb guard.
As compared to some of the other versions on this list, the Mako’s near 7.5-inch length is actually quite short. In fact, the blade itself is only around 3.5 inches in length.
As one would expect from a high-quality sheath, the included version is built with a locking mechanism that allows for a quick one-handed release. Also, it was manufactured with durable plastic.
It just so happens that what you see is what you get with this knife.
Worth noting is that the Mako Dive Knife is certainly far from the largest knife on this list. That does not necessarily insinuate it is incompetent as its design claims otherwise. However, it is a matter of your personal preference.
8. US Divers
- The sheath unlocks quickly and easily
- Integrated serrated top edge allows you to cut through tough materials
- It completely dissembles for cleaning
- More than one user has complained about the longevity of the plastic handle
U.S. Driver’s diving knife sports one of the largest and longest blades out there at five inches. Given that this is a one-piece tang blade made of titanium, U.S. Divers is not messing around with their design.Read more
Let’s say this; the blade on this knife completely elevates this from a subpar tool to an excellent one. It is a one-piece tang blade with both a serrated edge and a bottom surface that has a line cutter.
Now, there are individualized finger scoops on the handle that are designed to keep the blade in place while you are using it but more than one user has griped about the handle cracking over time.
As previously mentioned, the blade itself measures five inches which makes it one of the longest blades out there. In total, though, the knife is 9.5-inches in length.
A few reasons make this sheath one of the better ones out there. For one, it unlocks quickly with no hassle and secondly, it features leg straps that are simple to adjust and secure.
Much like with the other knife, there does not appear to be any additional seller options to choose from.
It is rather unfortunate that some customers have had longevity issues with the handle as this is truly a remarkable design. A plus, though, is this is backed up by a two-year warranty.
9. Promate Titatium
- The bottom can be used as a hammer
- Features a rustproof titanium construction
- Requires little to no maintenance on your end
- It is difficult to release the knife with one hand
Nearly every design aspect of this next dive knife from Promate is top-notch. It is easy to tell that they know what they are doing but due to a slight issue with the release mechanism, their diving knife can only ascend this high.Read more
Promate decided to go with a full tang titanium blade for their dive knife and the result could not be any sweeter. It also helps that the bottom has a blunted edge that can be used as a hammer.
It is quite clear that Promate designed the handle of their knife with professional scuba divers in mind. After all, the durable rubber grip that has been ergonomically shaped is proof for that.
The size of this blade and handle place it right in the ballpark of what you would expect at this point. Its 4.45-inch blade is neither the largest nor the shortest blade on this list.
A sheath is included with your purchase to not only protect your investment but also yourself. In addition, an included strap also gives you enhanced versatility.
Do not get overwhelmed at the handful of options at your disposal as there are quite a few. While there are different color options available for the handle, there are also different tip designs. In particular, the blunt tip will double as a screwdriver.
Notwithstanding how impressive this dive knife is, one can’t help to imagine what could have been had a superior release mechanism been integrated. With the current one, it can be difficult to release the knife from the sheath with one hand.
10. Cressi Borg
- Comes with two standard straps
- Features one side with a straight edge and the other with a serrated edge
- Includes a metal butt which can double as a hammer
- Several users have claimed it rusts easily and requires high maintenance
Despite the fact that this is one of the most impressive designs on this list, with an ergonomic handle for comfort and a durable impact-resistant sheath, it does sport a rather high-maintenance blade.Read more
To ensure years of use, the blade has been made of tough and durable Japanese 420 stainless steel. However, as many users have reported, this will rust if you are not careful and a high level of maintenance is required.
Thanks to the finger grips and the overall ergonomically designed handle, it fits comfortably in your hand; along with the thumb tab.
It is no joke why this is advertised as a long blade as it measures just over 5.5 inches. As a whole, this very long knife measures past 10 inches.
To reiterate, the sheath that comes with your purchase is extremely durable and impact-resistant. Even more so, it comes with two adjustable leg straps and a handy locking mechanism that is optimized for a one-handed release.
Besides the few different color choices that can improve the visibility of the knife, you can also choose from either a pointed or a blunt tip.
Some may feel that performing constant maintenance on a knife would make it expendable. If you can live with the fact that you need to be on top of your game when it comes to cleaning the blade, you can really enjoy this knife, though.
Criteria Used for Evaluation
Moving away from the blade and the handle for a second, it is time to give some much-needed love to this specific section. When it comes down to it, there are two primary manners in which you are going to store your knife. You are either going to get a folding knife or one that comes with a sheath (as most fixed blade knives will come with one). There are benefits and drawbacks to both options.
Folding knives are nice because you never have to worry about the blade snagging on the material of the sheath. Instead, you merely fold it and store it in your BCD pocket or other location. Yet, it can be a nuisance every time you want to use it as you have to manually unfold it; which could be difficult when wearing gloves. On the flipside, a fixed blade with a sheath is convenient as most sheaths will come with a quick-release mechanism that allows you to instantly gain access to the knife. But, the blade is always exposed this way.
Both of the previous sections flow right into this one as the actual design of both the handle and the blade are important enough; but, you can’t forget about the sizes of both of these design features. There is an old expression that goes, “does size really matter?” Well, for the blade and the handle of a knife it most certainly does. However, you also need to remember what the knife is being used for. If you are just a recreational diver, you really only need a medium-sized knife. In fact, most professional divers will need anything bigger than that as a diving knife is really only supposed to be used for obscure and once in a while occurrences.
Any blade between four to five inches should do fine as a larger blade may just end up becoming a nuisance for you as it constantly gets in the way. In addition, though, it is ideal if the handle is identical in size. As such, if you decided you wanted a five-inch blade you should also get a handle that is close to five inches in length.
