Top 10 Best Bowie Knife Review & Buying Guide (2021)

Looking for the Best Bowie Knife?

The term “Bowie Knife”  applies to a specific style of knife designed by Colonel James Bowie and originally created by James Black.

Although not used much for self-defense anymore, modern-day hunters favor the Bowie knife’s design for skinning and butchering games. The curved top clip bevel of the blade, when suitably sharpened, could also be wont to remove the skin from a carcass, while the straight portion of the blade edge,  toward the guard, is often used for cutting meat.  This is also a great survivalist knife, adept at big jobs such as chopping wood, and delicate tasks like scaling fish.

What to look at while purchasing a Bowie knife:

Before you buy a Bowie knife, ascertain the material used length of the knife, blade size, and tang. Earlier knives were made of carbon steel, now we have stainless steel alloy which is strong and rust-free.

Blade size

Based on your use of a Bowie knife, select a large or small blade. Larger blades are powerful than smaller ones and are used for clearing brush and weeds or chopping pieces of wood, camping, and other outdoor activities like fishing and hunting

Bowie knife blade lengths aren’t shorter than 5 inches. the primary standard size was 9.5 inches long. The length of those knives is longer than pocket knives.

Tang

Tang is that the connecting shank that connects the blade with the handle. Tangs should be of full length for easy grip in hand as the Bowie knives are heavier in hand.

Here are the highest Bowie knives available within the market. One can prefer to consider the features to be used. a standard Bowie knife is traditional a la mode, appearance, and features.

This Bowie knife Guide can assist you choose the simplest model to fit your needs.

1. Gil Hibben Old West Bowie Knife

If you’re looking for the sharpest tool in the shed, appearance-wise, this Old West Bowie designed by master knifemaker Gil Hibben for United Cutlery is it! Complete with a hardwood handle, a mirror-finished blade, a gold-plated knife catcher, and true-to-type styling, this Bowie knife is as ritzy as it is formidable. While this bowie knife can be used in the field, it is the perfect showpiece to mount on your wall next to your other treasures.

Specifications:

  • Blade Length:  14 inches
  • Blade Material:  Stainless Steel (420)
  • Blade Edge:  Plain
  • Point:  Clip Point
  • Total Length:  20.5 inches
  • Sheath Material: Leather
  • Knife Type:  Fixed Blade
  • Handle Material: Wood

2. Cold Steel Natchez Bowie

Natchez is a town on the Mississippi River, but it’s also the name of a once-great Native American tribe. These native peoples were very proud and carried on great traditions. The same can be said for the Cold Steel knife company. At almost a foot long,

their version of the bowie knife is huge but not unwieldy. The balance is perfect. This is truly a wonderful blade! The long curve and the weight means you could cleave through bloody near anything. The point of the blade is needle fine but still strong. Fresh out of the box, this bowie can swipe and rip on a reverse stroke. 

Specifications:

  • Blade Length:  11 3/4 inches
  • Blade Material:  SK-5 Steel
  • Blade Edge:  Plain
  • Point:  Clip Point
  • Total Length:  17 1/8 inches
  • Sheath: Secure-Ex
  • Knife Type:  Fixed Blade
  • Handle Length: 5 3/8 inches

3. Master Cutlery – The Alamo Bowie Knife

This museum-quality replica Bowie knife has been crafted proudly from the best materials and comes complete with an identical brown-top grain leather sheath. This weapon is what legendary Jim Bowie carried during the battle of March 6, 1836, at the Fort Alamo mission in San Antonio Texas.

This exact reproduction is an excellent way to “Remember the Alamo” when a small band of soldiers sacrificed their lives in fierce combat against the massive Mexican army in order to prevent a tyrant from smashing the new republic of Texas. 

