One of my personal favorite American made survival knives happens to be the ESEE-4 that comes with a removable Micarta handle slab and also features a Kydex sheath with MOLLE locks.
Like I’ve mentioned earlier, the gray handle is a removable Micarta slab and this brings the overall knife weight to be just over 7 oz. With a black RC-4 fixed blade (read my post on full tang benefits), the ESEE-4 survival knife comes in two variants – one having a plain edge while the other features a partly serrated edge (personally I prefer the plain edge). The sheath itself is made of Kydex material and comes with a rawhide cord that ideally should be threaded by the user so make sure to do that once you purchase this knife. If you’ve been following my posts closely, you’ll notice I’m biased towards full tang knives and that’s one of the reasons why I bought the ESEE-4 in the first place because it’s a fixed blade survival knife. Some of you might find the cost to be on the higher side but with an average price tag of $125.00, I think this is one of the best bush-craft knives in the market at the moment. Overall, the ESEE-4 knife is a good buy and even though it’s not the most perfect knife in the world, its a pretty damn good one! So, I’ve put together this guide to help you choose the best survival knife for your kit. I’ve always liked knives, even before I received my very first Swiss Army Knife when I was a kid. Fixed Blade: Folding knives are very useful tools, but the things that make them convenient also make them unacceptable as survival knives. Full Tang: With a full tang knife, the steel from the blade continues all the way through the handle.
Comfortable, Non-Slip Grip: Survival knives were never intended to win a beauty contest, and the goal is to have a knife that fits your hand and will not turn in it while you are making kindling or hacking down evergreen boughs to line your shelter. In a survival situation, especially in the wilderness, a survival knife is the most important tool you can have. Stay away from Rambo style knives, they are not real survival knives even though they are portrayed that way in the movies. Fixed blade – Survival knives must be durable, reliable and be able to take a lot of abuse. Blade Size – Survival knives must be robust enough to handle the abuse of outdoor survival yet small enough to be comfortable for smaller jobs. Handle – A good handle should feel comfortable in your hand and be made of a durable material.
A Gerber Big Rock for $30, for example, is an excellent choice and will do the job not to mention you’re not going to feel bad if you lose it. But there are so many options out there without having to spend big bucks on an exotic knife and without getting snobby in regards to what the blade material, and scales (handles) are made from. Pierre asked What is the best fixed blade and or best folding pocket knife for around $100?
Just got into looking into different steels for knives and noticed the hudge difference in them.
Full tang construction and a TacHide(TM) onlay make the Freeman Guide Fixed blade a must have for hunters. If you are shopping for the best survival knife on the market, following these simple tips will help you find the best knife and save money.
Unlike other reviews online, this one features a mixture of first hand reviews as well as aggregated reviews from across the web so that you get a fair idea of what the consensus on a knife is without much research. In the old days, a survival knife was a knife with a hollow handle, made for storing survival gear. The blade of a knife has many different characteristics to consider, such as thickness, length, type of edge, and the metal it is made from. The thickness of the blade is an important feature to consider when choosing a survival knife.
While survival knife blades can measure up to 12 or 14 inches, most people should look for a knife blade that is not quite that long. Most experts agree however, that the backside of the knife, the part opposite of the blade, should not be sharpened or serrated, as sharpening both edges of the blade weakens the tip.
There are generally two kinds of steel used in making survival knife blades: stainless steel and carbon steel. The handle of a great survival knife is comfortable, fits in your hand well, and has a good finger guard that will keep your hand from slipping onto the blade while you are using the knife.
You do not want to buy a knife that is great for chopping, but not useful for mush else, for example, if you will use it mostly in the desert where there is not much to chop. Below you will find a listing, as well as complete information on the top ten survival knives. KA-BAR uses a three-step heat treat process to ensure that its blades are durable and provide optimum performance. 78 reviewers have given this knife a total rating of 4.9 out of 5 stars, with 71 of them giving it a perfect score of 5 stars! The 7″ drop point 5160 steel blade, removable CNC textured Micarta handles, and Forever Warranty of this Buck Knives 0070BKSBH Buck Hood Thug Knife make it worth every penny of its $116 price tag. This knife feels good in your hand and was clearly made to last, and because it was designed by Ron Hood and manufactured by Buck, you can be sure that you are getting a durable, quality knife. With this knife being fairly new on the market, the reviews are still coming in, but so far are good with a perfect rating of 5 stars. The Ontario 75000 Blackbird SK-5 Wilderness Survival Knife is made from 154CM steel, known for its edge retaining ability. The knife was designed by Paul Sheiter, owner of Hedgehog Leatherworks, whose company motto is, a€?When in Doubt: Throw it Outa€?. 21 reviewers give the Ontario 75000 Blackbird SK-5 Wilderness Survival Knife 4.5 out of 5 stars, calling it the a€?perfect survival knifea€? and exclaiming, a€?all I can say is wow!a€? The reviewers all agree that this is a beautiful and effective survival tool.
