If You Could Only Have One Knife, What’s The Best Survival Knife?

I’ll spoil it right away. There’s really no such thing as a best survival knife. Too many personal preferences. Rather, it’s the one that you have. In other words, it might not be so much about which one, but rather the fact that you do have one!

With that said, keep reading! Because if you could only have one survival knife, what would be the best choice?

What Is A Survival Knife And It’s Purpose?

Ask yourself, what is the purpose of a so called, ‘best’ survival knife? And then, will the functionality of the given knife serve (perform) the purpose or purposes that you require, based on its design?

A survival knife is really a sort of multipurpose knife. There are many knives designed for specific functionality. Tactical, Combat, Hunting, Fishing, Brush cutting, etc..). You might say that a true survival knife will perform reasonably well at many tasks.

A knife is designed to cut. But not all knives are good at cutting a wide variety of things. A good survival knife will be designed sturdy and rugged. Enough to not only cut ordinary things that an ordinary knife would cut, but will hold up to the tasks of more demanding cutting and tasks.

Logically, one common purpose of the survival knife would be in a wilderness environment. Often to assist in making a fire. Sharp enough to scrape, chip, and shred tinder. Strong enough and big enough to cut/split kindling. They are also used with a ferro-rod to start a fire.

A good sturdy and strong survival knife can be used for batoning wood. It’s a technique of splitting wood. Repeatedly striking the spine of the knife into the end of the wood you’re splitting.

[ Read: How to Baton Wood ]

Use the knife while cooking and eating. A utensil of sorts. Stab and flip the meat cooking over a fire. Lift a hot pot off the fire.

A survival knife can make tools. A sharp spear. Tent pegs. A shelter.

Hit stuff with it (the base of the handle).

There are lots of uses for a survival knife, and that’s the point…

It’s versatile. It’s not just a small little pocket knife. But rather, a larger and sturdier knife.

We’re talking about a fixed-blade knife. Ideally a full tang.

What To Look For In A Survival Knife

A fixed blade (as opposed to a folder). It will be safer and stronger, and a better performer.

A full tang. The full length of the knife itself. The steel goes all the way and will be visible at the butt of the handle. In other words, it’s not a knife blade attached to a handle. Instead, the handle is fastened to the blade.

The steel. High carbon 1095 steel is popular with survival knives. Made of 95% hardened carbon, it’s good for wear (resists wear better). It holds a great edge. It’s easy to sharpen. Typically coated to resist rust. However they do require care to further resist rusting. There are other steels too. Pros and Cons for everything…

The sheath. Popular choices include those made from Kydex. They’re durable heat-molded plastic. Here’s a bit of practical advice… Consider a sheath designed to carry below the belt. Because a protruding handle (above the belt) can cause injury if you fall (ribs, organs).

It’s handle. It should be comfortable in your hands while providing good grip.

The size. This is a matter of preference. The bigger the knife, the more issues with carrying it. So choose what works for you. A Rambo knife (machete!) might not be the one…or maybe it is…

Straight edge or serrated blade? Personal choices. Serrated is difficult to sharpen and I would rather have a longer smooth edge. Some have partial straight edge with partial serrated. I’m curious of your opinion on this, and your own preferences…

So, what’s the best ‘survival’ knife?

If you were around the blog back when I originally posted this (2015?), you might remember some of the following choices…

I believe the traditional KA-BAR is still in service with the Army, Navy, and USMC.

ka-bar-military-issue-knife

>> KA-BAR Full Size US Marine Corps Fighting Knife, Straight
(view on amzn)

What bout this Ontario Survival Knife:

navy-seal-knife

>> Ontario Knife Company
(view on amzn)

The Swedish made Fallkniven A1 is a preferred choice (although expensive).

This one kept showing up in reviews and choices among some military who buy their own.

best-survival-knife

Fallkniven A1 Fixed Blade Knife
(view on amzn)

The SOG Seal Pup Elite is also very highly reviewed.

sog-seal-pup-elite-knife

SOG Specialty Knives Seal Pup Elite
(view on amzn)

The ESEE-6 is a highly regarded fixed blade survival knife.

esee-survival-knife

ESEE 6P-B Plain Edge Fixed Blade Survival Knife
(view on amzn)

The Best Survival Knife

Many people carry a pocket knife. It’s part of their every day carry. I do. I use it often throughout a given day. In addition, I own several full tang fixed blade knives. Each of them is a sort of “survival knife”.

