When you are on the water on any boat with or without a sail, it is always of utmost importance that you carry a sailing knife or multitool. There are so many things that can break on a sailboat that will require some sort of tool to fix, and let’s be honest: we would all rather invest in a super cool multitool or knife than a big clunky toolbox.
Sailing knives are a great tool for a variety of tasks. They can be used to cut rope, fish, and even to defend yourself from a shark attack. There are many different types of sailing knives out there, so let’s take a look at some of the best sailing knives in the market
Best Minimalistic Sailing Knife: Gill Multi-purpose Marine tool 7 in 1
This smaller sailing knife features seven separate tools in one compact device. The tools include a titanium-coated stainless steel serrated knife, a marlin spike, a glass breaker, a netting cutter, a flathead screwdriver, and even a bottle opener. A marlin spike is an incredibly useful tool for untying stubborn knots, like a series of half-hitches. The knife can connect to your belt so you can have access to both hands any time you may need them.
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I do enjoy that this knife is sold at a very fair price of nearly $40. As a dinghy sailor, I expect my gear to get wet and take a beating, when the gear is this cheap I am much more comfortable letting the gear get wet and putting the knife through a proper stress test. Additionally, with the titanium-coated steel, I would have no issue carrying this knife on my sailboat.
- Made with Titanium coated Stainless Steel
- Features a Marlinspike
- Relatively cheap
- Great for younger sailors
- No Pliers
- Only comes in orange
- Only 1 total knife
- Serrated knives tend to fray lines when they are cut
This is an overall great option for a sailing knife, especially when it is priced this cheap and made with materials like titanium-coated stainless steel. Many reviews were disappointed by the lack of pliers and lack of additional knives, those are both important to have on a boat. This knife is a great option as a gift to any young sailor who may not yet be ready for a knife any bigger.
Best Budget Sailing Knife: Gerber Suspension NXT
For a sailing knife sold for under $30, this knife is awesome! It features a whopping 15 tools and is made of stainless steel so you will be rust-free too. The knife’s 15 tools feature one nonserrated knife, one partially serrated knife, pliers, wire stripper, flathead and Phillips head screwdriver, and a pair of scissors. It is pretty small for all of the tools it holds weighing in at 6.4 ounces and measuring only 4.25 inches.
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This knife is almost identical to the knife I keep with me when I am sailing, so of course, I can easily recommend this knife to any sailor. If my current knife did not have any sentimental value, this would be the knife I carried. Having a cheap knife made of good materials with a partially serrated blade, pliers, and screwdrivers are my personal factors for deciding on a sailing knife (these are the tools I use most when I am on the water).
- Stainless Steel Construction (rust proof)
- Wide Selection of Tools
- Belt Clip
- Could be considered bulky (width) from the amount of tools on the knife
- Several reviews question the durability of this knife
At $30 it is hard to complain. I could see this used on larger keelboats where a plethora of tools may be required to have on board, but at that point, you may want to simply invest in a toolbox because larger boats rarely get wet inside. However, for the price, this knife may be a great option to buy with the intent to use it, learn which features of the tool you will actually need, and then purchase a more specialized sailing knife later down the road when you know which tools you will need.
Best Equipped Sailing Knife: Leatherman Free p4
The Leatherman Free P4 is a professional-grade tool that offers a multitude of features and benefits that can be extremely helpful on the water or on the dock while you rig. It is a little bigger than some of the other knives on this list, but it is very lightweight which makes it easy to carry and control. The 5-inch blade can easily handle most tasks, and the stainless steel construction ensures durability. The Leatherman Free P4 is a great option for anyone who wants a high-quality, reliable tool that is easy to use.
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I enjoy that this knife is made of high quality stainless steel. It is a bit pricier than some other models on this list and for good reason. This knife has so many features, and all of them are made of stainless steel which will not rust when it comes into contact with water while you are sailing. Stainless steel is rust proof because it contains a high percentage of chromium. Chromium is a metal that helps to form a protective oxide layer when it is exposed to oxygen.
