Our Top 7 Survival Knives – 2020 Review Guide
In this article, we’re here to help you find the best survival knife available in 2020. A good survival knife is expected to do a lot of things well. Far more than just a knife, these are tools that have a number of uses when put into service in the real world. Sure, the way a survival knife performs as is an important part of the equation, but it is often the rest of the package that goes to creating a great product. When you set out to buy one of your own, make sure you consider all of the various aspects of each option that you find before making a buying decision.
There are hundreds (if not thousands) of survival knives available today, so doing your homework should result in finding the perfect model for you. For most buyers, the biggest buying challenge when it comes to picking out a survival knife is simply wading through the options available online today. There are all kinds of different shapes, sizes, styles, materials, and more that make up the survival knife market. In fact, that market isn’t really well-defined to begin with –a survival knife to one person might just be a pocket blade to someone else. Regardless, no matter what you happen to be looking for, the key is that you know how to find it.
After doing all the hard research for you, we’ve put together our 7 Survival Knives in the comparison table below.
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Morakniv Bushcraft (our top pick)
To help in that pursuit, we have taken the time to assemble this handy buying guide. In this article, we will offer up some key decision-making points for you to consider, followed by a list of some of the best survival knives on the market today. Without further delay, let’s get started!
Major Buying Considerations for Survival Knives
If you should happen to find yourself in a real survival situation, your knife will be one of the most valuable pieces of equipment that you could possibly have with you. Yes, other items such as a tent for shelter and fresh water are important as well, but having a good knife can allow you to solve many problems out in the wilderness. It can serve as self-defense against animals (let’s call it a wilderness survival knife), it can help you to access food sources, it can help you to create a shelter, and much more. With no exaggeration required, a good survival knife can truly mean the difference between life and death in a survival scenario. If you are going to put yourself in a position to be deep in the wild all on your own, carrying a quality survival knife is just good common sense.
With the stakes as high as they can be, picking out the right knife is obviously a crucial decision. The points below should be carefully weighed before you place an order.
1. The Size
To get started, you need to decide what size of the knife is going to be best for your needs. You might automatically think bigger is better but that isn’t necessarily going to be the right choice. Bigger isn’t always better when it comes to survival knives, for a variety of reasons. First, you will be carrying this knife around with you throughout your time in the back country, so a larger one is going to take up more space and will be heavier to carry. Therefore, from the perspective of convenience, a smaller model may be attractive.
Also, a smaller one will be easier to hold as you are using it, so those with small hands or those expecting to do a large amount of work with their survival knife may want to lean toward a smaller model. Of course, you don’t want to make the mistake of picking out an option that is too small, either. Whether you are trying to butcher and animal for a meal or cut up a tree to build a shelter, you need a knife with enough blade to get the job done. Smaller knives are capable of doing less work, and they will also wear out faster because there is a smaller usable blade.
Each time you employ the use of the knife, you will be damaging the same section of the blade. In the end, you are going to have to pick out a knife that fits your needs from a size perspective, but be sure to keep the drawbacks for both big and small knives in mind. As a general rule of thumb, a knife in the range of 8 to 12 total inches (total length of the knife, not just the blade) is going to be a good pick for most people. If you go much above that range, you will be left with a large blade that is hard to maneuver –too far below that range, and you will have a small blade that is only capable of completing minor tasks.
2. Fixed is Best
It is easy to fall in love with a foldable model. Usually called a pocket knife, a blade that can be folded up into its own protective case is attractive for many reasons. However, for a survival knife, you probably are going to want to stick with a fixed blade. Foldable knives, even good ones, are prone to breaking at the joint when put under extreme pressure. Therefore, doing the kind of heavy duty work that might be required in a survival situation with a folding product is just asking for trouble. There is a time and place for a good pocket knife, but it isn’t out in the woods when your life is on the line.