Living rural, I do occasionally see others carrying fixed-blade knives while out-and-about in public. More common while out hiking, camping, or generally in the wilderness.

I’m curious to get your input regarding a so called ‘survival knife’.

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78 Comments

  1. I have had a k-bar for years. They are great for whatever task. They have been in the service since WWll. Stick with what’s tried and true.

    1. I agree Joe. They had me at the first pic. While I don’t know anything bad about the other knives I also don’t know about 10s of thousands of them being used without any complaint by our military.

      1. Poorman, You can never go wrong with a KaBar strapped to your side. If I ever have to go back into combat, I will never be without one.

    2. I concur Joe45. The KaBar is one tough knife that holds it’s edge and specially designed for knife fighting and can handle all the rigors of combat anywhere in the world. Give me a Carbon steel blade over stainless steel any day. Semper Fi

    3. SMH.
      The traditional Ka-bar stacked leather knife is an extremely poor choice of survival knife. The handle tang is a narrow tang- almost a rat tail, not a full tang, and not designed to be used for batoning or prying. The stacked leather handle and leather sheath ruin quickly in wet weather, becoming moldy and weak. And the handle shape provides minimum grip.
      And it’s overpriced.

  2. I have a Seal Pup in my GHB and a Schrade SCHF9 in the BOB.
    I have learned the hard way the Pup is NOT a pry bar :-( so don’t even think about it. Both seem to hold an edge very well, I really don’t have a preference on either.
    I will insert the main carry knife, and yes I know “fixed blade”, is the good old Leatherman Wave.
    NRP

    1. I concur with the Leatherman Wave as a daily carry. I’ve carried a Leatherman over 20 years. They have a 25 year “no questions asked” warranty. When the 2 main blades were attached to the outside with the “fold & lock”
      -that was the cat’s meow for me!! P.S. The secret to carrying a leatherman is NEVER-EVER let someone “borrow your leatherman a sec”

  3. My choice is a Camillus Titanium, Les Stroud edition with a Ferro Rod for starting a fire. Also the folding Buck knife, Gerber machete and last but not least Gerbers Multi-tool. Each of these have specific tasks but also have a sharp edge for cutting. Almost forgot the dagger strapped to my calf just in case!!! Using the hand held Smith sharpeners.

  4. For survival, I’d look for a tool more than a knife.

    Unfortunately there is no perfect knife for me done yet (as far as I know), but Becker BK2 comes closest when heavily modified.

    This tool needs to be bomb proof, rust-proof (very least resistant), easy to maintain, and have a good balance in terms of size and function (a chopper doesn’t need to be as long as your arm to perform well).

  5. It’s hard to say which would be the one choice. However, I would be inclined to go with the Schrade SCHF9 Extreme Survival Knife . Fixed blade, high carbon steel; it’s all about longevity of the blade’s edge. My Schrade has only been sharpened once in the four years I’ve had it. I go with a few other unconventional weapons as well.

  6. The best survival knife is the one you have with you and KNOW how to use/maintain!
    My preferences (in no certain order):
    Ontario RAT-3
    ESEE-4
    Becker BK-2 and BK-7
    TOPS BOB

    The knife you choose should meet your anticipated needs and be readily available when you need it.

    Learn how to sharpen and care for your knife. A good knife will last years and serve you well.

  7. There are many good knives on the market but I guess for price and performance my favorite is still the Cold Steel Recon Scout. It has served me well for many years and it will hold an edge as good as any I have used.

    Ruana makes great knives but since the collector craze has taken them over, their price is too steep for me and my Ruana Crockett Bowie too valuable to use as a work knife .

    The K Bar is also a great knife for the price and is also a great knife I have used for many years with out fail.

  8. I love my Mora Bushcraft Knife. May be a little small for some but very light, dependable, razor sharp, and tough as nails. Comes with fire steel and sharpening diamond pad build in.

