Bowie Survival Knives have existed for ages. This style of knives is named after James Bowie, a notorious fighter who used a special knife made for him by a legendry blade maker of his time, who used it in a popular duel, the Sandbar Fight, to cause his opponents’ casualty. James, or often Jim, became stuff of legends and many survival enthusiasts over the ages have worked to build a knife as close to his as possible. Since then, the design of what is referred to as a “Bowie” knife has evolved to include various styles, and the only uses are (ideally) legal.
Given the pop-culture significance of the Bowie knife, many collectors still like to own these, although they come in all shapes and sizes. However, many of the knives in this category are not just for accumulators – these are versatile and useful survival knives. There are plenty of options available on the market and if you are looking for one for practical reasons, we have compiled a list of the best bowie survival knives of 2020.
Best Bowie Survival Knife 2020 – Top Large Blade Picks
Buck Knives 124
Solid Grip Knife
Best for survival activities
Easy to Carry
1. Cold Steel 39LLBMT Laredo – Bowie Black Knife
Laredo’s cold steel 39LLBMT Bowie knife is a time tested knife that lasts years. This is a versatile survival knife, with its O-1 High Carbon Steel blade that is heat-treated and mar tempered. Made in Taiwan, the 39LLBMT is a tough make mimicking Japanese swords in its workmanship.
With a blade length of 10 and a half inches with a full tang and a polished micarta handle, using this knife for hunting, skinning and chopping is a breeze. While its vintage design is easy on the eyes, its ergonomic design is a bliss for the hands. Coming well sharpened from the makers, the 39LLBMT Laredo Bowie knife is one of the best bowie survival knife of 2020.
- Sharp knife with edge retention
- Superior build quality
- Great grip and functional design
- Product sheath could be better quality
2. Fallkniven NL4 Fine Edge
The Fallkniven NL4 is a versatile knife that offers great looks coupled with durable usage. It boasts a 5 inch fixed plain edge blade laminated with VG10 steel at 4.48 inches and a drop point. The hilt and butt of the knife are made of the same high quality steel, which refines this knife’s appearance and utility. This is a suitable knife for deer hunting.
Weighing only 6.7 ounces, this is a knife you would like to carry wherever you go. The knife’s handle is a quality leather that makes handling comfortable. The sheath of the product is made out of the same leather, making this an attractive deal.
- Supreme edge retention
- Feels balanced in the hands while using
- Durable leather handle that is also beautiful
- Not suitable for wood craft
- Lacks versatility in usage
- Expensive for its limited use
3. Buck Knives 124 Frontiersman
Buck’s 124 Frontiersman is another one of Buck’s high quality products, coming with its lifetime warranty. With a 6 and a quarter inches of 420 HC Steel blade, the 124 Frontiersman offers functional advantages while it is corrosion resistant. At this length, this knife is suitable for hunting and chopping.
The black micarta handle provides a solid grip with its ergonomic design, and the finger guard and choil ensure safety. The aluminum pommel is also handy for some brute work. Moreover, the accompanying sheath is of superior quality. All in all, the 124 Frontiersman is easily one of the best bowie survival knife for the money.
- Well-polished, razor sharp blade with a sheen
- Allows versatile usage
- Life time warranty on product
- Rubberized grip isn’t included
- A large knife that may not work for some users
4. Schrade SCHF45 Leroy
Schrade SCHF45 Leroy is titanium, full tang construction. The titanium blade is coated with a high carbon stainless steel finish to make this product corrosion resistant and ultra durable. Even though this is a large knife boasting a 10.4 inch blade, it can be carried conveniently.
The TPE handle comes with finger grooves and makes the grip comfortable. The knife ensures safety with its choil, and also has a lanyard hole for easy carriage.
- Blade made with very high quality materials
- Sharp Knife with edge retention
- Corrosion resistant
- Sturdy and durable
- Comfortable to use
- Slightly heavy for some users (at about 1lb)
5. KA-BAR Full Size
Best in price, The KA-BAR full-size knife is one serious beauty for all kinds of requirements and used extensively by defense bodies. Its straight edged blade is at a 20-degree angle, leading up to 7 inches in length. The 1095 Cro-Van steel blade is high quality and durable, and the overall robust design of the KA-Bar Marine Corps knife makes its performance superlative.
The sheath is made with genuine leather and the product features a gold plated pommel and guard, making this a collector’s choice. While this a favourite for folks associated with the military, this one is one of the best bowie survival knives of all times and can be used for bushcraft and other survival activities.
- Luxurious design
- Comfortable in use
- Heavy-duty blade
- Durable product with versatile usage
- Screws need tightening often
- Handle tends to slip when wet
6. Custom Handmade Bowie Knife
This beast is a custom made, hammer forged Damascus steel bowie knife that is a collector’s dream. With 288 layers of Damascus steel, the 4.8 inch blade boasts excellent edge retention on this 10 incher. Weighing at 8.2 ounce, carrying this remarkable knife is a child’s play.
