I think all outdoor enthusiasts and survivalists would agree that the single most important tool to have in your bag when venturing outdoors is without a doubt a survival knife. However, finding the best survival knife is much easier said than done. While this is true, it doesn’t have to be hard. Buying cheap doesn’t necessarily mean that you’ll be buying low quality. The following article will help you gain some direction in choosing a best survival knife.
How to choose the Best Survival Knife
1. The Need
The very first thing you should do before going out and buying the first survival knife you see, is to determine your own personal intended use. Should the scenario be in which you venture out with minimal previsions, you will need a very ‘capable’ knife. However, if your intended use is for personal protection only, a lightweight, medium-length blade will suffice.
2. The Tang
The tang, for those who don’t know, is the section of the blade that extends into the handle of the knife. It is an already established fact that knives with short or partial tangs are weaker than knives with full tang design. A full tang extends all the way through to the base of the handle. There are many best cheap survival knife options out there that has full tang design.
3. The Size
Size is fairly important when choosing the best cheap survival knife to suit your personal needs. While big knives are ideal for chopping and splitting wood, it proves rather useless when used for skinning. This said, between 5 and 12 inches is said to be a very good length for a survival knife. When choosing your knife, do consider this as anything less could have a negative impact on the performance of your knife.
4. The Handle
Fourth thing on your list is the handle. This is where the comfort level comes to play. Handles with non-slip grip and finger guards are often preferred amongst survivalist. One thing that you should avoid at all costs though, is survival knives with hollow handles.
5. The Blade
When it comes to the blade of your survival knife, there are many things to consider. Some of this will include; blade design, blade shape and blade material.
a. Blade Design
Whoever said size doesn’t matter was wrong. When it comes to you choosing a best cheap survival knife, it certainly does. Here, you have to consider the edge (straight vs. serrated), as well as the blade length and thickness. Between four and six inches is an ideal length for a survival knife. And, as for the edge, most outdoor enthusiasts would agree that straight edge blades are the preferred choice.
b. Blade Shape
The shape of your blade will ultimately determine the functionality thereof. In survival, the drop point or clip point blades are what you should be looking for.
c. Blade Material
There are generally two primary types of materials used in the development of survival knives – stainless steel and carbon. Here again, the choice is really nothing other than your own personal preference. However, carbon blades will generally hold their edge much longer than that of the stainless steel blades. The stainless steel blade on the other hand, will outlast the carbon (or so it is believed), but will require to be sharpened more often.
With so many options in survival knives available to you, it is easy for one to find it hard to choose the best cheap survival knife. However, by considering the aforementioned directional pointers when choosing your knife, you may find it much easier than what you thought it would be.
Check out the 9 Best Survival Knives on the market right now:
1. Fallkniven A1pro Survival Knife Fixed Blade
Fallkniven – A1 Pro. Model FNA1PRO. 11″ overall. 6 1/4″ satin finish laminated CoS steel drop point blade. Full tang. Black textured Kraton handle with lanyard hole. Black Zytel belt sheath. DC4 whetstone with leather pouch. Comes in hard plastic shock and water resistant storage case.
2. FirstEdge 5050 Survival Fixed Blade Plain Edge Knife
FirstEdge’s hefty 5050 Survival Knife was designed and built in partnership with U.S. Special Forces to their demanding specifications to create a true survival tool. This immensely strong knife is a full-tang construction, made of high grade ELMAX ™ Steel with coarse textured G-10 handles. The Patent Pending Kydex Tri-Composite Sheath is able to be disassembled for cleaning and was built to withstand the harshest conditions on the planet.
3. Gerber Zombie Apocalypse Survival Kit [30-000601]
Prepare for the “zombie apocalypse” or other disasters or emergencies with the Apocalypse Survival Kit from Gerber. This kit contains seven survival tools–a Gator machete, a Camp II axe, a Gator Pro machete, a Parang machete, an LMF II Infantry knife, a DMF Folder knife, and an Epic knife–along with a durable canvas carrying case for secure transport. Kit contains three machetes made of high-carbon stainless steel. Also includes three knives and an all-purpose hand axe. Comes in a durable canvas carrying case. Backed by a lifetime warranty.
4. Fallkniven A1 Survival Knife Fixed Blade Knife
Fallkniven A1 Survival Knife Fixed Blade Knife. Point: Drop Point. Blade Length: 6.3 inches. Blade Edge: Plain. Sheath Material: Zytel. Blade Material: VG-10.
5. TOPS Tahoma Field Knife Hunting Survival Camping TAHO-01U
The Tahoma Field Knife is designed to provide anything the outdoor professional would need in a knife. The tip has a double edge, used as a backup blade in the event the main edge should become dull during an extended period of time without a means to sharpen. The notch on the spine of the blade is used for scoring materials to create a weak point to break, as well as break wire by work hardening it, and pulling pots and similar items out of a fire. The thumb ramp has a hole in it for a forward wrist lanyard popular in cutting contests as well as aid in lashing the knife to the end of a stick to make a spear. The finger choil makes bringing the hand closer to the blade possible for fine carving tasks. The choil also creates a secondary “tip” for carving or notching etc. The overall shape of the handle is made for ergonomics, and to give the user a better grasp like on a machete. Dual spindle sockets for a bow drill make it safe to use left or right hand operation. On the pommel of the knife is a pry bar, shaped and positioned so that if given a “backseat” grip on the knife during chopping, it would not cut, or wear into your hand. Every feature is integrated into the knife to work with each other, as well as be instinctual to the user so that it feels like an extension of the body.
6. ESEE Model 5 Survival Knife
The ESEE-5 is a knife that can handle even the roughest survival situations. Designed By Military SERE Instructors as a hard-use downed pilot?s essential survival knife. The 11″ ESEE-5 is a full tang 1095 high carbon steel construction with a black powder coated flat ground 5.25″ blade. This blade features jimping on the spine for increased thumb grip. The Handle is made out of tan Micarta canvas, and features a glass breaker on the pommel. Includes durable molded polymer sheath with removable clip.
7. Buck Knives 060 Hood Hoodlum Survival Fixed Blade Knife with Sheath
The Hoodlum is built for ultimate survival. Based on Ron Hood’s design and built to Buck’s quality standards, the Hoodlum helps ensure survival in extreme conditions. It is light enough to carry in a sheath, but heavy duty enough for any task out in the wilderness. The handle is built with a Shock Mitigation System (SMS) to alleviate shock and wasted energy when chopping. It has a large finger choil for providing control while whittling or other detailed activities. A groove is cut into the blade spine for scoring bone, bending wire, removing pots from a camp fire, or other small tasks. Also, the Micarta handles can be removed to create a spear by lashing a branch to the tang of the blade. There is an integrated hammer and lanyard hole in the butt of the handle and it comes with a heavy duty nylon sheath. The Hoodlum will serve all your survival needs from protection to food prep while out in the wilderness.
8. GLADIUS – Premium Outdoor / Survival / Hunting Knife
Genuine leather sheath, with firesteel (Included). Handmade knife with blade cut by laser. Micarta handle. Stainless Steel Molybdenum-Vanadium 58 (MOVA-58) / HRC 56-60. Blade Length: 170 mm / 6,70 inches; Overall Length: 350 mm / 13,77inches; Blade Thickness: 5 mm / 0,20 inches. Made in Spain.
9. Tactical survival fixed blade knife Cudeman 299-B
Blade length: 18 cm with overall length: 31,5 cm. Steel: bệhler n-695 with hardness: 59/61 hrc. Handle material: black micarta with red liners. Overall weight: 820 gr. Sheath: black leather (included).