Best Survival Knives: Confidently Explore the Great Outdoors
Be prepared in the wilderness with these high-quality survival knives
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PUBLISHED ON December 5, 2019
Whether you’re an avid hiker or just camping for the weekend, a survival knife can be extremely helpful. Its sharp blade can cut up kindling, slice through rope, and start a fire. They are compact enough to store away, and their versatility makes them capable of cutting basically anything you’ll need to enjoy the great outdoors. Here are the best survival knives to consider for your next adventure.
- Best OverallESSE Fixed Blade Survival KnifeSummarySummary
It features a 1.56-inch thick and 6.5-inch long black-coated 1095 high carbon steel blade with a 5.2-inch-long handle.ProsPros
The knife includes a protective polymer sheath with a clip plate attachment and a lanyard hole. It’s full tang for additional strength and weighs just 12 ounces.ConsCons
There is no fire starter with the blade, the handle isn’t the most comfortable, the coating isn’t the most durable, and the sheath is a bit dull-looking.
- Best ValueSmith & Wesson High Carbon Fixed Blade Survival KnifeSummarySummary
A lightweight and compact 9-inch long full tang survival knife developed out of carbon stainless steel.ProsPros
The handle is wrapped in thick rubber for greater grip strength. It features a blood groove, a dual-edge, a protective handguard, and weighs nearly 8 ounces.ConsCons
It’s designed more for stabbing and isn’t the best for cutting. The handle is thin and small, and putting it in the sheath can be difficult due to its double-sided blade.
- Honorable MentionMossy Oak Fixed Blade Survival KnifeSummarySummary
This 13.5-inch long fixed-blade knife has an 8.5-inch long and 5.5-mm thick blade. The spear point blade has a blood groove for strength and edge retention.ProsPros
It’s a full tang knife designed to resist corrosion. It includes a comfortable green rubber-wrapped handle with a textured grip, a brown leather sheath, and it weighs 0.8 pounds.ConsCons
It is on the larger side for survival knives and may take some getting used to. It’s also heavy and cumbersome, and keeping it in the sheath may be a hassle on a hike.
Why Trust Us
All of our reviews are based on market research, expert input, and practical experience with each product we include. This way, we offer genuine, accurate guides to help you find the best picks.
- Make sure the blade is properly secured to the sheath before setting off on an adventure. Double-check the buckles and straps to ensure they are tight.
- To make sure your knife does not rust, do not leave it in water or outside in the elements. Make sure to wipe away water with a cloth before putting it back in the sheath.
- If you need to cut the rope, twine, or string more effectively, get a survival knife that includes a serrated edge for better cuts and slices.
- Always cut away from your body when using a survival knife, or any type of knife, to avoid slicing or harming yourself. Always use extreme caution to keep yourself safe.
Q: What is the tang on the knife?
A: The tang is the part of the blade that extends into the handle of the knife. Knives with a full tang are considered more durable and stronger.
Q: How do I properly care for a survival knife?
A: Make sure your knife is sharp by using a sharpening tool or whetstone. Both feature two sides: a rough side and a fine grit side. Some survival knives may also come with a stone of their own.
Q: What types of blades do survival knives have?
A: You can find survival knives with either stainless steel or carbon material blades. Stainless steel is more common, is generally tougher, and is less prone to rusting and chipping. Carbon blades are harder, but not as tough, but are typically easier to sharpen.
Our top pick, the ESSE Fixed Blade Survival Knife is made out of tough and sturdy carbon steel for improved power and force.
Or there’s the budget-friendly Smith & Wesson High Carbon Fixed Blade Survival Knife, which looks more rugged and comes equipped with a strong blade, blood groove, a dual-edge, and a protective handguard.