3. Tip Should Be Sharp
If a knife is really going to be classified accurately as a survival tool, it should have a sharp, pointed tip that can be used for spearing objects. There are plenty of knives on the market with rounded tips and other shapes, but those really aren’t going to serve your purposes properly when out in the woods. A sharp tip is great for many uses, including as a hunting implement or for cutting through tough materials. Even something as simple as being able to stick it into a tree for storage until you need to grab it again is made possible when you pick a knife that has a sharp tip.
4. Heavy Duty Construction
The last point on our list relates to the quality and stability of the knife itself. A flimsy or cheaply-made product has no business coming with you out into the woods. You need to be able to rely on your knife through thick and thin, as you don’t know exactly what you are going to have to ask the knife to do in a survival situation. Therefore, the build of the knife should be significant, and the materials that make up the handle should be able to take just about anything that you can throw at them.
To a certain degree, you can get an idea of the quality of a particular knife simply by looking at the price. While you don’t need to rush out to buy the most expensive knife available, buying a particularly cheap model is likely going to leave you disappointed. Invest in a quality knife and you will have a trusty companion out in the woods.
Advantages of Owning a Survival Knife
Confidence is one of the main advantages that comes along with owning a good survival knife. When you head out into the woods for some adventure, there can be an uneasy feeling that goes along with placing yourself in unfamiliar territory. However, if you have a good blade clipped to your belt, you can feel just a little bit better about how you will fare. Even if the expedition doesn’t go exactly according to plan, you can turn to your knife for help. It is amazing the number of ways in which a good knife can help you get out of trouble, so the peace of mind offers by this equipment will be worth the price alone.
Another advantage is the ability to have more fun out in the wilderness, even if you never do find yourself in a survival scenario. Let’s be honest, no one actually wants to have to survive in the woods all alone without proper gear. It is an uncomfortable and scary situation, but you can still get plenty of use from it even if you avoid ever having to turn to it in an emergency. A great survival knife will come in handy while camping, fishing, hiking, and more. Put one of these impressive pieces of equipment on your belt and you will love being able to turn to it at a moments notice.
Top 7 – Best Survival Knives
We’ve hand picked our top seven picks. Our survival knife reviews are designed to help you find the perfect blade for your needs.
1. Gerber Bear Grylls Ultimate Serrated
Thanks to his incredibly popular television show, Bear Grylls is a name that is well-known for many who are interested in the world of survival. It bears his name, which is a good start toward knowing that it will be a quality product. Along with this endorsement, this is also a Gerber product, which again lends credibility to the knife.
The reviews left for have been overwhelmingly positive, and there have been plenty of compliments to go around. It is 10 inches in length, which falls right in the sweet spot for a versatile survival knife. It has a molded rubber grip and includes a fire starter that is integrated with a diamond sharpener. An emergency whistle is included as well, which could potentially help you signal for rescue in an emergency. It includes a lifetime warranty, and many of the reviewers have commented on what a good value this product is for the relatively low price. If you are in the market for a basic, all-around survival knife that will do what you expect from it, the Gerber Bear Grylls model is certainly worth a closer look.
2. MTech USA MT-086 Series Fixed Blade
While this knife starts to get a little bit on the long side of a survival knife – it is 12 ¼ long – it still includes most of the qualities that you should be hoping to find. It’s considered one of the best fixed blade knives on the market; it has a straight edge, and the grip is easy to hold onto even during wet conditions. The blade itself is 7, and there is a nylon sheath included with the knife for convenient and safe carrying. The value is something that really stands out right from the top.
The reviews from buyers have been largely positive, with only minor complaints. The quality of the product is praised by many, as is the full tang construction which gives the it power and stability. If anything, some buyers felt the knife could have come a little sharper, but that problem is easily solved with a sharpening kit.
3. Schrade SCHF9 Extreme Survival
Another survival knife, another product with great reviews from buyers. It is easy to see what people like so much about this Schrade offering – it is made from quality 1095 high carbon steel, it has a Kraton handle and is an overall length of 12 (with a blade length of 6.4). A nylon sheath is included with this model as well, and it has a good heft in the hand thanks to weighing in at 15.9 ounces.
