If you ever get into a fix –truck gets stuck in a ditch, you get lost in the woods, the apocalypse hits –the one thing you will be glad to have by your side is a decent survival knife. Say what you may but sometimes life doesn’t give a warning especially if you are in the wilderness.
Whether you are out camping, fishing or hunting getting the best survival knife can quickly get you out of a rut. Sometimes it could even make the difference between life and death.
With that being said, we scoured the internet in search of the best deals, and the best quality survival knifes available. Here is what we settled for as our best pick.
Winner: Gerber Strong Arm Military Knife
First of all, it’s built for combat and boasts of a full tang which is a plus for any reliable survival knife? After all, Gerber is a renowned survival knife manufacturer and Strong Arm Military Knife is by far one of their best tactical knives.
Top Pick’s By Expert Review
|Gerber Freeman Guide||
|Esee Eslsp-Brk Laser Strike||
|Ka-Bar Becker BK2||
|Gerber Prodigy Survival||
|Cold Steel Recon 1||
Top Pick: Gerber Freeman Guide Folding Knife
Since the 1930s Garber has been one of the biggest American utility knife manufactures. Its survival knives have been carried by hunters soldiers and tradesmen alike thanks to their build quality.
This knife was created with one purpose only and that is to be a utility knife for hunters and survivalists. With its 4 inch blade, this knife offers a convenient portable design thanks to its folding application. The knife is designed with grooves large enough for a comfortable and firm grip in any weather.
Yes, this knife is built to be a survival knife, however, at its performance level, it can be used for pretty much for anything. From cutting a branch to cleaning a fish after a catch, this knife has the tolerance to match it all. Its lightweight design tucks neatly in your pocket ready for any survival-related task. And it’s affordable.
- Portable lightweight design
- Large grooves for a comfortable grip
- Multipurpose functionality
- Stiff blade lock at times
2nd Recommendation: ESEE ESLSP-BRK Laser Strike
ESEE is a renowned brand in the survival knife manufacturing industry. However, the ESEE Laser Strike Fixed Blade Knife is a somewhat unusual survival knife.
It features a pointed blade as opposed to the standard drop point design that most survival knives are known for. Even with a spear point blade design, this knife is still a favorite among survivalist. The spear point blade is made from 1095 high carbon tool steel and a corrosion resistant black coating. This is a tough knife as it rocks a Rockwell Hardness of 55-57 HRC enabling it to hold its edge in tough tasks without any problem.
Thanks to a very comfortable handle, this knife provides you with a non-slip grip that is simply indestructible. You can use this spear point blade as a utility knife when piercing or skinning game out in the woods. No matter the condition this survival knife will handle it easily thanks to a molded Kydex sheath on its handle for extreme toughness and water resistance.
- Comfortable non slip grip
- Thick hardy blade for survivalists
- Decent weight for portability
- Durable build quality
- Blade might be too thick for some users
Fixed Blade Knife: Fallkniven A1 Fine Edge
Any survivalist looking for a serious knife knows that the Fallkniven A1 Survival Knife is no joke. Even with its modest civilized design, it is a premier example of Fallkniven’s commitment to producing high-quality survival knives.
Fallkniven A1 Survival Knife comes with a 6.3-inch point blade knife made from VG-10 stainless steel plus a lamination of 59 HRC Rockwell Hardness for an extremely strong survival knife. The handle is made of Kraton rubber that is designed to offer a non-slip grip and an integral finger guard as well.
This knife is simply one of the best choices for a survival knife as it tends to hold its edge in the wilderness. Whether it involves extricating yourself from a tied down position or chopping branches to make a makeshift shelter, this knife will get you through it fast. The peaks at the end of the handle can even be used to break glass when a need arises. With a well-balanced design, this knife’s razor-sharp knife will give you more than you can expect.
- Quality rubber handle for a non slip grip
- Finger guard for safety
- Stainless steel blade
- Stainless steel blade
- Brittle blade in some instances
Fixed Blade Knife: Ka-Bar Becker BK2 Campanion
The last thing you need when in survival mode is a bulky tool that gets in the way. That is why the Ka-Bar Becker BK2 is one of the most popular survival knives you will find. It boasts of a compact portable build with a fine edge that will tough it out in the wild.
With a 5.25 inch blade made from non-stainless, high carbon 1095 Cro-van steel, this knife’s blade is a must-have for survivalists. It has a point blade design that is reinforced with a Rockwell Hardness that has a deep saber grind meant to stay sharp and strong for long. The handle’s ergonomic design is ideal for a moisture-free grip thanks to a feature impervious to moisture absorption.
