Did you ever feel like the knife belongs only to the kitchen, inside the cupboard, the reason for its existence being helping you chop fruits and vegetables? Sorry to say, but you are letting go of many life experiences made by occasional trekkers and frequent travelers.
But that doesn’t mean you are ready to pack your backpack, book your ticket to bounce off to a deserted topography. Trekking and camping are pleasurable, but only to the point where everything goes as planned and your life isn’t put to risk and traded for some adrenaline rush.
Let’s consider a day you went to the top of a mountain along with your team of trekkers, and God forbid, you were lost all alone in those dark coniferous canopies. You need to tackle many things until to your relief, you hear the blades of a rescue helicopter, or see the searchlights flashed to locate your presence.
Best Survival Knives 2023 – Comparison Table!
The count of your hurdles to sustain your life at that time begins with cutting plants for food or fire, tackling wild animals, split wood and branches for temporary shelter, and ends with tearing up the meat of the animals you killed to name a few.
Best survival knives will come to your rescue and are pretty good to keep you alive in adverse conditions, whether you are lost in a jungle, crashed in a deserted island, or stuck at the top of the mountains.
Why do we need to choose the best survival knife for ourselves?
As you have judged by now, knives aren’t meant to be in the kitchen only. Nor every knife is made to play the role of a survivor knife too. You cannot give the responsibility of slicing wood to a knife designed to chop fruits and vegetables.
In adverse conditions in an unknown place, you don’t know who you are facing the next minute. Even if your good luck prevents you from getting attacked by some wild animals, you will have to find food for survival, kill animals for meat, or at least cut trees and branches to make a temporary shelter. And for all those tasks mentioned above, you need something sharp to use, a knife to be precise.
Gauging the situation, it would not be exaggerating to tell that your survival depends on your knife. And if your knife gives away at that point, you might imagine the circumstances. Better to choose the best survival knife and arm us adequately, refraining those nightmares come true.
Top 10 Best Survival Knives Reviews 2023
Here we bring you the top 10 best survival knife review to help you make the right choice.
#1 – Fallkniven A1 Survival Knife
In our list of best survival knife reviews, the one at the top is the Fallkniven A1 Survival Knife. With a blade length of 16 cm and the combined length of 28 cm, this knife is truly a gift for the trekking community, designed for heavy usage and harsh environmental conditions.
Being a complete package, you can rely on it for everything that would help you survive in the wilderness, be it for tedious jobs like cutting wood or petty things like peeling a fruit.
The laminated VG10 stainless steel blade with included Zytel sheath to fasten the knife to your belt increases its durability and strength, making it virtually impossible to rip off at the joint. The grooved rubberized handle makes it usable in all the weather conditions in any terrain.
Well, as an added feature, the metallic part protruding at the end of the handle can also be utilized for breaking shells in the wild or the safety glass in the civilized world, depending on situations and circumstances.
This is the knife you would wish for if you are near water bodies or in the snowy surroundings, as the Fallkniven A1 Survival knife isn’t bothered by water or extreme weather conditions. As it is in the summer, so in the winter, and the same in the rainy.
- Long blade
- Usable in all weather conditions
- VG10 stainless steel blade
- Troublesome to carry
- No finger choil
#2 – Gerber LMF II Survival Knife
The second position of our list of top 10 best survival knife review is held by the Gerber LMF II Survival Knife. Developed to rescue the crew from an aircraft, this wonder blade has been tested to cut through the fuselage of a standard passenger aircraft, an example from to gauge its power to a great extent.
With a weight of 1.34 pounds, this power-packed knife can quickly move through the bark of a tree or through the body of the animal you just killed for food. With a blade length of 4.84 inches and a total length of 10.59 inches, this black beast is perfect for frequent trekkers or those who choose to follow the strict path. The blade is carved out of 420 HC Stainless Steel while the handle consists of grooved glass-filled nylon to give a better grip.
Like the first one in our list of best survival knives review, the Gerber LMF II also has a protruding, pointed metallic edge for hard-hitting purposes, because you never know when banging is the only option.
Designed to successfully overcome any stress applied to it, this knife would make your existence way smoother and safe, when you are lost in the unknown, at least until the rescue operation launched to retrieve you is successful.
- Extremely favorable handle
- Ideal length and weight
- Pointed edge at the back makes it difficult to apply pressure over a relatively larger area.
#3 – Gerber Strongarm
Used by the military for combat and rescue operations and designed keeping in mind the fundamentals of military training, the second Gerber in our list of the top 10 best survival knives review has aptly been described as “A knife to bet your life on”.
The Gerber Strongarm has a blade length of 4.8 inches with a total body length of 9.8 inches. The blade of this knife is shaped from 420 HC stainless steel, with black colour giving a tough look, aptly matching its power to accomplish tasks.
