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5 Greatest Knives for Sailing

The knife. For a valid reason, it’s one of the earliest and most essential instruments known to humankind. Nowadays, knives form the spectrum includes goods ranging from simple single-bladed blades to multi-purpose gadgets that operate as all-in-one tools. Convert all of that into the realm of boating and sailing, where a knife might actually save your life, and the value of having the correct sailing knife aboard becomes evident. As a result, every boat should have a dependable one.

KnifeBrandOur RatingCheck Price on Amazon
Smith & Wesson Aluminum Sailing Knife
Grand Way Military Style Sailing Knife
KINGMAX Sailing Knife
SOG Sailing Knife
RoverTac Sailing Knife

Characteristics of an Excellent Sailing Knife

Sailing knives are classified into three types: folding-bladed knives, straight-bladed knives, and emergency cutters. With all three varieties, blade sharpness is undoubtedly the most important aspect. Wearability comes next. 

The most essential variable in blade manufacture is steel grade and type. The majority of current blades are steel alloys, typically iron alloyed with several unique components. For the short-blade knives advised for racing sailors, a stronger alloy is preferable over a softer one since it will be more resistant to wear and need lesser regular sharpening.

Our Top Sailing Knife

The #1 Choice

Our Top Pick: Smith & Wesson Aluminum Sailing Knife

Product Name: Smith & Wesson Aluminum Sailing Knife

Product Description: Product Description: The Smith & Wesson Aluminum Sailing Knife offers a handy pocket clip for quick and simple access. Its finger slider and reversible thumb knobs make it easy to transport. It is constructed of Carbon Stainless Steel and has a black and aluminum handle. This knife features a firm grip, ensuring that it does not slip and cause unnecessary harm when used. Its portable size is excellent for daily use. Featuring a thumb stud for quick and simple one-handed opening or quick emergency deployment. Despite its compact size, its clarity is not compromised in any way. This may be used to cut everything from veggies to sailing ropes. It is not only dependable, but it is also reasonably priced. This is a must-have for any sailor or wannabe sailor.

Availability: InStock

  • Durability
  • Sturdiness
  • Value for money
  • Style


This knife has a ribbed handle with finger indentions for a stable and strong grip while in use. Its small size is excellent for everyday transport and conveniently fits in the hand and pocket. One characteristic that distinguishes this knife is the thumb stud function, which allows for quick and easy release when one-handed use or quick deployment is required.




No Spring-assist


Grand Way Military Style Sailing Knife

This Grand Way Military Style Sailing Knife has a pocket clip and a spring-assisted opening blade. It has thumb studs for both the right and left hands. It has a straightforward and dependable liner-lock that is dirt-resistant and prevents accidental closing. You won’t have to worry about mistakenly closing it during an emergency.

This folding knife’s blade is composed of 440 stainless steel, which is a low-cost, high-quality blade material that is razor-sharp. The steel has a high-quality heat treatment and can grind pretty well. This knife offers a good blend of hardness and corrosion resistance, ensuring excellent performance without the need for sharpening.

  • Durable
  • Pocket slip
  • Spring-assisted
  • The grip might be a little slippery

KINGMAX Sailing Knife

The KINGMAX Sailing Knife is a Stainless Steel Multitool knife manufactured of 440C stainless steel, which has high toughness and resistance to corrosion. This knife features a one-of-a-kind feature of little tools for any occasion. It folds neatly without taking up much space or time; it is a little sailing knife.

This knife stands out because it contains a mix of needle-nose pliers, conventional pliers, and a wire cutter. And it features a strong duty blade, a black aluminum covering, is corrosion-resistant, and has no light reflection. It provides powerful support when coping with a difficult environment, which is ideal for sailing. For your pleasure, this knife can endure any repair condition.

  • It has built-in protection for safety
  • Durable
  • Versatile
  • It is small for its various purposes

SOG Sailing Knife

Due to its twin stainless steel liners, the SOG Sailing Knife is a strong knife with a solid feel in the hand. It is strong enough to be carried daily. This knife features an adjustable thumb stud flipper knife that makes it simple to open.

It is a robust and compact pocket knife weighing only 3.6 ounces yet providing durability and hardness. Most thumb studs on a standard sailing knife are locked in place, but this allows you to find the ideal grip. While completing various operations, the lock-back mechanism keeps the blade open. This function makes it a small sailing knife, making your investment worthwhile.

  • Durable
  • Well built
  • Handy
  • Sometimes it is hard to open

RoverTac Sailing Knife

The RoverTac Sailing Knife is a multi-purpose sailing knife. It has a knife, pliers, a bottle opener, a can opener, a Philips screwdriver, and a set of 9-in-1 screwdriver bits. It features a strong and durable Stainless Steel blade. This multi-functional knife is rust-proof and corrosion-resistant, and it can handle regular wear and tear.

The unique locking mechanism for both the knife blade and the screwdriver distinguishes this knife. It can secure the knife blade and screwdriver for safe use. ensuring that you will be at peace every time you use it because it is designed to provide you with safety. It is suitable for everyday use as well.

