Dive knives can get pretty expensive! Some can even cost several hundreds of dollars and while they may be worth the money to some, others just want a dependable dive knife at an affordable price. This is where we come in! We’ve handpicked 5 of the best dive knives on the market today, and the best part is…they are all under fifty 50 bucks!
Now, don’t let the price fool you! All of the dive knives on this list have been proven dependable by hundreds of divers and snorkelers around the world.
By the way, as an Amazon Associate, I earn when buying qualified products through links on my site.
In a Hurry? Here’s Our Top 3 Picks…
Reviews: Best Dive Knives Under $50
- The Borg is a modern, large knife with a futuristic design and a strong, tempered blade made of 304 Japanese stainless steel
- One side of the stainless steel blade is straight-edged, the other one is serrated right along the blade; they are both very sharp and effective for line cutting
- The handle has an ergonomic design to ensure a secure grip even wearing gloves. It is separated from the blade by a small technopolymer thumb tab
- The knife comes with a sheath that features a locking mechanism to allow one-hand release. The sheath comes with two, standard issue straps to attach it to your leg
- Total length: 10.43 in (265 mm). Blade length: 5.51 in (140 mm)
If you’ve been around the world of diving or snorkeling, then you know that Cressi makes some of the best dive knives on the market and the Cressi Borg is no exception!
The Borg is a big knife that’s a perfect fit for those with big hands! It has a total length of almost 10.5 inches and a blade length of 5.5 inches.
It’s full tang blade is made from Japanese stainless steel and has both a razor sharp edge as well as a serrated edge that’s perfect for sawing things in half like rope.
The Borg comes in both a blunt and pointed blade, but for this review, we are focusing on the pointed blade.
It has an ergonomically designed rubber handle that’s easy to grip, even when wearing gloves. Located at the end of the handle is a stainless steel cap that’s perfect for hammering things.
Also included is a sheath that features a one-handed release mechanism and two standard sized leg straps.
Overall, the Cressi Borg is a great knife with a great price! While it may not be in the same league as some of the more expensive titanium dive knives, it will definitely get the job done and at a fraction of the cost.
- 304 stainless steel blade
- Stainless steel hammer on handle bottom
- Quick release and adjustable straps and sheaths
- Easy disassembling for cleaning and maintenance
- Overall Length: 10.5 inch (27 cm), Blade Length: 5 inch (12.5 cm)
If you want the quality and feel of a $200 dive knife, but for a fraction of the cost, then the Promate Barracuda dive knife may be just what you’re looking for!
The knife measures a whopping 9.5 inches in total length, with its full tang blade measuring 5 inches long. It’s definitely one of the largest knives on our list.
The blade is made of a high quality 304 stainless steel that is strong as a bull and virtually rust proof as long as you properly wash and dry after each use. It’s also serrated on one side and has a razor sharp edge on the other that also includes a handy line cutter.
With a big knife, you would expect a large handle for gripping right? The Barracuda’s handle is indeed nice and big, but is also easy to handle due to its cutting edge ergonomic design. Also included on the butt of the handle is a stainless steel screw-on cap. The cap can be removed, which can allow to disassemble the knife and give it a thorough cleaning. Like some of the other knives on this list, the butt can be used as a hammering device too!
It Barracuda comes with a capable sheath and straps that, according to most, keeps the knife fully secure when not in use, but also allows for a quick retrieval when needed.
- Tried and true small knife
- Easy to handle and blade penetrates well
- Pointed tip knife
- Complete with sheath and leg straps
- Straight edge/partial serrated
The Predator is a relatively small knife with a full tang blade measuring roughly 3.5 inches long. It’s made from Japanese 420 stainless steel and should be able to resist rust as long as you rinse it off and dry it after each use. The knife itself has a weight of about 4oz.
Made for all situations, the Cressi Predator’s blade is both serrated and razor sharp on one end.
It also has a metal butt on the handle that unscrews, allowing the handle to slide completely off the full tang blade.
It comes with a sheath and leg straps that from all accounts, are good quality and comfortable when wearing.
While the Cressi Predator may not be for everyone (some say it’s just too small), all agree that it’s a good little knife for its size.
If you prefer a dive knife that’s a little smaller than the rest, or just looking for a good backup knife, then the Predator is a great choice.
- Three types of blade in one! Straight edge for slicing, serrated edge for tearing and a line cutter all in one!
- Durable 420 high-carbon stainless steel blade is easy to sharpen. Blade and sheath must be rinsed, towel dried and lightly coated with silicon after each dive. Salt water is corrosive to stainless steel.