    1. I have several models of Mora knives and I love them all. Very dependable and all of them are high carbon steel, very important for starting fires. Also, since they take an edge so well, they’re great for skinning. They can also be sharpened quickly and easily out in the field if you happen to lose your edge working on kindling or other tasks not suited for knives.

  9. The K-Bar knife tang is pretty fragile. I’ve seen a few break when prying or twisting.

    I’m a big fan of the Cold Steel Recon Tanto. My Tanto has traveled quite a bit with me and has been abused but still keeps ticking.

    Having said that, I don’t go downrange or offroad without my CS Recon Tanto and Leatherman Wave. I just don’t think you can deal with 60% of situations with just one knife. With these two, I think you’re good for 90% of what might come your way.

  10. Becker BK series is great, they make phenomenal knives! Also the Schrade SCHF9 model is great too, probably the best survival knife dollar for dollar.

  11. I have a fairly extensive knife collection, but my go-to knife for over 40 years has been a Boy Scouts of America fixed blade knife with leather sheath. I bought it at a garage sale for a dollar when I was a kid. It’s bulletproof.

  12. I own a Fallkniven. They are expensive. Swedish steel is well known in the knife and axe world.
    Fallkniven is in a class of its own. If you want the best, expect to pay more.

  13. If I had just one survival knife I would have a hardened carbon blade so I could cut and also start a fire with it. In the handle it would have a small compartment for my flint and char-cloth. Other wise, I have them separate, but would be nice to have two in one, a multipurpose knife.

  14. I have a KA-BAR but the Sojourner knife is incredibly appealing — right size, full tang, and the high carbon steel for strength. Beautiful blade — at first, I thought it was damascus steel. Speaking of that, went to the website and am drooling at those damascus blades. After reading your review, the Sojourner sounds perfect. Really should get an upgrade sometime soon…so how does Mrs. J like the fit and feel in her hand?

  15. I’m very fond of my Puma Hunters Friend. Nothing pretentious about it, just a good all around hiking, camping and hunting knife. I bought it in the late 60’s and thought I got it in while in my senior year of high school which was 1968. According to the date code it was made in the fall of 1968 but I would have sworn that I bought it at the local hardware store for $16.00 and change.
    In the fall of 1968 I was making $98.00 a day once a month as a private and $16.00 was a heck of a lot at the time. Anyway the knife was my backup knife as a medic and has since hitch hiked across the USA twice and halfway across Canada once, It’s been hunting and camping in more places than I can remember. The sheath went MIA on a hike in Hawaii but I made a serviceable one that it has lived in since.
    I see them going on eBay for up to three hundred dollars so I think I’m going to keep it awhile longer. The Puma knives are now assembled in China but the blades are still made in Germany. This is a knife that will be handed down for many generations to come. My stepson is looking forward to inheriting it. (Not to soon I hope!)

  16. The most robust rugged knife I have used to date are STRIDER knives. I have been issued K-Bars, Benchmade, Ontario, Gerber, etc. They are all great knives however when given the opportunity to carry whatever I want regardless of price nothing has yet to compare to a Strider.

    Wont say specifically which of the militaries most prestigious service schools give a Strider out to selected graduates but it’s high up there and for good reason.

    I have used a Strider folder all over the world with great success. Handle one once that is all it will take, trust me. The fixed blades are awesome too, the finest cutting tools I have used. I’m not associated with the Strider folks just to be clear.

    If you cannot afford one Buck did a Strider folder a few years ago. If you search Amazon they come up but are getting hard to find.

  17. I use a Kabar 5557 tanto. It is extremely sharp (have a scar to prove it) and was fairly priced for what I may do with it. It hangs low when on a belt and has a nice feature that holds it in the polymer sheath. It has cut through anything I’ve needed it to. I like the partial serrated blade to cut rope/line quickly, but the blade is so sharp it probably wasn’t needed.

    I usually take it camping and on extended hunting trips (more than a few hours in the field or out of our usual stomping grounds). It is quite intimidating to others, so it is best used with that in mind. It has drawn a few looks; I should have switched it out for something more discrete going to a farmer’s market.

