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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!

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What NOT To Do With A Survival Knife

A survival knife is one of the most valuable tools you own as a survivalist. A good knife by itself can help you survive many tough situations. But before you rush to pick out a survival knife, take a look at the anatomy of a good survival knife along with some things you should NOT do with survival knife.

Understanding A Survival Knife

Survivalists’ preferences on the features that make a good survival knife often vary. Some prefer a straight blade, while others might prefer a serrated blade or one that is partially serrated. But the important thing is to pick out a knife that you are totally comfortable using and will safely and quickly accomplish every task. Here is a look at the anatomy of the survival knife:

  • Tang– The knife’s tang is a part of the blade that runs down into the handle. A full tang extends all the way to the butt of the handle, and provides the maximum strength for the knife. Don’t overlook this important part of the knife’s anatomy!
  • Handle– The handle should feel comfortable and fit naturally in the hand. Many different materials such as hard rubber or polymer are used to make handles, but you should always avoid survival knives that have hollow handles, or novelty items like a compass built into them. A hollow handle means that the knife will have very little strength, and a compass on a knife handle will get in the way more often than it will be useful. Lanyard holes near the butt of the knife can also be a useful feature.
  • Blade– There are many choices about the blade that you will have to consider for your survival knife. Stainless steel blades are near indestructible, and don’t rust quickly, but carbon steel will hold an edge for longer. You’ll also have many different blade shapes to choose from that serve a wide variety of functions. Some common survival knife shapes include the sheepsfoot and clip point blades. A straight blade will probably work best chopping, while a serrated blade is better for sawing motions.
  • Sheath– The sheath plays an important role how quickly you can draw the knife, where you will carry it, and the overall safety of the knife. The ideal sheath will give you many options for safely carrying the knife.

Now that you know more about the anatomy of a survival knife, take a look at some things you should NOT do with a survival knife.

Don’t Use the Knife as a Screwdriver

The tip of the knife is one of the most delicate but useful parts of the knife. No matter how high-quality the survival knife is, the tip is not designed to handle the forces you exert on it when you use it as a screwdriver. A survival knife should never be used to pry into small spaces either. Blades are not designed to bend or exert force anywhere other than at the sharp edge. You should only use the knife for what it was made for: to cut.

Don’t Expose Survival Knives to Extreme Temperatures

Extreme heat or cold can compromise the strength of a survival knife. Steel can become brittle when exposed to temperatures below zero. Extreme heat from flames can cause the steel to soften. If you notice any discolorations in the blade after it has been exposed to heat from flames, that means that the blade has soften and will break easier.

Don’t Use a Dull Knife

It is important to properly sharpen and maintain you survival knife to keep the knife working well for you and for your safety. Dull knives take more force to use, which is more likely to cause an accident.

Pretty basis stuff, right? Well we get emails and stories all the time from people explaining situations they’ve been exposed too. The above suggestions are the most common topics we see. So, yes, while it may seem basic, there are times that this information could help a fellow survivalist.

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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.

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​How To Select A Knife For Bushcraft Survival

There are few things more personal to a bushcrafter than his or her choice of knife. Many are the choices available and many are the opinions of what is necessary. As a bushcrafter and a hobby knife maker, here are some of my ideas to what makes a good knife for bushcraft survival.

First of all, a bushcrafter should consider the type of steel used. Beware of any knife that does not advertise the type of steel used. They are usually made from inferior grades of steel and will not usually have the quality that one needs to properly process game, carve and shape wood and easily re-sharpen in the field. For this reason, many bushcrafters use 1095 High Carbon Steel. It is a simple carbon steel that is easy to sharpen and holds an edge well. It can also be used to strike against a piece of rock such as flint to provide a spark for emergency fire starting as long as the spine was hardened sufficiently in the heat treat process. The main downside to this steel is that it rusts easily. However, as I have heard it said, anyone that would let a good knife rust probably shouldn’t own one. The main exception to this rule is when a person is going to spend an extended amount of time around salt water. Then, a good stainless steel knife should be sought out, understanding that it will be harder to sharpen and will not maintain an edge as well due to the higher chromium content of stainless steel.

