10 Best Survival Knives in 2017

It’s a time of unrest. The weather is changing. It seems like people are changing. Politics are changing.

There’s never been a better time to be prepared for change.

One of the easiest and most versatile tools you can buy in times of change is a survival knife.

The basic survival knife is a tool which can make us feel safe, secure and prepared.

This article will help you understand the different types of Survival Knives so you can select the one that is best for you.

What is a survival knife?

A survival knife is designed to be an all-around tool to help you and your family survive in unusual circumstances. Although some people use their survival knives every day, some people rarely use them. In either case it’s always nice to feel like you have a flexible tool that can keep you safe.

3 Reasons to have a Survival Knife

A good survival knife is an extension of you. With the right knife you should feel comfortable, secure and powerful. The reasons to have a Survival Knife are the following:

1. All-around Tool
Survival is not only for the wild, it can also be inside your yard or your garage. When you choose the right survival knife for your needs you might end up using it every day – around the house, for outdoor adventures, home repair or even in the kitchen. We don’t advocate sticking your knife in the closet and only bringing it out in emergencies. It should be an extension of you – and you need to be comfortable with it.

2. Convenience
It is all-purpose and versatile. Thus, eliminates the burden of carrying every tool you need for certain jobs. It also provides more space for your bug out bag, since it is easy to carry.

3. Security & Protection
Survival Knives are made to be compact and easily accessible. It is a great emergency and self-defense tool for humans and other animals.

10 Most Common Uses for a Survival Knife

Why carry a knife instead of a gun? A gun has somewhat limited uses. A survival knife has endless uses. For example:

  1. Food Preparation
    A survival knife is fundamentally a cutting tool. It can be used to cut meat and vegetables, open packages, stir soups, and even flip pancakes!Food Preparation
  2. Build a Shelter
    A knife is a valuable tools when building a shelter. You can use it to cut both items you have in stock, such as rope and tarps, and things in nature like tree branches that you can use to create a shelter.Some knives can also be used to dig and baton.
  3. Self-Defense & Hunting Tool
    If you are well-trained you can use a knife in combat, either with another person or with a wild animal. Additionally there are ingenious ways to use survival knives for hunting, fishing and it can even be tied to a branch and used as a spear.Creating or Adjusting Your Gear
  4. Creating or Adjusting Your Gear
    The knife can be used for adjusting current gear, like adjusting cutting your broken sleeve or making it more outdoor appropriate. It can also be used in taking supplies you already have and converting them into other survival gear.
  5. First Aid
    There are many ways a good survival knife can be used for first aid, from opening and cutting first aid supplies to removing stitches, splinters and even possibly venom.
  6. Bushwacking
    A knife can be invaluable in helping you clear a trail for yourself or help you get untangled from vines and plants. It can also be used to mark a path by making notches in trees.
  7. Lighting a Fire
    A good survival knife can be used to cut kindling to create a fire, and to shave wood as a fire starter.
  8. Hammer
    Some knives have a nice solid handle that can be used as a hammering and setting traps.
  9. Pierce
    Need a hole in something?
    A good knife with a sharp point can give you just what you need.
  10. Prepare Meat
    A good knife can be used to fillet fish, dress meat, or skin an animal.

Additional Uses for Survival Knives (Not so good for the blade)

Baton
Batoning is a repeatedly striking motion done to split huge woods. A good Survival knife has a blade and handle strong enough to handle this tough job.

Dig
Some knives are good for digging a hole.

Pry
Prying can be dangerous to the blade of a knife, and it is also something that a knife can be used for in emergencies.

These are just some of the uses of a survival knife. What else can you do with one?

What to look for in a Survival Knife?

I did quite a lot of research about knives, and all the information below was compiled from my own experience and my research. The sources from my research are at the end of this article.

Fixed Blade
Most survival and knife experts agree that a fixed blade is preferable over a folding blade because it has the lesser tendency to break.Fixed Blade

Blade Length
A length of 4-7” is the optimum length for outdoor survival. A knife that is too long can be a burden to carry and get in the way when walking. One that is too short won’t have the capabilities you need. For survival situations, you need a blade length that is capable of doing both small detailed and heavy work.

Blade Thickness
A blade width of .17” – .25” thickness. This thickness is required to perform chopping to skinning. A blade too thin will do skinning, cutting slicing and it may not do heavy duty tasks. Whereas a blade too thick would make it difficult to do small detailed tasks.Knife Blade Thickness

Blade Type
A straight blade is more desirable than serrated one. Straight blades are easier to sharpen and require only minimal maintenance.

Point Design

Most survival knives are either Clip Point, Drop Point and Spear Point. These are known for their each respective functions:

Clip Point
Clip point is the traditional design for blades. Thinner blade and tip and is intended for cutting, skinning and other small and detailed tasks. It is the most commonly used design.Clip Point

Drop Point
Drop point works well for butchering tasks. It has a thicker blade and tip. It is designed for tough and heavier work such as batoning and chopping chunks of wood.Drop Point

Spear Point
A spear point blade is a design that is similar to a dagger. It has two sharp edges. These edges are symmetrical from bottom to top. It works best for throwing and piercing but has limited cutting edge for slicing.Spear Point

(See comparisons here: https://www.knife-depot.com/knife-information-112.html)

Tang

Tang is the portion of the blade that extends up to the part of the handle. A full tang means that the steel extends the full length of the handle. This is recommended because it can provide full capacity of the handle and it can prevent breakage of the knife itself. The longer the tang the better. This can give you the maximum capacity to exert power and force.Tang

Steel Type

Carbon and stainless steel are the most common and in demand survival knives. Carbon stays sharp longer but rusts faster. Stainless is easier to sharpen but loses its edge faster than carbon.

A high carbon steel is recommended due to its ability to protect the blade against elements.

Popular Steels for Knives:

VG-10, a cutlery grade Stainless steel produced in Japan. The ability to resist rust makes it a popular steel for Kitchen Knives. It also holds an edge very well and can handle vigorous work.

