best survival knife

Best Survival Knife for 2020 – Reviews, Comparison and Advice

Last Update on by Alex

Premium Choice

Mora-Garberg

Morakniv Garberg

Our Choice

KA-BAR-Becker-BK2

KA-BAR Becker

Budget Choice

Gerber-StrongArm

Gerber StrongArm

If I were ever to end up in a situation where it came down to life or death, I want to know the best survival knife available, so I can have it with me. All knives have their own pros and cons when it comes to performance, which makes them more suitable for each different survival situation. There are some features of a knife that make it both effective and dependable. Whatever your choice is, be sure to always keep it by your side, as it has always been the foundation of all survival instruments, even if not the only one you need.

With my experience of using knives outdoors, I’ve come up with a list of the knives I would recommend as options for survival applications.

1. KA-BAR Becker BK2

KA-BAR-Becker-BK2

1. 4″ Blade
2. Powder Coated Blade
3. Food Prep Favorite
4. Erognomic Handle

The BK2 has been the go-to survival knife for many years, which is why I’m so pleased to share my views on what makes this one of the best options overall.

Blade Details and Dimensions

The Becker BK2 is 8″ in length with a 4″ blade, meaning the handle and blade are both the same length. Weighing in at just 16 ounces, it’s surprising how chunky this sharp knife is. Images of this survival knife don’t do it any justice because when it looks at it, the proportions make it look like a smaller item than it actually is.

I was really pleasantly surprised when I first used the BK2. As fixed blade knives go, it makes a great survival tool for the campsite but not something I would want to carry around when going for a Bear Grylls style trek.

The blade measures at 6.35mm thick, and the type of steel that it is made out of is high carbon. It has the survival classic drop point blade shape with a sturdy tip. The entire .25 inch blade has a powder coating too, which adds a nice texture to the blade and makes it more corrosion resistant.

I find the Becker BK2 so impressive because although it has a small footprint for an all-round knife, it can take on a lot of different jobs. The survival utility really is amazing. I’ve tried it for splitting and batoning wood, both with excellent results. Logs that were 4 inches in diameter were easily split with the BK2. It also gives a good result when carving and doing bushcraft activities like whittling stakes and making tinder for fires.

For the serious carvers and survival experts among you, the item falls a little short because it’s clumsy and thick in your hands, but it makes up for it by being a decent chopper. It is a shorter knife, so it won’t do any heavy-duty jobs like an ax or fixed blades knives would. For limited chopping, this is the knife to choose from.

As a tool for cutting and cleaning fish, I found this blew through them with no trouble at all, making it a good choice for the chores around the campsite. Fire building, food prep, and other odd jobs give this product it’s a 5-star rating.

What I found to be the downside with this knife is that it doesn’t knock one job out of the park and really excel at something. If you are partial to doing some really in-depth carving or need a highly sharp chopper for your survival kit, then you would be better off looking elsewhere. But as a do-it-all item, the characters of this blade would make it a fine choice.

Ergonomics and Knife Handle

The BK2 handle material has been crafted from a high-density plastic that covers some of the steel tang knives edges. It’s a pretty basic design for a handle, but it suits the knife. Ethan Becker, who came up with this design, spent quite a lot of time getting the handle right.

The material it’s made from is simple, but it’s light to hold and is extremely durable as well. There aren’t any sharp edges to make holding it uncomfortable, and the hardware of the knife has been deeply sunk into it, so nothing sticks out. Overall I found the handle to be functional and clean.

When it comes to the ergonomics of the knife, it’s pretty straightforward as the rest of it. The handle is thick and has a palm swell that is quite generous as well. Those who have larger hands will find the room they need.

There’s no aggressive textures or jimping either, so if you want to use this knife for long periods of time, it won’t cause blisters or discomfort. When I used the knife, I didn’t experience any kind of hot spots, and I would give the handle shape an overall fantastic rating with nothing I would improve.

BK2 Sheath

The BK2 continues its tour of simplicity with a plastic and nylon sheath that comes with the survival knife itself. The nylon sheath retains the knife well and has a very satisfying snap when you put the knife back into place. The easy to sharpen blade doesn’t give off any rattle when it is in the sheath, and I’ve never been concerned that it will fall out either.

