The survival knife is one of the essential survival tools that you could get your hands on in an outdoor survival or emergency. You can do pretty much everything that is needed for survival in the wild with the proper survival knife. Be it a wildernesses adventure – camping hunting, fishing, or when the SHTF, survival knives can be used for the following:

  • Batoning (Pounding wood)
  • Slicing and Cutting
  • Splitting Wood
  • Weapon
  • First Aid Tool
  • Skinning and Dressing Game
  • Fire Starter
  • Signaling For Help
  • Building A Survival Shelter
  • Prying
  • Spearing Fish
  • Screw Driver
  • and More

So, what is the best survival knife? This question, unfortunately, can’t be quickly answered as one person’s “best survival knife” brand may work well for some, and yet that same survival knife would not be a good fit for another person.

You may need your knife to excel at pounding stakes into the ground; yet, another person could care less about a bushcraft knife’s hammering ability. There are though specific standards that you need to consider when you are buying your knife. As a result, to get the best survival knife for you, you’ll need to learn all there’s to know about what features are valued, so your knife 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. That’s why this article will go over the qualities that you need to; so, you can make your own educated decision.

I will though go over generally accepted standards that experts agree that the best survival knives have. So, you need to do your research and get the knife that is best suited for whatever situation you’re likely to face, and this article will help you do that proper research.

Here is an in-depth list of 12 features that the best survival knives should all have.

1.Full Tang Only

A full tang knife goes from the knife tip to the end of the knife’s handle.   In contrast, a partial tang knife’s blade only connects to the top of the knife’s handle. The reason that full tang survival knives are favored is that with a partial tang survival knife, the blade may eventually loosen when the knife is used for hard use tasks, like pounding wood stakes, chopping kindling, etc. Therefore, a full tang knife will be more likely to provide the strength and overall toughness that is needed for you to perform the various tasks necessary for an authentic survival knife.

2.  Knife Handle Material

The most critical factor in choosing a survival knife’s handle is that it has a durable, slip-resistant grip that will not move when your hands are wet or sweaty. Also, to best prevent blisters, the handle needs to fit in your hand comfortably. Typical  choices  are listed below:

A. Leather

Leather is a timeless, traditional covering that has has been made throughout history, and they are affordable, great looking, and, more importantly, feel great in your hand. But, should you use the leather handle for your go-to, SHTF, survival knife? Well, it shouldn’t be your first choice. First of all,  it needs more upkeep than their synthetic counterparts. (You have to apply a light coat of non-water based oil regularly) Also, it doesn’t repel moisture well, which results in leather damaging quicker than most synthetic, modern-day material.

PROS

  • Comfortable, secure grip
  • Great traditional, vintage appearance
  • Affordable

CONS

  • They easily absorb and retain water
  • Easily damaged and doesn’t hold up that well\

EXAMPLE

The SOG Survival Knife

B. KRATON

The Kraton handle made from a synthetic rubber substitute and it is often used in lower-end or cheap survival knives. The following are the advantages and disadvantages of Kraton.

PROS

  • Comfortable grip
  • Its synthetic composition means that it has a high resistance to adverse weather conditions (heat, rain, snow, etc.)
  • Known for being durable

CONS

  • Kraton is made of porous material, which makes it susceptible to soaking up damaging liquids that can be damaging as Kraton’s porous.
  • Can be tough to completely clean if you don’t immediately wipe off the handle
  • It’s bland, not a real issue for a survival knife. But, Kraton handle’s only come in black.
  • Consumers have complained that, over time, Kraton, tends to get soft and “Gooey.”

