This time round, we went wild seeking the attention and protection of survival knives to find you the best survival knife in the current market. We spent 10 night time hours and 10 day time hours looking for the best size, shape, and sharpness available in current products. We were also minding your capacity, and no pricing went unanalyzed. After leaving no stone unturned for a whole season, we were able to come across the Schrade SCHF6 Extreme, with the appealing features anyone needs to survive in the most dangerous situation. This piece is highly effective and durable. The weight, sharpness, size, and shape are what you need for urgent approaches and ultimate defense.
Here is a list of the Best Survival Knife
* We've also listed the Best Survival Knife for Batoning, click here.
Table of Contents
- Here is a list of the Best Survival Knife
- Our Pick
- Our First Alternative
- A Folding Alternative
- Why You Should Trust Us
- Our Selecting Method
- Our Pick
- Flaws but Not Deal Breakers
- Our Alternative
- A Folding Alternative
- Importance of a Survival Knife
- Factor to Consider Before Purchasing a Survival Knife
- Fixed Blade vs. Folding Knives
- Straight Edged Blade vs. Serrated Blade
- The Rule-Out Game
- Our Pick
- Related Post
The Schrade SCHF6 Extreme
Rating: 4.5 / 5.0
This is a great survival knife in terms of design and, most importantly, performance. It’s light, easy to maintain, and durable.
An Overview of the Features
The handle of this knife has great grills that are rough enough to give you a nice, firm grip, but soft enough to prevent blisters. In addition, it is a durable stainless steel knife that you can camp with for as long as you want. The ultimate sharpness of this knife has surpassed that of any other knife with the same level of durability and firmness.
Note! This might not really be the sharpest fixed knife in the market, but bearing in mind that you are looking for other features apart from sharpness, not any other knife of its caliber outdoes its sharpness.
The polymer material with nylon strapping and a built-in sharpening stone make the entire knife sturdy enough for tough outdoor survival activities. You will also experience less hustles while sharpening this knife due to its smoothness, especially when using the right sharpening tools. With such richness in terms of features and convenience, we found the price tag really fair. On Amazon, you can one for only $57.84.
The first downside of this knife that I want to highlight is a common downside affecting most fixed blade knives. This kind of knife is not convenient to carry around in all areas, as they do not fold to a smaller size and shape like folding knives that have more flexibility.
In addition, the fixed blade knives are more expensive than folding knives in the market. The reason we are calling this a demerit is because it does not make sense to manufacture a knife that is less flexible with tag a higher price on it. However, as we walk through this article, you will realize that fixed knives are better than folding knives. There are several reasons as to why many outdoor customers are safer with fixed blade knives than folding knives.
Our First Alternative
Kershaw LoneRock Small Fixed
Rating: 4.7 / 5.0
This is a small fixed knife with convenience comparable to that of a folding blade and sharpness that will upgrade your hunting standards.
It comes with a nylon sheath offering better, safer carrying and storage. In addition, the sheath provides protection from rust and wear.
The small blade should not be underestimated due to its size. This small part is very sharp and should be used with caution or you may harm yourself accidentally. Hunters have been looking for this kind of sharpness in a knife for a very long time. If you are a hunter, you definitely want a knife that will save much of your energy by smoothly cutting and piercing through the animal’s skin.
With this piece, slaughtering is boiled down to a 10-15 minutes process. This is the part I enjoyed most. I have always looked for a knife that will save this much time, and I just found that quality in this knife.
Durability is well-covered in this knife. Firstly, the sheath enhances the level of durability by protecting the blade from potentially damaging external conditions. It is up to you to utilize this feature and enjoy this knife for a longer period.
Secondly, the blade is made of a steel material called 8Cr13MoV with a titanium carbo-nitride coating. This makes rusting and frequent sharpening out of question with top-class durability during the usage of your knife.
The grip offered by a knife is a crucial issue that requires attention. With this knife, your handle is reliable enough to eliminate confidence issues. The handle is made of glass-filled nylon with K-texture grip, boosting comfort and ensuring a firm grip There are also rubber areas to prevent slippage, even with sweaty hands. Long story short, this is the best knife in terms of the grip offered by the handle.
Comparison with Our Pick
There are several reasons why we did not select this knife as our pick. The sharpness level of the Kershaw is almost similar to that of the Schrade, but the major difference between these two knives is the size of the blade. The Schrade’s longer blade offers both advantages and disadvantages. However, with a short blade, the Kershaw too has its merits and demerits. This is the reason we decided to consider the two pieces, so that in case you don’t require a long blade, we have a short blade option for you as well.
With a longer blade, we found the Schrade better than the Kershaw because it has a wider range of activities that can be performed. You can easily cut through wood using the Schrade knife due to its long blade, while the Kershaw’s short blade will not allow you to do so.
A Folding Alternative
Kershaw Ken Onion Blur Folding Knife with Speed Safe
Rating: 4.8 / 5.0
For reasons that will be explained as the article unfolds, folding blade knives are not really the best for outdoor survival. However, they are convenient for hunters and those survivors that look for top-class convenience in knives. If you are always walking through thick forests and you do not require a knife for complex activities, then the Kershaw Ken Onion Blur Folding Knife with Speed Safe is the best knife for you. It was designed by the Ken Onion in collaboration with Kershaw.
