How to Choose the Best Survival Knife

Best Survival Knifes

When you are camping, especially in the wilderness, there is a lot of the things you should have at your hand.

  • CLICK HERE to jump to 6 features your blade must have…

However, a good survival knife should be one of the most important pieces of the equipment that you carry. Why? The answer is really simple. A quality made and reliable blade can help you to make a number of vital tasks such as:

  • Food preparation.
  • Cutting of branches for firewood.
  • Obtaining material for shelter.
  • Construction of other sophisticated tools.

Therefore, a good knife is vital if you wish to survive in the wild, so here are some tips to take on board, when you need to choose one for your next hunting, fishing or camping expedition.

7 Must Have Features of Best Survival Knife

1. Choose Your Steel Wisely

Traditionally, two types of steel are used in the construction of survival knives:

  • Stainless – This one does not rust.
  • Carbon – It keeps its sharp cutting edge for longer time.

Both materials have their individual advantages as well as disadvantages (both are very strong). Carbon steel blades do have a tendency to be prone to rusting when exposed to damp conditions and hence significantly reduce its effectiveness over time.

2. Appropriate Length Between 6″ & 12″

At the same time you are selecting a specific material, you will also need to choose the right length. It is normal for most brands to have edges that range somewhere between 6 and 12 inches.

Pick one that is any shorter in length and you may not be able to do the things that you need to do while out in the wilderness, whereas blade longer than 10 to 12 inches may be a bit too cumbersome to carry around and carve detailed stuff, and it could limit rather than help you.

3. Always Choose a Fixed Blade!!!

By the way:

Here is list of top 10 blades that are best for outdoors survival!

There are some folding knives that can do a good job, however, for the most possible strength and durability, it really needs to be fixed, and this is the kind of knife you should choose as the best and only possibility!

4. Important!!! Choose Thickness Between 3/16″ or 4/16″

A lot of people often overlook the importance of the blades thickness when buying a proper one for critical situations. This can be a big mistake, as this feature can play an important role in its effectiveness.

According to the experts in this field, version that is either 3/16″ or 4/16″ is the one to buy. Knife that has the right thickness will be sturdy, solid and be almost indestructible, and will be a great help when you are out in the wilderness.

5. Comfortable Handle & Firm Grip

Solid Handle For A Survival KnifeSurvival knives have many different kinds of handles, and it is common for them to be made from hard, vulcanized rubber or a polymer. Most come with a solid handle, however, it is important to avoid purchasing blades that have hollow ones suitable for storing items, such as matches (this will make it much more fragile).

Some brands will have a compass in it for example, and whilst this is something that sounds like a smart idea, it could have the effect of loosening your grip, causing you to drop the knife more easily in emergency situation.

6. Full Tang Is Your Best Choice!

Knife With Full Tang
Click on the image to enlarge!

For those of you that are unfamiliar with the construction of knives, the tang is the part of the blade that is contained within its handle.

A product that has a full tang is much better than one that hasn’t, as this adds to its overall strength, and it will prevent from snapping when under pressure.

7. Practical & Durable Sheath

Additionally, you should give some consideration to the sheath before you make your purchase, as one that is well made will allow you to carry your blade safely and easily.

When looking to buy one, you need to consider a number of things, such as:

  • How are you going to be wearing it?
  • Where will you be strapping it?
  • Does it have lower & belt attachment?

2 Types of Survival Knives to Avoid at All Costs!!!

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Getting the Best Paracord Survival Straps and Bracelets

If you watch a lot of films, you have probably seen some on-screen heroes sporting some massive knives. Characters such as Rambo have been depicted carrying ones that are more like mini-swords than the sort of blade a survivalist would normally use.

  • Huge size – As we mentioned earlier, model that is too big is just going to be cumbersome and more of a hindrance. These may look impressive, however, they are not at all practical and there is no real reason why you should carry something that huge when out in the wilderness.
  • Hollow handles – Above all else, this tool should do the job that it has been made for, not for gimmicky things such as having room for matches and fish hooks! Be aware of the fact that if it has a hollow handle then it is going to deteriorate and damage much more quickly!

Keep in mind!

The last thing you need during crisis is for a knife to let you down!

My Extra Advice: Don’t Forget a Sharpener!

Good Portable Knife SharpenerEventually, even the best blades are going to lose their cutting edge, as continual use will eventually blunt them.

In order to keep them in a tip-top condition, you are going to need a good tool to sharpen its edge.

There are a lot of sharpeners on the market, however, if you are going to be out in the wild, you need to buy one that is lightweight and easily portable.

Last Words to Keep in Mind

Hopefully, this article has given you the kind of advice that you need in order to get the best possible knife for surviving in wilderness, and when doing so, make sure that you are able to inspect it closely. Parts that you should focus on should include the blade, the sheath and the handle.

Click Here to see top 10 models designed for survival!

Another method you can use to select the right brand for you is to check the internet for reviews of people that have purchased that particular model in the past. Selecting a good survival knife can make a big difference to your camping or hunting trip that you will wonder how you managed to do without it!

reddit thread on survival knives
Click on the image to see the most helpful thread about survival knifes on!

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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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  1. Thank you so much for this comprehensive guide on choosing the best survival knife. Up until this point, I always thought that a switchblade or folding knife would be the best option but after reading I now realize that having a fixed blade removes the variable of the blade snapping off; and after all with this type of purchase reliability needs to be near the top of the list!

  2. Personally I won’t go for anything but stainless steel in a knife. My father always told me: a knife that rusts is a knife that busts. I am willing to trade some of the utility of having a knife that might remain sharper longer for one that does not rust, although I definitely understand the argument for carbon and how it might be a better option for some.

    • It is interesting how material of a blade is preferred by some and rejected by others. I believe it is rather a personal choice. But hey, if you want to be sure that your knife will be working from longer perspective even in worse conditions that stainless steel is way to go if you have a sharpener with you.

  3. Just picked up a great knife from my local outdoors shop and didn’t even think to grab a sharpener. Do you have any tips on what to look for in a knife sharpener? There seem to be quite a few different types and I’m not sure what will work best for my needs. Thanks!

    • Hey Jake, that is really good point. I think you just gave me a great idea for new article! Thanks a lot!

  4. Had a knife snap on me because of a short Tang once and it left me completely stranded in the middle of a one-month camping excursion…I will never make that mistake again! I didn’t realize that it was even a variable until that situation, so I really appreciate you taking the time to explain to the uninitiated how important it is in terms of preventing issues that the Tang be long rather than short.

    • Hey Deb, that is really a really bad situation when tool that you rely on most breaks! Therefore always go for the full tang if you want to have truly reliable companion on your journeys through wilderness.

  5. With regards to blade thickness, I completely agree that the 3/16 is the overall best bet. Another important thing I would like to reiterate that this article already does a good job of explaining is the importance of deciding on the correct knife length.

    Buy a blade too short and you will lose a lot of the function available in longer blades, but if you go too long you can wind up with a machete that isn’t very helpful in the majority of survival situations.

  6. Don’t skimp on a good survival knife. They may cost more if you want quality, but they could end up saving you life.

  7. There is so much to know about knives that I didn’t realize! I am glad I found this site, it gives me real solutions and real facts, I don’t see that much any more online.

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