EXAMPLE

KA1214-BRK USA Fighting Knife

C. MICARTA

Micarta was designed by Westinghouse to insulate electronic machinery in 1910 and is a combination of canvas, paper, linen, carbon fiber, fiberglass, and other types of fabric that are pressed and industrially treated. Micarta is another type of high end, labor-intensive material that can be quite costly.  But, if you can afford it,  it is a good choice for handle material.  The PROS and CONS of a Micarta handle are listed below:

PROS

  • Extremely lightweight
  • Tough and Extremely Durable
  • Good looking
  • Doesn’t expand or contract

CONS

  • A lot of work involved in making Micarta. So, it is expensive
  • Naturally smooth so that the grip can be slippery, which can  be fixed by putting an artificial, textured grip on

EXAMPLE
Tops Knives ATRD01 Armegeddon Fixed Blade Bowie Knife

D. GLASS REINFORCED NYLON OR FIBERGLASS REINFORCED NYLON(“GRN/FRN”)

FRN and GRN is a combination of fiberglass or glass and nylon that was invented by the chemical company, Dupont. The nylon fibers combined with the fiberglass and GRN make both of these choices nearly indestructible. FRN/GRN also can be mass-produced, which means that these are quite cheap.

Overall, FRN/GRN is a decent choice. FRN/GRN does have a few drawbacks, which, along with the advantages I will describe below.

PROS

  • Strong abrasion and impact-resistant material
  • Easy upkeep as only soap and water is necessary for cleaning
  • A simple manufacturing process that results in affordability

CONS

  • Grip, even when textured is not as secure as other man-made, materials like G-10.
  • Has a cheap, plastic look

EXAMPLE
SPYDERCO Aqua Fixed Blade Knife

E. G-10

G10 is a more affordable alternative than carbon fiber or Micarta. G-10 is made with fiberglass, soaked in resin, then compressed, and baked. G-10 is essentially Micarta except instead of linen, fiberglass is used. G-10 was initially designed to work with circuit boards. As a result, a G-10 handle is capable of withstanding substances ranging from water to acids. Known for toughness and being lightweight.

PROS

  • Very lightweight
  • Durable-Nearly impenetrable to noxious liquids and other liquids
  • Cheaper than other synthetic material like Micarta and carbon fiber
  • Customizable as it can be made in numerous colors
  • Used often for fixed blade knife and survival knives

CONS

  • It’s quite brittle as it is made of fiberglass
  • For DIY knife making G-10 can be dangerous to work with

EXAMPLE

ESEE -3P Blade

F. CARBON FIBER

The carbon fiber is a generic term that describes thin strands of carbon woven together, set with epoxy resin. Premium knives, because of its high cost, tend to use carbon fiber materials. A carbon fiber knife handle can be recognized by its wave-like pattern. The good and the bad of carbon fiber are listed below:

PROS

  • Made of sturdy material (Can even be stronger than steel)
  • Lightweight
  • Durability-known for being among the most durable handle material available
  • Different color options and its ability to reflect off of light means that it is quite easy on the eyes

CONS

  • Labor-intensive production.
  • When struck the wrong way it can be quite brittle.

 

BUYER BEWARE– Carbon steel is costly.  So, if a deal for a carbon handle knife seems too good to be true, it is likely too good to be true.

EXAMPLE
Spyderco Native 5 Folding Knife

G. ALUMINUM

Aluminum as it is lightweight and tough, it’s favored by many. Also, when properly made, aluminum is said to give an adequately secure grip. I will now go over the PROS and CONS of aluminum.

PROS

  • Strong Material
  • Lightweight-Even though it doesn’t feel flimsy
  • Corrosion Resistant-Which means less maintenance

CONS

  • Slippery-Even when the handle has added texture, it still can be tough to hold
  • Weather Extremes-During weather extremes, the handle can be either uncomfortably hot in summer or bone-chilling cold in the winter
  • Scratched-Compared to premium metals, like titanium, it is more easily scratched.

EXAMPLE

Smith & Wesson Executive CK110GL

H. TITANIUM

Titanium is premium metal and is known for being even more durable than aluminum, and also having the best resistance to rust. It is also stronger than aluminum; but, a bit heavier.  With that added heaviness though you will get more strength. But as titanium is a premium metal, you will pay more for a titanium knife handle.

