Hey guys, it’s your favorite knife aficionado, John, back again with another exciting knife review to keep you slicing with ease. Today we are going to be looking for the best OTF knife for hiking. If you are like me, hiking and camping is a big part of your life, and having a dependable OTF (out-the-front) knife on you in the wild is an essential part of being a woodsman.
What is the best OTF knife for you? To answer that question correctly you must first consider, what it is you will be using your knife for. You should also consider the amount of use you expect. Will you be using your OTF knife daily, weekly, or monthly? Will your OTF knife be your EDC knife or will you keep it in your glove box in case of emergencies. All of these factors play a determining role in what characteristics you want to look for in your knife.
If you are looking for a EDC knife that you can use for everyday tasks, you may want to go with a smaller blade OTF knife, but if you intend to use your knife in the wilderness, you may be more inclined to a larger blade. No matter what size blade you choose you should check your local and state laws to make sure you are not carrying around any blades that could be considered illegal.
The Best OTF Knife – Blade Types
OTF knives give you added access to your blade, when you need it most. This type of knife uses a assisted opening mechanism to fire the blade up and out the front of the knife handle. OTF knives come in a variety of blade configurations. Below are the most common blades found on OTF knives.
Straight Blade – This type of blade is the ideal choice for hunting because the straight edge cuts quickly and easily through flesh.
Fully Serrated – This is the type of blade you will need to cut fibrous materials, such as rope or twine. This type of blade is much harder to sharpen than a convention edged blade but once sharp, it retains its edge for much longer than a straight blade.
Partially Serrated – This type of blade gives you the best of both worlds. You get the cutting accuracy of a straight blade crossed with the sawing abilities of a serrated blade.
The Best OTF Knife – Blade Shapes
You should also consider the shape of the blade. Different blade shapes are particular to their intended uses. The most common OTF knife blade shapes are…
- Drop Point – This is one of the most common blade shapes available. In this design, the tip is slightly lowered to allow the tip to be ground thicker. This adds piercing power to your blade.
- Clip Point – The clip point design originally became popular due to its use on Bowie knives of the early 19th century. This design has a concave shaped single edged blade that is great for cutting and slicing.
- Spear Point – This is a typical dagger design with both sides ground to a tip in the center. This type of blade is excellent for piercing.
- Tanto – This style of blade gets added strength from a full spine that extends closer to the angular tip. This gives you good punching power while retaining a smooth slice.
There is no shortage of quality OTF knife manufacturers and the competition is stiff. Luckily, I have taken the initiative and narrowed the selection down. These are my picks for the 5 best OTF knives for hiking.
Benchmade 530BK Pardue Design Pocket Knife (Spear Point) with Knife Sharpener
The Benchmade 530BK Pardue Design Pocket Knife comes with a 154CM Spear Point Blade. The black moisture resistant blade coating keeps your knife functioning in the worst conditions and the Benchmade AXIS locking system feels very solid in your hand. This quality blade comes with a lifetime warranty.
- Axis Lock System
- 154CM Steel
- Lifetime Warranty
- Ambidextrous Thumb-Studs
- Stiff Lock
This knife has a lot of carrying options for lefties as well, such as ambidextrous thumb studs and a reversible pocket clip. This is one sharp knife and I like how it includes a portable hand sharpener to keep you on point, even when on the road. If you are in the market for a quality OTF knife, you should definitely consider the benefits of this blade.
Schrade SCHOTF8B Extreme Survival Viper OTF Assisted Double Edge Spear Point Blade with Aluminum Handle (Black, 3.3-Inch)
The Schrade SCHOTF8B Extreme Survival Viper OTF Knife comes with a 3.35″ AUS-8 High Carbon Steel spear tipped blade that can slice with extreme precision. This lightweight design utilizes a spring assisted opening mechanism that is operated by a sliding release button. I like how this knife includes a glass breaker tip on the bottom of its frame and the overall aesthetics of this blade are excellent.
- AUS-8 High Carbon Steel
- Double Edge Spear Point Blade
- Aluminum Handle
- Handle Get Slippery When Wet
The aluminum handle gives this knife a lighter design and a futuristic profile. You can feel the quality in this knife from the moment you hold it in your palm. The balance could be a little better but the overall comfort of this knife is outstanding. If you are looking for a reliable OTF knife from a well-respected manufacturer, you should consider this knife.
Spartan OTF Knife
The Spartan OTF Knife utilizes a 3.9″ 440c Stainless Steel Tanto blade with a partially serrated edge to give you added cutting capabilities. This knife is exceptional at both slicing and tearing, making it ideal for any hunter. This design also incorporates a glass breaker at the bottom of its frame and a reversible pocket clip.
- Tanto Blade
- Partially Serrated
- Lifetime Warranty
- Glass Breaker
- Ebony Wood Enlays
- Large for EDC Use
This is a rock solid knife; you can depend on this blade in the toughest scenarios. The blade stays sharp, even after heavy use, and the lightweight frame adds to the overall portability of this knife. If you require a solid OTF knife to get the tough jobs done, look no further than the Spartan OTF knife.
RCT-1 Raven OTF Knife
The RCT-1 Raven OTF Knife is constructed from the finest materials and features a lifetime warranty to keep you slicing with confidence. The 440c Stainless Steel Tanto Blade gives you added strength and cutting power in tough situations. I like how this knife utilizes a rubberized non-slip technology to give you added control and grip when wet. This is a very intuitive design that gives you an excellent balance between style and functionality.
- Lifetime Warranty
- 440c Steel
- Tanto Blade
- Reversible Pocket Clip
- Stiff Release Button
RavenCrest hit the nail on the head with this innovative design. You get great blade control and added cutting power. The partially serrated blade can easily tear through bone making this a smart choice for hunters and hikers alike. If you are looking for OTF knife that utilizes an innovative design to give you added cutting control, this is the knife for you.
Titan OTF Knife
The Titan OTF Knife comes in a stylish two-tone matte black finish that reduces glare and prevents moisture damage to your blade. This well-crafted blade features a partially serrated edge, 440c Stainless Steel, and a Drop Point design. The handle is made from a rubberized Zinc Alloy that gives this knife a lightweight but durable frame that is ideal for daily use.
- Reversible Metal Pocket Clip
- 440c Stainless Steel
- Drop Point Design
- Partially Serrated
- Rubberized Zinc Alloy Handle
- Seems to Be Play in Blade
This knife includes a glass breaker that is located at the reverse end of the frame, and a reversible pocket clip, so you can decide between, a button forward, or button reversed, carry method. I like the low profile of this blade when you are carrying it. This is a great EDC knife that can be carried for extended periods without producing any discomfort.
The Best OTF Knife for Hiking – Final Thoughts
No matter what you need to cut, you can find the best OTF knife for the job. I don’t think any other style of knife compares in terms of ease-of-access. I can pull my OTF knife out and open a box before someone with a folding pocket knife can even get their knife blade out. If you are using your knife a lot, you should seriously consider making the upgrade to an OTF knife. This will cut down your time and workload.
I hope this OTF knife guide helps you to find the perfect blade for your needs. As always guys, John here, bringing you the ultimate in knife reviews to keep you cutting deeper without cutting into your budget.