I’ve shown you How To Choose The Best Survival Knife when looking for a strong, reliable knife and now I’m going to do you one better. Because your time is valuable I’ve conducted the research so you don’t have to and compiled this best survival knife 2017 list so you can grab your gear and head out into the wilderness asap!
Below, in no particular order, are brief overviews of some of the top survival knives on the market right now. Take a look and decide which is best for your situation.
In a hurry? Here’s the Top 3 From The Best Survival Knife 2017 Guide
1095 Carbon Steel
1095 Cro-Van Steel
Gerber LMF II
420HC Stainless Steel
Soft-Grip Overmold over Hard Substrate
ESEE 6POD Review
Blade Length: 6.5″ Overall Length: 11.75″ Weight: 454 g Blade Material: 1095 Carbon Steel Handle Material: Linen Micarta
ESEE is currently based in the USA where all their knives are manufactured. The company was started in 1997 by Jeff Randall and Mike Perrin simply because they didn’t like what they saw when it came to survival training and gear. The statement, “You want something done right, do it yourself” couldn’t be more true, and the knives show it.
The ESEE 6 is a highly regarded hunting and survival knife with a 5.75″ cutting edge and total blade length of 6.5″ made from 1095 carbon steel. One thing to remember with any carbon steel blade is it will rust when not maintained properly, so keep that in mind and ideally use a dry film rust inhibitor to prevent rust.
The ESEE 6 is lightweight, well balanced, and features an ergonomic linen Micarta handle which can be replaced if desired or needed. The Micarta will leave you with a solid grip no matter the weather.
Some users have complained about the sheath, since it’s molded with a clip plate, that it can be little noisy and tricky to use. ESEE confirmed this is by design and meant to be different than your standard nylon sheath. You can always get yourself another style of sheath if you wanted.
Overall the ESEE 6 is perfect for anything from chopping veggies, skinning, carving wood, even baton splitting. The perfect hunting, survival, and camping knife. Grab it on Amazon below.
Ka-Bar Becker BK22 Review
Blade Length: 5.25″ Overall Length: 10.5″ Weight: 454 g Blade Material: 1095 Cro-Van Steel Handle Material: Ultramid®
Another of the more popular choices among survivalists is the KA-BAR BK22 Campanion. It’s the successor to the BK2 which, from my research, not too many people were happy with. The good news is KA-BAR took action to ensure the BK22 was up to the standards the users expected. KA-BAR was contracted to become the standard issue knife in 1942 so they have a powerful history backing them up.
The KA-BAR BK22 has a 1095 Cro-Van steel 5.25″ blade, the Cro-Van provides improved wear and corrosion protection over carbon steel, but keep in mind that a rust inhibitor should still be applied.
The BK22 is a little on the heavier side, but thanks to the great ergonomics you won’t really notice. Because of this it’s easy to handle and you won’t tire, unless you’re doing very delicate work or carvings.
The thick 0.25″ blade will having you chopping wood like a lumberjack (okay, maybe not quite) but it does a great job. The strength adds durability and longevity to the knife making it a perfect all around survival knife. Grab it on Amazon below.
Gerber LMF II Review
Blade Length: 4.84″ Overall Length: 10.59″ Weight: 331 g Blade Material: 420HC Stainless Handle Material: Glass-filled nylon with TPV overmold
Gerber has created a knife designed with comfort, versatility, and safety in mind. It was originally designed by former military man Jeff Freeman to free aircrew from a downed aircraft. This design gives it a unique feature that separates the tang and butt cap to provide insulation and protection against stray wires. You probably won’t come across many of these in the wild but it goes to show how safety and versatility are key to the overall design.
The Gerber LMF II is more of a survival knife than a bushcraft knife, so if you’ll be doing lots of wood chopping, this may not be the best knife for you. It’s MOLLE compatible and can be converted into a spear using the built in grooves and lashing holes for when you are in true survival mode hunting a food source. Grab it on Amazon below.
SOG S37-K SEAL Team Review
Blade Length: 7″ Overall Length: 12.3″ Weight: 292 g Blade Material: AUS-8 Stainless Handle Material: Glass fiber-reinforced nylon
As you would expect from anything with SEAL Team in the title this knife has been put through the toughest tests by the U.S. Government. This is an updated version of the original SOG SEAL Knife 2000 and is made for the outdoors and underwater.
Made of AUS-8 steel with a satin finish, the 7″ partially serrated fixed blade sharpens easily and makes quick work of any task. This knife has an overall length of 12.3″, blade thickness of 0.24″ and weight of only 292 g.The ergonomically contoured and well-balanced handle has a black finish and is made of strong, abrasion, and impact resistant glass-reinforced nylon.
A unique feature of the SOG SEAL Team is that is uses a cryogenic heat treatment process that results in an overall increase in toughness and wear-resistance. It’s done by slowly decreasing the knife temperature to -300 F then bringing it back to room temp. This is done to so the blade will stay sharper longer and decrease the chances of edge chipping or micro-fracturing.
All SOG products have won favour among law enforcement, military, and industrial customers that rely on their tools to perform flawlessly in the toughest, most adverse conditions. It’s hard to go wrong with a SEAL Team proven knife. Grab it on Amazon below.
