Snorkeling/Scuba

The 7 Best Dive Knives – [Reviews & Guide 2019]

A dive knife is a tool that no diver should be without. Even if you only go a few times a year it is still a dive accessory you should have.

The recreational diver may never use their knife but its one of those things that its better to have and not need than than be in a situation that you REALLY need one and not have it!

When you need a knife, you really need it.

Getting caught in fishing line is probably the most likely use for a dive knife. If you are the type of diver who only goes a few times a year, a knife like the Cressi Lima is a great choice.

Best Dive Knives

 Promate Titanium Dive KnifeXS Scuba FogCutter X KnifeCressi Lima Tactical Dive Knife
editors choice
Blade Length:4 3/8"4 3/8"2 7/8"
Material:Titanium420 Stainless steel304 stainless steel
Tip:Blunt or Sharp AvailableBlunt or Sharp AvailableBlunt or Sharp Available
Edges:Serrated & straight edgesSerrated, straight & scissorsSerrated & straight edges

For more of my scuba diving gear recommendations, have a look through these popular Outside Pursuits guide links: Dive Masks, Wetsuits, Dive Lights.

Quick Answer: The 7 Best Rated Dive Knives For 2019

  1. Promate Titanium Dive Knife
  2. Cressi Skorpion Dive Knife
  3. XS Scuba FogCutter X Knife
  4. Cressi Borg, Long Blade Diving & Spearfishing Knife
  5. Cressi Lima Tactical Dive Knife
  6. Atomic Aquatics Titanium Ti6 Scuba Diving Knife
  7. Underwater Kinetics Blue Tang Titanium Dive Knife

Our reviews of the top rated dive knives with our guide and comparison table will help you choose the right one for you.


Dive Knife Reviews

This is my overall top pick for a few reasons. The first being Promate is well known for making quality products and this knife is no exception. It features a 4 3/8 blade that is made from titanium.

As I discuss in my buying guide below I think titanium is the way to go. It is impervious to rust so you know this knife will last you a LONG time.

The Promate dive knife has a half serrated blade with a line cutter notch and a half straight edge blade. This is by far the most popular design for a knife and for good reason.

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The ergonomically designed handle is made from a soft, easy to grip rubber molded handle that won’t slip. Big enough for just about anybody to hold and use comfortably.

It comes in 2 blade configurations, a sharp tip that is ideal for stabbing a fish while spear fishing or a blunt tip when you need to use it as a tool for prying.

Promate Scuba Dive Snorkel Titanium Knife
Promate Scuba Dive Snorkel Titanium Knife

I really like the addition of the hammer nub on the handle.

The sheath comes with straps to attach it your arm/leg or if you want to keep it in your BC, the straps can be removed. The Promate Titanium is overall the best dive knife under $50 you can buy.

This is great knife overall and I have both the sharp and the blunt tip depending on what type of diving I am doing.

 

Promate Titanium Dive Knife at a Glance:

  • Length: 4 3/8″
  • Construction: Full tang titanium
  • Blade Edges: Serrated & straight edges
  • Tip: Blunt or Sharp available
  • Other: Titanium butt, leg straps

Cressi Skorpion Diving Knife

The Cressi name is synonymous with diving and has been making scuba gear since 1946. The Cressi Skorpion dive knife is medium size at 4 3/8 inches.

You have every option available you could need. All options come with a half serrated side and straight edge blade with a notch hook for cutting rope or fishing line.

You have the choice of 420 Japanese stainless steel which is world renowned for its use in high end blades where razor sharpness is required.

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The steel is corrosion resistant of course but not as resistant as the 304 stainless steel that it is also offered in. If your needing a knife for spear fishing you will want the 420 stainless steel.

Video: Overview of the Cressi Skorpion Dive Knife.

There is a titanium blade option as well for when you just want the most corrosion resistant blade possible.

You will pay about $10 more the titanium blade, but it is well worth it. You also have your choice of a sharp or blunt tip.

The handle is a good size for most anyone to use comfortably and is well designed ergonomically. The sheath has an easy release mechanism and comes with included straps so you can keep in your BC or strapped to your leg or arm.

