If you find yourself in an unexpected survival situation, what kind of knife would you want at your side? Honestly, you would probably be happy to have ANY knife with you. But obviously since you are reading this, you are someone that plans ahead, and you don’t want just any old knife, you want the best knife possible to well, survive with.
The interactive chart of knives below and the analysis that follows will help you decide what the best survival knife is for you.
We all have our personal preferences on what makes a good knife to go camping or hiking with, but in an extreme situation you want the absolute best survival knife possible, and so we’re here to help.
Ultimate Survival Knife Comparison Guide and Key
Overall Length (inches)
Blade Length (inches)
|Ka-Bar Becker BK2 Companion Fixed Blade Knife||10.5||5.5||16||1095 cro-van steel||$$||4.7|
|Gerber LMF II Black Infantry Knife||10.59||4.84||11.67||420HC Stainless||$$||4.6|
|Gerber Bear Grylls Survival Series Ultimate Knife||10||4.8||11.2||High Carbon Stainless Steel||$||4.4|
|Fallkniven Pilot Survival Knife||8.33||3.8||8.4||Laminated VG10||$$$||5|
|SOG Field Pup||8.5||4||4||AUS8 stainless steel||$$||4.5|
|Cold Steel SRK Kraton Handle||10.75||6||8.2||Japanese Aus 8A Stainless||$$||4.4|
|Schrade Extreme Survival Fixed Blade Knife||12||6.4||22||400 Series Stainless Steel||$$||4.6|
|Mora Companion Heavy Duty MG Knife||8.86||3.97||4.76||Carbon Steel||$||5|
|Fallkniven A1 Survival Knife||11.13||6.38||12||Laminated VG10||$$$$||5|
|Helle Temagami Carbon Steel Knife||9||3.5||5.4||Laminated Stainless Steel||$$$$||4.4|
|ESEE-6 Plain Black Blade||11.75||6.5||11.8||1095 Carbon Steel - 57 Rc||$$$||5|
|Buck 65 Hood Punk Knife||11||5.62||7.4||5160 Carbon Steel||$$$||5|
|Spyderco Bushcraft G-10 PlainEdge Knife||8.75||3.9||7.75||O-1 carbon steel||$$$||4.8|
|M-tech Usa Full Tang Jungle Survival Knife||12.25||7||?||440 stainless steel||$||4.6|
|SOG Seal Team Knife with Kydex Sheath||12.3||7||10.3||AUS8 stainless steel||$$||4.8|
Included in the matrix are 8 columns:
- Knife pictures
- Knife brand and name/model – (click to view more details or to purchase)
- Overall Length – Combined blade and handle length in inches.
- Blade Length – inches
- Weight – knife weight in ounces
- Blade Material – the metal used in the blade
- Price – These are approximate prices on Amazon.com. These change frequently based on availability, special promotions, and more. But generally speaking: $ = under $40, $$ = $40 to $100, $$$ = $100 to $200, $$$$ = $200+
- Rating – The average user rating on Amazon.com. This can be very helpful in deciding if people are satisfied with their purchase.
*Click on any of the columns to sort the data to help make your decision easier
Want to See Even More Knives? Click Here to See Our Full List of Nearly 50 Knives
The knives included on this chart actually only begin to scratch the surface. So many manufacturers and models exist that there is no way that we could have listed everything. However, many exceptional knives are included at every price range and from a wide variety of quality makers.
Most of the knives included are fixed blades which many feel is an essential criteria for choosing a proper survival knife. However, you will indeed notice a couple of folding knives that also make good options.
What is a Survival Knife?
A survival knife is the essential tool that can be used in the event you get lost in the wilderness or involved in some other extreme outdoor environment. In the event that you are lost in the wilderness the proper knife can truly be a life saver to help you build shelter, start a fire, hunt, prepare food, dig, clear paths, and so much more.
Do you really think the castaways from LOST would have survived without John Locke’s suitcase full of knives including a Ka-Bar Full-sized USMC, a Master Bowie knife, and a Spyderco Harpy? Even Hollywood knows that you need a knife to survive when you get “lost”!
In general, a full-tang, fixed blade is going to be more reliable and less likely to break than a folding knife or partial tang. Having a full-tang knife (metal blade runs the full length to the end of the handle) will help ensure the knife can handle extreme pressure or usage without the risk of breakage.
However, a solid folding knife or partial tang knife is more likely to be in everyone’s price range and still provide many of the benefits that perhaps an “ideal” survival knife would.
How To Find a Knife That Meets Your Needs
Above you will find an interactive comparison chart of many of top survival knives on the market today. But before you start salivating over your next metal companion, lets take a look at what’s on this guide. Overall, rather than taking some guys advice on YouTube about what the best knife is, look at the options and criteria to help you make the appropriate buying decision.
So, above you will find the Ultimate Survival Knife Comparison Guide to help you find the perfect knife for you.
