Survival knives are also tools required to survive in the wilderness. If you plan to go to a camp and you’re stuck in the woods, having a precise and useful knife can make your life easier. Knives cannot just cut strings or ropes, but it can also sharpen sticks, you can use as a defense, creating fire, shelter, cut cord, and anything else. That is why knives and other cutting tools are considered as one of the core elements of survival.
Knives aren’t just a ‘want’; it is also a need in a survival situation. However, the varieties of a knife with a fire starter and sharpener are too many. It is hard to select the best among the best. In this product review, we will help narrow the choices until you can choose the best tool.
[table id=10 /]
WHAT IS A SURVIVAL KNIFE?
Knives meant for survival are used in a wasteland environment and often in an emergency when the handler has to survive grueling conditions. Most survival knife users are military because they use this in conflict conditions, survival scenarios, and rescue missions.
However, outdoor enthusiasts like hikers, campers, and hunters also use survival knives. There are many reasons why outdoor enthusiasts need this, and one of them is survival knives served as a tool that they can use in building shelter, preparing their food, or making a fire.
The survival knives can use for wood cutting, wood carving, peeling, and slicing. Due to innovations and technologies, knife companies created new survival knife styles that added their purpose and usage. These days, you can buy survival knives with a fire starter and sharpener.
This good news lessens the burden for the user. Instead of buying and bringing them separately, you can now have them all at once without affecting their weight. These new features are also a big help for users because it saves some space in their gear.
Furthermore, some survival knives are heavy because of what they built, but some are not. Others can fold, and the main goal for this feature is to save weight and space.
Remember that survival knives aren’t just a knife. It has a purpose. Aside from that, you have to understand their types and features. As we move forward, you will know a lot about them.
TYPES OF SURVIVAL KNIFE
In general, there are many types of survival knives depending on the mechanism, the shape, and also the intended usage. Which one is the best? It all depends on what you want, need, and what’s correct for the terrain you’re going into.
BOOT SURVIVAL KNIVES
Boot knives are also known as gambler’s dagger. This type of survival knife is carried typically in a boot. It can also be tucked-in a belt or put underneath the pant leg. Also, some users wore it around the neck like a chain. The typical physical feature of boot knives is a double-edged blade, approximately 3-5 inches long.
BUCK HUNTING OR SURVIVAL FIXED BLADE
Buck hunting or survival fixed blade are one of the best types of survival knives because it is a general-purpose knife with high cutting performance. It can use for peeling, building a shelter, and chopping. Buck hunting is sturdy, dependable, and always ready to use. It is a lifesaver, indeed.
COMBAT SURVIVAL KNIVES
A combat knife designed for military use and intended for head-on combat or face to face battle is called a combat knife. Besides battle combat, this type of knife’s secondary purpose is for clearing vegetation, chopping branches, opening ammunition crates, and others. However, whatever goal it has, it is made to save lives.
MILITARY SURVIVAL KNIVES
A military survival knife is one of the essential weapons that the military carries. In case of gun and ammo are no longer available, a knife is a perfect tool to use as a last resort to save your life. Also, this type of survival knife doesn’t need any accessories to use. The good thing too is it won’t breakdown and can use for another purpose like cutting rope or cord.
FOLDING SURVIVAL KNIVES
This type of knife is not as strong as a full fixed blade survival knife, but it can be a great alternative. It is smaller, handy, and can acquire for a reasonable price. However, because of its folding features, the chance of failure defect when you need it is high. The convenience it brings is beyond imagination, but its durability will pretty suffer.
SURVIVAL KNIFE KIT WITH SHEATH
This survival knife is an essential tool for outdoor enthusiasts when hunting in the wilderness, camping, or fishing. The survival knife kit with sheath is best to carry when your adventure has gone wrong, and you’re trapped. Its sheath has many benefits. Some manufacturers utilize it by adding accessories like a compass and sharpener.
A lifesaver, but the downside is, they are not as reliable as other survival knives. Perfect examples that you cannot have it all.
This type of survival knife acts weapon and tool at the same time. Its design is for a range of purposes like camping, everyday cutting, hunting, and defense.
Tactical knives are sometimes mistaken to combat knives because they are both used by the military and navy for battle and as a tool. However, a tactical knife is versatile than a combat knife, which offers several benefits. And these advantages help the user improving the situation, survival, and resistance.
