Recommendation: Survival knife

Discussion in 'General Preparedness Discussion' started by Canuck, Nov 18, 2010.

  1. Canuck

    Canuck Proud Canadian eh!

    Hi, as an ice breaker I would enjoy reading your recommended survival knife under these three monetary categories: (1) <$100 (2) $101 to $200 (3) >$200

    My choices for each category are:

    1) Cold Steel SRK - This was the most popular knife used by American soldiers during the second Iraq war. The blade is the correct shape and length to complete a variety of tasks and now comes in the new CS proprietary steel, San Mai III with a very good price-quality point. Unfortunately, the sheath is poor and the handle is made of moderate quality Kraton.

    2) Fallkniven A1 - This is the official Swedish Army survival knife. The blade is the correct shape and length to complete a variety of tasks and VG-10 is a quality steel used in many Japanese knives. The blade thickness is .25" which makes is very strong for this class of knife. There are few downsides to this knife, but the handle is made of moderate quality Kraton and the sheath is not available in Kydex.

    3) Fehrman First Strike - This knife is made of CPM-3V a true super steel. Fehrman knives are made to the highest standards. The knife blade and shape allow it to complete a variety of tasks and the handle is made of micarta. The sheath is available in both leather and Kydex. The downsides to the knife are it is a high carbon steel, which will require cleaning and oiling after each use and of course the high price $400 without the sheath :eek:
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2010
  2. risabee

    risabee Member

    I think the best survival knife is the one you have with you. :)

  3. dosadi

    dosadi Member

    i have and like the fallkniven knives.

    Truth be told a simple mora and and an old hickory butcher knife are two of my favorite knives.

    I have several blades that tend to be 3 -4 inches and about 1/8 or 3/16 inches thick with a drop point that I have made myself that I also like.

    For myself I prefer carbon steel blades and find that some variation on the

    nessmuk trilogy suit most of my needs and wants.
    (I have modded several old hickory knives into "nessmuk" fixed blade variants.

    I see a knife as a tool, and seldom think weapon.

    just my two cents worth.

    One thing is that the "first tool" needed to provide for ones survival is a knife, means to sharpen it, and the knowledge to use it to provide for ones basic survival needs.

    Be that making a bow, starting a fire, making cordage, or just whittling, a knife is like your pants: Don't be caught without em.


    have a great day

  4. mtnmom

    mtnmom Active Member

    I agree with Risabee. :)

    But I love my Cutco knives.
  5. PopPop

    PopPop Well-Known Member

    I like the Cold Steel SRK, Master Hunter and R1 classsic. The Rat knives are good and the SOG Seal Pup is a bargain, but I have been buying RADA knives at the local flea market and they are the best knife for the money I have ever seen!. They certainly are better for cleaning fish and game than any of the "survival knives". I am having a leather roll up case made for mine.
  6. SurviveNthrive

    SurviveNthrive a dude

    For a survival knife, based on field experience (I don't camp), I'd want a knife with a partially serrated blade, hopefully the first third near the grip, for cutting ropes and cords, a flat steep pommel for striking and crushing things, hammering if need be, full tang, a good clip point blade which I can sharpen the false edge upon. For me this makes the modern Ka Bar the knife I want.
  7. HozayBuck

    HozayBuck Well-Known Member


    Your buying into the so called Rambo mind set , there is no need for a $100.00 knife..

    Get a good using sized blade.. I have a combo Kershaw, I don't as a rule care for combo stuff but this thing is really the cats ***.. don't know what it's called but the model number is 1098L 3 blades, a clip point, skinner with a gut hook and a good saw blade! use the savings to buy a good hatchet or short ax also you should have enough left out of your $100.00 to get a Kershaw folder with case.. 2 knives is always handy..

    There is no need for any knife that costs 1 to 2 hundred.. first of all you won't use it for fear of breaking it and if you lose it you'll really be crying the blues!... I also recommend carrying a small folder in the pocket... all the time.. I wear my folder on my belt and carry the bigger combo in my pack along with the Hatchet.. and always have a small knife in the pocket..

