Best Survival Knifes Reviewed

A survival knife might seem like a bit of an unnecessary item if you’re just headed out for a quick hike or backpacking trip in your local forest. However, you never know when disaster could strike. Today we cover the Best Survival Knifes Reviewed.

In a mere matter of minutes, an enjoyable, relaxing afternoon can turn into a full-blown survival situation. Whether your emergency has to do with foul weather, accidental injury on the trails, or some other kind of mishap, it’s important to be prepared at all times.

Having the best survival knife in your pack can make a world of difference. It can be used for a variety of purposes, helping you not only survive – but thrive – if you’re stranded in the wild.

What is a Survival Knife?

A survival knife is more than just a pocket knife that you happen to stick in your backpack before heading out into the wilderness. Nor is it a piece of overpriced gear that looks good, but that you’ll never use.

A survival knife serves a variety of purposes, saving your skin if you need to do any of the following tasks:

  • Build and start a fire
  • Clean fish
  • Hunt
  • Build a shelter
  • Cut rope
  • Cut bandages and dress wounds
  • Open tin cans

What to Look for in a Survival Knife

fieldcraft survival knife on a wood

There are plenty of features you will want to consider when you’re shopping for a survival knife. Although they all might seem the same at face value, there are plenty of differences between all the survival knives on the market. Here are some key features to consider.


How long or wide a survival knife should be is a heated topic of debate among many outdoor enthusiasts. While some people think survival knives of around two or three inches are ideal, they aren’t going to be as helpful if you’re trying to cut through thick wood to build a shelter. At the same time, a survival knife with a blade longer than a foot is going to be cumbersome.

Look for a survival knife that offers a happy medium, ideally with a blade around four to six inches.

Pointed Tip

Some survival knives have pointed tips. While there are plenty of people out there who enjoy using these kinds of knives, they aren’t ideal for everyone. They do add a certain element of risk to your knife, as you could accidentally stab yourself with the tip. However, some people like having the pointed tip because it allows you to clean fish, notch items, or even remove splinters.

Folding Ability

Remember that a hinge is a weak spot in a knife. While a fixed blade is more durable and can survive more abuse than a folding survival knife, it can also be more difficult to carry.


Tang has to do with the way in which the metal in the blade extends to the butt end of the handle. “Full tang” means that it does so in a single piece, while partial tang do not. Always look for a survival knife that is full tang, as a partial tang knife can loosen and become dangerous for you to use.


There are several ways in which the butt of your survival knife handle can be constructed. Some contain solid, machined forms that can break glass if necessary – or be used as a self-defense tool.

Blade Shape and Thickness

A little known fact about survival knives is that each has a unique blade – there are different shapes to survival blades, in fact. One of the most popular types of blades is a drop point blade. This kind of knife has a wide tip that improves the structural integrity of the knife, while clip point blades, on the other hand, have narrow points for stabbing. These can be more prone to breakage, however.

A final option is a serrated blade. These can be partial or full-length and are best for sawing, as you might imagine.

Regardless of the blade shape you choose, the thickness is also integral. While thick blades are more durable and often more versatile, able to handle more years of abuse, they also tend to be expensive. Look for a blade that’s at least 3/16” thick as a good compromise.


Some people go all out in designing unique handles for their survival knives, making them truly customized and one-of-a-kind. While you can certainly do this if you see fit, it’s more important to make sure that your handle has a secure and ergonomic fit. It needs to be able to provide a good grip in all kinds of weather conditions.


Especially if you are carrying around a fixed blade and not a folding knife, you will need a good sheath to tote your knife in. Especially if your knife is large, a sheath is necessary. Make sure your survival knife of choice comes with a good sheath, but beyond that, all other features are a matter of preference. Some include things like a belt loop attachment or leg attachment – or even their own sharpening stones. These are bonus features that are nice to have!

Blade Material

Blades can be made out of several types of materials. One of the most common is stainless steel. This one is durable and long-lasting, often considered indestructible. It doesn’t rust after a downpour, so it will perform well in the long term. However, stainless steel blades are known to rust more quickly than other materials.

Another option is carbon steel. As with stainless steel, it is highly effective. Unlike stainless steel, it holds an edge for quite some time, so you might not need to tote the sharpener with you. However, it can rust much more quickly than a stainless steel blade.

The 5 Best Survival Knives to Consider

1. Morakniv Garberg Fixed Blade Knife

A full-tang survival knife made out of durable stainless steel, the Morakniv Garberg has a MOLLE system that is uniquely multi-mount. This means that it is strong enough to handle all kinds of tough tasks without running the risk of it breaking. It comes with a top-grade Sandvik blade made out of stainless steel that is razor-sharp and offers high hardness. It is corrosion-resistant and exceptionally tough, too.