  18. Attn: MilDot
    If you had a problem with your K-Bar, you’ve got a knock-off, not the original K-Bar from Olean, NY. With years in the bush, with mine and others, I’ve never seen one to fail. It can take an enormous amount of abuse.

    1. WarVet,

      The only K-Bar I’ve owned was an issue blade. I never really used it much because I was on an Al Mar kick at the time. I have no idea what happened to it. But I have seen other issue K-Bars break.

      As someone else pointed out here, a knife is a cutting tool and does other jobs poorly. But when you’re out there and have to improvise, you use what you have for whatever job is at hand.

      Having said that, if someone were to give me a K-Bar, I would snatch it in a heart beat. But I would reach for my Cold Steel when heading for the woods. I won’t insult someone who prefers a K-Bar or any other knife. It’s all personal preference like you prefer Ford and I like Chevy. We all have our favorites and live with it.

      1. Of course, the KaBar stacked leather handles and leather sheaths have wear and weather issues too. But even so, I still like those knives.

  19. I agree with your assessment of the serrations on the blade, I absolutely hate that! It only gets in the way, I use a full tang stainless blade knife I got at Tractor Supply for 9.99, my ferro rod has a striker with it, so that is not an issue. It is stout and strong enough for anything I have thrown at it, it’s no KaBar, but the price was right for my budget!

  20. I still have the first knife I ever owned from over 60 years ago. The first knife I ever cut myself with and the first knife I ever mistreated and broke the tip of the blade when I threw it at a tree. I have carried a knife in my pocket all my life, in school, on planes (back when you could legally). The first time I ever took the stand in court to testify I had my knife. I love knives. I have some beautiful knives and some very serviceable knives. But if I had to choose one knife to rule them all, one knife to bring them all and in the darkness bind them… I would bring a felling axe.

  21. i’ve got a cheap one but not too bad. It works pretty well. Schrade.

    SCHF36

    Like most of us I don’t have much discretionary income.

    Trying to get a real KA-BAR or SRK. In time I guess between water, food, and ammo.

  22. Boy what a question!! And that’s coming from a man who hasn’t gone out of his home in over 40 years without at least one knife in his pocket.
    I usually carry 3 knives. One auto-opening old Monarch that’s had the tip broken off and was reground to a curved point. It’s saved my life more than once when up a sailboat mast and I’d only one hand to use to get to it and open it. Another easy to open and equally worn old Benchmade (push the button, flip my wrist and it’s open for business) that is my ‘American Express’ knife…….. I don’t leave home without it. And last a little combo folder that has a can opener, a small file, small stubby pen-knife blade and fingernail clipper.

    But, if I had to bug-out, could only grab one blade? Like many here, I’ve my share of others. Many folders – from Swiss Army, Boy Scout, Case folders, a wide assortment of ‘Leatherman’ types…. Fixed blades such as a Bowie, various military sheath knifes, bayonets and on and on. As I say “But”…. if I could only grab one? The first that came to mind is an old old 1/4″ thick, some apx. 16” long angle from the spine forward and down to the point of the main edge…….. machete. Strong enough to be an axe, a frow, a spokeshave, a drawknife, a defensive weapon par excellence; as well as, sharp enough for some fine work if need be. The type of ol’ girl that can hack its way through brush all day, split some firewood for the evening and sharpen tent-pegs, fillet a fish or butcher game.

    Yep – my old machete that I’ve recently replaced its worn out wood handle with some exotic woods scavenged from imported cigar boxes.

  23. I actually have Bear Grylls knife. It was a gift that I had my doubts about but have since changed my tune. For the price it’s a pretty robust knife that after you examine you gain a real appreciation to the design. Hammer in the pommel, tie on points to improvise a spear, sharpener, flint, and a survival guide built into it. Not to crazy about the non tactical orange, but it was intended as a survival knife and not a war fighter’s knife. I have grown to trust the utility of this blade.

  24. Have had a K-Bar for years it does a great job , but I also have a Cold Steel Bushman that is good too , the only thing is the grip gets very slippery when wet , so that is about the only bad feature , I like the fact that it can also be used as a spear . Looking at adding a Bear Grylls ultimate knive to the inventory . Be prepared and ready . Keep your powder dry .

