Short on time? We consider the best dive knife to be the Atomic Aquatics Ti6
A dive knife is what most consider to be an essential piece of safety gear.
If you’re lucky you may not have to call upon your dive knife very often, however if a situation arises where you need one – You’ll be extremely thankful you had one handy.
There are way more features to a dive knife than you might think, so we’re here to help you select the most suitable dive knife for you.
In this guide we will cover the best dive knives currently on the market, and the different types and features that can be found.
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quick answer – the BEST Dive Knives of 2021
- Atomic Aquatics Titanium Ti6 Diving Knife – [Blunt or Pointed Tip]
- Promate Titanium Dive Knife [Blunt or Pointed Tip]
- Cressi Skorpion Stainless Steel Dive Knife – [Blunt or Pointed Tip]
- Scubapro Mako Titanium Diving Knife with 3.5-Inch Blade [Tanto Tip]
- Promate Barracuda Stainless Steel Knife -5″ Blade [Blunt or Pointed Tip]
- TUSA FK-940 X-Pert II Dive Knife
the best dive knives reviewed
Atomic Aquatics Titanium Ti6 Diving Knife – Best Overall
If you are looking for a robust, tough, good quality knife that will last you for years to come then the Atomic Aquatics Ti6 might be the one for you.
The Ti6 and sheath are both lightweight, and the one push button release on the sheath makes the knife quickly and easily accessible when you need it.
If you are looking for one of the best titanium dive knives on the market to be your primary knife – Then the Ti6 would be an excellent choice. It has all of the features you need in a dive knife and is available in both a pointed tip or a blunt tip depending on which you prefer.
- Titanium Blade is lightweight and very corrosion resistant
- Available as blunt or pointed tip to suit your needs
- Easy to release Push button sheath
- Features serrated edge, straight edge & line cutting notch
If you are keen on a titanium dive knife but are on more of a budget then the Promate Titanium dive knife is one of the best titanium dive knives on a budget that you can buy.
The promate comes in both pointed or blunt tip styles and is also available in five different color ways.
With All the features you would expect to normally find among the best dive knives – it has a straight edge, a serrated edge, line cutting notch and a butt on the handle.
The Promate titanium dive knife will require little to no maintenance, therefore just another reason why you might want to consider this as your primary knife for your adventures.
- Really good value for a Titanium dive knife
- Comes in pointed or blunt tip, and in a large variety of colors
- Requires little to no maintenance
- The rubber moulded handle is comfy & easy to grip
- Needs a bit of a sharpen out of the box
The Cressi Skorpion dive knife is a very popular budget dive knife that would make an ideal knife for the casual recreational diver.
The Skorpion is available as a pointed tip or blunt tip, in different color ways, and also has the option of a titanium or stainless steel blade.
It features a straight edge, serrated edge and a line cutting notch – and a push button release sheath to allow you to quickly release the blade with only one hand.
The stainless steel option will require more TLC than the titanium version, so be sure to care for your knife appropriately by thoroughly washing it in fresh water and regularly treating it with oil.
- Very affordable – good for recreational divers
- Multiple options (blunt tip/pointed tip/stainless steel/titanium)
- Has everything you need – straight edge/serrated edge, line cutting notch & butt cap
- The blade is easily released from the sheath with one hand.
- Requires a lot of maintenance (cleaning and oiling)
If you’re willing to spend that bit of extra money on a titanium knife, what you will get in return is a more lightweight and much harder wearing dive knife.
The Mako dive knife is feature heavy and multifunctional – it has a straight edge blade, a serrated blade, a line cutter, a butt on the handle and a handy bottle opener!
We also love that the Mako can be mounted in various different ways, either it can be mounted on the leg, the arm or on your BCD
The Mako is a tanto tip blade which is a hybrid between a pointed blade and a blunt tip – this knife would make a good compromise for those who are unable to choose between the two, or think they may benefit from both styles all within the same knife.
- Ultra lightweight
- Can mount to leg, arm or to BCD
- Titanium blade is strong and very durable
- Very rust resistant/requires minimal maintenance
- Has every feature you would want, including a bottle opener!
Another good one for those looking for the best dive knife on a budget – The Promate Barracuda stainless steel dive knife.
The Promate has one of the longer blades on our list (5 inches), and has both serrated and straight edges and a line cutting notch.