With the Cressi name on this knife you know you are buying quality and the Skorpion is probably the best dive knife for the money.

 

Cressi Skorpion Dive Knife at a Glance:

  • Length: 4 3/8″
  • Construction: AISI 304 steel
  • Blade Edges: Serrated & straight edges
  • Tip: Blunt or Sharp available
  • Other: Hammer on bottom, leg straps

XS Scuba FogCutter X Knife

The XS Fogcutter is a little different take on a dive knife. Its actually a hybrid with a pair of shears combined with a knife.

The 4 3/8 straight edge blade is combined with a serrated edge on the top. The addition of the shears is what makes the FogCutter so useful.

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The ability to cut line or rope instead of trying to slice it is huge! The cutting action of the shears is hard to overstate!

The 420 stainless steel resists corrosion but you still need to oil it to prevent rusting of the spring action. It comes with a rubber sheath that straps on your leg or arm for easy access.

If you are looking for a versatile knife and scissors tool, the FogCutter is for you!

 

XS Scuba FogCutter X Knife at a Glance:

  • Length4 3/8″
  • Construction: 420 Stainless steel
  • Blade Edges: Serrated, straight & scissors
  • Tip: Blunt or Sharp available
  • Other: Hammer on bottom, leg straps

Cressi Borg Pointed Tip Dive Knife

The Cressi Borg Long Blade as the name implies is a full size knife that was designed with the spear fisherman in mind.

Of course is that’s not all its good for, but being a 5 ½ inch knife its perfect for dispatching a fish quickly. Hopefully you won’t need to, but if an uninvited guest shows up you can use it for self-defense as well.

The blade like all modern dive knives is half serrated and half straight edge with a notch hook. It’s made from Japanese 304 stainless steel for excellent corrosion resistance.

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The full size handle fits comfortably in your hand and has a non-slip rubber handle that is very durable. The end of a handle has a butt cap perfect for use as a hammer.

You can buy it in either a sharp tip or a blunt tip depending on what your primary use will be.

Cressi Borg Long Blade Dive Knife
Cressi Borg Long Blade Dive Knife Options

The included straps give you the flexibility to keep the knife in your BC or strap it to your arm or leg. It features a quick release locking mechanism for one handed operation.

Overall this is an excellent full size dive knife and might be the best dive knife for spearfishing.

 

Cressi Borg Long Blade Diving & Spearfishing Knife at a Glance:

  • Length: 5 1/2″
  • Construction: 305 Japanese stainless steel
  • Blade Edges: Serrated & straight edges
  • Tip: Blunt or Sharp available
  • Other: Hammer on bottom, leg straps

The Cressi Lima is the perfect knife for the casual diver who is just looking to have a knife with them in case of emergency.

Its super compact with a 2.95 inch blade that comes with both a straight edge and a serrated edge with a notch hook.

The knife is designed to be either carried in your BC or attached to a gauge hose with the included string. The Cressi Lima is a perfect backup knife to be carried in addition to a primary knife.

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The standard blade is a 304 stainless steel but is also offered in a titanium version as well for an extra $10 bucks.

The handle is pretty small of course and I wish it had some rubber on it for easier gripping. But this is not a knife meant for a lot of use though.

The Lima is the perfect knife for the diver who only goes a few times a year or as a backup knife.

 

Cressi Lima Tactical Dive Knife at a Glance:

  • Length: 3 7/8″
  • Construction: 304 stainless steel
  • Blade Edges: Serrated & straight edges
  • Tip: Sharp
  • Other: Ideal emergency knife

The Atomic Ti6 is a full titanium dive knife for full corrosion resistance. This is a full tang knife for strength with a ergonomically designed, molded handle that just feels good on your hands.

The 4” blade has both straight and serrated edges with a line cutting notch. It comes in both blunt tip and a sharp tip, depending on what your needs are.

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The sheath is well designed with a quick, push button release for easy access.

I would have liked to have seen longer straps on the sheath, divers with larger, muscular thighs may not be able to strap it around them and have to use their arm or calf.