The most interesting thing about this knife is the Sandvik steel. You need a blade that will be tough enough to withstand wear and tear and be able to hold its edge during everyday tasks and in the case of survival. The Sandvik steel was specifically chosen to make the blade because it offers outstanding strength and corrosion resistance.
The stainless steel is not prone to rust and staining, thus you are assured of a knife that will serve you for a long while. The black blur has a diamond-like carbon coated blade for extra corrosion resistance and enhanced looks, and the aluminum invested in the handle will enhance the durability and lifespan of your knife.
The Speed Safe
This is one of the features that led to us considering this knife over the other folding knives. It has a smooth and easy opening system. This is made possible by the torsion bar prevents your knife from being accidentally opened by external factors such as gravity. Also, the resistance of the torsion bar ensures that the blade does not snap shut, ensuring more safety when handling the knife. This technique assists one in opening the knife easily and quickly with a just a single manual push on the back or thumb stud on the flipper. Once you have ejected the blade from its handle, the knife’s torsion bar moves along a half moon back and takes over. Therefore, this technique does not only assure safety, but it conveniently allows easy and smooth one-hand opening.
A Reversible Pocket Clip
These clips help in increasing comfort and ease while carrying your knife around. The position of the clips determines how you carry the knife while in your pocket: either tip up or tip down. The pre-drilled holes designed onto the knife’s handle make it easy to change the size it carries or even tip position. They are perfectly compatible with the materials and style of this knife and are quite sturdy and easy to use.
Why You Should Trust Us
Personally, I have been an outdoor survivor for over five years now. When I got out there, I thought I would never figure out the survival tactics as the whole activity looked so complex. Later on, I realized that it is all about whether you have the right equipment or not. This is when I began registering hopes of survival. I have the experience of a new survivor and am aware of the questions you have in mind at the moment, but I’m also an old outdoor survivor and I know what professionals require.
Later on, I decided to specialize on survival knives because they are a major requirement for anyone who wants to shape up their outdoor experience. The whole research process is too demanding to be carried out by a single man, and I realized the importance of forming a research team. If you want accuracy within the shortest time possible, you will need to invest in an accurate and competent team. As a reliable team, we have been dealing with survival knives for the last three years. The research results that we have been coming up with have never disappointed our readers.
Over time, we have not only been conducting continuous tests and research, but also trying out various methods of research to get down to the most useful method. This has left us with accurate methods of analyzing and researching, which lead us to the most proficient verdicts. This way, we have the capacity to guide you towards the best decision you can possibly make. The conclusions drawn through our guidance end up leading our readers in the right direction, and we know this because we listen to their comments in search of any faults.
Our Selecting Method
Like in any other selection process we have been through, we prioritized the customer requirements. We did not only bank our hope in our experience but also external sources. It took us going through reviews of the most experienced external survivors and exchanging ideas in terms of the requirements in a knife.
According to our research, the qualities that everyone is looking for in a knife include a great grip. Grip and comfort while using a survival knife are directly related. Nice gripping allows consistence in your activity without any interference. You definitely do not want a situation where you have to stop in the mid of slaughtering or wood cutting in order to wipe your sweaty hands or create a firm grip. This is where the material of the knife’s handle comes in. We found this important to consider while making our research.
Secondly, the sharpness capacity of your knife’s blade is important. Personally, I thought having the sharpest knife in the market is the aim. However, with time I realized that too much of something is poisonous. You will purchase a long fixed blade knife whose sharpness is overboard, and the first person it will injure is you. Even with your knife in the sheath, the process of removing and returning your knife after use could cause a minor accident. If your knife is excessively sharp, it goes without saying that you will suffer some cuts. Remember these cuts could cause impacts as serious as transmission of infections, so you are advised to keep your knife’s sharpness level moderate.
Convenience is another issue we found most of our readers and other reviewers talking about. A bulky knife sometimes discourages you and is not as flexible as required. This kind of convenience in most cases concerns the size of the blade. Customers have proved small blade knives to be more convenient in terms of carriage as compared to knives with longer blades.
When it comes to convenience in terms of usage, the long blade knives are crowned. This led to classifying our customers into two groups: those requiring a short blade option and those requiring a long blade option.
What if you are a customer looking both types of convenience? We have a folding option for you. A folding knife is made convenient in both easy carriage and enough flexibility to allow you to work through thick and thin forests. The blade is of a good size and shape, meaning added convenience in terms of usage. However, as I mentioned earlier on, this time we had upgraded methods of research and we realized that the fixed blades are a lot better than folding blades. The reasons of distinction will be presented below the article.
After realization of the requirements, the rest of our time was invested in identification and testing of the survival knives in the market, taking up 80% of the research period. We tested the certified brands in the market and came up with useful data concerning the available pieces. We came across many products with positive reviews that failed to impress us during testing. This is probably because we were not settling for any less quality. Immediately we traced a letdown, and we had no choice but to withdraw it from the competition.
