Versatility is the name of the game when it comes to the best survival knife on our list, the Morakniv Companion Fixed Blade Outdoor Knife with Sandvik Stainless Steel Blade. With its many features, you can survive the jungle and perform various tasks with it.
If you want a more expensive blade then you should get the Buck Knives 110 Famous Folding Hunter Knife with Genuine Leather Sheath with slightly longer and sturdier finish and design and shape to help you perform more than just survival cutting.
But for the budget savers, you might want to have the Survivor HK-106320 Series Fixed Blade Outdoor Knife which also comes with accessories and tools, perfect for small survival tactics and portability.
The Best Survival Knife: Morakniv Companion Fixed Blade Outdoor Knife with Sandvik Stainless Steel Blade
If you are eyeing on the best survival knife then look no further than the Morakniv Companion Fixed Blade Outdoor Knife with Sandvik Stainless Steel Blade. Being a fixed blade but versatile in almost every aspect and usage, it measures 4.1 inches in blade length and having a total length of 8.6 inches with 0.1 inch blade thickness. It only weighs 4.1 oz, making it a superb and lightweight survival knife.
Durability is unquestionable – it is made from sandvik 12C27 stainless steel. The high friction grip makes it easy to handle and comfortable to use for any occasion in the wilderness. The knife also includes a plastic sheath that can withstand wear and tear and also keep the knife safe in place. As with all survival knives, it also comes with belt clip. This survival knife has a lifetime warranty.
Step-up Pick: Buck Knives 110 Famous Folding Hunter Knife with Genuine Leather Sheath
A little step further would be the Buck Knives 110 Famous Folding Hunter Knife with Genuine Leather Sheath, which comes with a crescent tip blade and unique shape. Its lock back design for safety and strength makes it a highly efficient survival knife. With a dymond wood handle, it has bolsters made of brass to give you that fine finish.
The knife’s measurements: 3 3/4 inch clip blade and 4 7/8 inch closed length. The clip blade is highly durable and easily sharpened made with 420HC steel. The product is proudly made in the USA so you can’t go wrong with quality. The sheath that comes with it is made from genuine leather and can be easily attached to belt. Much like our top pick, it is also of lifetime warranty. This step-up pick is good for those who want a bigger and finely designed knife with specialized edges and grips.
Budget Pick: Survivor HK-106320 Series Fixed Blade Outdoor Knife
For thrift shopping and for those who want smaller survival knives, you might want to try Survivor HK-106320 Series Fixed Blade Outdoor Knife which has a cord wrapped handle that gives better grip. Measuring 7 inches length, it has a 3 inch blade with a 4 mm blade thickness.
Along with it is a nylon sheath and comes with fire starter made from magnesium alloy, making it an easy and efficient jungle and forest companion for survival. The tanto blade is made from black stainless steel. This knife is quite portable for a survival knife.
A Little Background
Being a player in this wide-scale world full of dangers, you could end up in the wilderness where there is little room for relaxation and more for survival. Humanity has always been equipped with knives and other sharp tools for cutting, hunting, defending and preparing their food.
A survival knife should be able to do all these things and not just built for one small task only. It should come in handy when it comes to animal hunting, wood cutting, food preparation and self-defense as well. It should be built for survival in the wilderness – whether you end up in the desert, a rainforest, the jungle, or any place in the world where all you can depend on are nature’s resources.
These knives do come in all shapes and sizes, but whatever they are built for, they should be built to last. Most of these survival knives come with a sheath that is usually made of leather, but some newer ones are made from nylon or other synthetic materials as well. Other great uses of survival knives include their great use in the military, for wood carvers and for people who often engage in outdoor sports such as biking.
How We Picked
We picked the best survival knife from all the great and worthy knives out there based from the following criteria:
First, the knife must be made from stainless steel, or at least a material that will resist corrosion as much as possible. A survival knife must be able to withstand getting muddy and dirty and still keep its shine and sharpness intact. Come rain or shine, the blade must still be usable – and for a very long time!
The blade must be super sharp and at the same time, easier to sharpen than most metals. It is quite hard to find such blades; since stainless steel itself is quite hard to bend and sharpen but carbon based metals can rust easier than stainless steel. You have to make the choice in the balanced line.
It should be easy to carry overall, and should not be too heavy to carry depending on its size. The knife should not overwhelm the user and must be weighted properly for its length and sharpness as well as usage.
The grips must provide protection for the user and should be nonslip. This can avoid potential accidents, so it is important to pick a designed grip that is patterned and able to adjust to the user.