The end of the knife has a endcap so you can use it as a hammer. The Ti6 is a knife that any diver would be able to depend on if the need arises.

 

Atomic Aquatics Titanium Ti6 Scuba Diving Knife at a Glance:

  • Length: 4”
  • Construction: Titanium
  • Blade Edges: Serrated & straight edges
  • Tip: Blunt or Sharp available
  • Other: Hammer on bottom, leg straps

Underwater Kinetics - Blue Tang Titanium Dive Knife

Underwater Kinectics is well known for their quality scuba diving equipment and the “Blue Tang” is a solid offering in diving knives.

This knife is made from a VERY high grade of titanium that will not corrode or rust like cheaper titanium knives.

The knife has a full tang for strength and can be easily dissembled for cleaning. The Blue Tang is a full size knife with a 5 inch blade that has both a straight edge and a serrated edge plus a hooked line cutter.

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These features are pretty much standard on all dive knives these days. You have your choice of a sharp tip, for spear fishermen or what I prefer, the blunt tip. Which is far more useful for the average diver.

It comes with a sheath with included straps so you can keep it anywhere on you plus it has a quick release button so you can access the knife quickly while keeping it secure so you don’t lose it.

Overall, I think this is the best titanium dive knife.

 

Underwater Kinetics Blue Tang Dive Knife at a Glance:

  • Length: 5″
  • Construction: Full tang titanium
  • Blade Edges: Serrated & straight edges
  • Tip: Blunt or Sharp available
  • Other: Hammer on bottom, leg straps

Dive Knife Comparison Table

Dive Knife Blade LengthTipBladeBlade EdgesRating
Promate Titanium Dive Knife4 3/8"Blunt or SharpTitanium Straight & Serrated4.4 / 5.0
Cressi Skorpion Dive Knife4 3/8"Blunt or Sharp304 Stainless SteelStraight & Serrated4.0 / 5.0
XS Scuba FogCutter X Knife4 3/8"Blunt or Sharp420 stainless steelStraight, Serrated & Scissors3.9 / 5.0
Cressi Borg, Long Blade Knife5 1/2"Blunt or Sharp305 Japanese stainless steelStraight & Serrated4.0 / 5.0
Cressi Lima Tactical Dive Knife2 7/8"Sharp304 stainless steelStraight & Serrated3.6 / 5.0
Atomic Aquatics Titanium Ti6 Knife4"Blunt or SharpTitanium Straight & Serrated4.4 / 5.0
Underwater Kinetics Blue Tang Dive Knife5"Blunt or SharpTitanium Straight & Serrated4.1 / 5.0

How to Choose the Best Scuba Diving Knife – Buyers Guide

Best Dive Knife

Choosing the best diving knife like most things is a series of trade offs and really comes down to what you will be using it for primarily and how often you dive. There is no prefect knife so if you need a knife for various functions then you really will need a get more than one knife.

Knife Blade Material

There are two main blade materials used to make a dive knife; stainless steel and titanium.

Titanium

A blade made of titanium is going to be VERY strong and almost completely corrosion resistant, meaning you just give it a quick rinse off and put it back in the sheath for storage. The downside is they are harder to sharpen and usually cannot be made as sharp as steel.

Stainless Steel

The biggest advantages to a stainless knife is that not only are they easier to sharpen, they hold an edge well especially the knives made from Japanese 420 stainless steel.

Blade made from this can be made razor sharp and ideal for a spearfisher knife. The 305 variety of steel is a bit of a tradeoff, it can be made almost as sharp as 420 BUT is more corrosion resistant.

Either way, they need to be cleaned and oiled after diving or they will rust.

Blade Size

Blade size is going to be a function of what you will mainly use it for. A blade of 4 – 5 inches is a good compromise in usability. It’s a good choice for the recreational diver, its ideal for getting untangled from fishing line, or cutting rope.

For the spear fisherman then a 5 inch or larger is a better choice. So the casual diver or diver who needs a backup knife, a blade size of 3 inches or so is best. The Cressi Lima a perfect choice.

