There are so many survival knives on the market today that it can be quite a daunting task to pick the right one. Let us help you know what survival knife to choose. The top priority in choosing a survival knife is finding one that is designed for rugged outdoor and survival use. Below, you will find information about dependable knives that are built for the rugged outdoorsman and can be used as the ultimate survival knife.
Infantry & Combat Knife
This type of knife was designed for military hand-to-hand and close quarters battle. They have become extremely popular because of their rugged durability, aggressive looks and versatility. Infantry and combat knives have come along way since their use in the trenches of World War I. The long, double bladed knife intended for impaling enemies at the end of a fixed bayonet are long gone. These knives still come with a razor sharp edge; but additions such as serrated edges and increased ability for blunt force strikes make them appealing. The most popular knives in this category would have to be the original model KA-BAR and Gerber LMF-II. The KA-BAR is a battlefield tested knife that has kept marines safe for decades. This knife is almost the complete survival knife. It can stab, cut, chop wood, skin animals and various other tasks. The only downside to this knife would have to be its weight. This is where the Gerber LMF-II is an excellent choice. The blade is a little shorter but just as effective and durable. Is also has a sharp end at the bottom of the grip to break windows, or anything else without damaging your precious knife blade. It also has holes in the tang of the knife which allow it to be easily tied to a stick to make a spear. In general, these types of knives are very appropriate for survival use in wilderness and urban settings.
Assault knives are designed for a much more specific task, which makes them less than ideal for true survival situations. Assault knives typically have a different look to them but is not always the case. Of course these can be used for other purposes, but they are not as effective as a survival tool. This type of knife would be an excellent backup or even better if being carried primarily for self-defense. The name provides a good explanation of their purpose and many boast an extremely pointy and sometimes curved edge. The curved edge is for slicing and tearing, not so much for stabbing. This category of knives is one that could be useful for survival situations where light cutting is involved. Being as sharp as they are, skinning animals would be a possible use for an assault knife. The curved edge could serve as a gut hook if one was needed. Being much more simplified and typically smaller, assault knives would be good as light to medium duty knives. This should not by any means be your first choice for a survival knife.
The word “companion” is a term that makes little sense other than gaining consumer interest and buy in. A companion knife is simply a knife with less features than one built as a survival knife. They are still very good knives that are intended for outdoor and survival uses. They are smaller and more lightweight. Any knife can be your “companion” if it is something that works for you. A person who is experienced in the art of survival could do great with just a companion knife. This knife should be your companion, not your other survival knife’s companion. There is no need to carry a knife for every specific task. If this were the case, a special backpack full of knives would be needed. Unnecessary weight is a huge burden in the outdoors, especially if moving quickly is a priority. A companion knife is priced similar to other comparable survival knives. If you are looking for one knife to fill the role as an ultimate survival knife, this is not the one you want. However, if you do choose these knives, make sure you become very familiar with its strengths and weaknesses before going outdoors.
A pup knife is essentially another excellent fighting or combat knife that doubles as a survival knife. The term “pup” or “seal pup” has been coined by SOG, the company that manufactures them. Pup knives by SOG are an excellent choice and will exceed expectations. They are lighter than knives that are designed as “survival” knives and have been known to hold their edge longer. This knife will also chop wood and perform any other task expected from a quality survival knife. The quality and durability of this type of knife is due to the fact that its design is based off of what the Navy Seals use. If you are looking for the ultimate survival knife in a lightweight package, look no further.
This knife has a long history that dates back to the 19th Century. The history alone makes this knife exciting. A Bowie knife is a large knife that comes in a heavyweight package. Although this knife would serve well in many survival situations, its use is far outmatched by newer, lightweight survival knives. These days, Bowie knives are better as collection pieces, not for survival. Furthermore, some state laws prohibit or restrict their usage. Another problem associated with this specific type of knife is that they are made by various manufacturers with varying degrees of quality and authenticity. This is a knife that I would not recommend for survival, unless the Crocodile Dundee look is your goal.
These knives first became popular with military and law enforcement personnel due to their low profile and light weight. Tactical knives come in fixed blade and folding blade designs with several blade lengths to choose from. These knives are also manufactured by everyone, so doing your research is encouraged. A few excellent tactical knife manufacturers are: Gerber, Cold Steel and CRKT. Even if you do not purchase from these manufacturers, make sure you take a look at them to get an overview of what you want to look for in a quality knife. These knives can be used for survival knives but serve a better purpose as a backup knife or pocket knife. Folding knives have to be used with caution, especially in survival situations because the locking mechanism could break under extreme usage. Chopping wood would not be recommended with a folding tactical knife. If it was all that you had in a survival situation, use it carefully.
The category covering jungle knives encompasses a large variety of sizes and styles. The one thing that they all have in common is that they are designed for clearing vegetation and cutting through thick vines. This is the reason that they are marketed as Jungle knives. They can really be used anywhere as they are good for chopping and can even be used as an everyday tool. Even though the size varies by manufacturer and model, they will always be longer than a survival knife but shorter than a machete. They cover the broad range in between the two. Many jungle knives have a serrated edge or saw teeth making them excellent outdoor tools. Some models also have a storage space located in the handle for storing tender, waterproof matches or other small survival items. A jungle knife can easily become your ultimate survival tool if you learn how to use it appropriately. They are very versatile and also have the added benefit of looking cool. If you can afford the weight a jungle knife could become your new outdoor buddy.
When a Knife Becomes a Machete
Machete’s are kind of a gray area. Some jurisdictions specify length and others don’t. Depending where you are this could be viewed as a sword, machete, knife or tool. Generally a machete is at least a foot in length. The length is not really regulated in relation to the name. Some jurisdictions consider it a tool, others a weapon. I wouldn’t imagine that anyone would have a problem using a machete in the woods, but taking it shopping at your local mall would not be advisable. Machete’s are excellent tools that can also serve as an excellent survival tool. Jungle survival experts would say that a machete is the most important tool you can have. For the most part, machetes have a common look that people can easily identify. Machete’s can be found in a variety of stores as their use as a tool is widely recognized. The downside of a machete is its size. It would be difficult to skin small game with a machete or do other tasks that require precision. It could be done it would just be a little more time consuming.
If someone ever tells you that all knives are created equal, go talk to someone else. All knives are not created equal. At the bare minimum, they are created to serve different purposes and degree’s of abuse. When looking for the ultimate survival knife, look for quality, weight, design specifications that meet your needs and imagine everything that you would use it for. A knife is worthless if it cannot perform efficiently or stand up to the abuse it’s going to be put through. A survival situation is not the time to find out that you bought the wrong knife.