Final Thoughts on the BK2

Overall I found this to be an impressive knife with a great price tag to boot. It’s high quality for how much it costs. Its overall simplicity, the high quality of what it’s made from, and the level of finish make me happy to report this as the best survival knife for all-around performance.

It’s very easy for me to see how this steel knife blade has made it through all the other survival products to be the most cutting edge (pardon the pun) knife on the market. As an indestructible knife, it has a lot of different applications, and its this utility that Becker worked so tirelessly for that easily makes it the best for survival.

Pros

  1. The Becker BK2 is 8″ in length with a 4″ blade, meaning the handle and blade are both the same length, so you know that it has a very good weight balance
  2. The blade measures at 6.35mm thick, and it is made out of is high carbon steel, molded into the survival classic drop point blade shape with a sturdy tip, powdered in protective coating too, which adds a nice texture to the blade and makes it more corrosion resistant.
  3. The BK2 handle material has been crafted from a high-density plastic that covers some of the steel tang knives edges, and it’s super ergonomic and comfortable with a nice grip to it

Cons

  1. While the powder coating does do its job pretty nice by protecting the blade from most harm, the coating is so thick that the blade is dull out of the box and it’s very hard to sharpen
  2. The sheath of the blade, while pretty well designed all things considered is to tight for the blade and most of the times it will require huge amounts of force to do anything

2. Kershaw Ka-Bar 3050 

Kershaw-Ka-Bar-3050

1. Great Folding Mechanism
2. Weighs .45 Pounds
3. Sheath Included
4. Rubberized Grip

The Ka-Bar was super popular for survival gear, so it came as no surprise that they made a folding one add to the range. Much like its fixed blade counterpart, this knife is heavy-duty but does lose some durability because of the folding mechanism.

The Blade

With this survival knife, you have a stainless steel blade that has been treated so it can easily adapt to lots of different uses. The knife blade is housed within the rubberized grip as well. Because it’s a folding knife, the blade locks into place with the Lockback mechanism, which is located to the back of the survival tool for added safety. This handy piece of technology adds to the knife’s stunning performance because it will only close on demand, never on accident or by mistake, either.

When you open the survival knife up from its folded position, the total length of the blade is 8 inches and weighs .45 pounds. It’s a really sturdy knife that is lightweight to take on Bear Grylls survival style adventures.

Sheath and Weight

A heavy knife is never the best choice for a survival situation. You’re much better off with something that is lightweight and easy to carry, just like this one. You can store the knife safely and not even know it’s there because of how light it is.

The knife also comes with a sheath included so the blade can stay protected and stored properly when not in use. The 8-inch blade is held securely in place with the sheath and won’t end up slipping out accidentally if you decide to carry the survival tool on your belt or bag.

There are no real gripes to be had with this survival knife except for its appearance. The nylon sheath looks ugly and won’t last as long as a leather sheath would. But as a folding knife, this holds an edge above the rest.

Pros

  1. With this survival knife, you have a stainless steel blade that has been treated so it can easily adapt to lots of different uses
  2. The knife blade is housed within the rubberized grip as well, giving you much better feel and contact with the handle and enough strength to use it at full force
  3. The knife also comes with a sheath included so the blade can stay protected and stored properly when not in use, and it can even be attached to your belt or bag

Cons

  1. The main selling point of the blade, being foldable is hugely hindered by the fact that the hinge is not very good and even after lubricating it will still be stiff
  2. While there is an option to select out of a number of different blade variations, but most of the time it seems that Ka-Bar just send out what they have in stock

3. Gerber StrongArm

Gerber-StrongArm

1. Classic Tactical Knife
2. 4.8″ Blade
3. Square-shaped Spine
4. Multi-functional Sheath 

The Gerber StrongArm is a tang knife that makes up for the flaws in its LMF II Infantry counterpart. The lack of the full tang of the LMF has been wonderfully resolved with the StrongArm. It’s a bit lighter, a bit shorter, and has a more refined design for a survival knife. Overall I found it capable when it came to various applications and affordable, too.

