Many factors affect to get the title of the best survival knife. Size, durability, funtıonality, and steel cut are important factors to start with. Survival knives can be your best tool for outdoors in a survival situation.
You can use a survival knife in cutting the log, hunting small animals and defense against predatory animals. The good quality survival knife is must have in hunter, survivalist, or hiker’s inventory.
Purpose of the survival knife depends on an individual depending on the use. For example, a lightweight folding survival knife may be a preferable choice for hikers. On the other hand, heavy duty thick blade can be a good option for hunters.
Best survival knife
A good survival knife can come handy and be your best tool for camping or some unexpected situations. We handpicked and made a list of some of the best survival knives in the market.
- Fallkniven A1bL Knife at Amazon
- Ka-Bar BK-22 Becker Fixed Blade Knife at Amazon
- Gerber Bear Grylls Folding Sheath Knife at Amazon
- Benchmade – Bushcrafter 162 Knife at Amazon
- Schrade SCHF9 Fixed Blade Knife at Amazon
- SOG Escape Folding Knife FF25-CP at Amazon
- SOG Instinct Fixed Blade NB1011-CP at Amazon
Read on, for the complete review of each knife.
Fallkniven A1bL Knife
The Swedish brand Fallkniven designs high-end tools and survival knives since 1984. Their products are popular and much sought after by seasoned outdoorsmen because of quality.
Fallkniven A1 uses high-end steel (VG10) which can withstand years of hard use. The full tang blade has a length of 160 mm. And overall length of this knife is 280 mm.
The handle of this knife is smooth and made of Kraton. The handle is designed to give ergonomic grip and have the lanyard loop at the end. It comes with the leather sheath.
The Fallkniven A1 is virtually unaffected by the rain or water and extreme temperatures (hot or cold)
This knife is made with quality materials to last for the lifetime. Approximate price of this knife is $250. For more details about Fallkniven A1, check the link below.
Ka-Bar BK-22 Becker Fixed Blade Knife
The Becker BK-22 is a full tang knife and features 5.25″ drop point fixed blade. This survivor knife is made with 1095 Cro-Van stainless steel and has overlength of 10.5″. It is the perfect knife for hunting and camping tasks. You can use it hunting and skinning as well for cutting firewood and food.
The heavy-duty sheath with this knife has great design. It features blade insert sleeve and has a front cargo pocket. The blade is almost unbreakable and remains sharp for a long time. It also well-designed handle for comfortable grip.
This knife is good if you have larger hands. Its price is also better than many other similar quality knives.
Gerber Bear Grylls Folding Sheath Knife
This knife is the product of the partnership between Gerber’s and survivalist Bear Grylls. This knife has a 3.6″ blade, the total length of 8.5″ when open and 4.9″ when closed.
This survival knife features half serrated edge, military-grade nylon sheath, and textured rubber handle grip. For easy opening, it features dual-sided
It may be not the best quality manufactured knife in our list as some people complained about the smooth opening. But the low price, features, and fans of Bear Grylls made this knife popular.
Benchmade – Bushcrafter 162 Knife
Benchmade’s Bushcrafter 162 Fixed Blade by designer Shane Sibert is robust, tough, functional and versatile. This survival knife is made using CPM-S30V premium American steel. The blade of this knife has drop shape and resistant to corrosion.
The Benchmade’s Bushcrafter 162 Fixed Blade has an overall length of 9,15 inches and a blade length of 4,40”. The net weight of this knife is 7.72 oz which is suitable for backpackers and trekking.
The material of the handle is G10, which is tough, resistant to water and of low weight. This knife comes with the leather sheath for easy carrying.
Benchmade offers free life sharp service. You just have to send your knife to them and they will adjust, oil, clean and resharpen your knife. For more details, you can see in the link below.
Schrade SCHF9 Fixed Blade Knife
This survival knife is made using 8Cr13MoV high carbon stainless steel and features a drop point blade. It has a textured anti-slip handle for comfortable and safe handling.
The finger grooves are designed for anti-slip grip on the knife with comfort to exert maximum force. The knife also has a lanyard loop, for more stability while you wear it around your hip.
The whole knife length is 12.1″ and the length of the blade is 6.4″. It weighs around 15.7 ounces and is heavier than other similar knives.
If you are looking for a strong and durable survival knife, then we would recommend you to check this one first. This fixed blade knife is an affordable and simply best survival knife within similar range knives.
SOG Escape Folding Knife FF25-CP
The SOG escape folding knife features 3.4″ partially serrated blade edge. Its 8.2″ when opened and closed length is 4.8″. The material of the blade is 9Cr18MoV and it has a clip point shape which is my favorite.
This knife handle has anodized aluminum and black finish which decreases glare.
This foldable knife is good for small hikes and small tasks. But don’t depend on it as your only survival knife.