- Quick release clips & adjustable 19 inch straps for lower leg, easy to set up and remove. Straps connect to back side of sheath through 0.75 inch loops.
- Bright green color for easy visibility! Never spend time searching for dropped knives! You & your dive buddy will be able to quickly see this knife in emergencies.
- 5 inch blade includes a heavy duty handle with a slip resistant rubber grip. Sheath includes quick release locking mechanism for easy access when needed and security when not in use. Maintain locking mechanism with WD40 when needed.
The Bahia dive knife is an attractive and fully capable dive knife at a fraction of the cost of other dives knives on the market today!
This is one of my top knives on this list and for good reason!
First, its heavy duty 420 high-carbon stainless steel knife was designed with visibility, safety & versatility in mind.
The high-carbon stainless steel blade is suitable for both freshwater and saltwater. All you have to do for years and years of use is to simply wash the knife off with freshwater and dry after each use. It also wouldn’t hurt to occasionally apply oil to the blade.
This knife boasts a 5 inch cutting blade, which happens to have a serrated side as well as a line cutter.
The Bahia dive knife’s bright green color makes it easy for you or your dive partner to see in an emergency, or if you happen to drop it on the seafloor.
It includes a locking sheath and straps with a quick release feature, which keeps the knife secure when not in use but easy access when needed.
The heavy duty handle has rubber ergonomic grip that feels good in your hands.
- Titanium-coated 3” blade is armed with a line/cord cutter and straight and serrated edge to cut rope, fishing line, and food
- The stainless-steel and blunt tip blade won’t pierce inflatables; use it as a screwdriver or to pry open shellfish
- Its sheath mounts virtually anywhere with the removable belt clip, lash tab mount, and MOLLE compatible 1 webbing mount
- Easily access the fixed blade knife with the quick release sheath, simply press the thumb tab and pull
- Lightweight, full-tang knife weighs only 5. 6 oz. and includes bottle opener and glass breaker at the opposite end
The Akua is armed with a titanium coated stainless steel blade measuring 3 inches in length. It has both a serrated and razor sharp edge, along with a line cutter. What’s more, the Gear Aid also has a bottle opener on the butt of the handle, which can also be used as a hammer or glass breaker. It’s also lightweight, weighing only 5.6 oz.
The Gear Aid Akua dive knife is unlike any other on our list in that it has a blunt tip blade! While some divers may not like blunt blades for their dive knives, they do have their benefits such as, using it as a screwdriver, opening up shellfish, and let’s not forget the safety benefits! You will be less likely to puncture your gear or yourself with a blunt tip.
It also comes with a quick release sheath! It includes a removable belt clip, lash tab mount, and MOLLE compatible 1 webbing mount, enabling you to mount it almost anywhere on yourself. However, it does not come with leg straps!
I would like to point out that there have been some issues with the blade rusting. In all fairness to this knife, just because something says that it is stainless steel DOES NOT mean that it’s immune to rust, especially if it’s not properly taken care of after each and every use.
The one thing that I personally didn’t like about this knife was its handle! It’s not made of rubber, but rather a harder plastic material.
For the price, this is a great little knife for diving or snorkeling, especially if you are new to either sport!
Why Do You Need a Dive Knife
If you are new to diving or snorkeling, you might be wondering why you would even need a knife in the water?
In my opinion, ALL those who venture into the water, whether it be diving deep in the oceans exploring shipwrecks, snorkeling for lobster in the Florida Keys, or even looking for scallops in Florida’s Gulf Coast waters.
The reason to carry a knife is primary for safety reasons. You just never know what could go wrong in the water and it’s better to be as prepared as you can right?
A dive knife can be a lifesaver if you or your gear happen to get tangled around an underwater object. This could be anything from a shipwreck, coral, kelp beds, fishing lines, and even old fishing nets.
Another instance when I’ve heard a dive knife coming in handy is when the current gets too strong. Some divers will use it as an anchor by inserting it into the sea bed.
Having a dive knife handy will also give you the ability to free a sea turtle, or some other friendly sea creature that is tangled in used fishing line.
Lastly, and this is one that a lot of divers and snorkelers don’t like to talk about, but a dive knife can serve as a way of protecting yourself against marine life, such as sharks, sea lions, goliath grouper, etc.
If you’re on the fence about whether or not a dive knife is necessary, think about it this way…it’s better to have one and not need it as opposed to needing one and not having it.