We go from the end of the knife to the beginning of the knife. Of course, this is referring to the handle of the knife and it is a very critical portion for you to assess. Clearly, the main aspect you want to prioritize is the comfortability of the handle. Even though you probably will not use a diving knife for extended periods of time, a painful grip can instantaneously have ill effects. One surefire way to ensure it is comfortable in your hands is if it sports an ergonomic design. Small features like the shape of the handle and if it integrates finger grooves can make this happen.
Speaking of finger grooves, the amount of grip you have is also critical. The grip is important enough for a standard knife but when you take into account the underwater dynamic, which will naturally make things more slippery, it becomes even more important for a diving knife. Also, even though it is not mandatory, you can also look for handles that are designed with a lanyard hole as you can wrap rope inside of them to wrap around your wrist as an extra precaution in case the knife slips.
First and foremost on your quest to find the best diving knife is to address the blade. For now, let’s just focus upon the physical makeup of the blade such as the materials they are made from. So, where do you begin? Probably the most important decision you have to make is whether or not you want a stainless steel blade or a titanium blade. As you saw throughout this guide, several of each made appearances. They are both tremendous blades but they do have specific differences. For example, stainless steel blades will generally require more maintenance than their titanium counterpart. The reason for this is titanium blades do not contain carbon, which stainless steel does, and therefore will not rust.
However, on the contrary, titanium is harder to sharpen than stainless steel. But, given the amount of use a diving knife will have, you should not have to sharpen it very often. The next major point of a blade is its edge and whether you want a serrated or straight edge. Thankfully, most designers make this choice very easy as they will integrate both a straight and a serrated edge on their diving knives.
Expert Interviews & Opinions
Whether or not you go with a titanium or a stainless steel blade will have an impact on the overall level of maintenance that is required, as you already know. Yet, either way, there are some general maintenance tips that you can follow to ensure your knife performs to the standards that you expect for several years to come. To begin, you should always do pre-checking before you actually go diving. Ensure that the locking mechanism is working correctly and check to see if there is any corrosion on your blade. After every dive, also, make it a habit to clean off the knife with fresh water. If you dive in the ocean, make sure to scrub it clean to remove any salt that remains on it. Lastly, every once in a while, disassemble the knife (if you can) and perform a throughout clean on the blade and the handle.
Other Factors to Consider
The final main point of emphasis for diving knives is the different types of versions that they are offered in. In terms of the color, sometimes a yellow, an orange, or any other bright colored handle is preferred as it enhances the visibility. But, arguably more important is the design of the tip. For the most part, not all the time, manufacturers will give you the option of a blunt tip or pointed tip (or even a tanto tip which is a combination of both). Blunt tips may be the better option for recreational divers as it is much harder to accidentally puncture something. With a pointed tip, the end is much deadlier and probably better suited for spearfishing.
Frequently Asked Questions
q: How Important Are Diving Knives?
It is only fitting to cap off this guide with this question as even though it has iterated a few times, it is worth coming back to so the point can really be driven home. The most obvious reasoning behind bringing a diving knife with you during your scuba adventures is entanglement. If you need to remove yourself from a bad situation, having a dive knife by your side will come into play.
q: Are Dive Knives Legal?
Speaking of an interesting question, this is one that arguably gets brought up the most when anyone is talking about any kind of knife. It is the simple question of whether or not knives, and in this case dive knives, are legal. Unfortunately, there is simply nothing simple about this question at all. What needs to be remembered about diving knives is at their core, they can be used as a deadly weapon that can maim and possibly kill another human being. Because of this, much like handguns, laws have been set forth by the government.
In terms of the legality of diving knives, they fall under the category of folding knives or fixed blade knives because that is what they are. Each state may have different regulations so all you need to do is check the laws in your state pertaining to knives.
q: Should You Carry Multiple Dive Knives?
This is a rather interesting question and it is something that has not been alluded to up until this point. Up until now, you may have been under the impression that one diving knife would suffice. It may surprise you to know, though, that carrying two diving knives on a diving adventure can actually be a smart decision. The reason for this is strictly for precaution in case one of your knives gets tangled or in case you can’t access one for whatever reason.
Not everyone will deem this necessary as, after all, not everyone will possess the funds to buy multiple high-quality diving knives. On top of that, some people will just see it as a waste of money and be content with taking one on their journey.
q: How Do You Sharpen a Dive Knife?
Every knife owner knows that eventually, the blade needs to be sharpened to perform at its highest level. They naturally dull over time due to the abuse they go through. But, because of the nature of diving knives, unless you use them outside of diving you probably will not need to sharpen them very often. However, if you start to notice that it is struggling to cut through items that it once had no problem with, it may be time to sharpen it up.
Sharpening a plain edge will be little to no hassle but a serrated blade is a different story. The reason for this is it is difficult to sharpen them without warping their shape. If the performance has weakened considerably, though, try using a sharpening rod. Simply locate the beveled edge of the blade and run the rod along the angle of it (you can look up tutorial videos for easier clarification).
q: Could a Dive Knife Be Used to Deter a Shark?
Remember when it was proclaimed that diving knives are not designed to be used as a weapon underwater? Well, what happens if a situation presents itself and you are under attack and need a weapon to defend yourself with? If you dive in the ocean, the last thing you want is to be attacked by a shark. However, could you use a dive knife in the scenario that this happened? Look, that was a lot of questions that were just thrown at you but they all have the same answer. Yes, you could technically use a diving knife in this type of a situation but it is most likely not going to do you any good unless you handle a knife the way John Wick can handle a gun.
A deadly underwater predator such as a shark holds every advantage in the book and you will be no match for it even with a diving knife.
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