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Survival Knife Features You Don’t Want

Finding a good survival knife can seem like a bit of a hassle because there are so many different options available—some for aesthetics and others for quality. While aesthetics are important to you getting something that suits you, quality is much more important. You may have already identified everything you want to have in a survival knife, and that’s great. But before you set your heart on a survival knife, pay attention to these features that you want to avoid at all costs.

#1: Partial Tang

A partial tang will leave your knife hollow. That means when you put too much pressure on your knife, it may break. The last thing you want is a knife that isn’t strong enough to work when you need it. Any survival knife without a tang that extends to the tip of the handle is unreliable.

#2: Lousy Steel

A knife with a lousy blade also won’t do you much good. There are so many different combinations or steel that are available, but they shouldn’t all be treated equally. The most reliable survival knife blades are made of stainless steel or carbon. Both stainless steel and carbon are sturdy and effective. Carbon will give you a sharper edge, but stainless steel is less likely to rust in the elements. Still, if you go with one of these metals you are safe. Anything other than stainless steel or carbon is a bad idea.

#3: Slippery Grip

This one is likely pretty self-explanatory, but it’s definitely worth pointing out. When choosing a survival knife you’ve got to take a close look at the handle grip. You want to make sure it fits comfortably in your hand where you have enough control to use it to cut, split, spear and hammer. The last thing you want is for the knife to slip out of your hand while you’re operating it. A poor grip will also give you blisters which also won’t make using the knife very fun.

#4: A Short Knife

It’s easy to think of convenience when you’re choosing a survival knife. You want something that’s easy and portable. But that’s not the best consideration to make when you’re choosing a survival knife. Go with something that’s bigger than six inches but still smaller than twelve inches. That will give you enough knife to provide both strength and versatility of use.

#5: A Folding Knife

This one also plays into the game of convenience. The challenge with folding knives, though, is that the joint where the knife folds is a weak point. It creates too much opportunity for the knife to bend while you’re using it. And that could present quite a dangerous situation for you.

#6: Fancy Bells & Whistles

Survival knives don’t need to be fancy. Ditch the bells and whistles for something that is both practice and reliable. Once you start adding features to a survival knife, you take away from the strength of it being a knife. It becomes all these other things like a screwdriver, shears and potato masher. But this isn’t what you want your survival knife for. Try to focus more on the quality of the knife than the added bonus features that end up making the actual knife less useful.

All in all, the goal of selecting a survival knife is to choose a quality knife that has a sturdy blade and handle. Try not to get too wrapped up in all the options available to choose from. Keep your dos and don’ts in mind and you’re in good shape.

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Laws Anyone Carrying A Survival Knife Should Know

Whether you are shopping for a new survival knife or already have a vast collection, it is incredibly important for each carrier to know the laws that pertain to their carrying and ownership rights. The majority of survival knife laws vary by state which makes it even more important to be clear on what is or is not legal when carrying a survival knife. Check out the main types of laws to consider when discussing your survival knife rights below:

Ownership Laws

Ownership laws mandate whether certain types of survival knives can be carried in various states. Certain knives can be deemed as “dangerous” in a particular state that may ban it from being owned, however, in another state, the ownership of that particular knife may be completely lawful.

Carry Laws

Carry laws determine how a knife may be carried whether concealed or open. Again, state laws can vary on this topic. The majority of knives that are barred from carry are ones that are seen without any utility use and are typically only utilized as a weapon.

Other Laws

Other laws that can apply to knife owners focus on the display of a knife and committing a crime with a knife. These laws typically are enforced to enhance a penalty of a crime. Meaning if a crime is committed with a knife, there are laws that can increase the severity of the penalty because of the incorporation of a knife.

To look up survival knife laws for your individual state, visit
knifeup.com to research ownership, carry, and any other laws that will pertain to directly to you.

In regard to federal knife laws, there is only one that was created in 1958 called the Switchblade Knife Act of 1958. Amended in 2009, this lawprohibits importations and interstate commerce as well as prohibits automatics from being mailed through the U.S. Postal Service. This law is only applicable for residents in a federal district or if you are traveling from state to state.

For general guidelines surrounding the legality of carrying a survival knife, here is a list outlining places knives can NEVER be carried in ANY state:

  • Schools
  • Courts
  • Planes
  • Most Federal Buildings
  • Military Installations (unless you are a member of the Armed Services)

Now that we’ve covered all of the limitations for knife carrying and ownership, there is a general rule to follow if you want to ensure your knife is generally legal in any state. A knife that is clearly intended for utility use is the safest bet. This would include pocket knives and multi-tools that typically have a blade less than 3 inches long.