What Makes a Good Dive Knife
For the most part, the same qualities that make a good hunting knife, fillet knife, or even chef’s knife apply to a dive knife.
Since you will be wearing your dive knife in the water, it’s imperative that the blade’s metal be made from a non corrosive material such as titanium or stainless steel.
Keep in mind that just because something is stainless steel does not mean that it won’t rust! You will have to wash it off with freshwater and dry it after each and every use. It might even be a good idea to apply a light coat of oil to it.
Titanium on the other hand is virtually corrosion resistant! This is why in most cases, you will pay more for a titanium blade, which is why all the knives on our list are made from stainless steel. Most titanium dive knives will be over $100.
Another thing to consider is the length of the blade and whether or not you want a pointed tip or a blunt tip. There are advantages to both, which I highlight below.
As far as the length of the blade/knife, this really is a matter of preference. However most divers go with either a small (2-3 inches of blade) or medium (4-5 inches) knife. Anything larger is overkill and can be dangerous to the diver wearing it.
The chances of you needing a large knife to defend yourself against marine life are slim to none.
Remember that a dive knife is primarily there in case you need to cut yourself free from fishing lines, nets, kelp, etc.
The blade of your dive knife should also be serrated on one side just in case you need to saw your way through something like rope.
Lastly, the knife should have a full-tang blade! This basically means that the knife’s blade metal extends all the way through the handle, making it one solid piece.
A knife that’s not full-tang will be made from two separate parts – the handle and blade. This construction can create a weak point where the blade and handle come together.
The best dive knives will have an easy-to-hold ergonomic handle that’s made from a rubberized material. Avoid knives that are made from a hard plastic material as they can easily slip out of your hand.
You also want a knife with a handle that’s not too thick or too thin. Unfortunately, the only way to determine this is by holding the knife in your hands.
If you are a diver or snorkeler who likes to wear gloves, make sure that you try it out with gloves on.
Lastly, it’s also a good idea to choose a knife that has a metal butt on the end of the handle. This can come in real handy in certain situations, such as getting your dive partner’s attention by tapping the butt on their dive tanks.
A dive knife’s sheath and strap is just as important as the knife itself!
Most sheaths are made from plastic, so that they won’t blade. While some come with their own strap, the straps are usually made from cheap rubber. Not only are they poor quality, but they are uncomfortable.
I highly recommend that you buy your own straps that are made from double-stitched nylon, a durable fabric that can stand up to sand and rocks.
These types of straps are also much more comfortable!
The quality of your straps is important, but what’s more important is the sheath itself!
A sheath is used to hold your dive knife when not in use, but it also has to perform when it’s time to take your knife out.
A knife is worthless if you have to fiddle with it in order to get it out of its sheath. In certain situations, a few seconds of trying to free your knife from it’s sheath could mean the difference between life and death.
However, in most cases, it’s just a real pain in the butt!
Once you have your eyes set on a dive knife, if at all possible, try testing it out by removing and inserting it back in it’s sheath to get a feel of what it will be like in the water. Once again, if you wear gloves, try doing this with gloves on.
While not as critical as some of the other considerations when selecting a dive knife, the color does play a role.
A dive knife that has a brightly colored handle is much easier to see if you happen to drop it. This is especially true if your blade is black, which a lot of dive knife blades are.
A shiny blade could attract the unwanted attention of a barracuda or worse…a shark!
However, the color of the knife should not be a deal breaker in my opinion. If you happened to find a knife that you like but it’s all black, you can simply wrap a strip of colored duct tape around the handle to give it some color.
Why Are Some Dive Knives Blunt Tipped
The main reason that you’ll find dive knives with blunt tips is due to safety reasons. It’s a lot easier to puncture yourself or your equipment with a pointed tip as opposed to a blunt tip.
Some diver’s may use a blunt tipped knife for digging or prying things open while under water.
However, I’ve found that most divers still prefer a dive knife with a pointed tip.
Again, while highly unlikely, a blunt tip is not gonna do you a bit of good if a shark decides it wants to take a nibble out of you. Heck, a pointed knife may not do too much better, but maybe it’ll give you a fighting chance.
If you want the best of both worlds, you could always carry two knives. A blunt tip could be used for most applications, while the pointed knife could be on standby just in case SHTF.
I personally prefer to carry two knives on me at all times!
If you’re in the market for a good dive knife that doesn’t cost a lot of money, then once again we recommend the Cressi Borg dive knife. However, you really can’t go wrong with any of these knives. After all, we selected them as the best dive knives for under $50 on the market today.