Skeleton knives are a great lifesaver in many fields of applications. It can be used not only in domestic regular chores but also in hunting, camping, hiking, and as a self-defense knife. Because of its unique design, it’s very lightweight and portable.

Whether you are looking for one regarding indoor or outdoor usage, the best skeleton knife can have you covered. You can also use a skeleton knife as a neck knife, which comes in handy while hiking or camping in the woods for easy access.

There are many types of skeleton knives, so choosing the one which suits your need best is not a straightforward task. A bit of research on the available and popular models of the market will go long way while deciding the one. The options are abundant, but don’t let that faze you; I’ve organized this article, which contains some of the best suiting skeleton knives available considering from all points of view, price, weight, design, features, longevity, and sharpness, etc. Hopefully, you’ll be able to pin down the one that checks all your boxes. Let’s start!

What are the Best Skeleton Knives?

  1. KA-BAR 1118BP Skeleton Knife

This skeleton knife from Ka-bar is one of the best value products in the market. It offers a nice sturdy build meant for versatile applications. The knife has a one-piece construction, so it can take a fair amount of beating, and won’t break on you, as there’s no part to come off.

The knife offers a 2.5 inches long blade; it’s has a hollow ground with a plain edge. The drop point tip adds more to its plus sides. The knife is constructed of 5Cr15 stainless steel which is known to take an edge very quickly, and also has high corrosion resistance. So you can get a razor-sharp edge easily and on low maintenance too.

The handle is skeletonized, so it’s lightweight and portable. The holes on both the side of the handle’s frame make it easier to wind paracord around. The package includes a hefty plastic case meant to protect the blade and wielder when not in use.


  • Moderately priced.
  • Compact and portable.
  • Black coated durable blade.
  • Shipped razor sharp.
  • Features great balance.


  • The sheath doesn’t fit the blade accurately.


  1. Ka-Bar ZK-Acheron Skeleton Knife

Another quality addition from the Ka-bar, if you need a larger version of the previous model, this skeleton knife can work wonders. It can be used to cut paper, cardboard boxes, tape, latex, etc., as well as a little EDC knife. You can also use it as a secondary knife on outdoor hiking, paired with a larger knife.

The full tang knife measures approximately 6-3/8 inches in length. It is made of 5Cr13MoV stainless steel, popular stainless steel used to make kitchen and utility knives as it offers ultimate protection against corrosion and rust. It also has fairly well edge retention, with a Rockwell Hardness score about 55-57 HRC. The 3.12-inch long blade is hollow grind with a plain edge angled about 15 degrees.

The whole knife is made from the same material, so impeccable balance is guaranteed. The structure is pretty solid to stand the test of time; it indeed is a great buy considering the price.


  • Retains edge for a long time.
  • Skeletonized ergonomic handle.
  • Resists corrosion & dullness.


  • Uncomfortable grip for big hands.


  1. Smith & Wesson SW991 Skeleton Knife

If you’re looking for a compact, portable, and lightweight neck knife, then this unit is right on the money. Smith & Wesson is a well-known manufacturer in the field, within the budget they provide excellent quality knives. It’s great for EDC.

This model is quite tiny, with a 5.5 inches long overall body with a 2.5-inch blade. It’s a fixed blade, so the structure is sturdy and durable, and less likely to retract in any way. They’ve used 8Cr13MoV high carbon stainless steel as the construction material, so not only will you get excellent protection against any form of corrosion, with no extra maintenance, you’ll also enjoy a longer edge retention feature. So you will not have to sharpen it regularly.

The skeleton handle makes the knife very lightweight, only 0.11lbs, so you can comfortably use it around your neck. The frame can be wrapped with paracord if preferred.


  • Compact and lightweight.
  • Features black oxide coating.
  • Multipurpose application.
  • Contoured handle with thumb-groove.
  • Comes with a nylon-fiber sheath with chain.


  • Small blade.


