Survival knives are specially designed knives used for survival purposes in a wilderness environment. This type of knife is used in emergency cases where the user has lost most of his main equipment. Survival knives are mostly used by low and enforcement members, but over the years, it has become a very important gear for outdoor enthusiasts.
With so many products available in the market, it is very difficult to choose the brand or the model of a survival knife. But it is very important to pick the best survival knife because it could be the difference between life and death in a survival situation. Therefore, we have analyzed the market and picked 8 of the best survival knives for your consideration. Read the article thoroughly as we also include the buyer’s guide to help you pick a survival knife that best suits your needs.
Top 8 Survival Knives of 2021 (Bestseller)
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Top 8 Best Survival Knives of 2021
- Cold Steel Recon 1 Tactical Knife
- Ka-Bar BK-22 Becker Companion Fixed Blade Knife
- Benchmade – Bushcrafter 162 Fixed Survival Knife
- KA-BAR Full Size US Marine Corps Fighting Knife
- Morakniv Garberg Full Tang Fixed Blade Knife
- ESEE Knives 4P Fixed Blade Knife
- SOG Force Fixed Blade Knife
- Morakniv Companion Heavy Duty Knife
My Top Picks of the Best Survival Knives of 2021
1.Cold Steel Recon 1 Tactical Knife
Cold Steel Recon 1 Tactical Knife is one of the sharpest survival knives currently available in the market. This is a clip point knife originally designed for survival, and the excellent build quality and razor-sharp blade makes it perfect for surviving. The blade of this knife is made of vacuum-heat-treated, sub-zero-quenched stainless-steel blade which makes the knife durable and provides a powerful edge. It requires time to sharpen the blade but you don’t have to sharp the blade very frequently.
Cold Steel Recon has a G10 handle that provides a firm grip while using, and it won’t slide no matter what you get on them. Moreover, the added finger grooves ensure this knife isn’t going anywhere. This knife has a thumb disc for easy opening in emergencies, and the extra-strong pocket clip ensures easy transport of this knife. The blade of this knife measures 4 inches long, the overall length 9-3/8 inches and weighs only 5.3 ounces. It has a DLC coating that will keep the knife rust-free in most of the environments. This knife is easy to use and last a lifetime of hard use.
- Incredibly sharp
- Good quality
- Good size
- Hard to sharpen
2.Ka-Bar BK-22 Becker Companion Fixed Blade Knife
Ka-Bar has the reputation of manufacturing some of the best surviving knives available in the market and their Ka-Bar BK-22 Becker Companion Fixed Blade Knife is not the exception. Ka-Bar BK-22 is a great full tang knife and the heavy-duty polyester sheath with a front cargo pocket and blade insert sleeve makes it a very stylish survival knife. It is a drop point fixed blade knife. The length of the blade is 5.25 inch and the overall length of this knife is 10 1/2″. This knife is mostly used by the military and service members so you don’t have to think about its performance.
This knife is gone through a lot of tests to ensure quality and durability, and this knife is best for collectors and outdoor services. The blade of this knife is made from flat ground 1095 Cro-Van steel which makes the knife tough enough to endure rough uses. You can use this knife for outdoor activities like hunting, camping, and tasks like splintering firewood, killing and skinning game, and chopping food and not to mention surviving in emergencies.
- 100% Synthetic
- Polyester front pouch sheath
- Flat ground 1095 Cro-Van steel
- Less comfortable
3.Benchmade – Bushcrafter 162 Fixed Survival Knife
Benchmade – Bushcrafter 162 is a very popular survival knife for outdoor enthusiasts, and you will have a good time using this knife thanks to the blade structure. It is a full tang knife and the blade is very solid, well-balanced, functional, and it is made from CPM-S30V steel. All these built quality make this knife-edge retention, corrosion resistance, and precision drop-point construction for strength and versatility. So you don’t have to worry about damaging the knife and can use this knife in any weather condition. This is a robust survival knife as well as very versatile.
This blade has an ultra-durable G10 handle that provides a firm grip while using, and it won’t slide no matter what you get on them. The handle is impervious to moisture and stable across fast-changing climates. The blade of this knife has a sharp 90-degree bevel so you will find this knife very handy when it comes to using it for hiking or camping. This knife has a belt loop and D-ring for easy access so you can easily carry the knife with you. This is a fixed blade knife; therefore, it provides enhanced stability in emergency situations.
