Considerations for a Survival Knife

When looking for a survival knife the considerations are not going to be the same as for an EDC.  Your survival knife isn’t going to be on your body every day, only when you are taking a camping trip, hunting, or even just stored with your survival supplies or bug-out-bag.  Your survival knife should not be something you purchase impulsively, it is going to be the most important piece of gear you have in your survival plan.  Here are few things to keep in mind while you are shopping for a survival knife.


When looking at a knife for survival you need to consider the multitude of tasks that you will use it for, and its limitations.  There are no shortage of survival knives on the market that offer features like storage compartments, saw backsides, compasses, etc.  But most of these knives have been marketed around their add-on features and not the fundamental purposes of a survival knife.  You need a knife that is first and foremost a knife, you can get a saw, a plastic case for matches, and a compass that are not attached to your knife.  I recommend looking for a full-tang knife with a 6-inch blade above all other factors.

Steel Quality

Your budget will ultimately dictate the quality of knife you are able to get, but steel quality is much more important in a survival knife that will be used to baton wood rather than an EDC knife that will be used to open boxes or for self-defense.  The two most important factors to consider for steel quality in a survival knife are probably going to be edge retention and corrosion resistance.  If your budget allows for it I would look for blades made of M390 or CPM 20CV.  These steels are among the top 5 in both edge retention and corrosion resistance.


It might sound silly but the sheath is a very important factor to consider when looking at a survival knife.  I spent plenty of money on a Benchmade survival knife that had a quality blade and good design, only to lose it while hunting because of a poor-quality sheath.  Don’t make the same mistake.  Make sure the sheath has good retention.


Don’t rush into your purchase of a survival knife, or count on your EDC knife, do a little research and get the best knife that fits your budget.  After all, this is a knife that you are going to be relying on for your survival.

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