Knife laws are incredibly important to consider when purchasing a survival knife. Now that you are an expert on the laws applicable in your state, browse
survivalknifepro.com’s selection of survival knives and multi-tools. With a large selection and affordable prices, you will surely find what you are looking for.

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​Choosing The Perfect Survival Knife

A survival knife is a great tool to have in your arsenal, even if you aren’t an avid hunter. There are a variety of uses you could get out of a survival knife. And while you might not keep it on your person at all times, it’s never a bad idea to have one accessible. Some of the most common uses of a survival knife are splitting and cutting, prying, self-defense and first aid. There are, of course, a variety of other uses. If you’re new to the survival knife conversation, we’ve put together a few tips to help you choose one.

Now, let’s start by acknowledging that nothing is really perfect. With that said, there are some major factors that work together to make a good, strong, reliable survival knife.

Choose a Fixed Blade

Folding knives might seem more convenient, but they just aren’t as sturdy or reliable. Even folding knives that lock into place are not your best option. Go with a fixed blade survival knife , such as the Hogue EX-F01 so you completely eliminate the risk of the knife bending while it’s in use.

Choose a Full Tang

Tang is the piece of the blade that extends to the handle. Some knives will have only a partial tang, leaving the handle hollow and undependable. When the blade extends to the end of the handle, you are less likely to experience the blade breaking off of the handle while you’re using the knife. A full tang survival knife just makes for a sturdier experience.

Choose the Right Size

Similarly to folding knives, there is also some added convenience with a smaller knife. Still, convenience shouldn’t be your first priority when choosing a survival knife. You need a knife that is long enough and wide enough to perform a variety of tasks. But don’t think that means the knife needs to be huge because a knife that is too big can also prove itself to be less useful. Try for a knife that is between nine to eleven inches. Some might go as short as six inches and as long as twelve. Anything outside of those parameters is probably not the most useful.

Choose a Sharp Pointed Tip

Survival knives can have different types of tips. Some are angled or rounded, and others are hooked. The best option is a sharp, pointed tip. A sharp tip allows you to stab or spear through your target no matter how thick the surface is. The pointed tip is just more versatile and can also be used to do the following: picking, drilling, prying, removing splinters, processing nuts and accessing bait.

Choose a Solid Pommel

The pommel, or the butt, of the knife is at the very bottom of the handle. This part of the knife is most useful for hammering and pounding. If you have a pommel that isn’t solid, it won’t do you much good. Pay close attention to the design of the pommel as well. If it’s hooked or rounded it may not lend as well to pounding and hammering.

There are quite a few factors to consider when choosing a survival knife. The most important factor to bear in mind is the usefulness of the knife. Try to avoid choosing your knife based on only one thing. Your best bet is to assess a variety of factors so you have one knife that can perform a number of tasks.

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​5 Tips for Survival Knife Care

When it comes to survival, having a reliable survival knife is quite high on the priority list. There are a variety of uses for a survival knife such as skinning game, spearing or chopping, and batoning wood—among other things. And with such versatile uses, it’s important to take proper care of your survival knife for an optimal experience. As you might already know, most survival knifes are extremely durable—which is another benefit to having one. Still, there are some best practices you should follow to preserve the durability.

Clean it.

Cleanliness is extremely important. No matter how strong the metal is, if you do not keep your knife clean it won’t live up to the lifespan you might be expecting. You use your survival knife in so many different scenarios and neglecting to clean it after each use might mean harmful bacteria can begin to grow. To avoid this, clean your knife after each use—even if you don’t think you’ve done anything too messy. Wipe your knife down before you put it back into the sheath. Clean the blade and the handle with soap and warm water. When you’re cleaning it, do not use anything abrasive because it could damage the metal. Even if your blade is corrosion resistant, you should still take proper care to clean it. Finally, once the knife is fully clean, wipe the blade and the handle dry. Make sure to dry off any moisture to avoid rusting.

Sharpen it.

There’s no point in having a dull knife. A survival knife is much more useful when it is sharp. And even though dull knives may still work somewhat, you have to exert more pressure for them to be effective. The more pressure you apply, the less control you have of the knife—and that can be very dangerous. Keeping the knife sharp means you can use it with ease and without concern of losing control to perform a task. So to avoid putting yourself and others in danger, make sure to either sharpen your knife yourself or take it to a vendor to be sharpened frequently.

Oil it.

