When it comes to mushroom knives, I still recall where it all began. I remember receiving my first ever mushroom knife when I was 9 years old; a birthday gift from my grandmother.
She’d wrapped it in this bright yellow wrapping paper and when it dropped into my hands, began a life-long love affair with them.
As a young lad of 9, there really wasn’t anything more exciting that being handed the responsibility of a steel blade. I would follow my grandmother for hours as we traversed hills and valleys, forests and fields hunting for mushrooms.
I still continue that love affair today, now owning a display cabinet full of mushroom knives, instead of just the one. But that single one is still there, the one that started it all so many years ago.
It’s a little rusty, and the handle is a little worse for wear. But that one blade was enough to set me on a course that followed me into the present day, to continue my passion for mushroom hunting in the forests.
But with an impressive collection on display in my living room, I often wonder about which might be the best and why. Mushroom knives can be as personal as a pair of shoes, one not necessarily as perfect for one person as another. They come in many shapes and sizes, some more practical than others.
The perfect knife for me has gradually changed over the years as my experience has grown with it. While the one I used when I was a boy may not seem as practical for me today, it will still find a place in someone else’s tool kit.
I still laugh at how my experience and my knives have passed each other over the years. When had little experience, the biggest knife was what I craved. Not that I have much more experience, a little knife is now my preference.
What makes for great mushroom knives?
Whilst there are a number of things for you to consider with mushroom knives, my preferences may not suit yours. Think about your own circumstances and everything else you’ll be needing.
To me, size and weight will always be more important than shine and decorations. Give me something that works, is lightweight and does what it’s supposed to and I’m happy.
Do you really need a machete when foraging for mushrooms? Probably not. A small sharp blade will do the job perfectly.
But if the blade loses its edge after just a few outings then it’s probably not going to do long term.
The other thing to consider when choosing a knife is how it will spend most of its time. It won’t be out defending you against bear attacks, instead, probably hanging from your belt waiting for you to find your mushrooms.
Think about the weight. Do you really need something heavy? It’s a knife that will slice the occasional mushroom. It’s doesn’t have to be weighted, large or exceptionally crafted.
It doesn’t even have to be a fixed blade. Tucked back into its handle will protect the blade when not in use.
The mushroom knives I’d choose
These are the knives I wouldn’t hesitate to use. They are all worthy additions to this list and I hope you will find something suitable to accompany you on your next hunting expedition. While some are more suited solely for mushrooming, a couple of others are versatile in a few extra functions.
Choice #1: Opinel No.8 Mushroom Knives
Opinel would have to be the name of that stands above the pack when it comes to mushroom hunting knives. This particular Opinel mushroom knife is my favorite go-to blade, given its features.
The blade is just 3 inches long, the entire setup 7 inches. It weighs a measly 1.7 oz and has what I consider one of the most important attachments- a brush. Why would you need a brush you ask? Because without a brush, you’re going to need a separate one. And yes, you really want a brush.
Gently remove the dirt from your mushroom before adding it to the rest of the pack. Plus, it avoids more work for you when you take all your finds out and they aren’t covered in grit because of one dirty one you added.
Choice #2: Sagaform Forest Mushroom Knives
Another one of my favorite go-to knives. This one is a little larger than the previous knife, but not by much. The blade is 3 inches long, the knife 8 inches when unfolded. The blade doesn’t lock when extended and the bristles on the brush are made from plant materials instead of boar bristles.
The differences are only minor things, hence why I like this knife almost as much as my Opinel. If you don’t care about brand and want a good sturdy mushroom hunter, this might just be the one you’re looking for.
Choice #3: Rough Ryder Mushroom Hunter’s Knife
Despite being made in China, like so much stuff is these days, this blade is actually decent enough to find its way onto this list. The blade is under an inch, coming in at 2 5/8th. It’s still close enough and the brush features good-old boar bristle.
If I had to have a beef with this knife, it’s that the blade doesn’t lock into place when opened, very little backward pressure required to close it. But other than, it feels great, has good weight and the blade stays sharp for a decent amount of time.
Choice #4: Opinel No.6 Folding Knife
Although not a specific mushroom knife as such, the brand is enough for it to have a place here. The quality of this set-up is second to none, has great weight and feels like the real deal. Although it doesn’t have a brush, it’s a small compromise for such a beautiful blade.
The blade is straight, not curved, but it’s quality stainless steel and has all the cutting power you’ll need and more. This is my preferred knife when I know I’m going for more than just mushroom hunting.
Choice #5: Nescole 8 in Bowie Knife
It’s 8 inches from tip to tip and weighs far more than your regular Opinel. But what I love about this knife is that it speaks hunting. This knife is one of those tools you’ll bring along because you want there to be something more than just mushroom hunting. It’s not overly huge, just enough to hang snug off your belt.
Choice #6: Victorinox Swiss Army Multi-Tool
I don’t care what knife list it is, one of these needs to be on it regardless. Have you seen all the attachments on this thing? There’s even a corkscrew. This is every kid’s dream and doesn’t end when they finally get one.
Personally, I have 3 of these in my collection and one lives permanently in my car. That means I’ll always have a blade for that unplanned mushroom hunt.
Final thoughts for you
There really is no shoe for all feet, each one a different fit. To find the one most perfect for you, think about everything you’ll want it for, where you’ll take it and how long you’ll use it. And if that doesn’t work, buy 2.