Our Guide to the Ultimate Survival Knives on the Market
Survival knives come in a variety of different price ranges, but the best survival knife ever will depend on your own needs. We’re going to be discussing the ultimate survival knives on the market, but it’s essential to know how to compare the different types of available knives:
Gerber Bear Grylls Ultimate Knife
Our favorite for 2017
Maxam Survival Knife
A great value option
MTech USA MT-086 Fixed Blade Hunting Knife
A great fixed blade
- Knife-Only Models: Cheaper in price, these knives only provide a blade. You’ll find that many of these knives have the ability to crush an item under the knife’s handle, and they may even offer serrated blades. This is good choice if you’re only after survival and you already have a survival kit that offers a compass, matches, fishing line and other accessories.
- Survival Knife Kits: Many knives that will be presented on this list come in the form of a kit. Essentially, you’ll unscrew the bottom of the knife to find matches, Band-Aids, fishing line and various other accessories. This is a great choice if you do not have other survival supplies on hand, and need a knife that not only offers protection, but can pack in a lot of little accessories, too.
- Price: A knife with no accessories is better than no knife at all. We’re going to be offering knives in different price ranges, and of course, your budget should be taken into consideration. Do you really need all of the extra survival accessories? You need to know this if you’re on a tight budget because all of the added accessories add to the overall price of the knife.
Of course, you also want to consider the tang of the knife as well as the type of knife that is offered. We discuss this more at the end of the article in our buying guide, but now we’re going to be reviewing five of the best survival knives on the market today.
Gerber Bear Grylls Ultimate Serrated Knife – The Bear Grylls is a serrated knife that offers a molded rubber grip, and knurled striking force butt cap. The black blade is sleek, while the emergency micro lanyard whistle is a major benefit for hunters or campers that can get potentially lost out in the wild.
An integrated firestarter with a diamond sharpener allows you to start a fire with ease. The Velcro sheath allows for quick knife removal in dire situations. The serrated edge is perfect for cutting, while the steel is durable and easily used for penetration. At the top of the knife, you’ll notice two holes in the handle that allow you to lash it to a spear, and the heavy-duty pummel allows for bashing with ease.
Finishing off this knife’s list of features, you’ll also find that on the back of the sheath is a sharpener, so you can keep your knife sharp at all times. The knife is 10 inches in length, including the handle, so it’s an excellent choice for survival situations.
Maxam Survival Knife – A solid budget option, the Maxam is more of a knife kit than a simple survival knife. You’ll receive a main (2 are included) knife that measures 14 inches in length, with 7 ¾” in blade length alone. The perfect choice for chopping or long ranged protection, this knife also features a 3/16-inch blade and a storage compartment that holds:
- Safety pin
- Razor blade
- Fishing line
There’s also a 7-inch skeletal frame knife that comes along with this blade, and it fits perfectly into the molded sheath. This is a great survival knife if you need a whole bunch of extras, but it does lack a fire starter (only matches are included).
MTech USA MT-086 Series – The MT-086 series makes our list because it’s so affordable. This is a no-frills knife, and it does not come with a compass or fire starter like many of the others. Featured in black stainless steel, the blade is straight, and the ABS handle offers inserts for optimal grip in all-weather conditions.
A black sheath is included, and the blade spans 7 inches, with the overall length of the knife being 12 ¼ inches.
On the bottom of the handle, there is a glass breaker that is perfect for car accidents or situations where you need to break glass for rescue purposes. A black nylon sheath is offered as well, and the knife features a full tang. This is the ideal choice for anyone looking for a survival knife that doesn’t necessarily need a fire starter, compass or other accessories that many of the other knives on this list include.
Rothco Deluxe Adventurer Survival Kit Knife – A full kit. The Rotcho is what I recommend for new survivalists, and the blade on this knife spans 5.25”. The full length of the blade is 11 inches long, and the hollow handle includes: fish line, single mirror, fingertip saw, pencil, small harpoon, bandages, and a compass on the top of the screw-off container.
You can even put matches inside of it for easy fire starting, but they are not included with your purchase.
Nearly perfect, the only downside to this knife is that it is not full tang – so the blade and handle can be separated under extreme conditions. But don’t get me wrong, this is a great knife for camping or hiking, and is very durable.
Zero Tolerance ZT0350TS – The Zero Tolerance is the final knife of our survival knife reviews. An exceptional knife, the only reason this model comes lower on our list is because it’s a folding knife. Folding knives have the benefit of being compact, but are traditionally less durable than fixed blades. A SpeedSafe manual assist allows you to open this knife the one hand, and the S30 V stainless steel offers extreme durability.
Made in the United States, this product offers a lifetime warranty, and has a 3.25-inch blade length. The total length of this knife is 7.75 inches, and is the perfect choice for up-close survival situations.
Buyer’s Guide – How to Choose from All the Best Rated Survival Knives and Get the Right One for You
If you want the best survival knife ever, you need to know exactly what to look for when buying your knife. There are several factors that go into choosing the right model for you:
- Fixed vs Folding: If you’re the type of person that goes camping or hiking lot, I recommend a fixed blade knife because they are more durable and accommodating than a folding blade. Folding knives are ideal when you are low on space, and need to keep a knife in a pocket or bag.
- Tang: The ideal choice is full tang, but not all knives come in this form. A full tang means that the blade itself goes all the way through the handle, so if the handle breaks, you can still use the blade.
- Price: There are knives for beginners, and knives for expert survivalists. You can spend a reasonable amount for a decent knife, or for a little more, you could get the Bear Grylls, which is a high quality, all-around survival knife. You need to find a knife that fits in your budget, and this may be the most difficult part of the buying process.
- Accessories: Survival means different things to different people. If you’re looking for a knife for your protection, you might not need all of the extra accessories that come along with some of the models listed above. If you’re preparing for the apocalypse or you’re going on a hunting trip, you might not know what to expect in the wild. This means you might need a compass, matches or a fire starter to survive – literally.