A survival knife is a first and foremost tool in every competent outdoorsman’s tool collection.
Whether you need it for the overnight stay in the woods or it’s your only tool after getting lost in a forest, the knife you choose for your outdoor kit can make life more comfortable or even save your life.
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Survival Knife Buying Guide
Although any knife could be beneficial in a survival situation, some knives will hold up better than others.
When searching for a new knife or buy, use these tips to pick the right one for you.
What’s the Ideal Survival Knife Blade Length?
The blade length of an outdoor survival knife can vary between four inches to eight inches.
Even though many survival professionals in this field say the best length is roughly between four and six inches for the blade, it’s mainly a question of preference.
A shorter blade will give you more flexibility to complete smaller jobs, but a longer blade will provide you with more power and durability throughout the life of the blade.
Fixed vs. Folding Knives: Which One is Good for You?
A fixed blade knife has no moving parts and is less likely to break, whereas a folding knife can’t withstand stronger force and will succumb to pressure by breaking.
While this is basic reasoning, since many folders are strong and reliable, it’s a good rule of thumb to follow when researching and deciding on which knife to bring with you out into the wilderness.
Many outdoorsmen will take along two knives: one fixed blade knife and one folding knife for smaller tasks.
If you’re serious about being prepared for anything, two knives are the way to go. But first and foremost, you should focus on a dedicated survival knife.
Straight vs. Serrated: Which is the Best for You?
The final point that you should take into consideration in deciding on the perfect survival knife is if the blade should be straight or serrated.
People will tell you many different points that will weigh in on each side, but this is also just a matter of preference.
Serrated blades are great for cutting through thick items like rope or branches, but these serrated edges make it very difficult to sharpen the blade.
A fully-serrated edge should never be used because the straight edge will have a use in every situation.
That’s why your only two options are a partially serrated blade or an entire straight edge blade.
Straight edges are cleaner, easier to sharpen while out in the wild, and also doesn’t have the limitations that fully serrated blades will give you.
Keep in mind that the blade that you ultimately decide on will depend on how comfortable you are with knives and what you plan to use it for.