camping and climbing knives

Best Climbing Knife

What is the Best Climbing Knife in 2024? Here's a list of the Top 6 knives for climbers based on our experiences and expertise.

A rock climbing knife is an essential for every outdoor climber. And no! The primary reason for carrying one isn’t to cut your partner loose should you face a Touching the Void moment!A more common scenario is to clear tattered webbing, or unjam a belay device. In our opinion, the best climbing knives can perform on a wall, but also double as an outdoor knife.

Best Climbing Knife

What is the Best Climbing Knife?

Below you’ll find the list of the top 6 Best Climbing Knife. We compiled this list from climbing knives we have used, asked others about, and researched further to give you the best possible roundup. With many years of experience with knives for climbers you can be assured that this article will give you what you’re looking for.

We also wrote a buying guide and answered some of the frequently asked questions (FAQs) at the end of this article.

1. Petzl Spatha Blade

Petzl Spatha Blade
Specs
Price: 💲💲 (fewer 💲 = cheaper)
Weight: 0.1 pounds (0.05 kg)

Blade locking mechanism Attaches to harness with carabiner Serrated and smooth blade Light weightThe Edelrid Rope Tooth Knife has a very similar design to the Petzl Spatha. It has a stainless steel blade and a large swivel hole that easily fits a carabiner.

Another great feature is the lanyard hole on the handle. Simply girth hitch the lanyard to your harness and you won’t risk dropping your knife while climbing.

Pros

  • Blade locking mechanism
  • Attaches to harness with carabiner
  • Serrated and smooth blade
  • Light weight

Cons

  • The plastic handle may not be as durable as a metal handle

2. Edelrid Rope Tooth Knife

Edelrid Rope Tooth Knife
Specs
Price: 💲 (fewer 💲 = cheaper)
Weight: 0.13 pounds (0.06 kg)

Can attach to harness with carabiner Can be used with one hand Serrated and smooth blade

The Edelrid Rope Tooth Knife has a very similar design to the Petzl Spatha. It has a stainless steel blade and a large swivel hole that easily fits a carabiner.

Another great feature is the lanyard hole on the handle. Simply girth hitch the lanyard to your harness and you won’t risk dropping your knife while climbing.

Pros

  • Can attach to harness with carabiner
  • Can be used with one hand
  • Serrated and smooth blade

Cons

  • The plastic handle may not be as durable as a metal handle

3. CRKT Delilah Folding Pocket Knife

CRKT Delilah Folding Pocket Knife
Specs
Price: 💲💲💲 (fewer 💲 = cheaper)
Weight: 0.05 pounds (0.02 kg)

Belt buckle clip Hole to secure knife to harness with a chord Blade locking mechanism

Designed with the aim to create a quality compact knife, the Delilah’s P.E.C.K delivers. It is only 4.25 inches when open and weighs in at just 0.9 ounces. Due to its small size, this knife could be a good option for people who want to stash their knife in their chalk bag.

Pros

  • Belt buckle clip
  • Hole to secure knife to harness with a chord
  • Blade locking mechanism

Cons

  • No serrated blade

4. Trango Piranha Knife

Trango Piranha Knife
Specs
Price: 💲 (fewer 💲 = cheaper)
Weight: 0.09 pounds (0.04 kg)

Serrated blade Carabiner hole Blade locking mechanism Lightweight

The Trango Piranha is a small knife for rock climbing that ticks many boxes. Made from surgical grade 440-C stainless steel, it is a robust small climbing knife. It weighs in at a mere 0.7 ounces and is smaller than the size of your average carabiner. What is unique about the design is that the blade locks closed when clipped to a carabiner – genius!

Pros

  • Serrated blade
  • Carabiner hole
  • Blade locking mechanism
  • Lightweight

Cons

  • No smooth blade

5. Spyderco Salt Folding Knife

Spyderco Salt Folding Knife
Specs
Price: 💲💲💲💲 (fewer 💲 = cheaper)
Weight: 0.14 pounds (0.06 kg)

High quality H-1 steel blade Smooth or serrated blade option Anti-slip handle

The Spyderco Snap-It Salt is a high quality, lockable folding knife. We like that it has a rust proof blade, which will help maintain a sharper edge for longer.

The addition of anti-slip panels and the ergonomic design of the handle gives you more control when cutting. This is a great feature, as control is the key to safety when using a knife mid climb. However, weighing in at almost 2.4 ounces, it is on the heavier side for climbing knives.

Pros

  • High quality H-1 steel blade
  • Smooth or serrated blade option
  • Anti-slip handle

Cons

  • Pricey
  • Made for people who are right handed

6. HX Outdoors Fixed Blade Tactical Knives

HX Outdoors Fixed Blade Tactical Knives
Specs
Price: 💲💲💲 (fewer 💲 = cheaper)
Weight: 0.43 pounds (0.2 kg)

Durable Protective sheath Versatile

This knife is designed as an all-purpose outdoor knife, which will come in handy on countless odd-jobs at your base camp.

This knife doesn’t just have one, but three blades – a cut blade, hook blade, and a notch blade. We like the feature of an anti-skid handle, making this knife also a go to if you are venturing into canyoning. In addition, the blade has a ceramic coating which prevents corrosion.

