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As we compiled this list of the top 10 best survival knives, the main evaluation categories were durability, quality, utility, and affordability or value.
The result is the following checklist – which will help you to pick the best survival knife for your needs.
Elite Forces Survival Bowie Knife – The next best survival knife on our top 10 list blends good quality with outstanding affordability. Gerber 31-000751 Bear Grylls Survival Series Ultimate Knife, Serrated Edge – Anyone involved in the Survival community knows the name Bear Grylls.
Tops Knives M4X01 M4X Punisher Fixed Blade Survival Knife – Looking more like a machete than a survival knife, this entry to the best survival knife top 10 list from TOPS is one of the most well-made survival knives on the market, and its unique design gives is among the highest utility. Cold Steel San Mai Recon Scout – When it comes to the highest quality knives on the market, Cold Steel is the recognized leader. If you found this list of the top 10 best survival knives helpful, then share it with your friends – either on Facebook or Twitter. I am by no means an expert on knives, I don't even play one on TV In fact you'd be fair in saying that I know very little about knives. My two favorites for the past 20 years have been the Blackjack Knives AWAC, and the older Cold Steel R1 Military Classic, which is a copy of the old Randall Model 1. Before we get into the meat of what survival knives are and what to look for, I want to share my number one choice with you so you can keep it in the back of your mind while you read.
A survival knife, as the name implies, is designed for survival purposes when you are out in the wilderness. Each of these will vary, but they will be present on each and every survival knife that you come across. As for the handle, most of the knives are not going to be hollow because the tang needs to be there. The sheath also has to be a consideration because you want a way to hide the blade when you carry it.
A strong, solid handle can help you with the hammering that you might have to do, such as hammering a post into the ground. Since your knife has to do so many different things, you want to make sure it is capable of doing all of these.
You want to make sure you buy the right survival knife based upon where you are going and what you could possibly be doing.
There are some tips that you should follow to make it easy to find a knife that is going to work well for you and your needs. Whenever possible, look at the knives in person where you will be able to hold them in your hand, experience the weight, see how the weight feels, and look at how your fingers are protected behind the guard.
This knife was designed by Tom Brown, Jr, a wilderness survival expert that is highly respected in the community. While these knives vary by manufacturer, they all have a few details in common, including having a relatively thick blade, a full tang, and a good grip on the knife. It’s always a good idea to look at what’s selling and what’s the most popular knives on the market. DisclaimersMany of the links that you'll find on Knife Den link to products on third party sites. Knife laws change constantly, and you are responsible for confirming any information you find on our site about law with your local jurisdiction.
The most basic and most important tool you can have in a survival situation is a good knife. In modern times, we have of course gone over to steel instead of stone, but the principle is exactly the same as in the Stone Age. Below we have listed the top 5 survival knives you can have, but that doesn't hurt your wallet. The Cold Steel SRK is the only knife on our list that has a blade made of stainless steel, which makes it suitable for use near the coast because you don't want to use your carbon steel blades in salt water. But even though its 6" long blade is made ??of stainless steel, it keeps the edge very well. The Cold Steel SRK's Kraton handle ensure that you have a solid grip around the handle even if the handle is wet. If you want an allround utility and fighting knife that you also can use in salt water to, for example, gutting fish, we would strongly recommend the Cold Steel SRK. We would also recommend you to have this knife as a backup knife in your Bug Out Bag in addition to your carbon steel knife. The KA-BAR Full Size US Marine Corps Fighting Knife has probably the most famous knife design in the world.
Ever since World War II, the Ka-Bar, which is made in Olean, NY, USA, has been the standard military issue knife to the United States Marine Corps for 70 years.
Since World War II, it has also served in Korea, Vietnam, Afghanistan and Iraq and the soldiers use it for almost everything - They open cans with it, search for mines with it by stabbing the knife into the ground, use it for close quarter combats with enemies and so much more. The knife itself is designed for close quarter combats and has a 7" long non-reflective, epoxy coated blade made of 1095 Cro-van steel which makes the knife very strong, but still very easy to sharpen. The standard Ka-Bar USMC Fighting Knife's handle is made of leather and comes with a nice leather sheath.
Don't underestimate the Swedes when it comes to steel because although they are sweet and have some very hot chicks, they know their stuff when it comes to tools and blades. Sturdy blades made of high-quality steel is an old tradition in Sweden dating from the Viking Age when the Swedes had to have the best steel to fight against their enemies - The other Vikings in Norway and Denmark. The full tang Fallkniven A1 is a result of this 1200 years old tradition and it works great as a mid-sized, alround survival knife. The blade itself is made of high-quality, Swedish VG10 steel, which is the same type of steel that's used to make Japanese chef knives.
The handle is made of kraton which gives you a solid grip around the handle even if the handle or your hands are wet. It's made by the same company who manufacture the Ka-Bar USMC Fighting Knife, but the BK7 Combat Utility is more "survival knife" than the USMC fighting knife, which is, as the name implies, a fighting knife.

The Becker BK7 with its "7 long blade is the most badass knife on our list and it's perfect if you want a big knife either for self defence, chopping or batoning. The Ka-Bar Becker BK2, also known as the Becker Campanion, is rated by survivalists as the best survival and adventurer knife of all time! The Ka-Bar Becker BK2 comes with a nice glass-filled nylon sheath which locks the knife securely into place so you don't lose your dear "Campanion" when you're out on adventures or in survival situations.
But the Smith & Wesson survival knife is very affordable, and is adequately durable for most uses. Plus, no list identifying the best survival knife is complete without an entry from Ka-Bar.
Quality of construction, durability, design, and affordability force us to include this piece in the best survival knife top 5. You can actually shave with this knife (Yes, I tested it).Handle is comfortable and the sheathe is very attractive and fits perfectly.
The Banner Knives Ti-G10 is the knife that I’ve found to be the ideal choice for virtually any survival situation. Many military units will issue such a knife to help their teams survive in the event that they are shot down from the sky or stranded in some capacity. Prior to that period, hunters and outdoorsmen would use knives very similar to what a butcher would use. In Vietnam, Randall created a variety of knives and it was Captain George Ingraham, a combat surgeon in the U.S. In most instances, the blade and the tang is going to be one solid piece to provide strength and stability. It’s probably not a good idea to store supplies inside of your knife anyways for the simple reason of losing too many supplies. You have stainless steel and carbon as the two primary metals to choose from and both have their benefits.
A sharp, pointed edge can make for a great screwdriver and be used for first aid, food prep and various other things.
The steel that the knife is made from and the profile of the edge, such as hollow or compound, should be explored. Some kind of finger guard is good to have so that you can protect your fingers from whatever it is that you are cutting.
While you want to make sure you get a knife that does everything you want it to do, it’s imperative that you set a budget and work within what you can afford.
The reviews from people who have used the knife in the past as well as reviews from outdoor and military publications can tell you a lot about the blade and the overall knife that you are thinking about buying.
There are so many selections, so it will be easy to find a knife that’s going to meet all of your needs. If you have large fingers, you may not be able to get away with a single finger guard because one of your fingers will protrude way beyond it, therefore offering you little to no protection against whatever it is that you may be cutting. You want to make sure you take the chance to review them to see if they are going to meet your needs.
It was first produced for the US Marine Corp during WWII and it became the standard for soldiers as a working knife. SRK is an abbreviation for Survival Rescue Knife and provides a significant amount of versatility.
If you choose to purchase a product after going through one of these links, we will receive a small sales commission at no extra cost to you. Because you will not get far without a sharp blade that you can cut, chop, baton, slice and carve with. A two million years old invention that is as important today to survive as it was when the first knife was crafted of stone by the early ancestors of modern humans.
But you can also get the new ACU (Army Combat Uniform) edition which has a foliage green rubber (kraton) handle and a sheath made of Kydex. It can withstand some batoning if you need to baton firewoods in the wilderness, but don't put to much preasure on the knife because the tang is not as wide as the blade.
But because it costs about $200, which is kinda expenisive compared to the other knives, we place it as number 3 on our list.
And that is with good reason because the BK2 Campanion is basically made of a big, heavy chunk of high-quality steel that can withstand some serious abuse over time.
We would strongly recommend you to get it as soon as possible because it's so superb that anyone should own one. Not as affordable as best survival knife #9, it makes up for it with a higher level of quality.
The question at this point comes down to a question of style and design (and thereby the knife’s utility). It has a high price tag (over $200), but if you can afford it, this is the best survival knife that you’ll find anywhere. I like the fact that I don't have to remove the knife from it's sheath to cut say, Paracord, because of the notch in the sheath. It is made of the highest quality materials available with great craftsmanship, and it has never let me down. Anyone and everyone can use a survival knife, though it’s important to know how they differ.
While all of the knives share a few things in common, it’s not like you can just choose any knife and know that it’s going to work when you need it most. What you would need for surviving in a war is going to be different from surviving in the wilderness and therefore there are going to be some different features to look for.
When you see a “full tang,” it means that the metal goes all the way to the end of the handle and these make for the best survival knives on the market. If you lose your knife, you automatically lose other supplies as well and this is not going to make it easy to survive. Many will attach to a belt loop and some also have a flap over the blade to hide it from view.

The blade or blades are then going to help with everything else that’s on the list so you know that you can get things done. Much of what you need can be found outdoors as long as you know how to work with what you have. While it can help you to do some of these things, the size is simply inadequate for fire making, digging and other such things. You may want one when you do a lot of hunting in the woods by your house and another when you go camping in the state park.
Once you create a list with at least 5 actions on it, you will be able to find a knife that can do all of those things. You want a knife that is not too difficult to sharpen in the field, but maintains an edge for a considerable amount of time. If you are in the rain or snow, you need the same level of grip on the knife as when it’s the driest night in the middle of summer.
Past experience with knives may be able to tell you whether you need a large guard or if a small one will do. Whether you choose Tom Brown, KA-BAR or any other brand, you want to make sure it is one that you have heard of so that you can have a testament to the quality and the overall value that you are getting.
The reviews will often tell you what the knife can and cannot do, how easy it is to sharpen, and what it’s good for so that you don’t have to wonder whether it is going to meet your needs when it is just you and nature. Reputation of the manufacturer, reviews by previous users, and the features that a knife has should all be taken into consideration when you look at a survival knife.
While it has a shorter blade length of only 4 ?,” it is very similar in nature to the KA-BAR for overall length. The KA-BAR, for example, has been a knife of choice for decades because the design works well.
The knife is so simple, yet so incredibly important to our existence and our ability to survive, even in these ultra-modern times with refrigerators, cars and cookers. The full tang Ka-Bar Becker BK7 Combat Utility doesn't have as thick blade as the BK2, but it has a longer blade which makes it more suitable for self defense and chopping than its little brother. You can also remove the grivory handle by loosening the handle's allen wrench bolts and replace it with your own custom made handle to personalize it.
Designed specifically to handle any situation you throw at them, whether it be splitting firewood, cleaning an animal, or even as a weapon, a solid survival knife is literally built to save your life.
It’s fixed blade design makes it virtually indestructible, and capable of performing many tasks a smaller knife never would be up to. It featured the metal blade itself between two slabs of wood and held together with rivets. These were often carried along with bolos and machetes by outdoorsmen and the military all the way until the 1930s. This included serration on the spine to be able to cut through fuselage to rescue people who were trapped as well as a hollow handle to be able to store survival gear. You have to do some research to find out what’s available and what they can do so that you get your money’s worth out of your purchase.
You may or may not want this flap because if you need to be able to reach for your knife quickly, it could stand in your way from being able to do so.
The size of the blade does matter and while you want something that is comfortable to carry, you want a blade that can provide you with protection. For example, if you are going to take rope along with you, you need a knife with serration to be able to cut through the rope. For example, hollow-ground blades are sharp, but difficult to sharpen when you’re out in no man’s land. You also want to make sure to read the descriptions featured with each knife so you don’t go based on a photo alone. There is a single finger guard with a checkered grip to make it easy to hold onto the knife for an extended period of time.
There is no need to perfect something that has already been doing a great job in many situations. Therefore, the knife is the most basic and most important tool you can have in a survival situation. Knowing more about the knives and how to search for one that will work for you is critical.
A new feature that is found with many survival knives is a straight edge on one side and a small area of the other side with a serration to be able to cut rope and other materials. You may be surprised what else it may do when you are out in nature alone and forced to survive.
There’s not too much technology that can be integrated – it is simply a matter of choosing from a manufacturer that has the experience to know what does and doesn’t work out in the field.
A good knife for wilderness survival should ALWAYS be your first priority no matter what, and if you don't have a survival knife, we will gladly help you find one that suits you. If you are unable to radio for help, you may be out in nature for hours or even days longer than you initially intended.
There’s also a stacked leather handle to provide you with a good grip and there is a generous finger guard that will protect your hand when working with it. The blade and handle shape also make it easy for chopping, which provides a survival took instead of just a survival knife.
You may face harsh weather and therefore you will need your knife to cut through more things and help you in more circumstances.

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