Best Survival Knives. Reviews and Tips.

10 Best Survival Knives. Reviews and Tips

(Last Updated On: July 25, 2017)

Planning an adventure in the wild? Figure out the last survivalist tool you will still be holding when all else is lost. This is how essential a survival knife is in the outdoor. Use it to cut between intertwined branches to make your way through, defend yourself from predators, prepare food, dig, or make your arrows and spears. This knife can do all these and much more.

However, not all survival or camping knives you pick off the shelves will give you the best service. You need to pick the right knife for your needs. Here are some factors you will need to consider before heading out to get yourself one.



 

 PriceNameOur Rating
Check on AmazonKershaw Cryo Knife8.3
Check on AmazonMorakniv Companion Fixed Blade Outdoor Knife7.9
Check on AmazonMTech USA Ballistic MT-A705 Series Spring Assist Folding Knife8.1
Check on AmazonTac Force TF-469 Gentleman's Assisted Folding Opening Knife8.4
Check on AmazonSE KHK6320 Outdoor Tanto Knife With Fire Starter8.0
Check on AmazonTAC Force TF-705 Assisted Tactical Opening Folding Knife8.2
Check on AmazonGerber LMF II Survival Knife8.8
Check on AmazonFallkniven A1 Survival Knife8.7
Check on AmazonKa-Bar BK-22 Becker Fixed Blade Companion Knife with Anterior pocket8.8
Check on AmazonESEE Knives Fixed Blade Knife With LSP Laser Strike And Canvas Micarta Handles9.1

 

Before You Buy Your Survival Knife

Jump straight to the Reviews Section



Knife’s Blade

  • Blade length. Bigger is not necessarily better. The most ideal, as recommended by experts, will range between 4 and 6 inches (10.2 and 15.4 cm) although for some, depending on the anticipated application, will prefer 8 – 10 inches (20.3 – 25.4 cm). The smaller ones usually come with diverse applications while overly long blades can be dangerous to the user.
  • Blade material. Steel is agreeably the best and most widely used material for knife blades. There are two types; carbon steel and stainless steel. Carbon steel is tough and retains sharpness long enough while stainless steel has great corrosion-free properties.
  • Blade thickness. Thicker blades are sturdier, more durable, and quite good for such tasks as wood chopping and prying, which on normal occasions wear out other knives fast. Thickness ranging between 5/32 and ¼ inches (0.4 and 0.6 cm) should suffice for most users.
  • Tang. The tang is the part of the blade which joins the handle. A full tang is the most ideal as it extends right to the base of the handle making the joint and the entire knife stronger.
  • Edge. The edge of a camp knife can either be straight or serrated. Serrated edges are good but not when you don’t have a special sharpening tool. Survivalist situations call for simplicity, which is why a straight edge makes the best option. However, you can always go for a partly serrated edge if you are up to both benefits.

 

Knife’s Handle

  • Handle material. Hard rubber or polymer, both are great materials if you are looking at the durability of the handle. However, the best handle will be textured enough to offer a firm grip especially during the most slippery tasks outdoors. Survival knives also come with wooden handles and handles made from rope.

  • Lanyard hole. This is more of an addition than a necessity but you may want to consider it if you want added functionalities to your handle.

 

10 Best Survival Knives Reviewed

1. Kershaw Cryo Knife

The Kershaw Cryo knife is made of authentic stainless steel overlaid with dull gray titanium giving it a nice look.

 

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Features

  • Flipper. Found on the back of the blade and can be tipped up, down or sideways to easily move the blade out of the handle.
  • Speed safe. Enables quick safe opening of a knife and with a manual thrust on the thumb stud or thrust back on the flipper.
  • Frame lock. A section of the knife frame or handle slides behind the blade to positionally lock it during use, hence, guaranteeing safety.
  • Pocket clip. Four-position deep carry pocket clip which gives you the flexibility of carrying your knife either discreetly or with easy-access.
  • Quad carry. The pocket clip can be positioned up, down or sideways for easy carrying.
  • Overall construction: Steel with a carbo-nitride coating making it tough and corrosion free.
  • Weight: 0.3 lb (136 g).
  • Dimensions:
    • Blade length: 2.75 in (7 cm);
    • Blade thickness: 0.12 in (0.30 cm);
    • Closed length: 3.75 in (9.5 cm);
    • Overall length: 6.5 in (16.5 cm).

