When it comes to survival gear, a reliable knife is an absolute must. It’s not just a cutting tool; it’s a lifeline for building shelter, hunting, food prep, and even first aid. As an experienced prepper, I’ve tried and tested countless survival knives, and I’ve finally narrowed down the top 10 must-have survival knives for any survivalist. So, let’s dive in.
Ka-Bar Becker BK2 Campanion – This knife is a beast, and it’s my top pick. With a full tang design, the BK2 Companion offers incredible strength. Its 1095 Cro-Van steel is perfect for batoning wood, and the 20-degree edge angle holds up in the most demanding tasks. In the world of prepping, the Ka-Bar Becker BK2 Campanion is a quintessential tool that you shouldn’t overlook. Engineered for resilience and versatility, this fixed-blade knife is your trusty sidekick in various survival scenarios. With its 5.5-inch 1095 cro-van steel blade, the BK2 is perfect for chopping kindling, slicing through heavy material, or even preparing your catch of the day. The robust design, coupled with a full tang for added strength, ensures longevity even in challenging environments. Its comfortable Grivory handle provides a secure grip, and the included hard-shell black nylon sheath makes it safe and convenient to carry. As a testament to its dependability, the BK2 has gathered a legion of loyal followers among survivalists and preppers alike, making it a worthy addition to your survival kit.
Gerber Gear Ultimate Survival Knife– As a seasoned prepper, I find that the Gerber Gear Ultimate Survival Knife is an indispensable tool for anyone preparing for uncertain circumstances. This rugged, high-quality survival knife boasts a versatile 4.75 inch full tang blade – half serrated for quick cutting, half fine edge for precision tasks. The handle features a stainless steel pommel that can serve as an improvised hammer in a pinch, and a lanyard with an emergency whistle for attracting attention in critical situations. Hidden within the military-grade nylon sheath is a ferrocerium rod for starting fires and a diamond sharpener for on-the-go blade maintenance. Its balanced weight and ergonomic grip give it a comfortable hand-feel that matches its robust performance. For its versatility, durability, and thoughtful survival-oriented design, the Gerber Gear Ultimate Survival Knife earns my strong recommendation to fellow preppers and outdoor enthusiasts alike.
Fallkniven A1 – When it comes to essential survival gear, the Fallkniven A1 Pro Series Survival Knife demands special mention. This knife isn’t just a tool—it’s a reliable partner in survival scenarios. Boasting VG10 steel and a full tang design, the A1 demonstrates exceptional durability, edge retention, and rust resistance. The convex blade, which has a knack for easy sharpening, excels in a variety of tasks, from chopping firewood to cleaning game. Its 6.3-inch blade length offers perfect balance between functionality and portability. The ergonomic, Thermorun handle provides a comfortable, non-slip grip, making the A1 a pleasure to use even in the harshest of environments. In the unpredictable world of survival, the Fallkniven A1 is the steadfast companion that every prepper needs.
Morakniv Bushcraft Survival – The Morakniv Bushcraft Survival Knife is a must-have in any prepper’s gear arsenal. This Swedish-made survival tool is renowned for its razor-sharp, high carbon steel blade that can make quick work of anything from firewood to fish, enhancing your survival capabilities in the wild. The knife’s robust construction is perfectly balanced with a comfortable, high-friction grip handle, ensuring optimum handling in any weather conditions. But the Morakniv isn’t just a cutting instrument. The Black Bushcraft model comes with an integrated fire starter in the sheath, capable of generating a 7,000°F spark in any climate or altitude, making it a multi-functional tool crucial for emergency situations. Moreover, the sheath also incorporates a diamond sharpener, so you can maintain the blade’s edge, ensuring its reliability over prolonged use. The Morakniv Bushcraft Survival Knife truly stands as a testament to the saying: “Preparation is the key to survival.”
ESEE Knives 6P – I can’t stress enough the importance of reliable, high-performance gear in your survival arsenal. Take the ESEE Knives 6P, for instance. This knife is the epitome of rugged endurance and adaptability, essential traits for any tool meant to help you survive. The 6.5-inch 1095 high carbon steel blade boasts remarkable durability and sharpness, making it ideal for a range of tasks from chopping wood for a fire to preparing food or even self-defense. Its full tang design further enhances strength, while the linen Micarta handle scales offer a comfortable, secure grip under any weather conditions. Complete with a protective, molded polymer sheath for safe storage and carry, the ESEE Knives 6P is truly a survival knife that combines practical functionality with robust construction, making it a top contender in my prepping checklist.