The Schrade SCHF6 Extreme
- 8.0" blade, 5.0" handle
- SAE 1070 High Carbon Steel blade and handle
- Polymer scabbard included
- 13.2 ounces
- TPR handle
This is the cream of the current market updates as per the critical specifications we were looking for. With this knife, I can assure you of persistence in any type of outdoor activity. The grip is awesome, the blade qualifies, and its convenience is of top-class level.
This is a product of the Tailor Brand, one of the manufacturers who have been producing stainless steel blade knives of high quality for a long time. This boosted our confidence in terms of the long-term durability. It has been a challenge over the years; many products tend to become defective and useless after a short period of service. This is not the case with Tailor Brand Products.
As we speak, the Tailor Brand products are utilized by outdoor enthusiasts, hunters, and both law enforcement and fire safety professionals. The company’s persistence in designing and distributing high quality products is worth offering a trial.
This knife features a stainless steel blade that is resistant to rusting and strong enough to cut through wood and any other hard object you wish to use the knife on. Sharpening this blade is easy and it responds well to a variety of sharpeners. After well sharpening the blade, the knife is ready to reduce your time and effort by 50% during slaughtering, cutting through wood, and other activities. Slicing highly depends on the capacity of your blade.
With an 8” blade, there are many activities you are capable of performing better with this knife than knives with smaller blades. Sometimes you want to hunt big animals such as deer. The possibility of quickly cutting through its skin, whether you are beheading it or skinning it, will be determined by the strength and length of your blade. This precisely means that with the strength and length of this knife’s blade, you will enjoy the benefit of saving time and piercing through animals and objects.
This is where we talk of the knife’s grip. If you want to assess the comfort of your knife, analyze the handle, the material used, and the expertise invested. If you concentrate on this knife’s handle, you will realize the top-class innovation invested here will settle for nothing less than your absolute comfort.
The handle is made of thermoplastic rubber. Rubber is the best material when it comes to gripping; rarely will you experience slipping with a rubber handle, even with sweaty hands. In addition, rubber is a poor conductor of heat, meaning you will not experience small burning accidents.
To strengthen the grip, the handle has patterns that resist movement within your hands. These patterns also help in the circulation of the air between your hands and the handle, making it easier to keep moisture away from sweaty hands. I tested this with hard wood and the knife registered 99% nonslip grip. The handle length is 3.5”, boosting the comfort while using your knife.
Just like any other awesome knife, this knife comes with a sheath made of polymer material with nylon strapping for carriage, storage, and protection. Durability of this knife is not only enhanced by the stainless steel in its blade, but also the protection of the included sheath.
In addition, the sheath has a feature that you will not find in any other knife in the entire market: a built-in sharpening stone for urgent sharpening needs. Sometimes you forget to analyze the sharpness of your knife before beginning your survival tactics. It has happened to me a number of times. In such a tricky situation, the most urgent thing need is a sharpening stone. Thanks to the Tailor Brand guys, I too do not have to waste time looking for a file or any other sharpening object in the field.
Other Awesome Features
Other criteria you may need to assess as an outdoor survivor include the weight of the knife. This knife’s weight is tolerable enough and will allow you to move around freely and stress-free. A heavy knife might put you off as performing activities will become cumbersome, but that is not the case with this great knife.
The design of the Schrade SCHF6 Extreme is great in terms of appearance and performance design. This is an attractive knife from the handle to the entire blade. The patterns on the handle make it look amazingly smart and classy. This is the only knife that will raise both performance and class at the same time. The blade has the required shape at the tip for great piercing, allowing you to penetrate through anything while performing your outdoor tasks. Personally, my hats are off for the manufacturers for such a great designing job.
Flaws but Not Deal Breakers
In this section, I offer you some tips for using this awesome knife and its appealing features. The major flaw you may experience while using this knife is the fact that it is not as convenient as the folding knives. It has a long blade which makes it stronger, but big and bulky, making it inconvenient to carry around for the sake of quick tasks, as well as limiting your flexibility.
However, the advantage of having the long blade is durability factor. The blade is highly durable and strong enough for complex outdoor tasks. You can easily pierce through wood and any other hard surface without any interference.
The Kershaw LoneRock Small Fixed
In case our pick is out of stock before you make your purchase, we, as usual, have an alternative for you. This Kershaw small bladed piece was well-tested and found to be ideal for outdoor survivors.
Apart from those that missed the opportunity of purchasing our pick, the piece is also recommended to those that prefer other features which are present here but absent in our pick.
This fixed blade knife has is specially featured to suit convenience. Its size is 3.2”, short enough to comfortably carry around, one of the advantages we talked about over our main pick. Additionally, a small blade is easier to sharpen than a long one. You will also find it easier to secretively attack while using a short blade instead of long blade.
The sharpness capacity of this knife’s blade will surprise you; it does not need to be sharpened frequently because the sharpness of this knife lasts longer than any other. The material invested has a titanium carbonate coating that protects the knife from corrosion, enhancing durability of the blade and thus the durability of the entire knife.
