Survival knives have proved to be an important tool in a variety of situations when living off-grid. A good tactical survival knife will help you through various situations – even the fatal ones.
However, it is not that easy to decide which knife is the best for you (as all the brands will insist that their product is the best of all). For this, it’s important that before purchasing, you do thorough research.
What is meant by a Good Survival or Pocket Knife?
A survival knife is a necessary tool that helps you survive in a given threat scenario when living off-grid. In easy words, a solid, full tang, the fixed bladed knife is what we call a “Good Survival Knife.” A well-made, fixed-bladed knife is always the best option.
Pocket knives are multi-functional and come in handy in emergencies, first aid needs, altering clothing and equipment, and digging. Its multipurpose nature will amaze you as it can take over the roles of a can opener, a pair of scissors, ice pick, silverware, and fire starter.
Why Should You Carry a Pocket Knife?
Many people these days love off-grid living as this is the experience of “full freedom.” You are not accountable to anyone else. If you are also amongst those who love living off-grid, hiking, or camping, you need to invest in a good survival knife for many different reasons, such as:
- Break the seal of cans and food packages
- Cut the bandages for wound dressing
- Carve additional tools
- Cut woods in smaller pieces to start a fire
- Create sparks to build a fire
- Build a basic shelter for living
- Clean fish, animal flesh, or prepare food in either way
- Protect yourself in case you get attacked by an animal
Things to Remember When Choosing the Ultimate Survival Knife
Ideally, the blade should be of enough length to complete more rugged tasks like chopping but also small enough to be precise for survival. For example, on average boot knife is 5 inches long.
The use of the blade highly depends upon its size. However, the best survival knives are of the medium size range (9 to 11 inches).
You must pay special attention to the design of the blade too. There are a number of folding blade knives available on the market. But keep in mind these are not durable in terms of convenience. On the other hand, a fixed-bladed knife has much stronger lead-in durability and fewer breaking points than a foldable pocket knife.
There is no better substitute for a fixed-bladed knife when it comes to chopping, batoning, and splitting. It ensures its use in a variety of situations (including a real intense side of survival) without worrying about it breaking.
We recommend a drop or a spear blade design. The reason behind our recommendation is that this specific design will give you better control by placing the tip near the blade’s centerline. Also, this shape is designed in a way to diminish the weight around the tip to allow the user better control over the tip of the knife.
The tang is the most important part of the knife that you usually don’t see, as it is wrapped in the handle. When buying a knife, you must pay attention to whether it has a full tang, partial tang, rat-tail tang, or a hidden tang. Amongst them, the best choice for survival is a full tang knife.
A full-tang simply means that you can see metal traces all around the handle, unlike the other three types. This extension of the blade’s steel provides extra strength to the entire knife. In short, a full tang knife is much sturdier than a knife with partial or rat-tail tang.
4. Types of the Blade
There are three common types of blades:
- Double-Edged knives
- Straight edged knives
- Serrated knives
Of all the three types, a straight-edged knife is preferable, especially for the survival tasks like wood splitting. The flat side of the blade provides a detailed control without worrying about losing cutting power or slicing your hand open.
On the other hand, if you are after cool looks, you should look for a double edge and serrated blades. Make sure this blade type doesn’t have a strong lead, and you may suffer when it comes to durability and usefulness.
5. Material of the Blade
Without any doubt, high-quality knives are commonly made of carbon or stainless steel. There is a huge variety of knives in these two categories. Make sure to look for the one that is easy to re-sharpen, resistant to corrosion or rust, and has good edge retention.
- Stainless steel 420HC provides good resistance against corrosion, easy sharping, and medium edge retention.
- Custom steel 154CM gives the blade a higher hardness rating and higher edge retention.
- High vanadium stainless steel S30V is difficult to sharpen but has the best edge retentions.
If you think that a knife with the biggest, most serrated blade is the best option of all, you cannot be more wrong. Survival knives are meant to be versatile. They should be durable enough to perform different tasks like chopping, carving, detail-oriented cutting, etc.
Always look for a simpler, smaller, and versatile knife, as it is better than a beefy tactical bladed knife.
Types of a Survival Knives
- Boot knife
- Buck hunting knife
- Concealed Knife
- Combat Knife
- Military Knife
- Ka-Bar Knife
- Rambo Knife
- Folding Survival Knife
- Tactical knife
- Tambo knife
- Throwing knife
Our Top Picks
For tough tasks like hunting, fishing, emergency rescue, and tactical engagement, the Kershaw Blur Tanto Serrated Pocket Knife is perfect. With its suitability for both left and right-handed users, this knife has a corrosion-resistant blade and is DLC-coated for extra hardness and strength.
Kershaw Blur Tanto Knife is made of 13C26 stainless steel, so you don’t need to worry about getting injured while cutting through a tough bit of meat or wood. Its 3-⅜ inch blade is scratch-resistant and can be used for both extreme and everyday situations.
- Better durability
- High-performance steel material
- Single-handed safe opening
- There is no guard between the hand and blade of the knife
This one’s a pocket tactical knife designed to easily slip into a belt, under a pant leg, or worn around the neck. These are considered the best survival knives because they are double-edged and of a shorter size (up to 5 inches long).
Boot knives can be carried in easily accessed places. If you are looking for a tool that helps you in a situation when you are backed into a corner, confronted by a mugger, or facing some other threat to your safety, a boot knife is a prime candidate for a trusted backup knife.
The most common situations in which a boot knife can successfully assist are:
- Survival situations (for instance, cutting a rope, making wound dressings by cutting clothes into pieces, or cut through the seatbelt)
- Self-defense (in case of danger or an attack on you)
- Common chores (like opening zip ties or packages, pulling out staples, cutting the clothes, preparing food)
The best high-quality boot knife amongst multiple varieties, as per many users, is Old Timer 1620T Boot Knife. The plus point of this knife is that it has a full tang design. Moreover, it is made of high carbon stainless steel and has a front that prevents the blade from slipping.
Elk Ridge is a popular knives brand, and this one by them is arguably the perfect size for a pocket knife. It is sturdy enough and can be utilized in every situation (be it saving your life or using it for everyday tasks, such as opening cans and jars or cutting meat).
It has an extremely sharp blade that can cut through wood, rope, and even some metals.
- Practical design
- A bit heavier than most other pocket knives
This fixed blade knife, or you can call it the Alpha-Dog, is designed especially for off-grid use. With a wide radius and being made of cryogenic D2 steel, this blade sure is durable and sturdy enough to perform all the tough jobs you throw at it. Apart from its sharp blade, the best thing about this knife is its ergonomic contoured handle that provides a firm grip whether you are wearing gloves or not.
All in all, if you are after the best overall knife for camping, adventures, hunting, and living off the grid, this one’s a cool option to go for.
When you intend to buy the “best knife for living off the grid,” a lot needs to be considered. But with some research and reading guides like these, you will end up finding a good quality knife for off-grid living. Whether you are a military enthusiast, knife collector, or love hiking and camping – pocket knives are for you. And yes, never get distracted by advertising and branding lines. Do your research, and it will surely pay you off.