  25. Swiss Army knife. I have carried one my entire life, and use it almost on a daily basis. I have only owned 2. When I lost my first one from childhood I felt incomplete until I bought another one.

    I know it won’t chop down a giant redwood or cut thru an armored humvee door, but it has served me well my whole life. It has fixed cars, motorcycles, off road vehicles, done countless home repairs, helped with medical issues (mostly splinters), countless campouts and road trips..etc. And it will still clean a fish, butcher a deer or open a can or beer bottle. Plus I can cut summer sausage and cheese when I get the munchees.

    Forgot to mention how it makes my grandchildren feel so excited when they get to use it to go and cut their own hot dog/ marshmallow roasting stick! Not only does it make them feel good about using grandpas pocket knife, but it is teaching them a valuable skill without them even knowing it……..to me…that’s priceless.

    1. I agree with the above. In my locale, a machete is a better ‘heavy duty work tool’ than most knives because of the thorny vegetation we have here. The humble SAL does a lot of jobs pretty well – my most used SAK tools are the saw, awl, scissors blade (of course! :^). Dummy corded on a ‘biner attached to a belt loop. Indespensible.

  26. I’ve had many knives in my lifetime but the one that’s been at my side more than any other is a Buck Model 119 that I’ve had for thirty years. If I have a serious outdoor engagement the 119 is the blade of choice and it would be the one I’d grab if I could only grab one.

  27. I like knives. Never leave home without 2 on me. I keep a folding lock blade in the pocket and carry a fixed blade on my belt. Lately I have been carrying a 3″ Skinner that a friend gave me. Does every thing I need it to do while I’m working. It’s only 7 1/2″ so it’s discreet.

    Survival wise, personally, I would grab one of my Bowie knives. There are just things a smaller knife can’t do. You can make a lot of useful tools with a big knife.

    Local Filipino boys showed me how to make bamboo knives when I first got here (a lot of bamboo around). It was easier with the Bowie than a smaller blade. Them boys carry machetes for the most part. You would be Surprised how sharp bamboo can get. Made cooking pots, cups, spoons too. There isn’t much you can’t make out of bamboo. You are lucky if you have it growing where you are at.

    A few years back I bought an Ontario tactical and a SP16 SPAX on sale. I was working in a city about 70 miles away and thought the SPAX would be a good addition for my GHB if I got hung up in the city. It is pretty versatile tool.

    It rains A LOT where I’m at. Last 30 days nonstop.
    I have lanyards on my fixed blades so I don’t lose them in this rainy jungle.
    I know a lot of guys don’t like/use them. I understand the logic. It works for me in this wet weather…
    SO DO ANY OF YOU USE/NOT USE A LANYARD? JUST WONDERING…

  28. I have an 11” bladed kukri from Nepal that is shaving sharp with a 10 mm thick spine that can fell 4-6 ” diameter trees as easily as a hatchet.Made from recycled truck leaf spring it is easy to keep sharp and seems indestructable. Perfect for batoning,splitting,shaving wood etc.Also a formidable weapon as demonstrated by numerous accounts involving Nepalese Ghurkas.Quite versatile for it’s size,I prefer it to a bowie.My experience with a couple of Gerber folders [ including a Bear Grylis ]is that they are on the fragile side.Had a K-BAR but just didn’t ”feel” right in my hand.Love most things Cold Steel but have found out that bug repellant can turn rubber type grips into bubble gum.

    1. My first Kurkuri was a “Junky Jungle” 10″ with rose wood handle scales. After cutting down a dead 10″ Dogwood tree I noticed the aluminum rivets were loose. And the scales were loose . I bought a carbide drill bit and drilled three more holes thru the tang. Then I used epoxy and steel pins to re secure the handle. No problems since and I can chop all I want. The kurkuri is a cross between a heavy knife and a hatchet.

  29. I like this: Gerber Gator Machete, found at Amazon for $20. I use a machete primarily for camping purposes, fetching kindling.

  30. 90% of my knives and my EDC are Buck Knives. But if I only had to pick one knife it would probably be a Mora… Just my 2 cents.

