7 High Carbon Steel Pocket Knives Reviews

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Carbon steel pocket knives are commonly built for rough use where toughness and sturdiness are important. Carbon steel blades are the standard in survival/camping knives and swords. They retain a razor-sharp edge and are relatively easy to re-sharpen.

If you need more information on picking up a pocket knife then don’t forget to read our best pocket knives guide. I’ve explained everything there about various knives’ attributes

Advantages of Carbon Steel Blade Knives

1. Carbon steel blades stay sharper for a longer period of time than stainless steel blades. Therefore, carbon steel knives is a good choice for the kitchen knife.

2. Carbon steel despite being harder than stainless steel is way easier to sharpen than stainless.

3. Carbon steel knives are harder, and therefore, it holds a better edge than stainless steel knives,

4. Carbon steel pocket knives are cheaper as compared to other steel material knives – nonetheless.

Disadvantages of Carbon Steel Blade Knives

1. Carbon steel pocket knives are not corrosion resistance – With continued exposure, it can also react with some foods like onion, darkening them.

2. ​It’s an extra crumbly material, which means it’s more prone to chip if you dump it or toss it into the dishwasher. It also erodes and stains readily.

So, is a Carbon Steel Blade Knife Worth it?

As I said, carbon steel blade knives are more fragile, and stains almost immediately if exposed to external weather conditions. However, it’s not really the downside.

If you’re a careless person who can’t take care of things, then these knives are definitely not for you. But if you respect the things and care about them, then there is no way that you’re going to get disappointed with carbon steel knives.

Don’t throw, and wipe it dry after using it, and there is no way that your knife is going to rust. Not only that, you can use mineral oil to build a protective coating that inhibits rusting in storage. I’ve listed various carbon steel folding knives below. You can pick the one according to your budget.

Recommendations For High Carbon Steel Pocket Knives – A Quick overview

ImageModelSteelBlade LengthCheck Price
Opinel No 6Opinel No 6Carbon Steel2.87 inchesCheck Price On Amazon
Smith & Wesson Extreme Ops SWA24SSmith & Wesson Extreme Ops SWA24S7Cr17MoV3.1 inchesCheck Price On Amazon
Kershaw ChiveKershaw Chive420HC6.4 inches Check Price On Amazon
Kershaw Link SpeedSafeKershaw Link SpeedSafe420HC3.25 inchesCheck Price On Amazon
Morakniv Bushcraft TacticalGerber US-Assist Assisted420HC3 inchesCheck Price On Amazon
Kershaw DividendKershaw Dividend420HC3 inchesCheck Price On Amazon

1. Schrade SCHF9 Extreme

Schrade SCHF9 Extreme

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Blade: The Schrade comes with a full tang blade which means the blade steel runs the entire length of the knife, from tip to butt, and is considered the strongest knife production technique by authorities. The size of blade is 6,4 inches.

Steel: The Schrade Extreme Survival knife is made of 1095 high carbon steel. 1095 steel is a preference for many knife lovers since it’s not too expensive, it’s pretty sturdy; it holds the edge very well. 1095 steel is great for all around cutting, slicing and chopping.

Handle: A lot of attention went into designing the handle of the SCHF9. Schrade selected Kraton scales for the handle material. Kraton is a hard rubber that provides excellent grip, wet or dry doesn’t matter. The handle is lightly textured and my and makes the grip very well.

Overall: Schrade’s SCHF9 is a heavy-duty survival knife designed to work hard and get the job done at an exceptional price-point. SCHF9 is sturdy enough to make quick work of overgrown foliage, small tree limbs, and a variety of other basic survival tasks. The SCHF9’s durability, medium-size, and weight make it ideal for most survival packs and wilderness situations.

2. Morakniv Bushcraft

Morakniv Bushcraft Carbon Steel Survival Knife comes with a survival sheath. It is a survival knife with a decent quality blade.

Morakniv Bushcraft

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Blade: The Bushcraft has a 4.3 blade and is a hefty 3.2mm thick. It is available in both stainless and tungsten coated carbon steel. The thick blade is extremely sharp, durable, and is hardened to HRC 56-58 to better withstand stress on the blade when batoning. The black coating helps protects against corrosion. For further corrosion resistance, you can use oil.

