Any scuba diver preparing for a serious freshwater or saltwater dive needs to make sure they have a scuba diving knife handy. This life-saving piece of scuba gear can do everything from getting you out of entanglement to helping clear debris. But with a wide range of dive knife blades to choose from, picking the best dive knife for you can be a tough call.
What’s more, you can’t afford to simply pick your scuba diving knives at random. This is because the knife design of these cutting tools has to match your type of diving or tool function may be impaired.
With this in mind, you need a solid piece of equipment that not only manages your cutting needs but also sits well with the rest of your gear too. We’ve explored the scuba knife category extensively and come up with a list of the best models of dive knives for you today!
See our top choices and why we think they might be right for you below!
1. Best Overall – Promate Titanium Dive Knife
Not only does this high-quality dive knife come in seven different colors, but you can also choose whether to go for pieces with sharp or blunt tips!
More than this, the entire knife blade length is built solely for utility and functionality.
We say this because the titanium blades come with serrated edges on one side and feature an edge with wire cutter on the other. It also has a strong and rigid end that can come in handy if you have to do some emergency banging on your dive boat or need to signal underwater.
With a sharp blade length of 4.5” and a handle that’s 5” and offers a very secure grip, this type of dive knife helps you easily meet all existing knife laws while keeping you 100% ready for dive duty.
The Promate scuba knife is made from titanium, which is a material that also has a high resistance to corrosion. As a result, this type of blade will serve you well for a long time.
The titanium knife also comes with a plastic sheath and rubber leg straps as well. For safety reasons, the plastic sheath comes with a double push-button release feature. With this safety lock in place, you’re less likely to hurt yourself in action.
While there are certainly more popular dive knives out there, this solid piece is no doubt the best dive knife you can get in 2022!
- It has high corrosion resistance.
- It’s available in a wide range of colors.
- It has a futuristic design.
- It has a rubber ergonomic design.
- It comes with a sheath and rubber straps for a leg mount.
- It has a decent lock mechanism.
- The leg straps can be difficult to operate.
- It’s not a very compact knife.
2. Best Budget – TUSA FK-10/11 Mini Dive Knife
Boasting a Grade 304 stainless steel blade, these types of blade not only have superior ease of grip but are also perfect for different dive destinations.
Its 3-inch blade is remarkably sharp and has a knife with a drop point tip. It’s second to none. When getting a budget knife, most experienced divers tend to avoid any diving knife with a plastic handle.
This is because plastic handles tend to not be comfortable. However, the TUSA FK stands apart here because it not only has an especially durable plastic handle but it also affords you with an ergonomic grip.
This diving knife might also be the right choice for you if you want all the perks of having a full-length smooth edge blade without the bulk and awkwardness.
The compact knife is also available in a wide range of colors so you can easily get something that matches your other diving gear perfectly.
One thing to keep in mind when using this stainless steel knife is that, due to its compact size, it’s best used to cut smaller objects such as thin fishing lines. So, if you’ll likely be cutting for extended periods, you’ll need a more standard primary knife.
Outside this, the cutting edge of this marine-grade knife can help improve your diving experience.
- As it’s a stainless steel blade, it’s completely corrosion resistant.
- It has a compact size, which is great for people who don’t like a very heavy-duty handle on their diving knife.
- It comes at a very affordable price range.
- It has a strong lock mechanism.
- It has a high ease of grip.
- This compact dive knife doesn’t come sharp out of the box.
- The knife sheaths could be improved.
- You may need to use a fastener if you want to securely attach the diving knife to your BCD inflator hose.
3. Best Runner Up – GEAR AID Tanu Dive and Rescue Knife
Scuba diving knives come in all shapes and sizes. Until now, we’ve only mentioned knives that place their focus on aesthetics. We’ll be firmly breaking away from that trend with this GEAR AID piece of equipment.
The only reason this impressive blade isn’t up there with the best and most popular dive knives at the moment is because it isn’t very eye-catching.
However, if looks aren’t a big deal for you, you’ll quickly find that the Grade 304 stainless steel blade length that this knife puts at your disposal is exemplary, to say the least.
First, it has very high corrosion resistance, meaning that you won’t have to worry about the integrity of your blade, whether you’re going for a fresh or saltwater dive.
