11 Reviews of Small Survival Knives

Survival Knives

Sometimes, you don't have the room or the need for a large survival knife. The convenience of a smaller knife for everyday carry makes it a great option to have in your arsenal.

Small survival knives are also common to have around as a backup due to the small amount of space they take up. We list 11 small knives in a variety of small sizes.

If you find one you want to know more about, check out the full review or watch the video review posed with the knife!

11 Reviews of Small Survival Knives

1. RSK MK6

Despite the shortcomings, I am still enthusiastic about the RSK Mk6. It feels solid and the thickness inspires confidence.

We will see how that translates into real-world performance once I am able to get some field time with it.

RSK MK6 Video Review

2. Folts Minimalist Bowie

One very nice feature of the knife is that it is 11″ of solid stainless steel and there are three holes in the handle or tang.

Screen shot 2014-03-07 at 8.03.04 AM

This lends the knife to be purposed as a spear for fishing or hunting, something you might have to do in a survival situation.

Folts Minimalist Bowie Video Review

3. RSK MK5

It is a simple, lightweight, and inexpensive backup knife that would work perfectly well as a cutting tool in an emergency situation.

Screen shot 2014-03-07 at 8.09.02 AM

It could be bigger, fancier, and finely hand-finished, but that would make it totally another knife at a very different price point.

4. S.P.E.W. Knife

If you’re looking for an all-purpose utility knife, this probably isn’t the blade you’re looking for (mainly because of the tip).
Screen shot 2014-03-07 at 8.29.39 AM
Read the full review 

But if you’re looking for a good, low-price everyday carry defense weapon; I have no problem recommending the S.P.E.W. It is easily concealable and is a great little self-defense weapon.

S.P.E.W. Knife Video Review

5. Folts Minimalist Wharcliff

The ergonomics are fantastic. It’s a compact blade that fits the hand like nothing else.

Screen shot 2014-03-07 at 8.35.44 AM
Check out the full review here.

I’d love to see this in a slightly better steel, like say some 440C, but the 5Cr13MoV is actually holding up really well, and for less than $20 shipped to my door, this was really a no-brainer.

Minimalist Wharcliffe Video Review

6. Becker BK-13

As an everyday carry knife, it performed admirably. The hollow ground blade held its edge very well.

I used it to open packages, scrape paint, as a pry bar, and whittle on ash sticks while sitting on the back porch.

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I carried it as a neck knife most of the time and I’m pleased to say that it’s so light you don’t know it’s there.

The knife and sheath barely leave an imprint, even under a T-shirt.

BK 13 Video Review

7. Boker Steel Mariner

This lightweight knife is the perfect size for a small knife to keep around.

Screen shot 2014-03-07 at 9.15.17 AM

It is popular with divers due to its lightweight handle and nicely functioning sheath.

Boker Steel Mariner Video Review

8. Cold Steel Roach Belly

The Cold Steel interpretation of this knife is a nod to the Black Powder Community, which has continued to appreciate the Roach Belly’s economy, versatility, and effectiveness.
Screen shot 2014-03-07 at 9.28.05 AM

The Cold Steel Roach Belly retains the profile of the original but incorporates the latest in modern materials for its construction.

The hollow ground blade is made of 4116 Krupp Stainless, expertly heat treated to Rc 56-57, and given a fine sharp edge that’s easy to maintain.

Cold Steel Roach Belly Video Review

9. Myerco Warning Folding Knife

Overall the Wharning performed well. Cutting boxes, tape, and wrap well. The tip control was great. The ease of resharing is excellent.

Read the full review here.

Edge retention isn't great, the grips need to be a bit rougher, and jimping for the thumb will have to be added yourself. For $17, the Warning is a bargain even with its deficiencies.

Warning Folding Video Review

10. Cold Steel Scimitar Spike

 If you're more inclined to the “standard” knife shape then this knife is a good choice.


Thinking out of the box, it could be tossed in BOB due to its small size and weight but again, that depends on what you'll use it for. 

11. Izula II

Overall, great little fixed blade with a bit of a lame sheath, which is very often the case. Why knife companies find it so hard to produce a standard kydex sheath is beyond me.

Read the full review here.

I'm planning on picking up a decent aftermarket Kydex sheath, which should resolve the troubles mentioned above. If you're particular about sheaths, I plan on getting one too. 

Izula II Video Review

15 Small Fixed Blade Knives

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Editor's Note: This article was originally published on March 10, 2014, and has been updated for quality and relevancy.

3 Responses to :
11 Reviews of Small Survival Knives

  1. Mark says:

    I would add the following
    Buck 679 and 673 series
    Ontario Knife Rat 3
    Schrade Sharp Finger
    Schrade SCHP14
    Morakniv Companion and Robust

  2. Smoke Hill Farm says:

    Some good, usable tools here, but I found a rather remarkable bargain at a local Dollar Store, quite unexpectedly.
    As I wandered past their kitchen supplies, I saw a small knife with a hard plastic sheath, being sold as a paring knife. After looking it over I bought one and took it home to play with. It’s cheap steel, with a cheapie, quickie sharpening job, but it’s actually a decent utility knife for most chores — and I figure that having a bunch of extra knives around could be useful, especially if I have to “arm” some added friends or neighbors in a local defense situation.
    This knife (no name on it) has a full tang molded into the well-shaped plastic handle, and it fits securely into the skeleton sheath. I put a much better edge on one of them and will probably play with using floor wax or car wax to protect what is probably not great steel.
    I went back and bought ten more, and will stash one or two in each vehicle, and a few here and there in the house. I don’t always have a fixed-blade on my belt everywhere I go, so one of these could come in handy in an unexpected emergency. How far wrong can you go for ten bucks worth of knives?
    Might actually be a handy paring knife, too, with a good edge on it. The sheath should keep it from getting dull by banging around against the forks & spoons in the dish drainer.
    For budget preppers, the Dollar Store chains can be a handy place to pick up supplies & equipment.

  3. de Lombaerde says:

    Regarding knives, it is important to remind that keeping it clean and dry after use is a key factor to keep the blade sharp.
    Best regards
    Yves de Lombaerde

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