PROS

  • Strong-Titanium is one of the strongest metals. So, a titanium handle can take major abuse.
  • Lightweight (It is a bit heavier than some other metals, like aluminum; but, it is still lightweight)
  • Rust Resistance- Compared to other metals, titanium is the most rust-resistant.
  • Winter Use-Unlike aluminum, titanium feels warm; so it can be used in colder weather

CONS

  • Pricey-As it is a premium metal, you will pay extra
  • Scratches Easy-Known for not being very scratch resistant

I. STAINLESS STEEL

Stainless Steel (“S.S.”) is known for being able to take abuse, strength, and having corrosion and rust resistance. S.S. does have quite a few drawbacks, which make them not suitable for your survival knife or every day carry knife. First of all, the S.S. knife is also among the heaviest handle materials that you can buy, and S.S. tends to be slippery if artificial grips or texturizing is not applied. I will now go over the PROS and CONS of S.S.

PROS

  • Strength-SS is very strong
  • Durability-SS is known for its exceptional toughness.
  • Resistance-SS has an excellent natural resistance to both rust and corrosion.

CONS

  • Heavy-SS is not light. So, an SS. handle is not a good option for your every day carry or survival knife.
  • Slippery-SS can get very slippery even when artificial “etchings” are added to make the grip more solid. Admittedly, artificial gripping can also be placed onto the S.S. handle. But, the rubber, which is not as durable as S.S., may eventually wear off, and you are left with a bare, uncomfortable, handle.

J.  ANIMAL ORIGIN (STAG AND BONE)

Stag are deer antlers, and bone can come from the bones of any animal. Stag knife handles are known for having a sharp, classic aura. For example, the stag handle, when treated with an open flame, is elegant and exotic.  Also,  bright dyes can be often used on bone, which can make the handle further unique.

The stag and bone handle, though they are not the right choice for a survival knife as they tend to damage easily, and are also quite slippery. So, save your bone or stag knife handle for your knife collection. I will now summarize the Pros and Cons of the stag and bone handle.

PROS

  • Appearance-A timeless, classic, natural, look that is prized by many collectors
  • Customizable-I.E. you can apply a variety of dies on the handle to make it unique

CONS

  • Slippery-Tend to be very slippery, which is bad news when you are facing a survival situation
  • Holds Water-Both stag and bone are known for absorbing water and bone is especially porous
  • Durability-Susceptible to cracking

3.  FIXED BLADE (MANDATORY FOR SURVIVAL KNIVES)

As the world evolves and new things come into play, so do the style and designs of knives intended for wilderness survival. While there might be a folding knife made for a survival situation, a fixed blade is the preppers’ preferred knife. A fixed blade knife is known for having the following advantages over a folding knife.

  • Reliability– With a fixed blade knife, you don’t have to worry about hinges not working or other mechanical breakdowns that will tend to come up when you need your knife the most
  • Functionality A fixed blade knife is mandatory because they are sturdier and more durable, which results in it being better being able to pierce, twist, baton, and pry to your heart’s delight.

So, save your folding knife for your everyday carry knife (“EDC”) and get the fixed blade.

5.  BLADE THICKNESS

Blade thickness indicates what type of jobs that your knife can reasonably accomplish. With most knives, a thinner knife blade is better able to slice, and are more controllable. Likewise, a thicker blade, which weighs more, will work better for chopping wood or pounding in wood stakes on your survival shelter. If the blade is too thick, though, it will be next to useless for doing jobs requiring precision and control.

Therefore, as your survival knife may be the only knife that you have on you, you will need your survival knife to be able to perform multiple and varied tasks like the jobs mentioned above. As a result, based upon the above balancing act between the need for precision and the ability to do hard tasks (I.E., wood chopping), a 3/16″ blade thickness is a good compromise as it will allow you to delicately slice and also chop firewood.

6.  STRAIGHT, SINGLE EDGE BLADE STYLE

You should only choose either a smooth or partially serrated edge for your knife. Serration works better for slicing than a smooth edged blade. Notwithstanding, the serrated blade edge is inferior, compared to a flat blade, for chopping wood, and it also can be a challenge to sharpen.