Also, as it offers both straight edge and serrated edges complemented by solid rubber handles, it can play multiple roles while on your trip. As such, it’s the perfect dive knife, whether as a primary knife blade or a backup knife piece.
It won’t be in your way or cause any inconvenience when not in use. This is because it features a quick-draining and lightweight sheath and comes with a removable belt clip. In addition to the comfy removable belt clip, you can easily fasten this blade to your gear with the lanyard loop or the lanyard hole.
This stainless steel dive knife is the ideal companion for cutting yourself loose and helping marine life, where you can.
It falls in a very decent price range too, making it even more attractive!
- It mounts directly on BCD and is easy to install.
- It offers an ergonomic handle grip thanks to its well-crafted knife handle.
- Its stainless steel blade has good resistance to corrosion and excellent sheath retention.
- It has a very decent overall blade length.
- The owners’ manual can be difficult to follow.
- It comes with a lot of grind out of the box.
4. Best Under $15 – Smith & Wesson Extreme Ops SWA24S
Or do you just want to get quality steel blades for the lowest prices possible?
Provided your needs aren’t too demanding, this scuba diving knife should be a great fit for you.
With a 3-inch blade length and a total weight of just 0.2 pounds, you won’t feel inconvenienced if you have to lug this blade knife around for extended periods of time. The knife handle also provides a very firm grip.
These two factors make it more than perfect for people who need an efficient knife underwater.
Also commendable is the fact that this blade has a well-balanced mix of serrated and non-serrated blades. You get both a slicing and sawing edge on both sides of the knife. This effectively gives you more latitude when it comes to the array of situations you can use it in.
While it may not be the sharpest deep line cutter in the scuba knife category, you will find that it offers good results.
These foldable knives are also great for any scuba diver who doesn’t want to splurge too much on gear because of how affordably priced it is.
It also helps that it fits well into your BCD so you won’t need to worry about making special arrangements if you want to have it on your person at all times.
- It’s an elegant, compact knife.
- It offers a very comfortable grip handle.
- It’s one of the most affordable models of dive knives available today.
- It has an aluminum handle for increased durability.
- It has excellent blade retention.
- It’s good to go straight out of the box.
- The liner lock could be improved.
- You will need to purchase accessories like adjustable straps to attach it to your diving gear.
5. Alternative – Atomic Aquatics Ti6 Titanium Scuba Diving Knife
The type of tang that a blade features often has a direct bearing on its performance and longevity. The Ti6 boasts a full tang that increases your cutting power and helps you get more from the blade’s sawing edge.
These titanium blades are exceptional in that all 4 inches of the blade length are designed to enhance speed, precision, and sharpness.
Although some scuba divers believe that the titanium dive knife commands a rather hefty price, its cost is easy to overlook once you remember that this high-quality knife is all from one single solid piece of titanium, so complete resistance to corrosion is a given!
The handling and operability of the knife are also quite extraordinary as you won’t have any problems removing and replacing the blade, even if you have gloves on. What’s more, its ergonomic handle grip tapers down to an end cap that you can use as a makeshift hammer.
It comes with a lightweight quick-release sheath and leg straps you can use to easily connect it to your person.
Before you start shopping for an Amazon Associate with great affiliate links you can take advantage of, keep in mind that you can only get this knife in one color: black. That being said, it does come in pointed and blunt tips.
Overall, the Ti6 does a great job of living up to expectations as our team had an enjoyable time testing it out. We did notice that the knife rattled in the sheath a little. However, it didn’t fall off at any point so it gets a huge thumbs up!
- It’s made from a tougher material.
- It has good corrosion resistance.
- It has a very responsive quick-release sheath.
- It has a very comfortable handle.
- It boasts a very beautiful knife design.
- It’s available in both pointed and blunt tips.
- It’s only available in one color.
- The adjustable straps can be difficult to manage.
- It’s a bit pricey.
- Cressi Borg Marine Predator Knife
- THRESHER DIVE SUPPLY AISI 304 Dive Knife
- ScubaPro Mako Titanium Diving Knife
- Cressi Borg Stainless Steel Divers Knife
- ScubaPro X-Cut Titanium TEK with Nylon Sheath
How to Pick the Best Dive Knife in 2022
Picking a good quality, traditional dive knife can be tough. This is more so the case if you only have your eye out for the best piece in the scuba knife category.