Second, a bushcrafter should consider the type of sheath that comes with the knife. A quality knife should come with a quality sheath. For this, consider either a thermo-plastic sheath made of Kydex or a well-made leather sheath. It should have a belt or carry attachment large enough to fit your belt of choice.

Third, consider where and how the knife will be carried. A bushcraft survival knife should be on the person’s body and available at all times. It should not get in the way of other gear and should be held securely against falling out in an event of a fall or canoe spill. A drop-leg sheath is a nice option as it is out of the way of backpack belts or any other gear one may be carrying. There is only so much real estate available on your belt so use it wisely!

Fourth, what kind of blade profile will you choose? There are many choices for the bushcrafter in this area as well but again consider what the blade will be used for. Many bushcraft experts choose a drop point, straight blade with a flat grind. This profile has a strong tip that lends itself well to game processing as well as drilling out the hole for a fire board etc. It can also be used for self-defense if needed. Also, a straight blade with a flat grind is easier to maintain and sharpen.

Fifth, consider the thickness of the steel used in the blade. Ask yourself how thick should the blade be for the work that it must do? I believe that a bushcraft survival knife should be no less than 1/8 of an inch on the thin side and no more than 3/16 of an inch on the thick side. Too thin and it could break, too thick and it becomes useless for smaller tasks. It should be thin enough to process fish and game yet heavy enough to baton through wood but not too heavy to carry.

Sixth, consider the amount of steel in the blade. I believe that a bushcraft survival knife should have a full tang blade. This means that the blade steel is full width and length with a slab of handle on either side.

Seventh, consider that a bushcraft survival knife should have a lanyard hole. A lanyard is handy when working with game, or batoning wood. It becomes an absolute necessity when working around or over water.

Eighth, consider not having a knife blade with serrations. They are nearly impossible to re-sharpen in the field without specialized sharpening tools. Also, many of the tasks that the bushcrafter will be doing require the use of the blade closest to the handle such as carving notches etc. and serrations make this difficult at best. The exception would be when operating for long periods of time on a boat when serrations are particularly helpful in cutting ropes and lines.

Ninth, consider the length of the blade. Most experts consider the ideal bushcraft survival knife blade length to be somewhere in the 4 to 6 inch range. This is long enough for batoning wood and personal protection but short enough for processing game and carving wood. Any longer and the blade becomes unwieldy and almost useless for smaller tasks.

Tenth, consider the price of the knife. If your life depends on your blade, do you want the cheapest option? However, if you unfortunately lose your knife, can you afford to replace it when you come out of the wilderness? (Note that a knife should probably never be lashed onto a stick and used as a spear, as pointed sticks can be easily made in most locations, are easily replaced if lost or broken and a fire hardened tip is usually sufficient for spearing game and the like. If you lose your primary knife because it fell in the water when you were trying to spear a fish and your lashings loosened in the water, or you speared that animal and it ran off before you could extract your blade, you are going to have a hard time replacing it in the field!) I would say to pick a balance between affordability and quality and if you find a knife that you really like, buy two!

Now that you have considered all the options and have made your selection, go out there and use it! A knife is a tool that is meant to be used, not admired and put on a shelf! The wilderness is waiting; your knife at your side!

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Survival Knife: Blade Shapes and Edge Types

Shopping for a survival knife can get pretty confusing without a little insight or familiarity. Between spear point knives, gut hooks, and everything in between, you might find that narrowing down the best choice to make your own is a trying feat. The thing is, each knife is designed either for a specific purpose or for use as a multipurpose tool that would be useful for a lot of different applications if you were in a survival situation (or just hanging out in the wilderness because it’s something you like to do). It is always best if you have a general overview of survival knife blade shapes and edge types to help you along the way.

Survival Knife Blade Shapes

Drop Point 

An all purpose blade with a user-friendly design, the drop point has a dulled back edge that makes it good for controlling slicing pressure and a controllable short point that is not as prone to breakage. The slightly curved spine of the drop point knife gives it the ideal shape for many folding knife varieties.