A Rambo knife is a survival knife with a hollow handle with a serrated edge. This knife rose to fame because of a famous action movie titled ‘Rambo.’ The main character John Rambo wields a large survival knife. Aside from the film, Rambo knife is known for its features and versatility.
TANTO SURVIVAL KNIVES
The tanto knife is a traditional blade from Japan intended to pierce armor. This type of survival knife is also known as the Japanese short sword. It resembles a samurai that is sturdy enough to bear frequent use.
A tanto knife’s physical features are a high point with a flat grind that leads to an enormously strong point. Perfect for stabbing into hard materials that cannot be done by other survival knives. Another lifesaver for survival situations.
EMS stands for Emergency Medical Services, and the group that belongs here are paramedic, EMT, firefighters, and police. Those who respond first in an emergency have to equip with an EMS knife. This type of blade can easily open and use even you are using a single hand.
The goal and purpose of EMS knife are to use for immediate emergency response. The size is just so perfect. It is not too small and big, which can make work done easier. You can also bring this on a hiking trip.
EMS knife features have a small bump at its bottom that you can use to break the glass. For example, in a disaster like fire and someone is trap inside. Grab the knife and strike it to the window; it can damage it and save the victim. The sharp blade can also use to cut a seat belt. There are unlimited uses of EMS knife, and that is only some of the examples.
This type of survival knife is the best use for distracting an enemy. The primary purpose of this weapon is to throw it, and the killing capabilities are minimal. However, you can try using this to hunt animals.
The technique in using this weapon is during a head-on battle; this knife typically throws to the attacker. When the attacker loses his focus, you have time to give another strike.
There are different sizes of throwing knives. Some are bigger than hand, and some are large that need to place into another pouch. Placing a wrap on its handle is not advisable because it will only affect its performance.
If you are planning to purchase a throwing knife, then daily practice is a must. The throwing blade requires skills, and you will only acquire it through constant training.
Essential Features of a Survival Knives
A good survival knife must have many functions. Whatever you need to do in a critical situation and need to use it, a survival knife mustn’t let you down. As stated before, it is one of the essential tools you need to survive in the wilderness, so you have to be sure that you are carrying the right weapon.
But how do we know if you are bringing the precise survival knife? Can this weapon help you prepare your food? Create your shelter? Cut woods? Can this knife make you survive in the forsaken wasteland?
If you don’t answer these questions, then continue scrolling down and help you determine the essential features of a survival knife.
Right. Size does matter even in survival knives. There are many classes of knives out there, but the question is, is the size right?
In a survival situation, owning a survival knife that meets your demand is a must. Typically, in this condition, you will need a survival knife around nine to eleven inches. In this size, the blade’s length would be roughly five to seven inches. It is a length to create firewood and to do other cutting jobs.
The blade is the most crucial factor to consider. Blade mostly do the tasks from cutting, chopping, carving, and defense. It has a broad job, and it has to be healthy and sharp. If you choose a knife made up of low material, it will break easily. The bad news here is it can cause an accident on your part, like cutting yourself.
Folding knives are not as rigid as fixed blades because of their folding mechanic that can break when put too much pressure. Their edges aren’t for demanding tasks that can carry out by a fixed blade.
A full tang extends the full-length portion of the grip, and the handle part is unsharpened. It is considered the most robust survival knife and a must buy. Always remember the golden rule of survival: always to go full tang.
A survival knife must have a sharp edge. Always remember that a double-edged blade is challenging to execute certain chores like splitting wood. This task needs to accomplish by batoning where the other side of the knife needs to hit to split the wood. Double-edged also need to sharpen more while the singled-edged blade is not. A single-edged blade can easily split wood even by batoning.
Some knife buyers are easily fascinated by the sharpness of its blade and length. Sometimes, they forget about the handle, which was also critical. The recommended handle for survival knives is it should be stable and fits in your hand well. So if you bought a knife that you are not comfortable with though it possessed the sharpness and length you are looking for, the ending is it will only cause you irritation and pain.
Always remember that metal handle is a big NO. Metal can conduct heat and cannot use near the fire, and heat surface or area can cause trouble. A metal handle is also not advisable in a cold environment because it’s not comfortable to hold.
The best choice for a handle is synthetic material due to it’s customized grip and generally comfortable fee. However, dense rubber also works well.