You’ll notice that the upper part of this knife’s blade is serrated. This means you could use it to slice hard meat or any other material instead of using the straight lower part of it. In the customer reviews, we found readers and users of this knife commending the manufacturers for this level of innovation and the usefulness of this feature.
The grip capacity determines how effective a knife is. If you are to enjoy ultimate comfort while working with your knife, the handle has to provide you with great gripping. There has to be proper material invested in creation of your knife’s handle, which is why this knife’s handle is made of rubberized K-texture material. This makes it easier to create and maintain a firm grip. Our research indicated that this knife boosts your level of comfort up to 40% higher than any other knife in the market.
This knife’s durability is top-class. The material invested in the knife is all-protective against the worst enemy: corrosion. The material has a carbo-nitride coating that is meant to lengthen the life of your knife’s blade. However, this highly depends on how well you take care of your knife. Do not expose your knife to corrosion stimulants and you will enjoy a long time of service.
As for the handle, the glass-filled nylon material is meant to protect your knife’s handle from agents of corrosion. There is grip enhancement material, rubberized K-texture, and there is glass–filled nylon material meant to increase the handle’s durability.
Comparison to our Pick
The biggest difference between this knife and our pick is the blade. The blade of every knife holds several factors, especially sharpness and size. Under the most important factor of sharpness, it was hard to tell which knife is better than the other as the difference is very minute. However, after a long-term test, we were able to perceive that our pick was slightly sharper than the Kershaw piece. When it came to the size of the blade, it is obvious that this knife has a smaller blade, which boosts its convenience. However, the smaller the blade, the weaker your knife is for performing complex outdoor tasks.
For example, unless it is chopping and sharpening, do not expect your knife to help you with any works of wood. The blade is worryingly weak and can break if overworked, especially on any hard surface.
Apart from the blade, this knife lacks other extra features, such as the sharpening stone that is sold along with the sheath of our pick.
A Folding Alternative
It is no doubt that the fixed knives are the best choice when it comes to survival knives, but for those who need flexibility and convenience, we have the right knife for you. There are many situations where a folding knife will be handier than a fixed blade knife.
We often have readers who are wondering which is the best folding knife. You simply do not want to walk around carrying a knife with a huge, long knife holster. Most people want something that is easy to hide could be a lifesaver in a dangerous situation. The fixed blade might be the choice for most people because of some of the shortcomings of the folding knife, but I can guarantee you that a folding knife will come in handy as well.
Among different types of folding knives, we chose to tell you about our personal best, the Kershaw Ken Onion Blur Folding Knife.
Kershaw Ken Onion Blur Folding Knife
The Kershaw Ken Onion Blur knife is designed by the Ken Onion in collaboration with Kershaw. This knife is the ultimate EDC (everyday carry) with some of the most outstanding features. This is mostly for the flexible knife lovers, especially the hunters. It is ideal for both getting tasks done and in a survival situation. Here are some of the outstanding features that make the Kershaw Ken Onion Blur the best folding knife:
You need a blade that will be able to hold its edge in the case of survival and in your everyday tasks, one that is tough enough to withstand wear and tear. The Sandvik steel is the material used to make the blade due to its outstanding strength and corrosion resistance. This is a rare and special feature giving us assurance of durability. The stainless steel is not prone to rust and staining, thus you are assured of a knife that will serve you for a long while. The black blur has diamond-like carbon coated blade for extra corrosion resistance and enhanced displays.
This knife has 6061-T6 anodized aluminum handle which is very light and very fade and scratch resistant. The anodizing process changes the microscopic texture of the aluminum’s surface, strengthening the aluminum and allowing the application of a porous coating or film, which will accept a dye. Anodic films last longer than other surface colorations. You don’t want to go around feeling as if you are carrying a brick in your pocket. This important feature guarantees you durability and portability, which are some of the most important features. Durability is guaranteed as the knife handle is made fade and scratch resistant.
In addition, the knife has a smooth and easy opening system. This is made possible by the torsion bar which works to prevent your knife from being accidentally opened by external factors such as gravity. As an added advantage, the resistance of the torsion bar ensures that the blade does not snap shut, granting you assurance of safety when handling the knife. The speed safe technique assists you in opening the knife easily and quickly with just a single manual push on the back or thumb stud on the flipper. Once you have ejected the blade from its handle, the knife’s torsion bar moves along a half moon back and takes over. Therefore, this technique does not only assure you of safety but it conveniently allows for easy and smooth one-hand opening.
Insert Liner Lock
There is a strip of stainless steel designed by Kershaw and riveted inside the handle, especially where the handle is made of lightweight material. This special feature ensures the blade is secured in place. This lock enables one to create a lighter and slender knife with the security of a good locking liner.
Reversible Pocket Clip
These clips increase comfort and ease while carrying your knife around. The position of the clips determines how you carry the knife in your pocket: either tip up or tip down. The pre-drilled holes designed onto the knife’s handle make it easy to change the size it carries or the tip position. They are perfectly compatible with the materials and style of this knife, in addition to being sturdy and easy to use.
Partially Serrated Blade
This enables cutting dense and thick material. It also makes the knife good for cutting through rope and wires without much struggle.