Review of the Top 5 Survival Knives
Honestly, most of the knives included above are excellent options; but there are a few that we just need to point out as our favorites. Below you will find our top 5 picks for overall best survival knife along with more a more detailed review of each. So, pull up your camping chair, lets dig into these options.
ESEE-6 Plain Black Blade with Grey Removable Micarta Handles
Based on overall rating, quality of blade, size, and reputation of the maker, the ESEE-6 is one of the best survival knives that anyone could own. With an overall length of 11.75 inches and a blade length of 6.5 inches this knife is one of the larger knives that we reviewed (although there are some larger ones in the chart above). The size is sufficient for chopping branches and clearing overgrowth, and you may even be able to leave your hatchet at home with this big guy by your side.
The weight of 11.8 ounces and durability of the blade makes the ESEE-6 a true tool and not just something you can whittle sticks with. The blade is made of sturdy 1095 Carbon Steel and has a thickness of 0.188 inches.
This fixed, full-tang blade will not only help you survive, but thrive in the wilderness. At a price of $160, its on the higher end; but you get a quality knife.
ESEE knives are known for their quality of design and workmanship. The Randall Adventure & Training company has been selling knives since 1997. The knife currently has received only 5 star ratings from those that have reviewed it on Amazon. So, if you are looking for a large, quality survival knife, don’t just take our word for it, take note of all the existing users that have publicly rated it as well.
Mora Companion Heavy Duty MG Knife
The Mora Companion MG Knife is a smaller knife with a more attractive price tag. At around $21 on Amazon, this is a solid tool that just about anyone could add to their collection. Although, it doesn’t provide the benefits of chopping or cutting larger items like a bigger knife does, it does offer you a low entry point for a great knife.
The Mora Companion is 8.86 inches overall with a blade length of 3.97 inches. The blade thickness is 0.125″ and the blade is made of Carbon Steel hardened to an RC of 59-60. Not only do those who have reviewed this fixed blade knife like it, they RAVE about it. The tang is longer in this newer model Mora knife and the blade is razor sharp right out of the box.
Although smaller, this durable, strong knife will help with your fire-making, batoning wood, or other survival needs.
Buck 65 Hood Punk Knife
Buck Knives have been in business since 1902. So, with over 100 years of experience making, designing, and selling quality knives, it should come as no surprise that one of their creations made our list of top survival knives.
The Buck 65 Hood Punk knife is made of 5160 carbon steel and is a healthy 11 inches long. With a blade length of 5.62 inches, you will have no problems batoning through logs or even using as a basic hunting knife. The full-tang make of this fixed knife is durable and reliable.
The design is similar to its bigger sibling the Buck Hoodlum, but its smaller size compared to the Hoodlum is actually an advantage in many situations. You can comfortably carry this blade at your side in a sheath and still be prepared for any heavy duty tasks required in an extreme situation.
With a price tag of around $113 (see current prices here), its not the cheapest option but also far from the many other high end blades as well. What you get at this middle of the road price is an exceptional knife built for survival situations that has been well tested and positively reviewed by many of your peers.
Ka-Bar Becker BK2 Companion Fixed Blade Knife
The Ka-Bar Becker BK2 Companion is one of the most popular survival knives on the market today. With around 500 reviews on Amazon, this makes it not only well-tried, but also well reviewed. (You can read all those reviews here).
Looking at the knife, you can see why people like it. Not only does it have a nicer design than many of its counterparts, but it’s also built to last. With a blade length of 5.5 inches and overall length of 10.5 inches you are getting a solid grip with plenty of blade to build, cut, chop, and dominate any survival situation that might come your way.
Made of 1095 Cro-van steel its perfect for preparing kindling and skinning dinner; whether that’s potatoes or “fresh” meat. Overall, you are getting a reliable companion blade that will hold its own in any outdoor situation.
But one reason it’s so popular is the price. With the quality design, craftsmanship, size, and durability you would expect something on the higher end. But for less than $70 you can pick up this great survival tool.
Fallkniven A1 Survival Knife
However, what you get is a 11.13 inch master tool; much more than just a camp kitchen utensil. Need to split some logs or clear the camp area? Consider it done. With a blade length of 6.38 inches and 0.24 inches thick, this is one of the largest and thickest blade options we reviewed. The laminated VG-10 stainless modified spear point blade with black CeraCoat 8H coating is sturdy and can handle a full-days work. Weighing in at a solid 12 ounces, you can feel comfortable that is can handle any extreme situation.
Fallkniven is a Swedish based manufacturer of knives known for the outdoor and military products. For its size, durability, and quality of construction this knife would be an excellent choice for anyone in the outdoors.
Now that you have seen the options and reviewed our top picks for the best survival knife on the market, its up to you to pick what meets your needs, is in your price range, and overall help you gear up for your outdoor adventures.
As you know, new knives are being created all the time by new and old manufacturers. For that reason, the comparison chart above will be updated as new knives need to be added to the list. Or if you feel like we missed a superior blade that needs to be included on the list, let me know in the comments below!