BUYING GUIDE FOR SURVIVAL KNIVES
The above information probably gives you an idea of a survival knife’s features to look. In addition to that, as you move forward, we will show an in-depth picture and guide you on buying a perfect survival knife. If there are still questions lingering in your head and the above information didn’t answer them yet, this buying guide might solve them.
In buying survival knives, consider their durability. A stainless steel blade is frequently more stringent than high carbon steel. Always bear in mind that being tough is different from being hard. Toughness means the ability to resist fracture when force is applied. It requires strength and ductility that made the material deform before fracturing.
On the other hand, hardness is the ability of a material to withstand scratching, abrasion, and cut. So if you are searching for some survival knives, durability is a must.
We have to admit that the first impression lasts. One of the significant factors to consider is the appearance of a survival knife. The good looks of the blade also affect the buyer’s decision. And if you are used to buying a knife and have a lot of experience with them, just one glance at the blade is enough to make a decision.
You have to look for a knife that is easy to sharpen and will stay sharp for a long time. Put in mind that the accuracy of a survival knife also depends on its sharpness because it lessens your effort in using it. As much as possible, it should be able to cut by applying only a little pressure cleanly to save time and energy.
Budget is also a factor. The price of a survival knife varies on the number of its features. However, in budget concern, it is best to choose high carbon steel. They are less pricey, and the good news is, it won’t sacrifice the quality.
In considering the material of the blade, you also have to think of its purpose. There is a wide range of knives out in the market made for different tasks. There are types that you can use all around, but others are not. They are the specialist type and designed for a specific job.
For survival knives, always check the excellence and quality of the blade material. The most common choice are stainless steel, titanium, and high carbon steel.
- Stainless steel blade is a common choice because this material is stain-free and resistant to rust. It is easy to maintain, sturdy, stable, and affordable.
- Titanium blade material is strong as stainless steel but less thick and more brittle. It is not suitable for applying such force because it can break easily. However, they are more rust-resistant compare to steel.
- High carbon steel blade is much stronger than other carbon made knife. It is used often in the kitchen because it stays sharp longer.
Which one is the right choice for you depends highly on where you operate, what kind of situations will you get put into, and how much time you’ll devote to the blade.
In choosing a survival knife, the shape must also check thoroughly. Depending on its usage and purpose, you can select whether to buy a drop point blade, tanto, clip point and consider the saw-tooth serrations.
- Drop point blade is known for its versatile style, tip strength, durability, handiness, and responsiveness for more survival conditions. Its feature is it has an arched curve from the spine to the end.
- Tanto blades are for tactical conditions. It has an angular edge and star tip that are perfect for cutting rigid objects.
- Serrated edges intend to use like a small saw that is excellent for cutting belts and ropes. It can also use to cut fabric and other texture materials.
Which shape is the right choice will depend on what you’ll do with the blade. If you need to use it like a saw, a serrated edge will be better. However, if you want to use it like a machete, a drop point is clearly the better choice.
Not all survival knives come with a fire starter and striker notch. It is often built-in or combined with the sheath to utilize the space, whereas the striker notch is on the blade’s back. This additional part of a survival knife is an ideal and real bonus for survival conditions.
This feature enables a knife to fulfill two things in the 5C’s of survival, as a cutting tool and also as a combustion tool. Your knife can be the third back-up fire starting kit after your primary fire starter and your magnifying glass fire starter tool.
A survival knife with a sharpener will help you tremendously in ensuring that your blade stays sharp. In choosing a sharpener, you must consider these features.
- It must be safe to use and user friendly. It will not bother you that you will cut yourself in the process.
- The sharpener must be dependable. Survival knives are sharpener’s partners, and it would be very frustrating if they cannot work with them.
- It must be competent and should intend to sharpen the blade with only a few rubs. It would be great if you will not waste your time and energy on using it.
- Weight matters. A small and lightweight sharpener is also ideal.
However, sharpeners are a luxury feature that can and will help you. Having a knife with no sharpener is not a deal breaker because you can always buy a standalone knife sharpener.
Always choose a survival knife with a sheath for its protection against other elements. Nylon, leather, or rigid plastic are ideal sheath are perfect materials to cover your knife. It will also keep you away from cutting yourself. Differently priced sheath will offer different levels of build quality and features. Choose wisely depending on your needs and your budget constraint.
