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A strong survival knife is a vital part of any bug out bag, survival, or even camping kit. Even in non-critical situations, you’ll find that your knife quickly becomes your go-to tool out in the wilderness.
In these situations, your knife will get a lot of hard use. So, you really want a quality blade.
For a survival knife, a fixed blade knife is best. However, you may find yourself working with a folding knife, since a folder is easiest to carry every day. It’s a good idea to make sure you’ve got a tough folder, as well.
Since you’re here to find the best survival knife, let’s dig right into the meat of that topic.
Our Favorite Choice
If you want to stick around and weigh your options, we’ll put a whole bunch of them under the microscope, so you can choose the best survival knife for you.
Top Survival Knife Picks
Top 7 Best Survival Knife Reviews (Updated 2020)
1. ESEE Knives Izula-II Fixed Blade: Best Overall Survival Knife
ESEE manufactures strong knives, and sells them at reasonable prices. It’s a tried and true business model. The ESEE Knives Izula-II Fixed Blade Knife fit this mold perfectly.
The first word that comes to mind with the Izula is “versatility.” It’s only 6.75 inches in total length, with a 2.63-inch blade. This is a super handy size for anyone who wants to use their fixed-blade survival knife as their everyday carry knife.
You could easily conceal this knife, if you need, and the size is just right for mundane cutting tasks as well as survival.
The grip is canvas Micarta, which provides a super secure grip, even when wet. Also, the grip is well shaped, with a nice swell that fills out your palm comfortably. The tang features a steep bolster that will keep your fingers off the blade, no matter what you’re doing.
At the end of the handle, there’s a large eyelet that’s ideal for lashing or tying an extra length of rope.
The only downside to the grip is that the texture is so aggressive that it might scuff up your hand during long, hard use.
ESEE built the Izula from 1095 carbon steel, which is hard and holds an edge well. The powder coating protects the blade from corrosion.However, 1095 steel is susceptible to rust. It’s best if you can keep the cutting edge dry to prevent corrosion.
However, with a little care, this knife will perform admirably in almost any situation. For the price, the combination of size and quality make this one of the best survival knives on the market.
- Very versatile size
- Excellent grip shape and texture
- Hard steel holds an edge well
- Handy eyelet for lashing or carrying a bit of rope
The bad: 420 steel is a bit soft. You’ll need to sharpen regularly if you’re doing a lot of heavy cutting.
Overall, this knife places the emphasis on utility and affordability, rather than hardcore cutting. It’s an excellent EDC survival blade for those who want to be sure they won’t be caught without a knife, even if it’s not a fixed blade.
But, it comes with a firestarter, diamond sharpener, emergency whistle, and pommel. It’s practically a survival kit all on its own!
But, only the pommel is integrated into the knife itself. So you’ll need to carry the rest of them in the sheathe.
The handle is ruggedized rubber, with a nice tall bolster to protect your fingers from the blade. Additionally, the handle has three lashing points for using the knife as part of a spear or other tool.All the features add up to make this model one of the best options for adding redundancy to a survival kit, as a backup survival kit in itself, or for keeping in your vehicle for emergencies.
The BlizeTec Survival Knife is specifically designed to help you in the event of a car accident. This knife has tools to help you escape your vehicle, then survive until help arrives.
First up: the tools. This knife comes with an LED light, glass breaker, seatbelt cutter, and firestarter. What’s nice, is that all of the tools are integrated into the knife itself. So, you won’t lose them.
The blade is 3.5 inches long, and the overall length is 8.5 inches. It’s small enough to carry in your pocket, or dump in your glove box or center console.
The blade steel is 420 stainless steel. The corrosion resistance is good. But the edge will dull quickly.
Morakniv is known for delivering high quality knives at budget prices, and the Morakniv Bushcraft Carbon Steel Survival Knife is one of their best blades, both in terms of quality and price.
Morakniv includes a sheathe, firestarter, anddiamond sharpener with their survival knife. None of these tools are integrated into the knife itself, unfortunately.
This model features a 4.3 inch blade and an overall length of 9.1 inches. It’s a touch too big for comfortable everyday carry, though it might be possible. However, it’s the perfect size for a bug out bag or survival kit.
The blade is forged from Swiss carbon steel, which is hard and holds an edge well. Also, the blade is flat ground, for better edge durability and easier sharpening. An anti-corrosive coating keeps the blade safe from the elements.
Both the handle and the sheathe are plastic, which may not be for everyone.
The Ka-Bar BK-22 Becker Companion Fixed Blade Knife is an updated version of the original Ka-Bar that’s a bit more suitable for the civilian environment.
First, this is definitely a knife for your bug out bag or survival kit. The blade is 5.25 inches long, and the overall length is 10.5 inches. It’s a big, heavy duty knife that will hold up through even the most demanding survival trials.
The blade is forged from 1095 Cro-Van stainless steel, and is extra thick. The edge retention is solid. However, the corrosion resistance is weak. But the blade is covered in an anti-corrosive coating, so only the edge is susceptible to rust.
The handle is super ergonomic and sports a steep finger choil near the hilt to keep you from cutting your fingers during hard use. Unfortunately, the grip is very smooth, and can be rather slick when wet.
Buck Knives took the approach that your survival knife should double as a machete or a hatchet, if you need it to.
The blade is 10 inches long 5160 alloy steel overall length 15.. This is large enough for cutting foliage and chopping. blade features a rather straight shape, for better balance in these blunt-force tasks
On the other hand, it may be a bit too big for finer tasks like carving
The steel is hard enough good edge alloy steel can be a challenge to sharpen blade powder coated
Buck used a curved handle design
The right survival knife can greatly increase chances of survival critical situations
So, it’s wise to choose your survival knife carefully get more than oneNow that you’ve got a good survey of the options, get the best survival knife (or knives), and outfit your kits so that you’ve always got a go-to tool on hand.