Best Survival Knife Reviews 2023

A survival knife is an essential item for the adventurous ones; the ones who love spending time in nature and unsound environments or just fulfilling daily tasks that require chopping or crafting. A sharp blade and strong handle could be the only solution in a life-threatening situation. A survival knife is also a basic item during hiking or any outdoor activity that takes place in an unfriendly setting. After analyzing multiple products, we’ve picked five models from some of the best survival knife brands on the market. Let’s take a look at the products that we’ve chosen!
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Blade Length
Our Top Choice
Fallkniven A1 Survival Knife
Fallkniven started as a small family business in the 1980s, and nowadays is the official supplier of the Royal Swedish House, being the leading producer of stainless steel knives.
The VG-10 stainless steel blade is efficient and necessary for outdoor activities such as hunting, dressing or botching the prey, and chopping.
One customer complained that the sheath of the knife isn’t made of a quality material and doesn’t have an elegant design.
12.8 ounces
Laminated VG10 steel
6.3 inches
Solid Kraton handle
Best Value
Buck Knives 119 Special Survival Knife
Buck is an American brand specialized in knives and blades. Starting to make knives at the beginning of the last century, today Buck has grown into a large-scale business.
The 0119 Special Buck Knife managed to perpetuate the classical aspect of a fixed blade knife, having an elegant aluminum and Phenolic handle.
One customer said the handle becomes slick in the rain.
7.5 ounces
420HC Steel
6 inches
Phenol and Aluminium
Genuine leather
ESEE Knives Laser Strike Survival Knife
ESEE has become famous due to creating survival knives inside the Randall’s Adventure Survival Training Company. Nowadays, its knives are used in real war areas by military forces.
The blade is extremely powerful, being made of carbon 1095 steel. It is a solid camp knife, but its dimensions are not uncomfortable.
The material of the blade is likely to rust and stain if it’s not properly cleaned and lubricated.
14.4 ounces
Carbon 1095 steel
4.75 inches
Ka-Bar Campanion Survival Knife
Ka-Bar is a brand that dates back to 1800, being a brand with the one of the longest traditions in knife manufacturing.
The 1095 cro-van steel blade cuts through anything, due to the multi-functional 20-degree blade angle. The knife comes with a durable black sheath made of nylon.
One customer said the knife is too heavy for a secure usage.
16 ounces
1095 cro-van steel
5.5 inches
Glass-filled nylon
Gerber LMF II Infantry Survival Knife
Gerber started out in 1939 as a small business of handmade cutlery. Nowadays, it is globally recognized as being one of the most trusted names in the knives industry.
This knife is extremely versatile, in spite of the fact that it was designed for combat missions. It has an original shock absorption system, which is efficient for cutting very tough surfaces.
One customer complained about the heaviness of the knife in comparison to its small dimensions.
11.2 ounces
Stainless Steel
4.5 inches

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What is the Best Survival Knife?

A survival knife represents an investment that could make the difference between life and death. Therefore, you should choose a quality product which best suits your travelling/exploring or everyday needs. For instance, you should pay attention to the material of the blade and its thickness. Now, let's take a look at our five contenders.
Our Top Choice
The Fallkniven A 1 Survival Knife represents a long-lasting choice, having a sharp blade made of durable and waterproof steel, a rubber-like handle that allows a firm grip, and a light weight that allows you to easily maneuver it. If you’re interested in a professional survival knife that’s used by the Swedish Air Force, check out the Fallkniven F1 Survival Knife. It’s a great multi-functional knife, suitable not only for professional militaries, but also for civilians. It has an overall length of 8 1/3" and it comes with a leather sheath.

Fallkniven A1 Survival Knife - Fixed Blade Knife with Satin Spear Point Blade and Kraton Handle

Since the late 1980s, when it was just a small family business, Fallkniven has put a high accent on creating products that suit the needs of the customers and by offering quality for a lifetime. Their products are well-tested before being put into use, at the Lulea University of Technology. Nowadays, they have specialized and widened their range of knives, producing folding knives, fixed blade knives, chef’s knives, a limited edition of knives, and also sharpeners and other accessories.