As a result, assuming you can only have one knife, my recommendations are that, for versatility reasons, that your knife’s edge has only partial serration because, for bushcraft, you may need to both slice and cut. So, a compromise is to have a partially serrated blade with the serration being at least 1.5 inches, which will allow you to be able to perform most survival or disaster survival jobs adequately.

6.  STRAIGHT, SINGLE EDGE BLADE STYLE

You should only choose either a smooth or partially serrated edge for your knife. Serration works better for slicing than a smooth edged blade. Notwithstanding, the serrated blade edge is inferior, compared to a flat blade, for chopping wood, and it also can be a challenge to sharpen.

As a result, assuming you can only have one knife, my recommendations are that, for versatility reasons, that your knife’s edge has only partial serration because, for bushcraft, you may need to both slice and cut. So, a compromise is to have a partially serrated blade with the serration being at least 1.5 inches, which will allow you to be able to perform most survival or disaster survival jobs adequately.

7.  KNIFE TIP OR BLADE STYLE

BLADE TYPES

The 12 most commonly used blade styles are listed below, with the ones that most commonly used for survival are in bold.

  1. Clip Point
  2. Drop Point
  3. Gut Hook
  4. Hawkbill/Talon
  5. Needle Point
  6. Straight Back
  7. Sheepsfoot
  8. Spear Point
  9. Spey Point
  10. Tanto-Also, used by some outdoorsman for survival situations.
  11. Trailing Point

Your survival knife needs to perform multiple tasks like slicing, piercing, pounding wooden stakes, and, if required, stabbing for self-defense or hunting. Most of the above blades, as their uses are limited, are not suitable for survival knives.

For example, a needlepoint knife tip is explicitly made for self-defense. But, the needlepoint would be useless for field dressing wild game or pounding in tent stakes. Also, the Gut Hook blad is primarily used by hunters to split and gut, harvested game.

As a result, you need to choose a blade style, which can do multiple, survival-related tasks. Therefore, I am only going to examine the two most common choices for survival knife blade types: The clip and drop point.

Note: These below descriptions are based on survival knives that are of acceptable and similar quality and quality. For example, I am not comparing a $300 survival knife with a $30 Chinese made knife.

A. DROP POINT BLADE

You can identify a drop point by the blade having a convex (“curved outward”) from the blade’s spine to the knife’s tip. A drop point blade’s tip tends to be more durable as the blade is thicker near the knife’s point. This toughness has a price as the drop point blade doesn’t pierce or slice as well as a clip point.

The pros and cons of the drop point are briefly listed below:

PROS

  • A stronger point, which means it is less likely to break off
  • Easy to Control
  • More suitable than, clip point, for butchering game (skinning, carving, and cutting)

CONS

  • Not as sharp as the clip point.
  • Doesn’t pierce as well as the clip point, which means it has less use as a weapon and also for piercing hides

EXAMPLE

ESEE 4P Survival

B. CLIP POINT BLADE

The clip is the most common blade style on the market and is commonly seen in fixed blade knives, pocket knives, and also the Bowie knife.  It is considered to be a classic, blade, style. It gets its name as it looks as if the blade is  clipped off at the tip.  More specifically, the back edge of the knife runs straight down from the knife’s handle, and halfway down the knife’s edge will then start to dip down toward the blade’s tip. The downward, dipped, part (which is known as the clip) is mostly curved. But, sometimes, the dipped part is also straight.

PROS

  • A razor sharp knifepoint that can be maneuvered relatively easy
  • Great for piercing deer hides or other wild game
  • Slices well-but not as good as the drop point
  • Self Defense- the razor sharp, knifepoint stabs quicker and can be withdrawn faster, which is essential for hand to hand combat.

CONS

  • The point is not as strong.
  • It can be a challenge cutting or slicing through animal hides.

