Best Survival Knife

Best Survival Knife A survival knife sounds like something that’s only found in an explosive apocalyptic film; but they do, in fact, exist in real life. They’re a tool that can prove vital in disaster situations. While it’s impossible to know when disaster is going to strike, it is possible to know that it is going to strike at some point. Anything could happen at any time that could cause you to be stranded or removed from the luxuries of modern life. You need the right tools readily available to you to ensure that you are prepared to survive whatever you may have to face. Being prepared at any given time with the right survival equipment could literally make the difference between life and death.

A survival knife is an imperative part of any survival plan; but, they also make useful tools for everyday life. That’s why they are a good investment. It is important to consider the right characteristics for your survival knife and it can be overwhelming to try to narrow down exactly what you should be looking for. We’ve had years of experience and have done extensive research to be able to help you feel less overwhelmed when making this type of important decision.

What to Look For in a Survival Knife

Though these aren’t the only characteristics to pay attention to when choosing a survival knife, they are important to keep in mind. We focus on a lot of things when reviewing a knife but these are a few specifics that it’s good to keep in mind when making this type of investment.


A survival knife is essentially a multi-tool, serving a myriad of functions based on your survival needs. The first important characteristic to consider when investing in a survival knife is size. You want a knife that is large enough to do a decent amount of cutting, but not so large that it is cumbersome and can’t be stored stealthily.


Your survival knife should have a sharp pointed tip, which may seem like common sense to some but not everyone understands why a sharp point is important. The primary focus here is to be able to defend yourself from an attack whether by an animal or another human. Additionally, even a smaller knife can be attached to a longer stick or other object and turned into a hunting spear. The sharp tip is also important for prying, dressing game, use as a makeshift screwdriver or drill, and getting out splinters.


We mentioned before that a survival knife is supposed to be a multi-tool. That is: it is a tool that is supposed to have as many uses as possible, depending on your needs and your imagination. To the layman’s eye, your survival knife may just look like a regular knife, and it is if you’re unimaginative. The multi-tool function for any survival knife is as much about how you can use your tool to problem solve as it is about the knife’s specific features. The traits listed above as well as others we will cover in these reviews are important to consider for your survival knife because they allow you to optimize the tools’ functionality and put it to as many different uses as possible.

Your survival knife handle is a vital consideration when making this type of investment because it can have many important uses in times of survival. Ergonomics are important, of course, because you’re going to theoretically do hard work with this knife; but, the handle should also be sturdy enough to act as a makeshift hammer. Setting up camp or making holes in an ice covered lake to fish.

Survival Knife Reviews

Kershaw Link Pocket Knife

This American made pocket knife is our top pick for survival knives. It folds for optimum stealth and is still a sturdy, strong, reliable tool. It’s equipped with a pocket clip that can be placed on either side for left or right-handed use, meaning you can be equipped with it at all times. That’s the point of a survival knife after all. The pocket clips means that you can have your hands free but still quickly and readily access your weapon/tool whenever the need should arise. This knife feels fantastic in the hands and the action (unfolding/refolding the blade) feature is also highly ergonomic and fast. A quick draw feature means you can use it for any type of emergency situation, especially and most importantly, self-defense. This model is also available at an amazing price considering the quality and that it’s our top pick for best survival knives.

Gerber Freeman Guide Folding Knife

While not our top pick, this Gerber folding knife is an excellent survival knife for the price you’re paying. This is a knife that defines the word sturdy, which means it can really stand up to the brutal beating that surviving during disastrous times can present. It is described as a lightweight knife, which it is, but it also has its own heft. This means it’ll serve you well for hammering purposes, for example; there’s also something less reassuring about a knife that is too lightweight. The ergonomics here are good, if not quite as comfortable as the Kershaw. The rubber on the handle does provide a sturdy grip. The action on this knife isn’t as smooth as the Kershaw, but it still gives you safe, secret storage options with a quick-draw feature. Overall, this would make an excellent survival knife and would save you a bit of money compared with the previous design.

