While the drop point blade positions the tip close to the center line for precise control, the flat grind provides the perfect compromise between the razor sharpness of a hollow grind and the edge toughness of a saber grind. Blade Length: 4.80 Inches My Review: Aitor is a Spanish knife manufacturer with contractual relationships that provide survival and combat knives to the United Nations, UNESCO, and military personnel around the world. If you are on a budget and looking for something to boost your survival kit, this one is a good choice to start. Sheath Material: Secure-Extm Molded Plastic. In fact, because it features a 6” Clip Point blade with a hollow grind made from 420 HC stainless steel with a Rockwell Hardness of 58 HRC, it is an excellent design for a multitude of survival tasks such as trimming branches and carving notches for traps and snares as well as skinning game and other general purpose jobs. There are a few folding knives that will make good backup options, but your primary choice for a survival knife should always be a fixed blade. You will have all the survival gear you need. More information on the Benchmade LifeSharp program here. They all give different features and while all of the knives in our top 10 list feature some great options, there’s 4 of them that we’d take above the rest. With that said, however, please understand that survival knives follow the same mantra as most other products in the world and that you will get what you pay for, so I do suggest the “buy once, cry once” mentality here as a high-quality knife will last you a very long time compared to cheaper knives. The blades are thick and hefty and feel like they have some serious power behind them without being too thick and too cumbersome to pack out. SMKW has you covered, with one of the largest selections of blade blanks, and knife parts for sale. Furthermore, the Strongarm is in that “premium Gerber” category, meaning it’s designed and manufactured right here in Portland, Oregon and performs vastly better than the rest of the lower-tier Gerber products across all categories. Large, heavy-duty, survival knives with long blades should be made from a non-stainless, high carbon, tool steels and have a Rockwell Hardness of 50 to 54 whereas, small bush craft knives with short blades can be made from either type of steel and should have a significantly higher Rockwell Hardness and the same is true for camp knives. This has a few advantages such as being extremely easy to resharpen and work with as a beginner or someone who simply doesn’t have the time to sit down and finely sharpen something harder. 154CM is similar to 440C steel but has the addition of molybdenum for increased resistance to corrosion. Due to this survival knife’s small frame you can re-purpose it as a spear head. Of course, it’s a little large to act as an EDC but if you need a reliable camp knife or a knife that is sure to aid you in survival, the Rat-7 is a solid choice and at an amazing price point. Basically, when we talk about edge retention, we are referring to how long a blade stays sharp under normal use. This type of tang is most commonly used in conjunction with handles made from stacked leather discs that are secured with a pommel cap that screws onto the end of the tang via threads. Buy once cry once (maybe cry a little bit when resharpening), that’s the Proficient way! (top) Ka-Bar USMC featuring a clip point and serrated blade (bottom) ESEE-4 with its Drop Point straight blade. logos. Plus it’s complimented by a double finger guard up front and a polished aluminum butt cap in the rear which really sets off the pitch black handle. On the flip side, a harder type of steel will be more difficult to sharpen but may retain its edge for much longer and through harder use cases. Blade Length: 6.44 Inches But, for less than $70, you can add this great survival tool to your collection! Fallkniven’s A1 Survival Fixed Blade Camping Knife is a great option for experienced hikers who are in the market for a long, strong, stainless steel blade. Those four are the following: Best Under $100.00, around the $80.00 Price Range:  Ka-Bar Becker BK2, Coolest Looking Model under $100.00:  Gerber LMF II Survival Knife, One of the Most Trusted Survival Knives & often used in the US Military:  Ka-Bar Full Size US Marine Corps Knife, Old Faithful on the Cheap:  Buck Knives 0119 Fixed Blade Knife, USA-made Lesser Known Gem: TOPS Knives Fieldcraft By B.O.B. Blade Composition: Laminated VG-1 / V Gold 1 HC you can learn more about at this link here. The Scandi grind these come with is of exceptional quality and overall, the knife is well-built for a relatively low-priced survival tool. Sheath Material: Boltaron. Featuring a 6.4 inch drop point blade with a recurved cutting edge and a hollow grind made from 1095 non-stainless, high carbon, tool steel, the Schrade Extreme model SCHF9 is a well thought out design. The CroMoVa18 steel has impeccable corrosion resistance. First and foremost, here are straight cutting edges which are specifically designed to be general purpose edges. Unlike the SOG Seal Pup and many of the more affordable SOG knives, the Pillar is designed and manufactured in the US using US steel which gets a huge Oorah from us! Buy this knife and it’s