 

Pros

  • A hollow grind and a belly that sticks out quite well is an agreeable plus to the functionality of this knife especially for users with large palms who are in need of a short knife.
  • This knife is solidly constructed with steel and carbonitride coating so you can depend on it to stand all weather and heavy use.

 

Cons

  • At 0.3 lb (136 g), this knife seems a little too heavy for its length.
  • A common complaint from users is that the knife will not center well when closed.

 

The Kershaw Cyro, is one of the tough shorts by Rick Hinderer, designed for easy carrying and for tough jobs. The easy-to-sharpen edge makes it one of the best survival knives that are quite efficient at work. Its complete steel construction and a mechanism of frame lock offer both durability and safety. If your palm is wide and you are looking for a short knife, this is it.


 

2. Morakniv Companion Fixed Blade Outdoor Knife

The Morakniv Companion is one of the best fixed-blade knives that comes with all features suited for outdoor enthusiasts. It features a black grip rubber and an orange belt sheath made of plastic.

 

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Features

  • Patterned-friction grip makes the knife easy to handle and doesn’t slip easily.
  • Sandvik steel blade is harder than stainless steel making it easy to sharpen and extraordinarily tough.
  • The color easily blends with the sheath and belt clip.
  • Designed with a ¾ inch (1.9 cm) tang for added security.
  • Weight: 0.26 lb (118 g).
  • Dimensions:
    • Blade length: 4.1 in (10.4 cm);
    • Blade thickness: 0.1 in (0.25 cm);
    • Overall length: 8.75 in (22.2 cm).

 

Pros

  • That it stainless steel guarantees no corrosion and no limit to what you can do with it from food prep to cutting tree limbs. Friction grip handle is advantageous for messy work like skinning.
  • Comes in a range of colors giving users options to choose from

 

Cons

  • The Morakniv Companion is an efficient knife but not for heavy use.

 

With the technology of Sandvik steel, specifically the ultra-fine carbide element present in steel, the companion fixed blade stands out for its sharpness, toughness, and ultimately the best cutting experience. The ergonomically-designed handle ensures a firm grip and easy operation.


 

3. MTech USA Ballistic MT-A705 Series Spring Assist Folding Knife

This MT-A705 series spring assisted folding knife from MTech USA ballistic features easy single-handed deployment and is top rated in the survival knife reviews.

 

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Features

  • Spring help folding knife and enables quick single-handed deployment, securely locks into position with the liner lock.
  • Coated Stainless steel blade.
  • Features a complete pocket clip for stress-free carrying and safety; comprises glass breaker and bottle opener.
  • Half-notched Stainless steel blade coated with blue titanium.
  • Aluminum handle coated with silver and Blue titanium easily blends with many colors.
  • Weight: 0.35 lb (159 g).
  • Dimensions:
    • Blade length: 3.75 in (9.5 cm);
    • Blade thickness: 0.1 in (0.25 cm);
    • Closed length: 4.5 in (11.43 cm);
    • Overall length: 9.6 in (24.4 cm).

 

Pros

  • Easy, safe, one-hand opening through spring action.
  • Its design, straight spine and curved towards the end of the blade, gives it a sharp point that adds to its functionality.
  • Available in 8 colors giving users a variety to choose from.

 

Cons

  • The liner lock is quite secure which is a plus, however, it may take some time to learn how to open it fast.

 

The spring assisted folding knife is easy to use since the blade safely locks into position once you open it, thus ensuring safety while in use. Furthermore, you can easily and securely carry the knife along with you thanks to the steel pocket clip that comes with it. A 0.1 inches (0.25 cm) thickness is a strength guarantee meaning it will neither bend nor chip when you are using it.


