5 Best Sailing Knives (Reviews Updated 2022)

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A sailing knife is an essential part of every sailor’s personal gear and will come in handy in emergencies or any other general sailing activities that require a sharp cutting edge. As sailing knives help the sailor handle the ropes and all the kinks and knots that come with sailing, many sailors often develop a powerful attachment to their knives. The ideal sailing knife should be lightweight, highly durable, corrosion-resistant, include extra functionalities, and should be easy to use.

Best Sailing Knives

To save you the shopping hassle, we have compiled a list of our top five sailing knives from which we are sure you will find a sailing companion that ticks with you.

1. Maxam Sailor’s Tool

Maxam Sailor's Tool

The Maxam Sailor’s tool is a highly versatile sailing knife that boasts of superior durability and multi-functionality and comes with a foldable design for great compactness. It emphasizes great value for money with a honed blade, marlinspike, bottle opener, and shackle key, and comes with a high-grade steel handle engraved with rulers on each side. It is very affordable, sports a sleek design, and is easy to store.

  • Superior durability and lightweight performance.
  • 5-in-1 function and compact design.
  • Very affordable and sleekly designed.
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2. Spyderco Atlantic Salt Lightweight Folding Knife

Spyderco Atlantic Salt Lightweight Folding Knife

This top-notch sailing knife from Spyderco combines a blend of high-grade materials for the best anti-corrosion performance and an excellent design anyone will find appealing. It comes with a comfortable, lightweight handle and a high-efficiency serrated blade design for the quickest cuts. It folds into its handle, offers a titanium clip option for great portability, and can be attached to a lanyard so it doesn’t fall off.

  • Highly corrosion-resistant.
  • Durable and highly ergonomic.
  • Foldable design for great compactness.
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3. Camillus 6.5″ Folding Marlin Spike

Camillus 6.5 Folding Marlin Spike

The Camillus sailing knife comes with a low-profile design and combines the best materials for lightweight, durable performance. It comes with a lightweight composite handle, a high-strength VG 10 steel sheepsfoot blade, and a robust, rigid marlinspike to quickly handle knots. All its blades are foldable for pocket-size compactness and are easily opened with a thumb stud trigger, while it comes with a lanyard clip for added portability.

  • Low-profile, foldable design.
  • Lightweight and highly durable.
  • Easy to use and highly portable.
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4. Davis Instruments Deluxe Rigging Knife

Davis Instruments Deluxe Rigging Knife

The Davis Instruments sailing knife comes with an all-stainless-steel design for the most durable, high-strength performance. It is affordable, is built to take a beating, and includes a knife and screwdriver. It also includes a marlin spike and shackle key, a lanyard loop, and a foldable design for a compact performance.

  • Highly durable and impact resistant.
  • Very affordable, compact foldable design.
  • 4-way function with included lanyard loop.
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5. Meyerco Sailor’s Knife

Meyerco Sailor's Knife

The Meyerco sailor’s knife is a highly versatile cutting tool especially adapted to rigging. It sports an all-stainless-steel design for the best corrosion-free, high-strength performance, and includes a honed blade, a shackle key, marlinspike, bottle opener, and engraved ruler. All its action sections are foldable and with an attached lanyard loop, grant it superior compactness and portability.

  • Superior durability and versatility.
  • Corrosion-resistant, foldable design.
  • Highly portable and very affordable.
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Sailing Knife Buying Guide

The sailing knife is a great accessory for any sailor to have and will come in handy every now and then, if not every time you set sail. They are highly versatile sailing tools and are relevant to almost everything you’ll be doing on a sailboat, more so in emergencies involves your lines.

Our buying guide reviews the best sailing knives on the market based on their specified features and customer feedback to give you the best options to choose from. We also take it a step it a step further and outline key qualities you should look out for in a sailing knife before you make a purchase.

Overall Size

Sailing knives come in different sizes and choosing the right size is very important. The length of the blade should be long enough to allow the most surface contact per stroke, but should not be too long that it becomes too hard to handle. An excessively short blade will also require too many strokes to make a cut and could be costly in an emergency.

The ideal sailing knife should also be foldable to allow for the required length when needed, but compact enough when it needs to be transported or stored away safely.


The material from which your sailing knife is made plays a major role in its durability, weight, and strength. In general, stainless steel is a great material to look out for as it combines low weight with high strength, and will resist corrosion with proper maintenance. Titanium, on the other hand, while more expensive than steel, is much lighter, tougher, and is highly corrosion-resistant.

The sailing knife you go for must also be as comfortable and easy to use as possible. Ideally, the handle should be coated with a soft material like rubber for a good, comfortable grip. Some sailing knives, however, come in a naked design and are ideal for those who value compactness and low weight but are not the best on the comfort scale. Some sailing knives also feature handles made from composites for lightweight, durable performance.

Extra Functionality

One of the most important characteristics that separate sailing knives from other knives like dive knives is the availability of extra features. These could include extra attachments like a Marlinspike, bottle/can openers, screwdrivers, shackle keys, ruler, lanyard loop, etc. As many as possible, the better. These will, however, add to the overall weight of the sailing knife.

Blade Design

The cutting action or blade design of your sailing knife is another consideration to make. Straight, razor edges are great for cutting soft materials and thin ropes quickly. Serrated edges, allow for more surface area contact and are ideal to cut thicker ropes. The ideal sailing knife should come with both razor and serrated edges for great cutting flexibility.