420 High Carbon Stainless Steel is one that can maintain its sharpness for a longer period of time. It is easy to sharpen and durable enough for constant use. It has great ductility and excellent resistance in corrosion. It has the highest hardness among other stainless steel grades

1095 Carbon Steel and 1095 Cro-van are used by survivalists due to their toughness.These steels are easy to sharpen and hold an edge very well.

AUS 8A stainless-steel blade is a type of steel known for its non-chipping element making it easy to sharpen and maintain.

5160 Alloy Steel has remarkable shock absorbing ability and requires only minimal maintenance, making it a durable material.

1070 High carbon steel is a steel used to make heavy duty and rough used tools.

Sandvik High Carbon Steel is a carbon steel material that yields to tough, sharp and hard tools. However, this steel has poor wear resistance..

Handle, Pommel and Lanyard Hole

A handle should be tough, solid and comfortable to grip. Most handles are made of hard rubber or polymer. These materials are known for giving comfort and easy grip.

The Pommel is the end or butt of the handle, a metal or steel pommel works well for hammering.

A Lanyard hole gives the owner the convenience in carrying knife by easily attaching it around the waist, over the body. It can also be a good feature for easier gear conversion (ex. Spear).

Sheath

A sheath is the case of your knife. It should protect your knife from other elements, help keep it clean, protect the edge so it stays sharp and protect you from that sharp edge.

There are three types of sheaths: nylon, leather and kydex or plastic.

These are all good sheaths, they are durable, flexible and provide security.

Nylon
Nylon is an elastic synthetic polymer. It is a lightweight and flexible material.

Pros:
Lightweight and flexible
Less expensive than leather and plastic
Has a wide range of designs
Less maintenance than leather

Cons:
Can get worn easier

These are common types of Nylon:

Zytel
It is a popular trademarked name for Nylon. It is a brand name of Fiberglass Reinforced Nylon (FRN). This material is known for its resistance in bending and requires no maintenance. It’s tough yet inexpensive.
(See https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zytel)

Ballistic Nylon
It is a thick synthetic nylon fabric. It has several advantages. It is easy to clean and very lightweight. It is also a popular material used in making luggage.
(See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ballistic_nylon)

Glass Filled Nylon
It is known for its dimensional stability. This material has a high wear resistance and does not break easily.

Leather

Leather is the most traditional sheath material. It is classic and can have a durable fit.

Pros:
Heavy-duty
Widely used for its tried and tested capability

Cons:
Not weather proof
Requires effort for maintenance

Plastic or Kydex
A cheaper material that provides security for your knife.

Pros:
Cheap and lightweight
Can easily be molded
Unaltered by weather

Cons:
May not be able to last for a long time
(A deeper comparison of Sheaths: https://www.knife-depot.com/blog/knife-sheath-materials-the-good-and-the-bad/)

MOLLE Compatible (Sheath)
Some Outdoor enthusiast are fond of using MOLLE compatible gear because is easier to carry their necessities. It also provides more space for tools.
MOLLE acronym for Modular Lightweight Load-carrying Equipment, is a load bearing system used for Tactical and Survival. It is commonly used to ease carrying. It gives opportunity to carry efficiently and effectively. MOLLE can be a vest, a belt, a bag or a pouch.

WHAT TO AVOID IN A SURVIVAL KNIFE?

Folding Blade

This type of knife is a good choice for portability and everyday duty but can be weak for extreme outdoor work. The joint which connects the blade and the handle, also known as Pivot, can easily break due to heavy pressure and vigorous work.

 

Huge Knife

Bigger is not always better. This knife have limitations and only restricted to heavy work. This is also difficult to carry because of its weight. Do not be fooled by the famous “Rambo” knife line. They look cool but doesn’t fit well in the Survival outdoor.

 

Long Blade

This is another one that belongs to the difficult to carry group. It can poke your legs or may be too long to do detailed task. It can make it more difficult to accomplish survival tasks.

Full Serrations

Serrations are excellent for cutting rope, paracord and other similar materials. But, these blades are hard to sharpen and keep sharp especially if you don’t have easy access to maintenance.

 

Hollow Handle

A hidden feature is not recommended. A hollowed handle means partial tang. The handle can be easily detached, making it difficult to fix or even useless after a damage.

 

10 Best Survival Knives

In this list is a collection of 10 best survival knives recommended and in demand.

Fallkniven A1 Survival Knife Fixed Blade Knife

4.6 out of 5 stars (Based on Amazon) out of 111 reviews.

$191.89Fallkniven Survival Knife

Fallkniven is a Swedish brand known for making survival knives. All their knives are known for being nicely detailed and high quality.

The Fallkniven A1 is one of the longer blades and heavier blades I’m reviewing.  If you are looking for something solid that will take a beating, this might be the perfect blade.  On the other hand, if you are looking for a lighter, smaller knife, you might consider one of the other knives below.

It’s full tang, which adds to its strength and durability.

It has a spear point, which will make it better for piercing because of its strong point.

The laminated VG-10 Stainless steel makes this knife resist rust and hold an edge.  In fact this is a steel that is often used in high end kitchen knives.

The Kraton Handle is made of a material similar to rubber which makes it easy to carry. It has a lanyard hole which makes the knife easy to attach to a lanyard (although it’s a bit heavy), or to a backpack.

The sheath is made of Zytel, a nylon material. It has a nice grip and gives the knife a good balance.

The knife is made in Japan.

Overall a strong, solid, big knife that have beautiful styling and can take a beating.

What makes it different: Big, Heavy, Spear Point

It is one of the high priced yet satisfactory Survival Knife available today. It is capable of both heavy duty and the opposite tasks.

Specifications:

Overall Length – 11”

Blade
Blade Length – 6.375”
Blade Thickness – .25″
Weight  – 12oz
Blade Type – Plain Straight
Blade Style – Modified Satin Spear Point Blade

Tang – Full Tang

Steel Type – Laminated VG-10

Handle
Kraton Handle
LANYARD HOLE: YES

Sheath
Zytel

MOLLE Compatibility: N/A
Can be bought separately.