The Fallkniven A1 Survival Knife is a choice that might save your life (or come in handy during a hunting trip). Ergonomic, made of strong stainless steel, and weatherproof, this survival knife will perfectly fit your clutch and you’ll be able to use it easily due to its light weight.

Let’s see some of its most important characteristics:
  • Sharp blade made of VG-10 stainless steel.
  • It’s versatile, suitable for both heavy usage or daily duties.
  • The drop point of the blade has a satin finish.
  • Weatherproof technology.
  • The Zytel sheath can be used to attach the knife to your belt.
Best Value
The Special Fixed Blade Knife from Buck Knives is a wise and elegant investment, being a strong and durable collection knife, due to its elegant appearance. It has a lifetime warranty, a sharp steel blade, and a firm handle, ready to be used by passionate hunters. If you’re looking for a knife specially designed for surviving in rough conditions, take a look at the Buck Selkirk Survival Knife. It’s made of 420HC steel and can be used as a hammer, due to its strong rear. It’s also incredibly light, for such a powerful knife, weighing only 12.6 ounces.

Buck Knives Special Fixed Blade Knife - Leather Sheath and Phenolic Handle – 2 Colors Available

Buck is a well-known brand on the market for survival knives and other outdoor accessories for those passionate about hunting, fishing, and beyond. This brand has gained tremendous popularity due to the Paul Bos Heat Treatment, which amplifies the sharpness and durability of the blade. The procedure has 3 important steps that assure the durability of the blade: heating, freezing, and reheating. Buck has also created a line of collection knives, for avid collectors.

The Buck 0119 Special Fix Blade Knife is one of the first models designed by the company, and it was initially created as a hunting knife. It has a tough 420HC steel blade and has great edge retention. Besides being a powerful tool, it’s also extremely elegant due to the classical handle, which is available in 2 colors (Black/Silver and Wood/Brass).

Let’s see some of its most relevant features:
  • Tough 420HC steel blade.
  • Great edge retention due to Edge2x technology.
  • Handle made of selected materials, manually modelled.
  • Light weight, only 7.5 ounces.
  • It includes a natural leather sheath.
The ESEE Fixed Blade Knife is the perfect choice for camp-related activities because it’s tough, and it has a durable blade and comfortable handle. It weighs only 14.4 ounces and it comes with a Kydex sheath, a belt clip, and handle removal washer. If you’re interested in a heavier and more solid knife, check out the ESEE Survival Knife which comes with a grey micarta handle. Made of 1095 carbon steel and with a black powder-coated blade, this model is ideal for heavy use.

ESEE Knives Laser Strike Fixed Blade Knife - Canvas Micarta Handles and Kydex Sheath

ESEE is a famous brand on the market for survival knives and other survival tools. This brand used to produce military knives for special operations; nowadays its knives are used in combat areas, saving the lives of soldiers each day. They are also versatile items, suitable for many outdoors activities.

The ESEE LSP Laser Strike Survival Knife is one of the top choices when it comes to hard duty knives, having a 1095 steel blade and a handle that includes Ferrocerium fire-starting flint and tinder tabs. The product has included a Kydex sheath, a belt clip plate, and a handle removal washer.

We’ll mention some of its most valuable features:
  • Powerful blade made of carbon 1095 steel.
  • Comfortable micarta handle.
  • Light weight, only 14.4 ounces.
  • The price includes a Kydex sheath, a belt clip, and a handle removal washer.
  • The handle includes Ferrocerium fire-starting flint and tinder tabs.
The Ka-Bar Becker Campanion knife is the perfect choice for camp-related activities, because it’s tough, has a durable blade, and a versatile handle for multiple chopping positions. It has a sharp and thick blade, made of 1095 cro-van steel and a strong Grivory handle. If you’re looking for a collection knife, the KA-BAR US Marine Corps Fighting Knife is the right choice for you. Being one of the first knives designed by Ka-Bar for the US Marine Corps, this knife has a long tradition and it still remains a classy and durable choice.