And, just like a hunting knife must have certain, precise specifications to do a perfect job, there are some qualities your dive knife must possess if you want it to serve you well.
We’ll be highlighting the most important ones below.
The Blade Material
Your scuba diving knife can be made from a wide range of materials. But, as you must have realized from our review, the two most popular materials used in making these knives are titanium and stainless steel.
They are both corrosion-resistant and are quite durable. However, there are several pros and cons unique to using each substance.
Let’s take a closer look at what these two resources offer.
This type of material is light but very strong. As such, it often takes longer and a greater amount of effort to properly sharpen diving knives made of titanium. On the flip side, the blades take longer to dull as well.
While stainless steel is tough, it isn’t very hard. As such, it’s easier and quicker to sharpen. On the downside, it has a lower resistance to corrosion when compared to titanium. It also requires a higher level of maintenance.
So, if you’re planning to go scuba diving for extended periods and want to keep weight down, titanium knives are usually a better option.
The Blade Tip Style
As we mentioned earlier, different styles of knives are tailored to fit certain types of diving. One major factor that contributes to this is the type on the blade. There are two major types of blade tips.
Sharp or Pointed Tips
Dive knives with these types of tips are designed for divers who do more cutting and puncturing during their outdoor adventures.
But using this type of knife underwater isn’t without its risks, as users are prone to accidentally cutting themselves. Also, should the safety locks on these knives disengage for whatever reason, these blades can easily damage your other scuba gear.
This is the preferred blade knife for people who do more hacking and digging during their diving excursions. Because the tip is blunted, there’s considerably less risk of hurting yourself or destroying your diving equipment with these knives.
The Blade Edge Type
This feature is closely tied to and often complements the tip style of a diving knife. There are mainly two types of blade edges, though both types can sometimes be found on the same knife.
The Serrated Edge
Blades with serrated edges come with grooves or teeth that make them better suited for certain tasks. For example, a serrated cutting blade will typically cut through tough surfaces faster and more efficiently than non-serrated blades like fishing lines, fishing nets, and ropes, to mention a few.
The Straight Edge
Also commonly referred to as plain or straight blades, these types of knives don’t have edges and even tend to dull when you apply them to tough cutting surfaces. However, they’re perfect for making clean cuts.
While going for a plain or serrated blade isn’t bad, you should consider opting for a blade with both as these can be readily used in more diverse scenarios.
The Blade Length
Another important aspect of your diving blade you need to pay attention to is its length. You can easily find anything from a 2 to 6-inch blade on the market today.
As you can imagine, there are different pros and cons attached to going for a shorter or longer blade.
The former is easier to use underwater but can prove difficult to use to cut larger and tough surfaces. The latter will often be able to make quick work of anything you’re likely to encounter underwater. However, it isn’t nearly as easy to use and can even be potentially dangerous.
To be on the safe side, we suggest you get something between 3 to 5 inches. These are big enough to support full functionality without impairing your maneuverability.
Handle, Grip, and Attachment Features
Determining the best handle and grip for you is a matter of personal preference, so a lot of trial and error might be involved here.
As for attachment features, ensure you opt for what makes you feel most comfortable without getting in your way. Down this road, the type of sheath the knife comes with is very important too.
How Many Knives Do I Need to Carry When Going Diving?
We recommend two: a primary knife and one backup knife you can easily reach, just in case.
How Long Do the Best Dive Knives Last?
If properly maintained, a good diving knife can serve you for several years, at least.
Should I Clean My Diving Knife Often?
Yes, you should.
Even though it’s rust and corrosion-resistant, going underwater with it exposes it to several minerals and compounds. So, cleaning your knife and drying it properly after each use will keep its corrosion-resistant coating in place.
The best dive knife for your underwater adventures is the Promate Titanium Dive Knife. It’s efficient, durable, and decently priced. But even with this, it’s important to ensure you conduct basic maintenance practices after using the blade to keep it in good condition.
Any of the other entries on our list will also do a great job, as long as you take proper care of them.
Check out more great tools and tech for diving here!