This multifunction, ultra lightweight survival knife features a 5160 steel blade with a powder coat finish, deep finger groove and guard, and a Forever Warranty.
The knife comes with a heavy duty MOLLE compatible nylon sheath with front storage pouch, Micarta removable handles, and a blade integrated with the Shock Mitigation System (a€?SMSa€?) to reduce shock and wasted energy during use. The Buck 65 Hood Punk Knife is comfortable to use, razor sharp, and the perfect size for all outdoor activities. Our complaints with this knife; the sharp edges on the handle scales and a sheath that does not quite live up to the Buck reputation of functionality. 10 reviewers give the Buck 65 Hood Punk Knife 4.9 out of 5 stars calling it the a€?perfect size and weighta€? and saying that as you use the knife you begin to see a€?the genius in the simplicity and high qualitya€? design. The $65 Gerber 31-001901 Bear Grylls Ultimate Pro Fixed Blade Survival Knife boasts 10 inches of full tang, premium steel, in a solid survivalist tool. This knife comes with a well-designed sheath made for left or right handed carry, and containing a carbide pull-through sharpener, a hole in the bottom to allow water to drain out, and a vertical mounted ferrocerium fire starter.
48 reviewers give this knife a total of 4.6 out of 5 stars, calling the Gerber 31-001901 Bear Grylls Ultimate Pro Fixed Blade Survival Knife a a€?serious performera€?, a€?well balanceda€? and a€?an all around good knifea€?. The SOG Specialty Knives & Tools SE37-K Seal Team Elite Knife has been Navy SEAL tested and approved in one of the most extensive testing programs the government has ever used.
SOG Specialty Knives was founded in 1986, by Spencer Frazer, in order to commemorate a Bowie knife carried by our troops in Vietnam, called the MACV-SOG. This $160 knife includes a fixed, 9a€? full tang tanto style blade made of 5160 carbon steel.

Tops knives are handcrafted and designed by a team of survivalists, which includes martial arts instructors, SWAT team members, tactical officers, and outdoor educators. This knife comes in number 4 on our list of top 10 survivor knives because its hefty price tag and size make it fall a little short of the top 3. The $70 Ka-Bar Becker BK2 Champion Fixed Blade Knife has a fixed blade, which is A?a€? thick and 5 A? inches long. The designer of this knife, Ethan Becker, is an outdoorsman who began designing his knifes in the early 1980a€™s for his company, Becker Knife and Tool. Designed by former military man Jeff Freeman, this knife is 10 inches of pure craftsmanship.
The $85 Ka-Bar Becker BK3 Tac Tool Fixed Blade Knife features a 7-inch 1095 cro-van steel blade, and is made to smash, chop, hammer, and cut.
The Ka-Bar Becker BK3 Tac Tool Fixed Blade Knife contains a full length tang, fits comfortably in your hand, and was clearly designed with usefulness and durability in mind. 83 reviewers give the Ka-Bar Becker BK3 Tac Tool Fixed Blade Knife a total of 4.6 out of 5 stars, describing it as solid, a a€?real tool for real tasksa€? and the a€?ultimatea€? survival and rescue tool. ESEE 5 appears to be pretty good, and I’d love to get my hands on one, but never found one in my price range. Are you sure Ontario is not still licensed to produce a “mass market” version of the knives ESEE does in a semi-custom manner?
Best Law Articles"I've been looking for knife and weapon law guides for awhile and KnifeUp's articles are amazing. Your Rights Advocate"I'm relieved that there is someone out there protecting me and my weapons rights. I’ll try and do justice with this ESEE-4 survival knife review by recounting my personal experiences so that other survival knife enthusiasts can learn from it as well. The ESEE-4 cuts through a lot of materials very easily mainly because it’s made of tough 1095 high carbon 57 RC steel and the experts reading this know high good a material that is! For those of you who love a good sheath along with your knife, you’ll be pleased to know that this one has an additional MOLLE attachment while the sheath itself is held together by adjustable screws.
While the weight of the knife is just over 7 oz, the overall weight including that of the sheath is close to 13 oz which is quite decent for a bush-craft knife.
All in all, I was very satisfied with this wilderness survival knife and have used it for various activities such as hunting and fishing. I also like the fact that this is covered by a lifetime warranty so if you somehow manage to break your knife accidentally, don’t fret because ESEE will send you a new one straight away.
