PREPS

Survival Knife with Fire Starter and Sharpener on Sheath

Survival Knife with Fire Starter

A survival knife along with a fire starter is a highly recommended combination for bushcraft, wilderness activities, hiking, camping, and general survival preparedness.

Some may prefer a survival knife combination where the sheath includes a holder for a fire starter such as a firesteel / ferro (ferrocerium) rod.

Morakniv Bushcraft Carbon Steel Knife with Fire Starter

(The spine of the knife serves as a striker for the fire starter rod.)

The survival knife shown above is manufactured by world renown Swedish manufacturer, Morakniv (often called a ‘Mora’ knife).

Here are the attributes of this particular Mora knife design:

(UPDATED 2018 from original post last year)

 

Survival Knife:
Specially Ground Spine for Fire Starter

Morakniv Firestarter

The spine of the blade has been specially ground (flat with sharp 90-degree angle) so that it can be used effectively with the fire starter.

It works by pulling the spine of the knife slowly and forcefully down against the fire starter. The action will shed 3,000 degree sparks to light your tinder bundle or even your camp stove. The included fire starter will yield ~7,000 strikes.

Related article: Tinder For Building A Fire

 

Survival Knife:
Batoning

Batoning Knife

Batoning is the action of striking the spine of a knife forcing it into the end of a piece of wood in order to split it. This enables getting to the drier wood inside or simply for splitting into smaller pieces for kindling.

The Mora family of knives are some of the most popular and modestly priced bushcraft knives out there. They create a very good knife that anyone can afford.

– If you want to chop a tree down with a blade, buy an axe.
– If you want a good affordable knife that can handle any task a reasonable person would use it for, a Mora is a great choice.

More: The Best Knife For Batoning Wood

 

Survival Knife:
Carving

Carve a tent stake

A survival knife might be used for all sorts of carving. It’s a tool that will enable tinder preparation and processing wood for all sorts of uses including shelter stakes, camp tools and whatever else comes in handy.

Tip: Use a survival knife to make a “feather stick”. When wood is damp and you don’t have tinder, carving a feather stick may get that fire lit…

Carve a feather stick

 

Survival Knife:
Integrated Diamond Sharpener

This particular Mora knife integrates a diamond sharpener attached to it’s sheath. While you may have your own preferred knife sharpener, this one will serve as an emergency sharpening tool.

More: The Secret To Sharpening A Knife

 
SUMMARY:
You might ask a hundred people “What’s the best survival knife?” and you might get a hundred different answers.

We can all agree on this though, “It’s the one that you have!”

That said, most will agree that the Mora knife (the Morakniv) is a quality brand and excellent mid priced choice. I happen to like this ‘Bushcraft Black’ model given it’s integrated fire starter / sharpener coupled with their reputation.

Morakniv Bushcraft Carbon Steel Knife with Fire Starter

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I have this knife and it is great. Very sharp out of the box and has held up well with moderate use.

Thanks Ken. Pulled down my BOB’s units and when through them. Knives were not one of the areas I had looked at or planned well.

One had a new Buck #112 that is over 40 years old and never used. The other a Alaskan hand made Skinner that is worth too much to be a bush knife and beat on.

Have ordered three of these bush knives and by the end of the week will be here.

On my load out plate carrier have my old U.S.M.C. K-Bar shoulder rig upside down. Could use one of these new knives in a close encounter but the K-Bar is my go-to eyeball to eyeball.

Ka-Bar Full Size US Marine Corps Fighting Knife

I bought the Morakniv neck knife with the fire starter kit. This line of knives is great for bushcraft and not expensive at all.

Mine is packed in my GHB along with my other fire starting supplies. I own three other Moraknivs, 2 carbon steel, 1 stainless steel. Quality steel and they hold an edge pretty well.

Yeah, their bushcraft knives have been calling me for a while. I’ve had a number of Mora’s over the last 30 years and haven’t been disappointed with any of them. I might have to pick up a couple more now, I keep giving them away.

I have 2 Mora knives. One is the Garberg full tang series (very strong and durable) and the other is a 3/4 tang knife that Amazon was selling for less the $10 last year at Christmas time. I grabbed 6 or so for stocking stuffers. Overall they are a exceptional knife for the price. I’m not one for the whole knife kit combo but I do like the concept.

Adapt and Overcome

Tang length topic is covered, I’d be much more interested in blade design purpose: drop point, serrated…. which is best for self defense, hunting/dressing, woodcraft/survival?

OC – the best reply I can give you is to refer you to a book, “Everybody’s Knife Bible”, by Don Paul. The writing is not the best, but the knowledge is there. He goes into a lot of detail about the various shapes, styles and steels. While I don’t agree with all of his conclusions, it’s a very good place to start.
– Papa S.

I just have a simple Gerber/Bear Grylls fixed blade, came with a fire steel and diamond hone, in a belt sheath, nothing fancy but more than sufficient. Its basically my spare.

