Knives have been used by humans for ages and are still in use every day for cooking, work, and other everyday chores.
A suitable knife is a must for any serious survivor, as well as for anyone who enjoys spending time outdoors hiking, fishing, hunting, or trekking.
A good survival knife can be used for just about all necessary tasks for survival, including starting a fire, making a shelter, hunting for food, opening cans, fishing, skinning the animal, prepping the food, as well as for self-defense and numerous other needs.
But since there are so many different types of knives on the market, choosing the perfect one for your survival kit could be a difficult task.
In order to pick the perfect survival knife for your needs, you will need to consider a number of different factors and features.
Best Survival Knives
Choosing between fixed blades and folding knives
Fixed blade knives are easier to carry and more portable, but they are more suitable as everyday carry knives.
For true survival, you will need a good-quality knife with a fixed blade. Fixed blade knives are sturdier, and can be used for chopping, prying, digging, hammering, penetrating and cutting, and slicing. These are all essential in survival scenarios.
Also, fixed blades are easier and faster to deploy and use in emergencies and for self-defense, which makes them better survival knives.
The advantages of full-tang knives
A full tang knife is one that has a blade that extends through its entire length – through the handle. These are suitable alternatives to survival hatchets, saws, and shovels, as they are stronger and can be used for vigorous digging, chopping, prying and cutting.
Partial tang ones are not as sturdy and can break off or loosen at the handle, which makes them useless and unsafe to use.
Choosing the type of steel for the blade
Carbon steel is sturdy and will hold an edge longer than low-quality steel. Stainless steel, on the other hand, is corrosion-resistant, which makes it more durable and reliable in wet conditions.
In any case, choose a good quality survival knife with a blade made of premium steel alloy or stainless steel. Stainless steel requires less maintenance than carbon steel.
Picking the right blade length and thickness
The length of the survival blade depends on what you are planning on using it for. Longer blades are better for batoning and chopping, but shorter ones are better for more precise use like skinning or carving.
Also, longer blades are usually harder to handle in survival situations and are heavier to carry and use than shorter ones. So, if you prefer using a longer blade, stick to a size which is manageable which is up to about 12 inches, for survival needs.
Thinner blades are lighter, but they can bend when used for serious batoning or digging. They are more suitable for carving or skinning. The recommended thickness of the blade of the best survival knives is somewhere between 0.17 and 0.25 inches.
Choosing the right handle
The quality of the handle is crucial for the overall quality of the survival knife. It too will need to be resilient when used for serious pounding, digging, chopping, prying or batoning.
The better the handle quality, the safer and more durable the knife will be, so stick to materials like Micarta, Kraton, glass or fiber reinforced nylon such as Valox or Zytel, or dense rubber or wood.
Also, take into consideration the texture of the handle and its shape. It needs to be ergonomic as well as to provide a secure grip even in wet or sweaty survival situations.
Blade length: 5.25 inches
Overall length: 10.5 inches
Overall weight: 16-oz
Blade material: 1095 Cro-Van steel
Handle material: Zytel
Made in: USA
If you love the Becker BK9 but you want a more compact and portable knife for your outdoor trips and survival needs, then the Ka-Bar Becker B2 is an excellent option for you.
This survival knife too is designed by Ethan Becker back in the 1980s and is among the top-rated fixed blade knives for 2021.
The 5.25-inch blade is made of 1095 Cro-Van high carbon steel which is very durable and corrosion-resistant. The blade is 0.25 inches thick and has a drop-point design and a 20-degree edge that angles on a flat grind.
Thanks to its thickness, you can easily use the blade as a pry or baton, as well as to chop through wood.
The blade holds an edge very well and is also very easy to sharpen.
The overall length of the Becker BK2 is 10.5 inches, and it weighs 1 pound, which makes it an excellent choice for hiking, camping, hunting, fishing and survival.
Its overall design is perfectly balanced, which will make its use easier, and will reduce the fatigue in your hand after prolonged cutting or carving.
