A sailing knife is an essential tool for seafarers and yachtsmen. Whether you’re out on the open sea or rigging up a dinghy onshore, having a reliable and versatile knife can make all the difference. In this article, we will explore the top sailing knives available on the market, carefully crafted to meet the demands of modern sailing adventures. From boat knives to marine knives, we’ll cover a range of options to suit your needs and preferences.

Key Takeaways:

  • Sailing knives are crucial tools for seafarers and yachtsmen.
  • Having a reliable and versatile knife can greatly enhance your sailing experience.
  • In this article, we’ll explore the top sailing knives on the market.
  • There are various types of sailing knives to choose from, including folding knives and stainless steel knives.
  • Key features to consider when selecting a sailing knife include multipurpose functionality and a marlinspike.

Types of Sailing Knives

When it comes to sailing knives, there are various types to choose from. Understanding the different options available will help you make an informed decision based on your specific needs and preferences.

Folding Sailing Knives

Folding sailing knives are popular among sailors for their compact design and easy portability. These knives are crafted to fold into a smaller size, making them convenient to carry in your pocket or pack. Whether you’re on a multiday sailing excursion or a quick day trip, a folding knife can be easily stored and accessed whenever needed. It’s a versatile option for various cutting tasks on a sailboat.

Stainless Steel Sailing Knives

When it comes to durability and resistance to corrosion in harsh marine environments, stainless steel sailing knives are the top choice. These knives are made from high-quality stainless steel, which not only ensures their longevity but also provides excellent cutting performance. With a stainless steel sailing knife, you can confidently tackle any cutting task on your boat, knowing that your knife will withstand the rigors of the marine environment.

Sailing Knife with Shackle Opener

If you’re looking for a knife that offers more than just cutting capabilities, consider a sailing knife with a shackle opener. This type of knife comes with a specialized tool that allows you to quickly and easily manipulate rigging hardware, such as shackles. With a built-in shackle opener, you can swiftly undo or adjust rigging connections without the need for additional tools. It’s a handy feature that can save you time and effort on your sailing adventures.

To give you a visual idea of the different types of sailing knives, take a look at the following table:

Type of Sailing Knife Description
Folding Sailing Knife A compact knife that folds into a smaller size for easy portability. Ideal for sailors who prioritize convenience.
Stainless Steel Sailing Knife A durable knife made from high-quality stainless steel, resisting corrosion in harsh marine environments.
Sailing Knife with Shackle Opener A versatile knife equipped with a shackle opener for quick and easy manipulation of rigging hardware.

By considering the different types of sailing knives available, you can choose the one that best suits your sailing needs. Whether you prioritize portability, durability, or additional features, there is a sailing knife out there that will enhance your sailing experience.

Key Features to Consider

When selecting a sailing knife, it’s important to consider key features that will enhance its functionality and usability. The right features can make all the difference when you’re out on the water. Here are some key features to look for:

1. Multi-Purpose Functionality

Invest in a versatile sailing knife that can handle a variety of tasks. A multi-purpose sailing knife is a must-have tool that can be used for cutting lines, opening cans, and performing various onboard tasks. Look for a knife that offers maximum functionality and adaptability to suit your needs.

2. Rigging Knives

If you frequently work with rigging hardware and ropes, consider a sailing knife specifically designed for rigging tasks. Rigging knives often have serrated blades, marlinspikes for splicing ropes, and other specialized features that make working with rigging hardware easier and more efficient.

3. Sailing Knife with Marlinspike

A marlinspike is a versatile tool that can be used for splicing ropes and opening knots. Look for a sailing knife that includes a marlinspike as one of its features. Having a marlinspike on hand can save you time and effort when dealing with ropes and knots onboard.

4. Blade Material and Design

Consider the material and design of the knife blade. Stainless steel blades are known for their durability and resistance to corrosion, making them ideal for marine environments. Look for a knife with a sharp, strong blade that can withstand the demands of sailing.

5. Safety Features

Ensure that the sailing knife has proper safety features in place. Look for knives with folding blades that can be securely locked in place to prevent accidental openings. Additionally, choose a knife with a comfortable grip to minimize the risk of slippage during use.

6. Ease of Use and Accessibility

Consider how easy the knife is to use and access when needed. Look for features such as one-hand opening mechanisms or built-in clips for convenient and quick access. An accessible and user-friendly knife is essential for seamless navigation and efficiency on the water.

By considering these key features, you can find a sailing knife that meets your specific needs and enhances your sailing experience.

