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Best Survival Knives 2024

Best Survival Knives

Survival knives are the kind of knives you bet your life on. Whether you’re driving your 4Runner deep into uncharted wilderness or hunting moose in the Yukon, you bring a survival knife for in case everything goes wrong. That knife needs to do the work of a dozen tools, and no matter what, it cannot fail you. A knife like that needs to be chosen carefully, and I’m here to help out with that.

I own many of the knives below, and I’d trust my life to any of them. Without further ado, let’s get into some survival knives!

Best All-Around Survival Knife: ESEE-4


ESEE is owned and operated by hard-core survivalists, so there were bound to be a couple of ESEE’s on this list. The ESEE-4 is one of the most popular, and for good reason. It’s just the right size to carry, but offers enough thickness and tough enough materials to tackle some harder tasks. Whether you carry it on your belt or in a pack, the ESEE-4 is a worthy companion for all of your adventures!

Best Big Survival Knife: LionSteel T6


Some have said that a big knife can often do the work of a little knife, but no little knife ever split an eight-inch-thick log of seasoned hickory. A big knife can do a lot of work, but it needs to be worth its weight. The LionSteel T6 is worth every ounce, thanks to its hyper-tough CPM 3V blade steel and its unique integral Micarta handle that guarantees a comfortable grip. When not in use, the T6 comes with a MOLLE-compatible Kydex sheath, enabling your to carry it outside your pack for quick access in a pinch.

Best Mid-Size Survival Knife: TOPS B.O.B.


Maybe you don’t need a gargantuan chopper, but you still want some respectable cutting power. Enter the B.O.B., or Brothers of Bushcraft from TOPS. This knife was designed by bushcrafters, so you know its well-suited to long sessions in the hand. In addition, it has a robust modified Scandi-ground blade. This excels in wood processing and is easy to touch up in the field!

Best Compact Survival Knife: White River FC3.5


A knife doesn’t have to be very big to be extremely useful. The FC3.5 proves that, combining a well-rounded CPM S35VN blade and a slim Kydex sheath into one compact, packable kit. In typical Firecraft fashion, White River includes a ferro rod and a sharpened notch, so firebuilding will be easy. And often, fire is the hardest thing to get in a survival situation!

Best Lightweight Survival Knife: ESEE Izula


Many have said that the best survival knife is the one you have on you, and it’s very easy to always have an Izula on you. This knife may be small, but don’t be fooled. It’s every bit as tough as the bigger knives, but it is feather-light and easy to carry anywhere. It’s a favorite of EDCers, campers, and survivalists alike!

Best Tactical Survival Knife: Gerber Strongarm


I’m certainly grateful this isn’t me, but some people find themselves in survival situations where more than just the elements are out to get them. If you serve in the military, a proper knife that can assist in combat and forcible entry is as important as one that can start fires and build shelters. The Strongarm offers all those features and more, and with its modular sheath, you can mount it on a pack, belt, vest, or anywhere else that works for you and your kit.

Best Hunting Survival Knife: Buck 119


Many people who find themselves in a survival situation did so in the backwoods in search of game. Exchangeable bladed hunting knives are great for processing animals, but they don’t do well in shelter and fire building. The Buck 119, on the other hand, was born to hunt, but excels in woodscraft as well. There’s a good reason that knife has been so popular for over a century now!

Best Budget Survival Knife: Mora Basic 511


Lots of people say “you get what you pay for,” but they don’t know about Mora. You might be tempted to think that the Basic 511 is too cheap to be good, but you’re dead wrong. It is one of the most capable bushcraft knives out there. Even hard-core knife enthusiasts will choose this sub-$10 knife for its wicked-sharp zero-edge Scandi grind!

Best Rescue Survival Knife: Cold Steel SRK


Some of the most difficult survival situations are those that involve rescue. Someone is stranded in the backwoods under a fallen tree, and now you must put your own life in danger to save them. The SRK was built around that mission. Everything about it screams survival, but prioritizes safety. My favorite feature is the Kray-Ex handle. It’s so incredibly grippy that you’ll never run the risk of slipping, even if things get wet.

Best Folding Survival Knife: Benchmade Adamas


Most survival knives are fixed blades, but the folding Adamas can run with the big dogs. This behemoth of a folder has a CPM CruWear blade, prized for its incredible toughness and edge retention. Coupled with Benchmade’s iconic AXIS Lock, this knife can take whatever beating you can give it, and then fold up and stow in your pocket without skipping a beat.

Why Buy a Survival Knife?


I believe that everyone ought to have a survival knife and know how to use it. If a natural disaster strikes your area, a camping trip goes sideways, or you encounter a car accident, having a beefy tool that can cut, chop, or hack its way out of danger is a huge blessing. Whether you pick one off of this list of continue your search elsewhere, I invite you to find a survival knife of your own. The world will be better for it!

One thought on “Best Survival Knives 2024

  1. I really liked that the Mora Basic was included in this list. Morakniv remains one of the few quality knife brands that keeps low prices, which is a main reason as to why their knives are so popular. As far as their best knifes go, I think the basic and the companion are probably up there, along with the garberg and the eldris, if you looking for a pocketable fixed blade.

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