Pros:
Can do small detailed work.
Can baton heavy fire wood.
Solid Metal that can survive vigorous work.
It includes a safety feature – a finger guard.
Sheath helps maintain the dryness of the knife.

Cons:
Sheath is a bit weak.
Kraton grips can become excessively tacky.
Expensive brand.

Detailed Work Capability: 5/5

Heavy Duty Work Capability: 5/5

Owner Review:

The Good:

“Simply put SUPERB KNIFE. I was extremely surprised that a blade this thick could shave hair. Great 90 degree spine for ferro rod striking. The convex edge is absolutely stunning. I just like sliding my fingers across for fun.”

John M. (https://www.knifecenter.com/item/SWEDA1K/fallkniven-a1-swedish-survival-knife-satin-vg10-blade-kraton-handles-zytel-sheath)

The Bad:

“Myself, I have small or medium hands, so the size of the handle doesn’t phase me. I personally would like to see more handle options…. but aside from that I couldn’t be happier with this blade.” – Animal Mother

(https://www.knifecenter.com/item/SWEDA1K/fallkniven-a1-swedish-survival-knife-satin-vg10-blade-kraton-handles-zytel-sheath)

 

Gerber LMF II Infantry Knife

4.7 out of 5 stars (Based on Amazon) out of 114 reviews.

$124Gerber LMF II Infantry Knife

Gerber Knives are one of the toughest knives in the market today. They are known for their durability and high quality stainless steel.

One in particular is the Gerber LMF II Infantry Knife. It is a knife that is great at batoning. You can beat the heck out of this knife while still doing its job well.

The Gerber LMF II Infantry Knife 10.50” overall, with a blade of 4.84” and a thickness of .19”, so it has a shorter and lighter blade than some of the other options.  It’s also partially serrated, so it has more flexibility about how you use it, at the expense of some ease of sharpening and maintenance – but it comes with a built in sharpener to give you the best of both worlds.

It’s 80% tang, which some people might say makes it a weaker knife, but it’s shown in the field to be very robust.

It has a drop point, which will make it better for slicing, chopping and heavy duty tasks. Its blade thickness allows it to do both heavy and fine tune tasks.

The laminated 420 Stainless steel has the highest hardness of stainless steel knives, which can help it hold it’s point, but may make it brittle.

The Glass Filled Nylon Handle has rubber overmold that provides firm grip to perform its job well.

The sheath is made of Ballistic Nylon which makes it a lightweight and easy to carry sheath. Only, Ballistic Nylons may retain moisture that can help in rust build up.

The knife is made in USA.

Overall if you are looking for a knife that is solid and sturdy and has the flexibility of both a straight edge and serrated edge, the Gerber is a great choice.

What makes it different: Smaller blade, Thinner, Partially Serrated

Smaller and Thinner Blades are best for fine tune tasks. Adding a Partial Serration elevates the ability of this knife. Thus, its overall design allows it to do fine tune and heavy tasks.

Specifications:

Overall Length – 10.59”

Blade
Blade Length – 4.84″
Blade Thickness – .19”
Weight – 11.67 oz.
Blade Type – Partially Serrated
Blade Style – Drop Point

Tang – 80% Tang

Steel Type – 420 High Carbon Stainless Steel

Handle
Glass-filled nylon with TPV overmold
LANYARD HOLE: Yes

Sheath
Ballistic nylon with fire retardant coating
MOLLE Compatibility: Yes

Pros:
Can work like a full tang knife.
Textured Vulcanized Rubber gives it a non-slip security and assurance.
Feels balanced upon handling.
Incredibly sharp out of the box
Has a built in sharpener.
Affordable

Cons:
Small yet heavy.
Sheath is too bulky and too difficult to pair with the knife.

Detailed Work Capability: 5/5

Heavy Duty Work Capability: 5/5

Owner Review:

The Good:

“My first knife worked flawlessly in Iraq and many camping trips. My second has seen use in Afghanistan, Africa and more camping trips. The blade has maintained a reasonable sharpness and never chipped or bent. I highly recommend this knife to any outdoor enthusiast military member looking to take a great knife downrange. Good luck.” – Mike

(https://www.amazon.com/Gerber-Infantry-Knife-Coyote-22-01463/product-reviews/B0009JVOCA/ref=cm_cr_getr_d_paging_btm_2?ie=UTF8&reviewerType=avp_only_reviews&sortBy=recent&filterByStar=positive&pageNumber=2)

The Bad:

“I have had this knife for about a year and the first issue I ran into was the velco on the sheath. It boggles the mind to think hat a knife that is made for combat/survival would have a sheath that would allow the entire knife to fall from it. After some testing, I gave up on the sheath.

The blade of the knife is study, and can take a beating but it is not full tang, so it has a weak point at the lower half of the grip. Also with a split plastic handle, it is like to “pop” apart in the middle.” – Matthew “The Security Zealot”

(https://www.amazon.com/Gerber-Infantry-Knife-Coyote-22-01463/product-reviews/B0009JVOCA/ref=cm_cr_arp_d_hist_3?ie=UTF8&reviewerType=all_reviews&sortBy=recent&pageNumber=1&filterByStar=three_star)

 

ESEE 6P-B Plain Edge Fixed Blade Survival Knife with Grey Micarta Handle

4.6 out of 5 stars (Based on Amazon) out of 85 reviews.

$124.72ESEE Fixed Blade Survival Knife

Esee is a part of the Randall’s Adventure & Training brand. Their knives are created for the military and are known for their durability, uniqueness and timeless design.

Esee knives are a perfect balance of quality and cost. They have razor sharp edges and a professional looking black coating!

The ESEE 6P-B Plain Edge Fixed Blade Survival Knife has an overall length of 11.75”, a blade of 6.50”. Its blade is on the thinner side having .188” blade. It is one of the knives that has a sufficiently average length to execute whether rough and small tasks.

It is full tang and designed to handle random outdoor activities such as preparing food and lighting the fire.

It has a drop point and longer blade making it an all-around tool.

The 1095 stainless steel makes it incredibly easy to sharpen and maintain. The knife itself has a good edge retention because of the unique heat treatment of Esee.

