Best Survival Knives With Reviews

With a survival knife in hand, you look cool and tough at the same time. It is helpful whether you are out camping with your friends or you find yourself in a real survival situation.

Most survival knives also come with additional tools. The sheath can be used to hold other helpful items as well, such as strings and an assortment of small metal items.

This handy, multi-purpose tool will help you from making fire to defending yourself. A reliable knife will help you cut wood and sticks for shelter, slicing food, etc.

Some of the best survival knives are as follows

Fallkniven A1


This survival knife has a fixed blade that delivers precise action. The blade measures 6.375 inches, with a satin spear point. This knife comes with a Kraton handle.

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The ultra-sharp blade is made from top quality VG-10 material. That translates to durability and reliability. It won’t easily break when in use.

The blade edge is plain. This is perfect for all slicing, chopping, and shearing activities. Sharpening is also easier without the need for any special knife sharpeners.

The drop point blade provides support and higher strength at its tip. This makes the knife able to hold up even to the toughest use.

The 6.3-inch blade length is ideal for most needs. This is suited for chopping wood, digging, slicing, and hacking through most materials.

The blade has a satin spear point, perfect for piercing. This allows the knife to double as a spear in case of need. Tie it to the end of a pole or sturdy branch and use it for hunting or fishing.

The Kraton handle is a polymer material known for durability and minimal upkeep requirements. It is a strong material and provides a good non slip grip.

The Fallkniven A1 is best suited for most outdoors activities. It is perfect for use from basic camping activities to tough survival life-threatening conditions.

Key Features

  • Tough Kraton handle
  • Durable VG 10 blade
  • Strong drop point blade 

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ESEE 6P-B Plain Edge Fixed Blade


This is an amazing fixed blade knife that comes with durability and reliability. The 11 ¾ inches knife can slice through anything.

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The blade has a plain edge. It is black powder coated and flat ground. The knife’s spine has jimping on it for better thumb grip.

The blade is fixed and full tang. Because the blade is not moveable, the knife can be safely used for stuff like pounding and prying.

The blade is 6.5 inches long. This length is ideal for most needs in the outdoors, such as cutting, slicing and even digging (i.e., digging out mushrooms, etc.).

The blade material used in ESEE 6P-B Survival Knife is 1095 steel. This is a high carbon steel material that maintains its razor sharp edge longer.

This knife handle is made from Gray Micarta scales. Within the rounded pommel is a lanyard hole. The round butt end is perfect for use as a hammer.

The sheath is made from black molded polymer. This is a durable material that can withstand the elements. The carry sheath also comes with a removable clip.

This survival knife is perfect for some light outdoors activity. Beginners on survival knife use will find this suited for basic stuff like cutting small twigs and slicing through cords.

Key Features

  • Sheath is of durable molded black polymer
  • Handle is of gray Micarta scales
  • Blade is of carbon 1095 steel material

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Cold Steel 39LSF Leatherneck SF


The Cold Steel Leatherneck SF ranks among the best survival knives because of its reliability, precision, and durability. This series is dedicated to the Marines, for their dedication and sacrifice.

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The SF stands for “Semper Fi” or semper fidelis. It means “always faithful”.  This is Cold Steel Leatherneck SF’s promise for reliability.

From top to bottom, the blade has flat ground that forms a V cross section. This is proven as the ideal form for shearing, cutting and slicing through different types of material.

This survival knife has a clip point saber ground blade. It has a hollow ground and has been hand honed until it reaches razor sharpness.

The knife comes with a hand guard to protect against injuries. It has double quillons made from thick strong steel. The guard is positioned slightly forward for excellent protection.

The handle is made from Kraton material. It totally covers the full, extra wide tang, and gives unsurpassed grip power through the oval, palm-hugging cross section.

At the butt end of the handle is a machined, thick steel cap. The steel butt cap can also be used to deliver powerful blow.

