Knives have a practical use but also can be objects of great beauty. On a trip to Alaska and wishing to bring back a souvenir of that incredible wild and rugged state.
The choice for a souvenir was a hand-crafted knife fashioned by a local craftsman. It was more than a staghorn, expertly crafted symbol of a magical place, it became a family treasure.
Knives can be used for other purposes than simple cutting. Bowie knives can be thrown with learned accuracy.
Knives whether fixed blade or foldable are tools that serve utilitarian purposes for the outdoorsman. But knives, sometimes, may be required to defend against animal or human attack.
This special category of knife has become popular with outdoorsmen and survivalists, if you are a person in a wilderness area with predatory animals, it must be a part of your outdoor gear, kit, or provisions.
Once while spending a week in the White Mountains of New Hampshire, I was on a single footpath trail which ascended up a craggy ridge, looking at the top of the trail 15 feet above my head, there stood a wolf.
I froze, dropped my backpack and unfolded my Swiss Army Knife, thinking my chances of survival were about fifty-fifty. I planned on using the blade when the wolf jumped to eviscerate the underbelly and wondered if the blade would refold during the attempt to defend myself.
Thankfully I did not have to find out. I vowed to have a better knife, a survival knife, next time out in the wilderness.
Features To Consider When Choosing a Survival Knife
Not all survival knives are the same and there are some key features to bear in mind during your search. Before you purchase a survival knife, it’s critical you research the laws in your country (and town!) so you aren’t purchasing a lethal weapon you’re not allowed to own (or need a permit for).
There are different types of handles you can purchase. Those with a hollow handle are made of two different pieces, making the point slightly weaker so you have less control when using the knife. We suggest avoiding hollow handles as the knife could snap in half when you use it to attack your prey.
A poor grip means the knife could fall out of your hand or cause blisters and discomfort when you’re using it. To find the best handle for you, we suggest looking for designs with a texture as this provides a sufficient grip. A handle that is too square or rounded risks the chance of your hand slipping and potentially causing more danger than you had planned.
During your search, we also suggest looking into the blade shape, and you’ll discover that there are many different types. A clip point features a fine tip and is great for picking, although you can also sharpen the blade to use as a lethal weapon should you wish.
Another popular blade shape is a spear point that is made from an array of materials, making it durable and ideal for cutting. Its tip isn’t as sharp as a clip point, though it’s still a useful blade to have.
You should also consider the blade’s material as this will make a huge difference to the survival knife. Stainless steel is a durable material that isn’t prone to rusting and it’s pretty much indestructable, making it great for tough labor. Carbon steel knives rust quicker than stainless steel, though this material is sharper and doesn’t wear quickly.
Storing Your Survival knife
You’re responsible for storing your survival knife in a safe and secluded environment, and there are many different ways to store it. For example, keep it safe in an EDC bag where it’s secured in an appropriate package so that you can access it quickly in an emergency, but no-one will come to harm if they touch the EDC bag.
Neck knives are becoming more popular as they’re a convenient way to access your knife in an emergency. You wear your knife as a chain around your neck, though it’s critical it has an appropriate design or casing to keep it safe when it’s not in use.
Finally, a belt sheath is the most common way of storing your snife, and we recommend a sheath made from leather. This material protects you from the knife as it hangs next to you. Leather belt sheaths easily commonly attach to your favorite belt so you don’t need to purchase new accessories to use this. Most belts come with a button to firmly hold the knife in place so you don’t put you or others in danger while you carry it.
The Top 10 Best Survival Knives To Buy
The following are the top 10 survival knives in 2019 for consideration for any trip to the wilderness.
Table of Contents
10. CDS-Survival MOVA-58 Stainless Steel Outdoor Hunting Knife
A high-quality knife with leather sheath, sharpener stone, and fire steel is a knife that outdoorsmen would be proud to own. This finely designed and crafted knife is worth handing down to those who feel a connection to the great outdoors. It is a work of art and a capable tool for the outdoors.
Just hefting this knife would be a pleasure. In a confrontation, the gleam of this blade would be a detriment to any attacker. What is the use of black blades?
They are only used for stealth. This knife and its glimmering blade would have the impact similar to the metallic sound of the slide on a Glock chambering a cartridge in the presence of an intruder.
- Alloy steel blade
- Leather sheath with accessory pocket
- Wood handle
9. Rogue River Tactical Hunting Knife
Another all purpose survival knife. This knife or any survival knife would be appreciated on any outdoor exploration. It has the uncomfortable round handle. Good knife for a teenaged boy.
- Affordable survival knife
- Stainless steel 5″ blade
- Low quality but serviceable
- Storage handle
- Committee designed
8. MTech USA MT-086 Series Fixed Blade Hunting Knife
This is a large knife (12-1/4-Inch Overall) with a modern straight forward design. This no-nonsense knife seems to do it all, and the thin blade can give the knife more versatility. The emergency window breaker butt cap impairs the function and the handling of the knife.
