Planning on going out into the wilderness? Better not without a survival knife! These fixed blade knives are great for camping, and won't let you down!
Survival Knives and Things You Need to Know Before Buying
A survival knife, often times also a camping knife, is definitely one of the most important tools you should have if plan to go the wilderness alone. But unlike ordinary knives, survival knives are specifically designed for different survival situations. Whether you will go hunting trip and simply hiking, anything bad can happen. You might get lost and you will need a very versatile tool, which you can also use for defending yourself against predators.
Besides self-defense, survival knives have tons of other uses. This includes wood cutting, slicing soft materials, digging, food hunting and preparation, making fire, screwdriver, clearing your path, and first-aid tool. You can also use it for creating weapons such as spears, arrows, and other sharp weapons.
History of Survival Knives
Sylvester Stallone is a known knife enthusiast; his Rambo knives were revolutionary and became famous among knife collectors. However, the real survival knives were known to have started back in the 1930s, where knife manufacturers incorporated heavier blades and pommels. Webster L. Marble, a noted businessman, is known to have introduced the modern concept of the hunting knife. They were used by explorer and outdoorsmen. The first mass production of survival knives was believed to have started back in WWII and they were used by military personnel.
Survival Knives Features
Survival knives differ from folding knives primarily in the way they were built. Their major difference is that all survival knives have fixed blades, which means they have no moving parts. But despite the former being more durable and useful, bringing both knives when camping or hiking is highly recommended.
There are different features of survival knives. All these features are equally important and therefore you need to understand them before you buy your own survival knife.
Size (Blade Length)
Contrary to what you might think, a bigger survival knife does not mean it is better. Although more a bigger one may be more effective in chopping or using your knife as hammer, smaller ones have more uses such as for carving and dressing. Many survival experts believe that the best blade length is from four to six inches, while there are those saying that an 8-inch blade is also efficient.
Straight Blade vs Serrated Blade: Which One is Better?
The choice as to whether the blade should be straight or serrated is an endless debate. But first, it is important that you do not choose fully-serrated blade because there will be times that you need a straight edge. Partially-serrated blade is very useful in cutting ropes, while a straight edge is easier to sharpen. Therefore, choosing as to which one I better depends on your personal preference. Nonetheless, single-edged blades are preferable over the double-edged ones.
The pommel is the bottom part (or butt) of the handle of your knife, which you can as a hammer, light duty pounding, or for crushing ice. Therefore, a wide, flat pommel is better than the rounded ones. It should also be strong enough and would not break off when being hit to extremely hard objects.
Survival knife handles can be made from leather, wood, horn, bone, plastic, or hard rubber. Both leather and wood have a pleasant finish and can provide a good grip, but are more prone to deterioration. Horn and bone are durable and have a good finish. On the other hand, plastic handles are not absorbent. Meanwhile, rubber provides good grip even when it is wet. Whichever type of handle you choose, make sure that it is comfortable to hold and will not wear out easily.
The tang of a knife is a piece of metal attached the portion of the blade that extends into the handle. Many experts say that full tang is better than partial tang, because there is still a remaining portion where you can wrap with a cloth in case the handle breaks. In addition, partial tang knife blades may loosen in prolong use, especially when you are performing demanding tasks. Therefore, you should always pick full tang over partial tang.
The main purpose of a knife sheath is to protect you from your knife and to protect the knife itself. Therefore, sheaths should be made of very durable material such as high-quality leather. You can attach in your backpack using a strap; you can also place it on your leg. If you prefer placing on your waist, make sure that a strong belt attachment. But where ever you want to place it, never expose it in public places.
The last feature is pretty obvious. Although some survival knives have angled, hooked, or rounded tips. However, a sharp pointed tip has a lot of uses. Besides the ones mentioned earlier, pointed knives can also be used for drilling, notching, picking, prying and as splinters.
If you want to view different survival knives, check our wide collection here!