Made in USA
This fact that it was made by the prominent manufacturers in the United States gives one the confidence of owning a knife of superior quality. This means that they are of sufficient quality to perform the given tasks constantly.
The rough Trac-Tec material inserts provide a firm, non-slip grip even when in wet slippery conditions. Stated earlier are factors like the torsion bar and locking system, which also guarantee a good grip. Another factor worth knowing is this knife cannot be purchased by those under the age of 18.
Why Should I Go for It?
- Firstly, the curved blade offers dead-on slicing and piercing capabilities, thus ideal for multitasking.
- It has a diamond-like carbon coated blade for extra corrosion resistance and enhanced looks and durability.
- The Trac-Tec inserted on the handle offers you a solid grip even in wet and slippery conditions.
- The anodized aluminum increases resistance against wear and tear, thus increasing durability.
- The pocket clip is easily reversible and foldable, enhancing ease of portability.The knife length is ideal for day to day tasks and can be considered very reliable.
- It’s easy to fold and very portable due to being pocket-sized.
- Not expensive and has features worth your dollar.
- All the above are the reasons for you to purchase it right away.
The thumb studs may gouge your thumb once you have opened the blade. Constantly having to check whether the knife is open and stable beats the purpose of a survival knife if faced with danger. The pocket clip is really tight such that when you draw it from your pocket it will try to come along with it.
However, I have lived with these demerits for so long and I am sure you can stomach them too. I mean, there are worse in the market.
Who Is It Best Suited For?
If you possess any of the needs stated below, then this is the right knife for you.
If you are aiming for a knife that can be easily concealed, then this piece will not disappoint you. The reason for a survival knife is for safety at all times. This knife is easily concealed, making it the ideal folding survival knife with a pocket-friendly folding length.
In addition, if you need a knife that is easily portable I would recommend this knife. If you need a knife you can easily carry around with you in your day to day maneuvers, this is the knife for you. It has complex safety measures, such as an insert liner lock inside the handle and the speed safe opening system. These two features, in addition to its ability to fold, make it safe and light to carry around and easy to keep among your belongings.
It is also a knife to help accomplish everyday ordinary tasks. It will come in handy when your ordinary knife is out of reach as it easily washable after that and the blade material increases its resistance to wear and tear.
When you do not require a big blade, then you are in this bracket too. If the tasks you seek to accomplish are those that need precise detail, a short blade this is the knife for you. Things like carving a piece of wood or skinning a rabbit it will work effectively for you and come out with no damage to it.
Those who require one hand opening knives, for example fishermen and hunters are welcome. This is made possible by the unique opening system, which with just a single manual push on the thumb stud, the knife is removed from the handle and ready for use.
Importance of a Survival Knife
You might think that the survival knife is an ancient trend since you do not hear much about it. But let me guarantee you this: the survival knife comes in handy in so many unexpected ways. Here are some of the cases where you will not regret having a survival knife with you:
One of the common scenarios where a survival knife can come in handy during camping or if you find yourself lost in the forest. It is beneficial, especially when making your way through very thick and thorny thickets. With your survival knife in hand, you get to cut your way through the thickets to find a path to follow into the clear. It might not be as handy as having something like a machete or another bigger tool, but how many times do you find yourself carrying a machete around with you in your backpack?
This survival knife can also come in handy if you want to split wood for the fire place. If you have a knife with a strong sheath, you can insert the blade into the log and using something heavy, like a mallet, you pin it on the knife and split the wood. The knife proves completely useful for cutting wood if you get yourself stranded in the woods without better tools. A full tang with a flat edge is the best knife for this job, as it can handle the beating.
Another use of the survival knife would be in making a fire. During camping as scouts, one of the survival skills we were taught was to make a fire with just a camping knife, a stone, and a few logs or twigs of wood. You strike the stone hard enough with the knife enough to get sparks that can help generate a fire to cook and keep everyone warm. The knife again comes out as a great survival tool when one finds themselves without a lighter or matchbox. In addition, you can use it for striking your Ferro cerium rod when igniting tinder.
The survival knife is also used when making other tools, such as sharpening a stick to use as an arrow either in fishing or in self-defense against dangerous creatures. It is also useful when making ropes for survival.
During adventures, it comes in as an efficient tool when searching for or assembling a meal. It is great for cutting out edible parts of a plant or dissecting an animal. You will use it with ease when trying to cutting out limbs due to the sharpness and the thickness of the blade that make it easy to cut through tough surfaces.
It can also be used for sharpening your ordinary knife as its blade is made of indestructible material that is hard and sharp enough for this specific task. By running the blunt blade at a 30-40 degree angle against your survival knife continuously, within no time your ordinary knife is sharpened without causing any damage.
When you are for instance in a farm and you find yourself without tools for shallow digging, this knife will be a great solution. For example, it can be used to dig out products, such as some tubers like arrowroots or carrots. In addition, it can help in separating some products from their parent plants, such as removing fruits from their trees. The sharp, pointy tip also makes it possible to bore holes in the ground, making an effective gardening tool.