EXAMPLE-Clipped Point

Schrade SCHF30 Fixed Blade

 

WHICH SHOULD YOU CHOOSE?

THE CHOICE IS YOURS

You can’t go wrong with either choice for your blade, as both these blade styles are excellent options for survival knives. Therefore, you need to choose a style that fits your particular situation or needs better.

Personally, I prefer a drop point. Granted, both the drop and the clip point blades can perform essential survival tasks, and the clip point is a better self-defense weapon. However, the drop point is better at carving, slicing, and even prying, which is almost always going to be needed more than a self-defense knife, in an outdoor survival situation.

Because of the overall better versatility and enhanced knife point strength,  I prefer the drop point. But, if you desire a better self-defense knife or you prefer the looks and feel of the clip point, you should get a clip point survival knife. So, I would recommend that you try both and see which one you prefer.

8.  WHAT TYPE OF STEEL IS RECOMMENDED?

A knife’s steel influences its ease in sharpening, overall toughness, strength, piercing ability, and whether its corrosion resistant. Stainless steel and high carbon are the most common forms of steel. A stainless steel blade is more rust-resistant, and corrosion resistant than the carbon blade. The stainless steel blade doesn’t hold an edge as well as high carbon based steel blades, which can be a definite downside in survival situations.

The best survival knives use high carbon steel over stainless steel because of its sheer toughness, razor sharp edge, and also, it holds an edge better than a stainless steel blade. 1095 carbon steel is among the most common types, and one popular variation is 1095 Cro-Van Steel.

The downsides of high carbon-steel survival knives are that is they require more upkeep as they have less corrosion resistance than stainless steel knives, and you will also, likely, pay more money. Granted, because of the superb edge retention as long as you can keep up with the maintenance and care, it is recommended that your survival knife blade be carbon.

A Note On Damascus Steel– High end, Damascus steel is among the most expensive type of steel avialable, and Damascus steel is prized for its impressive looks. Notwithstanding, Damascus steel isn’t one of the best material for survial knives. The original Damascus steel originated in 900 AD, and current Damascus steel is a close replica of the ancient Damascus steel. Damascus steel is known for having beautiful, watery, or wave-like patterns and superb edge retention, flexibility, strength, and high cost. For functionality purposes, with modern-day, technology you can get equivalent or better knife steel than Damascus. As a result, Damascus is mainly prized by collectors for its looks; it is not commonly used or recommended to be used as your primary survival knife.

EXAMPLE
Russian Collectable Fixed Blade Knife

For a more in-depth review of  most knife steels click the link below:

The Best Blade  Steel

9.  STRAIGHT, SINGLE EDGE BLADE STYLE

You need to choose a straight-edged, single-edged blade for your survival knife.  Double-edged knives are primarily made for fighting as they thrust and stab well. Single edge blades, though, are more versatile as they can perform multiple tasks that are either very hard or impossible with a double-edged blade. As a bonus, straight-edge knife blades are also easier to sharpen than the serrated edge blade.

10.  FLAT KNIFE POMMEL

The pommel is also commonly known as the knife butt. You want your knife to be able to withstand hard use. For example, your survival knife’s pommel needs to be able to pound tent stakes and perform other hard use survival skills, which means the pommel should be flat, which will allow you to use your bush knife as a makeshift hammer better.

11.  WHAT TYPE OF KNIFE SHEATH?

The number one consideration for a knife sheath is that protects your knife from elements like rain, snow, and other adverse conditions, and that the sheath prevents the knife holder from being accidentally cut.  Keeping the above in mind, the following is a list of sheath material that you will most likely see:

  • Leather This is a timeless, good-looking choice for your sheath as it is light, durable (when new), and also holds its shape. A leather sheath does have a few drawbacks, with the most significant one being durability. This problem is especially noticeable when it is exposed to the elements, like sun and rain, because adverse weather conditions, over time, break down leather quicker than most synthetic materials. Also, a low quality, damaged, or worn leather knife sheath, can be quite dangerous as a large or very sharp bushcraft knife can break the seams, which can cause you to be cut. The above problems, associated can be lessened by purchasing quality leather and religiously applying water-proofer or mink oil on your sheath. 
  • Kydex– is an artificial, thermoplastic material that noted for extreme toughness.  A good Kydex knife sheath will hold up well in various weather conditions and even not break down when dunked in saltwater. One negative concerning the Kydex sheath is that a knife held in this sheath tend to dull more easily if they are consistently removed from your sheath.
  • Nylon-A nylon sheath is cheaper than Kydex or leather. However, a nylon sheath is also less durable, and they tend to get easily stretched out.
  • Plastic-Plastic knife sheaths are not recommended as they tend not to last very long.

12.    AVOID THE FOLLOWING

  • Narrow Tang Knives-The tang is the covered, dull part of a blade that goes down the knives handle. A narrow tang is lighter than the full tang. But, narrow tangs as they will be less likely to endure the rigors of the majority of survival activities like chopping wood or even pounding its blade to split logs need to be avoided.
  • Hollow Knife Handle-Also, do not purchase a hollow, gimmicky, knife handle that may hold a mini survival kit, fish hooks,etc.. The reason is that because as hollow handles are not solid, they are less likely to not able to perform demanding tasks (pounding in wood, firewood cutting, etc.) that are necessary for wilderness survival.
  • Compass Knife Handle-Many beginners are fooled into buying a compass knife handle. At first glance, a compass handle makes sense because if you have your knife on you, you will always have a compass, and it also saves a bit of space in your backpack. So, a compass handle’ knife seems like the right choice. However, like a hollow handle, compass handles need to be avoided because the included compass often makes the grip harder to handle, and the tang is likely less durable.

CONCLUSION

Because of the many choices and confusing terminology, choosing a fixed blade survival knife can be a bit intimidating. Nevertheless, while all’s said and done, for a survival knife to qualify when you need it most, it must give you comfort and perform the necessary survival, related tasks.

It should go without saying.  But, choosing the best survival knife depends upon what you are planning to do with your knife. For example, high-end, carbon steel, survival knives holds an edge longer than stainless steel knife blades.  However, high carbon steel blades do not have as much corrosion resistance (which means more upkeep is needed for carbon steel knives) as the stainless steel blade.

Therefore, a more expensive, high carbon steel knife may not be best for you if you have a history of neglecting past knives that you may have owned.  So, be honest with yourself when it comes to whether or not you think you’ll maintain your survival knife as needed and do your research before buying the best survival knife for YOU.


RECOMMENDED SURVIVAL KNIFE MANUFACTURERS

Below is a list of reputable survival knife manufacturers, suitable for all budgets, that are the right place for you to start looking for your knife.

GERBER

In 1939 Gerber was founded in the Pacific Northwest in Portland, Oregon. All of their products are engineered and designed in their Portland headquarters. However, for those that care, only some of their knives are manufactured in the United States.

Gerber not only has survival knives, but they also make:

  • Survival Axes
  • Machetes
  • Utility Knives and much more . . .

Gerber is known for making moderately priced, high-quality survival knives with prices ranging from $140+ to under $50. One indicator of quality is that they have a limited lifetime warranty for North American purchases of their knives and 25 years warranty for knives purchased outside North America.

Gerber manufactures the Bear Grylls’ survival gear with the Bear Grylls Ultimate Knife knife being among their most popular survival knives.   Their most expensive and highly prized knife is the Gerber LMF II.

​BARK RIVER KNIVES

Bark River, is a family-owned, high-end survival knife manufacturer, out of the small town of Escanaba, Michigan. On Amazon, the prices for these knives range from almost $700 to a bit over $134. Bark River is known for making some of the best survival knives on the market, and they have a current affiliation with the US Military.  If you want more information on Bark River Knives, click the above link.

