Looking for the perfect survival knife for your outdoor adventures? Look no further! Our in-depth knife reviews provide you with the best use-case scenarios and detailed feature analyses of some of the most popular and useful knives on the market. Whether you’re camping, hiking, or preparing for a potential emergency situation, our top picks will ensure you have the right tool for the job. Get ready to equip yourself with the ultimate companion for your outdoor escapades, and make the most out of your next adventure.
Different Types of Survival Knives
When it comes to choosing a survival knife, there are several different types to consider. Each type has its own unique features and benefits, so it’s important to understand the differences before making your selection.
Fixed Blade Knives
Fixed blade knives are known for their strength and durability. They have a solid blade that extends from the handle and is permanently fixed in place. This makes them very reliable and capable of handling tough tasks. Fixed blade knives are often preferred by outdoor enthusiasts and survivalists because they can withstand heavy use and are easy to clean.
Folding knives, also known as pocket knives, are compact and easy to carry. They have a hinged blade that can be folded into the handle, making them convenient for everyday use. Folding knives are versatile and can be used for a variety of tasks. They are great for casual outdoor activities or as a backup knife in emergency situations.
Multi-tool knives are designed to be a jack-of-all-trades. They typically feature a folding blade along with additional tools such as screwdrivers, pliers, and can openers. Multi-tool knives are incredibly versatile and can come in handy in a wide range of situations. They are perfect for those who want to be prepared for any situation and need multiple tools in one compact package.
Key Features to Consider
When choosing a survival knife, there are several key features to consider. These features can greatly impact the knife’s performance and usability, so it’s important to choose wisely.
The blade material is one of the most important factors to consider when choosing a survival knife. The most common blade materials are stainless steel and carbon steel. Stainless steel blades are resistant to corrosion and require less maintenance, while carbon steel blades are known for their durability and ability to hold a sharp edge.
Blade Length and Design
The blade length and design can greatly impact the knife’s functionality. Longer blades are ideal for heavy-duty tasks such as chopping wood, while shorter blades are more suitable for precision tasks such as carving. The blade design, whether it be a drop point, tanto, or clip point, can also affect how the knife performs in specific situations.
Handle Material and Grip
The handle material and grip are important for comfort and control. Common handle materials include wood, rubber, and synthetic materials such as G-10 or Micarta. The handle should provide a secure grip and be comfortable to hold for extended periods of time. Textured handles or ergonomic designs can also help improve grip and prevent slips.
The sheath is an essential component of a survival knife as it ensures safe and secure storage. A high-quality sheath should be durable, easy to use, and provide adequate protection for the blade. Nylon, leather, and Kydex are popular materials used for sheaths. It’s important to choose a sheath that is compatible with your knife and suits your needs.
Some survival knives come with additional features that can enhance their usefulness. These features can include sawback blades, fire-starting rods, integrated compasses, or even whistle attachments. Consider what additional features are important to you and whether they would be beneficial in your outdoor adventures.
Top Picks for Fixed Blade Knives
There are many great options for fixed blade survival knives. Here are our top picks:
Gerber LMF II
The Gerber LMF II is a versatile and durable survival knife that is trusted by professionals. It features a stainless steel blade with a partially serrated edge, making it great for cutting through tough materials. The knife also has a sturdy handle with an integrated glass breaker and a striking pommel. The Gerber LMF II comes with a high-quality sheath and a built-in sharpener.
ESEE 6P-B Plain Edge
The ESEE 6P-B is a rugged and reliable survival knife that is designed for heavy-duty use. It has a carbon steel blade with a full tang construction, ensuring maximum strength and durability. The knife features a comfortable Micarta handle and comes with a molded Kydex sheath. The ESEE 6P-B is known for its excellent edge retention and is popular among outdoor enthusiasts.
Ka-Bar Becker BK2 Campanion
The Ka-Bar Becker BK2 Campanion is a tough and versatile survival knife that can handle a variety of tasks. It has a carbon steel blade with a drop point design, making it great for both slicing and piercing. The knife features a comfortable, grivory handle that provides a secure grip. The Ka-Bar Becker BK2 Campanion comes with a durable polyester sheath.
Top Picks for Folding Knives
If you prefer the convenience and versatility of a folding knife, here are our top picks for survival folding knives:
The Benchmade Griptilian is a popular folding knife that offers reliability and functionality. It has a stainless steel blade with a drop point design, making it suitable for a wide range of tasks. The knife features a comfortable handle with textured grips for added security. The Benchmade Griptilian also has a sturdy locking mechanism for safety.
Spyderco Paramilitary 2
The Spyderco Paramilitary 2 is a high-quality folding knife that is favored by many outdoor enthusiasts. It has a stainless steel blade with a full flat grind, ensuring excellent cutting performance. The knife features a lightweight and ergonomic handle that provides a comfortable grip. The Spyderco Paramilitary 2 also has a reliable compression lock mechanism.
