A Comprehensive Guide on Survival Knives | Types, Uses, Features, and More

A Comprehensive Guide on Survival Knives and some of the best options on the market today that will help you survive in the wild.

The survival knife, as its name suggests, is anything that can be used to save your life. It was designed to handle rugged tasks such as cutting or batoning, as well as precise tasks such as skinning.

In a survival knife, you will find all the features you need in order to fight or defend yourself against a predator.

Military personnel were primarily responsible for the development of survival knives. These knives were carried by soldiers as backup weapons during combat or in case of refugee situations.

Action films such as First Blood introduced the concept of “survival” knives to Hollywood as well. As a result of the popularity of the survival knife seen in the film, replicas were made and marketed as the “Rambo knife”.

You should be equipped with the best survival knife out there if you are an avid military enthusiast, or if you are adventurous enough to go deep into the woods. Among the tasks it will assist you with are:

  • Opening metal cans
  • Dressing wounds
  • Building up a shelter
  • Starting a fire
  • Hunt down, debone, skin animals, and make a meal
  • Fighting off predators or enemies

As you can see, the amount of stuff it is capable of is incredible. Probably the most useful, practical survival tool available today, it can even help you “survive” the toughest of situations if used appropriately. An integral part of your survival gear is a survival knife.

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Survival knives are available for a variety of tasks. Below is a description of the most common types of survival knives:


That’s right! As it sounds, this is exactly what it is. The knife was designed to be easily concealed in a boot.

Additionally, you can tuck it into a belt or hide it in a pant leg. Knives with fixed blades are small, approximately 4-5 inches in length, similar to bushcraft knives.

It is possible to accomplish wonders with these double-edged, sharp-pointed tools. The device is capable of performing a wide range of tasks, from building a camp to catching food.


The act of buck-hunting can be compared to the use of a multipurpose knife. It cannot be used to hunt down prey, but its curved spine and extremely sharp tip make it an ideal tool for skin removal.

For use in a “survival situation”, the knife has been fitted with a slightly thicker blade than other hunting knives.


An integral part of a soldier’s backpack is a combat survival knife. This durable and quality design will help you escape stinky situations on the battlefield or at home.


There is no doubt that you are carrying ammunition, but the thing about guns is that they can always run out of ammunition. A military survival knife is therefore a necessity for every soldier.

It is used to hunt down animals, build shelters, dig holes, and fight attacks. When faced with a war-like scenario, it can easily assist a soldier in surviving.


The quality of this one is the highest of all. The weapon is designed to serve as both a tool and a weapon.

Made of stainless steel, it typically has a blade that measures 6-7 inches in length and has a serrated edge. Due to their durability, tactical survival knives are capable of handling all types of rough situations.


As seen in John Rambo’s famous action movies, this knife has a long, serrated blade and a hollow handle.

As a result, this particular type of knife gained immense popularity during that time period.


A folding survival knife is the first thing that comes to mind when it comes to convenience. Although it is relatively shorter, it can easily perform precise tasks such as skinning an animal.

You can simply put it in your pocket which makes it very easy to carry. However, a major setbAlthough it is relatively shorter, it can easily perform precise tasks such as“survival” situation, this one will probably disappoint you.

Using a folding knife to baton or hunt animals would be impossible with a fixed blade. In summary, strength is sacrificed for convenience. However, as the saying goes, it is always better to have something than nothing at all.

So, if it’s a choice between not having a survival knife and having a weak one, you know what to do.


Like their name, these knives have an unusual shape. Japanese short swords are called tantos.

Each knife has a long, fixed blade, similar to a samurai sword from the old days. For repeated use, they have highly reinforced edges. It features a chiseled-edged blade, making it ideal for piercings, stabbings, slashings, cuttings, and slicings.

Due to their durability and strength, they can be used for heavy-duty tasks as well. A tripod is capable of holding up to all of the survival tasks and is an invaluable tool in a critical situation.


The following is a list of features you should look for in a survival knife. You should look for a knife that has all the features listed down below as they will greatly influence its performance.


A knife is essentially composed of two parts – the blade and the handle. It is important to consider the size of these two factors.

It is advisable to use a small knife to ensure ease of handling and precise tasks, such as skinning or carving, but it will not be able to handle rugged tasks such as chopping, batoning, etc.

For instance, a large oversized knife may be ideal for woodcutting and all other heavy-duty tasks, but won’t be accurate enough for fine detail work.