Pros

  • Durable
  • Protective sheath
  • Versatile

Cons

  • Heavy
  • Not a folding knife

Verdict

Based on all of our experience with knives for climbers, we found that Petzl Spatha Blade is the best climbing knife available today.

Our Premium Option is Edelrid Rope Tooth Knife with all the best features and high-quality materials, but that’s only if you have more money to spend.

However, if you are on a slightly tighter budget, you can also consider the CRKT Delilah Folding Pocket Knife as an affordable alternative.

Our other reviews you may find useful in your research:

What You Should Know Before Buying climbing knives

What You Should Know Before Buying Climbing Knife

Tape your knife shut

If you want complete peace of mind that your knife won’t open mid-climb, you can tape it closed. Simply put some tape around the knife when it is closed.

Put it in your chalk bag

As you rarely need to use your knife whilst climbing, you could put your knife in your chalk bag. This will keep it out of the way, and free up space on your gear loops. A chalk bag with a zip pocket is perfect.

Clean regularly

Remember to clean your knife regularly. A simple wipe with a cloth will keep it in good working order. There is nothing worse than a knife that is jammed closed.

Most Important Features to Look out for

We have five key features that we look for in climbing knives.

It should have a blade locking mechanism

It should be easy to use with one hand

It should have a serrated edge, as it cuts through rope easier

It should have a hole that allows you to easily clip it to your harness

It should be small and lightweight

Precautions to take note of

Above all, no matter what knife you ultimately settle upon, it is critical that your blade can be locked closed and that there is zero possibility that it could accidently open.

Before climbing, become familiar with your knife. You should be comfortable with unclipping it from your harness and using it with one hand. After all, a climbing knife is made to be used on a wall.

You may consider using a prusik loop attached to your harness when using the knife on a wall. This will ensure you can never drop your knife. Believe us, we’ve seen it happen!

If you do find yourself in a situation where you need to use your knife whilst climbing, take extreme caution. A blade will cut through a loaded dynamic rope like butter.

Basic Setup and/or Usage

There are two main ways you may want to attach your rock climbing knife to your harness.

Firstly, you may opt for using a carabiner and attaching it to your harness. The size of the carabiner you use depends on your specific knife. Ideally, you want the knife to be able to move smoothly around your carabiner.

The second option is using a lanyard or chord that goes through a hole on the handle. Then attach it to your harness with a micro carabiner.

What’s the Top 6 Best Climbing Knife For Climbers

When looking at climbing knives there are a few key considerations we kept in mind. This may seem an obvious point, but the most crucial aspect of any climbing knife is that it can be securely closed and there is zero chance of it opening accidently.

Another distinguishing feature of a climbing knife is that it can be easily clipped to your harness. We also recommend getting a knife with a serrated edge as it cuts through rope much better.

Finally, a good climbing knife should be lightweight. There is a reason why climbers count the grams of their gear – it all adds up!

Questions and Answers About climbing knives

Do I need a rock climbing knife?

If you are climbing at a climbing gym, no, you can leave your knife at home. In fact, that is recommended. Climbing knives are useful when you climb outdoors, particularly multi-pitch or alpine routes. If you are doing sport routes, we suggest you get a climbing knife, it is a useful component of any outdoor climber’s kit.

What’s the difference between a climbing knife and normal outdoor knife?

A climbing knife has a secured blade, is lightweight, and has a serrated edge for cutting rope and can be easily attached to a harness.

When would a climbing knife be useful?

A climbing knife is often used to cut old webbing found at anchor points on rock-climbing routes. Clearing and replacing old slings is important to maintain safety of anchors on routes and is considered an act of good climbing etiquette. Another common use for a climbing knife is to unjam a belay device. Things like hair, clothing, or prusik cords can jam a belay device and will need to be cut out to free the abseiler.

Using a climbing knife in a rescue situation?

Using a knife in a rescue situation should be considered a last resort. Whatever your situation is, consider how you may be able to solve the problem without having to use your knife. If you are climbing outdoors, you should be trained and confident in self rescue and rescue of others.
Climbing ropes wear out over time, and tattered ends need to be cut. If you have never cut a climbing rope before, it’s best to do it the first time with your feet on the ground. This video takes you through the basic steps for cutting a dynamic rope.

Alternative uses of a rock climbing knife?

If you get a climbing knife with both a serrated and smooth blade, you will find many uses for your knife. Every time you split a bagel and add a smear of avocado you’ll be so glad you packed your climbing knife.

Should I get a folding climbing knife?

In our opinion, yes! A folding knife that can be securely closed is the gold standard of climbing knives. Whilst fixed knives with a protective sheath may be safely used when climbing, they are more cumbersome to unlatch.

Knives that can be clipped to your harness?

Clipping a knife to your harness is the ideal option to carry your knife when climbing. All the rock climbing knives reviewed share this ability.

DIY a folding knife into a climbing knife?

f you have a folding knife with a plastic handle that can’t be clipped to your harness, you can turn it into a climbing knife. Simply drill a hole in the handle small enough to put a lanyard through it.

Lydia Y

Lydia Y

Lydia is an avid outdoor lover and wildlife enthusiast. She loves all kinds of nature escapades and enjoys immersing in the mountains and landscapes, hence the name Lydiascapes was born from there. She embarks on outdoor adventures like camping, hiking to skiing and water sports. She has travelled to 49 over countries to date and is waiting to conquer Norway in 2024.

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