The Handle is made of Grey Micarta Scale. It delivers a good handle size and an indestructible design.

The sheath is made of Black Molded Polymer that holds the knife securely but might be a weak sheath for others.

The knife is made in USA.

Overall, this is a big and tough knife that has an ability of a “Jack of all Trades” tool.

What makes it different: Big, Thin, Drop point

It is big to do heavy work but thin enough to do heavy duty tasks. Its drop point helps in slicing and skinning. Its price is worth its quality.

Specifications:

Overall Length – 11.75″

Blade
Blade Length – 6.50″
Blade Thickness – .188″
Weight – 12oz
Blade Type – Plain Straight
Blade Style – Drop Point

Tang – Full Tang

Steel Type – 1095 Steel

Handle
Grey Micarta Scale
Lanyard Hole: Yes

Sheath
Black Molded Polymer
MOLLE Compatibility: N/A

Pros:
Capable of doing smaller fine tune duties.
Tough knife to beat.
It provides maximum grip with its Lined Micarta Handle Slabs that is also removable.
Comes with a metal Rounded Pommel capable of hammering.

Cons:
Handle is rough and can give discomfort.

Detailed Work Capability: 5/5

Heavy Duty Work Capability: 5/5

Owner Reviews:

The Good:

“If you’ve been thinking about buying the Esee 6, wait no longer. I wrestled with spending what I did for it, but once I held it in my hand, I immediately felt like a got a wonderful deal. You can tell that there is a tremendous amount of thought placed on the quality control over at Esee. The fit and finish is absolutely perfect, it has almost perfect balance, and feels amazing in hand.” – R Mac

(https://www.amazon.com/ESEE-6P-B-Survival-Micarta-Handle/product-reviews/B004DTWMH8/ref=cm_cr_dp_d_show_all_top?ie=UTF8&reviewerType=avp_only_reviews)

The Bad:

“I really wanted to like this knife: great steel, warranty, USA made, and everyone loves a good choil right? The fatal problem with this knife is bad ergonomics. The handle is blocky, lacks a palm swell and is uncomfortable to use. You can have the best steel, blade design and warranty but if the handle is not designed well, the knife will be nearly worthless as a tool. Skip this one and save your money.” – TheLastZombie

(https://www.amazon.com/ESEE-6P-B-Survival-Micarta-Handle/product-reviews/B004DTWMH8/ref=cm_cr_arp_d_viewpnt_rgt?ie=UTF8&reviewerType=avp_only_reviews&filterByStar=critical&pageNumber=1)

 

Ka-Bar Becker BK2 Campanion Fixed Blade Knife

4.7 out of 5 stars (Based on Amazon) out of 1,404 reviews

$74.32Ka-Bar Fixed Blade Knife

The Ka-Bar brand is known for their all-purpose functional line of knives. One of their heavy duty field knife is the Ka-Bar Becker BK2 Companion Fixed Blade. It is a must have knife for camping. Its blade is shaving sharp and works well for heavy duty tasks.

The Kabar Companion Knife has an overall length of 10.5”, with a blade of 5.25”. It has a thickness of .25”. The blade is shorter to make it work for small detail tasks, while its blade is thick enough to perform heavy tasks.

It is full tang and heavy which makes it best for vigorous work.

It has a drop point which gives it more potential in doing tough tasks such as batoning, chopping and slashing.

The 1095 Cro-Van is a durable material used to make this knife. It is best for abusive task and has waterproofing properties.

The Zytel handle receives an average satisfaction to its owners. It has a good size but can be slippery for others.

The sheath is made of Glass Reinforced Nylon which makes it hard on the outer but gentle on the knife. It provides an exact fit and protection for the knife.

The knife is made in USA.

Overall if you are for a hefty, sturdy thick blade knife that is less expensive than others, this is a good one to have.

What makes it different: Average length, Heavy, Drop point

It is an affordable choice for an Average length and heavy Knife. It is best to carry for camping and preparing food or kindle. It may not be suitable to carry for long walks because of its weight.

Specifications:

Overall Length – 10.5”

Blade
Blade Length – 5.25″
Blade Thickness – 0.25″
Weight – 16oz
Blade Type – Plain Straight
Blade Style – Drop Point

Tang – Full Tang

Steel Type – 1095 Cro-van

Handle
Zytel
Lanyard Hole: Yes

Sheath
Black Nylon Sheath
MOLLE Compatibility: Yes

Pros:
It has the right length for a compact survival must-have.
Its textured powder coating gives ease in maintenance.
It is partnered with a heavy duty polyester sheath that has a front pocket which can be used to store small survival kits like matches.
Handle is Swiss made glass reinforced nylon making it look sleek.

Cons:
Heavier for its size.
Handle can be slippery and may be a problem.
Not that good at detailed and smaller fine tune tasks.

Detailed Work Capability: 3/5

Heavy Duty Work Capability: 5/5

Owner Reviews:

The Good:

“When I got this, it was much bigger than I had anticipated. I was aware of the blade thickness but it was much different actually holding the thing. I seriously felt like “Crocodile” Dundee while examining this thing for the first time. If I could only choose one knife for the rest of my life, it would be this. For the first time in my life, I’ve held a knife that I felt could last forever. I’m a big knife guy and I have a huge collection of spyderco and other various high end knife makers but this knife… well… it’s awesome.