In order to obtain the best range, you should consider purchasing a medium-sized survival knife. It should be between 9-11 inches in order to achieve maximum output.


There has always been a close competition between folding knives and fixed blades. While they both have their advantages and disadvantages, a fixed blade is a way to go when it comes to survival.

The fact that it is not as convenient and easy to carry as a folding knife, it provides you with the durability you require in demanding situations. In spite of abuse, tears, and wear, it will not break. In the wild, it will provide you with the firm control required to perform all the rugged tasks.

Maintenance from time to time will ensure that it lasts for many years. Survival knives that fold up do not perform well under pressure and are likely to break when you need them most – not very user-friendly, now is it?


Choose a survival knife with a pointed tip if you need one that will serve its purpose and not disappoint.

The fancy, curvy tips will harm its performance, so don’t fall for them. Even though they may look great, all that badassery goes down the drain if it does not work.

Equip yourself with a simple but effective drop point that is capable of landing straight into the chest of your opponent.


Carbon and stainless steel are the two materials that make up knife blades. Among all the elements, carbon is the hardest. Therefore, carbon steel blades are extremely durable and strong.

Nevertheless, even the best thing has its drawbacks: carbon steel is more likely to rust. Every time it is used, it must be cleaned thoroughly.

It is also possible that the metal may become brittle due to its hardness. Due to this, it is always possible that it will break during heavy-duty work.

On the other hand, stainless steel does not rust and is not capable of performing severe tasks like a carbon steel knife. Sharpening it is more difficult because it loses edge fairly easily.

So it comes to your personal preference then, working in moisture? Go for stainless steel. Need a heavy-duty, strong knife for demanding tasks? Go for carbon steel.


It should be obvious by now that with survival knives, strength and durability are our top priorities.

Likewise, the tangs should be treated with the same respect. In case you are not already aware, the tang is the part of the knife that is covered by the handle, forming the grip itself.

Tangs are available in a variety of styles, including partial, skeletonized, stick, and so on. When the blade is made up of a full tang, the metal of the blade extends into the handle and takes on the same shape as the handle. Therefore, it gives a survival knife the kind of strength and grip it needs.

Another benefit is that it has an equal amount of weight at every corner of the knife, so it is also well-balanced.


It is the bottom or “butt” of your knife that is known as a pommel. Practically speaking, a solid pommel is very useful.

Not only the knife but its bottom can also be used as a tool for light hammering or pounding. Try going with a knife that has a flat pommel. It should be larger and wider than the handle of the knife for more strength.

A complimentary hammer with a knife can be a very useful tool in crucial, life-threatening situations.


The spine is the area behind the sharp edge of the knife. Double-edged knives are available on some knives.

It is not absolutely necessary for a survival knife to have a double edge. As a matter of fact, it may be an obstacle. It would be more practical to grind a flat surface at a 90-degree angle. The Ferro rod will be useful for tasks such as staring at a fire.

When doing rugged tasks such as carving wood, the flat edge acts as a thumb rest for some people.

Doing stuff like this can be very dangerous and inadvisable with a double-edged dagger.


For your knife to “survive” longer, it requires the best care and regular maintenance. Here are some tips for maintaining your knife.

Sharpening: It is important that your knives do not cease to function when you are deep in the forest. To prevent this from occurring, it is imperative that you sharpen and hone its blade on a regular basis. In order to be well prepared in all emergency situations, it is advisable to establish a sharpening routine so that you never forget to do so.

Cleanliness: The importance of this cannot be overstated. Maintain a clean knife at all times. It is recommended that you wash and dry your survival knife whenever you use it. Not only will this prevent bacterial growth on your knife, but it will also prevent it from rusting.

Keep it Dry: The best way to prolong the life of your knives is to keep them free of moisture. If it is a carbon steel knife, clean and dry it with a wipe after use. In this way, it will be prevented from rusting. You should use a waterproof sheath when carrying your knife to ensure its safety. If your leather sheath does not have an artificial waterproof coating, you can always use artificial methods to do so.

Oiling: Once you have finished all the steps, oil your knife before storing it. In this way, friction is reduced, enabling the knife to be easily inserted and removed from the sheath. Lubricants such as machine oil can be used for this purpose.

Various survival knives are available, but you should choose one based on your needs, environment, and budget. If you wish to extend the life of your weapon, you must take good care of it.

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