If you’re looking for a fixed-blade knife that is big enough to handle most outdoor tasks, yet small enough to be carried as a concealed defensive tool, the Joe Watson Bowie knife might be exactly what you need. The combination of the blade thickness and the heat treatment means you’ll be able to handle any survival task without fear of the knife failing. With a Rockwell hardness of 59, the tip will bend before breaking if you find yourself needing to pry with this knife.

The Tracker Dan sheath that comes with this model is one of the best sheath designs on the market. The retention is strong enough to keep the blade from coming out on its own, but not so tight that it won’t deploy when you need it to. The clip design of the Tracker Dan allows you to clip the sheath onto clothing with or without a belt. You can run, skydive, swim, rock climb, or pursue whatever outdoor adventure you enjoy with the satisfaction of knowing your blade will be there when you need it most.

The blade sheathed and ready for work.
The blade, sheathed and ready for work

Style of knife: Small Bowie Knife

Blade length: 4″ cutting edge, 8″ overall length

Type of edge: Flat V-grind blade with a dark stonewash finish.

4" stone wash finished blade.
4″ stonewash-finished blade

Blade and handle materials: 5/32″-thick CPM154 steel with a Rockwell hardness of 59. The handle is cord-wrapped and epoxy-hardened with Stingray skin inlay.

Sheath: Tracker Dan-designed Kydex sheath with improved spring clip. It’s ambidextrous in function so you don’t have to worry about the bowie knife blade orientation in the dark. The convenient spring clip keeps the sheath secure with or without a belt, and has a tuckable feature for those wishing to wear an IWB fixed blade with a tucked-in shirt. This sheath has a wide-mouth opening for easy one-handed re-sheathing on the move.

Tracker Dan sheath
Tracker Dan sheath

MSRP: $270.00 when purchased directly from Joe Watson’s online store. Can also be found at Blue Line Gear for $250 with a standard Kydex sheath.

Unique features: The epoxy-soaked grips make the deployment of this knife so easy, it seems like the knife will never leave your hand. The grip is also enhanced when used in wet weather or during any type of maritime activity.

Unique handle grip design by Joe Watson
Unique grip design by Joe Watson

Application: Survival, camping, hiking, or as a concealed-carry defensive blade

Pros: This bowie knife will last you a lifetime. It’s made in the U.S. with military SOF input. One of the most commonly overlooked criteria when it comes to knives is the sheath: There are so many outstanding blades on the market, but the sheath they come with is usually crap. Not the case here. Joe teamed up with Tracker Dan to develop one of the best combinations of blade and sheath available today.

Cons: For some, it will be the price tag. Other than that, I haven’t really come across any cons of this knife, and I’ve been wearing it on a daily basis since I purchased it.

Bottom line/overall performance: This Joe Watson Small Bowie Knife is made of only the best materials, knowing that they will be in the hands of military, law enforcement, and those of us that depend on our gear for our adventures. This knife will be your trustworthy companion whether you’re out on the town or out in the field.