The sheath must be able to keep the knife in its place safely. Some sheaths may be too weak or sometimes can accidentally slip off belts or cause a knife to accidentally come out and either get lost or hurt someone, which is a bad thing.
Jen’s Top Pick: Morakniv Companion Fixed Blade Outdoor Knife with Sandvik Stainless Steel Blade
Without further ado, the highly-rated Morakniv Companion Fixed Blade Outdoor Knife with Sandvik Stainless Steel Blade is our best survival knife on the list.
Being a fixed blade but versatile, it speaks style, durability, safety and usability all in one. Having 4.1 inches blade length, this survival knife has a total length of 8.6 inches with 0.1 inch blade thickness. Weight is not an issue because of its 4.1 oz weight.
With the knife being made from sandvik 12C27 stainless steel, you can be sure it can cut through almost anything you need because of its razor sharp cutting ability. In addition to that, the high friction grip makes it easy to handle and comfortable and less likely to cause injuries, when used properly. This includes plastic sheath, which is a little cheaper but effective nonetheless if you don’t want to spend too much for a leather sheath. It also comes with belt clip.
Giving you a lifetime warranty, this survival knife is built to last because of its corrosion resistant genuine stainless steel. Being made in Sweden, the knife sparks at a high hardness rating (HRC 56-68) and can be used for wood cutting, carving, and tinder or food preparation. You can be rest assured that the knife stays in sheath even when upside down. Aside from hunting and surviving in the woods, it is also useful for bike touring and other outdoor adventures.
Who Else Likes It?
Many outside travelers will enjoy the Morakniv Companion Fixed Blade Outdoor Knife with Sandvik Stainless Steel Blade and its usefulness and durability when tested in the wilderness as a utility, survival knife. People who often go to camping and hiking will greatly benefit from this survival knife.
Aside from the happy campers out there, bikers and other outdoor sport enthusiasts will most likely use a survival knife when they travel in the mountains, into the woods or wherever they go.
Flaws but Not Dealbrakers
So far, the only known flaw of this survival knife is that the belt clip needs to be fixed a little bit. Other than that, all features seem to work well for nearly every reviewer who purchased the product.
Buck Knives 110 Famous Folding Hunter Knife with Genuine Leather Sheath
Step-up Pick: Buck Knives 110 Famous Folding Hunter Knife with Genuine Leather Sheath
If you want a bigger and bolder survival knife then you might want to spend a little extra dollars with Buck Knives 110 Famous Folding Hunter Knife with Genuine Leather Sheath.
The crescent tip blade makes this specific survival knife have a unique shape and design – the lock back for safety and strength as well as the finely made dymond wood handle complete with shiny and sturdy bolsters made of brass.
The length: 3 3/4 inch for the clip blade and 4 7/8 inch closed length of the overall knife. The clip blade is also made with 420HC steel so you know that it is a fine grade steel and is made in the USA. With the sheath made from genuine leather, you’ll know that you are spending the right money for this. It can also be attached to a belt easily.
Made from natural wood grain handle material, it makes it easy to handle. The black leather sheath adds style, durability and an authentic rugged appeal for the adventurer out there. The blades are very sharp and the survival knife comes at a lifetime warranty as well.
Survivor HK-106320 Series Fixed Blade Outdoor Knife
But if you want to save some on the budget, you might want to try the smaller yet efficient Survivor HK-106320 Series Fixed Blade Outdoor Knife.
It has a cord wrapped handle that gives better grip on the knife so you would not run into any accidents with proper use, despite its size. Having 7 inches length, it has a 3 inch blade with 4 mm blade thickness, making it great for survival in the wilderness.
Equipped with a nylon sheath, it also comes with fire starter made from magnesium alloy, so you can freely start fires with just this knife and that tool in the wilderness when you need to cook some food. The tanto blade is made from black stainless steel with a fine and sharp finish.
Being a portable knife, it is designed to have a grooved top in either black or two tones. The great thing about this survival knife is that it is very inexpensive and great for smaller uses in the woods. Despite its size, it is able to handle almost any task given, and the free fire starter makes it a great deal altogether.
Sleek and Easy Folding Knife
Kershaw Leek Knife
If your idea of survival knives mean beautiful and elegant-looking designs then why not try the white-color schemed Kershaw Leek Knife. It has a one hand blade deployment so it is not just easy to operate with one hand, but it is also good for both left and right handed, making it very user-friendly.
Equipped with an assisted opening system with Speed Safe technology, it is designed to be accommodating and safe towards the user of the knife. It has an elegant design and finish, being made from 420HC stainless steel blade and aided by the 410 stainless steel handle. Despite its size, it’s got a fine finish and made from very sturdy material.
