I’m an outdoor enthusiast who’s been in some tricky survival situations before and the one thing that has helped me survive and kept me alive is a good survival knife. A lot of people don’t realize that the difference between a normal knife and a survival knife can mean the difference between life and death but since you’re reading this, I count you among the more intelligent and sensible lot who likes to plan ahead!
Everyone will have their own take on what the best survival knife should be like, so I thought of creating this ultimate resource of helping people out through detailed reviews and objective analysis of all the top survival blades in the market.
What exactly is a Survival Knife?
For all those who love hiking, backpacking, camping or any strenuous outdoor environmental activity, one of the most essential tools that can mean the difference between life and death is a survival knife. Believe me when I say that it’s your best friend and defense in the world in case you get lost in the wilderness (which I have) and can be used in a number of life-saving situations such as building shelter, skinning food, starting fires, digging pits, clearing branches and a whole lot of other things.
Survival knifes are generally of two types: a fixed blade (or called full tang) and a folding knife (also called partial tang). A full tang blade is considered by many experts to be more reliable than a partial tang blade simply because it’s less prone to breaking and allows the user to use the blade safely in extreme pressure. However, a folding knife too has its uses because it’s more affordable than a full tang knife and can be used in a lot of similar situations as well.
These days it’s become a popular choice to own at least 2-3 good survival knives and even Hollywood is making people aware of this fact. I’m sure a lot of you would be aware of the sitcom “Lost” so you wouldn’t have missed seeing John Locke use those amazing Ka-Bar Full-sized USMC and Master Bowie knives in so many situations.
My Personal Review of the Top 5 Survival Knives
There are a lot of survival knives out there that can do a decent job. However, I wanted to save my readers the trouble of doing all the research on their own and that’s why I’ve included my personal list of the Top 5 survival Knives along with a detailed review of each one.
This will not only save you hours of research time, but you can be rest assured that these have only been chosen and put on this list after thorough personal testing and discussion with other knife experts. So without further ado, let’s move onto these amazing survival knives.
1. Ka-Bar Becker BK2 Companion Fixed Blade Knife
One of the most popular survival blades out there in the market these days is the Ka-Bar Becker BK2 Companion and its popularity can be judged by the fact that this knife’s got over 500 positive reviews on Amazon which means that not only me, but other knife enthusiasts, too, have used this survival knife and appreciated it.
One look at the blade is enough to make your heart yearn for it. It looks pretty solid design wise and it’s build to last grilling outdoors. The knife is pretty long at 10.5 inches (with a blade length of 5.5 inches) which means that there’s plenty of room to cut and chop your way through thick foliage or use it in other survival situations.
I’ve used this knife personally for skinning fresh meat and the 1095 Cro-van steel is perfect for the job. Apart from that, it can also be used for skinning potatoes especially in those times when there’s no meat around.
Another reason why I loved the Ka-Bar Becker BK2 Companion knife is that’s it priced very economically. Considering the quality, durability and craftsmanship of this survival knife, one would expect it to cost over a hundred dollars but that’s the best part about this – you can pick this great survival tool for just around $70!
2. Benchmade Killian Design Marc Lee Glory Knife with BK1 Coating and FB Sheath
Top on my list of the 5 best survival knives is the Marc Lee Glory Knife that literally takes your breath away in a single look. I got this as a gift from a close friend of mine and ever since that day, this has become a constant companion on every one of my outdoor jungle trips.
With a blade length of 7.3 inches and an overall length of 12.5 inch, the Marc Lee Glory comes with a BK1 coating and a re-curve blade. This full tang knife has a really sold grip and is scratch resistant while the BK1 coating helps prevent the blade from being corroded when exposed to salt water.
I personally love the balance of this survival knife and can appreciate the amount of hard work that would have gone into making the design and quality top-notch. Also, it’s a great way to honor those American soldiers who lost their lives in Afghanistan and Iraq because this knife was conceived as a tribute to Officer Marc Lee of the US Navy SEAL.
It’s a little expensive at around $300 but totally worth the money!
3. Tom Brown Tracker #2 Gray Micarta Handle
At #2 on this list of the top 5 survival knives is the Tom Brown Tracker #2 which is literally like a mini-axe in your hands! With this super-sharp blade, I’ve myself cut down a 3 inch wide tree without breaking a sweat so this one does wield some superb power.
The blade is made of high carbon steel and is 3.5 inches in length and comes with a nice Kydex sheath with 2 rotating steel spring clips to keep this beauty in place.
This full tang knife is a true outdoor knife and I’ve personally used it in so many situations like filleting fishes or gutting out game. It’s solid, has just the right balance and throws beautifully! And at just under $200, this one’s an absolute steal.
4. Spyderco Bushcraft G-10 PlainEdge Knife with Leather Sheath
If you’re looking for the best survival knife in the market, then another one that fits the bill perfectly according to me is the Spyderco Bushcraft G-10 Plain Edge Knife. This amazing bush-craft knife has been designed by the famous expert Chris Claycombe and is truly one of the best full tang knives in the market right now.
While the overall length of the knife is 8.75 inches, the cutting edge of the knife is 3.9 inches. It also has a 0.23 inch blade hole along with a 0.14 inch blade thickness and features a Scandinavian grind. It’s well balanced and the polished micarta is extremely comfortable to hold.
I didn’t face any problems while sharpening this on a whetstone and the sheath works well for holding the blade. Since this is made of carbon steel, I personally apply a touch of oil while using it outdoors as it really helps to prevent any rust formation on the blade.
All in all, this knife truly deserves its place in this list and the best part is that currently, Amazon is offering a huge 48% discount as well on this beauty!
5. ESEE-6 Plain Black Blade with Grey Removable Micarta Handles
One of my personal favorites based on the sheer size and quality of the blade is the ESEE-6 Plain Black Blade with Grey Removable Micarta Handles. The overall knife length is around 11.75 inches while the blade length is just about 6.5 inches which makes this one of the largest knifes that I’ve ever used personally.
However, the bigger length means that the ESEE-6 is very handy when it comes to chopping wood or clearing overhead foliage and one sharp swipe of the blade is enough to do the job. I also like the fact that this weighs just under 12 ounces which for me is just about the right weight of the blade and lends an extra durability factor to it (and also because it’s a 1095 carbon steel blade so the quality and finish is really good)
This one’s priced a little on the higher side for $160; however, you’re ensuring that you not only get an amazing fixed, full tang blade but one that’s been thoroughly tested and appreciated for its quality. And it’s not just me who loves this knife; the ESEE-6 has received a perfect 5 Star rating from other folks at Amazon as well!
Check out my Detailed Survival Knife Table Below:
Although you’ve already read my review of the top 5 survival knives, I’ve also compiled a huge tabular guide that compares all the top survival blades in the market at the present. This guide will help you make an informed choice of which knife to choose based on your needs and help you determine the best survival knife for you.