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Diving Knife Buyers Guide

You understand the real importance of a reliable diving knife when you are meters deep into the ocean! From thwacking the tangling wires to safeguarding yourself from aquatic animals, a diving knife is a life savior.

But how to pick the best diving knife! Is there any definite buyer’s guide that assists you in choosing the right diving knife?

Well, yes! With this comprehensive diving knife buyer's guide, you can find out what to look for in a good diver's knife.

Go through this guide and note down the critical factors you should consider while choosing the best knife for divers.

Why Do You Need a Diving Knife?

Have you ever wondered why professional divers always keep a dive knife handy? There are several reasons why having a dive knife at hand is essential when you are going deeper into the abyss.

A reliable and sharp dive knife allows you to cut those nets and lines getting tangled around your body or camera gear. Furthermore, a dive knife can be a self-defense tool against the predators present in the ocean.

Similarly, there can be multiple instances where a dive knife will save your life, so you should always keep the best diving knife while diving.

Factors to Consider While Buying a Dive Knife

Dive knives are available in different sizes, shapes, and are made with a range of materials. With this buyer's guide, you will get the required information about the factors that influence the performance and lifespan of the knife.

Moreover, you can compare your favorite dive knives based on this guide to pick the best out of the rest.

Size of the Knife

Generally, there are two types available in the size category i.e.

  • Small dive knives (2-3 inches blade length)
  • Medium dive knives (4-5 inches blade length)

Any knife larger than these sizes will be cumbersome and hard to handle with other diving gear. Most professional divers choose 4-inches dive knives as these are best for cutting down nets ropes, and are ideal for self-defense.

Small Dive Knives

Small dive knives are compact and easy to handle. You can even clamp one of these knives with your hose to access it quickly whenever needed. However, the handles attached to these knives can be small, so you should be extra sure about the length of the handle.

Medium Dive Knives

Medium dive knives are more practical due to their weight and strength. You can use these knives for various purposes like cutting ropes, digging the surface, and much more.

Any length larger than these will not be a great choice, and you have to carry extra heft whole diving. Additionally, you cannot clamp bigger knives for quick access, so there’s no benefit in having a lengthier dive knife than 5 inches.

Blade Material

Choosing the material is vital as it has a lot to do with the strength of the blade. Poor material means poor performance, and there’s no scope that you should take a poor dive knife with you underwater.

Most dive knife manufacturers use two types of materials:


Dive knife blades made using titanium are highly resistant to corrosion and rust, as there's no carbon content present in the metal. Also, titanium blades hold the edge for a pretty good time, and you have to spend less time on the maintenance.

These blades are lightweight, flexible, and durable as compared to stainless steel blades. To get a titanium blade, you have to spend more, as titanium is a pricier metal.

However, having a titanium blade is worth the money due to the umpteen benefits it offers over stainless steel blades.

Stainless Steel

Stainless steel dive knives are made using 400 or 300-grade steel, which is of excellent quality and ideal for making knives. With a stainless steel blade, you cannot expect extreme corrosion resistance as the blade will surely corrode with time if proper maintenance isn't ensured.

Both 300 and 400-grade steel blades have different weight and rust resistance. Also, the blade is prone to losing edge faster as compared to the titanium counterparts.

You have to spend more time in maintaining the blade because it loses the edge quickly than titanium blades. Having a stainless steel blade will cost you considerably less, and that’s the upside of using steel blades.


Dive knives primarily have two edges, either straight or serrated. But there are some knives available that have both edges on either side. The serrated edge is ideal for cutting natural fibers, including kelp and rope.

On the other hand, a straight edge thwacks well through plastic, including nylon and line. Having a dive knife with both edges will reward you with the versatility of two knives as you can cut and saw with just one tool.

You can even go with the dive knives that have serrated and straight edges on both sides. But we recommend you choose the one with a straight and serrated edge, so you don't miss the benefits of each edge while diving.

The Blade’s Tip

Dive knives can have dull, pointed, and tanto tips based on which knife model you are choosing. Here is some more information about these tips types so that you can choose the knife quickly.

Sharp Tip

Dive knives with sharp tips are good for cutting and puncturing. Also, most fishermen and divers choose sharp tips as these cut easily and can use the blade for multiple purposes.

Handling a sharp tip requires more precision and expertise as any malfunction can cause serious injuries. Moreover, the tip is prone to breaking while digging, so you have to spend more time in maintaining it.

Blunt Tips

Blades with blunt tips are best for scuba-divers because these are fewer chances of puncturing or cutting the air house, wetsuit, and other essential components. Also, the blades are easy to handle and are good for beginners as well.

Tanto Tip

Tanto tip dive based comes under the hybrid category, which has a combination of the pointed and dull tip. The blade has a sharp tip and a dull point so that you can use it for multiple purposes. Tanto tip blades are costly, then pointed and dull blades.


So the material of the blade is superior, and the edge is perfect for cutting anything, but what if you aren't able to hold the blade comfortably?

To get the full potential from a blade, you need a comfortable grip to hold it. Check the texture, shape, and material used in the grip.

Textured handles offer better grip, and you can hold the knife firmly without fumbling with it. Make sure to avoid any hard materials because you won’t be able to handle the blade perfectly.

Sheath or Strap

A durable strap or stealth is essential to prevent the dive knife from sinking into the sea when not in use. Look for a dive knife that has a durable sheath that fits perfectly with your diving gear. Without a strap or a sheath, the blade can go deeper into the ocean, and you have to avoid it at all costs.

With folding dive knives, you will find clips instead of the sheath, but these have the same purpose as the sheath.

Folding or Fixed

You will find multiple diving knives available under folding and fixed categories. Both knives have some distinct benefits, including ease of handling and carrying.

