A survival knife is your best friend during an excursion or camping trip, since it is the most basic and essential of camping tools. You can use it to cut your food in the wilderness, cut rope while setting up a tent, or to start a fire with the help of a fire-stone. Its uses are virtually limitless, and good survival knives also come with an assortment of extra tools such as a built-in compass, ruler, fire-starter, wrench, etc.
Basically, a survival knife is a knife + multipurpose tool, combined into one device. Good survival knives come usually with a serrated stainless steel blade that is resistant to rusting and doesn’t lose its edge easily. High carbon stainless steel blades are even better, as they are harder and their edges are sharper.
Solo Survival Pocket Folding Knife
Solidly built, with plenty of useful extra features, the Solo Survival Knife is our knife of choice when it comes to surviving in harsh environments. It acts as a regular knife, a multipurpose tool, a self-defense weapon, and more. You can cut twigs and bark with the 3.5” long precision carved stainless steel blade that is both durable as well as rust-proof. The blade is made from 420 stainless steel and has both a serrated as well as non-serrated edge.
The serrated edge can be used to saw through wooden poles or thin branches, or even to rip through meat. The handle is capable of efficient one-handed operation, and is about 5” long. It is made from high quality anodized aluminum and stainless steel, and is extremely tough. The handle also features a built-in belt-loop and pocket clip, along with a concealed magnesium fire-starter that is super useful. The base of the handle even includes a hook.
STAR BUDGET PICK
Wuliff Tactical Knife with Foldable Blade
While it may be a folding knife, the Wuliff Tactical actually feels like a solid piece of steel when you flip out the blade and use the knife to cut something. There is absolutely zero flex in the body of this knife, and it features a ventilated full metal handle with an ergonomically shaped design that fits in the hand perfectly.
The folding blade is a solid piece of forged stainless steel, and is 100% rust proof. It is about 3.5” long and features a serrated as well as plain edge. The serrated edge can be used for deboning, while the plain edge can be used for cutting rope, meat, fruit, wood, etc. The cutouts in the handle keep the total weight down to just 3.2 ounces, and it measures 6.5” x 0.5” x 0.5” in the folded position.
Sportsman Premium Folding Knife
Featuring a military grade titanium-finished handle (stainless steel frame with titanium on top), and a 3.7” long drop forged stainless steel blade, this is one of the most durable survival knifes on planet Earth. It is a favorite among accomplished outdoor adventurers, survival enthusiasts, and military personnel. When fully extended, the Sportsman measures 8.85” and weighs 10 ounces.
A titanium spring propels the blade out of the handle, and you can rest assured that the locking mechanism will never jam or corrode. There is a lock-bar stabilizer installed inside the handle to keep the blade steady in the cutting position. There are thumb and finger grooves on the handle so you can always maintain a confident grip on the knife. It is intended for huntsmen, adventurers, fishermen, hikers, and camping enthusiasts.
Dragon Squama Dive Tactical Knife
The blade of this knife is made from drop forged 440C stainless steel that is both durable and rust-proof. The overall length of this knife is 8.26”, and the blade itself measures 6.74”. The handle is made from ABS, and is impact resistant. There are drain holes in the handle to keep it dry and operational at all times. This is a non-folding medium sized straight knife, with a 4.13” long grip. Hardness rating of the blade is 58HRC, and it comes with a sheath made from ABS plastic.
You can clip this sheath to your belt, or carry the knife in your backpack. It has both serrated as well as non-serrated edges and weighs just 5.8 ounces without the sheath. There are no fancy features on this knife, although it does do its primary job pretty well – cutting through meat, rope, bark, and bone with utmost ease. You can also use this tactical knife as a self-defense knife if you wish.
Choosing the Best Survival Knife That Won’t Rust
When purchasing your survival knife, look for the following features:
High carbon stainless steel blades are the best, as they offer the sharpest and most durable edges. Stainless steel blades are also good, but don’t go for a knife that uses non-stainless steel as it is bound to rust and will fail you in the long run. Teflon coating on the sides of the blade can help while cutting tree branches or twigs.
Any length between 3.5 to 5 inches should be good for a basic survival knife. That said though, if you need to cut tree bark, twigs, or large pieces of meat, then you probably need something around the 6 inch mark.
The handle is what you’ll use to hold your knife while cutting rope, meat, wood, and more. It is important that the handle should be able to sustain all the force that you exert on it without breaking. Also, make sure that the blade locking system is jam-free, and try to get a knife with rubberized or textured grips so that you won’t lose your hold on the knife if you have sweaty hands.
By extras, we mean stuff like compasses, fire-starters, blades with ruler markings on them, wrenches, etc. If you are trying to get a knife that can also act as a multi-tool, then you’ll need some of these features in it. Remember – this is not a Swiss Army Knife, so just get what you need, and keep the knife light and simple.
If a survival knife scores well in all the above categories, then chances are it might be the right one for you. Keep in mind that you must always choose a knife based on your needs, not the manufacturer specifications alone. Just because a certain knife has 10 tools built in, doesn’t mean that it is a good knife for you. You probably won’t even use 7 of those tools, and they will serve no purpose other than extra weight.
Nobody wants to carry dead weight in their pockets on an excursion or camping trip, so you better get the stuff that you need and nothing more. The most important aspect of a knife should be the quality of the blade and handle, since you never want your knife to fail on you during a tight situation.