Finding the best survival knife means accessing every possible situation and buying the right knife for the jobs you’ll be doing. If you already have the best pocket knife for the little jobs you’ll have to choose among the best knives for a fixed blade and multi-tool, two items essential in most survival situations.
A fixed blade knife is absolutely essential whether you are in an urban situation or you’ll be living off the land. It is the best survival knife if you plan on hunting your food or building a shelter. These knives can be used to split wood and make kindling, hunt and dress your kill, scrape hides, pry and dig. With a blade 4-11” long, these all purpose knives are something you would have trouble living without if you lost all modern conveniences.
Having a low quality fixed blade knife is worse than having none at all because it will break or lose its edge at the worst possible moment. The best survival knife in a fixed blade has full tang construction—that is, the blade goes all the way through the knife to the bottom of the handle and is fixed with at least two sturdy fasteners in the handle to hold it in place. It is important, too, to have a handle that you can get a secure grip on so that your hand won’t slip at a critical moment.
The blade on your knife should be thick enough to take any punishment you can give it. If the blade is too thin it will limit the number of jobs it can handle. The steel is even more important because you want it to take an edge and keep it. Hollow ground blades have very sharp edges but are difficult to sharpen while a compound grind can hold an edge and be sharpened easily. The best survival knife is one that you can keep sharp so it can serve your needs.
There are many different styles of fixed blade knives but many survivalists say that the K-Bar style is one of the best knives made. Originally manufactured in WWII, this style of knife is about a foot long with a stacked leather grip and a good sized finger guard. It has a flat ground edge that’s easy to sharpen and is the preferred tool of soldiers around the world.
Some of the best knives are those that are versatile so you’ll probably want to have a multi-tool knife, too. These handy knives have different blades but also have tools that you might need in different situations. It’s probably the best survival knife you can have in an urban situation. Some are simple with just a couple of tools while others have a compass, bottle opener, screwdriver, scissors, small hammer, can opener and a host of other conveniences.
Don’t choose a multi-tool knife for the number of tools but for quality. Make sure it is solidly build and has the tools you really need. Three tools on a good quality knife are better than ten tools on a shoddily made model.
The best survival knife depends on your situation. Finding the best knives, including the best pocket knife, could make the difference between surviving comfortably and merely existing.