Blade Details and Knife Dimensions

The StrongArm boasts a blade type that measures in at 4.8 inches. It’s a fixed stainless steel blade that means its corrosion resistance too. Weighing around 7.2 ounces, this has all of the elemental characters of a classic tactical knife. It’s slightly smaller design is only in the handle material and not in the blade itself, so you’re not compromising on the most important par.t

I found the knife was easily carried around, so it was given a great rating when it came to exploring in the outdoors without having to lug a big blade around. You can have either a plain or serrated cutting edge with this knife, and the entire finish has been built for tough survival. Remember that the finish will always wear with time and use, but keeping it sharpened will help.

The downside of the material the blade has been made of is that the edge retention isn’t very long. It’s a tool you will really have to sharpen if you are going in for a heavy-duty survival job and want to get the best result. As a tactical knife, it fits the bill because it’s fine for day to day tasks outdoors. I found that it easily cut through clothing and wires even with continued use.

Another thing I liked about this knife was the square-shaped spine. It makes it easier for building shelter when outdoors for things like stripping off the bark and truncating wood, too. All of the tasks you need for survival bushcraft can easily be done with this knife.

Handle and Shape

It’s the handle of this knife that I found particularly interesting. The features include a smaller grip that is more comfortable to hold. What makes up the handle material is glass-filled nylon, which then has been moulded with rubber, so it feels soft in your hand. Because the rubber has a bit of giving to it, the result is high levels of comfort that actually moulds to your hand a little bit.

The rubber layer is also textured, which means that your grip isn’t compromised when your hands are wet, cold, or even wearing gloves. I love having these options with a rough pattern that doesn’t rub on your hands too much. No hotspots either!

Sheath Options

Normally when you buy a survival knife, you have one type of sheath that comes with the blade. With the Gerber though, you get everything and the kitchen sink is thrown in, too, so it’s really adaptable. It comes with a drop leg system, amount, and options for your belt loop so you can carry it on your person horizontally too. Being able to draw the survival knife horizontally means that it won’t snag on any of your clothes.

Overall I found this to be the best tactical knife, built for survival and available at a really reasonable price. As a bushcraft knife, the blade shape means it provides many different uses, and it’s definitely a tool I can give a stellar report on.

Pros

  1. The Gerber StrongArm is a tang knife that makes up for the flaws in its LMF II Infantry counterpart while retaining its quality
  2. The StrongArm boasts a blade type that measures in at 4.8 inches, and not only is it firmly fixed, but also made from durable stainless steel  that means its corrosion resistance while weighing only around 7.2 ounces
  3. The blade has a handle that has features that include a smaller grip that is more comfortable to hold made up from glass-filled nylon, which then has been molded with rubber, so it feels soft in your hand

Cons

  1. The grind of the clip on the back of the knife is uneven and to a huge extent meaning that the Back of the blade won’t throw sparks from a Ferro rod
  2. The blade’s sheath is good for survival uses, but for concealed carry, the sheath is laughably bad and shouldn’t even be considered

4. Buck 124 Frontiersman

Buck-124-Frontiersman

1. Classy Bowie Knife
2. Micarta grip handle
3. Lifetime Warranty 
4. leather sheath

I chose this knife as the best bowie survival knife because of its all-round functionality and because it’s lightweight too. With its sharp blade and comfortable Micarta (copyright 2019) grip handle, the money you spend on this knife is definitely worth every the money.

When it comes to survival and a knife you want to use outdoors just like Bear Grylls, you need one that is efficient for that specific use. If you’re partial to choose the most popular knives out there, you’ve come to the right place. Buck has been known for many years as one of the frontrunners in craftsmanship. So why have I chosen this knife for my number’s own survival bowie knife?

Quality of the Handle and Blade

The Buck 124 has a straight-back spin with a black handle made from aluminium. The sharp survival blade also comes with a leather sheath so you can give the knife some shelter and protect it from corrosion. Working with Buck knives for many years in my professional life, this knife didn’t fall short of my very high expectations of the brand.

With a full tang knife construction, the blade quality is superb, and the strength is outstanding. The resistance to corrosion features of the blade type means it’s easy to resharpen, and it’s long and hard-wearing.

