Fixed Blade Knives

A fixed blade knife is any type of knife with a blade that's permanently affixed to the handle, unlike folding or automatic knives whose blades retract or fold into the handle. Most fixed blades come with a sheath—hence why a fixed blade knife is also sometimes called a "sheath knife."
Show More

Fixed blade knives may have a full or partial tang:

  • Full tang: The blade extends into the full length of the hilt or handle, providing maximum strength and balance.

  • Partial tang: The blade only partially extends into the handle, typically halfway or less. Partial tang knives are lighter but generally less robust than full tang knives.

Different types of fixed blade knives

Bowie knife

Bowie knives were named after legendary 19th-century frontiersman Jim Bowie, who was known to always carry a long knife. This type of fixed blade knife became famous after the much-publicized 1887 Sandbar fight in Mississippi.

An image featuring the Boker Bowie fixed blade knife on a solid black background. Next to the knife is a leather carrying sheath.

Bowie knives have various uses, including hunting and responsible self-defense.

Survival knife

This fixed blade knife can be used for various survival activities, including food prep, shelter building, and creating kindling to start a fire. Some of the best survival knife options we recommend include the Benchmade 163-1 Bushcrafter, a reliable Benchmade straight blade knife you'd be happy to bring with you in the wilderness.

Utility knife

This is an all-purpose knife with a durable cutting edge that's designed for various tasks, such as:

  • Opening packages

  • Cutting cords

  • Kitchen tasks such as peeling fruit and cutting meat

  • Cleaning fish scales

  • Reshaping timber

Hunting knife

Fixed blade hunting knives come with durable, high-quality knife blade steel that can withstand rigorous, demanding tasks. They can be divided into several subcategories:

  • Skinning knife: Features a wide, curved blade for skinning game

  • Gut hook knife: Has a hook on the back of the blade for field dressing and gutting game

  • Boning knife: For removing bones from meat

  • Butcher knife: A larger knife for butchering game

  • Caping knife: A small precise knife typically used by taxidermists

If you're looking for a topnotch hunting knife for your next adventure, here are Benchmade fixed blade knives we suggest that you consider:

  • Benchmade 15002-1 Saddle Mountain Skinner: This high-performance hunting knife features a drop-point S90V fixed blade, known for its wear resistance and edge retention capabilities—meaning, it can withstand tough conditions and stays sharp longer. It comes with an ergonomic, orange richlite/G-10 handle and a low-profile black/orange Kydex sheath.

  • Benchmade 15017 Hidden Canyon Hunter: This compact but reliably precise hunting gem has a classic but stable wood handle and a drop-point CPM-S30V blade. S30V fixed blade knives are known for their edge retention, ease of sharpening, and toughness, making them the perfect tool for skinning and other tasks that require precision. Because its overall length is a measly 6.42 inches, it's highly portable. Each purchase includes a fitted leather sheath for securing the knife.

An image featuring the Benchmade 15017 Hidden Canyon Hunter on a black and wooden background. Next to the knife is a fitted leather sheath with the Benchmade butterfly logo embossed on it.

  • Benchmade 15017-1 Hidden Canyon Hunter: A variation of the classic Hidden Canyon Hunter, this incredibly durable Benchmade fixed blade is a lightweight knife with an S90V blade and an orange richlite/G-10 handle. It comes with the same compact 2.79-inch drop point but with a fitted black/orange Kydex sheath for easy carry and concealment.

An image featuring the Benchmade 15017-1 Hidden Canyon Hunter on a black and wooden background. The Benchmade logo can be prominently seen on the knife's blade. Next to the knife is a bright orange sheath.

Tactical knife

Designed for law enforcement and military use, tactical fixed blades often feature a tanto or spear point blade that's effective for close-quarter combat, breaking glass and cutting seatbelts during emergencies, and other high-stress scenarios.

A tactical knife is also a great knife to use for general cutting tasks and outdoor activities.

