Skip to comments.How to Choose the Perfect Survival Knife
Posted on 06/14/2013 3:36:08 PM PDT by virgil283
"A survival knife is just as it soundsa knife that can help you survive. It is a tool with literally hundreds of survival-related functions.....Survival Knife Feature #1: Size: Does size matter? Yes, but when it comes to your survival knife, bigger is not always better. If your blade is too big, you sacrifice the ability to effectively use it for detailed tasks such as dressing small game or carving precision snare sets.... A fixed blade knife is more durable and reliable than a folding knife...Not only should your survival knife be a fixed blade, but it should also be FULL TANG........"
(Excerpt) Read more at artofmanliness.com ...
Not only do I recommend a single-edged blade, but I prefer for the back side (spine) of my survival knife to have a flat 90 degree grind....Solid Pommel: The pommel is the bottom of the knifes handlealso referred to as the butt. I regularly use the pommel on my survival knife for light duty pounding and hammering..A survival knife is not a magic wand nor does it have inherent magical saving powers. The true value is in the skill of the one who wields it. Skill only comes from practice and repetition. You dont buy a survival knife to decorate your man caveit is a tool thats meant to be used. Since the beginning of mankind, the cutting blade helped to shape how our ancestors hunted, fought, built, and survived. From cavemen with sharp rocks to a soldier in modern warfare, there will never be a relationship quite like that between a man and his blade. Choose yours wisely....."
K-Bar. Period. Next question.
Probably the best idea is to have several different knives including a machete, a few Swiss Army knives, several fixed blade such as a Kabar, a Cold Steel SRK, a file, a sharpening stone, maybe a stockman pocket knife or anything else you want.
My Father brought a Puma home from WWII. I have owned a bunch of them over the years and they are remarkably good knives.
Like gunz, it’s good to have plenty of knives on hand.
I usually have at hand a 38 year old Cold Steel Recon Tanto, a Chris Reeve Large Sabenza, and a Schrade something-or-other pocket clip folder.
Cold Steel Trail Master bowie, and their Gurkha Kukri for serious action (much more useful than a trail axe or any other machete).
Invented by Ronov Popielski!
My three favorite full tang, fixed, long blade knives:
Ka-Bar...This Piece-O-Crap is ugly but, takes a beating and asks for more.
Fiskers, Gerber knives. I’ve bunches of these thing and I can’t say I prefer one over the other.
A good knife is the Bear Grylls knife. I a couple in each of those as well.
Sharp, thick for beating on as a hatchet, and excellent grip. I actually took the 1st Bear Gryll knife out and tested it against my Winchester folding knife.
Well, it didn’t take long for the Winchester blade to snap in two as I pounded on it, with a hammer to cut through a four inch piece of wood. I was 1/2 way through.
A friend said “Oh no”
I said “Perfect! Always wondered if this Chinese made thing was a POS”. It is.
The Bear Gryll knife went through the piece of wood and was still sharp enough to cut climbing roper, paracord, and crummy cheap rope that I carry for tying or hanging things. I prefer to use the cheap stuff 1st before I degrade more expensive rope.
Next up is Buck. Nuff said.
My .02 cents:
Tanto style, 90 degree solid back, 6 to 8 inch blade length, a good thick blade and tang, guard with a small hole, hollow handle (tube) to hold small stuff 6” long, handle wrapped or braided in paracord, screw on water tight cap, cap to have a flat hammer like top.
Sheath should be strong plastic or leather and hold a small sharpening stone, have belt loops, and a strap to retain the blade.
In short, something like the K-bar but with a hollow handle to store a couple of survival goodies.
Things that you can do without:
- hooks in the blade
- built in compass (unless you dont know how to determine north)
- saw teeth
- ceramic blades
- any narrow or thin points
- holes in the blade
- “blood” grooves
- fancy handles
- any thing that looks Klingon
I also have the Cold Steel Kukri and did have a Trail Master Bowie but a guy traded me an AK-47 even for it so I no longer have it.
I disagree about either of them being better than a good machete. There is nothing better than a U.S. Surplus Ontario machete. Especially if it comes with the self sharpening sheath.
I’ve got that knife and it’s by far the best I’ve ever owned. Mine is one step above yours. It’s automatic opening. (slightly different model)
My dad still has his. Hoping to inherit it in the distant future!
Not familiar with the ontario machete, I’ll have to look into that. Thanks!
i also keep these in my 4-Runner, the Camillus Carnivore is $28 at Wally's
It is just the regular army issue model which has been issued since probably before WWII. I once cleared a trail on my parents property of over a mile. It was first used for hiking then when they got older Daddy used it for his Honda 3 then 4 wheeler.
I used nothing but a machete.
