Survival knives have a few things in common.

  The knife is one of the most important and useful tools in a survival bag. No emergency kit is complete without one. Finding the knife that is right for you can be a challenge because there is such a huge variety to choose from. There are several factors to consider that the best survival knives available have in common.

  One of the first things to consider is if you want a folding or fixed blade knife. I suggest that your primary knife is a fixed blade knife. A fixed blade knife is a lot stronger and more durable than a folding knife and can do things that the folding knife can’t do such as prying a door open or chopping wood.

survival knife in treeCredit: Johan G

  Even though folding knives are weaker than fixed blade knives, they have the advantage that they can fit in your pocket and are light enough to take with you wherever you go. Folding knives would make a great addition knife for your emergency kit, but they should not be your main survival knife.

  The best survival knives have a full tang for maximum strength. The tang of the knife is the part of the blade that extends in to the handle. A full tang goes the entire length of the handle. Some knives have a tang that go only part of the way in to the handle and are not as strong as a full tang blade.

  Stay away from knives that have a hollow handle because the tang does not go very far in to the handle. This means the blade is not solidly attached to the handle making the knife very weak and prone to breaking. The hollow handle is a compartment that can store a few survival items. On the surface it may seem like a good idea, but if you lose the knife then you also lose the survival items that are in the knife handle. This type of knife is more of a gimmick that was made popular with Rambo and does not make a good survival knife.

  Knives that have a blade length of six to nine inches make the best survival knives. Get a Blade longer then nine inches and the knife will start to become too bulky and heavy for practical uses. Smaller blades can’t do as much as the longer blades can such as chopping wood or prying things open limiting their usefulness in a survival situation.

   There are many blade designs to choose from but not all of them are ideal for survival situations. Blade designs that make the best survival knives include the clip point, drop point and the tanto point. These designs can take a beating without breaking and provide the functionally that is needed in a survival situation.

Survival knife blades

  The clip point is a design where the tip of the knife curves in a concave direction called the clip. This style is good for piercing and slicing, however the tip is weak and can snap off.  If you get a knife with a clip point make sure you choose one that doesn’t have an exaggerated curve because the tip could break off. Instead get one that has a mild curvature on the blade.

  One of the most popular designs is the drop point. The drop point has a convex curve on the back of the blade that runs the length of the blade. This design is good slicing rather than for piercing making it a nice general purpose style.

  The tanto style is used on katana swords and is a very durable design. Having a straight edge instead of a curved blade allows for a strong tip that is unlikely to break on you making it a great choice for piercing things, but on the other hand this style of blade is not very good for slicing things.

Smith & Wesson SWFR2S Extreme Ops Knife with Coated Tanto Blade and Rubber Coated Handle, BlackCredit: Amazon

Smith & Wesson SWFR2S Extreme Ops Knife

  Another thing that the best survival knives have in common is a solid pummel. The pummel is the end of the knives handle. A solid flat pummel can be used as a hammer to pound and beat things which adds extra functionally to your survival knife.

  These are the main things to consider when choosing a good dependable survival knife. Even though personal tastes in knives vary from person to person, the best survival knives have these features in common.