The Best Spearfishing/Dive Knives

What are the best spearfishing/dive knives? The following guide will help you decide what the best spearfishing/dive knife is for your use – updated.

A good dive/spearfishing knife should be one of the first things on your list to take diving/spearfishing. It’s obviously handy to use on the fish you spear if needed, but more importantly, it could save your life. I’m not talking about some Great White you might encounter…highly doubtful, but rope, kelp and other things you might get tangled in when spearfishing or diving.

There have been many times when I have popped up in the middle of a kelp bed and have needed to cut my way out (I won’t get into why this happens with this post). On a side note, if this does ever happen to you, don’t panic. The more you move, the more tangled you will get. Move slowly and judge where the best place would be to cut the kelp (a kelp crawl works too – floating on top of kelp and pushing the kelp down and away from you…calmly). This holds true for rope you might get tangled in too.

First, what qualities should you consider when purchasing a dive knife? Here are a few things to look for that may help you to choose the best one that fits your needs.

Handle/Butt – metal or a high-performance rubber is typically the best materials for a dive knife. The butt of the knife is very important and needs to be metal. Let’s stick with titanium. It’s rust free and light. You can use the butt to bang on objects. Most importantly to get your dive buddy’s attention, if needed. Remember safety is of most importance when diving and banging the butt of the knife can be a very useful means to communicate underwater.

Blade – The most common materials you will find that make up a diving knife blade are titanium, stainless steel, and ceramic. The knives that I like and recommend are all titanium. Titanium is rust free and compared to stainless steel it’s lighter and holds its edge better. On a side note, stainless steel is typically easier to sharpen compared to titanium, but in most cases won’t hold it’s edge as long. You are also seeing some ceramic dive knives coming into the market, but ceramic is a harder material to work with compared to titanium and stainless steel, so your options are limited. I mostly see a ceramic application used for wire cutters.
The size of the blade is also something to consider. When you are starting out a 2″ – 3″ blade is adequate. Like anything, it’s a good idea to start small and progress with something larger. A longer blade, let’s say 4″ – 5″ is useful to gain leverage to pry things open, if needed. When you get into the 6″ plus range you need to consider is this advantageous or a hindrance. You don’t want your dive knife to get in the way.
The edge of the blade is also something to consider. Is it a straight edge or serrated, or a combo? A straight edge or non-serrated blade is good for cutting rope, kelp, etc. A serrated edge can be helpful to cut through thicker material. In many situations, you will use both applications to cut through the material.
Tip of Knife – You will come across two types of tips. A blunt tip and a pointed tip. If you are starting out I would recommend a blunt tip, until you get comfortable using it under water. Many divers have been accidentally stabbed by there own knife. That being said, this website is mostly dedicated to spearfishing, so I use and recommend a pointed tip when spearfishing. Obviously, a pointed tip comes in handy when spearing fish.

Line Cutter Notch – This is a good thing to look for on a dive knife. It’s a notch typically used to cut rope/string or fishing line quickly and safely. It’s a notch located at the base of the knife blade where the blade and handle meet. It can be located on the top or bottom of the blade. A very useful feature to have when diving.

Sheath – A good sheath is very important. You want it to hold your dive knife securely, but you also want it to be able to deploy your knife quickly and easily. There are several places you can strap your sheath…leg, belt, BC, etc. Like most things everyone is different and placement differs for the individual diver. I started out strapping my sheath to my leg but moved it to my BC when scuba diving and to my belt when freediving.  I found these locations to be better. I mostly do cold water dives and when wearing a thick wetsuit having a knife strapped to your leg can be cumbersome and hard to get to.

Type of Blade – You will find two types of blades. A fixed blade and a folding blade. I recommend using a fixed blade. A folding blade can be helpful out of the water, but underwater not so much. They can be locked into place but can be very cumbersome when trying to open them, especially when wearing gloves. We’re going stick with fixed blades.

I put together this guide to help you to select the best dive knife to use on your next dive. The following three dive knives are the best on the market when considering quality, value, and price.

There are many dive knives to choose from, but I recommend the following three for their overall quality and price:

Aqua Lung:

Overall this is my knife of choice when I’m out spearfishing. It does come in a stainless steel version, but I have a titanium one. Over the years this is probably the best cutting titanium knife I have used. Its blade is 4 1/2″ and somewhat looks like a spear with serrated edges. Another thing I really liked about it was its sheath and locking system. “The patented Squeeze Lock design allows the diver to securely lock the knife in its sheath while offering a quick and easy release with a simple squeeze of the handle”.  The knife feels safe and secure when locked in the locking system.  You can’t go wrong with the Aqua Lung. My prediction is it will last for a good 10 years with little maintenance.


 

Promate Barracuda Sharp Tip Titanium Diving Knife (5-inch):

This is another great knife. If needed this knife can be disassembled easily for cleaning. I really like the handle on this knife and the sheath is pretty good. I say pretty good because I had to insert it a couple times into its sheath when course sand was around the clip, but not much of an issue. Last, but not least this knife comes out of the box sharp…be careful. Promate has a great line of different knives I have used over the years, but this is the one I lean to.

 

  • Atomic Aquatics Titanium Ti6

    This titanium dive knife is a choice of many professional divers. Another all around great knife. It has a nice 4″ cutting edge as well as a serrated edge. As you have noticed on the other dive knife reviews above I’m big on a sheath that works well and this one has it. It has a nice push-button release mechanism. It also comes in a blunt tip version if you prefer that style of knife.

 

Conclusion:

When considering the best dive knife for your use it is very important to use a knife that is dependable and can get you out of a situation if needed. Safety is your number one priority when diving and the knives recommended in this guide will help you be safe. They are all made of quality materials and moderately priced. My top recommendation, out of the three is the Aqua Lung for its overall dependability, quality, value, and ease of use. Ultimately any of the three are great knives and your individual needs will point you to the right knife for you. All the best and enjoy your next dive!