- Sturdy and durable
- Full tang construction
- Not best for regular chopping
4.KA-BAR Full Size US Marine Corps Fighting Knife
KA-BAR Full Size US Marine Corps Fighting Knife is one of the best survival knives currently available in the market. This knife is perfect for different tasks, like surviving, hunting, camping, etc. This knife has 100 years of old design, but the build materials have changed. The blade of this knife is made from modern 1095 Cro-van steel. This type of steel provides a shaving edge and holds lasts forever. This knife is rust-proof and the coating on the blade ensures excellent maintenance.
This knife has a rat-tail tang and grooved wooden handle. The handle provides an excellent grip in all conditions. You will have a solid and reassuring filling when holding the knife in hand. It has a clip point, so you may find it difficult for the skin, but eventually, it will do the job. This knife has 7” long blade and the overall length of this knife is 11.875 inches. The convex edge ensures easy stripping of muscle and tendon with nominal strength. So if you are looking for a sharp, versatile survival knife, then you should pick this knife.
- 100% leather sheath
- 1095 cro-van steel
- 7″ straight-edge blade
- Rattail tang is weaker
- Hard to use
5.Morakniv Garberg Full Tang Fixed Blade Knife
If you are looking for a MOLLE multi-mount system survival knife, then consider buying the Morakniv Garberg Full Tang Fixed Blade Knife. This is one of the best model survival knives currently available in the market. Morakniv has quite the reputation of making good knives and this knife is not any different. This knife has a reasonable price yet it is solid and sturdy. The blade of this knife is made from top-grade 14C28N Sandvik stainless steel that ensures razor sharpness, high hardness, and makes the knife corrosion resistance. The MOLLE multi-mount system can handle any kind of hard task and you don’t have to worry about breaking the knife.
This knife has a compact design, and it can fit into the hand very comfortably. So you will have an easy time using this survival knife. It has a plastic sheath that might look like a bit cheap but it is durable to endure any rough uses. The length of the blade is 4.3 inches and the overall length of the knife is 9.0 inches. This knife is lightweight and weighs only 9.6 oz. The best part of this knife is; it will remain sharp for a longer period so you don’t have to sharpen the knife more often.
- Great blade construction
- Sturdy and durable
- MOLLE multi-mount system
- Square-edged ground spine blade
- Poor sheath construction
6.ESEE Knives 4P Fixed Blade Knife
This survival knife is considered as the best of the best survival knife. This knife is designed by Randall’s Adventure & Training, and you can use this knife as a camping knife, and in addition, you can also do all sorts of tasks like skin, butcher, and process. This is the best all-round knife available in the market. It is made of 1095 high carbon steel and has a very sharp edge. 1095 carbon is rugged enough to take all the abuse and keep on going for years.
This knife has a handle made of linen micarta scales, and it is nearly indestructible. Micarta doesn’t split like wood, and they are more wear resistance than plastic handles. The design and size of the handle will give you a good grip on the knife. This knife is slip resistance so you can use it in any condition. You won’t require any complex sharpening setups to sharp the blade; just a regular stone will do the job. The length of the blade is 4.5,” and the overall length of the knife is 9”. It has a rust inhibitor to prevent rust. This blade comes with a Kydex sheath with some mounting options.
- Great quality
- Easy to maintain
7.SOG Force Fixed Blade Knife
If you are looking for a fixed long blade survival knife, then the SOG Force Fixed Blade Knife will be the ideal choice for you. This knife has 7” AUS -8 steel partially serrated fixed blades and the overall length of the knife is 12.3”. Al this built quality makes this knifes an ultra-sharp combat knife and you can also use it as a hunting knife. This knife remains corrosion free even when used in extreme outdoor conditions. With this blade, you can do tasks like cutting cords, making notches in branches, trimming, sharpening, and also smoothening branches.
This knife is very popular among outdoor enthusiasts for generally being comfortable and lightweight. It has cryogenic heat treatment & TiNi coating that hardens & protects the stainless steel blade. The handle of this knife is rugged yet comfortable so you will have an excellent time using this fixed blade survival knife. This knife comes with a ballistic nylon sheath with an extra pocket so you can wear this knife on your belt or attach to packs and gears which are very convenient.