Boot knife

A boot knife is a small knife that can be concealed in a boot for personal protection and emergencies. They're primarily designed for combat and self-defense.

Throwing knife

Primarily used in sports and recreation, this fixed blade knife is balanced for flight and accuracy. When thrown correctly, it sticks to the target point first. Unlike other fixed blade knives, throwing knives don't have a sharp edge or an ergonomic handle.


Daggers are fixed blade knives with double-edged blades and pointed tips. They're among the earliest weapons ever created and were historically used in religious rituals and initiation ceremonies.

Fillet knife

Fillet knives have long, thin, flexible blades designed for filleting fish. They're made from high-quality, corrosion-resistant steel for removing skin and bone without damaging the fish's flesh.

Chef's knife

Culinary knives are broad, sturdy fixed blade knives used in the kitchen to chop, slice, and dice various ingredients.

Neck knife

This is a small knife worn around the neck for self-defense, small tasks, and emergencies. Neck knives come with a neck carry sheath—and in many cases, a retention strap—to securely hold the blade when not in use.

Pros and cons of fixed blade knives for everyday carry (EDC)


  • EDC fixed blade knives are generally more durable than folding knives. Because the blade is fixed, there are no moving parts that can wear out.

  • They require no opening or closing, so they're dependable and ready to use in emergencies.

  • No joints or moving parts where dirt can accumulate, so they're easier to clean and maintain than other types of knives.

  • They're versatile and can be used for everyday cutting, outdoor and camping tasks, and even in emergency response situations.


  • Fixed blades are generally bulkier than traditional folding and automatic knives. Plus, they require a sheath for carrying, making them even bulkier.

  • Because they're bulky, they can be challenging to carry discreetly and may attract unwanted attention.

  • Fixed blade knives are also typically heavier than folding knives, which can be a disadvantage for EDC.

What to consider when choosing a fixed blade knife

  • Purpose and use: Camping, hunting, tactical use, EDC, or specialized tasks such as skinning game or self-defense—there's an appropriate fixed blade knife for each specific purpose.

  • Blade steel type: Options include stainless steel (commonly used in EDC knives), carbon steel (common in survival knives), or tool steel (primary alloy steel used in cutting tools).

  • Blade shape: Typical shapes are drop point for general use, clip point for piercing and precision tasks, tanto for tactical use, spear point for thrusting, or sheepsfoot for slicing and controlled cuts.

  • Blade length: This can affect portability and usability. Typically, 3-7 inches—longer blades for heavy-duty tasks and shorter blades for precision work.

  • Handle material: Options include G-10 (lightweight, moisture-resistant), Micarta (durable, good grip even when wet), rubber (non-slip grip), wood (comfortable and visually pleasing but may be harder to maintain), and metal (incredibly durable).

  • Sheath material: Options include leather, Kydex, nylon, or plastic.

  • Applicable knife laws: Particularly regarding blade length and knife types

  • Brand: Choose reputable manufacturers that offer warranties on their products.

  • Price: Set your budget, but keep in mind, higher-quality knives are usually pricier.

Best fixed blade knife brands

There are several, but these two are worth checking out:

  • Benchmade Knives makes some of the best knives out there—it's a name the knife community associates with durability, reliability, and superior performance. Benchmade fixed blades have various uses, from everyday cutting to tactical and survival situations.

  • Bradford Knives, a brand synonymous with fixed blades, meticulously handcrafts each knife. All Bradford fixed blade knives come with a limited lifetime warranty. If your knife needs sharpening, simply send it back.

Fixed blades: Are they legal in the United States?

Fixed blade knives are generally legal to purchase and carry within the U.S. However, before buying one, make sure to familiarize yourself with local and state laws.

Where to buy a fixed blade knife

Northwest Knives is a trusted online supplier of high-quality, durable fixed blade knives. We carry options from various brands, including Benchmade, Bradford, Boker, Buck, Hogue, Muela, and Spyderco.

For any questions or concerns, feel free to reach out. We're just a phone call or email away.


Filter by

Clear All
Sort by: