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We all have our personal preferences on what makes a good knife to go camping or hiking with, but in an extreme situation you want the absolute best survival knife possible, and so we are here to make sure that you have the right choice for any situation.
The comparison guide of knives below and the analysis that follows will help you find the right knife to meet your needs. All of the knives included are fixed blades which many feel is an essential criteria for choosing a proper survival knife. Feel free to use the quick jump menu below to make it easier to find the details that apply to you. A survival knife is the essential tool that can be used in the event you get lost in the wilderness or involved in some other extreme outdoor environment. Do you really think the castaways from LOST would have survived without John Locke’s suitcase full of knives including a Ka-Bar Full-sized USMC, a Master Bowie knife, and a Spyderco Harpy?
In general, a full-tang, fixed blade is going to be more reliable and less likely to break than a folding knife or partial tang.
There’s a few things you need to consider when picking out your survival knife which includes your planned needs, uses and budget. In order for a survival knife to perform all of the myriad tasks that is likely to asked of it, it must incorporate several key features that we dive into more detail in the sections below.
When choosing a survival knife, blade design is perhaps the single most important factor since it determines whether or not a knife is suitable for survival use. The reason for this is that all three blade designs are meant to position the tip of the blade closer to the center line to provide the user with greater control than can be had with a straight back design. A heavy chopping tool will feature a robust construction and have a blade that is 10 inches to 14 inches in length with a weight-forward blade design and a saber grind and be made from a tough steel such as 1095, 5160, or 440C. A camp knife is defined as a medium sized knife with less robust construction and a blade that ranges from 5 inches to 8 in length with a balance point near the hilt and a flat grind or a hollow grind.
Schrade does a good job with the video below giving more detail on the types of blade design. As the expert in the earlier video highlighted, a pocket knife is good to have on hand when you need a good all purpose knife you can carry everyday.
This is critical when you think about the different uses you may need to use your knife in when you are in a tough survival situation.
You want something that’s going to be extremely sturdy that will allow you to leverage the knife in just about every situation and not break under contact. The design of the cutting edge is also a critical factor when choosing a survival knife because the different types of cutting edges are designed for different purposes.
First and foremost, here are straight cutting edges which are specifically designed to be general purpose edges.
The neutral rake angle is the most common and it is defined as a an angle that extends at a right angle from the bolster. A positive rake angle extends from the bolster at a downward angle in order to increase the angle of attack when cutting and slicing. A negative rake angle is one that extends at an upward angle from the bolster and it is designed to lessen the pressure placed on the cutting edge when cutting and slicing.
Then, there are recurved edges which feature a straight section extending from the Ricasso but which then changes to a positive angle at it approaches the center of the blade and curves upward to the tip as it reaches the belly of the edge which places the balance of the blade well forward of the hilt.
A third critical factor when choosing a survival knife is the length of the blade because different length blades are best suited for different purposes. Knives with blade lengths ranging from 3.5 inches to 5 inches are much better suited for more delicate tasks such cutting notches in stakes and staves to build traps and snares, skinning small game animals and gutting fish, slicing up root and tubers, ect. Blade lengths ranging from 6 to 7.5 inches represent an excellent compromise between long, heavy-duty, blade designs and short utility blade designs. Next to blade design, the type of steel that a survival knife is made from is possibly the second most critical factor when choosing a survival knife.
While high carbon tool steels are often significantly tougher than stainless steels, they are less likely to break, they are more prone to corrosion. However, having said that, the relative toughness and edge holding ability of any blade steel is also dependent on its Rockwell Hardness (designated HRC). Large, heavy-duty, survival knives with long blades should be made from a non-stainless, high carbon, tool steels and have a Rockwell Hardness of 50 to 54 whereas, small bush craft knives with short blades can be made from either type of steel and should have a significantly higher Rockwell Hardness and the same is true for camp knives.
Every bit as important when choosing a survival knife as blade design and cutting edge design is the blade grind. A flat grind exhibits a primary bevel that extends from the cutting edge all of the way to the back of the blade which represents a compromise between a saber grind and a hollow grind. Some survival knives have a hollow saber grind which designed to incorporate both the spine thickness of a saber grind and the fine edge of a hollow grind and while this type of blade grind works fairly well for chopping, cutting, and slicing, it is not optimized for either task which makes it a good compromise between a saber grind and a flat grind.
The tang of a fixed blade knife is the portion of the blade that extends into the handle upon which the knife’s handle is fixed. The full tang is by far the most popular design and should be your top choice because it consists of a tang that extends the full width and length of the handle with handle scales that are affixed one either side of the tang via epoxy and rivets. The hidden tang is similar to the full tang in that it extends nearly the full width and length of the handle but is designed in such a way the handle can be hollowed an slid onto the tang where is usually affixed with epoxy. The partial tang and stick tang are the least desirable of the four types of tangs used to construct survival knives since they have a tang that extends the full length of the handle but only extends a small part of the width. Another important factor to consider when choosing a survival knife is the material from which the handle is made because it must be both tough in order to prevent cracking and breaking and it must be impervious to the absorption of moisture to prevent rot.
It Also features a very ergonomic handle design made from Ultamid which is a custom made polyamide that extremely tough and impervious the absorption of moisture.
Specifically designed to be a military grade survival knife, the Gerber LMF II is a very well designed little knife. THe LMF II Infantry has a 4.84” drop point blade design made from 420HC stainless steel with a deep saber grind and a serrated cutting edge. The Gerber LMF II Infantry knife is well suited for a myriad of small utility jobs in a survival situation. Another one of Gerber’s line of fixed blade, military, survival knives, the Strong Arm is designed to serve as a small utility survival knife.
Like the LMF II, the Strong Arm is also made from 420HC stainless steel with a hard, black, ceramic coating to further enhance the steel’s corrosion resistance and to provide a stealthy appearance when used in tactical situations.
Of course, aiding in that control is the ergonomic and well designed 5” handle made from glass filled nylon with a textured rubber coating that is nearly indestructible and is impervious to the absorption of moisture. Plus, it comes with a heavy-duty, nylon, modular sheath system that can be mounted vertically on a MOLLE vest, horizontally on a standard 1.75 inch belt, as a drop leg belt mount. Featuring a heavy duty, 7”, clip point blade with a saber grind made from 1095 Cro-Van (adds both Chromium and Vanadium to Carbon and Manganese) high carbon tool steel with a black, corrosion resistant, coating and a Rockwell Hardness of 56-58.
In fact, although there are a lot of survival knives on the market today, considering the blade design and the robust construction of this knife combined with its relatively low MSRP, it would hard to choose a better knife. Without a doubt, Fallkniven is one of the premier production knife companies in the business today and the Fallkniven A1L Survival Knife is a premier example of their commitment to producing high quality knives.
Featuring a 6.3 inch clip point blade made from a core of VG-10 stainless steel with a Rockwell Hardness of 59 HRC laminated between two layers of softer stainless steel with a saber grind that extends nearly to the back of the blade combined with a spine that measures a full .24 inches, this is literally one of the strongest survival knives you can buy!
A truly iconic example of the general purpose “camp knife”, the Buck knives model 119 “Special” has been an integral part of the Buck line of classic knives since 1945 when Hoyt and Al Buck used to build them by hand in their two man shop. In fact, because it features a 6” Clip Point blade with a hollow grind made from 420 HC stainless steel with a Rockwell Hardness of 58 HRC, it is an excellent design for a multitude of survival tasks such as trimming branches and carving notches for traps and snares as well as skinning game and other general purpose jobs. It’s not well suited for chopping because of its relatively light blade and balance point near the hilt. For those people who appreciate classics and antiques, the Buck model 119 Special is the general purpose survival knife (aka “camp knife”) to have because it is an extremely well designed knife for this purpose.
The Ka-Bar Becker BK7 Combat Utility Knife was designed by Becker Knife & Tool to be the ultimate all-purpose utility knife for both soldiers and survivalists who need a relatively lightweight survival knife for heavy-duty use. In fact, its long blade combined with its excellent blade design and its straight cutting edge make it imminently well suited for its role as a general purpose survival knife.
Plus, it features full tang construction and a very ergonomic handle design with handle slabs made from “Ultamid” (aka Zytel) which is a custom made polyamide that is extremely tough and impervious the absorption of moisture. A fine offering from Schrade, the Extreme Survival model SCHF9 is an excellent choice for those people who prefer non-stainless tool steels over stainless steels due to their superior toughness and ease of sharpening. Featuring a 6.4 inch drop point blade with a recurved cutting edge and a hollow grind made from 1095 non-stainless, high carbon, tool steel, the Schrade Extreme model SCHF9 is a well thought out design.
The 1095 high carbon tool steel is the perfect choice for a heavy duty knife that can expect to see hard use. Schrade rounds it out with a heavy duty nylon sheath with a single, buckle closure, pocket on the front.
The Randall Adventure & Training Company entered the knife market with their own ESSE brand of knives in 1997 and since then, ESSE Knives have become well known for their quality of design and workmanship.


It’s obvious that when your knife is designed by a wilderness and jungle survival training specialist specifically for the sole purpose of survival, that it should be near the top of the pack in quality. With 6.5” drop point blade made from 1095 high carbon tool steel with a flat grind, a black, corrosion resistant coating, and a Rockwell Hardness of 55-57 HRC, this knife is easily on par with the KA-BAR knives listed above but, it has a very different blade design. While the drop point blade positions the tip close to the center line for precise control, the flat grind provides the perfect compromise between the razor sharpness of a hollow grind and the edge toughness of a saber grind.
In addition, it features full tang construction for superior strength with a hand filling, highly ergonomic, handle design made from two linen Micarta handle scales attached to the tang with three Allen screws.
The ESSE Laser Strike knife is somewhat unusual among survival knives in that it features a spear point blade as opposed to ESSE’s standard drop point design.
Featuring a 4.75” spear point blade made from 1095 high carbon tool steel and a Rockwell Hardness of 55-57 HRC with a flat grind and a black, corrosion resistant, coating, this knife is the perfect companion to the ESSE Junglass. It features full tang construction with a highly ergonomic handle design made from two linen Micarta handle scales attached to the tang with three Allen screws. As has been stated, any of the choices in this list will be a great option for your next outdoor adventure. So, as you can see, there is actually quite a bit to consider when searching for the best survival knife on the market today. In fact, just trying to choose the best blade length, the best blade design, and the best blade steel make the task difficult enough without considering all of the other factors such as cutting edge design, tang construction, and the design of the handle and material from which it’s made. A good camp knife is characterized by general purpose blade design ranging from 5 to 8 inches in length with either a deep saber grind or a flat grind made from a high quality stainless steel designed for the purpose such as AUS-8 or 440C combined with an ergonomic handle design. By thinking of survival knives as a system rather than a single, all-purpose, tool, you can combine a compact heavy chopper with a small camp knife or a large camp knife with utility knife to form a complete system that will ensure that you always have the correct knife for the job at hand.
For Megan, the 2003 blackout, the events of 911, and the increasing frequency of natural disasters like Hurricane Katrina, spurred a desire to be more prepared for whatever may come along. Nowadays, we are faced with the impact of the world’s vulnerabilities especially during natural calamaties and disasters. Individually, there are many things that one can do in order to mitigate the effects of such disasters.
There is a big difference concerning those who have their things to aid them during emergency situations than those who do not have them.
You should always prepare a spare battery for your cellphone and other device so that you will be able to send a message to friends and other relatives in times of crisis. Paul has a fairly extensive history in the survival circuit and has some great videos on YouTube that you should check out some time. I thought you would appreciate knowing about a small company that takes pride in what they do here in the good ol’ USA. As a former Marine I carried a Ka-Bar for several reasons (probably the most important to me at the time was that I could point at it in later years and say “I carried taht knife through a war.”). I actually got the opportunity to compare the Becker and the OKC bayonet today side by side. Plz answer back as I’m looking to create my own blog and would like to find out where u got this from.
The Cold Steel Gurkha with Kraton Handle is a premium Kukri that will minimize your work in a wilderness survival situation.
These very popular, time tested knives have been in our line for many years and are ideal for just about any mission. To make a PVC bow, first cut a piece of ? inch schedule 40 PVC pipe into a 4 foot segment for a short bow or a 6 foot segment for a long bow. The objective is to flatten the ends of the limbs (the upper and lower working parts of the bow) while leaving the middle section rounded. Once the ends of the limbs are bent and the pipe has cooled, you will need to do the same flattening process to the middle of the bow, where the handle will be located. After the middle has been slightly flattened, you can wrap the middle section of the bow with paracord to form a handle and arrow rest. Finally, notch the ends of the bow using a hack saw and string with mason string, Dacron cordage, 550 paracord, or any other good, sturdy cotton or linen twine.
The picture below illustrates a bow that has not been drawn.  This is the bow shape when it is in a relaxed state.
Building a PVC bow can take a bit of practice before it comes out perfectly shaped the way you want it.
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In the event that you are lost in the wilderness the proper knife can truly be a life saver to help you build shelter, start a fire, hunt, prepare food, dig, clear paths, and so much more. Having a full-tang knife (metal blade runs the full length to the end of the handle) will help ensure the knife can handle extreme pressure or usage without the risk of breakage. For instance, when faced with a wilderness survival situation, the user often employs the full length of the cutting edge from the choil to the belly for different purposes and sometimes, even the tip is needed for piercing. Also, all three designs serve to lighten the tip of the blade in order to balance the blade closer to the hilt which also provides the user with better control over the tip. Also, it should feature a highly ergonomic, non-slip, handle design with, preferably, a cushioned, textured, non-slip, surface on the handle made from either Kraton or Hypalon rubber. Also, it should feature an ergonomic handle that allows the knife to be held in several different positions. However, it should be noted that they can feature either a positive rake angle, a neutral rake angle, or a negative rake angle measured from the bolster.
Therefore, the purpose of the recurved edge is to create the blade that is good for both cutting and carving near the bolster but which is also tip heavy for better chopping performance.
For instance, blade lengths ranging from 8 to 10 inches are usually long enough and have enough weight to be well suited for chopping and splitting with a baton but, they tend to make it difficult to control the tip of the blade when trying to perform small, precision, cutting tasks.
You should first be aware that there are two different categories of blade steel consisting of non-stainless, high carbon, tool steels and stainless steels with the defining difference between the two being the amount of Chromium the steel contains. Plus, although they are also easier to sharpen, they will not hold an edge quite as well as stainless steels.
Therefore, knife blades with a Rockwell Hardness of 50 to 54 are meant to be tough whereas, knife blades with a Rockwell Hardness of 58 to 62 are meant to hold an edge well and knife blades with a Rockwell Hardness of 54 to 58 are meant to be a compromise between toughness and edge holding ability. Therefore, some good choices for high carbon tool steels for this purpose are 1095, 5160, O1, and A2 whereas, some good choices for stainless steels are 420HC, 440C, AUS-8, and AUS-10. While there are several different types of blade grinds, the two best suited for survival knives are the saber grind and the flat grind.
Because the point where the tang meets the blade is the knife’s weakest point, it should be noted that while there are several different types of knife tangs, the ones best suited for survival knives are the full tang and the hidden tang due to their inherent strength with the inherently weaker partial tang and stick tang being poplar for some handle designs. This type of tang is most commonly used in conjunction with handles made from stacked leather discs that are secured with a pommel cap that screws onto the end of the tang via threads. However, neither of these materials provide the user’s hand with any sort of cushion to lessen the shock generated when chopping with the knife. Not only does it have a drop point blade design that is well suited for survival use, it features a heavy-duty construction with a 5.25 inch blade made from 1095 Cro-van (adds both Chromium and Vanadium to Carbon and Manganese) non-stainless, high carbon, tool steel with a Rockwell Hardness of 56 to 58 and a the deep saber grind that allows it to be honed to a fine edge.
With the quality design, craftsmanship, size, and durability, you would expect something on the higher end.
Although it’s way too small to be effective chopping tool and its design is not particularly well suited to the role of camp knife, it is an excellent little utility knife. In fact, it feature a 4.8” drop point blade almost identical to the LMF II Infantry model listed above.
However, unlike the LMF II Infantry model, the Strong Arm is available either with or without serrations. Also, it has an integral double finger guard with jimping on the inside edges to improve the grip.
In addition, it features hidden tang construction with a very ergonomic, diamond textured, Kraton rubber, handle with an integral finger guard, for a non-slip grip.
Although the blade is a bit too short to make an effective chopping tool, it is an excellent example of what a camp knife should be.
Plus, although the hollow grind on the blade allows it to be honed to a very fine edge for cutting and slicing, it also allows the edge to dull more easily when the knife is used to chop.


Plus it’s complimented by a double finger guard up front and a polished aluminum butt cap in the rear which really sets off the pitch black handle. In fact, this knife is so well designed that it has been in continuous production for 70 years which is not only a testament to both its functionality and its popularity, but a strong argument that this could be one of the best survival knives in the world ever made.
For instance, the straight section of the cutting edge is great for sharpening stakes and cutting notches while the deeply curved section near the tip places the knife’s balance point well forward to make it a more effective chopping tool.
In addition, the handle is extremely well designed with a very ergonomic shape that is specifically designed to fit the human hand with finger grooves to provide a comfortable, positive, grip. So, if you are looking for a tough, medium sized, high quality, survival knife, you can’t go wrong with the ESSE 6.
Plus, the choil features a shallow finger groove to allow the user to move their hand forward on the grip and place their index finger in the groove for significantly more control over the edge when carving. Not only is the handle very comfortable, it also provides the user with a nearly indestructible, non-slip, grip that is impervious to the absorption of moisture. The high carbon tool steel makes it a tough little knife while the mid-range Rockwell Hardness enables it to hold an edge well without being excessively difficult to sharpen. Not only is the handle very comfortable just like the ESEE 6, it also provides the user with the same nearly indestructible, non-slip, grip that is impervious to the absorption of moisture.
A good heavy chopping tool is characterized by an extra heavy blade 10” to 14” in length with a weight forward design made from a high carbon tool steel such as 1095, 5160, O1, or A2 as opposed to a stainless steel and it should feature a shallow saber grind combined with a non-slip handle design made from a tough material. Soon to be living off-grid, this mother of four and grandmother of six grandsons, is learning everything she can about preparedness, basic survival, and self-sufficient homesteading. There are various manifestations of these vulnerabilities and one of which is the totality of lives lost and destructed from such unfortunate events.
One of which is through preparation of Survival Gear List that will help you identify the things needed when a typhoon or a natural calamity strikes your place. Because of this, one may lessen the chance of getting into the worst situation and high up his chances on survival and recovery. These emergencies are usually followed by fluctuations in the power that supply electricity so it is important to have something to rely to whenever you need something to shed some light. This should be used as a signaling tool in order for you to seek help with other people during worst case scenario. In addition, also prepare batteries for your flashlight since most of these devices operate through the use of energy. I have to say that after seeing them next to eah other I will be purchasing the Becker simply because of the thickness of the blade. Made out of 0-1 High Carbon Steel, they are precision ground, heat-treated and Mar Tempered in our state of the art factory in Taiwan to rival the strength, toughness, and edge retention of our famous Japanese swords. In a pinch, you can simply take a 4-6 foot piece of PVC pipe, notch the ends, and string with paracord at a high enough tension to bend the bow limbs (which in physics talk, is storing elastic potential energy in the flexing limbs of the bow which becomes the kinetic energy of the arrow in flight).
While wearing gloves to insulate your hands from the heat, lay the pipe on a piece of flat wood and heat with a heat gun while rolling the pipe to ensure it is evenly heated.
You will want the ends flattened perpendicular to the archer so that when the bow his held in front of you, in a shooting position, you are looking directly at the flattened piece and not at the flattened edges. In this area, you’ll want the handle formed and slightly flattened (so it is oval-shaped) perpendicular to the flattened limbs.
You can also take a small piece of PVC pipe (1-2 inches long), cut out a 1 inch section so it is shaped like the letter “C”, and snap the section above the paracord handle to form a more solid, smooth arrow rest (glue it if needed). A piece of felt can be glued to the ends, under the string, to quieten string slap on the recurve.