Oil prevents friction and protects your blade from rust. You don’t need a lot of oil as a little will go a long way. Using too much could make the knife too slippery and that’s the
last thing you want. Just dab a small amount of oil and rub it on your blade. WD-40, Dri-Lube and 3-in-One are all great brands to choose from. If you’d prefer other brands or types of oils, that’s fine. The only oil that is off limits is motor oil. But any lubricating or household oil should do the trick.

Store it.

When you aren’t using your knife, it’s best to keep it stored in a dry place. That means no moisture or humidity at all. Remove your knife from the sheath when you store it because the leather attracts moisture which is not good for long-term storage. The leather also has chemicals that can damage the blade if the knife is stored in the sheath for a long period of time. The best way to store your knife is to wrap it in with paper and then put it inside a plastic bag. It’s also not a bad idea to drop some desiccant inside of the bag to absorb any moisture that might creep in. Place your bag in a cool, dry place and when you come back to it, it will be just the way you left it.

Repair it.

Knife repair may not be something you look forward to, but it’s a reality that comes with owning a knife. Typically knife warranties are void if you try home remedies to repair your knife, so before you take to online videos and advice of a friend, you should go to the manufacturer. As long as your warranty is valid, the manufacturer can typically manage the repairs.

Your survival knife is a very valuable tool, and the better you care for it, the more useful it will be to you when you need it most. It can be easy to skip one of these steps every now and again, but you don’t want to fall into a habit of improper care for your survival knife. Make a conscious effort to clean, oil and sharpen your knife to maintain the lifespan. And when you’re not using it, store your survival knife in a cool dry place.

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11 Uses for Survival Knives

A survival knife is arguably the single-most critical item of survival gear. Due to a survival knife’s versatility and quality, it is a confidence booster to have in survival situations. Besides basic skills that many seem to be aware of such as cutting and chopping, there are a wide variety of uses for
survival knives that you may have no knowledge of.

survival knife

Here are a few ways to use a survival knife as a tool that will be invaluable in a staggering spectrum of situations.

  1. Digging: Even without a shovel, a well-constructed survival knife can be used for all kinds of “shoveling” tasks such as gathering edible grub found underground such as tubers and insects. You can also use a good survival knife to dig a makeshift toilet, and excavating fire pits.
  2. Hunting: In a situation requiring you to procure your own food, a Survival knife can be one of the most essential tools. A survival knife can be used to harvest small game or even fish, spear prey or set up a trap.
  3. First Aid: A survival knife is a very versatile tool when it comes to applying first aid. It is great for for cutting improvised bandages, taking out splinters, draining pernicious blisters and cauterizing wounds.
  4. Splitting or Cutting Wood: A large, full-tang survival knife with a flat edge to the blade back can be an excellent substitute for a hatchet or axe. Batoning, cutting, whittling and chopping wood can all be accomplished with the right survival knife.
  5. Clearing a Path: A survival knife can be used much like a machete to cut through plants in your path. Whether you are slicing through a forest or bushwhacking through the jungle, a survival knife is a very useful tool.
  6. Hammer: A survival knife will come in handy for driving in stakes for shelters or snares. A survival knife can be used as a hammer via its pommel.
  7. Stake or Anchor: A survival knife is a great tool to have when anchoring an emergency shelter or a food bag in the a tree out of a bear’s reach. A survival knife can be driven into the ground as a stake or into an object as an anchor.
  8. Tool-making: A survival knife will be essential for making a fire bow and drill. Whittling snares, fish hooks and tent pegs are other examples of survival tools you can make from a survival knife.
  9. Fire: Learning the skills to use your survival knife for tinder gathering and fire starting could what keeps you warm and alive in survival situations.
  10. Shelter-making: Making a shelter can be pretty easy with the help of a survival knife. The blade of a survival knife can trim limbs and notch the limbs together when building a shelter.
  11. Signal SOS: Carve out SOS in the snow or on the ground with a survival knife. Another way of calling for rescue is to use the survival knife as a reflective surface to signal your distress.

Whether you are making your own tools or cauterizing a wound, a
survival knife is definitely more than a whittling and cutting tool. It is wise to make a survival knife a permanent addition to your survival pack. If you are interested in purchasing a survival knife, check out our survival knife collection. We only sell high-quality American-made survival knives.

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INFOGRAPHIC: Find The Perfect Survival Knife

Finding the perfect survival knife doesn’t have to be hard. In fact, if you can determine what you like in a survival knife and know the differences between the components of a knife, you can find the right knife for you!

Here is a visual representation of what to look for when you’re searching for the survival knife that makes the most sense to you!