very likely you’ll never need to buy another survival knife again! ESEE finishes it off with a molded Kydex sheath which is not only extremely tough, it is also completely waterproof. In his free time, he enjoys hunting, hiking, running, shooting guns, and reviewing gear. This knife, which is hand crafted in the good ‘ol USA (Idaho), will withstand some rough use and abuse with its Scandinavian grind with a convex edge and full tang construction. Blade Length: 3.92 Inches Sheath Material: OD Green Polyamide with Nylon Paracord. So What’s the Best Survival Knife for the Money? At the bottom of the page, I’ve included a buying guide where we cover the individual characteristics of survival knives such as the type of steel a blade is crafted of, the shape of the blade, and how that changes its behavior and the weight tradeoffs among other attributes. The Garberg at the time of writing this is the only Morakniv with a full tang and as such, will be the only Morakniv I recommend in this list but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t check out some of the other offerings they have as well, especially if you want something similar in design but cheaper, like the Morakniv Bushcraft. Plus, although they are also easier to sharpen, they will not hold an edge quite as well as stainless steels. This is the most ergonomic and comfortable Kukri I’ve come across that … Consisting of CPM-3V, arguably one of the highest quality premium steels of any knife on this list, the knife is exceptionally well-rounded. However, having said that, the relative toughness and edge holding ability of any blade steel is also dependent on its Rockwell Hardness (designated HRC). There’s a few things you need to consider when picking out your survival knife which includes your planned needs, uses and budget. Also, all three designs serve to lighten the tip of the blade in order to balance the blade closer to the hilt which also provides the user with better control over the tip. However, another reason it’s so popular is the price! Ontario Knife Company never disappoints me and they sure didn’t disappoint with the Black Bird. My Review: Tops did say they were shooting for what I could only describe as the child of a camp knife and a machete and I honestly couldn’t possibly think of a single thing they could change to achieve that mission with their monstrous Armageddon. No, it doesn’t come with a super steel blade, but that 420HC steel (58 HRC) is plenty strong and durable and with the reinforced butt pommel, you could just as easily bust out the plexiglass in a downed helicopter or bust a skull, or I suppose, both! Ka-Bar Becker BK2 “Campanion” Fixed Blade Knife: 4. Plus, it comes with a heavy-duty black leather sheath that has a single snap strap. Blade Length: 4.50 Inches With more than 1000 verified reviews on many sites including Amazon, its been tested in almost every scenario possible, the user reviews are a testament to its quality. Total Weight: 5.60 Ounces I’ve always loved to be outdoors. The knife does appear to be a bit blade-side cumbersome but in reality, this is an exceptionally well-balanced blade and you can certainly tell this is of Spanish origin, despite the actual blade design being done in the USA. Alright, your story may or may not be as dramatic as that but nonetheless, the importance of being equipped with a proper survival knife can most certainly be the difference between life and death even if you’re not a part of a world war. Buck Model 119 Special Survival Knife with Leather Sheath: 7. Sheath Material: Cor-Ex. However, many exceptional survival knives are included at every price range and from a wide variety of quality makers. Boltaron sheaths typically hold their form far better than a Kydex holster, meaning you could leave your sheath on the dash of a humvee in a Middle-Eastern summer for an entire day and it’ll deform less or not at all compared to a Kydex. 99 The serrations and the glass breaker on the pommel are indicative of its military mindset since the serrations on the cutting edge are not particularly well suited for sharpening stakes and staves nor for carving notches but, they are rather useful when cutting a seat belt to exit a downed air craft or for sawing your way out of an aircraft fuselage or a helicopter canopy. Guys, $45 for a solid Kukri made of super-strong 65 Mn Carbon Steel is an absolute steal. My Review: The Bushslore offered by Condor & Tool is an excellent budget all-arounder and consists of 1075 steel, a material that we don’t often talk too much about but probably should. Even though there’s a fair bit if history behind the KA-BAR fighting knife, here are a few features that the knife boasts: Featuring a heavy duty, 7”, clip point blade with a saber grind made from 1095 Cro-Van (adds both Chromium and Vanadium to Carbon and Manganese) high carbon tool steel with a black, corrosion resistant, coating and a Rockwell Hardness of 56-58. Oh, and you should be able to fight off or at least have the confidence to fight off a bear. Blade Style: Kukri Sheath Material: Glock Proprietary Polymer. Drop-Point: The drop point is recognizable with its lightly sloping spine that seems to drop into the point as the belly juts out from the handle, sloping up into the point and giving