As the name suggests, a survival knife is a vital tool that is used for protection and for activities within a wilderness environment. These knives are often issued to members of the military as well as being used by hunters and outdoor enthusiasts for trapping, skinning, and cutting.
My Top 3 Survival Knives
|KA-BAR BK-10 BECKER CREWMAN FIXED BLADE SURVIVAL KNIFE w/ FRONT POCKET SHEATH||$121.45 $89.19||Buy Now|
|KA1245-BRK Black Tanto||905 Reviews||$106.90 $71.57||Buy Now|
|Kershaw Blur Black (1670BLK) Everyday Carry Pocketknife with 3.4” Stainless Steel Drop Point...||$114.99 $63.17||Buy Now|
These days, smaller, more lightweight versions are available. Survival knives are traditionally thick with heavy blades that are able to cut through a variety of tough materials. Some specialist survival knives feature a hollow blade to provide storage space for matches and other small, easy to lose items.
7 Best Survival Knife Picks for 2020
If you’re looking to buy your first survival knife, it’s incredibly important to make sure that you get the right tool for your requirements. The following is a guide to suit every budget and activity when it comes to buying the best survival knife:
Small but powerful, this knife features a Zytel handle, Cro-Van steel blade, and a convenient polyester sheath.
- Excellent value for money
- Multiple uses
- Super sharp
- Slightly uneven edge grind
- Sheath and handle is a little unwieldy
- A little heavy for everyday use
With its distinctive long, thin blade, this Asian-influenced combat knife is ideal for use as a personal protection tool.
- Sturdy and long lasting
- Great safety features
- Pommel tends to break
- Blade is not great at keeping an edge
This compact pocket knife for hunting is created for ambidextrous, one-handed use and features a reversible pocket clip. Made from sturdy aluminum, Trac-Tec gives this knife a superior grip, and the inset Liner Lock adds additional safety.
- Ideal for traveling due to its compact size
- Great safety features
- Good quality materials
- Relatively expensive
- Some issues with the locking system
This lightweight pocket knife is constructed from glass-reinforced nylon and features a one-handed opening. A quick-release mechanism makes for super-fast opening and extra safety is provided through a patented Piston Lock which secures the stainless steel blade.
- Super sharp
- Really effective opening and closing mechanism
- Safety switch is a little flimsy
- Feels a little ‘plasticky’
For use in competitive knife throwing sports, this set of three knives features 10-inch stainless steel blades, removable paracord, and a professional throwing knife sheath.
- Good value for money
- Great design
- Good weight
- Poor quality blade which can be damaged easily
- Nylon paracord comes undone very easily
- Sheath tends to break easily
From one of the world’s most trusted manufacturers, the Black Ops knife features a 3.4 inch serrated tanto blade, assisted opening, and a tough aluminum handle; making it the perfect knife for tactical survival operations.
- Cool design
- Great cutting power
- Perfect weight and size
- A little tight to open at first
- Blade tends to dull quickly
- Handle is a little thick for easy handling
This all-purpose survival knife is ideal for a number of activities and features half serrated, stainless steel blade, pocket clip, glass breaker, and seat belt cutter as well as spring-assist opening and closing.
- Tough and sturdy
- Sharp blade
- Good value for money
- Window punch does not work properly
- Some design flaws; particularly the clip which tends to catch on things
What Is A Survival Knife Used For?
Survival knives are enduringly popular due to the myriad of activities that they can be used for. These include:
- Personal protection – Survival knives can be used as a weapon in self-defense.
- Hunting – A survival knife is a good tool for skinning and preparing game once slaughtered.
- First aid – These knives can be used to quickly cut bandages and splints in the event of an injury in the wild.
- Woodcutting – A powerful survival knife can be used to cut wood for use on fire or for creating a shelter.
- Hammer – Due to its thick, heavy handle, a survival knife can also be used as a hammer, for example, when hammering in tent pegs.
How to Sharpen A Survival Knife
Keeping your survival knife sharp does not only makes it more effective but also makes it safer to use. If you’re using your knife on a regular basis, it’s a good idea to invest in a professional sharpener for use at home. You may, however, feel the need to sharpen your survival knife while out and about; in which case a whetstone or ceramic sharpener is portable enough to take along with you.
A ceramic sharpener is a small tool that can be easily transported in a pocket or a bag and is really easy to use. All you need to do is draw the knife through the rods on the tool in order to sharpen both edges simultaneously.
If you’re using a stone to sharpen your knife, these should be soaked or lubricated beforehand. To sharpen your knife, glide the blade up and down using a circular motion. For larger and curved blades, this should be combined with an ‘up and across’ motion. It should take around 12 rotations to successfully sharpen your knife.
You’ll usually be able to tell that the knife is being sharpened by the accumulation of metal shavings around the blade. After sharpening the front of the blade, use the same motion to sharpen the back of the blade as well. Always make sure that you wipe off any metal shavings and dispose of these safely.
Once finished, you can test to see if your knife is sufficiently sharp by holding up a piece of paper – if the knife easily slices down the middle of the paper, it’s sharp enough. If not, you may need to repeat the process.
How to Care for Your Survival Knife
Any survival expert will tell you that taking care of your survival knife is one of the most important things you can do to ensure that it’s in optimum condition when you need it. The following will help to prolong the life of your knife as well as making sure that it works as effectively as possible.
Cleaning – You should get into the habit of cleaning and re-sheathing your knife after every use to prevent rust and build up. Use a little soap and water to clean the blade and dry thoroughly before placing it back into the sheath.
Handling – If the blade of your knife is stainless steel, avoid, where possible, touching the blade with your fingers as oil from your fingertips can cause corrosion.
Abrasives – Never, under any circumstances, use abrasives to clean your knife as this can cause irreparable damage.
Oiling – Keeping the blade of your knife oiled can help to prolong its life. Use a little Dri-Lube or 3-in-one, taking care to avoid the handle as this can cause your hand to slip during use.
Storage – When not in use, your knife should be stored in a secure, dry place away from moisture or humidity. Avoid storing the knife in its sheath for long periods of time as leather attracts moisture which could damage the knife.
A good quality survival knife can, quite literally, save your life. For this reason, your knife should always be treated with respect and should be cared for and stored correctly in order to make it last longer.
Last update on 2020-10-20 at 23:37 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.