Survival Knife

From the crudest cutting utensils of ancient times, to the precision blades of today, the knife is often referred to as the #1 tool for survival. Pocket knives, military blades, crazy contraptions that look like they are meant for killing Zombies, knives are everywhere. Ask a survivalist what one item they couldn’t live without, and more often than not they will tell you their knife.

Personally I am a blade junkie; I have a wide variety of cutting tools in my collection.

So what do I carry?

The SOG Seal Pup Elite

SOG Seal Pup Elite

My #1 choice of survival knives is the SOG Seal Pup Elite; if I were stuck in the wilderness and could only bring one knife, I would definitely choose my SOG.

With all of that said, I tend to use cheaper blades for day-to-day cutting. Yes I carry my SOG for emergencies (and I do use it for certain tasks)….. but I worry less about damaging the blade when I use a $10 – $15 one for daily work. Believe it or not there are a lot of very good knives out there for under $15, specifically the Morakniv Companion Fixed Blade Outdoor Knife.

The Good Old Swiss Army Knife

Swiss Army Knife

I tend to use my Swiss army knife for just about everything. From cutting rope, opening boxes, and daily chores, to being my go-to knife when fishing, this little thing can take a beating.

A Swiss Army knife generally has a variety of blades, various tools and other useful gadgets.  At one time there were two companies that are allowed to feature the Swiss Army Cross Logo; Victorinox or Wenger.

Recently Victorinox bought out Wenger making them the only manufacture to feature the Swiss Army Cross Logo


Letherman Multitools

Although I don’t think of this as a typical knife, I do carry a Multitool which has a couple of different blades in it.

Popular Multitool Brands include:

  • Gerber
  • SOG
  • Leatherman

Husky Utility Blades

Husky Utility Knife

This little blade comes in very handy. I carry a couple of these in my truck and a few in my tool bucket. I break it out when I’m out on a job site to cut just about anything.

You can find them at just about any hardware store for under $10 including multiple blades.

What Knives to stay away from?

Rambo StyleSurvival Knives – When a company markets their blade as a “survival knife” they are probably not worth the weight in your bag.

Stay away from the ones that have a hollow handle filled with so-called survival gear. The handles on these knives suck and are guaranteed to break when you need them the most.

Fancy Blades – If it looks like it belongs in a movie, chances are it’s of little use in an emergency situation.

It may look cool as part of your collection, just don’t count on it to get you out of any sticky situations.


No matter what you carry, make sure you take care of your knife. A sharp knife is far safer than a dull one. When my blade is dull I sharpen it, if it beyond repair I get rid of it.

Looking for a Good SOG? This is what I carry…..

Shirts of Liberty

OFFGRID Survival book



  1. A knife is a personal thing. My neighbor asked me what knife to buy her husband, and ended up talking with him about it instead of just buying one for him. The debates go on, fixed vs. folder, partially serrated vs. plain, handle material, steel, blade configuration. They make a lot of different knives because everyone is different. Personally, EDC – Kershaw Ken Onion Shallot with ZDP-189. Hunting – Buck 119. Fishing/Deboning – Victorinox 47513. Kid’s first knife – Gerber 44576 lock back. Multi-tool – Leatherman (I’ve got two different models.) Truck knife – one I made from a metal file in high school. Celebrate diversity! (I’m about to google Mora…)

  2. What multi-tool is pictured with the article above? I’ve never found a muli-tool I like enough to carry every day. I prefer simple single blade folders, preferably with a partially serrated blade. But when it comes to packing up my Bug Out Bag, I understand that a multi-tool is a must have. Any recommendations?

  3. Don’t know if anyone has seen that gerber teamed up with Bear Grils from man vs. Wild. I received the fixed blade as a fathers day gift. Its a really nice blade and it has a bunch of survival perks.

  4. … bear griles fixed blade has a sharpener on the back of the sheath, a flint stick for fires, full tang that at the bottom is shaped for use as a hammer, a whistle, and a pocket survival guide(more like a survival cheat sheet). The only thing that isn’t designed into the knife/sheath is the pocket guide. A lot of non-gimmiky additions for $60. I love the way my hand holds it too. I’d recomend for novice or veteren.