  1. Gerber E-Z Out Skeleton Knife

Gerber presents a uniquely designed skeleton knife that can accompany you on your outdoor journeys. Be it for EDC, hiking, hunting, and camping this durable skeleton knife van has you covered up. And unlike the designs we’ve mentioned before, this one is a folding knife and not a fixed blade.

The knife measures 7.89 inches long when opened; it consists of a 3.52-long 420 high carbon stainless steel blade. The satin finish on the blade helps retain the shine and enhances the resistance against rust and stains. The blade takes an edge quickly and can hold it for a long period. Additionally, it features the skeleton design on the spine of the blade instead of the handle.

The opening mechanism of the folding knife is fairly straightforward; you can open it with one hand. The haft is made of glass-filled nylon with a layer of rubber for a soft and secure grip. The handle is textured, so there’s no chance for it to slip out while in use.


  • Multipurpose folding knife.
  • Compact & lightweight design.
  • Comfortable to use and carry.
  • One-hand operation.
  • Comes with a tough pocket clip.


  • Needs regular sharpening.


  1. Gerber Paraframe I Knife 31-001731

If you are looking to buy a lightweight EDC knife that you can clip with your belt or pocket, Gerber paraframe presents a quality option. It’s also a folding knife, although unlike the aforementioned unit it has a skeleton haft, which significantly reduces the weight and makes it easier to carry around.

The 2.88- inch long tanto blade is constructed of 7Cr13MoV stainless steel; it makes a decent knife with very high resistance against corrosion and rusting. The blade features partial serration, thus widening its field of application and making it a very functional camping and tactical knife. The knife can also be used as a neck knife using the handle frame.

The 4.1 inches long paraframe handle is constructed of 3cr13MoV stainless steel, which is very well-built and comfortable to hold. The locking mechanism is straightforward and secured; this pocket knife is guaranteed to have your needs fulfilled.


  • Black titanium nitride-coated knife.
  • Solid & sharp partially serrated tanto blade.
  • Resists corrosion in the long run.
  • Safe and easy frame-locking function.


  • The opening gears feels stiff at first.


Final Verdict

The name skeleton knife comes because of its unique design. It consists of a frame, and instead of a solid structure, it has holes to reduce weight and increase agility, like a skeleton. But with a sturdy frame, so functionality and durability stay ensured. There can be a skeleton design on either blade or the handle, the former design is mostly used on kitchen knives, i.e., cheese and tomato knives to reduce the contact with the food, and the latter one reduces weight.

This article review is mostly focused on the latter, you can use the said knives indoors for light cutting and outdoors too. Choose wisely and enjoy the wonders of the best skeleton knife. Good luck!



Q: Why should I buy a skeleton knife?

A: A skeleton knife is very portable and agile, so if you decide to use it outdoors, you can take advantage of its lightweight profile. Regardless of if you use it as a tactical knife or a camping knife, you’ll have the upper hand. Also applicable in domestic purposes, such as opening letters and boxes, severing ropes, tapes, etc. It comes in very sharp, so you can also use it for precision cutting. Using it to cut small fruits and vegetables also has its perks, because of its design the food doesn’t stick to the blade and has minimum contact with the knife.

Q: Can I modify the handles of a skeleton knife?

A: Many people use paracords to fill up the gaps of skeleton knives to achieve a firmer grip. The frame makes it easier to wind cords around it and lets you enjoy a more comfortable grip around it, so you can use it for a longer period without straining your hands. You can also use threads or preferred rope to modify the handles. You can also use it without modifying it; it’s all about your preference and comfort.

Q: Are skeleton knives always full tang?

A: It depends on the manufacturer entirely. Most of them come in the full tang, meaning the blade and handle are made of similar material, a one-piece construction. Full tang blades are more stable and strong in operation. There are also models where the handle is made of different material, over full tang or half tang to ensure comfort & a better gripping experience. You can choose either based on your preference.

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