- Impressive strong construction
- Comfortable and durable
- Ergonomic handle
- Lightweight knife
- Hard to sharpen
8.Morakniv Companion Heavy Duty Knife
If you are looking for a budget-friendly knife that will do most tasks incredibly well, then you should consider buying the Morakniv Companion Heavy Duty Knife. If you compare the price, this is the best survival knife available in the market. This knife is made of custom Sandvik carbon steel that is razor-sharp and stays razor-sharp for a long period. When the blade becomes dull, you can easily make it sharp. The handle of this knife is made of durable plastic, and it has a slightly oversized design for high-friction grip.
The special design of the handle makes this knife suitable for all weather, and the softer over-molded rubber ensures you have a comfortable grip when using it. The length of the blade is 4.1,” and the overall length of the knife is 8.8”. This is a very lightweight blade and it weighs 4.8 oz. With this knife you can do all kinds of hunting, camping tasks very easily. Though many find the knife tiny in hand compared to other knives that doesn’t decrease the cutting ability of the knife. It comes with a color-matching plastic sheath with a belt clip so you can easily carry the knife with you.
- Very sharp
- Cuts very well
- Small size
- Needs regular care
How to Choose the Best Survival Knife – Buyer’s Guide
You should choose a survival knife based on your requirements. But while buying, you have to make sure that the knife is strong and durable enough to serve the purpose you need it to. There are a few factors that you must consider at the time of buying the survival knife. Let’s have a look at them.
Blade length is a very important thing that you have to consider while buying a survival knife. The length of the blade depends on what you have planned to do with the knife. People may say bigger is always better, but sometimes a short blade does more than a big blade. Knives with less than 4” blade are considered as small, and they are best for hunting-related tasks. Knives with 4”-6” are considered as medium and they are perfect for most of the tasks. Knives with more than 6” blade are a large knife, and they are best for efficient butchering, camp or woodcraft tasks, etc. You should pick a blade based on the length that will make it easy for overall use. You don’t require a model that is too big for portability.
Blade shape has an important role in its usability so you should choose the shape of the blade very carefully. The correct blade shape will work great but the wrong shape will be inefficient for your purposes. Most of the survival knife has these four main shapes: Clip point, Drop point, Straight-back, and Tanto point. You will see clip point shape on large pocket knives and bowie knives. These types of knives are good for self-defense and stabbing as well as skinning games.
Drop point blade shape knives are good for cutting and carving, and they are more stable than the clip point. The straight-back blade shape knives are best for splitting logs and wood, chopping food, etc. The Tanto point shape blade has a sharp tip, and they are best for puncturing and stabbing. For overall usability, power, and stability, the drop point blade shape knives are best for surviving.
This is where you may become confused. Nowadays, knives are made from different steel. These steels have different edge retention and edge holding abilities. Some of these steels are easy to sharpen, and some are very hard. So its better you buy a quality knife rather than comparing the steels. A quality knife will have decent steel that will suit most tasks. Knife steel can be broken down into two categories: Carbon and Stainless. Carbon steel knives are easy to sharpen, hold a long edge, but rust easily. Stainless steels on the other hand not easy to sharpen hold a small edge but don’t rust.
Survival knives are available in different handle materials like synthetic, bone, antler, wood, etc. While buying a knife, you should look for comfort and durability in the handle. Wooden handles are most common, cheap, but they slip a lot during the use. Bone and antler handles are durable, very tough but they slip more than the wooden handles. Synthetic handles are considered as best for doing most of the tasks. This type of handle has more grips in wet condition and it requires less maintenance.
Fixed Knife or Folding Knife
You will find survival knives that have a fixed blade or folding blade. Both styles have their own pros and cons. Fixed blade knives are robust and can do any task easily. However, they are large in size, so they lack portability compared to a folding blade knife. Fixed blade knives are best for tasks that require more power and strength. A folding blade knife, on the other hand, is small in size so it is portable. But you can’t use a folding knife for large tasks that require more power because it lacks durability and has additional breaking points. It is the reason most of the outdoor enthusiasts prefer fixed blade knives.
Little Known Survival Knife Trick
Your life will depend on the survival knife at the time of an emergency. So don’t hesitate to spend a few extra bucks for the best survival knife. All the knives we have reviewed above are worth the money and you will have a good time using these knives for different survival uses. So pick a survival knife that best suits your needs and enjoy time in the woods.
Last update on 2023-06-08 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API