Choosing the Best Survival Knife: An Overview of the Different Types of Knives
- 1 Choosing the Best Survival Knife: An Overview of the Different Types of Knives
- 1.1 What Should You Look For in a Survival Knife?
- 1.2 The Best Survival Knives on the Market
Survival knives have been considered for a long time an essential tool for anyone venturing into the wild. Both being a tool and a weapon, a proper knife may very well save your life. Of course, finding the perfect knife is extremely difficult, if not impossible.
Any beginner may feel overwhelmed at the great quantity of knives in the market. Form fixed knives to folding ones, straight or serrated blade. Options are many, and there are both advantages and disadvantages to each type. Owning a quality tool may be the difference between life and death.
What Should You Look For in a Survival Knife?
Choosing just one option among the best survival knives can be overwhelming. You should know what to look for when looking at survival knives for sale. Here are some considerations to take:
The length of the blade in a knife typically ranges from four to eight inches, although there are many ten to twelve inches models in the market. A 6 inches blade is a great size if it’s your first knife. At the end of the day, it’s actually a matter of personal preference, and you should also consider the use the knife is going to get (skinning animals, cleaning fish, and self-defense).
Straight vs. Serrated blade
The blade in survival knives comes in two forms: straight and serrated. Both shapes have people on their side, but it’s also a matter of personal opinion, and the kind of use the knife is going to get.
It should be noted however that a straight edge blade will always come in handy. Purchasing a knife with only a serrated blade shouldn’t be an option, unless you plant to get another one with a straight blade. That said, if you are only considering purchasing one knife, you should look to buy one that comes with a partially serrated blade, or a fully straight edge.
Serrated blades are more difficult to clean and sharpen (they are normally sharpened using diamonds), and they are also noticeably less precise and smooth in the cuts. An advantage is that it’s easier and faster to make cuts using a serrated blade, but the cuts tend to be cleaner using straight blades. Serrated blades work by dragging the edge across the object that is being cut.
You want the best product your money can buy, with the perfect balance between cost and performance. You should consider how much you want to spend on the knife, and the activities you normally do. If you only camp alone or twice a year, spending a large amount may be a bit of an overkill, but if you’re often in the wild, it may be worth it since it’s more likely you will unlock its full potential.
The blade is the most important part of the knife. It’s essential to know the different blade materials, since all of them have both its advantages and disadvantages.
One of the advantages of carbon steel is that it is extremely durable. It corrodes easier than stainless steel because it lacks chromium (found in stainless steel), so you won’t find it in for example kitchen knives. They required extra care since they tend to rust easily, but the sharpness makes it one of the preferred materials for survival knives.
It’s another one of the most popular choices for blade material. Stainless steel resists corrosion better than carbon steel, and it’s easier to maintain.
The material is good for people that do not sharpen their own knives, since they require specific tools (like a special type of sandpaper). Ceramic can be very fragile if dropped, but they make up for it by being 100% resistant to corrosion (since it’s not a metal), and they stay sharp for longer periods of time.
The Best Survival Knives on the Market
Finding the best survival knife is no easy task. Now that we have gone through some of the different types of materials and characteristics, we are going to take a look at our recommended products here at A Tool for Every Job.
|Knife||Weight (ounces)||Total length (inches)||Blade length (inches)||Material||Price|
|ESEE Knives IZULA-II||3.2||6.75||2.63||1095 carbon steel||$$|
|Fallkniven A1||12.8||11||6.375||Lam. VG10 steel||$$$$|
|ESEE 6P-B||11.8||11.75||6.50||1095 carbon steel||$$$|
|Ka-Bar Becker BK2 Campanion||16||10.5||5.5||1095 cro-van steel||$$|
This straight blade knife is known to be extremely flexible while also remaining strong. The blade length is approximately 2.75 inches, so it’s great for skinning, carving and other activities that require doing detailed cuts. As a budget to mid-range item, this ESEE knife is simple to use, sturdy and durable. It’s easy to sharpen, and it will retain its sharpness under most circumstances.
Fallkniven has been one of the best brands for many years. The A-models are regarded as some of the best quality knives in the market, and the A1 is 11 inches of pure beautiful death.
The Swedish knife uses VG-10 steel for a blade that’s slightly thicker than others. Only downside is the price, but if you are serious about venturing into the wild, survival is guaranteed with this masterpiece.
This knife packs a carbon steel blade 6.5 inches carbon steel blade. Few knives can beat the ESEE 6P when it comes to functionality outdoors. The knife may not be as good looking as other models (I’m looking at you Fallkniven A1), but the main focus of this lies in having perfect grip, being comfortable to use and having a great balance between length and weight. At 11.75 inches total this is one of the longest knives on the market, but it’s extremely durable, the quality is top notch and you’ll always feel comfortable holding it.
This another one of the most popular models out there, loved by both beginners and knife enthusiasts. Ka-Bar built it specifically for outdoors and camping, so this fixed blade knife is longer when compared to many others. From skinning meat to chopping thick foliage, this knife will cut anything you throw at it. The build quality of its 1095 Crovan Steel blade is fantastic, and with its 5.5 inches of length (10.5 inches total), its price is very economical considering the quality of the product.
Another survival knife that gets everyone excited is the Gerber Bear Grylls Ultimate PRO, the official knife of
madman survivalist Bear Grylls, known best for the show Man vs. Wild. If you’re heading out into the wild then this may be the ideal knife for you.