Not only is it easy to sharpen and maintain but its also an extremely rugged knife that holds its edge for a long time. Because they are made of two or more pieces there is a higher risk of breakage than with a fixed blade. Ensure that your knife flares out a little at the back and has a good finger guard, to help stop your hand from slipping during use.
The blade also has to be thick enough to stand up to heavy use which means you are going to be looking for a knife with a blade up to a quarter of an inch in thickness. You want good steel that is not too hard, as this can make you blade brittle and difficult to keep an edge. Not only because you’ve spent good money on it, but also because you want the knife to perform at its best should you ever need it in a real survival situation.
Do you have any tips on how to sharpen a knife when you are out in the wild and dont have a sharpening tool with you?
However, a couple of classic ways to sharpen a knife in the field are with a leather belt or a river rock. Your knife is important for cutting wood and cordage, batoning wood, hunting, making traps, the list is endless. They are more for show than anything because of their aggressive looks but are too heavy and not very practical for survival chores. A serrated edge might be more useful in an urban environment as its best strengths are for cutting synthetic materials such as rope and seat belts, but a plain edge can still do these things and do everything else a lot better.
Avoid handles that are hollow or plastic as they will not be dependable.  A couple of nice features to have is a lanyard hold and a blunt flat edge at the end of the handle. I have always cairred one,in fact the same style,Schradeae Old Timerae Gunstock Trapper Linerlock. Well these prized knives are the same way, because they perform to their fullest whether the conditions are wet or dry. For people who want a serious blade, yet compact, fold-able and able to fit neatly into a sheath, on a belt and out of the way.
There is a lot of marketing and hype in the knife market and this article will help you slice through which survival knife is truly the best and which one is just shameless puffery. Therefore, one must consider first, the purposes for which he or she will use a survival knife before looking at the various differences in the knives available. Depending on the tasks for which you intend to use your knife, some characteristics may be more important than others. Knives with thicker blades are stronger, making chopping wood and prying much easier, and causing less wear and tear on the knife.
The longer the blade, the more awkward the knife can be to use and the more likely it is to cause injury to the user. Stainless steel is usually more brittle and difficult to sharpen, but is much less likely to rust.
Handles with a slight bulge at the butt end can also help keep the knife from slipping out of your hand while you are using it. Think about what you will be using your knife for, then shop around, read what others say about various knives, and talk to your friends. This three-step process includes running the blade through a conveyor oven for approximately one hour, freezing the blade to -120 degrees Fahrenheit, and then heating the blade for about seven hours in a walk-in oven (called tempering).
The blade is thick, clearly made from a very hard, durable steal, and is very sharp right out of the box.
It comes with a MOLLE compatible durable sheath with a plastic liner and drain hole, is razor sharp right out of the box, and is the perfect weight.
A full fine edge, drop point blade, emergency lanyard whistle, and space in the sheath for Beara€™s Priorities of Survival Pocket Guide (which comes with it)A make this knife the ultimate survivalist tool. The pocket guide not only tells you, but also shows you, how to perform possibly life-saving tasks such as building a shelter, collecting water, making a fire, and navigating without a compass. This 12.3-inch survival knife featuring a 7-inch partially serrated AUS8 stainless steel blade, spine rasp for notching, and extended tang is a steal at $105. This knife makes our top 10 list of survival knives because of its quality and versatility, however, its price tag keeps it out of the top 3. One reviewer exclaims, a€?The FINEST knife I have ever come across!a€? Another review calls the HHS2020 Hawkes Hellion Survivor Fixed Blade Knife with Black Micarta Handles, a€?a real work of art, and a quality, no nonsense knifea€?. However, because of its weight of nearly a pound, we rate the Ka-Bar Becker BK2 Campanion Fixed Blade Knife at number 3. Since 1939, Gerber Legendary Blades has been providing consumers with popular, dependable knives. Reviewers are calling this knife a€?awesomea€?, a€?top qualitya€?, a€?innovativea€?, and a a€?great knife at an amazing pricea€?.

This knife includes a partially serrated blade, seat belt cutter, and a black grivory handle and comes with a hard glass filled sheath.
While you would not want to carry this as an everyday knife, with its solid construction and built-in utility, this knife is an awesome survivalist tool.
The Ka-bar Becker BK3 is this writer’s favorite for it can be useful in a multitude of situations.
As far as I know the Punk and Thug are ok, but the Buck Hoodlum has a stupid notch meant for wire or cable snapping in the back of the blade. Not only is it tough and sharp, I find it to be the perfect length (overall knife length is 9 inches while the blade length is 4.5 inches) and extremely comfortable to use. And although the blade is coated, you just need to be a little careful to prevent it from rusting. I don’t know exactly why they didn’t use rivets but one senior camping guide told me this helped on getting a better grip.