 

4. Tac Force TF-469 Gentleman’s Assisted Folding Opening Knife

This TF-469 Assisted folding knife from TAC Force features easy single-handed deployment with a liner lock for safety blade lock into position.

 

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Features

  • Spring help folding knife enables quick single-handed deployment, securely locks into position with a liner lock.
  • Vintage gentleman’s design makes it an attractive addition to your outdoor arsenal.
  • Design spring helps in the speedy folding of knive, mostly desired by fire rescue and quick responders.
  • Black stainless steel blade with a straight edge.
  • Attractive pakkawood handle.
  • Comes whole with a pocket clip for stress-free carrying and safety.
  • Weight: 0.35 lb (159 g).
  • Dimensions:
    • Blade length: 3 in (7.62 cm);
    • Blade thickness: 0.1 in (0.25 cm);
    • Closed length: 4 in (10.2cm);
    • Overall length: 7 in (17.8 cm)

 

Pros

  • This is among the few top performers with remarkably nothing much to nitpick. Easy open and close using spring assist or the conventional liner lock.

 

Cons

  • A basic knife with no special features and no accessories save for a pocket clip, however, this shouldn’t be a big deal given its performance.

 

The brown pakkawood handle offers easy single-handed operation. The spring enables it to fold the knife and lock it safely while its pocket clip is an added advantage when you need to carry it safely and securely. It’s quite tough and durable too, thanks to a stainless steel construction.


 

5. SE KHK6320 Outdoor Tanto Knife With Fire Starter

A full-tang knife of magnesium alloy fire starter with black stainless steel tanto blade and military design knife is one of the best survival knives for buffs and camping.

 

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Features

  • A cord-wrapped handle of thick nylon offers not only a great grip but also cording functionalities.
  • A half-serrated blade that lets you use it for many different tasks.
  • A lanyard hole makes it handsome throughout.
  • Close-fitting nylon sheath with a fastener to protect its blade and give it a longer life.
  • Additional pocket on the sheath to contain the fire starter.
  • Magnesium alloy fire starter comes in handy when you need to quickly start a fire.
  • Long-lasting nylon belt sheath with Velcro strap.
  • Weight: 0.3 lb (136 g).
  • Dimensions:
    • Blade length: 3 in (7.6 cm);
    • Blade thickness: 0.16 in (0.4 cm);
    • Overall length: 7 in (17.8 cm).

 

Pros

  • A most remarkable feature this knife bears is its fixed, full tang tanto blade that’s tough enough for the most rugged use outdoor.
  • Surprisingly, its small size and 4 mm thickness, in addition to the nylon sheath that comes with it, makes it easy and convenient to carry around.
  • Magnesium alloy fire starter is a great and thoughtful addition to this package.
  • The cordage is a plus both as a handle-warp and for other cord-functions.

 

Cons

  • If you have to put the cord into other use, the handle will be very uncomfortable on your palms.
  • Small size knives are generally not ideal for survival or defense situations.
  • A blunt edge means frequent sharpening on your end which doesn’t go down well in a survivalist situation.

 

Overall, the SE KHK6320 is an innovatively designed knife with useful additions like the cord, the fire starter, as well as a strong blade. You might have to make a small improvement to its handle if the corded handle doesn’t impress you or if you intend to put it into extended use. All the same, for a fair price this knife is good for any outdoor hobbyist.


 

6. TAC Force TF-705 Assisted Tactical Opening Folding Knife

This TF-705 Assisted folding knife from TAC Force features easy single-handed deployment with a liner lock for safety blade lock into position.

 

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Features

  • Spring-help folding knife enables quick single-handed deployment, securely locks into position with a liner lock.
  • Black partially serrated stainless steel blade.
  • Aluminum handle features both glass breaker and bottle opener.
  • Comes complete with a pocket clip for stress-free carrying and safety.
  • Weight: 0.44 lb (199 g).
  • Dimensions:
    • Blade length: 3.25 in (8.3 cm);
    • Blade thickness: 0.1 in (0.25 cm);
    • Closed length: 4.5 in (11.43 cm);
    • Overall length: 8 in (20.3 cm).

