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.
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!