Top Picks for Boat Knives

When it comes to choosing a boat knife, there are several top picks that offer exceptional quality and performance. These knives are designed to meet the demands of boating enthusiasts, providing reliability and functionality in various situations. Let’s take a closer look at three top picks for boat knives:

1. Gerber EZ-Out Rescue Knife

The Gerber EZ-Out Rescue knife is a popular choice among boaters for its outstanding features. This knife is known for its lightweight design, making it easy to carry and handle while on board. Additionally, its one-handed opening mechanism allows for quick and convenient access in emergencies. The powerful cutting blade ensures efficient performance, making the Gerber EZ-Out Rescue knife an excellent companion for any boating adventure.

2. Gerber Strap Cutter

Specifically designed for cutting through webbing, the Gerber Strap Cutter is an essential tool for boaters. Whether you need to free yourself from entanglement or quickly release a strap, this knife delivers precise and reliable cutting power. Its compact size and ergonomic design make it easy to use and carry on board. The Gerber Strap Cutter is a trusted option for boaters who prioritize safety and efficiency.

3. Victorinox Skipper Pro Swiss Army Pocket Knife

If you’re looking for a boat knife with a wide range of functions, the Victorinox Skipper Pro Swiss Army Pocket Knife is an ideal choice. In addition to its reliable blade, this knife offers numerous onboard tools that come in handy during boating activities. From a marlinspike for splicing ropes to a serrated-edge blade for cutting through a variety of materials, the Victorinox Skipper Pro Swiss Army Pocket Knife is a versatile tool that ensures you’re well-equipped for any situation on the water.

These top picks showcase the variety and quality of boat knives available on the market. Whether you prioritize lightweight design, specialized cutting capabilities, or a multi-purpose tool, there is a boat knife that meets your specific needs. Investing in a high-quality boat knife ensures you have a reliable companion that enhances your boating experience and allows you to tackle tasks with ease.

Emergency Use Boat Knives

When it comes to emergency situations on the water, having the right tools can make all the difference. Two standout options for emergency use boat knives are the Gerber River shorty and the Gill Harness Rescue Tool.

The Gerber River shorty

The Gerber River shorty is a fixed-blade knife designed with safety and reliability in mind. It features a blunted tip, making it a safe choice for emergency situations. Whether you need to cut rope or handle unexpected challenges on the water, the Gerber River shorty is a dependable tool that will give you peace of mind.

The Gill Harness Rescue Tool

The Gill Harness Rescue Tool is specifically crafted for cutting safety tether webbing. In emergency scenarios where quick and precise action is required, this tool will help you efficiently handle the situation. With its specialized design and functionality, the Gill Harness Rescue Tool is an excellent addition to any sailor’s emergency preparedness kit.

These emergency use boat knives provide the necessary tools to handle unexpected situations on the water. Whether you choose the Gerber River shorty or the Gill Harness Rescue Tool, having a reliable knife in emergency situations is essential for every sailor’s safety.

Knife Description
Gerber River shorty A fixed-blade knife with a blunted tip, ensuring safety in emergency situations.
Gill Harness Rescue Tool A specialized tool designed for cutting safety tether webbing, providing quick and precise action.

Best Sailing Knives with Additional Tools

For sailors who want a sailing knife with additional tools, the Gill Personal Rescue Knife is a top choice. This knife offers more than just a blade, with features such as a built-in webbing cutter and a one-handed opening mechanism. It also comes with a bright orange handle for increased visibility and a pocket clip for easy carrying.

The Gill Personal Rescue Knife is a versatile tool that can handle a wide range of tasks on the water, making it a must-have for any sailor.

Other Noteworthy Sailing Knives

In addition to the top picks and emergency use options, there are other noteworthy sailing knives worth considering. The Spinlock S-Cutter is a tool specifically designed for slashing through a safety tether in urgent situations. It features serrated edges for improved grip and comes with a protective sheath and pouch for easy storage.

Another option to consider is the Gill OS3 Men’s Coastal Jacket, which offers excellent protection from the elements and features a pocket for carrying essential sailing tools, including a knife. This high-quality jacket is waterproof, breathable, and designed to withstand coastal conditions, ensuring comfort and safety on the water.

These additional options provide further variety and functionality for sailors in need of a reliable knife. Whether it’s the specialized functionality of the Spinlock S-Cutter or the all-around protection and convenience of the Gill OS3 Men’s Coastal Jacket, these sailing knives are built to enhance your sailing experience.

Sailing Knife Features
Spinlock S-Cutter Serrated edges for improved grip
Gill OS3 Men’s Coastal Jacket Waterproof and breathable, with a pocket for carrying essential tools

Best Budget Buy Boat Knife

For those on a budget, the Force 4 Pocket Serrated knife is an excellent option. Despite its affordable price tag, this knife offers surprising sharpness and effectiveness, making it a great choice for everyday use on the water. Its compact size and serrated blade make it ideal for cutting ropes and lines. The Force 4 Pocket Serrated knife proves that quality doesn’t always have to come at a high price.