It is also a perfect utility knife for slicing, cutting, and for all camp needs.
Overall, this is one of the greatest survival knives money can buy in 2021.
Blade length: 9 inches
Overall length: 14.75 inches
Overall weight: 1.05 lbs.
Blade material: 1095 Cro-Van steel
Handle material: Grivory
Made in: USA
If you are looking for a bigger knife for survival, then the Ka-Bar Becker BK9 is the right one to opt for.
The large-sized combat knife by Ka-Bar has long been a preferred weapon by members of the military, as well as by hunters, adventurers, and survivalists.
Thanks to its large size, and its 9-inch long full-tang blade, you can use the Becker BK9 bowie knife as an alternative to a survivalist saw or hatchet to chop wood, cut, hunt, build a shelter, prepare food, and for self-defense.
This survival knife was designed by Ethan Becker and is still recognized as the leading combat and outdoor adventure knife by knife enthusiasts and survivalists around the world.
The handle is made of sturdy and fatigue-reducing Grivory polymer.
It is sold with a rugged nylon sheath with an added insert made of Kydex to keep the blade safe and sharp.
With an overall length of 14.75 inches and a weight of 1.05 lbs., this is a serious and solid survival tool and weapon, which will enable you to handle all kinds of tough jobs when you are spending time in the wilderness, or when you are working or performing home or garden chores.
Overall length:9.8 inches
Overall weight: 7.9-oz
Blade material: 420HC steel
Handle material: glass-filled nylon with rubber over-mold
Made in: USA
The StrongArm fixed blade knife by Gerber is an affordable and reliable survival knife.
It has a 4.8-inch full-tang blade made of resilient 420 high carbon steel and has a drop point blade design. The blade is coated with black ceramic coating for added corrosion resistance and durability, as well as for lower visibility when hunting.
Its handle is made of sturdy glass-filled nylon which is covered with a rubber over-mold with diamond-shaped figures offering a comfortable and safe grip in all weather conditions.
The inexpensive survival knife by Gerber has a striking pommel at the base which can easily break through hard surfaces and through glass in case of emergency.
The excellent survival knife is sold with a resilient sheath which can be carried as a drop-leg, on a belt, or attached to the MOLLE webbing of your vest, or backpack. It also has a lanyard hole.
The reliable and reasonably priced survival knife is made in the USA and is one which will serve you faithfully for years of adventures.
Blade length:4.3 inches
Overall length: 8.9 inches
Blade material: Sandvik stainless steel 12C28
Handle material: TPE rubber
Made in: Sweden
This Swedish made survival knife is one of the top bushcraft knives on the market.
Its 4.3 inch fixed blade is made of some of Sandvik 12C28 Swedish stainless steel which holds an edge, comes with a razor-sharp edge and is also corrosion-resistant, so you don’t need to worry about getting your blade wet when spending time outdoors.
This sturdy knife is an excellent cutting and slicing tool, as well as for shaving wood, sharpening stakes, sharpening feather sticks, prepping food and others.
Its special 90-degree blade spine ground can be used as a fire starter in survival situations.
The length of the knife is 8.9 inches, and it has a TPE rubber-coated ergonomic handle.
It is an affordable survival knife which is available with a military green or burnt orange handle, as well as with a regular plastic sheath, or a convenient multi-mount sheath with a MOLLE attachment option.
See also: Credit Card Knives For Survival
Blade length: 7 inches
Overall length: 11.875 inches
Overall weight: 11.2-oz
Blade material: 1095 Cro Van steel
Handle material: stacked leather
Made in: USA
The fixed blade design of the Ka-Bar USMC Fighting Knife is the inspiration behind the most popular survival knives of our time.
Designed nearly 70 years ago, this US Marine Corps Fighting Knife is still a top-preferred option among members of the military service, and among survivalists, hunters and knife enthusiasts in the USA and around the world.
The classic combat knife comes with a 7-inch blade made of epoxy-coated 1095 Cro-Van steel. It has a 20-degree and 0.165-inch thick flat-grind design.
