What Makes the Best Survival Knife? Features Your Knife Should Have

examples of survival knives

One common piece of good advice that comes from nearly all survival theme TV shows (i.e., Bear Grylls, Man vs Wild, Dual Survival, Survivorman, etc…) is the need for a good survival knife and my wife used to remind me of that fact after almost every show.

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We always keep several pocket knifes in our pockets or day packs and I have a butchering kit that includes a gut hook, a boning knife, a skinning knife and a bone saw that I always throw in the pack when big game hunting, but I don’t usually take it with us when we go hiking or camping. We also have a nice flexible fillet knife that we keep with the fishing gear. These knives do a good job of skinning, butchering and filleting, but wouldn’t be much better than a small pocket knife for cutting wood to build a fire or to make shelter.

What Should We Look for in a Good Survival Knife?

  • Fixed blade
  • Full tang
  • Solid handle with hilt and flat pommel
  • Blade metal – carbon steel or stainless steel
  • Blade design – straight edge or partially serrated, flat or serrated spine
  • Blade length – 4 – 9 inches
  • Blade thickness – 1/8 – 1/4 inch (0.125 – 0.25)
  • Lanyard hole  – security and for lashing to pole to make spear
  • Useful sheath
  • Survival not Tactical

Fixed Blade

Full Tang

full tang survival knife

Solid Handle with Hilt and Flat Pommel

Blade Metal

Blade Design

Straight Edge vs Partially Serrated

survival knives blade serrated smooth

Flat vs Serrated Spine

Blade Length

Blade Thickness

Hole for Lanyard

Useful Sheath

Survival Not Tactical

Where to Buy a Good Survival Knife?

Custom Knives are Expensive


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