This is perfect for military personnel and serious outdoor enthusiasts who spend a lot of time in the wilderness.

Key Features

  • Blade thickness of 4.75 mm
  • SK-5 high German 4116 Stainless Steel
  • Griv-Ex and Kray-Ex handle

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Gerber LMF II


This black, sleek survival knife delivers precision cutting, shearing, and slicing action. This is a product of years of dedication and innovation to create the ultimate survival knife.

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The 10-inch infantry knife is much more than just a blade. It was engineered to stand to the demands of rigorous and rugged use.

The blade is made from high quality, strong, and durable steel. It is serrated, for a wide range of uses, from slicing seatbelts to cutting firewood.

The sheath is equipped with a belt attachment for easy carrying. It also has a carbide sharpener in the rare case that the blade needs sharpening.

The butt cap has a unique, pointed design and made of strong stainless steel. The heavy buttcap can be used to shatter glass or use as a hammer.

The handle has an overmolded design to prevent blisters on the hand. This helps for a secure grip. Lashing holes are also present for quick conversion into a spear.

The black color is not just for aesthetics. It allows for inconspicuousness, especially when stealth is a vital factor.

The Gerber 22 01629 LMF II Survival Knife was specifically designed for use in the worst imaginable survival conditions. It can be used for hunting and survival situations. 

Key Features

  • Blade is partially serrated
  • Plexiglass punch
  • Can work as a hammer or as a spear

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Ka-Bar Becker BK2 Companion


This is a full tang field knife. The Ka-Bar Becker BK2 Companion Knife is a handy and reliable tool for the usual camping or hunting trip.

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The blade is fixed and flat. It is made of 1095 cro-van steel. That means durability and reliability when used for all kinds of outdoor activity.

The blade material is tough and lightweight. It can handle the rigorous use. It is perfect for slicing, splitting, and chopping various kinds of items.

The drop point shape of the blade comes at a versatile angle of 20 degrees. This provides precision action every time.

The blade is flat. It is 5 ½ inches long, perfect for various uses. The entire length of the knife is 10 ½ inches long.

The handle is comfortable and made from Grivory. It is designed for a balanced grip that greatly helps when performing different outdoor chores.

The sheath is made of glass-filled nylon. This is tough enough to keep the blade sharp and safe. It is also tough enough to protect the blade from damaging factors like moisture.

This knife will be perfect for use as a field knife. It is most suited for performing camping chores such as splitting kindling and slicing food. It can also be used for skinning animals.

Key Features

  • Hard shell sheath is made of black nylon
  • Blade is 5 and a half inches long
  • Overall length is 10 and a half inches

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Now, you have an idea of what the best survival knife should be. You can now confidently go out there and find the one that perfectly suits your needs.

The qualities of these top survival knives can be used as a guide on what to look for. Form and function should go hand in hand.

How to Select a Survival Knife?

When buying a survival knife, you have to look for these basic features:

Tang: Tang refers to the length of the blade that extends into or inside the handle. Full tang means the tang extends up to the tip of the handle. The strength of best survival knife is from a full tang.

Handle: Knives come in various handle types. What you should avoid is a hollow handle. Most hollow handled knives do not have a full tang.

Also, the handle should be comfortable. It should fit perfectly into the palms. Rounded handles are usually more comfortable to use than ones with edges.

Metal for the blade: Basically, knives are made from 2 types of metal materials: carbon or stainless. Carbon steel keeps its good edge longer than stainless steel. But these materials rust faster when exposed to the elements. Stainless steel is virtually indestructible and will not easily rust. However, stainless steel blades may need sharpening more often than carbon.

Blade edge: Plain or serrated? It depends on personal preferences. Serrated blades usually have more applications but are not a good choice for chopping wood. Straight, plain edges are perfect for chopping wood and can be sharpened on anything.

Frequently Asked Questions About Survival Knives

Fixed blade or folding?

