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Table of Contents
- 1 What You Need To Know Before Purchasing the: “Best Survival Knife For The Money”?
- 2 1. Needs to Be Full Tang
- 3 2. What Type Handle Do You Want?
- 4 3. Fixed Blade Only For Survival Knives
- 5 5. Knife Blade Thickness (Between .17 and .25 inches)
- 6 6. Straight, Single Edge Blade Style
- 7 7. Sharp Pointed Knife Tip
- 8 8. What Type Of Knife Steel Do You Want?
- 9 9. Straight, Single Edge Blade Style
- 10 10. A Flat Knife Pommel
- 11 11. What Type Of Knife Sheath?
- 12 12. Be Sure To Avoid The Following When Buying Your Knife
- 13 Conclusion
- 14 Recommended Survival Knife Manufacturers
- 15 Bark River Knives
- 16 GERBER
What You Need To Know Before Purchasing the: “Best Survival Knife For The Money”?
So, what exactly is “The Best Survival Knife For The Money”? Unfortunately, this question can’t be answered as one survival knife brand may perfectly work with some and yet that same knife would not be a good fit for another person. For example, you may want your knife to excel at pounding stakes into the ground; yet, another person could care less about a bushcraft knife’s hammering ability.The survival knife is also called a bushcraft knife, hunting and camping knife. However, whatever you call it, the survival knife is one of the most important tools that you could get your hands on in an outdoor survival or emergency situation. This is because you can do pretty much everything that is needed to survive in the wild with the proper bushcraft knife. Be it an outdoors or wildernesses adventure – camping hunting, fishing, or when the SHTF your bushcraft knife can be used for the following:
- Batoning Knife
- Slicer and Cutter
- Splitting Wood
- First Aid Tool
- For Skinning and Dressing Game
- Fire Starter
- Signaling For help
- Building Your Survival Shelter
- Spearing Fish
- Screw Driver
- and More . . .
It should go without saying, that given its usefulness and importance, it is crucial that you get a survival knife that’s dependable, high quality, durable, functional, convenient, and also keeps its edge. To get the ultimate survival knife for you, you’ll need to learn all there’s to know about what to look for in a survival 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. That’s why this article will go over the qualities that you should look for in a survival knife; so, you can make your own educated decision.
The real issue here is that not every knife, steel or otherwise, can perform well in most basic survival or disaster situations. So, you need to do your research and get the knife that is best suited for whatever situation you’re likely to be in.
Here, is an in-depth list of 12 survival knife features to look for when you’re looking to purchase a bushcraft knife
1. Needs to Be Full Tang
With the full tang, the 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 main problem with a partial tang knife is that the blade will eventually loosen when using your bush knife for heavy-duty tasks, like pounding wood stakes, chopping kindling, etc. Simply put, a full tang knife will be more likely to provide the strength and overall durability that is needed for you to perform the various tasks necessary for a true survival knife.
2. What Type Handle Do You Want?
Perhaps, the most critical factor for the handle or tang for a survival knife is that is that the knife’s handle have a durable, slip-resistant grip. Therefore, you should avoid, solid metal knife handles (without a wrapping) because they can get extremely hot during the summer, bone-chilling cold during the winter months and also tend to be more slippery.
The following below are the more popular choices for a knife handle material, which are the following:
- Kraton-A wrapping that is made of synthetic, rubber.
- Micarta-Material composed of treated canvas, fiberglass, linen, and other fabric.
- Glass Reinforced Nylon or Fiberglass Reinforced Nylon– (”GRN/FRN”)-A plastic material that is known for being very durable, and almost indestructible. The main complaints, concerning GRN/FRN, is that it has a cheap, plastic, look.
3. Fixed Blade Only 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 folding knives made for survival situations that are emerging in today’s market, a fixed blade survival knife still is the preppers’ preferred knife because of the following:
- Reliability– With a fixed blade knife you don’t have to worry about hinges not working or other mechanical breakdowns.
- Functionality– The fixed blade is stronger, which results in the knife 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 bushcraft knife.
4. Blade Length (Between Seven to Ten Inches
A rule of thumb for blade size in bush knives is that the blade ought to be large enough to be useful, yet small enough so that it can be easily used. As a result, a longer blade is not necessarily better when it comes to bushcraft knives. For example, Rambo knives, which exceed 11 inches or more are likely to be too unwieldy to be used for tasks requiring precision, like dressing small game. On the other hand, a blade that is too small, is useless in rough tasks like batoning and chopping wood.
So, what is the recommended blade length for a hunting and survival knife? The following guidelines may vary by person, but an ideal blade length for your survival knife is approximately seven (“7”) to ten (“10”) inches, and the knife’s total length should be around ten to 11 inches long. If the blade is any larger at it will be more of a sword, and it will be tough to use as a tool. Likewise, if the blade is smaller the knife’s usefulness will be severely limited.
