Cold Steel SRK – The Best Survival Rescue Knife?

cold steel survival rescue knife

In survival situations, you need a knife that you can rely on, and the Cold Steel SRK can get the job done.

Durable with a sure grip, this model can tackle most outdoor tasks from splitting kindling to skinning, delimbing and chopping up food for a campfire dinner.

Is the SRK really the best survival rescue knife? Let’s find out.

The Cold Steel Brand – Facts You Need to Know

cold steel company info

Cold Steel was founded over 30 years ago, and over the years, the company has changed the industry in quite a few ways. The company developed new blade steels, including the San Mai III and the Tri-Ad Lock locking device for folding knives.

This brand is constantly looking for new ways to innovate and change the industry. And their knives have a reputation for being the sharpest and strongest in the world. Now that you know a little bit about producer and the quality of their blades, let’s dive right into our review of the SRK.

My Analysis of 4 Main Features

1. Stainless Steel 6″ Blade with Black Tuff-Ex Finish

cold steel srk blade

This model has a beautiful black blade that’s 5mm thick and 6” in length. It’s made with AUS 8A stainless steel and features a black Tuff-Ex finish. This finish is a non-stick coating that protects from the elements.

Pay attention:

The SRK has a fixed blade, so don’t expect to carry it in your back pocket without a proper sheath!

2. Special Rat Tail Tang

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The SRK is full tang. I do want to note one thing, though: the blade runs the length of the handle, but not its width. This is what’s known as a “rat tail tang”. Technically, it’s still full one, and if the handle breaks, you can still use it as intended!

3. Kray-Ex Handle with Quillon Finger Guard


The handle on this knife is soft but sure. It’s 4 3/4” long, black in color, and features the brand’s unique Kray-Ex material. This is a product that feels good in your hands, and the checkered Kraton grip is surprisingly comfortable. It also features a single quillon finger guard.

The only issue I have with it is that you can’t use it as a hammer. Many other survival knives offer this, but the model we discuss here does not. Aside from this one minor drawback, the handle is solid and the grip is fantastic. It definitely won’t slip out of your hands.

4. Black & Durable Concealex Sheath

cold steel srk concealex sheath

The SRK does come with a Concealex sheath. Like Cold Steel’s Kydex, this one is flexible, tough and resistant to impact and solvents. It features numerous loops and holes around the edges, so you can hang the knife on your belt, backpack or wherever you please.

The knife locks into it via friction. It’s a very tight fit at first, but removing and storing it a few times will break it in. Some users say they had a hard time getting used to this type of sheath, but I personally never had a problem with it. It’s comfortable and easy to clip onto my belt!

Field Test – What Use Is SRK Good for?

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What is this model good for? Cold Steel markets it as a survival product. In fact, that’s what SRK stands for (Survival Rescue Knife). It’s a tough blade, and often used by military personnel and Navy Seals.

Keep in mind:

Its clip point is strong, which makes it great for delicate work. At the same time, it’s tough enough to handle slashing, cutting and skinning with ease!

6 Pros vs. 2 Cons


  • Tough checkered, non-slip grip
  • Full tang, fixed blade for the utmost in durability
  • Non-stick blade coating for protection from the elements
  • Lightweight
  • Comes with a comfortable sheath
  • Sturdy with a strong clip point


  • Sheath is very tight at first
  • Can’t be used as a baton or hammer


While the SRK isn’t ideal for hammering or use as a baton, it’s still a strong, sturdy blade that’s incredibly sharp. And when you’re in a survival situation, you need a knife you can rely on.

My Comparison of Cold Steel SRK with 4 Other Models

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This is a great knife, but how does it compare to other models on the market?

1. Versus Fallkniven A1

Fallkniven A1 blade

The Falkniven A1 is another respected knife good for survival. Its blade is slightly larger than the SRK at 6.375” and it’s a bit heavier at 12.8 oz. (in comparison to 8.2 oz.).

The A1’s handle is also checkered for a sure grip, but it’s a little on the short side. It’s full tang too, so it’s extra durable.

See Our Detailed Review Here

My opinion:

Both products are right on par in terms of durability, stability and performance. But the A1 is more than double the price and does not offer the same protective coating on the blade.

2. Versus Buck 119 ($93.00)

image of Buck 119 special

The Buck 119 is more budget-friendly than the SRK, but doesn’t offer the same great features. For starters, the handle is smooth and phenolic, which means it can easily slip from your hands in greasy or wet situations. It’s lighter in weight and offers the same blade length.

Buck is a trusted name in the industry, but the 119 simply cannot compare to the SRK. For one thing, the 119 isn’t designed for emergency or tactical purposes. It’s designed for hunting or camping. That being said, the 119 is half the price!

My opinion:

The 119 is a great knife, but the other models handle is sturdier and easier to grip. As far as the blade is concerned, the SRK is designed for tactical and survival, while the 119 is designed for everyday use and hunting.

Learn more about this model & its price here…

3. Versus Becker Campanion BK2 ($127.24)

Becker BK2 Campanion

The Becker Campanion BK2 is similar to the SRK as far as design is concerned. It features the same protective blade coating and the grip is solid. The BK2 has a fixed full tang with a 20-degree angle edge and is made from 1095 cro-van steel. The blade is about a half inch shorter at 5.5”.

See Our Detailed Review Here

As you may have guessed, the Campanion BK2 is designed for camping and outdoor enthusiasts. It’s durable, lightweight, and great for splitting kindling, skinning or cutting food.

My opinion:

Both knives are in the same price range and similar in terms of quality, performance and reliability.

4. Versus Kabar USMC ($123.47)

USMC Ka Bar knife

The Kabar USMC uses the most famous design in the world. Made from 1095 Cro-van steel, its blade is tough, sharp and durable. Its grip is leather, but features a unique design that’s slip-resistant. The SRK’s grip is a bit more reliable, but the USMC’s design is more appealing!

See Our Detailed Review Here

My opinion:

The USMC’s blade is 7” long with a straight edge. This is a marine corps fighting knife and a rat tail tang. This model is right on par with the SRK, and both are in the same price range

Official Price of $134.99 & Best Deals Available

The SRK retails for $135 on its official website, but you can purchase this very same model on various websites for much cheaper price:

  • – Official price of $134.99!
  • – Best deal, just $69.98 (as of 03/08/2015 12:53 PST Details)!
  • – Discounted offer of $92.30!
  • – Free shipping with price of $106.88!

Keep in mind:

I’ve yet to find another retail or online store that offers even cheaper price!

My Verdict

The survival rescue knife is worth every penny! With a full tang, sharp blade, reliable grip and durable design, this is the model you want by your side in a critical situation.

From splitting kindling to skinning game, it can tackle most outdoor jobs with ease. The checked grip prevents slips and accidents in wet or greasy situations.

Get Yours HERE

Keep in mind:

Its generous-sized blade makes this model a great option for your outdoor adventures. I highly recommend the Cold Steel SRK to anyone looking for a reliable, durable survival knife!

About Jim Worthersky

Hi, my name is Jim and my motto to live by is: Hope for the best while prepare for the worst. My hobbies are swimming, hiking, hunting, scouting & crafting.

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