Buyers who have used it praise it for being tough and durable, able to put in full days work out in the field. The value is appreciated, as this knife offers features of a product that could be far more expensive than the price tag that is usually seen with this Schrade model.
Overall, this is another solid survival knife that is worth a closer look before you make a buying decision.
4. BlizeTec Survival Fixed Blade: 3-in-1
This product takes a slightly different approach to the survival knife category, as it includes some other items that are helpful in a survival situation beyond just a basic knife. In addition, there is a flashlight, a magnesium fire starter, and a belt pouch for the blade. Your opinion on these extras will likely depend on what equipment you already own for your adventures. If you dont have a good flashlight or fire starter, these items may be appreciated. However, if you already have this gear, you probably dont need it included with your survival knife purchase. In terms of the knife itself, it is a shorter model than the others on our list. It comes in an 8.46long, with a blade length of 4.17. The blade of the knife is made from 420 stainless steel, and it is a full tang design (meaning the blade itself runs from the tip all the way to the butt of the knife).
It has received excellent reviews to this point, with plenty of compliments on the quality of the product as well as the combo package set up. Not everyone will be in the market for a knife that includes other survival gear, but consider the BlizeTec if you like the idea of getting more than just a good blade for your purchase.
5. GANZO G801-DY Hunting Survival
The GANZO is created with 440 stainless steel, features a fixed blade, and also includes a sharpener and fire starter. You need to keep your knife sharp out in the woods if it is going to remain productive for you, so have a sharpener included is a nice advantage. Buyers seem to think that you need to try it out for yourself in order to appreciate the quality. There is plenty of value to be found in this purchase. The versatility of the handle is another bonus that you will enjoy once you start to use the product for yourself. The handle is designed to be used as a glass breaker, so you should be able to use it to get out of a tough situation if necessary. Also, there is a lanyard hole if you wish to attach the knife to something else with some cording.
This product does not yet have as many reviews as some of the others we have covered, but it has received glowing comments nonetheless.
6. Chaos Ready 5-in-1 Survival
We will acknowledge right off the top that this knife breaks one of the rules we outlined in the content above – it is a folding knife. However, thanks to the variety of functions that it can serve in a survival situation, it still warrants inclusion on this list. It offers a serrated blade that can be used in a number of applications, but it also offers a flashlight, glass breaker, seatbelt cutter, bottle opener, and magnesium fire starter. You might only find that you need one or two of these extra functions during a given trip, but you will be thankful that you have access to it when the time does come around.
With plenty of reviews already piling in for this product, the comments have been nearly universal in their praise. This product is backed by a full warranty, it has a pocket clip for easy carrying, and the blade can be turned open with just a thumb. The blade length is right around 4 inches, and buyers love being able to use the variety of features that it offers. While the folding blade is not what we would typically look for in a survival knife, there are more than enough positives with this product to make up for that feature.
7. StatGear 99416 Surviv-All Outdoor – with Firestarter
Another knife, another option with more features than just a blade. This StatGear knife is made from 440 stainless steel and includes a full tang which is wrapped in a rubber handle. There is a blade sharpening stone included with the sheath, and the pommel is made from steel as well.
Again, as with all of the knives on our list, the reviews have been largely positive for this StatGear product. The list above offers you seven great options to get started owning a survival knife of your own. Each of the models is a little bit different while they share a few common characteristics. The best way to settle on your own choice is to review each option one by one, along with any other models on the market that you may be considering.
Remember, your own personal needs should be the main deciding point when picking out a knife, so take the time to think about exactly how this product is going to be used out in the field. As long as the blade is well-made and can handle the work that you expect it to do, you should wind up very satisfied with your purchase. If you enjoyed our survival knife review guide, we’d appreciate it if you shared out article.
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