Your survival knife will ultimately be great for carving too. Because of its size, it will be easy to work due to its ideal length and the force applied makes it ideal for carving. It can carve on wood and other materials such as stone. You use it by pinning it on your carving surface and using a strong object, such as a mallet, to rigorously hit the sheath.
It also works very well when you are trying to pry things open. Having a thin blade, it can fit in well through cracks and its hardness can force open things without damaging the knife. Also, its pointy end can be used to loosen up screws and bolts, and because of its hard material, no damage is done to the knife.
With its sheath, one can use it to hammer things in place by slowly and gently hitting on the surface. The handles may be light, but they can withstand that level of pressure. It can be used for driving in stakes for shelters or snares.
It can also be used for protection against predators or dangerous people as it is sure to wound or injure when it comes into contact with them. Thus, it is a very important survival tool, especially for those treading in dangerous grounds. If dealing with a huge and dangerous animal, you can attach it to a long stick with a rope or tape to give you enough distance from the animal.
A survival knife is also used for cutting through ropes and tapes if you find yourself or something else bound by ropes or tapes. The thinness of the blade comes in handy and the hardness ensures no damage to the knife.
The survival knife tends to come through as an opener when you want to open up a canned tin, such as canned food, when one has no opener at hand. By exerting the right amount of pressure on the lid and using your hand as the pivot, it becomes easy to open up the can within no time.
It can be used to hold up things when you are short of things to holster your belongings.
It will act as a normal knife, even during kitchen tasks.. It will dice through food and after washing up and drying it, it will be good to serve you another day.
It is a very important tool when lost because it can be used in signaling. Helicopters patrolling the areas can be signaled by writing messages either on the ground or cutting out things that can be used to write messages. Writing a message on the snow or sand or a reflective surface could get you rescued when lost or in danger.
It is a very good hunting tool when searching for the next meal, especially if you are in the wild, as it can pierce through an animal’s skin easily and help with accessing live bait in hard to reach areas.
It is a great first aid tool due to its thin blade, sharpness, and steadiness, and it can be used to make cuts or incisions on an injured person without boring a hole. It is also very useful during cleaning of wounds and removing splinters.
Last but not least, when assembling things to create a shelter, it comes in handy by helping you cut through wood, cut ropes and tapes to join the wood, and to dig holes for planting the poles for your shelter.
Factor to Consider Before Purchasing a Survival Knife
Unlike most common world scenarios where bigger is always better, the same does not apply here.
When purchasing a survival knife, you do not want one that is too long, as it ends up getting in your way. You want one that will efficiently complete the tasks at hand, especially detailed tasks such as skinning or making curve precisions and snares on animals.
You also do not want one that is too short to do things like cutting and splitting wood by striking the back of your knife blade on something like a rock or rod.
So, what is the ideal size to go for? Having used a couple of knives, I have found the ideal length to be 9-11 inches in length. Anything beyond 10 or 11 inches is ultimately too long to be useful; it becomes too big to handle or carry effectively.
Many are tempted to buy a knife with a thin blade so as to cut down on the weight factor. However, this is not always the best choice; you want one that is going to be useful enough to carry out dynamic jobs. At one point you will find yourself using it to skin an animal and at another point using it to split wood. The latter would require a much thicker blade than the first task.
Another thing to watch out for is the bending of the blade, which is not a desirable trait, so you need some girth to the blade’s thickness. Hence, the ideal thickness in most cases to serve you best would be between 0.17 inches and 0.25 inches.
Most blades are either made of carbon steel or stainless steel.
Before choosing a blade, you need to make sure that the blade is tough enough to withstand wear and tear and keep its edge for as long as possible away from corrosion.
Let me take you briefly through the types of steel material you will trace and the advantages they come along with so you to make the right decision.
This type of steel is stronger than stainless steel, making it more suitable for chopping and cutting wood. It is also easier to sharpen and can be made extremely sharp.
However, one downside of the carbon steel material is that it rusts easily, so it is not as durable as stainless steel. Since it is prone to rust it requires constant wiping with mineral oil and hence requires a certain level of maintenance.
This material is more rust-resistant and thus more durable, but it’s less tough as it is difficult to sharpen. It is up to you to make the right decision. You know what suits your requirements best.
Fixed Blade Not Folding
A good folding blade is convenient for everyday carry, but in this case, we are seeking a survival knife and the fixed knife is the better pick. Imagine a scenario where you are required to withdraw your knife as fast as possible and charge forward with it, but the joint does not open completely.
You will want to keep a fixed knife with you if it’s a survival situation since the joint of a folding knife is part of its weakness. I am sure you will also want a knife that is readily available for chopping, prying, pounding and some of the other rigorous tasks mentioned earlier. Most folding knives cannot take a beating as compared to the fixed knives. Again, with factors like speed of deployment, you will end up preferring the fixed knife which does not need to be checked to ensure that it is properly locked before using, in comparison to the folding knife. That said, when speed and safety are essential, the fixed blade is the right blade for the job.
