Kayak PFD Knife Suggestions

I paddle freshwater lakes mostly, sometimes rivers with some current. I have a Benchmade rescue hook in my pfd front pocket but it is small and I question my ability to use it without dropping it in a panic situation (kokatat orbit tour pfd) I have never needed one in a rescue but one cannot predict the future so I would like a backup. My river shorty is nice but too cumbersome sticking out on my pfd.

I am interested possibly in a good knife that is easy to deploy. Cannot find much in thin sheath knives so a knife to carry inside my pocket is probably my next choice.

The Gerber EZ Out Rescue Knife seems like a good choice but I have never held it or opened it. For its eaze in cutting, its review surpasses the bearclaw and some other popular knives which take more effort to slice thru. As I don’t have much strength, I want a good sharp knife without a point. Does anyone have this gerber knife and can comment on it? Or any others that they really like?


Seems to me that…

…if you need it, I mean REALLY need it, can you risk

having to dig it out of a pocket if your fingers are

cold and in a hurry? Even unfolding one could be an issue.

Maybe it’s the Marine in me, but I prefer a single

edged sheath knife. If you need force, you can put

your thumb behind the edge on the blade’s flat side.

The absolute best all-round camp, water knife is the

old Ka-bar. Chop trees, clean fish, shave, spread

p-nut butter, cut bread, open cans, and fix ingrown


CAVEAT: cut the bread before you clean the fish.

Which ka-bar?
Just took a look at the ka-bar web site. They make dozens of different knives - which one do you like?

medical shears NM

This is what I carry on camping…

…and lake trips. Of course I paid 6 yerar/3 months

of active duty for mine, although the one I carry now

is one that got a buddy through Khe sahn. It was sent

in for reworking and got a bakelit handle to replace

the washers.

Ka-bar is considered both a brand and the type of knife

made by the Ka-bar conpany. Particularly to a Marine. The knife was originally specifically made for the

corps in ww2.


The white water knife I carry is very like


I like Buck

PFD knife
I asked the same question here a few months ago, got some good answers, and went ahead and bought a Bearclaw from NRS:


What I liked was the finger hole for a surer grip (I have small hands and not-a-very-strong grip), the curved serrated blade, the blunt tip, and the orange, high-visibility handle. My knife is tied on the front side of the shoulder strap of my PFD. I can reach it with either hand. I’m happy with it.


NRS also has these

– Last Updated: Nov-16-08 9:56 PM EST –


Stays in the sheath till you need it/squeeze it.

Although more and more I'm seeing salt-water paddlers go over to titanium scuba diving knives like this:


Do your toenails after tyhe fish.

I like the KA-BAR because…

…I once chopped down a small sassafras tree (2"

maybe) and then shaved with it–it being the knife not

the tree. I’ve skinned fish, game, snakes, if you can

do it with a knife, this knife has done it.

It has what has to be the most rust free surface–mine

is Parkerized–you’ll find this side of stainless.

For the purposes of this post, KA-BAR = the Marine

survival knife that’s been in use since ww2. Ka-bar

is the brand.

It’s balanced. Unbelievably strong. The damn thing

just fits. It has never, ever failed me.

I own many different types of Ka-bars and I’ll never

own another brand of knife. All told I own 5 Ka-bars.

Of course, I’m a Marine and KA-BAR is part of the

lore, and the fact that my current one has been with

me since shortly after Tet-68 and was instrumental in

saving a friend’s life not once, but more times than

he would care to relate, doesn’t hurt.

If I had to pick one knife to get me through anything,

it would be that KA-BAR.

DISCLAIMER: I do not now, nor have I ever worked for

Ka-bar or any subsidiaries. Neither do I know anyone

who ever has. I am an enthusiastic consumer.

This …

It’s the Buck Special .

A good staut fixed blade knife with enough length to do some work , straight blade for fast and blind cutting . Keep razor sharp and ready .

Always were it around your waist or under your arm pit if you expect it to be there when you need it !!

Suggest having a “strong” lynard added to it through the butt end if a considered use is emergency . In emergency , slip hand through lynard first , then deploy . If it trys to slip away while using , it’s still there … damn glad you didn’t loose it in a tight situation !!

Any good staut straight blade knife w/lnyard , I just like this one … Maybe you would like a rubber grip better cause of water sport ??

My newest knife…
…that I plan on making my paddle knife is a Kershaw 4351 Military Boot Knife. Comes with a well thought out plastic sheath with drain hole that can be worn in a number of ways, and deploys one handed with a firm pull. Knife has a thinner blade- 4-1/2" long, with a generously sized handle, 9" overall. The only thing lacking is a lanyard hole which I plan on drilling myself.

I feel that this knife is almost perfect in regards to a PFD knife and man will this cut rope. Cost was $50-60 US. Check them out @ kershawknives.com


rust issues
with the NRS pilot knife. You really need to rinse it right away or you will get some pitting and rust. A coating with thin oil helps a lot too. NRS is aware as I have told them myself.


Mine, too
I’m constantly having to polish it. Great design, not so great stainless.

I had a Gerber river shorty before that, and it had similar issues. My next PFD knife will likely be titanium.



Great knife, but
not practical on a pfd in the ocean. Too big to not be in the way, and I wouldn’t want it exposed to that much salt water all the time. But who knows, maybe it would hold up fine.

I do carry mine in a drybag in my day hatch when I’m on an overnight trip, or a long crossing. It has a lot of good uses, like you say. That in addition to my pfd knife, and a Buck folder that’s always in my drybag as well.

It’s never been in the way for me…

…I used to paddle WW with it.

+1 on Wenoka Titanum Squeeze

The Wenoka Titanium Squeeze knife with TANTO point, not Stilleto is a great option. I have a buddy whose traveled spent alot of time in the ocean over the past couple of years without rinsing it with fresh water and there is not even a hint of rust. I would go with the Tanto point over the stilleto for safety. The link above is in CA funds and even with the shipping to the US, it’s probably cheaper than elsewhere. Another advatnage or two of this knife is that it has a handle large enough to actually be able to hold it securely will not being too long overall. Another advantage is that to release the knife it takes a squeezing action from both sides and so remains secure until needed.

Looks like de ol’ Schrade WR
but in Ti. Ah’ gots de Schrade WR in SS - good knife but Schrade be out of business now.


Not out of business, FE
- just no longer made in the US.