Skip to content

Top 5 Survival Knives: Comprehensive Buying Guide

What makes a survival knife? Quality materials, excellent workmanship, efficient use of blade grind and innovative design.

There has been a market for well made survival knives for years, but only recently have companies come forward with such a wide assortment of amazing product, built on decades of experience and testimonial from knife enthusiasts. What are the top 5 survival knives available in the world today?

There are several companies who produce excellent survival knives intended for heavy use, and while this list is by no means exhaustive, here are the top 5 survival knives currently in production.

Top 5 Survival Knives: Comprehensive Overview

1. Cold Steel Trail Master: This knife is truly excellent, a tool perfect for nearly any survival scenario. It’s classically shaped blade has a basic grind line, perfectly suited for a variety of tasks, which means it’s perfect for day to day use. Without being specialized, the Trail Master earns it’s number one position among the top 5 survival knives due to it’s ease of use, comfort of carry and durability of masterfully crafted materials.

Cold Steel Trail Master Black Kraton Handle
Buy Now

Price Disclaimer

2. Tops Knives Tom Brown Tracker: Opposite of the Trail Master, the Tom Brown Tracker is ultra specialized, made of pure 1095 high carbon steel. There is in fact a twenty three page manual for this one knife, detailing all the different things one can do with the knife! For reference, the designer of the knife, as well as it’s namesake, designed the test which all US Park Rangers must pass in order to be sworn in. A true survival expert; a true survival knife.

Tops Knives T010 Tom Brown Tracker Fixed Blade Knife with Black Micarta Handles
Buy Now

Price Disclaimer

3. Ontario Knives Rat 7: Like the Tracker, the Rat 7 is made of 1095 high carbon steel, and coated for resistance to the effects of exposure. Featuring micarta handle scales, this knife has a cutting edge measuring 6.5” long. The excellent ergonomics are well suited for long term use, providing a grip which will remain comfortable throughout the day. Tried and tested, the Ontario Rat 7 is perfect for the casual outdoors man as well as the serious adventurer.

Ontario 8604 RAT-7 Knife (Green)
Buy Now

Price Disclaimer

4. Kershaw Camp Series: The newly released Kershaw Camp Series of knives are perfectly suited for a variety of tasks, set apart by their individual blade lengths and styles. The Camp 10 features a blade length of 10” with a heavy recurve reminiscent of a kukuri blade, excellent for chopping wood. The Camp 14 has a more gently curved blade, measuring in at 14” and a slight rearwards sweeping blade made for more general tasks than the Camp 10. The Camp 18, the final model in the Kershaw Camp Series, has a monstrous 18” blade, the near upper limit for how large most machetes and camp knives extend to. While this large blade may seem unwieldy, it has both length and weight to succeed at many tasks which other smaller knives may not be able to do.

Kershaw 1074 Camp Knife, 18-Inch
Buy Now

Price Disclaimer

5. KA-BAR: The final contender for this list is by no means the lesser knife. The KA-BAR is renown worldwide, and for very, very good reason. Measuring in with a blade length of 7”, this knife has been used in wars, countless counting trips, hiking expeditions, self defence scenarios, and many, many more world life situations, too many to count. The reasons can be broken down to one word; dependability. It has become the basis from which many people measure other fixed blade folding knives from. 1095 high carbon steel makes up the blade tang, while resin impregnated leather spacers form the handle for a comfortable, durable grip. This knife has been proven to take abuse and withstand the most brutal of destructive uses. Out of the top 5 survival knives, the classic KA-BAR ranks number five on this list.

KA-BAR Full Size US Marine Corps Fighting Knife, Straight
Buy Now

Price Disclaimer