Bowie Knife Functionality and Design

Although this has all the characters of your standard Bowie hunting knife, the experience I had with this tool made me realize it’s so much more than that. Any survival situation I put this knife to the test in it proved its strength and tenacity, including when I carried out more heavy-duty jobs.

It weighs a mere 13.3 ounces, which is very light for a sharp hunting knife so that you can carry it as part of your survival pack. I would choose this knife for a lot of the different jobs I do outdoors, including building and maintaining a shelter.

Pros and Cons of the Buck 124

I weighed up all of the positives and negatives of this knife, so I could report on its characters properly. There is definitely room to improve, but overall I was impressed with the utility of the item. The lightweight design made it ideal for my survival backpack, and the included leather sheath and easy-grip handle made it enjoyable to use.

It features a super sharp drop blade that resists corrosion and is great for a number of different outdoor survival tasks. I found it failed at doing tasks like chopping wood, and the lack of a rubber grip on the handle means it was a bit slippery in hand.

Despite these few minor setbacks, you can’t go wrong with this steel tang knife. It’s the best survival bowie knife I’ve come across that is classic and reliable at the same time. I like that I could have one knife for multiple different jobs and didn’t have to keep changing tools every time I changed survival tasks.

Register your email address with Buck when you purchase your Buck 124 knife and receive a lifetime of warranty coverage.

Pros

  1. The Buck 124 has a straight-back spin with a black handle made from aluminum, making it a very durable and comfortable piece of gear
  2. With a full tang knife construction, the blade quality is superb, and the strength is outstanding and the resistance to corrosion features of the blade type means it’s easy to resharpen, and it’s long and hard-wearing.
  3. The lightweight design makes it ideal for any survival backpack, and the included leather sheath and easy-grip handle make it enjoyable to use

Cons

  1. The rubber on the handle does manage to make it a fair bit more comfortable, it also makes the whole blade a whole lot slippery and not suitable for finer work
  2. While it manages to be a very good bowie knife, it fails to do some more important tasks like chopping wood and cleaning meat

5. SOG Pillar Knife 

SOG-Pillar-Fixed-Blade

1. Steady Grip
2. 5″ Blade
3. Durable material
4. U.S.A. Made

I used the SOG Pillar knife instead of the Becker 1095 Cro-Van for a recent survival weekend. I immediately found the edge retention to be much better than the 1095 Cro-Van, and it was capable of lots of different cutting jobs, including chopping up food and wood.

The trademark Micarta handle makes the steel knife easy to grip, and there’s also a lanyard hole that came in handy for tying the survival knife to my belt loop. Usually, I’m not the biggest fan of Kydex sheaths, but the Pillar has probably the nicest one of the market.

Steel Drop Point Blade

The steel this knife has been made from is heralded as inappropriate material for cutting edge knives. Knives like the Fallkniven A1 have been made out of this material, and the steel is actually similar to what is used in kitchen knives. This information instantly put a sour taste in my mouth when first learning about the SOG Pillar steel survival knife.

But then I thought about all of the great qualities that go into a steel kitchen knife. In my experience, my steel kitchen knives are resistant to the elements and avoid corrosion as well. Due to the steel material, they survive rusting without any issues. The edge retention is much better from a steel knife (as we saw in the case of the Fallkniven A1), too, and the sharpening process is a doddle.

Because of the steel drop construction, I thought the edge of the survival knife would be partial to wear and tear. I use this knife on a regular basis and still haven’t had to experience any kind of partial wearing of the blade. Even when I’ve put it on my belt to carry or subjected it to a drop or two, it still hasn’t dulled or effected its performance. The blade length is 5 inches, and overall the knife weighs an impressive 7.3 ounces.

So in the case of making a shelter, chopping up wood, or preparing food outdoors, my hand will immediately go for the best survival knife in the SOG range – the Pillar.

I just love seeing good materials put to great use, and this is very much the case with the Pillar knife. I’ve had many of the other SOG knives in their survival range, but the features of this particular item make it the one I choose from the crowd.

It’s given me hope that they are definitely going in the right direction in terms of the knife materials and design with room to improve. And of course, it’s hard not to love the fact that it’s been made in the USA!

