Dive Knives -- What's Your Advice?


Sep 13, 1999
In am in the market for a dive knife (that I will actually take diving) and would greatly appreciate you advice. For example, what is the best shape? How about metals, what should I look for? Is titanium any good as a blade material? What specific models should I look at? Are there more general use outdoor knives that can serve the purpose, like the Seal Pup?

Thanks Again
If you want my opinion, and I am a Master SCUBA diver and have loged over 1,500 dives, I would suggest a Spyderco Snap-It or Remote Release unless you have a specific need for a fixed blade.

Attach it directly to a D-Ring or your power inflator.


Best Regards,
Mike Turber
BladeForums Site Owner and Administrator
Do it! Do it right! Do it right NOW!

I free dive to spear fish and stuff, I've worn a scuba tank once and that was in a pool. They're cool, but not my style.

Anyway, I just use the same thing underwater that I use on land. I just make sure to clean and dry it thoroughly when I'm done. I have even dived with 1095. It doesn't immediately turn into a pile of rust, contrary to popular belief. Sure, you may have some staining, but if you really use your carbon steel blades, they'll already be stained.

Of course, stainless is preferable, just not 316.

Everybody says that only stupid divers use large knives, well I've heard the same thing about inexperienced woodsmen. Personaly, I think the people who propose this things are the ones who are stupid and inexperienced. If you don't like large knives, don't use one. If you have a use for large knives, use them.

As far as being attacked by sea creatures go, yeah it's actualy happened to me a lot. And the were mostly stupid little bait fish. The most viscious fish in the water is the freshwater bream. I've been nipped almost to death by those things. The truly dangerous sea creatures tend to not be all that hostile.

Still, you won't find me swimming with sharks. I fell in the water while trying to dispatch a good sized blue when fishing once. Scared the heck out of me. Fortunately, I was granted the the power of flight by a merciful God and managed to catapult out of the ocean and back into my boat before anything happened.
I prefer a fixed blade and I will tell you why. My experience may be different from Mike's in that the majority of my diving has been in cold water, primarily assisting with training dives here in Indiana quarries.

Trying to open a folder, even a Spyderco folder with 1/8" gloves on can be a chore, if not nearly impossible. Even if it can be done with two hands, do you want to have to use two hands? What if the reason you need the knife is to free your other hand from some monofilament line (which is the material I end up cutting the most while diving, btw)?

I don't carry a big knife. I think most underwater cutting is a precision task, where one of the objects is not to cut anything important, like your BC!

My favourite is the Underwater Kinetics Fusilier. I do also keep a Spyderco Delica as backup.

This is just my two cents...

PADI Master Diver
My recommendation is to wear two knives. Doing so saved my life several years ago. I did most of my diving in the great lakes exploring shipwrecks. I wore a drysuit with 34 pounds of lead around my waist, a tool harness over my shoulders, a large sturdy Dacor knife on my right leg (I don't know why Mike Turber advises against this form of carry) and a small double edge stiletto by Scubapro, inverted on my left should tool harness strap. This practice made sense to me because, with the dry suit, twin 80's, weights, etc, it was often difficult to bend or reach the leg knife. Due to its strength, I felt I should carry the large knife and it was too large to carry on my harnass strap. Again, my advise is to carry two dive knives.
I am a walking diving articulated SAK. Carry a Gerber RIVER RUNNER on my console, Kit Carson U2 on my thigh and Rescue shears(the most ussful item) on my BC. Since I usually wreck dive I also have a titainium prybar and a crescent wrench as well.


PS. If you carry a knife on your leg put it on the inside of the calf. It is less likely to snag there.

"Cet animal est tres mechant;quand on l'attaque il se defend."("This animal is very mischievous: when it is attacked it defends itself")
I`m with Willy.The leg knife in the `60`s was a 7 1/2" US Divers.It was mostly used for prying Abs off of rocks and the occassional kelp entanglment.I have a SOG SEAL,but the expense is hardly required.

I`m with Willy.The leg knife in the `60`s was a 7 1/2" US Divers.It was mostly used for prying Abs off of rocks and the occassional kelp entanglment.I have a SOG SEAL,but the expense is hardly required.

I have a big US Divers knife, but have never actually worn it.

I think I might try a cobalt knife, if I am ever able to return to diving. As Snickersnee said, any steel is ok as long as you clean it. I am just that lazy...

There are two basic reasons for not carrying your knife on your leg:

1) If you have to ditch your weight belt, it can snag on your knife. This risk is reduced if you wear it on the inside of your leg. Still, wearing it on your leg makes it want to snag on practically everything.

2) Wearing it on your leg is putting it far away from your hands and also on an extremity that might be the very one you need the knife to free.

I keep my FB zip-tied to my power inflator hose; the Delica on a D-Ring (using a lobster claw); and EMT shears in my BC pocket(also in there is always a UKE SL4 light and DAN Pocket Mask).

Clay Fleischer
AKTI Member A000847

"In the beginning the Universe was created. This has made a lot of people very angry and been widely regarded as a bad move." --Douglas Adams

I would go with the Buck Intrepid! You can buy it for $90 to $105 depending on the size you want. This dive knife was designed by Kit Carson and Rob Cude (Navy EOD). Solid 1/4 inch 420 stainless. The link is used for the picture. i couldn't get Bucks link to work. I am not affiliated with Knife outlet, just a satisfied customer!


[This message has been edited by CJ (edited 13 September 1999).]
Hey RFC -- somehow you ended up posting 2 of the same mssg -- I posted a reply at the other one, FYI. Just my 2 cents; hope it's helpful --

Most of the reasons for not carrying a dive knife on the leg have already been mentioned. Another is that your number one enemy in the water is not creatures or even the enviroment. The number one concern is MONO FILIMENT LINE!

Seems fishermen love to cut the stuff when they get hung. Problem is you get hung on the same line underwater when you can not see it.

I have 2 knives on me when I dive. I prefer my Snap-It because I use it the most. I also have a River-Shorty on my power inflator tied dowm with electrical ties. Works great.

There is never any reason to wear a dive knife on your leg. Simply put is it the worst place to put a knife. If your tied up it is that much more difficult to reach along with the reasons mentioned above. Plus it causes other problems like leg fatigue and cramping if it is big and heavy and you are in strong current. Plus they have a tendency to fall off because of all the motion they are subjected to being on an extremity.

Best Regards,
Mike Turber
BladeForums Site Owner and Administrator
Do it! Do it right! Do it right NOW!