  5. I have a gerber bear grylls and a kabar becker bk2 for my bug out bag. and I prefer the BK2. guaranteed to last forever basically. sure the powder coating will come off, but who cares about looks when you’re surviving.

  6. I got the gerber Bear Grylls Survival Series Ultimate Knife… I love it… This knife has a good feel to it….
    It features an ergonomic grip for comfortable handling and a dependable stainless steel blade with a versatile serrated edge. Additionally, the knife and military-grade nylon sheath are packed with innovative survival tools, including a fire starter, a diamond blade sharpener, an emergency whistle, and a pommel….

  7. One brand I am not hearing much about is Cold Steel. I think their Master Hunter is one of the best GP Knives on the market. I have been looking at their Tomahawks as well.
    I carried a Gunsite folder for a year in Iraq and it never failed me. I would put it up against any folder on the market today! Especially in the San Mai steel! Even today it never leaves my pocket!!!
    Still working on my BoB, but when I get it together it will have my Recon Scout in it. I actually purchased it over a Randall #14. And No, I’m not a Cold steel rep or anything, I have just been impressed with their products. But when it comes to multi-tools, I invested in a Gerber Multi-Plier 800 Legond. Not cheap, but it is SOLID!!

  8. Just came across this site very good content and interesting information. Just one note I came across on knife comments that is bogus was the review of the lmfll, rubber overmolding peeled after a few days. (UH NO FREAKIN WAY DUDE) What did you do light it on fire? Im a lmf user and mines been abused, Ive even taken my old one through the torture tests you can pull up on youtube. It will saw through sheet metal, and go beat the handle to death it never breaks down. Also its a full tang so even after the handles gone youd still be fine.

    Also I bought a Bear Grylls survival knife. I gave this one to my wife for her bug out bag. This is truly a solid knife for the price tag, great blade, sharpner incorperated, whistle, and fire starter. For the 50.00 i put in it I think its a killer value. The one downside I have heard is the hammer head on the back of the knife if used with decent force there have been reports of the handle chipping off or breaking the butt plate..

    Just fyi, i think there is a youtube video on the subject. But on that note I dont know truly what was done to the knife off camera. If your worried take a look at the lmfll or there is also a smaller version with a great sheath with multiple mounting options called the Gerber Prodigy tanto. Pretty cool blade..

  9. One word come to mind for the ultimate knife… BUSSE. These knives are amazing! Busse knives are not inexpensive but how many knives do you know that can bust through wood, brick and steel pipe and not break? They hold a fantastic edge and the balance and ergonomics are second to none. Once you try one, you will be hooked.

  10. I have a Victorinox (swiss army) multitool and Cold Steel TiLite for EDC. The multitool has been with me for almost 10 years now. I agree with the “survival” knife comments. Bought a few as a kid for camping trips. The invariably broke and whatever “supplies” they came with were useless. The TiLite has been the best folder I’ve had, and will open when I draw from my pocket.

  11. I am quite the fan of ColdSteel as well. I personally carry a Rajah III as my EDC and their SRK as my fixed blade. I also carry a kukri and spetsnaz shovel all the time as well. You can never have too many blades or tools while roaming the Swamp.

  12. Two knives…a Mora for camp duty..carving trip wire and snare triggers etc. And…a fighter for those special needs. I have a 3 pound 11″ Bowie style stainless steel blade that can be a machete….a wood splitter…a fighter..a digger..and on and on.
    But the Mora Classic 2 is my go to neck knife.

  13. I agree seal pup or any full tang blade no hollow handels, No USMC K-Bar’s the blades will break unless you get the hardened steel blades they are more expensive but worth the money. BUCK Knives and Gerber are hard to sharpen and don’t seem to hold a edge very long for field dressing, for this I choose the CASE knives thats what they are made for!