Steel: High Carbon Steel – The 1/8″ carbon blade comes coated with tungsten DLC anti-corrosive coating. Since the Bushcraft Black has a carbon blade it will rust if not coated in oil and kept clean and dry. However, the black anti-corrosive coating helps to slow down this process.

Handle: The handle has great ergonomics; feels comfortable. It’s also much larger than the standard Mora. It’s basically injection-molded plastic covered in a rubber casing. The rubber is very “tacky” and helps to make the grip better.

Overall: Morakniv has been producing knives in Sweden since the late 1800s. They build a well-constructed knife with good steel and they don’t rip you off on price. The Mora Bushcraft Black is no exception. It’s the next evolution of a historical knife making company.

3. Victorinox 47521

Victorinox knives have regularly appeared as highly ranked and also recommended kitchen tools in Cook’s Illustrated, Men’s Health, The Cincinnati Enquirer, New York Magazine, and Natural Health, just to name a few.


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Blade: This knife combines the features of a cleaver with a chef’s knife. The knife comes with a whopping 8 inches blade. The curved & big size blade is excellent for steaking, and the wide blade works well for scooping sliced food on a cutting board and for crushing the garlic.

The santoku can also be used to slice meat and has a narrow spine for making thin cuts. The Blade stamped from cold-rolled steel; bolster-less edge for use of entire blade and ease of sharpening.

Steel: It is a carbon steel pocket knife. The high-carbon stainless-steel blade provides maximum sharpness and edge retention; conical ground through length and depth for a wider break point; ice tempered to sustain sharpness for a long time.

Handle: The handle is terrific. It is ergonomically shaped and is made of hardened rubber material, so it is much easier to grip than the knives as compared to handles made of metal, wood, phenolic compound, etc… (you’ll really appreciate the handle when dealing with slippery items such as raw chicken or fish).

Overall: Being honest, this is the best #1 knife contender under our carbon steel pocket knives. It has got 4.8 stars on Amazon, reviewed by 50o+ so far. Our team is really impressed by its blade performance; its hard rubber handle gets stuck to the hand which is necessary.

The one possible drawback is the weight of the knife – it doesn’t have the heft of other knives we’ve used. However, some people may actually appreciate the lighter weight.

4. KA-BAR Full-Size US Marine Corps Carbon Steel

The most famous fixed blade knife in the World – “the KA-BAR.” In dire need of a sturdy and dependable knife with a razor sharp edge, the troops found these features and more in the Kabar Marine Corps Knife as it gave them the upper hand in the close combat situations they often found themselves in.

Every Kabar Marine Corps knife is made by experienced craftsmen who perform each process with skill and precision. Each Kabar knife undergoes detailed manufacturing processes to ensure that it is strong, corrosion resistant, and is able to hold its razor-sharp edge

KA-BAR US Marine Corps

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Blade: The Ka-Bar has a partially serrated blade, with 6.5 inches of the blade is sharpened and 1.75 inches is serrated. Kabar USMC knife serrated blade.

The straight portion of the blade good enough for all the other ‘normal’ survival skills you need when in the wilderness – as well as for personal protection, namely, thrusting and slashing.

After using the knife, I prefer the unsharpened swage for a survival/utility knife. The blade length of the Full-size Ka-Bar knife is 7 inches and the blade thickness of the Ka-Bar knife is 0.165 inches.

Steel: The Ka-Bar knife is made of Cro-Van Steel (Chrome and Vanadium), which according to the Kabar is also known as Sharon Steel Co. 170-06, 1095 Cro-Van or 1095CV. You can sharpen this steel on virtually any rock you find near you. It’s not so stainless. Sure it can rust, but again it’s not a disadvantage because mineral oil is enough to resolve this issue.

Handle: The leather-stack handle provides an excellent grip, and the balance of the knife is perfect. It also features a flat grind, 20-degree edge angle, leather handle, clip, and a USMC stamp, honoring the brave marines who have sported the knife for nearly a century.

Overall: The KA-BAR is definitely not a new technology, it’s one hell of a well-made tool using traditional hand-crafted methods; of course, 1095 cro-van steel. You can certainly find more exotic, more appealing, and more tactical/cool-looking knives than this but either way, this knife will not let you down.

5. Morakniv Bushcraft

This knife has all the features that you might be looking for in a quality bushcraft carbon steel blade knife to go into our daypack. I recommend this knife without hesitation to anyone looking for a great wilderness knife at an affordable price.