Specifications:

  • Blade Length: 11 inches
  • Blade Edge:  Plain
  • Point:  Clip Point
  • Total Length:  17.25 inches
  • Blade Material:  Stainless Steel
  • Sheath: Leather

4. Black Handle Bowie Knife, 9.5″ Blade

If you like things simple, this black-handled Bowie knife is exactly that a classic, buttoned-down version. Its traditional shape polished stainless steel blade, and black-and-brass coloring makes it a great display piece. Without any of the gadgets and gimmicks of other knives, this stripped-down blade ideally represents the original Bowie knife. Great piece for beginner collectors, too!

Specifications:

  • Blade Length:  9.5 inches
  • Blade Edge:  Plain
  • Total Length:  14.25 inches
  • Point: Clip Point
  • Blade Color:  Silver/Gray
  • Knife Type:  Fixed Blade
  • Handle Color:  Black

5. Ontario Knife SP10 Spec Plus Raider Bowie Knife

Though the design of this knife is inspired by the iconic Bowie, its rugged build gives it more of a survival knife feel. This beast of a blade by Ontario Knife Company is among the best on the market.

While it may not be your self-defense weapon of choice, its jumbo-sized 1095 carbon steel blade will do just about anything. And the butt of this full tang blade can hammer in tent stakes or nails. Thanks to its heat- and weathering-resistant Kraton handle, this knife can give you top performance wherever you go, whatever you do in the great outdoors.

Specifications:

  • Blade Length:  9 3/4 inches
  • Total Length:  15 inches
  • Knife Type:  Fixed Blade Epoxy Coating
  • Point:  Clip Point
  • Blade Material: 1095 Carbon Steel
  • Handle Material: Kraton
  • Sheath: Leather & Cordura

6. Winchester Large Bowie Knife

Leave it to Winchester to craft a Bowie knife that’s virtually identical to the blade that’s become legendary and represents the American Wild West.  This bowie knife’s fine wooden handle, brass cross guard, and stainless steel clip point blade contribute to its historically accurate appearance. This blade isn’t all about looks, however, it’s balanced well and ergonomically designed, making it a lot of fun to wield, and very inexpensive to own.

Specifications:

  • Blade Length:  8.75 inches
  • Blade Edge:  Plain
  • Point:  Clip Point
  • Handle Material:  Wood & Brass
  • Total Length:  14.25 inches
  • Knife Type:  Fixed Blade
  • Sheath Material: Ballistic Nylon
  • Knife Weight: 14.4 Ounces

 7. Bear & Sons Cutlery Damascus American Bowie

Bear & Son Cutlery is an innovative American manufacturer located in Alabama that produces exceptional hunting and camping knives. The workmanship is terrific! Each Damascus blade has its own unique patterning, and its unique multi-layer forging construction gives it an unsurpassed strength and edge retention, even when relatively dull. This collector-grade bowie features extras such as a Brass Guard, Hollow Ground Blade & False Edge.

Specifications:

  • Blade Length:  7.75 inches
  • Blade Material:  High Definition Damascus Steel, Rockwell 58-60
  • Blade Edge:  Plain
  • Point:  Clip Point
  • Handle Material:  Genuine India Stag Bone
  • Total Length:  12 inches
  • Weight: 9 ounces
  • Knife Type:  Fixed Blade
  • Sheath Material:  Quick Release Leather Sheath

8. Boker Duck Head Bowie Fixed Blade Knife

This knife is one of the more visually appealing Bowie knives on the market, and will especially make a big impression on fans of the Wild West. If you’re looking for a Bowie knife that’s classy and sassy, this Boker is exactly what you need. Featuring a sleek design with a gleaming stacked leather handle and brass duck head pommel, the design is rounded out with a modern Bowie-style blade crafted from high-performance 440 stainless steel. Includes a genuine leather sheath with a miniature sharpening stone.

Specifications:

  • Blade Length:  6 inches
  • Blade Material:  Stainless Steel (440)
  • Blade Edge:  Plain
  • Point:  Drop Point
  • Total Length:  11 inches
  • Sheath Material:  Leather
  • Knife Type:  Fixed Blade
  • Handle Material: Leather
  • Weight: 8.3 oz

9. Cold Steel Laredo Bowie Knife

If you’re wondering if the new SK-5 High Carbon Steel used by Cold Steel will hold up,  the answer is YES– it has incredible strength and edge retention. The Laredo Bowie Knife is precision ground, heat-treated, and Mar Tempered in a state-of-the-art factory in Taiwan,

just like many of Cold Steel’s Japanese swords. If you want a large knife that was primarily designed as a fighting bowie but in reality is used as a large outdoor knife for chopping and splitting, then look no further. Fit and finish are top-notch and the sheath is well constructed out of heavy leather. 