Cold Steel SRK San Mai III® Review
Blade Length: 6″ Overall Length: 10.75″ Weight: 227 g Blade Material: VG-1 San Mai III® steel Handle Material: Long Kray-Ex™
The SRK in San Mai III® is made using Cold Steel’s San Mai III® steel first developed in Japan in 1980. They claim this steel is the best of the best. The 6″ blade and shorter handle gives an overall length of 10.75″, not too short; not too long. It’s matched with a comfortable Kray-Ex handle.
Through my research owners have attested that the knife can take some abuse and is an overall great knife, however Cold Steel as a company has apparently shifted their quality a little bit to the lower side when they started becoming popular. Along with that they dropped the ball manufacturing the sheath and is quite disappointing. It’s not as a snug fit as it should be and wears down the knife over time.
This simple yet durable survival knife will get the job done, and don’t let the light weight fool you, it can still pack a punch for that heavy duty work. If you can get past the crummy sheath it’s shipped with the Cold Steel SRK is a solid knife. Buy it on Amazon below.
Fallkniven A1 Review
Blade Length: 6.3″ Overall Length: 11.75″ Weight: 305 g Blade Material: Laminated VG10 Stainless Steel Handle Material: Kraton
The Fallkniven A1 is larger knife designed for heavy duty use. You can use it to chop, dig, and even precision work thanks to the ergonomic Kraton handle. It doesn’t have beauty like some of the other knives in this list, however owners of this knife have abused it over years and it always performs.
They created the A1 to be water repelling so it will perform in all weather situations, cold winters to hot summers.
It’s little on the pricer side compared to the other knives on this list, but keep in mind we’re after quality, not cheapness. Check out the price on Amazon below.
Buck Knives 65 Hood Punk Review
Blade Length: 5.62″ Overall Length: 11″ Weight: 209 g Blade Material: 5160 Carbon Steel Handle Material: Linen Micarta
Buck Knives’ Hood Punk is an interesting knife. Not only because of the name (it’s based on Ron Hood‘s design), but because it’s similar in design to a folding knife. Don’t that that fool you, it’s a 100% fixed blade knife.
It’s meant as an outdoor, survival, and adventure knife. The comfortable Micarta handle can be removed and the 5.62″ powder coated 5160 steel blade uses a Shock Mitigation System to reduce shock and wasted energy, making every strike count. The powder coating may wear off and as the same with the other knives, please project the blade with a dry rust inhibitor.
You’ll notice the thumb ramp and finger choils which is perfect for more relaxed and/or delicate work, however some customers have complained about the lack of jimping. Not a deal breaker for most but be aware if that’s something you’re looking for on your next knife. I wouldn’t be too worried though since the majority in the list don’t have jimpling anyway. Snatch up the beautiful Buck/Hood Punk on Amazon below.
Spyderco BushCraft G–10 Review
Blade Length: 4″ Overall Length: 8.75″ Weight: 219 g Blade Material: O-1 Tool Steel Handle Material: G-10
The Spyderco Bushcraft G-10 was designed specifically for, well… Bushcraft! It’s a fully-tanged 4″ blade with no hand guard that will have you slicing, chopping, whittling and game processing effortlessly.
The O-1 Tool Steel is easy to maintain and holds a sharp edge, perfect for any slicing and dicing you’ll be doing in the woods. The 4″ blade may be a downside for some, and it’s a tad pricey in my opinion. That said, if you’re looking for a heavy duty knife for baton splitting and the like this may no be for you. Save this for the delicate work. Check it out on Amazon below.
Gerber Bear Grylls Ultimate Pro Review
Blade Length: 5.75″ Overall Length: 11.75″ Weight: 454 g Blade Material: 1095 Carbon Steel Handle Material: Linen Micarta
Chances are you’ve heard of Bear Grylls unless you’ve been living under a rock.. heh… Anyways, the famous Irish adventurer had written many books and created lots of TV content. It’s no surprise he’d cash in on merchandising the name/brand he’s built for himself. I’m always weary of such items as they are usually sub-par, lucky for us it’s not the case with the Gerber Bear Gryllis Ultimate Pro.
The knife is what you’d expect from the marketing department, it’s bright and sexy, everything we want in a knife! But it’s so much more than that.
The 5.75″ 1095 carbon steel blade will cut, chop, and widdle with ease. The linen Micarta handle is a popular choice among knife makers due to the high strength and comfort; this Gerber is no different.
The knife comes with a nylon sheath with a waterproof pull-out survival guide, built in blade sharpener, and firesteel so you can use the top of the blade to create sparks and therefore a fire. A very useful all-in-one tool. Not only that, but a steel butt plate in the handle will help drive those tent pegs in with ease. Oh, and a mini whistle built into the lanyard. How cool is that? That’s pretty much everything off the Best Survival Kit Items list right there! Okay, not really.
The Gerber Bear Gryllis Ultimate Pro has been well received in the survivalist community, although the original model had some shortfalls Gerber was able to redeem themselves with this updated model.
The knife is decently priced and packs some neat, albeit important items. I would consider this a great beginner knife due to the added bonuses like the whistle and survival guide, especially if you don’t have those already.
Which one are you going to add to your survival kit? Leave a comment below!