Fixed blade is more reliable in the field. Solid blades can withstand more pressure and tension while folding blades tend to, well, fold when too much pressure is applied such when stabbing.

Serrated or plain edge?

Plain edge is more reliable in the wild because it can be sharpened on various objects. Serrated edges need to be sharpened on a special sharpener. If you want a serrated blade, do not lose its sharpener.

Stainless steel or carbon steel?

Stainless steel blades can withstand tough conditions and will not easily rust even when exposed to the elements, but it does need to be regularly sharpened. Carbon steel easily rusts if not regularly maintained but it does keep its sharpness longer.

Solid or hollow handle?

Solid handles are stronger and more durable. You can use the handle as a hammer or apply solid weights on it without breaking. Hollow handles are neat because these can double as storage areas.

Drop point or clip point?

Drop points give the blade more strength. This is safer to use and more versatile. Clip points are more traditional in terms of aesthetics. This is a better choice if precision in use is required.

What Survival Knife Can Be Used For

There are so many ways to use a survival knife. It’s called survival for a reason- to use in many ways in order to help increase chances for survival.

  • Hunting/fishing/defense: Tie the knife to a straight thick branch with some rope, like a spear and use to hunt small game like rabbits. You can also use it to fish or as a ready weapon in case your life is threatened.
  • Multi-purpose cutting: Use the knife for all-around cutting chores like cut some ropes, branches, tarp, clothing, animal carcass, etc. This can also be used to cut through bindings and even seatbelts in case of rescue. You can also use survival knife in slicing and cutting through branches, twigs, leaves, textile, and other shelter material to create a make-shift shelter to protect you from the elements.
  • Digging: Not ideal but in survival situations, the knife can be used to dig out stuff or to make a shallow hole in the ground. You can use the tip to dig out edible mushrooms from rotten logs, tree trunks or roots. You can also use this to dig up some edible roots to help you survive. You can even dig out a poop hole to use in the wild.

How to Maintain Your Survival Knife?

Proper care and maintenance are a must to keep your survival knife in good condition. Basic care instructions include:

  • Keep it clean. Wash all dirt, blood and other stains right after use and before storage. The debris stuck on the blade can make the steel more susceptible to rust and get dull very quickly. Dirty handles can also promote moldy growth that can eat away the material and cause it to fall apart. Make sure to remove all moisture before putting it back in its sheath to prevent rust.
  • Keep it oiled before storing. Use a very small amount of oil (any kind of oil, except motor oil) to prevent friction, damage, and rust. This also helps make it easier to unsheathe the knife, preventing the sheath and the knife from sticking together during storage. This is most recommended if keeping the knife in storage for quite some time.
  • Keep it sharp. Always check for the blade sharpness before storage so that it is always reliable to use anytime. Imagine brining out a survival knife to cut through a seatbelt to get an injured person out of a burning car only to find out it cannot even cut through paper because it is very dull.

Care To Take When Using A Survival Knife

Take these basic safety precautions to avoid injuring yourself or others with survival knife:

  • Keep the knife sharp as a dull knife is unsafe to use because of poor reliability and precision. Also, a dull knife is more likely to cause accidental cuts than a sharp one.
  • Always maintain a good grip on the handle to avoid slips and accidents. Get the most comfortable grip on the handle before use to avoid blisters, pain, and undue strain on the hand.
  • Make sure the hands are dry and not slippery when holding the knife. Wipe hands first before handling the knife. Sweaty palms may have to be wiped from time to time to avoid slippery grips and potential accidents.
  • Point the blade to the ground when walking or running to avoid accidentally stabbing others.
  • Keep the knife in its sheath when not in use to avoid accidents. Do not walk around with an unsheathed knife to avoid accidentally stabbing someone or tripping and stabbing yourself.
  • Never stab survival knives into anything. The hand can slide from handle and into the blade. Stabbing will also damage the tip of the knife.
  • Never throw a knife. Aim is not anywhere good with survival knives.