You don’t necessarily need to be involved in dangerous outdoor activities in exotic places, in order to consider purchasing a survival knife. In fact, a good survival knife can come to use at any time and in any place.
What is a survival knife?
First of all, it is much more superior and useful than an ordinary knife if actual survival is pursued. Whether it is used to fend off animals, to help chop wood for building a fire, or for opening cans, digging pits, passing through a densely forested area, a survival knife could literally save a persons’ life if found stranded in the wilderness, or when enjoying camping, fishing, hunting or any other outdoor activity.
The typical size of a survival knife is from four to eight inches, and it can have either a straight or a serrated blade. The forms and shapes of this type of knives differ in order to suit any needs, and to provide comfortable handling and use. The main types of survival knives are fixed and folding. The functionalities of the various survival knives differ as well, depending on the specific tasks which need to be performed and the specific needs of the user.
Reviews of Top 12 Best Survival Knives
Fallkniven A1 Survival Knife Fixed Blade Knife, 6.375in
The Fallkniven A1 with a fixed blade is arguably the best 6-8 inch survival knife around. Its stainless steel blade is razor sharp and is durable to any humidity, rain, salt, etc. environmental conditions which normally cause other types of blades to become damaged with rust. This keeps the blade clean and sharp, and thus requires lesser maintenance than some of the coated knives normally require. The Kraton handle over the tang of this knife offers an excellent grip, even when wearing gloves or winter mittens, and in any weather conditions. This model is light and the satin finish it has is absolutely beautiful! Possibly the only negative thing about this particular model, is that it may leave an impression of having a short handle for those with bigger than average hands. Read the full review of Fallkniven A1 here OR
Ka-Bar Becker BK2 Campanion Fixed Blade
The next top pick for survival knives is the Ka-Bar Becker BK2 Campanion fixed blade knife. This model is of the fixed blade type, with a blade of 5.5 inches and a total length of 10.5 inches. The Becker BK2 has a drop point shape design and a handy 20 degree edge angle. This KA-BAR survival knife is perfect for camping trips, fishing and hunting. The fixed blade is made of 1095 cro-van steel which adds extra strength to this wonderful survival knife. One possible negative feature of this knife is that it is usually offered with a nylon sheath which is not a particularly pretty or suitable sheath for this high quality and very ergonomic survival knife.
Buck Knives 65 Hood Punk Fixed Blade
Our next choice for one of the top 12 best survival knives is the Buck Knives 65 Hood Punk fixed blade. Designed by famous survival instructor Ron Hood, it is suitable for any type of outdoor activities and has a 5.62 inch fixed steel blade, which has been treated with a powder coat finish. Its total length is 11 inches, but it is lightweight and offers multiple functions to its owners. This knife has a guard and finger groove sufficient for ensuring safe use. It has a removable Micarta handle and is fitted with a shock reduction system to minimize the shock and lower the necessary energy which needs to be enforced when the knife is in use. This is an original product made in America, and the producers offer a forever warranty for it.
ESEE 6P-B Fixed Blade
Now, we would like to present the ESEE 6P-B fixed blade knife as another survivor knife worthy of making it to our top 12. This knife has a 6.5 inch blade made of 1095 high carbon steel and coated with black powder finish, and features a full tang covered with a Grey Micarta Scale handle.
This fixed knife also has an extra jimping to improve thumb grip when being used. The overall length of this knife is 11.75 inches, and it is definitely impressive both visually and functionally. It is a great choice for any camping or outdoor needs, and at the price range it is being offered, it could possibly be one of the best choices for this type of knife.
Morakniv Companion Outdoor Knife with Sandvik Stainless Steel Blade, 4.1-Inch
Another model which we have picked to represent our top 12 survival knife reviews is the Morakniv Companion fixed blade outdoor knife with 4.1-Inch Sandvik stainless steel blade.
The total length of the knife is 8.6 inches, and it has a weight of 4.1 oz, and its design and materials used for its production make it perfect for outdoor use. This knife has a patterned and high-friction grip, and a non-rusting and non-corrosive stainless steel Sandvik blade, which is why this model is one of the best survival knives for wet and damp conditions, for fishing, or for any other outdoors activity.
United Cutlery GH5027 Hibben Legacy Combat Fighter
The United Cutlery GH5027 Fighter knife also makes it into our top 12 of best survival knives. It is designed and produced by collaboration between the famous knife maker Gil Hibben and his brother Wesley who is a custom collectible knife producer. The blades of CH5027 Combat fighter are actually each marked with the signatures of both Gil and Wesley Hibben as well as with a serial number. The full tang of this knife is wrapped by a black Micarta scales wrap handle with a raised thumb rest offering a better grip and greater precision while in use. This particular survival knife is sold with an original custom leather sheath which adds to the pros of this model.
Gerber 31-001901 Bear Grylls Ultimate Pro
Another excellent product worth noting is the Gerber 31-001901 Bear Grylls Ultimate Pro fixed blade survival knife. This pro fixed 4.8 inch blade is based on the original ultimate fixed Gerber’s blades, but now made of premium 9 Cr19Mov steel, and with a full tang design it definitely takes survival knives to a whole new level. It has an integrated sharpener for the blade in the sheath, which ensures that the fine edge of the blade of this fixed survival knife will always be sharp and effective for any type of outdoor survival tasks. Sure enough the built-in sharpener cannot do the job as quickly and efficiently as a good stand-alone knife sharpener, but it does its job very well. This knife also has a fire started mounted in its military-grade sheath, plus an emergency whistle. It can be latched to a long stick and become a spear, so it is a great survival tool.
