Top 16 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.

Whats a Bowie knife used for?

It is used for hunting and skinning animals.
While the Bowie knife is one of the most famous types of a hunting knife, it is also used for other purposes. It is used by people who want to live off the land.

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.

Bowie Knife Blade length

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 to 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. Elite Forces Survival Bowie Knife

This knife from Elite Forces is a decent choice for anyone who is often cutting through nature. A stainless steel blade, a hand grip reinforced with plastic, and a finger guard complete this tool.

MOLLE belt straps are detachable from the sheath for easy carrying. The knife can be attached to a backpack or other survival gear using the mounting holes and clasp system. Durable and comfortable, its grip is checkered, its pommel black, and the backguard is curved.

The blade’s double row of serrations at the top are useful for cutting metal or wood surfaces.

Specifications:

  • Blade Length: 7 1/2″ blade
  • Blade Material: Stainless Steel
  • Blade Edge:
  • Point: 
  • Total Length: 12″ overall
  • Sheath Material:  nylon sheath
  • Knife Type:
  • Handle Material: Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene

3.Timber Rattler Western Outlaw Bowie Knife

The Timber Rattler Western Outlaw is an attention grabber with its gray hardwood handle, but it also performs. Its 11 and 3/8-inch full tang steel blade is sharp right out of the box and will come in handy when performing a wide variety of tasks.

The brass finger guard on this knife is not only good-looking, but it also provides extra protection. The hook at the back of the handle keeps your hand from slipping, and the leather sheath makes it easy to carry.

Specifications

  • Blade Length:  3.5″ blade length 
  • Blade Material: blade is solid stainless steel 
  • Blade Edge:  Plain
  • Point:  Clip Point
  • Total Length: 
  • Sheath Material:  leather sheath
  • Knife Type:  
  • Handle Material: The solid hardwood handle

4. Buck Knives 119 Special Bowie Knife

Buck Knives 119 Special Bowie Knife is perfect for those who prefer the classic look.

The tool features a hardwood cocobolo handle for compact storage, with palm swells to provide a more comfortable grip. Buck Knives exclusive heat-treatment is also used to heat-treat the 6-inch clip point 420HC steel blade.

Apart from strengthening the blade, the process of heating, freezing, and thawing also improves its sharpness and corrosion resistance. This sharpness will last longer because the leather sheath is so high-quality. The sheath includes an adjustable buckle and a belt loop that allow you to attach it to your belt securely.

Specifications

  • Blade Length:
  • Blade Material: Stainless Steel
  • Blade Edge:
  • Point: Clip Point
  • Total Length:  Overall length 10-1/2″, 
  • Sheath Material:
  • Knife Type:
  • Handle Material: Wood

5. SZCO Supplies 15” Classic Wood Handle Carbon Steel Bowie Knife

A carbon steel bowie knife is a blade with a long and heavy forged blade. It is used as an outdoor tool and a weapon, which makes it an effective tool. The blade can be used to saw or cut through wood or metal objects, such as plywood lumber. But the most notable use of this type of blade is by hunters

420HC steel clip-point bowie blade knife designed to handle tough jobs, resistant to rust and corrosion for a long-lasting edge-retaining blade. A solid wood handle and brass cross guard make this hunting knife feel and perform like a true hunting weapon.

Specifications

  • Blade Length: 2.25-inch 
  • Blade Material: carbon steel
  • Blade Edge: Hollow
  • Total Length: 15-Inch overall
  • Point: Huge clip
  • Sheath Material:  leather
  • Handle Material: wood handle

6. 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

7. Ka-Bar U.S. Marine Corps Bowie Knife

The Marine Corps knife was first used by the United States Marine Corps during World War II and is still a popular option among both active and retired servicemen.

This USA-made cutting tool features a 1095 carbon steel blade that is coated with epoxy powder. The coating increases the strength and durability of the blade while also giving it a black,

And it’s made with high-quality craftsmanship, which is backed by a lifetime guarantee to give you peace of mind. It also comes with an all-leather sheath made in Mexico that protects you and others from harm while keeping the 7-inch blade sharp for longer.

But the most interesting feature of the KA-Bar U.S. Marine Corps Bowie Knife is the leather handle that provides a firmer grip and makes it more comfortable to use.

Specifications:

  • Blade Length:  7 Inches
  • Blade Material:  Carbon Steel
  • Blade Edge:  Compound Bevel
  • Point: 
  • Total Length:  11.875 inches
  • Sheath: 100% Leather Sheath
  • Knife Type:  fixed blade knife 
  • Handle Length:

8. 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

9. Black Handle Bowie Knife, 9.5″ Blade

If you like things simple, this black-handled Bowie knife is exactly that 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

10. Ontario Bowie 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

11. 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

 12. 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

13. 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

14. 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

15. 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

16. Cold Steel Marauder Bowie Knife

Cold Steel’s large blade from this knife is made of high-grade stainless steel with a uniquely curved Japanese AUS8A. With the handle being made of Kray-Ex, it feels comfortable and durable and is resistant to the elements as well.

At the first glance, you will notice a secondary finger guard protruding from the handle that serves as a barrier to prevent your hand from slipping. Despite its large size, it feels lightweight when in your hand.

The Army Combat Tool weighs only 12.4 ounces, making it the ideal tool for military combat and survival. The Cold Steel Marauder Bowie Knife is razor-sharp out of the box, but you can easily sharpen it if need be.

Specifications:

  • Overall length: 14-1/8 inches
  • Blade length: 9 inches
  • Blade material: Japanese AUS8A Stainless
  • Handle Material: Long Kray
  • Blade Point:
  • Sheath Material
  • Knife Type:

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.

Is it legal to carry a Bowie knife?

Some people think it is illegal to carry one since it can be used to stab someone, but it is not explicitly against the law. However, many states require specific permits or licenses if you want to carry one.

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