Truth be told, even the USAF knife was a bit much for most, but not all needs in most field situations. Typically during most deployments and field problems, a lot of my soldiers would come to me with their Crocodile Dundee sized knives hanging at their sides and ask, "Sir, can I borrow your Leatherman?"
Got a Randall #1 from my Dad that a friend was horrified to see me actually using. It's too beat up by now to be a collector's piece, though.
Got a little Gerber Epic that I use as a camp knife. Ugly little bugger but strong as it looks and yes, that lanyard hole is a bottle opener. Because I don't want to be marooned in the wilderness with only a case of beer and no bottle opener, that's why.
You’d be better off with the greatest utensil ever...the spork. :)
Cold Steel Trailmaster Bowie. I bought one 20 years ago? when they first came out and I still have it.
Now that’s more like it.
I have to admit that I like the huge Crocodile Dundee type knives. You are right of course, they are not all that useful in a lot of situations.
I ordered one recently just to see what the made in Pakistan knives were like. It was very inexpensive and the workmanship was pretty good. The blade needed sharpening and I was sure disappointed in how soft the steel is. I doubt if it would hold up to any hard use. It sure does look wicked tho.
Must be sharp, must be handy.
The Tom Brown ‘Tracker’ knife.
Only tool i took with me when I departed CG Aviation.Quite functional
If I'd noticed the Scout was made in China before I had ordered it, I wouldn't have done so, but at least Lynn Thompson at Cold Steel runs a pretty tight QC on their products and materiels, and the sheath is very well designed. For general day to day use, I carry a Leatherman Wave on my belt and a Kershaw Salvo clipped to my pocket, and find myself using one or the other on a very frequent basis, and rarely if ever in need of anything more...
Was in Gander Mtn. today. The are carrying a line of knives, Les Stroud signature (survivorman). On the Camillus label . $30 - 80. Green trimmed instead of Grylls orange.
I’ve got several folding Kershaw knives. Wicked looking but they have partial scalloped/saw blades.
While they appear practical I’ve not run into a situation where they perform better than a straight blade.
I’ve bought my last scalloped/saw bladed knife.
When I was around 5 which would have been in 1953, my brother broke the blade on his Case pocket knife. He mailed it to them and they sent it back fairly soon with a new blade and no charge.
My Father for some reason preferred Queen Steel knives. When he died at 90, I noticed he still had the same old pocket knife. Of course it was worn almost to the point of not being useful anymore. I never did particularly like Queen knives as their stainless blades were always soft.
The German made Puma knives are probably as good as it gets, at least for a reasonable price.
You raise another consideration there for a daily carry knife...price. As noted above, I carry a Kershaw every day. It replaced the Kershaw that disappeared about a year or two ago, which replaced the Kershaw that fell into Galveston Bay a few years before that. There are a ton of far more expensive, far more *exclusive* knives out there, which may (or may not) be better than my Kershaws have been, but I'm sure glad I never paid for one of them!
I carry an Austrian Glock knife, it isn’t the best choice, because while it is great for chopping, digging, fighting, and chores (it is called a “crow bar that is a knife”) and is carbon steel and takes a shaving edge, the blade shape is not even close to the first choice for skinning game.
Disliking heavy leather, I do like that the knife has a polymer, locking scabbard suitable for parachuting and climbing, and with a six inch blade, it and the scabbard only weigh 8 ounces total.
I have preferred mine for 30 years and know that it is indestructible, being Austrian, the guard also opens beer bottles although our local forests don’t seem to have any of those, at least not wild, and the full tang handle has a small hollow for some storage.
That’s pretty much what I have on me most of the time. I haven’t been without a knife (except on an airplane) since I was about 6 years old. I’m a white collar worker in NY and get some looks whenever I pull out the appropriate tool when someone needs it. The one thing a don’t own is a specialty survival knife. Maybe I should get one of those???
dork. In case you run into a herd of donuts?
Assisted-opening turns out to be incredibly handy. I have yet to understand why these are deadly enough to be banned in NYC. They sure aren't as deadly as a 32-oz soft drink.
There are lots of good quality knives. I have also always carried a pocket knife since about age 6.
For many years I would not buy a Swiss Army knife. I just didn’t think they were a good idea. I finally bought one and realized they actually were very useful. The one I carry most often is a Super Tinker. I probably use the tooth pick and scissors more than any other tool except maybe the knife blade.
I guess I must have at least 30, nearly all of them Victorinox tho Wenger are OK. I probably also have 20 or more multi tools. I never carry one but I do have one in each of my vehicles along with a regular tool box. Probably the most useful one I have found is an older Schrade which actually is a vice-grip but with knife, etc just on one side. That needle nosed vice-grip is extremely useful.
don’t overlook a good machete as a survival knife. sometimes an advantage to have literally a short sword. if possible get one with a hand guard to protect you from dropping it from a hit to the hand.