”Full tang” means the blade extends from the tip to the very end of the handle. This is important in providing the strength required in most survival situations. A full tang will enable you to exert greater pressure on the material being cut. If it has a partial tang, it will be too flimsy, especially in situations where you need to force it against a hard object. Another downside to the partial tang is the blades loosen and become very unstable, making them undesirable for long-term use. But if the same happens with the full tang, you have the option of wrapping the edge of the tang with cord or rope and continuing to use it. That considered, the longer the tang, the heavier the knife. However, in comparison to the tasks it accomplishes, the full tang is the better option.
The most important things to look for in a handle are strength, durability, and grip. You will need a handle that will hold up against normal wear and tear and using your knife for baton or prying objects.
The grip on the handle is very important because as a survival knife, it will be used in critical conditions. It is important to avoid the plastic or metal handles because their lack of density compromises the strength of the knife. You need indestructible material that will provide durability and a solid grip.
A straight edge is better for baton and carving of wood. In addition, it can be easily be sharpened which is essential in survival knives. The serrated blade will look like a better option in cutting rope or thin metal, but I can guarantee you that the straight edged knife will end up serving you better in most survival situations.
A good sheath that will fit your knife closely keeping it at safe and retrievable distance is worth searching for. A versatile sheath will enable you to place it anywhere you find comfortable and convenient.
Avoid curvy tips. Sharp pointed tips are the best as they will increase the knife’s stabbing ability. This is especially important in cases of defending yourself, hunting, or combat.
If you pay close attention, you will realize that our pick has all these specifications and added advantages. This is why I still stick to the knife to this day. The durability of my fixed blade makes me smile every time I think of my future in the hunting world. The strength of the blade has never disappointed me. Welcome to easy outdoor survival at a pocket-friendly price.
Fixed Blade vs. Folding Knives
The issue of fixed and folding blade was worth exploring during our research. At first, it seemed like an issue of preference. However, during our research, we found that there are factors beyond preference that may determine the type of knife you end up using. Today we want shed light to anyone who is still confused over the issue of fixed and folding blades. I want to help you realize that it is about more than just preference.
Many prominent online reviewers have been found to prefer this type of knife as compared to the folding blade. We had to go deeper in interviewing them, and from the feedback we got, there are several functional reasons as to why they prefer the fixed blade.
Firstly, the durability of this type of knife is top class and much higher than that of the folding knives. This is because the fixed blade knives are made of strong and sturdy steel. This way, they are designed to evade corrosion, even with little maintenance effort. Every outdoor survivor is looking out for such properties.
Secondly, being a blade that does not require a lot of movements and mixtures, the knife is strong enough to perform any type of hard outdoor task. You are capable of cutting through pieces of hard wood without any defects to your blade. With a small folding blade knife, these kinds of activities may lead to bending or even cutting of your knife’s blade. The fixed-blade knife does not limit you at all in the types of activities to engage in.
Thirdly, many fixed blade knives have a lengthy blade. This again brings about several advantages over a small blade folding knife. During your piercing activities, even while hunting, a long blade significantly shortens the amount of time spent. Skinning an animal with the long blade will be better than while using a short one, as protruding through the skin will be easier and faster. When dealing with wood, the desired depth may be limited by the size of your blade. Hence, you will require a long blade to effectively carry out such activities.
The last advantage is on the cost. Due to the technology invested in the folding knives, you will realize that their cost is slightly higher than that of the fixed blade knives. Manufacturing these knives is tricky as many manufacturers may choose to under-invest in the technology used. This creates pieces that are not effective with the folding feature. These are the only pieces you trace in the market at fair prices. Otherwise, a well-created folding knife will cost you nearly a fortune if you compare it to the price of a fixed blade knife.
As much as the fixed blade knife is praised in the market by reviewers and experienced outdoor survivors, they too have their downsides. These knives are not as convenient as the folding knives in terms of transportation. Carrying a fixed blade is quite harder than carrying a folding knife.
Folding blade knives have their upsides too. Their main appeal is convenience and safety, which is exactly what you lack in the fixed blade knives. Whenever you fold the knifed, its size is reduced by half, making it easy to carry as it is smaller and lighter. This is to the outdoor survivors who walk through thick and dangerous forests.
The knife is easy to eject from your pocket and begin using. However, that depends on the type of technology invested in the particular knife; some have complicated folding features and may be difficult to eject. You must be aware of how easy it is to fold and unfold your knife.
We were also capable of perceiving an extra advantage of the folding knife over fixed blade knife on the blade. Some of the folding knives appear to have a long and strong blade, making them as strong as a fixed blade. With that kind of strength, then you can perform complex tasks with your folding knife. However, this kind of knife will cost you a fortune.
For the experienced and new hunters in the market, the knife is more than just comfortable to work with. With a folding knife, there’s no need to carry a sheath and you have all you need to perform your tasks, especially if you hunt small animals that do not require the strength and length of a fixed blade knife.
The design of the folding knives is another of its strengths over the fixed blade knives. With the technology invested and the small size of the knife, a presentable, attractive design automatically chips in. This makes your knife presentable and classy, as compared to the fixed blade knife, which is just a solid piece of steel.
