Whether you’re out camping or hunting, a good survival knife comes in handy. It’s not only good for recreational use but in the event of an extreme situation as well. What constitutes the best survival knife is subjective, but many quality knives share similar features. The blades are durable, the grip is comfortable, and they can actually manage survival situations such as clearing paths, preparing food, etc. We kept those features in mind when creating our top 10 list to help you find the best knife for your needs.
Top 5 Survival Knives – Editor’s Pick
Before getting into the reviews in search for the best survival knife, the table below details the specs of our top 5 picks:
|Product Name||Blade Material||Blade Length||Weight||Editor’s Rating|
|Gerber LMF II Survival Knife||420HC Stainless||4.84″||11.67 oz||4.6|
|Ka-Bar Becker BK2 Companion||1095 Cro-van Steel||5.25″||1 lb||4.7|
|ESEE 6P Black Fixed Blade||1095 Steel||6.5″||1 lb||4.7|
|Buck Knives 0119 Special||420HC Steel||6″||7.5 oz||4.8|
|Ka-Bar 1220 US Army||1095 Cro-van Steel||7″||11.2 oz||4.8|
10. Mossy Oak Survival Knife
Ideal for: Light utility, budget-friendly
This blade may be a good option for adequate use without breaking the bank. It’s large due to it being Rambo-style, the blade length is 10 inches, and the total length is 15-1/8 inches. The blade’s full tang and made from 440C stainless steel.
It has a rubber grip, and it comes with a nylon sheath, fire starter, and sharpener. One of the bigger downsides is that it can struggle holding an edge, and sometimes it can ship with the blade bent.
- Good grip
- Edge can be frail
- Can develop nicks
9. CDS-Survival MOVA-58 Stainless Steel Outdoor Knife
Ideal for: General outdoor, camping, light/medium use
This high-rated blade is seen by many as the best survival knife for how well-crafted it is. It’s handmade from Spain with the blade cut by a laser. The knife is full tang, stainless steel MOVA-58, and it features a Cocobolo wood handle.
Its blade is 5.7 inches, while the overall length is 10.82 inches. With this, you get a leather sheath, sharpener stone, and fire steel. Take care that the blade sometimes cuts through the sheath’s snap closure. This can make it require two-handed opening.
- Good feeling handle
- Comfortable weight
- Uneven grind on the edge
- The handle doesn’t always sit flush to the blade
8. Fallkniven A1 Fine Edge Fixed Blade Knife
Ideal for: General outdoor, all-purpose
The Fallkniven A1 is full tang and made from Laminated VG10 steel. Its grip is ergonomic, and it’s made from Kraton (a semi-rubbery high-density polymer). The construction is simple, yet sturdy and thick, offering a good amount of support.
Along with the knife, you get a Zytel (polymer) sheath. Some do not appreciate just how lightweight it is as it can come across as flimsy compared to the knife, but weight-conscious individuals may enjoy the feel. Overall, the knife is well-built and meant to withstand extreme weather both heat and cold.
- Retains good grip when wet
- Balanced well
- Can chip easily
- May arrive extremely dull
7. Gerber Bear Grylls Ultimate Knife
Ideal for: Light/moderate use, casual outdoor, budget-friendly
The Gerber Bear Grylls Ultimate Knife is another top best survival knife for those looking for an inexpensive option. It features a half-serrated blade that’s full tang and made from high carbon stainless steel. The blade is 4.75 inches while the overall knife with handle is 10 inches.
A high point of this knife involves the accessories, it has an emergency whistle and a metal pommel. In the nylon sheath comes a fire starter and a diamond blade sharpener. The knife may not be durable enough for heavy use, but it can benefit recreational users.
- Multiple uses
- Fits well in the hand
- The pommel isn’t attached well
- Serrations can be ruined after minimal use
6. Schrade SCHF9 Stainless Steel Fixed Blade Knife
Ideal for: Casual/medium use, hiking, camping
With the Schrade SCHF9, you get a dependable knife that’s full tang and made from 1095 high carbon stainless steel. The blade is 6.4 inches in length, and overall, the knife is 12.1 inches long. Be aware, however, that the tang can slightly protrude all around the handle. Nevertheless, it is durable enough for light to medium usage.