  31. Machetes are so useful, they almost deserve their own catagory: they are great for brush cutting when your weed whacker takes a dump on you. (I suppose they would be in high demand in the Zombie Apolcalypse as well.)

    The regular machete is also used as a draw knife when wearing work gloves. I have a Cold Steel 2 handed Kukri Machete to cut thick brush that is as close as I could find to the old USFS “brushhook” and I can use it standing straight up too.

    I am a little, bald, brown guy so I have to be careful waving one around my neighborhood. Some soccer mom will call the cops on me. If a nosy neighbor wants to talk to me and it is not reciprical, I can always sit on the curb, sharpening it and talking about how I am waiting for my antipsychotics to kick in before I resume cutting brush.

    Good post Ken. Lots of interesting responses to this one.

  32. Not really a survival knife, but a handy one is a Hori-Hori. It is primarily a gardening tool, but I use it for foraging.

  33. I think a must-have knife for everyone is one that you can open carry in a mall, post office, public school in plain view without anyone knowing it is knife. I’m talking about the CRKT Tao Tactical Pen.

  34. My go to knife for the last 28 years or so has been a Gerber BMF. When I first got it back in 1986 or 87, I was a young EOD tech at Ft. Dix, NJ fresh out of EOD school with a shiny new Charles County Crab. As most techs seemed to do, I proceeded to equip myself with a big ass knife as any “worth his salt” slick bomb EOD tech should! Over the next decade or two, the Gerber served me well from Greece to Turkey, in the Egyptian desert, back in the states and then down in Panama, El Sal, Nicaragua, Honduras and a few other places as well. Over the years the knife has been used and abused and has withstood it all. It’s done everything from chopping wood and opening ammo crates, to being an field expedient eating utensil and general purpose cutting tool. Nowadays the big Gerber is my hunting partner and has been invaluable in field dressing a fair number of deer and other woodland critters. It has a few battle scars like me but still holds a good edge. I figure at some point I’ll pass it on to one of my sons and see what adventures he takes it on!

  35. To each his own,but just try and destroy a well made kukri.The Nepalese have been using them for hundreds of years as general purpose survival tool\weapon,as well as different commonwealth military units including the SAS,and I doubt they would pack the weight for nothing.True,a good kukri is actually the only type of knife I wouldn’t hesitate to pound on.

  36. Has anyone checked out the Bear Grylls Ultimate Pro? Supposed to be a nice upgrade from the Survival knife.

  37. The original Cattaraugus 225Q (Quartermaster’s Knife) has no peers. That six inch blade will go through anything…thrusting or with a meat cleaver swing. The SOB is a razor sharp, prybar with a hammer in the handle! No crate or locked wooden door will stay closed for very long. It’ll do whatever you need and then some.
    Custom make your own low-rider sheath, to hold a small diamond stone (which will only be used sparingly) and a firestarter.

  38. ok, the survival knife I have and love is the Gerber Strongarm non serated. In my pocket at all times I have 3: a small swiss army knife, a folding blade, and a small box cutter. They all serve a purpose as tools and they are always kept razor sharp. Cuz what is a dull knife? A Liability.

  39. My personal favorite is my surplus USMC bayonet, Ontario OKC3S. Little bulky but my favorite. Runner up would be one of my ak bayonets with wire cutter scabbard.

  40. No intent to anger anyone…just my personal observations….

    If it’s marketed as a “survival knife” I steer clear of it.
    If the blade is much over 4″ long, it’s too unwieldly for the smaller, more likely tasks you will need a cutting edge for.
    A good grade of carbon steel is much easier to keep a good edge on than stainless.
    I’ve field dressed many, and on more than one occasion, completely boned out deer using a small pocket folder with a two inch blade.
    I’ve never found a reason to use a knife to “baton” firewood except in campgrounds where you had to purchase commercially cut firewood and didn’t allow you to collect your own.
    I’ve never used a knife to chop a tree down other than small saplings a couple inches in diameter for tent poles or pot hangers, and then I bend the tree over and slice through it right above the base.
    My knife and my weapon are comfortable to carry and with me at all times, because survival circumstances happen at the most inopportune times.
    Each to their own, but I think most people put too much emphasis on the the size (and looks) of both their guns and knives and not near enough time learning how to use them and what they are likely to need them for.

