How to Choose the Best Survival Knife

By | January 28, 2016

Disaster never gives you a phone call before bursting in. Despite the overwhelming progress of science and technology, satellite communication, medical science, nature has always proved that we are nothing but mere helpless mortals in front of her wrath. During the devastating Tsunami of 2004, thousands of people were drifted away to obscure islands by the massive force of sea-waves. We all have heard about the successful survival stories of some brave-hearts who managed to conquer inevitable death. How did they do it? Were they just plain lucky? Definitely not, survival in an unexpected life and death situations requires immense nerve strength, experience, courage and some basic survival resources. Survival tools, at a minimum, have to ergonomically sound and accessible. Below, I’ve listed some key features you must look for in your survival knife.

Size and Thickness

Well, when it comes to survival knives, size does matter. Large, bulky blades are not desirable for survival needs. It not only makes it very difficult to handle but also restricts its ability to perform intricate tasks. On the other hand, small blades as well have its share of perks. You can’t effectively use small blades for demanding tasks like hammering or batoning. Models with around 9 to 10 inches blade length are considered ideal by the experts. Blades below 6 inches or above 11 inches should be avoided. Blades with 4/16 thickness is perfect for strenuous jobs like splitting woods.


The heart and soul of any tool is its material. Corrosion-free, stainless steel is a widely used material for making survival knives. The only drawback of stainless steel is low edge retention power. On the contrary, a carbon steel blade stays razor-sharp for ages. While choosing the best survival knife to house in your ultimate survival kit, make sure the knife is full tang. Full tang knives are far superior to partial tang or rat-tail tang blades. Being made of one single, solid piece of metal, full tangs are capable of performing heavy-duty tasks like batoning, prying, digging with ease.

The Handle

A slippery grip can call for more danger than the ones you’re already facing. You need a firm grip on the knife to accomplish precision. Polymer, hard-rubber are non-slip materials, which is why handles composed for these materials provide comfortable full tang knives, the tang has to be attached to the handle portion. Long tangs make for highly durable, robust survival knives.

Sharp Pointed Tip

A sharp pointed tip is mandatory for stabbing thick furred animals or hooking fishes. A spear-pointed survival knife deployed for self-defense purposes. In a similar way, cleaning the fishes, repairing gears, digging worms for bait is also easier with spear-pointed tips than with angled or hooked tips.

Hard Pommel

The bottom or butt of the knife handle is known as pommel. It is commonly used for hammering, batoning or pounding heavy materials. I typically use the pommel to pound shelter stakes. Many people choose to overlook it but a solid pommel really adds to the functionality of the knife. When you need to crush ice, put the tip of the blade on the ice surface, beat the pommel hard continuously with a wooden stick to drive the blade through it.

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