  • Various usage
  • Durable
  • Tight grip
  • Small for its purpose

The Perfect Sailing Knife

✔️ It’s Constructed of Stainless Steel

The perfect knife is corrosion-resistant. Typically, this refers to stainless steel. Other non-corrosive materials include titanium and ceramic. A sailing knife must be stainless, especially when exposed to sea air. A stainless steel blade assures that it is of good quality and will survive for an extended period.

✔️ It has a Clip

Attach your knife to your belt using a clip or knot. Sailors used to wear their blades around their necks. The perfect knife features a lanyard or belt clip. Some have a hole through which the lanyard can be threaded. And, like the perfect set of fingers, the ideal knife can be opened and closed with one hand. With a clip, you’ll have better access to the knife if you need it.

✔️ It has Various Useful Features

Knives with a single-use have a place aboard a boat. It’s useful in an emergency, but not much else. A foldable knife will be more useful to you. Since it has a folding blade, it is more compact and easier to carry. 

It becomes more useful with the addition of a few crucial tools. The classic bosun’s knife is collapsible and comes with a marlinspike and shackle key. The key is more frequently used on a contemporary boat. It never hurts to have one or two extra tools, such as a screwdriver.

✔️ It has to be Sharp

The blade must be sharp. Straight/non-serrated blades are easier to sharpen for me. Pointy is preferable to blunt. A pointed tip is dangerous on a speeding boat; the rounded sheep foot form prevents unintentional penetration. Even better if the blade has a robust spine. 

What kind of sailing knife do you require?

You want a knife that can withstand saltwater without rusting, that can retain a blade when cutting today’s tough-as-nails synthetic line, that is light, and that you can open and shut with either hand. Folding knives have been around for a long time. 

However, just one provides all of these benefits, as well as one you may have overlooked. It has the potential to make a significant improvement in sailing safety. And that is direct advice. Most knives have a sharp point at the end. Others are intended to provide the boating aficionado with options. Boye knives, for example. Choose between a sharp or blunt tip. Sailing entails being heeled and bashed about a lot of the time. 

Sailboats must have additional safety elements to ensure crew safety, whether strolling on deck or working in the cabin. A blunt tip knife, like extra handrails, makes a lot of sense.

Save the sharp tip knives for when you’re onshore in a non-moving situation. Choose the greatest sailing knife for the job. Use a blunt-tipped sailing knife for sailing or cruising, sometimes known as a “sheep’s foot” knife. Boye “sheepsfoot” folders with integrated marlinspikes are intended for usage in a “rock ‘n roll” environment like day sailing, racing, weekend touring, or traveling.

Boat Safety Considerations to Keep in Mind 

❕Make Certain that Everyone is Wears a Life Jacket

Ensure that you all wear well-fitting life jackets. This can help you stay afloat in stormy waves, prevent hypothermia, and, in certain situations, keep your head above water.

❕Never Boat while Under the Influence of Alcohol

Alcohol is a major factor in deadly boating accidents. It will distort your judgment, and you might be one decision away from saving your life or the life of a buddy on the boat. It is critical to keep your focus when on the water by leaving the booze on dry ground.

❕Put Down your Phone

Lack of attention is one of the top five contributing causes of boating accidents. Talking, texting, and other mobile phone usage while boating, like distracted driving on our highways, increases water concerns. Don’t be a part of the problem. Maintain your focus on the water ahead of you and around you.

❕Drive at a Reasonable Speed

Dangerous driving and poor visibility are two of the leading causes of watercraft fatalities. Make sure you understand and adhere to the waterway’s local norms and laws.

❕Examine the Weather Prediction

On the sea, a tranquil day may rapidly turn nasty. While boating, keep an eye out for shifting weather conditions and remain up to date on the forecast.

❕Prepare Yourself

You can never foresee an emergency, be ready for everything. Regardless of the size of your boat, you should have a boat safety kit on board.

❕Examine for Dangerous Gases

After refueling, open all of the hatches and sniff for fumes. Keep an eye out for any potential sources of odors and gases. If this is discovered, do not start the engine.


Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What kind of knife do sailors use?

A: Sailing knives are classified into three types: folding-bladed knives, straight-bladed knives, and emergency cutters. With all three varieties, blade sharpness is undoubtedly the most important aspect.

Q: Are sailors allowed to carry knives?

A: A knife may be the most critical instrument for a sailor. A knife may be so useful in an emergency that several offshore races now require all crewmembers to carry one on deck, and knowledgeable sailors wouldn’t be caught without one.

Q: Are there any advice about nautical knives?

A: Most knives have a sharp point at the end. Others are intended to provide the boating enthusiast with options. Boye knives, for example. Choose between a sharp or blunt tip.

Q: What exactly is a shackle key?

A: The shackle key is used to extract the bolt from shackles, which are widely used to connect rigging on sailing vessels.

Q: What is the purpose of a “sheepsfoot” blade?

A: Sheepsfoot blades are intended for slicing while reducing the possibility of inadvertent puncture with the tip.

Final Thoughts

Some pieces of equipment are essential for sailors regardless of the sort of sailing they participate in. If you’ve spent time at sea in some capacity, you’ll recall a moment when a knife saved our bacon in a pinch, but choosing the appropriate one from the vast selection on offer may be difficult. 

The sailing knives featured above are among the finest on the market. After conducting extensive research and reading hundreds of reviews, we have whittled it down to five. You must know which knife is most suited to your lifestyle.