There are a lot of great quality knives on the market and choosing the best survival knife for you comes down to personal choice and intended use. If you are looking for a knife that is great for everyday carry or general camping chores, then a medium sized survival knife is your best bet. If you are looking for a knife that you will use for heavy chopping, batoning and shelter building then the best survival knife option is a larger more hefty blade.
There are a few things to consider
Full Tang Blade
The tang of a knife describes the metal of the blade continuing the entire way through the handle in one continuous piece. Any knife that is not a toy should have a full tang. This allows you to use the knife for heavy chores without the blade separating from the handle.
Comfort is a big one; you want to look at the dimensions of the handle to make sure that it is big enough for your hand. I have handled many survival knives that look cool and are great blades, but the handle is just not big enough. If you plan to do some heavy chopping with your knife a larger than average handle is better so that you can grip down on the knife for more chopping leverage.
The best survival knives will have lanyard holes so that you can either attach a lanyard to it for safety reasons or easily lash it to a spear.
When choosing the best survival knife for you, size does matter. A smaller knife is easier to carry however is not as good at some of the heavy duty chopping chores that larger size knives excel at. Large knives can often replace the need for a hatchet so they can cut down on gear, however, can be a pain to carry on your belt.
Gerber LMF II ASEK
The Gerber LMF ASEK is one of my favorite medium sized survival knives. It is a great blade for general use and just about any camp site chore.
The Gerber LMF II was originally designed for the Military and has been put to the test in both Afghanistan and Iraq in the recent years and has an overwhelmingly positive response from our soldiers.
As soon as you pick this knife up, you know that it is designed for severe use. With a 4.84 12c27 stainless steel blade it even excels at batoning and chopping wood. Not to mention that it is made in the USA.
The large pummel on the back of the knife is another huge bonus, it is ideal for breaking class pounding stakes and also for as another business end of the knife in a defensive situation.
The sheath of the ASEK is without a doubt the best sheath out of any knife that I own. It has multiple carry options, a sharpener, and a strap cutter.
This is a seriously top quality knife for a great price.
Overall Length: 10.59″
Blade Length: 4.84″
Weight: 11.39 oz.
Price: $65 – $95
KA Bar Becker BK 2
The Becker BK 2 is the best survival knife option for many people. You will be extremely hard pressed to find any negative press about the entire Becker line of knives.
This lightweight knife features a long-lasting, 1095 cro-van steel blade, perfect for bursting kindling, skinning game, or chopping onions for the campfire grill. This knife features the drop point blade shape & a versatile 20-degree blade angle. The comfortable handle is molded from Grivory, providing a balanced grip for any outdoor chore. The flat blade is five and a half inches long & the overall length is ten and a half inches. The knife includes a glass-filled nylon sheath to retain the blade safe & sharp. Made in the USA, the Companion knife &tool is tough enough to handle all your outdoor adventures.
Overall Length: 10.5″
Blade Length: 5.25 ”
Weight: 13 oz
Price: $55 – $60
Ontario RTAK II
The Ontario RTAK II is my Best Survival knife pick for a large hefty duty knife. In many cases, the RTAK II will replace the need for a hatchet because of its heft and blade size. This is a great knife for you if you intend to use it for heavy chopping, batoning and shelter building.
The micarta handle is also large and very comfortable, and the edge keeping capabilities of this knife are better than anything that I have tested.
If you are watching for a super heavy duty knife, give this knife consideration because, in my opinion, it is the best large survival knife for the money.
Overall Length: 16.5″
Blade Length: 10.25″
Weight: 2.2 lbs
Price: $120 – $130