Morakniv Bushcraft Tactical

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Blade: It is a fixed-blade knife with razor-sharp steel and a thick blade with a tungsten DLC anti-corrosive black coating. The blade length is 4.3 inches (109 mm); Blade thickness: 0.125 inches.

It’s thick blade resists flex or breaking even when used to the baton. The aggressive Scandinavian-ground blade is easy to sharpen and maintain in the field.

Steel: One of the best things about Morakniv is its use of high-quality Sandvik steel. Sandvik is a Swedish engineering company that provides Morakniv with the steel that they use for all of their blades, and they’re known for their exceptional products.

This steel has a finer grain with more regular carbon deposits than other steels, which makes it even stubborn and more permanent than knives made with other steel. And not to forget that it’s carbon steel.

Handle: The Bushcraft, like most of Mora’s offerings, has a rubberized handgrip for comfort and stability. It’s very slip-resistant, even in wet or muddy conditions, and easy to grasp on to when you’re wearing gloves or have very frozen hands.

This is the same material that combat knife manufacturer KA-BAR uses in their line of personal defense knives because once you have a grip on the rubber-coated handle, it’s difficult to let accidentally go.

Overall: This model has all of the traditional features that have made Morakniv a longtime favorite in Europe, as well as a few modern improvements, like an ergonomic handle and powder coated blade, which show that Mora is not afraid to innovate and improve on the design.

As said earlier, I recommend this knife without any hesitation to anybody looking for a great wilderness knife at an affordable price. Pick it up and you won’t be disappointed.

6. Schrade SCHF3N

Schrade knives are generally known to provide high-quality knives at lower-end prices. The Schrade SCHF3N survival knife, in particular, is one of the most popular ones in their extreme survival series.

carbon steel pocket knives

Schrade SCHF9 Extreme

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Blade: The blade is really thick and sharp. The size of the blade is 6.4 inches. Schrade’s SCHF3N blade is made of thick 7C17 high carbon stainless steel. I tested it out in many harsh ways, and this survival knife is rock solid. The blade is a full tang as well as thick, so this adds to the knife’s strength and durability.

Steel: It is an excellent steel for best-hunting knives. because it is very hard and holds an edge well. When you are out in the field, you need a knife that retains the edge and this steel does this job pretty well.

Handle: The handle scales are made of Micarta. Micarta is a classic knife handle material because of it’s high mechanical strength and stable performance in all temperature and weather conditions.

The handle is designed like a hand-punch with large finger choils and a lovely light texture. This knife feels magnificent in the hand, it will be difficult to slip out when using, especially if you use the included lanyard.

Overall: The Schrade SCHF3 is a healthy planned and carefully executed survival knife. When you acknowledge that this knife can be had for around $40, it represents a tremendous value. The scales could be smoothed out on the edges a little bit but it’s not really a big problem.

7. Alpha tek Spring Assisted

Spring Assisted Knife definitely comes under our recommendation for Best Carbon Steel Pocket Knives. This knife comes with bottle’s cap remover that gives it an edge as compared to its competitors.

carbon steel blade knives

Blade: The knife comes with 440C Blade and measures about 3.38 inches.  which is the highest carbon content from 400 stainless steel series- Balance hardness and corrosion resistance. The blade is tough and the knife feels sturdy. The Blade is razor sharp therefore, it can be used for kitchen tasks.

Steel: The blade uses 440C high-carbon steel for long-term durability and a dependable edge. 440C is the highest carbon content from the 400C stainless steel series. It is high-chromium stainless steel with a terrific balance of great hardness and corrosion resistance. 440C takes a nice edge and is fairly easy to re-sharpen.

Handle: The handle uses G-10 material which is considered the toughest of all the resin laminates and one of the most well-rounded durable handle materials out there.

The G10 composite handle maintains a slim profile that carries discreetly and comfortably, it easily slides from your pocket without resistance or sticking while the open frame design strips unnecessary weight out.

Overall: There is no jimping on the blade, I really wish there was. The blade feels really slippery at the thumb, and without the jimping, it doesn’t really lock into your hand, but with the handle shape, it does feel good. There is a jimping at the pinkie and thumb on the handle, so at least, that’s something. In our opinion, it’s an average for carbon steel pocket knives but still, its cap opener feature gives it an edge.

The quality of the knife is good, if you need the fastest spring assisted opening knife, then you should definitely check out this knife.​

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