Pros

  1. The trademark Micarta handle makes the steel knife easy to grip, and there’s also a lanyard hole that came in handy for tying the survival knife to my belt loop
  2. Due to its durable steel material most commonly found in kitchen knives, this survival one is able to resist almost anything nature can throw at it, while still being extremely capable
  3. Because of the steel drop construction, the edge of the survival knife may seem like it would be partial to wear and tear, but it actually manages to stay extremely sharp

Cons

  1. The sheath is nice but slides way too freely on your belt. It should have some sort of padded gripping material on the inside of the belt clamp
  2. There have been numerous reports from customers not receiving the color they ordered, and while this isn’t a major issue, it shows the poor procedure that SOG has

6. Morakniv Garberg

Mora-Garberg

1. Full Tang Construction
2. Solid Steel Blade
3. Micro Bevel Edge
4. Bushcraft Champion

Next up in our prize-giving of best survival knife in the bushcraft category is the Mora Garberg. I was a bit late on the uptake with the Mora range of knives, but I believe they are some of the best survival knives out there, especially for bushcraft. Let’s take a look at why I think this knife is a bit of standout.

General Details About the Blade and Knife Dimensions

Having a full tang construction survival knife is glorious. Seeing that slight bit of steel metal poking out of the spine of the knife always gives me a thrill. Many of the Mora knives use a lower grade carbon as their blade material, but with this one, they’ve gone for solid steel. This hardy material keeps up with the demands that we need the knife for in terms of edge retention, stability, and resistance to corrosion.

Measuring at 4.25 inches, the Mora Garberg also has a spine that is square edged. Overall, the blade is quite broad, and the handle is around 9 inches long. This survival knife also features a lightweight construction with a weight of just under six ounces.

Now one thing I came across with many of the Mora knives is that they tend to feature a scandi edge. To improve on this with the Garberg, they’ve gone with a micro-bevel instead. This deviation could have been an absolute disaster to report, but actually, it’s made sure the survival knife can be used for precision and carving.

I was able to get very fine wood shavings with the use of this item. So even without their usual edge design, this steel knife still gets a thumbs up from me.

Plus Points and Weaknesses

One of the key features of a survival knife is its ability to create fires. Fire is key to survival, right? I’m pleased to report that this steel knife is one of the best fire-starting tools I’ve come across. The spark shower I generated from the drop blade was so impressive that it instantly had to be noted on my best survival knife list.

However, with all of the advantages, of course, comes the weaknesses of the steel knife. Whilst its main purpose could be for starting a fire, making food to cook on that fire is not what this knife has been designed for. In fact, the whole experience of chopping and slicing food with this knife was an all-round unpleasant time for me. But this is something I have to come to know from Mora survival knives.

Because of the geometry of the steel edge and the inches of thick materials makes it unsuitable for the intricacies needed for slicing food. Of course, it will get the job done, but you may want to stick to using the knife for your wood shavings and not for your steak.

Overall I felt confident with this blade in my hand. I knew it would be a solid and strong pick from the moment I took it from its sheath. The overall performance and shape of this model help me to overcome the dreadful handle material. It’s definitely a companion I would want to take on the ultimate survival experience.

Pros

  1. Having a full tang construction survival knife is glorious, and this one is no exception, with its excellent rigidity and more than above average cutting potential
  2. Overall, the blade is quite broad, and the handle is around 9 inches long, giving it enough cutting space to cut even large trees and stumps
  3. The knife features a micro bevel edge, which is a much wanted and excellent improvement over their previous Scandi one

Cons

  1.  Because of the geometry of the steel edge and the inches of thick materials makes it unsuitable for the intricacies needed for slicing food
  2. The stainless steel used on this blade for more hard work, like chopping wood and batoning through more demanding terrain

7. KA-BAR Full-Size Knife

KA-BAR-Full-Size-Marine

1. Marine Fighting Knife
2. 1095 Cro-Van steel
3. Knuckle protection
4. Leather Grip

No more partial tang for us. It’s time to look at the full-tang knife design that is best for survival. Used by the U.S. Army, Navy, and Marine Corps, of course, this knife had to make it onto the list somewhere. In use since 1942 and made as a multi-use tool, this knife not only was crafted for fighting but is still being used throughout the military because of its durability and longevity. With my background, I hear the words military issued, and my ears immediately prick up.

