The survival knife or bushcraft knife is one of the most important tools that you could get your hands on in a survival or emergency situation. This is because you can do pretty much everything that is needed to survive in the wild with a proper knife. Be it an outdoors or wildernesses adventure – camping hunting or even fishing, your knife will either be used as a utensil, tool or a weapon.
Given it’s usefulness and importance, it is crucial that you get a knife that’s dependable, high quality, durable and has a high level of functionality and convenience. Choosing a reliable and durable knife is very important. And In order to get the ultimate deal, you’ll need to learn all there’s to know about a perfect bushcraft knife so it doesn’t fail you when you need it most. And this may sound cliche; but, a proper knife can be the difference between life and death. So, where is a guide for selecting the best survival knife.
The real issue here is that not every knife, steel or otherwise, is designed to perform well in most common survival or disaster situations. So, you need to do your research and get the knife that is best suited for whatever situation you’re in.
First, it is important that your knife is easy to use. And a knife is not better just because it is bigger. A rule of thumb for a knife size is that it ought to be large enough to be useful, yet small enough so that it can easily be used. An ideal blade length for your survival knife is approximately seven to ten inches. And your knifes thickness should be between ¼ and 3/8 inches. If it’s any larger at it will be more of a sword and it will be tough to use as a tool. But, if its smaller the knife’s usefulness will be limited.
And it goes without saying that you can’t do much with a dull and flimsy knife. So, keep in mind that your knife will be in continuous use from hacking undergrowth, sawing through tree branches, skinning and gutting animals, fishing, digging and if needed as a weapon. Therefore, get your hands on a knife that’s durable enough to withstand constant and severe use.
Here, is an in-depth list of specific features to look for when you are wanting to purchase a survival knife:
The tang/handle is where the actual strength of your knife really lies. It is usually wrapped in some kind of material for comfort. Some handles are made of polymer while others are made of hard rubber. You need to avoid narrow tangs. This is because narrow tang blades will never endure the rigors of the majority of survival activities such as chopping wood or even pounding its blade to split logs.
As the world evolves and new things come into play, so do the style and designs of knives intended for wilderness survival. While their might be folding knives made for survival situations that are emerging in today’s market, a fixed blade survival knife still is the preppers preferred knife. A fixed blade knife is preferred because of the following: 1. Reliability- With a fixed you don’t have to worry about hinges not working or other mechanical breakdowns. 2. Functionality- A fixed blade is stronger which results in the knife being able to pierce twist and pry to your hearts delight.
A Strong Steel Blade
Not all steel blades are made alike. Subsequently, the steel quality influences the blade’s ease in sharpening, overall toughness, strength and piercing. Most blades are either made of stainless steel or carbon steel, with the former having a reputation of being resistant to rust. When compared to carbon steel though, it is more brittle and can be especially difficult to whet. For toughness and sharpness, go for carbon steel. It, however, needs to be regularly maintained for it rusts easily. But that won’t be a problem if you go for costlier and higher-quality blades. Even so, it’ll still not cost you, a fortune and a good knife is an essential survival tool that you don’t want to scrimp on.
The blade shape/geometry determines its “character.” For instance, the double-edged pointed knife is designed as a weapon. It is perfect in thrusting and stabbing scenarios –but it’s pretty much useless for normal tasks that are needed for survival. What survivalists really need is a drop/clip point blade style. This is perfect for survival conditions. This type of blade is formed by crafting a faintly concave curve tip. The blade’s back should slope somewhat downward starting at the middle and meet up slightly with the knife’s edge just above the midpoint. Avoid one that’s exaggerated curves as they tend to be more fragile.
The sharp side of the blade must start from the base and end at the edge. While some have jagged edges, you are mostly better off without one for sharpening and maintenance while in the field can be a bit tricky. And knives with serrated edges are really not designed for survival.
Choose a knife that doesn’t have a sharpened/saw edge. A knife whose flat back is opposite to the edge is the best for it becomes a support to pound and hit things with. Lastly, get a good sheath for your knife. It might seem insignificant at first, but it very much affects how you move and draw your knife.
While choosing a bushcraft knife means that there are numerous hurdles to cross and it can be a bit technical. Nevertheless, while all’s said and done, for a knife to qualify for your outdoor adventures, it must give you comfort and the necessary convenience when performing various activities. And even so, if it doesn’t allow you to do the above-mentioned attributes, then it is pretty much useless.