SOG Instinct Fixed Blade NB1011-CP
This SOG knife comes in two styles, with a G10 handle and a skeletonized handle. This Knife may lack many aspects of a survival knife, but can definitely be the better option in many situations. It is compact and wearable fixed blade knife which is easy to use and carry.
This knife is only 5.9″ long and has the blade length of 2.3″. It is made using reliable 5Cr15MoV steel and weighs only 1.8 oz.
It has the sleek drop point blade shape and a molded hard nylon sheath. Although we do not recommend you to depend only on this knife on your next trip to the woods.
What is a Survival Knife?
A survival knife is the lifesaver tool if you are lost in the wilderness or any outdoor activity. The good survival knife helps you with hunting, skinning and preparing food. It also comes handy in clearing the path, digging and to build a shelter.
Survival knives are different than pocket knives, multıtool knives or swiss army knives. They are heavy duty and bigger in size. They are meant for survival situations while hiking, hunting or trekking outdoors.
There are many states in the US where it is illegal to carry survival knife, so make sure to check laws before.
How to choose a survival knife?
Survival knife must serve the purpose you need it for. It should be versatıle and durable. so before buying make sure what you will use it for and what is your budget.
For hikers, the lightly weighted knife which is easy to carry and perform simpler tasks is recommended. For hunters, the heavy and thick bladed knife for killing and skinning is the better choice.
Following are some other important factors to consider.
This is the important factor to consider as it affects the purpose or use. The wrong design of knife can inefficient for the purpose you want it for. The survival knife comes in 4 main shapes mentioned below.
- The clip point: These type of knives are commonly referred to as Bowie knives. They have the curvy tip which goes in the upward direction. They are useful for self-defense and skinning, thanks to its design. But they are not reliable for cutting logs and chopping.
- The drop point: This kind of knives is the most preferred choice of seasoned knife experts. They are strong and durable and can be used for many purposes. They can perform tasks like hunting and wood chopping effectively.
- The tanto point shape
- The spear point shape
Which one is better between Fixed blade or foldable knife?
The good foldable blade has many uses but most of them are not suitable for extreme abuse. Problem with them is they have an additional breakpoint as compare to the fixed blade. On the other hand, they are easy to carry and store and can come in handy in many situations.
The fixed blade knives are robust and made for extreme use. They can be your primary resource in tough survival situations. The good quality fixed blade is made to last for the lifetime.
The material of the blade
There are two different categories of steel used in quality survival knives depending on the amount of chromium.
- High carbon tool steels: This material is tougher than stainless steel. This material blade is easy to sharpen and less likely to break. They don’t hold the edge in regular use and more prone to corrosion.
- Stainless steel: They hold the edge for longer and less prone to corrosion as compare to above one. They are more likely to break and difficult to sharpen.
Rockwell Hardness (HRC) of steel effects the toughness and edge holding ability of blade.
- 50-54 HRC = Tough
- 58-62= Edge holding
- 54-58= Balance of tough and edge holding.
How blade length effects?
Different length of the blade is suitable for different purposes.
- Longer blade length between 8 to 10 inches is more suitable for clearing bushes, track or chopping woods.
- Smaller blade length between 3,5 to 5 inches is more suitable to perform small tasks which require precision. They are good for skinning small animals, gutting fishes and more delicate tasks.
- Medium blade length (6 to 7,5 inches) provides the ability of both the other length blades. You can hunt and skin animals as well as chop the woods. If you have to choose between medium and long length then choose this one.
What does tang mean?
Tang refers to how much the portion of the blade is extended to the handle of the knife. There are many types of tang style mainly full tang and partial tang. For good quality survival knives, the full tang is preferred.
Full Tang is the style in which knife blade is extended to full width and length of the handle. The handle is affixed over the blade by use of rivets or epoxy. Generally, this style knives are more expensive and preferred by the experienced survivalist.
Partial tang is the style in which blade is extended to the handle of blade partially. They lack the strength as compare to the full tang and tend to get loose after some time.
How to Maintain Survival Knives
Good Quality knives are meant to last for the lifetime, provided you maintain and take proper care of them. With following steps you can properly maintain your knife.
Keep them sharp: It is important to keep your survival knife sharp always. You don’t want to have a dull knife when the situation demands the use of it. That is why it is important to sharpen when between uses. You can do this by knife sharpener like Smith’s PP1 Pocket Pal Multifunction Sharpener from Amazon
Keep it clean: You should clean the knife between uses. The habit of cleaning your knife before putting in the sheath is must for every survival knife owners. You can use microfibre cleaning cloth like this we found in Amazon.
Keep it dry: Make sure to clean complete knife (blade and handle) with warm water and soap after your trip. Wash the sheath too and wait until they are completely dry before storing them. If you have a leather sheath then check it regularly for any moisture.
It ıs recommended to store your knife in a cold and dry place to avoid any corrosion due to moisture.
Which survival knife is your favorite? Tell us in the comments below.