How to Choose the Right Survival Knife

Updated on October 20, 2016
I Survive profile image

A wilderness survival enthusiast, I enjoy practicing my skills and writing about my experiences and sharing my knowledge.

Not All Knives Are Created Equal

In a survival situation, your most valuable resource will be your knife.

For this reason, a good knife is of vital importance to increase your chances of survival. It can mean the difference between making it out alive or dying from exposure or hunger.

To be considered a survival knife, it should be capable of serving a variety of tasks. Some of which include:

  • Aid in building shelter
  • Processing game and cleaning fish
  • Food preparation
  • Processing firewood
  • Improvised weapon(fixed to a sapling to form a spear)
  • Building trap components
  • Making tools

So what makes for a proper survival knife that you would trust your life to? There is no one knife that suits every situation, but there are a few critical features that must be included for it to be considered a survival knife:

1. Fixed Blade With Full Tang Made of High-Carbon Steel

The knife must be a fixed-blade design. A fixed-blade knife is far more durable than a folding knife. While a quality folding knife is great in your every-day-carry kits, it will not stand up to challenges a survival situation may present.

A hinge or joint of any kind presents a weakness in your most important survival item. Minimize the risk of losing your key survival resource by choosing a knife that stands up to the pounding, chopping, prying, and cutting demands that will be presented in a survival situation.

Not only should your knife have a fixed blade, but it should also be full tang. “Full tang” means the blade and handle are constructed from a single piece of solid steal.

High-carbon steel ensures a long lasting cutting edge and provides a redundant method for generating sparks to ignite a fire.

2. Size

Sorry fellas, size DOES matter. But where it relates to your survival knife, bigger is not always better. Too big a blade and you sacrifice the ability to effectively use it for detailed tasks such as carving precision trap components or dressing smaller game.

While at the same time, a small blade does not meet the more rugged demands of tasks like harvesting saplings to build camp.

An ideal size for a good survival knife should be around 9-11 inches overall length.

3. Straight Edge With Flat Spine

When it comes to the actual style or cut of the blade, there are many different options. But for a quality survival knife, a straight edge is preferred for the following reasons:

  • Straight edge blades are better when batoning and carving
  • Straight edge blades can more easily be sharpened than serrated blades
  • Straight edge blades are more versatile

The spine should be milled flat, and at a 90 degree angle to the cheeck of the blade. This allows for creating sparks by either stroking a ferrocerium rod or striking the spine of the blade with a piece of flint or quartz when making fire.

It also makes it easy to strip the inner bark off sticks for making medicine or fire tinder, and in a pinch you can use it to scrape a hide for processing fur and leather.

Conclusion

There are hundreds of survival knives that meet these survival features.

Use the three criteria above as a benchmark for choosing your survival knife. Beyond this, everything else comes down to personal preference.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, skyaboveus.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://skyaboveus.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)