the cutting edge a nice and lengthy belly. SK5 doesn’t have amazing corrosion resistance but I’d say it’s still plenty for a survival knife so long as it isn’t exposed to salt-water often. Some survival knives have a hollow saber grind which designed to incorporate both the spine thickness of a saber grind and the fine edge of a hollow grind and while this type of blade grind works fairly well for chopping, cutting, and slicing, it is not optimized for either task which makes it a good compromise between a saber grind and a flat grind. The motor starts to smoke and you realize something has struck a vital piece of the drivetrain in your new shiny aircraft and as you glance at the elevation gauges you begin to see nothing out of the cockpit other than the deep and dense green color of the Hurtgen forest. Total Length: 9.80 Inches Blade Length: 10.563 Inches Check out Austin’s profile at the link here and learn more about how CRKT partners with real veterans to design their products! Total Length: 9.45 Inches You can check out the full Marine Approved Blade Shape Guide here and the Marine Approved Knife Steel Guide here. The clip-point is an exceptionally strong blade shape that offers a lot of strength at the tip but with a little more precision than something like the drop-point. Blade Length: 4.00 Inches It’s hard to really portray how high quality this knife is without having a premium steel tag to rave about, but please, most of us likely won’t ever need a premium steel blade and what they’ve managed to do with 1095 is more than enough. Feel free to use the quick jump menu below to make it easier to find the details that apply to you. Blade Length: 6.30 Inches Handle Composition: Polyamide Sheath Material: Molded Polymer. Sheath Material: Leather. Of course, this knife is plenty more capable than just use as a skinning blade. Blade Composition: D2 The ESEE 4P really feels to be designed to be the most versatile a knife of 4.5 inches can be and I think that’s why so many people really like it. You have one option: detach the canopy and abandon your disabled aircraft over unknown enemy territory and as you land, you’ll have nothing other than your trusty survival knife to fight and survive with as you make your way back to friendly faces. Introduction: You’re a pilot of one of the new screaming P-51 Mustangs in the midst of the Second World War when suddenly you hear shrapnel ripping through the wings of your aircraft. My Review: As ESEE is well-known for, the Junglas series is a “get the job done” kind of line-up. My Review: I’ll start right off by saying that this knife is an absolute steal piece of steel at this price and if you’re looking for a purpose-built survival tool under a hundred bucks, this is an excellent choice. Since hardness is achieved by adding certain elements to the mix, those elements often lower the resistance or take place of elements that would be resistant to corrosion, lowering the effective resistance to corrosion of the blade. 3Fallkniven A1 Survival Knife. Blade Composition: VG-10 Total Weight: 7.20 Ounces Sheath Material: Kydex with MOLLE Compatibility. Popular Article: 17 Best Tactical Pants (Ranked by a Marine). Sheath Material: Leather or MOLLE Compatible Multi-Mount Polyamide. The Gerber LMF II Infantry knife is well suited for a myriad of small utility jobs in a survival situation. Are there better steel materials to use? Next to blade design, the type of steel that a survival knife is made from is possibly the second most critical factor when choosing a survival knife. As a general rule, we’re not fond of folding knives for survival situations. As the only trailing-point on this list, I must mention that this is going to perform the best when slicing and skinning game. Total Length: 12.40 Inches For more information about us or joining the team, check out the “About Us” tab. No! A harder blade may retain an edge better but once that edge is widdled down, it may be very difficult and time consuming to repair the edge. Like many of the knives from Ontario Knife Co, the Rat-7 encompasses a very utilitarian “get the job done” style absent of gimmicks and attempted style points. KA-BAR Knife – Best Overall Survival Knife. The literal request read as “a knife to deploy and conduct quick egress of a downed helicopter”. Handle Composition: GRN Total Length: 11.40 Inches Whether you’re headed into the wilderness or simply preparing for the next apocalypse, a folding knife will serve you well but a good survival knife makes all the difference. It can also be used in making tent pegs, split kindling, and staring a fire. Handle Composition: Kray-Ex Rubber Related Article: 32 Best EDC Knives (Ranked by a Marine). The sheath that comes with this bad boy is a molded ABS MOLLE compatible sheath that is easily carried on the belt during a long trek, slapped onto a MOLLE compatible backpack, or stuck to your MOLLE compatible chest rig to ride into combat with. TOPS Knives Brothers of Bushcraft Series (Fieldcraft), Finding the Right Survival Knife (Buying Guide). It’s obvious that when your knife is designed by a wilderness and jungle survival training specialist specifically for the sole purpose of survival, that it should be near the top of the pack in quality. Blade Composition: 1095 