If you want a big boy knife… this is for you.” – JRSP

(https://www.amazon.com/Ka-Bar-Becker-Campanion-Fixed-Blade/product-reviews/B001N1DPDE/ref=cm_cr_getr_d_paging_btm_2?ie=UTF8&reviewerType=avp_only_reviews&filterByStar=positive&pageNumber=2)

The Bad:

“Its hard to be objective on this review because I really like this knife. Its just a brute. Its a very solid knife made from good steel. I have no fear of this knife breaking. That being said, its not good for much. Its an ok chopper, but all of the weight is in the handle. So it doesnt excel at this. Also because of its weight and size its not good for small camp tasks. So to sum it up, its ok for doing a little of everything. But it sucks at doing everything. Also the entire Becker knife line has poor handles. They are very comfortable, but slip very easily. And you need to add loctite to the screws holding it in place or they come loose through use. But at the end of the day, I still love the knife.” – K Young

(https://www.amazon.com/Ka-Bar-Becker-Campanion-Fixed-Blade/product-reviews/B001N1DPDE/ref=cm_cr_arp_d_viewpnt_rgt?ie=UTF8&reviewerType=avp_only_reviews&filterByStar=critical&pageNumber=1)

 

Cold Steel Survival Rescue

4.4 out of 5 Stars (Based on Amazon) out of 156 reviews

$97.87Cold Steel Survival Knife

Most outdoor enthusiast love Cold Steels. They feel more connected to it because of the ergonomic handle.

The Cold Steel Survival Rescue Knife is a Modern classic knife. Its blade is durable and extremely strong.

The overall length of this knife is 10.75” inches. It has almost the size of the KaBar Companion. Still, it has a longer blade of 6”. Its thickness is .19” making it best for small tasks. It is also lightweight and can be considered as a go-to tool.

It’s Full Tang yet incredibly light and feels comfortable to carry.

The Clip Point design helps the knife to excel in fine tune tasks and do average strength duties.

It is made with AUS 8A Stainless Steel blade and has a black coating to protect it from elements. This coating helps prevent rusting.

The sheath is made of Conceal-Ex a material known for its felexibility and resistance to weather. However, Cold Steel has stopped producing this sheath for the mean time to pave way for their upcoming items this 2017.

Conceal-Ex is a thermoplastic. It has better resistance to weather than Kydex

The knife is made in Japan.

Overall if you are looking for a lightweight and easy to carry knife for outdoor and everyday carry, this is a good choice. It is best for less strenuous outdoor activity.

What makes it different: Average length, Lightweight, Clip Point

Suitable for long walks for an adventure or mountain climbing. It’s clip point allows it to do detailed tasks and only limited to small to average tough duties.

Specifications:

Overall Length – 10.75”

Blade
Blade Length – 6”
Blade Thickness – 0.19″
Weight – seems lighter – 8.2 oz
Blade Type – Plain Straight
Blade Style – Clip point

Tang – Full Tang

Steel Type – AUS 8A stainless-steel blade

Handle
Kraton Handle
Lanyard Hole: Yes

Sheath
Concealex (Secure-Ex)
MOLLE Compatibility: Yes

Pros:
Perfect for medium duty tasks.
Dura-coated for a maximum weather protection.
It has an exceptional grip handle with deeply checkered Kraton grip and a finger guard.

Cons:
It can easily lose its handle after doing tremendous tasks.
It doesn’t have a butt for hammering.

Detailed Work Capability: 5/5

Heavy Duty Work Capability: 4/5

Owner Reviews:

The Good:

“I have had this knife for about a year now and I have used it several times when I have gone camping and a little bit around the house. This knife holds its edge very well. The first time I went out I didn’t have to use it at all, so it being a new piece of equipment I used it to cut a tree branch off a dead tree that was about as big around as my arm. It took a bit because this is not a ax but the knife made it though with no damage and was still razor sharp. My knife is made of the ASU8 steel. All those saying it is bad or they don’t like it, I don’t understand why. This is a sold knife that holds its edge well even in heavy use like chopping or batoning.” – The2040

(https://www.amazon.com/Cold-Steel-Kraton-Handle-Concealex/product-reviews/B000BSY9AS/ref=cm_cr_dp_d_show_all_top?ie=UTF8&reviewerType=avp_only_reviews)

The Bad:

“This knife has an incredible blade that holds a great edge, but the handle became lose after a few months. There is a small, but noticeable movement in the handle that is really annoying, and could potentially be dangerous! Also, the amazon return policy does not cover an exchange! I really love this knife, but the defective handle is really a bummer!,” – Jason goetsch

(https://www.amazon.com/Cold-Steel-Kraton-Handle-Concealex/product-reviews/B000BSY9AS/ref=cm_cr_arp_d_viewpnt_rgt?ie=UTF8&reviewerType=avp_only_reviews&filterByStar=critical&pageNumber=1)

 

Buck Knives 65 Hood Punk Fixed Blade

4.8 out of 5 Stars (Based on Amazon) out of 35 Reviews

$124.49Buck Knife Punk Fixed Blade

If you are looking for an outdoor and survival knife that is specially designed for extreme adventure, this Buck Knives 65 Hood Punk is one to be looked at! It is known for doing heavy duty and tough tasks. It can also do detailed work.

It has an overall length of 10.75”, blade length of 5.62” and thickness of .25”. Even though it has a similar size like others mentioned above, this knife it lightweight.

It has a plain straight blade and it is full tang, major characteristics that we are looking for in a knife.

It’s clip point allows it to excel also in small detailed tasks without sacrificing its versatility to do heavy duty ones.

It is made with 5160 alloy, known for holding an edge longer and staying sharp with minimal maintenance.

Its Micarta handle is molded to fit every hand whether big or small. Micarta handles are widely used but can give discomfort for others.

Overall, if you are looking for a Big knife without the burden of a heavy tool this knife is for you.

What makes it Different: Big, Lightweight, Clip Point

Its versatile, lightweight and durable. It is best for long walks and long stay outdoor as it can do every task you can imagine.

Specifications:

Overall Length – 10.75”

Blade
Blade Length – 5.62”
Blade Thickness – 0.25”
Weight – 7.4 oz
Blade Type – Plain Straight
Blade Style – Clip point

Tang – Full Tang

Steel Type – 5160 Alloy

Handle
Micarta
Lanyard Hole: Yes

Sheath
Nylon Sheath
MOLLE Compatibility: Yes

Pros:
Lightweight and durable quality.
It has great balance and weight.
Sheath has front pockets for small survival kits.
Works well as an all-around tool.
It is integrated with shock mitigation system to give you a firm grip and ease in handling.

Cons:
Micarta can be rough for a handle.
Pricey knife.