Most folding knives have short, thin blades in comparison to a top quality survival knife which makes them less durable under heavy use. Don’t get confused by hollow core survival knives, that convenient compartment for fishing line creates a partial tang knife that is not much better than a folder. When assessing your edge, look for an angle that you can maintain with a decent stone or steel. Because a good knife is so important, it makes sense to ensure that you have the right knife for the job.
Although a folder can make an excellent back-up knife, your primary survival knife should always be a fixed blade, preferably with a full tang. Also a plain edge blade is easy to sharpen at home or in the field, where a serrated knife is much more difficult and requires specific sharpening tools.
You want a sturdy point that can take plenty of abuse, but still be used for finer survival chores. This gives you enough strength for heavy duty jobs while still be effective at slicing and smaller tasks. The lanyard hole is great for putting a rope through so you can attach your knife to your wrist or another piece of gear. But I must admit, I didn’t care for the fact they are now made in China and made with SS blades instead of the old high carbon blades like the ones I grew up with. I bought the bear grylls ultimate knife, its a great knife minus the steel… Very soft and loses sharpness fast… What would be a comparable knife outside of gerber with a greater steel?
In this bag I have a gas mask and some filters which are sealed in a very thick plastic shell that must be cut open.
But honestly, there are too many models too list and it really depends on how much you’re willing to spend. Today, however, most survivalists agree that a hollow handle is one of the last things that you want in a survival knife. Once you know exactly what you will be using your knife for, you can begin to consider the various factors that make a survival knife a good or a bad choice. Oftentimes, a mid-sized blade (6 a€“ 10 inches in length) is the best choice for a survival knife – if you want the knife to be useful in a survivalist setting. While both normally work fine for performing the types of tasks one would expect a good survival knife to perform, sharpening a serrated edge knife usually requires a special sharpener, whereas a straight edge can be sharpened with a smooth stone.
A blade sharpened on both sides can also be more dangerous to the user, as it is easier to cut yourself on a knife with two sharpened edges. Carbon steel, on the other hand, is stronger and easier to sharpen, but may rust if not well taken care of. A feature some may want to look for in a handle is a lanyard hole that allows the user to tie the knife to a pole to make a spear. All KA-BAR knives are then subjected to a multipart inspection process before being approved for shipping. Sheiter has created, and Ontario produced, a quality product with the Ontario 75000 Blackbird SK-5 Wilderness Survival Knife. With an overall length of 10 A? inches, this knife is an easy to carry, easy to use survival knife for hunters, anglers, and campers. Its durability, functionality, and unbeatable price make the Ka-Bar Becker BK3 Tac Tool Fixed Blade Knife our number 1 choice for a survival knife. What I personally do is that I lubricate the blade with dry film rust and corrosion oil every 5-6 months which helps to keep the ESEE-4 in perfect condition. They are not very functional in a survival situation and tend to have weak tips that can be broken off.
The blunt edge on the end of the handle is good if you find yourself needing to hammer something.
I would like to carry a small folding knife in this bag (not a switchblade) so I can cut open the canisters when need be. All are good knives but it comes down to personal preference, do you want a folding or fixed blade?
This is because a hollow knife handle creates a weak point in the knife, where the blade and handle can more easily break apart while chopping or stabbing.
The most important rule, when shopping for a survival knife, is to choose one that will be useful to you in the situations in which you will use it. There is also the classic KA-Bar USMC knife which is exactly similar to this except leather sheath has the USMC eagle, globe, and anchor on it. The Gerber 22-01400 LMF II Survival Knife has been field tested by our troops, so you can be sure that it will provide the high performance you need in almost any emergency. Buck might be able to fix it by getting a better heat treatment to counter that weakness or better yet get rid of the notch altogether. If you go to Amazon and read some customer reviews, you’ll notice people complaining of rusting but if you try the little trick above, you won’t be disappointed! Remember reliability is everything in a survival knife and a double edged blade also doesn’t have a thick spine, so it would be impossible to baton wood with it. You also need a blade with a decent curved edge on the bottom called the belly, which comes in handy for chores such as slicing and skinning.
The Gator Folders employs advanced thermoplastics with an alligator skin texture to deliver a stunningly reliable, ultimately comfortable grip. There are a few hollow handled survival knives that are made from one piece of steel, which solves the problem of the weak point, but experts generally agree that storing items in the handle of your knife is a bad idea. Ontario can still use the blade and handle design but I just find it irritating that they still produce that design when ESEE does it much better. I’m getting the one with the same type of handle material that my Old Timer has, Delrin.
The Gator and Bear Grylls knives are folding knives and have better grip I think when wet and the Freeman is a fixed blade. Besides looking for a solid piece of steel that will not break at the handle, you want to look for several other things when choosing the best survival knife.

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