- More tools than you’ll ever need
- Durable construction
- Made in America
- Some reviews describe it as “over-engineered” which may make the knife difficult to operate
Leatherman is a knife brand that is known for its quality, durability, and reasonable price. This is no exception to the Free P4. The Free P4 is a lightweight model that is perfect for carrying around, and it is also perfect for rigging your sailboat because it has so many features.
Best Sailing Knife for big boats: Leatherman Skeletool
The Leatherman Skeletool is a versatile and lightweight tool that can be used for a variety of tasks on a sailboat. It is a great option for people who are new to sailing, as it is easy to use and can be attached to the boat quickly. The Leatherman Skeletool is lightweight and easy to handle, which makes it great for people who are new to sailing.
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The Leatherman Skeletool is the knife I use when I sail. I enjoy the almost minimalistic design while maintaining a wide array of tools on this compact tool. It also has a variety of tools, including a knife and a saw, which can be useful for tasks on the boat. It even has holes drilled into the frame to make it a very lightweight tool. One drawback is that because the frame is so light, it is a tad bit more flexible than other knives. Once while I was sailing I slipped during a Roll Tack, and when I fell I hit my knife on a cleat and left a noticeable dent on the frame near the bottle opener. However, this was after using the knife for at least 6 years and I was putting it through incredible stress so the damage did not bother me.
- Perfect size and amount of tools
- Vibrant Colors
- Lightweight also means the frame knife is not immune to a lot of stress
- Only some components are stainless steel
- Difficult to keep clean
When it comes to any type of sailing sailing, the Leatherman Skeletool is a valuable tool, offering a variety of features that can make the sailing experience safer and smoother. From rigging to sail adjustments, the Skeletool is a tool I would recommend to any sailor.
Best overall Sailing Knife: Myerchin Sailors tool
Myerchin Sailors Tool is a reliable, durable, and easy-to-use multi-functional tool for sailors. It is a versatile tool that can be used for a variety of tasks, including splicing rope, opening, and closing shackles and tightening and loosening lines. The tool is made of high-quality stainless steel and is designed to withstand the rigors of sailing. The Myerchin Sailors Tool is an essential piece of equipment for any sailor.
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The best part of this tool is the marlinspike that comes with it. A marlinspike is used to untie very difficult knots which can be an incredibly useful and underrated feature of this tool. Between the pliers, saw, knife, and marlinspike, this knife features every single tool I would consider mandatory for a dinghy sailor or racer.
- Lots of fun colors
- Attractive price
- Not a lot of tools
- Small blade
- Awkward shape
The new Myerchin Sailors Tool has everything that you could ever want in a tool. It is durable and made with high quality materials. The new tool also comes with a warranty, so you can be sure that it will last for years to come.
Some sailors believe that carrying a knife on a sailboat is for safety reasons. Knives can be used for things like slicing through ropes and sails, and can also be useful in case of an emergency.
I carry a knife on my sailboat for a few reasons. The most obvious reason is that the knife can be used as a useful tool to repair something on the boat such as a shackle or a ring-ding and pin set. If something breaks on the boat and I don’t have the proper tools to fix it, these multi tools can be used to fix it. Quite honestly, there won’t be a need for much more than pliers, a screwdriver, and a knife.
The second reason I carry a knife is that if I am in an emergency and need to cut something quickly I can. I have seen a sailor walking on the deck of a keelboat trip over a taught jib sheet, and fall overboard with a foot tangled in a jib sheet such that the sailor was being dragged by the foot. Fortunately, the crew was able to rescue the sailor, but if the man overboard had no crew and no knife, the situation may have been much worse.
Knives are a common sight on sailboats. Sailors use them for everything from cutting lines to butchering a chicken on the boat. There are many reasons why knives are carried on sailboats, and the most important reason is safety. Make sure that safety is always your number one priority when sailing.
3 thoughts on “5 Best Sailing Knives of 2023”
Some safety rules in association with some races indicate that the knife be capable of being opened with one hand.
The below quatation is from the 2022 Post-Race Inspection Advisory of the Chicago to Mackinaw race.
“All crew are to come up on deck wearing PFD, crotch strap, safety harness, tether and demonstrate
personal one hand operable knife (3.1.1, 3.1.4, 5.9). “
What is the knife in the first picture?
The knife on the mossy background, or the knife being held in the glove?