NB, I also have BG, Figured it’s good until it breaks. The upgrade Pro looks to be a better quality version. Probably last longer than the original.
Mora is outstanding. Good choices for hunting, fishing, bushcraft, etc. Plenty of options from which to choose.

Picked up a carbon Morakniv last year at a State Trappers convention for $20.00. It had the hardcase sheath but was not the black one with the firestarter. Liked it so much I bought another one this year when I ran into the vendor again. He had them listed for $25.00 but sold me one for $20.00 because I bought a dozen yote snares from him. Very nice knife. Will have to look for the Bushcraft version with the fire starter next year.

This looks like a good knife, i like that it comes with a firestarter. My choice is the Becker/KaBar BK22. Doesn’t come with a ferro rod but an absolute beast of a knife, as far as I can tell, it is indestructible.

Moras are well worth the effort to buy. Well known for being a well priced knife you can use and depend on. When I see knives with fire rod on sheath, I wonder if the user has any problem with losing the fire rod. I guess a corded lanyard or hair band to keep attached would be easy enough to add.

I have the similar “Light My Fire” Mora knife that has the ferro rod in knife’s handle pommel. I like it quite a bit (Though I do wish the rod was a bit sturdier). I figured if the knife had a rat tang, might as well use up the space. An option with that one is to leave the spark rod outside the knife and use the cavity for minimum storage of other items (great space for a needle inserted into coffee stirrer straw, wrapped with thread for example).

A Mora is a great gift and Christmas is just around the corner !! Priced well enough to get one for yourself as well.

Same knife as featured is in my GHB.

Any one here ever actually tried to start a fire with a flint and steel?Or this knife and ferro rod? I have, Good luck with that. The act alone in a practiced skill, and I mean PRACTICED, skill, Sure, it might be easy in theory, but practical application, no way.
What I’m sayin is, for $60, this knife might and could save your life. It’s NOT the tool, it’s the “knowledge of how to use the tool.” Again, practice, practice with this tool, or with what you already have.
For tinder? Well, I use dryer lint soaked in a 50-50 combination of cooking grease and bees wax, The wax keeps it from getting grease all over every thing, I squash it into a plastic 1/2by1/2 ice cube tray and seal in 2×2 Ziploc bags 2 per bag. You can warm these up in you pocket in cold weather. Open, squish, strike into, and slowly stack heavier tinder as the flame grows. I’ve been using this system for over 40 yrs, in all 12 months, in places like the Tetons, Wind river range, Badlands and on the sea coast.
Patriots, it’s not the tool, It’s the knowledge of how to use ANY tool.

SMG I agree that actually learning how to use your tools is critical. An example just this am we were at the local range and someone was shooting his AR. After the second magazine (both fired too fast and not that effectively IMHO) total jam.

I asked if I could look at it after the chicken chatter calmed down and after looking at my group with 22’s he allowed it. Turns out it was brand new out of the box and NO LUBE. As a kindness I helped him disassemble it and gave it some lube from my range bag. When he asked how I knew about this I said US Army 20 years and left it at that.

I offered to help him zero his rifle but he declined even after I showed him OUR Target results. We finished our range shoot and enjoyed a BBQ Mother’s Day. Yes Mom’s and Daughters shoot day. Was fun.

Happy Mothers Day all!

SMG,

I have spent a LOT of time with ‘fire starters’. Dryer lint seems to be OK, but it ends there. I now use the following:

Wash out an empty tuna fish can. Tear off a 12×12 sheet of waxed paper. Form the waxed paper (WP) around the tuna fish can (TC). Take the formed WP and carefully push it into the TC. Cut about three inches of candle wick. The large diameter (cheaper) wick works just fine. Fill TC with WP liner half full of sawdust. Melt paraffin. When melted, pour into TC, but only to top of sawdust. You may want to ‘stir’ the mixture to ensure all of the sawdust is saturated. Create a hole in the middle of the sawdust/paraffin mixture, poke candle wick in. Let conglomeration sit for a while. (Maybe 10 minutes.) Fill TC with sawdust, and more paraffin. Ensure wick is not in mixture. You want it poking up, and not coated in wax. Now, let it sit overnight. Massage the TC while working sawdust/paraffin/wick puck out of can. Fold WP over top of puck and trim as necessary to make it look nice. Now…..add the dryer lint thing, or as I do, put a cotton ball with the puck and vacuum seal them together. When using, put cotton ball/dryer lint around wick……after opening vacuum sealed package and taking puck and starter out…….then apply flint-steel/ferro stick and scraper sparks to wick. The TC sized puck of sawdust and paraffin will burn for 20 minutes +/-. Not bad for an investment of around 18 cents, or less, per puck.