Gerber 31-001063 Bear Grylls Ultimate Knife with Fine Edge
The Gerber 31-001063 Bear Grylls Ultimate Knife with a fixed blade and fine edge is another one of the Bear Grylls Gerber fixed knives which we would strongly recommend to anybody interested in purchasing a cream of the crop survival knife. Similar to an ultimate knife, this fixed blade knife has a fine edge on its entire high carbon stainless steel blade. The handle of this drop point blade knife is made of texturized rubber which offers an excellent grip even in marine and wet conditions. The sheath of this knife has an integrated diamond sharpener, a survival guide and a fire starter. It is also fitted with an emergency whistle to improve survival chance when in dangerous or harsh conditions.
Ontario ASEK-AircrewTM Survival Egress Knife
When looking for the best survival knife, you should definitely check out the Ontario ASEK-AircrewTM Survival Egress knife. This knife has a 5 inch carbon steel blade featuring a serrated edge and saw teeth on the spine. The handle of this very serious survival knife has a higher strength handle which is machined-aluminum and insulated for better grip and greater comfort of use. The knife is sold with a nylon sheath which is flame resistant, and also comes with a strap cutter multi-tool, has been chosen as an air warrior equipment system by the US army – a fact which speaks for itself.
Ontario 499 Air Force Survival Knife
The next in our line of highest ranking survival knives on the market is the Ontario Black 499 Air Force with a 5 inch blade and a Parkerized finish and a serrated top edge. This knife is sold with a great leather handle and sheath, and also has a sharpening stone included in the package. The Ontario 499 air force survival knife is GSA compliant, and as its name suggests is issued by the US Army and Air Force. This is one serious knife which will serve you well in any environmental conditions and situations.
SOG Specialty Knives & Tools AG02-L Agency Knife
The SOG Specialty Knives & Tools AG02-L Agency Knife with Straight Edge Fixed 7.5-Inch AUS-8 Steel Blade with a Satin Finish and Leather Washer Handle is another one of our favorites for the top 12 survival knives currently available. This is a limited edition knife with a fixed, impressive 7.5 inch blade made of AUS-8 steel and with a black TiNi finish. The handle of this amazing knife is made of epoxy filled leather washers and has a brown finish. The package includes a sharpening stone and a nice leather sheath which can be snapped to a belt or attached to a belt loop. A tribute to the classical American design, this knife is not only impressive visually but is also very effective in providing a great service and various survival tasks.
SOG Specialty Knives & Tools E37T-K Seal Pup Elite Knife
Last but not least in our top 12 choices for survival knives is the SOG Specialty Knives & Tools E37T-K Seal Pup Elite Knife with a partly-serrated fixed 4.85-Inch AUS-8 steel blade, a GRN Handle and black TiNi finish. The handle has an added spine rasp as well as deeper grooves for the fingers for a better and tighter grasp. The sheath is made of black Kydex with a loop attachment for the belt. This knife has been treated with the unique cryogenic treatment by SOG, which makes it water resistant and even tougher, allowing for the renowned producer to sell it with a lifetime guarantee.
Since more people are looking to purchase such a knife, and the choice on the market is very wide, we are offering you our compilation of survival knife reviews of the top 12 models currently available in stores.
The Difficult Choice: Fixed or Folding?
When choosing a survival knife, many people are divided between picking one with a folding or another with a fixed blade. The fixed knife is always a better choice for a faster reaction in a life or death situation, and is also much more precise, comfortable and stable to use. Of course the folding knife is easier and safer for carrying around in a pocket or bag. It may take more than a moment to open this type of knife, but it has its benefits as compared to the fixed type of knives too.
The benefits of the folding blades of survival knives are that they are more easily concealed and are much safer and more comfortable to carry around in your pocket or bag at all times. The folding blade knives are generally more suitable for more mundane tasks, but usually have a longer blade than fixed blade survival knives. We have compiled an excellent list of top pocket knives currently on the market.
The benefits of the fixed blade knife is that it is available faster when needed, and its blade can handle more pressure and strength when being used. The fixed blade survival knives are better for actually surviving in dangerous and difficult conditions, and should be chosen for more difficult and strenuous tasks. They are easier to clean and maintain, and are better for chopping things.
What to Look for in the Best Survival Knife
When looking for the best survival knife, you should always pay close attention to the most important characteristics of this type of knife, including: thickness, length of the blade and the knife, edge, material and handle type. So, in general when choosing the best survival knife, you should first of all consider the tasks you will be using the knife for, and thus choose the type of blade to suit your needs.
BLADE THICKNESS AND LENGTH
For more strenuous tasks such as cutting and chopping wood, you should consider getting a knife with a thicker blade. In order to be able to carry and to handle it, you may want to purchase one with a mid-sized blade of 6 to 10 inches. We must say that when picking the best knife for your camping and other outdoor activities, you should definitely choose a full tang knife, which gives more strength, durability and stability for the knife.
EDGE – STRAIGHT OR SERRATED
As for the edge of the blade, you need to keep in mind that the serrated edged blade requires special sharpeners whilst the straight edge can normally be sharpened by a smooth stone. Also, be warned that a double sharped blade could be dangerous to the user, so consider getting a survival knife with one sharpened blade.
TYPE OF USE
Another thing to consider is the environment in which you are planning to use it, in order to choose the best material for your blade. Stainless steel is slightly more brittle than carbon steel, but it is much more resistant to dampness, water and other liquids. The carbon steel blades are definitely stronger and easier to sharpen, but they are prone to easier rusting.
Finally, when picking your knife, make sure that the handle fits your hand well and is comfortable and safe for handling.