April 7, 2024

5 min

Equipment reviews

Best sailing knife & boat knife 2024: The top 5

sailing boat knife

A good boat knife is an indispensable tool for sailors, hopefully coming with a blend of functionality, durability, and safety, and designed specifically for the marine environment. A good boat knife is significantly different from those you might use on shore. Here on the Rubicon 3 site, we write up as many reviews as we can to help you make the right choice. To that end, the characteristics that make a good boat knife include:

Corrosion Resistance

Given the constant exposure to saltwater and humid conditions, a good boat knife must be made from materials that resist corrosion. Stainless steel, particularly high-grade versions like 316 stainless steel, is commonly used. Titanium and ceramic knives also offer excellent resistance to rust and corrosion.

Sharpness and Edge Retention

The ability to cut quickly and efficiently is crucial, whether slicing through heavy rope, fishing line, or in emergencies. A quality blade should be sharp out of the box and maintain its edge over time, requiring minimal maintenance.

Ease of Use

A boat knife must be easy to open and operate with one hand. In many situations at sea, you might only have one hand free. Features like a thumb hole, flipper, or assisted opening can enhance ease of use. A reliable locking mechanism is also essential to prevent the blade from closing accidentally during use.

Safety Features

A rounded or blunted tip can prevent accidental punctures or injuries, especially in rough conditions where the boat is moving unpredictably. Some knives also come with a serrated edge to cut through tough materials like rope more efficiently, while still maintaining a portion of the blade that is fine-edged for cleaner cuts.


Many sailors prefer a knife that includes additional tools, such as a marlin spike for untying knots, a shackle key for opening and tightening shackles, and perhaps a screwdriver or bottle opener. These multi-functional knives can reduce the number of tools needed to be carried separately.

Durability and Build Quality

The overall build quality must withstand the harsh marine environment and frequent use. This includes not just the blade, but also the handle materials, which should provide a secure grip even when wet. High-quality plastics, metal alloys, and rubberized grips are common.

Visibility and Accessibility

Knives with bright handles or lanyards can be easier to find in an emergency or if dropped. Additionally, a way to securely attach the knife to oneself or gear, such as a lanyard hole, clip, or sheath, ensures it is always within reach when needed.

Best Sailing Knife 2024? Here’s the Top 5

1. Myerchin Generation 2 Crew Pro Rigging Knife

  • Myerchin’s latest rigging knife links traditional craftsmanship with modern materials, making it our number-one choice for seafarers. It is made from virtually indestructible G10 composite and German Marine Stainless Steel. G10 is a man-made material that is impervious to the elements and it is the strongest handle for a knife intended for use at sea. The Pro-grade German Marine stainless that they use is comparable to 440C for hardness and edge-holding properties with additional anti-oxidation elements added for the final crafting of the knife. What a knife.

2. Spyderco Assist Rescue Folding Knife

  • The Spyderco Assist knife is superb, featuring a VG-10 patented blunt-tipped blade, designed for efficiently cutting through ropes and nets. Its toothy SpyderEdged portion excels in slicing through tough fibrous material in an emergency, while the PlainEdge tip allows for precise tasks and detailed cutting. Above the round hole, a cobra hood positions the thumb directly over the hole for quick blade deployment, then doubles as a leveraging platform for the thumb. For added safety, the knife incorporates a unique wavy pattern for cutting ropes close to the skin without full blade exposure. Its safety orange FRN handle is comfortable to handle and also has a carbide tip for breaking glass and even a survival whistle. This is a very good knife for sailors.

3. Myerchin BF377P Generation 2 Crew Pro Rigging Knife

  • Myerchin’s Generation 2, A100 Offshore System features handles made from black G10, making it impervious to the elements and makes an excellent handle for a knife intended for use at sea. This modern upgrade to the traditional knife and separate marlin spoike combo features thicker steel, lighter overall weight, an improved shackle slot, and stronger lanyard attachment. The Classic Sheepsfoot blade design is a modern version of the classic knives used by seamen for centuries.

Benchmade H2O Fixed Knife

  • The H2O is a great knife, being large enough to function as a serious knife, but at the same time compact and slim enough to be practical in all situations. It has a rounded to prevent accidents and has a large cutting hook that will slice through lines up to 8mm thick with ease. the blade is part serrated and part smooth, ensuring you can cut through just about anything. The blade is made from the superb Böhler N680 steel and the handle is from high-quality rubber that offers great grip even when wet or when wearing gloves.

  • Not everyone likes a multi-tool, but for those who do this is surely up there with the best. Beautifully made, with a hi-vis lanyard attached and easy to use, it is so versatile and means you are ready for just about anything. This comes packed with typical Victorinox functionality, combining a locking blade, lockable marlin spike, mini pliers and more and yet is still small enough to fit into a pocket. High-quality stainless ensures it has good corrosion resistance.

Victorinox Swiss Army Skipper Pro Multi-Tool

Victorinox sailing knife

Whichever knife you buy, we strongly recommend you have one, and always carry it with you at sea. Things go wrong very quickly on a yacht and if you need to cut a rope in an emergency, you need the knife on you, ready to go, not sat in a drawer somewhere. Look after it, rinse it with fresh water, dry it and lightly oil it and will be an indispensable tool for life. Happy sailing!

Like this post? Read our guides to the best sailing sunglasses, sailing gloves, sailing shoes and more!

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