    Stay away from the so called SF Viet Nam tomahawk , they are great for the intended purpose of splitting a skull but don't try to hack off a deer head, the blade is very sharp and very thin.. mine now has a chipped blade.. they look cool but aren't made for real use..and I doubt I'll ever need to split Charlies skull ... survival tools are different from killing tools.. both can be used for either means, but both are best suited to it's own job..

    Stay away from Buck knives unless you make your living sharpening knives.. they are not for the layman when it comes to getting an edge on them..
  8. Daegnus

    Daegnus Active Member

    I've got a couple 2-4" skinning knives (the type with the skeleton handle) attached to my Springfield M6, short of that I carry a Mora, and a Gerber paraframe. All 4 knives cost me under $80 total, and are more than sufficient for what I deem "normal knife use". I'm also a fan of having a good sharp hatchet and a small folding saw for the pack.
  9. truecarnage

    truecarnage andy

    I like the cold steel bushman, go to the cold steel site or youtube, its a fine tool that can be kept razer sharp. Price wise you cant beat it, also its light. I had an old buckmaster 184, talk about a brick & a half to lug around in the field! "thats my story and I'M sticken to it"
  10. SurviveNthrive

    SurviveNthrive a dude

    Here's a knife I recommend. Durable, inexpensive, full tang, clip point with some serrations.

    I'm biased strongly toward military knives that have withstood testing and been contracted for because that's at least a measured standard.

    BTW, the SRK is a fantastic knife. Doesn't have a lot of features that should be there, but man, those things stay sharp. I abused the heck out of mine and it resides safely win an early Blade Tech scabbards, where it's still wicked sharp blade waits to be used again.

    That's great to see different opinions, different perspectives...about survival knives, where they're especially critical.

    $100 isn't a whole lot of money for a knife you need to rely upon, and there's a wide range of blades around that price. the Ka Bar depicted runs around $65 or less in most places. Some like the new Airforce Survival Knife are fantastic. Stay away from the Old SEAL knife with the thin, tapered point, they can break. the new one rectifies the problem. Survival is one heck of a time to find out that those folks who suggested getting a decent knife, and the reason companies selling those decent knives were right, as opposed to someone saying buy a cheapie. A primary knife isn't something to scrimp on. Choose right and you only have to do this once. If $60 to $100 or even $150 for a good, reliable primary knife is going to be a problem, for that person he's doing life wrong and there's more important things to be thinking about than what others spend on primary knives, like how to make more income!:D

    I don't have money to burn,never have, but I understand priorities. I didn't have much money when I was a Marine Private or Army NCO, but I bought quality where it counts.

    Get a decent quality knife. You'll not regret it...unless you never use it or if you do something stupid with it, which none of us would ever do!

    Now for pocket knives, a person should go for any of many ranges of knives, including not just one good pocket knife, but some ultra cheapies, like $15 to $20 range, so they can be used for abuse, and if lost, no biggie. Lose a Spyderco, grimace, then pull out your back up.

    There is no need for any knife that costs 1 to 2 hundred.. first of all you won't use it for fear of breaking it and if you lose it you'll really be crying the blues!

    It's hard to break a good quality knife, and good quality knives aren't cheap. Again, if someone is crying over $100, they shouldn't be wasting time camping, or getting into potential survival situations, they need to find honest work and make some money, we're talking about one knife that your life depends upon. Now once you select a good quality field knife, it's not a bad idea to have a cheapie for some less important cutting and to do the stupid things which might cause a knife to break or unnecessarily dull a knife. You might be pleasantly surprised that some of the cheapies hold up to more than you'd think they would. On the flip side, I'm sure that most of us have seen others break knives in stupid ways, sometimes surprising ways, including high quality knives.

    Stay away from the so called SF Viet Nam tomahawk , they are great for the intended purpose of splitting a skull but don't try to hack off a deer head, the blade is very sharp and very thin.. mine now has a chipped blade.. they look cool but aren't made for real use...

