How To Choose The Best All Around Survival Knife
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Picking the best all around survival knife for your specific needs can be a scary task. The key is seeing how you will be using the knife and knowing the environment you will be utilizing it in.
Will you be skinning game? Then you may probably like the old Green River Buffalo Skinner which has been in use for close to 200 years. Will you be chopping or batoning wood? If so, then a kukri or other similar thick bladed knife will be all together.
In the near past not too long ago almost all men carried what today can be considered as a survival knife. It might have been a hunting utility knife or a skinning knife but few men went without a knife on their belt.
Now it is easier to find men that carry them than those that are scared of knives. Times have changed. It is a sad change. I feel that anymore many men do not see a need to carry a knife. They have a false sense of security. There are still plenty of good reasons for you to carry a good survival knife on your person or in your bag. Please do not be one of those that have been lulled into satisfaction.
I believe that every man and woman ought to have a good survival knife. Owning a survival knife is not only for men, either. When it matters, there is no sense in you owning a piece of junk that will not perform. You should also make it the best knife that you can get. Just because you can afford it I am not saying you should go off and buy a $1000 custom survival knife, and why hold back? If you decide a $150 blade is the best choice. Are you willing to risk your life on no blade at all or an inferior blade? Staying alive is just too important.
If you could only choose one knife for a desperate situation your survival knife should be the one knife you would carry.
How do you choose the best all around survival knife?
Factors to consider while choosing the best all around the survival knife are type of blade, type of tang, blade thickness, the type of steel used to make the blade, length of the blade, and of course how you will use the blade. For the sake of brevity I am going to assume that you will carry just one versatile knife that can perform several different tasks.
A survival knife blade should be between four and six inches in length as a general rule. Without becoming a burden this length allows the knife to be versatile. You will still be able to control the knife well at four to six inches, in situations like skinning game. By all means get a machete or axe to supplement your pack if you need a longer blade. To be an ideal choice a long (over 6 inches) survival knife just not versatile enough.
Smooth and serrated are the main two types of blades for survival knives. Just not as easily but smooth blades can do just about everything that serrated can do. For example, a serrated blade is much better at sawing through flesh or cutting through a seat-belt. A serrated blade is not so easy to sharpen though. A smooth blade will be just fine for most survival purposes.
The part of the knife blade that attaches to the handle is the tang. The tang can be half, full, or the push tang which is basically nonexistent. The best is obviously the full tang. It is the same length and width of the handle and is a continuation of the knife blade. The tang material is reduced in width in a half tang but still extends to the end to the full length of the knife. Half tang is slightly less desirable than full tang. The push tang is not nearly as strong as a full or half tang knife and is utilized in cheaper survival knives. If you can avoid the push tang please do so.
A thickness of 1/8 inch to 1/4 inch works well for a survival knife, for many people. A thicker one is too difficult to use for fine work and a thinner blade might be too flexible for your needs. Using the knife is the most ideal way to tell if its thickness will meet your needs.
Types of Steel
To consider when choosing a knife there are two basic types of steel; stainless steel and carbon steel. There are very many different kinds to choose from within each type. Than carbon steel, stainless steel is of course more stain and rust resistant. The thing that matters the most is how well the blade is tempered no matter what kind of steel the knife is made of.
For your consideration I have listed a few of my favourite survival knives.
A few good survival knives:
An excellent choice for a survival knife is the Gerber LMF II Infantry is.
- One of my favourite Gerber survival knife is the Gerber LMF II Infantry. Its blade is 3/16 inch thick and 4.84 inches long. It is made of 12C27 Stainless Steel which is a great choice for a survival knife. To get the steel hard the people at Gerber truly know how to temper the steel properly so that it will hold its edge well. It has a metal butt cap that is intended to break glass. The serrated, non-reflective blade easily cuts through seat belts. The low profile sheath comes with a built in sharpener. Another great feature is that it has lashing holes built into the handle to convert it into a spear. I greatly recommend this durable, military grade survival knife as the best all around survival knife .
The Ka-Bar Becker BK2 Campanion is a workhorse that will help you survive.
- For a carbon steel blade the Ka-Bar Becker BK2 Campanion is a good choice. This knife has one of the most durable and sturdiest blades that you can find in a survival knife. It is made of 1095 cro-van steel and ¼ inch thick. You will soon come to appreciate this 5 ½ inch blade which is a workhorse. It is designed by Ethan Becker, a chef and survivalist. This knife is able to fillet a fish and cut down branches with ease. I recommend that you clean the blade and oil it down with a vegetable oil after every use, because this is a carbon steel knife.
The SOG Seal Pup Elite is an incredible knife.
- Another good choice is SOG Seal Pup Elite Knife. It is made out of AUS8 stainless steel that has been appropriately tempered (heat treated) so that it will remain sharp. This knife has a 4.85-inch long, 3/16 inch serrated blade. The knife is extremely lightweight (5.4 ounces) yet incredibly sturdy. To give it a good contoured fit the handle has finger insets. It accompanies with a tactical Kydex sheath which does not absorb water. The triple stitched sheath accompanies a front pocket that is an ideal size for a small sharpening stone or flashlight such as the surefire elite.
Best All Around Survival Knife – Conclusion
Regardless of what knife you choose, even though you are comfortable with it I suggest that you use it as often as you can so that you get familiar with it. It ought to be a companion to you so that when the time comes that you need it.