    1. I agree. I have a stainless 6″ blade with a handmade handle I used to skin elk, deer, squirrel, fileted fish, and cut meats and to split kindling but i have a camp axe for the larger wood, I used it to cut through the bark layers of dead birch trees for making baskets for many years. Nice easy handling knife I have had since 1984.

    2. I agree 100%. I have found a 3-3/4″ bladed Case folder good for just about everything i need a knife for. Also have found a Finnish Puukko knife fits the bill in a sheath knife form, again 3-3/4″ to 4″ blade.

  41. I think a lot of folks need to rethink survival. The vast majority of people’s choice knife for survival in the comments and most other forums is a big blade knife that is kept in a sheath hanging on a belt. For a soldier or woodsman, that’s great. But most people in a SHTF grid down etc. etc. are not going to be surviving in the woods.

    Most are going to be in modern buildings trying to stay warm, dry, fed, watered and safe. Only the most trained and experienced outdoor survivalist is going to be able to make a go of it in the wild and even they ultimately build a cabin and replicate modern conveniences of some sort if in the wild for any duration.

    The survival scenario for most is going to be holed up trying to cobble together parts of modern technology to have some heat, water, light, cooking, can opening, etc. The ultimate survival “knife” is more likely to be something that facilitates being a bit of a handyman; Leatherman or Gerber multitool devices will likely be of higher value to most of us than a single big-ass blade.

    1. Bill – Very well said. You saved me a lot of typing. My “survival Knife” is a Bark River Gunny (straight spine – no hump) paired with a Leatherman Wave.

  42. I have a Buck Special in a leather snap case I bought in 1969 for
    $19.95 and took it to Viet Nam had a six inch blade, and served me well.

  43. My edc includes 4 knives. Three folders and a chipaway drop point skinner with a 4 inch blade. Each one has a specific purpose. If i was heading into a wildeness survival situation I would take a knife I made myself. It is a camp knife with a 8 inch blade made from boron steel with saw teeth on the spine. It is ugly as home made crap but incredibly tough. I keep it in the door pocket in my truck just in case.

  44. My K-Bar was my constant companion in ‘Nam’, and still is.

    I would never even consider parting with it.

  45. i have the gerber lmf 2…several vids online where they tried to destroy the thing…it can handle just about anything…

  46. – I was issued an “Aircrew Survival Knife” in 1984, marked Ontario 3-83 on the side of the pommel. I have carried it whenever I am outdoors ever since. I also have a Puma “Hunter’s Friend” which I carried prior to being issued the Ontario. If I had to pick one as the only knife I would have, the Ontario would get the nod.

    Having said that, it has always been accompanied by a Victorinox Explorer and a Craftsman Ignition Pliers in my pocket. Those three items have met 90% of all my needs for minor repairs in the field for years. That kept me alive while in the Army for years, including basic survival classes and practical field exercises.

    – Papa S.

  47. I like the Air Force Survival Knife with the leather sheath and sharping stone and an add firesteel!

  48. One knife huh, well I guess it would be the old “Western” brand knife. I’ve had it for 40+ years. It fits my large hand well. The steel is easily sharpened, though too quickly dulled. I’d hate to think what the inside of the leather sheath looks like. That knife has gutted a lot of deer through the years. I’m sure there are better knives out there, but as was mentioned in the article, the one ya have at the time.

  49. I must admit, I have a thing for blades…but my favorite knife is my old Gerber multi tool that I always carry on my person. It has two small blades, and at least one of them is used every day. It is perfect for my small hands and always there when I need it. And it was just sharpened again. LOL.

  50. My sole fixed blade knife is a Gerber LMF II (plain/serrated blade). EDC carry is a Spyderco Delica. I also have a Buck 110 folder for when discretion is not such a concern.

  51. My 1st choice is the 7″ Kbar with the serrated blade…..
    2nd choice would be the M9A1 Bayonet…..

  52. cold steel has come out with ma series of knives that they call drop forged i just got the survivalist its all one solid piece handle and all the blade was shaving sharp straight from the box i havent had a good chance to SERIOUSLY test this thing out yet but i plan on testing it soon

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