If you are a survivalist looking for durability, this knife provides one of the most reliable options. It can be a great survival tool for collectors as well. Why, well, its affordable price and attractive while still being a decent utility knife as well. It can also perform a range of tasks ranging from skinning game to cutting ropes and straps during a hike.
- Full tang design for heavy duty tasks
- A nylon sheath is included
- Features a heavier blade
- Sharp and durable design
- Might be a bit big for those with small hands
Another Gerber Survival knife that brings forth decades of innovation while remaining unstoppable is the Gerber Prodigy Survival Knife. This knife features a 4 ¾ inch high carbon stainless steel blade that has a full oxide coating for durability.
In terms of design, this knife comes with various attachments and straps that enable incredible versatility in a modular lightweight build that is easy to carry. Plus, the oxide coating on the blade makes it even more resistant to corrosion which is great for the wild outdoors. For durability, it has a drop point blade made of 420 HC stainless steel.
Whether you are creating an emergency shelter or simply trying to prepare a meal while camping, this knife is packed with the punch to handle just about anything. The soft but secured textured grip makes it a reliable companion whenever you are in a tight spot, plus the blade is beefy enough for outdoor adventures.
- Friction release sheath
- Thumb lock feature for safety
- Belt loop and straps included
- Durable stainless steel with serrated edge
- Full tang design
- Blade goes dull fast
Cold Steel Recon 1 Folding Knife is the one thing you would hate to lose if you are ever out in the woods with no idea where the rest of the team is located. Built for hard use, this knife is a beast especially given that Cold Steel has a reputation for making the world’s most savvy knives.
Built as a tactical knife, this here is a dependable tool that is safe to use thanks to a Tri-Ad lock that keeps your fingers safe from this beast of a knife. The blade rocks an AUS 8 metal with 4 inches of cutting power designed to satisfy the most discriminating survivalist. Yes, it’s a stainless steel piece of metal attached to a G10 handle with finger grooves that give a decent grip.
Even after exploiting the full capacity of what this knife can handle, there is a good chance you might not have hit all the spots. This knife will cut through wood, plastic and so much more with zero blemishes. There is no blade play on this survival knife so you can expect some serious performance on high demanding tasks. The pocket clip makes it an easy carry but there have been some complaints about it being uncomfortable.
- Zero blade play
- Comes with a pocket clip
- Features a Tri-Ad lock for safety
- Durable stainless steel blade
- Grooves on the handle might be too big for small hands
Best For Camping: Gerber LMF II Survival Knife
Any survivalist, mountaineering or camping enthusiast will agree that when it’s all said and done, only a knife such as the Gerber LMF II Survival Knife ends up being the valuable player in a survival kit. The reason is simple. The Gerber LMF II Survival Knife will do more than just cut and slice through stuff
With a tough insulation between the brake and the butt cap, this knife gives you shock absorptions from hammering or even touching stray electrical wires. It has a glass-filled nylon handle with a sheath made of ballistic nylon as well.
The LMF II is another Gerber product that tells its own story differently from the ones we have already looked at. This knife features an original design specifically made to help aircrew extricate themselves from downed aircraft. As a result, it is tough enough to cut through an aircraft’s fuselage. Plus its also a smart knife and comfortable at the handle to prevent blisters.
- Quality handle for a comfortable grip
- Tough and durable design for survivalists
- Limited lifetime warranty
- Sheath included
- A bit pricey
Air Force Survival Knife : Ontario 499
Ontario 499 Air Force Survival Knife is as authentic as they come. Designed as part of US pilots’ survival kits in hostile territories, this survival knife boasts of a throwback look that is quite appealing to survival knife collectors.
However, do not be fooled. This knife is no pretty face. It packs a 5-inch blade that is corrosion resistant, with a coating of zinc phosphate. The blade is has a rat tail tang of a blade made with a serrated top edge. A leather sheath is included in the package as well and you also get a sharpening stone for your convenience. Even with its old-school approach, this knife includes a comfortable leather handle which is great.
Whether you are trying to reach a high hanging fruit or skinning game in the wilderness, this survival knife will help you through it all. Not only does it posses the aesthetics of a leather knife worth being part of your collection, this knife will hold its edge during any life-threatening situation. From hiking to mountaineering or even camping, the Ontario 499 Air Force Survival Knife is a force to reckon with.
