Buying the Best Outdoor Survival Knife
Major natural disasters that have struck the country recently such as Hurricane Sandy and the Oklahoma EF-5 tornadoes should serve as a wake up call for everyone to always be prepared for these life-threatening events. One of the most essential things you should have is a survival knife. And just because you live in a bomb shelter it doesn’t mean you won’t need one. People use these knives for a lot of things such as tool making, digging, splitting wood, hunting, cutting, slicing, first aid, and self-defense. Heck, these knives have become so indispensable even housewives have one hidden in the kitchen!
If you are looking to buy a survival knife, it is very important that you choose the right one. These knives can cost anywhere from $20 to $200. And if price is no object for you, it’s best that you choose a survival knife that’s priced on the higher end so you’re assured of its quality.
Price is not the only consideration though, and this is why you also need to know how to buy a survival knife based on its features. That said, here’s a short list of the best features your survival knife should have:
What to Consider When Choosing a Survival Knife
The knife’s tang refers to the part of the blade that goes all the way to the base of its handle. Most cheap survival knives have blades that connect to the top of the handle which tends to break off easily. Go for a full tang because it’s more robust since the blade and the handle are made from the same metal. Having a full tang drastically reduces the risk of your blade breaking off from the handle when you’re using it to pry, split wood, or anything that puts strain on the blade.
2. Fixed Blade
You’d probably be more inclined to choose a folding knife because it’s easy to carry or bring with you when you’re outdoors. However, you’re better off with a fixed blade due to its reliability and durability. A fixed blade survival knife can take a lot of abuse since there are no moving parts. What you sacrifice for portability is generally made up for in durability.
3. Right Blade Size
Some people recommend getting a longer blade (9 inches or so) however it can be inconvenient to carry it with you and will probably scare off everyone in your path when they see you carrying Rambo’s knife. Survival experts say it’s best that you choose a blade that’s about 6 inches long. Plus, these larger blades are great for doing big tasks but can be unwieldy when doing more precise tasks.
This might seem very obvious but it needs to be mentioned here. See, there are people who buy survival knives with angled and rounded tips which pretty much defeats the purpose of using this kind of knife. Unless you are going to use your survival knife solely to impress others, get one that’s sharp and pointed at the tip. Period.
5. Solid Handle
Manufacturers of survival knives have become quite innovative, adding a compass and storage in the handle portion. These may seem “cool” but they aren’t really practical. Go for knives with a hard handle because they’re more reliable. It doesn’t matter how many gadgets and features something has if it breaks. So would you rather have a compass or a knife?
These are just a few things to keep in mind when buying your survival knife. Remember, this tool can literally mean the difference between life and death when you’re out in the wilderness, or even in an urban situation. So make sure you pick a quality knife that suits your needs.