Whether you’re scuba diving, wreck diving, cave diving, spearfishing or snorkelling, a dive knife will be an essential piece of gear to bring along with you. A dive knife can be your saving grace in the event of an underwater emergency.
This article will give an overview of the usefulness of dive knives, factors to consider when investing in a dive knife, and product reviews of the most popular knives you’ll find on the market.
Why are Dive Knives Useful to Have?
For any underwater excursion, it’s useful to carry a dive knife with you in case of an emergency. A dive knife can become your lifesaver if you find yourself (or diving partner) face to face with an aggressive or poisonous creature, or if you get tangled in seaweed, fishing lines or nets. Dive knives can be used to signal your diving partner in case of an emergency because they will clank loudly on an oxygen tank. They’re also useful if you’re spearfishing and need to kill your prey quickly after it has been speared.
Factors to Consider
Dive knives with a serrated edge stay sharp for longer and can cut through tougher objects. Straight edge knives will work well enough for basic recreational diving. You may also find dive knives with a combination of a straight and serrated edges. These knives are a great choice because they give you versatility during any underwater excursion.
You’ll also find dive knives with either a blunt or pointed tip. Pointed tips are more common for spear fishing and killing prey quickly. Blunt tips are designed for safety to ensure that you don’t puncture a hose, wetsuit or your diving partner. Blunt dive knives are still efficient cutting tools and also great for prying. They’re a good option for recreational diving.
In the case of dive knives, bigger is not always better. You need a knife that’s small and compact enough to be attached to your body with minimal interference. Aim for a blade length around 4 inches. If you choose to go smaller (2-3-inch blade), make sure that the handle gives you a good, steady grip.
The most common blade materials for dive knives are stainless steel or titanium. Stainless steel is a sturdy and more cost-effective option, but they tend to corrode more quickly because of their carbon content. It’s easier to sharpen but also a heavier metal than titanium. Stainless steel blades require more maintenance than titanium blades. After use, they should be rinsed in salt water and coated with oil or silicone.
Titanium knives, on the other hand, require minimal maintenance because they do not rust. They can be harder to sharpen, but they hold an edge well. Titanium knives are superior to stainless steel ones, but they are significantly more expensive.
With any dive knife, it’s important that it attaches to you easily and securely. Find a knife with a sheath that can be easily attached to your leg or buoyancy compensation device (BCD). If you opt for a folding dive knife, make sure that it can be opened easily with one hand. If your knife comes with a strap, make sure that it’s made with a durable fabric, such as double-stitched nylon, to stand up against abrasion from sand and rocks.
Underwater Kinetics Blue Tang Titanium Dive Knife
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Underwater Kinetics has created the Blue Tang dive knife with a solid titanium blade that’s durable, lightweight and corrosion resistant. The blade has a blunt point and features a combination of straight and serrated edges to give you cutting versatility.
The black plastic handle is contoured to ensure a steady grip under the water. For cleaning and maintenance, the Blue Tang can be easily disassembled without the use of tools. Also included is a plastic sheath and quick release knife straps. This dive knife has a blade length of 5 inches and measures 9 inches overall.
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Black Scuba Tactical Diving Knife
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This Black Scuba tactical diving knife is ideal for snorkelling, diving, hunting, survival, rescue and water sports. The blade is made out of 420C steel that’s durable and rugged enough for underwater excursions. One edge of the blade is straight and the other is serrated to give you extra cutting capabilities. This tactical dive knife features a hole between the handle and blade which makes it easier to move underwater.
Also, included is a nylon sheath with quick release and adjustable straps that can be attached to your leg, arm, tank or BCD. The length of the blade is 3.7 inches and the overall length of the knife is 8.26 inches.
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Maxout Scuba Diving Knife
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MAXOUT’s black scuba diving knife has a stainless steel blade with one straight edge and the other serrated. The blade is razor sharp, holds an edge well, and has a spear point tip. Also, included is a quick release knife sheath that has a locking mechanism which allows you to obtain it using one hand. The adjustable straps make it easy for you to attach the knife to your leg or arm comfortably.
This tactical dive knife is great for underwater purposes, but can also be used as a boot knife on land. You can even remove the cordage from the handle to use it as a throwing knife.
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Aqua Lung Argonaut Titanium Diving Knife
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This Argonaut diving knife features a highly rust resistant titanium blade that’s blackened with an EDP coating. Aqua Lung allows you to choose the tip most suitable to your needs; either their pointed Spartan or Blunt tipped knife. Its full tang construction makes it one of the most durable knives on the market. To give you a good grip underwater, the handle is double wrapped in 7 feet of 5mm paracord.
Also, included is a thick thermoformed Kydex sheath and two rubber leg straps. The blade measures 4 7/8 inches in length and the knife has an overall length of 9.75 inches.
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Victory Knives Diving Knife
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This dive knife is made with hardened German steel and a Physical Vapor Deposition (PVD) atomic coating to make it 5 times harder than other steel blades. They’ve used a hybrid Titanium Carburo Nitride (TiCN) metalceramic compound to give the blade exceptional corrosion resistance, sharpness and edge retention. The blade has a serrated edge and a blunt tip.
Also, included is a knife harness sheath and straps that allow you to attach the knife to your leg. This Victory Knives diving knife has proven durable enough for commercial diving and tough marine conditions.
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When it comes to investing in a dive knife, be sure to assess your intended purpose(s) to find the knife most suitable to your needs. Look for a knife within your price range, but don’t skimp out on quality. A dive knife can become your lifesaver during any underwater excursion, so invest in a high-quality knife that will be useful until the end of its life cycle.