Which Survival Knife Should I Buy?

Which Survival Knife Should I Buy?

Being a successful survivalist means focusing on building your skills and having the right gear, especially a good survival knife.

So which survival blade should you buy?

We’re glad you asked.

How to Choose the Right Survival Knife

Before we give you our top survival knife recommendations, there are specific features to look for when investing in a knife. Here's what to consider:

1. Size

First things first – size really does matter here, but bigger isn’t always better.

Because your survival knife might end up acting as an all-purpose tool when SHTF, you want something that isn’t too short or too long.

Too short, and you won’t be able to use it for rugged tasks, like chopping or batoning (when you strike the back of the blade with a heavy object to get through wood).

If you go too long, you’ll struggle with detailed tasks like carving or dressing small game.

You need a good compromise; something with a 5 to 7.5 inch blade.

2. Fixed Blade vs. Folding

Folding blades are your best friend when it comes to EDC.

However, when it comes to survival, fixed blades are king. You need something super sturdy, especially for rugged work or defending yourself against wild animals, and the joint of a folding blade ultimately becomes a weakness here.

3. Full Tang

Speaking of sturdiness, a full tang survival knife is your best bet. While there’s a special place in the world for blades with a rat-tail, push, or half tang, when it comes to survival knives, you want the security of a full tang.

Even if the handle breaks or wears off over time, you can continue to use the blade by making a DIY grip with paracord.

4. Blade Design

Let’s face it – you’re going to get far more use out of your survival knife if you pick the right blade design.

Even though hooked, angled, and rounded tips are rather popular (and have their uses), you want a sharp-pointed tip. Many survivalists prefer a spear point tip, but other sharp-pointed designs do the job just as well.

5. A Flat Ground Spine and Single-Edged Blade

Double-edged, dagger-style blades might look cool, but they’re not very good for survival.

With a single-edged blade – especially one with a flat ground spine – you can use your survival knife to strike your fire-starting ferro-rod and batoning. You can also use the spine as a thumb rest, which isn’t possible (and even dangerous) with a double-edged blade.

Best-Choice Survival Knives

While there are a few other optional factors – such as a hollow saber grind and high carbon steel, both for durability and ease of sharpening – you should now have a good idea of how to choose the best survival blade.

Of course, you’re still going to be spoiled for choice even with these metrics. So to help you out, here are our best-choice survival knives:

Ka-Bar Becker BK2 Campanion – one of the most popular models on the market, tried and tested by literally thousands of users

Sale
KA-BAR Becker BK2 Campanion Fixed Blade Knife, Carbon Steel
  • Full tang heavy duty field knife suited for camping chores.
  • Made in Olean New York, U.S.A
  • Designed by Ethan Becker

Gerber LMF II Infantry – as a military-grade survival blade, the Gerber LMF II Infantry might not be the best chopping tool or camp knife, but it makes a great utility blade.

Sale
Gerber Gear LMF II Infantry Knife - 10" Partially Serrated Fixed...
  • QUALITY CRAFTED: Features a partially serrated fixed blade that doubles as a pommel, lashing holes for use as a spear, low-profile sheath with...
  • SURVIVAL GEAR AND EQUIPMENT: Made with a high carbon stainless steel blade and MOLLE-compatible sheath that will stand the test of time and...
  • SLIM DESIGN: Fits compactly into low-profile sheath and your daily routine; Sheath leg straps allow for seamless adaptation to any situation

Gerber Strong Arm Military Knife – similar to the above model, the Gerber Strong Arm Military Knife is another great option for a small utility blade.

Gerber Gear Strongarm - Fixed Blade Tactical Knife for Survival...
  • Full Tang Tactical Knife: The plain edge, full tang 420HC steel blade on this Gerber Gear StrongArm knife is corrosion resistant and ideal for...
  • Rubber Grip Camping Knife: With a rubberized diamond-texture handle, you'll experience optimal control even in wet conditions; great for your camping...
  • Military Grade Knife with Versatile Sheath: The MOLLE-compatible sheath allows multi-mount options; perfect for securely storing your knife

Ka-Bar Becker US Marine Corp Fighting Utility Knife – a world-famous, somewhat legendary combat knife that makes a great heavy-duty survival knife

Sale
KA-BAR Full Size US Marine Corps Fighting Knife, Straight
  • Edge Angles - 20 Degrees
  • Overall length 11.875 inches
  • The most famous fixed blade knife design in the world

Fallkniven A1L Survival Knife – the name says it all: this is a blade made for survival

Sale
Fallkniven A1 Fine Edge Fixed Blade Knife, Black
  • Blade material: lam. Vg10
  • Blade length: 160 mm
  • Total length: 280 mm

Buck Model 119 Special Survival Knife – this one’s been a classic survival knife since 1945 and makes for one impressive tool

Sale
Buck Knives 119 Special Fixed Blade Hunting Knife, 6" 420HC...
  • Razor Sharp Blade - 6" 420HC steel blade has excellent strength, edge retention, and corrosion resistance for lasting durability. The blade is good...
  • Comfortable Grip & Balance - Traditional black phenolic handle has palm swells for a comfortable grip. The aluminum pommel/guard provide the perfect...
  • Durable and Multi Use - Meant to withstand even the toughest conditions and stay sharp for long. Great for hunting, camping, bushcrafting, fishing,...

Ka-Bar Becker BK7 Combat/Utility Knife – perfect as a lightweight survival blade capable of heavy-duty use

Sale
KA-BAR BKR7-BRK Combat Utility , Black, 7-Inch
1,573 Reviews
KA-BAR BKR7-BRK Combat Utility , Black, 7-Inch
  • Combat utility
  • Category name: knives
  • Made in USA or imported

Do you have a favorite survival blade in your pack people should know about? Let us know in the comments!

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Editor’s Note – This post was originally published on October 16, 2019, and has been updated for quality and relevancy.

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