best paddling knife under $40

You need a bigger blade.

That’s what that Australian guy said.

I would look in a local dive shop for a small sheath-type stainless steel knife.

I don’t think ceramic knives would be a good choice. They are razor-sharp, but very brittle. Ceramic kitchen knives advise to to use them to cut veggies, etc, but stay away from bone. They are easy to break.

I think that’s where I’m heading
I don’t mind a little maintenance. I enjoy keeping my kitchen knife in tune.

Bearclaw – me too
Small knife with curved serrated blade meant for cutting rope. Stainless – I rinse mine after every use. About $40. I like it because it fits my small hand, has a finger hole for very secure grip, clicks back into the sheath solidly, and occupies just a little space on my PFD – and will do the job if I’m ever entangled.

With money to burn I might look at the titanium pilot knife. But I’m very happy with what I’ve got.

The sheath/scabbard is probably

– Last Updated: Jan-18-12 1:36 PM EST –

better on the Gerber, but for the number of times mine has been out of its, it probably doesn't matter. I like the yellow option, too.

Wouldn't it be nice to be able to compare the two if you could actually find a convenient brick-and-mortar that carries both? Hand tools are are so necessarily tactile, it's impossible to really tell much from online info.

I’m 100% sure the Gerber is a better knife, but how do you secure the sheath on the pfd? It looks like a slide-on fit. The McNett has holes that allow the sheath to be attached firmly to the lash tabs - I used an old nylon watch band to do it - it’s a very strong connection.

Comp makes a titanium folder
that I am almost certain is under $40. I have one on my diving BC. The spine of the knife has a “notch” that is good for cutting small ropes, fishing lines, etc, and it is on the spine of the knife so you can use it without even having to open the knife. It’s pretty easy to open one-handed. I got mine at

This looks exactly like my knife

Except it’s “Amour Adventure” instead of Comp. I wonder if Comp was bought out. It has been over 10 years since I bought it. This one is $49.99., so a little more than you wanted to pay, but again it has been 10 years since I paid under 40.

Free Spyderco Salt II
Opens with one hand with serrated blade. It is sticking out of a stump on the north side of Portage Cove on Revillagigedo Island, Alaska. It has been there for a few years and I know it has not rusted. I miss it dearly but if you want to go get it you can have the best kayaking knife ever.

59 cent boxcutter for blackburn challen
It was hooked to my pfd with weak string that I could break with a hard pull. I did the 20 miles on the north atlantic in 3.3 hours. I did have a $400 turbo wing and a $2300 kevlar eft. Got to cut back somewhere… greg barton lost the race around manhattan when he got tangled in fishline and had a hard trouble getting lose. 2 gold medals but no boxcutter

If it’s anything like the one that
came with my Gerber clip-lock, it’s designed to go onto a standard lash-tab and not come off by accident, which could be a problem if you switch PFD’s often or don’t want a knife there all the time.

Gerber River shorty

– Last Updated: Jan-19-12 6:51 PM EST –

but was too big and in my way on my pfd so i have a Spyderco Atlantic Salt serrated in my pfd and a Benchmade rescue hook also - both are small but not as accessible as one on your pfd and one that does not need opened. A little over 40 though.

What I like
CRKT blunt tip bear claw. Small, solid grip with finger hole, plastic sheath with solid friction lock. The blade is serrated, sharp. Will cut rope, webbing etc very quickly. Blunt tip helps prevent accidental punctures.

Smith and Wesson with M.A.G.I.C assist
the ultimate easy out. One hand operation even with neo gloves on. There are several models but I’m not sure there’s one under $40.