What We Liked

  • Lightweight at less than ten ounces
  • Ground spine so you can use it as a fire starter
  • Corrosion-resistant

What We Didn’t Like

  • The handle is on the small side

With a built-in mount system, this knife fastens securely to walls, vehicles, and clothing, packing down and accessible in all kinds of situations. It has a square-edged spine blade offering multi-functionality and versatility. At nine inches long, this knife has a blade length of just over four inches and a thickness of just 0.13.

2. ESEE Knives 5P Fixed Blade Knife w/Kydex Sheath

At 11 inches long, this survival knife by ESEE isn’t the longest one you’ll find, but it’s the best survival knife for you to consider if you’re looking for a middle-of-the-road option. With a blade length of 5.25 inches and a thickness of .25 inches, it is made out of 1095 carbon steel and has a textured powder finish coat.

It comes with a thumb jimping on the spine along with a glass-breaker butt, making it perfect for survival situations. Made in the United States, it offers unparalleled quality and durability in any weather conditions. It even comes with a black Kydex sheath with a clip plate.

What We Liked

  • Comes with a manufacturer’s warranty
  • Durable construction
  • Razor-sharp build

What We Didn’t Like

  • Sheath to belt clip bends and breaks easily

3. SOG Fixed Blade Knives w/Sheath – SEAL Team Elite Survival Knife

A seven-inch knife with a serrated fixed blade, this is the best survival knife according to SEAL Team Elite. It is an ultra-sharp combat knife that comes with a belt sheath and is perfect for hunting.

At just over 12 inches, this knife weighs less than eleven ounces. It comes with a practically indestructible field knife handle that is military-grade and made out of glass-reinforced nylon. It offers a phenomenal grip with zero maintenance.

An extended tang knife, it is made out black titanium nitride and guaranteed to be stronger than any camping knife you’ve ever tried before.

What We Liked

  • Ergonomic handle design
  • Lightweight and long
  • Durable construction

What We Didn’t Like

  • Some users report problems with the knife sliding out of the sheath

It’s made with cryogenic heat treatment and has a TiNi coating to harden and safeguard the blade. It even comes with a sheath. It’s versatile and easy to carry with you no matter where you go.

4. Fallkniven A1bL A1 Fine Edge Fixed Blade Knife

Looking for an excellent all-purpose knife? Look no further than the Fallkniven. This model has an excellent, ergonomic handle that’s made out of kraton. If you haven’t heard of kraton yet, you aren’t alone. This unique material is a semi-rubbery high density polymer that is effective in numerous settings.

A full-tang knife, it is comfortable to use and has a blade design that makes it effective at many tasks, including comes with a polymer sheath that is comfortable to carry and protect your knife well. Even when in the sheath, this knife is lightweight and portable.

What We Liked

  • Lightweight and easy to carry
  • Comes with a resilient yet flexible sheath
  • Full tang

What We Didn’t Like

  • Some customers complain about slow customer service

5. Benchmade – Bushcrafter 162

One of the best survival knives on the market, the Benchmade Bushcrafter 162 has a solid build with a well-balanced, functional blade made out of premium stainless steel. It is versatile in all kinds of work environments and is also corrosion-resistant.

The knife comes with a 90-degree bevel that makes it practical and easy to resharpen. Its handle is contoured, making it comfortable to use and also secure, even in a downpour. As versatile as it is tough, the blade has double-point construction while the handle has a resin-soaked fiberglass body that resists moisture.

It comes with a leather sheath. This sheath has a D-ring and belt loop, making it easy to access and tote with you no matter where you trek in the woods.

What We Liked

  • Durable construction
  • Full tang
  • Weather- and corrosion-resistant

What We Didn’t Like

  • Isn’t the greatest when it comes to chopping

How to Find the Best Survival Knife for Your Needs

Whether you’re a hunter, mountaineer, casual camper, or a forest ranger, a survival knife has a place in your backwoods arsenal. Not only can a survival knife help you out in everyday situations, making it easier for you to accomplish basic tasks, but it can also be a true lifesaver if you find yourself in a pinch.

There are thousands of survival knives out there. Don’t skimp on your purchase – buying a good survival knife is worth it. You’ll thank us!


About The Author

Brian Voytovich is an avid outdoorsman who enjoys hiking, camping outdoors, and exploring new scenic areas. He has traveled across the country in his RV for the last 20 years and has visited hundreds of camping and RV spots. His love for everything camping and outdoors resonates in his articles and reviews for various camping products and RV camping sites.

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