Usually an addiction to Survival Knives starts with a gift of a some type of pocket knife. Pocket knives are the gateway knife to the real thing. Our first few knives listed are of the pocket knife variety and then start to grow in size. Pocket knives are often lost, than you TSA and therefore another pocket knife is purchased and at this point. When one becomes comfortable with purchasing knives they look for more heavy duty knives and the addition grows. Until evenly full blown Survival Knife addiction takes over and flourishes. Lets take a look at the 12 Survival Knives every knife addict will eventually own.
Victorinox Classic SD Swiss Army Knife
This Victorinox Classic Swiss Army Knife was introduced back in 1935 and continue to be a standard first step to a knife addiction. I remember I got mine as gift at work and used it for a decade before the TSA took it post 9/11 when I was running late to catch a flight. My favorite feature was the toothpick and the nail file, Mary likes her nails neat. The SD weighs less than an ounce and features seven tools: a pen blade, nail file, screwdriver, key ring, toothpick, tweezers, and scissors.
Case didn’t invent the pocket knife, but sure made them the cool thing to have. I remember my cousin had one when I was a kid and we could spend an entire weekend putting it to use and figuring out what the next thing was that we could use the Case on. The Case was introduced in the 1920s and has a basic trapping and skinning blade (a clip and spey blade) that was directly inspired by the jack-knife. The Case Medium Stockman features Peach Seed jigged Amber Bone handle and Tru-Sharp surgical steel Clip, Sheepfoot and Spey blades. The jigged genuine bone handle is finished in a mellow shade of amber that looks right at home in the field or in the office. An ideal size – measuring 3 5/8″ closed, and weighing 2.5 oz, the Amber Bone Medium Stockman makes an ideal gift.
Old Timer 8OT Senior Stockman
My cousin may have carried the Case but grandpa carried the Old Timer, and when grandpas has one you need one too. The Schrade Old Timer, Senior 3 Blade Pocket Knife, comes with Clip, Sheepfoot and Spey Blades. Its 4″ in length closed, and comes with solid brass linings, and a unbreakable sawcut Delrin handle, special analysis high carbon steel blades, all boxed up.
Buck Model 110 Folding Hunter
The Buck 110 Hunter is such an iconic knife that it essentially feels like it’s been around forever although it wasn’t first introduced until 1963 when it turned the hunting world upside down.
Although it was designed to act as a large folding knife used for butchering and skinning game, the knife quickly gained popularity among casual knife users. The Buck 110 is surprisingly large with a blade length of 3.75 inches, but the clip point proved extremely useful. The knife also has those luscious brass bolsters and a woodgrain handle.
The Buck 110 is easily recognizable because its one of the most mimicked knives ever made. With the Buck 110 selling more than 15 million of these knives by itself making it a must have for any collector
KA-BAR USMC Utility
The KA-BAR USMC Utility is the most famous fixed blade knife in the World and was designed to serve our troops during World War II and is still doing its job today.
With the KA-BAR being issued to military troops, millions of men have owned and depended on this knife. And has become even more widespread since WWII. It was designed as a multi-purpose knife for combat and general use. It was distinguished 7” blade and easy to hold leather handle. This classic isn’t going anywhere and is certainly in the inventory of any knife addict.
Schrade Old Timer 152OT Sharpfinger
Although the 8OT featured earlier on the list is one of Old Timer’s most distinct models, the Old Timer Sharpfinger has had one of the biggest impacts on the knife world by introducing a unique style that has since been mimicked by many other manufacturers. Similar to what happened with the Buck 110, the Sharpfinger essentially became a generic term used for knives in this style, but the Old Timer version was the original.
This unique fixed blade was introduced at a time when huge blades were all the rage for hunting knives, but the 3.3-inch upswept blade was something a bit different. As large hunting knives fell out of favor, the more timeless Sharpfinger exploded in popularity. What helped the Sharpfinger become the iconic knife it is today was its versatility. Workers and casual knife users adopted this knife as an everyday carry, despite the fact that it was originally made for hunters.
Issued to the famed Devil’s Brigade, the V-42 is a stiletto and fighting knife based on the Fairbairn-Sykes design. The dagger-like knife was specifically designed for the First Special Service Force for use in combat. Originally manufactured by Case, only a few thousand of these knives were shipped to the special forces.
Still, the impact of the V-42 was great. Seen on the badges of several forces, the V-42 is widely recognized and commonly associated with WWII. Built for close quarters combat, the V-42 features a 7-inch SK-5 carbon steel blade with a black coating and a handle made of compressed leather discs. This iconic knife is truly a piece of history and is dearly loved by knife addicts everywhere.
Buck 119 Special
In the same way the Buck 110 took off upon introduction, the Buck 119 Special was an instant hit among hunters and outdoorsmen. The Buck 119 is a fixed blade hunting knife with a classic look and a rich history. The 6 inch stainless steel blade makes the knife a smaller Bowie like knife while the phenolic handle showcases a double quillion guard which gives it a classic feel. The general design of the Buck Special hasn’t changed over the past 50 years and is highly regarded and copied by many.
Gerber Mark II
As previously demonstrated by the addition of the KA-BAR and the V-42, war knives are common place for knife addicts because of their notoriety and widespread use. The Gerber Mark II is another one of those iconic war knives, with the Gerber Mark II being issued in the Vietnam War. It recently turned 40 and is one of the top selling knives of all time. It has a thin double-edged spear-point blade that’s nearly 7 inches long. Along with the KA-BAR, the Mark II was heavily relied upon during the war and saved many American lives. Movie buffs may recognize the Mark II often and has been featured in film from Aliens to The Road Warrior. No knife addict collection is complete without one.
The Fallkniven F1is a Scandinavian classic and is highly respected knife around the world. Pronounced Felk-nee-ven, Fallkniven is a Swedish-based manufacturer that’s best known for supplying high-quality military and outdoor knives, and the F1 is the company’s show piece. Since 1995, the F1 has been the official survival knife for all Swedish Air Force pilots, and the knife was so well received that it was even tested and approved for use by U.S. air crews in the Marines and Navy.
The Fallkniven F1 is a deceptively simple knife with a 3.8-inch drop point blade and comes with a durable Thermorun handle that provides a sure grip. There is not much that glitters wit the F1 but its not built for show. Its function and simplicity are there to save the day when it comes to dependable survival knives. The F1 has become a standard by which other survival knives are compared which is why knive addicts are sure to one.
Back in the 1970s, Timothy Leatherman set out to design a scout knife with pliers when he found a typical multi-tools of the day too limiting. He succeeded with the original Leatherman, and continually improved upon the design until he came up with the Leatherman Wave. The Leatherman has since found its ways into the pockets of workmen around the world. pushed its way onto the list by quietly slipping into the pockets of people around the world.
The Wave is the Leatherman’s most popular model, offering 17 different tools made of durable 420HC stainless steel. But the feature that makes the Leatherman iconic is that it locks when closed, making it easy to fit in pockets everywhere. Where I come from a farmer isn’t a farmer if he doesn’t carry a Leatherman.
The Spyderco Military is probably the most mimicked and well-known of all the Spydies around. Since its launch in the 1990s, the Military — which is the cornerstone of the Save and Serve lineup — has been in the hands of tons of people, especially those in the military, police, and rescue services.
As a large folding knife, the Military is surprisingly lightweight and extremely powerful. The Military has a one-handed opening thumb hole and a huge 4-inch blade made of CPM S30V steel with a modified clip point.
One thing was certain about the Spyderco Military when it came out: It did not look like a typical military knife but has become the design of choice as other manufactures try to mimic its slim but powerful profile.