- 7″ Blade with Nylon sheath
- ABS handle with lanyard opening
- Butt cap protuberance is used as a window breaker
- Thin blade
7. Coleman Fixed Blade Survival Knife
Survival kit included in the handle, 8.5-inch overall. Another trusted name for the outdoors. But this knife is a weak version of the Grylls/Gerber collaboration. As an example, the Coleman small compass is located on the grip butt cap which is easily breakable while the butt cap on the Gerber is strong enough to drive nails.
- Cheap price
- Accessory pack
- Poor quality
- Accessory pack is lacking
6. Gerber Bear Grylls Ultimate Serrated Knife
Two powerful names in the outdoor world combine to make an effective survival knife. This knife has no weaknesses. These instructions would insult any Boy Scout, and the whistle is too small to be of any use to help locate a lost member of your camping party.
Otherwise, it is a well-designed knife. Has a good firestarter and with its own sharpening stone, the owner can keep it ready for action. Bear Grylls and Gerber have created a truly great knife.
- Efficient design
- Firestarting function
- Sheath with sharpener
- Whimpy whistle
- Emergency instructions
5. Maxam SKJSK Survival Knife
If you were dropped off in any remote wilderness area, this is the knife to have with you. It is designed with a storage handle and inside there are items needed for survival. There is even another knife which fits in the sturdy sheath.
This knife lacks the design of a traditional knife, is poorly balanced but makes a good camp knife and a hefty weapon.
- Limited warranty
- Large size
- Round handle
- Poor knife balance with heavy handle
4. BlizeTec Survival Knife
Best 5-in-1 tactical pocket folding knife with LED light, seatbelt cutter, glass breaker & Magnesium firestarter. This is a modern survival knife and one every family should have. On the way to your camping adventure your vehicle could be broadsided by a drunk and forced into a roadside river.
This knife effectively handles this all too real survival situation. It cuts seat belts freeing the knife wielder to break the windows and lead the escape. This knife does it all and is a nearly perfect camp knife. It even has a LED light. Would not work if you are jumped by a bear or puma.
- Seatbelt cutter
- Window breaker
- 3.5″ Foldable blade
- Lightweight (5.5 oz.)
- Belt clip
- Lifetime warranty
- 3.5″ Blade
3. Snake Eye Tactical 13″ TACTICAL SURVIVAL Rambo Hunting Fixed Blade Knife
A large knife with the standard Bowie design having the serrated section on the top portion of the blade. ABS comfortable handle with lanyard hole and cord. A knife can be used for many things. Hunting knives are different from fishing knives.
This survival knife seems to be aimed at the macho market and its function as a knife may be minimal. There would be a lack of durability to the ABS handle. Most outdoorsmen prefer a hard surface for the grip.
- Large size
- ABS grip
- Bowie design
- ABS grip
- Rambo name
5″ Tanto blade with a full tang. This is a real knife for adult men and capable adult women. With nylon sheath, this rugged knife is ready for action. Has a lanyard hole at the end of the grip for attachments or to be used as a spear.
This feature impairs the utilitarian function of this otherwise excellent knife. Whenever cutting thick objects, the user of the knife applies cutting forces close to the hilt on the blade.
- Simple, straightforward knife design with one design flaw
- 9″ Knife is practical size for utility or as a threat
- Design of blade
- Serrations are on cutting part of blade not on thick portion of blade
1. SE KHK6320 Outdoor Tanto Knife
This is small, inexpensive tanto bladed knife that comes with a corded handle and a nylon sheath. This would be the perfect starter knife for a boy or girl. This knife is simply a throwing knife (no handle) with a laced cord for a grip.
- Small size is easy to carry for young person or woman
- Protective nylon sheath
- Small size 7″ with a 3″ blade in a survival situation is a liability
- Gripless handle doesn’t function for extended use
Which Survival Knife Should You Buy?
Knives are a necessity for camping, hunting and yes surviving in the woods. A knife can protect the camp, prepare shavings for a fire, dress an animal for meat, or whittle away the time spent in the presence of mother nature.
All knives function to a lesser or greater extent and these knives all serve a purpose and would be appreciated in the wild and especially if bad weather moved in or an intruder either animal or human threatened the safety of those in your group.
While all of these knives function as intended and could be used for survival purposes, several deserve consideration, and I will add four of these knives to my knife collection. One of these knives needs to be in your car in that space between the front seats in case of an accident.
This knife makes the perfect Christmas present for dear friends and adult family members. This knife could save a person’s life and the lives of their family members. Next camping trip be prepared!
Click here to see which knife we bought!