- GSA – compliant
- Serrated top edge for functionality
- Quality leather handle included
- Non-slip grip with a leather handle
- Light weight for portability
- Full tang design
- Blade is dull on arrival
- Sheath scratches in some cases
Garber has really cornered the survival knife niche with their military grade blades that outperform the rest. With the Gerber Strong Arm Military Knife, you get a drop point blade almost similar to what you get with the LMF II but at a lighter weight of 7.2 oz.
To put it simply, Gerber StrongArm knife is built for combat. It is a best fixed blade survival knife with a full tang on a 420 HC blade coated with ceramic. It gives you a solid grip thanks to a rubberized diamond textured handle plus a striking pommel sits at the base of the handle making this knife look amazing even as a utility
Although the Strong Arm is a dedicated survivalist knife, it holds its edge well in other tactical situations as well. It can be useful for some light chopping tasks even though the section at the edge of its blade is small. If you are looking for a bush craft knife, this blade will give you a significant amount of control.
- Designed for combat
- Rubberized and textured handle for a firm grip
- Striking pommel for extra functionality
- Includes a strap together and sheath system
- Durable steel blade
- Slightly heavy for everyday carry
With over a century’s worth of experience, each knife from Buck Knives is made with a thoughtful engineering process that blends quality steel with the right features. The Buck Knives 119 Special is best Fixed Blade Knife certainly no exception.
It comes with a razor sharp point blade that is 6 inches long and is made of 420 HC steel. It has the strength you have come to expect with the best survival knives and boasts of corrosion resistance and an edge retention capacity. The handle to this knife has a palm swell for a fitting grip. Furthermore, the aluminum guard adds to the striking beauty of this survival knife. Weighing 7.5 oz, this knife is easy to carry as it also comes with a genuine high-quality protective leather sheath.
Whether you need a tool for work or when you are out in the field, this knife provides a decent choice for both occasions and more. It serves its purpose for campers looking for a knife to skin game out in the wild. It is also a decent tool for hunters mountain climbers and adventure enthusiasts.
- Light weight portable design
- Quality blade for survivalists
- Attractive design ideal for collectors
- Fitting grip with a palm swell
- Razor sharp clip point blade
- Includes a protective leather sheath
- Too lightweight for some users
Buyer’s Guide: How to pick out the best survival knife
If you have ever found yourself in a survival situation out in the wild, you know how important a survival knife can be. Ther are many prosaic situations where you will end up needing a survival knife. However, if you are a soldier, a backpacker, a mountaineer, hunter or a casual camper, you most definitely know the value of a good survival knife. As a result, it is important to know exactly what you are looking for especially if you are a beginner. Here are a couple of things to consider while doing your research. Check them out
Fixed or folder Blade
The type of blade your survival knife comes with greatly determines whether it will be a durable and useful blade out in the wild for the long haul. Most survival knives come with a fixed blade with a full tang to provide the most durability even when subjected to a lot of abuse. Folding survival knives, on the other hand, might have weak points at the joint or hinge making them unable to withstand tough conditions. However, if you prefer portability more than durability you can go with a folding blade that fits easily in your pocket.
It goes without saying that a survival knife should provide a decent grip and comfort in all conditions. The best survival knives feature a handle that still provides a solid grip whether in the rain, or snows. Be sure to go for efficiency by considering knife handles that have a pommel. Most pommels contain glass breakers that can come in handy whenever you are trapped behind a window.
Survival knives are often larger than your regular pocket knives. This means you will need a decent means of storage and transportation. Cue Sheath. Make sure your sheath comes with a small pocket for a sharpening tool in case your knife runs dull. It should also include a lanyard attachment with a secure closing strap or leg attachment to keep your survival knife safe.
Another important consideration is to check whether the knife is a full tang or a half tang. A full tang knife is a knife with a blade that extends right through the handle to the butt end of the knife. This continuous piece of metal prevents blade play while also keeping it tight and break free. Given that a survival knife ought to handle the toughest condition, a half tang knife might break easily when compared to a full tang knife especially when put through the paces.
Blade shape and Size
For some survival knife owners, a blade’s size is not all that important. However, a 2 or 3-inch knife blade won’t be of much help in the wild when compared to a 4 or 5-inch blade. In terms of shape, the popular options include blades with serrated edges (great for cutting thick materials like ropes), clip point blades(ideal for piercing or stabbing) and drop point blades. You will want to pick a blade shape depending on your most use case for that blade.
There you have it, folks. If you are fond of the great outdoors, a survival knife is one of the most important items in your survival kit. Hopefully, you will be able to pick out a blade that works for you out of our list. If you ever get stuck, check out our buyer’s guide and learn a thing or two about choosing the best survival knife.