Neck knives may look like a peeler, but it’s actually sharper than your everyday kitchen knife. But the best neck knife is not just all about being your number one outdoor cutter. There are some features and very important factors to consider when picking the best neck knife. After all, this is one of the most vital survival equipment that you must bring at all times, as it can help you during tough emergencies wherein survival is critically needed.
It’s capable of letting you cut through stubborn stems that might get on your way, or vines that can strangle you. It acts as a can opener, and can potentially prepare food when camping or after a good hunt. It can even be used for self-defense! This buying guide will show you top neck knives, as well as the factors that gave them such top-class quality.
In a Rush? The Winner after 19 hours of testing is:
1 CRKT Minimalist Bowie Neck Knife
Columbia River Knife & Tool is a popular brand for the finest survival knives of any kind or size. Their bowie neck knife is regarded as the best neck knife in the market because of its size, versatility, and comfort. It’s a utility knife that has a compact design for efficiency in using it with excellent gripping. Skilled users widely favor this, and minimalists find this as a must-have.
Made With Excellent Craftsmanship
The CRKT Minimalist Bowie Neck Knife was designed by the finest craftsman of the brand, who was stated to be a well-awarded specialist in crafting knives. The bowie neck knife allows its user to rest their fingers comfortably through its fiber-resin handle. Its blade has a curve to allow better initial force when cutting tough materials.
Lifetime Warranty Guaranteed
The bowie neck knife comes with a limited lifetime warranty that can cover any kind of defect in the knife, which even includes defects on the sheath for utmost convenience. It’s both a time and money-saver for replacing the product due to the excellent customer service for CRKT. This feature is what made adventurers love the brand aside from its quality.
Cost and Value
The lifetime warranty and its fair price made the CRKT bowie neck knife a good money-saver in exchange for such a great product. It’s one of the most valuable neck knives used outdoors not just because of its excellent craftsmanship, but how affordable it can be for every adventurer.
2 ESEE Candiru Molded Sheath
This molded knife from ESEE is regarded as a top-class neck knife as well due to its sleek design and its advanced durability. The size of the handle and blade is just right to serve its function as a fast-draw and quick-use neck knife. It also has one of the best designs in this list of top neck knives.
The ESEE neck knife is made of 1096 carbon steel for durability that can last for years, which does not get easily dull even when used many times. It also has a textured powder coat finish to preserve its sharpness even further. Its handle is also made of the same material, which is known to be non-corrosive as well.
The design is planned for better versatility when using it. It has a curved design that has a tactical advantage for self-defense or when it needs to provide better force when cutting sturdy vines that may get you stuck along the way. Its blade also has a good curve at its tip, which is beneficial for its sharpness once in use.
Cost and Value
The ESEE neck knife comes at a higher price than most products on the list because of how the product was manufactured. Despite its expensiveness, the neck knife is a good long-term investment because of its top-class durability, which is why some may regard it as a money saver. But of course, you still need to handle the knife with care to avoid further damage.
3 CRKT Minimalist Wharncliffe Neck Knife
This variant of the minimalist neck knife by CRKT also made its way to the top list of the best neck knife. The Wharncliffe neck knife has a different design compared to the bowie knife because it has a straight cutting edge which is meant to provide neater cuts. This makes the knife better for piercing, and can easily help you craft improvised tools and other stuff.
Made With Excellent Craftsmanship
The CRKT Minimalist Wharncliffe Neck Knife was also designed by the best craftsman of the CRKT, who has been working in the industry for over 20 years. It has a blade with a straight edge, making the tip very sharp for piercing, with a bead blast for its finish to ensure excellent durability. The Wharncliffe neck knife also has a fiber-resin handle for durability, with finger rests for comfort as you grip the knife. It also has a sheath made of nylon and glass reinforcement with a cord to easily wear the knife.
Lifetime Warranty Guaranteed
Since it’s a CRKT product, it also has a limited lifetime warranty to cover any defect on its knife and sheath. Therefore, you can find this as a great money saver if a full replacement is needed. CRKT also assures that a brand new product is provided for your warranty claim.
Cost and Value
The cost of the CRKT Wharncliffe neck knife is just the same as the bowie knife because both are neck knife variants of the manufacturer. The lifetime warranty also provides an additional money-saving benefit because of its full replacement feature. This and its world-class quality made it a neck knife of high value for many adventurers.
4 SOG Small Fixed Blade Knives
The SOG Small Fixed Blade Knives are a set of neck knives by SOG to allow its users to have a better choice in terms of price and features. This model is regarded as one of the top in the list because of its very smart design for the neck knife and sheath which allows quick withdrawal once needed to be used. It also sports features to make it top-class in terms of versatility.
This is regarded as another best neck knife in the market because of its excellent steel quality for its blade. It’s non-corrosive because it’s made of stainless steel (which goes the same for its handle). The quality of the metal used is also meant for longevity, and to keep the blade sharp after several uses. Additionally, this stainless steel is satin-polished with a tactical design meant for its blade to provide the benefit of being very discreet, while being almost unbreakable.
