A survival knife is a multi-purpose instrument that can be used for hunting, self-defense, building a shelter, preparing food, tool-making, self-defense, and a variety of other outdoor activities. You've probably seen others use a flat screwdriver to open a can of food, even if that wasn't the tool's intended use. The obvious contrast is the purpose of the knife's use. A tactical knife, if you think about it, is a subset of a survival knife because it is used for attack and defense to promote survivability.
For reasons of durability, choosing a fixed blade for your survival knife is critical. The more moving parts a knife has, such as joints, hinges, and locks, the more probable it is to shatter over time. Blades come in a variety of metals and materials, but picking one composed of carbon or stainless steel is a requirement. This ensures good edge retention, corrosion resistance, and re-sharpening ease. To put it another way, carbon steel is more durable, keeps sharper for longer, and is easier to sharpen. Stainless steel is more ductile and resistant to rust and corrosion than carbon steel. Stainless steel can be bent and re-formed without losing strength, but carbon steel is more brittle.
Since a survival knife needs to be multifunctional, it must also be long-lasting. A full tang adds to the overall robustness of the knife and ensures that the handle does not snap off. However, there are a few things you may deduce about a knife with a full tang. A knife with a full tang, for example, will have a fixed blade. Fixed blade knives, in general, can withstand greater abuse and are more durable than folding knives. A knife with a complete tang, on the other hand, will have a sturdy handle. Hollow handles can be useful in some situations, but they are unlikely to provide the durability you need in a survival knife.
Solid handle with the hilt and flat pommel
Kratan (synthetic rubber), molded plastic, leather (stacked leather washers), grivory (nylon polymer), hytrel (thermoplastic polyester elastomer), or zytel are some of the materials used in the handles of the most popular survival knives (nylon resin). The metal tang (skeleton) serves as the sole handle on some knives. What matters is that it fits your hand and provides a secure, non-slip grip even when you're sweating or the knife is wet. It's also necessary to have a hilted handle with a pommel that's wider than the handle for better grip when stabbing and chopping, and the pommel should be flat so you can use it as a hammer. You don't want the knife to slip out from under your fingers.
Blade metal – carbon steel or stainless steel
Choose knives with carbon steel or stainless blade steel for a simple solution. The type of metal used affects the blade's strength, hardness, flexibility, and ability to take and keep an edge. According to some experts, the annealing procedure is more significant than the type of steel (heat treatment). It's important to note that all knife metal, including stainless steel, may rust if not properly maintained. Knives are manufactured of non-rusting metals, but these materials are not considered “tool quality” steel and will not last long. We have to believe that there is a good reason to utilize one sort of steel over another.
Blade design – the straight edge or partially serrated, flat or serrated spine
Some blades are serrated, or at least partially serrated, to boost the effectiveness of slicing cuts, not only to make them look scary. Because a survival knife may need to perform both pushing and slicing cuts, a slightly serrated blade is a viable alternative. A blade with less than 1.5 inches of the serrated part may not be very useful. Most partially serrated blades have the serrations at the handle, which is the best place for whittling; optimum control for push cuts; and the simple straight edge at the belly of the knife, which is the exact spot on the blade's style you need for slicing.
A knife with a flat spine can be pushed through poles or split wood with a baton (club), but it cannot be used as a saw. The serrated spine was designed for U.S. Air Force pilots to use in the event of a downed plane. It may appear sturdy, but unless you need to open a can from the inside, it won't be much use in the woods.
Blade length (4 – 9 inches)
People suggest blade lengths ranging from 4 inches to 9 inches. A little blade can cut, but it won't chop or drive through wood as well as a baton. A huge knife, on the other hand, may chop effectively but is usually heavy and difficult to carry strapped to your leg. Again, a survival knife is a multi-purpose tool, and we could make a better selection about blade length if we understood what task was most critical. On the other hand, any length of a decent quality blade is better than any blade left at home.
Blade thickness (1/8 – 1/4 inch (0.125 – 0.25)
For survival knives, blade thicknesses ranging from 0.1 to 1/4 inch is recommended. Thinner blades are better for fine whittling chores like trap triggers, whereas broader blades are better for prying and cutting, although they are always heavier. If you need to do some light chopping, batoning, or feathering, a thicker knife will operate much faster and with less effort on your part than a thinner knife.
Lanyard hole (security and for lashing to pole to make a spear)
The first step in preventing your knife from being lost while crashing through the bushes or scrambling up and down steep hillsides is to loop a paracord through a lanyard hole, especially if your sheath is of low quality. Additional lanyard holes make it simple to affix the knife to a pole and use it as a spear.
The knife sheath is the portion of a survival knife that gets the least attention, yet it's just as crucial. It also provides the most customizability of the entire set. Wood, leather, plastic, linen, and even Kydex can be used as the material. The major purpose, however, is to protect the knife from the elements when it is not in use. It's also to keep it from flailing around and accidentally dislodging and injuring you or someone else. If it requires a knife that can draw quickly for the fight, you need something that can be carried on my lower back, on my Molle vest, or on my shoulder.