Blade Design

Dive Knife-Blunt Tip vs Pointed Tip

Almost all knives these days come with a blade that is serrated on one side and a straight edge on the other. This gives you the best of both worlds, the primary decision is the tip design. A blunt or squared off tip or a sharp tip.

The blunt being better for use as a tool like prying or digging and being the more versatile design by far. This design is best for the recreational diver.

The sharp tip being more ideal for the spear fisherman who wants to quickly kill a fish they speared or in the off chance that an unwanted predator comes around looking for a meal you can use it for self-defense.

Attachment Method

A matter of personal choice, either strapping it on your leg or arm makes it easier to get to but runs the risk of getting caught on something underwater.

The other option is in a BCD pocket or attaching to the outside. The Cressi Lima can also be attached to a hose with string.

Knife Blade Materials

There are two main blade materials used in making a dive knife: stainless steel and titanium. While both are quite durable, they have their individual advantages and disadvantages. Let’s take a look.

Stainless Steel

Most dive knives are actually made from stainless steel. This is due to the cost factor. Stainless steel is definitely sturdy, but there’s something to remember: it’s rust-resistant not rust-proof. As you’re going to be using the knife in and/or around water, this is crucial to keep in mind.

After repetitive exposure to the sea, they become susceptible to rusting. Obviously, you don’t want this to happen as it can break down and weaken the blade.

Higher-grade stainless (such as Japanese 420 stainless steel) still will, however, hold up notably better in water, so don’t completely rule this material out. If price isn’t of importance to you, there’s also H1 steel. This is a rather new type of blade material, but is also practically rust-proof.

Rather than using carbon which most stainless steel uses, this is precipitation-hardened steel which uses 1% nitrogen. In addition, stainless steel knives are much easier/quicker to sharpen and hold an edge well.

Titanium

Titanium is very strong, and typically does much better in the sea than the former, due to never rusting. That’s right; it’s practically corrosion-resistant. All you have to do when you’re done using it, is give it a proper rinse with fresh water and let it dry in the open air.

Blade Type

When it comes to dive knives, you’re going to see either those with serrated blades, or those with straight edge blades. The debate between the two has been going pretty much since the serrated edge was invented. Most of us have used both types of knives in the kitchen, but when it comes to the sea, one may benefit you over the other on your adventures.

Serrated Blades

Serrated blades are those which are jagged – generally similar to bread knives and the serrated edge looks like something you’d find on a saw in a workshop. They’re extremely effective in slicing through thicker materials like rope, fish bones, and your occasional stubborn seaweed or kelp. Another advantage to these, is that they typically stay sharper, longer than their straight edge partner.

Straight Edge

While serrated blades are undoubtedly useful, straight edge knives have their benefits, too. If you believe you’re going to encounter more thin/fine materials like fishing line, then you’ll want this type. Ideally, the blade should be a bit curved.

If you can’t manage to choose between the two, not to worry! Many dive knives come with both blades! There are even models which feature hooks or notches in the blade, which makes cutting through thin objects a breeze.

Grip

Obviously, when we add water into any situation, grip should be of utmost importance. Even if you have the most expensive, high-tech knife in the world, it’s not going to do you an ounce of good if it’s lying on the seafloor.

With that being said, you’d probably be surprised at how many subpar grips there are out there in the world of dive knives. Texture, shape, and material are all important things to consider.

First, make sure that the grip is actually comfortable in your hand and won’t be likely to make your hand cramp up after extended use. If you’re going to be wearing gloves while diving, also ensure you can keep a firm grip on it. Grips vary in size, so consider the size of your hands as well.

Typically, you’re going to find either pure metal grips, or those made of rubber or a synthetic material to increase grip efficacy. Some are made to be ergonomic to naturally fit better in your hand, while some are completely smooth. A textured handle will help keep it in your hand, and rubber also helps with this.

Knife Design

Folding Knife

This model is where the blade folds down into a groove inside the handle. The benefit of these models, is that it is much more convenient due to being able to fold into a smaller shape and won’t snag anything you don’t want it to.