Ka-Bar Becker Campanion Fixed Blade Knife - Hard Shell Black Nylon Sheath, Made in USA

Ka-Bar is a company which has developed a wide range of outdoor knives, from survival knives to fishing or hunting ones. Their products are highly recognized not only among military groups, but also among adventure-lovers. This brand began in1800, when the first group of cutlers from New England started a small business by mending used knives. Since then, it has developed original techniques for improving the endurance of the blade and for having a polished design for their knives.

The Ka-Bar Becker Campanion Knife made of 1095 cro-van steel, is ideal for a wide variety of activities related to camping or any other outdoor adventures. Its versatility is incredible, thus this lightweight knife is suitable from everything related to camping, such as cutting firewood or hunting. The Grivory handle perfectly fits into your hand, allowing you a strong grip.

Let’s enumerate some of its most relevant features:
  • Versatile blade, suitable for any outdoor activities.
  • Strong grip due to the Grivory handle.
  • It comes with a nylon sheath with glass filling that will keep the blade sharp.
  • It is a lightweight knife, but also a durable one.
  • The 20-degree blade angle make it multifunctional.
The Gerber LMF II Survival Knife is suitable for anything, from cutting through rough materials to just chopping firewood. It comes with a lifetime warranty and its shock absorption system will keep you safe in any situation. Additionally, it’s available in 3 color options. However, if your budget isn’t very flexible, you might want to take a look at the Prodigy Survival Knife from the same brand, which also comes with a serrated edge and is made from 420HC stainless steel.

Gerber LMF II Survival Knife - Glass-Filled Nylon Handle and Ballistic Nylon Sheath, 3 Colors Available

Gerber is an American brand, launched in the 1930s in Oregon, USA. It has gained its popularity by being solution-oriented and by designing products that actually appeal to the needs of those who are in combat areas. Their products are globally spread and recognized, being used mainly by hunters and military officers. As a result of a lifetime investment in designing and improving its production techniques, Gerber has managed to create qualitative, innovative, and reliable knives and to broaden its horizons by starting the production of multi-tools, axes, handsaws, machetes, headlamps, flashlights, and survival kits.

The Gerber LMF Survival Knife is extremely versatile. In spite of the fact that it was originally designed for the air forces, it is also suitable for simple tasks, such as cutting firewood. It has a special shock absorption system, which can even protect you from electrical shocks. The stainless steel blade will last over time and its thickness makes it perfect for cutting through tough surfaces.

Take a look at this knife's main features:
  • Safety system provided by the shock absorption design.
  • Highly versatile product.
  • It comes with a fire retardant sheath.
  • It is available in three colors: black, green, and coyote.
  • It’s perfect for cutting through tough surfaces, such as air plane skeleton.

How Do I Choose the Best Survival Knife?

With all the disasters going on around you, it's good to keep your survival equipment as close to you as possible. A quality survival knife will get you out of many difficult situations. It's great for cutting, splitting, food prep, fire making, hunting, and more.

If you're an adventurous type of person, and you like spending time in the wilderness, a survival knife shouldn't be missing from your backpack. It can truly be a lifesaver and will help you get over difficult situations you meet. You should use a knife sharpener before you travel, so you'll have your survival knife sharp and ready to use in an emergency. On the other hand, it's always good to have a second choice, so a tactical pen will also be of great help, especially if you find yourself in dangerous situations.

You should know that a survival knife is much more than a hunting knife as it can be used in several situations, and it's an absolute must for every survival kit.
There is a wide range of prices for survival knives, starting from as low as $50 to as high as $200. For around $50, you can get a survival knife that has a steel blade with excellent strength, good for piercing and cutting in tight places. If your budget is larger, for around $200 you can get a survival knife that passes all international standards for strength and personal security capabilities.