This type of knife also has its downside. With the small blades, the knife is not stable enough for tough outdoor activities, so you will need to do fewer complex activities with this type of knife. That is the reason many people who purchase this knife and offer positive reviews about it are found to be a large percentage of hunters. They find the knife convenient and strong enough for their meat chopping activities. Otherwise, as a wood cutter, you will definitely prefer the single fixed blade as your survival knife.
With the above facts about the folding and the fixed blade knives, you are now capable of choosing your stand. Analyze your activities and identify the type of knife that will suit them effectively. I have met some of my readers who choose to purchase the best fixed blade knife and the best folding knife for ultimate outdoor performance. Well, this is a great idea if you can afford it. You will be able to enjoy the features found in both fixed blade knives and the folding knives together. However, to those who are not able or willing to invest all the money in the outdoor surviving sector, evaluate your activities keenly to identify the type of blade you require.
Straight Edged Blade vs. Serrated Blade
There has been a constant debate about the straight edged blade and the serrated blade. My readers have also tried to seek information regarding the same issue. I decided to offer my research results regarding the same.
If you check around, many proficient outdoor survivors use the straight edged knives. This is definitely because of concrete reason, instead of preferential reasons which many think. The straight edged knives have a flat and straight blade, with extreme sharpness that is easily achieved.
Applying the sharpness in activities is also simplified by the fact that it has no serrates, making it smooth while cutting and slicing.
Skin and object penetration is easily achieved while using this type of blade. Hence, for the hunters and other outdoor survivors that require a smooth and swift knife operation, I would highly recommend this kind of blade. This knife is also the best partner for any type of activity that requires push cuts, including activities like shaving, cutting fruits, and chopping wood.
Completely Serrated Blade
This kind of blade is fantastic for slice cuts, which is the cut used when a material requires you to cut by pushing the blade back and forth. For hard meat and any other tough material, the knife will not disappoint you. However, you will rarely come across a fully serrated knife with a long and strong blade. Most of them have short blades which are always weak and mostly ineffective in complex survival tasks. While cutting, it helps by grinding the tough material, be it meat or any other type of material, making it the most useful blade as compared to the straight edged knife.
Partially Serrated Blade
The manufacturers later noted that what is present in the serrated knife is nonexistent in the straight blade and whatever you find in the straight blade will not be present in the serrated blade. Hence, they decided to steal the customers by creating a knife that will offer you the serrated services and those of the straight blade.
This was a great plan. In fact, we had some of these types of knives tested in our selection method, but it did not work out well. This is because the blade of a normal knife is too small to be utilized as the two types at the same time.
If you want a straight blade, you want a long blade to execute your task effectively. If your blade is halfway straight and halfway serrated, it might not chop or cut as deep as you wish. Fort this reason, many customers decided to stick to one type of blade. Others find it better to purchase two separate knives, one straight and one serrated, which is probably the best idea for those who are seriously into the outdoors.
However, if you are not ready for such spending, just stick to your most urgent knife as per your requirements. Analyze them one by one and find out the activities that you will be mostly exposed to in order to identify your primary blade. Purchase it first and later on you can pop in the other one.
The Rule-Out Game
As usual, we create this section for the sake of readers who wonder why we eliminated other popular products in the market. There is definitely a rational reason as to why we withdrew them from consideration and you will read them below.
Morankniv Companion was a very attractive, small, fixed blade knife. It was sharp enough and the length of the blade was the small size we were looking for as an alternative. However, the Kershaw outdid this knife, as it had the upper part serration on its blade. This knife lacked this and became less convenient as compared to the Kershaw piece. It also had carbon steel on the blade which does not have great history in terms of durability.
In the market, everyone was talking about the Cold Steel Leatherneck SF. This almost became our pick until we traced a flaw. The Leatherneck is cool and presentable, but the fact that the coating on the blade of this knife is carbon coating led us towards withdrawing the piece. It is true the carbon is effective in terms of durability as compared to any other coating, but it subjects your knife to quick blunts, meaning you will spend a lot of time sharpening your knife. This is definitely opposite of what we were looking for as our pick.
SOG Seal Pup Elite was suggested by one of my group members as a nice piece, but we still found some flaws that pushed us away. The serrated upper part actually beats our Kershaw alternative. However, the clip connected to its blade was found to be a big magnified threat as it can cause it to break easily.
KA-BAR Becker 22 Companion failed to offer us a firm grip in the process of testing the knives. The handle did not have the right coating and slipping was easy especially with sweaty hands.
The Buck 119BR Special Fixed Blade has a blade that is big enough and top class sharpness but the blade did not have a firm grip. This caused automatic withdrawal from our list.
The Schrade SCHF6 Extreme
This is the best of the current market updates as per the critical specifications we were looking for. With this knife, I can assure you of persistence in any type of outdoor activity. The grip is awesome, the blade qualifies, and its convenience is of top-class level.
This is a product of the Tailor Brand, one of the manufacturers who have been producing stainless steel blade knives of high quality for a long period, and this boosted our confidence in terms of long-term durability. Products becoming defective and useless after a short period of service has been a challenge over the years, but this is not the case with Tailor Brand Products.