4 Wickedly Big Knives for Survival, Butchering, and Bushwhacking

Because you never know when you’ll need an 18-inch blade

four large hunting knives
For big jobs, use a big blade.Brian Klutch

Length and heft have a definite appeal in more than one field of endeavor, not least of all in cutting tools. Here are four tools that can not only slice and dice but hew and hack as well.

Woodman's Pal

The Woodsman’s Pal
The Woodsman’s PalAmazon

The Woodsman's Pal is a machete with a brush hook. The 10 ½-inch blade is tempered soft so it re-sharpens easily, and you can remove chips with little trouble. It can do anything a small machete will do—plus it's more efficient at clearing brush and you can even dig with it.

Knives of Alaska Brown Bear

The Knives of Alaska Brown Bear
The Knives of Alaska Brown BearAmazon

The Brown Bear is a small, heavy-duty cleaver with a rounded front skinning edge. There’s a hole on the 6 ½-inch D2 blade so you can choke up on it. It’s tempered hard, so it will hold an edge a long time. This blade is mainly for the big, nasty, ugly skinning and butchering jobs. It works well as a knife and will ride on your belt like one. It’s a fair tree chopper in a pinch.

Roselli Leuku

The Roselli Leuku
The Roselli LeukuH. Roselli

The leuku is the traditional big knife of the Saami people who live above the Arctic Circle in northern Europe. This one is 7 ½ inches and heavy; the handle is 5 inches. The Saami use this knife for butchering, making firewood, and whacking recalcitrant reindeer. If you have no reindeer to whack, you can drive tent pegs with it.

Cold Steel Bolo

The Cold Steel Bolo
The Cold Steel BoloCold Steel

The bolo is the Philippine version of the machete, and one of the best permutations of that tool. Cold Steel makes this one out of 1055 carbon steel with a polypropylene handle. What does this tool do? It's easier to ask, "What doesn't it do?" It can hack through even a sizable tree limb that's blocking the road. You can build a blind with it, or cut a shooting lane.