As this is a stainless steel knife it will require some maintenance and oiling in order to keep it in pristine condition, but unlike the cressi Skorpion the Promate can be completely disassembled to enable you to truly give it a decent cleaning.
If you really like the features and look of this knife (and are willing to spend a little extra), it is also available with a titanium blade instead.
- Can be easily disassembled for cleaning & maintenance
- Very high quality for the price
- Has everything you would want – straight edge, serrated edge, line cutter & handle butt
- Available as blunt or point tip and in a variety of colors
- Some find the straps uncomfortable
TUSA is a very well known and reputable company within the diving industry. They make some very good, high quality gear and the X-Pert dive knife is no exception.
The X-Pert 2 can be strapped to the thigh, calf or arm, and has a really simple and easy one button push to release for quick access.
Being made of titanium, you will find that this knife is extremely corrosion resistant and requires very little maintenance – we also think the red color option is very stylish!
- Requires no/minimal maintenance
- Construction feels sturdy and very high quality
- The quick release button works really well
- The manual/instructions aren’t the most clear
How to choose the best dive knife – Buyers Guide
What Is A Dive Knife
A dive knife is a knife specifically used by divers. It is not used as a weapon, but is an important piece of your safety gear and is used specifically as a tool for cutting through things such as nets, lines, ropes or possibly plant life.
Do You Need To Have A Dive Knife
A dive knife is a relatively inexpensive piece of safety gear – Considering the cost vs the benefit of having one, and the types of situations in which you may end up using a dive knife, the rewards of having one far outweigh the (small) cost of one.
A dive knife is a tool that you may not need to use very often, but when you do encounter a situation that calls for its use, you will most certainly be glad that you had one handy.
In certain countries a dive knife is an essential piece of gear that you will be required to have
What are the benefits of having a dive knife
Added Safety & Security
The main benefit that carrying a dive knife provides is having that little bit extra safety and security in what can be a very unpredictable environment.
In fact, a good dive knife could make the difference in a life or death situation.
Kelp forests and wreck diving in particular are areas where it would be prudent to take a dive knife.
Ropes, nets and fishing lines can be prevalent, especially when wreck diving and a dive knife will allow you to free yourself should you (or your buddy) become entangled.
Similarly kelp forests and other underwater plants are also an area that divers or their gear are prone to getting tangled in. Having your dive knife handy in these situations will ensure you are able to free yourself should this situation arise
Conserve Marine Life
You often see videos on youtube of marine life caught in fishing lines, nets or other plastic waste.
Wouldn’t you want to be able to save the life of an animal trapped by man made waste? Having your dive knife handy could help preserve the life of a marine animal – Plus you’ll have a pretty cool story to tell people about the difference you made that day.
If you need to attract the attention of your dive buddy, or want to warn them then you can wrap the handle of your dive knife against your tank.
different features found in Scuba Diving Knives
What will be the intended use of your dive knife?
Are you a recreational diver who will primarily be exploring reefs? Or maybe you’re into wreck diving, or spearfishing perhaps?
The type of dive knife most suitable to you will depend on what you intend to use it for.
A blunt tip style of diving knife is starting to become the new norm amongst recreational divers.
The blunt tip of this style of dive knife is ideal for prying, scraping, or as use as a screwdriver, but you still have a serrated and straight edge for cutting – All in all this is a very well rounded multi purpose tool.
A recreational diver probably doesn’t have much need for a pointed tip knife, and a blunt tip knife is generally considered the more user safe of the two, as you are much less likely to puncture your equipment (or yourself!).
Drop Point Tip
A pointed tip dive knife is more widely used and favored among spear fishers, as this blade tip is good for stabbing, puncturing or for slicing.
More care should be employed with this style of dive knife as it could easily puncture equipment (or yourself), if not used or stored correctly.
The tanto style blade is a hybrid of the pointed tip and blunt tip style blades.
The tanto design is more angled at the end rather than curved and combines to form a pointed blade, but it also has a blunt edge to allow you the ability to also be able to use it as a prying tool.
line cutting notch
Most dive knives have a line cutting notch which looks somewhat like a bottle opener!
This notch, located near towards the handle is used for, you guessed it, line cutting. The line cutting notch will make quick work of fishing lines and smaller diameter ropes.
