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5 Common Misconceptions About Survival Knives

All you need is one knife

Many beginning survivalists begin their quest by looking for one knife that fits all their survival needs. There are plenty of versatile blades out there but the true survivalist has a variety of different knives to handle a variety of different situations. A common recommendation is the three knife system. One large knife, like a machete or bowie, to cut a path or take down trees. A regular size survival knife to take on smaller cutting and fire starting tasks, and a small knife for cleaning game and cooking.

The average survival knife is about 8-14 inches in total length. There is no doubt that one survival knife alone can increase your survivability. However, do not assume that a single medium sized survival blade will be able to tackle every cutting task you may face in the wilderness.

Blade design is a matter of style not utility

Survival knives come in many different blade styles. The type of blade you buy is important because certain styles are better at executing certain tasks. Spear and needle point blades are designed for self-defense situations as opposed to clip and drop point blades which are designed for cutting, chopping, and battoning. The beginning survivalist is likely to purchase a blade because of how it looks, this can be a fatal mistake. Make sure to be aware of the proper uses for each blade style before venturing into the wild.

Stainless steel is weaker than carbon steel

A popular myth in the knife world is that stainless steel knives are inferior to carbon steel knives.  The truth is that stainless steel knives and carbon steel knives have different advantages and disadvantages.

The chromium element in stainless steel helps protect the knife from moister in the environment which leads to rust. But, stainless steel loses its edge quicker and is harder to sharpen because chromium is a tougher material than carbon. Carbon knives, however hold their edge longer and are very easy to sharpen. The downside is that they are made with iron which is more susceptible to rust than chromium is. The distinction between the two should not matter much in short term survival situations. If sharpness is the issue, go carbon. But if brute strength is what you want then it’s stainless steel all the way. It’s a myth to say that one type of steel is inherently better than the other, like most things it is simply a matter of preference.

Fixed blades and Folders are the same

A fixed blade is when the steel extends into the handle of the knife. The part of the steel that is inside the handle is called the tang. The tang can come in a variety of different styles but its main purpose is to provide more durability. A strong tang prevents the exposed steel from breaking off during cutting. The problem with folding knives is that they do not have a tang and are therefore easily separated from the handle. This makes a folding knife much weaker than a fixed blade. It may be useful to have a small folding knife in a survival situation, but do not assume that it can accomplish the tasks a full sized fixed blade can.

A good pair of scissors works fine

Some survivalists claim that they can do all the tasks a survival knife can with a strong pair of scissors. This is absolutely false. Scissors may have some uses in a survival situation but they in no way can achieve what a full sized blade can. Scissors cannot cut through brush, chop down trees, or efficiently skin game. Do not replace your survival knife with a pair of scissors, no matter how good they are.

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6 Reasons You Should Invest In A Survival Knife

Survival knives are one of the single most useful tool for survivalists and outdoors enthusiasts.  A good knife can improve your skill set, your versatility, and provide a number of advantages in use.  So what do you use a survival knife for and why invest in one?  Here are six great reasons for investing in a survival knife.

Reason #1: Great for all outdoor activities

Even for the casual outdoorsman, a survival knife is a great investment. With numerous uses and a versatile range of skills, even the casual outdoorsman can find a good knife useful.  From cutting to skinning to wood processing, almost every task you encounter in the outdoors can be aided or assisted by the use of a survival knife.  Even amateur outdoorsman and hunters can find this tool useful for improving the outdoors experience.  Even in every day life, survival knives can be used for cutting and activity.

Reason #2: Versatile for all jobs

A survival knife has numerous uses beyond the standard cutting. Combined with a ferro rod it can be used as a fire starter. It can process wood into logs for a fire. It can aid in skinning, carving, and hunting. It can be used for defense and safety. In a pinch, it will even provide a good digging tool. From actual cutting to poking, prodding, hammering, and handling any number of situations in the wilderness, a fixed blade survival knife offers numerous uses from one item

Reason #3: Portable and keeps your pack to a minimum

While tools certainly exist for all sorts of camping jobs from fire starters to shovels, carrying all of that equipment can be cumbersome. Survival knives, with their versatility, allow you to combine numerous tools in one and all of it fits on your hip.  Instead of carrying an ax, a shovel, a fire starter kit, and six other tools, your versatile survival knife can save you space and weight.

Reason #4: Survival knives are strong

Particularly quality knives with high-carbon steel, survival knives can take a lot of wear and tear. Buying a simple, smooth blade lets you keep your knife sharp with just the use of a sharpening stone. Look for a full tang where the handle is bolted to the tang, not the blade inserted into the handle.  A flat top knife may look less flashy than some other models but it provides a strong striking surface.  A good tang and strong blade make your knife easy to use and strong enough to take on any task.

Reason #5: Survival knives are long-lasting

Some outdoors enthusiasts invest in folding knifes with multiple tools attached. While this can seem like a versatile option, in reality folding knives aren’t as useful as they first seem.  Rust and dirt can clog folding mechanisms, making the knife difficult to use and wear out faster.  Also, multi tool style blades don’t always maintain quality through all the tools and your knife may perform at substandard. A good, solid blade survival knife solves these problems. There’s no folding mechanism to break or clog and, with proper care, a survival knife will often outlast its owner in years.

Reason #6: A perfect survival companion

For the more survival minded, a good knife is a necessary tool. While useful to the casual sportsman, survival scenarios, extreme camping, and even rescuing people is where a survival knife truly shines.  Versatile uses make this knife a must have for anyone concerned with survival skills or needing a multi-purpose tool that can stand up to a great deal of wear and tear. From cutting people free of seatbelts in an emergency scenario to deep woods survival, a survival knife is the survivalists best friend.