    "Looking cool" should never even be considered. He's great with that advice on buying the SF Vietnam Hawk. I can't understand why anyone with field experience would. Totally wrong blade for field work.

    Now at gunshows you can sometimes get a great hand forged hawk from some smith's bin for $20 on up. I did, got a great one, but it ran a bit heavy and I sold it for a profit.

    Stay away from Buck knives unless you make your living sharpening knives.. they are not for the layman when it comes to getting an edge on them...

    True about the sharpening, but there's a charm to them.

    A Buck will last you a life time, they've been passed through generations and treasured, but they're not cheap.

    I was a young fool when I received a battered knife my father brought back from Vietnam. It was a Randal and I didn't know what that meant.

    Some expensive knives are tools. Some are legacies. Some are both.
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2010
  11. truecarnage

    truecarnage andy

    is that a kabar an ontario or what?
    I'm glad you recommend it but tell us what it is
  12. SurviveNthrive

    SurviveNthrive a dude

    Dang it, I figured it's universially known, a Ka Bar!

    Manufacturer: Ka-Bar 2-1214-7

    KA-BAR's craftsmanship has made them the leader in military style knives that are both rugged and durable. Thermoplastic Kraton G handles provide a sure grip surface. Knife includes a slotted hard plastic sheath for tie-down or web straps. Specifications and Features:
    7" blade with 2" serrations
    11-3/4" overall length
    1095 high carbon tool steel blade
    Black epoxy powder coated steel handle
    Crafted in the USA
    Black fiberglass filled nylon sheath

    I like Ontario's products too.
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2010
  13. NaeKid

    NaeKid YourAdministrator, eh?

    ... and here I thought that a $100.00 knife was a cheap knife!

    My EDC (Every Day Carry) knife is a folding lock-back Kershaw that is 6 years old now and cost me almost $100 when I got it. Still very sharp, used weekly and looks pretty sitting on my left-hip.

    My hunting knife-set (two knives and a saw) was $250 that I use to gut, skin, quarter and butcher my harvest.

    My sgian dubh was a $550 touch, but, even 15 years later, I haven't needed to sharpen it and it still shaves hair off of my arm. Yes - it is used regularly.

    I also have a "classic" survival knife that was made in Japan with hollow-handle, compass, fishing-line/hooks, etc that had a $150 (US) price-tag on it. It came with a lifetime warranty against damage ... even if you drive over it with a skid-steer it is warrantied!

    So - I guess what I am sayin' here is prices on tools are irrelevant as long as they do what you need them to do. Spend what you are comfortable spending and as long as you can keep the knife sharp, it becomes the best survival knife ....
  14. mosquitomountainman

    mosquitomountainman I invented the internet. :rofl:

    I'd go with the KaBar without the serrated blade. The serrations are a pain to sharpen should they need it plus they're an abomination if you're cutting wood (such as in making fuzz sticks, tent pegs, deadfall triggers, etc.) If you keep the blade sharp a straight edge will cut rope real good. You can skin a critter with it but smaller knives work better for that.

    With the money you save on the knife get a good tomahawk or hand axe and or machete. I have a gerber machete with the saw on the back. It's okay but I wouldn't buy another one. I'd go with a 14 inch blade Tramontina. The best hawk made for survival and everyday backcountry use is found here Untitled Document. It's pricey but you can't beat the guarantee and the quality cannot be beaten anywhere. He also sells Tramontina machetes but you have to ask about them. A good lower priced hawk is sold by cold steel. The best one in my opinion is the Trail Hawk (Trail Hawk : Tomahawk (Cold Steel)). If you want to see a review of it go to, ([ame=]YouTube - iawoodsman's Channel[/ame]).

    I have no financial interest in any of the sites listed. They are just people and products I've used and can honestly recommend.
  15. mosquitomountainman

    mosquitomountainman I invented the internet. :rofl:

    NaeKid: I've been packing a Kershaw folder for nine or ten years now. It's the first, and only, one hand opening knife I ever bought. The only thing I'd do differently is get the model with the shorter (3 inch) blade. Very tough, very sharp, very light, very comfortable to carry!!!