We suggest you go for fixed knives as these are more reliable as there's no folding spring mechanism that can get damaged.

You can use a fixed knife on the go just by pulling the sheath, whereas, in a folding knife, you have to unfold the knife, which takes some time and expertise.

Nowadays, most divers are choosing foldable knives as they are small, and there are no issues of the blade damaging the pipes and other diving gear.


How much are you willing to spend on a dive knife? Dive knives are available at a range of prices that varies from brands and the material type.

Stainless steel knives are cheaper as compared to titanium dive knives. So you can make your choice based on the budget.

Never buy cheap quality dive knives as these aren't reliable, and you have to replace one after some time. Branded dive knives may be a bit pricier, but these are reliable, and you can expect a significant lifespan from the knife.

Some Other Considerations to Make While Buying a Dive Knife

Here are a few more factors to consider for making an even better choice.

  • Lanyard Hole

Not all the dive knives come with a lanyard hole, but you should check for it to prevent the knife from slipping. It's quite common that knives slip underwater, but with a lanyard hole, you can protect the knife from sinking.

  • High Visibility

Do you know why a vast majority of dive knives have bright colors? Well, bright color knives aren't just fashionable, but you can clearly see the knife into the dark abyss.

There are the least chances of the knife getting misplaced as you can see it easily. Furthermore, you can spot the handle, which prevents you from holding the naked blade.

  • Metal Butt

A metal butt is a robust metal cap attached to the end of the handle. A dive knife with a metal butt isn't just good for cutting and sawing. You can also use it to bang on different surfaces, just like a hammer.

  • Finger Grips

Finger grips make it even convenient to hold the blade firmly. Moreover, there are fewer chances of the blade slipping from your hands, and you can give smooth chops and cuts underwater.

  • Line Cutter

Dive blades are ideal for cutting lines, but sometimes you may find it struggling to cut the line using the blade. Having a knife with a line cutter is essential as these are better for cutting the lines.

There is a small notch available on the blade that can cut the line in a single swoop, and you don’t have to try more than once.

FAQs about Best Dive Knives

How to properly maintain a dive knife?

If you want your dive knife to perform like a new one, then proper maintenance is a necessity. Below mentioned are some maintenance tips you should follow:

  1. Before planning for a dive, inspect the knife thoroughly and look for any corrosion spots. If you took a corroding knife into water, there would be fair chances for the blade to catch more corrosion. Use a soft cloth and some cleaning solution to wipe the blade. Make sure that the cloth or rubbing material is non-abrasive as it can scratch the blade.
  2. Inspect the edge regularly to find out whether it needs sharpening or not. You can even test how sharp your blade is by cutting some ropes with it. Using a blunt edge won't help you in cutting anything, and the blade can get damaged permanently.
  3. Use fresh water to rinse the knife after every dive as the salts and particles present in the ocean can damage the outer layer. Now dry the knife using a soft towel and cloth before you pack it with the gear.
  4. Using silicone grease is the best thing you can do to your dive knife. It will help you in preserving the edge while preventing the knife’s surface from chipping off.
  5. If you have a foldable dive knife, then inspect the folding mechanism before packing the knife. Also, you can lubricate the knife using silicone to make the foldable part work smoothly.
Why is a dive knife necessary?

If you are a professional diver, then you cannot agree more about why having a dive knife is a must! With a dive knife, you get a smoother and better diving experience. There will be n more wires, and ropes are tangling around your body, and no more predators can harm you.

Just like other diving gear, having a knife is indispensable to safeguard you while diving. Go through the buyer’s guide to get more detailed information on best dive knives.

Where to keep a dive knife?

Many divers claim that keeping a dive knife in the lower part of the body is excellent i.e., on your ankle or leg. You can easily snap off the knife from the cover whenever required and put it back when not in place.

Moreover, keeping a knife in the lower part reduces the chances of puncturing and tearing down the tubes.

How long does a dive knife last?

Diving knives are made using metal and forged to last so that you can expect a remarkable lifespan from it. However, the longevity depends on several factors like how you maintain the knife or are you using the right knife for diving.

Check the buyer's guide mentioned above to buy a dive knife that lasts longer, and you don't have to replace it too soon with a new one.

Titanium or stainless steel, which is better to choose?

There are some significant differences between titanium and stainless steel knives. The titanium blade remains protected from rust and corrosion. Also, you have to sharpen the tip less often as compared to steel blades.

On the other hand, stainless steel blades are relatively cheaper, and you can look after the blade to maintain its shape.

Both blades are ideal for diving, but you have to pay more to experience the fantastic benefits titanium dive knives offer.

The screws of my knife are getting loose, what should I do?

Regular use of any knife can result in the loosening of screws, but there is no need to worry about it. You can tighten the screws again using an Alan Wrench or Torx. Moreover, you can use any thread lock to keep the screws tightened for a prolonged time.

How length impacts the performance of a dive knife?

The length of the blade has a notable impact on the performance of the knife. As an example, bigger blades are heavy, so you have to handle them with extra care. Also, putting a big blade back into the cover can be challenging, and you will find yourself struggling with a bigger blade if you haven’t handled one before.

When it comes to a small blade, then these are lightweight and compact. You can easily handle a shorter knife, and these are ideal for cutting ropes and nets.

Professional scuba divers use bigger knives as they have the expertise to handle it, but small dive knives are good for beginners.

To Sum Up

We are sure that with this buyer's guide, you can quickly choose the best dive knife based on your requirements. We have mentioned every single factor you should check before buying a knife. By following this definitive guide, you can funnel down a reliable and robust dive knife that lasts longer.

Furthermore, we suggest checking out the FAQ section as well to find out some tips and other crucial information about modern dive knives.

Happy Diving! / - © Copyright 2020