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.