Feature Description
Blade Material Stainless Steel
Blade Type Serrated
Handle Material Non-slip plastic
Overall Length 6 inches
Weight 3 ounces
Compact Design Yes

Sheath Knives for Rigging Tasks

When it comes to rigging tasks, having a reliable sheath knife is essential. The CPN Currey Seaman’s Sheath is a fine-quality general-purpose knife that offers good cutting abilities and comes with an attractive leather sheath. Another excellent option is the Force 4 Race Rescue knife, which features a thick blade, excellent hand grip, and a positive sheath locking action. These sheath knives are designed to handle the rigors of rigging tasks and provide sailors with a reliable tool they can depend on.

Other Factors to Consider

When purchasing a sailing knife, there are important factors to consider beyond the knife’s features and functionality. One crucial aspect is understanding the knife laws in your country, particularly if you plan to carry the knife in public. In the United Kingdom, for example, the government has specific regulations regarding the carrying of knives in public spaces.

Familiarizing yourself with the UK Government’s Knife Law is essential to ensure compliance with legal requirements. By understanding these laws, you can make informed decisions regarding the type of sailing knife that best suits your needs while adhering to the regulations.

In addition to knife laws, there are other factors to consider when selecting a sailing knife. These include the cost of the knife, the material it is made from, the design of the knife and its handle, the type of sheath, the presence of a clip for easy attachment, and the characteristics of the knife’s edge and tip. Taking all of these factors into account will help you find a sailing knife that meets your specific needs and preferences.

By considering knife laws and various other factors, you can confidently select the right sailing knife that not only meets your requirements but also complies with legal obligations, offering peace of mind on your sailing adventures.


Choosing the right sailing knife is of utmost importance for seafarers and yachtsmen. With a wide range of options available, including boat knives and sheath knives, there is a sailing knife suited to meet the demands of modern sailing adventures. By carefully considering factors such as the type of knife, key features, and additional tools, you can find a knife that perfectly suits your specific needs.

Whether you require a versatile multi-purpose knife capable of handling various tasks or a specialized rigging knife designed specifically for working with rigging hardware and ropes, the market offers a diverse selection. When investing in a sailing knife, take the time to research and select a high-quality option that will serve as a reliable companion on your seafaring journeys.

Remember, a sailing knife is not just a tool, but an integral part of your sailing gear. It can make a significant difference in your ability to navigate and handle various situations at sea. So, prioritize quality, functionality, and durability when choosing your sailing knife, ensuring it meets your specific requirements. Ultimately, your sailing knife will be your trustworthy companion, helping you overcome challenges and enhance your sailing experience.


What are some popular types of sailing knives?

Folding sailing knives, stainless steel sailing knives, and sailing knives with shackle openers are among the popular types of sailing knives.

What key features should I consider when selecting a sailing knife?

When selecting a sailing knife, it’s important to consider features such as multi-purpose functionality, rigging-specific design, and the presence of a marlinspike.

Can you recommend some top picks for boat knives?

Yes, some top picks for boat knives include the Gerber EZ-Out Rescue knife, Gerber Strap Cutter, and Victorinox Skipper Pro Swiss Army Pocket Knife.

Which sailing knives are suitable for emergency use?

The Gerber River shorty and Gill Harness Rescue Tool are excellent options for emergency use boat knives.

Are there any sailing knives with additional tools?

Yes, the Gill Personal Rescue Knife offers additional tools such as a built-in webbing cutter and one-handed opening mechanism.

Are there any other noteworthy sailing knives?

Yes, the Spinlock S-Cutter and Gill OS3 Men’s Coastal Jacket are other noteworthy sailing knives worth considering.

What is a good budget buy for a boat knife?

The Force 4 Pocket Serrated knife is an excellent budget buy for sailors.

Are there any sheath knives specifically designed for rigging tasks?

Yes, the CPN Currey Seaman’s Sheath and Force 4 Race Rescue knife are recommended for rigging tasks.

Are there any other factors to consider when purchasing a sailing knife?

Yes, it’s important to be aware of knife laws in your country, such as the UK Government’s Knife Law, and consider factors like material, design, sheath, clip, edge, and tip.

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Hello! I'm Wise, a Filipina with a deep love for my country and a passion for sharing its beauty with the world. As a writer, blogger, and videographer, I capture the essence of the Philippines through my eyes, hoping to give foreign visitors a true taste of what makes these islands so special.

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