For side-splitting humor, check out Funny Grins' huge cache of funny jokes, zany videos, and outrageous pictures.. At mortal journey, check out the footprints of our past - interesting stories and news about past and current trends and fads. A member of the Television Critics Association, his writing and criticism about television, culture, and media has appeared on NPR and in Playboy, Vulture, and many other publications. Whereas, stainless steels are generally less tough than high carbon tool steels but will generally hold an edge better (depending on composition and Rockwell Hardness) and, they are far less prone to corrosion But, they are also more prone to break and, they are generally more difficult to sharpen as well. The reason that this is important is that a saber grind exhibits a primary bevel that extends only a very short distance from the cutting edge to the back of the blade and it creates a thick, axe-like edge that is difficult to sharpen to a fine edge but, which does an excellent job of holding an edge when chopping and splitting. Due to its small size, it is too small to be effective at even light chopping tasks and it is a bit on the small side for a good camp knife but, it does make and excellent utility or “bush craft” knife for jobs that require a significant amount of control over the blade. Plus, the leather discs have been sealed to make them impervious to the absorption of moisture while still providing a positive grip.
Anyone who knows knives can spot a Buck knife at a glance just by noting the distinctive handle design. Also, the handle scales are made from Thermo Plastic Elastomer which is a material that displays the properties of both plastic and rubber. ESEE wraps it all up in a nice package with a molded Kydex sheath which is not only extremely tough, it is also completely waterproof. She is passionate about sharing that knowledge so that others can be increasingly prepared to protect their families. The government with the help of the civil society and some private sector are thinking of ways and means to lessen the impact and to prepare for these events as much as possible.
In terms of upcoming disasters and calamities, it is better to come up with a Survival Gear List because it is better to be safe than sorry.
This should be used in getting the other necessary things and in doing other important and immediate matters.
What are you thoughts on using a flat ground bayonet as a survival blade when also carrying a smaller blade for basic tasks and detailed cutting? I found it to be a good weapon and a versatile tool, however, I feel that the OKC USMC bayonet I was issued was a much better survival tool for many reasons. Check out their absolute superior fit, finish and above all sharpness and then put them to work and we are sure you’ll agree they are an incredible bargain. Bending the ends around a solid object, such as a metal pot, ensures the limbs are bent the same on both ends.
At only a few bucks per bow and an expected lifetime of 2-4 years, given the excellent performance PVC bows offer, it’s well worth the time and effort. Andy, 38, also directs the journalism program at Stetson University in Florida, where he teaches creative nonfiction and journalism.
Therefore, the grip on this knife is both incredibly tough and, it also provides a cushioned, non-slip, grip. You never know what can happen in these situations, and having these things at your disposal gives you a lot more fighting chance to survive. You may store and keep a considerable amount of liters so that you will have some whenever they are necessary. While it functioned as a bayonet, I found that secondary to its functionality as knife and as a tool.
They did a great job of answering any and all questions both during and between the scheduling training sections. Recurve bows, bows with tips that are bent to curve away from the archer, constructed from PVC pipe can produce anywhere from 30 – 70 pounds draw, which is significantly higher than the energy delivered from an equivalent straight-limbed bow. Also, make sure you don’t overheat the pipe or you will burn the PVC and weaken the pipe. If the limbs are bent, throughout their length, in front of the handle away from the archer, they are termed “reflexed” (the most common bend). People who are trapped or those who find themselves stuck without water will eventually die without this precious commodity. The decision to store supplies in your basement is a good idea if you live in a tornado prone area, a bad idea if you live in a flood prone area. Also, the end of the grip is sturdy enough that you can hammer on it or use it as a hammer in a downward striking manner and not destroy it. I used my Ka-bar in this fashion on several ocassions and then had to stop because of the denting and pitting that was occuring to the end cap of the handle.
Would you mind letting me know which ones you feel are particularly good for survival techniques and concepts? You also run the risk of rodents attacking your supplies as well.What Would Be A Good Survival Gear List?



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