SOG Fixed Blade Knife with Sheath

Some survival experts will only swear by a fixed blade when it comes to a survival knife. This is not only our first fixed blade offering it’s also our budget pick: the best survival blade we’ve found at a truly affordable cost. Fixed blade knives run less risk of going to disuse or falling apart because the action mechanism wears out, which can happen with less sturdy foldable knives. The sheath provides that espionage factor and this one is also equipped with a slot for cord-cutting, making your survival efforts that much more efficient. This knife in particular is an excellent size with a full tang blade, which is ideal in a fixed blade survival knife. Tang refers to the extension of the blade, the metal part that resides inside the handle. Full tang means that the metal is the same width as the blade, meaning it will last longer and withstand more wear and tear. The knife will also remain efficient if the protective handle comes off. This is an excellent survival knife option that won’t break the bank.

Gerber Bear Grylls Ultimate Knife

This serrated knife offers a fairly ergonomic, fully rubber grip and is a decent option for a survival knife. The fully rubber grip isn’t quite as durable as other handle options out there, but it is comfortable for extended continual use. This knife comes equipped with a fire starter which is a handy addition, though a good survival kit will have multiple fire starting options so it’s not necessary for your knife to come equipped this way. Despite the rubber grip, the pommel on this knife is stainless steel meaning it will easily handling any hammering needs. This isn’t one of our top picks because it isn’t quite as sturdy and resilient as the others, especially considering the price. Ultimately, you are the only person who can decide which survival knife is the right one for you; this knife offers features our top picks don’t and some people may prioritize those characteristics. This is, at the end of the day, an excellent survival knife.

Morakniv Companion Outdoor Knife

The Morakniv Companion Outdoor Knife is a decent survival knife option at a low price. It does not offer all the best features we seek when investing in a survival knife; but, a knife purchase is ultimately a personal one, based on preference and budget. Rather than a full tang, this particular fixed-blade tool only has a three-quarter tang. While three-quarter tang is a better option than other partial-tang options, they tend to prove less durable in our experience. Partial-tang blades can loosen over time, affecting the efficiency and even function of the blade. That being said, this is a sharp, reliable, stainless steel blade that proved to be a reliable survival tool. That sharpness lasts well through your basic survival activities, like cleaning game or preparing firewood and the knife proved overall reliable, especially considering the price you’re paying. It would serve well as a survival knife.

Best Survival Knife

We know knives. We know survival. We’ve had years to test different knives against the elements and time and we have narrowed down a list of the best survival knives you can find. The Kershaw Link pocket knife offers stealthy storage without sacrificing your quick-draw capabilities. The action on this tool is beautiful. Kershaw has also considered right and left-handed knife-users, providing a pocket clip that can switch sides based on the user’s needs. The ergonomics and durability of this product coupled with its surprisingly good price makes this our top pick for a survival knife.

The Gerber Freedom Guide Folding Knife is our second pick survival knife. This tool offers ergonomics different to the Kershaw, but just as valuable. At the end of the day it comes down to what you’re looking for in a knife grip; this is a tool you’ll theoretically use repeatedly over an extended period of time. Only you can know what would be most comfortable for you. Perhaps it’s the partial rubber detail on this product, which offers a subjectively sturdier grip compared to the Kershaw. This tool has a solid pommel, lasting sharpness and an action that almost matches that of the Kershaw. It would be an excellent survival knife choice.

Finally, for those who want to survive but have a tighter budget for doing so: The SOG Fixed Blade is a solid survival knife option at a very affordable price. Some survivalists swear that fixed-blade knives are the only option in disaster situations and this is one of the best. It has a full tang making it sturdy and durable. Being a fixed blade option, we find stealth in the included sheath, which is also equipped with a precision cord-cutting slot. The ultimate characteristic to look for in your survival knife is always how many different ways it can be used. In a survival situation you need to be able to do the most with the bare minimum so you should be on the lookout for a single tool that is capable of doing dozens, if not hundreds of functions.

Choosing the right survival knife ultimately comes down to three things: knowing what you like best in a knife, knowing what you expect from a “good” survival knife, and what price you’re willing to pay. Any knife on the list above would serve you well in a survival situation. We’ve offered our reviews, based on experience and research, in the hopes that we can help you find the best survival knife, and ultimately, the best chance to survive.

Jerry Peterson, Editor In Chief
Jerry Peterson

Jerry is a 34 year old blogger. He has a degree in Electrical Engineering and is currently working for a communications company in New York. In his spare time he likes to program computers, go hiking and make knives. Read more about him.

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