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​What You Should Know Before Buying a Survival Knife

Finding the best survival knife can be a tough task—mostly because the buying decision isn’t objective. The best survival knife for you may not be the best for someone else. There are however certain things you should definitely know and consider when choosing a survival knife.

The Difference Between Hunting & Survival

Your very first step is to make sure you know the difference between a survival knife and a hunting knife. Even though there may be varying opinions about what elements make up the perfect survival knife, there is no argument over whether a hunting knife and a survival knife can be used interchangeably. Hunting knives are for cleaning, skinning, boning and field dressing. Contrastingly, survival knifes are used for a variety of other tasks like building fire and shelters, chopping, prying and spearing your dinner. Hunting knives should be reserved for hunting activities so you don’t damage them with the more common tasks you’d use your survival knife for.

The Handle

The handle on a survival knife can vary. You might find some made of polymer and others made of hard rubber. Either is actually fine, but there’s one thing to look out for. If the handle is hollow, you should stay away from it. You want your survival knife to be full-tang and it isn’t full-tang if the handle is hollow. This is one of the first things you should pay attention to. Another consideration for your handle is the design. Some handles are designed with a hole in the corner of the handle. While this isn’t a must have, a handle with a hole in it can prove to be quite beneficial. You can string a lanyard through the hole and wrap the lanyard around your wrist when your using the knife to avoid the knife slipping out of your hand.

The Tang

The tang is the part of the blade that extends into the knife’s handle. You want the tang to go all the way to the bottom of the handle. This is why your handle shouldn’t be hollow because if it is, that means your tang doesn’t extend to the tip of the handle. When you don’t have a full tang you risk the handle breaking off of the blade while the knife is in use which could be extremely dangerous.

The Length & Thickness of the Blade

When it comes to survival knives, size really does matter. Take some time to look past convenience just a tad so you can ensure you have the optimal experience with your survival knife. So while smaller may be easier to carry, it may not serve you well when you really need it. A good survival knife will be between six and twelve inches long with a width of about 3/16 to ¼ of an inch. Going with a length and thickness that falls within these ranges means you are choosing a solid blade that will be both sturdy and reliable.

The Metal

We cannot forsake the material of the metal, but the debate over the best type of metal is also one of preference. The most common metal options are stainless steel and carbon. Each of these have their pros and cons. You’re OK to go with either, but you want to make sure you are clear on what the differences are so you make a choice that makes the most sense for you. Carbon runs a higher risk of rusting, but it will maintain its edge much longer than stainless steel. While the longevity of of the edge on a stainless steel knife doesn’t hold up to carbon, stainless steel happens to be much more durable.

The Design

Another thing you might consider that is the design of the blade. Either a serrated blade or a straight blade will work just fine depending on what you’ll be using the knife for most. For instance, it would be easier to chop wood with a straight blade. When choosing the design, your best bet is to determine what tasks are most important to you and then choose your blade design based on that.

There is really no one perfect survival knife. Rather than searching for the perfect knife, it might be more helpful to find a quality knife that fits your needs and your preferences. There are so many elements to consider to ensure you are getting exactly what you need. Start with this list and you’re well on your way to selecting a survival knife that’s perfect for you.

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CRKT Survival Knives: The CRKT Hoodwork

Columbia River Knife & Tool, more well known as CRKT, is a company that specializes in the manufacture of accessories, tools, and knives. The company was founded in Tualatin, Oregon by founder Rob Bremer back in 1994. CRKT is known for its extensive line of work, sport, and professional knives as well as tools that have designs that are driven by a purpose. Some of the most innovative sort of designers as well as custom knife makers in this industry have made their tools, knives, and accessories. The result of all this is that their popular custom designs are available to customers at an affordable price, and can be used in everyday applications. All of Columbia River Knife & Tool’s tools and knives are actually built by incorporating advanced equipment, and top of the line production systems. The company’s main goal is to provide their customers with brand new product concepts, as well as a number of useful improvements, ones that fully embrace the company’s core values of innovation, value, and, most importantly, true quality.

While CRKT has a variety of tools and knives that they specialize in and have garnered quite the response from their customers for, in this post we’re going to focus on one knife in particular: the Hoodwork knife. In doing so we think you’ll be able to get a better idea as to what it is that CRKT actually does, and you’ll better understand the level of quality and care that goes into each and every knife and tool that this company produces.