Detailed Work Capability: 5/5

Heavy Duty Work Capability: 5/5

Owner Reviews:

The Good:

“One of my favorite knives to date. For Hiking,camping,survival(One tool option) it works great! Not to cumbersome in the hand, no hot spot issues. You can choke up on it a couple different ways. I don’t even feel the dang thing on my belt. Holds an edge literally like no knife I’ve ever owned, touched it up once or twice with HEAVY use, blade and tip have never chipped out on me. It’ll baton wood well for its size and weight. The only thing you really give up is chopping ability. It’ll do it, but it’s so light that it would be smarter to carry a hatchet or axe for that kind of work. I “HIGHLY”, recommend this knife.” – The Desert Trekker

(https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/reviews/B006YBWXAO/ref=cm_cr_dp_mb_btm?ie=UTF8)

The Bad:

“Love this knife. Came nice and sharp. The sheath isn’t bad either. Definitely one of the best ones I’ve had. The reason for 4 stars, is because of the handle. Like what other reviewers said, the edges of the micarta handles were sharp, so need to sand down the edges. And I would like the handles to be gripy. But they do keep the weight down.” – Kindle Customer

(https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/reviews/B006YBWXAO/ref=cm_cr_dp_mb_btm?ie=UTF8)

 

Morakniv Companion Heavy Duty Knife

4.8 out of 5 stars (Based on Amazon)

1,405 Reviews

$21.01Morakniv Companion Heavy Duty Knife

Affordability and quality are qualities Morakniv possess. If you are on a budget and looking for something to boost your survival kit, this one is a good choice to start.

It is relatively small with an overall length of 8.8″, a blade length of 4.1″ and a thickness of .125″. Its a good choice for starters on a tight budget. It may not be good for continued heavy duty task but can perform medium tough job.

It is half tang but has proven itself to be a conditioned Survival Knife in the field.

It is made with Sandvik High Carbon Steel which makes it a durable and tough knife for its price.

The handle is made of Green plastic and rubber. It has a great grip and is better to medium duty tasks such as chopping small woods.

Its Plastic Sheath is weather resistant and can protect the knife from moisture. This type of sheath may be weak for other users because of the weaker material.

It is made in Sweden.

Overall, if you are looking for a good Survival Knife to start with a low budget, this one works well for practice.

What makes it different: Large handle, Small Knife, Half Tang, Lightweight

This knife received a lot of good reviews. It is best for small detailed tasks and can also do average to medium tasks. It is affordable and a good pack for starters and campers.

Specifications:

Overall Length – 8.8”

Blade
Blade Length – 4.1″
Blade Thickness – 0.125″
Weight – 4.8 oz.
Blade Type – Plain Straight
Blade Style – Drop point

Tang – Half Tang

Steel Type – Sandvik High Carbon Steel

Handle
Green Plastic and Black Rubber
Lanyard Hole: Yes

Sheath
Plastic Sheath with Belt clip
MOLLE Compatibility: Yes

Pros:
It can do medium tasks such as chopping and skinning.
Its large ergonomic handle is crafted to yield comfort in handling. It also helps the blade perform well.
It has a 27 degree edge angle for maximum sharpness capacity.
Very affordable.

Cons:
Gets rusted easily.
The sheath gets a lot of complains.
It is not good for prolong heavy duty tasks.

Detailed Work Capability: 5/5

Heavy Duty Work Capability: 3/5

Owner Reviews:

The Good:

“This knife has over 240 five star reviews on amazon, is recommended for its quality and value by survival experts and is the most affordable quality knife period. Very few knives in the world enjoy such broad support and they are so reasonably priced everyone should own a Mora.” – WB

(https://www.amazon.com/Morakniv-Companion-Heavy-Carbon-4-1-Inch/dp/B00EF2RX2C)

The Bad:

“I’m a huge fan of Mora knives – they’re top quality, inexpensive, ridiculously sharp, and comfortable to handle. This knife is no exception. The knife itself is fantastic. It’s the sheath I take issue with. It’s right handed. The knife fits one way (it snaps in securely) and based on where the belt loop is placed, placing it on your left side positions the blade out and the grip backwards, which with a knife this sharp, you don’t want ANY opportunity to fumble. Yes, you can attach it on your right side and grasp cross-body, but this again seems like an opportunity for bad things to happen. I would love for Mora to design this sheath such that it would fit a lefty (or offer a left-handed sheath). Otherwise, It’s a five-star product.” – Lurchie

(https://www.amazon.com/Morakniv-Companion-Sandvik-Military-4-1-Inch/product-reviews/B009NZVZ3E/ref=cm_cr_getr_d_paging_btm_3?ie=UTF8&filterByStar=critical&reviewerType=avp_only_reviews&pageNumber=3)

 

Schrade SCHF2 Extreme Survival Special Forces Knife

4.4 out of 5 Stars

$61.09Schrade Extreme Survival Special Forces Knife

Chris Reeve Knives is one of the most influential high-end knife brand. Schrade brand is a good brand to be compared with it. It is also a cheaper version of the famous Chris Reeve Knives.

It has an overall length of 12.7” a pretty long knife, with a blade 7.5” long and .22” thick. This knife is a heavy and large knife and may not be suitable for everyday carry survival knives fans.

It is partially serrated which makes the blade more flexible and capable of handling different types of tasks such as kindling, skinning and cutting ropes.

Its clip point allows it to perform slicing, carving and skinning. It also has a thick blade that makes it a good all-around knife.

It is made with SAE-1070 High Carbon Steel a material that is durable and can protect itself from other elements to prevent rusting and breakage. This material is extended up till the handle of the knife making it a tough and heavy knife.

It has a hollow that is moisture and waterproof. It includes a multi-tool which is removeable and can be reused to include other tools.

It is made in USA.

Overall, if you like a Big knife with additional features and tools, this one is good for you.

What makes it different: Big, heavy, thick blade, clip point, partially serrated, full tang, hollowed, inexpensive

It is a huge knife built with exceptional quality and design. It is best for people who likes heavy and stylish equipment.