The 3 inches blade length and 4 inches closed length will be enough for you to operate. At only 3 oz weight, it is ideally a lightweight survival knife to carry around. It even includes a reversible pocket clip for attaching to belts.
Spring Assisted Folding Knife
TAC Force TF-469 Gentleman’s Assisted Opening Folding Knife
If you want a spring assist folding knife then look no further than the TAC Force TF-469 Gentleman’s Assisted Opening Folding Knife which has a liner lock that keeps it in place so that your knife does not harm anyone in its way or accidently bulge out from your belt or sheath.
Having a 4 inches closed length, it has a 3 inch blade length and a 3 mm blade thickness. The handle inlay is made from pakka wood and for your carrying convenience, it also includes a pocket clip for belts and such. The stainless steel blade is black and straight edge and has a very razor sharp blade. It may be a simple knife but when it comes to spring assisted folding knives, this is the one to pick out of them all.
Batman Themed Folding Blades
Icetek Sports Batman Dual Blade Knife, Black, 11.5″
Are you a big Batman fan? If you are, well then this is a must have: the Icetek Sports Batman Dual Blade Knife, Black, 11.5″ which has a sleek and unique Batman design. You wouldn’t think that the Batman logo could become a set of compact dual blades like this, right?
Being a double bladed utility knife, it has an assisted opening action so opening it would not be a problem. Just be very careful at handling the knife because it is double bladed and a lot more dangerous to hold compared to single blade knives that have folding action.
It has a total of 11.5 open blade length, accompanied by a 6 inch handle and 3.5 inch on each of the blades. The sturdy steel frame makes it a tough knife to beat and it really does its job – Batman style. With the aluminum handle top coated in black, the Batman themed folding blades are incredibly cheap. You can give this as a gift to someone special – preferably someone who is a big Batman fan.
Tactical Knife with Unique Blade Shape
Black Soul Tactical Neck Knife (Black)
If tactical survival knives are your thing then you might want to have the uniquely-shaped Black Soul Tactical Neck Knife which has a full tang and solid construction. Being a knife with a 4 inch blade, it has a unique grip design accompanied with its awesome blade design that makes it a really awesome tactical knife.
It has metal finger hole so you can easily handle and grip it with your bare hands on any situation and you would not risk losing it in combat – especially for those who are fairly inexperienced in survival in the wilderness. With a molded black nylon handle, this uniquely-shaped survival knife measures 7 1/2 inch overall length. It comes with a black hard nylon sheath for protecting you and the people around you from this useful survival knife and it also includes a neck cord.
Outstanding Machete for Rough Usage
Gerber Bear Grylls Parang Machete
For those who want something bigger for a survival knife such as machete, you would want to buy the Gerber Bear Grylls Parang Machete which is intended for very rough use due to its maximum durability proven by quality testing.
All construction for this machete is unlike what you often see in the market. The rubber grip is textured and anti-slip so even if it rains, you can cut and chop wood or anything else easier. Survival knives get dirty all the time and this machete’s design makes it quite easy to clean. The angled blade is perfect for clearing limbs or brush.
If you are looking for a survival knife that does its job to keep it rust-free, the steel blade is high carbon and resistant to corrosion, yet makes an effective machete to cut through things with its sharpness. In addition to that, the blades are easy to sharpen, as compared to other blades that are too gritty to sharpen.
Because the machete is full tang, the blade is very durable against wear and tear. It even includes a lanyard cord and also includes a durable and reliable nylon sheath. The machete is surprisingly very lightweight and what’s more – it even adapts to military standards so you can use it for military missions. As it is corrosion-resistant, it is also resistant to mildew.
Bearing a 19.5 inches length, with a 13.5 inches blade, it has an overall 25.4 oz weight (with sheath) and 19.4 oz (no sheath). The machete also comes with a survivalist pocket guide. So if you are looking forward to a big, bad survival knife out there intended for bigger jobs then you’ll know what to get!
Serrated Edge Knife for Survival and Combat Use
KA-BAR Fighting/Utility Serrated Edge Knife with Hard Sheath, Black
If you want a serrated edge knife then the KA-BAR Fighting/Utility Serrated Edge Knife with Hard Sheath makes an ideal knife for you. It is a synthetic knife and this makes it corrosion resistant. It is ideal for defense and military survival use, so it’s great for those who are looking for survival combat knives. It has been thoroughly quality tested, being made from 1095 Cro-Van steel blade that is very easy to sharpen. Being quite affordable, this survival knife can be used for both fighting and utility, so you are hitting two birds with one stone. It also makes a great backpacking knife. So if you need a serrated edge survival knife then this one is for you!