Carbon Steel In fact, the ESSE 6 with plain edge is one of the top rated survival knives on the market today. Blade Style: Modified Drop-Point Handle Composition: Micarta At 16 and a half inches and a fatty 24 ounces, this is one of the largest knives on our survival knives list and although to some of you, you’ll probably scroll right past it as it simply is too much blade for your use case, some of you may actually really appreciate this, especially if your survival situation requires quick movement through dense jungle foliage. Ka-Bar Becker U.S. Marine Corp Fighting Utility Knife: 6. Therefore, knife blades with a Rockwell Hardness of 50 to 54 are meant to be tough whereas, knife blades with a Rockwell Hardness of 58 to 62 are meant to hold an edge well and knife blades with a Rockwell Hardness of 54 to 58 are meant to be a compromise between toughness and edge holding ability. Nowadays, survival knives can be bought by anyone and are highly suggested even if you aren’t an avid outdoorsman. To be frank, they make some of the absolute best survival knives in Europe and have held this reputation for several decades. All in all, you’re getting a knife that is arguably one of the toughest and longest-lasting knives on this list. You can identify this by looking at the spine near the tip and finding a piece of the spine seemingly cut out like it was snipped off with toe-nail clippers. Now, could you carry and use a folding knife in a survival situation if you had to? Remember to rub these down with a little oil from time to time as 1095 does suffer just a tad bit in the corrosion resistance category. We won’t go too in-depth here as your situation is likely unique and would warrant a weight configuration personalized to you. My Review: Shane Sibert designed both the Benchmade Bushcrafter and the Benchmade Adamas and boy oh boy was he right on the money. The reason that this is important is that a saber grind exhibits a primary bevel that extends only a very short distance from the cutting edge to the back of the blade and it creates a thick, axe-like edge that is difficult to sharpen to a fine edge but, which does an excellent job of holding an edge when chopping and splitting. How to Choose the Right Survival Knife: 8 Things to Consider. This knife weighs only 4.40oz, which is decent for a folding survival knife and lightweight enough to carry around conveniently without any trouble. It can be perfectly used as a fighting knife or as a cutting tool for woods. These knives are ready to be heavily abused right out of the box and if you find yourself astray on an uncharted island somewhere, this is the knife you’re going to wish you had. I won’t explain each and every shape here as that would take forever and we’ve linked our blade shapes guide above but I will talk about the two most popular shapes you’d likely have to choose from when deciding on a survival knife. A good folding knife has it’s place in any survivalist’s arsenal, but it should never replace a fixed blade knife as the primary resource that you use for extreme situations. ESEE wraps it all up in a nice package with a molded Kydex sheath which is not only extremely tough, it is also completely waterproof. Blade Composition: CPM-S30V Furthermore, S35VN is far easier to maintain and sharpen than its brethren, S30V. More information on the Benchmade LifeSharp program here. Blade Composition: 52100 High Carbon Stainless Steel with Grey Teflon Coating Best Knife Steels and How to Choose The Right Type (with Comparison Charts), 18 Best Throwing Knives in 2020 (Reviews and Buying Guide), 23 Best Tactical Backpacks in 2020 (All Price Ranges), 22 Best Tactical Pens in 2020 (Reviews and Buying Guide), 34 Best Fixed Blade Knives in 2020 (Reviews and Buying Guide). A final note here is that the sheath you use with your knife is going to be almost as important as your knife itself. Somehow we got a trailing-point. Total Weight: 9.60 Ounces 55 is an absolute beast of a survival knife! The ESEE Izula-II is a perfect example of an EDC survival knife. Hardness: The hardness of a blade is measured along the Rockwell Hardness Scale, which you can learn more about at this link here. The knives included in this chart actually only begin to scratch the surface. The BK9 Combat Bowie has a long history of being used among military service members and after speaking with those who have extensive experience with this knife, you’ll come to understand that it has far more experience being used as a survival tool than a combat weapon, although it fully excels at doing both. Blade Style: Drop-Point I suppose someone who is well-known as a top-tier blade craftsman and an avid outdoorsman would know exactly what we need when it comes to a survival knife and I really think the Bushcrafter 162 embodies just that. The back of the spine has a gut hook that makes the Tac Tool complete, allowing for skinning of the local wildlife. My Review: We’ve covered one of my favorite knives from SOG that’s affordable and, in my opinion, an excellent deal, so now let’s reach up and see what SOG has to offer in the premium knives category. As has been stated, any of the choices in this list will be a great option for your next outdoor adventure. 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