Survival Knife Review: The Best Survival Knife of 2016
Finding the best survival knife isn’t just for those who are looking to be the next Bear Grylls or those who are looking to take to the woods and become a mountain man. A survival knife is an asset that can prove to be very useful in a variety of situations that experience in our day to day lives. It’s true that our modern lives may require the use of such a tool sometimes, but Mother Nature is becoming increasingly hard on us and challenges are becoming commonplace frequently and survival abilities have the tendency to end up being a necessity. That’s why we have put together this survival knife review, so that you can find the best knife survival knife for your needs.
Below you’ll find a easy to read comparison chart where you can compare to best survival knives. You’ll also find more information about what makes a great knife and more in depth reviews on each model in our survival knife review.
If you find yourself in a life and death situation, a common knife just won’t do. Survival knives come in many different shapes and sizes and are made by many great companies. Many people have seen shows like Man vs Wild and other survival shows and have actually gotten to know the importance of a specifically constructed tool that can help them in survive and thrive in harsh and tough elements.
A genuine survival knife is an indispensable tool especially if you suffer an injury on a hiking trail, out searching in the wilderness, lost deep in the forest, trying to find a way out of a tough area, when building shelters, or fashioning tools out of things discovered wherever you find yourself. Lots of people have survived such hazardous situations thanks to the know how to survive in these circumstances but also because they had an excellent survival knife that was their go to tool. These are also perfect knives for when you go hiking, camping, or performing just about any outdoor activity you participate in. With a survival knife you can easily clear branches, prepare food, dig a pit, and of course help you start a nice, warm fire.
Most survival knives have blades that are 4″ to 8″ inches and the blade is usually either straight edged or serrated. The effectiveness of a serrated blade might be arguable to some because you are unable to sharped a serrated blade. You’ll find these types of knives come in a lot of different shapes than other knives you’ll see, many times this is to help create a knife that has a better grip and handles well. Some knives are also engineered with various insertions and other features for an enhanced performance.
Should You Go With A Fixed Blade or Folding Knife?
Prior to getting right into reviewing the best survival knives out there, you may be interested to know or have questions about if a fixed blade knife and a folding blade knife, and which one is the best choice. Weighing the advantages and disadvantages, it becomes apparent rather quickly that, when things start to breakdown and get rough, you are going to want a fixed blade knife at your side.
A fixed blade knife is preferred because it is created as a single, solid piece and has less moving parts so it’s always reliable and especially quick when put in the right hands. In terms of survival, there is no question that speed many times means the difference between life and death. In a high stress situation you may not have the extra seconds to get your knife out, unfold it and then use it. That’s a lot of steps to do when your adrenaline is pumping and speed is what you need. Not to mention folding knives can break easier if too much force is used and have more working parts that could let you down.
A fixed blade knife will work every time and will quickly become your go to tool when you are in a tight spot, the main drawback to a fixed blade knife is you need to properly secure but the best knives come with easy to use holders that make this easy. Simply put, when a knife blade is one solid piece that has a handle that’s engineered for survival you have a great asset to help you do what needs to be done.
In a survival situation there are many tasks that you may need your knife to help you perform and if you choose a folding blade and the demands are outside what it was made for, due to lateral stress it could fail and you would be holding a pretty much useless tool. The only time you will have to worry about a fixed blade knife failing you is if you cheap out and go with a knife that is not manufactured to the highest standards. In terms of survival knives it’s one of those products where you basically get what you pay for.
For many a folding knife will do just fine for what you are needing out of a knife, for others though a fixed blade is going to be the best choice. To help you figure out which knife type is for you we have broken it down below to help you decide.
Go With A Folding Knife If:
– You concealing your knife is important
– You want a knife that you can carry easily
– You mainly deal with easy to perform tasks
– You do not require a large blade
Go With A Fixed Blade Knife If:
– Speed is vital
– You want a strong blade that operates in high stress situations
– You deal with difficult tasks frequently
– You could face a high stress situation (hunting, exploring, etc)
– You need a knife that is low maintenance
– You may have the need to chop things
Our Opinion: Find The Best Fixed Blade Knife
Simply put, a fixed blade knife is the best knife to have at your side when failure is not an option partly because it is extremely dependable. If you need a knife that you can conceal or you just need a smaller knife, then you may choose a folding blade. For survival purposes we always recommend a fixed blade knife though.
What Features To Look At When Searching For A Survival Knife
When you are choosing the right survival knife for your personal needs, it’s important to get to know the important features of a knife and what elements of a knife are most important to you.
For survival purposes we recommend knives that are at least 6″ inches long, this could rise to 9″-10″ inches, depending on what you like. You don’t want to get a knife under 6″ inches though, due to the fact that the knife won’t be ideal for a many of the tasks required in a survival situation. It’s important to note also that if you exceed 10 inches, the knife could be cumbersome to carry on you.