Versatility became a focus when thinking about the design of this quality neck knife. Aside from being small, with the blade measurement of 2.3”, this SOG small neck knife has a Kydex sheath designed for minimalist usage as well, making it easy to draw. The sheath has a clip that you can attach anywhere to make it easier to carry around. .
Cost and Value
This fine neck knife from SOG has a fair price because of the high-quality material used for its small blade. All you have to worry at this point is the small size of the neck knife to see if it can still do its job once you take it outdoors.
5 Schrade SCHF16 7in Full Tang Fixed Blade Knife
This neck knife from Shrade is a full tang that has a fixed blade that can slice real good as well. This is regarded as the “average-level” among the best neck knives in the market because it may not surpass the excellent quality and design of the 4 knives listed above, but it is well balanced It also has one of the best looks among all of the knives mentioned in the list, not to mention the color that made it discreet.
Built To Be Drawn Quicker
Drawing this black neck knife is very quick, and is actually the specialty of the tool. It has a thermoplastic sheath that has a design to make it very easy to draw without effort but can secure the knife tight once returned. The sheath’s tip is designed to fit well to the blade’s to prevent slipping when drawn quickly or if something hits the sheathed knife. It also has a necklace chain, a lanyard hole, and a full fixed tang design to carry and draw it with full efficiency.
The Right Size
The reason why this product does not have too many drawbacks is that it is measured the right size. Shrade’s manufacturers made sure that even the thickness of the blade is observed to provide just the right measurements. Its professionally observed measurements for length and thickness fit the standards of everyone when looking for the right survival knife.
Cost and Value
Another factor why this is the most “average” when it comes to the best neck knives for survival is because of its very fair price. It’s not too cheap in terms of quality and pricing, but never expensive. It’s a well-balanced neck knife that you might like to have if you’re not considering a high budget for buying a survival knife.
6 Spyderco Ark Fixed Blade Knife
This is a very small folding knife that can still get the job done. The Spyderco neck knife has a fixed arc blade to ensure good force when cutting through. It’s also the lightest neck knife in the list, which ensures good cutting speed when in use. It also has an excellent grip made of polymer and glass fiber to further preserve its quality for many years.
The Spyderco products are usually fixed blade knives that offer high-class performance just like what the brand usually advertises for their knives. This is a well-crafted blade that has good ergonomics to increase its cutting power through its design, and to minimize effort. The blade is also sharpened and smoothened to ensure no serrations on its cutting edge. It also has bevels to slightly extend the range of the blade.
Easy To Grip
This neck knife by Spyderco specialized in firm gripping. It’s made of reinforced nylon, which is a very tough polymer. It is also crafted with reinforced glass fiber to ensure long-lasting technology. Its rough texture is not just for design as it allows the handle to be easily gripped to your hands without any risk of slipping.
Cost and Value
The reason why this product belonged to the top list of the best neck knife is because of its fair price as well. It may not have some amazing features like the others mentioned above, but you will find it of good-enough quality along with its considerable price.
7 Boker 02SC743 Stainless Steel Blade
The Boker stainless steel neck knife is regarded as the lightest one in the list of the best neck knives. It sports a 440 stainless steel blade to avoid any corrosion. The blade is also fixed for multiple uses as long as cutting is involved. Its design also allows you to carry it in almost any way you want.
Convenient To Bring
The Boker stainless steel neck knife is so light that you will never feel that you having something on its sheath. When using it along the way, its handle has a rough texture to ensure that it will never slip away even when your hands are wet. It also has a Kydex sheath that’s designed to easily pull the blade once urgently needed.
Various Carrying Options
The design of the blade allows it to be carried in almost any way you want. You can use a ball chain on its hole so then you can easily carry it around, or you can clip the sheath to your belt just like a holster. The sheath is made of a material that won’t easily slip once it’s in your pocket.
Cost and Value
It is a relatively cheap neck knife, making it favorable for most adventurers that might have focused their budget more on other hiking gear. So if you need the lightest one in the list, while on a low budget, then this nifty knife is just for you.
8 Cold Steel Secret Edge
Cold Steel, as the name suggests, is quite serious when it comes to developing its knives, causing this neck blade to reach the top-notchers for the best neck knife. The blade is quite broad when compared to most neck knives on the list, and includes a sheath with the most ergonomic design when compared to the rest.
Stabbing Power Guaranteed
Penetration is efficient when this neck knife comes into play. The tip is extremely sharp due to its design that’s more focused on the tip rather than the cutting edge. This makes penetration extremely effective and can cut better once the blade has penetrated the material.
Smart Sheath Design
Cold Steel has a special sheath design called secure-ex, which has a structure that will fit the broad blade very well. It can shut the blade tight in its sheath and is layered to provide the utmost protection while having a cool aesthetic look where the blade is shown when sheathed. The sheath also has a ball chain attached to it to make it easier to carry.
Cost and Value
This has a fair quality that’s set at a very low price. This is the most affordable neck knife in the list, guaranteeing that anyone can easily buy it. After all, this is a knife that’s more on piercing than cutting, making the price considerable for its average value.