Advantages

  • The point of the drop point blade is easily controlled.
  • The belly edge is wide and long for easy slicing.

Downfalls

  • The point of the drop point blade is not as fine as some blades, which means it is not as ideal for piercing.

Tanto 

The tough point of the tanto blade makes it ideal for difficult tasks that involve piercing denser materials. The point of the tanto blade boasts a point that sits higher than usual, almost in line with the spine of the blade. Many people use tanto bladed knives as a utility piece, which works well for cutting rope, piercing cables, or marking wood.

Advantages 

  • The point of the tanto blade is strong and durable, not likely to break off like many less-dense blades with a fine point.
  • The tanto blade is tough enough to work with wood and even metal.

Downfalls 

  • The point of the tanto is not all that easy to control.
  • Slicing with a tanto blade could be a challenge because of the shorter belly.

Sheepsfoot 

A dulled spine, straighter-than-usual front edge, and false point make the sheepsfoot perfect for slicing through meat, roots, or other dense materials. The design of this knife is often preferred by professional chefs because you can control chopping pressure from the backside of the blade.

Advantages 

  • Has little risk of accidental injury because a sharp point is not present.
  • The sheepsfoot blade is ideal for controlled slicing through dense material because you can apply pressure on the spine of the blade.

Downfalls

  • This blade shape does not boast a nice fine point that many others do.

Spear Point 

Spear point knives are commonly seen in knife throwing competitions. These knives boast a sharpened tip that is perfectly in line with the center of the blade. These knives can have one sharpened edge, but most often hold two and are great because of their heft and sturdy blade composition.

Advantages 

  • Highly-controllable knife usually of larger stature than its dagger-bladed counterpart.
  • Boasts a sharp point for piercing and can also be using for skinning.

Downfalls

  • The cutting edge of the spear point is shorter than many other blade types.
  • Keeping the spear point perfectly sharpened on both sides can prove to be difficult.

Trailing Point 

Filet knives, skinning knives, and even hunting knives often have the trailing point design. The trailing point blade has a spine that curves in a gentle upward sweep and a lengthy belly that is perfect for slicing. The trailing blade is usually slightly flexible and made with lightweight metals.

Advantages

  • The higher-than-usual point keeps the fine tip up while slicing.
  • Fine tipped blade can be used for smaller tasks.

Downfalls

  • The fine point can be brittle and break with too much force.

Gut Hook 

Any skilled hunter will tell you that having a good gut hook knife is an absolute must. This knife blade boasts a hook at the top that can be slipped into a tiny cut and will grab onto skin to pull it back and reveal the meat without causing damage.  In a survival situation, harvesting every morsel of meat would be important, and, therefore, a gut hook blade would prove to be useful.

Advantages

  • The point of the spine is not in a position where it will be in the way if you are slicing.
  • The unique design makes field dressing a breeze, with a hook for skinning and a large belly for slicing.

Downfalls

  • It can be very trying to sharpen the hook on the backside of a gut hook knife.
  • The trailing edge of the gut hook cannot be sharpened because of its unusual shape.

Dagger/Needle Point 

Needle point bladed knives are often deemed daggers because of both their shape and their preferred use, which is in a self-defense situation, which could easily come about in a survival scenario. This is a blade that boasts a double edge, symmetrical shape, and is sharpened equally on both sides for twice as much piercing power.

Advantages 

  • Piercing softer materials is a breeze with the dagger point knife thanks to it’s fine point.

Downfalls

  • This knife does not offer much of a cutting edge for slicing or carving because it is usually short in length.
  • The finely narrowed tip can be prone to breakage.

Clip Point 

One of the more preferred and perhaps the most popular survival knife blade shape, the clip point blade has an unsharpened back edge from the handle to usually the midway point of the knife. From that midway point, the back edge of the clip point blade takes a nosedive toward the tip of the blade. This area is referred to as the clip and may be straight or slightly arched.

Advantages 

  • This blade works great for piercing dense materials because of its sharp end point.
  • There is a lot of length for slicing and cutting.

Downfalls 

  • The point of the clip point knife may not be as sturdy as some other blade types.