The Best Knives and Multitools of 2021
The carvers and gadgets for every task that needs cutting
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James Brand Hells Canyon ($295)
Weighing just under four ounces, the Hells Canyon is a backcountry foodie’s dream. The 5.4-inch chef-style blade is an ideal length for camp-kitchen tasks, and holds an edge flawlessly courtesy of premium steel that resists corrosion. It’s also tough as nails.
WESN Microblade 2.0 ($70)
Don’t be fooled by its size: this 1.5-incher is constructed from high-carbon tool-grade steel that’s up for any chore, from opening packaging to cutting paracord and guylines. Closed, it’s just over two inches long and fits on a key chain. Ceramic roller bearings and a flipper create a smooth, one-handed opening action.
CRKT Biwa ($50)
At 1.6 ounces, the Biwa is the lightest hunting and angling knife we’ve seen, but it still holds up to tougher jobs like cleaning fish. The three-inch full-tang blade resists corrosion, and the slim G10 fiberglass-laminate handle is maneuverable for paring.
Benchmade 535-3 Bugout ($300)
Benchmade keeps upping the ante on ultralight everyday carry. The newest addition to the brand’s popular Bugout line has a 3.2-inch drop-point blade made of wear-resistant steel and a carbon-fiber handle, which brings the 535-3 in at just over two ounces. Tech and durability aside, it also looks good, with stylish blue highlights on the thumb stud and lanyard hole.
Zippo SureFire ($20)
The SureFire has everything you need to start a blaze in one neat package. A saw cuts small branches for kindling, a tinder grater and fire paracord create fuel, and a flint wheel sets the spark. A penknife, a flathead screwdriver, and a bottle opener round out this multitool.
CRKT Bona Fide ($125)
The newly updated Bona Fide makes cleaning and disassembling even easier than before—just slide the button on the handle to separate the knife into three pieces. During all our tests it never came apart accidentally, and the supremely smooth bearing system made it an absolute joy to use.