Cold Steel SRK (Survival Rescue Knife) – In the realm of survival tools, the Cold Steel SRK (Survival Rescue Knife) is the faithful companion any seasoned prepper would swear by. Crafted from high-performance VG-1 Stainless Steel, this knife demonstrates impressive durability and strength, perfect for heavy-duty tasks during emergency situations. Its broad clip point blade is a versatile asset, proficient in a wide array of survival tasks from slicing and chopping to intricate carving tasks. The knife’s ergonomic, non-slip Kray-Ex handle ensures a firm grip, even in wet conditions or when wearing gloves, minimizing chances of accidental injury. Paired with a Secure-Ex sheath for safe carrying and quick access, the Cold Steel SRK is an undeniably robust and reliable choice, a ‘must-have’ in any prepper’s kit.
Benchmade – Turret 980 Tactical Knife – The Benchmade – Turret 980 Tactical Knife is a prepper’s dream come true. Known for its rock-solid durability and superior performance, this tactical knife boasts an impressive S30V stainless steel blade – offering exceptional edge retention and resistance against corrosion. Its G10 handle ensures a secure grip, even in the most adverse weather conditions. The patented AXIS lock system delivers unbeatable strength, making the Turret 980 as reliable in high-stress situations as it is for everyday carry. Furthermore, the ambidextrous design ensures usability for all, and the reversible deep-carry clip guarantees discreet and comfortable carry. For a prepper, the Benchmade – Turret 980 isn’t just a knife; it’s a crucial component of a well-rounded survival arsenal.
Ontario 499 Air Force Survival Knife – When it comes to tools that could mean the difference between survival and catastrophe, the Ontario 499 Air Force Survival Knife has secured its place in my kit. This knife’s blend of practicality and durability makes it the quintessential survival tool. Crafted from 1095 carbon steel, this 5-inch blade stays sharp even under the harshest conditions. Its sawtooth spine, combined with a sturdy, leather-wrapped handle, makes it adaptable for various survival scenarios, from building shelter, procuring food, to self-defense. The accompanying leather sheath houses a handy sharpening stone and the butt cap has a steel pommel for hammering or crushing. In my experience, the Ontario 499 Air Force Survival Knife isn’t just a tool, it’s a trusty sidekick when the chips are down.
Spyderco Military Model Signature – The Spyderco Military Model Signature Knife is an indispensable piece of gear in any prepper’s arsenal, delivering an unmatched blend of durability, functionality, and design. This knife features a large, robust blade constructed from CPM S30V stainless steel, known for its superior edge retention and rust resistance – a critical factor when your survival may hinge on a tool’s reliability. The G-10 handle ensures a secure grip even in the most adverse conditions while keeping the weight low, and the liner lock mechanism guarantees safe, efficient operation. The added benefit of a clip for tip-down carry enhances its accessibility in urgent situations. In essence, the Spyderco Military Model isn’t just a knife; for a prepper, it’s a lifeline sculpted from steel and ingenuity.
Buck Knives 119 Special – The Buck Knives 119 Special is a timeless piece of equipment that no prepper’s kit should be without. Its 6-inch clip point blade, made from Buck’s signature 420HC steel, provides superior edge retention and ease of sharpening—essential factors when you’re off the grid or navigating through an emergency. This full-tang knife’s balance and strength are unmatched, offering a reliable and powerful tool for a variety of survival tasks, such as batoning wood for fire, preparing food, or even self-defense. Coupled with a comfortable and durable phenolic handle and a genuine leather sheath for secure carry, the Buck 119 embodies a perfect blend of versatility, resilience, and compact design, making it an invaluable asset for any prepper.
Remember, the best knife for you depends on your specific needs, budget, and preferences. Whichever knife you choose from this list, rest assured you’re investing in a piece of gear that has been put to the test and has proven its worth in the field of survival. Stay prepared, fellow preppers.
Disclaimer: Please follow all local laws and regulations regarding the possession and carry of knives.