In diving there’s no room for mistakes. Knives have always been essential gear for underwater work, whether you’re down there for fun or for business. Divers need knives that won’t dissolve away in salt water and perform equally well in either everyday tasks or emergencies. When seconds mean life or death, buyers prefer knives which don’t fail.
Arriving at the perfect diving knife design isn’t easy. Weight isn’t such a factor in an environment where handle materials buoy the blade and people wear weight belts anyway. Efficiency and reliability do count. In diving knives you’ll find some of the most impressive and most garish modern working blades. Synthetic handle materials — often brightly colored — offer a secure grip and a last chance recovery if dropped. Exotic metals may substitute for the dependable stainless steel most can more easily afford. While a sport diver might be more concerned with redirecting the occasional shark or cutting free from entangling debris, professional divers working in extreme conditions depend on blades that do it all — cut, stab, pry and even saw through cable.
Tailoring the knife to your own level of involvement in the trade is sensible, but don’t skimp.
Our pick for the best diving knife is the U.S. Divers Titanium Diver’s Knife. It has the essential features that a reliable diving blade should have, but in lightweight corrosion resistant titanium — better than stainless steel.
Easier on the budget, the DiveMaster Diving Knife shows a similar array of special features with a blade of high carbon stainless steel.
The Kershaw Amphibian Dive Knife is probably the least you should carry. This stainless steel bargain is still a very capable but lightweight blade. Think cutting instead of hammering and prying.