Specifications:

  • Blade Length:  10 1/2 inches
  • Blade Edge:  Plain
  • Blade Material: SK-5 High Carbon Steel
  • Handle Material:  Faux Cocobolo
  • Total Length:  15.69 inches
  • Point: Clip Point
  • Knife Type:  Fixed Blade
  • Sheath: Leather

10. Winchester 14.25″ Bowie Knife

The brass-plated finger guard separates the 420J2 Surgical Steel blade from its contoured wood handle and is reinforced by two rivets. The included ballistic nylon sheath makes the knife easy and convenient to carry at all times. Inspired by the classic Bowie knives of the early 19th century, this huge Winchester Bowie knife represents the rugged power associated with the legendary Col. Jim Bowie himself. The massive knife boasts an 8.75-inch clip-point blade. Winchester makes this bowie very affordable to own.

Specifications:

  • Overall length:  14.25 inches
  • Blade length: 8.75 inches
  • Blade material: 420J2 Surgical Steel
  • Handle Material: Wood & Brass
  • Blade Point: Clip Point Coating
  • Sheath Material: Nylon
  • Knife Type: Fixed Blade

Origin of the Bowie Knife

The classic design of the Bowie knife featuring the long blade, crossguard, and a clip point we know and love is attributed to an Arkansas blacksmith named James Black. However, the origin of the original knife that Jim Bowie carried is still disputed. Some sources attribute it to Jim’s brother Rezin, while others claim that another blacksmith, Jesse Clift, actually created the first model and based it on Spanish folding knives.  It wasn’t until after Jim Bowie became famous in 1827 during the “Vidalia Sandbar Fight” that the knife captured so much attention and interest.

After that, the Bowie brothers received a considerable number of requests for Jim’s knife. From these requests sprang one of the most recognizable designs ever crafted. The legend of Jim Bowie only grew over the years as he was involved in other knife fights, especially at the Alamo in 1836. No matter who was actually responsible for this self-defense weapon, the Bowie Knife is certainly one of the more popular items for collectors of Old West memorabilia. Modern-day hunters, outdoorsmen, and survivalists also ask for it by name!


Bowie Knife Sharpening Techniques

A Bowie knife presents two principal challenges where sharpening the blade is concerned. First, the blade on these knives is anywhere from 6 to 12 inches long. At the longer extreme, this makes the blade almost as difficult to sharpen as is a short sword. The blade also has a significant curve at the tip, which requires some skill to sharpen correctly.

A Bowie knife can be sharpened via a traditional whetstone or with a number of products available on the market. Most of the newer products have automatic ways of ensuring that the sharpening is done correctly. Principally, these devices make it easier to maintain the correct sharpening angle and ensure the even removal of metal from both sides of the blade edge. These devices come in a multitude of options, and one always has the option of sharpening their knife in the traditional method, as well.

Some devices allow users to hold their Bowie knife in a vertical position while they sharpen it. These devices usually have slots that hold the blade in the correct position. Some of the devices use a mechanical apparatus to grind away the metal instead of the user drawing the blade against a stone. These devices sometimes produce good results, sometimes not. There is enough variation in Bowie knife design that a device may work splendidly for one particular knife and not at all for another.

Many owners prefer to sharpen their knives by hand. This requires coordination and patience. Done improperly, it can ruin the edge on a Bowie knife as quickly as can a bad automatic sharpener. Done properly, many users argue that this manual method produces the best of all results. Some individuals simply like sharpening the blade manually as it more closely resembles the reality of how the original pioneers and fighters who used these weapons would have maintained their own blades.

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