I got an email from an avid reader that said: “Howzit John. Can you recommend an awesome survival knife? I’m talking the world’s best survival knife here…”
That question kind of smacked me in the face.
You see, the problem is this:
There’s an abundance of kick-ass survival knives out there, and they cater to individual needs. I might not be able to crown just one as the winner, but what I can do is tell you all about the contenders in the run-up for the crown.
Why You Need a Survival Knife?
Look, a survival knife isn’t just something that was made with mountaineering aficionados in mind, and they’re also not just for men roughing it out in the wilderness. The best survival knife is a tool that’s helpful in a wide range of applications, especially since Mother Nature seems to be going wild nowadays. Challenges are plentiful, which is why you need a reliable survival knife to pull you through them.
What a Survival Knife Looks Like?
Generally speaking, survival knives measure in anywhere between 4 and 8 inches in length. They have straight or serrated blades, albeit I firmly advise against fully serrated blades since they can’t be sharpened. They have handles that are easy and comfortable to grip onto.
Should you opt for Folding or Fixed Blade?
This one is kind of difficult to answer. The simple answer is that fixed blade survival knives are much more reliable and durable in tough scenarios. Fixed blades are easy to handle and quick to use. When your survival matters, speed is everything, and fidgeting with a knife that won’t deploy properly might cost you big time.
A folding knife is great if you need:
An easy everyday carrying knife
A knife that’ll do mainly small, mundane tasks
A small blade
A fixed blade knife is great if you need:
Speed and strength
A knife that’ll handle bigger tasks with ease
A knife that cleans up easily
A knife that will chop through things
The Best Survival Knives all feature:
A blade length of at least 6 inches, don’t settle for anything under 6 inches or anything more than 10
A stainless steel or high carbon steel blade
A hard rubber or polymer handle
A great or at least solidly constructed sheath
Now that I’ve covered the basics, you’re probably ready to start exploring your options. I’ve got a list of some of the world’s best survival knives lined up for you so that you can start preparing yourself for that all important purchase.
Nominations for the Title of the World’s Best Survival Knife
Number One – Fallkniven A1 Survival Knife
I love the Fallkniven A1 for its ruggedness, durability and superior performance. The blade measures in at 6.38 inches in length and 0.24 inches thick so it’ll cut through just about anything with ease. It comes sharp right out of the box so you might want to be careful with it at first if you don’t want to slice yourself open! As a full tang knife that weighs in at 12 ounces, the Fallkniven A1 was built with extreme environments in mind.
ESEE is a brand that stands out for their superior quality, and the 6 Plain is no exception to the rule. Measuring in at an overall 11.75 inches in length, the ESEE-6 boasts a 6.5 inch long blade, made with 1095 Carbon Steel and measures in at 0.188 inches thick. With this knife tasks like chopping branches and clearing camping areas are as good as done. I like the feel of the 11.8 ounces of sheer power in my hand and I’m betting that you will too.
Oh the good old Ka-Bar Becker! If you haven’t seen it before, then you must have just got out of a 6 year hibernation. The Becker BK2 is one of the market’s most popular survival knives and with damn good reason! For its price, it simply can’t be beat. I mean for about $70 you get a solid, durable and rugged as hell knife that boasts a 5.5 inch blade, an overall length of 10.5 inches and super durable 10950 Crovan Steel that won’t rust or lose its edge. The Companion is a great all-rounder, effortlessly tackling tasks like chopping, cutting, skinning and even kitchen tasks. If it wasn’t for its long profile, this would have been my number one pick without a doubt. If you want to read up on the Ka-Bar Becker BK2 in detail, check out my post Becker BK2 Review.
You probably know how anti-TV products I am, but the Bear Grylls Ultimate Knife is another story altogether, which is why it features on this list. It comes with an amazing sheath, something that most other knife makers totally fail at, so I’ve got to give Gerber the credit for that! I love the fine edge blade, the anti-slip grip and the ergonomic design, but what’s totally awesome is the perks it comes with. The knife boasts a built-in diamond sharpener tool, a fire starter and a survival guidebook. Essentially this is the only knife you need to rough it out in the wild, heck it even has two holes in the handle for the ability to transform into a spear with the help of a stick. Waterproof? Check. Durable? Check! Great blade? Check! You just can’t go wrong with this knife, the only reason why it sits at number four is because it’s not suitable for self-defense and won’t hack through wood like the Becker BK2 or the Fallkniven A1 per say. I’ve got a bunch of extra info on this knife so go ahead and check out my thoughts on the Bear Grylls Gerber Knife.
I have to say that I’ll always have a thing for military knives; they just make the best survival knives ever! The SOG SEAL Team knife was built with extreme abuse in mind. It maintains its edge like nothing else and will resist torsion, salt water, gas and acetylene. It’s durable enough to hack through wood plus you can use it to hammer, pry, penetrate and cut just about anything. With a 7 inch long blade and a thickness of 0.24 inches, the SEAL Team also has a partially serrated edge, which makes it perfect to use for sawing applications. SOG is a solid brand when it comes to fixed blades, and you’ll always find them somewhere in a “top” list.
SOG Specialty Knives & Tools SE37-N Seal Team Elite Knife
Ultimately, those are my 5 top picks for the throw down of the World’s Best Survival Knife, but they are just a droplet in the ocean of options. The best survival knife for you will be the one that best suits your circumstances because what works for me could be torture to you!
I’ve got loads of great info to share with you so make sure you check back in with me regularly.