THE BUTT OR POMMEL
Sometimes, the knife’s handle’s bottom or pommel use for hammering sticks to make tents or other tasks. If this is your purpose, you have to look for a knife whose pommel is designed for such usage. Avoid round pommel because it is not ideal for hammering.
AND OUR TOP PICK SURVIVAL KNIFE!
[su_service title=”Survival Neck Knife” icon=”icon: star” icon_color=”#2D3092″ size=”32″ class=””][/su_service]
This survival Neck knife is one of the handiest weapons that anyone wants to have. Its incredible durability and ability to cut a load of various materials make it a star. Not only that, you can carry this anywhere, and it’s up to you whether you put it in your bag or wear it on your neck.
Also, it possesses the perfect size and grip that feels so confident to use. It’s like a jack-of-all-trades kind of weapon, and it’s just more than a tactical knife. If you are lost, use its compass to know where exactly you are and where you are heading.
The handle contains holes that you can use to attach ropes or paracord. This will help you transform the knife into a spear or other weapons if need be.
It’s blade is a fixed blade made out of 440c stainless steel with satin finish. It’s pretty durable and also tough, ideal for cutting small branches and processing game animals.
If you’re looking for a small and compact survival knife that can act as a back-up for your larger knives, this neck survival knife is an ideal choice.
[su_service title=”StatGear Surviv-All Fixed-Blade Bowie Knife” icon=”icon: star” icon_color=”#2D3092″ size=”32″ class=””][/su_service]
Here comes another ideal knife for survival. The Surviv-All bowie knife comes complete with multiple outdoor features such as fire starter rod, blade sharpening stone, 440 stainless steel drop-point blade with enough length for larger tasks, and a durable pommel.
Its rubber textured handle performed outstandingly even in severe weather, maintaining an excellent yet comfortable grip.
When it comes to security, you don’t need to fear because this knife has a sheath that is secured to the handle. So a minor cut wouldn’t be your problem. It’s also really easy to maintain the sharpness of the blade, thanks to its sharpening stone.
All in all, the level of this survival knife surpasses everyone’s expectations. Just grab this knife, and you are good to go. It is just so perfect for strenuous outdoor activities. If this is the knife you choose to face an emergency, you made the right choice.
Compared to the survival neck knife shown above, this is a better choice for an EDC main survival knife. However, keep in mind that it’s quite heavy and the blade needs to be sharpened and maintained regularly as to not lose it’s effectiveness. Because of that, this is not ideal as a back up survival knife.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Q: Is it illegal to possess a survival knife with a sharpener and fire starter?
A: A survival knife with a sharpener and fire starter does not change the legal status of the knife. Because of that, this question highly depends on if carrying a knife in your area is considered legal or not. In the United States, the answer would be a resounding yes, it’s legal to carry a knife, as long as it’s legally yours. However, we strongly suggest you to check your local laws just to be on the safe side.
Q: Will the sheath hold the knife upside down?
A: No. Even though it has a strap, gravity will eventually make the blade fall. The safest way to hold the knife is by carrying it with it’s blade facing downwards and the tang of the blade near your hands. If this is hard for you, just use a good quality belt to strap your knife and sheath, it’ll make all the difference. Check out our article on where to put your EDC gear for more information.
Q: Is an improved sheath worth the money?
A: The answer differs based on how often you’d use the knife, what kind of terrain you’re getting into, and your needs and budget constraints. If you are frequently active in the outdoors, the extra durability from a higher quality sheath might make it worth it. Remember, a more expensive sheath usually has more functions, so expect a slight increase in price.
A survival knife is more than a defense tool. It is a partner of an outdoor fanatic. And it is not just about choosing the cheapest or the strongest; it is about having the right survival knife and its purpose. A good survival knife wouldn’t give you a hard time in times of unfortunate and frustrating adventure. The goal of acquiring this tool is to make your life easier in times of survival emergencies.
Base on the information provided above, you will not have lost your way in looking for the best survival knife. You can start with our top 3 picks that we recommended. All of them have various features and uniqueness that could help you in survival conditions.
Moreover, there are some things you must consider in acquiring these weapons. You have to be sure that you are of legal age before buying these knives. Be a responsible citizen and a survival knife owner.