The knife is slip-resistant, and it features a TPE handle that is ring textured. It comes along with a belt sheath that has a removable pouch for extra convenience.
- Holds a good edge
- Not too heavy
- The blade might arrive bent/warped
- Grip not comfortable for everyone
5. Gerber LMF II Survival Knife
Ideal for: Casual/heavy use, general outdoor
Next on our best survival knife, we have the Gerber LMF II Survival Knife that can be a good knife to have when you’re out or even to keep safe in a survival kit in an emergency situation. It has a blade made from 420HC stainless steel, and the handle is made from glass-filled nylon with a TPV over the mold.
Although the blade isn’t full tang like most survival knives, it does run down 80% the length of the grip. This purposeful design is meant to provide insulation protection and better absorb shock. Its durability can be seen in the fact that it was originally designed for use to free aircrew from a downed aircraft.
- Robust design
- Comfortable handle
- Handle not well weather resistant
- Requires frequent sharpening
4. Ka-Bar Becker BK2 Campanion Fixed Blade Knife
Ideal for: Versatile use, light/heavy use, general outdoor
With the Ka-Bar Becker BK2, you can get a well-made blade that’s full tang and made from 1095 cro-van steel. It can be used for multiple purposes from camping to hunting. The blade is 5-1/2 inches long and the overall knife is 10-1/2 inches. When you are out camping make sure you also have with you the best camping stove.
The grip could do with more comfort to offer a stable hold. All in all, it can perform adequately for your outdoor tasks. Along with the knife, you get a glass-filled nylon sheath. It locks the knife in place, so you must apply some pressure to release it.
- Good sharpness
- Swings well
- Can be too heavy for some
3. ESEE 6P Black Fixed Blade Knife
Ideal for: All-around use, light/heavy use
The ESEE 6P knife features a 6.5 inches blade, and overall it’s 11.75 inches long. It’s made from high carbon 1095 steel, while the handle is gray micarta. Though this knife is well-made, the steel is known to rust. It’s important to keep it maintained, especially if you know the blade will get wet.
This knife doesn’t exactly have one thing it’s good at, it can work well for just about anything besides using it as a throwing knife. It’s sharp with a nice coating and it also comes with a high-quality molded polymer sheath.
- Balanced well
- Good size overall
- Arrives slightly dull
- Handle ergonomics could be better
2. Buck Knives 0119 Special Fixed Blade Knife
Ideal for: General outdoor, camping, hunting, heavy use
The Buck Knives 0119 Special Fixed Blade is a knife you can take out camping for light utility and meal prep or keep by your side while hunting. It’s remarkably versatile, has excellent sharpness, and is a good enough size that anyone can carry comfortably.
It’s made from 420HC steel and is full tang. For the handle, it comes two ways, one is a black, phenolic handle with an aluminum pommel, while the other is hardwood Cocobolo with a brass pommel. The handle can get a tad slippery though under certain environmental circumstances.
- Great edge out of the box
- Properly balanced
- Could use better quality control
- Handle/grip don’t always align
1. Ka-Bar Full 1220 US Army Straight Edge Fighting/Utility Knife
Ideal for: Light/medium use, general outdoor
At the top of the list as the best survival knife is the classic Ka-Bar Full 1220 US Army Knife. It’s used by many military personnel and enjoyed for its reliability and ease of use. This has a full tang, 7 inches 1095 chrome vanadium blade, and it also features a leather handle.
The handle appears rather smooth, but over time it can lose that feeling. However, it can provide the knife with a more stable hold overall. Though it’s not the best for heavy use, it works well as a medium-duty standard survival knife.
- Holds edge for a while
- Solid, balanced feel
- Needs better quality control
- May arrive dull
Having the best survival knife at your side comes in handy whether you’re in a drastic situation or you’re simply enjoying outdoor activities like camping. The reviews above should offer you guidance on selecting the right knife for your needs. Have any thoughts about the products we reviewed? Let us know in the comments.