Handy Plain Edge Knife
Spyderco Tenacious Plain Edge Knife
Sometimes, the simplest knives also make the greatest differences, depending on whoever is using it. The Spyderco Tenacious Plain Edge Knife is for all your plain edge knife needs, measuring a 3 3/8 inch blade length and the blade steel material made from 8CR13MOV. It’s got a 4 oz weight and has a highly durable and nonslip G-10 handle material.
The survival knife has an ergonomic handle shape and the handle has a textured spine for anti-slip use. It also includes a 4 way pocket clip for easy carry and quick draw. So if you want a simple but effective plain edge knife then this one should come in handy just for you.
Other products in the market are survival knives that are mostly too expensive as a knife, when there are a lot cheaper options roaming around and ready to be bought. Ideally, we would want a knife that can be thrown around and not get damaged as much, and is ready to get dirty and still resist corrosion as much as possible.
Some other blades are also not full tang and this can cause an impact on its durability. When a knife is not in full tang, the blade might easily fall off the handle without noticing. Having a full tang knife is much more advantageous in the long run.
The quality of the sheath is also an important factor when ruling out other survival knives. Some don’t come with a sheath at all, making it a puzzle for whoever is buying the knife on where to safely keep their knives. If you should buy any knife, it should come with a sheath, especially if it’s a survival knife. Even jagged saws for carpentry come with an edge cover to protect not just the user or the people around it but also to prevent rusting.
If you intend to use a knife for a long time and for serious heavy use, do not entrust your luck on very cheap knives, whose quality is untested. Make sure you are buying only the best and most high quality survival knives so that your safety does not get compromised by a badly made knife.
Other Frequently Asked Questions
Q: How important are survival knifes and why should I have one?
A: In the wilderness, we naturally have limited tools, so the best we can do is to prepare for the worst. We would want a survival knife to get us through the jungle or the forest for days. According to this article from Survival Skills Outdoors , one must keep in mind that knives are multipurpose tools that can be used for a variety of tasks – from hunting, defending and even the simplest things such as chopping wood, preparing food or starting fires.
Q: How are survival knives different from kitchen knives?
A: The answer should be fairly simple. Kitchen knives are for the kitchen – they can be used at home or even in camping, but they should not be used in heavy jobs such as chopping or skinning wood. Survival knives, on the other hand, go for more of the dirtier jobs that kitchen knives do not have to stand doing. After all, while kitchen knives focus more on the sharpness of the blades, survival knives focus more on the blade’s durability (even though sharpness is also very important) so that even when you use it for rough jobs in the wilderness, it won’t back down without a fight.
Q: What should I consider in choosing and buying the best survival knife?
A: It all depends on its features. According to this comprehensive guide from Survival Cache , among the factors that you should consider include: a) the blade’s tang length; b) the handle’s grip and non-slip ability; c) the blade’s material, sharpness, toughness and ability to resist corrosion; d) blade design, if it is easy to sharpen; e) blade length depending on how you are going to use it in the long run; f) blade thickness, with a thicker knife better for survivalists; and g) sheath’s ability to hold the knife in all positions without causing unwanted injuries from the knife itself or losing the knife.
Q: Any tips on how to safely use a survival knife?
A: There are a couple of tips and must do’s to keep your knife safe. For instance, you should always keep your blades sharp, never point it towards somebody else when using it and keep it away from yourself. Always pay attention to what you are working with the knife so that you do not run into some deep trouble. Do not try to catch a knife when it falls because there is a big chance that you might catch the blade or hurt someone else with it. Do not leave your knife unattended and always keep it in the sheath when not in use.
Q: Are survival knives legal?
A: It depends on the type of survival knife. It is best to know from your locality if such knives are permitted to be used around, especially that you will only use them for camping and venturing out in the woods. Combat knives are the most to be questioned for their legality, so it’s best to ask first before buying.
Wrapping It Up
If you want the most versatile and best survival knife for your outdoor adventures then the Morakniv Companion Fixed Blade Outdoor Knife with Sandvik Stainless Steel Blade is your best bet with its great durability, performance, usability, easy grip and easy price.
Jen Miller is a former electrical engineer and product specialist with more than 20 years of product design and testing experience. She has designed more than 200 products for Fortune 500 companies, in fields ranging from home appliances to sports gear and outdoor equipment. She founded Jen Reviews to share her knowledge and critical eye for what makes consumers tick, and adopts a strict no-BS approach to help the reader filter through the maze of products and marketing hype out there. She writes regularly and has been featured on Forbes, Fast Company, The Muse, The Huffington Post, Tiny Buddha and MindBodyGreen.