 

Pros

  • This knife uniquely features a handle with multiple and handy functionalities i.e. the bottle opener and glass breaker, things that are easily forgettable until when you’ll need to use them. Additionally, with a partially serrated edge, there is so much to do with this knife.
  • If your hands are full, you will appreciate the spring-assist quick one-hand knife open.

 

Cons

  • The serrated edge of this knife was a noble idea right from the design stage, however, because it lacks enough strength for heavy use, the knife is just better off as a normal knife which beats the existence of the edge.

 

The TAC Force TF-705 Folding Knife is one of the best outdoor knives to have at all times and better during emergencies. The aluminum handle on the end has both a glass breaker and bottle opener which you can use to break a car window in case of a crisis. The pocket clip enables you to easily carry the knife and with safety. The black handle and the rainbow partly serrated blade give it the handsome look that you want.


 

7. Gerber LMF II Survival Knife

The black LMF II survival knife has been tested with the bravest American troops in the Field. Hence the legend name of Gerber. This is why.

 

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Features

  • Lashing holes can serve as a spear.
  • Many carry options: belt, leg straps.
  • Sheath with a built-in sharpener for continued sharpness.
  • Molle compatible with a half-serrated blade as both knife and spear.
  • Fixed adaptable blade for varying purposes.
  • The black color easily blends with any outfit.
  • Airborne nylon with fire resistant coating.
  • Weight: 1.5 lb (688 g).
  • Weight exclusive of sheath: 0.7 lb (331 g).
  • Dimensions:
    • Blade length: 4.8 in (12.3 cm);
    • Blade thickness: 0.2 in (0.5 cm);
    • Overall length: 1.06 in (26.9 cm).

 

Pros

  • A rugged quality built the knife for the toughest of jungle situations and for a wide range of applications in the wild.

 

Cons

  • This knife is a bit heavy for beginners or for light duty tasks.

 

Gerber LMF II survival knife is a tough military grade knife with some excellent features as we have already seen. A top quality, fire-resistant nylon sheath that you can easily work up to conceal the knife, glass piercing handle design, as well as a partially serrated edge and lanyard holes for multiple functionalities. An added safety feature is how the tang and butt cap are totally separated to prevent electricity shock by absorbing it rather than translating it to your palms. The blade is tough enough it will cut a seatbelt or an airplane body quite well. You can use the Gerber survival knife to create a shelter or convert it to a spear by tying it to a pole.


 

8. Fallkniven A1 Survival Knife

The Fallkniven A1 Survival Knife has features geared towards accomplishing lightweight tasks like shaving and cutting of small trees. It’s all-in-one, reason why it features in our best survival knife guide.

 

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Features

  • Zytel sheath – lightweight and simple.
  • Belt loop – easily hangs.
  • Blade with a convex grind – steady even when beaten.
  • Handle made of Kraton for a comfortable grip with or without gloves.
  • Blade design of drip point for enhanced tip strength and penetration.
  • Doesn’t react to freezing temperatures or water and easy to clean.
  • Drain hole for easy removal and insertion.
  • Weight: 0.8 lb (363 g).
  • Dimensions:
    • Blade Length: 6.3 in (16 cm);
    • Blade thickness: 0.24 (0.6 cm);
    • Overall length 11 ⅛ inches (28.3 cm).

 

Pros

  • This knife is tried and tested for military toughness and sharpness and quite uniquely, it will not react to extreme temperature.
  • Long blade at 6.3 inches is a plus for the serious jungle survivalist.
  • A design whose handle and blade come with several functionalities makes it an excellent option.

 

Cons

  • Not an option if you are on a budget but if you were to weigh features against its price you will find that it is worth every penny.

 

If you are conscious of weight and durability, the Fallkniven A1 Survival Knife is the best option as it is lightweight at just 0.8 lb (363 g) and tough too, thanks to its VG10 steel construction of 59 HRC hardness. Its blade is exceptionally sharp owing to the convex grind, and will easily slice sheets of paper and small twigs without giving in to wear and tear.