5. Knife Blade Thickness (Between .17 and .25 inches)
Thicker knife blades are more durable, which means they are better able to withstand the abuse that could occur, in a life or death, survival situation. The optimum knife thickness for a hunting knife is between .17 and .25 inches. A bushcraft blade that is less than .17 inches thick will likely be unable to perform heavy-duty survival chores.
6. Straight, Single Edge Blade Style
Choose a straight edge, single edge blade, instead of the serrated edge knife blade for your knife. Straight edge blades are easier to sharpen, and also the straight edge can more easily chop wood than a serrated edged knife. The straight edge also performs numerous tasks that are either very hard or impossible with a double-edged blade.
7. Sharp Pointed Knife Tip
A sharp, pointed, knife tip is better suited for outdoor survival or disaster preparedness jobs; so, avoid a rounded, hooked or curved blade. With the sharp, pointy, knife top you can do the following easier:
- Pry small or delicate items loose
- Dress small game like fish, squirrel, etc.
- Prepare nuts and other outdoor foods
- Self-defense (a sharp, pointy, knife tip best for self-defense as it allows the user thrust and stab)
- Many other survival and disaster prep jobs . . .
8. What Type Of Knife Steel Do You Want?
A blade steel influences a blade’s ease in sharpening, overall toughness, strength, and piercing. Most blades are either made of stainless steel or carbon steel, with stainless steel having a reputation of being resistant to rust. When compared to carbon steel though, stainless steel is more brittle, and it doesn’t hold its edge as well. For sheer toughness, sharpness and edge retention, go for carbon steel. However, carbon steel based knives, need to be regularly maintained for they rusts easily and most carbon steel survival knives are also harder to sharpen. The sharpening problem can be lessened if you purchase costlier and higher-quality carbon steel 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.
For a more in-depth review of knife steel click the link below:
9. Straight, Single Edge Blade Style
You need to choose a straight-edged, single-edged blade for your survival knife. A double-edged knife is 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 edged blade.
10. A Flat Knife Pommel
The pommel is also called the knife butt. A survival knife’s pommel needs to be able to pound tent stakes and perform other heavy duty survival skills, which means the pommel should be flat, which will allow you to better use your bush knife as a makeshift hammer.
11. What Type Of Knife Sheath?
The number one consideration for knife sheaths is for a sheath to protects the knife from the elements like rain, snow, and other adverse weather conditions and also shield the knife holder from being accidentally cut. Keeping the above in mind, the following is a list of the most popular knife sheath materials:
Leather Knife Sheath
Leather is a a timeless, good-looking choice for knife sheath material. A knife sheath made of premium leather will be light, durable (when new), and also hold its shape. But, a leather knife sheath does have drawbacks with the most significant one being durability. Leather, when exposed to the sun breaks down quicker than most synthetic materials. Also, leather does not hold up well in wet environments. Also, low quality, damaged or worn leather knife sheathes can be quite dangerous as a large or very sharp bushcraft knife can break the seams of the sheath, which could result in the knife holder being cut.The above problems, associated with leather knife sheaths, can be lessened by purchasing quality leather and apply waterproofer or mink oil on the leather sheath.
Kydex is an artificial, thermoplastic material that noted for extreme durability. A good Kydex knifes sheath will hold up well in various weather conditions and even not break down if it is dunked in salt water. One negative concerning Kydex sheaths is that a knife held in a Kydex sheath can tend to dull more easily if they are consistently removed from the Kydex sheath.
Nylon is cheaper than Kydex or leather. However, it is also less durable, and they also tend to get easily stretched out.
Because of sub-par durability, plastic knife sheaths are not recommended.
12. Be Sure To Avoid The Following When Buying Your Knife
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. Also do not purchase hollow, gimmicky, knife handles that hold a mini survival kit, fish hooks,etc., because of hollow handles not being solid, they will likely not be able to perform, sustained, the demanding tasks (wood batoning, firewood cutting, etc.) that are necessary for a real survival knife. Additionally, pass on a survival knife with a compass because the included compass often makes the grip harder to handle, and the tang will likely be less durable.
Choosing a fixed blade survival knife means 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 perform the necessary survival, related tasks.
Recommended Survival Knife Manufacturers
As stated before, choosing the best survival knife depends upon what the individual buyer plans to do with their bushcraft knife. Also, as high-end knives may require more maintenance, a more expensive knife may not be better for you. So, do your research before buying a fixed blade survival knife. However, the knife companies listed below are highly rated and very well may suit your outdoor survival needs.
This post may contain affiliate links. Please read our disclosure for more info.