I’ve tried out the KA-Bar for almost all of the standard survival jobs around a camping ground, and in every single chore, it has excelled beyond what I thought it could do.

Information About the Blade

This is the full-size version of the knife, which measures in at 11.875 inches and features a 7-inch blade. There is also a smaller version available, but it comes with a smaller handle, meaning that I preferred the full size for a more comfortable grip.

The steel is 1095 Cro-Van with the addition of vanadium and chromium. All of these elements work together with the steel to give this knife better edge retention and durability. You can get the knife with a serrated or plain edge depending on your personal preference.

Because of the mix of different materials, it does take a bit more of regular sharpening to keep the knife on point, but it’s definitely worth that effort for a knife you can count on for survival.

Crossguard, Handle and Pommel

You can see the visible full tang with this survival knife because of the steel peeps through the pommel. Don’t worry because it’s all secured into place with a steel pin that can be seen on one side of the knife. The pommel is actually made from steel as well.

Looking at the end of the knife handle, you will see the crossguard which has been curved ever so slightly. This gives your handsome protection, especially around the knuckle. I loved the leather wash handle of the knife that contrasts beautifully with the steel, and I much preferred this version to the Kraton used in other models. The leather handle is, of course, much more beautiful than function, but if you plan on using this survival knife over a length of time, you will find that weathering will improve the overall grip.

Trying to find any other knife on the market that has such a rich history, has an excellent proven track record and is still being produced today at an affordable price is an absolute rarity for survival gear. I would still like the blade to be around an inch shorter to make it a bit easier to carry, but the extra length certainly makes it handy for chopping up wood.

Pros

  1. Used by the U.S. Army, Navy, and Marine Corps, of course, this knife has been in use since 1942 and made as a true multi-use tool
  2. Looking at the end of the knife handle, you will see the crossguard which has been curved ever so slightly, which gives you even more protection around the knuckles
  3. While the leather grip around the handles gives it more style over substance, after using it for a long time you will appreciate, the full weathering

Cons

  1. The handle is made from laminated compressed sawdust, so it is considerably more fragile than the blade and it is better to not stress it that much
  2. While it is a fairly good product, there are numerous amount of fakes that can be encountered even on amazon, so you should research even more carefully for this product

8. Benchmade Griptilian

Benchmade-Griptilian

1. Pocket Clip
2. Serrated Edge
3. Polymer Grip 
4. Ideal Length 

I knew that this was one of the most popular steel folding survival knives out there, which is what made me curious about whether it lived up to the hype or not. I found it to be a very versatile survival knife for what it is, and the serrated edge became an instant favorite with me. There are both large and small options available for this knife, so I had the choice of getting one for daily use or for more heavy-duty jobs.

Stainless Steel Bladed Survival Knife

Crafted from a premium stainless steel, the blade is very much up to Benchmade’s standards. The 3.45-inch drop point blade truly is an ideal length for a huge variety of everyday survival tasks, and the small stature of the knife makes it easy to carry with you. Right out of the box, the blade was ultra-sharp and is sharp on both sides as well. Even with months of use, the blade stayed sharp, and I loved that Benchmade has a sharpening service available to its users.

Handle and Grip

The handle of this survival knife covers the steel of the blade and has been crafted from a polymer grip and then reinforced with glass. It has a pleasant texture to it, and I found that the grip fitted well into my hand. I could hold the survival knife steady or hard in my hand, and both were just as comfortable.

The functionality of this steel knife is that it folds. I clipped it onto my pocket and put it inside as well and did both with ease. There are steel liners holding the handle together, and I’m pretty confident when I say that this knife will hold together for quite some time.

Locking Mechanism

One thing I really have to focus on with the Griptilian knife that really astounded me, even though it was an Amazon impulse purchase, was the locking mechanism. Finally, people who are left-handed have a high-quality knife that can be used in either hand with ease.

By pulling the lock back, you can flip the knife open with a quick flick of the wrist instead of having to use studs to pull the knife open. Though this might not be everyone’s taste in knives, I found the clicking lock quite satisfying and got a great deal on amazon for the blade to boot!

Using the pocket clip, I thought that it was simple to put the knife on either side of my belt. I was disappointed in the lack of sheath included with this item, but I know Benchmade does offer up some different options in this area.