ESEE

ESEE was founded in 1997 as a manufacturer of high-end, premium, knives and miscellaneous survival gear like axes, machetes, and specialized search and rescue knives. The price for their survival knives, on Amazon, ranges from around $200 to close to $150. They also have the best warranty as they have a no questions asked, and transferable lifetime warranty.

ESEE knives are designed and manufactured by not only expert knife makers but also an avid outdoorsman. This expertise is proven by the following:

  • Trained, jungle survival to the Peruvian Air forces at the “School Of Jungle Survival.”
  • Survival Training- They conduct over 30 outdoor survival training courses yearly in the United States.
  • Search And Rescue-They run a search and rescue in the South Eastern U.S. where they help with not only rescue; but, they also provide training.

ESEE lives and breathes survival. So, I don’t think that it is a rash assumption to trust that their knives will get the job done when needed.

KA-BAR

In 1898 KA-BAR was founded. Their current headquarters is in Olean, New York. Their main claim to fame is that they were the official combat knife for the USMC, Navy, Coast Guard, and special services in WWII. They also have a limited lifetime warranty.

  • Survival Knives
  • Throwing Knives
  • Neck Knives or Neckers
  • Folding Knives (Great For Your EDCs)
  • Tactical Knives
  • Utility Knives and more . . .

KA-BAR is among the most revered survival knives on Amazon with its most famous fixed blade knife costing less than $100, and their most expensive knife at over $250. Their most renowned knife is the KA-BAR Becker.

FALLKNIVEN

Fallkniven is a premium knifemaker located in Boden, Sweden, that was founded in 1984. They specialize in high-end knives and are considered to be one of the best knife makers. I was impressed that they have their knives quality tested at a local university.

Their most expensive survival knife is the HK9, which is nearly $2,000, and their cheapest survival knife costs around $80. The Fallkniven A1 is among its best-known survival knives.

STUDIES AND OBSERVATIONS GROUP (“SOG”)

SOG, founded in 1986, is a manufacturer of survival/outdoor gear where they manufacture products ranging from:

  • Multi-Tools
  • Flashlights
  • Backpacks
  • Miscellaneous-Diver Watches to Axes
  • US Military special forces inspired the original SOG knife. Company lore claims that their founder, Spencer Frazer, was inspired (FYI-SOG’s founder was born in 1955, so he would have to have been inspired as he was too young for the Vietnam war) by a combat knife that was carried by U.S. special forces in Vietnam.  Frazer’s goals were to replicate that knife, which he did, and SOG eventually branched out into other types of survival gear, and multi-tools.

SOG knives could be considered, on average, to be mid-priced as 5″ blade survival knives can be purchased directly, from $55 to around $152, and their knives have good ratings on Amazon and also on their website. (On general purpose, I tend to be wary when it comes to on-site reviews)

SOG though tends to have limited, 5″ bladed knives (5″ is the ideal blade length for survival knives) as on their website, I could only find two with 5″ blade. But, those two knives are rated quite well, and SOG has a good reputation. So, I would consider their survival knives.

BUDGET KNIFE BRANDS

These knives are below $100 and, based upon reviews, are of acceptable quality. If you buy these knives, you should expect to get a no-frills knife that will reasonably accomplish your goals. However, as they are lower priced, you need to realize that you aren’t going to get the quality of the Bark River knife for $50. Please note, this is a work in progress, and will eventually update.

SCHRADE

Founded in 1904 in Walden, New York, and was initially known for manufacturing quality pocket knives. Now, along with tactical knives, neck knives, axes, etc., Schrade makes a few fixed blade knives. Schrade, since its founding, has been bought by several other companies, and it is now owned by Taylor Brands LLC, which is affiliated with Smith and Wesson. Yes, Smith and Wesson, the firearm manufacturer.

The bad news or good news, depending on your perspective, it that their knives are now manufactured in China, which means Schrade knives are some of the cheapest knives available. (Their fixed blade knives range from approximately $32 to close to $90.) However, based on Amazon reviews,  they do offer a high-quality product. So, if you have a tight budget, I would see if a Schrade knife would be a good fit.

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