A neck knife has to be durable at all times. After all, its duty is to cut through various material, from soft bread to weak metals such as tin cans. Therefore, it should not go dull very easily. To find out about this matter, you can check written reviews as it contains details based on the user’s experience when they tried it on the field. Additionally, check the material of the knife if it’s actually good for crafting its blade.
The material for the blade of the best neck knife defines the durability and has a slight factor added to the sharpness of the knife itself. The blade’s material should be researched first before the rest of the features found in the knife. After all, you need an emergency gear for cutting when outdoors. Materials such as stainless steel are the ones that are more suitable because it’s rust-proof, therefore weather-resistant.
Nylon sheaths are the perfect example of a durable sheath to store the neck knife because it’s wear-and-tear resistant. The sheath must have a cord to make it more efficient to carry when hiking, too. Lastly, the handle must be made of a non-corrosive material such as fiber-resin.
To put it simply, effectiveness is sharpness. After all, you’re looking for the main purpose of the neck knife, which is to cut. The best neck knife in the market is known to be sharp, and all of the aforementioned knives above are actually very sharp. However, the methods the products were respectively manufactured differ greatly. As a result, you have to check it through the reviews to see how the knife performs.
The size of the best neck knife must not be too short, but not too long. A tiny blade will give you a hard time cutting most material during emergency situations and might be fit for a can opener or as a peeler only. On the other hand, a long one might give you a hard time bringing it along and pulling it quickly if an emergency arises. The overall size should be at 5” to 6” in length.
Grip and Hill
The grip of the knife will let you cut neatly, plus handle the knife with ease. The grip depends on the size, appearance, and quality of the handle. The handle should be as thin as possible, yet must still be comfortable to grip. The size and design of the handle plays a factor in these criteria.
Preparing food can be enjoyable when you have a neck knife. It becomes a multi-purpose knife when you’re outdoors, and that means it can become a handy “kitchen knife” during the hike. It can finely chop herbs and spices found in mountains, and even survivors can use this to cut small game or fish for dinner. It also helps cut small and softer fruits with ease, plus serve as a can opener at the same time.
If the situation calls for it, or if you have a lot of time to spend at a riverside, then you can use your neck knife as a makeshift fishing spear. Just grab a long tough wood, and look for a means to tie up your knife to the wood. If you feel like you’re accurate enough to catch fish on shallow water, then start piercing once you see the opportunity. But be careful though, you might damage the knife if you strike right through the rocks.
Other Factors To Consider
The best neck knife, once again, is built for efficient portability. The recommended weight for the knife should be less than 50g. The lighter, the better as it allows fast withdrawal and makes you cut faster. However, the lightness should be no less than 35g as the material used for the blade could become questionable in terms of durability.
Your neck knife should always come with a sheath, otherwise, it will never be a recommended purchase. Gladly, all of the best neck knives mentioned above come with a sheath to provide protection for you and to never compromise the safety of others near you. It also protects your bag and some of its items inside from the sharpness of your knife. The sheath should always have a cord attached to it for more efficient means to carry the knife.
The blade should never be too curvy, and must not have an inward curve. The curviness of the blade should be outward to cut easily with a good amount of initial force. The curviness should begin from the tip, down near the middle of the blade, then the rest of the middle to an end portion of the blade should be straight. The handle should always be designed to be comfortable for your fingers to hold it. Most of the best neck knives mentioned above have handles designed similarly to brass knuckles to allow comfort on your fingers even when cutting tough material.
The best neck knife in the market should never be too expensive, nor too cheap. Fair pricing is needed to prove its real quality and for everyone to find it affordable. However, you still need to check your actual budget for buying outdoor gear. Just be sure to never settle for a cheap knife that might get dull easily after bringing it for the first time. But still, be a good bargainer who can land on something great for less!
Reviews come in two forms, and were also mentioned above on the criterias: video and written reviews. Written reviews may provide you in-depth user experience in most parts of the comments or reviews section. But video reviews are better as it shows you the actual performance of the knife by actually using it. These are also unbiased reviews posted by people who are actually planning to use the knife outdoors, making it more honest than those seen on TV shopping channels.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What Is The Recommended Measurement For The Knife’s Size?
A: The most recommended size for the best neck knife should be around 2.15” to 3” long for its blade, while the handle should be 3” to 3.10” long. Such measurements are efficient for its cutting ability while retaining its portable and versatile size. Additionally, the handle size allows firm gripping and ease of use.
Q: What materials can such a small knife cut when outdoors?
A: To have a better idea on what things can a blade that measures 2” do outdoors, then consider the following stuff that you may see or have when travelling the wilderness:
- Tin cans
- Stems and vines
- Fruit or vegetable skin
- Plants and herbs
- Thin or weak metal
- May harm humans and animals
Q: Why use a neck knife if you have a bolo?
A: It’s true that bolos or machetes can finish the job in a more efficient way, and it can even cut or chop more stuff. However, a bolo can become inefficient to carry when climbing rough terrain, plus it’s heavier. Neck knives can do the job better as it’s easy to carry even when going to rough terrain, with the same sharpness as a bolo, plus it’s easier to draw out if the situation calls for it.