Overall I thought that the blade action of the knife was smooth with a solid locking system and a really grippy handle. The ergonomics were pleasing to me as well, although the material of the handle sometimes felt a bit too plasticky in my hand. The hunters among you won’t be a fan of the loud locking system either, as it closes and opens with a click.

Pros

  1. There are both large and small options available for this knife, so you the choice of getting one for daily use or for more heavy-duty jobs.
  2. Crafted from a premium stainless steel, the blade is very much up to Benchmade’s standards with its 3.45-inch drop point blade that is truly an ideal length for a huge variety of everyday survival tasks
  3. Finally, people who are left-handed have a high-quality knife that can be used in either hand with ease, with its high-quality ambidextrous locking mechanism

Cons

  1. While the mechanism and the blade managed to live up to its price pretty well, the handle doesn’t only feel cheap, but it is made from extremely low-end materials
  2. Its high price is even worse when you consider Benchmade’s customer support and quality control, with off-center and dull knives sent out on a daily basis

9. SOG Flash II EDC Knife

SOG-Flash-II-EDC-Knife

1. Ergonomic Design
2. Assisted Opening
3. Steady Grip
4. Cryo tightened Steel

The SOG Flash II is another wonderful example of creator Spencer Frazer’s unique creativity when it comes to survival knives. Having been in production for a number of years now, this knife has had so many chops and changes in its design that it’s been hard to keep up.

Purpose and Use of the Knife

I classified the Flash II as an EDC knife because I found it useful in emergency and tactical situations. The blade is quite big, and I enjoyed the assisted opening and gripping handle. There’s a lot of different finishes, blade edge choices and handle options for this particular product as well, which makes it great for any collectors amongst you.

Knife Specifics and Dimensions of the Blade

Overall the knife measures 8″ and weighs just on the cusp of 3.1 oz. The longer blade and lightweight design make it an ideal choice for an EDC survival knife. The blade is very much no-frills, with a flat grind and the traditional drop point.

The AUS8 blade steel has been used to make the Flash II. It creates a pretty sharp edge and is known for holding quite well for longer periods of time. I found that the material fitted the price tag adequately, and I liked the cryo treatment that SOG use to toughen up the steel.

Blade Deployment and Locking System

I love a knife that does some of the work for me, which is probably why I enjoyed the Flash II assisted opening so much. There are two thumb studs on the knife that, when pressed, allow the blade to pop out as quick as a flash. The opening is smooth and quick, making it really pleasing to try over and over again.

For an emergency knife, it definitely comes in handy, although I know a lot of knife aficionados aren’t fans of assisted opening knives. In an emergency knife, the quick deployment of the blade is exactly what I’ve been looking for.

To add an extra element of safety, there is a lock on one side of the knife’s handle. If you engage the lock, it will stop the blade from deploying by itself. To me, it was pretty useless, but if you like to carry your knife tip up, then it would be something you should use.

The downside of this top EDC knife is that I found it slides slightly from side to side when the blade is in the open or locked position. I adjusted the pivot, and this helped the issue a little bit, but there’s some definite movement where there shouldn’t be any.

There’s no liner included with the knife, and in the absence of this, it has a bolt lock, so the fact that the blade slides comes as no surprise. Side to side I can live with, and I don’t see it as a real sticking point or issue, but it could become a problem if this is something you really can’t live with.

Pros

  1. Having been in production for a number of years now, but the knife managed to keep up with innovations while still retaining a huge level of quality
  2. To add an extra element of safety, there is a lock on one side of the knife’s handle and when engaged, the lock will stop the blade from deploying by itself
  3. Overall the knife measures 8″ and weighs just on the cusp of 3.1 oz, thus the longer blade and lightweight design make it an ideal choice for an EDC survival knife

Cons

  1. After being disengaged, the lock doesn’t stay in on place but it rattles constantly, and it is no match to the one found on the Benchmade
  2. While trough the years there have been numerous improvements, the quality has dropped significantly and the new features can’t hide that

10. SOG SEAL Pup Knife

SOG-SEAL-Pup Knife

1. Military Inspired
2. Tactical Knife
3. Ergonomic Handle
4. Blade – 4.75″

The SOG SEAL has been inspired by the military and sports a fixed blade. It has so many positive features it had to make it to the top of my best-fixed blade knife list. This is a knife that took its inspiration from the very first SOG fixed blade combat knife, so you know its got some good traditions and qualities behind it.

