Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Seven of the Best Survival Knives in the Market 2020 (so far...)

“Fernando… is this a good survival knife?” is a question I get a LOT, usually by someone showing a knife that is rather mediocre if not downright bad for a survival role. The problem is that with so many offers, it’s easy to get lost and end up with a tool that will not perform well.

Knives have been around since the beginning of time, and there’s been countless blade shapes and designs, but a survival knife, at least the way I conceive one, needs to be more than just an edged cutting tool. A steak knife, a razor blade, even a butter knife can cut, but a survival knife is something else. It’s a tool that cuts, chops, carves, digs, pokes, pries, scraps and hammers. It’s a tool that fills in not only as a knife, but as a shovel, crowbar, axe and hammer, plus working as a deadly weapon if needed. To me, that’s a survival knife, and not just any knife will do. It needs to be of a certain size and length. It needs to be as a tough as they come, yet sharp. Not too big that it won’t be with you when you need it, not to small that it fails in some critical role. In spite of the huge number of blades in the market, few of them fulfil this role well enough so as to be survival knives I would recommend.

Of those commercially available, these are the ones I feel most comfortable recommending:

Glock Knife

Glock, OEM Field Knife, 6.5" Fixed Blade, 1095 steel
This is my go-to advice for anyone looking for a solid survival knife. Few people know that Austria’s service bayonet preceded Gaston Glock´s famous pistol but it did indeed, the Glock of the knife world. Tough as they come, yet light weight, minimalistic yet tremendously practical. You can fight with this thing, you can baton, you can put a mean edge if its not all it should be right out of the box (it usually is, but Ive come across some that could use a bit of touching up). Thanks to its great design and light handle, it even chops better than you´d expect. 1095 steel, 55RC, perfect for a utility blade. These are made in Austria and maybe the best value in the list.
Eickhorn FK2000

Fk2000, 7 inch blade, black finish 55Si7 spring steel
Think of this one as the Glock knife’s fancier, German brother, with somewhat of an Heckler & Koch attitude. It’s made in German in the fabled city of Solingen, as tough and finely crafted as any bayonet I’ve ever seen and it’s reflected in the price. Great blade and sheath (works as a wire cutter) and very comfortable handle.
Becker BK7

BK7 Knife 7" Blade, 1095 Cro-Van  HRC 56-58
The BK7 is a knife Ethan Becker didn’t care for much. They asked him to make fighting/utility knife, basically his version of a Kabar and the BK7 was his answer to that. No problem, even if he doesn’t care much for it, it’s still a great blade, tougher than a Kabar for sure and just a fgreat medium sized survival knife, with the thin tip being its only minor weakness. That and the textured finish I don’t care for much.
Cold Steel SRK

Cold Steel SRK, 6 inch blade, sk-5 Steel

The Cold Steel SRK has been around for a long time and slowly gained a reputation as a no-nonsense survival/rescue knife that is just as home in the bug out bag as it is in a navy SEALs kit, which by the way are currently issuing it.
Mora Bushcraft Black

Morakniv Bushcraft Knife, 4.3 inch carbon steel
The Bushcraft black is the smallest and lightest survival knife I would go for. Many believe it to be ideal, and it is in fact a typical Mora on steroids: Ticker stock and bigger tang with an outstanding tacky grip and smooth black finish. Given its size and weight, it wont do much chopping and even for battoning the lengh limits is quite a bit, but it carves and cuts beautifully and is solid enough to pry with. Just a great pukko style knife.
ESEE Junglas

ESEE Junglas  Blade Length: 10.375", 1095 Carbon Steel
On the other end of the spectrum you have the Junglas, not so much a machete as it is a big full tang knife. This blade will chop, and cut and pry or even dig if needed. The size and weight is there, but this is without a doubt a large, solid survival knife and I’d gladly grab it if this will be my only tool for long term survival in a wooded area.
Cold Steel Bowie Machete

Cold Steel bowie machete 12 inch, 1055 carbon steel
Now this is a real machete right here, cheap, thin and fast, yet plenty of steel to go around. Big knives are usualy expensive but not this one. Fantastic value and you can put a mean edge on it. Light weight too and a good chopper.


Check out my new Book “Street Survival Skills” . Fernando “FerFAL” Aguirre is the author of “The Modern Survival Manual: Surviving the Economic Collapse” and “Bugging Out and Relocating: When Staying is not an Option”


Anonymous said...

I own the Glock, the Mora and the CS Bowie machete. All of them have been more than satisfactory. The machete and Cold Steel shovel paired are an awesome tool package. They are left under my pickup rear bench seat for ranch work and/or riot melee precautions.

Thank you for the article.

Leonid said...

I'm glad you included the CS bowie machete. I keep mine near at hand in my truck bed box.