The handle is made up of glass-filled nylon having rubberized diamond textured sharp groves, enhancing its looks with options to choose from two colours, matte black, and coyote brown. It also comes with a multi-mount sheath system, mole mount to carry it attached to the chest, horizontal belt, and vertical belt, attached to the belt, much to the ease of the carrier. It also has a pommel at the end, intended to break hard objects or glass.
As an added advantage, the blade is coated with ceramic, a layer that will provide the knife with long life and prevent corrosion. In short, a military-style knife, always on its heel to make your trekking experience a bit more memorable and much less tiring.
- Modern metallic design
- Wonderful grip
- Pointed pommel
- No finger choil
#4 – Ontario 499
The Ontario 499 comes from the house of the Ontario Knife Company, a 125-year-old manufacturer and a significant supplier to the US Armed Forces. The fourth rank holder in the list of best survival knife review looks like a classic WW II styled knife with added advanced features.
The curved cylindrical handle is made up of pure natural leather, something which makes handling more efficient and comfortable. The 9.5 inched full-body knives have been nicknamed as the Air Force Survival knife, which is apt considering its utility and history of usage, being kept and used by the pilots of combat aircraft in case they are forced to evacuate and land in a harsh environment for over half a century. The 5-inch carbon steel blade is composed of high quality 1095 carbon steel blade with a thickness of 0.17 inches at its edge.
Unlike most of the survival knives, this one has a saw teeth spine, a feature extremely useful for cutting hard substances with ease. As advertised by the Ontario Knife company, this item of our best survival knife review list is true, “The Knife you need when you need a knife”.
The company also ships a brown leather sheath for safe storage of the weapon along with a sharpening stone with the knife to lessen the subsidiary costs of the users.
- Cylindrical handle
- Sawteeth spine
- Flat pommel
- The spine is thick and cannot be used as a dual-sided knife.
#5 – ESEE Laser Strike
ESEE Laser Strike, shortened to ESEE LS, is a fixed blade survival knife perfect for teens and people in the higher age group.
This knife is one of the very few best survival knives available in the market which provide a finger choil, best suited for the index finger of the dominant hand, a feature that not only makes the hold firmer and tighter but also makes maneuvering easier and smoother, especially for those whose muscular strength is little less than their contemporaries.
The Laser Strike has a blade length of 4.7 inches, having a matte black finish and anti-corrosive properties, giving it a hard look, everyone wants their survival knife to have. The total length measures 10 inches, providing a holding area of nearly 5 inches and weighing around 1 pound.
The manufacturer also adds a Kydex sheath to it, which fits perfectly, and the modern design dipped in black, adding more to its beauty. For first time users, this knife is a perfect one, sleek, simple, and exceptionally effective.
- Handy design
- Quality of sheath is the best in the range.
- Finger choil is present.
- The spine is slightly thick as compared to its contemporaries.
#6 – KA-BAR BKR7-BRK
Here comes another black beauty in our list of the best survival knife review. The KA-BAR BKR7-BRK comes from the house of Becker Knife and Tool Corporation, established in the early 1980s. Originally designed for combat utility and harsh usage, this knife has been able to hit the sweet spot for many trekkers around the globe.
Over the years, multiple upgrades made this knife an all-purpose utility one, suitable for outdoor activities in all kinds of weather conditions, whether at the top of a snow-capped mountain, at a warm sea beach, or in the wilderness of a tropical rainforest.
Weighing only 0.85 pounds, this is one of the lightest survival knives available in the market which facilitates easy carrying, swift usage, and fast maneuvering. The 1095 Cro-Van Steel makes its blades strong, sturdy, and easy to sharpen while adding anti-corrosive properties to the metal, increasing its lifetime beyond decades.
The blade itself is around 7inches long, making it quite effective and suitable for cutting hard objects, while the full-body measure around 12 inches, quite large as compared to others in the list of best survival knife reviews.
Well, this knife also contains a 20 degrees bent edge, very useful for slicing and piercing. The modernistic sheath also comes painted in black, resembling the knife, and is a perfect fit with no rambling sound from inside.
- Sleek Design.
- Dual side usage.
- No finger choil.
- Pommel length is less.
#7 – Schrade SCHF36 Frontier
The Schrade SCHF36 Frontier is the second knife among others in the best survival knives review with a finger choil for a better grip on the knife. Another knife draped in black, the Schrade SCHF36 Frontier’s blade is made up of high grade 1095 powder coated high carbon steel with the company name Schrade inscribed on it. It has an overall length of 10.4 inches and a blade length of 5 inches.
The black handle is ring grooved and made up of thermoplastic with a curved outline to allow better handling. As a part of the packaging, the knife comes with a polyester sheath with matching design to hold it by the belt.
