For many divers, a dive knife is an essential piece of equipment. So essential that they have decided to bring one along on their dive trips pretty early on, unnecessarily.
The decision to take a dive knife with you isn’t the most important thing that needs to be considered, though. You need to think about where that dive knife is going to be worn. Get it in the wrong place and it is pretty useless. It could potentially end up becoming a liability.
What to Consider When Wearing a Dive Knife
There are two things to think about when it comes to the placement of the dive knife:
- It needs to be in a position that is easy to reach.
- It cannot be in a position where it is liable to pierce your skin or gear.
That’s it. Those are the two golden rules. I’m going to provide you with a bit of information on the most ideal spots to store your dive knife. However, as long as your selected spot seems to meet these rules, then you are likely to be fine.
Where to Mount a Dive Knife
As I said, you can place the dive knife wherever you want as long as it is within easy reach and won’t pierce your gear (or hamper your movement). However, honestly, I suggest that you stick to these three most common dive knife mounting options.
Leg or Ankle
The most traditional area to put a diving knife will be right on the leg or the ankle.
It takes very little to get it attached to your leg or ankle. You just need a strap, which is not going to be that difficult for you to get your hands on. Any dive shop, worth their salt or not, will have a strap in place.
The main issue with this placement is that it may break the first golden rule. This is because the knife needs to be easy to reach. After all, you have to stretch your arm down your leg to grab it, and this could often result in you having to move your body into a rather awkward shape.
For most people, I recommend having the knife worn on the leg. However, if you do most of your diving in shallow waters or cramped conditions, then steer clear of this placement.
BCD Low-Pressure Inflator Hose
A lot of divers opt to have the dive knife on their low-pressure inflator hose. There is no denying that it is going to be incredibly easy to reach if you opt to stick it there.
The problem is that sticking it on the inflator hose can be cumbersome. It is easy to remove, but getting it into position is a challenge and a half. You may need both hands, which isn’t good for certain diving situations.
Oh, and the fact that the low-pressure inflator hose can save your life. While the risk is minimal, moving a sharp knife around the hose is probably not the greatest idea in the world.
Most decent BCDs nowadays will have a pocket where you can place the dive knife. Most of the time, it is going to be in a convenient location, although do bear in mind that each BCD can have differently located holder where to place the dive knife.
Still, it will be easy to reach, and you don’t have to worry about cutting into your gear.
How Do You Attach a Dive Knife To a BCD?
If you have a BCD with a knife pocket, then it is likely going to have a slot that you can put the dive knife into anyway. There shouldn’t be too many issues with that. If it doesn’t, then making your own shouldn’t be difficult either. Velcro or elastic string can work well in this case.
If you are mounting it on the low-pressure inflator hose, then you will need to purchase a sheath (or make your own).
What Makes a Good Dive Knife?
There are a few things that I believe make a great dive knife. This includes the following:
- There is a sharp and a serrated side on the knife. This way you can deal with most situations.
- The grip is easy to wrap your hands around. You don’t want to lose grip while you are underwater.
- The knife should be constructed from either stainless steel or titanium, preferably the latter.
- A blunt tip. Well, that is just what I prefer. Sharp tip dive knives are far more dangerous and have very few benefits.
- A blade around 4-5″ long. The handle should be roughly the same size.
Choosing the correct placement for a dive knife is not that crucial. In most cases, having it attached to your BCD is always the best bet. However, if you are diving in more open locations, then having it on your leg or ankle could also be a viable choice.
My unbounded love for the oceans and everything it has to offer motivated me to pursue my passion and become a professional scuba diving instructor.
I keep reading, exploring, and learning more about scuba diving and the underwater world all the time, so I’m excited to share my knowledge with fellow scuba enthusiasts and hopefully contribute a little to your development as a diver. I want people to fall in love with the oceans with as much passion as I have. Read more about me here.