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.