Also, the manufacturer provides a sharpening stone and a Ferro rod with the knife and the sheath to make it a complete package one would crave for.
Weighing around 1.7 pounds, this knife is one of the heaviest out there for sale but be assured; the weight guarantees genuine material being used for the production which promises a long life despite being applied heavy stress.
This knife is pretty much convenient for occasional travelers and those having budget issues.
- Finger Choil present
- Polyester sheath for durability
- Both sides cannot be used.
- Pommel is absent
#8 – Gerber Freeman Guide Folding Knife
Gerber has been doing wonders in the field of manufacturing the best survival knives. Let’s have a look at the third Gerber in our list of best survival knives review – the Gerber Freeman Guide Folding Knife. It is also the first folding knife in our list of the top 10 best survival knives review.
The medium-sized handy folding knife has a handle of around 4.5 inches when closed. Interestingly, the lightweight handle features a grippy TecHide Onlay with a pointed body to enhance the grip over the blade.
When opened, the blade of around 3.6 inches emerges and makes the total length of the knife standing somewhat near to 8.1 inches. The grooved blade also contains a fraction of saw teeth on its spine near the handle to be used for suitable purposes.
Weighing around 0.4125 pounds, this lightweight folding knife is perfect for light usage and those who prefer small weaponry for better utility in place of the large ones. The knife comes packed with a nylon sheath, resistant to heavy wear and tear.
Being handy and swift, this lightweight power-packed knife is preferred by hunters all over the globe to kill small animals like rabbits and prepare their meat to satisfy their hunger while being surrounded by nature.
- Secure TecHide Onlay Grip
- No pommel
- Cannot be used to cut through hard barks and branches
- Jamming occurs if not properly taken care of
#9 – Tom Brown Tracker
The Tom Brown Tracker with its sleek design and color combination is always love at first sight for any knife enthusiast or an experienced trekker. This is a beauty with powers waiting to be unleashed on any task crossing its way. The blade stands at 6.38 inches and has a curved outline at the outer edge.
At the spine, the outer edge also has saw teeth extending till the tip of the blade while being slightly curved near the handle for better movement. The blade is made up of 1095 American carbon steel, known for its durability and strength.
The Tom Brown Tracker has a black linen Micarta handle, black lines on a green background to give it a military-style aggressive look.
At about 0.44 pounds, this knife is pretty suited for those who want a lightweight knife with a sturdy design and multiple utilities. For safety and storage purposes, the manufacturer provides a Kydex sheath with the knife as an icing on the cake.
- Modern design
- Both sided utility
- No pommel
- No finger choil
#10 – Schrade SCHF9
Well, you are now eyeing on the second Schrade as the 10th item in the list of top 10 best survival knives review. Schrade is a legend in this business, with their knives performing at par the contemporaries in every field, whether it is trekking, hunting or even bush crafting.
The SCHF9 is quite long, with a total length of around 12.1 inches from tip to base. The handle has circular grooves much like the SCHF36 for better handling and grip.
The blade is composed of 1095 high-quality carbon steel guarantying reliability and durability even after long use and is of a length of 36.4 inches.
The knife also has a finger choil in the blade near the handle and comes with a ballistic belt sheath.
- Finger choil present
- Sleek design
- Troublesome to carry
- Edge of the spine is slightly thick.
Now, as you are equipped with proper and adequate information about best survival knives, you are all set to buy you one and then embark on an exciting trek to your favorite destination. Remember to take all the essential items with you, at least don’t forget to take a knife.
However, make sure that you are incredibly comfortable with your knife and are getting a firm grip over it before you lock the doors of your house. Happy journey!
Frequently Asked Question:
Q – Which one is better: Fixed or folding knives?
Ans: It depends depending on the type of tasks you are performing with the knife. If low-stress jobs such as cutting leaves or peeling fruits are performed, the small-sized folding knives are the best, while if you are scraping the bark of a tree or cutting meat, the fixed knives will do wonders as compared to the folding ones.
Q – How to take care of the knife?
Ans: You need to take proper care of your knife to make it last longer. Clean and dry it regularly. Use oil in the sheath to reduce friction, and remember to keep it sharp always. Never hit the knife on hard objects such as stones as it may lead to bending or breaking of the blade.
Q – What is the difference between a regular knife and a survival knife?
Ans: Survival knives are made to sustain greater forces and more stress without giving away, whereas the kitchen knives are made only to chop fruits and vegetables and have a lesser material quality.
Q – How to keep a knife sharp?
Ans: The best method to do is by rubbing the edge of the knife back on the sharpening stone, provided by the manufacturer. If not provided, it is advised to buy one, and if not available, any natural stone can be used.
Q – Which blade material is the best?
Ans: The answer again depends on the intensity of the work done. However, it is generally advised to go with the stainless-steel ones as they last longer and are quite durable.