Cold Steel Recon 1
The Cold Steel Recon 1 is a robust folding knife that is built to withstand tough conditions. It has a stainless steel blade with a tanto point design, making it ideal for piercing tasks. The knife features a durable G-10 handle that provides a secure grip. The Cold Steel Recon 1 also has a reliable tri-ad lock mechanism for added safety.
Top Picks for Multi-tool Knives
For those who want a versatile tool that can handle various tasks, here are our top picks for multi-tool knives:
Leatherman Wave Plus
The Leatherman Wave Plus is a popular multi-tool knife that offers a wide range of features. It has a folding blade along with an array of additional tools, including pliers, wire cutters, screwdrivers, and more. The tool features a compact and ergonomic design, making it easy to carry and use. The Leatherman Wave Plus also comes with a durable nylon sheath.
The Gerber Center-Drive is a versatile multi-tool knife that is designed for maximum efficiency. It features a folding blade along with a centered screwdriver and a full-size bit holder, allowing for easy one-handed operation. The tool also has several other useful tools, including pliers, wire cutters, and a pry bar. The Gerber Center-Drive comes with a durable sheath for convenient storage.
The SOG PowerAssist is a feature-packed multi-tool knife that is perfect for any situation. It has a folding blade along with a variety of tools, including pliers, wire cutters, screwdrivers, and more. The tool features an innovative compound leverage system that provides increased gripping power. The SOG PowerAssist also comes with a durable nylon sheath.
Use-case Scenarios for Survival Knives
Survival knives can be incredibly useful in a variety of outdoor situations. Here are some common use-case scenarios where a survival knife can come in handy:
Camping and Hiking
When camping and hiking, a survival knife can be used for tasks such as cutting rope, preparing food, and building shelter. It can also be used for carving wood or starting a fire. Having a reliable and versatile knife can greatly enhance your camping and hiking experience and contribute to your overall safety and comfort.
Hunting and Fishing
Hunters and fishermen can greatly benefit from having a survival knife. It can be used for cleaning game, preparing bait, and constructing makeshift tools. A sharp and reliable knife is essential for processing meat and ensuring a successful hunting or fishing trip.
Emergency and Survival Situations
In emergency and survival situations, a survival knife can be a lifesaver. It can be used for cutting through seat belts, breaking glass, and performing first aid tasks. A durable and versatile knife can be a valuable tool for staying prepared and maintaining your safety in unforeseen circumstances.
Maintenance and Care Tips
To ensure the longevity and optimal performance of your survival knife, it’s important to properly maintain and care for it. Here are some maintenance and care tips to keep in mind:
Cleaning and Drying
After each use, make sure to clean your knife with mild soap and water. Avoid using harsh chemicals or abrasives that could damage the blade or handle. After cleaning, thoroughly dry your knife to prevent rust or corrosion.
Sharpening the Blade
Regularly sharpening your knife is essential for maintaining its cutting performance. You can use a sharpening stone or a sharpening tool to sharpen the blade. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions and be sure to maintain the proper angle while sharpening.
Lubrication and Rust Prevention
To prevent rust and corrosion, apply a thin layer of oil to the blade and metal parts of your knife. This will help protect your knife against moisture and the elements. Be sure to use a food-safe oil if you plan on using the knife for food preparation.
When it comes to owning and carrying a survival knife, it’s important to be aware of the legal considerations. Laws and regulations regarding knives can vary from state to state and even within different countries. Here are some key points to consider:
Laws and Regulations
Research and familiarize yourself with the laws and regulations of your specific area. Understanding the legality of blade length, carry restrictions, and other factors can help ensure that you’re in compliance with the law.
Carrying and Concealment
In many places, it is illegal to carry a concealed knife. If you plan on carrying a survival knife, make sure it is visible and carried in a sheath or holster that is easily accessible and securely attached to your gear or person.
Traveling with a Survival Knife
If you plan on traveling with a survival knife, it’s important to check the regulations of your destination before doing so. Some countries have strict regulations regarding the transportation of knives, and it’s best to be informed to avoid any legal issues.
In conclusion, choosing the right survival knife is important for your outdoor adventures. Whether you opt for a fixed blade knife, folding knife, or multi-tool knife, consider the key features that will meet your specific needs. The Gerber LMF II, ESEE 6P-B, and Ka-Bar Becker BK2 Campanion are great options for fixed blade knives. For folding knives, the Benchmade Griptilian, Spyderco Paramilitary 2, and Cold Steel Recon 1 are top choices. If you prefer a multi-tool knife, the Leatherman Wave Plus, Gerber Center-Drive, and SOG PowerAssist are highly recommended. Remember to consider how you plan to use your survival knife, take care of it properly, and be mindful of the legal considerations in your area. With these tips in mind, you’ll be well-equipped for your outdoor adventures. Stay safe and enjoy your time in nature!