You can also keep them easily in a BCD pocket, and grab them without worrying about stabbing yourself. The downside, however, is that they can be difficult or practically impossible to open if you’re sporting dive gloves.

Fixed

Fixed knives are those that do not fold, and are slightly more reliable. Sheathes are easy to hold your knife in, and typically attach to your leg, the BCD pocket flap, or deflator hose.

However, make sure that the knife you have in mind has the compatibility of mounting in the way that you’d prefer as not every sheath offers every option. Having a sheath retainer and/or a quick-release button is essential in making sure your knife doesn’t come out unexpectedly.

Shears

A new innovation that combines a regular knife blade with the cutting action of scissors. This gives you extra versatility of the cutting action of scissors that are very effective at cutting line or rope.

Color

Yes, it sounds a bit superficial but hear us out. The color of your knife could help you out tremendously if it happens to get lost. If you have a black knife and you drop it, chances aren’t so good you’re going to be able to spot it. However, if you have bright, neon-colored handles, you’ll be able to spot it much easier. It’s also great for safety considerations.

Additional Considerations

There are some extras that certain models feature, which you may like to consider.

Sheath

Many have the misconception that the blade is the most important part of a knife. When, in fact, the sheath is just as important.

Why?

Because it’s the main factor in keeping your knife from sinking into the dark depths of the ocean when not in use – which is probably going to be most of your time out there.

With that being said, your knife’s sheath must be reliable. If not, you should be able to fold the knife.

Metal Butt

You can never have a dive knife that is “too handy”. Another popular feature that’s not included on all models, is a metal butt. These are usually just a simple metal cap at the bottom of the handle. You can use it for all kinds of things, but are often used as a tap hammer which can be helpful in trying to communicate.

Lanyard Hole

Another little feature that may make or break your experience, is the inclusion of a lanyard hole. If you have a knife that does happen to have one, you’ll find it ultra-convenient, particularly if you feel unsure just holding the knife in your hand. You can keep the lanyard around your hand to have a kind of back-up in case your knife does slip away.

FAQs For Scuba Diving Knives

Q: How many knives should I carry?

A: In our experience, it’s a good idea to have two. This is just in case one gets tangled up and you’re unable to reach one of them. Try to keep one within reach of your right hand, and one within reach of your left.

Q: How long will my knife last?

A: If you care for it properly, it should last you for years to come.

Q: How often must I clean my knife?

A: Every time you use it. Make sure you always wash away all sand, salt, and chemicals which could compromise the quality of the materials. Always completely dry your knife before storing it, and apply the thin silicone coat to prevent corrosion.

Tips For Using Your Knife

#1: Always look for corrosion on the blade and locking mechanism before diving. Always make sure your knife is in tip-top shape before you head out to the ocean. Rust can actually cause your knife to break more easily.

#2: Make sure your knife is properly sharpened before diving. Even if you feel like you just sharpened it, it’s always better to be safe than sorry.

#3: Clean off light corrosion/buildup with either a towel or a toothbrush. This is a gentle way of doing it, and if it’s not too heavy, can be effective at keeping your knife in good shape.

#4: Lubricate the lock or opening mechanism with silicone if you feel it needs it. You don’t want it to get stuck on you when or if you actually need it.

#5: Rinse thoroughly after each use, dry thoroughly, and apply a thin layer of silicone to prevent corrosion.


I hope this guide was helpful for finding the best dive knife to fit your needs. If you want to comment or recommend a knife I didn’t include, please use my contact form to get in touch.

Have fun and stay safe!

Performance
Quality
Value

The Promate is our Editor's Choice for the best dive knife with its combination of performance, quality and value.

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Richard Remick

I work part time as an IT security consultant. Luckily I can work from anywhere so I go back and forth between Colorado and Florida. I get my fix of skiing, hiking and camping in Colorado in the Dillion area, and when I am in Florida you can usually find me on the water either paddleboarding or kayaking. My recent passion is scuba diving, I got certified a few years ago and "get wet" as frequently as I can.

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