You’ll certainly appreciate a sheath that securely holds this knife in position. Whether you are splitting or sharpening twigs or using it as a spear, the textured croton handle of this knife, along with a lanyard hole makes it one of the best options. You can actually hold the knife with gloves, water, or blood in your hands and still achieve a firm grip. What’s more, the bottom end of the handle has a small metal protrusion that you can use for hammering.


 

9. Ka-Bar BK-22 Becker Fixed Blade Companion Knife with Anterior pocket

With a tough full-tang fixed blade and a superior grip handle, the BK-22 by Ka-Bar presents a versatile, military grade option for the serious outdoor enthusiast.

 

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Features

  • Fixed blade knife made of 1095 Cro-Van steel for durability that is designed with a drop point.
  • Blade handle made of Grivory material for superior grip.
  • Comes with a high-density polyester sheath with secure clips to keep the blade in place, and a Velcro strapped pocket on it with straps to attach the knife to a belt.
  • Weight: 0.9 lb (408 g).
  • Dimensions:
    • Blade length: 5.5 in (12.7 cm);
    • Blade thickness: 0.25 inches (0.6 cm);
    • Overall length: 10.5 in (26.7 cm).

 

Pros

  • Excellent in strength and versatility thanks to its durable 1095 Cro-Van steel construction.
  • One of the few survival knives with remarkable edge retention.
  • A full tang fixed blade makes it an ideal for both tough and light tasks.

 

Cons

  • Its handle is not textured enough to handle extreme slipperiness but it comes in a bow-like design that locks your hand to prevent slip-offs. So really, it’s a question of, does your hand fit into the bow shape?
  • Others may find it a little heavier but given the applications, you can put it into, this is better off a personal opinion.
  • The sheath locks and conceals the blade quite well but the thumb release may not be easy-to-use for some users.

 

You can carry The Ka-Bar Becker Companion knife to any distance and hardly feel its weight at just 0.9 lb (408.2 g). With this multi-purpose steel blade, you can comfortably skin game, kindle, split, and chop onions at the campsite. The companion knife is absolutely great for all survival techniques including wood buttoning. With the sharp blade edge and a durable sheath, rest assured of easy work and safe storage.


 

10. ESEE Knives Fixed Blade Knife With LSP Laser Strike And Canvas Micarta Handles

The Laser Strike from ESEE is known for its black 1095 steel blade that is long lasting and versatile.

 

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Features

  • Full tang blade coated with black coarse powder.
  • The handle is made of Canvas Micarta to achieve a firm grip and for durability.
  • 1095 Carbon Steel Blade, tough and durable.
  • Kydex sheath with movable tension adjuster and a belt clip.
  • Handle removal washer for easy cleaning.
  • Included in the handle are a Ferrocerium fire starting flint and tinder tabs.
  • Weight: 0.9 lb (408 g).
  • Weight exclusive of sheath: 0.6 lb (272 g).
  • Dimensions:
    • Blade length: 5 in (12.7 cm);
    • Blade thickness: 0.19 in (0.48 cm);
    • Overall length: 10 in (25.4 cm).

 

Pros

  • A detachable handle for ease of washing is an appreciable feature particularly after using it for food prep.
  • A great multi-purpose tool.

 

Cons

  • Carbon 1095 steel is a known durable knife material but for constant exposure to water, extra care is needed otherwise it may start to rust.

 

The Laser Strike knife is made of 1095 carbon steel blade which is top rated by cutlery professionals so you can expect that it will give you some useful year of service with good care. Mircata handle gives you a comfortable grip even on prolonged tasks and a full tang blade adds to its strength when handling tough tasks. This is by far the best user rated survival knife with nothing much to account for on the negative that comes as a great recommendation for anyone on a budget.


 

Over to You!

The best knife can only be best if it meets your specific needs. But because there are so many survival knives for sale, you may take a lifetime just sorting through the maze to find the best. This is why our review of the best performers in the market comes in handy to make selection easy for you.

Have a great selection!


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