As with any tool, some knives will hold up much better than others, and before you make a decision on which knife to settle on it’d be good to understand the different applications
Fixed Knives vs. Folding Knives: Which is the Way to Go?
If you take a look at the survival knives in the chart, you'll notice they all have one thing in common: they're all fixed blades.
A popular type of knife is a fixed-blade knife. Fixed-blade knives have no moving parts and are usually less likely to break. These knives are very useful for applications like splitting wood, and using as levers
A folder, on the other hand, cannot withstand stronger force and will succumb to pressure by breaking. However folding knives are very useful, in fact it is recommended you have a short blade (2" to 3”) folding knife for most slicing and small game skinning applications. Many outdoorsmen will take along two knives: one fixed-blade knife and one folding knife for smaller tasks. If you're someone who's serious about being prepared for anything, two knives is the way to go.
Our top pick in the folding knife category base on durability, size, versatility and price is the Gerber EVO Jr. Serrated Edge Knife
What's the Ideal Survival Knife Blade Length?
The blade length of a survival knife can range anywhere from four inches to a hefty eight inches. Although many survival experts say the ideal length is somewhere between four and six inches for the blade, it's mainly a matter of preference. A shorter blade can give you more flexibility to do smaller tasks, but a longer blade will give more power and durability for accomplishing heftier deeds.
Finding the best survival knife depends on your personal preferences, but the following are some of our favorites.
With the Fallkniven A1, there's no doubt the knife was designed with survival situations in mind. The blade's a bit longer and thicker than some of the other options, but it will not fail you in extreme situations. The major downside of this fine blade is the price -- but it's well worth it for hard-core survivalists. A smaller and less expensive alternative with many of the same qualities is the Fallkniven F1.
The Cold Steel SRK goes by the model that simplicity is the key to success. Whereas other knives try to lure in buyers with gimmicks and add-ons, Cold Steel puts all its focus on the knife itself.
The SRK, which stands for Survival Rescue Knife, is a high-quality knife that's designed to withstand tons of abuse when you're out in the elements fighting for your survival.
The blade is six inches long and features a plain edge with a clip point.
In addition, Ethan Becker, the man who designed the knife, is a well-respected chef, outdoorsman and hunter who has been designing knives for decades.
This survival knife from Gerber is quite possibly the best survival knife under $100.
Even though many knives go for beauty and outward appearance, the ESEE-6, though not a bad-looking knife, puts all its effort on making it completely functional for the outdoors. This is where it succeeds mightily. The comfortable and curvaceous grip fits perfectly in any hand.
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