I have also made ‘starters’ from jeans. Cut strips of denim about 1/2 inch wide by four inches long. (Dimensions are nowhere near critical.) coat about three inches of the strip with paraffin. Twice. I normally put six of these in a vacuum seal bag (custom cut and made from a roll) and seal. In use, just fuzz the non-wax coated end and apply sparks. These things burn 5-8 minutes. Long enough for even me to get a fire going. Real cost, maybe five cents each.

This information is guaranteed to be worth every penny paid for it.

RoadWarrior
Excellent!! Now, that’s using your head AND skills, exactly what I was taking about. My idea works for me, your idea works for you. But the end game is THEY WORK!!! and they cost next to nothing, but could and will save your life in an emergency.

Per a good friend of mine at Frito-Lay, A bag of regular Fritos is as good as any commercially available fire starter. I tried it, she was right. Something about a puffed starch aggregate soaked in oil. Keep the trioxane.

McG…….

You sayin’ Fritos and sawdust is equivalent??? Jeeze-Loise…….and I been BUYING Fritos all these years. Shoot man, I’m gonna start dehydratin’ sawdust!!!! LMAO!!!!!!

RW,

I wouldn’t recommend using either product as a food source. but as a fire starter, yeah, give it try.

A great way to get tinder to start a fire in the wild even when wood is wet is to use a pencil sharpener.

Get a good quality sharpener (any home store sells durable ones in the tool section) and then find sticks about the size of a pencil. Stick it in the sharpener and turn, out pops thin wood shavings.

Even rain-soaked sticks are dry inside. Just toss the first bit that comes out as it will be wet. But then you have as much tinder as you need to start a fire.

What a great idea. I have a nice small pencil sharpener. I will add this to my GHB.

Experiment with it as the pencil sharpener shavings are not always easy to start with a firesteel. Most sparks bounce off them. You need to shred the shavings in your hand a bit to make them smaller. The pencil sharpener shavings do work well once your tinder takes a spark.

I think that you’re looking at flint and steel type fire starters as a secondary method, a backup. Good to have on hand and be able to use if you think that you may find yourself in a situation where you may have to use it.

Personally, I would use a Ferro rod as a backup to a Bic, and flint and steel as a backup to a Ferro rod. Along with the flint and steel, you may want to carry some char cloth in the same kit.

In order to help determined your needs, consider the environment into which you’ll be going, along with the possible changes that could occur within that environment with the weather, etc.

I don’t smoke but I always have a Zippo, a Bic and a firesteel in my pocket. I use the Zippo the most for work things.

A few nice things about a Zippo is it’s all metal, it won’t melt like a Bic if you use it for more then 15-seconds. And second it will stay lit when set down. This is handy at times.

– SMG, yes, I use one of the various fire-steels I have, most usually one of the ones imbedded in a magnesium block when I need to start an outdoor fire. I have worn out and discarded 2 of those already. The one that I keep in the whetstone pocket of my M-5 Camillus, or what is sometimes called a pilot survival knife is original military issue and almost unscratched. I keep it for emergency use only, because I can start a fire with it even after I go swimming. For tinder, I usually use a cotton ball, either with vaseline or chapstick on it, opened out into a birds nest. I keep cotton balls in a ziplock bag with TP and a cheap plastic pencil sharpener, which someone else has already addressed the use of. A mothball in a little nest made from a cotton ball works really well, too. Agreed, it’s not the tool, it’s the knowledge of how, in addition to practice with a tool that makes the difference.

By the way, one regular cotton ball should be enough to be able to start at least 4 fires. I can make char-cloth easily, and start as many as four fires with a (paper or wood) match, too.

– Papa S.

I don’t comment much but gosh darn it, everytime you put something fun in here I end up buying it. I need another knife like I need another hole in my head.

( I need another knife like I need another hole in my head.)

I think the same thing about Ham Radios & guns.

But I have not the slightest guilt about indulging myself with new toys.

I only use saved up cash and then only after all expenses are taken care of.

But even then I know I don’t need more of either one…

I have the Cold Steel Bushman and it has a firesteel built into the sheath. The firesteel flew out the first time I used it. The glue (and not much glue) they used didn’t stick well to the plastic. I always have 20 kinds of glue in my van (I’m a handyman and use it all the time) and glued it in with JB-Weld and it hasn’t moved a bit in 2-years of use.

Other then that glitch the Bushman has been a very good and tough knife. It can be made into a spear, batons well and is very tough. watch some of the U-Tube videos showing how Cold Steel beats the heck out of their knifes. They take some serious abuse and keep going.

The Bushman was under $30.00

I’d rather have an American knife.

If the knife will be left in your rucksack / day bag, the sheath is a bit bulky. I’ve made a cardboard ‘sheath’, folding the material over and duct taping a BIC lighter on one end, the other side a diamond sharpening stone. All secured with a 1″ band of Gorilla tape (a small amount of wrap for other projects). If you want you can add other items but you get the idea – a bag knife with extra ‘toolage’. :^)