Notice: This website may or may not use or set cookies used by Google Ad-sense or other third party companies. If you do not wish to have cookies downloaded to your computer, please disable cookie use in your browser. Thank You.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

How To Choose A Good Survival Knife

Choosing the best survival knife you can afford can mean the difference between life or death in a emergency situation. It can mean the difference of being able to get the job done that it was designed to do or to be a hindering piece of junk.

Note: The knives shown in the video are for demonstration of the different shapes of blades and handles. Some of the knives are of lower quality than the ones I prefer

Here are the things to look for in a good survival knife:

1. Full Tang- the metal blade should start at the tip and end at the butt of the handle. This allows the strongest design, rather than one that has a hollow handle where a survival kit would normally be stored. The hollow handled knives could break under strenuous applications.

2. Length- 6-12 inches. Anything longer could be in the way, unless it is a machete and you are in a jungle. In this case you should have a machete or similar and a survival knife.

3. Thickness- The blade should be 3/16 to 1/4 inch thick.
4. Steel Type- There are generally two types of metal blades- carbon steel and stainless steel. I prefer carbon steel blades because they are easier to sharpen and hold an edge longer. The only drawback is that carbon blades can rust. Stainless steel blades are harder to sharpen, are more brittle and the sharpened edge does not last as long. Stainless steel will not rust.

Stainless steel type- S60V, BG-42, S90V, CPM S30V, CPM 154

Carbon steel type- D2, A2, 01, carbon V, CPM 154

5. There are 4 basic blade geometry shapes: (see diagram)

Blade Geometry

6. The spine of the knife (top edge) should have a flat spot where it can be hit with a piece of wood to assist in cutting through wood.

7. The cutting edge of the blade should not be serrated, as this requires a special sharpening tool verses being able to just use a rock to sharpen the blade.

8. Sheath- should be of strong material, have a lanyard at the bottom for securing the knife to your leg; a belt loop; the handle securing strap should be able to keep the knife from falling out; the handle of the knife should have a hole for applying a lanyard; should have a place for a sharpening stone or tool.

One knife for one person may not be right for another. As long as you get a knife that meets the basics as listed above, you should be able to depend your life on it.

Remember- you get what you paid for. But, I have found some decent survival knives for under $30 that I would depend on in a survival situation.

Note on hollow handled knives- I have nothing against these type knives. I actually like them, as long as I realize that I am limited to how much abuse I can put them through.

Stay Prepare! Stay Alive!



  1. Hi Charlie, First let me say that your sight is great! I am Don from VA. I read your discussion on survival knives. I purchased a knife and want your opinion. The Knife is a Rough Rider RR1022. It is 14 inches long ( a little over 12 but I am 6ft 4 in and weigh 314 so it is not an issue. The knife has a stainless steel blade (sorry) nickle hand guard and grooves hardwood handles with double brass rivets. It has a place for a lanyard and a sturdy reinforced nylon sheath., a flat edge on top as described in article. I picked it up for $22 including tax. It is light enough for defense and survival usage but strong enough to chop wood. I is 1/4 in thick and full tang. is this a pretty good knife? please advise

    1. From your description of the knife, I believe you have choosen a good deal. This will make a good knife for protection purposes, as well as, for survival purposes. It is a nice bowie type knife. Thanks for viewing my site and for the kind comments.

    2. Charlie, Thanks for your quick response to my e-mail. I have much more confidence in the knife now. Keep up the great work on your fantastic website. Don

  2. In the geographic area, looking game for food may be a good talent and anyone WHO claims to be a significant soul and environmental enthusiast, WHO depends on wild game for food, and spends weeks on finish within the geographic area, ought to own a survival bow and arrows. See more

  3. This article summarizes what one should look for when one is considering on buying a survival knife. Survival knives vary greatly in quality and, for that reason, choosing a good knife is vital for survival reasons. The article features an expert knife reviewer.

  4. Feral animals refer to a group of animals that have been domesticated but are now in a steady condition that resembles the wild animals. These animals are off-springs of some pets that have been discarded by humans and now live in forests or waste lands.

  5. More and more archery bows and bows sights are refined by technology. You can buy bow sights that range from simple peep sights and green dot sights to pin sights that are adjustable and laser technology to pinpoint your target. howtohunt

  6. Things that yous should consider:
    1- Check the knife quality
    2- Check its sharpness
    3- Check its reliability and blade quality

    You can go 10hunts for machetes