You can buy a dive knife that has either a serrated edge, or a straight edge, however these days most dive knives will feature both styles – Either a serrated edge on one side, with the straight on the opposite, or the serrated edge near the handle of the knife, with the straight edge above it.
We would recommend a dive knife that features both types of blade edge so that you can benefit from both styles.
A serrated edge, which looks like that of a bread knife is excellent for sawing your way through thicker objects – like thick rope for example. Serrated edges typically stay sharper for longer than a straight edge blade.
If Crocodile Dundee has taught us anything, it’s that the bigger the blade the better, right?
Wrong. Or at least, not when it comes to scuba diving.
Having to travel with an excessively large dive knife and attaching this to one’s person could prove troublesome, and an oversized knife blade is going to provide most people with any real benefit over a standard/shorter one.
Blade lengths typically range between three to six inches for dive knives – with 3.5 to 5 inches being ideal for most people.
The blades of dive knives are typically constructed from one of two materials – Stainless Steel or Titanium.
Each material comes with its own pros and cons, but both are generally hard wearing and corrosion resistant.
stainless steel dive knives
Stainless steel dive knives are perhaps the more common of the two. Stainless steel stands up well to the harsh corrosive nature of salt water, but not as well as titanium.
Whilst stainless steel is strong and durable it will still corrode over time if not cared for properly.
If you go for a stainless steel dive knife it will almost certainly be cheaper than a titanium one, but it will require more care and maintenance than a titanium knife – You need to ensure that a stainless steel knife is washed with fresh water after every use, and treat it with mineral oil every so often in order to maintain it.
Stainless steel, as it is the softer metal of the two, is easier and quicker to sharpen than titanium is – but you will wear down quicker and have to be sharpened more regularly than a titanium blade.
titanium dive knives
Titanium is stronger and more corrosion resistant than stainless steel. Titanium also happens to be lighter than steel which is why you will find that a good quality titanium dive knife costs more than a stainless steel one.
A titanium dive knife won’t require quite as much care and maintenance as a stainless steel one and as this metal is stronger and harder than steel – you won’t have to sharpen it as often. You will however find that titanium is more difficult to sharpen than steel is.
Wherever you choose to mount your knife, it must be mounted/attached in a place that is easily reachable and convenient for you to access.
A good place to mount a larger blade is on the leg – either on the thigh or the calf. Mounting your dive knife on your leg could pose entanglement issues, and could potentially be harder to reach.
Mounting your knife on your arm will allow you to potentially access it quicker and more conveniently than if it is on your leg. What you should bare in mind though is that your knife, wherever you choose to mount it, needs to be accessible at all times and if it’s mounted on your arm – this only gives you the option of accessing it with one hand.
BCD Or Hose Mounted
Some dive knives give you the option of attaching it to your BCD or hose. This is a great option as it will allow you easy access to your knife with either hand, from an area which is convenient and easy to access.
Attaching to one of these area will be more secure and pose less risk of entanglement – Just remember to remove the knife when you’re finished diving so that it can be cleaned, it’s very easy to forget sometimes that you have it there!
foldable dive knives
Foldable dive knives and generally a smaller and more compact which makes this style of knife a good option for storing in your BCD pocket.
A foldable dive knife would make a good backup option, but can pose issues of being not as quick and easy to unsheath (especially with one hand), as the regular dive knives in our list.
How To Clean Your Dive Knife
Salt water can be very corrosive over time. In order to keep your dive knife rust free and as fresh as the day you bought it, you will need to ensure that you clean and care for it correctly.
Some dive knives can be disassembled, some can’t. If your dive knife is one which disassembles make sure to do this after each use and rinse it with fresh water so you can really get into all the nooks and crannies.
If your knife is not one that comes apart that’s fine – A lot of them don’t. The protocol for them is exactly the same. Give them a good clean and rinse with fresh water after each dive.
You should also think about purchasing a mineral oil – especially if you have a stainless steel blade. Washing your knife in fresh water and treating it with mineral oil regularly will help keep knife corrosion free and durable for years to come.
There are a lot of really great quality dive knives on the market at super competitive prices.
The winner in our list though is the Atomic Aquatics Ti6.
The Ti6 has all the features needed in a dive knife, but is also very low maintenance and highly corrosion resistant, features include:
- Both a serrated edge and straight edge
- Line Cutting Notch
- Titanium Blade – strong & corrosion resistant
- Very quick and easy push button release