The main materials that survival knife blades are made from are carbon steel and stainless steel. Stainless steel doesn’t wear down over time easily nor does it corrode or rust and they are extremely durable. The main drawback to stainless steel though is that it doesn’t stay as sharp as long as carbon steel so they require more frequent sharpening. If you want a knife that stays razor sharp all the time then you would want to choose a blade made of carbon steel. Be mindful where you store a carbon steel knife because moisture and humidity can cause carbon steel to corrode.
Although many times overlooked, the quality of the handle of your survival knife plays a huge role in its effectiveness and durability. The most commonly used materials are tough rubber and also polymer, both are sound options that provide solid grip and stability to the knife. Some knives advertise a design with a hollow handle as a way to store things in it like a compass perhaps, but this isn’t the best choice as it ends up compromising the performance of the grip too much and you lose a lot of weight which can be useful for certain things.
This is an important aspect of any knife and what tang refers to is the construction of the knife itself. Full tang means that the knife is one solid piece with the handle pinned to it from both sides. You want a knife that is full tang as this provides the most durability and performance. A really great knife that is full tang is very difficult to break under any normal use circumstances and that is what you want in a survival knife.
A knife that is essential to your survival requires not just a blade that can cut well but one that can handle any job you can throw at it. This is where blade thickness is important, you want a knife thickness between .18″ and .25″ because it has to be sturdy enough to cut wood and be sturdy without bending.
Many overlook this aspect but the sheath plays a big part of the functionality of a survival knife. A sheath that has a hold at its end will help you to use this tool quickly when you need it because you can strap it to your leg. You can also go with a crossover strap as they help you move more freely while carrying your knife.
Starting out our review is the Morakniv Companion Knife, which is a ultra low-cost yet terrific survival knife anyone would like to have in their collection. Based on quality alone the Morakniv Companion wouldn’t have ended up in our survival knife review but we wanted to include a solid entry level and budget friendly knife for those who want that. It is on the small side with a total length of 8.86 inches and has a blade length of 3.97 inches. The blade is made of carbon steel hardened to an RC of 59-60 and has a thickness of 0.125 ″. Although it is smaller, the Morakniv Companion can handle wood cutting or other sort of lighter outdoor activities. This knife does have a one year manufacturer’s warranty and given its price point is a solid introductory survival knife.
One of the best looking knives in our knife review is also one of the best you can get, it’s also got a cool name. For those unaware the SF stands for “Semper Fi” which is the Marines slogan, so you know it’s designed for some heavy duty usage. It has a matte black coating that gives the knife a cool look but it also helps it stay clean, it’s also made of German 4116 stainless steel. This knife is indeed very sharp but will probably require more sharpening as carbon isn’t used in its construction, though it is still highly resistant to corrosion. This knife is a great all purpose knife as it has a steel butt cap that can be used as an impromptu hammer, a deep checkered Kraton so you can grip it well while protecting your hand with double quillons and it has a Secure-Ex sheath that holds the knife in place without any need for the added snap closure.
Ka-Bar Becker 2 is one of the more popular survival knives out there on the market and for good reason, because currently on Amazon it has 750+ reviews, which means its not only used by many people but also praised by knife lovers. The Ka-Bar Becker 2 has a blade length of 5.5″ inches and total length of 10.5″ inches, which makes it the perfect size to manage any survival scenario you may come across. From cutting, chopping, skinning fish & meat and of course things like potatoes, the Ka-Bar Becker is ideal for just about any outdoor adventure you go on. Made from resilient 10950 crovan steel ensures it will not corrode over time or lose its sharpness over time. It’s not shocking to see why the Ka-Bar Becker BK2 is one of the best survival knives of 2016 and to top it off it also includes a restricted lifetime service warranty.
ESEE is well known for its quality knives and the ESEE-6 Plain Black is a shinning example of their quality work. It has a total knife length of 11.75 inches with a 1095 carbon steel blade that measures 6.5 inches long and 0.1888 inches in width. Need to chop branches or clear camp area? Consider it done with this knife. Another thing that is great about this knife is its weight, which comes in at a solid 11.8 ounces, which helps give you the confidence that you can dominate any survival scenario that might come your way. Taking into account the quality of the blade, its overall size, weight and the ESEE name, this is one of the very best survival knives that you could hope to have to accompany you in your outdoor adventures.
If you’re looking for the absolute top survival knife on the market in 2016 then look no further than the Fallkniven A1. Many survival experts consider the Fallkniven A1 as the ultimate knife when it comes to performance in survival and wilderness situations. For those unaware, Fallkniven is a Swedish based producer of military and outdoor knives and the A1 is one of the best products they have ever released in their history.
This knife measures at 11.3 inches in total length with a blade length of 6.38 inches, it’s 0.24 inches thick and weighs in at a total of 12 ounces. At that size you can see how it isn’t an issue to split some logs or clear overgrowth pretty fast with this knife. Based on its size, durability, and quality of construction, it’s no surprise that this is the best survival knife of 2016.
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