Specifications:

Overall Length – 12.7”

Blade
Blade Length – 7.5″
Blade Thickness – 0.22″
Weight – 17.8 oz
Blade Type – Partially Serrated
Blade Style – Clip point

Tang – Full Tang

Steel Type – SAE-1070 High Carbon Steel

Handle
SAE-1070 High Carbon Steel
Lanyard Hole: Yes

Sheath
Nylon sheath along with Multiple tools
MOLLE Compatibility: Yes

Pros:
Comes with a Multiple Carry Position Ballistic Belt Sheath with Removable Storage Pouch.
Waterproof hollow handle.
Quality is exceptional. It does what it claims.
Great for both detailed and heavy tasks.
It needs only minimal maintenance.
The hollow can be used to store other useful kits.
Inexpensive.

Cons:
10pcs bit set may be useless for Outdoor adventure.
A heavy tool that may result to burden during long walks.

Detailed Work Capability: 5/5

Heavy Duty Work Capability: 5/5

Owner Reviews:

The Good:

“Wow, this is a mamaluka of a knife! Big, sharp, beautifully designed, perfect fit and finish, and milled out of a single block of 1070 high carbon steel so it is indestructible, I mean bombproof. This is a reproduction of the old Chris Reeve knife called Project 1, and to my eye every bit as beautifully built and finished. The only thing missing is the snooty attitude and about $325 on the price tag. This knife will last more than one lifetime. The only thing you need to do is take that bit set out of the handle (what’s up with that?) and put in some paracord, matches, or whatever, oil it regularly, and you got yourself a survival knife forever. I put an oiled piece of cloth in the handle (using T-9 oil) so I have it handy anytime I use the knife. That 1070 is springy and tough, but it can rust. It sharpens to a shaving edge. Great knife I will always own.” – nancynjerry

The Bad:

“Its a lot bigger and heavier than I thought it would be. Its a really nice knife, but is far too heavy to go backpacking with. Also, I can think of no situation where I would need a combat knife and a bit driver.” – Jeremy McCoy

(https://www.amazon.com/Schrade-SCHF2-Extreme-Survival-One-Piece/product-reviews/B0018VJAQU/ref=cm_cr_getr_d_paging_btm_2?ie=UTF8&reviewerType=all_reviews&sortBy=recent&filterByStar=positive&pageNumber=2)

 

SOG SE38-N Force Knife with Straight Edge Fixed

4.7 out of 5 Stars (Based on Amazon)

Out of 88 Reviews

$88.56SOG Force Knife

The SOG has a minimal and simple design. Its visual simplicity is the opposite of its dynamic capability.

It is also one of the long Knives from our list. It is 12.25” overall, 6” blade and .24” thick. It has the thickness expected to excel in heavy duty tasks, yet this knife may not be able to survive in prolong tough work.

It is full tang and has a clip point. It is better for slicing, chopping small wood and kindling for fire preparation.

The Steel is made with AUS-8 Black TiNi Blade that makes it protected from scratches and blemishes. Although itis a lasting material it may be difficult to sharpen.

Its Glass Reinforced Nylon handle is impact and defect resistant which helps it do medium duties such as chopping.

The Black Nylon Sheath provides protection but may need adjustments because of its size that is either too tight or too loose.

It is made in Taiwan.

Overall, this knife is huge and heavy yet it works pretty well with fine tune tasks. It may not be the best for heavy duty tasks, still it is good as a self defense tool.

What makes it different: Huge, Heavy, Clip Point, Best for  Fine Tune Tasks

A knife this heavy is best for hunting and rescuing. It has a clip point which makes it a huge man to do small detailed tasks.

Specifications:

Overall Length – 12.25”

Blade
Blade Length – 6″
Blade Thickness – 0.24”
Weight – 10.5 oz
Blade Type – Plain Straight
Blade Style – Clip point

Tang – Full Tang

Steel Type – AUS-8 Black TiNi Blade

Handle
Glass Reinforced Nylon
Lanyard Hole: Yes

Sheath
Black Nylon Sheath with a Hook and Loop Closure
MOLLE Compatibility: Yes

Pros:
It has a dependable blade with Titanium Nitride coating. TiNi makes it protected from scratches and other elements.
Handle is impact resistant.
Can do fine tune tasks, slicing and skinning.
Works for medium duties such as chopping.

Cons:
Very hard to sharpen.
It is not recommended for heavy duty work.
Sheath needs adjustments.

Detailed Work Capability: 5/5

Heavy Duty Work Capability: 3/5

Owner Reviews:

The Good:

“Got this knife as a backup to my Becker BK2. .25″ thick blade is tough made of AUS 8 stainless which is nice. The blade is sharp, and tough. The handle is indestructible and the pommel can do some damage. The sheath is ballistic nylon. I kinda like kydex better, but this is molle compatible. This is a very goods knife, I give a slight edge to the BK2 mainly for feel but this is just as good with the addition to stainless is tough to beat!!! Also considering this as a gift along with the BK2! If you need a tough utility survival knife this may be for you!” – Chris Bordeaux

The Bad:

“I received my SOG Force survival knife very quickly which i was pleased about. Love the knife, its a beast, beautiful, and looks like it will last for ever. However the sheath that came with it is different than the ones advertised on all the sites including amazon, maybe a generic? My knife will not fit inside the sheath unless i remove the hard internal encasing from the inside, which now makes it extremely dangerous to carry. It has pierced the bottom of the sheath already and there wasn’t a bottom center block to prevent it from being pierced. I am disappointed because i now have to find a safe means to carry it before i can take it camping with me.” – sdtom

(https://www.amazon.com/SOG-Force-Fixed-Blade-SE38-N/product-reviews/B004WN5CT0/ref=cm_cr_arp_d_viewpnt_rgt?ie=UTF8&reviewerType=avp_only_reviews&filterByStar=critical&pageNumber=1)

 

Top Knives Tom Brown Tracker

4.5 out of 5 Stars (Based on Amazon)

Out of 46 Reviews

$197.62Top Knife Tom Brown Tracker

This is one Powerhouse knife that is designed heavy and large to perform all around tasks. It can handle tough chopping to soft slicing.