The CRKT Hoodwork

CRKT Hoodwork

Let’s be honest: When it comes to surviving out in the wild, you’re going to want a knife that can truly adapt to every environment and scenario. To that end, CRKT presents the Hoodwork knife to get the job done. This is a survival knife that was designed by legendary designer Karen Hood, and it was specifically designed with the idea of keeping you both alive and innovative in any survival situation you might find yourself in. It’s made in the US and has a modified blade of the drop point variety with a patented and exclusive Veff Serrations feature, as well as a G10 rated handle that’s been designed for maximum comfort, and to fit well in your hand. The scales on this knife can actually be removed, which will allow you to take off some of the knife’s weight and instead wrap your knife’s handle in paracord. There are holes in the handle, and they’ve been designed for the purpose of straightening arrows.

The “work” part of Hoodwork is actually an acronym. It stands for Wilderness Outdoor Recreation Knife. It’s a survival knife that was crafted from a single, solid billet made of high carbon steel that’s graded as 1095. The knife is first sandblasted, and then it’s sealed with a Cerakote coating that’s clear, for the purpose of staying durable even in the harshest of conditions. The knife has an orange paracord lanyard rated at 550 that keeps the knife close to you at all times. Its custom sheath is made here in the US from fully grained leather, and that leather is actually vegetable tanned, and won’t corrode the metal of the knife. The knife is hand oiled for beauty and durability, and then is lock stitched with a nylon thread of a heavy weight. The sheath is made to fit belts that have widths of up to two and a half inches. It also has a small pouch for carrying tinder, firesteel, or anything else you might need.

As you can see, Columbia River Knife & Tool is a company that puts quality and durability first. While they have a variety of tools and knives in their line of products, the Karen Hood designed Hoodwork knife is the perfect entry point for anyone looking to check out what this company offers.

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Do You Really Need A Big Survival Knife?

We’ve all seen them, been fascinated by them, and instantly want to add a good looking survival knife to our collection. If you’re anything like us, you have to make an effort to NOT buy a new survival knife. But do you actually know how to use quality survival knife efficiently? Let’s take a look at some of the purposes behind these knives.

A common misconception about big, Rambo-style survival knives are that they are made for one purpose – to take out the enemy in hand to hand combat. Unfortunately, this is more wrong than right. You see, many large knives like this are more for looks or fantasy and don’t have a lot of practical use. They feature hollow handles, a compass, fishing kit, or some other gadget – and they weaken the knife. Don’t do it!

A real survival knife, unlike the fantasy Rambo knife, serves a number of purposes and is an actual multi-purpose tool that can be used for a multitude of tasks. And did you know that a fixed-blade survival knife is typically safer than a folding survival knife? This is because you have less mechanics involved and, instead of risking the locking mechanism breaking, a fixed blade knife provides stability, strength, and, best of all…simplicity.

So what can you use a survival knife for? We’ve stated they can be used for a number of outdoor and survival tasks but what are they? Here are a few to get you going.

Preparing and Splitting Wood

I don’t know how many times that my survival knife has been used to split wood. This has to be one of the most common purposes out there because, let’s be honest, you and I probably aren’t going to go hand to hand with a bear or mountain lion anytime soon.

The fact is that a sturdy survival knife can be pounded on, used to pry on, and even used to saw down a small tree. A good knife for that is the Slysteel C.U.M.A. Oh man, what a knife! This type of knife has a solid saw on its spine as well as a kukri-style blade that helps distribute the weight when swinging. This makes it easier to chop through wood with less effort and more speed.

Starting A Fire

Many of the modern survival knives on the market have a ferro rod included in the sheath. This comes in handy when you forgot your fire starting kit. Using the back of the blade to strike the rod, you’re sure to get a few sparks going. Hopefully you have some cotton balls or other kindling that you can send the sparks to!

Digging A Hole

Lets be honest – if you’re digging a hole with you survival knife, you’re probably pretty bad off. In most situations we don’t recommend doing this. It dulls the blade, causes dirt to get trapped in the handle and other areas of the knife. Regardless, if it’s a must then do it. Otherwise just stick to using your knife for other things.

As A Hammer

This really depends on the type of survival knife you are carrying but if your knife has a decent pommel (the end of the knife at the handle end) then you can use it to set tent stakes and other hammering purposes. Just remember to hammer safely and keep the knife in the sheath.

Rescue Tool

Yes, you can use your knife as a rescue tool. The pommel end of most survival knives are good for hitting a windshield or window. You can use it to cut seatbelts or other ropes and straps that people can get entangled in.

While not all inclusive, this is a short list of some of the situations you may find yourself needing to use your survival knife for. We don’t expect you to become an expert user after reading this but we would like to hear your stories of survival situations you’ve been in that have required the use of your survival knife!