  14. I have owned many knives over the years and looking at sheath knives, I have to agree the Mora is a fantastic knife for its low price.
    I have never had any Kabar that held a decent edge for more than a steak dinner before having to re-sharpen it;
    Cold Steel makes a number of great knives, I prefer the Master Hunter as it has performed quite well as a general purpose blade.
    Gerber can be hit-or-miss, they don’t make them any more, but their Yagi has been a great knife, sure the powder coating has worn off some, but I have owned it for 15 years and bring on many camping trips.
    I would not pay a buck for a BUCK;
    ESEE are also very good quality, but I would just as soon spend that kind of money on a Bark River, their Bravo-1 “Field” knife flat out performs, as does their Aurora.
    As Jeff posted above, the knife that best suites you is definitely a personal thing, and I would suggest before buying a knife you go to a number of sporting goods stores, gun shows and such to find something that feels good in your hand, will serve multiple purposes, because there is no such thing as “a single best knife” for every purpose you can think of, but there are some knives that perform well for many purposes. When you find the one or two knives you feel best meet ‘your’ needs, do some research, read reviews, and then buy at the best price you can find.
    Folding knives and multi-tools are another subject; Victorinox, Leatherman, Gerber are all good… whatever floats your boat so to speak…

  15. One name I am not seeing mentioned is Opinel. They are worth mentioning for several reasons. First they produce folding knives in high carbon steel(if you’re a fan of hcs you know how rare that is). Maybe not a big issue to all, but some folks prefer it. Yes it will rust but it also sharpens easier/faster. Secondly they are cheap, in the 10-20 dollar range. Again not an issue if you have a large budget, but for the rest of us a definite plus. Thirdly they come in a variety of sizes and materials(bladewise). Now to keep this comment balanced, yes they do have some drawbacks. Firstly, the locking mechanism they use is a rotating ring. Not the strongest or most modern design for sure. The design does work but I would never trust a folder like I would a fixed blade. Secondly it is a folding knife! Remember this inherent weakness and you should be fine. Thirdly they use traditional materials(wood handles,hcs blades). Some folks like that, some don’t, it all comes down to personal preferance. Fourthly Opinel is a (gulp) french company(cringe). Just kidding! Really it is a very servicable knife, and for the price it can’t be matched.

  16. i don’t see anything about smith & wesson i own more than half a dozen and i would any one of them with me when TSHTF and i payed as little as 20 bucks for some of them

  17. Personally
    I got lucky when I bought my Cold Steel SRK, in carbon v. When they first came out they were on special and I think I paid a little over $40. A great knife. Last one I saw on eBay they wanted $250 for it. For EDC Benchmade Dejavoo, In my BOB I Carry Ontario knife kukri machete, 1095, full tang, they are getting very popular and readily available, for $54. At Ontario knife store. This kukri is great. It will do whatever work need done in the field.

  18. I have had a 5″ Marbles for about 30yrs. It is a high carbon steel blade with a leather washer handle. The blade is now black from a combination of water and deer fat corrosion. I really don’t know how the edge holds up. After cleaning and butchering 2 whitetail bucks it seems to be as sharp as when I started.

    It is a small company from da Yoop (Upper Peninsula) of Michigan. When my Father-in-Law visited the shop in the mid 80s when he bought my knife, they offered him a new knife if they could have his old one. The leather is shriveled and cracked, the blade is black and what was 5″ is now a bit shy of 4″ after cleaning over 100 whitetails. He declined their offer.
    I treasure my Marbles knife. I know it will last another 30 years and be passed on to someone younger.

  19. I have no idea why it is so often ignored, but the obvious answer to the question of the perfect combat knife/survival knife, is the kukri. I have been involved in life and death combat situations on a number of occassions, and I can tell you that the perfect combat knife is one that allows you to terminate your oponent quickly and efficiently. Gutting and skinning is the provence of the pocket knife. The fillet knife speaks for itself. Fire starting is the design of the k-bar, et al, but when your life is at stake, you need a knife that will terminate your enemy now, not when he bleeds out.

    Why do you think it has been the standard for so many years?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.