A cheap survival knife is never a good idea because it will disappoint you when you need it the most. As survival knives are most used in difficult situations and extreme conditions, it is good to pick one that can be used in any tactical situation.
Picture yourself in a dangerous situation or out in the wilderness. A good survival knife can help you pass through that easily.

There are a few things to consider when choosing the right survival knife, as it has to incorporate several key features.
  • Blade Design - The blade's design determines if a knife is suitable for survival use. You can choose between straight or serrated blades. Straight blades are great for chopping wood, and they're easy to sharpen. On the other hand, a serrated blade can be used for cutting rope but can be sharpened only with a special sharpener. In the end, this is a matter of personal preference.
  • Type of Knife - You can choose between survival knives with fixed blades or folding survival knives. Folding knives can break easily in some situations, while the ones with fixed blades are more durable. However, if you need a survival knife to fit in your pocket and carry around with you throughout the day, it's good to consider a folding survival knife.
  • Blade Edge - Straight-cutting edges are designed to be used in most situations and can feature either a negative, positive, or neutral rake angle.
  • Blade Length - Blade length is a critical factor when choosing a survival knife. A blade of 8 - 10 inches is great for chopping but might be difficult to master in small precision work. A blade of 3 - 5 inches is great for delicate works, while blade lengths between 6 and 7 inches are a good compromise between long and short blade lengths.
  • Blade Steel - You can choose between stainless steel and high carbon steel when it comes to survival knives. High carbon steel is tougher than stainless steel and more durable.
  • Blade Grind - There are several types of blade grinds when it comes to survival knives, but it's good to consider saber and flat grinds as they can be used in more situations.
  • Handle Material - The handle's material is an important aspect and should be tough enough in order to prevent cracking and breaking.
Construction and Design
The way the blade of a survival knife is shaped influences its functionality. If a kitchen knife is shaped in such a way in which it cuts tomatoes and cucumbers perfectly, the same knife can't be used in the woods at all.

When it comes to survival knives, the tang is also an important part of it, and it's great to go for a knife with full tang, rather than partial or rat's tail tang.

As we said, there are different edge grinds when it comes to survival knives. Even if saber and flat grinds are great, there are additional different models out there. Survival knives with hallow grinds have a very sharp edge and will cut things easily; however, the edge is not that durable and you should take care of it properly. Convex grinds are the opposite of hallow grinds; they're fairly sharp and suitable for chopping and heavy use.

Speaking of blade shapes, you should know there are different shapes when it comes to your survival knife's shape. You can choose between spear, clip, and bevel point. Clip point means that the knife has a fine tip which is good for picking and digging. A spear point is the most common shape of blade, and it's great for cutting but not that good for delicate tasks.
Performance and Ease of Use
In order to have your survival knife for a long period of time, you should take care of it properly.

Keeping it clean will definitely expand its life span and keep harmful bacteria away from it. Also, you should wipe it down before you put it back in your backpack. You should wash it with water and soap and make sure there's no dirt left on it. After you've washed it, dry both the blade and the handle thoroughly.

You should know that if the blade of your survival knife is made of stainless steel, it is advisable not to put your fingers on the blade often as this could lead to corrosion. Similarly, if you want to keep its blade in good condition, you should never use abrasive solutions to clean it.

Another thing you should do to maintain your survival knife is to keep it lightly oiled in order to prevent friction and to keep it sharp because it will be of no use if it's not sharp.

Get the Best Survival Knife of 2023!

If you’re passionate about travelling and going into the woods or jungle to explore, choosing a survival knife is a crucial step in developing a safe future in this field. Pick your favorite survival knife and make your passion come true!

Our Top Choice
Fallkniven A1 Survival Knife
Best Value
Buck Knives 119 Special Survival Knife
ESEE Knives Laser Strike Survival Knife
Ka-Bar Campanion Survival Knife
Gerber LMF II Infantry Survival Knife