The overall length of this solid survival knife is 11.875 inches, and its handle is made of stacker leather with an added powder-coated metal butt cap.
Its clip point is suitable for penetrating and prying, but you can also easily use the blade for slicing and dicing, chopping or for shaving wood.
It is among the most versatile and reliable of all survival knives.
Blade length: 5.12 inches
Overall length: 11.2 inches
Overall weight: 193g
Blade material: Laminated VG10 stainless steel
Handle material: Thermorun
Made in: Sweden
The Fallkniven S1 Forest Knife is proudly made in Sweden by one of the leading knife makers from the Scandinavian country.
The S1 Forest knife has been designed specifically for hunting, fishing and other outdoor adventures.
The 5.12-inch blade is made of very sturdy laminated VG10 stainless steel. It has strong cutting power thanks to its convex grind edge.
Thanks to its specially designed clip-point blade shape, the S1 is also highly efficient for penetrating wood and other tough materials. Its curved and long edge can be used for skinning too.
The Thermorun handle has a checkered pattern that offers an excellent and stable grip even in wet and cold conditions.
The corrosion-resistant and razor-sharp knife comes with an injection-molded Zytel sheath which allows for easy one-handed operation and for quick hauling in cases of emergencies.
See also: Top 6 Survival Multi-Tools
Blade length: 4.8 inches
Overall length: 10.6 inches
Overall weight: 11.7-oz
Blade material: 420 HC steel
Handle material: GFN
Made in: USA
The Gerber LMF II survival knife was designed by Jeff Freeman for a scenario where the crew of a downed aircraft needed to be freed from the fuselage and saved.
It is one of the best knives for such survival scenarios as well as for not so dangerous and life-threatening outdoor adventures.
The sturdy knife has a 4.84-inch drop-point serrated blade which is 0.1875 inches thick. The blade is made of 420HC stainless steel and is extremely durable.
You can use it to cut through thick branches, ropes, baton through lumber, as well as for delicate jobs like dicing and slicing.
The overall size of this survival knife by Gerber is 10.59 inches and it weighs a mere 11.67-oz, so it is compact and light.
The handle is made of glass-filled nylon and has a TPV over-mold for a more secure and comfortable grip.
The tang and the butt cap are separated which is very useful for absorbing the impact and vibrations from hammering, and for preventing electric shock.
Thanks to its lashing holes and special grooves, you can easily turn the LMF II into a spear when hunting in the wilderness.
It comes with a sheath made of ballistic nylon coated with a fire retardant material. The sheath has a built-in sharpener, and offers multiple carrying options, including two leg straps, a belt strap, as well as MOLLE compatibility.
This lightweight and yet sturdy and multifunctional knife by Gerber is inexpensive, compact, light and is among the recommended knives for camping, hiking, bushcraft or other outdoor needs.
Blade length: 4.3 inches
Overall length: 9 inches
Overall weight: 5.3-oz
Blade material: Triple laminated carbon steel
Handle material: Curly birch, antler and leather
Made in: Norway
Designed by world-famous survivalist Les “Survivorman” Stroud, the Helle Temagami Field knife is a beautiful and incredibly strong survival knife.
The traditional Norwegian field knife features a 4.3-inch steel blade made of two layers of triple-laminated carbon stainless steel. It is 0.12 inches thick and is corrosion resistant and will hold an edge for long.
The gorgeous handle of the high-end knife is made of curly grained birch wood and it is 4.7 inches long and ergonomic. It has a lanyard hole.
The knife is sold with a genuine leather sheath which was also designed by Les Stroud.
Each part of the knife and sheath are handmade in Norway, so when you buy the Temagami, you can be pretty sure that it will be like no other and will be absolutely unique.
It comes with a high-quality genuine tanned leather sheath treated with saddle grease, which, too, was specially designed by Les Stroud.
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Last update on 2021-10-26 at 02:53 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API