This huge knife is 11.9” long with a blade 6.38” long and .25” thick. Its design is appropriate for great outdoor adventure. If you are looking for average to small knives, this may not be the one for you.

It is full tang and evidently heavy overall. It is best for batoning and extreme chopping!

Its clip point makes it a good tool for small duties needed outdoor such as skinning, slicing and kindling. It can do these but can be a little limited to these type of duties because of its huge blade design.

It is made with 1095 Steel and is resistant to abrasions. However, this particular design can easily rust when used to slice fruits and anything with moisture.

Its Grey Linen Micarta handle gives a great grip. Its design is good enough to assist its owner in performing outdoor tasks.

The Sheath is made with Kydex and has clips that can ease in carrying.

This knife is made in USA.

Overall, this knife looks ready for adventure and suits people who seek for challenges. It is huge and has a unique design for Survival.

What makes it different: Big, Heavy, Clip Point, Unique Design

Specifications:

Overall Length – 11.9”

Blade
Blade Length – 6.38″
Blade Thickness – 0.25”
Weight – 21 oz
Blade Type – Plain Straight
Blade Style – Clip point

Tang – Full Tang

Steel Type – 1095 Steel

Handle
Gray Linen Micarta
Lanyard Hole: Yes

Sheath
Kydex
MOLLE Compatibility: Yes

Pros:
Thick and unbreakable.
Does a great job for vigorous and strenuous work.
Well designed to carry and balance the weight.
The sheath has clips for your belt or waistband.
Gives the impression of a robust equipment.

Cons:
Heavier and a little bigger than other Knives.
Can easily rust.

Detailed Work Capability: 4/5

Heavy Duty Work Capability: 5/5

Owner Reviews:

The Good:

“I know this knife is somewhat controversial, but I have to say I am thoroughly impressed by the intended applications as well as how versatile this knife is. I have already taken it out a few times and tested it to my usual encounters in the wild and it has stood up to everything. I do have to say that the weight in the hand may be a little much, but it is barely noticeable on by belt when I have it scout style. I have already recommended this knife to my younger brother who is getting into the outdoor scene. I would recommend this knife to anyone serious about mother nature and her challenges. This knife will do its work.” – Joseph and Kristina Reid

(https://www.amazon.com/Tops-Knives-Tom-Brown-Tracker/product-reviews/B004H6BB6K/ref=cm_cr_getr_d_paging_btm_3?ie=UTF8&filterByStar=positive&reviewerType=avp_only_reviews&pageNumber=3)

The Bad:

“Perfect example of unique not being a good thing. The knife looks wicked, and could probably chop off an ar with a single blow, but it’s way to heavy and cumbersome for typical use. Certainly too heavy for sustained field use. That said it is fun as a backyard beast.” – Guy Sibley

(https://www.amazon.com/Tops-Knives-Tom-Brown-Tracker/product-reviews/B004H6BB6K/ref=cm_cr_arp_d_viewpnt_rgt?ie=UTF8&filterByStar=critical&reviewerType=avp_only_reviews)

How to Choose your Knife:

In choosing a knife, your needs are mostly considered.

How long are you staying outdoors?

For extensive days of adventure, a lightweight multi-purpose knife is desirable. Long walks will give you difficulty in carrying a heavy knife. You need a Knife that can do both fine tune and heavy tasks.

A good example is the Buck Knives 65 Hood Punk Fixed Blade or the Fallkniven A1 Survival Knife.

For fishing and going for river crossing, 1095 Steel material should be avoided as they are not good for saltwater. They can easily rust.

For hunting and trekking, you need a knife that can give your confidence a little more boost. A huge knife like the Top Knives Tom Brown Tracker is a good choice. The Fallkniven A1 is also recommended for hunting because of its Modified Spear Point.

Everyday carry.

The ESEE 6P-B Plain Edge Fixed Blade Survival Knife with Grey Micarta Handle is a good choice also for outdoor and backyard jobs.

Affordable Quality.

Schrade SCHF2 Extreme Survival Special Forces Knife is one that is affordable and high quality. It is less than $70 but gives the satisfaction to its owners.

How to Get the Best out of Your Knife
Survival is not for the weak and faint hearted. A survival knife is a powerful tool that requires maintenance.

Maintain your knife sharpness.
Taking care of your blade is critical. Choose the right sharpening technique for your blade.
(See a full guide here: http://bestpocketknifetoday.com/how-to-get-your-knives-razor-sharp/)

Keep your Knife Clean and Dry.
Every blade is susceptible to rusting. Wipe your blade off when you are done using it, and try to keep it in a clean dry area.  Also be sure to keep it in its sheath when you are not using it.

Do not hesitate to use your Knife’s warranty.
If something goes wrong with your knife, get it fixed.

Take care of your Sheath.
Each sheath requires different kind of maintenance. A clean and well kept sheath keep your knife clean and dry.

Give it a good field test.
Practice survival duties and tasks. Use your knife and don’t just keep it. A used and abused knife is more valuable than a knife that is eaten by rust in a hidden box.

Mike’s Top Pick:

In this world of uncertainty, there is one thing you have to be certain. You have to be certain with your needs in order to choose the appropriate gear.

ESEE Fixed Blade Survival Knife

Here in Mike’s Gear Reviews, we carefully observed which knife beats the rest from our list. The ESEE 6P-B Plain Edge Fixed Blade Survival Knife with Grey Micarta Handle met the following specifications:

  • Versatility – It can excel on both worlds whether hardcore or detailed field.
  • Reasonable Price – Priced at $124. It’s price best fit its capability in the field.
  • Quality – It is low-maintenance and made of high grade materials.
  • Design – It is a design that you can carry anywhere at anytime. It suits your kitchen, your backyard and most of all, outdoor!

As mentioned earlier, it is a “Jack of all Trades” Knife that can prepare you for a battle and can also be used as one of your zombie apocalypse survival tools.

Have you decided which wins a spot in your ZOMBIE APOCALYPSE BUG OUT BAG?

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