The walnut wood handle is a single piece carved beauty, finished with epoxy and resin. Although it can feel soft in one’s hands, one can get more and more comfortable with using this knife as time goes by. A hand finished Damascus guard aids with the grip of this knife.
The knife’s sheath is made with genuine leather that comes with a snap fastener and an integrated belt loop, which qualifies it as one of the best bowie everyday carry (EDC) knife. It is versatile, aiding in hunting, camping, tactical and military usage.
- Beautiful blade with luxurious carvings
- Genuine leather sheath
- Versatile usage and EDC design
- Walnut handle feels soft for some people
- Does not have a full tang
7. Perkins – Fixed Blade Bowie Knife
The Perkin’s fixed blade bowie knife is another one of the best bowie hunting knives on the market in 2020. Its 440C Steel blade boasts long term edge retention and has been rated up to 59 HRC. The full tang design gives the knife a good balance and makes it not just comfortable but fun to use.
Its genuine leather handle aids with the knife’s usage and adds vitality to the design of this knife. The accompanying sheath is also made of genuine leather, and carrying this around will give you the true depiction of a seasoned hunter.
Perkin’s life time guarantee ensures that you can expect long term quality functionality from this product.
- Durable blade
- Lifetime warranty
- Genuine leather handle and sheath
- Great balance
- Needs regular cleaning to ensure corrosion resistance
8. Ontario Knife – Best Bowie Survival Knife (2020)
The 8684 SP10 Spec Plus Marine Raider from the Ontario Knife Company is a matte black beauty that you can marvel at for hours. It looks and feels beautiful. This light weight bowie knife ensures that its usage is easy and it doesn’t leave you tired. The spec plus knife is suitable for use in military, sporting and rescue missions, but works easily well on the hunting grounds, forests and in the kitchen. It also works great in chopping wood.
The blade is a 1095 carbon steel blade with hardness rating of up to 59 HRC. It has a full flat taper with swedge and a plain edge and coated with epoxy textured powder for the sultry black matte finish.
The black Kraton handle holds the blade in a full tang construction. Accompanying sheath is made of high-quality leather cordura in black and boasts a belt loop. All in all, this black beauty is one of 2020’s best versatile bowie knife.
- Perfect weight – while it isn’t lightweight, it isn’t heavy at all.
- Curved tip allows good cutting through dense material like wood and meat.
- Comes with a hook at the tip for hanging
- Sheath design is basic
- Sharpening of edge required before first use
9. Nescole Bowie Knife
The Nescole Bowie Knife features the second handmade Damascus bowie knife on our list of the best bushcraft bowie knives. The Nescole’s blade features a 10 inch sharp fixed blade embedded in a hand carved paka wood handle, complete with a leather sheath.
This fixed blade survival knife arrives sharp and solid. The curved blade is made of rust proof Damascus steel and helps well with the task of skinning and hunting. The knife also boasts a straight edge for cutting. It is a handy knife that can accompany you on any hunting adventure. The knife’s handle has finger guards, aiding with the knife’s handling, however this is an area where the knife’s design could be improved. The multi-functional blade, however, makes up for it.
- Comes in a good packing, with the tip covered in plastic
- Is well oiled for first use
- Multi-purpose blade with variable edges
- Versatile usage
- Walnut handle tends to retain moisture
- Wet handle can cause rusting
- Leather sheath is also prone to moisture
- Rat tail tang
- Handle is can feel bulky for some user
- Balance could be improved
10. Down Under DUKCD-BRK
Saving the best for the last: the Down Under Bowie, as far as looks are concerned, is jaw dropping. This knife will surely be one to attract all eyes on you, and the fact that it allows for great workmanship adds to the wow factor of this bowie knife. The Down Under Bowie delivers sharp and feels sturdy in your hands.
Boasting 11 inches of dual heated 440C stainless steel hollow ground blade with blood groove, this is a sturdy piece of equipment that balances well in the hand despite its size. The handle is genuine ebony, leather and brass, finished by a solid brass finger guard and pommel.
The knife is accompanied by a leather holster that perfectly matches the beauty of the knife itself. Its crocodile skin pattern speaks ultra-macho for you, and features a sharpening pin so you are always covered.
The Down Under Bowie is a versatile knife capable of dicing, chopping, throwing, slicing, wedging, hunting, skinning and everything in between! At 28.2 ounces, it may not be something that you carry on a family outback trip, but if you are looking to level with the pros, getting your hands familiar with this beauty will gain you extra points.
- Exquisite aesthetic design
- High quality build
- Great balance and control
- Heavy duty blade and overall knife
- One of the most expensive products on the market
- Leather sheath lasts for a long time but if you are looking to pass this on in the family, it may not hold for generational timelines.
Bowie knives offer a lot more in terms of performance apart from just their pop-cultural appeal. All bowie knives on the market today are different, even though they have evolved from one root, and offer various benefits. Through this list, we have comprised the top bowie survival knives of 2020 for you to choose from. Depending on your task requirements and affinity to size, material or aesthetic, there is the right one here for you!