One of the essential tools for every outdoor trip is a quality and reliable knife. But there many kinds of knives to choose such as pocket knife, multi tool knife, hunting knife, fighting knife, etc. So which one is best suited to you?
After reading through many forums about outdoor activity and from my experience as well, I highly recommend you choose survival knife. It is best suited to your outdoor trips as well as survival situations.
The survival knife has some features that the others don’t. By following this post, you will find out features of a quality survival knife, which need to consider before getting a purchase order.
And I gathered information of some best survival knife for you to choose. These knives have been appreciated by most of outdoor experts as well as the mass of buyers in forums.
Why own a survival knife?
Most people who visit this page, will already know the answer to that question, but for those who don’t, there are many reasons.
- In a survival situation, other than proper clothing, a survival knife may be the most important piece of survival equipment to have.
- You can use them to build shelter, cut primitive tools, kill and process food, and even for self defense.
What is the best survival knife for outdoor use?
A best survival knife, of course is made by high quality materials from well-know brands because building the famous brand in customers’ mind is very hard so they do not get risks by producing low quality products.
Oh, getting back to the point, with me, the best survival knife is not just material and brand. The BEST mean BEST SUITED and TRUSTWORTHY to my own use for normal, emergency or survival situations.
During my outdoor camping trips, I often use my knife for some assignments as chopping branches, splitting wood or even digging small fire pit.
In general, survival knife will do those assignments better the other knife because the Blade Geometry is designed for these jobs.
Finding a best survival knife is not complicate as some of other people think. It has characteristic features which will be listed out below.
Those features are factors that you need to consider to get the best one.
1. Let’s choose fixed blade
So the question is: which type is the best: fixed or folding blade? I always choose fixed blade because folding is only best for EDC or pocket knife.
The survival knife has to be fixed blade, why? The answer is simple, as its own name: the survival knife! It is designed for survival case, that’s why durable, strong, versatile and comfortable are prioritized.
2. … and full tang blade
There are many types of tang such as Partial Tang, Skeletonized Tang, Stick Tang, ect.
However Full Tang is BEST for survival knife. A full tang is the most powerful as well as hard to break during use.
3. About material of knife blade:
Two major types of blade materials of survival knife are carbon steel and stainless steel. The carbon steel is very sharp, tough and easy to sharpen but they are rusted if you don’t dried and stored correctly after use.
What about stainless steel, if you choose them you will never worry for rust. However, the stainless steel is not as sharp and tough as carbon steel.
Some quality steel used for survival knife:
- Carbon Steel: 1095, 52100, SAE 1070, AUS-8
- Stainless Steel: 440C, 154CM, S30V, 8Cr13MoV
Note: The harder steel, the better sharp but the easer breaking. If you want find out more about blade steel please visit at http://www.spyderco.com/edge-u-cation/index.php?item=3
4. The Blade Length & Thickness:
These are quite important for a good survival knife. It will impact to versatility when you use.
In my own experience, the blade length has around 6.5 inch blade length and 5/32 inch thickness will be best for doing many hard-outdoor- mission such as wood chopping, splitting firewood, constructing makeshift shelters and so on.
5. Straight vs. Serrated Blade:
A serrated blade look great, you can use it for cutting rope or small branches… but it is very hard to sharpen especially when you are in wilderness.
Remember that the straight blade can do all jobs of serrated blade can do but the reverse isn’t true.
In the market, ther are many survival knife built with a partially-serrated blade, choose it if you want and Gerber LMF II is good choice for you.
To me, I like a fully straight-edge blade survival knife because it is easy to sharpen – keep it simple!
6. Which Blade Geometry is best for survival knife?
The knife’s blade shape is different and they are suitable for different use. Some are best for hunting while the others are good for tactical or self-defence and fighting.
For survival knife, the Drop Point Shape is the best.
Drop Point Blade: is a blade shape used on many knives and very common on survival knife.
This is the most versatile and useful in a wilderness survival situation such as chopping and splitting branches, cutting and digging, etc.
7. The handle:
There are many type of material for handle: woods, polymer, rubber, plastic, bone, stone and so on.
No matter what type of material is, the most important is how you feel when using it.
Safe, comfortable, handy and stable are features necessary for a quality handle kinfe. So how to know? Here are features:
- It has to be solid handle, just say no with hollow handle!
- Having a lanyard hole at the end of knife’s handle. The hole can tie your knife to a pole and use it as a spear.
- Having Butt/Pommel won’t make the knife slip from your hand.
- Having the quillon/guard (between the handle and the blade) protects your hand from slipping up onto the knife’s blade.
8. About the Sheath:
It keeps your knife safe and easy to take with you. The material for sheath is made by plastic or leather. Some survival knife come with sheath when buying and some others are not.
If your knife is without one, you need to buy them separately or DIY. Investing in a quality sheath is necessary for your best survival knife!
9. The Price & Budget:
There are many price range for your choice. But remembet that you get what you pay for.
In this case, to get a good quality survival knife, you should anticipate paying between about $50 and $100.
A best survival knife will be a reliable tool which can’t be missed during your every outdoor trip. It is practical knife and bought for use, not for ornament.
So, do not think twice about buying a good quality survival knife, it is worth your investment.
Again, with your budget range $50 to $100 you will get the good survival knife easily.
You should look at buying a quality knife as an investment. With good basic care, a good knife should last a lifetime.
I have a couple that I have had over 20 years, and there is no reason they shouldn’t be around long after I’m gone.