SOG has never been a brand that rests on the originals, and this knife is proof of how they are constantly updating their range to improve over time. Judging by the positive reviews, this product gets online gives us a good guide on the improvements they’ve made.

The Purpose of the SOG SEAL Knife

The SEAL knife wasn’t made for bushcrafting but for more general tasks. If you want a knife for batoning wood, this isn’t the one for you. It’s crafted from stainless steel and not carbon steel, so it’s not really suitable for heavy-duty survival tasks. Carbon steels are much more suited to the survival role, and if you want a bland for extended use that will be used solely as a survival blade, this really isn’t the knife for you.

However, when it comes down to a survival situation, we can’t really pick and choose which is why this blade has some potential. If it’s all you have, I think it could work. But the SEAL Pup is more of a combat knife for tactical situations rather than a defending tool. Anything basic you need to do like cutting some rope, prepping food, and opening up a package is what this knife is there for. It’s definitely a cool camping knife, and for day excursions and hiking, its easy to carry along with you.

In More Detail

The blade of the SEAL Pup is 4.75″ long, and the 9″ knife weighs 5.4 ounces. Even with the sheath on, it still weighs under 10 ounces, so it is super lightweight. Carrying ability is always important with these kinds of knives, which is why I found its weight advantage. A huge 35-ounce survival ounce might be the best tool for splitting wood, but for an all-day hiking trip, the last thing you want to be hauling round is a massive carbon beast. In this situation, the SEAL Pup comes to the rescue.

The handle is so ergonomically pleasing its hard to put down. There are finger grooves along with the handle, and the edges have been rounded off to give the knife a wonderfully smooth texture. The size of the handle now compared to the old version of this knife is much better and will work even when wearing large gloves. It’s a really satisfying item with a practical design.

SEAL Pup Sheath

It may seem like a pretty poor thing to be impressed with, but the sheath of this knife was a particular shining point of the product. I have experienced so many knives where the sheath lets them down massively, dragging them down in the ratings for what would be an otherwise brilliant piece of kit.

The SEAL Pup comes to you with its very own nylon sheath. There is also a more modern Kydex sheath available from SOG at an affordable price, too, if you fancy an upgrade. For me, the nylon sheath was enough without having to purchase any add ons.

So what makes this sheath so great? First, I want to comment on the high quality of the product. Everything about it has been built well, and all of the seams have been riveted and double stitched for extra durability. In between each nylon layer of the sheath is a reinforced plastic shield that gives it rigidity and form.

The SEAL Pup also has a snug plastic insert within the sheath that fits onto the blade perfectly with no side to side wiggle room at all. A retention strap has been added in, and even if you’re not a fan of using these, it’s still an awesome feature because it’s velcro and snap closing. There’s also a little pouch with a flap on the front of the sheath, which I used to store a sharpening stone, although I was very aware of quickly drawing out the blade and cutting the strap off.

Pros

  1. This is a knife that took its inspiration from the very first SOG fixed blade combat knife, so you know its got some good traditions and qualities behind it
  2. The blade of the SEAL Pup is 4.75″ long, and the 9″ knife weighs 5.4 ounces and even with the sheath on, it still weighs under 10 ounces, so it is super lightweight
  3. There are finger grooves along with the handle, and the edges have been rounded off to give the knife a wonderfully smooth texture

Cons

  1. While the blade itself is pretty durable on its own, its tip is very fragile and even with a little bit of pressure on it, it will break off pretty easy
  2. While every piece of gear has its issues, this knife has many of them and on top of that it has abysmal customer support that won’t do any refunds or returns, no matter what happened

The Final Verdict

To finish off my best survival knife guide, I thought I would end with my final thoughts on the SOG SEAL Pup. The design, finish, and fit of the knife are very good. It’s put together well, and the finish means everything looks great and fits together snugly. There isn’t anything to dislike for such a well-priced knife of this calibre.