Kayak PFD Knife Suggestions

It s a great knife. Maybe overkill but I carry 2 , one on the left side of my PFD. and one on my inside right ankle. I also put highly reflective tape on the handle of the knife in case I drop it in dark water.

I carry a kukri knife
The traditional heraldric weapon of Nepalese gurkha warriors. blade length is about 15 inches. It’s completely useless for most tasks one would need a paddling knife to perform, but damn does it look impressive strapped to my PFD.

wide array of knives
Thanks for the suggestions - I am still looking for one without a point preferably, not a large although multi-useful, knife which I couldn’t fit thus rendering it not so useful in an emergency situation. I forgot to mention I have a small folding buck whittacker also in my pocket but again not so easy to open up for me.

Titanium sounds like a good choice although I have read it doesn’t hold a good edge like steel or lower quality SS which rust. I am curious about H1 which is used in some knives ie benchmade rescue hook among a few others. I see a new design with a yellow addition which my help being able to hold it better. Another possibility. The titanium scuba knife looks good also but again how bulky is it? I have been looking at all suggestions and boy are there a lot of knives out there !!! Thanks all again!

What? Are you kidding?
Those things cut rope like its a tiny esophagus!

ha ha
Classic case of “boys and their toys” ! “grown up style!” Guess it stands for “don’t even think about messing with me!” ha ha

Spyderco H1 Salt
Here is my favorite knife:


I keep it in my pocket on a tether. It rarely gets special treatment and washed separately, only washed off when I rinse my pfd after each use. I paddle solely in the salt water and it really doesn’t rust.


Oceanmaster Titanium Folder
OK, so I am a lazy slob. I stick a knife in the PFD pocket and never check it again. When I do think to check it, even stainless is rusted

I still have never actually needed a knife on the water, but…

My Titanium folding knife still has ot rust on it

Benchmade hook…

– Last Updated: Nov-17-08 4:07 PM EST –

Make sure and get the right version. A buddy bought the cheaper one and it rusted terribly.

Prefer titanium as it won't rust. How sharp is a ss or steel blade that rusts?

I've probably got 5 or 6 kayaking pfd knives. The Wenoka Squeeze Titanium with Tanto point is the only one I've seen meet all my criteria of a good PFD knife.
-have to depress two things to get it to come out of sheath so chance of falling out accidentally is almost 0
-handle large enough to be able to hold it securely
-shortish blade so it is not too long overall
-line hook
-titanium that will not rust--read all the reviews
-tanto point
-double bladed with one side serrated
-not $200 dollars
-very lightweight yet strong...you will notice a difference in weight from ss knives

I have a titatinum, great knife but
it’s not very sharp. Even had it professionally sharpened but it just does’nt get too sharp. I also have a Gerber River shorty. I really can’t say much about any Gerber knives.

Which Spyderco Salt knife do you have - the atlantic which is larger but looks like no point or the salt 1 stated as shorter in length There seems to be a few salt knives with different specs.

Second the Spyderco Salt
Ditto to Suz’s comments ans you can get it way under list if you don’t buy straight from Spyderco.

Boye or Myerchin
I will not get into the fixed vs. folding debate.

Boye and Myerchin both make great knives of each style. I prefer a traditional sheepsfoot blade for a safety knife. Marlinspike is super handy, too.

I own 3 Boye dendritic cobalt knives. Two folders and a Basic 3 fixed blade. These are the finest, most practical knives available for the marine environment IMHO (and John Dowd, among others). Will not rust, non-magnetic, forms an edge easily and holds it with prolonged use. Oh yeah, when you call to order you get David or his wife. I think that’s the whole company. The only down-side is price, but it’s a once in a lifetime product…

Close second are the knives from Myerchin, which can be had for much less. In fact, I just ordered another one from their sale page. These are 440C stainless, so I will keep an eye on it.

You can’t go wrong with any of these options.

The Ginsu
As seen on TV.

This …

the Buck “Short Nighthawk” …

or the “Nighthawk” which is longer and not serated …

does the buck short nighthawk have a sheath? where would I put it on me? it looks mighty. I do like buck knives though.

The sheath isn’t shown there …

– Last Updated: Nov-17-08 9:28 PM EST –

...... but there is no doubt in my mind that Buck will have a custom fitted one for it , probably a few different styles too ... ask Buck .

The Short NightHawk is a nice compromise for someone who doesn't really want to carry something like the Special which is full 6" straight blade with a harder grip handle .

I still can't understand why anybody would want anything other than a straight fixed blade with a point that can do some work when called on in a pinch ?? ..... but that's just me I guess .

While you are checking Buck's site , look up the different blade steels to get a great understanding of what the compromises between them are and why .

As for wearing it on you , I suggest snug to waist , armpit or chest area , even a leg band within arms reach ... that's for paddling emergency use .

When not paddling any of those places or stick it in your back pocket , or anywhere .

It's a tool , not a macho thing ... needs to be thought of as a tool that can do a tools work .... too many toys out there I think .

A Khukuri Will Rust If It Smells Salt…
I got a collection of 'em. Some utility, some battle oriented. The utility versions tend to have blade anywhere from 1.5 to 2" deep and 12" to 15" long. Way better than a hatchet for camping and backwoods trekking. If it’s from Nepal, they are made from recyled high carbon steel (usually car springs) forged over coal fires. You got to take 'em out of the sheath and oil them every so often or they’ll rust just sitting at home.

I had a khukuri maker forge a katana for me. Not quite the the art and science of a traditional Japanese swordsmith but I can’t afford 5-10K either. That Nepalese made katana can do some serious tatami cutting practice though… Yeah, maybe I should strap that to the back of my waveski to keep the aggro boardies away. :wink:


You Forgot…
if you work around ordinance, titanium won’t get you blown up. LOL!

Seriously,I agree with you. Titanium probably dulls a 1/4 faster than good SS. But, seriously, how often is one going to be cutting rope, wood, etc. with a PFD knife? If it sits on the PFD for when you need it, it doesn’t rust and it stays sharp. Have some diamond sharpeners at home and learn to sharpen. About 5 swipes each side and the edge is back in business. No biggie compared to rusted (or pitted) blades.


NRS Co-Pilot or Gerber River Runner

– Last Updated: Nov-17-08 10:59 PM EST –

Both are thin sheath knives that attach to PFD with blunt tips. (I meant the Gerber River Shorty. The Runner has a point.)

Bought one this summer for WW use. Seems secure, cuts well, reasonably compact and unobtrusive.


PS: Wow! This seems to be as hot a topic as the rudder/skeg threads.