You never know when you might end up in a survival situation: it is too easy to get lost hiking, end up stranded in a vehicle in the middle of nowhere, or find yourself short some tools in your survival pack while camping. Even in civilized areas, you could need to exit a vehicle quickly by breaking a window or prying a door loose.
What follows is a list of some of the best survival knives on the market today, and a breakdown of their most defining features. With one of these on your person, you’ll never be caught unprepared in any survival situation!
This tool is definitely among the best survival knives. It features a stainless steel blade with a saw back. The handle is wrapped with a cord that can be removed and used during a survival situation, and a small survival kit (matches, fishing line, hook, and compass)is stored in the hollow hill.
This knife by Rothco has a much more comprehensive set of tools in its hilt than does the previous one. The survival kit includes bandages, fishing line, hook, sinkers, harpoon, a signal mirror, pencil, compass and more. The 5 1/4 inch blade fits into an included sheath which features a peg for wire cutting. The extensive kit earns this one a spot on the list of best survival knives.
The HK-1035 is actually two knives in one sheath. The larger knife is 10 inches long while the smaller one sits at a comfortable 7 inches. Both blades are double-edged and have cord-wrapped hilts–two features of some of the best survival knives on the market. The included carrying case also contains a magnesium-alloy fire starter.
This knife is 7 inches long and has a blackened stainless steel blade, which prevents reflection; a common practice for the best survival knives. It is single-edged with a sawback, and the sheath also features a magnesium fire-starting tool.
This 7-inch blade is coated 440 stainless steel (the most widely-used metal in the best survival knives). The knife itself is 12 1/2 inches long, with a rubber handle that features finger grooves and non-slip inserts to keep the blade comfortable in your hand. The punched hole in the edge of the handle also allows a user to attach a tether or lanyard if desired.
One of the best survival knives by Maxam is 14 1/8 inches packed with necessary survival equipment. The zinc alloy handle holds a kit featuring a compass, needle and thread, bandages, tweezers, razor blade, fishing line, and other necessities. The molded sheath also holds a smaller skeletal-frame knife that is about 7 inches long and features a wire cutter and can/bottle opener.
This bowie-style blade is a military survival and hunting knife. It is 12 inches long, 7 of which is the stainless steel blade, single-edged and featuring a serrated saw back. Like many of the best survival knives, the handle is textured to fit easily in your hand and not slip, and it also comes with a hard molded sheath that has belt loops for easy carrying.
This knife is a stainless steel tanto-style blade. The handle is wrapped with paracord and features a pommel lanyard. The green nylon sheath also holds a magnesium-alloy fire starter. The versatility of this knife earns it a spot on the list of best survival knives!
One of the most trusted names in best survival knives teams up with one of the most notorious wilderness enthusiasts in this Gerber Bear Grylls Survival Series knife. Weighing in at only 7.4 oz, this tool is bursting with features like an emergency whistle, integrated fire-starter, diamond sharpener, and a striking surface butt cap. The blade is high-carbon stainless steel, and also comes with a nylon sheath.
This knife was designed by Jeff Freeman and field tested with military troops to ensure maximum durability and use, making it one of the best survival knives you can buy. It is a straight blade with a serrated portion for maximum versatility, with an overmolded textured handle for comfortable grip. The most defining feature of this knife is the uniquely shaped butt cap; its pointed design can break glass, allowing for escape from a vehicle if necessary, or use as a hammer. The knife comes with a molded sheath that includes a built-in sharpener.
This survival knife boasts a 10 inch, 420 stainless steel blade and a survival kit stored in the handle and sheath. The kit includes matches, bandages, sewing needles, magnifying glass, can opener, and a small flashlight. The black-cast aluminum handle also features a built-in compass and a detachable hand guard, a unique feature used on only a few of the best survival knives.
4. Schrade SCHF9 Extreme Survival Knife with Fixed 1095 High Carbon Steel Blade and Black Kraton Handle and Sheath
This knife by Schrade is made of 1095 high carbon steel and features a Kraton handle. Among the best survival knives, Kraton is used as a high-performance elastomer that has many of the benefits of natural rubber–flexibility and high traction–while also being more heat and weather resistant than regular rubber. The 1 lb knife also comes with a nylon sheath.
This bowie-style knife features an 11-inch 3CR13 stainless steel blade with double sawback serrations, making it extremely versatile, like all the best survival knives. The survival kit stored in the handle includes such necessities as a compass, fishing line, and bandages; and the accompanying sheath also contains a sharpening stone so you’re never caught with a dull blade.
2. Smith & Wesson SWBG2TS Border Guard 2 Rescue Knife with 40% Serrated Tanto Blade, Glass Break, and Seatbelt Cutter, Black
This fixed blade by Smith & Wesson is made of black coated non-reflective 440 stainless steel. It is single-edged with a notch in the blade back for wire cutting, among other uses, and features a butt cap as well. This abundance of features makes this one of the best survival knives you can buy. The included nylon sheath has metal reinforcements, lashing slots, and a built-in sharpener.
This Gerber is highest on the list of best survival knives on the market. Its molded sheath features both belt loops and a leg strap for easy carry. The blade itself is black-oxide finished 420HC stainless steel with a textured, over-molded grip to allow for secure holding and use. The full-tang blade is super durable, and the grip molding is MIRS compliant. The knife is MOLLE compatible as well.
All of these knives can be invaluable in a bad situation, with features from built-in survival kits to butt caps to allow for easy escape from vehicles or buildings. When it comes to your own survival, don’t settle for just any tool; reference this list of the best survival knives to ensure your own safety and that of those around you!
DISCLAIMER: Product reviews contained herein are based on third-party analysis of individual and organization observations and do not reflect independent studies, analysis or findings. Prospective purchasers should conduct independent verification of product specifications and safety standards prior to making any purchases.